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Vigilant, 1843

On the alert: watchful.

Builder: William Webb & E., Curis, New York

Length: 56' (bp)

Beam: 18' 5"

Draft: 4'

Displacement: 43 tons

Rig: Schooner

Commissioned: 1843

Decommissioned: N/A

Disposition: Lost at sea, 1844

Complement: 7

Armament: 2 Brass four pounders that came from the cutter Ewing (6/2/1843)

From the items reserved out of the decommissioned cutter Jefferson: 5 muskets; 12 pistols; 5 cutlasses; 5 boarding pikes

Ammunition purchased in New York: 50 powder cylinders; 1 keg cannon powder; 1 keg priming powder; 250 musket ball cartridges; 100 pistol ball cartridges; 50 cannon balls; 25 Stand grape & cannister; 100 Quill tubes; 50 musket & pistol flints.


Vigilant entered service in 1843 but was lost in a hurricane off Key West in October, 1844. 

As per William R. Wells, II: A letter dated 8/17/1843 gave Vigilant tonnage as 43.  Also Vigilant allowed six men and a cook (who served as the steward) the latter could be, and was, black.

As an aside, Vigilant was commanded by Inspector of Customs, W. B. G. Taylor, a native North Carolinian.  He was the 1st Mate aboard Louisiana at the capture of Le Brave in 1819. He was also the one who turned in Captain Loomis for stealing gold coins and jewelry from the recaptured merchant vessel. Taylor and the other officers were given some of the "doubloons" to remain quiet. The Collector at New Orleans noted Taylor turned in some of the coins but suspected not all he got. Taylor also retained his commission in the U. S. Navy and resigned it 1826.

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Commanding Officers:


William R. Wells, II, GMCM, USCG (Ret.).  Bill Wells is a long-time researcher and historian of the history of the Coast Guard and the Revenue Cutter Service.  Most of the information posted above, including details of the cutters history, armament and list of commanding officers, came from his research and reference work.

Donald Canney, U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995. 

U.S. Coast Guard. Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard, 1790-December 31, 1933. Washington, DC: GPO, 1934.  Reprinted, 1989.

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Last Modified 1/12/2016