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Daniel Jones Letters, 1860-1863: Finding Aid

Published in December 2008

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 317
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Daniel Jones Letters
  • Dates: 1860-1863
  • Size: 0.06 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 13 folders containing 13 items
  • Creator: Jones, Daniel, d. 1877
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: The Daniel Jones Letters span from 1860 to 1863. Written during Jones' service aboard the U.S. Ships Brooklyn and St. Louis, the letters focus primarily on domestic and personal matters, especially pertaining to Jones' family.

Biography of Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones was a career carpenter in the United States Navy. Appointed from Maine on December 9, 1847, Jones served as a ship's carpenter aboard the U.S. Ships Decatur, Macedonian, Brooklyn, and St. Louis, as well as at several shore installations.

Jones was first assigned to U.S.S. Decatur (Sloop-of-war), which from February 1848 to November 1849 was deployed to the African Squadron, protecting American commercial interests and tracking slave traders. Following a leave of absence and possibly shore duty, Jones was assigned to U.S.S. Macedonian (Frigate) from 1853 to 1856. After conversion to a sloop-of-war at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1852 to 1854, Macedonian was deployed with the East India Squadron, and participated in Commodore Matthew Perry's second visit to Japan, which resulted in the Convention of Kanagawa (March 31, 1854).

Following two years of service at the Naval Asylum in Philadelphia, Jones was attached to U.S.S. Brooklyn (Sloop-of-war) in 1860 (ca. February or March). Throughout the spring and summer of 1860, Brooklyn ferried American Minister to Mexico Robert M. McLane between various Mexican ports. By August, Brooklyn had been reassigned to a scientific expedition in search of a route across the isthmus of Chiriqui, Panama. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Brooklyn was stationed off of the mouth of the Mississippi River as part of the Union Navy's early Gulf coast blockading efforts, before being temporarily decommissioned in late fall, 1861.

Shortly after Brooklyn's decommissioning, Jones was attached to U.S.S. St. Louis (Sloop-of-war), which departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard on February 24, 1862 for Cadiz, Spain. Operating out of Cadiz and Lisbon, and ultimately under the command of George H. Preble, St. Louis hunted Confederate commerce raiders for over two years, before returning to domestic waters. Returning to Port Royal, South Carolina on November 26, 1864, St. Louis joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Three months later, in February 1865, Jones was detached from St. Louis and stationed at the Navy Yard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Jones retired from the Navy on July 27, 1869 and died eight years later, on June 5, 1877. Daniel Jones was married to Sarah A. Jones. Together, Daniel and Sarah Jones had at least four children, Daniel, Warren, Edwin, and Emily.

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Description of Contents

The Daniel Jones Letters, consisting of 13 hand-written documents, span from 1860 to 1863. Written during Jones' service aboard the U.S. Ships Brooklyn and St. Louis, the letters focus primarily on domestic and personal matters, especially pertaining to Jones' family.

The letters are arranged chronologically in a single series with no subdivisions, and are addressed exclusively to Jones' wife, Sarah. While Jones does make occasional mention of naval matters, such as personnel changes, pay and allotments, and the transportation of dignitaries, the primary focus is his family. In the letters, Jones frequently references drafts of money for his wife and children, and often offers counsel regarding his children's health, education, and career choices.

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Arranged chronologically in a single series with no subdivisions.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Daniel Jones 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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased on April 29, 1996.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Daniel Jones Letters, MS 317

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

Callahan, Edward William, List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900. New York: L. R. Hamersly and Co., 1901.

Navy Department. Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959-1981.

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 processed by David D'Onofrio in December 2008. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in December 2008. Original guide by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1996.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Jones, Daniel, d. 1877
  • Sailors -- United States -- Correspondence
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Naval operations

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Letter, 1860 May 4

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Transfer of money to one of his sons, and the need of tenants to pay their rent.

Box 1 Folder 2

Letter, 1860 May 8

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Transport of Minister to Mexico Robert Milligan McLane and his counsel to Veracruz.

Box 1 Folder 3

Letter, 1860 July 15

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Disembarkation of Robert Milligan McLane, and sailing en route Pensacola.

Box 1 Folder 4

Letter, 1860 August 3

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Transport of commissioners to Chiriqui, Panama, inquiries into Emily and Edwin's studies, and suggestion that the children read Rollins' Ancient History.

Box 1 Folder 5

Letter, 1860 August 11

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Transfer of $1,200 home, departure and transportation of twelve passengers to Aspinwall [Colon], Panama, and son Edwin's recent illness.

Box 1 Folder 6

Letter, 1860 December 3

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Navy not paying its allotments, and possibility of being detached from Brooklyn.

Box 1 Folder 7

Letter, 1861 August 8

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Son Edwin's failure to receive Naval appointment, opinions on minimal prospects for peace, and defeat of Union forces in Virginia [First Battle of Bull Run].

Box 1 Folder 8

Letter, 1861 August 21

U.S.S. Brooklyn. Ordered north for repairs, and hopes to take leave.

Box 1 Folder 9

Letter, 1862 May 7

U.S.S. St. Louis. Hand injury, rendezvous with U.S.S. Constellation, advice for children, professional desires for sons Edwin and Daniel, and disappointment at lack of mail from home.

Box 1 Folder 10

Letter, 1862 June 15

U.S.S. St. Louis. Hand wound fully healed, and inability to receive mail in Lisbon.

Box 1 Folder 11

Letter, 1862 September 11

U.S.S. St. Louis. Transfer of money home, and likelihood of sons Daniel and Edwin being drafted into the military.

Box 1 Folder 12

Letter, 1863 January 1

U.S.S. St. Louis. Prize money for the capture of a bark [Meaer?] that sold for $60,000, transfer of power of attorney for purposes of sale, and a brief letter to his granddaughter.

Box 1 Folder 13

Letter, 1863 June 5

U.S.S. St. Louis. Money transfer from Barron Brothers of London, change of command of St. Louis to [George H.] Preble, and hopes that the children will continue their educations.

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