The Chesapeake-Leopard Incident

In June 1807, the Royal Navy was blockading two, 80-gun French ships of the line which had called in Hampton, VA and were waiting for an opportunity to escape into the Atlantic. The British squadron commander, Sir George Berkeley, learned that Royal Navy deserters were on board U.S.S. Chesapeake, 38 guns and he dispatched H.MS. Leopard, 50 guns, with a search warrant and orders to seize any deserters, by force if necessary.

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