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USS Levant (I)

  • Laid down, date unknown, as a second-class sloop-of-war At New York Navy Yard
  • Launched 28 December 1837
  • Commissioned USS Levant, 17 March 1838, CDR. Hiram Paulding in command
  • Levant sailed from New York, 1 April 1838, for four years service in the West Indies Squadron protecting American interests in the Caribbean and South Atlantic
  • Levant returned to Norfolk, for decommissioning on 26 June 1842
  • Recommissioned, 27 March 1843, CDR. H. W. Page in command, she joining the Pacific Squadron under COMO. John D. Sloat
  • With the threat of war with Mexico Levant was ordered to the California coast to protect American citizens and property, putting a landing force ashore at Monterey, 6 July 1845
  • COMO Sloat relinquished command of the Pacific Squadron, 23 July 1845, because of illness, and sailed 29 July in Levant for the east coast
  • Levant was placed in ordinary at Norfolk, 28 April 1847
  • Recommissioned 12 July 1852, CDR. George R. Upshur in command, she sailed for the Mediterranean
  • CDR. Upshur died on board Levant off Spezia, Italy, 3 November, CDR, L. M. Goldsborough, took command
  • The sloop-of-war returned to Hampton Roads, 29 April 1855, but not before loading a statue of George Washington at Leghorn, Italy destined for the US Capitol and embarking the U.S. Minister to Turkey and his family at Piraeus, Greece
  • Levant was decommissioned, 4 May 1855, at New York
  • Recommissioned 31 October 1856, CDR. William N. Smith in command, Levant joined the East India Squadron 12 May 1856
  • At the outbreak of hostilities between the British and the Chinese, Levant arrived Whampoa 28 October 1856.
  • CDR. A. H. Foote then sent a landing party from Levant and his own ship, Portsmouth, to Canton to protect American lives
  • On 15 November, while in the process of withdrawing this force, Foote was fired on while passing in a small boat by the "Barrier Forts" on the Pearl River below Canton
  • On the 16th Levant was towed upriver to join Portsmouth and San Jacinto in keeping the Pearl open to American shipping
  • Foote was ordered by COMO James Armstrong, commanding the squadron, "to take such measures as his judgment would dictate...even the capture of the forts."
  • Between 20 and 24 November Foote leading an amphibious assault with 300 men, silenced the four forts on the river once again making it safe for American shipping
  • Levant received the major part of the Chinese bombardment, with 22 shot holes in her hull and rigging, one man dead, and six injured
  • Levant departed Chinese waters, 7 December 1857, arriving at the Boston Navy Yard 6 April 1858
  • From Boston Levant, CDR. William E. Hunt in command, sailed 15 June 1859 for the Pacific, arriving at Valparaiso, Chile, 11 October, to serve as COMO. John B. Montgomery's flagship for the Pacific Squadron
  • Ordered in May 1860 the Hawaiian Islands at the request of the Secretary of State to investigate the disbursement of relief funds to American merchant seamen
  • Final Disposition, Levant sailed for Panama 18 September and was never seen again
    Displacement 792 t.
    Length 132' 3"
    Beam 34' 3"
    Depth of Hold 15' 9"
    Draft 16' 6"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 200
    four 24-pdr guns
    thirteen 32=pdr carronades
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Lavant 100k The sloop-of-war USS Levant under way in stormy seas. Artist and source unknown. Robert Hurst
    Portsmouth 153k Attack on the Barrier Forts (Second Opium War) near Canton, China, by the American squadron, 21 November 1856 - consisting of the U.S. sloops-of-war USS Portsmouth and USS Levant with the officers and crew of the steam frigate USS San Jacinto.
    Painting by A. Poinsett; Maker John Henry Bufford (18101870). Courtesy National Maritime Museum, London, England.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Levant (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Levant (1837)- Wikipedia
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    Last Updated 3 March 2017