1745 – Born in County Wexford, Ireland.
1766 – A merchant shipmaster out of Philadelphia at the age of 21, he outfitted the first Continental fleet at the outbreak of the Revolution.
1775-1783 – American naval officer who won significant maritime victories during the American Revolution.
1776 – Commissioned captain of the brig Lexington, he early distinguished himself by capturing the British tender Edward after a short engagement.
– He fought with distinction in the campaign around Trenton, New Jersey, and was then commissioned captain of the frigate Effingham, which he was forced to scuttle to avoid capture by the British.
1777-1778 – Commanded a spectacular boat foray that ran the British batteries at Philadelphia and raided enemy shipping in the Delaware River and Bay.
1780 – Commanding the frigate Alliance, he was assigned to convey Colonel John Laurens on a diplomatic mission to France.
1782 – On the final cruise of the Alliance, he ranged the shipping lanes from Bermuda to Cape Sable and captured four British ships.
1783 – He fought the last battle of the war (March) in the Straits of Florida, where he beat off three British frigates seeking to intercept him.
1798-1800 – After the war, he was recalled to active service as senior captain of the new U.S. Navy. In the quasi-war with France, he was twice in command of all U.S. ships in the West Indies.
1803 – Died on the 13th of September in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.