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Johnston Family Papers, 1865-1992 (bulk 1865-1972): Finding Aid

Published in September 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 452
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Johnston Family Papers
  • Dates: 1865-1992
  • Bulk Dates: 1865-1972
  • Size: 11.84 linear feet (6 manuscript boxes, 6 flat boxes, 1 oversize folder)
  • Creator: Johnston family
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: The Johnston Family Papers, comprising 11.84 linear feet of documentation, span three generations of the Johnston and Merrell families from 1865 to 1992, with a majority of the documentation ceasing by 1972. The papers record, in varying levels of detail, the lives and careers of John Porter Merrell, Richard Howard Johnston, Cecil Younger Johnston, John Porter Merrell Johnston, and Frederick Halsey Tyler.

Biography of the Johnston and Merrell Families

John Porter Merrell Johnston

John Porter Merrell Johnston was born 4 September 1914 in New York City. A graduate of the Sidwell Friends School, he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Missouri and graduated as a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1937. Following graduation, his first assignment was aboard the U.S.S. Houston (Heavy cruiser: CA-30).

In September 1939, Johnston joined the U.S.S. John D. Edwards (Destroyer: DD-216), which was deployed to China at the time. His service aboard this destroyer (through 1942) included Pacific combat. Due to a hearing disability, Johnston was next assigned to limited shore duty. Johnston reached his final rank of Lieutenant Commander, 2 January 1942. On 1 April 1943, Johnston was placed on retired active duty status, serving from January 1943 through August 1945 at the Advance Base Establishment and Maintenance Division, CNO.

In 1944, Johnston married Elizabeth Winchester King of Annapolis. Among his civilian accomplishments, LCDR Johnston worked for the Radiation Laboratory (MIT secretariat), earned an MBA from Harvard in 1947 and pursued a twenty-nine year career with the National Geographic Society, retiring in 1976 from the post of Purchasing Officer.

LCDR Johnston died, 25 October 1987, at the Carriage Hill Nursing Facility, Bethesda, Maryland and was interred at the Naval Academy Cemetery.

Richard Howard Johnston

Richard Howard Johnston, father of John Porter Merrell Johnston, was born in Granger, Missouri on February 2, 1880. Appointed to the Naval Academy in 1898 as a member of the Class of 1902, Johnston completed three and half years at the Academy before resigning on October 1, 1901. Following his resignation from the Academy, Johnston served as a public utility engineer.

On January 26, 1906, Johnston rejoined the Navy as an officer in the Supply Corps. Initially serving aboard U.S.S. Tacoma (Protected cruiser: C-18), Johnston was attached to U.S.S. Supply (Steamer), based in Guam, in 1911. In 1913, he returned to the United States, where he married Dorcas Merrell, daughter of Rear Admiral John Porter Merrell, on August 25, 1913. Throughout World War I, Johnston was engaged in transport duty.

Following the War, Johnston was initially attached to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This duty was followed by assignments to the Mine Laying Squadron Atlantic Fleet (1921-1923), Chief Coordinator's Office of the Bureau of Budget (1923-1927), Destroyer Squadrons Pacific Fleet (1927-1928), Bremerton Navy Yard Accounting Office (1928-1929), Shore Establishment Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Navy (1929-1933), and the Newport Naval Torpedo Station (1933-1936). In 1937, Johnston was assigned to his final duty station at the Norfolk Navy Yard, where he served as Disbursing Officer until his retirement in 1945. Richard Howard Johnston died on May 16, 1967 and was buried at the United States Naval Academy cemetery.

Cecil Younger Johnston

Cecil Younger Johnston, brother of Richard Howard Johnston and uncle of John Porter Merrell Johnston, was born on June 20, 1889. Johnston entered the United States Naval Academy on July 8, 1907 as a member of the Class of 1911. Upon completing the academic course at the Academy, Johnston was assigned to U.S.S. Washington (Armored cruiser: ACR-11), U.S.S. Rhode Island (Battleship: BB-17), and U.S.S. Paducah (Gunboat: PG-18). In August 1913, he was attached to U.S.S. Connecticut (Battleship: BB-18) as Fire Control Officer. Following seven months of duty aboard U.S.S. Ozark (Monitor: BM-7), Johnston was detailed for submarine instruction in January 1915, after which he assumed command of U.S.S. G-3 (Submarine: SS-31). In March 1918, he assumed command of U.S.S. R-16 (Submarine: BB-93). Beginning in September 1918, Johnston received flight instruction in Coco Solo and San Diego, after which he was detached from U.S.S. R-16. Further flight instruction followed in January 1921, as well as radio instruction at Naval Air Station Anacostia later that same year. In December 1921, Johnston assumed command of NAS Anacostia, with additional duty as Naval Aide to the White House beginning in February 1922. In June of that year, he was transferred to U.S.S. Wright (Aircraft tender: AV-1) for flight duty with the Scouting Fleet. In November 1924, he was transferred to Naval Air Station Hampton Roads. On December 6, Johnston's plane crashed on takeoff from NAS Hampson Roads. While initially receiving a good prognosis, Cecil Younger Johnston succumbed to his injuries, dying on December 18, 1924.

John Porter Merrell

John Porter Merrell was born in Auburn, New York on September 7, 1846 to John Camp and Jane A. Merrell. In 1863, Merrell received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated as a member of the Class of 1867. Following graduation, Merrell was assigned to the European Squadron, where he was attached to U.S.S. Minnesota (Steam frigate), Ticonderoga (Screw sloop-of-war), and Franklin (Screw frigate) from 1867 until 1869, as well as the Kenosha (Screw sloop-of-war) from 1869 to 1870. After a brief assignment to Washington for signal duty in May 1870, Merrell was attached to U.S.S. Guard (Steamer) of the Darien Surveying Expedition in the Isthmus of Panama in July 1870. Returning to the United States a year later, he was assigned to torpedo duty at the torpedo station in Newport, Rhode Island in January 1872. That same month, Merrell married Sarah Frances Tyler of Marshall, Michigan.

Between 1875 and 1882, Merrell returned to sea duty on the North and South Atlantic Stations aboard U.S.S. Swatara (Screw sloop) (1875-1877), Marion (Sloop-of-war) (1879-1881), and Shenandoah (Screw sloop) (1881-1882), punctuated by a tour at the Experimental Battery in Annapolis from 1877 to 1879. In 1882, he returned to the Naval Academy as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics. In August 1887, he was once again assigned to the North Atlantic Squadron as a staff member, with service aboard U.S.S. Pensacola (Steamer), Quinnebaug (Corvette), and Lancaster (Screw sloop).

In 1889, Merrell was attached to the Naval Academy for a second time as Head of the Department of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics. Following his separation from the Academy in 1893, he spent three years on the Asiatic Station aboard U.S.S. Baltimore (Protected cruiser: C-3) (1893-1895) and Olympia (Protected cruiser: C-6) (1895-1896). Merrell also served as a member of the State Department's commission investigating anti-foreign riots in Chengtu, China from October 1895 through March 1896.

Upon returning to the United States in 1896, Merrell was assigned to the 13th Lighthouse District in Portland, Oregon as assistant inspector, and then inspector, of lighthouses. He was then attached to the Naval War College in early 1898, but was transferred to U.S.S. Scipio (Steamer) following the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. Merrell finished out the war aboard U.S.S. Glacier (Stores ship), and was assigned to the New York Navy Yard as equipment officer in November 1898. Merrell served as commanding officer of U.S.S. Montgomery (Protected cruiser: C-9) from April 1899 through September 1900, before returning to equipment officer duty, this time at the Norfolk Navy Yard. Command of the New Orleans Naval Station followed in November 1901, after which Merrell was assigned to temporary duty at the Naval War College in June 1903.

In August 1904, Merrell assumed his final seagoing command as commanding officer of the battleship U.S.S. Oregon (Battleship: BB-3) of the Asiatic Fleet. Roughly two years later, he assumed the final command of his career, as President of the Naval War College. Although placed on the Retired List on September 7, 1908, Merrell continued as President of the War College, with the rank of Rear Admiral, until October 1909. John Porter Merrell died on December 8, 1916, and was buried at the Naval Academy Cemetery.

Frederick Halsey Tyler

Frederick Halsey Tyler, son of Samuel Tyler of Marshall, Michigan, was appointed to the United States Naval Academy on June 20, 1868 at the age of sixteen as a member of the Class of 1873. Upon separation from the Academy, Tyler was attached to U.S.S. Ossipee (Screw sloop-of-war), and later, Juniata (Sloop-of-war). Following promotion to ensign in July 1874, Tyler was attached to U.S.S. Wyandotte (Monitor) from 1875 until June 1876, when he was ordered home. Tyler's next sea duties were aboard U.S.S. Swatara (Screw sloop) and Marion (Sloop-of-war) until November 1879. Promoted to master on July 11, 1880, he next served aboard the training ship Saratoga (Sloop-of-war) until July 1881. On March 3, 1883, Tyler was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade), accompanied by duty aboard U.S.S. Nipsic (Gunboat) until being granted sick leave in November 1885. Tyler was promoted to full lieutenant on May 19, 1886, and following assignment to the receiving ship Franklin, was attached to the Norfolk Navy Yard in April 1887. In July 1888 he was attached to U.S.S. Yantic (Gunboat), and a year later was transferred to the training ship Portsmouth. In November 1892, he was reassigned to the Norfolk Navy Yard, where he remained until his death on April 27, 1895. Tyler's widow, Josephine, later remarried to Supreme Court justice Henry Billings Brown.

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Description of Contents

The Johnston Family Papers, comprising 11.84 linear feet of documentation, span three generations of the Johnston and Merrell families from 1867 to 1992, with a majority of the documentation ceasing by 1972. The papers record, in varying levels of detail, the lives and careers of John Porter Merrell, Richard Howard Johnston, Cecil Younger Johnston, John Porter Merrell Johnston, and Frederick Halsey Tyler.

Included in the collection are certificates, scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, event programs, invitations, and other pieces of ephemera.

The Johnston Papers are organized into seven series. Each of the first six series are devoted to an individual family member, beginning with the youngest generation. Series 1: John Porter Merrell Johnston, focuses on the youngest Johnston's time at the Naval Academy and later career with the National Geographic Society. Series 2: Richard Howard Johnston consists primarily of orders, as well as ephemera and publications collected by Johnston at his last two duty stations in Newport and Norfolk. The series also focuses on the death of Richard Howard Johnston's brother, Cecil Younger Johnston. Series 3 pertains to the Naval career of Cecil Younger Johnston, including his early service in the surface fleet, submarine duty, and aviation training. Series 4: John Porter Merrell, focuses mainly on the early career of John Porter Merrell Johnston's maternal grandfather. Series 5 consists of material collected by and pertaining to Frederick Halsey Tyler, who was likely John Porter Merrell's brother-in-law. Series 6 pertains to cavalryman George F. Chase, whose relation to the Johnston and Merrell families is unknown. The seventh and final series of the collection consists of photographs, largely in the form of group and individual portraits, spanning all three generations of the Johnston and Merrell families.

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Arrangement

The Johnston Family Papers are organized into the following seven series:

  • Series 1: John Porter Merrell Johnston, 1933-1972
  • Series 2: Richard Howard Johnston, 1877-1967
  • Series 3: Cecil Younger Johnston, 1911-1924
  • Series 4: John Porter Merrell, 1865-1910
  • Series 5: Frederick Halsey Tyler, 1868-1908
  • Series 6: George F. Chase, 1879-1910
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1865-1992
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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Johnston Family 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

Custodial History

Notes, exercises and examinations from John Porter Merrell's tours in the Naval Academy's Department of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics were transferred from the Activities of Faculty and Staff, Personal Papers series of the Records of the United States Naval Academy in October 2017.

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of RADM Randolph King on October 5, 1992, October 26, 1992, December 17, 1992, April 27, 1993, and May 20, 1993.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to the careers and midshipman experiences of John Porter Merrell Johnston, Richard Howard Johnston, Cecil Younger Johnston, John Porter Merrell, and Frederick Tyler Halsey is available in their respective Midshipman Personnel Jacket/Conduct Record and Alumni Jacket (John Porter Merrell Johnston and Richard Howard Johnston only).

Additional correspondence from John Porter Merrell Johnston to Richard Howard Johnston is available in the John Porter Merrell Johnston Letters, MS 358, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Johnston Family Papers, MS452

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

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 & Co., 1901.

Cogar, William B. Dictionary of Admirals of the U.S. Navy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1989.

United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Register of 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 September 2017. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in September 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

  • Brown, Henry Billings, 1836-1913
  • Chase, George F.
  • Johnston family
  • Johnston, Cecil Younger, 1889-1924
  • Johnston, John Porter Merrell, 1914-1987
  • Johnston, Richard Howard, 1880-1967
  • Merrell, John Porter, 1846-1916
  • National Geographic Society (U.S.)
  • Solar eclipses -- 1948
  • Tyler, Frederick Halsey, 1852-1895
  • United States Naval Academy -- Curricula
  • United States Naval Academy -- Social life and customs
  • United States Naval Academy. Class of 1937

Genre Terms

  • Certificates
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Printed ephemera
  • Scrapbooks
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Contents List

Series 1: John Porter Merrell Johnston, 1933-1977 Boxes 1-2, 7[OS]-9[OS]

Series Description

Documentation of the life and career (both naval and post-naval) of John Porter Merrell Johnston, United States Naval Academy Class of 1937. In particular, the documents focus on Johnston's membership in the Class of 1937, including both his time as a midshipman and the Class' alumni activities, as well as his work for the National Geographic Society, notably his participation in the Society's expedition to study the 1948 solar eclipse. Included in the series are letters, certificates, scrapbooks, pamphlets, event programs, and other items of ephemera.

Also included in the series is material pertaining to the death of and memorials for Johnston's Naval Academy roommate, Clay Goodloe.

The personal correspondence in this series continues correspondence between Johnston and his parents available in the John Porter Merrell Johnston Letters, MS 358.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type and topic.

Box 1 Folder 1

Awards and Commendations, 1937-1946

Includes two USNA Fencing medals.

Box 1 Folder 2

Briggs, H. M., 1951, undated

Includes a copy of Leo Rosten's "How the Politburo Thinks."

Box 7[OS] Folder 1

Certificates, 1933-1958

Includes Johnston's U.S. Navy commissions, Naval Academy appointment, Naval Academy Petty Officer appointment, and diplomas from the Naval Academy and Harvard.

Box 1 Folder 3

Goodloe, G. Clay, 1946-1949

Memorial material regarding Johnston's USNA roommate.

Box 1 Folder 4

U.S.S. Houston, 1938-1939

Includes the roster of officers, cruise book for the third Presidential cruise, and copies of the ship's newspaper "The Blue Bonnet."

Box 1 Folder 5

Invitations, 1959

Birthday celebration for the Emperor of Japan.

Box 1 Folder 6

Journal, 1949

Box 1 Folder 7

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Articles and Press Releases, 1948-1949, undated

Society releases and articles, as well as a paper by Johnston entitled "Tokyo and Its Reaches."

Box 1 Folder 8

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Clippings, 1948

Box 1 Folder 9

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Correspondence, 1948-1951

Box 1 Folder 10

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Eclipse Expedition Gazette, 1948 April

Box 1 Folder 11

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Ephemera, 1948, undated

Box 1 Folder 12

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Maps, 1945-1947, undated

Japanese city and road maps.

Box 1 Folder 13

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Passport and Portrait, 1948

Box 1 Folder 14

National Geographic Eclipse Expedition (1948) - Programs and Pamphlets, 1948, undated

Programs for events attended by Johnston while in Japan, as well as a pamphlet entitled "Ideology and the Racial Character of the Japanese People."

Box 1 Folder 15

National Geographic Society - Christmas Cards, undated

Box 1 Folder 16

Personal Correspondence, 1943

Letters sent to Johnston's parents regarding Johnston's impending retirement, his work at the Advance Base Establishment and Maintenance Division, life in Washington, and updates on Johnston's Academy roommate Clay Goodloe.

Box 1 Folder 17

Personal Correspondence, 1976-1977

Letters received from Oliver Payne regarding Payne's application to the National Geographic Society.

Box 1 Folder 18

Personal Correspondence - Postcards and Greeting Cards, 1942, undated

Box 1 Folder 19

Publications - General, 1935-1937

Issues of Guam Recorder.

Box 2 Folder 1

Publications - General, 1955-1962, undated

Includes an issue of Ballyhoo, a program for President Eisenhower's inauguration, and the text of a press conference by Konrad Adenauer.

Box 2 Folder 2

Publications - U.S. Navy, 1928-1943

Includes "Air Information Sense," "Gunnery Sense," "Parachute Sense," and "Information and Suggestions for the Naval Service on the Subject of Thrift."

Box 2 Folder 3

Retirement Papers, 1945-1947

Box 8[OS] Folder 1

Scrapbook - General, 1942-1953

Clippings and ephemera regarding World War II in the Pacific, weddings, birth announcements, cocktail parties, concerts, and the cartoons of Dave Breger.

Box 9[OS] Folder 1

Scrapbook - United States Naval Academy, 1933-1937

Photographs of Johnston and Clay Goodloe, as well as clippings and ephemera regarding Army-Navy Football, Navy Fencing, Summer Practice Cruises, June Week, USNA's 90th anniversary, and social activities.

Box 2 Folder 4

United States Naval Academy - Change of Command, 1965

Box 2 Folder 5

United States Naval Academy - Football Program, 1933 October 21

Naval Academy vs. University of Virginia.

Box 2 Folder 6

United States Naval Academy - Midshipman Personnel Material, 1933-1937

Includes transcripts, leave requests, application materials, and Johnston's nomination letter.

Box 7[OS] Folder 2

United States Naval Academy - Summer Cruise Chart and Manual, 1934-1936

Box 2 Folder 7

United States Naval Academy Class of 1937 - 20 Year Book (Correspondence), 1957-1958

Box 2 Folder 8

United States Naval Academy Class of 1937 - 20 Year Book (Pictures), undated

Box 2 Folder 9

United States Naval Academy Class of 1937 - 20 Year Book (Roster), undated

Box 2 Folder 10

United States Naval Academy Class of 1937 - Graduation Invitation, 1937

Box 2 Folder 11

United States Naval Academy Class of 1937 - Miscellaneous, 1968-1972

Box 2 Folder 12

United States Naval Academy Class of 1967, 1963

Speeches from the Class of 1967's Induction Day.

Box 2 Folder 13

U.S.S. Vixen, 1976

Ship's history and letter from RADM John R. Wadleigh.

Box 2 Folder 14

Zeiss Binoculars, undated

Owner's manual/instructions.

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Series 2: Richard Howard Johnston, 1877-1967 Boxes 2-3, 7[OS]

Series Description

Documentation pertaining to and collected during the Navy Supply Corps career of Richard Howard Johnston, United States Naval Academy Class of 1902 (non-graduate). In addition to containing Johnston's orders, the series documents the settlement of the estate of Johnston's brother, Cecil Younger Johnston, as well as Johnston's duties and experiences at the Newport Naval Torpedo Station and Norfolk Navy Yard, focusing on the Newport Casino Invitational tennis tournament and Navy Day celebrations. Included in the series are orders, event programs, magazines, certificates, clippings, and letters.

Included in the series are materials documenting the history and genealogy of Johnston's ancestors of the Howard family.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type and topic.

Box 7[OS] Folder 3

Certificates, 1945-1946

Membership certificates for the Military Order of the Carabao and the Sons of the American Revolution.

Box 2 Folder 15

Ephemera, 1928, undated

Canadian-Australasian Royal Mail Line menus, as well as several poems.

Box 2 Folder 16

Fitness Report, 1944

Box 2 Folder 17

Genealogy and Family History, 1877-1918, undated

Box 2 Folder 18

Land, Emory S., 1952-1954

Correspondence from and a press release regarding Land and his resignation from the Air Transport Association.

Box 2 Folder 19

Obituary and Clippings, 1967, undated

Box 3 Folder 1

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1905-1908

Includes Johnston's appointment as an Assistant Paymaster, duty aboard U.S.S. Tacoma, and duty at the Newport Naval Training Station.

Box 3 Folder 2

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1912-1926

Includes material from U.S.S. Powhatan from World War I, duty aboard U.S.S. Shawmut, and instructions on the preparation of appropriations estimates.

Box 3 Folder 3

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1927-1935

Includes material from duty in the Bureau of Budget, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, with the Army-Navy Munitions Board, and at the Newport Torpedo Station, as well as material on centralized procurement.

Box 3 Folder 4

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1936-1946

Includes material from duty at the Newport Naval Torpedo Station and the Norfolk Navy Yard, as well as Johnston's retirement.

Box 3 Folder 5

Personal Correspondence, 1924

Includes correspondence with Johnston's mother, as well as material pertaining to the death of Johnston's brother, Cecil Y. Johnston.

Box 3 Folder 6

Personal Correspondence, 1925

Includes correspondence with Johnston's mother, as well as material pertaining to the death of Johnston's brother, Cecil Y. Johnston.

Box 3 Folder 7

Personal Correspondence, 1926-1937

Includes correspondence regarding the estate of Cecil Y. Johnston, as well as letters from former shipmates.

Box 3 Folder 8

Personal Correspondence, 1951-1964, undated

Includes letters pertaining to former Navy Supply Corps colleagues and members of the Naval Academy Class of 1902.

Box 3 Folder 9-10

Programs - Newport Casino Invitational, 1933-1937

Autographed by 1930's tennis stars including Gene Mako, J. Gilbert Hall, Bryan "Bitsy" Grant, Cliff Marsh, Gene McCauliff, Sidney Wood, and Don Budge.

Box 3 Folder 11

Publications - Navy Ashore, 1939-1940

Navy Day publication for the Norfolk Navy Yard.

Box 3 Folder 12

Publications - Navy Ashore, 1941-1942

Navy Day publication for the Norfolk Navy Yard. 1941 issue includes a group portrait tucked inside front cover.

Box 3 Folder 13

United States Naval Academy Class of 1902, 1952

Materials pertaining to the Class' 50th Reunion.

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Series 3: Cecil Younger Johnston, 1911-1924 Box 4

Series Description

Documentation of the U.S. Navy career of Cecil Younger Johnston, United States Naval Academy Class of 1911. Specifically, the series focuses on Johnston's early duties aboard U.S.S. Washington, U.S.S. Rhode Island, U.S.S. Paducah, and U.S.S. Connecticut, as well as his service in submarines leading up to World War I and his training and experiences as a Naval Aviator. Included in the series are orders, letters, diaries and journals, and clippings.

Several letters and documents in the series pertain to Johnston's 1924 aircraft accident that ultimately resulted in his death.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type.

Box 4 Folder 1

Journal, 1911-1912

U.S.S. Washington. Includes the ship's daily itinerary and routine, as well as sections on the universal speed gear; experimental firing of Delaware and San Marcos; communication and recording apparatus; the development of the torpedo; the proposed Narragansett Bay Naval Station; coaling from a collier; electric drives for screw propellers; reconstructing the Russian fleet; and the ship's wireless outfit.

Box 4 Folder 2

Journal (Personal/Private), 1911-1913

U.S.S. Washington, U.S.S. Rhode Island, and U.S.S. Paducah. Entries document Johnston's daily routine and occurrences during Washington's cruises off the coast of New England and Caribbean waters, as well as hydrographic duty off Cuba.

Box 4 Folder 3

Journal (Personal/Private), 1914-1915

U.S.S. Connecticut. Entries document Johnston's daily routine and occurrences during Connecticut's cruises to Genoa and in the waters of the Caribbean and off Mexico.

Box 4 Folder 4

Obituary, 1924

Box 4 Folder 5

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1911-1918

Includes transfer orders, as well as orders pertaining to submarine training, testing of Edison Storage Batteries, command of submarine U.S.S. G-3, and the fitting out and command of submarine U.S.S. R-16.

Box 4 Folder 6

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1919-1921

Includes material regarding Johnston's command of U.S.S. R-16, flight instruction, and Hawaiian Island defenses. Includes Johnston's aviation notes and examinations.

Box 4 Folder 7

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1922-1924

Includes a resume of Johnston's naval service, as well as material regarding duty as Naval Aide to the White House, command of NAS Anacostia, duty aboard U.S.S. Wright, work in aviation radio development, aerial test bombings of U.S.S. New Jersey and U.S.S. Virginia, and Johnston's death resulting from a plane crash. Includes a letter from President Warren G. Harding.

Box 4 Folder 8

Personal Correspondence, 1916-1924

Includes family correspondence, as well as correspondence with Paul F. Foster and well wishes following Johnston's plane crash that ultimately caused his death.

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Series 4: John Porter Merrell, 1865-1910 Boxes 4-5, 7[OS], 10[OS]

Series Description

Documents and ephemera from the U.S. Navy career of John Porter Merrell, United States Naval Academy Class of 1867. In addition to Merrell's commissions, the series focuses on Naval Academy events during Merrell's tour as Head of the Department of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics and the social lives and activities of the Navy's officer corps. Included in the series are certificates, invitations, visiting cards, a scrapbook, Merrell's will, and the watch-, quarter-, and station-bill of an unidentified steamer.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type and topic.

Box 4 Folder 9

Abstract of Lecture on Moral Science, 1865-1866

Also includes lectures on self love, the supremacy of conscience, and the nature of religion, as well as Spanish notes.

Box 7[OS] Folder 4

Certificates, 1867-1910

Includes Merrell's U.S. Navy Commissions, Naval Academy diploma, marriage certificate, and membership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion.

Box 5 Folder 1

"Imaginaries from Oliver, Wait, and Jones' Treatise on Algebra", 1882

Box 5 Folder 2

Invitations, undated

Box 7[OS] Folder 5

Mathematics and Mechanics - Examinations, 1885-1887

Monthly and semi-annual examinations in integral calculus, differential calculus, least squares, strength of materials, and applied mechanics.

Box 5 Folder 3

Mathematics and Mechanics - Examinations, 1889-1890

Monthly and semi-annual examinations in integral calculus, strength of materials, and applied mechanics.

Box 5 Folder 4

Mathematics and Mechanics - Notes and Exercises, 1882

Includes notes on Rice and Johnson's Calculus, astronomical triangles, stereographic projections, and spherical oblique triangles, as well as an examination on conic sections.

Box 5 Folder 5

Mathematics and Mechanics - Notes and Exercises, undated

Notes from Cotterill and Slade's Lessons in Applied Mechanics.

Box 5 Folder 6

Mathematics and Mechanics - Notes and Exercises, undated

Includes notes on shearing force, tension, beams and girders, and the determination of height by a barometer.

Box 10[OS] Folder 1

Scrapbook, 1892-1905

Compiled by Mrs. Merrell. Visitor cards and invitations pertaining from Naval Academy events and the weddings of naval officers and their children.

Box 5 Folder 7

Visiting Cards, undated

Box 5 Folder 8

Watch-, Quarter-, and Station-Bill, undated

Bills for an unidentified steamship.

Box 5 Folder 9

Will, 1916

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Series 5: Frederick Halsey Tyler, 1868-1908 Boxes 7[OS], 11[OS]

Series Description

Documents pertaining to and (presumably) collected by Frederick Halsey Tyler, United States Naval Academy Class of 1873. The series includes Tyler's U.S. Navy commissions and U.S. Naval Academy diploma, as well as a scrapbook dedicated solely to Tyler's friend, Supreme Court Justice Henry Billings Brown (who later married Tyler's widow, Josephine).

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type.

Box 7[OS] Folder 6

Certificates, 1868-1886, undated

Includes Tyler's U.S. Navy commissions, Naval Academy diploma and appointment, and a Masonic certificate.

Box 11[OS] Folder 1

Scrapbook, 1870-1908

Clippings pertaining to the career of Supreme Court Justice Henry Billings Brown. Includes additional scrapbook pages regarding Michigan politics and political conventions in 1870.

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Series 6: George F. Chase, 1879-1910 Box 7[OS]

Series Description

Certificates, primarily in the form of U.S. Cavalry commissions, from the Army career of George F. Chase. Chase's relationship to either the Merrells or Johnstons is uncertain.

Series Arrangement

Arranged chronologically within a single file.

Box 7[OS] Folder 7

Certificates, 1879-1910

Includes Chase's U.S. Cavalry commissions, as well as a Military Service Institution certificate.

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Series 7: Photographs, 1865-1992 Boxes 5-6, 7[OS], 12[OS], MSOS

Series Description

Photographs, primarily in the form of black-and-white prints, spanning the Navy careers of all three generations of the Merrell and Johnston families. Much of the series consists of portraits, both of groups and individuals, portraying John Porter Merrell, Richard Howard Johnston, and Cecil Younger Johnston, as well as numerous other naval officers and Naval Academy alumni. Also included are photographs of the various ships that the Merrells and Johnstons served aboard, as well as photographs of events and activities at the Naval Academy.

Several portraits are inscribed to T. S. King, father of Rear Admiral Randolph King, custodian of the Johnston Family Papers prior to donation.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic.

Box 5 Folder 10

Album, 1897

Includes images of the lighthouse tender Columbine in Alaska.

Box 5 Folder 11

Places - Alaska, undated

Wrangell Narrows and the Metlakatla bandstand.

Box 12[OS] Folder 1

Places - Massachusetts, 1949

Reprint of illustration of Boston Light.

Box 5 Folder 12

Places - Oregon, 1897, undated

Astoria buoy depot, Mount Hood, and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

Box 5 Folder 13

Places - Puerto Rico, undated

Navy Station and personnel on Culebra Island.

Box 5 Folder 14

Places - Rhode Island, 1906 (approximate)

Newport.

Box 12[OS] Folder 2

Places - Unidentified, undated

Box 12[OS] Folder 3

Portraits (Groups) - Johnston Family, undated

Includes Dorcas Merrell Johnston, John Porter Merrell Johnston, Richard Howard Johnston, and Richard Howard Johnston, Jr.

Box 5 Folder 15

Portraits (Groups) - Johnston Family, 1867 (approximate), undated

Box 5 Folder 16

Portraits (Groups) - Johnston, Richard Howard, 1901-1944, undated

Includes images of other U.S. Navy supply and pay officers.

Box 12[OS] Folder 4

Portraits (Groups) - Johnston, Richard Howard, 1900 (approximate)

Portrait of United States Naval Academy Class of 1902.

Box MSOS Folder 1

Portraits (Groups) - Johnston, Richard Howard, 1923, undated

Panoramic portraits of the officers and crew of U.S.S. Shawmut.

Box 5 Folder 17

Portraits (Groups) - Merrell, John Porter, 1896-1897, undated

Includes images of Dorcas Merrell and John Porter Merrell's wife.

Box 12[OS] Folder 5

Portraits (Groups) - Merrell, John Porter, 1906 (approximate)

Includes portraits of the crew and baseball team of U.S.S. Oregon.

Box 5 Folder 18

Portraits (Groups) - Miscellaneous, undated

Includes Class of 1901 graduates Guy Whitlock and Wallace Bertholf.

Box 12[OS] Folder 6

Portraits (Groups) - Miscellaneous, undated

Box 5 Folder 19

Portraits (Groups) - Miscellaneous Officer Groups, undated

Box 5 Folder 20

Portraits (Groups) - SHAPEX '73, 1973-1974

Includes Naval Academy Class of 1937 graduates R. G. Colbert, R. W. Cousins, W. F. Bringle, and R. B. Erly.

Box 5 Folder 21

Portraits (Individuals) - Bates, John, undated

Box 6 Folder 1

Portraits (Individuals) - Bradman, Fred, undated

Inscribed "A Merry Christmas to Mrs. Merrell and Dorcas, Fred Bradman, Col. Marine Corps."

Box 6 Folder 2

Portraits (Individuals) - Bryan, Charles Page, undated

Box 6 Folder 3

Portraits (Individuals) - Butler, Henry Varnum, undated

Box 6 Folder 4

Portraits (Individuals) - Gannon, Sinclair, undated

Box 6 Folder 5

Portraits (Individuals) - Glennon, undated

Portrait of a U.S. Navy WAVE.

Box 6 Folder 6

Portraits (Individuals) - Goodloe, Green Clay, undated

Box 6 Folder 7

Portraits (Individuals) - Irving, Emmet W., undated

Box 6 Folder 8

Portraits (Individuals) - Johnston, Cecil Younger, undated

Box 6 Folder 9

Portraits (Individuals) - Johnston, Richard Howard, 1914, undated

Box 12[OS] Folder 7

Portraits (Individuals) - Johnston, Richard Howard, undated

Box 6 Folder 10

Portraits (Individuals) - Knox, Harry Gard, 1906, undated

Box 6 Folder 11

Portraits (Individuals) - Lamb, James Harvey, undated

Box 6 Folder 12

Portraits (Individuals) - Merrell, John Porter, 1865-1902 (approximate), undated

Box 6 Folder 13

Portraits (Individuals) - Oliver, Frederick Lansing, undated

Box 6 Folder 14

Portraits (Individuals) - Parcell, Philip P., 1895

Box 6 Folder 15

Portraits (Individuals) - Van Hook, Clifford E., undated

Inscribed to Captain T. S. King.

Box 6 Folder 16

Portraits (Individuals) - Wainwright, Richard, Jr., undated

Box 6 Folder 17

Portraits (Individuals) - Whitlock, Guy, 1899

Box 6 Folder 18

Portraits (Individuals) - Unidentified and Miscellaneous, 1903, undated

Box 12[OS] Folder 8

Portraits (Individuals) - Unidentified and Miscellaneous, 1908-1921, undated

Primarily portraits of officers, inscribed to T. S. King.

Box 6 Folder 19

Ships - Columbine (Lighthouse tender), 1897-1898

Photographs taken in Alaska.

Box 12[OS] Folder 9

Ships - Columbine (Lighthouse tender), 1897

Includes images of the ship's officers.

Box 6 Folder 20

Ships - U.S.S. Competent (Minesweeper: AM-316), undated

Box 6 Folder 21

Ships - U.S.S. Constellation (Sloop-of-war), 1898

Box 12[OS] Folder 10

Ships - U.S.S. Constitution (Frigate) and Santee (Frigate), undated

Box 6 Folder 22

Ships - Cruiser in Floating Dry Dock, 1901

Likely U.S.S. Olympia (Protected cruiser: C-6). Photographs incorrectly identified on back as U.S.S. Illinois.

Box 6 Folder 23

Ships - U.S.S. Fulton (Submarine tender: AS-1), undated

Box 6 Folder 24

Ships - U.S.S. Montgomery (Cruiser: C-9), 1897

Box 6 Folder 25

Ships - U.S.S. Powhatan Transport), undated

Box 6 Folder 26

Ships - U.S.S. Shawmut (Minelayer: CM-4), undated

Box 6 Folder 27

Ships - U.S.S. Sterett (Destroyer: DD-27), undated

Box 12[OS] Folder 11

Ships - Unidentified, undated

Unidentified battleship or cruiser firing its main guns.

Box 7[OS] Folder 8

Ships - Unidentified, undated

Possible Montgomery class cruiser.

Box 6 Folder 28

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Congressional Medal of Honor Plaque, 1958

Plaque memorializing Edward H. O'Hare.

Box 6 Folder 29

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Fencing, 1937

John Porter Merrell Johnston fencing Nick Chevasse.

Box 12[OS] Folder 12

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Graduation, 1937

Box 6 Folder 30

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Memorial to Clay Goodloe, 1948-1992

Includes biographical material.

Box 12[OS] Folder 13

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Parades and Formations, 1892-1901

Includes a photograph from President McKinley's second inaugural parade.

Box 6 Folder 31

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Parades and Formations, undated

Box 6 Folder 32

U.S. Naval Academy Activities - Reunions, 1952

50th Reunion of the Class of 1902.

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