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This webpage reproduces a section of
Thence Round Cape Horn

Robert Erwin Johnson

published by
United States Naval Institute
Annapolis, Maryland

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 p250  Bibliography

Most of the manuscript material which forms the basis for this work is found in the National Archives in Washington, D. C. Of much less importance are the manuscripts of the Naval Historical Foundation, deposited in the Library of Congress, and of the New‑York Historical Society. There are additional journals and letters of officers and men of the Pacific Squadron and Fleet in many public and private collections throughout the country, but few of these were consulted.

The Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library (ONRL), deposited in the National Archives, contains the official papers relating to the Pacific Station during the entire period of its existence, and so is the most valuable group of manuscripts. The following paragraphs contain a brief description of, and guide to, this material.

The correspondence of the Navy Department is included under several different headings. Since the practice of binding letters and documents into sizable volumes was followed for many years, much of the material pertaining to the nineteenth century is bound and partially indexed. However, some of the divisions are very general; for example, the volumes included under the heading Letters to Officers, Ships of War, March 1798–September 1868, contain letters from the Navy Department to officers serving afloat without regard to station or rank. Thus a familiarity with the names of officers and ships and the periods during which they served on a station is essential to a selection of those pertinent.

Later the ONRL began to store all papers in trays or file boxes according to their nature. The various Subject Files indicate trays of manuscripts as does the heading General Correspondence of the Office of the Secretary. The Area Files, on the other hand, are stored in larger file boxes.

Reports and dispatches from the commanders in chief of the Pacific Squadron are contained in Letters from Officers Commanding Squadrons, Pacific Squadron, February 1841–November 1886. All letters and dispatches were sent in duplicate during most of the nineteenth century, and many of the same letters are in the Area Nine File. The Area Files collectively are described as "Loose Papers Assembled from both Official and Private Sources and Combined to form a New Series, 1648‑1910." Area Nine includes "The Pacific Ocean east of Longitude 180° with tributary waters. Also the Arctic Ocean tributary to the Bering Strait." The Area Nine File is the sole source of letters from the commanders in chief for the period prior to 1841 and the years 1886‑1910. The  p251 afore-mentioned Pacific Squadron Letters are much more complete for the period which they cover. After 1910, the official reports of the commanders in chief, Pacific Fleet, are found in the Subject File, 1911‑1925, OX, Pacific Fleet Reports.

Extremely important collateral information is contained in the collection of Logs, Journals, and Diaries of Officers of the United States Navy at Sea and in the group of Letter Books of Officers of the United States Navy at Sea, March 1778–July 1908. In both collections it is necessary to choose the relevant volumes by name of officer or vessel.

Additional material relating to the Pacific Station is included among the Letters from Officers Commanding Expeditions and the volumes of correspondence of the Board of Navy Commissioners. The latter was an important administrative agency during the period of its existence, 1815‑1842.

The immense collection of logbooks contained in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel is useful mainly for substantiating matters of fact; the very number of volumes makes it impractical to use all of those which pertain to a period of more than a century. The same remark applies to the medical journals included in the Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and to the many volumes which comprise the Records of Courts-Martial and Courts of Inquiry in the Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

The documents of the Naval Historical Foundation in the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, consist mainly of private papers of naval officers. Several of these collections are relevant to this study, and the George G. Ridgely Collection is especially valuable because it includes that officer's journal of his cruise to the Pacific Ocean in the USS Constellation.

A few of the journals and letter books located in the Manuscript Section of the New‑York Historical Society pertain to the Pacific Station. While hardly comparable to the larger collections cited above, these manuscripts were of real value.

It is obvious that the manuscript collections hereafter cited do not exhaust the sources. A systematic search would reveal much more pertinent data, but the only serious lack of reliable sources was encountered with regard to war plans and similar strategic proposals. Unfortunately, the records of the General Board were unavailable to historians when this study was written, and the Secret and Confidential Files: War Plans, Information and Data, 1896‑1923, have not yet been declassified.

Primary Sources


The National Archives, War Records Branch, Navy Section

Area Nine File, 1814‑1910

Board of Navy Commissioners

Letters to the Secretary of the Navy, April 1815–August 1842

Letters to Officers, April 1815–July 1842

Confidential Letters Sent, February 1813–March 1822, January 1840

Confidential Letters Sent, September 1843–December 1879

General Correspondence of the Office of the Secretary

Pacific Fleet, 27383

 p252  Pacific Reserve Force, 28365

Pacific Torpedo Fleet, 27793

Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, 27368

Letter Books of Officers of the United States Navy at Sea, March 1778–July 1908

Correspondence of Commander Guert Gansevoort, commanding USS Decatur, October 1855–March 1856

Letters sent by Commo. Isaac Hull, commanding USS United States, November 1823–March 1827

Correspondence of Lieutenant James Charles P. de Krafft, October 1841–January 1861

Correspondence of Rear Admiral William Mervine, July 1836–August 1868

Correspondence of Commander John B. Montgomery, commanding USS Portsmouth, October 1844–November 1848

Letters sent by Actg. Rear Admiral George F. Pearson, commanding Pacific and South Pacific Squadrons, February‑December 1866

Correspondence of Commo. Robert F. Stockton, commanding USS Congress, 1845‑47

Correspondence of Capt. Daniel Turner, commanding USS Constitution, January 1839–November 1841

Letters from the Board of Navy Commissioners, January 1827–August 1842

Letters from Officers commanding Expeditions

Correspondence relating to the Cruises of Cyane, Franklin, Ontario, Peacock, and United States, January 1818–May 1827

Letters from M. Comdt. William B. Finch, commanding the Vincennes — July 1829–April 1830

Letters from Officers commanding Squadrons

Pacific Squadron, February 1841–November 1886

Letters to Officers commanding Squadrons or Vessels, September 1861–May 1886

Letters to Officers, Ships of War, March 1798–September 1868

Logs, Journals, and Diaries of Officers of the United States Navy at Sea

Journal of a Cruise in the United States' Frigate Brandywine, David Deacon, Esq., Commander, and in the U. S. schooner Boxer, Hugh N. Page, Esq., Commander. [April 1834–February 1837. Possibly kept by Midshipman James W. Read.]

Journal of U. S. Ship Portsmouth, J. B. Montgomery, Esq., Commander, from May 12, 1845, to October 5, 1846. [Probably kept by Midshipman Stanwix Gansevoort.]

Journal and Correspondence of Captain James Biddle, Commanding USS Ontario, October 4, 1817–April 23, 1819.

Cany, Charles E., Captain's Clerk, Captain's Log of U. S. Flagships California, Saranac, and Richmond, commanded by Captain J. C. P. DeKrafft, North Pacific Squadron [November 1872–February 1875].

Journal of Naval Cadet C. E. Courtney on USS Newark and other Ships, 1899‑1903.

Craven, Tunis A. M., Lieutenant, Journal and Observations of Events, during a Cruise in the U. S. Ship Dale of 16 guns [June 1846–April 1848].

 p253  Journal kept by Lieutenant Tunis Augustus M. Craven aboard USS Dale, commanded by Commander John Rudd — August 3, 1848–August 19, 1849.

Dornin, Thomas A., Private Journal on board USS Brandywine 1826‑28, Cruise in USS Vincennes 1829‑30, Remarks on board USS Falmouth 1831‑34, Extracts from Log of U. S. Merchant Ship Lausanne, on which Captain Dornin took passage from New York to join the Pacific Squadron, to assume command of U. S. Schooner Shark October 1841, Extract from Log of USS Shark 1841‑42, Extract from Log of USS Portsmouth, 1851‑52.

Dornin, Thomas A., Commander, Journal on board USS Portsmouth, 1852‑1855.

Gamble, William P., Journal of a Cruise in the U. S. Ship Fairfield, Elie A. F. [La] Vallette, Esqr., commanding [January 1834–August 1935].

Private Remarks of Lieutenant Charles Gauntt, of the U. S. Ship Macedonian, John Downes, Esqr., Commander, made during a Cruise in the Pacific Ocean in the Years 1818.19.20.21.

Journal kept by Cadet Midshipman A. W. Grant aboard USS Lackawanna, September 24, 1878–September 3, 1880, and aboard USS Iroquois, April 12, 1882–January 27, 1883.

Harrell, Abram Davis, Midshipman, Journal of a Cruise in the Pacific in the U. S. Line of Battle Ship North Carolina, Bearing the Broad Pendantº of Com. Henry E. Ballard, under Command of T. O. Selfridge, Esq., 1837‑38 & 39.

Journal kept by Midshipman Philip C. Johnson, Jr., aboard the Savannah and the Ohio, on a voyage from Boston to Monterey, California, December 14, 1846–November 14, 1848.

Log of Captain William Mervine, commanding U. S. Ships Cyane and Savannah, July 26, 1845, to November 16, 1846.

Extracts from Journal of William H. Meyers, Gunner on board USS Cyane 1841‑1843 on a Cruise to the Pacific and Return.

Journal of Cadet Midshipman Albert P. Niblack, USN, 1880‑1882 on board USS Lackawanna and USS Adams.

Journal of the USS Charleston, G. C. Remey, Captain commanding [December 1889–March 1892].

Reynolds, William, Commander, Remark Book of USS Lackawanna for the Cruise commencing 7th May 1866.

Journal of Midshipman Stephen C. Rowan, USS Vincennes 1825‑1827.

Selfridge, Thomas O., Jr., Midshipman, Journal of the Cruise of USS Independence in the Pacific Ocean, 1854‑1856.

Sharp, William, Midshipman, Remarks and Occurrences on board the U. S. Frigate United States, November 3, 1843, to January 18, 1845.

Taylor, Fitch W., the Reverend, The Razee. [Journal kept by the Chaplain of USS Independence, ca. 1854.]

Journals and notebooks of Lieutenant Henry A. Wise, USN, Cruise of USS Independence from Boston to the Pacific Ocean, September 19, 1846–March 2, 1849.

Office of the Secretary (including Chief of Naval Operations)

Confidential Correspondence, 1917‑1919 (declassified)

 p254  Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Medical Journal of USS Independence, December 25, 1847–September 26, 1848

Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel

Smooth Log of USS Savannah, September 23, 1844–June 28, 1846

Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General

Records of Courts Martial and Courts of Inquiry, Vols. XVII and LX

Secret and Confidential Correspondence of the Office of the Secretary, 1919‑1926 (declassified)

Subject File, 1775‑1910

VP, Protection of Individuals and Property Abroad

Subject File, 1911‑1927

IA, Pacific Fleet Circulars

ICA, Campaign Orders, Pacific Fleet

IMA, Movement Orders, Pacific Fleet

IPA, Operations Orders, Pacific Fleet

ISA, Sailing Orders, Pacific Fleet

IZA, Orders, Pacific Fleet

OS, Ship Movements

OX, Pacific Fleet Reports

Translations of Messages Sent in Cipher, October 1888–January 1910

The Library of Congress, Manuscript Division

Silas Casey Collection

Bladen Dulany Collection

William F. Fullam Collection

Henry C. Kane Collection

Charles G. Ridgely Collection

Thomas O. Selfridge Collection

Thomas H. Stevens Collection

The Library of the University of California at Los Angeles

Journal kept by Thomas Lancey of the Cruise of the Dale, June 6, 1846–March, 1849. Typescript from the original 3 vols. in the Cowan Collection.

Los Angeles Public Library

High Lights from the Log of the Savannah, 1845‑1846, by William P. Toler. Typewritten abstract from the original in the Los Angeles Public Library.

New‑York Historical Society, Manuscript Section

Caspar F. Goodrich Papers

Two private letters from Commodore Isaac Hull to Secretary of the Navy S. L. Southard, 31 January 1826 and 1 September 1826

Isaac Hull Letter Book No. 1, 25 October 1823–2 July 1827

Isaac Hull Letter Book No. 2, 25 October 1823º–7 November 1827

Isaac Hull Order Book, 24 November 1823–29 April 1827

Journal kept by Midshipman J. L. Parker during the Pacific Cruise of the USS Potomac, August 1831–June 1833

William T. Swinburne Correspondence

 p255  Miscellaneous

Private letters of Samuel Francis DuPont

Letter from Admiral Arthur J. Hepburn, USN (Ret.), to author, 28 November 1955


Allen, Gardner W. (ed.). The Papers of Isaac Hull. Boston: The Boston Athenaeum, 1929.

American Naval Policy as Outlined in Messages of the Presidents of the United States since 1790. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1922.

American State Papers, Naval Affairs. 4 vols. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1834‑61. [online: Vols. 1 2 3 4]

Anderson, Charles R. (ed.). Journal of a Cruise to the Pacific Ocean, 1842‑1844, in the Frigate United States. Durham: Duke University Press, 1937.

Bowen, Harold G., Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.). Ships, Machinery, and Mossbacks. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954.

Clark, Charles E., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). My Fifty Years in the Navy. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1917.

Coontz, Robert E., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret). From the Mississippi to the Sea. Philadelphia: Dorrance and Co., 1930.

Dana, Richard H., Jr. Two Years Before the Mast, with a supplement by the author and introduction and additional chapter by his son. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1911.

Daniels, Josephus. The Wilson Era: Years of War and After, 1917‑1921. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1946.

Dewey, George, Admiral of the Navy, USN. Autobiography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913.

Evans, Holden A. One Man's Fight for a Better Navy. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1940.

Evans, Robley D., Rear Admiral, USN. A Sailor's Log. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1901.

Fiske, Bradley A., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). From Midshipman to Rear Admiral. New York: The Century Co., 1919.

Franklin, Samuel R., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). Memories of a Rear Admiral. New York: Harper and Bros., 1898.

Halsey, William F., Fleet Admiral, USN, and Bryan, J., III. Admiral Halsey's Story. New York: McGraw Hill Book Co., 1947.

Hammond, George P. (ed.). The Larkin Papers. 5 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951‑55.

Mahan, Alfred T., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). From Sail to Steam. New York: Harper and Bros., 1907.

Maxwell, R. T. A Visit to Monterey in 1842. ed. John H. Kemble. ("Early California Travels Series," Vol. XXV.) Los Angeles: Glen Dawson, 1955.

Melville, Herman. White Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of‑War. New York: Harper and Bros., 1850.

Mercier, Henry J. Life in a Man-of‑War; or, Scenes in "Old Ironsides" during her Cruise in the Pacific. by a Foretop‑man. Philadelphia: 1841.

Naval Investigation, 1920. 2 vols. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1921.

 p256  Paulding, Hiram, Lieutenant, USN. Journal of a Cruise of the United States Schooner Dolphin, among the Islands of the Pacific Ocean; and a Visit to the Mulgrave Islands, in Pursuit of the Mutineers of the Whale Ship Globe. New York: G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1831.

Register of the Commissioned, Warrant, and Volunteer Officers of the Navy of the United States, including Officers of the Marine Corps and Others, 1821‑1923.

Regulations, Circulars, Orders, and Decisions, for the Guide of Officers of the Navy of the United States. Washington: C. Alexander, 1851.

Reynolds, J. N. Voyage of the United States Frigate Potomac, under the Command of Commodore John Downes, during the Circumnavigation of the Globe, in the Years 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1834. New York: Harper and Bros., 1835.

Rodman, Hugh, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). Yarns of a Kentucky Admiral. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1928.

Rules of the Navy Department regulating the Civil Administration of the Navy of the United States. Washington: Globe Office, 1832.

Ruschenberger, W. S. W. Three Years in the Pacific; Including Notices of Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. By an officer of the USN. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1834.

Schley, Winfield S., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). Forty-five Years under the Flag. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1904.

Secretary of the Navy. Annual Reports, 1823‑1924.

Ships' Data: U. S. Naval Vessels. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1893‑1923.

Warriner, Francis. Cruise of the United States Frigate Potomac Round the World During the Years 1831‑1834. New York: Leavitt, Lord & Co., 1835.

Wiley, Henry A., Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.). An Admiral from Texas. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1934.

Wilkes, Charles, Lieutenant, USN. Synopsis of the Cruise of the U. S. Exploring Expedition, during the Years 1838, '39, '40, '41, and '42; delivered before the National Institute on June 20, 1842. Washington: Peter Force, 1842.

–––––––––––––. Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1845. 5 vols.

Wise, Henry A., Lieutenant, USN. Los Gringos. New York: Baker and Scribner, 1849.

Young, Lucien, Lieutenant, USN. The Boston at Hawaii; or, Observations and Impressions of a Naval Officer during a Stay of Fourteen Months in those Islands on a Man-of‑War. Washington: Gibson Bros., 1898.


Duvall, Robert C. "Extracts from the Log of the U. S. Frigate Savannah Kept by Robert Carson Duvall," California Historical Society Quarterly, III (1924), 105‑25.

Rowan, Stephen C., Lieutenant, USN. "Recollections of the Mexican War," ed. George W. Tyler, U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, XLV (1919), 539‑59.​a

Stapler, John, Lieutenant, USN. "Gunboats," U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, XLII (1916), 861‑72.

 p257  Taussig, J. K., Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.). "We Chopped Wood," U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, LXX (1944), 639‑43.


Los Angeles Times, 1920‑23.

New York Times, 1920‑23.

Secondary Sources


Albion, Robert G., and Pope, Jennie B. Sea Lanes in Wartime: The American Experience, 1775‑1942. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1942.

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Bailey, Thomas A. A Diplomacy History of the American People. 4th ed. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1950.

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Bradley, Harold W. The American Frontier in Hawaii: The Pioneers, 1789‑1843. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1942.

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Clinard, Outten J. Japan's Influence on American Naval Power. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1947.

Cole, Allan B. (ed.). Yankee Surveyors in the Shogun's Seas; Records of the United States Surveying Expedition to the North Pacific Ocean, 1853‑1856. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947.

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 p258  Dulles, Foster R. America in the Pacific: A Century of Expansion. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1932.

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 p259  Pomeroy, Earl S. Pacific Outpost: American Strategy in Guam and Micronesia. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951.

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Stevens, Sylvester K. American Expansion in Hawaii, 1842‑1898. Harrisburg: Archives Publishing Co. of Pennsylvania, 1945.

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 p260  Daley, R. F., Second Lieutenant, USMC. "The Attack on Quallah-Battoo," U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, LXXIX (1953), 767‑71.

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Thayer's Note:

a Despite what one also sees elsewhere, the citation appears not to be correct. (The issue of the Proceedings which contains these pages is online, and the article is not in it, at any page.) I believe the correct citation is U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, XLVI (1920), 530 — but I've been unable to confirm it, not having found Vol. XLV online anywhere.

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