The Naval History Society

This short-lived organization had as a main purpose the collection of primary source material documenting the naval engagements of the 18th and 19th centuries. A brief history is online as well as a comprehensive finding aid. Under its auspices, some primary sources were published between 1911 and 1938; most are online: The logs of the Serapis–Alliance–Ariel, under the command of John Paul Jones, 1779-1780, with extracts from public documents, unpublished letters, and narratives (1911); Fanning’s narrative : the memoirs of Nathaniel Fanning, an officer of the revolutionary army, 1778-1783 (1912; repr 1968);  The despatches of Molyneux Shuldham, vice-admiral of the Blue and commander-in-chief of His Britannic Majesty’s ships in North America, January-July, 1776 (1913); Out-letters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, August, 1776-September, 1780 (2 vols., 1914); Letters and papers relating to the cruises of Gustavus Conyngham, a captain of the continental navy, 1777-1779 (1915); Catalogue of the books, mauscripts and prints and other memorabilia in the John S. Barnes memorial library of the Naval history society (1915); The Graves papers and other documents relating to the naval operations of the Yorktown campaign, July to October, 1781 (1916 – the spine reads “The Despatches of Thomas Graves, R.N., 1781 – but the title page is what is above); The papers of Francis Gregory Dallas, United States navy (1917); Confidential correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865 (2 vols., 1920); Letter-books and order-book of George, lord Rodney, admiral of the White squadron, 1780-1782 (2 vols., 1932); The life of William Bainbridge, esq. of the United States Navy (1931 or 32); and the multi-volume  Naval Documents related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France to which the Society contributed material (7 vols., 1935-38). Its annual report makes for illuminating reading, from its lists of founding members to its Congressional incorporation.

 

 

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