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Michael Hodge Navigation Book, 1759: 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 148
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Michael Hodge Navigation Book
  • Dates: 1759
  • Size: 0.09 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 39 leaves
  • Creator: Hodge, Michael, 1743-1816
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Michael Hodge was a merchant marine captain and customs officer who served during the Revolutionary War. The Michael Hodge Navigation Book was written in 1759. The volume, kept by Hodge, consists of navigational problems, followed by several leaves of journal entries from cruises to Barbados and Halifax.

Biography of Michael Hodge

Michael Hodge, son of Captain Charles Hodge of Newburyport, Massachusetts, was born in 1743. A merchant marine captain by trade, Hodge also served as Town Clerk at Newburyport from 1770 until 1789. During the Revolutionary War, he served with General John Glover's Marblehead Regiment, and as an artillery first lieutenant in 1778. Both during and after the War, Hodge also served as Naval Officer of Customs, a post he held until 1789. In 1789, he was appointed Surveyor of the Port of Entry at Newburyport, where his responsibilities would have included the supervision of port "inspectors, weighers, measurers, and gaugers," as well as the inspection of distilled spirits being imported. He resigned his post in 1809 in protest of the embargo in place at the time. Hodge died in June 1816.

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Description of Contents

The Michael Hodge Navigation Book, comprising 0.09 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 39 leaves, was written in 1759. The volume, kept by Hodge, consists of navigational problems, followed by several leaves of journal entries from cruises to Barbados and Halifax.

Hodge's book of navigation problems includes sections for geometrical problems, plane trigonometry, plain sailing, traverse sailing, parallel sailing, Mercator sailing, middle latitude, and oblique triangles. The final five leaves of the volume are devoted to a journal of a cruise aboard the schooner Charming Molley from Cape Ann to Barbados, spanning from February 15 to February 27, 1759, and a cruise aboard the schooner Friendship from Newbury to Halifax, spanning from July 4 to August 11, 1759. Tucked into the back of the volume is a brief biographical sketch of Hodge and his son. Attached to the back cover of the volume is a newspaper clipping from the Newburyport Herald pertaining to Hodge and the local customs house. The navigation section of the volume features two color illustrations.

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The Michael Hodge Navigation Book comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The Michael Hodge Navigation Book 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 material pertaining to or created by Michael Hodge can be found in the logbooks of the schooners Defiance and Sally at the Peabody Essex Museum, and in Hodge's Proof book no. 4, 1796-1798 at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Michael Hodge Navigation Book, MS 148

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

Ingrisano, Michael N., Jr. The First Officers of the United States Custom Service Appointed by George Washington in 1789. Washington: Department of the Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, 1987.

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

  • Charming Molley (Schooner)
  • Friendship (Schooner)
  • Hodge, Michael, 1743-1816
  • Navigation

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Notebooks
  • Ships' logs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Michael Hodge Navigation Book, 1759

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