William F. Lynch, an American naval officer, born in Virginia in 1801, died in Baltimore, Oct. 17, 1805. He entered the service as a midshipman in 1819, became a lieutenant in 1828, commander in 1849, and captain in 1850. In 1847 he planned an expedition to explore the course of the river Jordan and the shores of the Dead sea, which received the sanction of the government; and in November of that year he sailed for Smyrna in the naval store ship Supply, with a party consisting in all of 10 persons. On March 31, 1848, they landed in the bay of Acre; in April they were upon the lake of Tiberias, and commenced the navigation of the Jordan to the Dead sea, having for the purpose two metallic life boats. On April 19 they reached the Dead sea, of which a thorough exploration (including many soundings) was made. In May a portion of the party commenced their return to the Mediterranean by way of Jerusalem, a part remaining to determine by a series of levels the depression of the Dead sea below the Mediterranean; 23 days were occupied in this work, the result coinciding almost precisely with that obtained by Lieut. Symonds, an English officer. The depression was found to be about 1,312 ft.
He published a "Narrative of the United States Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea' (Philadelphia, 1849), and "Naval Life, or Observations Afloat and on Shore " (New York, 1851). He resigned his commission in 1801, and was appointed a commodore in the confederate navy. His services were mostly confined to the coast of North Carolina. The flotilla which he commanded was defeated, Feb. 9, 1862, by Flag Officer Goldsborough. He subsequently commanded at Smithville, N. C.