Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

John Van Duyn Southworth Papers, 1962-1970: Finding Aid

Published in July 1986

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 226
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: John Van Duyn Southworth Papers
  • Dates: 1962-1964
  • Size: 2.71 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes, 1 flat box)
  • Creator: Southworth, John Van Duyn, 1904-1986
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: John Van Duyn Southworth was an author, historian, editor and teacher. The papers consist of manuscript and proof copies of three of the four volumes of his naval history, War at Sea, as well as twenty-two original oil paintings of historic naval scenes painted by Southworth for inclusion in War at Sea.

Biography of John Van Duyn Southworth

John Van Duyn Southworth was born in Syracuse, New York on June 5, 1904, and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1922. After Phillips Exeter, he went on to receive a B.A. from Harvard University in 1926. Following graduation from Harvard, Southworth served as editor of the Iroquois Publishing Company in Syracuse from 1926 to 1935. Leaving Iroquois to pursue further education, he received an M.A. from Columbia University in 1936. In 1945, Southworth returned to Iroquois Publishing Company as editor. He became vice-president of the company in 1946 and served as president from 1950 to 1960. During the intervening years he taught at various schools in New York City and in Greenwich, Connecticut, as well as serving as Dean and head of the History Department of Hockway Junior College in Dallas, Texas, from 1943 to 1945.

Southworth wrote numerous books on American history, both alone and with his mother, Gertrude Southworth, or E. L. Thurston, including Old World History in Verse, Our Own United States, What About Communism, and a four-volume history entitled War at Sea. In addition to his books, Southworth also wrote educational motion picture and radio scripts, as well as articles for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

In addition to his writings, Southworth had several connections to the U.S. Navy. He was a long-time member of the United States Naval Institute, served as first president of the Syracuse Council of the Navy League, and was an honorary member of the crew of U.S.S. Lexington (Aircraft carrier : CVA-62). Southworth's son, John Van Duyn Southworth, Jr., was a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1954.

Southworth and his wife, Martha Bernard Collins, had three children. John Van Duyn Southworth died in 1986.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

The John Van Duyn Southworth Papers, comprising 2.71 linear feet of documentation, span from 1962 to 1970. The papers consist of manuscript and proof copies of three of the four volumes of his naval history, War at Sea, as well as original oil paintings of historic naval scenes painted by Southworth for inclusion in War at Sea.

Back to Top

Arrangement

The John Van Duyn Southworth Papers are organized into the following two series:

  • Series 1: Book Manuscripts, 1967-1970
  • Series 2: Oil Paintings, 1962-1964, undated
Back to Top

Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The John Van Duyn Southworth Papers 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.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of John Van Duyn Southworth.

Back to Top

Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Documentation pertaining to Southworth's novel, The Pirate from Rome, is available in the John Van Duyn Southworth Papers, 1963-1966, at Syracuse University's Special Collections Research Center.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

John Van Duyn Southworth Papers, MS 226

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

Southworth, John Van Duyn. War at Sea: The Ancient Fleets. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1968.

John Van Duyn Southworth Papers: An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University. Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in July 1986. Finding aid written in July 1986 and revised by David D'Onofrio in May 2014.

Back to Top

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

  • Naval history
  • Southworth, John Van Duyn, 1904-1986

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Oil paintings (visual works)
Back to Top

Contents List

Series 1: Book Manuscripts, 1967-1970 Boxes 1-3

Series Description

Manuscript drafts and proof copies of three volumes of Southworth's four-volume naval history, War at Sea.

Series Arrangement

Arranged by book title.

Box 1 Folder 1-2

War at Sea series typescripts - Book 1: The Ancient Fleets: The Story of Naval Warfare Under Oars, 2600 B.C.-1597 A.D., 1969

Box 1 Folder 3-5

War at Sea series typescripts - Book 2: The Age of Sails: The Story of Naval Warfare Under Sail, 1213 A.D.-1853, 1970

Box 2 Folder 1-2

War at Sea series typescripts - Book 3: The Age of Steam: Part One, The Story of Engine-Powered Naval Warfare, 1783-1936, 1970

Box 3 Folder 1

Book 1: The Ancient Fleets - Author's proof sheets, 1967

Box 3 Folder 2

Book 2: The Age of Sails - Author's proof sheets (Set 1), 1968

Box 3 Folder 3

Book 2: The Age of Sails - Author's proof sheets (Set 2), 1968

Box 3 Folder 4

Book 2: The Age of Sails - Author's proof sheets (Set 3), undated

Back to Top

Series 2: Oil Paintings, 1962-1964, undated Boxes 4-5[OS]

Series Description

Oil paintings, painted by Southworth, depicting various naval scenes, spanning from ancient times to World War II, including such battles as the Battle of Salamis, the Battle of Yalu, the Battle of Tsushima, and the Battle of Surigao Straits. The paintings were used as the original artwork for Southworth's War at Sea.

Series Arrangement

Arranged by item number.

Box 5[OS] Folder 1

No. 1 - Magellan's flagship Victoria threads its way through the Strait of Magellan toward the Pacific Ocean, 1520 (12"x16"), undated

Box 4 Folder 1

No. 2 - Confederate Submarine Hunley (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 2

No. 3 - Chinese battleships Ting Yen and Chen Yuen under attack by Japanese cruisers during the Battle of the Yalu, September 17, 1894 (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 3

No. 4 - Greek triaconter in a storm, 5th century B.C. (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 4

No. 5 - Timberclad gunboat Lexington leads the Union squadron through the gap in the Red River dam, May 9, 1864 (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 5

No. 6 - Roman merchant vessel and quinquereme of the 1st century B.C. (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 6

No. 7 - Norse drakkars (dragon ships) of the 10th century A.D. (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 7

No. 8 - "Illuminate the Target!" Scharnhorst is revealed in the glare of Belfast's starshell, December 26, 1943 (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 8

No. 9 - Spanish galleon in heavy weather, early 16th century (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 9

No. 10 - Trireme of Ameinias strikes the first blow in the Battle of Salamis by ramming a Persian galley, 480 B.C. (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 10

No. 11 - Phoenician warship of the 7th century B.C. (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 11

No. 12 - Light cruiser Richmond leads the American battle line in the Battle of the Komandorskies, March 7, 1943 (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 12

No. 13 - Russian destroyer Buiny rescues wounded Admiral Rozhdestvensky from his sinking flagship Souvaroff, Battle of Tsushima, May 27, 1905 (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 13

No. 14 - Liburnian Satyr, 1st century B.C. (9"x12"), 1962 November

Box 4 Folder 14

No. 15 - U.S.S. Demologos (later renamed Fulton) the world's first steam-driven warship, 1815 (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 15

No. 16 - Armored Korean "Turtle Ship" of the 16th century attacking a Japanese junk (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 16

No. 17 - Massachusetts Province Snow Prince of Orange pursuing French sloop-of-war Succes, June 25, 1744 (9"x12"), 1964 January

Box 4 Folder 17

No. 18 - Dromon of the Eastern Roman Empire attacking a Mohammedan galley by means of Greek fire, 7th century A.D. (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 18

No. 19 - Old U.S. battleships off Surigao Strait (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 19

No. 20 - Warship of Ramses III attacking a ship of the Sea People (9"x12"), undated

Box 4 Folder 20

No. 21 - English warship of the early 13th century (9"x12"), undated

Box 5[OS] Folder 2

No. 22 - British 100-gun ship-of-the-line and an American 44-gun frigate pass off Gibraltar, late 1700's (12"x16"), undated

Back to Top