William Brown (admiral) bigraphy, stories - sailor, businessman, admiral, "Father of the Argentine Navy"

William Brown (admiral) : biography

22 June 1777 - 3 March 1857

Admiral William Brown (also known in Spanish as Guillermo Brown) (22 June 1777 – 3 March 1857) was an Irish-born Argentine Admiral. Brown's victories in the Independence War, the Cisplatine War, and the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata earned the respect and appreciation of the Argentine people, and today he is regarded as one of Argentina's national heroes. Creator and first admiral of the country's maritime forces, he is commonly known as the "father of the Argentine Navy".. Used mainly in Argentina but also in other countries like the United Kingdom, see e.g. this BBC URL accessed on 15 October 2006., see e.g. his at Planeta Sedna. URL accessed on 15 October 2006., see at County Mayo's official website. URL accessed on 15 October 2006., according to its official URL accessed on 15 October 2006.

Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Navy

War with Spain

Spanish ships destroyed Brown's schooner, and took drastic effects to nullify Argentina's attempts to defend her coasts against Spanish raiders. As a result of the incident, Argentina resolved to provide ships to protect her coasts and trade, with Brown being commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel at the service of the Navy and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine fleet. This was following the challenge of Benjamin Franklin Seavers, registered as a Canadian merchant shipman, who relinquished his challenge when Brown's illegal press ganging earlier in his career came to light—this is believed to have tipped the decision in his favor to lead the flotilla. Seavers was American born. However, following the Jefferson reforms, like most merchant shipmen he became Canadian to avoid the double taxation system imposed on free enterprise.

The River Plate presented new opportunities for these captains of free enterprise. It was important to keep grain lines open to the north of the continent and the Spanish stood in the way. Captain Benjamin Franklin Seavers was Brown's second-in-command; he bravely led the first attack on the Spanish naval force opening a blockade and providing a path for the fleet to take to high water. He was also the first casualty of the battle. The news of the death of his friend and comrade drove Brown to launch a full attack on the Spanish as morale was low at the loss of this experienced officer so early in the engagement.

On 10 March 1814 the Hercules, joined by the Julieta, the Tortugas, the Fortunata and the felucca San Luis, faced the strong Spanish naval fleet commanded by Captain Jacinto de Romarate. The Spanish armada had six war ships, brigs, gunboats and a land battery with four cannons. There was a fierce combat after which the Hercules was stranded. American-born officer Benjamin Franklin Seaver, commander of the Julieta, was killed in action. The Hercules defended herself until 12 March at 10 am. As a result of this combat Commander Elias Smith, Lieutenant Robert Stacy and forty-five sailors were killed by grapeshot. There were about fifty wounded, which imposed a heavy task for the surgeon Bernard Campbell. The flagship received no less than eighty-two cannon blows and was repaired in the same war zone. Plumb plates were placed under the water line and the hull covered with leathers and tar. Henceforth it was nicknamed as 'the Black Frigate'. Richard Baxter, an English-born officer, was appointed as the new commander. On 17 March 1814 Brown attacked the island Martín García together with the Julieta and the Zephir. The Hercules engaged in combat with the Spanish warships Esperanza and Carmen.

A land attack was organized and at that moment William Brown ordered the fife and the drum to play "Saint Patrick’s Day in the Morning", which acted as a real booster among the troops.

On 20 April 1814 Montevideo was blocked by Argentine forces. There were no other major engagements until 14 May, when combat started but the sea conditions stopped a full attack.

Brown resolved to attack the formidable Spanish squadron with his ill-equipped flotilla of seven ships. On 8 March 1814, Brown took his ships to sea and within 48 hours was engaged in a furious battle. Land and sea forces saw action at Martín García island, a fortified island from Buenos Aires, known as "the Gibraltar of the River Plate", which commanded the access to the rivers Paraná and Uruguay. Brown failed to win possession of the island, and his flagship, Hercules, was badly battered and ran aground. Argentine forces attacked vigorously by land and sea on 14 March, and after a stiff contest succeeded in gaining possession of Martín García. The Spanish commander took his ships to Montevideo hotly pursued by Brown, whose naval forces were now increased by the addition of three armed merchant vessels.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine