Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1928. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Hardcover. Format is approximately 6.25 inches by 9.25 inches. Label with full title on front cover. iv, 67,  pages. Frontis illustration. Illustrations. Some page foxing noted. Cover has some wear and soiling. Louis F. Middlebrook (b. 1866), of Middletown, Connecticut, was a scholar of the maritime history of colonial Connecticut and the early Republic. He was an early member of the Marine Historical Association, now Mystic Seaport Museum. The Essex Institute (1848–1992) in Salem, Massachusetts, was "a literary, historical and scientific society." It maintained a museum, library, historic houses; arranged educational programs; and issued numerous scholarly publications. In 1992 the institute merged with the Peabody Museum of Salem to form the Peabody Essex Museum. The Essex Institute was "formed by the union of the Essex Historical Society and the Essex County Natural History Society." Daniel Appleton White, the former Judge of Probate for Essex County, was appointed in 1848 as the first president of the Institute until his death in 1861. Around 1879 the institute housed its "scientific collections" in Salem's East India Marine Hall and its library in Plummer Hall. According to an 1880 travel guide, "its objects are general and varied. Perhaps the most important is that of local historical discoveries and the preservation of everything relating to Essex County history." USS Vixen was a schooner in the United States Navy during the First Barbary War. Vixen was one of four vessels authorized by Congress on 28 February 1803. She was built at Baltimore, Maryland, in the spring of 1803; and launched on 25 June, Lieutenant John Smith in command. Designed especially for operations in the shoal waters off the coast of Tripoli, Vixen joined Commodore Edward Preble's squadron for duty in the First Barbary War (1801–1805) immediately upon her commissioning. She sailed from Baltimore on 3 August 1803 under the command of Lieutenant John Smith and deployed with the squadron off Gibraltar on 14 September. Commodore Preble dispatched Vixen and the frigate Philadelphia in October to establish a blockade of Tripoli. However, Vixen soon departed in search of two Tripolitan warships and was not present when Philadelphia grounded and was captured on September 30th. Instead, she carried the dispatches announcing the loss of the frigate and the imprisonment of Captain William Bainbridge, his officers, and crew back to Gibraltar in December. Retribution for this latest action by the Tripoli pirates came swiftly and dramatically. Lt. Stephen Decatur, Jr., boarded and destroyed Philadelphia where she lay in Tripoli harbor on 16 February 1804, and Commodore Preble later followed this up with five heavy bombardments of the pirate state on the 3, 7, 24, and 28 August, and on 3 September. Vixen participated in all these actions, and performed tactical service by helping to coordinate the movements of the various American vessels. While in Malta in 16 October 1804, she was rerigged as a brig, ostensibly to improve her sailing qualities, and was with the squadron, now under Commodore John Rodgers, in actions before Tunis in August 1805. The warship returned to the United States one year later in August 1806, under the command of Master Commandant George Cox. Condition: Good.
Keywords: U. S. Brig Vixen, USS Vixen, Barbary Wars, Edward Preble, William Bainbridge, USS Philadelphia, USS Franklin, United States Navy, Malta, Gibraltar, Battle of Tripoli