Joshua Barney, an American naval officer, born in Baltimore, July 6, 1759, died in Pittsburgh, Perm., Dec. 1, 1818. When the war of the revolution began he was appointed master's mate in the sloop of war Hornet, and in 1776, when scarce 17 years of age, was made lieutenant for his gallant conduct in the schooner Wasp, which captured the British brig Tender in Delaware bay. Soon after this he embarked in the Sachem, and was placed on board a captured vessel as prize master, but was captured by the Perseus of 20 guns, and exchanged. In 1777 he joined the Virginia frigate, which was taken by the British, having run aground in getting to sea. He was again exchanged, and joined a privateer which sailed in November, 1778, for France, and on her return took a valuable prize, arriving at Philadelphia in 1779. He subsequently sailed in the Saratoga, of 16 guns, Capt. Young, which fell in with the ship Charming Molly and two brigs, and took them. Barney headed the boarders thrown aboard the Molly, and was placed in one of the prizes, but on the following day all three were retaken by the Intrepid, 74. Barney remained a prisoner in England for some time, but at length escaped, and arrived in Philadelphia in March, 1782. He was appointed to the command of the Hyder Ali, a small vessel of 16 guns, and encountering off the capes of the Delaware the Gen. Monk, of 20 guns, took her after a hot fight of less than half an hour.
For this the legislature of Pennsylvania presented him a sword, and he was appointed to the command of the Gen. Monk, and sailed for France in November, 1782. He returned to Philadelphia with a large sum of money lent by the French government, and the information that preliminaries of peace had been signed. In 1795 he was commissioned as captain in the French service, but gave up his command in 1800, and returned home. On the declaration of war against Great Britain in 1812, he was appointed by congress to the command of the flotilla which defended Chesapeake bay. He also took part in the battle of Bladensburg, and was severely wounded. A sword was voted to him by the corporation of Washington, and thanks by the legislature of Georgia. In 1818 he determined to emigrate to Kentucky, but on his way was taken ill and died.