Barney Joshua

Barney, Joshua (1759-1818) Naval Officer: Barney went to sea as a child, and was navigating a vessel by the age of 16. He became master's mate of the Hornet, on of the first cruises fitted out by the Continental Congress. He took part in Com. Hopkins' attack of New Providence and capture of British store in 1776. Appointed a lieutenant, he was assigned to the sloop Sachem, which captured a British privateer. He was captured, imprisoned, and exchanged by the British at least three times during the Revolutionary War, and was finally jailed in Portsmouth in 1781. He escaped, was recaptured, and escaped again, reaching Philadelphia in 1782. Barney captured the General Monk, a British sloop of war, and was voted a sword by the Pennsylvania legislature because of his bravery. He sailed to France in 1782 and met with Benjamin Franklin, from whom he brought a large amount of financial aid from the French, as well as the information that the preliminaries of peace had been signed. After the war, Barney was engaged in commerce and, in 1793, was captured by an English brig and imprisoned again, this time as a pirate. He accompanied Monroe to France in 1794, was the bearer of the American flag to the national convention, and entered the service of the French government, which gave him a captain's commission and made him commander of a squadron. He resigned in 1800 and returned to America. In 1814, Barney became a captain in the Navy, and fought in the War of 1812. He was wounded in the war and never fully recovered. After retiring, he bought a tract in Kentucky, and was on the way there when he became ill and died.