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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BURROWS, William, naval officer, born in Kensington, now part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October, 1785; died near Portland, Maine, 5 September, 1813. He was the son of Lieut.-Col. Burrows. formerly commandant of the marine corps, and received a midshipman's warrant in November, 1799, joining the "Portsmouth," bound for France, in January, 1800. He joined the "Constitution" in 1803. and Com. Preble, taking a fancy to him, made him acting lieutenant, in which rank he served through the Tripolitan war. He returned to this country in 1807, and in 1808 commanded gun-boat 119, on the Delaware, enforcing the embargo law. In 1809 he became first lieutenant of the "Hornet," and, finding himself outranked by his former juniors, ten-tiered his resignation to Sec. Hamilton, but it was not accepted. After a furlough of about a year, during which he made a voyage to India, he was ordered to the command of the sloop "Enterprise, of fourteen guns. He still intended to resign, but decided to serve through the war. The "Enterprise" sailed from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 1 September, 1813, and on 5 September fell in with the British brig "Boxer," twelve guns, off Portland, Maine, and captured her after an action of forty-five minutes. Burrows, and Capt. Blythe, of the "Boxer," both fell at the beginning of the action. Blythe was cut in two by a chain-shot, but Burrows, though mortally wounded, lived long enough to receive the surrender of his adversary. The commanders were buried side by side in Portland, and congress voted a gold medal to Burrows's nearest male relative. The engraving is a view of their graves.
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