PRESIDENT AND "LITTLE BELT."
\pɹˈɛzɪdənt and lˈɪtə͡l bˈɛlt], \pɹˈɛzɪdənt and lˈɪtəl bˈɛlt], \p_ɹ_ˈɛ_z_ɪ_d_ə_n_t a_n_d__ l_ˈɪ_t_əl b_ˈɛ_l_t]\
Definitions of PRESIDENT AND "LITTLE BELT."
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During 1811, and for some time previous, British cruisers hovering about our coast had captured many American vessels bound for France, and had made a number of impressments. In May, 1811, Commodore John Rodgers, commanding the American frigate "President," was ordered to put to sea from Chesapeake Bay and protect our commerce. When thirty miles off Cape Charles, May 16, Rodgers descried a vessel, which he supposed to be the British man-of-war "Guerriere." He decided to approach her and make inquiries regarding impressment. This vessel was the "Little Belt," a small British frigate. She showed no colors and sailed away, the "President" pursuing. Overhauling her about eight o'clock, Rodgers declared she ran up colors which could not be recognized for the darkness, and fired upon the "President." The fire was immediately returned and the "Little Belt" was disabled in about eighteen minutes. The dispute as to which was in fault was never settled. When Foster, the British Minister arrived, however, it was mutually agreed to drop the affair of the "Little Belt" and the "Constitution " outrage. In September, 1814, the "President," under Decatur, was captured by the "Endymion" and other British vessels.
By John Franklin Jameson
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