Jefferson, 1839

Feb. 3, 2021

Jefferson, 1839

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.

Builder: McCulley, Baltimore, Maryland

Rig: Brigantine

Length: 84’ 6”





Commissioned: 1839

Decommissioned:  1843



Armament: 4 x 12-pound carronades


The 1839 Jefferson may have been of the same design as the Woodbury since it was noted that “Collector at Baltimore authorized to enter into contract for a new vessel in every respect like the WOODBURY, built at that port recently.”  Revenue Captain H. D. Hunter was ordered to superintend her construction.  Jefferson was launched on 1 January 1839 and was ordered on 8 January to Mobile, Alabama to replace the 1833 Jefferson.  Her arrival at that port was reported on 20 February 1839.

She was placed under naval orders on 30 July 1841 for service against the Seminole Indians in Florida, along with the cutters Madison and Van Buren.  At the time she was under the command of First Lieutenant Richard Evans.  He and his crew were relieved at the Pensacola Navy Yard on 31 August 1841.  She was returned to the Revenue Cutter Service at Norfolk, Virginia in July of the following year and on 18 October 1842 she was ordered to Key West, Florida.

On 19 April 1843 she was ordered to sail from Key West to New York to be sold by the Collector there.  She was sold on 22 May 1843 for $3,500 to Bartholomew Blanco.


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).