James Biddle, an officer of the United States navy, born in Philadelphia in February, 1783, died there, Oct. 1, 1848. He entered the navy as midshipman in February, 1800. During the war with Tripoli he served on the Constellation and Philadelphia, was made prisoner, and detained until the conclusion of peace. When war was declared against Great Britain he sailed as lieutenant on board the Wasp, which soon captured the Frolic, and was put in command of the prize; but both vessels were soon after taken by the Poictiers, a British 74-gun ship, and carried to Bermuda. Having been exchanged (March, 1813), Biddle was placed in command of the gunboats on the Delaware, but was soon transferred to the Hornet, one of Decatur's squadron. He was for many months blockaded in the harbor of New London; but making his escape, he was assigned to the command of the Hornet, which was ordered to the East Indies; and in February, 1815, he was made captain. On March 23, off the island of Tristan d'Acunha, he captured the Penguin, being severely wounded in the action. For this he received a gold medal from congress, and was promoted to the rank of captain.
After the war he held several important commands, including, in 1830-32, that of the Mediterranean squadron, being also appointed a commissioner to negotiate a treaty with the Ottoman government.