Gamaliel Bradford (privateersman)

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Captain Gamaliel Bradford, privateersman, was born in Duxbury, Mass., 4 November 1768.

He commanded the American private armed ship Mary in 1799, during the Quasi-War with France. In July 1800, in command of Industry, he routed four French privateers at Gibraltar. Captain Bradford died at Cambridge, Mass., 7 March 1824.

Biography[edit]

Captain Gamaliel Bradford, privateersman, was born in Duxbury, Mass., 4 November 1768.

During the American Revolution, he enlisted in the 14th Massachusetts Regiment (commanded by his father, also named Gamaliel)as a private at the age of thirteen on May 28, 1776. He fought at the battles of Saratoga and Monmouth before encamping with the army for its final cantonment at New Windsor, New York. After Monmouth, he was promoted to Serjeant on June 28, 1778, followed by promotions to Ensign (8/8/1779) and Lieutenant (9/3/1780). When the number of Massachusetts regiments was reduced in 1781, Gamaliel and the other men of the 14th were folded into the 7th Massachusetts Regiment. He stayed on another year in the army before finally returning home in 1784.

After the war, he commanded the American private armed ship Mary in 1799, during the Quasi-War with France. In July 1800, in command of Industry, he routed four French privateers at Gibraltar, though he sustained an injury that would cost him his leg. Captain Bradford died at Cambridge, Mass., 7 March 1824.

He married Elizabeth Parker Hickling on August 6, 1798. They would go on to have seven children. The same year, he was offered command of the frigate Boston by President John Adams, but declined.

Namesake[edit]

In 1943, the destroyer USS Bradford (DD-545) was named in his honor.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.