Maryland Historical Society
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-4674
Alexander, William H.
Midshipman, William H. Alexander's logbook from USS Constellation consists of a watch bill, quarter bill, station bill, and general orders. Included is the hour of watch, speed, course, winds, occurrences, air and water temperature, and range of barometer. Name, rank, and station of the petty officers, division officers, and other midshipmen are included for each quarter watch. Also included is a letter, May 16, 1827, ordering midshipman Alexander to return to the United States. A sketch of Constellation shows the ship as it looked in 1826.
Armiger, George J.
A small collection relating to George Jones Armiger and the fate of USS Cyclops which was last heard from on March 4, 1918.
Aulick, John H.
Copies of documents relating to Commodore John Henry Aulick's expedition to procure a treaty from the Emperor of Japan; includes President Fillmore’s letter to the Emperor, Aulick's Commission, his instructions from Secretary of State Daniel Webster; a letter from Webster to Secretary of the Navy William A. Graham, and George L. L. Davis' paper on "The Origin of the late Japan Expedition." Aulick's instructions antedated Perry's, but, through an impolitic action on his part, he was recalled and Perry sent instead.
Battle of Baltimore
Entirely a 35mm reproduction of manuscript originals located at the Public Records Office, London, England; Admiralty Group.
1 microfilm reel
Belt, William J.
Contents deal with Captain William Joseph Belt's experiences in U.S. Navy: 1. Journal, November 1839-September 1841 on board USS Marion. 2. Journal, 1828-1829, USS Hudson and 1829-30 USS Natchez. 3. Day and Scrapbook c. 1825-1856: accounts, poems, letters, recipes, etc. 4. Watch Book of USS Hudson October 1828. 5. Journal 1816-1817 USS Washington and April-May 1820 USS Columbus. 6. Letterbook 1839. Statement of Belt's services to U.S. Navy 1811-1841. Private journal 1840-1842 and letterbook 1841. 2 boxes contain collection of 450 letters to and from Captain Belt during his 30-year naval career.
2 boxes and 7 volumes
Bonaparte, Charles J.
Collection contains papers covering a broad spectrum of the life of Charles J. Bonaparte. Contains items dealing with his youth; his membership in the Indian Rights Association and Board of Indian Affairs; and his position as Special Inspector of the Indian Territory; his position as Secretary of the Navy and as Attorney-General; his Baltimore law practice and reform interests in the city of Baltimore and the nation (including Civil Service reform), etc.
Documents relating to Thomas Bordley and family; correspondents include sons, Stephen (a naval officer), William, and John Beale Bordley, Samuel Chew, Patrick Hepburn, and Daniel Dulaney.
Bowman, Harry S.
Collection consists of two volumes. The first, titled, "Log Book, USS "Dixie" of H. S. and Z. F. Bowman" by its owners, is in two parts. The first part of this volume is the diary of Ziba Bowman, kept from June 18 until July 23, 1898, while the second part is the diary of Harry Bowman from June 18 to July 30, 1898. The second volume is the diary of Harry Bowman, where the June 18-30 section of the first volume is copied and extended to Aug. 31. Both vols. mention the same types of events. On board USS Dixie in the Caribbean during the Spanish-American War, they speak of visiting such places as Santiago and Guantanamo in Cuba, Haiti and Trinidad, life and activities aboard ship, skirmishes with Spanish ships, what news they have heard of the war, weather conditions, and related matters.
Letters of William D. Brackenridge concerning the Wilkes Expedition 1838, and botanical gardens.
Scrapbook relating to the death of Franklin Buchanan; bound manuscript; "Regulations for the Government of USSF Susquehanna, 1853"; Receipt to Buchanan, 1820; Constitution of the U.S. Navy Benevolent Association, 1833 (printed).
Letters of Lieutenant Commander Thomas McKean Buchanan reporting activities of U. S. Steamer Calhoun with fleet near New Orleans, including fighting to clear Confederates from the Atchefalya River and to replace buoys and channel markers.
Chasseur and Rolla
1) Log of Private Armed Brig Chasseur, kept by Thomas Boyle, Captain, leaving New York December 23, 1814, and returning March 1815 having heard of the signing of peace. Accounts of various activities, especially the successful though severe engagement with the English Schooner St. Lawrence. Log attested by John Dicter, 1st Lieutenant of Chasseur & H. P. Cathill, Prize Master. 2) Log of Schooner Rolla (Master James Dortoy) November 1812-January 25, 1813.
Two folders of newspaper clippings which concern William T. Conn's activities as a naval recruiter in New York during 1918-1919, also included are newspaper accounts of Conn's experience on board USS Alcedo. Scrapbook compiled by Jane Rider Conn contains photos, social invitations, and other memorabilia collected during her husband's years as an officer aboard USS Paul Jones (1903-1905), USS Supply (1906), and USS Donegal (1917) and during his years as Aide to Governor T. M. Potts of Guam (1906-1908) and to Governor Edward Dorn (1909-).
Potpourri of manuscript material (almost entirely xerox copies and photostats) relating to the U. S. Frigate Constellation, including letters, logs, notes made by the donor, designs and drawings, etc. Xerox copies of library catalogue cards from an unknown source. Journal with records and plans for the period of restoration of the vessel with subject index.
Dodson, C. Marion
Day to day diary on board ship. "Tunes used aboard USS Pocahontas 1864". Newspaper Obituary (Baltimore Sun) November 24, 1929.
Commissions, orders, and official correspondence of Rear Admiral Edward Donaldson USN 1834-1877.
Brief naval diary of John Dorsey, 1804. Found in the Hollingsworth Family Papers.
Dorton, Henry F.
Well-indexed diary of Henry F. Dorton while serving in the U.S. Navy, 1861-1870. Includes cruise on board USS Isaac L. Smith, capture by the Confederates, service at Washington Navy Yard and the Potomac Flotilla. Cruise on USS Wissahickon from Philadelphia in general court martial off the Carolinas. After the Civil War, Dorton was part of the South Pacific Squadron on USS Dacotah. Returning home he transferred to USS Penobscot, then to Pensacola Navy Yard. Leaving the navy he became a member of the Light House Service.
Dorton, Henry F.
Orders to report to temporary duty at the Navy Yard signed by Andrew A. Harwood.
Dorton, Henry F.
Notice of appointment of Henry F. Dorton as Ensign on board USS Sophonoia under the command of Andrew A. Harwood., November 21, 1863.
Dubois, John L.
Journal kept by John L. Dubois (1808-1838) on cruise around the world from 1831-1834 in U.S. Frigate Potomac, commanded by John Downes. Includes descriptions of visits to Rio de Janeiro, Cape of Good Hope, Sumatra, East Indian Islands, Chili, Peru, and Ecuador, three water-color sketches of East Indian natives and two of South Americans.
This collection pertains almost exclusively to Hammond James Dugan, his naval career, and the U. S. Navy's lighter-than-air program. It includes letters of H. J. Dugan, letters from his family and friends, and those from Hanson W. Baldwin and Hugh Allen; diplomas; lighter-than-air material; clippings and documents about German dirigibles; mimeographed handbooks and manuals; logs; journals; and material relating to the Naval Academy's class of 1924 and to themes done by H. J. Dugan while he was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The collection also includes articles and books about zeppelins, dirigibles, U. S. aeronautical programs, and the development of lighter-than-air craft.
Dulany, C. Bladen
Consists of logs from Boston, Cumberland, and St. Lawrence, all of which the author commanded. The collection contains letters which Dulaney wrote on station in the Pacific from the frigate St. Lawrence.
Foster, James W.
Collection of correspondence, mainly of James W. Foster, Director of the Maryland Historical Society, concerning the frigate Constellation and its return to Baltimore.
The naval papers of David Geisinger, 1790-1860 include commissions as Midshipman, 1809, Lieutenant, 1814, Commander 1829, Captain 1838, covering service in U. S. ships Wasp, Independence, Constitution, Peacock, Brandywine, Columbia, Plymouth. Volumes include log of brig Atlanta 1814; stations on ship Independence 1815; notes on Constitution's cruise 1821-1823, and Peacock's cruise, 1832-1834. Extracts from Mediterranean Squadron's orders 1824-1841, many signed by Commander Isaac Hull. Order book of Peacock, 1833-1834, and two logs 1833-1834. Order book of frigateColumbia, 51 articles, 1814. Abstract log of ship Pallas, 1818. Charts include Singapore, Harbor, 1819; Manila Bay 1832; cruise of Peacock, Mozambique Passage, 1833; Brandywine, c. 1840; and Columbia, 1844.
124 items, 11 volumes, 7 charts, and 5 pamphlets
Collection of papers from the Hammond Harwood House. Contains land transactions of Jeremiah T. Chase family. Also has Lookerman-Harwood letters from Thomas Stone and Nicholas Harwood regarding the capture and burning of Philadelphia during the Barbary Wars, 1803.
Harlan, Henry S.
Papers of Jeremiah Harlan, farmer, Harford County Maryland; Henry S. Harlan, relating to insurance and banking in Harford County; David, a physician and Assistant Surgeon in the U. S. Navy, 1835, and member of the Board of Visitors to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, 1866; and Reuben, a Baltimore medical doctor.
Hollins, George N.
Summarizes his family history; recounts visit of Commodore Oliver Perry to his home in Baltimore and influence of that visit on his career; his service in the U.S. Navy under Stephen Decatur during the War of 1812, including period as prisoner of war in Bermuda, and the Barbary Wars, 1814-1815, when he helped capture an Algerian ship and free Christian slaves; and a Mediterranean cruise, 1817-1818, which escorted Minister William Pinkney and a Carusi family to Naples. Also, his version of the "St. Nicholas Affair", 1861, during which he escaped arrest and fled to the South to join the Confederate Navy. Describes his service in the South including his command of the fleet defending New Orleans. Notebook also contains newspaper clippings, 1861-88 and many n.d., about his participation in the bombardment of Greytown, on the Nicaragua/Costa Rica boundary, in 1854; Alabama; his Civil War activities and other articles on the War.
Hood, John M.
President of Western Maryland Railroad. He had been in the engineer corps of Delaware Railroad extension, constructing Eastern Shore Railroad. Engineer for Confederate Navy 1862. Later enlisted in the Maryland Infantry where he reached the rank of General.
Latrobe, Benjamin H.
Collection consists of papers relating to Benjamin H. Latrobe's architectural work; his son John H.B. Latrobe's writings; the Civil War military careers of John's sons Osmun Latrobe and R. Steuart Latrobe; and one item relating to R. Steuart's son Osmun Latrobe, 1874-1939.
Lowry, Robert K.
Correspondence between Robert K. Lowry, American Consul at La Guayra and Captain Robert T. Spence, commanding officer of USS Cyane in 1822, concerning crisis in Venezuela and the protection of American citizens and property.
Maryland National Guard
Clippings concerning activities of the 1st Brigade, Maryland Naval Militia, stressing drills on the waters of the Chesapeake. There are several pictures of uniforms of the Naval Militia showing insignia and swords.
Commodore Isaac Mayo's Collection of clippings concerning public affairs and naval matters; numerous notes, invitations, visiting cards received during cruises in U. S. Frigate Constitution and U. S. Ship Macedonian to African and Caribbean Waters. Special items include statement of naval forces in Turkish waters, pencil sketch of "Navy Battery before Vera Cruz", March 25, 1847.
Letter to President Abraham Lincoln dated 1 May 1861 in which Mayo resigns his commission as a Captain in U.S. Navy.
McCulloh, George B.
George B. McCulloh served in the U. S. Navy in the early 1820's and letters from him document his cruises. Found in the John McCulloh Papers.
Grant of land in Berkeley County, Virginia to Richard McSherry in 1804. Commission of Richard McSherry as Assistant Surgeon in Navy, 1844.
Military and Naval Collection
15 volumes and 2 folders
Mount Vernon, USS
Two volumes kept on board USS Mount Vernon. One volume contains data on the ship's lifeboats (some 40 listed in all), including their condition and equipment. The second volume contains draft slips (March 21, 1918-September 18, 1919) showing the displacement of the vessel on entering and leaving ports.
Correspondence related to the family and descendents of Commodore Alexander Murray, 1755-1821. Mostly letters between his son, Magnus M[iller] Murray of Pittsburgh and himself, his wife, Mary M[iller] Murray, another son, Alexander M Murray between 1812-1823, while Midshipman in U. S. Navy. Also some papers of Magnus M. Murray, particularly relating to the entrance into the Navy of his son, Alexander (later Rear Admiral).
Naval Veteran Post 76, Grand Army of the Republic
5 volumes of the Naval Veteran Post 76, Grand Army of the Republic, containing: 1. Minutes of meetings, list of members, 1917-1926. 2. List of veterans buried in cemeteries near or in Baltimore, also giving the names of the cemeteries. 3. Volumes describing type of service, injuries, discharge, etc. 4. Log book 1911-1917, also lists of members, 1917. 5. Minute book, 1903-1910, constitution, lists of officers, also some correspondence and newspaper articles.
Papers of Jameson Parker are largely diaries (1923-1964), copies of personal letters sent, and letters he wrote to his wife Sydney [Sullivan] Parker Walling. Both the diaries and letters contain much about his social life and his observations on books he read and people he met. The papers from the 1930's-1940's have material on the political scene in Washington stemming from Parker's contact with his father-in-law Mark Sullivan, columnist for the New York Herald-Tribune. There is also material on Parker's work with the family steel firm in Baltimore (1933-1939), his work as an investment analyst with Trail and Middendorf (1939-1942), work with the Maryland Public Expenditure Council (1940-1942), and the U.S. Naval Reserve (1942-1945). In 1950 Parker was a member of the U.S. Economic Mission to the Philippines. Subsequently he was with the Office of Public Affairs (1950-1952, 1955-1959). He was also attached to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels (1952-1953) and in Bonn (1959-1964). Parker became Director of Gunston Hall in Lorton, Virginia in 1965 and remained there until his death in 1972.
Ports and Customs
550 items, 107 volumes, and 26 boxes
Rodgers, John A.
John A Rodgers graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1863. He served on board USS Indiana in the Spanish-American War and from 1904-1906 commanded the battleship Illinois. He retired from the Navy in 1910 and became Professor of Naval Tactics at Harvard University.
Rogers, James L.
Papers, 1846, 1854
Volume I is a badly mutilated account of the voyages of James Lloyd Rogers on the ship Stephen Lurman, commencing May 1846, sailing to the orient and of a subsequent voyage, 1854-1855, apparently sailing on the Steam Frigate Powhatan and returning on Lexington.
Rogers, Robert L.
The collection consists largely of letters written to Robert Lyon Rogers. The majority of these letters were written by William K. Latimer, a naval officer. Latimer's letters are dated in the year 1851 and most of them contain instructions to Rogers on USS Cumberland regarding the proper packing, shipping and disposal of Latimer's personal property. Several letters to Rogers from other correspondents as well as letters written by Latimer and addressed to others besides Rogers. Also includes affidavit of J. Hollins McBlair in the case of Captain William K. Latimer versus the Adams Express Company in 1852; memorandum of occurrences between Latimer and Joseph Bryan written by Rogers in 1851; copy of Latimer's account with Rogers in 1851; list of ports of arrival and departure for USS Cumberland from 1849-1851.
Journal kept by Midshipman Edward Simpson while on cruises in U. S. Navy vessels, including voyages to South American waters (especially Rio de Janeiro) in 1840-1841 and to the Mediterranean in 1842-1843. Craft concerned were U. S. Ship Potomac and U. S. Frigate Constitution, both in the fleet of Commodore Charles G. Ridgely; then U. S. Frigate Congress, carrying the pennant of Commodore Charles W. Morgan.
Robert Smith was Secretary of the Navy from 1801 to 1809.
Samuel Spafford was a Seaman. He and his wife, Ann Spafford, lived in the Fells Point area of Baltimore and they also rented out houses in that area. Samuel Spafford died sometime shortly before 1826. He was taken prisoner of war in the War of 1812.
Further letters from Guy Steele to parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Steele, 1891-1894, while serving on U. S. F. S. Lancaster in China and Japan. The cruise to the Orient via Cape Town was the last long cruise of the U. S. Navy under sail, 1893.
Small collection of Dorchester County land papers of the Rider, Billings, and Henry Steele families, 1683-1770; letters and papers of James B. Steele, 1788-1844, consisting of financial matters, bills and receipts, and formation of the Union Bank of Maryland; small collection of Dr. Thomas B. Steele papers, 1845-1856, consisting of letter of thanks from Portsmouth Virginia, October 1, 1858 for services rendered in epidemic, letters describing life as U. S. Navy surgeon; letters of Dr. Guy Steele to his parents, 1891-1894, while serving in U. S. Navy describing Asiatic tour, shipboard life, and life in Navy.
Steele, Thomas R.
Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Navy, 1849; Protestant Episcopal mission doctor in Cavalla and Cape Palmas, West Africa, 1853-1854.
A volume containing copies of letters written by General John Stricker, 1758-1825, while serving as Naval Agent. Mainly correspondence with Secretaries of the Navy Robert Smith and Paul Hamilton (also with various merchants and ships' captains) concerning building and outfitting vessels, supplies, etc. The collection has much data on the early activity of the U. S. Navy.
Correspondence between John Taylor, a fireman on U. S. Steam Frigate Mississippi, and his father, Robert Taylor, Baltimore Commission merchant, during cruise of Naval squadron in the Mediterranean, 1849-1851, telling of shipboard life and ports visited. Also included is a short exchange of affectionate letters between John Taylor and Priscilla C. Nutwell of Tracy's Landing, 1855.
A naval officer's report on travels from China to the Philippines, Java, and points South; chiefly an account of a cruise in a schooner immediately after the outbreak of hostilities.
Chronicle of voyage of the schooner Lanakai through enemy waters from Manila Bay to Perth, Australia, December 26, 1941 to April 27, 1942. Includes map and newsclippings on Commander Tolley's voyage and the presentation of the volume to the Maryland Historical Society by his father, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Kemp Tolley.
Ultor and Decatur
Xebec Ultor, Commander James Matthews' journal of his voyage from Baltimore, December 6, 1814 to the West Indies and return, April 1815. Account of ships met and captured, vessels boarded, ports visited, etc. Included in the collection of papers for the Letter of Marque ship Decatur is a notarized agreement between officers and crew appointing Richard H. Douglas owner, attorney for the crew; letters from the crew members to Douglas stating what was seized and what was due them; and a crew list.
War of 1812
Williams, Otho H.
Collection of papers of Otho Holland Williams, Revolutionary War General, and of his sons, especially William E. Williams, from 1781-1839. Letters relate to such subjects as eyewitness accounts of Revolutionary battles, the setting up of the Society of the Cincinnati, the attitude of younger men of the times to George Washington, an early 4th of July celebration, the beginnings of the Federal government and the location of the seat of government, with the attendant practical politics, life in Baltimore and western Maryland up to 1830, treatment of disease at the end of the 18th century.
1,225 items and 11 portfolio volumes
Wright, William H. D.
Business and personal correspondence, journals, accounts, bills and receipts and other papers of William Henry DeCourcy Wright, Clintonia Wright May Thomas, William May, DeCourcy W. Thom and other family members residing in Baltimore City and Queen Anne's County, MD. Many family members traveled extensively in Europe; William May, a U.S. naval officer, was stationed in the Mediterranean on board U.S. Frigates Congress and Constellation. William Wright served as U.S. Consul to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 1825-1834. The careers of May and Wright are reflected in their papers in this collection. The collection also includes genealogical notes collected by DeCourcy W. Thom, a banker and financier with local antiquarian interests.