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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 21. Caspar F. Goodrich (1862-1933)

Scope and Content

The collection includes official correspondence, notes and texts of lectures Admiral Goodrich delivered at the Naval War College, other writings including the edited manuscript of his memoirs, extracts from the diary of his grandfather Captain James Goodrich, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the Spanish-American War.

Biographical Note

1847: Caspar Frederick Goodrich born Philadelphia, January 7

1861-1864: Attends US Naval Academy, graduating first in his class

1864-1865: Assigned to New York Navy Yard

1865-1868: With European squadron aboard Colorado and  Frolic

1868: Promoted to Lieutenant Commander

1868-1871: Aboard Portsmouth, South Atlantic Squadron

1871-1874: At US Naval Academy; teaches physics and chemistry in 1871. Helps to found U.S. Naval Institute

1876: Daughter Eleanor born

1881: Son Caspar born, Florence, Italy

1881-1884: Aboard Lancaster, flagship for European Squadron

1882-1885: Inspector of ordnance, Washington Navy Yard

1883: Publishes "Report of the British naval and military operations in Egypt, 1882"

1886-1890: Officer in charge, Torpedo Station, Newport, RI

1889: Serves as President, Naval War College, Portsmouth, RI

1891: Torpedo Board formed to research uses of torpedoes in naval operations

1891-1896: Commands sail training ships Jamestown and  Constellation, and gunboat   Concord

1897: Promoted to captain

1897-1898: Serves as President, Naval War College, Portsmouth, RI

1898: Originates Coastal Signal Service (designed to warn shoreline populace of an impending coastal attack by foreign ships) and serves as its Director

1898: Commands St. Louis and   Newark during the Spanish-American War, receiving the surrender of Manzanillo, Cuba, 12 August

1899-1900: Commands Iowa in Pacific Squadron

1900-1901: Lecturer, Naval War College, Portsmouth, RI

1900: Publishes "The naval side of the revolutionary war"

1901-1904: Commandant, Philadelphia Navy Yard

1904: Promoted to rear admiral

1904-1906: Named commander in chief, Pacific Fleet

1904-1909: Serves as President, U.S. Naval Institute

1907: Lieutenant Caspar Goodrich killed aboard USS Georgia, 15 July

1907-1909: Commandant, New York Navy Yard

1909: Retires from active duty

1914-1916: President, Naval History Society

1918: Recalled to active duty as Commander, Naval Training Unit, Princeton Graduate College

1918-1919: Officer in charge of Pay Officers Material School, Princeton Graduate College

1924: Writes memoir "Rope yarns from the old navy"

1925 Dies, Princeton, New Jersey

1931: Naval History Society publishes "Rope yarns from the old navy," edited by James Barnes, as eleventh volume of its publications.

1933: Mrs. Goodrich donates the manuscript of "Rope yarns" to the Naval History Society

1936: Eleanor Goodrich (Mrs. C.T Davis) donates Goodrich collection to the Naval History Society

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in five subseries:

Subseries I. Correspondence

Subseries II. Naval War College lectures and lecture notes

Subseries III. Writings

Subseries IV. James Goodrich journal transcripts

Subseries V. Bound volumes

Subseries I: Correspondence (1871-1918)

Scope and Content

The subseries consists mainly of official correspondence received, including orders to report to ships, permissions for leave, administration of the Torpedo Board, service on various courts martial, and assignments to lecture at the Naval War College. The letters sent are mostly typescript carbons with some letterpress copies, and include official reports filed on operations and cruises, providing details of the responsibilities of a ship's commander in this period. John Meigs's January 1909 letters discuss the formation of a naval historical society and in that year John Sanford Barnes sends draft bylaws of the Naval Historical Society, comparing it to Britain's Naval Records Society. The last document was found in the original Correspondence box and is not in Goodrich's handwriting; it may have been written by New-York Historical Society librarian Dorothy Barck.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Letters sent
1871-1906
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Letters sent: Draft to Ben Lamberton
1895 December 8
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Letters received
1863 -1878
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Letters received
1881 -1884
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Letters received
1885 - 1887
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Letters received
1888 - 1889
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Letters received
1890 - 1893
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Letters received
1894 - 1895
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Letters received
1896 - 1897
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Letters received
1903 - 1906
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Letters received
1909, 1918
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Printed enclosure: H.R. 8476, Committee on Naval Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives
1895
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Note on post-war planning
Undated

Subseries II. Naval War College lectures and lecture notes (1862-1904)

Scope and Content

The subseries includes notes, handwritten drafts, and final versions (mostly carbon typescripts) of lectures Goodrich presented at the Naval War College, as well as notes on other topics. Also included are a newspaper clipping and a list of personal items, perhaps from the Goodrich residence, found with the lecture materials. "The Problem of 96" is one of the annual examinations by College cadets of a challenge in coastal defense: the 1896 one looked at a specific part of nearby Narragansett Bay. This is an early precursor of the theoretical "war games" the College famously initiated.

The numbered lectures were delivered in order as part of a series on famous international naval encounters, from the Battle of Sluys in 1340 to Drake's destruction of King Phillip's fleet in Cadiz Harbor in 1587, Napoleon's Nile Campaign of 1798, and the 1827 Battle of Navarino during the Greek War of Independence. These form the backdrop for Goodrich's final multipart lecture on Dewey's engagement in Manila during the Spanish-American War, which had occurred only three years before these lectures. It is unclear if the material on the Army's landing in Cuba formed part of this presentation.

Arrangement

The lecture notes are arranged chronologically and the numbered lectures in order as noted on them and their original packaging. Some lectures' accompanying graphic materials (maps and photoreproductions probably used in the preparation of lantern slides) were pinned to the lecture text; these have been separated, numbered by page on which they appeared, and housed by lecture. The notes' original envelopes are in separate folders; they may date any time from the lectures in 1901 to the collection's donation to the Naval History Society in 1933.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Extract from "Fortifications and Sea Coast Defenses," Congressional Committee on Military Affairs
1862
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Lists of personal items
probably 1890s
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Problem of 96: Eggemoggin Reach; copy of Admiral Mahan letter to Taylor on the subject
1895 July 19, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Newspaper clipping on privateering
1896 April 16
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Letter on armored cruisers from Admiral W.S. Schley
1896 July 23
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Naval War College documents: Elements of a "War Chart and Defense Plan"; definition of art of war; document on international law
1896, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Letter defining Mediterranean compass variations 1798; notes on Egyptian campaign of 1798
1901 Jan 22, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 8 First lecture: Battle of Sluys. Text
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 9 First lecture: Battle of Sluys. Photoreproductions, maps
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Second lecture: Singeing the King of Spain's Beard: Cadiz, 1587. Draft
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Second lecture: Singeing the King of Spain's Beard: Cadiz, 1587. Text
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Third lecture: Blake at Porto Farina. Draft
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Third lecture: Blake at Porto Farina. Text
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Third lecture: Blake at Porto Farina. Maps and photoreproductions.
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Fourth lecture: Blake's last fight - Santa Cruz de Teneriffe, April 20, 1627. Text
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Fifth lecture: The Nile Campaign I. The Pursuit. Text
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Sixth lecture: The Battle of the Nile II. The Attack. Draft
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Sixth lecture: The Battle of the Nile II. The Attack. Text
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Sixth lecture: The Battle of the Nile II. The Attack. Maps and reproductions
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Seventh lecture: The Battle of Navarino. Draft.
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Dewey at Manila: Notes
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Dewey at Manila: I. Introduction. II. Strained Relations. III. Dewey's Objectives. IV. Authorities. V. American Preparations
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Dewey at Manila: VI. The Opposing Forces. VII. Spanish Preparations. VIII. Spanish Accounts of the Battle
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Dewey at Manila: IX. American Accounts of the Battle. X. The Finish
1901
Box: 2 Folder : 25 The landing of the army in Cuba
circa 1901
Box: OS 1 Folder : 9 Assorted lecture notes. Envelope
1904
Box: OS 1 Folder : 10 Second lecture. Singeing of the King of Spain's Beard. Envelope
Undated
Box: OS 1 Folder : 11 Seventh lecture. The Battle of Navarino. Envelope
Undated
Box: OS 1 Folder : 12 Seventh lecture. The Battle of Navarino. Map blueprints
Undated
Box: OS 3 Folder : 3 Sixth lecture. Battle of the Nile. Envelopes
Undated

Subseries III. Writings (1901-1933)

Scope and Content

The subseries includes notes and final versions of Goodrich's writings, apart from the lectures he delivered at the Naval War College, including various topics in naval warfare, an address on establishing a naval training facility in San Diego, and his 1924 memoirs. The latter includes a typescript with handwritten emendations probably by James Barnes, who edited the work for publication by the Naval History Society ("Rope yarns from the old navy," published by J.J. Little & Ives Co., as the eleventh volume of the Society's publications), and a final clean version incorporating those changes. The memoirs are an affectionate look at his early service in the Navy, which he describes as "coincident with the great changes from sail to steam; from wooden frigates to steel dreadnoughts; from smooth bore muzzle loaders to breech loading rifled cannon; from man power to electricity."

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Logistics
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Coast defense
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Label from wrapper for writings on coast defense and logistics
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Navigation
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Interior water communication
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Scouting for the U.S.S. Tacony
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Dutch - French - English Wars of the 17th Century
[1901]
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Extracts from G.B. Mundy's 1830 Biography of Admiral Rodney
1901
Box: 3 Folder : 9 "Confidential report of Gunnery Information Obtained During a Visit to England - British Battle Practice"
1905 June
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Comments to San Diego Chamber of Commerce about establishing a naval training station
circa 1916
Box: 3 Folder : 11 In memoriam: Tribute to Stephen Bleecker Luce, published by the Naval History Society
1919
Box: 3 Folder : 12 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": Cover page, foreword, comments
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 13 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": I. How I Entered the Navy. II. At the Naval Academy During the Civil War. III. Some Experiences as a Midshipman
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 14 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": IV. Goldsborough. V. My First Foreign Port. VI. Mediterranean Cruise, Concluded. VII. With Farragut
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 15 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": VIII. In the South Atlantic, 1869-1871. IX. A Remote Island Community. X. St. Paul de Loando - St. Helena - Ascension. XI. In Asiatic Waters, 1875-1878
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 16 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": XII. Another European Cruise. XIII. Another European Cruise (Concluded). XIV. The Last of My Sailing Ships: 1. The Jamestown.
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 17 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": XV. 2. The Constellation. XVI. Bluejackets of the Old Navy
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 18 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": Complete revised typescript
1924
Box: 3 Folder : 19 "Rope Yarns from the Old Navy": Typescript box, presented to the Naval History Society March 29, 1933
1933

Series IV. James Goodrich journal transcripts (undated)

Scope and Contents note

The subseries consists of undated notes in Goodrich's hand, and a typed transcript, from the logs of Captain James Goodrich (dated 1796-1853) aboard various vessels, including Confederacy. These may be related to the publication in  Journal of American History (IV, II, pp. 273-280, 1910) of "First Commerce Under American Flag," by William Goodrich (grandson of James and brother of Caspar F.), which documents James Goodrich's claims against the French government for restitution of goods seized on a voyage.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 20 "Notes from the log of the Confederacy from London to Madeira to China (in which James Goodrich sailed), 1796 Jan 10 - 1797 June 9
Undated
Box: 3 Folder : 21 "Miscellaneous abstracts from journal on board the ship Fame etc. of Capt. James Goodrich, London to New Orleans", 1800-1801
Undated
Box: 3 Folder : 22 "Random notes from the journals of Captain James W. Goodrich", 1823 - 1853
Undated
Box: 3 Folder : 23 Typed transcript from James Goodrich logs: Conditions in Whampoa, China (probably aboard Galaxy), circa 1835
Undated

Subseries V. Bound volumes

Scope and Content

The subseries consists of a scrapbook of newspaper clippings on the Spanish-American War.

Container 1     Title Date
Volume: 1 Scrapbook of clippings on the Spanish-American War
1898

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