“My presentation will discuss David Farragut’s career as a Navy midshipman from his birth in Tennessee in 1801 until his promotion to lieutenant in 1825,” stated an e-mail from William “Bill” Rhodes, Farragut resident and Farragut Museum volunteer who will narrate “Midshipman Farragut,” an historical Town presentation free and open to the public. “Farragut’s father was a third-generation sea captain from Spain.
“He served in the American militias in the Revolutionary War and was a friend of William Blount, John Sevier and William C. C. Claiborne in the new U.S. territory of Tennessee,” he added. “Farragut entered the Navy at 9 ½ and served under his adoptive father, David Porter, aboard the USS Essex — the first U.S. Naval ship to round Cape Horn — during the War of 1812. They were sent to protect the U.S. whaling fleet and to capture British whalers.
“Farragut captained one of the ships captured by the Essex for three weeks at the age of 12. When the Essex was captured by the British, Farragut was a prisoner of war until he was exchanged in 1814.”
The presentation “will cover his midshipman duties and adventures under British fire, as well as a brief overview of his later naval career and first marriage,” Rhodes said. “It will not cover his Civil War career for which he is best known.”
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, and a retired marine biologist, Rhodes is a U.S. Navy veteran who said he has always been interested in history.
Also serving on the Town Museum Committee, where he is past chairman, Rhodes is preparing for his second historical Town presentation. His first was last fall on the Battle of Campbell Station.