Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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INGRAHAM, Duncan Nathaniel, naval officer, born in Charleston, South Carolina, 6 December, 1802. His father, Nathaniel, was a friend of John Paul Jones, and was in the action with the British brig "Serapis," and his uncle, Captain Joseph Ingraham, was lost at sea in the United States ship "Pickering." Duncan Nathaniel entered the United States navy as a midshipman in June, 1812, and became lieutenant, 1 April, 1818; commander, 24 May, 1838; and captain, 14 September, 1855. While commanding the sloop-of-war "St. Louis," in the Mediterranean, he interfered at Smyrna, in July, 1853, with the Austrian consul's detention of Martin Koszta, who had resided nearly two years in the United States and declared his intention of becoming an American citizen, he had come to Smyrna from New York on business intending soon to return, but on 21 June, 1853, he was seized by a party of armed Greeks that were employed by the Austrian consul-general and confined on board the "Hussar." After learning the facts from the prisoner Captain Ingraham addressed a letter on this subject to John P. Brown, the charge d'affaires of the United States in Constantinople, who gave the official opinion that the surrender of Koszta should be demanded. On 2 July, at 8 a.m., Captain Ingraham claimed of the Austrian commander the release of Koszta by 4 p. m. declaring that he would otherwise take him by force. At the same time the decks of the "St Louis" were cleared for action, and all was made ready for an attack on the "Hussar," which was much her superior in size and armament. At 11 A. M. the Austrian consul-general proposed to deliver Koszta to the French consul, to be held by him subject to the disposition of the United States and Austrian consuls. This was accepted by Captain Ingraham as giving sufficient assurance of the personal safety of the Hungarian, and Koszta was soon released and returned to the United States This affair gave rise to an elaborate discussion in Washington between Secretary William L. Marcy and M. Hulsemann, the charge d affaires of Austria The conduct of Captain Ingraham was fully approved by the United States government, and on 4 August, 1854, congress, by joint resolution, requested the president to present him with a medal. In March, 1856, he was appointed chief of the bureau of ordnance and hydrography of the navy department. When the civil war began, in 1861, he was in command of the flag-ship "Richmond" in the Mediterranean. He resigned his commission, and entered the Confederate naval service, being chief of ordnance, construction and repair, and in which he rose to the rank of commodore. He has served in every war since the Revolution, and is said to be the only survivor of those that entered the navy in 1812. He married Harriet, granddaughter of Henry Laurens.
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