Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PURVIANCE, Hugh Young, naval officer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 22 March, 1799: died there, 21 October, 1883. He was educated at St. Mary's college in his native city, and in 1818 was appointed a midshipman in the United States navy. He served for two years on the East India station, in 1821--'4 on the Pacific, and in 1824-'7 in the Mediterranean. In the last year he was commissioned a lieutenant, and he served on the West India squadron in 1828-'30, and the Brazil squadron in 1837-'8, commanding the brig "Dolphin." He relieved an American schooner from the French blockade of the river Plate, and received a complimentary recognition from the United States government for his services on the occasion. In 1846 he commanded the frigate "Constitution," of the blockading squadron in the Mexican war. On 7 March, 1849, he was commissioned commander and assigned to the sloop-of-war "Marion," on the coast of Africa, where he remained in 1852-'5. He received his commission as captain, 28 January, 1856, commanded the frigate "St. Lawrence," of the Charleston blockading squadron, in 1861, and captured the privateer "Petrel" off that port, the first prize of the civil war. He took part in the fight with the " Merrimac" and in the attack on Sewall's point, Hampton Roads. He was retired, 21 December, 1861, commissioned commodore, 16 July, 1862, and in 1863-'5 was light-house inspector.
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