Uriah Levy: Reformer of the Antebellum Navy
Uriah Levy's naval career spanned the age of sail to the era of steam-driven ironclads. As one of the few Jewish Americans in the U.S. Navy, Levy was the target of prejudice and was court-martialed six times for his response to perceived insults, yet he was the only Jew who reached the rank of Flag Officer. As an advocate for the enlisted soldier, he fought for and succeeded in putting an end to flogging in the Navy. As perhaps the first American historic preservationist, he bought and restored Jefferson's beloved but failing Monticello and opened it for public tours. In further tribute to his idol, he commissioned the statue of Jefferson that stands in the U.S. Capitol rotunda today. Drawing on archival and printed sources, British and American naval records, local records of Levy's residences, the records of several Jewish congregations in the United States, and rarely used naval court martial records, Ira Dye has produced a modern biography of Levy in the context of his time, focusing on his contributions as a naval officer from the War of 1812 until the Civil War as well as the personal characteristics that drove him to make those contributions. Levy served in the Mediterranean during the early antebellum period when the United States was establishing a presence in that area, later commanded the Mediterranean Squadron during the turbulent years of European unrest in the 1850s, was on board the Argus during its fatal cruise in the War of 1812, and presided over one of the few documented charges of homosexual activity in the Old Navy. Rich with details of life in the sailing navy, the story of Uriah Levy is a significant contribution to antebellum naval history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.