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Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy, 1858-1908: Finding Aid

Published in June 2017

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 448
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy
  • Dates: 1858-1908
  • Size: 2.9 linear feet (7 manuscript boxes)
  • Creator: Ford, Thomas G., 1827-1909
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Thomas G. Ford was an Assistant Librarian at the United States Naval Academy. The Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy, comprising 2.9 linear feet of writings and supporting documentation, was written and compiled between 1858 and 1905, with additional materials dating as late as 1908. The manuscript focuses on the early history of the United States Naval Academy from its founding in 1845 until 1886, as well as the history of navigation, nautical science, nautical songs, and efforts to establish a naval school prior to the founding of the Naval Academy.

Biography of Thomas G. Ford

Thomas G. Ford was born on June 18, 1827 in Dublin, Ireland. After studying French and Italian in Paris and Rome, respectively, Ford immigrated to the United States in 1851. Initially working as an instructor at St. Mary's College in Wilmington, Delaware, Ford soon relocated to North Carolina where he became assistant editor of the North Carolina Patriot. While in North Carolina, Ford joined the United States Navy and was ultimately assigned as assistant to William L. Long, storekeeper at Spezia, Italy. In 1853, Ford was transferred to U.S.S. Levant (Sloop-of-war), and remained aboard that vessel from 1853 until 1855 during her cruise to Piraeus and Istanbul, ending with her decommissioning at New York.

Following his return to the United States, Ford proceeded to Baltimore where he took his Oath of Allegiance as a United States citizen. Shortly thereafter, he received an appointment as Assistant Librarian at the Naval School in Annapolis. Serving under William Chauvenet, Ford was tasked with preparing the Naval Academy Library's first catalog and was assigned the additional duty of administering the Academy's Lyceum. In 1858, he also began working on a manuscript chronicling the early history of the Naval Academy. At the end of the 1865-1866 academic year, Ford resigned as Assistant Librarian, but continued work on his history of the Academy, the typescript of which was produced in 1889-1890 and deposited at the Naval Academy Library in 1905. Thomas G. Ford died on May 24, 1909 in Florence, Italy.

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Description of Contents

The Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy, comprising 2.9 linear feet of writings and supporting documentation, was written and compiled between 1858 and 1905, with additional materials dating as late as 1908. The manuscript focuses on the early history of the United States Naval Academy from its founding in 1845 until 1886, as well as the history of navigation, nautical science, nautical songs, and efforts to establish a naval school prior to the founding of the Naval Academy.

In addition to the manuscript, which varies between typescript and handwritten notes, the collection includes period newspaper clippings, copies of reports of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors and the Secretary of the Navy, Naval Academy ephemera, songs, Ford's biography, and letters sent and received by Ford.

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Arrangement

The Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy is arranged chronologically, largely by Superintendent.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy 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

Gift of Thomas G. Ford in 1905.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

The Thomas G. Ford Manuscript has been digitized in their entirety. In addition to following the links in the Container List below, the materials can be accessed through the USNA Digital Collections at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15241coll5

This collection is also available in microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Material pertaining to Thomas G. Ford's employment at the Naval Academy may be available in RG-405, Records of the United States Naval Academy.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas G. Ford Manuscript on the History of the United States Naval Academy, MS 448

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed circa 1979. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in June 2017.

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Subject Headings

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

  • Ford, Thomas G., 1827-1909
  • United States Naval Academy -- History -- 19th century

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Ephemera
  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Chapter 1 - Dawn of Navigation, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/348/rec/9

Box 1 Folder 2

Chapter 2 - Early nautical science, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/2221/rec/10

Box 1 Folder 3

Chapter 3, Part 1 - Schools of Naval Warfare, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/2109/rec/12

Box 1 Folder 4

Chapter 3, Part 2 - Schools of Naval Warfare, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1901/rec/13

Box 1 Folder 5

Chapter 3, Notes - Schools of Naval Warfare, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/735/rec/11

Box 1 Folder 6

Chapter 4 - Efforts of Congress, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/384/rec/14

Box 1 Folder 7

Chapter 5 - Efforts of Secretaries of the Navy, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/366/rec/15

Box 1 Folder 8

Chapter 6 - Efforts of Naval officers, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1699/rec/16

Box 1 Folder 9

Chapter 7 - Naval schools previous to 1845, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1227/rec/17

Box 1 Folder 10

Chapter 8 - Last days of school at Naval Asylum, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/455/rec/18

Box 1 Folder 11

Chapter 9 - Selection of site of Naval Academy; Buchanan, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1299/rec/19

Box 1 Folder 12

Chapter 10 - Class of '40, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/402/rec/20

Box 1 Folder 13

Chapter 11 - Lt. Ward & Upshur, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/402/rec/20

Box 2 Folder 1

Chapter 12 - Freaks of '41, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/422/rec/22

Box 2 Folder 2

Chapter 13 - Stribling, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/688/rec/23

Box 2 Folder 3

Chapter 14 - Goldsborough, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/603/rec/24

Box 2 Folder 4

Chapter 15 - Superintendence of Commander Blake, First period (1857-1861), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/526/rec/25

Box 2 Folder 5

Chapter 16 - Blake (1861-1865), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1020/rec/26

Box 2 Folder 6

Chapter 16A - Incidents & extracts for use in 15th & 16th chapters (not an individual chapter), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/781/rec/27

Box 2 Folder 7

Chapter 17, Part 1 - Blake - Second period, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/953/rec/28

Box 2 Folder 8

Chapter 17, Part 2 - Blake - Second period, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/832/rec/29

Box 2 Folder 9

Chapter 18 - Deeds of Graduates and Midshipmen, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1155/rec/30

Box 2 Folder 10

Chapter 19 - Contest of location, 1864-1866, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1609/rec/31

Box 2 Folder 11

Chapter 20, Part 1 - Porter's Administration, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/2004/rec/32

Box 2 Folder 12

Chapter 20, Part 2 - Porter's Administration, 1865-1876, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1448/rec/33

Box 2 Folder 13

Chapter 21 - Worden, 1865, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1371/rec/34

Box 2 Folder 14

Chapter 22 - Rodgers, 1875, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1087/rec/35

Box 3 Folder 1

Chapter 23 - Parker-Balch-Rodger's 2nd term, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/644/rec/36

Box 3 Folder 2

Chapter 24, Part 1 - Ramsay (1881-1886), undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1526/rec/37

Box 3 Folder 3

Chapter 24, Part 2 - Ramsay, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/888/rec/38

Box 3 Folder 4

Chapter 25 - Practice cruises, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/1798/rec/39

Box 3 Folder 5

Chapter 26 - Midshipman's Growl, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/564/rec/40

Box 3 Folder 6

Chapter 27 - Nautical Songs, 1865-1882, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/2462/rec/41

Box 3 Folder 7

Chapter 28 - General Reflections, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/2340/rec/42

Box 3 Folder 8

Chapter 29 - Grounds & Buildings (notes only), 1864-1876, undated

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15241coll5/id/2634/rec/43

Box 3 Folder 9-10

Appendix A (notes only), undated

Box 4 Folder 1

Appendix B - Scraps for Completion of Narrative, 1858-1905, undated

Box 4 Folder 2

Appendix C & D - Letters from Ford's Biography, 1890-1908, undated

Box 4 Folder 3

Miscellaneous Clippings, 1879-1905, undated

Box 4 Folder 4

[Photocopy] Chapter 1 - Dawn of Navigation, undated

Box 4 Folder 5

[Photocopy] Chapter 2 - Early nautical science, undated

Box 4 Folder 6

[Photocopy] Chapter 3, Part 1 - Schools of Naval Warfare, undated

Box 4 Folder 7

[Photocopy] Chapter 3, Part 2 - Schools of Naval Warfare, undated

Box 4 Folder 8

[Photocopy] Chapter 3, Notes - Schools of Naval Warfare, undated

Box 4 Folder 9

[Photocopy] Chapter 4 - Efforts of Congress, undated

Box 4 Folder 10

[Photocopy] Chapter 5 - Efforts of Secretaries of the Navy, undated

Box 4 Folder 11

[Photocopy] Chapter 6 - Efforts of Naval officers, undated

Box 5 Folder 1

[Photocopy] Chapter 7 - Naval schools previous to 1845, undated

Box 5 Folder 2

[Photocopy] Chapter 8 - Last days of school at Naval Asylum, undated

Box 5 Folder 3

[Photocopy] Chapter 9 - Selection of site of Naval Academy; Buchanan, undated

Box 5 Folder 4

[Photocopy] Chapter 10 - Class of '40, undated

Box 5 Folder 5

[Photocopy] Chapter 11 - Lt. Ward & Upshur, undated

Box 5 Folder 6

[Photocopy] Chapter 12 - Freaks of '41, undated

Box 5 Folder 7

[Photocopy] Chapter 13 - Stribling, undated

Box 5 Folder 8

[Photocopy] Chapter 14 - Goldsborough, undated

Box 5 Folder 9

[Photocopy] Chapter 15 - Superintendence of Commander Blake, First period (1857-1861), undated

Box 5 Folder 10

[Photocopy] Chapter 16 - Blake (1861-1865), undated

Box 5 Folder 11

[Photocopy] Chapter 16A - Incidents & extracts for use in 15th & 16th chapters (not an individual chapter), undated

Box 5 Folder 12

[Photocopy] Chapter 17, Part 1 - Blake - Second period, undated

Box 5 Folder 13

[Photocopy] Chapter 17, Part 2 - Blake - Second period, undated

Box 5 Folder 14

[Photocopy] Chapter 18 - Deeds of Graduates and Midshipmen, undated

Box 5 Folder 15

[Photocopy] Chapter 19 - Contest of location, 1864-1866, undated

Includes 1864 and 1866 reports of the Board of Visitors and Secretary of the Navy.

Box 6 Folder 1

[Photocopy] Chapter 20, Part 1 - Porter's Administration, undated

Box 6 Folder 2

[Photocopy] Chapter 20, Part 2 - Porter's Administration, 1865-1876, undated

Includes an 1865 concert program and an 1867 letter to Ford.

Box 6 Folder 3

[Photocopy] Chapter 21 - Worden, 1865, undated

Box 6 Folder 4-5

[Photocopy] Chapter 22 - Rodgers, 1875, undated

Box 6 Folder 6

[Photocopy] Chapter 23 - Parker-Balch-Rodger's 2nd term, undated

Box 6 Folder 7

[Photocopy] Chapter 24, Part 1 - Ramsay (1881-1886), undated

Box 6 Folder 8

[Photocopy] Chapter 24, Part 2 - Ramsay, undated

Box 6 Folder 9

[Photocopy] Chapter 25 - Practice cruises, undated

Box 6 Folder 10

[Photocopy] Chapter 26 - Midshipman's Growl, undated

Box 6 Folder 11

[Photocopy] Chapter 27 - Nautical Songs, 1865-1882, undated

Box 7 Folder 1

[Photocopy] Chapter 28 - General Reflections, undated

Box 7 Folder 2

[Photocopy] Chapter 29 - Grounds & Buildings (notes only), 1864-1876, undated

Box 7 Folder 3

[Photocopy] Appendix A (notes only), undated

Box 7 Folder 4

[Photocopy] Appendix B - Scraps for Completion of Narrative, 1858-1905, undated

Box 7 Folder 5

[Photocopy] Appendix C & D - Letters from Ford's Biography, 1890-1908, undated

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