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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 31. Richard Worsam Meade, 3rd (1853-1897, 1934)

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of Admiral Meade's journals kept as a midshipman, including notes and sketches; teaching-related documents from his stint at the US Naval Academy; official correspondence received; letter books and orders from his service aboard various vessels (bound in 1939 by the Naval History Society); clippings and printed materials, including those documenting efforts to erect a commemorative statue to John Paul Jones in Washington, DC; drafts and final versions of his writings on John Paul Jones; other materials related to his administrative duties at the New York and Washington Navy Yards; eight volumes of diaries bound by the Naval History Society; and clippings and ephemera postdating his death that were probably collected by his wife.

The correspondence includes that related to his 1870 negotiation of trading treaties with Tutuila-Samoa, and details of the 1883 outfitting of USS Pinta in preparation for its duty off Alaska. The 1891 copy of "Northwestern Architect" includes a description of the Navy Department's exhibition planned for the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago on page 63. The letterpress copies of 1894-1895 had been disbound from a letterpress book. The John Paul Jones material includes Admiral Meade's lecture presentation to the United Service Club in 1896 and information on his daughter Annie Paulding Meade's presentation on the subject in 1899. The scrapbook materials were found with miscellaneous papers of the Naval History Society and removed to this series.

Many of the materials bear a sticker with the Naval History Society's seal that reads "From the Library of Richard Worsam Meade 4th (1870-1833), son of Richard Worsam Meade (3rd), Rear Admiral U.S.N., presented by Mrs. Richard Worsam Meade (4th), May 3, 1934". Subsequent contributions to the collection are documented through 1937.

Portions of this collection relating to the Civil War have been digitized and are available to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.

Related Materials at The New-York Historical Society

The Naval History Society's Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection (see Series 52) contains additional correspondence between Admiral Meade and John Sanford Barnes about John Paul Jones.

The "Scrapbook of R.W. Meade, Rear Admiral", 1892-1898, was bound by the Naval History Society in 1939 and included in its library collection (XN E182.M52 oversize).

Biographical Note

1837: Born New York City October 8, son of Clara Meigs and Richard Worsam Meade 2nd (see Series 30)

1853: Serves aboard St. Louis in Mediterranean

1856: Graduates US Naval Academy

1858: Commissioned lieutenant and assigned duty as ordnance instructor in receiving ship USS Ohio at Boston

1862: Promoted to lieutenant commander 1862, in command of USS Louisville on Mississippi River

1863: Commands a naval battalion during the July draft riots in New York City

1865: Marries Rebecca Paulding (daughter of Admiral James Paulding, Secretary of the Navy 1838-1841)

1865-1868: Head of Steamship Department, US Naval Academy

1868: Commissioned commander; prepares Naval Academy's "Manual of the Boat Exercises"

1870: Father Richard Worsam Meade 2nd dies; son Richard Worsam Meade 4th born

1871-1873: Commands USS Narragansett on its cruise through the southwest Pacific islands to Australia; commended for skill in negotiating commercial treaty with Samoan Islands

1883-1887: Commandant, New York Navy Yard

1887-1890: Commandant, Washington Navy Yard

1892: Promoted to commodore

1893: Naval representative, World Columbian Exposition, Chicago

1894: Promoted to rear admiral in command of North Atlantic Squadron

1895: Disagreement with the Navy Department leads to censure of Meade's conduct by President Grover Cleveland, and Meade's premature retirement

1897: Dies Washington DC, May 4; buried Arlington National Cemetery.

Arrangement

The series is arranged chronologically, except for bound diaries: these are housed together in chronological order and listed separately after the other bound materials. Some of the original folders were organized by date and/or subject; those titles have been retained and the materials ordered chronologically.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 "Extracts from letters from a young naval officer afloat on a foreign station"
1860 December 3-13
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Printed material: Navy Department
1863, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 List of officers aboard U.S.S. Chocura
1864
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Receipts for sale of 19 cotton bales from U.S.S. Chocura
1864
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Prize lists from U.S.S. Chocura for British schooners  Louisa,  Cora Smyser; Confederate schooner  Lowood
1864
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Printed materials: Sailors fair, clipping, Antigua pilotage laws
1864, 1879, 1881
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Objectives of proposed United Naval Service Association; constitution and bylaws
1867
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Correspondence received; copies and drafts sent
1868-1895
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Correspondence received
1870 May 3 - June 28
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Questions on seamanship, navigation, and gunnery: U.S. Naval Academy
1870
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Examination marks and comments, class of 1869, U.S. Naval Academy
1870
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Correspondence received: Samoa treaties
1871 September 4 - 1872 March 11
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Commercial treaty, Tutuila-Samoa, and supporting documents
1872 March 2
Box: 1 Folder : 14 "Natural characteristics" of Tutuila [Samoa]
1872 March
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Log, U.S. Steam Sloop Narragansett
1872
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Reports from U.S.S. Narragansett, letter from John G. Foster
1873 May - August
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Memoranda and orders, Washington Navy Yard
1877, 1889
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Writings on governance of Navy
1877, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Reports on target practice
1879, 1880, 1882
Box: 1 Folder : 20 "Two copper hoods for introducing a draught in the after ventilators of the U.S.S. Sloop Vandalia"
probably 1879-1881
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Correspondence, reports received from U.S.S. Vandalia
1880 July - 1881 April 6
Box: 1 Folder : 22 "Navigator's reports on local deviations of compasses on board U.S.S. Vandalia": Huntington Bay, L.I., and Hampton Roads, VA
1880
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Organization of command of staff, report of turning trials
1880, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 24 "From Admiral Meade's scrap book, given by Mrs. Meade, Jan. 1939"
1881-1898
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Correspondence and papers as President, Board of Inspection and Survey, especially about U.S.S. Pinta
1883 May - June
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Correspondence and papers as President, Board of Inspection and Survey, especially about U.S.S. Pinta
1883 August - December
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Correspondence and Navy circular received while Commandant, New York Navy Yard
1883 September 5 - December 24
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Claims for mileage expenses
1883-1884
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Printed material: Congress and government
1883, 1884, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Draft form for examination of candidates for promotion; submitted to Judge Advocate General
1885 November
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Memorandum book and reports from U.S.S. Dolphin
1885-1886
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Clippings, printed verdict: McCalla court martial and departure from Brooklyn Navy Yard
1890
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Clippings and correspondence about John Paul Jones
1891 October 6 - 1896 October 10, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Senate bill S. 2937: For erection of John Paul Jones commemorative statue, Washington, D.C.
1892 April 19
Box: 2 Folder : 9 House bill H.R. 8476: For erection of John Paul Jones commemorative statue, Washington, D.C.; correspondence
1892 April 30, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Writings on John Paul Jones centenary
probably 1892
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Clippings: Navy exhibit at World Columbian Exposition, Chicago
1893
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Letterpress copies sent on board flag ship New York
1894 Sept 7 - 1895 May 8
Box: 2 Folder : 13 "Some Suggestions of Professional Experience in Connection with the Naval Construction of the last 10 years, 1884-1894" - typescript
1894
Box: 2 Folder : 14 "Commodore John Paul Jones - Sponsor of the stars and stripes on the ocean" - edited typescript
1894
Box: 2 Folder : 15 "Tactical considerations involved in warship design": read at Third General Meeting, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
1895 November
Box: 2 Folder : 16 "Commodore John Paul Jones - Sponsor of the stars and stripes on the ocean" - carbon copy
1895
Box: 2 Folder : 17 "Commodore John Paul Jones - Sponsor of the stars and stripes on the ocean" - edited typescript
probably 1895
Box: 2 Folder : 18 "Essay on naval education" - unfinished
probably 1895
Box: 2 Folder : 19 "Captain John Paul Jones, U.S.N." Class Tree address, U.S. Naval Training Station; "American Naval Heroes: John Paul Jones", Peterson Magazine
1896
Box: 2 Folder : 20 "Official record of Richard Worsam Meade, late rear admiral, U.S. Navy"
probably 1897
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Documentation and Naval History Society bookplates for Meade Library donation by Mrs. Richard Worsam Meade, 4th, May 3, 1934
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 22 "Rear admiral R.W. Meade's view on the McCalla system of tactics"
Undated
Box: 2 Folder : 23 "General principles in naval tactics"
Undated
Box: 2 Folder : 24 U.S. Court of Claims: Wm. H. Emory vs. the United States
Undated
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Extract from letter on Kozta affair - photostat
Undated
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Bound diaries
1873-1876
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Bound diaries
1877-1880
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Bound diary
1881
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Bound diaries
1881-1883, 1894
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Bound diaries
1895, 1896
Box: OS 1 Folder : 17 Abstract of U.S.S Narragansett cruise with map
1870-1873
Box: OS 1 Folder : 18 Reports of exercises on board U.S.S. Narragansett
1871 March - 1872 December 31
Box: OS 1 Folder : 19 Correspondence, expenses, deserters: U.S.S. Narrangansett
1872 March 9 - 1873 April 4
Box: OS 1 Folder : 20 "The Northwestern Architect and Building Budget"
1891 June
Box: OS 1 Folder : 21 Leather folder marked "Richard Worsam Meade Life Insurance"
undated
Volume: 1 Journals kept as Midshipman: Mediterranean cruise aboard USS St. Louisand Caribbean cruise aboard frigate  Columbia
1853 May 3 - 1855 March 30
Volume: 2 Letter book
1862 September 27 - 1865 January 20
Volume: 3 "Manual for the Exercise of the Boats at the U.S. Naval Academy"; "Practical Ship Building"
probably 1868
Volume: 4 Letter book: USS Saginaw
1868 November 21 - 1869 March 14
Volume: 5 Night order books [3]: USS Vandalia
1879 - 1882
Volume: 6 General and fire quarters: USS Vandalia
1879 April 3 - 1882 January 2
Volume: 7 Letters and Orders 1
1879 January - June
Volume: 8 Letters and Orders 2
1879 July - November
Volume: 9 Letters and Orders 3
1879 December - 1880 March
Volume: 10 Letters and Orders 4
1880 April - July
Volume: 11 Letters and Orders 5
1880 August - November
Volume: 12 Letters and Orders 6
1880 December - 1881 April
Volume: 13 Letters and Orders 7
1881 May - July
Volume: 14 Letters and Orders 8
1881 August - November
Volume: 15 Remark Book and Journal, USS Vandalia
1881 June 11 - 1882 January 12
Volume: 16 Telegrams and letters, Virginia and Washington; Report on the Steamer Dolphin
1885 December 20 - 1886 March
Volume: 17 Manuscript of "Plane Sailing"
Undated

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