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MUSEUM:  
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Ship's Crew

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Daniel Todd Patterson

Rank(s): Captain

Dates of Service: 2/21/1826 - 7/19/1828

Birth Date: 3/6/1786

Death Date: 8/25/1839

Daniel Todd Patterson was born in Long Island, New York on March 6, 1786. His father, John Patterson, was an Irish immigrant and his mother, Catherine Livingston, was from the socially and politically powerful Livingston family of New York. Patterson joined USS Delaware as a volunteer midshipman in June 1799, and cruised the West Indies against pirates and French privateers. He was issued a midshipman’s warrant on August 20, 1800, which date was later changed to June 1799. After the Quasi-War with France, he saw duty in the Mediterranean aboard the frigates Constellation and Philadelphia, having the misfortune of being on the latter when she ran aground and was captured by the Tripolitans in October 1803. Patterson remained a prisoner until June 1805. He spent most of the next 10 years on the New Orleans Station, ultimately becoming master commandant. His small craft provided important support to General Andrew Jackson’s successful defense of New Orleans in January 1815. Promoted to captain in February 1815, he remained in the South until 1824, when he was made flag captain to Commodore John Rodgers in the Mediterranean Squadron.

In October 1825, Captain Thomas Macdonough left USS Constitution due to ill health. Patterson was the replacement. He commanded theship from October 14 until December 5, 1825, left her temporarily, and resumed command on February 21, 1826. The squadron was employed principally in patrolling the eastern Mediterranean, providing protection to American shipping. Patterson became squadron commander when Commodore Rodgers sailed for the U.S. on May 31, 1827. He was routinely relieved in late May 1828 and sailed Constitution to Boston, where she was decommissioned on July 19.

Patterson next served as a Naval Commissioner from 1828 to 1832, then returned for another tour as commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron from 1832 to 1836, and finally commanded the Washington Navy Yard, where he was stationed until his death on August 25, 1839. He was interred in the Congressional Cemetery.

Commodore Patterson’s service has been recalled in the naming of two destroyers (1911 and 1937) and an escort vessel (1970).


Image Credit

Courtesy Naval History & Heritage Command