Brazil Squadron

Brazil Squadron

A wash painting of the brig USS Bainbridge.
Active 1826—1905
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy
Type Naval squadron

The Brazil Squadron, the Brazil Station, or the South Atlantic Squadron was an overseas military station established by the United States in 1826 to protect American commerce in the South Atlantic during a war between Brazil and Argentina. When the Cisplatine War between Argentina and Brazil ended, the station remained and continued to protect American interests during several other conflicts. The squadron was also active in suppressing the African slave trade.[1][2] The South Atlantic Squadron ceased to exist when it was absorbed into the North Atlantic Fleet in 1905.[3]

Falklands Expedition

Main article: Falklands Expedition

An expedition to the Falkland Islands was launched in late 1831 when the sloop-of-war USS Lexington was sent to Puerto Soledad to investigate the capture and possible armament of two American whalers. When the sailors arrived at the settlement, its Argentine population was found to be suffering from starvation so Commander Silas Duncan evacuated the colonists to the mainland. Because of this the Falklands were left unpopulated and open for British colonization a few years later. Argentina's dispute with the United Kingdom over rights to the islands culminated in the 1982 Falklands War which left the British in control. Exaggerated accounts in opposition of the American expedition claim that the USS Lexington destroyed the town with naval gunfire, but this never occurred.[4]

Slave trade

Main article: Blockade of Africa
Slave trading vessels captured by Brazil Squadron
Vessel Captor Date Location
Porpoise Raritan 23 January 1845 Rio de Janeiro
Albert Bainbridge June 1845 Bahia
Laurens Onkahye 23 January 1848 Rio de Janeiro
A.D. Richardson Perry 11 December 1848 Rio de Janeiro
Independence Perry 13 December 1848 Rio de Janeiro
Susan Perry 6 February 1849 Rio de Janeiro

Source: Canney, D.L., "Africa Squadron", Potomac Books, 2006, pp. 233–234


  1. Klafter, Craig E., United States Involvement in the Falkland Islands Crisis of 1831-1833, Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Winter, 1984), pp. 395-420
  2. Howarth, S. To Shining Sea: A History of the United States Navy, 1775-1998, University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.
  3. Allen, Keith (2003). "US Fleet Organization 1898-1941". The Great War Primary Documents Archive. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  4. "Silas Duncan and the Falklands' Incident". 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2012.

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