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Log of the U.S.S. Essex, 1881-1882: Finding Aid

Published in April 2020

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 129
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Log of the U.S.S. Essex
  • Dates: 1881-1882
  • Size: 0.15 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 193 leaves
  • Creator: Essex (Screw steamer)
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: U.S.S. Essex was a United States Navy screw steamer. The Log of the U.S.S. Essex spans from November 12, 1881 to November 30, 1882 while Essex was undergoing repairs and, later, attached to the Pacific Station.

History of U.S.S. Essex (Screw steamer)

The third U.S.S. Essex, a wooden screw steamer, was commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on October 3, 1876, Commander Winfield Scott Schley commanding, and reported to the North Atlantic Squadron.

During the following year, Essex cruised along the west coast of Africa and, in 1878 and 1879, joined the South Atlantic Squadron. She sailed on the Pacific Station from November 1881 to December 1882, and then on the Asiatic Station for two years, during which she took on board crew members of the shipwrecked Ranier. Following repairs, she returned to the Asiatic Station in June 1886 and in October anchored at Ponape, Caroline Islands, to afford protection to American missionaries during a native uprising. She returned to New York via the Suez Canal and was placed out of commission in May 1889.

Essex was designated next as a training ship. A three-month cruise with cadets at Annapolis in 1893 was followed by two lengthy tours to train naval apprentices (January 1894-April 1898, and September 1898-December 1903.) She was then lent to the Naval Militia of Ohio from 1904 to 1916, and served in the Ninth Naval District from 1917 to 1926. The Naval Reserve of the State of Minnesota used her as training ship from August 1927 until October 27, 1930, when she was stricken from the Navy List. She was sold on December 23, 1930.

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Description of Contents

The Log of the U.S.S. Essex, comprising 0.15 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 193 leaves, spans from November 12, 1881 to November 30, 1882 while Essex was undergoing repairs and, later, attached to the Pacific Station.

The logbook begins with a period of repairs at Norfolk, followed by Essex's cruise to ports including Funchal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Monvrovia, Montevideo, various ports in the Straits of Magellan, Valparaiso, Coquimbo, Iquique, and Callao. Essex's South American calls were undertaking as part of her duties with the Pacific Station. The log records the ship's course, speed, location, weather conditions, and daily occurrences such as watches and personnel matters.

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The Log of the U.S.S. Essex comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The Log of the U.S.S. Essex 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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition


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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

This collection also available on microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Additional documentation pertaining to U.S.S. Essex in this repository can be found in the Winfield Scott Schley Naval Papers, 1869-1892, MS 3.

Official logbooks of U.S.S. Essex 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.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Log of the U.S.S. Essex, MS 129

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

"Essex III (Wooden Screw Steamer)." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015,

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in April 2020.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Essex (Screw steamer)
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • United States. Navy. Pacific Squadron

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Ships' logs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Log of the U.S.S. Essex, 1881-1882

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