Jefferson, 1802

Feb. 1, 2021

Jefferson, 1802

Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Va. 13 April 1743 and graduated from William and Mary College in 1762. He was admitted to the bar 5 years later. In 1769 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses where he soon became a leader of the patriot faction and helped form the Virginia Committee of Correspondence.  Jefferson was sent to the Continental Congress in June 1775, and a year later he was entrusted with writing the Declaration of Independence. He returned to the Virginia legislature in October 1776 where he labored to reform the new state on democratic principles.  He succeeded Patrick Henry as governor in 1779 and held that office until 1781.

Jefferson succeeded Franklin as Minister to France in 1785 and, after his return in 1789, became the Nation's first Secretary of State.  Growing differences with Alexander Hamilton prompted him to resign from Washington's cabinet 31 December 1793, and he subsequently led growing opposition to the Federalist party.  From 1797 to 1801 he was Vice President and he defeated John Adams in the presidential election of 1800.  Highlights of his presidency included the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Navy's victory over the Barbary pirates. He was succeeded in 1809 by James Madison.

In retirement Jefferson exerted great political and intellectual influence as he worked to establish the University of Virginia. His brilliant career was brought to a fitting close when he died 4 July 1826, the 50th anniversary of his immortal Declaration of Independence.

Rig: Schooner






Cost: $

Commissioned: 1802

Decommissioned: 1817

Disposition: Sold?

Performance & Endurance:



Cutter History:

The Jefferson was a schooner purchased in 1802 by the United States Revenue Marine and was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, where at the beginning of the War of 1812, she was placed under Navy orders under the command of Revenue Captain William Ham.

She captured a British brig bound for Halifax from the West Indies in June 1812 and later in the summer she took the British schooner Patriot. She captured three English barges in the James River 11 April 1813 and freed the crew of American schooner Flight, seized only a few hours before by the barges.  

In the summer of 1817, she captured Spanish brig Providentia, the unlawful prize of Buenos Aires privateer Mangero. Inconclusive evidence indicates that about this time Jefferson may have taken a second Spanish ship, also a prize of Mangero.  Later in the year Jefferson was sold. 


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.  Washington, DC: USGPO.

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).