Captain David Ross, formerly a lieutenant in the Continental Navy, assumed command of the 14-gun privateer Belvedere of Philadelphia during the Quasi-War with France.

He is remembered for one remarkable passage to London. Departing Philadelphia with coffee in December 1799, Belvedere met with “tremendous gales of wind,” which on the night of the 24th caused a sustained roll onto her beam ends. As the sea broke over the ship and after consulting with his officers, Ross ordered the seven lee guns and the shot in the lee shot locker plus 110 bags of coffee jettisoned. One man was swept overboard.

On 12 January 1800, with her rigging, sails and hull still in damaged condition, a brig flying French national colors closed Belvedere and ordered her to haul down her flag. Ross instead answered with a broadside from his remaining guns. An engagement within pistol shot followed until the Frenchman broke off after two hours, leaving Belvedere with 50 round shot in her hull and her sails and rigging further shredded.

Notwithstanding, she made Dover to take on a pilot on the 14th.

« « «
Belvedere gave a the US Navy another destroyer namesake. Earlier in 1799, Captain John Frankford, for whom Frankford (DD 497) was named, commanded her in a cruise off Spain.

Sources: Naval History & Heritage Command, including Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, and Williams, Greg H., The French assault on American shipping, 1793-1813.