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Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album, 1869-1949 (bulk 1904-1949): Finding Aid

Published in March 2019

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 481
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album
  • Dates: 1869-1949
  • Bulk Dates: 1904-1949
  • Size: 0.13 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 2 folders
  • Creator: Bright, Clarkson J. (Clarkson Joel), 1888-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Clarkson J. Bright was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1910. The Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album, comprising a single volume with several loose photographs, spans primarily from 1904 to 1949, with several photographs dating from as early as 1869. Bearing the cover title of "The Bright's Volume 6," the album consists primarily of photographs and picture postcards from Bright's career in the United States Navy and the travels and Annapolis home of the family of Bright's wife, Burton Starr Bright.

Biography of Clarkson J. Bright

Clarkson Joel Bright was born on August 16, 1888 in Columbia Missouri. Graduating from the United States Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1910, Bright was attached to U.S.S. Washington (Armored cruiser: ACR-11) and U.S.S. Petrel (Gunboat: PG-2) during his two years of sea service prior to commissioning. From September 1913 until May 1917, he served aboard U.S.S. Florida (Battleship: BB-30), which was deployed to Veracruz during the Mexican Revolution.

With the outbreak of World War I, Bright was assigned to special duty with Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves and the Cruiser and Transport Force. In January 1918, he assumed command of the Armed Guard posted aboard S.S. Philadelphia, where he remained until being transferred to U.S.S. San Diego (Armored cruise: ACR-6) as Gunnery Officer. Bright remained attached to U.S.S. San Diego until her loss on July 19, 1918 at the hands of a German mine. By war's end, he was attached to U.S.S. Alabama (Battleship: BB-8).

Following the war, Bright was attached to the United States Naval Academy's Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics from January 1919 until June 1921. Detached from the Academy, Bright briefly returned to U.S.S. Florida as First Lieutenant before assuming command of U.S.S. Luce (Destroyer: DD-99) in February 1922. Two months later, his command was transferred to U.S.S. Lansdale (Destroyer: DD-101), after which he reported to Philadelphia in connection with the fitting out of U.S.S. Richmond (Light cruiser: CL-9). With her commissioning in 1923, Bright began service as Gunnery Officer until 1926. In June of that year, Bright returned to the Naval Academy once again, where he served in the Department of Seamanship and Flight Tactics until July 1929. Duty at the Academy was followed by command of U.S.S. Simpson (Destroyer: DD-221) with the Asiatic Fleet for two years. Bright detached from U.S.S. Simpson for postgraduate study in international law and relations at Harvard University, followed by enrollment in the senior course at the Naval War College, which he completed in June 1934. After completion of the course, he was attached to U.S.S. Saratoga (Aircraft carrier: CV-3) as First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer. In June 1935, he received command of U.S.S. Vega (Cargo ship: AK-17), but returned to the Naval War College in June 1936 as a member of the College's staff. Three years later, Bright returned to U.S.S. Richmond as her Commanding Officer.

Bright remained in command of U.S.S. Richmond until shortly before the outbreak of World War II, at which time he returned to the staff of the Naval War College. He remained in Newport until September 1945, and retired from the Navy on August 7, 1947, at which time he was advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral. In retirement, Bright and his wife, Burton Starr Bright, resided in Annapolis, first on Market Street, and later in Wardour. Rear Admiral Clarkson Joel Bright died on November 30, 1974.

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Description of Contents

The Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album, comprising a single volume with several loose photographs, spans primarily from 1904 to 1949, with several photographs dating from as early as 1869. Bearing the cover title of "The Bright's Volume 6," the album consists primarily of photographs and picture postcards from Bright's career in the United States Navy and the travels and Annapolis home of the family of Bright's wife, Burton Starr Bright.

Included among the photographs and postcards are several pieces of ephemera.

Materials from Clarkson Bright's U.S. Navy service include items from duty aboard U.S.S. Florida (Battleship: BB-30), U.S.S. Richmond (Light cruiser: CL-9), and U.S.S. Simpson (Destroyer: DD-221). Materials from U.S.S. Florida include a 1921 edition of the ship's paper and a 1914 portrait of officers and crew. Items from U.S.S. Richmond include photographs, all taken in 1923, from Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Bermuda. Bright's time commanding U.S.S. Simpson is documented by photographs of street scenes and the waterfront of Chefoo in 1929.

Annapolis and the Naval Academy are heavily represented throughout the album. Images of the Naval Academy include a lecture hall (possibly in Sampson Hall), the interior of Mahan Library during construction, and snow scenes on the Yard. Annapolis is represented through images of the Marcy home at 79 Market Street, downtown Annapolis in the snow, and a promotional map of colonial Annapolis. Also present are numerous photographs of the Marcy Family including Bright's wife, Burton Starr Bright, Burton's step-father and St. John's College faculty member William L. Marcy, and Burton's sister Edith Marcy, many of which were likely taken at their Market Street home.

The Marcy Family is additionally represented through photographs and postcard views of their travels, including trips to Saint-Nazaire, France; Mobile Alabama (especially Bellingrath Gardens); New Orleans, Louisiana; Natchez, Mississippi; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Charleston, South Carolina (especially Middleton Place, Magnolia Gardens, and Cypress Gardens); St. Augustine, Florida; Key West, Florida; Marineland, Florida; and an undersized book of 16 Collotype Views of Edinburgh. Images of other locales and events include Newport, Rhode Island (including several mansion, the Casino, and the harbor); Jamaica, Queens (including the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, a D.A.R. Hall, and Jamaica High School); and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (including the Brazilian Pavilion and the Palace of Electricity).

Filed separately are several photograph that were tucked loose inside the album's back cover. Included are several images of U.S.S. Richmond (Light cruiser: CL-9), a print of U.S.S. Delaware (Ship-of-the-line) being hit by a squall, a Naval Academy Ball, the crew of U.S.S. Richmond (Sloop-of-war), and the members of the 1932 U.S. Naval Eclipse Expedition. Included among the photographs is a pamphlet celebrating the third anniversary of the U.S.S. Richmond (Light cruiser: CL-9).

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The Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album is organized into two files.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album 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

Gift of Mrs. Gilbert H. Moore in March 1994. Accession No. 94-15.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Clarkson J. Bright in this repository includes his midshipman personnel jacket and alumni jacket. Despite the indication that the Bright's compiled other photograph albums, the disposition of those albums is unknown.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

The loose photographs originally stored at the end of the album were removed and foldered separately during processing.

Preferred Citation

Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album, MS 481

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

Bright, Clarkson J. Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in March 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in March 2019.

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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

  • Annapolis (Md.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
  • Bright, Burton Starr
  • Bright, Clarkson J. (Clarkson Joel), 1888-
  • China -- Description and travel
  • Florida (Battleship : BB-30)
  • Florida -- Description and travel
  • France -- Description and travel
  • Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.)
  • Marcy family
  • Marcy, William L., 1859-1925
  • Newport (R.I.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
  • Richmond (Light cruiser : CL-9)
  • United States Naval Academy -- Buildings and grounds

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Printed ephemera
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Clarkson J. Bright Photograph Album, 1904-1949

Box 1 Folder 2

Loose Photographs, 1869-1932

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