Paul Délano Tripp, Capitán

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Paul Délano Tripp, Capitán

Also Known As: "Paul Jefferson Délano"
Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Fairhaven, MA, USA
Death: Died in Talcahuano, Biobío Region, Chile
Place of Burial: Talcahuano, Chile
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathan Pope Delano and Sarah Delano
Husband of Ann Ferguson Hinckley
Father of Mary Ann Délano Ferguson; Paul Hinckley Delano Ferguson; Robert Délano Ferguson; William Gibson Délano Ferguson and Eliza Délano Ferguson
Brother of Thomas Delano; Rebekah Delano; Joseph Delano; Thankful Cushman; Eliashib Delano and 7 others
Half brother of Deborah Delano; Reuben Delano; Sarah Delano; Betsy Delano; Mary Delano and 3 others

Occupation: Oficial Naval de la U.S. Navy (Port Admiral), commanded a Chilean warship in the fight for independence from Spain, Capitan de navio
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Paul Délano Tripp, Capitán

BIOGRAPHY: Captain Paul Delano: The founder of the Delano family in Chile


Iberoamerican Association of Naval and Maritime History Department of the Navy

Naval Historical Center

Washington Yard

Wednesday, September 22, 1999

by Jorge Andres Delano Rodriguez

Trinity College

Hartford, Connecticut

Captain Paul Delano (1775-1842) was born at the dawn of revolutionary United States of America in the township of Dartmouth (today Fairhaven), county of Bristol in the present day State of Massachusetts on June 15, 1775, just two months following the shots "heard 'round the world" (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882) fired at Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. He and all his siblings were direct descendants of Philippe de Lannoy (1602-1681), a French Huguenot and founder of the Delano family in the Americas. Philippe de Lannoy had arrived on the coast of Massachusetts Bay at Plymouth aboard the 55-ton sailing ship "Fortune," the second, following the celebrated "Mayflower," to carry a group of persecuted pilgrims to the New World on November 11, 1621.

The parents of Captain Paul Delano were Nathan Delano (1732-1805) and Sarah Tripp (1730- 1787), both of Dartmouth (Fairhaven), Massachusetts, which is also where they were married on July 23, 1752. The sea fascinated Paul, the thirteenth child of the marriage, from a very early age. By the time he became a young man he had proven himself capable and worthy enough to be given command of a ship. On April 13, 1800, at just about the age of 25, Paul married Ann Ferguson (1774-1847) in his hometown of Dartmouth. In 1801 their first daughter Mary Ann (1801-1866) was born. During the following year, Eliza arrived, but sometime during 1803 she died. In that same year, Paul sold his home at what is today 34 Middle Street in Fairhaven to his cousin, Jabez Delano, and moved his small family to New York to start a new life. A son, Paul Hinckley Delano (1806-1881), was born on April 2, 1806, in New York. During the next four years two more boys were born to Paul and Ann Delano, Robert Ferguson Delano (1808-1827) and William Gibson Delano (1810-1877), and the family was complete.

In the years he was based in New York, an American Mecca of mercantile shipping, Paul Delano dedicated his time and expertise to being a captain of merchant ships, those grand sailing cargo vessels that carried out the long and treacherous transatlantic crossings to European ports. In 1811, during one such ocean voyage from Savannah, Georgia to Liverpool in England with a hold full of cotton, his entire crew suddenly fell fatally ill with the dreaded yellow fever. All were lost except for Captain Delano, his second mate, and the cabin boy. The three survivors managed, incredibly, to continue navigating the enormous sailing ship, finally arriving at a safe port. The war of 1812-14 forced Captain Delano into temporary retirement with his family on a farm in the New Jersey countryside, there being little happening in the business of merchant shipping during this conflict with England.

In the meantime, the Spanish colonies from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego had been warring with the mother country for their independence under the leadership of various regional military leaders. Don Bernardó O'Higgins (1778-1842), Supreme Director of Chile, on March 8, 1817 appointed Don Manuel Hermenegildo Aguirre Special Envoy to the United States of America and commissioned him to acquire whatever classes of war armaments were available from that nation. Upon arriving in New York in July of 1817, Senior Aguirre contracted with the noted shipyard of Forman Cheeseman, situated on the banks of the East River in Manhattan, for the construction of a warship of 850 tons. Because of the urgent need for warships by the patriot government of Chile, Aguirre contracted simultaneously with Adam and Noah Brown, also prominent shipwrights of the day, to construct another vessel of similar design and tonnage. A year later, in July of 1818, both frigates were launched and towed from the East River to their temporary moorings in the North River for outfitting. Now Aguirre began feverishly hiring the officers and crew with the help of Mr. Aaron H. Palmer, a notary, whom he found readily available in the port of New York. Palmer was experienced in drawing up the usual legal documents necessary for the hiring of the officers and crew to man the two new frigates.

The two ships were officially annotated in the New York Registry (of vessels) on July 30 and 31, 1818, with the number designations of 203 and 204 respectively, under the names of "Curiazo" and "Horatio." Both ships were registered as personal property of the selected captains, Paul Delano ("Curiazo") and John [Joseph] Skinner ("Horatio"), a necessary strategy employed in those times to avoid confiscation by the United States government, which did not wish to appear complicitous in any illegalities regarding the Laws of Neutrality that prevailed in the United States at the time. The total cost to the Chilean government for the construction and equipping of the 852.84-- ton frigate "Curiazo," in New York was estimated at 157,000 pesos. According to the New York port registry documents, the ship was described as having a square stern and two decks. It measured a scant 130 feet in length and 37.3 feet of beam. The "Curiazo" proudly sported a figurehead depicting a bust of a seaman under her bowsprit.

In the midst of all this planning and scheming by the Chilean patriots, Don Luis de Onis, the Special Envoy and Minister of his Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, Fernando VII, to the United States began the legal procedures to stop the sailing of the two suspiciously commissioned ships laying at anchor on the Hudson River (North River) in the port of New York. Onis, a shrewd negotiator for the King of Spain, was originally sent by the sovereign to finalize the details of the important Spanish Florida purchase by the United States. Therefore, in negotiating, he used to his advantage the intense interest of the American Government to avoid any possible misunderstanding with the very powerful kingdom of Spain that might in any way compromise the annexation of such a crucial territory. The Spanish, supported by forty declarations from disaffected applicants of both ships' crews, induced New York Supreme Court Judge Henry B. Livingston (1757-1823) to jail Manuel Aguirre as well as Captains Delano and Skinner. They all were accused of breaking the laws of neutrality of the United States. Aguirre traveled to Washington to complain bitterly in person to the Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, in August 1818. According to Adams' memoirs, Aguirre informed the Secretary "that he had once been arrested in the streets [of New York], and once taken out of his bed at midnight, by processes of law commenced, or instigated, by the Spanish Consul, though I had told him he might consider himself here as a public Minister." Adams let Aguirre know that he could not be considered a Minister "for two reasons one, because the Government from which he came was not recognized; and the other, because he had produced no credentials, or powers, as a public Minister, his commission styling him only [as an] Agent.

At that moment the two newly constructed frigates quietly anchored in New York port were running serious risk of being confiscated by the American Government. Only alter the armament and the military equipment had been surreptitiously unloaded from the "Curiazo" and the "Horatio" and secretly reloaded onto another merchant ship as cargo, did Judge Livingston order the suspension of the charges brought against the three men. Captains Delano and Skinner immediately returned to their ships, which they found ready to make sail at a moment's notice. On September 9, 1818, Manuel Aguirre hurriedly boarded the "Horatio" along with his servants, appointing Captain Skinner Commodore of the flotilla. They finally set sail accompanied by the "Curiazo," each without the precious armaments. Their next port of call was to be distant Buenos Aires on the southeastern shores of South America.

After a little more than two months of cruising through the Atlantic, the "Curiazo" and the "Horatio" arrived without incident at Buenos Aires on November 12, 1818, as was recorded on the Lloyd's List dated London February 12, 1819. The merchant shipo "Sachem," secretly hired by Aguirre in New York to carry the troublesome war materiel, munitions and cannons to outfit the waiting frigates for combat, arrived in Buenos Aires less than two weeks later on November 25, 1818. These were especially turbulent times for the patriots in the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata. The frequent confrontations among the local leaders had put the Provinces at the brink of a real civil war. It was a very volatile atmosphere in which to be a foreigner with such attractive and dangerous equipment and supplies under one's care. In Buenos Aires, the two ships lay at anchor just off the shore with Captains Delano and Skinner waiting, full of misgivings and impatience, to collect the unpaid wages of their crew members and the final cancellation of the debts contracted by Aguirre in New York. In addition, there still remained an unpleasant issue regarding the delay of the final accounting to the Chilean Government of all monies spent by Aguirre in purchasing, outfitting and manning the ships in New York.

Months before the arrival of these war ships, on April 14, 1818, Manuel Zaflartu had been appointed Minister for the Chilean government to the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, which had its capital in Buenos Aires. The Minister wrote to the Supreme Director of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata at that time (Juan Martin de Pueyrredon) the following correspondence, dated January 26, 1819:

Don Manuel Aguirre, in the discharge of his duties that he received from my government [of Chile], built and brought to this port [Buenos Aires] two frigates that, because they were armed in war, could not leave the United States without concealing their true objective by making use of a simulated transaction of their ownership. Captain Delano [of the "Curiazo"], in the fulfillment of his duties, immediately handed over ownership of the ship he commanded to me, as a representative of the government of Chile, to whom it belongs. But José [Joseph] Skinner, commander of the "Horatio," making illegitimate use of that simulated instrument [of ownership], retains possession of the ship to the grave detriment of the interest of my country.

He [Skinner] has based his resistance, until now, on the inadmissibility of some letters [of credit] that work in his favor. But [with]in the day this ruse is dissipating, because the letters have been accepted and time is running on the obligations. So it is that this conduct strongly supports the suspicions held for days, that this individual [Skinner] tried to weigh anchor, stealing this property of my country, to become a privateer by taking on letters of marque from [José] Artigas.

Further strengthening these misgivings is the fact that he [Skinner] has recently moved the ship [the "Horatio"] from its original position, relocating it so as to depart more easily. Therefore, I beg your excellency to arrest this person, the named José [Joseph] Skinner, if in the act of notification he does not give, to my satisfaction, a surety bond in the amount of 100,000 pesos (cost of the ship) as a guarantee that he will not move from his anchorage, and that, in the meantime, the court can rule on a judgment in respect to the payment of damages that the abuses of this man have caused me. May

God guard his Excellency for many years.

After six months of delay the frigate "Curiazo," without waiting for the "Horatio," sailed from Buenos Aires on May 13, 1819, bound for the Chilean port of Valparaiso under the command of Captain Paul Delano. She carried a crew of 213 men and was now a warship armed with 32 cannons. After rounding the notoriously dangerous Cape Horn and spending 40 days at sea, the "Curiazo" finally arrived at Valparaiso, Chile on June 23, 1819. Sailing from Buenos Aires, Captain Delano, being commissioned in the Chilean Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, raised the Chilean flag on the "Curiazo" for the first time. On June 15, 1819, while Captain Delano was within a week of completing his voyage to Valparaiso, the "Horatio" eluded the vigilance of the port authorities of Rio de la Plata, managing to escape from the port of Buenos Aires. Captain Skinner set course for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he handed over the "Horatio" to the American Consul, who then sold her on credit to the Royal Portuguese Navy for 75,000 pesos. The Chilean patriot government never received any compensation for this material loss to its navy.

The frigate "Curiazo," once in Valparaiso, was given the new name of "Independencia" and was immediately incorporated into the Chilean Naval Squadron, which was under the command of an English Admiral, the Scotsman Lord Thomas Alexander Cochrane (1775-1860).

The next winter, on August 2, 1820, the Supreme Director of the [Chilean] Government, Don Bernardo O'Higgins, appointed Captain Paul Delano Commander in Chief of the Transport Division, which was to take the Liberation Army, under the command of General Jose de San Martin (1778-1850), to invade Peru. According to the Chilean National Archives, up until that date Delano maintained the rank of Lieutenant Commander, with his seniority beginning from July 22, 1818, the date he was hired by Manuel Aguirre in New York. On August 21, 1820, Delano was promoted to the rank of Commander as the Liberation Expedition sailed bound for Peru with 17 transport ships and 12 gunboats under his command. The Chilean Naval Squadron, with orders of Admiral Cochrane convoyed the transports. The sailing ships carried a total of 4430 men, 35 artillery cannons, 800 horses, provision for six months, extra uniforms and a perfectly supplied and arranged hospital The transport ships were the frigates "Dolores," "Gatidana," "Consequencia," "Emprendedora," "Santa Rosa," "Argentina," "Peruana," "Mackena," "Minerva," "Libèrtad," "Nancy," "Hercules" and the "Perla"; the brigantines were "Jerezana," "Aguila" and "Potrillo," and the schooner "Golondrina." The expedition arrived in Pisco, Peru on September 7, 1820. The next day the forces of General San Martin disembarked on the Peruvian shore.

During 1819, Admiral Lord Cochrane mounted two unsuccessful attacks from the sea on the impregnable Spanish bastion port of El Callao, only to return to Chile empty handed. This time around, Lord Cochrane bad the manpower and the warships needed for an effective blockade of the Peruvian port and hoped for a decisive naval battle. His goal was to draw out the Spanish ships at anchor in the bay under the protection of the batteries. Instead of presenting battle, the Spanish ships stayed annoyingly in the safe haven of the Peruvian port. Two months passed and in the dark of the night of November 5, 1820, Cochrane launched a daring attack with fourteen boats against the Spanish ships in El Callao. His purpose was to cut free as many enemy ships as possible and sail them out to sea, destroying the ones he was forced to leave behind. In Lord Cochrane's lead boat went Captain Delano's oldest son, a boy of fourteen, Midshipman Paul Hinckley Delano. The surprise attack was successful and the trophy was the Spanish frigate "Esmeralda," the best and most powerful enemy flagship this side of the Pacific Ocean. Once the "Esmeralda" was safe in Chilean hands it was renamed "Valdivia." The command was given to Martin George Guise, Cochrane's second in command.

The frigate "Lautaro" was put now under the command of Captain Paul Delano, and all Chilean ships resumed the blockade of El Callao. General San Martin had refused to engage the enemy in Lima and decided to move his troops from Pisco to Ancon, North of Lima, sometime before Cochrane's night attack on El Callao. Then to Cochrane's consternation, San Martin decided to re-embark, onto Delano's transports, the troops that had dwindled considerably because of a dreaded fever, and landed them on November 12, 1820, in Huacho. San Martin bad waited for almost a year without attacking until the Royalists, despondent at the lack of reinforcements from the continent, finally fled to the mountains, abandoning Lima. As a result of the increasing difference of opinions, a great animosity grew between Cochrane and San Martin to the detriment of the Chilean cause.

In the meantime, Cochrane and his Captains had grown increasingly restless because of the eight-month-long, grueling blockade duty, the absolute lack of fresh provisions and the non-existent pay for the crews of the entire Naval Squadron. By July 24, 1821, a second surprise attack on El Callao was planned and executed, successfully cutting out of the harbor the Spanish ships "Milagro," "Resolucion," "San Fernando," "Carmen" and other three small ships. Once this was done San Martin and his Army entered the abandoned city of Lima. The Independence of Peru was proclaimed on July 28, 1821. General San Martin was proclaimed Protector of Peru.

On September 2, 1821, Captain Delano, commander of the frigate "Lautaro," wrote Cochrane:

The officers as well as the men are dissatisfied, having been a long time on the cruise, and at present without any kind of meat or spirits, and without pay, so that they are not able to provide for themselves any longer, though, until starved, they have borne it without a murmur. The ship's company have now absolutely refused duty on account of short allowance. The last charqui (dried beef) they got was rotten and full of vermin. They are wholly destitute of clothing, and persist in their resolution not to do duty till beef and spirits are supplied, alleging that they have served their time, with nothing but promises so frequently broken that they will be no longer put off. In your Lordship's absence I took the liberty to write to the Government [of Chile] and make their complaints known, but the Minister of Marine did not even give me an answer. The greater portion have now left the ship and are all gone ashore, so that under existing circumstances, and with the dissatisfaction of the officers and the remainder of the ship's company I do not hold myself responsible for any accident that may happen to the ship until these difficulties are removed, as the cables are bad and not to be trusted, and we have no anchor sufficient to hold her.

Paul Delano, Captain

After achieving the complete surrender of the powerful Spanish forts, which had been defending the port of El Callao, Captain Delano returned to Valparaiso. The Chilean Naval Squadron under Cochrane went on patrol, searching the Pacific Ocean for remaining enemy Spanish vessels, reaching all the way to the coast of Baja California before returning to Valparaiso on June 13, 1822.

Back in Valparaiso in 1821, Captain Delano was charged by the Government to build the port's first pier, which was of his own design and planning, a floating wharf that could be hauled up when the Northerners became dangerous. This wharf served the maritime community for many decades at this important Chilean port. He continued his Naval career as Interim Captain of the port of Valparaiso from March to September of 1822, and, immediately following that post, Captain Delano served in the position of Interim Commander of the Arsenals in Valparaiso until June 23, 1823. As a matter of record, on November 19, 1822, a three-minute major earthquake and the resulting three consecutive 12-foot tsunamis devastated the port of Valparaiso's main buildings, destroying most of the churches and seven hundred homes.

On June 12, 1823, Francisco de la Lastra additionally appointed Captain Delano as Interim Commander of the war frigate "O'Higgins," at anchor in Valparaiso. The "O'Higgins" was the old flagship of Lord Cochrane, who had renounced his commission as Vice Admiral of the Chilean Navy on January 16, 1823. Don Bernardo O'Higgins, the Supreme Director, soon afterward would be forced by his political enemies in Santiago to abdicate on January 23, 1823, and later was permanently exiled to Peru.

On November 14, 1824, Captain Delano was appointed Commander of the Department of the Navy in Valparaiso. In 1831, to fend off the dangerous Northerners, he was commissioned by the Supreme Government to build the first jetty of this foremost Chilean port. Another major earthquake on February 20, 1835, hit Concepcion and destroyed the city, including the house of Captain Paul Delano. In writing to his cousin, Captain Jabez Delano of Fairhaven, he narrated the event in which he was forced to climb a neighboring mountain just as the return wave swept away his house. The closing lines are truly characteristic: "I have lost every-thing I possess on earth, and now I am ready for the first fashion, Paul Delano".

On August 8, 1836, Delano was appointed Captain of the port of Talcahuano, in southern Chile, a strategic naval base that served the city of Concepcion. Captain Delano had made Talcahuano and its environs his family home base since the late 1820's. But, because of the wars against its neighbors, Peru and Bolivia, Captain Delano was once more called upon to serve the Chilean Navy in Valparaiso. On April 25, 1837, he was promoted to "graduate" Captain, overseeing a crucial piece of the Chilean war effort, with the familiar duties of supplying the warships and their equipment. During his stay at Valparaiso, in his capacity as Captain of the port, he built the first lighthouse in the country at Punta Angeles [Angels' Point]. To celebrate the Chilean Independence Day, the new lighthouse he constructed was inaugurated on September 18, 1837. Only three days earlier, on September 15, Captain Delano had sailed north commanding sixteen transport ships fully loaded with ammunition, cannons, horses and 3200 men. This army was comprised of the Chilean troops that were to fight against the combined forces of General Santa Cruz, commander of the Peru-Bolivian Confederated Army. A peace treaty was signed between the warring nations on November 17, 1837, returning the Chilean troops to Valparaiso by the middle of December. On December 18, 1837, the Chilean Government renounced the treaty in response to the general public's indignation. The hostilities were promptly resumed against the government of General Santa Cruz. On July 10, 1838, a second expedition was launched against the same enemies of Chile. Captain Delano, now 62 years of age, commanded once more and for the last time twenty-six sailing vessels transporting to the war zone 5,400 officers and soldiers, fully equipped under the command of the General Manuel Bulnes. The extraordinary work of Paul Delano in organizing, purchasing and supplying this huge expedition revealed once again the great management capacity and professionalism of this veteran navy officer. The Chilean Navy ships landed Bulnes and his troops at La Legua, a village between the port of El Callao and Lima, making it his general headquarters. The Chileans were finally victorious at the battle of Yungay on January 20, 1839, unquestionably defeating the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy.

Pedro Pablo Figueroa, a noted Chilean historian, commented about the personality of Captain Paul Delano in his 1905 Album Militar de Chile:

"Mr. Delano served the Government until the year of his death, which fell on the February 4, 1842 in Talcahuano, having reached the rank of Captain. He was a great sailor. With a kindly and good natured character, he knew [how] to gain the esteem and appreciation of the Supreme Government, the Military establishment, and his superior officer, Admiral Lord Cochrane, who distinguished him constantly by entrusting him with hazardous missions."

Captain Paul Delano seemed predestined to remain in Chile, his newly adopted country, until the day of his death at sixty-six years of age. In a letter dated Santiago, July 22, 1819, sent only a month after his arrival in Chile to his wife in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, he informed her that he had accepted the offer of the Supreme Director of the Government, Don Bernardo O'Higgins, to continue serving in the Chilean Navy. He let her know of his decision to stay in Chile and to bring the family there, [he was] expecting to see her in Valparaiso within the next twelve months. Ann (Ferguson) Delano, Mary Ann (18 years), Robert Ferguson (11 years) and William Gibson (9 years) the rest of the family of the then Lieutenant Commander Paul Delano, arrived in Valparaiso on February 15, 1821, on board the American Whaling vessel "Lorenzo," after 147 days at sea. They would all stay forever in Chile; not one member of the original Delano family would return to the country of their birth, the United States of America.


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Paul Délano Tripp, Capitán's Timeline

June 15, 1775
Fairhaven, MA, USA
January 14, 1801
Age 25
Fairhaven, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 26
April 2, 1806
Age 30
New York, NY, USA
January 26, 1808
Age 32
New york, USA
August 3, 1810
Age 35
New York, U.S.A.
February 4, 1842
Age 66
Talcahuano, Biobío Region, Chile
Talcahuano, Chile