Click Here Burial site of Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale, Georgetown, Bermuda.
A historic plaque on the side of a renovated building in King's Square in the town of St. George Bermuda details the death of U.S. Navy Midshipman Richard S Dale, a casualty of a War of 1812 naval conflict between the US Frigate President and the HMS Endymion.
The plaque reads as follows:
"IN THIS BUILDING
Then known as Stennett’s Hotel, died on February 22, 1815 in his twenty-first year. Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale, of the American frigate “President”, severely wounded when that vessel, commanded by Commodore S. Decatur, after a 15 hour engagement was captured by HMS Endymion, commanded by Capt. Henry hope and brought into St. Georges Harbour. Mid. Dale is buried in St. Peter's churchyard.
This building was restored in 1956.
Onions and Bouchard architects"
The Diary of Benjamin F. Palmer Privateersman by Benjamin Franklin Palmer
CLICK HERE FOR COPY OF PALMER'S DIARY
This is the entry for March 21st, 1814
“Monday, nothing of Note has transpired to Day Q. Q. Commences with fresh breezes and god (sic) weather. Nothing remarkable occurd (sic) until afternoon When Mr. McIntyres watch was rafled (sic)off -----News has just come below that a black man on of our crew had departed this life after a lingering Illness. His name was Jim Boon I believe an honest faithful old Negro ---
Underneath this holy Stone –
Lies the Body of Jim Boone—
Death has now calld him home
To a place where he’ll have room.
For room there was none here for him
And all I hope he’s clear from sin.
That unto Heaven he may go
Were he’ll have no gratis (sic – grates) to look through
For liberty he will have there
In everything except to swear
But what I fear the most of all
That when the Lord does come to call
He can not find poor Jimy Boon.
Among so many holy stones
He’ll not think of looking in Bermuda
There to find a poor old Negro. B. F. P.
St. Peter's Church, Their Majesties Chappell
. . .
The surrounding historic graveyard is the last resting place for many generations of gentry and commoners, governors and slaves, privateers and statesmen of Bermudian, British and American birth. Inside the Church the walls are covered with memorials to many men and women significant in the history of Bermuda and Western Atlantic settlement. Slaves and former slaves were freed when the British declared slavery illegal in the early 1800s. Those reposing in their eternal rest in the graveyard to the right of the church include American midshipman, Richard Dale, mortally wounded in the 1812-14 War. In gratitude, his parents inscribed the headstone. Dale died when, in 1815, on January 15. "HMS Endymion" (Capt. Hope), the "Pomona", and the "Tenedos" both at sea off the city of New York engaged the US Navy warship USS "President" - one of the US Navy's six great frigates - forcing the latter's surrender. The "President", Capt Stephen Decatur, was brought to Murray's Anchorage, Bermuda. For a fuller account of the action see (visit link) During the action, Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale, Jr, of the President, oldest son of Commodore Richard Dale (1756-1826) from Philadelphia, was shot by a British marksman and had to have his leg amputated. As a severely wounded prisoner-of-war he was brought by litter with his colleagues to St. George's but five weeks later he died on February 15 from his wounds and was buried here at St. Peter's Church. He was 20 years old when he lost his leg after his ship President engaged the British warships above in the 1815 war between Britain and the US. He was brought to St. George's for treatment and cared for in Stennet's Hotel where the Bank of Butterfield now sits in the Town Square. But he was never forgotten. After the conflict ended, his father, Commodore Richard Dale, who had once served as First Lieutenant to John Paul Jones, came in thanks rather than revenge, to show his gratitude to the people of St Georges, for the respect shown his son in life and in death. Commodore Dale arranged for a horizontal tombstone, which reads: To Commemorate the Gallant Deeds of the People of St Georges whose Generosity and tender sympathy prompted the kindest attention to him while living and honoured him when dead." From 1932, Bermuda-born Captain Scarritt Adams, US Navy, initially funded an almost yearly remembrance service involving relatives of Midshipman Dale."
Book of Interest: Histor of Privateers Click Here