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Charles Lee Lewis Papers, 1918-1962 (approximate): Finding Aid

Published in November 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
  • Call number: MS 456
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Charles Lee Lewis Papers
  • Dates: 1918-1962 (approximate)
  • Size: 1.04 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 2 manuscript boxes, 1 half-manuscript box
  • Creator: Lewis, Charles Lee, 1886-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Charles Lee Lewis was a professor of English and History at the United States Naval Academy. The Charles Lee Lewis Papers span from 1918 until approximately 1962. Focusing on topics such as literature of the sea, 19th century naval history, and naval biography and fiction, the papers consist of Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute articles written throughout Lewis's career, as well as unpublished manuscripts written largely after Lewis's retirement from the United States Naval Academy.

Biography of Charles Lee Lewis

Charles Lee Lewis was born in Doyle, Tennessee on March 7, 1886 to Mason Avery and Sarah Lou Lewis. After receiving a B.S. degree from Burritt College, he received a B.A. from the University of Tennessee and an M.A. from Columbia University. Early in his career, he taught at Robert College in Constantinople, before joining the faculty of the United States Naval Academy Department of English, History, and Government in September 1916. Upon his retirement on June 30, 1951, Lewis received the title of Professor Emeritus.

Charles Lee Lewis was the author of multiple naval biographies and works on the history of literature, including: Famous American Naval Officers (1924), Four Centuries of Literature: English and American (1925), Matthew Fontaine Maury: Pathfinder of the Seas (1927), Famous Old-World Sea Fighters (1929), Admiral Franklin Buchanan: Fearless Man of Action (1930), The Romantic Decatur (1937), David Glasgow Farragut: Admiral in the Making (1941), David Glasgow Farragut: Our First Admiral, Books of the Sea: An Introduction to Nautical Literature (1943), Admiral de Grasse and American Independence (1945), Philander Priestly Claxton: Crusader for Public Education (1948), and Famous American Marines (1950).

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Description of Contents

The Charles Lee Lewis Papers, comprising 1.04 linear feet of documentation, span from 1918 until approximately 1962. Focusing on topics such as literature of the sea, 19th century naval history, and naval biography and fiction, the papers consist of Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute articles written throughout Lewis's career, as well as unpublished manuscripts written largely after Lewis's retirement from the United States Naval Academy.

Included in the collection are manuscripts and articles, as well as scattered correspondence and illustrations.

The Lewis Papers are organized into two series by document type. Series 1: Articles consists solely of off-prints of Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute articles written by Lewis. Topical coverage of the articles includes the literature and art of the sea, Byzantine military campaigns in North Africa, a review of human flight in literature, the sinking of U.S.S. Helena (Light cruiser: CL-50), and the history of American naval involvement in the Mediterranean and Asia. Series 2: Manuscripts consists of typescripts of unpublished works by Lewis, including a biography of Thomas Macdonough, two novels, a treatise on religion, an anthology of sea poems, and an anthology of Lewis's own poems and short stories.

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The Charles Lee Lewis Papers are organized into the following two series:

  • Series 1: Articles, 1918-1945
  • Series 2: Manuscripts, 1946-1962 (approximate)
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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Charles Lee Lewis 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

Provenance and Acquisition

Gifts of Charles Lee Lewis in September 1962 and Agnes Marks in March 1999 and June 1999. Accession Nos. 159325, 99-44, 99-55.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

The bulk of Lewis's personal papers, including his correspondence and manuscripts of his published works, can be found in the Charles Lee Lewis Papers, 1907-1951, at the Tennessee Historical Society.

Material pertaining to Lewis's activity as faculty member of the United States Naval Academy's Department of English, History, and Government can be found in RG405.4 Entry 201a: Records of the Department of English, History, and Government, 1907-1972, as well as in his Civilian Faculty Personnel Jacket.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

Lewis's The Hero of Lake Champlain: Commodore Thomas Macdonough was previously processed and housed with the Faculty/Staff Personal Papers section of the Naval Academy Archives until November 2017.

Lewis's journal articles were previously processed and housed in a vertical file under his name, and Sea Poems: Naval Battles was previously been cataloged as a monograph.

Preferred Citation

Charles Lee Lewis Papers, MS 456

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

Deputy for Operations, Civilian Faculty Jackets, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Poole, Gregory C. "Lewis, Charles Lee Papers [Finding Aid]," Tennessee Historical Society, 1997.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in November 2017. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in November 2017.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Lewis, Charles Lee, 1886-
  • Macdonough, Thomas, 1783-1825
  • Sea in literature
  • Sea poetry
  • Sea stories
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century

Genre Terms

  • Articles
  • Faculty papers
  • Manuscripts
  • Poems
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Contents List

Articles, 1918-1945 Box 1

Series Description

Off-prints of Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute articles written by Lewis. The articles focus on such topics as the literature and art of the sea, Byzantine military campaigns, the history of human flight in literature, the sinking and survivors of U.S.S. Helena, and the history of American naval involvement in the Mediterranean and Asia.

Series Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Box  1 Folder  1

"English Naval Schools", 1918 December

Box  1 Folder  2

"Some Famous English Sea Tales", 1928 April

Box  1 Folder  3

"Estimate of Clerk's Naval Tactics by Contemporary Naval Leaders", 1932 June

Box  1 Folder  4

"The Old Navy at Constantinople", 1933 October

History of early U.S. Navy interactions with Constantinople and the Ottoman Empire.

Box  1 Folder  5

"Imaginative Aeronautics, 1936 April

Fictional and mythological portrayals of human aviation.

Box  1 Folder  6

"Alonzo Chappel and His Naval Paintings", 1937 March

Box  1 Folder  7

"American Short Stories of the Sea", 1941 March

Box  1 Folder  8

"An American Naval Officer in the Mediterranean, 1802-7", 1941 November

Excerpts from the letters of Lieutenant William Lewis. Co-authored by Mary Lewis Cooke.

Box  1 Folder  9

"Our Navy in the Pacific and the Far East Long Ago", 1943 June

Box  1 Folder  10

"The Byzantine Invasion of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy", 1943 November

North African and Italian campaigns of the Eastern Roman Empire under Justinian.

Box  1 Folder  11

"Some Shall Escape", 1945 August

Sinking of U.S.S. Helena as told by Commander John L. Chew.

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Manuscripts, 1946-1962 (approximate) Boxes 1-3

Series Description

Unpublished manuscripts authored by Lewis. The works include a biography of Commodore Thomas Macdonough, two novels, a treatise on the nature of Christianity, and a two-volume anthology of notable and obscure poems about famous naval battles, entitled Sea Poems: Naval Battles. Included with the manuscripts are several illustrations for the biography of Macdonough, as well as their accompanying cover letters. With the exception of the Macdonough biography, the majority of the works are presumed to have been written following Lewis's retirement from the Naval Academy in 1951.

Volume One of Sea Poems includes "Menelaus Captures a Penteconter" by Euripides, "The Grecian Fleet in Port at Aulis Ready for the Voyage to Troy" by Euripides, "The Battle of Salamis" by Aeschylus, "The Battle of Salamis" from "Persae" by Timotheus, "Trojan Attack on the Greek Fleet" from the Iliad, "The Battle of Actium" from the Aeneid, "Cleopatra" and "The Victory at Actium" from the Odes and Epodes by Horace, "The Sea Fight at Marseilles" from De Bello Civili by Lucan, "The Battle of Actium" from Legend of Good Women by Chaucer, "Near Actium: Antony's Camp" from Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare, "The Saga of King Olaf" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Fleet of King Canute" from the "Togdrapa" and "Battle in Hafersfjord" by Snorre Sturlason, "The Sea-fight at Sluys" by Laurence Minot, "The Fight at Malago," "Lepanto" by Gilbert K. Chesterton, "Song of the Prow-gilders" by Victor Hugo, "King Christian: A National Song of Denmark" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Armada" by Thomas Babington Macaulay, "The Armada 1588:1888" by Algernon Charles Swimburne, "The Spanish Armada" from Drake: An English Epic by Alfred Noyes, "The Invincible Armada" by Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, "An Excellent Song on the Winning of Cales by the English" by Thomas Deloney, "The Taking of Cartagena" by Thomas Greepe, "A Ballad to Queen Elizabeth of the Spanish Armada" by Austin Dobson, "The Defeat of the Armada" by William Warner, "An Epigram upon the sovereign of the Seas Lying in the Docks at Woolwich" by Thomas Heywood, "A Farewell to the Most Famous Generals, Sir John Norris and Sir Francis Drake, Knights" by George Peele, "Sir Francis Drake" by Thomas d'Urfey, "God Save Elizabeth" by Francis Turner Palgrave, "On the Victory Obtained by Admiral Blake" by Andrew Marvell, "To the King on His Navy" by Edmund Waller, "The Epitaph Acrostick on Robert Blake" by George Harrison, "De Ruyter's Raid" by Andrew Marvell, "Of a War with Spain and Fight at Sea" by Edmund Waller, "The Royal Victory," "Monk and Rupert Engage De Ruyter" by John Dryden, "England's Triumph and Holland's Downfall: of The Second Royal Victory," "Holland Turned to Tinder: or England's Third Great Royal Victory," "An Elegy on the Death of the Right Honourable Robert Blake," "The Valiant Seaman's Congratulation to His Sacred Majesty King Charles II," "The Dutch Damnified," "A Song of the Duke's Late Glorious Success over the Dutch," "Hawke" and "The Death of Admiral Blake" by Henry Newbolt, "Robert Blake" by Frederic E. Weatherly, "Torringtonia," "To All You Ladies" by Charles Sackville, "Admiral Russell's Scowering the French Fleet," "The Death of Admiral Benbow," "Brave News from Admiral Vernon," "On the Loss of the Royal George" by William Cowper, "Admiral Hosier's Ghost" by Richard Glover, "Neptune's Resignation" by J. Wignell, "Tit for Tat: A Sea Kick for a Land Cuff," "A Rueful Story, Admiral Byng's Glory, or Who Run Away First," "Admiral Byng and Brave West," "Rule Britannia" by James Thomson, "The Arethusa" by Prince Hoare, "Thurot," "The Boasting of Sir Peter Parker" by Clinton Scollard, "The Cruise of the Fair American," "On the Death of Captain Nicholas Biddle" by Philip Freneau, "Paul Jones," "The Yankee Man-of-War," "Paul Jones - A New Song," "The Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis" and "Song on Captain Barney's Victory over the Ship General Monk" by Philip Freneau, "The South Carolina," "The Yankee Privateer" by Arthur Hale, "The Prize of the Margaretta" by Will Carleton, "Mugford's Victory" by John W. Chadwick, "On the New American Frigate Alliance" by Philip Freneau, "Paul Jones's Victory," "Captain Jones's Invitation" and "On the Late Royal Sloop-of-War General Monk" by Philip Freneau, "Admiral Keppel Triumphant," "Hood's Conquest over the Count de Grasse," "Admiral Rodney's Triumph on the 12th of April," "A New Song on Parker the Delegate," "A New Song on the Sea Engagement Fought the First of June," "A New Song in Praise of Admiral Duncan" by J. Prat, "The Surrender of Cornwallis," "Truxtun's Victory," "The Constellation and L'Insurgente," "The Siege of Tripoli," "On the Launching of the Frigate Constitution" by Philip Freneau, "The Launch: A Federal Song," "Truxton's Victory," "The Boston Frigate's Engagement with the French Corvette Le Berceau," "Sterret's Sea Fight," "Admiral Keppel Triumphant: or Monsieur in the Suds," "The Brave Tars of Old England," "The Chapter of Admirals," "The Dutch Defeated," "A New Sea Song," "Hawke's Engagement," "The Royal Triumph," "Naval Victories," "Song of the Sea Fight" by John Dryden, "A Song in Praise of Admiral Duncan," "The Battle of the Nile," "Casabianca" by Felicia Hemans, "Copenhagen" by Thomas Campbell, "A New Song on Lord Nelson's Victory at Copenhagen," "Admirals All" by Henry Newbolt, and "Action off Copenhagen."

Volume Two of Sea Poems includes "Trafalgar," "Trafalgar" from The Battle of Trafalgar: A Poem in Six Cantos, "The Battle of Trafalgar," "The Last Three from Trafalgar" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "Nelson's Glorious Victory at Trafalgar," "The Night of Trafalgar" by Thomas Hardy, "Nelson's Glorious Victory," "The Death of Nelson," "Death of Nelson" by Martin Bladen Hawke, "Epitaph" by R. Bland, "Northumberland" by Henry Newbolt, "The Fighting Temeraire" by Henry Newbolt, "The Brave Old Temeraire" by J. Duff, "The Arrival of Nelson's Corpse" and "The Death of Nelson" by Charles Dibdin the Elder, "The Death of Nelson" by S. J. Arnold, "Trafalgar" by F. T. Palgrave, "The Quarter-Gunner's Yarn" by Henry Newbolt, "Lines to Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, G.C.B." by L.E.L., "Lines" from Marmion by Sir Walter Scott, "A New Song Composed on the Death of Lord Nelson," "Admiral Nelson," "The Old 'Superb'" by Henry Newbolt, "Ulm and Trafalgar" by George Canning, "Songs of Trafalgar" by J. W. Croker, "The Hundredth Year" by Henry Newbolt, "Nelson's Year (1905)" by Alfred Noyes, "Trafalgar Day" by A. C. Swinburne, "Rogers and Bingham," "Rodgers & Victory: Tit for Tat," "The American Constitution Frigate's Engagement with the British Frigate Guerriere," "Song: A Yankee song for the amusement of the crews of his Britannic majesty's ships Phoebe and Cherub," "On the Capture of the Guerriere" by Philip Freneau, "The Constitution and the Guerriere," "Halifax Station," "Our Navy," "Firstfruits in 1812" by Wallace Rice, "Bainbridge's Victory," "Glorious Naval Victory" by James Campbell, "The Frigate Constitution," "Old Ironsides" from The Book of the Navy by John Frost, "The Constitution's Last Fight" by James Jeffrey Roche, "In Memory of James Lawrence, Esquire" by Philip Freneau, "Chesapeake and Shannon," "Battle of the Shannon and Chesapeake," "Shannon and Chesapeake," "The Battle of Lake Erie" by Philip Freneau, "Defeat and Victory" by Wallace Rice, "The Shannon and the Chesapeake" by Thomas Trace Bouve, "The Shannon and Chesapeake," "Perry's Victory - A Song," "On the Death of Commodore Oliver H. Perry" by John G. C. Brainard, "Perry's Victory," "Perry's Victory on Lake Erie" by James Gates Percival, "The Battle of Erie," "Free Trade and Sailors' Rights: or We Will Box It Out," "The Peacock Stung by the Hornet," "Wasp Stinging Frolick," "Enterprise and Boxer," "The Wasp's Frolic," "The Ocean Fight," "The Hornet: or Victory No. 5" by Samuel Woodworth, "Sailor's Elegy on the Fate of the Wasp," "The Lost War-Sloop" by Edna Dean Proctor, "The Two Proud Sisters of the Sea" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Jack Creamer" by James Jeffrey Roche, "Decatur's Victory," "A New Song, Called the Endymion's Triumph," "The Battle of Valparaiso," "On the Capture of the U.S. Frigate Essex" by Philip Freneau, "Song" for the galley-slave on board the Phoebe, "The Battle of Plattsburg Bay" by Clinton Scollard, "Brilliant Naval Victory on Lake Champlain," "The Battle of Plattsburg," "The Battle of Lake Champlain" by Philip Freneau, "Siege of Plattsburgh" by Micajah Hawkins, "On Board the 'Saratoga'," "The Blue Hen's Chickens" by Arthur Guiterman, "The Uncourteous Knight, and the Courteous Lady," "The Fight of the Armstrong Privateer" by James Jeffrey Roche, "The Armstrong at Fayal" by Wallace Rice, "Reid at Fayal" by John Williamson Palmer, "The General Armstrong," "On the Loss of the Privateer Brigantine General Armstrong" by Philip Freneau, "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key, "Fort McHenry," "Ye Parliament of England," "Sea and Land Victories" from The Naval Songster, "Yankee Thunders," "Yankee Chronology" by William Dunlap, "On the British Blockade and Expected Attack on New York, 1814" by Philip Freneau, "Cash in Hand," "The Warship of 1812," "Stanzas on the Battle of Navarino" by Thomas Campbell, "The Battle of Navarino," "The Stone Fleet: an Old Sailor's Lament" and "Dupont's Round Fight" from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War by Herman Melville, "At Port Royal - 1861" by John G. Whittier, "The Port Royal Dance" by R. S. Burk, "Bombardment of Forts Walker and Beauregard" by Isaac MacClellan, "The Sinking of the Cumberland: Hearts of Oak - an Epitaph, March 8, 1862" by Henry H. Brownell, "How the Cumberland Went Down" by William T. Meredith, "The Cumberland" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Cumberland's Crew" by George R. Willis, "The Cumberland" from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War by Herman Melville, "On Board the 'Cumberland'" by George H. Boker, "The Turtle," "A Utilitarian View of the Monitor's Fight," "In the Turret," and "The Temeraire" from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War by Herman Melville, "Foote: A Lay of Island No. Ten," "The River Fight" by Henry Howard Brownell, "The Varuna" by George H. Boker, "The New Ballad of Lord Lovell," "The Battle of Charleston Harbor" by Paul Hamilton Hayne, "The Loyal Fisher," "New Orleans Won Back: A Lay for Our Sailors" by Robert Lowell, "The Battle of New Orleans of 1862" by Surgeon Robert T. Maccoun, "The Yankee Tars at New Orleans," "Running the Batteries" by Herman Melville, "The Kearsarge and the Alabama," "Through Fire in Mobile Bay" by T. C. Harbaugh, "The Bay Fight" by Henry Howard Brownell, and "The Battle of the Bay" from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War by Herman Melville.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.

Box  1 Folder  12

Captain Taylor's Odyssey, undated

Unpublished novel about an American naval officer turned merchant captain sailing in Chinese waters.

Box  1 Folder  13

The Hero of Lake Champlain: Commodore Thomas Macdonough, 1946 (approximate)

Unpublished biography of Thomas Macdonough.

Box  1 Folder  14

The Hero of Lake Champlain: Commodore Thomas Macdonough - Illustrations, 1946, undated

Box  1 Folder  15

My Miscellany, 1968-1969

Unpublished collection of poems and short stories.

Box  2 Folder  1

The Pasha's Daughter, undated

Unpublished semi-autobiographical novel about the exploits and relationships of an American professor in Turkey.

Box  2 Folder  2

Sea Poems: Naval Battles Vol. I, 1962 (approximate)

Poems covering form the Trojan Wars through Nelson's victory at Copenhagen.

Box  2 Folder  3

Sea Poems: Naval Battles Vol. II, 1962 (approximate)

Poems covering from the Battle of Trafalgar through the American Civil War.

Box  3 Folder  1

The Specters of the Mind, undated

Unpublished work on the nature of God and Christianity, intended for those with liberal theological beliefs or doubts about their faith.

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