War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week - October 12, 2012

Parole Document, carried by United States Lieutenant David Deacon, Prisoner of War

This item is a parole document, which was held by American Lieutenant David Deacon of the United States Navy. Lieutenant Deacon was the master of the USS (United States Ship) Julia, which was captured by the British fleet under Captain James Lucas Yeo on August 10, 1813. The parole document was carried by Deacon when he was held as a prisoner of war in Beauport, near Quebec City.

he document is quite remarkable and is still very legible. It includes the date of issue, describes Deacon’s physical appearance, and indicates when and where he was permitted to be outside. As an officer, Deacon gave his word that he would not plan any escape attempts while he was in an approved location. The deep folds in the document indicate that the paper was kept on his person and presented for inspection often. Deacon was exchanged in 1814, and he was exonerated for the loss of his vessel at his court martial in September 1814. That December he was promoted to master commandant.

To learn more about the Royal Navy during the War of 1812, read HMS Shannon Defeats and Captures USS Chesapeake and The Sinking of the USS Hamilton and Scourge in the This Week in History archives.

Parole Document, carried by United States Lieutenant David Deacon, Prisoner of War Parole Document, carried by United States Lieutenant David Deacon, Prisoner of War
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