There is nothing so corrupt as history when it enters the service of the state. — Edgar Quinet

Midshipman Farragut - James Barnes




The Finale

About 8 A. M., after the surrender, David and a number of the prisoners were ordered on board the Phoebe. He clambered up the side, came on deck, and was shown into the steerage where the English midshipmen were. Here he sought a corner, turned his back upon them, and hid his face in his hands. Suddenly he was aroused by hearing one of the young reefers call aloud:

"A prize, ho! boys—a fine grunter, by Jove!" Under his arm as he entered was Murphy, the pig. David jumped to his feet.

"That pig is mine. I claim him as my personal baggage, sir," he said.

"Ah," said the midshipman, backing away, "you're a prisoner and your pig also."

"We Americans always protect private property," David replied, and seized hold of poor Murphy by the tail.

Immediately a ring was made around the two.

"Go it, little Yankee!" said a tall, light-headed youngster, "and if you lick 'Shorty' you can have your pig."

Midshipman Farragut pulled off his torn coat, and hammer and tongs the two boys went at it.

"Shorty," however, soon had enough, and by unanimous decision of the spectators, the squealing Murphy was delivered to his former owner.

A marine looked into the steerage.

"The captain wishes to see Mr. Farragut in the cabin," he said.

David, with the aid of two chests, penned Murphy, so he could not get away, and then followed the marine to the cabin.

Captain Porter was seated there at the table with Captain Hillyar. He was pale, and his face showed lines that had not been there a few days before.

"Come and have some breakfast, my boy," said Captain Hillyar, pleasantly.

But David was too discomforted to eat, and declined with as much composure as he could.

"Never mind, my little fellow," said Captain Hillyar, putting his hand kindly on his shoulder, "it will come your day some time, perhaps."

The prisoners were all put on parole and went on shore, and for some weeks David worked as hospital assistant in attending the many wounded.

At last arrangements were made for the transportation of the crew to the United States in the Essex, Jr. The vessel was disarmed, and all hands embarked on her for New York.

They passed Cape Horn safely, met fair weather, and in the course of time arrived off Long Island. Here they were overhauled by the British razee Saturn, under Captain Nash, who detained them for some time.

Porter, irritated at the lack of courtesy shown in detaining officers and men upon parole, pushed off during a foggy night in a small boat and succeeded in making the shore of Long Island.

After some delay and parleying, the Essex, Jr., was allowed to proceed, but again she was molested by the frigate Narcissus and submitted to another examination.

Through some mistake also two American land batteries fired at the cartel as she made up the outer bay, but, luckily, no harm was done. At last, the next morning, the 7th of July, 1814, the Essex, Jr., came to anchor in the inner New York harbor.

The following morning Captain Porter arrived by coach from Babylon, Long Island, where he had landed. On his arrival in New York he received a great ovation. The crowd became so enthusiastic that the horses were taken from his carriage and it was drawn in triumph all over the city by the people.

The crew and officers were put on parole until regularly exchanged or peace should be concluded; and, as David Farragut wrote in his journal, "Thus ended one of the most eventful cruises of my life."

All the training of these early days, all the hardships suffered, and the responsibilities that had been thrust upon him at so tender an age, helped to make the future Admiral Farragut the successful man and sailor that he afterward became. The commander who rammed the rebel ironclads with his wooden prows, who stood lashed in the rigging of the Hartford as she passed the forts, only showed the same spirit that he had manifested when a midshipman of the Essex; and as his name is now inscribed on the roll of fame, and as he is reckoned one of our great heroes, it all truly goes to show that, beyond doubt, the boy is father to the man."


THE END.