Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PERCIVAL, John, naval officer, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, 3 April, 1779; died in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 17 September, 1862. He left the merchant service in 1809, and entered the United States navy as sailing-master. He became lieutenant in 1814, and during the war with England was in several important engagements in that year, displaying courage in the capture of the British tender " Eagle" off New York, and in the engagements between the "Peacock" and the " Epervier." He became master in 1831 and captain in 1841, and made his last cruise in the " Constitution " in 1843-'7, retiring in 1848. His rough and eccentric manners won him the soubriquet in the navy of "Mad Jack," but his professional skill was of a high order, and, although a strict disciplinarian, he was a popular commander.
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