The Blue & the Gray

The Blue: Uriah Levy

Scion of a prominent Philadelphia Jewish family, Uriah Phillips Levy ran away from home at age ten to join the Navy. In 1836, he purchased Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. He took command of the Navy’s Mediterranean squadron in 1859 and soon became Commodore.

Levy was subjected to six courts-martial for petty offenses. When war broke out in 1861, he visited President Lincoln to offer his services, Lincoln appointed him to the very board that had tried him: the Navy’s Court-Martial Board. Levy died four months later.

Today the Jewish chapel at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is named in Levy's honor.

Uriah Phillips Levy

Uriah Phillips Levy was the United States Navy's first Jewish commodore.