Minutemen fought a detachment of British troops at Lexington, Mass., 19 April 1776 opening the Revolutionary War with “the shot heard round the world.”
(Slp: t. 691; l. 127'; b. 33'6"; dr. 16'6"; cpl. 190; a. 24 24-pdrs.)
The second Lexington was built by New York Navy Yard in 1825; and commissioned 11 June 1826, Master Commandant William B. Shubrick in command.
The new sloop was first stationed offLabrador to protect American fishing vessels. After returning to the United States, she was sent to Trinidad to return the body of Commodore Oliver H. Perry who had died in schooner Noncsuch 23 August 1819 while returning from Angostura, Venezuela, where he had arranged for Venezuelan help to suppress piracy off the Spanish Main.
In 1827 Lexington sailed to the Mediterranean where she cruised for 3 years. Returning to Norfolk in the fall of 1830, she decommissioned at Norfolk Navy Yard 16 November. Recommissioning 31 May 1831. Master Commandant Silas M. Duncan in command, she proceeded to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for duty with the South Atlantic Squadron until late 1836. She then sailed around Cape Horn to protect American commerce on the Pacific coast.
Returning to the east coast in 1840, Lexington was converted into a storeship and her 24 medium 24-pounders were replaced by six 32-pounder carronades. In April 1843, she sailed to the Mediterranean and served there for 2 years.
The outbreak of war with Mexico in the spring of 1846 found Lexington operating along the west coast of North America. During the conflict, she transported troops and assisted in the blockade. On 12 January 1847, she landed a party at San Blas and captured several enemy guns. After the war Lexington remained on the California coast, a source of stability and security during the territory’s transition to U.S. control and in the earlier months of the gold rush of 1849.
Returning to the east coast early in 1850, Lexington operated on the eastern seaboard until getting underway from New York Harbor 18 June 1853 to join Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s famous expedition to Japan. After the success of this notable expedition, Lexington remained in the Orient before returning to New York where she decommissioned 26 February 1855. The sloop was sold in 1860.