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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Argentina

 

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In his annual report for the year 1859, Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey listed a vessel named Argentina as one of the ships which participated in the Navy's recent expedition to Paraguay. This operation had been launched to seek redress for the death of a sailor of the American Navy's Water Witch who had been killed by fire from Paraguayan batteries at Itapiru as that small sidewheel steamer was ascending the Parana River. However, nothing else is known about this ship. The so-called "Lyte-Holdcamper List," Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States 1790-1868, mentions a 118-ton sidewheel steamer named Argentina which was built at Boston in 1857. It also states that this ship's first home port was Boston and that she was sold to a foreign purchaser. Although it seems to be impossible to prove that this vessel was the one mentioned by Toucey, the facts about the two ships seem to be compatible.