Washington, D.C. The National Intelligencer, 1822. Newspaper. A complete four-page newspaper of 5 December 1822 recounts the battle between the American Schooner USS Alligator, commanded by Lieutenant William Howard Allen, of the West Indies Squadron and three pirate ships, probably commanded by Diabolito, off the coast of Cuba on 9 November 1822. It occupies over 18" of front page column space and has a large, capitalized headline.The paper is toned but supple; generally clean with some staining at the upper right. The spine appears to have been neatly mended. Very Good. Item #008040
The paper reports details of the encounter. At the time of battle, the pirate force had in its possession five US merchant vessels. The Alligator, although out-gunned and out-manned, had an experienced crew, which had recently captured another ship after a bloody battle, and commander; Allen had also commanded the USS Argus, following the death of its commander, when it engaged the HMS Pelican during the War of 1812. Allen and his crew manned launches from the Alligator in an attempt to board the principal pirate vessel, the Revenge, which fired upon the Americans with grape and roundshout. Rather than attempt to fight off the boarding attempt, the pirates abandoned the Revenge and fled to their other two ships. As Allen turned his boats to continue the attack, they came under withering fire from the pirates. In an attempt to rally his men, Allen stood up and was cut down by musket fire. The two remaining pirate ships fled the battle during the resulting confusing, leaving the Revenge and the five merchant ships the Alligator. Allen became an immediate naval hero, and his name was used as a rallying cry a year later when the Navy defeated another pirate force and killed Diabolito in the same area.