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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COCKBURN, Sir George, British naval officer, born in London, 22 April, 1772 ; died 19 August, 1853. He entered the navy in his ninth year, served on the East India, home, and Mediterranean stations, becoming post-captain in 1795, and was thanked by the house of commons in 1809 for his services as commander of the naval force on shore, in the operations by which Martinique came into the possession of Great Britain. In 1811 he was sent on an unsuccessful mission for the reconciliation of Spain and her American colonies. He became a rear-admiral in 1812, and took a conspicuous part in the war with the United States. In April, 1813, he took position with his squadron in Lynn Haven bay, and sent off marauding expeditions in all directions to the coasts of Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. He deprived three villages on the Chesapeake of property worth about $70,000, laid many towns in ashes, burned farm-houses, and carried away live stock and slaves, which were afterward sold in the West Indies on Cockburn's own account. He took the fortified works at Hampton on 26 June, and in July captured two islands and two small war-vessels in North Carolina. In the latter part of the year he sailed as far as the Georgia coast, plundering as he went. In August, 1814, he accompanied the expedition against the City of Washington, and, in conjunction with General Ross, defeated a small force of Americans at Bladens-burg', Maryland, four miles from the capital, on the 24th of that month. Cockburn and Ross then entered the City, accompanied by a guard of 200 men, and burned the public buildings and some private property. Cockburn was concerned in the unsuccessful attempt to capture Baltimore in September, 1814. In 1815 he received the order of the bath, and in the autumn of that year carried Napoleon to St. Helena. He served repeatedly as member of parliament and as lord of the admiralty, was made admiral of the fleet in 1851, and in 1852 inherited a baronetcy from his brother.
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