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INCLUDING A PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE ENGAGEMENT AT QUALLAH-BATTOO,
ON THE COAST OF SUMATRA; WITH ALL THE OFFICIAL DOCU-
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,
No. 82 CLIFF-STRE E T,
AND SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835,
By HARPER & BROTHERS, In tho Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.
We have been a commercial people from the very germe of our existence; we must ever remain so; and it is the dictate of common sense to protect this commerce. This can only be done by an effective
navy. This doctrine was well understood by our ancestors, who, nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, made great exertions to raise a naval force for the purpose of taking Quebec ; and in all the subsequent wars up to the time of the siege of Louisburg, a half a century afterward, they continued to increase it, and it was to them power and fame. The spirit of their fathers was then on the wave, and guided them to victory. At this time the provincial armed vessels became quite formidable, and caused great destruction to the French commerce and fisheries. In the war of the revolution our navy crowned itself with glory, in the number and character of the battles it fought. At the time of our difficulties with France, in the days of her revolution, the American navy avenged the insults offered our flag, and gained new laurels. The spirited efforts of our navy in destroying the Barbary powers, for their piratical conduct to us, as well as to other nations, received the highest praise from all the Levant, which was, by the exertions of our naval force, freed from plunder and constant agitation. Even the Pope joined his voice to the plaudits which rang along the shores of the Mediterranean, for the service our naval heroes had rendered the commercial world. In the last war, in which our navy was so efficient and successful, most of the officers now holding a high rank bore an honourable part. In that contest they not only fought and conquered those
“Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze;"
but at the same time achieved a more wondrous victory over the prejudices of many of their own nation ; and secured to all coming ages the existence of a navy in this country. The importance of a navy is agreed to by all; and to sustain it as our pride and hopes, has become a common sentiment, beyond the mountains as well as on the seaboard. There breathes not a man in our country "of soul so dead," whose heart is not warmed at the recital of our naval exploits. The slightest deviation of duty, even on board a revenue-cutter, would be a wound to our national pride. The navy
has duties to perform in peace as in war; if not so arduous and dangerous, still they are not less useful. Our flag should be borne to every portion of the globe, to give to civilized and savage man a just impression of the power we possess, and in what manner we can exercise it when justice demands reparation for insulted dignity. A few instances of prompt retaliation have a lasting effect. The strong man, “knowing his rights, and knowing, dares maintain,” is seldom ill treated ; the weak and timid are those who are trampled upon. While impressing on others our spirit and efficiency, we may learn their ability and resources. With all the enterprise of our countrymen, their navy and commercial marine, still we can say,
“Of this huge globe, how small a part we know;"
there is room enough for centuries, with all our zeal, to know and to do.
I have had an opportunity of observing the devotedness of some of our naval officers abroad, in the great cause of national honour; where they have exerted themselves seriously to impress on the minds of all, that the United States, as a people, have no appetite for conquest-no desire for monopoly; but wish for peace and reciprocal commerce with every nation under the sun,-offering no insults, committing no injuries, nor submitting to any offered to themselves.
With these views and feelings, I take the liberty of respectfully dedicating this volume, containing an account of the voyage of the United States ship Potomac, under the command of Commodore John Downes, in the years eighteen hundred and thirty-one, two, three, and four, to the Honourable the SECRETARY AND OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES Navy,-believing that, whatever is well done by one, among a band of brothers, is done by all in feeling and principle; for this is the only way of making up the treasury of a nation's glory.
THE AUTHOR. April, 1835.