Levi Woodbury—born in Francestown, N.H., on 22 December 1789—graduated from Dartmouth College at Hanover, N.H., in 1809. He studied law in offices in Litchfield, Conn.; Boston, Mass.; and Exeter, N.H., before being admitted to the New Hampshire bar in 1812. He practiced law in Francestown until 1816 when he received an appointment to the New Hampshire bench as judge of the superior court. In 1819, while still a New Hampshire judge, he moved his residence to Portsmouth. In 1822, he gave up his judgeship in a successful bid for the governorship of New Hampshire in which office he served until 1824. After a term in the lower house of the state legislature, he was elected to the United States Senate for the term beginninng on 4 March 1825.
At the conuclusion of that term in 1831, he declined a nomination to the New Hampshire state senate to remain active in national politics. In May 1831, Wood-bury accepted the post of Secretary of the Navy in President Andrew Jackson's cabinet. Well suited to the office by virtue of service on the Senate naval committee, Woodbury revised the rules of conduct and procedure within the nation's naval establishment. Woodbury held his office as Secretary of the Navy until 30 June 1834 at which time he assumed the duties of the Secretary of the Treasury. In that role, he opposed the rechartering of the United States Bank and supported Jackson's fiscal policy. He liked the independent treasury and hard currency and warned against the danger of inflation in 1836. During the Panic of 1837, he devised a scheme whereby those who held Federal obligations suffered no loss as a result of the depreciated paper currency.
When the new administration assumed the reins of power, Woodbury gave up his duties as Secretary of the Treasury. Again declining a proffered state office— that of Chief Justice of the superior court of New Hampshire—in favor of national political office, he won another term in the United States Senate. Woodbury took his seat in the Senate on 4 March 1841 and served until 20 November 1845 at which time he resigned to accept a seat on the United States Supreme Court vacated by the death of Joseph Story. He served on the Supreme Court until his death at Portsmouth, N.H., on 4 September 1851.
(RC: dp. 370; l. 130'; b. 27'; dr. 5'4" (aft); a. 7 guns)
Mahoning—a steam-powered revenue cutter built in 1863 and 1864 at Philadelphia, Pa., by J. W. Lynn & Sons—was placed in commission in the Revenue Cutter Service (alternatively called the Revenue Marine) on 18 July 1864. She patrolled the American coastline from Massachusetts to Maine for the major portion of her active career. On 5 June 1873, she was renamed Levi Woodbury. She continued her patrols of the New England coast through the last quarter of the 19th century.
Soon after the war with Spain broke out in April of 1898, the revenue cutter began operations with the Navy. Ordered to duty with the North Atlantic Fleet on 24 March, two days later, she received orders to report to Norfolk, Va., and arrived there on 2 April. Known simply as Woodbury in Navy records, the revenue cutter conducted operations with the North Atlantic Fleet from 8 May to the end of hostilities in August. Though she may have participated in troop convoys to Cuba, the cutter's primary duty consisted of blockading the port of Havana. She took no prizes during her brief naval career and appears to have been involved in no engagements.
Control of the cutter was returned to the Treasury Department on 17 August 1898, and she returned to her former base at Portland, Maine, on 16 November to resume patrols of the New England coast. That routine occupied her for the next 17 years. On 19 July 1915, the revenue cutter was placed out of commission at Portland. She was sold on 10 August to Thomas Butler & Co., of Boston, Mass