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Location of Archival Materials

Captain George W. Much, USN

A Collection Relating to His Career as a Naval Constructor.

Overview of the Collection: 

Repository: Navy Department Library
Creator: George W. Much
Title: George W. Much Collection
Dates: 1863-1930 (inclusive)
Dates: 1863-1892 (bulk)
Quantity: 1 folder
Abstract: This collection is composed of 39 letters relating to the 19th century career of Naval Constructor Captain George W. Much, USN. The collection also includes a photograph of Captain Much, his 1839 apprentice agreement, and a pair of Navy documents from 1930 summarizing his Navy service.

Biographical Note: 

George W. Much was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 22 June 1825. Apprenticed to Naval Constructor John Lenthall, at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia in May 1840, he served until twenty-one years of age. He subsequently served in various capacities as Shipwright and Quarterman, and was appointed Master Carpenter, 7 May 1863. Appointed Assistant Naval Constructor, 18 May 1866, and ordered to Boston Navy Yard; detached from there, 21 July 1869, and ordered to Navy Yard, Philadelphia. Commissioned Naval Constructor, 18 April 1871; detached from Navy Yard, Philadelphia, 3 May 1871, and ordered to Navy Yard, Washington; detached, 25 June 1873, and ordered to Navy Yard, Mare Island, California; detached 1 July 1879, and ordered to Yokohoma, Japan; from thence to Shanghai, China, 27 September 1879; detached and ordered to return to Mare Island, 9 April 1881, after completing the rebuilding of the US steamers,Monocacy and Ashuelot, and repairs to other vessels of the Asiatic Squadron; detached from Navy Yard, Mare Island, 10 May 1885, and ordered to report at the Navy Department to confer with the Secretary of the Navy; 15 June 1885, detached from that duty and placed on waiting orders; 24 September 1885, ordered to special duty, Morgan Iron Works, New York. Retired 22 June 1887, with the relative rank of Captain.
[Source of information: Hamersly, Lewis Randolph. The Records of Living Officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1894.].

Scope and Contents: The collection begins with the 1839 document naming Much as an apprentice shipbuilder. Of the 39 letters in this collection, 21 letters from 1863 - 1879 relate largely to his change of duty stations. This group includes a March 1879 letter from Mare Island commending his work on USS Alaska. Included is a commendation from Secretary of Navy Richard W. Thompson for his work on Alaska.

The 18 letters from 1881 - 1892 include letters relating to his change of duty stations and commendations from Shanghai, 1881, for his work on USS Ashuelot, USS Monocacy, and USS Palos. Also included are letters related to his membership on various boards of appraisal.

The photograph of Captain Much in uniform is similar to the oil painting located in the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Navy Art Collection Branch as of 1 Sept 2005. (NHF# 1966-078-03).

An undated one-page Bureau of Navigation document accompanied by a one-page endorsement from 1930 provides a synopsis of his service, and a two page Navy letter from 1930 summarizes his service. 

Restrictions on Use:

Manuscripts are unavailable for loan and must be consulted in the library. Photocopying of manuscripts is generally prohibited, though the use of digital cameras by researchers to reproduce non-copyrighted materials is permitted. Permission to photocopy a limited number of pages may be granted by the reference staff, contingent upon the physical state of items. All photocopying of materials shall be done by the reference staff, or under their close supervision. The use of personal scanners by non-library staff personnel must be approved by the reference staff on a document-by-document basis (Reference: Naval History and Heritage Command Instruction [NAVHISTCENTINST] 5070.1C.).

Index Terms:

Much, George W.
United States. Navy. - History - 19th century - Sources
Ships - maintenance and repair
USS Alaska
USS Ashuelot
USS Monocacy
USS Palos

Administrative Information:

Preferred Citation
Cite as: Historical Manuscripts, Navy Department Library, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC, Captain George W. Much Collection.

Processing Information:
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Evie A. Englander in November 2005.

Published: Fri Jul 20 09:54:57 EDT 2018