Rank(s): Able Seaman
Dates of Service: 8/6/1813 - 2/17/1815
William Russell’s place and date of birth are not known.
Russell transferred from USS Rattlesnake to USS Constitution as an able seaman on August 6, 1813. He was promoted to sailmaker’s mate on July 1, 1814. He was court martialed on October 17, 1814. According to the charges:
William Russel did, in the rigger’s loft within the Navy Yard, Charlestown, behave in a riotous manner and make use of most abusive and mutionus language to sailing Master Malbone, who sent him out of the Loft and ordered him to go down stairs, but instead of obeying said order, he made an attempt to go up to the Sail Loft and was there turned back by Sailing Master Knox, to whom he made use of most abusive language. He was then turned out of the building by Sailing Master Malbone, whom he treated in a mutinous manner.
In a defense he submitted to the court, Russell wrote:
I am now brought before this Honble Court to answer Charges brought against me of a most serious Nature, as to the Justness of the charges I can say nothing, as with permission I will inform the Honbl Court that I have had the misfortune of having my skull bone fractured which frequently deprives me of my reason particularly if I drink, rather to excess, which I acknowledge to my misfortune I can’t refrain from at times. I beg the privaledge [sic] of the Honbl Court to appeal to my shipmates on board the Constitution to specafy [sic] my conduct when my facultys [sic] are not deranged, as I am conscious of always being obedient to my superior officers and ready to my duty as far as in my power lay, with due submission I pray the Honbl Court to take in consideration my situation and Judge with lenity [sic] them.
He was demoted to ordinary seaman on October 24, 1814, presumably as a result of his court martial. He was transferred from USS Constitution to the prize crew of the British ship Susanna on February 17, 1815.
Battles and Engagements
Russell was on board for the battle with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant.
Russell’s date and place of death are unknown.