Dexter, 1874

Dec. 22, 2020

Dexter, 1874

Samuel Dexter: Educated at Harvard and trained as a lawyer, Samuel Dexter (1761-1816) resigned his seat as Massachusetts Senator in June 1800 to accept the position of Secretary of War in the cabinet of President John Adams.  Upon Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott's resignation in December 1800, Adams appointed Dexter ad interim Secretary to serve until the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson as President. Dexter served less than a year in Adams's cabinet and has no great acts associated with his name. It has been said that "his temperament and intellectual endowment ill suited him for that minute diligence and attention to intricate details which the departments of War and Finance imposed on the incumbents of office.''

Shortly before the termination of Adams's administration, the President offered Dexter a foreign embassy, but Dexter declined, remaining at the Treasury Department until Jefferson became President.

Type/Rig/Class: Schooner, Dexter Class

Builder: Atlantic Works, Boston, Massachusetts

Dates of Service: 1874 - 1908

Disposition: Sold

Displacement: 188 tons

Length: 143' 6"

Beam: 23'

Draft: 10'

Machinery: Steam engine, single propeller

Complement: 7 officers, 33 enlisted

Armament: 2 guns, unknown type and caliber

Cutter History:

The Revenue Marine Steamer Dexter, one of three cutters of the Dexter Class, was built by the Atlantic Works Company of Boston, Massachusetts.  Revenue Captain J. A. Henriques accepted the cutter for the Revenue Marine on 6 June 1874 and she was commissioned on 18 June of that same year.

She was assigned to Newport, Rhode Island and patrolled the Long Island Sound and east to Nantucket, enforcing customs laws, patrolling regattas, and assisting mariners in distress, among other duties.  She also made annual winter cruises as directed, usually off Edgartown to Nantucket Shoals, and from Gay Head to Sandy Hook, outside of Long Island.

In 1904 she was ordered to Puerto Rico but returned to Newport the following year.  She was decommissioned at Arundel Cove, Maryland, and sold on 18 July 1908.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).