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Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation, 1871-1878 (bulk 1871-1872): Finding Aid

Published in 1998

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 338
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation
  • Dates: 1871-1878
  • Bulk Dates: 1871-1872
  • Size: 0.07 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 2 folders
  • Creator: Constellation (Sloop-of-war)
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: The Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation, W. N. Jeffers, Commander, spans from 1871 to 1872, while the Constellation was serving as a training vessel for midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. The volume lists the watches and quarters of the Constellation’s crew, as well as the cleaning bills for various pieces of artillery aboard the vessel.

History of the U.S.S. Constellation

The U.S.S. Constellation is a sloop-of-war built at the Norfolk Navy Yard, and commissioned on July 28, 1855, Captain Charles H. Bell commanding. For her first three years, Constellation sailed as part of the Mediterranean Squadron, before being decommissioned for nearly a year. In June 1859, she was recommissioned as flagship of the African Squadron, where she was assigned largely to anti-slaving operations. During the Civil War, Constellation was initially assigned to blockade duty, but was later reassigned to Mediterranean waters to protect Union interests against Confederate raiders. After a brief tour in the West Indies protecting Union interests, Constellation was reassigned as a receiving ship at Norfolk in early 1865, and later in Philadelphia until 1869, after which she was once again decommissioned.

In May 1871, Constellation was recommissioned under Captain Samuel P. Carter and assigned to duty as a practice ship for the midshipman of the Naval Academy. On October 18 of that year, command of the Constellation was transferred to Captain William N. Jeffers. In February 1872, she embarked on a gunnery training cruise, but returned to Annapolis that June to resume duties for the Naval Academy's summer training cruise. On April 10, 1873, Captain Jeffers was relieved of command by Lieutenant Commander William R. Bridgman, who was in turn relieved by Commander Augustus P. Cooke on May 20, 1873. During the summer of 1873, Constellation embarked upon another training cruise with the midshipman of the Naval Academy, before being decommissioned on October 9, 1873.

Following her use as a midshipman training vessel, Constellation was assigned to more symbolic duties, including the transporting of exhibit materials to the Paris Exposition of 1878 and the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Constellation would later participate in the Star Spangled Banner centennial celebrations in Baltimore. She continued to be used in a symbolic role, including the ceremonies accompanying the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1926, until being decommissioned for preservation in June 1933. During World War II, Constellation was briefly reactivated to serve as relief flagship for Admiral Ernest J. King, and later, Royal E. Ingersoll until 1944. On February 4, 1955, U.S.S. Constellation was decommissioned for the last time and converted to a museum ship in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Description of Contents

Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation comprises a single volume spanning from 1871 to 1872, while the ship was serving as a training vessel for the midshipman of the United States Naval Academy. The volume contains such data as names, rates, division assignment, station, watch, and general quarters for the Constellation's officers, men, and Marine guard. Also included are the gun assignments and cleaning bills for the ship's 9-inch Dahlgren guns, 11-inch Dahlgren gun, and Parrott Rifle. During the time period covered by the volume, Constellation was under the command of Captain William N. Jeffers, with Lieutenant Commander William R. Bridgman serving as Jeffers' Executive Officer.

Included with the volume are several photocopies of biographical material pertaining to Captain William N. Jeffers and Commander William R. Bridgman.

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The Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation is 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 in June 1997. Accession No. 97-44.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to the U.S.S. Constellation as it relates to the United States Naval Academy may be found in the Records of the United States Naval Academy, RG-405, 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

Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation, MS 338

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1998. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1998 and revised by David D'Onofrio in December 2013.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Constellation (Sloop-of-war)
  • Jeffers, William N. (William Nicholson), 1824-1883
  • United States Naval Academy -- School ships
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Ships' logs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill of the U.S.S. Constellation, 1871-1872

Box 1 Folder 2

Reference Materials, 1878, undated

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