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Guide to the Naval History Society Collection
1721-1995 (bulk 1781-1936)
  MS 439

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Celia Hartmann.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on May 29, 2018
Description is in English.

Container List

Series 52. Miscellaneous manuscripts

Scope and Content

The series consists of more than 1100 letters, clippings, reprints, and other documents amassed by John Sanford Barnes and others to, from, and about notable persons including many with named series in this collection (e.g., William Bainbridge [Series 1], John Barry [Series 5], French E. Chadwick [Series 8], Gustavus Conyngham [Series 10], Gustavus Vasa Fox [Series 17], Caspar F. Goodrich [Series 21], Isaac Hull [Series 27], John Paul Jones [Series 28], Richard Worsam Meade 3rd [Series 31], Oliver Hazard Perry [Series 36], Henry A. Wise [Series 48]).

The organization of the materials into this series is somewhat arbitrary. In some cases a document was removed from a named collection and specifically located here (see Henry A. Wise letter removed from letter book). In other cases there was not sufficient material on a particular person to warrant creation of a series. Individual signatures have, in some instances, been cut from their original document for inclusion here, and a name does not necessarily signify an autograph document: the Jefferson material consists of a letter addressed to him. Some folders function more as subject files than manuscript collections: they may include information collected about a person rather than correspondence to or from them.

Some of the letters are addressed to Captain Barnes; others show evidence of having been purchased by him or donated to the Naval History Society. Many are addressed to Captain Garrett J. Pendergrast, commander of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. No explanation is given for their inclusion here in such profusion. Some documents have been mounted for display and/or sale; on a few the purchase price is marked in pencil.

This series functions in parallel and complementary to the previous 51 series in the collection. Together with Barnes's List of officers' autograph letters signed (Series 44) and his documentation of extra-illustrations for Cooper's "History of the Navy of the United States" (Series 11), it further documents his, and the Society's, collection and organization of autograph materials.

The extensive Bainbridge materials in this series provide additional evidence of the Barnes family's interest in, and collecting activities related to, their illustrious forebear. Information organized here on the location and history of documents complements that in Dearborn's extra-illustrated life of Bainbridge (Series 1). The John Paul Jones material (foldered here under John Sanford Barnes) could as well have been part of Series 28, since it includes additional correspondence of Barnes with Jones's biographer Anna deKoven, and about Robert Dale and the donation of a sword purportedly owned by him and now in the collection of New-York Historical Society.

Highlights of the series include documents signed by Presidents John Quincy Adams (Bainbridge folder 5, Barry folder 1) and James Madison; others signed by John C. Calhoun, Salmon P. Chase, Richard Henry Dana, David Farragut, Robert Fulton, John Hancock, Rufus King, Seth Low, Robert Morris, and Matthew C. Perry; and a lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair removed after his death and sent by Robert Todd Lincoln to Gustavus Vasa Fox (removed from Series 17) at the latter's request.

Caspar Goodrich's 1907 letter of thanks for Barnes' sympathies at the death of Goodrich's son includes mention of the young man's portrait as a boy painted by John Singer Sargeant. Among David Porter's letters are cartoons and drawings by him, including one of animal-headed naval officers listening to explanations of the value of steam-powered vessels, which complement others in the Fox collection (Series 17). The William Smith folder includes a map of an attack on Whampoa, China, in 1870. It is unclear what Barnes's connection was to Nikola Tesla: letters from him indicate that he had visited Barnes in New York in 1904. The William C. Whitney document appears to be a personal financial report related to stock holdings but has been retained here.

Historical Note

Miscellaneous manuscripts collections are artificial gatherings of single or small groups of letters, often including individual letters signed by notable persons. As such, they can be troves of autograph or highpoint materials, a specialty of later 19th and early 20th century correspondence collectors. They document that era of collecting tastes and do not reflect modern archival precepts of original order or the maintenance of a document's physical or historical context or provenance.

Arrangement

The series is arranged alphabetically by the subject's name, with Miscellaneous collections placed at the end of a letter's run. It includes an index organized by 200 "portfolio" numbers, probably referring to the collection's original alphabetical order. This provides detailed descriptions of individual documents, which can be matched to the current alphabetical arrangement.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

John Sanford Barnes detailed his collecting interests and activities in a lecture he delivered at the Naval War College in 1902, which was published as "Naval Literature" by Captain John S. Barnes in Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, volume XXIX, no. 2, whole no. 106, p. 32 (XN E182 .B26).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Index
Undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Adams, Henry A.: Letters
1860, 1864
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Adams, John Quincy: Midshipman's warrant, ship's passport
1825, 1826
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Agassiz, Jean Louis Rodolphe: Letter
1869
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Almy, John J.: Letters
1834 [?] - 1870
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Amory, E. Linzee: Letter
Undated
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Armstrong, William M.: Letters
1838
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Aspinwall, William H.: Letters, newspaper clipping
1861, 1874
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Atkinson, James S.: Letter
1825
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Auchmuty, Robert: Letter, newspaper clipping, etching, biographical note
1779, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Bache: Letters
1823-1861
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Bailey, Theodorus: Letter
1864
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Bainbridge, William: Letters (2 of 7; see also OS)
1805-1814
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Bainbridge, William: Letters (3 of 7)
1815-1816
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Bainbridge, William: Letters (4 of 7)
1815-1822
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Bainbridge, William: Letters (5 of 7)
1823-1824
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Bainbridge, William: Letters, transcript (6 of 7)
1825-1826
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Bainbridge, William: Letters (7 of 7)
1825-1843
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Ballard, H.E.: Letter
1817
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Bancroft, G.: Letters
1846
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Barnes, John Sanford: Letters about John Paul Jones
1896-1909
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Barnes, John Sanford: Letters
1863-1910
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Barnes, John Sanford: Letters
1801-1909
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Barney: Letters
1864, 1886
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Barron, James: Letters
1837-1882
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Beatty: Letters
1815, 1820
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Bell, H.H.: Letters
1856
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Berrien, J.: Letter
1804
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Blagge, J.: Letter
1798
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Blair, M.: Letters
1861,1869
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Blake: Letters
1836, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Bolton, W.C.: Letters
1807
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Branch: Letters
1829-1830
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Breese, Samuel: Letters
1861
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Bridge, H.: Letters
1842
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Brownson, Willard H.: Letters, clippings
1907, 1908
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Bunce, Francis M.: Letters
1898, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Burden, J.: Letter
1905
Box: 1 Folder : 39 Burrows: Letter
1900
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Bush: Letter
1812
Box: 1 Folder : 41 Bushnell, C.: Letters
1868
Box: 1 Folder : 42 Calhoun, John C.: Order
1821
Box: 1 Folder : 43 Campbell, Hugh: Letter
1807
Box: 1 Folder : 44 Case, A. Ludlow: Form letter
1861
Box: 1 Folder : 45 Cathcart, James Leander: Letter
1829
Box: 1 Folder : 46 Chadwick, French E.: Letters
1900-1907
Box: 1 Folder : 47 Chase, Salmon: Letter
1861
Box: 1 Folder : 48 Chauncey, Isaac: Letters

Scope and Contents Note

Also includes one letter from Isaac Chauncey's brother, Ichabod Wolcott Chauncey (1821).

1815-1832
Box: 1 Folder : 49 Conner: Letter
1838
Box: 1 Folder : 50 Conyngham, Gustavus: Passports, ledger sheets
1808, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 51 Coules, William: Letters
1884-1902
Box: 1 Folder : 52 Crane: Letter
1832
Box: 1 Folder : 53 Creighton, J.B.: Letter
1873
Box: 1 Folder : 54 Crowninshield, B.W.: Letters
1815-1818
Box: 1 Folder : 55 Cunningham, R.B.: Letter
1847
Box: 1 Folder : 56 Misc. C: Letters
1777-1793
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Davis, George: Letter
1814
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Dacres, J.W.: Letter
1807
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Dahlgreen, J.A.: Letter
1852
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Dale, Richard: Letters, photographs, receipt, will
1794-1826, 1930-1931
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Dana, Richard Henry: Letters
1868-1869
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Decatur: Letters
1825-1835, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Dewey, Admiral George: Letters, clippings
1892-1899, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Dobbin: Letter
1855
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Downes: Letter
1837
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Drayton: Letter
1861
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Misc. D: Letters, appropriation form, clipping
1841-1861, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Eckford, Henry: Contracts
1807-1809
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Elliott, J.: Letters
1823-1843
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Fairfax, D.M: Letters
1870, 1892
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Farragut, D.: Letters, deed
1824-1907
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Foote, Andrew: Letters
1840-1862
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Ford, Thomas G.: Typescript autobiography
1907
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Fox: Letter, copy of newspaper article
1866, 1907
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Frailey: Letter
1866
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Fulton, Robert: Letter
1815
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Gambier: Certificate
1814
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Geisinger: Letter
1834
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Gillon: Letter transcripts, original
1783-1787, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Goldsborough: Letters
1810-1843
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Goodrich, Caspar F.: Letters
1898-1907
Box: 2 Folder : 26 Gordon: Letters
1813-1842
Box: 2 Folder : 27 Gregory, Francis H.: Letters
1843, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 28 Hamilton, Paul: Letters
1809-1812
Box: 2 Folder : 29 Hancock, John: Commission, letter
1776, 1908
Box: 2 Folder : 30 Haraden, J: Bill of exchange
1777
Box: 2 Folder : 31 Harwood, Andrew: Letters
1839-1861
Box: 2 Folder : 32 Hayes, Richard Somers: Letters, clippings
1832-1905
Box: 2 Folder : 33 Henley: Letter
1832
Box: 2 Folder : 34 Henshaw, David: Letters
1843
Box: 2 Folder : 35 Hoff, William Bainbridge: Letters
1842-1881
Box: 2 Folder : 36 Huger, Benjamin: Letters
1861
Box: 2 Folder : 37 Hull, Isaac: Letters, legal documents, photostats
1799-1846, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 38 Humphreys: Letter transcripts
1910
Box: 2 Folder : 39 Misc. H: Letters, receipt
1777-1840
Box: 2 Folder : 40 Ingraham, D.: Letters
1842-1860
Box: 2 Folder : 41 Irwin: Letters, clippings
1862-1898, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 42 Jefferson, Thomas: Letter
1781
Box: 2 Folder : 43 Johnson, Richard M.: Letters, clipping
1828-1835, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 44 Jones: Letters, order
1813-1865
Box: 2 Folder : 45 Misc. J: Letters
1882-1890, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 46 Kane, J. Nicholson: Letter
Undated
Box: 2 Folder : 47 Kennedy, John P.: Letters
1852-1853
Box: 2 Folder : 48 King, Rufus: Letter
1823
Box: 2 Folder : 49 Lincoln, Robert T.: Letter
1865
Box: 2 Folder : 50 Livingston, Robert: Letter
1776
Box: 2 Folder : 51 Longstreet: Letters
1892-1896
Box: 2 Folder : 52 Low, Seth: Letters
1904
Box: 2 Folder : 53 Luce, S.B.: Letters
1873-1875
Box: 2 Folder : 54 Misc. L: Letters, legal documents
1756-1892, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 55 Madison, James; Letter
1808
Box: 2 Folder : 56 Maffitt, John Newland: Letter
1891
Box: 2 Folder : 57 Mahan, A.: Letters
1898-1907
Box: 2 Folder : 58 Mallory: Letter
1861
Box: 2 Folder : 59 Marston, John: Letters
1860
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Meade: Letters
1869-1894
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Mercer: Letters
1843-1861
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Missroon: Letters
1841-1844, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Morris: Letters
1803-1846
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Misc. M: Letters, clippings
1835-1899
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Misc. N: Letters, petitions
1780-1849
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Palmer: Letters
1845-1862, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Paulding, J.: Letters, notes
1815-1839, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Pendergrast, Garrett J.: Letters
1845-1861
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Perry, Matthew C.: Letters
1842-1855, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Philip, J.: Letters
Undated
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Phipps: Letters, essay
1925-1936, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Porter, David: Letters, general orders, commission, receipts
1798-1829
Box: 3 Folder : 14 Porter, David D. Letters
1862-1874
Box: 3 Folder : 15 Powel, Mary Edith: Letters, donation list
1917, 1921
Box: 3 Folder : 16 Powell: Letters
1833-1845
Box: 3 Folder : 17 Preble: Letters, postcards, facsimile diary
1874-1877
Box: 3 Folder : 18 Read: Letters, autograph
1778-1808
Box: 3 Folder : 19 Ridgley: Letters
1805-1834
Box: 3 Folder : 20 Misc. R: Letters, receipts
1770-1874, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 21 Sand, B.: Letters
1869
Box: 3 Folder : 22 Schermerhorn: Letters
1884-1887
Box: 3 Folder : 23 Smith, J.: Letters
1829-1857
Box: 3 Folder : 24 Smith, William: Letter, map
1870, 1886
Box: 3 Folder : 25 Southard, Samuel: Letters
1823-1826
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Stewart, Charles: Letters,, clippings
1842-1909, undated, check
Box: 3 Folder : 27 Stockton, B.: Letters
1832-1841
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Stringham, S. Letters
1846-1861
Box: 3 Folder : 29 Thompson, Smith: Letter
1819
Box: 3 Folder : 30 Toucey, Isaac: Letters (duplicates)
1859-1860
Box: 3 Folder : 31 Trumbull: Letters, notes
1792-1798, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 32 Truxton, Thomas: Letters
1799-1818
Box: 3 Folder : 33 Upshur: Circular, letters
1840-1910
Box: 3 Folder : 34 Van Zandt, Jacobus: Letter
1776
Box: 3 Folder : 35 Warrington, Lewis: Letter, printed circular
1830-1844
Box: 3 Folder : 36 Watson, William Henry: Letters
1823-1908, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 37 Whitney, William C.: Letter
1891
Box: 3 Folder : 38 Whittall, Charlton: Letter with account of 1782 naval battle
1901
Box: 3 Folder : 39 Wood, William W.W.: Letters
1868-1870
Box: 3 Folder : 40 Misc. W: Letters, autograph, clippings
1774-1918, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 41 Unidentified: Letters, facsimile, drawing
1896, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 1 Babcock: Letters
1757, 1871, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 2 Bainbridge, William: Letters, genealogies, autographs, circular (1 of 7)
1816, 1829, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 3 Barry, John: Letters, publications
1776-1801
Box: OS 4 Folder : 4 Barry, John: Letters, contracts, ledgers
1776-1801
Box: OS 4 Folder : 5 Biddle, James: Letters
1845-1851
Box: OS 4 Folder : 6 Buchanan, Frank: Letters
1841-1845
Box: OS 4 Folder : 7 Misc. B: Letters
1788, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 8 Pendergrast, Garrett J.: Letters, appointment
1821-1844
Box: OS 4 Folder : 9 Percival, J.: Letters, declaration
1810-1844
Box: OS 4 Folder : 10 Perry, Oliver Hazard: Letters
1815, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 11 Porter, David: Letters
1875-1887, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 12 Misc. P.: Letters, receipts
1785-1905
Box: OS 4 Folder : 13 Rodgers: Letters, orders, autograph
1805-1887
Box: OS 4 Folder : 14 Sloat, John D.: Letters, Masonic certificate
1825-1917
Box: OS 4 Folder : 15 Misc. S.: Letters, receipts
1777-1899, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 16 Tesla, Nikola: Letters, patents, brochures, clippings
1900-1904, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 17 Misc. T.: Letters, receipts, legal documents
1791-1900, undated
Box: OS 4 Folder : 18 Wise, Henry Augustus: Letters, clipping, drawing
1844-1859, undated

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