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Captain John H. Dent, USN

John Herbert Dent (15 February 1782 – 31 July 1823) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War, the First Barbary War, and the War of 1812. He was acting captain on the USS Constitution" (Old Ironsides) during the attacks on Tripoli in 1804.

Early yearsEdit

Born in Charles County, Maryland, Dent was the son of Congressman George Dent. His family had arrived in Maryland in the early Colonial days and had a long history of public service. At the age of sixteen he was appointed a midshipman 16 March 1798. The Department of Navy had just been created by Congress in response to increasing attacks on merchant ships.

Navy careerEdit

He served on Constellation when she captured the French frigate Insurgente on 1 February 1799, and after serving on Constitution in the Mediterranean, commanded the schooners Nautilus and Scourge during the First Barbary War, taking part in the attacks on Tripoli. He was in command of Hornet from 1806 to 1807.

During the War of 1812, he was senior officer in charge of U.S. Naval affairs in Charleston, South Carolina.

Later yearsEdit

Captain Dent never returned to Maryland. He married in South Carolina and took up plantation life outside of Charleston.

Captain Dent is buried in Jacksonboro, South Carolina.[1]


The destroyer USS Dent (DD-116) was named for him.