Samuel W. Bryant Notebook, 1893-1896: Finding Aid
Published in November 2018
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 181
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Samuel W. Bryant Notebook
- Dates: 1893-1896
- Size: 0.21 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 half-manuscript box
- Creator: Bryant, Samuel W., 1877-1938
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Samuel Wood Bryant was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1900 (originally Class of 1897). The notebook, kept by Bryant during his time as a member of the Class of 1897, opens with a log of the midshipman summer cruise aboard U.S.S. Constellation. The notebook also includes pages of seamanship notes on rigging, as well as mathematical and navigational notes and equations. The volume also includes invitations to Naval Academy winter hops and a clipping on the loss of U.S.S. Kearsarge.
Biographical Chronology of Samuel Wood Bryant
- Born on May 24 in Washington, Pennsylvania to William C. and Sarah McLean Bryant
- On May 19, admitted to the United States Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1897 from Pennsylvania's 24th Congressional District.
- On September 5, readmitted to the United States Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1900.
- In June, assigned to U.S.S. Massachusetts (Battleship: BB-2) and serves during the bombardment of Santiago in the Spanish-American War.
- Completes the academic course at the United States Naval Academy.
- Attached to U.S.S. New York (Armored cruiser: ACR-2).
- On September 1, transfers to U.S.S. Yankton (Schooner).
- Attached to U.S.S. Illinois (Battleship: BB-7).
- Officially graduates from the United States Naval Academy and is commissioned as an Ensign.
- On September 19, attached to U.S.S. Nashville (Gunboat: PG-7) as Watch and Division Officer.
- On December 30, transfers to U.S.S. Machias (Gunboat: PG-5).
- In April, transfers to U.S.S. Marblehead (Cruiser: C-11), followed by duty aboard U.S.S. Preble (Destroyer: DD-12), U.S.S. Lawton (Transport), and U.S.S. Buffalo (Auxiliary cruiser).
- In October, detached for duty at the Naval Academy as an instructor in Navigation.
- In June, attached to U.S.S. Nebraska (Battleship: BB-14).
- On October 28, assumes command of U.S.S. Yankton.
- On May 31, detached for instruction at the Naval War College.
- On October 4, reports to the Naval Radio Station, Virginia.
- On November 10, assumes duty as Assistant to the Superintendent of the Radio Station.
- On January 24, assumes command of the newly commissioned U.S.S. Allen (Destroyer: DD-66).
- In December, appointed Aide on the Staff of Commander U.S. Destroyer Flotillas Operating in European Waters.
- On August 29, detached to fit out U.S.S. Gamble (Destroyer: DD-123).
- On November 4, assumes command of Destroyers based out of Norfolk, Virginia.
- On February 7, assumes command of Flotilla B and Destroyers based at Charleston, South Carolina.
- In June, ordered to Washington, D.C. for duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Office of Naval Communications.
- On June 1, detached to assumed command of Destroyer Division 39, Atlantic Fleet.
- In December, assigned additional duty as Assistant to the Naval Advisor to the American Delegate to the International Commission on Rules of Warfare at the Hague.
- On November 23, detached from Destroyer Division 39.
- On December 11, assumes duty as Assistant Director of the Office of Naval Communications.
- On May 31, detached for instruction at the Naval War College.
- In May, completes the course at the Naval War College and joins the War College Staff.
- On July 26, detached from the War College to assume command of U.S.S. Detroit (Light cruiser: CL-8).
- In July, transfers to the staff of the Naval War College.
- On June 13, appointed Chief of Staff to Commander Scouting Fleet.
- On July 7, reports as Officer in Charge of the War Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
- On September 4, assumes command of Battleship Division Two, Battle Force, with the rank of Rear Admiral.
- On March 30, detached to become Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet.
- On August 30, detached as Chief of Staff, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet.
- Hospitalized with long term illness until December 1936.
- On March 1, transferred to the Retired List.
- On November 4, dies in Asheville, North Carolina and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Description of Contents
The Samuel W. Bryant Notebook, comprising 0.21 linear feet of documentation, spans from 1893 to 1896. The notebook, kept by Bryant during his time as a member of the Class of 1897, opens with a log of the midshipmen summer cruise aboard U.S.S. Constellation. The notebook also includes pages of seamanship notes on rigging, as well as mathematical and navigational notes and equations. The volume also includes invitations to Naval Academy winter hops and a clipping on the loss of U.S.S. Kearsarge.
The first eleven pages of the notebook, comprising Bryant' log of the summer practice cruise of 1893 aboard U.S.S. Constellation, consists of daily entries from June 3 through August 21. The entries primarily note daily weather, wind, and sea conditions, as well as the ship's location, which ranged from Annapolis and Hampton Roads to the Azores and Portugal. Other events noted in the log include drills, salutes to foreign vessels, shore leave at Funchal, and the death of a sailor from Brooklyn named Gilkey (June 7). A typescript of Bryant's log is filed separately.
Following the end of the log, the notebook houses primarily academic and professional notes, beginning with seven pages on the procedures for fitting and reeving a ship's various braces, followed by several sketches of rigging blocks. These notes are followed by eighty-eight pages of mathematics and geometry notes and equations. Following four pages that serve as a scrapbook for dance invitations, the notebook resumes with two pages of notes on steam engines, and two pages devoted to the Constitution and the duties of a naval officer. The notebook closes with three additional pages of mathematics notes.
Inside the notebook's front cover is an article from Frank Leslie's Weekly entitled "the Loss of the 'Kearsarge'."
The Samuel W. Bryant Notebook is organized into two files by document type.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The Samuel W. Bryant Notebook 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
Typescript of Bryant's practice cruise log originally donated to the Naval Academy Alumni Association, date unknown. Transferred to the Naval Academy Archives in 1983 and from the Alumni Memorabilia section of the Naval Academy Archives in November 2018.
Provenance and Acquisition
Gifts of Samuel W. Bryant, Jr. in 1979 and the Naval Academy Alumni Association in August 1983. Accession No. 79-006.
Related Archival Material
Additional material pertaining to Samuel W. Bryant in this repository includes his Conduct Record and Alumni Jacket available in the Naval Academy Archives.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
Samuel W. Bryant Notebook, Ms 181
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
Bryant, Samuel Wood, Alumni Jackets, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in November 2018. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in November 2018.
Name and Subject Terms
- Bryant, Samuel W., 1877-1938
- Constellation (Sloop-of-war)
- Kearsarge (Screw sloop-of-war)
- Naval education -- United States
- Training-ships -- United States
- United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
- United States Naval Academy. Class of 1897
- Ships' logs