Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FRY, Joseph, naval officer, born in Louisiana about 1828; died in Santiago de Cuba, 7 November 1873. He entered the navy as midshipman in 1841, and became passed midshipman, 10 August 1847. In that year he fought a duel with Midshipman Brown, of Mississippi, near Washington, in which, after drawing his antagonist's fire, he refused to return it. He was promoted to master, 14 September 1855, to lieutenant on the following day, and resigned, 1 February 1861, after the secession of his native state. He was unable to secure a commission in the Confederate navy owing to its limited size, and was given a command in the army. After serving in the southwest through the war, he removed to Albany, N.Y. He accepted the command of the filibustering steamer "Virginius" in 1873, and with thirty-six of his crew was shot as a pirate by the authorities in Cuba, after the capture of his vessel by a Spanish man-of-war.
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