Translated from "La Actuación de los Oficiales Navales Norte-Americanos en Nuestras Costas (1813-1840)," by Eugenio Pereira Salas. Published by Prensas de la Universidad de Chile, 1935.
The fact that in 1812 a war occurred between England and the United States was responsible for the first entry into the Pacific of warships of the American Navy.
The frigate Essex of 860 tons and 40 guns, under the command of that glorious Captain David Porter, was the first to enter the waters of Chile, where his devious courses led him to deep friendships, resentments, hostility, defeat, and fame.
On October 6, 1812, Commander William Bainbridge sent to the commander of the Essex official orders to set sail on a cruise in foreign waters, the object of which was to intercept the ocean trade between Europe and the Americas and to destroy the whaling fleet which sailed the waters of the Pacific in pursuit of these mammals-an important source of income in that time of want.