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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DACRES, James Richard, British naval officer, born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, 22 August 1788; died at his country-seat in Hampshire, 3 December 1853. His father was Vice-Admiral Dacres, who in the Revolutionary war commanded the "Carle-ton," which engaged General Arnold's flotilla on Lake Champlain in 1776. He entered the navy in 1796 as a first-class volunteer on board the "Serapis," commanded by his father, with whom he also served on the " Barfleur" in 1797. He afterward accompanied the expedition against Ferrol, in August 1800, and was present, in the "' Boadicea," in the action with the French ship "Duguay Trouin," in August 1803. He received his first commission 15 November 1804, and on 5 July 1805, was given command of the sloop "Elk," from which he was transferred, 14 January 1806, to the "Bacchante." On 14 February 1807, he captured the French schooner " Dauphin," and after other distinguished services returned to England in December 1807. On 16 March 1811 he was assigned to the command of the "Guerriere," and participated in the pursuit of the "Constitution," having previously had his vessel's name vauntingly printed in large letters on her foretopsail, and inquired of every ship he met for the "President," intimating that he would chastise her for the punishment she had given the "Little Belt."
After the loss of the "Guerriere" he was transferred to the '" Constitution," and was put on shore, on parole, at Boston, on 31 August 1812. By the court-martial that, on 6 October following, assembled on board the " Africa," at tlali-fax, to try Captain Dacres for surrendering his ship to the enemy, he was honorably acquitted of all blame for her loss. While in command of the "Tiber" he took, on 8 March 1815, the American privateer "Leo." He was on duty on the Newfoundland and Channel stations from 1833 till 1837. He attained flag rank 28 June 1838, and in 1845 was appointed commander-in-chief at the Cape of Good Hope. See General Jas. Grant Wilson's address on "Commodore Isaac Hull and the Frigate Constitution" (New York, 1880).
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