Commodore Arthur Sinclair
February 28, 1780|
|Died||February 7, 1831
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1796 - 1831|
|Battles/wars||Quasi-War with France
First Barbary War
War of 1812
Commodore Arthur Sinclair (28 February 1780 – 7 February 1831) was an early American naval hero, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War and in the War of 1812. His three sons also served in the Navy; they resigned in 1861, however, to serve in the Confederate Navy.
Born in Virginia, Sinclair entered the Navy as Midshipman in 1798. He served as Midshipman in Constellation during the capture of the French frigate L'Insurgente on 9 February 1799. He was attached to the Mediterranean Squadron from June 1804 to July 1806, participating in the attacks on Tripoli on board Essex. He then sailed Gunboat No. 10 to the United States.
On 10 June 1807 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. On 13 December 1811, he was ordered to the command of Argus; and, between 12 October and 17 December 1812, cruised in Argus with the North Atlantic Squadron and took a number of prizes. During the cruise, he became separated from the squadron and was chased for three days and nights by an enemy squadron before his superior ship handling enabled him to escape. On 18 May 1813, he was ordered to duty in the squadron on Lake Ontario and commanded General Pike in the engagement on 28 September 1813. In 1814, he commanded Niagara on Lake Huron and Lake Superior and directed the naval squadron in the Battle of Mackinac Island and the Engagement on Lake Huron.
Promoted to Captain in 1813, he commanded the frigate Congress in 1817; commanded the 74-gun ship of the line Washington in 1818; and, in 1819, was placed in command of the Norfolk Navy Yard where, in 1821, he established a naval school on the frigate Guerriere.
Captain Sinclair died at Norfolk, Virginia on 7 February 1831.
Sinclair was the great-grandfather of novelist Upton Sinclair, author of the novel The Jungle (1906). He was also the second great-grandfather of Vice Admiral Lloyd M. Mustin and third great-grandfather of Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin.
The destroyer USS Sinclair (DD-275) was named for him.
- Sinclair, Upton. The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1962.