Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BRENTON, Jahleel, sailor, born in Rhode Island, 22 August, 1770; died in Elford, England, 3 April, 1844. He was the eldest son of Rear-Admiral Jahleel Brenton, who, with his family, came to America early in the 17th century. The father held a lieutenant's commission in the royal navy when the war for independence began, and remained loyal to the crown, as did nearly all the Americans who were in the navy at that time. Young Jahleel was appointed midshipman on his father's ship in 1781. In 1802 he married Isabella Stewart, an American lady, to whom he had long been engaged. She died in 1817, and in 1822 he married a cousin, Harriet Brenton, who survived him. He rose to eminence in his profession, attaining the rank of rear admiral of the blue in 1830, having rendered gallant and distinguished services wherever he met the enemies of Great Britain. Fortunately he was not called upon to encounter the navy of his native land during the war of 1812. He was very devout, and gave a great part of his time and energy to religious and charitable work, especially among sailors. He wrote "The Hope of the Navy" (London, 1839); "An Appeal to the British Nation on Behalf of her Sailors" (1841); "Memoir of Capt. E. P. Brenton" (1842); and "Coast Fisheries" (1843). A memoir of his life and services was published in 1846 by the Rev. Henry Raikes (new ed. abridged, and edited by Sir Launcelot Charles Lee Brenton, only son of the admiral, 1855).
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