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James Biddle

From Academic Kids

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Captain James Biddle (1783-1848).

James Biddle (February 18, 1783 - October 1, 1848), of the Biddle family, brother of financier Nicholas Biddle and nephew of Captain Nicholas Biddle was an American commodore. His flagship was USS Columbus.

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, he entered service in the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1800.

Retained in the navy reduction of 1801, Biddle served in the war against the Barbary pirates. The ship he was in, USS Philadelphia, struck rocks off Tripoli, and along with his Commodore, William Bainbridge, he was kept imprisoned by the pirates for 19 months.

During the War of 1812, Biddle was first lieutenant in USS Wasp. After this, he was in command of the sloop USS Hornet when she defeated HMS Penguin. Later, in 1817, he was sent to the Columbia River to formally take over the Oregon Country for the United States, which was completed in 1818.

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The USS Columbus and an American crewman in Edo Bay in 1846, depicted by a Japanese artist.

After the war, Biddle performed various duties in the Gulf of Mexico, the South Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

In early 1846, Biddle successfully negotiated the first economic treaty between China and the United States.

In July 1846, he anchored with the two warships USS Columbus and USS Vincennes in Uraga Channel at the mouth to Tokyo Bay in an attempt to open up Japan to trade with the USA, but was turned away. Seven years later, Commodore Matthew Perry did the task with 4 warships.

Biddle died in Philadelphia and is buried at Christ Church in the family plot.

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