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Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class, 1835: 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
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 194
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class
  • Dates: 1835
  • Size: 0.07 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 28 leaves
  • Creator: Humphreys, Samuel, 1778-1846
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Samuel Humphreys was an American naval architect. Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class were written in 1835 by Samuel Humphreys, during which time Humphreys was serving as Chief Constructor of the United States Navy.

Biography of Samuel Humphreys

Samuel Humphreys, son of Joshua Humphreys who designed the U.S. Navy's original six frigates, was born in 1778. In 1824, while already in the employ of the United States Navy as a constructor, Humphreys was offered, and declined, the job of building a navy for Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Two years later, he assumed the role of Chief Constructor for the United States Navy, a position he held until his death in 1846.

During his career, Humphreys designed, built, or supervised the construction of ships-of-the-line U.S.S. Franklin, U.S.S. North Carolina, and U.S.S. Pennsylvania; the store ship U.S.S. Relief; and the frigate U.S.S. Philadelphia. He also built, at the direction of President John Adams, the schooner Hassan Bashaw for the Dey of Algiers.

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Description of Contents

Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class, comprising 0.07 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 28 leaves, were written in 1835 by Samuel Humphreys, during which time Humphreys was serving as Chief Constructor of the United States Navy.

The volume includes instructions for cutting timber for floor timbers, futtocks, top timbers, and transoms, as well as diagrams of breast hooks. The last page of the volume is signed by both Humphreys and Captain John Rodgers.

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Arrangement

The Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class comprise a single volume.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class are 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

Transfer from the U.S. Naval Lyceum. Accessioned on June 7, 1926. Accession No. 63686.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Samuel Humphreys in this repository includes the Samuel Humphreys Letterbook, 1824-1845, MS 146; and an 1843 letter from Charles W. Goldsborough, MS VF 16.

Documentation of Humphreys' designs can be found in the Collection of Ship Plans and Drawings by John Lenthall's Mentors, 1790-1853 at the Independence Seaport Museum. Additional material pertaining to Humphreys' family can be found in the Humphreys Family Papers, 1840-1918 at the University of North Carolina.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class, MS 194

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

Navy Department. Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959-1981.

"Samuel Humphreys, Esq." Army and Navy Chronicle 5, no. 4 (July 27, 1837): 52.

"Samuel Humphreys, Chief Naval Constructor of the United States." The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 8 (June 1884): 216-222.

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

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Frigates -- Design and construction
  • Frigates -- United States
  • Humphreys, Samuel, 1778-1846
  • Naval architecture -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Shipbuilding -- United States

Genre Terms

  • Handbooks
  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Directions for cutting Timber for a Frigate of the first Class, 1835

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