Naval History and Heritage Command

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Hudson I (Frigate)

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Caption: Frigate USS Hudson circa 1826 from an engraving by W. J. Bennett.

(Frigate: t. 1,728; l. 177'; b. 45'; dr. 13'8")

William Levereth Hudson was born 11 May 1794 at Brooklyn, N.Y. His first service afloat was in the Mediterranean Squadron under Commodore Bainbridge in the schooner Alert and sloop Ontario from 1815 to 1817. Hudson was appointed midshipman 1 January 1816. In 1821-1823 he served in Dolphin on the Pacific coast of South America, and in Warren for a Mediterranean cruise 1826-1829. In 1830-1831 Hudson accompanied Lieutenant Ramsey on a tour to Russia, and then assumed duty at the New York Navy Yard. In June 1838 he was ordered to command Peacock, attached to the Wilkes Exploring Expedition. After strenuous service in the Antarctic, the South Seas, and along the coast of North America, Peacock was wrecked 18 July 1841 while attempting to cross the bar and enter the Columbia River on Wilkes' orders. Commander Hudson made every effort to free his ship but was forced to leave her, fortunately saving all his men and the scientific papers. In September 1849, after shore and lighthouse duty, he was ordered to command Vincennes, cruising the Pacific until 1852. In March 1857 Hudson, appointed captain 8 October 1855, assumed command of Niagara. That August, in conjunction with British ships, he made the first attempt at laying a transatlantic cable. This try was unsuccessful, but a second attempt met with success 10 August 1858. After commanding the Boston Navy Yard 1858-1862, Captain Hudson was made Inspector of the 3d Light House District. He died 15 October 1862 in Brooklyn.


Hudson, formerly Liberator, was built in 1826 for the Greek government by Smith & Dimon of New York. When Greece was unable to pay for her, she was purchased by the Navy and commissioned at New York.

In 1828, Hudson began fitting out for what was to be her only cruise, and during this period was inspected by President John Quincy Adams and his entourage. The frigate sailed from New York 28 September 1828 to serve as Commodore John Creighton's flagship in the Brazil Squadron. In company with Erie, she touched at New London for supplies and ammunition before turning south to reach Rio de Janerio 29 November to help eradicate the insidious traffic in slaves along those shores. From there Hudson conducted several patrols along the South American coast, stopping and boarding for inspection American as well as foreign ships. She also served as a harbor patrol vessel at Montevideo and Rio and cruised to Bahia and St. Catherine during her 3 years on station.

Hudson departed 13 June 1831 and reached New York via Bahia 5 August. She remained at New York as a receiving ship until 1844, when she was broken up and sold.

Published: Mon Jul 20 13:41:04 EDT 2015