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John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan Papers, 1874-1920: Finding Aid

Published in January 2018

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 459
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan Papers
  • Dates: 1874-1920
  • Size: 2.63 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box, 1 flat box, 1 oversize folder)
  • Creator: Ryan, John Paul Joseph, 1869-1918
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: John P. J. Ryan was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1893. Philip J. Ryan was a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1883. The John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan Papers, comprising 2.63 linear feet of documentation, span from 1874 to 1920, documenting the brief United States Navy career Philip J. Ryan and the considerably longer Navy career of his younger brother, John P. J. Ryan. While only focusing on Philip J. Ryan's Naval Academy mandatory sea service, the collection covers John Ryan's service in the Spanish-American War, with the Asiatic Fleet, and as a recruiter.

Biography of John P. J. Ryan and Philip J. Ryan

John Paul Joseph Ryan was born on September 5, 1869 to Richard and Ellen Ryan in Albany, New York. Admitted to the United States Naval Academy on May 22, 1889, Ryan graduated with the Class of 1893, whereupon he was assigned to duty aboard U.S.S. Detroit (Cruiser: C-10) and subsequently U.S.S. Charleston (Protected Cruiser: C-2) before returning to the Academy for final examination in 1895. During the Spanish-American War, Ryan was attached to Commodore Schley's flagship, U.S.S. Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser: ACR-3), sustaining injuries at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. Following the Spanish-American War, he served tours of duty with the Asiatic Fleet during both the Boxer Rebellion and the Russo-Japanese War, between which he embarked upon a recruiting tour throughout the U.S. in 1902 and 1903. Ryan was transferred to the Retired List in 1916 as a result of lingering effects from injuries sustained during the Spanish-American War. Following the entry of the United States into World War I, Ryan returned to active duty at the New York Navy Yard, before returning once again to inactive status due to declining health. John Paul Joseph Ryan died on September 15, 1918 in Albany, New York.

Philip Joseph Ryan was born in 1859 to Richard and Ellen Ryan in New York. Admitted to the United States Naval Academy as a Cadet Engineer on October 1, 1879, Ryan graduated with the Class of 1883. Upon completion of the academic program at the Naval Academy, he was assigned to U.S.S. Shenandoah (Screw Sloop). In accordance with the force reduction enacted in 1882, Ryan was honorably discharged from the Navy on June 30, 1885. Philip J. Ryan died on May 24, 1938.

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Description of Contents

The John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan Papers, comprising 2.63 linear feet of documentation, span from 1874 to 1920, documenting the brief United States Navy career Philip J. Ryan and the considerably longer Navy career of his younger brother, John P. J. Ryan. While only focusing on Philip J. Ryan's Naval Academy mandatory sea service, the collection covers John Ryan's service in the Spanish-American War, with the Asiatic Fleet, and as a recruiter.

Included in the collection are orders, letters, journals and diaries, scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, certificates, ephemera, and books.

The Ryan Papers are organized into two series by creator. Series 1 consists of Philip Ryan's journal of a cruise in South American waters aboard U.S.S. Shenandoah, as well as several photographs and one piece of official correspondence from the Navy. Series 2 focuses on the much longer Navy career of John Ryan, touching upon the actions of U.S.S. Brooklyn during the Spanish-American War, Ryan's service with the Asiatic Fleet in Shanghai and the Philippines, and his duties during a recruiting drive across the continental United States.

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Arrangement

The John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan Papers are organized into the following two series:

  • Series 1: John P. J. Ryan, 1874-1920
  • Series 2: Philip J. Ryan, 1878-1894
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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan 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

The following materials were transferred from Alumni/Memorabilia section of the Records of the United States Naval Academy in December 2017: Cruise of the U.S. Steamer Shenandoah; J. P. J. Ryan's scrapbook; Philip J. Ryan commendation and transfer notice; J. P. J. Ryan memorial tablet documentation; J. P. J. Ryan disability and retirement documentation; and "Some Practical Notes on the Care and Preservation of the Marine Type of Babcox and Wilcox Boilers."

The following materials were transferred from the Special Collections Vertical File in December 2017: U.S.S. Hancock menus; U.S.S. New York launching ephemera; and a U.S.S. New Orleans postcard.

One postcard of Shanghai was transferred from the Transitional Picture File in December 2017.

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Margaret E. Murphy and her estate in November 1992, March 1994, June 1994, August 1994, September 1995, and December 2001. Accession No. 92-56, 92-59, 94-17, 94-40, 94-53, 95-59, and 01-31.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan available at Special Collections & Archives, United States Naval Academy includes their respective Midshipman Conduct Records and midshipman portraits available in Photo Album 17 and Photo Album 36.

Materials Cataloged Separately

Copies of the autobiography Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, Junior and pamphlet This is Your War have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

John P. J. and Philip J. Ryan Papers, MS 459

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

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-.

United States Naval Academy. Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1866-.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in January 2018. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in January 2018.

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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

  • Ryan, John Paul Joseph, 1869-1918
  • Ryan, Philip Joseph, 1859-1938
  • Ryan, Philip Joseph, 1859-1938
  • Santiago, Battle of, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, 1898
  • Shenandoah (Screw sloop)
  • Spanish-American War, 1898
  • United States. Navy -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc
  • United States. Navy. Asiatic Fleet

Genre Terms

  • Certificates
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts
  • Monographs
  • Orders (military records)
  • Photographs
  • Printed ephemera
  • Scrapbooks
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Contents List

Series 1: John P. J. Ryan, 1874-1920 Boxes 1-3 [OS], MSOS

Series Description

Documentation of John P. J. Ryan's career in the United States Navy. In addition to containing a full set of orders spanning Ryan's whole career, the materials focus on his service aboard U.S.S. Brooklyn during the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War, his service with the Asiatic Fleet, his work with marine boilers and in Navy recruiting, and his thoughts on World War I. Included in the series are orders, letters, scrapbooks, clippings, certificates, photographs, postcards, notes, medals, books, and ephemera, such as menus and tickets.

The series also touches upon Ryan's studies at the Naval Academy and the launching of U.S.S. New York (Battleship: BB-34), as well as efforts to erect a memorial tablet in his honor at the Naval Academy.

Among the material pertaining to the Battle of Santiago de Cuba is an oversize published diagram of the battle.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type and topic.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 1

Certificates, 1893-1919

Naval Academy diploma, United States Navy commissions, and World War I French memorial certificate.

Drawer MSOS Folder 1

Diagram - Battle of Santiago de Cuba, 1898

Box 1 Folder 1

Diary, 1917-1918

Kept while in Albany, Brooklyn, and Washington, D.C. In addition Ryan's daily routine and financial matters, some entries record his thoughts on World War I, recollections of the Battle of Santiago, the 1917 Navy League Convention, Admiral George Dewey's funeral, and Germany's submarine warfare.

Box 1 Folder 2

Ephemera - General, 1891, undated

Box 1 Folder 3

Ephemera - U.S.S. Hancock, 1913

St. Patrick Day menu.

Box 1 Folder 4

Ephemera - U.S.S. New York, 1912

Tickets, invitation, and clippings from battleship New York's launching.

Box 1 Folder 5

Handbooks, 1905-1911

Baedeker's Italy: from the Alps to Naples and the Spanish missal Joya Del Cristiano.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 2

Medals and Ribbons, 1898, undated

Includes Ryan's medals for the West Indies Campaign and the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.

Box 1 Folder 6

Memorial Tablet Correspondence, 1920

Box 1 Folder 7

Obituaries, 1918

Box 1 Folder 8

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1893-1895

Includes orders for Ryan's mandatory sea service and application for service as an assistant paymaster.

Box 1 Folder 9

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1896-1899

Includes orders pertaining to the trials of U.S.S. Brooklyn and duty aboard U.S.S. Dolphin (Gunboat: PG-24).

Box 1 Folder 10

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1900-1902

Includes orders regarding duty aboard U.S.S. Wabash (Screw Frigate), torpedo training, recruiting duty, and a bounty from the Spanish-American War.

Box 1 Folder 11

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1903-1909

Includes orders regarding duty with the Asiatic Fleet, command of U.S.S. Wilmington (Gunboat: PG-8), and duty at the Naval Academy.

Box 1 Folder 12

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1910-1911

Includes orders regarding Ryan's fitness for duty, turbine specifications,

Box 1 Folder 13

Orders and Official Correspondence, 1912-1917

Orders and letters pertaining to Ryan's fitness for duty and retirement.

Box 1 Folder 14-15

Photographs, 1888, undated

Portraits of J. P. J. Ryan and other U.S. Navy officers, including photographs of Ryan in the Philippines. Includes photographs of Margaret Murphy.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 3

Photographs, 1905-1910

Officers of the U.S.S. Wilmington and crew of the U.S.S. New Orleans (Protected Cruiser: CL-22).

Box 1 Folder 16

Postcards, 1910-1912, undated

Picture view of Shanghai, Rome, and the main gate of the Naval Academy, as well as the rough log of U.S.S. New Orleans.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 4

Scrapbook, 1902-1903

Clippings regarding Ryan's work as a Navy recruiter and temporary recruiting station openings in Baltimore, Bethlehem, Newark New Jersey, New Haven, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Grand Forks North Dakota, and Yankton South Dakota. Also includes details of injuries sustained by Ryan at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.

Box 1 Folder 17

Scrapbook, undated

Scrapbook of comics entitled "The Awakening of John P. Ryan."

Box 1 Folder 18

"Some Practical Notes on the Care and Preservation of the Marine Type of Babcox and Wilcox Boilers", 1906

Box 2 Folder 1

Textbooks, 1874-1881

Samuel Eliot's History of the United States and William Swinton's Outlines of the World's History.

Box 2 Folder 2

Visiting Card, undated

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Series 1: Philip J. Ryan, 1878-1894 Box 2

Series Description

Limited documentation of Philip J. Ryan's brief career in the United States Navy. The materials focus on Philip J. Ryan's mandatory sea service aboard U.S.S. Shenandoah following his studies at the United States Naval Academy. In addition to a journal of Ryan's cruise aboard the Shenandoah, the series includes a letter of commendation and several photographs.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by document type.

Box 2 Folder 3

Commendation and Transfer Notice, 1884

Signed by Commander E. Longnecker.

Box 2 Folder 4

Journal - Cruise of the U.S. Steamer Shenandoah, (2d rate), 1883-1885

Journal of South American cruise kept during two-year mandatory sea service. Notations on weather conditions, watch keeping, and ship's course and location. Includes descriptions of Porto Grande and Porto Praya in the Cape Verde Islands; July 1884 transfer to U.S.S. Wachusett (Screw Sloop) under the command of Alfred Thayer Mahan; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and operations out of Callao, Peru. Signed by A. T. Mahan.

Box 2 Folder 5

Photographs, 1878-1894, undated

Portraits of Philip J. Ryan.

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