- He was a privateer during the Revolutionary War. Afterwards, he became commander of the USS Constellation.
From Naval Documents of the American Revolution, vol. 2, page 805:
"Only one American of the period in any way distinguished himself as a navigator: a privateersman who after the Revolution when the Navy was reconstituted became its fourth ranking captain, Thomas Truxton. Blessed with a better than average formal education, a short service in the Royal Navy as a pressed man had added to his training and natural aptitude. At one time he aided Benjamin Franklin in his investigation of the Gulf Stream. Later he was master of one of the first American vessels to round Good Hope and open the way to China. In 1794 he published in Philadelphia a book entitled Remarks Instruction and Examples relating to the Latitude and Longitude, Also the Variation of the Compass . . . a book which Doctor Lawrence Wroth has said "is a contribution to the art of navigation . . . reflecting credit upon the merchant and naval establishment of a young contry struggling against odds for a place among the nations. It could not have failed to increase respect for that country among the mariners of the world."
taken from http://www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Wheeler/truxton.htm, Jan. 2004:
Will of Thomas Truxtun, Esq. 4 Nov 1820 - prob. 18 May 1822 Philadelphia Co PA
- Income of my estate to my wife: Mary Truxtun for herself and my unmarried daughters: Cornelia, Gertrude. After decease of said wife, estate to my daughters: Elizabeth, wife of Theodore Talbot, Anna Maria wife of Dr. Thomas Henderson, Mary wife of John Swift, Esq, Emily wife of George Beal, Cornelia, Gertrude.
- Whereas I did give to my daughter Eliza or her husband in joint company with Henry Hammond or Evelina his wife land in Wayne County, Penna., which has been sold for taxes, my will is that $1000 be deducted from Elizabeth's share of my estate.
- Whereas I did give daughter Anna Maria after her marriage to Dr. Henderson (through Charles Biddle, Esq, $300) also proceeds from my share of Washington City lots purchased from late Benjamin Stoddert, Esq. $700 less be given her.
- "My valuable books to be equally divided among my six daughters and not sold at auction."
- "No demand to be made of Henry Benbridge for the bond I hold of him, as it might distress his family, nor of William Truxtun for his maintance heretofore, and the sums of money expended on him before he came of age when he should have provided for himself and become respectable, nor of Evelina Hamond up to the date of this instrument for her board and clothing for herself and children, nor for neglect in attending to Wayne County Lands as that neglect I impute to her husband Henry Hammond."
- Devises "My gold watch, seal key and Badge of the Cincinnati to my grandson: Truxtun Swift. My excellent brass sextant made by Ramsdel in London and telescope to my grandson Truxtun Henderson, All my other instruments and cloaths to my grandson Truxtun Beal. my full likeness picture to my daughter Elizabeth; the elegant rich silver urn given to me by the merchants and underwriters of Lloyds's London, and the case containing it with the gold medal voted me by Congress, the former in honor of making prize of the French National Frigate La Insurgent of 40 guns and the latter for vanquishing the French National Frigate LaVengeance of 54 guns which services I performed with U. S. Frigate Constellation of 38 guns under my command, I give the first to my daughter Cornelia and the latter to my daughter Gertrude, they being the youngest of my children. And I direct that these testimonials of the transactions which produced them may be preserved in the family as memorials of two naval actions performed in the very infancy of the Navy of the United States of North America, as much for the encouragement and imitation of those who succeed the commanders of the present day as to perpetuate my gratitude to those who have favored me with so honorable an evidence of their sense of the services I have rendered my country. I constitute and appoint my wife Mary Truxtun executrix.
Letters of Administration upon the estate of Mary Truxtun deceased were granted 21 Oct 1823 to Aquilla A Browne. 17 July 1829 he petitioned to be discharged from his trust as adm. of Thomas Truxtun and of Mary Truxtun, both deceased. So discharged.
Ref: Family History: PA Gen #1 - GPF III ST-Z, "Commodore Thomas Truxtun, U S Navy, of Jamaica LI, Perth Amboy, NJ Philadelphia PA" compiled by Lewis D Cook