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Philadephia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy

 
 
Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 22, 2018
1. Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy Marker
Inscription.
April 22, 1792 - March 22, 1862
Nissan 30, 5552 - Adar II 20, 5622

"I am an American, a sailor and a Jew."

Born in Philadelphia in 1792, Uriah Phillips Levy was a fifth generation American. According to family stories, he left for sea at ten years old, returning to celebrate his bar mitzvah here at Congregation Mikveh Israel in 1805. He served with distinction in the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812, and became the first Jewish U.S. Navy Commodore, a rank equivalent to Admiral today.

During his fifty-year naval career, Levy was court martialed six times and killed a man in a duel - all incidents related to rampant anti-Semitism. He was dismissed twice from the U.S. Navy, but was reinstated by Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler. He went on to command the Mediterranean Fleet and was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to head the Navy Court Martial Board during the Civil War. Levy played a key role in helping to repeal the flogging of sailors, making the U.S. Navy the first military organization in the world to abolish physical punishment.

Levy greatly admired President Thomas Jefferson and the Bill of Rights he crafted, which safeguarded religious liberties for all Americans. In 1832, he commissioned a statue of Jefferson, which sits in the U.S. Capitol today. In
Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy Marker & Statue image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 22, 2018
2. Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy Marker & Statue
1834, Levy purchased Monticello, Jefferson's home near Charlottesville, Virginia, which he repaired, restored and preserved for future generations.

The World War II destroyer escort USS Levy (DE-162) was named in his honor, as were the Uriah P. Levy Jewish Chapel at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia, and the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Levy is buried at Beth Olom Cemetery in Queens, New York.

Sculptor: Gregory Pototsky

Given with love of God and Country
In Memory of Vice Admiral James A. Zimble, MC USN Ret. (1933-2011)
Beloved 30th Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy
Dedicated 16, 2011, Kislev 20, 5772
Rabbi Aaron Landes, Rear Admiral CHC USN Ret.
Captain Gary "Yuri" Tabach, USN Ret
Joshua H. Landes

 
Location. 39° 57.08′ N, 75° 8.907′ W. Marker is in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on North 5th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 121 N 5th Street, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Haym Salomon (a few steps from this marker); Joseph Hewes (within shouting distance of this marker);
Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy image. Click for full size.
By Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command
3. Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy
Nineteenth-century albumin print of a painted portrait. It depicts Commodore Levy holding a scroll inscribed Author of the Abolition of Flogging in the Navy of the United States. The uniform seen in this image features four sleeve stripes, signifying the rank of Captain. Levy died in 1862, several years prior to the adoption of this element, indicating that the portrait was painted posthumously, possibly in the 1870s or 1880s. Donation of Mrs. Charles Mayhoff. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.
George Ross (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Hopkinson (within shouting distance of this marker); William Henry Drayton (within shouting distance of this marker); Matthew Clarkson (within shouting distance of this marker); Major William Jackson - 40th Signer of the U.S. Constitution (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Charles Mason (about 300 feet away).
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The Levy Legacy at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
 
Also see . . .  Uriah P. Levy on Find-A-Grave. (Submitted on September 28, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Additional keywords. Congregation Mikveh Israel
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionPatriots & PatriotismWar of 1812War, US Civil
 
Uriah Phillips Levy Gift of Thomas Jefferson Statue image. Click for full size.
“Architect of the Capitol”, October 14, 2011
4. Uriah Phillips Levy Gift of Thomas Jefferson Statue
The statue of Thomas Jefferson by Pierre-Jean David díAngers located in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda was the first full-length portrait statue placed in the Capitol. Its bronze medium was unusual in early 19th-century America, where sculpture was more commonly carved in marble. The statue was presented by Uriah Phillips Levy to the Congress in 1834 as a gift to the American people.

Thomas Jefferson is depicted in his best known role as author of the Declaration of Independence. He stands in a dynamic contrapposto pose with his right hand holding a quill pen. The penís tip points to Jefferson's left hand, which holds the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson's famous words, which are readable, were created by pressing type into the statue's clay model. Two bound books—perhaps representing the collection that he donated to the Library of Congress—and a wreath, a symbol of victory, lie at his feet. The statue's pedestal is composed of marble and granite, in contrasting colors. The front inscription reads "JEFFERSON."
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 25 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 28, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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