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John Contee, Isaac Hull

John Contee, Isaac Hull

A victory off the coast of Brazil inspired John Contee to name this property “Java’s Farm.” Contee was a lieutenant on the USS Constitution when it captured and burned the British frigate HMS Java, December 29, 1812.

Contee purchased a plantation here called “Sparrow’s Rest” in 1819. Whether or not he used prize money from the battle with HMS Java, as legend claims, there is little doubt why he chose the new name.

“Mr. Contee took command of the Marines, and I have pleasure in saying that his conduct was that of a Brave good Officer, and the Marines behaved with great coolness and courage during the action, and annoyed the Enemy very much…” -- Captain Isaac Hull to Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, August 28, 1812.

Contee was also on USS Constitution on August 19, 1812 when it defeated HMS Guerriere and earned the nickname “Old Ironsides.”

Website: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=80857

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John Contee

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

  1. Website:Historical Marker Database;

Updated: 8-11-2020