He was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, Frazier entered the navy as a seaman in 1802. Serving in the Mediterranean Sea during the war with Tripoli, he took part in Stephen Decatur's renowned foray into Tripoli harbor to destroy the captured Philadelphia, and was again with Decatur in the attack on Tripoli on 3 August 1804. He was severely wounded in the gunboat attack, and is believed by many historians to have received these wounds while protecting Decatur with his own body. This act of bravery is commonly attributed (incorrectly) to another sailor, Reuben James, due to an image with a tattoo displaying the name James.
He died in New York City about 22 April 1833.
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