Chesapeake Affair

22nd June 1807, 7:15 am the Chesapeake headed out to sea. At about 9 am she passed two British ships of the line, their flags flying, all seemed at peace and in order. Shortly after the Chesapeake passed, one of the British ships was observed signaling to the Leopard, she immediately set sail.

For some time the Leopard followed in the wake of the Chesapeake, catching and passing her about 3:30 she then dropped back and hailed the Chesapeake stating she had dispatches from the Commander-in-Chief. The Commodore then indicating he would receive them. Both ships heaved to, a boat was sent and Lieutenant John Meade Boarded the Chesapeake. In Private Commodore Barron was presented with the Orders from Admiral Berkeley and a letter from Captain Humphreys stating he hoped all could be amicably addressed.

The boat not returning by 4:15   was signaled back, Lieutenant Meade conveying to his ship that Commander Barron was not aware of any Deserters from the listed ships in his crew, and that he was under orders not to allow his crew to be mustered by any but its own officers, he also states he hopes his answer will be found satisfactory.

The Ships now somewhere between 20 and 60ft apart Captain Humphreys again hails the Chesapeake “Commodore Barron, You must be aware of the necessity I am under of complying with the orders of my commander-in-chief.” This was twice repeated with the only answer being “I do not understand what you say”