Biddle joined the Royal Navy in 1770 (I mean the British side), but when the American Revolution started he offered his services to the Continental Congress. So a traitor, then - though it's funny how you lot don't generally see it that way. Anyway, while he was only a midshipman for the British, Congress quickly gave him command of his own ship, the Franklin. In 1776 was offered an even better deal - command of a brand new ship, named the Randolph.
Biddle eventually became a privateer for the Continental Congress, patrolling British shipping routes, harassing their ships and keeping the spoils from any he could capture. He had a reputation as an excellent captain - he divided the spoils evenly and never used corporal punishment against his crew. What a softy. Pitiful, really. Though I think you can see how that would be a job perk.