Gayle Penner


On the evening of March 22, 1836, Capt. Mervine P. Mix, U.S.N., brought the USS Concord to anchor in Key West harbor. The island was a good place to repair several damaged sails and to rest after the long voyage from the Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire. The Concord, 127 feet long with a 17-foot draft and mounting 18 guns, was one of the navy's finest sloops-of-war. Under its first commander, Matthew C. Perry, the Concord traveled some 2,800 miles, visiting ports in Russia, France, Spain, Italy, and the Greek Islands. With Mix in command, the ship sailed from one end of the Gulf of Mexico to the other, assigned as an integral part of the West India Squadron to provide naval support during concurrent conflicts-the struggle between Texas and Mexico, and the Second Seminole War.