Commodore Alexander Scammel Wadsworth (1790-1851)
Commodore Alexander Scammel Wadsworth (1790–1851) was an officer of the United States Navy. Wadsworth was born in 1790 at Portland, Maine. He was appointed a midshipman on 2 April 1804 and was promoted to lieutenant on 21 April 1810. Lt. Wadsworth was the first lieutenant on board the USS Constitution, commanded by Captain Isaac Hull. It was during a successful engagement with the British Frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia during the War of 1812 that the Constitution achieved its greatest victory. During a 20 minute battle, shots fired at the USS Constitution seemed to “bounce” off the ship’s hull, giving her the name “Old Ironsides”. Meanwhile, the Guerriere was reduced to a floating pile of rubble. For this action in the battle, Wadsworth received a silver medal. Wadsworth later served as first lieutenant of the corvette USS Adams during that ship's cruise in 1814 when she captured 10 prizes.
Promoted to Master Commandant on 27 April 1816 for his services during the war, Wadsworth commanded the brig USS Prometheus in the Mediterranean Squadron after the Algerian War in 1816 and 1817 and later commanded the sloop USS Prometheus.
Under Wadsworth, John Adams conducted cruises in the West Indies in 1818–1819, and 1821–1822 for the suppression of piracy.
Promoted to captain on 3 March 1825, he commanded frigate USS Constellation in the Mediterranean Squadron from 1829 to 1832. Wadsworth was Commodore commanding the Pacific Squadron from 1834 to 1836, a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners from 1837 to 1840, and Inspector of Ordnance from 1841 to 1850. Commodore Wadsworth died at Washington, D.C., on 5 April 1851.
Three Navy ships have been named USS Wadsworth in his honor.
He was the son of Peleg Wadsworth, the uncle of author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and namesake of Alexander Scammel.
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