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George M. Blodgett Papers, 1851-1984 (bulk 1856-1862): Finding Aid

Published in 1991

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 267
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: George M. Blodgett Papers
  • Dates: 1851-1984
  • Bulk Dates: 1856-1862
  • Size: 0.21 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 half-manuscript box
  • Creator: Blodgett, George M., 1837-1862
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: George M. Blodgett was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1856. The George M. Blodgett Papers focus primarily on Blodgett's service aboard the steam frigate U.S.S. Wabash and the frigate U.S.S. John Adams, and include descriptions of the John Adams' cruise to Rio de Janeiro and China.

Biographical Chronology of George M. Blodgett

  • On May 28, is born in Huntington, Vermont to L. P. Blodgett, Postmaster.
  • On October 3, is appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Burlington, Vermont.
  • Graduates from the United States Naval Academy, ranked 14th out of 19 graduates.
  • On June 30, is promoted to Midshipman.
  • On August 1, is assigned to the steam frigate U.S.S. Wabash.
  • In February, is detached from U.S.S. Wabash and granted three months leave.
  • On March 15, is transferred to U.S.S. Colorado (Frigate).
  • On August 17, is transferred to U.S.S. Roanoke (Frigate).
  • On January 1, is detached from U.S.S. Roanoke.
  • On April 29, is promoted to Passed Midshipman and assigned to U.S.S. John Adams.
  • On September 5, is promoted to Master.
  • On February 3, is promoted to Lieutenant.
  • In January, is detached from U.S.S. John Adams and granted two weeks leave.
  • On February 5, is ordered to the receiving ship in Boston as an instructor in gunnery.
  • On February 18 is transferred to U.S.S. Sebago (Steamer).
  • On March 3, is ordered to Cairo, Illinois.
  • Receives command of U.S.S. Conestoga (Steamer) of the Mississippi Squadron.
  • On November 6, dies aboard U.S.S. Clara Dolsen (Steamer) at Cairo, Illinois from an illness.
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Description of Contents

The George M. Blodgett Papers, which span from 1851 to 1984 (bulk 1856-1862), focus primarily on Blodgett's service aboard the steam frigate U.S.S. Wabash and the frigate U.S.S. John Adams.

Included in the collection are a journal kept by Blodgett, three pieces of correspondence, a lock of Blodgett's hair, two photographs, and photocopies of National Archives material, such as Blodgett's service history.

Blodgett's journal, which accounts for nearly half of the collection, includes the Watch, Quarter, and Station Bills for U.S.S. Wabash and Blodgett's personal journal aboard U.S.S. John Adams. The journal chronicles the John Adams's cruise to Rio de Janeiro and Asia, and notes the vessels poor condition and steps taken to keep her seaworthy. Although the collection spans Blodgett's service in the Union Navy during the Civil War, the only document from the Civil War period is the official notice of Blodgett's death.

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The George M. Blodgett Papers are organized into the following five files:

  • File 1: Journal of George M. Blodgett, 1856-1860
  • File 2: Correspondence, 1859-1862
  • File 3: Lock of Blodgett's Hair, undated
  • File 4: Photocopies, 1851-1984
  • File 5: Photographs, 1862, undated
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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The George M. Blodgett 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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased from Scott Petersen in July 1989. Accession No. 89-26.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Blodgett's time at the Naval Academy may be found in his conduct record and alumni jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library. Materials pertaining to his time as captain of U.S.S. Conestoga during the Civil War are located in the George M. Blodgett Civil War Collection, MSS.07.20 at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies (

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

George M. Blodgett Papers, MS 267

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1991. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1991 and revised by David D'Onofrio in November 2013.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Blodgett, George M., 1837-1862
  • John Adams (Frigate)
  • United States. Navy -- Sea Life
  • Wabash (Frigate)

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Human hair
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
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Contents List

Journal of George M. Blodgett, 1856-1860 (approximate)

First page of the journal includes a summary of Blodgett's U.S. Navy career.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 1

Watch, Quarter and Station Bills of the U.S. Steam Frigate Wabash, Home Squadron, 1856-1858 (approximate)

Also includes the ship's fire bill, as well as procedures for man overboard, squaring yards in harbor, tacking and veering, loosing and furling of sails, mooring and unmooring, making sail and getting underway, and bringing ship to anchor.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 2

Journal of George M. Blodgett, USN, serving aboard the U.S. Ship John Adams, 1859 June-1860 November

Includes entries on the journey from Norfolk to Rio; John Adams condemned at Rio as unseaworthy; U.S. Navy survey declares John Adams good with exception of moderate leak; ship repairs; friction with Flag Officer Sands results in Captain Mason being sent home; visit to railroad and ship's ball in Rio (1859 November 12); John Adams to Capetown; friction between Blodgett and LT Barnet and Barnet's "whiskey" problem; passage to the East; port calls at Hong Kong, Fou Chou (?), Manila, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Batavia; and arrival at St. Helena (1860 November). Journal also includes notations on ship's location, winds, weather, social and official visits, names of naval officers, ship's encountered, and Blodgett's remarks on how "the Navy needs a war to revive its latent energies and spirit."

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Correspondence, 1859-1862

Box 1 Folder 2 Item 1

Blodgett to Aunt, 1859 July 21

U.S.S. John Adams at sea. New assignment to ship, Blodgett's duties, etc. ALS.

Box 1 Folder 2 Item 2

Blodgett to father [L. P. Blodgett], 1859 August 3

U.S.S. John Adams at Rio de Janeiro. Miscellaneous ship's news. ALS.

Box 1 Folder 2 Item 3

David Dixon Porter to Gideon Welles, 1862 November 7

Official notice of Blodgett's death. ALS.

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Box 1 Folder 3

Lock of Blodgett's Hair, undated

Likely taken at the time of Blodgett's death on 1862 November 6.

Box 1 Folder 4

Photocopies, 1851-1984

Biographical material, including copies from National Archives Record Groups 24 and 45, as well as several published sources. Includes Blodgett's acceptance of his appointment to the Naval Academy and excerpts from his records in the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

Box 1 Folder 5

Photographs, 1862, undated

Two cartes-de-visite of Blodgett in a Navy uniform.

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