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Great White Fleet Scrapbook, 1908-1945 (bulk 1908-1909): Finding Aid

Published in August 2010

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 219
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Great White Fleet Scrapbook
  • Dates: 1908-1945
  • Bulk Dates: 1908-1909
  • Size: 3.5 linear inches (2 boxes, 1 flat file)
  • Creator: Richards, Theodore W., 1870-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Theodore W. Richards was a surgeon in the U.S. Navy. Theodore W. Richards' Great White Fleet Scrapbook and its enclosures, span from 1908 until 1909, with several documents from 1916 and 1945. The scrapbook details the itinerary, crew activities, ports of call, and local reactions to the arrival of the United States Atlantic Fleet (commonly known as the Great White Fleet) during its cruise of 1907-1909. The enclosures include journal articles written by Richards on drowning and lighting aboard naval vessels.

Biography of Theodore Wright Richards

Theodore Wright Richards, born in Virginia on October 8, 1870, joined the United States Navy on November 12, 1894 as an assistant surgeon. As an assistant, and then passed assistant surgeon, Richards served at the Naval Laboratory in New York, aboard U.S.S. Machias (Gunboat: PG-5), and at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. On March 3, 1903, Richards was commissioned as a surgeon, after which he served aboard U.S.S. Arkansas (Battleship: BB-33), at Norfolk Naval Hospital, aboard U.S.S. Kansas (Battleship: BB-21), aboard U.S.S. Maine (Battleship: BB-10), and again at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery as Assistant to the Bureau. Later in his career, Richards served as a medical director with the rank of Captain, commanding the Naval Hospitals at Annapolis, Puget Sound, and Washington. Richards retired from the U.S. Navy on November 1, 1934.

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Description of Contents

Theodore W. Richards' Great White Fleet Scrapbook and its enclosures, comprising 3.5 linear inches of documentation, span from 1908 until 1909, with several documents from 1916 and 1945. The scrapbook details the itinerary, crew activities, ports of call, and local reactions to the arrival of the United States Atlantic Fleet (commonly known as the Great White Fleet) during its cruise of 1907-1909.

The scrapbook is composed of press clippings, invitations, itineraries, event programs, event tickets, letters, maps, postcards, poems, pamphlets, and admission/membership cards. In addition to the scrapbook, the collection also includes several journal articles and loose press clippings.

The Great White Fleet Scrapbook is the product of Richards' service aboard U.S.S. Kansas (Battleship: BB-21) during that ship's participation in the West Coast, Asian, and Mediterranean legs of the cruise of the Great White Fleet. The scrapbook covers port calls at San Francisco, California (May 1908); Seattle, Bellingham, and Tacoma, Washington (May 1908); Honolulu, Hawaii (July 1908); Auckland, New Zealand (August 1908); Sydney and Melbourne, Australia (August - September 1908); Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan (October 1908); Manila, Philippines (October and November 1908); Colombo, Ceylon (December 1908), Suez, Egypt (January 1909); Nice, France (January 1909); and Norfolk, Virginia (February 1909). For the various port calls, the scrapbook includes materials pertaining to receptions, banquets, dances, parades, and remarks by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. The scrapbook also includes materials relating to topics such as traditional Hawaiian sports; reactions to the fleet's arrival; landscapes and cityscapes of Australia and New Zealand; and comparisons between the Great White Fleet and Commodore Perry's mission to Japan. Among the various press clippings are political cartoons and caricatures depicting the fleet and its crew; President Theodore Roosevelt; and the native peoples of the various countries visited by the fleet. One clipping in the scrapbook pertains to the amphibious landing of American troops at Luzon in January 1945.

The enclosures, originally folded inside the back cover of the scrapbook, include additional press clippings, a map, and several journal articles written by Richards. The articles, originally published in the United States Naval Medical Bulletin, pertain to drowning during naval engagements and the quality of artificial light aboard naval vessels.

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Arrangement

The enclosures, originally folded inside the back cover of the scrapbook, have been removed from the volume and arranged alphabetically by document type.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Great White Fleet Scrapbook 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

Unknown.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional firsthand accounts of the Great White Fleet can be found in the Knight W. Wheeler Diaries, MS 349 in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Great White Fleet Scrapbook, MS 219

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1814-

Processing Information

This collection was originally processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1986 and reprocessed by David D'Onofrio in August 2010. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in August 2010.

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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

  • Richards, Theodore W., 1870-
  • United States. Navy -- Cruise, 1907-1909

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Ephemera
  • Invitations
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps (documents)
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 

Great White Fleet Scrapbook, 1908-1909, 1945

Box 2 Folder 1

Enclosures - Itinerary (Melbourne, Australia), 1908 August

Box 2 Folder 2

Enclosures - Journal Articles, 1912, 1916

Copies of "Loss of Life by Drowning in Naval Warfare" (1912) and "Studies Pertaining to Light on Shipboard" (Parts I and II, 1916).

Box MSOS Folder 1

Enclosures - Maps and Press Clippings, 1908-1909

Includes a diagram of the American fleet in Tokyo Bay; a map of Nice, France; and a newspaper clipping from The Japan Times.

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