Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution, 1864: Finding Aid
Published in April 2020
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 126
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution
- Dates: 1864
- Size: 0.17 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 volume of 129 leaves
- Creator: Constitution (Frigate)
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: U.S.S. Constitution is one of the original six frigates of the United States Navy. The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution spans from January 19, 1864 to December 31, 1864 while Constitution was attached to the Naval Academy at Newport, Rhode Island as a school ship. The journal records weather conditions, watch changes, personnel movements, and midshipman activities. Tipped into the volume are several general orders, as well as orders for the Officer of the Day and the midshipman bathing schedule.
History of U.S.S. Constitution as a Training Vessel
U.S.S. Constitution, one of six frigates authorized by act of Congress, approved March 27, 1794, was designed by Joshua Humphreys and built at Hartt's Shipyard, Boston, Massachusetts, under the supervision of George Claghorn with Captain Samuel Nicholson as inspector. She was launched on October 21, 1797 and christened by Captain James Sever. She put to sea for the first time on July 23, 1798, commanded by Captain Samuel Nicholson.
After sixty-two years of service and having seen action in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, as well as multiple tours as flagship of the U.S. Navy's various squadrons, Constitution was assigned to the United States Naval Academy as a training vessel in August 1860. When Superintendent George Blake evacuated the Naval Academy from Annapolis in April 1861, Constitution aided in the transportation of the Academy's effect to Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island. She would remain at Newport training midshipmen throughout the Civil War and take part in the Naval Academy's return to Annapolis.
Following a rebuild in 1871 at Philadelphia and duty in July 1877 to transport materials to the Paris Exposition, Constitution returned to duty as a training ship, cruising from the West Indies to Nova Scotia. In January 1882 she was placed out of commission and in 1884 was towed to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to become a receiving ship. Celebration of her centennial brought her to Boston in 1897, where she was retained in decommissioned status, before ultimately becoming a museum ship in 1907.
Description of Contents
The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution, comprising 0.17 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 129 leaves, spans from January 19, 1864 to December 31, 1864 while Constitution was attached to the Naval Academy at Newport, Rhode Island as a school ship. The journal records weather conditions, watch changes, personnel movements, and midshipman activities. Tipped into the volume are several general orders, as well as orders for the Officer of the Day and the midshipman bathing schedule.
The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution comprises a single volume.
Access and Use
Patron use restricted to microfilm.
Copyright and Permission
The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Location of Copies or Alternate Formats
This collection also available on microfilm.
Related Archival Material
Additional journals of the officer of the day for U.S.S. Constitution in this repository include MS 125 and MS 127. Additional documentation pertaining to Constitution's role as a school ship during the Civil War can be found in Office of the Superintendent/Correspondence: Letters Sent by Superintendent George S. Blake, RG 405.2.1 Entry 4.
Official logbooks of U.S.S. Constitution may be available in Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801 - 1940, Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798-2007 at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Constitution, MS 126
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
"Constitution." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2016, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/c/constitution.html.
This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in April 2020.
Name and Subject Terms
- Constitution (Frigate)
- Naval education -- United States
- Training-ships -- United States
- United States Naval Academy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- United States Naval Academy -- School ships
- United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Journals (accounts)
- Ships' logs