Dates of Service: 7/7/1812 - 8/2/1813
Death Date: 3/23/1861
Jesse Wilkinson was born in Nanesemond County, Virginia. His date of birth is not known.
Wilkinson was working as a merchant seaman in 1806, but became a midshipman in the navy sometime before June 5, 1809, when he was given leave to pursue a merchant voyage. He became an acting lieutenant on the USS Revenge on January 5, 1810, and received a lieutenant’s commission on April 10, 1810. In January, 1811 he was ordered to USS John Adams.
Wilkinson entered USS Constitution as a lieutenant on July 7, 1812 at Boston, Massachusetts. He transferred on August 2, 1813, likely to the USS Frolic, which was launched at the Charlestown Navy Yard in September. During his time on board Constitution, the ship remained blockaded in Boston Harbor.
Wilkinson was on USS Frolic when it was captured by HMS Orpheus on April 20, 1814. He became a prisoner of war in England until the end of the war. In September, 1815 he reported to USS John Adams as a lieutenant, ordered to proceed on the ship to the Mediterranean. In 1816 he was on half pay in Norfolk, Virginia, and became lieutenant commander of USS Hornet in 1817. Wilkinson continued to rise in the ranks, eventually becoming Captain in 1829. He died on March 23, 1861.