Uriah P Levy Defence 18571202

At an early day, and especially from the time when it became known to the oflicers of my age and grade, that I aspired to a lieutenancy, and still more, after I had gained it, I was forced to encounter a large share of the prejudice and hostility by which, for so many ages, the Jew has been pursued. I need not speak to you of the incompatibility of' these sentiments with the genius of Christianity, or the precepts of its author. You should know this far better than I; but I ask you to unite with the wisest and best men of our own country and of Europe, in denouncing them, not merely as injurious to the peace and welfare of the community, but as repugnant to every dictate of reason, humanity and justice.
In February, 1818, I was transferred, by Commodore Stewart, from his ship, the Franklin, 74, to the frigate United States, under the command of Captain Crane. Under the influence of the double prejudice to which I have alluded, a conspiracy was formed among certain officers of this frigate to prevent my reception in her. [p. 12] Commodore Jones… gives a full account of it. He says:

Lieutenant Levy, for several months, was fourth, and I first lieutenant, of the frigate United States, where he discharged his duty satisfactorily to the captain as well as to the first lieutenant, notwithstanding his advent into our ship was attended with such novel and discouraging circumstances as, in justice to captain Levy, renders it necessary here to record them.
On the arrival of the Franklin, of 74 guns, at Syracuse, in 1818,…the ward-room mess, without consulting me, determined to remonstrate against Levy's coming aboard….Astonished at such a proposition, I inquired as to the cause, when I was answered that he was a Jew, and not an agreeable person, and they did not want to be brought in contact with him….I then asked the relator if he, or any member of our mess, knew anything, of his own knowledge, derogatory to lieutenant Levy, as an officer and as a gentleman. The answer was no but they had heard thus and so, &c., &c…. I know that, perhaps with a single exception, those who opposed his joining our mess, not only relented, but deeply regretted the false step they had incautiously taken.

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