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Portrait of Commodore Joshua Barney


Daguerreotype portrait of Commodore Joshua Barney, taken after a wax miniature. Commodore Barney (1759-1818) was an American naval officer and a hero of both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Destined for a naval career, Barney became a ship's mate at age 12 and a ship commander at 16. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1776 as a Lieutenant and took part in the defense of the Delaware River. In 1779 he was captured by the British and imprisoned in Plymouth, England until his escape two years later. As US Commander at the Battle of Delaware Bay (April 8, 1782) Barney defeated a superior British force and captured the heavily armed frigate HMS General Monk. During the 1790s he served in the French Navy, commanding two frigates, then returned to America in 1802. He resumed active duty at the outbreak of the War of 1812. On April 25, 1814, President James Madison gave him the commission of "Captain in the Flotilla Service of the United States," which defended Washington DC against the British naval attacks. Barney's autobiography was posthumously published in 1832. Joshua Barney was married first in 1780 to Ann Bedford (died 1808), the daughter of Gunning Bedford of Philadelphia. Together they had five children. Barney's second wife was Harriet Coale (1787-1849), whom he married in 1809. They had three children from this marriage.




Collection Number



3 3/8 x 4 inches

Object ID

CSPH 005


1 cased photograph

Resource ID



Bequest of Miss Caroline Remington.

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.