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Nimitz Library

Alfred Gosling Diary, 1867-1868: Finding Aid

Published in 1990

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 251
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Alfred Gosling Diary
  • Dates: 1867-1868
  • Size: 0.08 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 55 leaves
  • Creator: Gosling, Alfred
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Alfred Gosling was a seaman who served in the United States Navy's North Pacific Squadron. The Gosling Diary contains entries dating between September 26, 1867 and July 22, 1868 pertaining to Gosling's everyday shipboard life while serving as a cook and steward, possibly aboard U.S.S. Jamestown (Sloop), based at Sitka, Alaska.

Biography of Alfred Gosling

Alfred Gosling was a seaman who served in the United States Navy's North Pacific Squadron as a steward and a cook. According to information supplied by his descendents, Gosling was an Englishman by birth, born Alfred Peskett. Peskett assumed his mother's maiden name, Gosling, upon enlisting in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge from the Navy, Alfred Gosling moved to Milwaukee, where he lived for the remainder of his life.

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Description of Contents

The Alfred Gosling Diary comprises a single volume spanning from 1867 through 1868, with bulk of the entries dating between September 26, 1867 and July 22, 1868. The entries cover Gosling's everyday shipboard life while serving as a cook and steward, possibly aboard U.S.S. Jamestown (Sloop), based at Sitka, Alaska.

Gosling's diary entries cover his naval duties and chores; arrivals, departures, and activities of other ships; daily weather; shipboard injuries to crew members; boat races; whiskey and drunkenness; offences and punishment of seamen; and his departure trip on various vessels to his port of discharge from the Navy. Specific entries include the turning over of the town of Sitka by the U.S. to Russia (1867 October 18); a "fearful gale" and its damage to ships (1867 October 27-29); the court-martial of three men from U.S.S. Resaca (Steamer) for sodomy (1867 December 9); Christmas dinner and activities (1867 December 25); U.S. Navy seamen doing paid work on merchant ships (1868 January 1); transport of Russian soldiers to Siberia (1868 January 23); possibility of discharge from the U.S. Navy and deliveries from U.S.S. Saginaw (1868 May 7-8); shipboard Independence Day celebrations (1868 July 4); and Gosling's discharge from the Navy (1868 July 21).

In addition to the daily entries, Gosling's diary includes his personal Accounts, dated April 1867; a U.S.S. Jamestown Clothing List, dated September 1, 1867; a recipe for hair growth oil, dated October 1867; and a list of prices. The diary also includes the inscription: Alfred Gosling, U.S.S. Mohongo, Acapulco, Mexico, March 4th 1867.

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The Alfred Gosling Diary comprises a single volume. Entries within the diary are arranged chronologically.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Alfred Gosling Diary 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

Gift of Roger L. Bond by way of Paul Stillwell in February 1990. Accession No. 90-10.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

There are no other known collections of papers of Alfred Gosling. Additional material pertaining to the North Pacific Squadron around the time of Gosling's service can be found in the Register of Letters, North Pacific Squadron, 1869, MS 292 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

Alfred Gosling Diary, MS 251

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1990. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1990 and revised by David D'Onofrio in January 2014.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Gosling, Alfred
  • Sitka (Alaska)
  • United States. Navy -- Sea Life
  • United States. Navy. Pacific Squadron

Genre Terms

  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Alfred Gosling Diary, 1867-1868

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