Isaac Chauncey, an American naval officer, horn at Black Rock, Conn., Feb. 20, 1772, died in Washington, Jan. 27, 1840. He commenced his career in the merchant service, in which he became distinguished for seamanship, enterprise, and energy, He entered the navy as lieutenant in 1799), and early in 1802 was appointed acting captain of the frigate Chesapeake, of 38 guns, the flag ship of a squadron ordered to the Mediterranean, under the command of Commodore Valentine Morris, to operate against Tripoli. He served actively during a large part of the war with Tripoli, and also in the squadrons of Commodores Preble and Rodgers, in command of the John Adams, of 28 guns. In the brilliant operations before Tripoli in 1804 he bore a distinguished part. In that year the grade of master commandant (afterward commander) was reestablished in the navy, and he was one of eight lieutenants promoted to it. In April, 180G, he was advanced to the rank of captain. In the war of 1812 the naval superiority on the lakes became an object of high importance, and Commodore Chauneey, then in command of the navy yard at New York, was appointed to command on all the hikes except Champlain. On Oct. 6, 1812, he arrived at Sackett's Harbor, and entered upon his duties.
In 1813 he cooperated with the land forces in the capture of York (now Toronto), and also of Fort George, which led to the evacuation by the British of the whole Niagara frontier. During the summer of that year he was engaged in watching the enemy and superintending the ship building at Sackett's Harbor. On Sept. 27 Chauneey succeeded in engaging the Brit-ish squadron in York bay, which resulted in the retreat and pursuit of the latter. On Oct. 5 he captured five of the enemy's vessels with part of a British foreign regiment. On Aug. 9, 1814, he appeared off Kingston and blockaded the squadron of Sir James Yeo for six weeks, and held the command of the lake until the close of navigation. Peace was concluded before operations could be commenced in the ensuing spring. During his subsequent career he commanded the navy yard at New York at different times; also the squadron in the Mediterranean, and with William Shaler, consul, negotiated a treaty with Algiers. He also served upon the board of navy commissioners, to the presidency of which he was appointed in June, 1833, and held this position at the time of his death.