Guide to the Caspar Frederick Goodrich Papers, 1907-1925
A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029
Prepared by: Jennifer A. Bryan
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
Caspar Frederick Goodrich was a career naval officer, retiring with the rank of rear admiral. He graduated first in the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1865, whose commencement was held in November 1864. From 1871 to 1874, he taught physics and chemistry at the Naval Academy. During this time, he helped found the U.S. Naval Institute, serving as president of that organization from 1904 to 1909. He was also a founder of the Naval War College, assuming the presidency of the school in 1889 and 1897-98, as well as being among its regular lecturers.
Goodrich was naval attaché to General Sir Garnet Wolsley during the British bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt in 1882. During the Spanish-American War, he was involved in the action at Santiago, Cuba. After duty as commandant of the New York Navy Yard from 1907 to 1909, he retired on 7 January 1909. He briefly returned to duty as commander of the Naval Training Unit and Pay-Officers Material School at Princeton University in 1918.
Considered an intellectual in naval circles, Goodrich authored several books and numerous articles, especially for the Naval Institute's Proceedings. From 1914 to 1916, he was president of the Naval Historical Society, another institution that he helped to organize. He died in Princeton, New Jersey on 26 December 1925 at the age of 78.
Scope and Content Note
The papers span the period 1907 to 1925, with the majority of the material dating from 1907 to 1910. The bulk of the collection consists of invitations. There is some correspondence, including letters from Oliver O. Howard, Leonard Wood, Woodrow Wilson, and naval officers William S. Sims, John E. Pillsbury, and George Dewey. Pillsbury's letter asks Goodrich to be the Navy's representative at the International Historical Conference on the Peninsular War and its Epoch held at Saragosa, Spain in October 1908. Goodrich's eighteen-page report on the conference, taken from his diary, provides more detailed information on the functions surrounding the official meetings than on the meetings themselves.
Other items of interest are four documents related to King Victor Emmanuel III's decoration of Goodrich as a Grand Officer of the Crown of Italy, an invitation from the Japan Society of New York for a luncheon in honor of Admiral Yamamoto, an invitation from the Ohio Society of New York to meet President-elect William Howard Taft, tickets to the inauguration of Charles Evans Hughes as governor of New York, an invitation for the launching of the U.S.S. Florida (BB-30), and three menus.
Another item related to Rear Admiral Goodrich in the Special Collections & Archives Department is the Caspar Frederick Goodrich Scrapbook, MS 184.
Additional manuscript material may be found at Princeton University, Mudd Manuscript Library in the Admiral Caspar Frederick Goodrich papers on the Princeton University Naval Training Unit, 1918-1920 (http://diglib.princeton.edu/ead/getEad?id=ark:/88435/cf95jb47n) and in the Stevens Institute Archives (http://stevens.cdmhost.com/index.php).