Blakely, a naval officer and hero of the War of 1812, was a native of Ireland. At the age of two, his parents brought him to Wilmington. He attended the University of North Carolina then sought a career in the U.S. Navy. He became midshipmen in 1800 and later commanded the WASP during the war. Blakely, his crew and ship were last seen October 19, 1814. Nothing is known of them from that date.