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On June 22, 1807, the captain of the British warship Leopard, having been refused permission to search the U.S. frigate Chesapeake for deserters from the Royal Navy, ordered his men to open fire. On board the unprepared frigate only Lieutenant William H. Allen managed to fire a single shot before Commodore James Barron surrendered and allowed the British to remove four deserters. Allen led the successful demand for Barron's court-martial. The frigate's officers raised money to buy the lieutenant this silver dirk for upholding the honor of his country. Allen died from wounds in 1813 after his brig Argus was captured by the British.
The inscription reads: Given to LT. William H. Allen as a token of esteem for his courage & endurance in the action on June 22nd 1807 by the officers of U.S.S. Chesapeake.
Location:805 Kidder Breese Street SE,District of Columbia,Washington,20374
credits:Courtesy, Naval Historical Foundation