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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BARKER, Josiah, ship-builder, born in Marsh-field, Massachusetts, 16 November 1763; died in Charlestown, Massachusetts, 23 September 1843. He enlisted in the revolutionary army when only thirteen years old, and served at intervals until 1781. In 1782-'3 he served nine months in the "Dean" frigate among the West India islands. Mr. Barker learned shipbuilding on the North river, near Pembroke, Massachusetts, where his father's home was, and built his first ships at St. Andrews and St. Johns in 1786-'7. In 1795 he opened a ship-yard in Charlestown, on the site of the present United States navy yard, removed it in 1799, and again a few years afterward to the foot of Washington street, where he built many fine merchant vessels. He was appointed United States naval constructor about 1810, and built the "Virginia" in 1818, the " Warren" in 1826, the "Cumberland" in 1842, and other men-of-war. He also rebuilt the "Constitution" in 1834, and furnished the plans for the "Portsmouth." He was ordered to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1843, and retired 9 July 1846. A "Memorial of Josiah Barker," by Harry H. Edes, was printed privately in Boston in 1871.
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