Thursday, September 29, 2011

Uriah Phillips Levy Cup

Now on display in the museum gallery is a silver commemorative cup given by the citizens of Norfolk to Uriah Phillips Levy in 1815 in thanks for his service during the War of 1812. Inscribed on the cup are Levy's initials "U.L." and the Latin phrase "Dant Facta Hanc Corman" or "Deeds Gave This Crown."

During the war, Midshipman Levy was captured by the Royal Navy while serving on the brig USS Argus off the coast of Ireland. The brig fell to HMS Pelican after a successful commerce raiding campaign in Britain's home waters. Levy and most of Argus' ship's company were sent to the notorious Dartmoor Prison until the end of the war.

Levy is well known for being the first Jewish flag officer in the U.S. Navy, an advocate for judicial and punishment reform within the Navy, and the savior of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello after the estate had fallen into disrepair. The Jewish chapel at Naval Station Norfolk is named in his honor.

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