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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
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Celia Hartmann.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 09, 2019
Description is in English

Container List

Series 29. Edward Yorke McCauley (1845-1877)

Scope and Content

The series consists of McCauley's illustrated seamanship and gunnery notebook, kept while he was a midshipman at Annapolis and including notes on astronomy, signals, and maneuvers; his illustrated and highly detailed diary kept aboard USS Powhatan during its visit to Japan under Commodore Matthew Perry; orders and telegrams received; as well as letterpress copies of official correspondence sent, most while McCauley commanded USS   Lackawanna as part of the Asiatic Squadron. The correspondence discusses personnel issues, local problems likely to affect American interests, and relations with Europeans and Americans in ports including Nagasaki and Yokohama, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong.

The correspondence received had been disbound from a scrapbook and numbered chronologically in red china marker, probably preparatory to microfilming.

The correspondence and the letterpress book (Volume 3) are available on microfilm.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

The 1854 diary was edited by Allan Cole and published in 1942 by Princeton University Press as "With Perry in Japan: The diary of Edward Y. McCauley" (DS809.U5 M2).

Biographical Note

Edward Yorke McCauley (1827-1894), born in Tripoli while his father served there as US Consul, had an illustrious naval career: serving on various vessels on the African coast in the 1850s, as part of the coastal blockade during the Civil War, and rising through the ranks of commander (1866), fleet captain and chief of staff of the North Atlantic Squadron (1867), captain (1872) while serving in the Pacific, commodore (1881), and rear admiral (1885). In 1881 he was elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society, and was the author of works on Egyptology including a dictionary of hieroglyphics published by the Society.

As a midshipman in 1852 he was aboard USS Powhatan, the flagship of Admiral Matthew Perry, when it departed Norfolk for Japan and entered Tokyo Bay on February 14, 1854. Perry oversaw signing of the first treaty with Japan on March 31, opening that country to commercial contact with the West.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital copy of the diary is available in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence received
1872 November 20 - 1873 June 20
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence received
1873 June 28 - November 14
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence received
1873 November 22 -1874 March 6
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence received
1874 March 16 - September 21
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence received
1874 Sept 29 - November 30
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Orders and telegrams
1874 October 28 - 1876 July 14
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Photoreproductions, color: Japan diary, 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Photoreproductions, black and white: Japan diary, 1854
Volume: 1 Seamanship and gunnery
1845 January 9 - 1847 April 14
Volume: 2 Diary

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital copy of the diary is available in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library.

1853 February 13 - 1854 June 10
Volume: 3 Letterpress book
1873 August - 1877 March

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