USS Truxtun Association

Commodore Thomas Truxtun

Historical Naval Officer of the American Revolution

Thomas Truxtun, 1755-1822, American Naval Officer, born near Hempstead, L.I., N.Y.

In the American Revolution he won a name as a privateer, seizing many British prizes. Later he was a sea captain in merchant trade until the U.S. navy was organized (1775). In the “near war” with France 1798-1800), he commanded the Constellation and earned an outstanding reputation. He captured the French frigate L'Insurgente (1799) and then later defeated La Vengeance (1800), although he was prevented by a storm from taking the latter ship as a prize. Shortly afterward he retired from the navy.

The Story of Captain Truxtun's Congressional Medal

The saga of the first Congressional medal made in America involves colorful personalities and evolving customs and technology as it appeared in the February 2007 issue of The Numismatist.

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The USS Constellation

USS Constellation was a 38-gun frigate, one of the "Six Original Frigates" authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. She was distinguished as the first U.S. Navy vessel to put to sea and the first U.S. Navy vessel to engage and defeat an enemy vessel. Constructed in 1797, she was modified several times in succeeding decades, and finally rebuilt beginning in 1853 as the sloop of war USS Constellation (1854).

Below a scene depicting the action of 9 February 1799, when the USS Constellation (left), commanded by Captain Thomas Truxtun, captured the French frigate L'Insurgente.

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