Captain Jeremiah O'Brien

O'Brien, Jeremiah, Captain, was born probably in Ireland, about 1740, and was one of five sons of Maurice, a native of Cork, who emigrated to America. On the 11th of May 1775, hearing of the battle of Lexington, he and his brothers with a few volunteers captured the British armed schooner Margaretta, in Machias Bay, Maine. Jeremiah was the leader in this exploit, the first blow struck on the water in the course of the American revolutionary war. He soon afterwards captured two small British vessels, and was commissioned Captain. He cruised in the Liberty schooner, in which his first capture was made, for two years, and then fitted out the Hannibal, 20-gun letter-of-marque, and took several prizes. He was captured, but after two years' imprisonment escaped, and retired to Brunswick, Maine. He was Collector of Customs at Machias, Maine, at the time of his death (5th October 1818), at the age of 78. His brothers, John and William, also served at sea during the Revolution.


37a. Biographical Dictionary—American Biography: Francis S. Drake. Boston, 1876.