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American Antiquarian Society


American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609-1634


Bacon, Edward W.
Papers, 1861-1865

This collection consists of letters of Edward Woolsey Bacon during his Civil War service, 1861-1865. The box contains letters (only a few of which appear also in the letterbook), dated December 1861 to September 1865. These letters were written primarily to his sister, Katherine

Wadsworth Bacon (1848- ) and contain descriptions of battles at sea, the trip to Trinidad and Barbados, and beginning in 1864, Bacon's captaincy in the 29th Connecticut Volunteers. He describes their outfitting and leadership, battles in which they fought in South Carolina and Virginia, his opinions of the black soldiers, the reactions of Confederate prisoners and deserters to the troops, and the progress of the war in general. His service with the 117th brought him into Richmond, Virginia, where he was called upon to suppress a mutiny among his troops.

The collection also contains two photographs of Bacon, an obituary, and genealogical materials, as well as a typescript copy of Bacon's diary for the period July 1861 to March 1863. The letterbook, for the period 1861 to 1863, contains copies of letters written to his father, other family members, and friends while Bacon served on board Iroquois, and on Admiral Farragut's flagship, Hartford. He described in detail various sea battles as well as Southern cities (e.g. New Orleans) and scenery. Bacon also referred to his leadership of the first troops that landed in Nashville, Tennessee, to supervise the surrender of that city, his political opinions, daily activities, and naval voyage to the Caribbean in 1861. The volume contains a list of stores sent to a military hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, a map depicting a naval encounter with the enemy, and several pages of notes on religion and philosophy apparently entered at a later date.

1 box


Bancroft, George
Papers, 1819-1901

This collection includes approximately one hundred letters written over a seventy year span from 1819 to 1889, and six hundred sixty-four folio sheets on which are pasted typewritten slips describing books which comprised Bancroft's personal library.

2 boxes and 1 folder


Binney, Amos
Papers, 1810-1814

This letterbook contains copies of four hundred fifty-eight letters written by Colonel Amos Binney while commander of the Charlestown Navy Yard. The letters, many of which are addressed to the Secretary of the Navy, the Navy Accountant, the Treasurer of the United States, and a number of navy agents and commanders of Navy vessels, concern the outfitting of services for naval vessels active in the War of 1812.

1 volume


Blake, George S.
Papers, 1857-1863

George Smith Blake was the son of Francis Blake. He entered the Navy as a very young man and rose to the rank of Commodore before his retirement.

These letters to his brother, Joseph, in Worcester, Massachusetts, reminisce on his boyhood in Worcester and his career in the Navy, describe his superintendency of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and the Naval School at Newport, Rhode Island, and analyze the use of artesian wells. In a letter dated 3 March 1859, Blake admitted writing biographical sketches of naval figures in Appleton's Cyclopaedia of Biography, while his letter dated 4 January 1863 argued that the defeat of the Confederacy was inevitable. Another letter, written in 1858, complained of cost overruns in the construction of a ship.

19 items


Hull, Isaac
Papers, 1804-1805

Isaac Hull (1773-1843), the nephew and adopted son of William Hull (1753-1825), was a naval officer in the U.S. Navy from 1798 to 1841. During the Tripolitan War, Hull, commander of the brig Argus, cooperated with William Eaton in capturing the town of Derne, as this was essential to Eaton's plan of restoring Hamet Caramalli as Bashaw of Tripoli.

William Eaton (1764-1811) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1790. He was commissioned a Captain in the U.S. Army in 1792 and, in 1798, was appointed U.S. consul to Tunis. During the Tripolitan War, Eaton served as a special representative of the American government, with the title "Navy Agent to the Barbary States."

This letterbook, describing the picaresque adventures of Hull and Eaton during the Tripolitan War, outlines Eaton's trip to Egypt to find Caramalli who had fled there from Tripoli. The letterbook ends with Hamet Caramalli's arrival in Alexandria, prior to Eaton's aborted attempt to march on Tripoli and restore Caramalli to rule.

1 folder


Preble, George H.
Papers, 1861-1882

George Henry Preble (1816-1885) was a naval officer and author. He served with the Navy in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. From 1843 to 1845 he circumnavigated the world and went ashore with the first American force to land in China. He also sailed with Matthew C. Perry's expedition to the Far East in 1852 to 1854. He served in various capacities with the Navy during the Civil War and retired as a Rear Admiral.

6 volumes and 2 folders


Ship Logbooks
Collection, 1716-1874

24 volumes


Spalding Family
Papers, 1806-1904

This collection contains a diary and correspondence representative of Dr. Lyman Spalding, Elizabeth Cowes, Lyman Dyer Spalding, Elizabeth Parkhurst Spalding, Lyman Greenleaf Spalding, and Susan Parker Spalding Hall. The diary was kept by Lt. Lyman Greenleaf Spalding in 1862 on board the USS Augustawhile participating in the federal blockade of the Southern coast. Stationed outside of Charleston, South Carolina, Spalding commented on the daily movements of his ship and the other blockade vessels, the "prizes" captured, sailings to Port Royal for refueling and recreation, and communication between British steamers and Confederate vessels under flags of truce. There are also several references to military events in 1862.

24 items


Tripolitan War
Collection, 1804-1805

The Tripolitan War Collection, 1804-1805, includes two booklets containing details of courts-martial held in June 1804 on board the frigate Congress, bound for Tripoli. With William Eaton (1764-1811) acting as Judge Advocate and Captain John Rodgers (1773-1838) presiding, the trials involved seamen and a midshipman from the frigate President, commanded by Samuel Barron. The records consist of orders signed by Commodore Barron, a copy of a "mutinous" letter of complaint written by seaman Robert Quinn, and details of his and others' severe sentences for mutiny, desertion, and absence without leave.

There is also a letter in Arabic, with Italian translation, written by Bashaw Caramalli Hamet in 1805, and a letterbook kept by Commodore Samuel Barron, 17-30 August 1804, which contains mainly copies of letters pertaining to the American blockade of Tripoli, written by Barron, commander-in-chief, and James Simpson, American consul in Tangier, to John Rodgers and James Barron (1768-1851), fellow commanders of American ships in Tangier Bay. The letters are a record of the watchful movements of the American Navy during the blockade, the movements of Moorish warships, and the results of Simpson's diplomatic dealings with the Emperor of Morocco.

The collection also includes a volume containing a quarter bill, 1804, for USS Constitution under the command of Edward Preble (1761-1807).

5 items


U.S. Revolution
Collection, 1754-1928

This collection consists of an eclectic group of records pertaining to the American Revolution. Gathered from diverse sources, it includes correspondence, reports, returns, orders, rolls, military court records, copies of town meeting minutes, petitions, oaths, depositions, and receipts.

5 boxes

Published: Thu Jun 26 15:14:06 EDT 2014