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First Name: Jonathan

Last Name: Haraden

Birthplace: Gloucester, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Navy (1775 - 1785)


Date of Birth: 11 November 1744

Date of Death: 16 November 1803

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
Jonathan Haraden

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Jonathan Haraden
Captain, U.S. Navy

Jonathan Haraden was born on 11 November 1744 in Gloucester, MA.

Haraden was the most successful and audacious of the dread Salem Privateers, privately owned vessels commissioned by the infant U.S. government to attack and capture British shipping. At the outbreak of hostilities, Haraden was a Merchant Captain. He joined the Massachusetts Navy that consisted of two ships, and served as an officer on the Tyrannicide when it captured a larger British vessel. Haraden later commanded the Tyrannicide, but resigned to pursue a career as a privateers man.

He took command of the 14-gun General Pickering in 1780, with a crew of 45 men and boys and sailed for Bilbao, Spain. Entering the Bay of Biscay, he spotted the British privateer, Golden Eagle, larger than his own ship. Haraden snuck alongside the vessel after nightfall and declared himself a frigate. He demanded the enemy captain surrender. The startled British captain struck his colors. Before the Pickering and its prize were safely in harbor, Haraden spied the British privateer Achilles with forty guns and more than three times his crew. But he fought the larger vessel until the enemy fled.

He was treated like a hero in the Spanish port and carried through the streets in procession by its citizens who had watched the sea battle from shore. In another memorable encounter, Haraden, in command of General Pickering took on three armed merchantmen off Nova Scotia and captured all of them without loss of life aboard his own vessel. In another engagement Haraden took on a heavily armed Royal Mail Packet headed for England from the West Indies. In a savage engagement, both vessels were damaged. Haraden bore off to repair his ship, then renewed the chase. But he discovered he only had enough powder and ammunition for one cannon shot. He maneuvered General Pickering alongside the packet and gave the British captain five minutes to haul down his colors, or he threatened to sink her with a broadside. He began to shout off the minutes. The bluff worked and the British ship surrendered to the smaller American vessel.

It would not be the last time Haraden bluffed an enemy into surrender, especially after his name had become feared throughout the British merchant fleet. It is estimated he captured more than 1,000 cannons for the American cause, as well as untold stocks of other weapons, powder and ammunition, numerous vessels and goods. The World War I-era destroyer USS Haraden was named for him and, ironically, was conveyed to the British in a lend-lease deal during World War II.

Death and Burial

Captain Jonathan Haraden died on 16 November 1803 in Salem, MA. He is buried at Broad Street Cemetery in Salem, MA.

Honoree ID: 2601   Created by: MHOH




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