Rodgers Family Papers
1791-1885 (Bulk: 1800-1830)
(2 boxes, 157 vols., 12.25 lin. feet)

Collection 1208

©The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street * Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania 1300 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699
Table of contents Abstract
John Rodgers, born in Maryland in 1773, entered the United States Navy in 1798 as a lieutenant. He was soon promoted to captain and later became a commodore. Rodgers's distinguished naval career lasted more than forty years and included service during the Tripolitan War, the War of 1812, and more than two decades of service on the Board of Navy Commissioners, of which he was president. Three of his sons, Frederick, Henry, and John, followed him into the navy, as did several of his grandsons and great-grandsons. Other family members who served in the navy included his brother George Washington Rodgers, his son-in-law Matthew C. Perry, his nephew Christopher Raymond Perry Rodgers, and his brothers-in law John D. Henley and Henry Denison.

This collection contains more than seventy volumes of records pertaining to John Rodgers's naval career, including correspondence, general orders, requisition books, and ships' logs. Similar records highlight the careers of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Rear Admiral John Rodgers, Rear Admiral Frederick Rodgers, Rear Admiral John Augustus Rodgers, Captain George Washington Rodgers, Commodore John D. Henley, naval Purser Henry Denison, and Midshipman Frederick Rodgers. Civil Engineer and Civil War Colonel Robert Smith Rodgers is represented by diaries, accounts, and correspondence. A handful of personal papers concern other members of the extended Rodgers family, including Minerva (Denison) Rodgers, Sarah (Perry) Rodgers, Julia (Slidell) Rodgers, John Slidell, Jane (Slidell) Perry, and Louisa Rodgers.

Background note
The Rodgers family is perhaps the most noted family in the history of the United States Navy. Several generations of the family served, and between 1798 and 1926 the navy could count at least one John Rodgers in its ranks. This naval dynasty began with John Rodgers, one of eight children born to Scottish immigrant John Rodgers and his wife Elizabeth Reynolds. The elder John Rodgers was active in the Maryland militia during the American Revolution. Born in 1773, near Havre de Grace, Maryland, young John exhibited an early interest in sailing and was apprenticed to a Baltimore captain at the age of fifteen. He then worked on or captained merchant vessels for the next decade or so.

In 1794 Congress authorized the construction of six frigates, the first naval vessels built under the United States Constitution. In 1798 the first three ships were completed, and John Rodgers was appointed second lieutenant of the USS Constellation, then in the command of Captain Thomas Truxtun. Rodgers distinguished himself during the undeclared war between the U.S. and France, fought from 1798 to 1801, and was promoted to captain in 1799. He eventually commanded the vessel that conveyed the peace treaty to France. At the close of the war, he took a brief hiatus from the navy and returned to merchant service. While in Santo Domingo as the master of a merchant vessel, Rodgers was apprehended by the French and imprisoned in a dungeon. After being forcibly held for several months, he was finally ordered off the island and was recalled to the navy shortly thereafter.

Rodgers spent most of the next few years cruising the seas off the coast of Africa as part of the navy's Mediterranean Squadron. His many successful performances during the Tripolitan War further burnished his reputation, and in 1805 he was appointed commodore of the squadron, with the Constitution as his flagship.

After serving in the Mediterranean, Rodgers returned to the United States to command the New York Flotilla, a small fleet of gunboats assigned to protect the port of New York and enforce the 1807 embargo on trade with Britain and France. He then took command of the North Atlantic Squadron, which he led throughout the War of 1812. During this period Rodgers was the ranking officer in the navy. He was hailed as a popular hero for capturing twenty-three prizes and lending critical assistance to the defense of Fort McHenry. Near the end of the war, while stationed near Washington, D.C., Rodgers helped coordinate the defense of the nation's capital. During this time, John's brother, George Washington Rodgers, also served as a naval captain.

In 1815 John Rodgers was appointed to the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group formed to assist and provide support for the secretary of the navy. Rodgers served as president of the board and worked in that capacity until the mid-1820s, when he returned to active service. In 1823, amidst rumors of terrible fever outbreaks in the fleet near Thompson's Island (now Key West), he led a brief expedition there to provide relief and assistance. Shortly thereafter, he took command of the Mediterranean Squadron, with the North Carolina as his flagship. The squadron's presence in the Mediterranean helped lay the foundation for the 1831 commercial treaty with Turkey, which opened the Black Sea to United States commerce. Rodgers returned to his work on the Board of Navy Commissioners in about 1827. He retained that post until his death in 1838.

A well-known figure in Washington society for much of his life, Rodgers's friends and associates included high-ranking officers and influential politicians such as John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. In 1820 he attended his friend Commodore Stephen Decatur's duel with Commodore James Barron and remained at Decatur's side until he expired from his wounds. The Rodgers' extended family included Tobias Lear and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Even John Rodgers's house would have an interesting history; built by the commodore in 1835, it was subsequently the home of several government officials, and is the house in which Secretary of State William H. Seward was attacked on April 14, 1865.

John Rodgers's sons and grandsons continued this tradition of military service, most of them by rising in the ranks of the navy. John Rodgers had married Minerva Denison, the daughter of a wealthy Maryland merchant, in 1806. Although John spent many years at sea, the couple still managed to produce ten children: Robert Smith, Frederick, John, Elizabeth, William Pinkney, Henry, Ann, Augustus Frederick, Louisa, and Jerusha. Four of their sons became active in the military and two of their daughters married army officers. Robert Smith Rodgers, their eldest son, was a civil engineer who served as a colonel during the Civil War. Frederick Rodgers, a midshipman who served with his father in the Mediterranean, drowned with two of his friends near Norfolk in 1828. Henry Rodgers was lost off the coast of California in 1854. John Rodgers (1812-1882), a naval engineer, served in the Civil War and achieved the rank of rear admiral before his death in 1882. John and Minerva's daughter, Louisa, married Montgomery C. Meigs, quartermaster general during the Civil War. Their daughter Ann married Colonel John Navarre Macomb.

The Rodgers family's connection to the navy was reinforced by marriages to other families with naval backgrounds. Minerva (Denison) Rodgers's brother Henry served as the purser on several naval ships, including the brig Argus, which wreaked havoc on British merchant vessels near the English Channel after running the British blockade of New England during the War of 1812. Argus was eventually sunk in a confrontation with the HMS Pelican, and Henry Denison and his surviving shipmates were imprisoned in England for more than a year. After his release Henry spent much of his time tending the family's home in Sion Hill, Maryland. Henry and Minerva's sister Eliza married Commodore John D. Henley, a hero of the Battle of New Orleans. Their sister Louisa married Captain Alexander Wadsworth.

Robert Smith Rodgers, John and Minerva's eldest son, maintained the family property at Sion Hill after his Uncle Henry's death. In 1841 Robert married Sarah Perry, the daughter of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who had an illustrious naval career himself. Perry served for many years under the command of John Rodgers before he was appointed captain. He is best known for his expeditions to Japan in the 1850s, which resulted in the opening of trade between Japan and the United States. In the 1840s Perry commanded the African Squadron, which was formed to suppress the slave trade and to protect American blacks who had settled in Africa. In the late 1840s Perry served in the Mexican War and helped the U.S. Army capture the city of Vera Cruz.

The Perry-Rodgers connection had been forged many years before, when Matthew Perry's sister Ann married George Washington Rodgers, the brother of John Rodgers. Perry's older brother was the famed naval captain Oliver Hazard Perry, with whom Matthew also served for a time. Their father was Captain Christopher Raymond Perry. Matthew's wife, Jane (Slidell) Perry, had a younger brother, Alexander Slidell (who later changed his named to Alexander Slidell Mackenzie in order to inherit money from his uncle), who also served as the captain of a naval ship and achieved notoriety in 1842 when he executed three members of his crew on the Somers, whom he suspected of mutiny. He went on to write a number of well-known books, including biographies of Stephen Decatur and Oliver Hazard Perry. Alexander and Jane's brother William was one of the midshipmen who drowned with his friend Frederick Rodgers in 1828. Another Slidell, Julia, married Rear Admiral Christopher Raymond Perry Rodgers, the son of George Washington Rodgers and Anna (Perry) Rodgers.

Two of Robert and Sarah (Perry) Rodgers's children, Frederick and John Augustus, also served in the navy. Both achieved the rank of rear admiral. Subsequent generations of the Rodgers family continued this tradition of naval service well into the twentieth century.

Scope and content
This collection chiefly relates to the naval service of several generations of the Rodgers family, with the bulk of the materials pertaining to career of Commodore John Rodgers (1773-1838). Included are records regarding his service in the Tripolitan War and the War of 1812, as well as his work on the Board of Navy Commissioners. Records for other members of his family, including his sons Henry, John, and Frederick; his grandsons Frederick and John Augustus; his brother George Washington Rodgers; his brothers-in-law, John D. Henley and Henry Denison; and his son-in-law Matthew C. Perry, pertain to their services in the Mexican War, the Civil War, the African Squadron of 1843, and the Asiatic Squadron of the 1870s, as well as other minor assignments. These records include logbooks, signal books, journals, requisition books, general orders, sailing instructions, and letters. Although these records are by no means complete, they do cover most aspects of naval service and they collectively represent most of the major naval campaigns undertaken by the United States in the nineteenth century.

There are several areas for which documentation is quite rich. Commodore Rodgers's papers concerning his command of the North Atlantic Squadron during the War of 1812 include detailed log books that describe encounters with British vessels. The USS President's clash with the HMS Little Belt in 1811, one of the engagements that precipitated the war, is recorded in the ship's log. Also included are general orders, volumes pertaining to the outfitting and supplying of ships, and letters pertaining to Rodgers's work assisting the defense of Washington, D.C. in 1814. Henry Denison's papers pertaining to the Argus , sunk by the British in 1813, contain lists of sailors taken prisoner, money and supplies distributed to them, and papers relating to their release.

Many records relate to John Rodgers's work as commander of the Mediterranean Squadron in the mid 1820s, and other records contain fairly rich documentation of his work on the Board of Navy Commissioners, on which he served from 1815 until his death in 1838. These records include opinions on various aspects of the navy's regulation and the board's opinions on proposed changes. Commodore Matthew Perry's papers include records regarding his command of the African Squadron, as well as detailed correspondence concerning his service in the Mexican War.

Although the collection includes records for many members of the Rodgers family, several individuals are represented by just a few items documenting their naval careers. Personal papers are few and far between, although they do provide some clues about the lives and interests of some family members. Robert Smith Rodgers's papers include personal correspondence and scattered diary entries, and his son John Augustus's diary from the Macedonian contains his impressions of France. Sporadic family correspondence can be found throughout the collection (usually filed with the addressee), and Series 7 contains correspondence of Julia (Slidell) Rodgers, Minerva (Denison) Rodgers, Sarah (Perry) Rodgers, and other family members concerning engagements, deaths, and other family news.

Please note that that many of the individuals represented in this collection have not only a close personal connection, but also close professional ties. For example, Matthew C. Perry was not only John Rodgers's son-in-law, he was a midshipman on Rodgers's ship during the War of 1812. Rodgers's son Frederick served with him in the Mediterranean Squadron. Robert Smith Rodgers appears to have played a minor role as Matthew Perry's prize agent during the Mexican War. Although ships' logs and other records were typically kept by midshipmen or lieutenants, here they are organized by squadron and commander. Perry's log kept aboard the President is therefore with other records of the North Atlantic Squadron, which was commanded by John Rodgers. The only exception to this is for records that were clearly kept for personal, unofficial use while on ship.

Series I John Rodgers (1773-1838), 1799-1838
a. Mediterranean Squadron, 1799-1806 3 vols., 1 folder
b. New York Flotilla, 1807-1812 9 vols., 1 folder
c. North Atlantic Squadron, 1809-1814 13 vols., 2 folers
d. Board of Naval Commissioners, 1815-1834 8 vols., 10 folders
e. Mediterranean Squadron, 1824-1828 38 vols.
f. Miscellaneous, 1802-1838, n.d. 4 vols., 5 folders
Series II Henry Rodgers (d. 1854), 1837-1854 9 vols., 1 folder
Series III Robert Smith Rodgers (1810-1889), 1830-1885 8 vols., 7 folders
Series IV Frederick Rodgers (1842-1917), 1854-1878 7 vols., 6 folders
Series V Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858), 1821-1849 12 vols., 2 folders
Series VI Henry Denison (1782-1822), 1799-1822, n.d.
a. Purser's accounts, 1807-1822 7 vols., 11 folders
b. Personal, 1799-1819 5 vols.
Series VII Other family members, 1792-1894, n.d.
a. John Rodgers (1812-1882), 1840-1849 2 vols., 2 folders
b. Frederick Rodgers (1811-1828), 1825-1827 3 vols., 1 folder
c. Louisa Rodgers (1817-1869), 1826-1836 2 vols.
d. John Augustus Rodgers (1848-1933), 1867-1869 2 vols.
e. John D. Henley, 1815-1821 2 vols., 2 folders
f. Miscellaneous, 1792-1894, n.d. 3 vols., 6 folders
Series VIII Miscellaneous, 1796-1874, n.d.
a. Ships' papers and naval records, 1796-1874, n.d. 19 vols., 8 folders
b. Miscellaneous, 1823-1872, n.d. 3 vols.

Administrative information
The collection is open for research.


Preferred citation
Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Rodgers Family Papers (Collection 1208), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Processing information
Processing made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Several volumes have been cleaned for mold.

Alternate formats
Volume 65 (the "black book" containing lists of punishments meted out on the USS North Carolina) has been microfilmed (call number XR 994).

Additional information
Separated material

Related material

Department of the Navy, Navy Historical Center, "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships," (January 9, 2004)

Dictionary of American Biography, __ ed., s.v. "Rodgers, John (1773-1838)."

Dictionary of American Biography, __ ed., s.v. "Rodgers, John (1812-1882)."

Dictionary of American Biography, __ ed., s.v. "Perry, Matthew Calbraith."

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, D.C.: Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division, 1959.

Paullin, Charles Oscar. Commodore John Rodgers: Captain, Commodore, and Senior Officer of the American Navy. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1910.

Added entries
  • Africa--Colonization--19th century
  • Amelia Island (Fla.)--History
  • Argus (Brig)
  • Asp (Ship)
  • Astronautics in navigation
  • Blackbeard Island (Ga.)--History
  • Brandywine (Frigate)
  • Cape Saint Vincent, Battle of, 1797
  • Cap-Français (Haiti)--History
  • Concord (Sloop-of-war)
  • Congress (Frigate)
  • Constellation (Frigate)
  • Constitution (Frigate)
  • Corporal punishment--19th century
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--19th century
  • Cumberland (Frigate)
  • Despatch (Ship)
  • Dolphin (Brig)
  • Embargo, 1807-1809
  • Erie (Sloop of war)
  • Fairfield (Ship)
  • Falcon (Ship)
  • Guerriere (Frigate)
  • Gunboats
  • Havre de Grace (Md.)--Commerce--19th century
  • Home economics--Accounting
  • Independence (Ship : 1814-1913)
  • John Adams (Ship)
  • Key West (Fla.)--History
  • Macedonian (Ship)
  • Merchants--Maryland--18th century
  • Mexican War, 1846-1848--Campaigns--Mexico--Tuxpan
  • Mexican War, 1846-1848--Campaigns--Mexico--Vera Cruz
  • Mexican War, 1846-1848--Naval operations
  • Mississippi (Side-wheel steamer)
  • Monocacy (Side-wheel steamer)
  • Natchez (Miss.)--Commerce--18th century
  • Nautical astronomy--19th century
  • Navigation--19th century
  • New York Naval Yard (New York, N.Y.)
  • North Carolina (Ship-of-the-Line)
  • Ontario (Sloop of war)
  • Palmas, Cape (Liberia)--History
  • Pirates--19th century
  • Porpoise (Schooner)
  • President (Frigate)
  • Prince George (Ship)
  • Requisitions, Military
  • Sailors--19th century
  • Santee (Frigate)
  • Shark (Schooner)
  • Shipbuilding--19th century
  • Ship's papers--19th century
  • Ships--Equipment and supplies
  • Ships--Maintenance and repair
  • Shipyards
  • Signals and signaling
  • Sion Hill (Md.)
  • Slave trade--Africa--19th century
  • Somers (Brig : 1842-1846)
  • St. Mary's (Ship)
  • Superb (Ship)
  • United States. Board of Navy Commissioners
  • United States. Navy. African Squadron
  • United States. Navy. Court martial (Carpender: 1826)
  • United States. Navy. Mediterranean Squadron.
  • United States. Navy--Accounting
  • United States. Navy--African Squadron
  • United States. Navy--History
  • United States. Navy--Officers
  • United States. War Dept. General Orders.
  • United States--History, 1797-1801
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Blockades
  • United States--History--Tripolitan War, 1801-1805
  • United States--History--War of 1812--Campaigns
  • United States--History--War of 1812--Naval operations
  • United States--History--War of 1812--Prisoners and prisons
  • United States--History--War with France, 1798-1800--Naval operations
  • Warren (Sloop of war)
  • Wave (Ship)
  • Yellow fever--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th century
  • Contributors
  • Allen, William, d. 1813
  • Barron, James, 1769-1851
  • Barron, Samuel, d. 1810
  • Dahlgren, John Adolphus Bernard, 1809-1870
  • Denison, Ezra, d. 1799
  • Denison, Gideon, 1753-1799
  • Denison, Henry, 1782-1822
  • Henley, John D. (John Dandridge), 1781-1835
  • Mackenzie, Alexander Slidell, 1803-1848
  • Macomb, Ann Minerva Rodgers, 1824-1916.
  • Meigs, Louisa Rodgers, 1817-1869
  • Perry, Jane Slidell
  • Perry, Matthew Calbraith, 1794-1858
  • Perry, Oliver Hazard, 1817-1864
  • Rodgers family
  • Rodgers, Frederick, 1811-1828
  • Rodgers, Frederick, 1842-1917
  • Rodgers, George Washington, 1787-1832
  • Rodgers, Henry, d. 1854
  • Rodgers, John Augustus, 1848-1933
  • Rodgers, John, 1773-1838
  • Rodgers, John, 1812-1882
  • Rodgers, Julia Slidell
  • Rodgers, Minerva Denison, 1784-1877
  • Rodgers, Robert Slidell
  • Rodgers, Robert Smith, 1810-1889
  • Rodgers, Sarah Perry, b. 1818
  • Slidell, John
  • Wadsworth, Alexander S., d. 1851
  • Contact information
    The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
    1300 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699



      Sponsor:Processing made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
    Collection overview

    Series 1. John Rodgers 1799-1838
    Box 1, vols. 1-74

    a. Mediterranean Squadron 1799-1806

    This subseries includes four volumes pertaining to John Rodgers's service in the Mediterranean Squadron during the Tripolitan War. His letterbook actually begins in 1799, shortly after Rodgers joined the navy, and continues, with some gaps, until the end of the Tripolitan War. It not only contains copies of Rodgers's outgoing correspondence, it also includes copies of letters that he received and third-party correspondence involving other naval officers. In a very angry letter to William Jarvis, the American Consul in Lisbon, Rodgers wrote indignantly, "I now without reserve take the liberty of telling you in plain English that nothing less than the high authority that gave you your appointment [the president] has preventd my chastising you for your unmanly & ungentlemanly conduct before this." The unsigned letter ends "I will not trust you with my signature." Orders, promotions, and courts martial are discussed in these letters, and some sailing signals are included as well.

    A receipt book documents money advanced to the squadron's officers; these sums range from one hundred dollars to ten thousand dollars. Entries sometimes note that the money would be used to pay additional troops that the officers had enlisted. Monthly expenditures of the Constellation are included in a large, canvas-covered volume. Expenditures include money spent for gunners' stores, hospital expenses, cooperage, carpentry, furniture, and boatswains. These meticulous entries appear to account for nearly every item onboard, from sails to shackles.

    Of particular note in this subseries is a volume that includes the quarter bill, general orders, and signals of the frigate John Adams, which Rodgers commanded for a time. This volume contains a detailed roster of the crew and notes which duties they were assigned. It also includes beautifully colored drawings of the ship's masts and sails, as well as colored drawings of the flags that were to be used in certain signals. The general orders outline the responsibilities of the different classes of sailors and stress the need for strict adherence to orders and procedures. Three letters from subordinate officers complete this subseries.

    b. New York Flotilla 1807-1812

    This subseries consists of nine volumes pertaining to John Rodgers's command of the New York Flotilla, a small fleet consisting mainly of gunboats. The flotilla was assigned to protect the Port of New York during the 1807 embargo. Three of these volumes contain general orders issued to the flotilla by Commodore Rodgers. Two of these volumes are exactly the same; the third is very similar. The orders outline various aspects of seamanship and conduct that Rodgers considered of high importance. Most orders concern discipline and obedience, although some concern hygiene and meticulousness. One order mandated that "Blasphemy-Profaneness and all species of immorality are peremptorily forbid."

    Also included in this subseries are three account books for the flotilla, kept by United States Naval Agents. John Beekman is identified as the naval agent in the first of these volumes, although all three appear to have been kept by more than one person. Accounts with other men are listed throughout the volumes. Purchases, which were for various ships in the flotilla, included guns, ammunition, wood, hardware, furniture, canvas, paint, and cables.

    Another volume lists vessels spoken to by flotilla ships, as well as a list of vessels boarded by crews from the flotilla. Origin, destination, captain's name, and type of cargo are listed for most of these ships. According to navy regulations, ships were from time to time surveyed, or inspected, for repairs and problems. A survey book chronicles surveys conducted on a number of boats in the flotilla and includes lists of problems and supplies that were wanting. One volume chronicling courts martial proceedings on the Vesuvius and Etna and two letters concerning Rodgers's work as commander round out the records of the New York Flotilla.

    c. North Atlantic Squadron 1809-1814

    This subseries includes records pertaining to John Rodgers's command of the North Atlantic Squadron, to which he was assigned in 1810. The squadron, with President as its flagship, actively patrolled the waters of the North Atlantic in order to protect the American coast. Records include general orders, log book of the President, muster roll and expenditures of the Constitution, and records of proceedings at courts martial.

    The logbook of the President, with Matthew C. Perry as midshipman (and ostensibly recorder), recounts the President's 1811 clash with the British vessel Little Belt, one of several events that led to the outbreak of war in 1812. In addition to tracking position, weather, and navigational courses, the logbook also describes skirmishes and encounters with other ships. Another particularly detailed volume, expenditures of the Constitution, shows monthly tallies of how many of each particular item on board was available or used.

    In 1814, Rodgers was assigned command of the Delaware Flotilla, with the Guerriere as his ship. A letterbook and a requisition book for the Guerierre document this period, as does an oversized quarter bill for the flotilla. Rodgers spent part of this time in Philadelphia, waiting for the Guerriere, which was a prize taken from the British, to be overhauled and properly outfitted. His letters, many of the written from Philadelphia, consist largely of orders and regulations for subordinate officers. Rodgers did not command the flotilla for very long; in one of the first letters, he transferred command to Lieutenant Charles W. Morgan. Rodgers continued with his duties on the mainland, and in the summer of 1814, he contributed to the defense of the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas by dispatching several corps of sailors for the defense of the capital.

    Records of courts martial typically consist of Rodgers's order that a court martial take place and his assignment of the officers who were to be members of the court. Although Rodgers's letters, generally written to the commanders of the ships on which the accused were serving, ask that transcripts of the questioning be sent to him (copies of these transcripts are sometimes included), he does not appear to have had judicial authority at the courts martial. Most of the accusations concern disobedience, neglect of duty, mutinous conduct, and desertion. These records are for courts martial on several vessels, including Argus, Wasp, Constitution, and Hornet.

    A handful of letters largely concern the requisitioning of ships and the treatment of British prisoners of war.

    d. Board of Navy Commissioners 1815-1834

    Many of the papers in this subseries pertain to the revision of naval regulations that was undertaken in the early 1830s. In particular, these papers address specific aspects of the regulations and the proposed revisions, including the issue of merging the duties of the secretary of the navy with those of the president of the Board of Navy Commissioners. Included are copies of letters to and from John Rodgers, president of the Board of Revisions, and various board members, as well as Levi Woodbury, the secretary of the navy.

    Also included in this subseries are pay regulations for the navy; a manuscript copy of the articles of war, which contains information on crimes and court martial procedures; a small volume of sailing instructions and fog signals; and several manuscript volumes concerning shipbuilding and the outfitting of ships, which fell under the auspices of the navy commissioners. There is also a volume recording work done by men cutting timber on Blackbeard Island. Just off the coast of Georgia, Blackbeard Island was purchased by the United States in 1800 as a source for wood to be used in shipbuilding. The volume consists of weekly reports of work done by the men and lists their names, days worked, and occasional comments, usually referring to sickness or injury.

    Correspondence included in this subseries is addressed to Rodgers during his long tenure with the Board of Navy Commissioners. Matthew Perry (see Series 5) penned several of them, and a number of others refer to the regulation of navy yards and other naval business. One 1834 letter, from a Captain Percival, concerns a cane that was crafted for Commodore Rodgers. The cane was made from lumber of the Constitution, which was deemed unseaworthy in 1833. There is also a group of letters concerning an article that was published in the New York Courier and Enquirer in 1829. The article alluded to some possible corruption on the Board of Navy Commissioners, and Rodgers wrote to the publishers to gain access to the source of the story.

    Several volumes pertain to calculations for shipbuilding, which was overseen by the board. There is a small volume submitted by S.W. Johnson and Joseph Wilson, shipbuilders, that proposed methods and plans for building ships. This volume is entirely narrative; no drawings or diagrams of the suggested methods are included.

    e. Mediterranean Squadron 1824-1828

    This subseries consists of thirty-seven volumes pertaining to John Rodgers's command of the Mediterranean Squadron. Although the records do not bear it out explicitly, the squadron's work was instrumental in laying the groundwork for a commercial treaty with Turkey and opening the Black Sea to American commerce. Rodgers's flagship and command post was the seventy-four-gun North Carolina, which carried nearly one thousand men. The majority of the records in this subseries pertain to that ship. Matthew C. Perry (see Series 5) served as the executive officer of the North Carolina during this period, and his name appears frequently in these records.

    North Carolina was widely considered the finest naval vessel in the world. Records include general orders; ship's logs; expenditures for gunners, boatswains, sailmakers, and carpenters; a signal journal; a volume of meteorological observations; and a number of requisition books for various departments on the ship. Most of these records concern the supplying of the ship, but two liberty books provide the names of sailors and the dates that they were excused from the ship. Leaves of more than half a day appear to have been rare.

    Navy regulations were very strict, and sailors who remained on shore too long or took advantage of liberty time were strictly punished. The "Black Book" of the North Carolina, which might have been kept by Midshipman Frederick Rodgers, is an alphabetical listing of sailors, their offenses, and their punishments. The abuse of liberty privileges, fighting, and insolence were common problems, but most often the crime was drunkenness. Occasionally privileges were revoked as punishment, but lashing or flogging was most common. Lashes were administered in multiples of twelve; sometimes crimes were forgiven with the condition that subsequent offenses would be punishable by two or three times as many lashes. Occasionally the name of the person administering the lashes was listed.

    In addition to the ample supply records found in the requisition and expenditure books, the logs contain a very extensive record of the North Carolina's position at sea, weather conditions, food stores, and other vessels seen and spoken. These volumes also include a daily record of how many sailors on board were ill. It was not unusual to have twenty or thirty sick on a given day.

    In addition to the records of the North Carolina, there are also a handful of records pertaining to other ships in the squadron, including the Brandywine, Erie, Ontario, and Warren. These volumes consist of requisitions and expenditures. There is also a volume chronicling orders that were given to survey the vessels in the squadron for needed repairs or supplies, and there are two volumes pertaining to court martial proceedings. Also included is a small volume of John Rodgers's 1827 expenses with the Department of Discount and Deposit.

    The volume of meteorological observations has a memorandum concerning John Rodgers's purchase of a Chesapeake-area glass works in 1833 on the reverse (see also Series 1F).

    f. Miscellaneous 1802-1838, n.d.

    During Rodgers's brief hiatus from active duty in 1801-1802, he rejoined the merchant service as the captain of the Nelly. In December 1801 he found himself on Cape Français, in the midst of growing hostilities between the islanders and the French. Rodgers was soon taken prisoner by the French, and in June 1802 he wrote a lengthy letter to Secretary of State James Madison concerning the terrible treatment he received in their custody. In this letter, Rodgers described where he was held: a "dungeon...the habitation of Lizards, Spiders, and many obnoxious insects." Rodgers's vivid description continues, "Three nights, in an Infectious air, Intolerable Heat, Darkness, and every filth, and dirt, that can be imagined; added to the poisonous water, which was served us in the never to be forgotten Monster, in the shape of a Copper Can." Although Rodgers was released from the prison, he was detained on the island for several months and did not arrive in the United States until May 1802.

    This subseries includes two volumes pertaining to Rodgers's 1823 expedition to Thompson's Island (now Key West). When it was rumored that there had been a terrible outbreak of yellow fever there, the government dispatched several vessels to travel there to ascertain the situation and assist the sailors stationed there. Rodgers commanded the schooner Shark on this expedition. Records include a letterbook and a scantily filled journal. In his first letter Rodgers reported that the situation was "far from being so bad as might have been expected." The reverse of this letterbook includes instructions received by Commodore David Porter, who commanded the West Indies Squadron. Porter had been cruising the Gulf of Mexico and the area around the West Indies for the purpose of "repressing piracy." Rodgers may have inherited this volume (and the command) when Porter became ill.

    Also included in this subseries are a handful of bills and receipts and the 1830 agreement between Rodgers and Jacob Swimley regarding the building of a house in Washington, D.C. There are also some papers pertaining to Rodgers's ownership of Washington Glass Works. Of special interest is a small notebook that appears to have been kept by an unidentified friend of Rodgers. The notebook lists several major cities in Italy and gives pointers regarding the American consul there, who to visit, and which taverns to frequent. The writer also provided Rodgers with a bit of advice: "And now my dear more remark which is beware of the 2nd dancer at Genoa for as my good friend Commodore Chauncey would say 'she will be very apt to make the best of Husbands crack a Commandment.'"

    Series 2. Henry Rodgers (d. 1854) 1837-1854
    Box 1, vols. 75-83

    The bulk of this series is comprised of Henry Rodgers's navigational workbooks, observations, and references, some of which also contain portions of ships' logs, letters, or journals. His navigational notes feature meticulous diagrams of methods of calculating latitude and longitude, and measuring amplitude. Like several other volumes in this collection, some of Henry's books were later used for other purposes; one has newspaper clippings and French exercises following his navigational notes.

    It is not always clear if Henry's logs or observations were kept for official purposes, but it seems more likely that they were for his own practice and use. In November 1852, Henry reported leaving dock with 230 passengers, "amongst them a horse from California and a company of Chinese jugglers." Henry appears to have written this in Kingston, Jamaica. Another volume contains navigational calculations and copies of a couple of Rodgers's letters, written on the Falcon in 1851 and 1852, concerning the ship's passage from Jamaica.

    Of significance is Henry Rodgers's log from the brig Somers, commanded by Alexander Slidell Mackenzie. In December 1842 Mackenzie executed three of the ship's sailors, who were accused of mutiny. One of these mutineers, Philip Spencer, was the son of the secretary of war. Rodgers's log ends on November 19 and therefore gives no account of the executions, although it does cover the period during which the sailors, who were found guilty by an investigation conducted by the ship's officers, were arrested and placed in irons. The Somers affair sparked a hot debate concerning the limits of punishment and resulted in courts martial for several members of the crew, including Mackenzie, who was subsequently acquitted of all charges.

    Four of Henry's letters, three of them to family members, are also included in this subseries. In an 1847 letter to one of his brothers, written aboard the Mississippi, Henry (who signed his name as Hal) described a misdiagnosed outbreak of yellow fever: "They insisted that Yellow Jack had taken up his abode in the ship & that nothing could dislodge him but his enemy Jack Frost. They were mistaken for we have had scarcely a case of fever since leaving Vera Cruz."

    One volume outlines orders and duties of seamen on night watch, followed by a series of navigational observations. This volume was continued by Robert S. Rodgers as a survey book.

    Series 3. Robert Smith Rodgers 1830-1885
    Box 1, vols. 84-91

    Robert Smith Rodgers, the eldest son of John Rodgers, did not opt for a naval career. Instead, he worked as a civil engineer, although he did serve in the army during the Civil War. His papers include three notebooks, kept during the 1830s. These volumes, which appear to have been kept on a rather ad-hoc, informal basis, include diagrams, equations, and some theories of engineering, especially pertaining to railroads and bridges. Some information on general history and some newspaper clippings are also included. Also included is a small pocket diary that contains short entries that refer to weather, travel, and notes pertaining to surveys Rodgers did for his engineering work.

    Also included are several diaries kept by Rodgers during the 1840s and 1850s. Earlier entries are very brief accounts of the weather and the main events of the day, along with some information about payments made for pew rents and other purchases and services. Rodgers was not a very faithful diarist and there are many gaps in the diaries. Especially interesting, however, are sporadic entries from 1854 to 1857. During this period Rodgers appears to have tried to develop the habit of writing one long entry per year in which he recounted the occurrences of the past twelve months. This section of pages, removed from a volume at one point, contain Rodgers's earnest reflections on current events, his life, and his family. On Christmas Day, 1854, he posed the question "How goes the world now...what are we all about?" The pages that follow describe a poor economy, hard times, politics-- especially concerning the Know-Nothing Party, Europe's state of affairs, and Commodore Perry's trip to Japan, which Rodgers called "the most interesting achievement of our country." On the front of this section of pages is a note Rodgers penned in 1880: "Since I scribbled the last page twenty six years have glided into the past."

    Also included in this series is a small army mess account book, the only item pertaining to Robert Rodgers's military service. There are only two pages of entries. Finally, there is a customs house book, presumably for Havre de Grace, in which the names and amounts paid by arriving vessels were recorded. Several folders of correspondence from family, friends, and business associates describe aspects of Rodgers's work as a civil engineer, as well as personal matters such as his engagement to Sarah Perry. Correspondents include his brother Henry, his mother Minerva, and his father-in-law Matthew C. Perry.

    Series 4. Frederick Rodgers (1842-1917) 1854-1878, n.d.
    Box 1, vols. 92-98

    This series begins with a diary kept by Frederick Rodgers while a boy living at Sion Hill. Most of his entries are relatively brief and record the occurrences of the day: potatoes hoed, wood chopped, dirt hauled, visitors seen, and other happenings that were of interest to a twelve-year-old boy. Frederick mentioned his parents occasionally, but often spoke of his brothers, noting outings with them and citing events such as receiving a mouth organ. Trips to nearby Havre de Grace to send or pick up mail were also noted.

    The remainder of the papers in this series pertain to the naval career of Frederick Rodgers. There is a copy of Lieutenant William H. Parker's manuscript, "Seamanship," made by Rodgers while a student at the U.S. Naval Academy. This volume appears to cover all technical aspects of a sailor's life and includes information on shifting sails, dropping anchor, and preparing for action. Also included are watch bills, station bills, and fire bills for the ships Santee, St. Mary's, and Marion. An 1870 account with the Bureau of Construction and repair lists the provisions received from Rodgers while he was aboard St. Mary's. The small volume kept while onboard the Santee also includes some brief diary entries and sketches. There is also an undated volume regarding deck routine, which gives a blow-by-blow of life on ship, including times for meals, cleaning, watches, and inspections.

    An indexed letterbook, 1873 to 1876, records Rodgers's outgoing correspondence while commanding the Despatch. A number of these letters were sent from Key West, and most simply note Rodgers's compliance with orders to send documentation and information to his superiors.

    Series 5. Matthew Calbraith Perry 1821-1849
    Box 1, vols. 99-109

    Included in this subseries are three volumes of requisitions for the schooner Porpoise, which Perry commanded in the southern Mediterranean during the mid 1820s. Also included is an 1821 stores book for the Shark, Perry's first command.

    The bulk of the subseries consists of letterbooks kept by Perry while serving on various vessels. In 1830 Perry took command of the Concord, a new sloop-of-war that spent much of 1831 to 1832 cruising the Mediterranean. Perry's letters, most of which were written to superior officers, acknowledged the receipt of orders and confirmed that they had been obeyed. They also mention politician John Randolph of Roanoke, the newly appointed minister to Russia, who was traveling there on the Concord. At one point Perry mentioned that the ship had stopped in Portsmouth, England, because Randolph had requested a visit to London. Although most of the correspondence is brief and official, some of it does give a sense of a sailor's life. In June 1830 Perry reported that two sailors had deserted and that "Lt. Adams in pursuing them into one of the house usually resorted to by sailors, was seriously beaten." This volume also includes letters, 1833 to 1837, written by Perry while he was working at the New York Navy Yard. The remnant of an 1842 letterbook also contains copies of correspondence sent from the navy yard.

    During 1843 and 1844, Perry commanded the African Squadron, which was charged with protecting the interests of the American societies that had colonized areas along the coast of west Africa. A record book contains minutes of conferences with native chiefs and of proceedings of councils of naval officers. Of importance are some "notes" concerning the difficulties between American settlers and natives at Cape Palmas, where it was noted that there had been "outrages committed by the natives upon American vessels." This volume also includes essays and letters about colonization, as well as letters concerning the squadron's cruise.

    Commodore Perry spent much of the latter part of his career trying to convince officials that the future of the navy would be steam, not sails. In a letterbook (vol. 106) begun in New York, Perry wrote about the appropriateness of increasing the number of naval steamships. The last portion of this letterbook pertains to Perry's duties at New York while superintending construction of ocean mail steamers.

    Several letterbooks record correspondence Perry penned during the Mexican War, while serving on the Mississippi and the Cumberland. Letters from this period refer to conditions in some Mexican cities, military strategy, and occurrences aboard the ships. Many letters refer to Perry's role in Vera Cruz and Tuxpan; during these campaigns he cooperated with the army to force surrender. In February 1848 Perry commented that the citizens of Vera Cruz were better off during the American occupation than they had been before. In addition to the letterbooks, there are two letters from John Rodgers and several drafts and copies of outgoing correspondence and memoranda. There is also a prize agent's book, 1846 to 1847, for the Mississippi. Robert Smith Rodgers (see Series 3) may have acted as agent at this time.

    Series 6. Henry Denison 1799-1822, n.d.
    Box 1, vols. 110-121

    a. Purser's accounts 1807-1822

    This subseries consists of eight volumes kept by Henry Denison while he acted as a purser on U.S. naval vessels. Included are several volumes pertaining to the Argus, part of Commodore Rodgers's North Atlantic Squadron. One volume tracked weekly expenditures of provisions, and another concerned undrawn rations. The latter volume includes the names and ranks of sailors, how many rations they were entitled to, and how much money they received for what they did not eat.

    When the Argus was captured by the HMS Pelican in 1813, Denison and his fellow shipmates were imprisoned in England. Two account books record money and provisions that Denison distributed to prisoners, as well as money and goods received from the Navy Department for the support of the captives. There are also lists of prisoners released and bills and receipts for the funeral of Captain William Allen, who was killed during the Argus's clash with the Pelican. Please note that some of the courts martial records included in Series 1C concern members of the Argus's crew and that Henry Denison was, at times, marginally involved in the hearings.

    A letterbook, 1815 to 1821, contains letters written by Denison to various officials of the Navy Department. Early letters requested funds to pay sailors from the Argus who had been released and returned to the United States. In a January 1816 letter, Denison asked for a leave of absence, citing personal affairs that required his immediate and undivided attention -- namely, "a long protracted Law suit in which the estate of my father is materially concerned." The correspondence that follows is rather irregular and primarily pertains to Denison's orders.

    Also included in this subseries is a small account book with just two pages of entries; a receipt book for the ship Congress, which is largely blank and provides no details for payments; and a cashbook kept by Denison while at the navy's Baltimore station. There are some miscellaneous bills and receipts and some poetry clipped from newspapers and pasted into Denison's purser's checkbook.

    b. Personal 1799-1819

    Henry Denison's personal papers refer largely to his management of the family estate at Sion Hill, Maryland. Included are account books documenting personal expenses as well as money paid for the upkeep of the Sion Hill property. These records show payments to saddlers and weavers and also list purchases of tobacco and food. Henry's daybook begins with an inventory of estates and gives a list of debts owed by and to Henry and his mother Jerusha. An 1810 account book kept at Sion Hill also contains some earlier accounts kept by Henry while a purser on the frigate Congress.

    Of particular interest are two letterbooks. The first of these was begun in 1799 by Henry's uncle, Ezra Denison. The Denisons were involved in the cotton trade and seem to have conducted most of their business in the South; Ezra's letters were written from Natchez, Mississippi, and most are addressed to his brother, Gideon (Henry's father), at Sion Hill. These letters largely refer to trade conditions and market prices. His last letter was written in May 1799; the next letter is dated March 1800 and is from Henry Denison to his mother Jerusha. In this letter Henry expressed his distress at the deaths of his father Gideon and his uncle Ezra: "Death has robbed me of a treasure for which I shall never be repaid." In this letter, also written from Natchez, Henry described the family's unsettled financial affairs, which he felt would compel him to remain in Natchez for several months. At the end of this letter, Henry added, "Cook who is my own personal property I am about selling for $500." Henry's letters, most of them regarding business and cotton trade, continue until August 1801. He lived in Natchez and New Orleans for the majority of that time. See Series 7F for additional Gideon Denison material.

    The second letterbook, 1808 to 1809, contains just a handful of letter written by Henry Denison, most of them concerning the settlement of Gideon Denison's estate.

    Series 7. Other family members 1792-1894, n.d.
    Box 2, vols. 122-135

    a. John Rodgers (1812-1882) 1840-1849

    This subseries includes two volumes pertaining to the naval career of John Rodgers, the son of Commodore John Rodgers. Included are purser's accounts, kept on board the Wave, Rodgers's first command. This volume indicates when money and provisions were distributed to the crew. Provisions included clothing such as "cloth trowsers" and "duck frocks." Each crewman had his own page of accounts. There is also an 1841 volume for watch bill and quarter bill of the brigantine Boxer, of which Rodgers took command in 1842. This volume contains a number of entries and corrections that appear to have been made at a later date.

    This subseries includes just one piece of correspondence: an 1849 letter to Rodgers from James Lawson of the Coast Survey Office. Several letters written by John Rodgers appear in Series 3.

    b. Frederick Rodgers (1811-1828) 1825-1827

    There are only three volumes concerning Frederick Rodgers, who drowned in 1828 at the age of seventeen. All three volumes pertain to his service as a midshipman on the North Carolina, which his father commanded. One volume, "Nautical Astronomy," appears to have been copied from a textbook. This volume includes theorems, corollaries, and other tools practical for navigation. A small station book lists the names of crew members who were responsible for various parts of the ship, and a log book for the ship's voyage from Gibraltar to Norfolk, Virginia. This log appears to be a smaller, unofficial version of the log in Series 1E. Also included is an 1827 list of Rodgers's clothing, presumably from the North Carolina.

    c. Louisa Rodgers 1826-1836

    Louisa Rodgers, daughter of Commodore John Rodgers, is represented by two volumes. Her arithmetic workbook includes examples and practice problems. Her commonplace book includes a number of writings and extracts pertaining to historical events. Also included are many poems, most of which appear to be original. Several of them are dedicated to her brother Frederick and his friends, Midshipmen William J. Slidell and Robert M. Harrison, all of whom drowned near the Norfolk Navy Yard in April 1828.

    d. John Augustus Rodgers (1848-1933) 1867-1869

    There are two volumes pertaining to the naval career of John Augustus Rodgers, the son of Robert Smith Rodgers. An 1867 diary, kept while Rodgers served on the Macedonian, describes his journey to Cherbourg and includes several wonderful pen drawings of various sites in France. While in France, Rodgers attended the Universal Exhibition of 1867; depictions of that event are included among his drawings. Also included in this subseries is a small log kept while Rodgers was serving on the Pensacola. Entries are brief and are usually limited to navigation, with little room for remarks.

    e. John D. Henley 1815-1821

    John Henley married Eliza Denison, the younger sister of Minerva Denison, in 1816. Henley was a naval officer who served in the Tripolitan War and was involved in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. This subseries includes a small volume concerning Henley's work as a recruiting officer in Baltimore in 1815. The volume is essentially a receipt book acknowledging that sailors had been received on their proper vessels. In 1820, Henley commanded the Congress, which that year became the first U.S. warship to visit China. The ship's log is included in this subseries.

    Of note is a collection of correspondence, dated 1817, concerning the U.S. government's decision to take Amelia Island, off the northeast coast of Florida. This small island changed hands several times in the early nineteenth century. In 1817 Spanish forces were removed from the island by Scotsman Sir Gregor MacGregor. He left the island in the control of a lieutenant, Luis Aury, a Frenchman who had served in the Mexican Revolution. Aury then proceeded to raise the Mexican flag, prompting American officials to send the navy to take control of the island. Henley commanded this force and there are a number of letters (some of them contemporary copies) from Henley to Aury urging him to surrender and leave the island. Translations of Aury's replies are also included.

    f. Miscellaneous 1792-1894, n.d.

    Included in this subseries is one letterbook of Gideon Denison's outgoing correspondence. From 1792 to 1794 Denison traveled a great deal; letters are dated from New York, London, Birmingham, Savannah, and Philadelphia. Denison also made frequent references to business concerns in Charleston. Letters, usually written in a hasty, shaky hand, concern business but contain few references to specifics. Denison seems to have been involved in general merchandise commerce and shipping, and he appears to have had a number of associates and partners. In one letter he described the circumstances surrounding his relationship with a man called Ross, who was accused of intentionally sinking and destroying a ship. "I never was more deceived in a man than in Ross," he wrote. "That devil of a woman has done all this in my opinion - She I believe lives in prison with him." In this letter, written in New York in 1793, Denison lamented, "I have been here this three weeks waiting for the Contagious fever that prevails in Philadelphia to subside in order to go there in some safety - all that are in Philadelphia are oblige to stay for the people in the Country will not receive them, no one passes but the post." See Series 6b for additional information on Gideon Denison.

    George Washington Rodgers, the brother of Commodore John Rodgers, is represented by a volume concerning his command of the Firefly during the War of 1812. The volume includes sailing instructions for Firefly and other ships in the fleet. Most of these instructions concern how to sail in formation with other ships. Fog signals are also included.

    There is an 1831 log of the Constellation, Alexander Wadsworth commanding. Wadsworth was related to the Rodgers and Denison families by marriage. John Rodgers (1812-1882) may have served on the Constellation at this time.

    Sarah (Perry) Rodgers, daughter of Matthew Perry and Jane (Slidell Rodgers), is represented by a number of letters received by her while she was living at Sion Hill with her husband Robert Smith Rodgers. There are letters from her brother Oliver H. Perry, her father, her brother-in-law Henry (Hal), her son Frederick, and her sister-in-law Ann (Rodgers) Macomb. Also included is a letter from Julia (Slidell) Rodgers, the daughter-in-law of George Washington Rodgers. Julia was also a relation of Sarah (Perry) Rodgers's mother, Jane (Slidell) Perry. One outgoing letter, written to her brother Oliver in 1830, is included here as well. Letters provide very spotty coverage of more than a twenty-year period and mainly concern visits, deaths of family members, and other family news.

    The Slidell family is further represented by two letters from John Slidell: one to his son Alexander (later Alexander Slidell Mackenzie) and one to his daughter, Jane (Slidell) Perry. The first letter refers often to the Perry children, while the next discusses the 1832 outbreak of cholera in New York. An undated letter is from Julia (Slidell) Rodgers to an unidentifiable recipient.

    Minerva (Denison) Rodgers's pension certificate is included in this subseries, as is an 1841 letter to Jane (Slidell) Perry concerning the engagement of their children, Robert Smith Rodgers and Sarah Perry. Also included are two letters (one incoming and one outgoing) pertaining to William Pinkney Rodgers, son of Minerva and John Rodgers. One of William's letters to his brother Hal can be found in Series 2. Robert Slidell Rodgers's college diploma and membership certificate for the Sons of the American Revolution are also included in this subseries.

    Series 8. Miscellaneous 1796-1874, n.d.
    Box 2, vols. 136-154

    a. Ships' papers and naval records 1796-1874, n.d.

    This subseries primarily consists of volumes that could not be definitively related to a particular ship, squadron, or person. Also included are some records that are of an uncertain connection to the Rodgers family. Most of the volumes are undated stores book that list provisions for various departments on the ships. Two of these volumes pertain exclusively to the carpentry department. Also included in this subseries are several signal books describing and showing various types of flag and light signals. Of note is one volume of French signals and another containing telegraphic signals.

    There are two letters dated 1805: one from James Barron and one from Samuel Barron. These letters concern the Tripolitan War, specifically the procurement of loans and vessels, as well as the outfitting of ships. It is likely that Commodore John Rodgers was the recipient of these letters, but neither provides an addressee.

    Also included in this subseries is a letterbook kept by John W. Phillips, commander of the Monocacy, which was part of the Asiatic Squadron in the 1870s. The letters are dated 1873 and 1874 and were mostly written to Phillips's superiors and concern orders, supplies, and the ship's movements. Many of the letters are dated from Shanghai and Hong Kong. It is not clear how this volume is associated with the Rodgers family. John Rodgers (1812-1882), former commander of the Asiatic Squadron, was given another command by 1873, although it is possible that John Augustus Rodgers served in the East during this time.

    There are also general orders for the HMS Superb, commanded by R.G. Keats. There are two undated manuscript copies of writings pertaining to seamanship, including "General directions for the Navigation of the Archipelago" by John Stewart, captain of the HMS Sea Horse; and "Extract from a memoir on the navigation of the coast of Brazil" by Baron Roussin. There is also a small book of notes pertaining to the French defeat in 1796 and a larger volume concerning the HMS Prince George, which was active during the Napoleonic Wars. An account of their clash with ships of the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1797 is included in this volume.

    b. Miscellaneous 1823-1872, n.d.

    Just three items comprise this subseries. There is a pocket notebook containing Spanish grammar exercises and a volume of accounts for Sion Hill, 1858 and 1872. This volume has just a few entries and may have been Calbraith Perry Rodgers's practice account book. There is also an account book, 1823 to 1824, noted as belonging to John Rodgers. The accounts, most of which concerned shipping goods, are not in the hand of Commodore John Rodgers. It is not clear to which John Rodgers they belonged.

    Detailed inventory

    Series 1. John Rodgers 1799-1838
    Box 1, vols. 1-74

    a. Mediterranean Squadron 1799-1806

    Letterbook [this volume has been cleaned for mold] 1799-1805
    Box vol. 1

    General orders, quarter bills, signals, etc.of John Adams [this volume has been cleaned for mold] 1802-1804
    Vol. 2

    USS Constellation expenditures 1804-1805
    Vol. 3

    Receipt book for cash advanced to officers 1805-1806
    Vol. 4

    Correspondence and accounts 1803-1806
    Box 1: 1

    b. New York Flotilla 1807-1812

    Correspondence 1809-1810
    Box 1: 2

    General orders 1807
    Vol. 5

    General orders 1807
    Vol. 6

    General orders 1807
    Vol. 7

    U.S. Naval Agents account book 1807-1808
    Vol. 8

    U.S. Naval Agents account book 1808
    Vol. 9

    U.S. Naval Agents account book 1808-1810
    Vol. 10

    Record of commercial vessels spoken and boarded by flotilla gunboats and Constitution 1808-1809
    Vol. 11

    Survey order book 1808-1812
    Vol. 12

    Court martial proceedings 1807-1808
    Vol. 13

    c. North Atlantic Squadron 1809-1814

    Correspondence 1811-1815
    Box 1: 3

    General orders, President 1810
    Vol. 14

    General orders, President 1810
    Vol. 15

    General orders, Constitution 1809
    Vol. 16

    Log book, President 1812
    Vol. 17

    Muster roll, Constitution 1809-1811
    Vol. 18

    Receipts and expenditures, Constitution 1809-1810
    Vol. 19

    Expenditures, Constitution 1810-1814
    Vol. 20

    Payroll, Constitution 1809-1810
    Vol. 21

    Account book, Constitution and President 1809-1817
    Vol. 22

    Court martial proceedings 1810-1811
    Vol. 23

    Court martial proceedings 1811-1812
    Vol. 24

    Accounts, United States 1813
    Box 1: 4

    Letterbook while commanding Del. Flotilla and Guerriere and requisitions 1814
    Vol. 25

    Requisitions of Guerriere 1814
    Vol. 26

    Quarter bill of the Delaware Flotilla n.d.
    FF 1

    d. Board of Navy Commissioners 1815-1834

    Correspondence 1816-1835
    Box 1: 5

    Correspondence 1815
    Box Flat File 2

    Correspondence with the New York Courier and Enquirer 1829
    Box 1: 6

    Letterbook (disbound) 1830
    Box 1: 7

    Regulations proposed to Congress for better government of the navy 1834
    Box 1: 8

    Letterbook regarding objections to the proposed rules for revising navy regulations 1834
    Vol. 27

    "Remarks on the Regulations of the Navy Board and the Propriety of incorporating the Commissioners of the navy with the Secretary of the navy, etc." 1834
    Box 1: 9

    Duties of the Navy Department 1834
    Box 1: 10

    Navy pay regulations 1833
    Box 1: 11

    "Articles of War" 1834
    Box 1: 12

    Calculations for ship construction n.d.
    Vol. 28

    Calculations for ship construction (same as vol. 30) n.d.
    Vol. 29

    Calculations for ship construction (same as vol. 29) n.d.
    Vol. 30

    Johnson and Wilson calculations for ship construction to navy Board ca. 1815
    Vol. 31

    Receipts for USS Columbus (R.S. Rodgers surveys on reverse) 1819-1820
    Vol. 32

    Items removed from vol. 32 n.d.
    Box 1: 13

    Masts and spar dimensions, Ontario, John Adams, and Erie 1820
    Vol. 33

    Lumber cut on Blackbeard Island 1817-1818
    Vol. 34

    e. Mediterranean Squadron 1824-1828

    General orders, North Carolina 1824
    Vol. 35

    General orders, North Carolina 1825-1826
    Vol. 36

    Circulars and general orders, North Carolina 1824-1825, 1827
    Vol. 37

    Survey order book for the Mediterranean Squadron 1825-1827
    Vol. 38

    Log, North Carolina Nov. 1824-Jan. 1826
    Vol. 39

    Log, North Carolina Nov. 1826-Aug. 1827
    Vol. 40

    Log, North Carolina May - Aug. 1827
    Vol. 41

    United States Navy Department bill book for North Carolina 1824-1827
    Vol. 42

    Boatswains' expenditures, North Carolina 1824-1827
    Vol. 43

    Stores expenditures, North Carolina 1825
    Vol. 44

    Requisition book, North Carolina 1825
    Vol. 45

    Requisition book, North Carolina 1825
    Vol. 46

    Requisition book, North Carolina 1826
    Vol. 47

    Requisition book, North Carolina 1826
    Vol. 48

    Sailmakers' expenditures, North Carolina 1824-1827
    Vol. 49

    Carpenters' expenditures, North Carolina 1824-1827
    Vol. 50

    Gunners' expenditures, North Carolina 1824-1827
    Vol. 51

    Gunners' requisitions, foreign ports, North Carolina 1825
    Vol. 52

    Liberty book, North Carolina 1826
    Vol. 53

    Liberty book, North Carolina 1826-1827
    Vol. 54

    Black book (punishments), North Carolina 1825-1827
    Vol. 55

    Signal journal, North Carolina [this item has been cleaned for mold]] 1825-1827
    Vol. 56

    Meteorological diary, North Carolina (glasswork purchase memorandum, 1833, on reverse) 1824-1827
    Vol. 57

    Requisition book for Constitution 1825-1827
    Vol. 58

    Requisition book for Constitution 1826
    Vol. 59

    Requisition book for Constitution 1826
    Vol. 60

    Requisition book for Constitution 1827
    Vol. 61

    Abstract of Requisitions, Brandywine 1826
    Vol. 62

    Requisitions for Erie and Ontario 1825
    Vol. 63

    Sailmakers' requisitions, Erie 1826
    Vol. 64

    Requisitions for Ontario 1826
    Vol. 65

    Requisitions for Ontario 1826
    Vol. 66

    Requisitions for Warren 1827
    Vol. 67

    Account book, Mediterranean Squadron with United States Navy 1825-1827
    Vol. 68

    Accounts with Office of Discount and Deposit 1827-1828
    Vol. 69

    Court martial proceedings, E.W. Carpender 1826
    Vol. 70

    Court martial proceedings 1826
    Vol. 71

    f. Miscellaneous 1802-1838, n.d.

    Letter to James Madison regarding treatment by French at Santo Domingo 1802
    Box 1: 14

    Incoming correspondence 1817, 1832
    Box 1: 15

    Letterbook, Shark, on expedition to Thompson's Island 1823-1824
    Vol. 72

    Journal of Expedition to Thompson's Island [Key West] 1823
    Vol. 73

    Notes on Italian cities n.d.
    Vol. 74

    Washington Glass Works 1833-1838
    Box 1: 16

    Agreements with Jacob Swimley 1830
    Box 1: 17

    Bills and receipts 1817-1826, n.d.
    Box 1: 18

    Series 2. Henry Rodgers (d. 1854) 1837-1854
    Box 1, vols. 75-83

    Log, Fairfield, Dolphin, and Independence 1837-1840
    Vol. 75

    Log, Somers 1842
    Vol. 76

    Navigation work book, Levant 1840-1842
    Vol. 77

    Notes on navigation, Georgia 1850
    Vol. 78

    Notes on navigation/log, Falcon 1850-1851
    Vol. 79

    Notes on navigation/log, Falcon 1851
    Vol. 80

    Notes on navigation, letterbook, Falcon [this volume has been cleaned for mold] 1851
    Vol. 81

    Diary/Notes on navigation 1852-1853
    Vol. 82

    Night order book and navigational observations, Falcon (cont'd as RS Rodgers survey notes) 1851
    Vol. 83

    Correspondence 1846-1854
    Box 1: 19

    Series 3. Robert Smith Rodgers 1830-1885
    Box 1, vols. 84-91

    Incoming correspondence 1835-1840
    Box 1: 20

    Incoming correspondence 1841
    Box 1: 21

    Incoming correspondence 1842-1846
    Box 1: 22

    Incoming correspondence 1847-1877, n.d.
    Box 1: 23

    Outgoing correspondence 1846, n.d.
    Box 1: 24

    Diary/survey notes 1836
    Vol. 84

    Diary and accounts, Sion Hill 1846-1847
    Vol. 85

    Diary 1849-1851, 1857
    Vol. 86

    Diary 1854-1857, 1881
    Box 1: 25

    Engineering workbook ca. 1830
    Vol. 87

    Engineering workbook ca. 1830-1836
    Vol. 88

    Engineering workbook ca. 1838
    Vol. 89

    Army mess account book 1864-1865
    Vol. 90

    Customs house book 1877-1885
    Vol. 91

    Miscellaneous 1841-1885, n.d.
    Box 1: 26

    Series 4. Frederick Rodgers (1842-1917) 1854-1878, n.d.
    Box 1, vols. 92-98

    Diary at Sion Hill 1854
    Vol. 92

    Mss copy of Parker's Seamanship 1860
    Vol. 93

    Items removed from vol. 93 ca. 1860
    Box 1: 27

    Watch bills, station bill, fire bill, Marion 1855-1861
    Vol. 94

    Watch and regulations, Santee 1862
    Vol. 95

    Items removed from vol. 95 1862-1863
    Box 1: 28

    Correspondence 1867-1876
    Box 1: 29

    Bureau of Construction and repair, receipt 1870
    Box 1: 30

    Watch bill, quarter bill, station bill, St. Mary's 1870
    Vol. 96

    Letterbook, Despatch 1873-1876
    Vol. 97

    Items removed from vol. 97 1875-1876, n.d.
    Box 1: 31

    Morning report 1878
    Box 1: 32

    Deck routine regulations n.d.
    Vol. 98

    Series 5. Matthew Calbraith Perry 1821-1849
    Box 1, vols. 99-109

    Stores book, Shark 1821
    Vol. 99

    Incoming correspondence 1823, 1828
    Box 1: 33

    Outgoing correspondence 1825-1852, n.d.
    Box 1: 34

    Requisition book, Porpoise 1826
    Vol. 100

    Requisition book, Porpoise 1826-1827
    Vol. 101

    Requisition book, Porpoise 1827
    Vol. 102

    Letterbook, Concord 1830-1837
    Vol. 103

    Log book, Concord 1832
    Vol. 104

    Letters, New York Navy Yard 1842
    Box 1: 35

    Record book, African Squadron [this volume has been cleaned for mold] 1843-1844
    Vol. 105

    Letterbook, partially on Mississippi 1846-1849
    Vol. 106

    Letterbook, Mississippi 1847
    Vol. 107

    Prize agent's memorandum book, Mississippi 1846-1847
    Vol. 108

    Letterbook, Cumberland 1848
    Vol. 109

    Series 6. Henry Denison 1799-1822, n.d.
    Box 1, vols. 110-121

    a. Purser's accounts 1807-1822

    Correspondence 1807, 1812-1813
    Box 1: 36

    Correspondence 1815
    Box 1: 37

    Correspondence 1820, Sept. 1821
    Box 1: 38

    Correspondence Oct. 1821
    Box 1: 39

    Correspondence Nov. - Dec. 1821
    Box 1: 40

    Weekly return of provisions, Argus 1812-1813
    Vol. 110

    Accounts of extra and undrawn rations, Argus 1812-1813
    Box 1: 41

    Bills and receipts for funeral of William Allen 1813
    Box 1: 42

    Prisoner accounts, Argus 1813-1815
    Vol. 111

    Prisoner accounts, Argus 1814-1815
    Vol. 112

    Prisoner accounts, Argus 1813-1815
    FF 3

    Return of American prisoners 1814
    Box 1: 43

    Letterbook [to navy Department] 1815-1821
    Vol. 113

    Receipt book, Congress 1817
    Vol. 114

    Receipts and accounts 1812-1818
    Box 1: 44

    Account book 1817-1818
    Vol. 115

    Cashbook, Baltimore station 1821-1822
    Vol. 116

    Poetry (newspaper clippings) n.d.
    Box 1: 45

    b. Personal 1799-1819

    Letterbook begun by Ezra Denison 1799-1801
    Vol. 117

    Letterbook 1808-1809
    Vol. 118

    Daybook 1804-1807
    Vol. 119

    Receipt book/account book 1816-1819
    Vol. 120

    Personal and house expense book 1818-1819
    Vol. 121

    Series 7. Other family members 1792-1894, n.d.
    Box 2, vols. 122-135

    a. John Rodgers (1812-1882) 1840-1849

    Purser's accounts, Wave 1840-1841
    Vol. 122

    Accounts, Wave 1840
    Box 2: 1

    Watch bill, quarter bill, station bill, Boxer ca. 1841
    Vol. 123

    Correspondence 1849
    Box 2: 2

    b. Frederick Rodgers (1811-1828) 1825-1827

    Nautical Astronomy, North Carolina 1825
    Vol. 124

    Pocket station bill, North Carolina 1825
    Vol. 125

    Log book, North Carolina 1827
    Vol. 126

    List of clothing 1827
    Box 2: 3

    c. Louisa Rodgers 1826-1836

    Arithmetic work book 1826
    Vol. 127

    Commonplace book 1829-1836
    Vol. 128

    d. John Augustus Rodgers (1848-1933) 1867-1869

    Diary, Macedonian 1867
    Vol. 129

    Log book, Pensacola 1869
    Vol. 130

    e. John D. Henley 1815-1821

    Receipt book 1815
    Vol. 131

    Amelia Island correspondence 1817
    Box 2: 4

    Congress log book (to China) 1819-1821
    Vol. 132

    Invoice (goods shipped from Canton) 1819
    Box 2: 5

    f. Miscellaneous 1792-1894, n.d.

    Gideon Denison: Letterbook 1792-1794
    Vol. 133

    George Washington Rodgers: United States Navy sailing instructions and fog signals, Firefly et al. ca. 1815
    Vol. 134

    Journal/log of the Constellation, Alex. Wadsworth commanding (says John Rodgers on it) 1831
    Vol. 135

    Minerva (Denison) Rodgers: Letter and pension certificate 1841, 1849
    Box 2: 6

    William Pinkney Rodgers: Correspondence 1832, 1841
    Box 2: 7

    Sarah (Perry) Rodgers: Correspondence 1830-1864, n.d.
    Box 2: 8

    Robert Slidell Rodgers: Certificates 1878, 1894
    FF 4

    Slidell family: Correspondence 1831-1832, n.d.
    Box 2: 9

    Miscellaneous n.d.
    Box 2: 10

    Series 8. Miscellaneous 1796-1874, n.d.
    Box 2, vols. 136-154

    a. Ships' papers and naval records 1796-1874, n.d.

    Correspondence: John Barron and Samuel Barron 1805
    Box 2: 11

    John W. Phillips letterbook, Monocacy 1873-1874
    Vol. 136

    General orders, HMS Superb, R.G. Keats, captain n.d.
    Vol. 137

    Stores book, Boatswain's Dept. n.d.
    Vol. 138

    Stores book n.d.
    Vol. 139

    Stores book, Gunners and Armourer's Dept. [this volume has been cleaned for mold] n.d.
    Vol. 140

    Stores book, Gunners and Armourers' Dept. n.d.
    Vol. 141

    Stores book n.d.
    Vol. 142

    Stores book n.d.
    Vol. 143

    Stores book, Carpenters and Coopers' Dept. n.d.
    Vol. 144

    Stores book, Carpenters and Coopers' Dept. n.d.
    Vol. 145

    Signal book n.d.
    Vol. 146

    Signal book n.d.
    Vol. 147

    Signal book n.d.
    Vol. 148

    HMS Prince George and other British vessels 1796-1800
    Vol. 149

    Notes regarding French 1796 naval defeat, naval history, and navy procedures ca. 1801
    Vol. 150

    French navy signal book n.d.
    Vol. 151

    Marine telegraphic day signals n.d.
    Vol. 152

    Manuscript copy of "General directions for the Navigation of the Archipelago" by John Stewart, Captain of the HMS Sea Horse n.d.
    Vol. 153

    Manuscript copy of "Extract from a memoir on the navigation of the coast of Brazil..." by Baron Roussin n.d.
    Vol. 154

    Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, Orders 1863
    Box 2: 12

    Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, Orders Jan. - July 1864
    Box 2: 13

    Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, Orders Aug. - Dec. 1864, June 1865
    Box 2: 14

    Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, Circulars 1864
    Box 2: 15

    Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, Miscellaneous 1864, n.d.
    Box 2: 16

    Target practice record n.d.
    FF 5

    Miscellaneous 1803-1824
    Box 2: 17

    b. Miscellaneous 1823-1872, n.d.

    John Rodgers account book 1823-1824
    Vol. 155

    Sion Hill account book 1858, 1872
    Vol. 156

    Spanish grammar notebook n.d.
    Vol. 157