Arthur Henry Clarke Letters, 1878-1887: Finding Aid
Published in 1992
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 273
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Arthur Henry Clarke Letters
- Dates: 1878-1887
- Size: 0.75 linear inches (8 folders)
- Creator: Clarke, Arthur Henry, 1860-1887
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Arthur Henry Clarke was an officer in the United States Marine Corps and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1882. The Arthur Henry Clarke Letters, spanning from 1878 to 1887, focus on Clarke's service aboard U.S.S. Hartford and Lackawanna during his two years sea service following his completion of the Academic program at the Naval Academy, and his service aboard U.S.S. Iroquois as a newly minted second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
Biography of Arthur Henry Clarke
Arthur Henry Clarke, the only son of Henry W. Clarke, was born in Newport, Rhode Island on August 20, 1860 and attended Rogers High School. A resident of, and appointee from, Rhode Island, Clarke was admitted to the Naval Academy on October 1, 1878 as a Cadet Engineer. After graduating on June 10, 1882, Clarke served aboard the U.S.S. Hartford (Screw sloop-of-war) from 1882 to 1883 and aboard the U.S.S. Lackawanna (Screw sloop-of-war) from 1883 to 1884.
Due to the severely restricted number of commissions available for Cadet Engineers, Clarke joined the United States Marine Corps on July 1, 1884. Second Lieutenant Clarke was subsequently stationed at the Marine Barracks in Pensacola. The following year, 1885, Clarke received command of the Marine guard aboard U.S.S. Iroquois (Steam sloop-of-war). Arthur Henry Clarke died aboard U.S.S. Iroquois at Panama on May 7, 1887.
Description of Contents
The Arthur Henry Clarke Letters, comprising sixteen pieces of correspondence, are composed of the personal correspondence of Arthur Henry Clarke (1860-1887), U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1882. Spanning from 1878 to 1887, the letters were sent and received by Clarke during his two years sea service as recently graduated Cadet Engineer of the Naval Academy, and later, as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Included among the correspondence is a printed death memorial for USNA Cadet Engineer Edward K. Taylor, as well as a cabinet card photograph of Clarke in uniform.
Six of the letters in the collection were written by Clarke to his parents, with the remainder written by Clarke's mother, his friends, and various military officials. Clarke's letters offer accounts of his activities and experiences aboard the U.S. screw sloops-of-war Hartford and Lackawanna and the steam sloop-of-war Iroquois, and include his 1884 trip from Latin America to the U.S. as a passenger aboard the steamers Ayacucho and Colon. His letters include descriptions of the native peoples and places of Peru, Chile, and Tahita, and contain remarks on other islands of the Pacific, the Falkland Islands, and Guayaquil, Ecuador. Among his naval experiences, Clarke recounts how, in 1883, U.S.S. Hartford transported a scientific team to the Caroline Islands to observe an eclipse.
The Arthur Henry Clarke Letters are arranged alphabetically by document type, thereunder arranged chronologically.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The Arthur Henry Clarke Letters 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.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Purchased in February 1992. Accession No. 92-09.
Related Archival Material
Material pertaining to Clarke's time at the Naval Academy as a Cadet Engineer may be found in his Conduct Record and Alumni Jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection.
Processing and Other Information
Arthur Henry Clarke Letters, MS 273
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1992. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1992 and revised by David D'Onofrio in December 2013.
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
- Chile -- Description and travel
- Clarke, Arthur Henry, 1860-1887
- Hartford (Screw sloop-of-war)
- Iroquois (Steam sloop-of-war)
- Islands of the Pacific -- Description and travel
- Lackawanna (Screw sloop-of-war)
- Peru -- Description and travel
- Tahiti -- Description and travel
- Taylor, Edward Kenyon, 1860-1880
- United States Naval Academy. Class of 1882
- Clippings (information artifacts)
Arthur Clarke to Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, 1882 December 26-1883 January 2
U.S.S. Hartford off Valparaiso, Chile. Passage to Valparaiso, Chile, difficulties in obtaining horses at Punta Arenas, visit to a local schoolhouse, plans for future examinations of Cadet Engineers, the Falkland Islands, and descriptions of South American natives as savages.
Arthur Clarke to Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, 1883 March14-22
U.S.S. Hartford off Callao, Peru. Italian ship decorations, Peruvian-Chilean-American relations, American ships a "disgrace" compared to foreign vessels, impending eclipse, description of Lima, Peru, and examination of Naval Cadets of the Class of 1881.
Arthur Clarke to Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, 1883 March 29-May 4
U.S.S. Hartford at sea. Transporting scientific team for eclipse observation, state of the ship's sheep, Navy Bill limiting commissions of Naval Cadets to ten, descriptions of Lima and Callao, description of Tahiti and Tahitian natives, and landing eclipse observation team in the Caroline Islands.
Arthur Clarke to Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, 1884 April 30-May 26
U.S.S. Lackawanna off Callao, Peru. Fear of being discharged from the Navy, travel home via the steamer Ayacucho and rail over the isthmus, orders to report to Annapolis for examination, homes and peoples (described as lazy) in Guayaquil, parents' efforts to secure Arthur a commission in the Army, and potential of Cadet Engineers refusing examination.