William Leverreth Hudson was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 11, 1794. He joined the United States Navy in 1815, and served onboard the Alert and Ontario in the Mediterranean Sea until 1817. He was later stationed off the coasts of Africa and South America, and at the New York Navy Yard. In 1838, Hudson commanded the Peacock as part of the Charles Wilkes Exploring Expedition, and in 1842, he received a promotion to commander. From 1849 to 1852, he commanded the Vincennes on voyages around the Pacific Ocean, and in 1855 he was commissioned as captain. Between 1856 and 1858, Hudson commanded the Niagara during two attempts to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable, and, in August 1858, he assumed command of the Boston Navy Yard, a position he held until 1862. William L. Hudson died in Brooklyn on October 15, 1862. He and his wife Elizabeth married around 1819 and had twelve children, of whom ten survived: Ann Elisa, Jane, Nell, Sarah, Susan, Nancy, William, James, Stephen, and Jack.