Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 849

"[Lot of 2 - Ship's Journal and United States Naval Academy Diploma]",

Subject: Miscellaneous Books, Navy

Period: 1862-64 (circa)


Color: Black & White

See Description
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This lot is a unique offering consisting of Charles H. Davis Jr.'s 1864 United States Naval Academy Diploma and a handwritten journal of his two training voyages aboard the USS John Adams in the summer of 1862. Charles H. Davis Jr. was the son of Rear Admiral Charles H. Davis who saw extensive action on the Union side during the Civil War. Charles H. Davis Jr. graduated 28th in the Class of 1864 from the Naval Academy, and eventually reached the rank of Commander and served as Chief Intelligence Officer of the Office of Naval Intelligence from September 1889 to August 1892.

The diploma is beautifully engraved and printed on vellum by the American Bank Note Company. The top third is a fine engraving of the Academy with a ship anchored close by and a smaller engraving of a Midshipman at the bottom of the sheet. There are about a dozen signatures at the bottom from the Superintendent down to the professors. The journal is very interesting in that it is a hand written daily log by Davis as a Midshipmen aboard the training vessel USS John Adams. This ship was originally commissioned in 1799 and became the training ship for the Academy in 1862, which was located in Newport, Rhode Island as a safety precaution. Each day is represented by two pages. The left page gives the speed and course of the ship and weather details. The right page gives detailed sailing notes as well as notices about punishment given for offences. Hardbound in quarter leather with tips over marbled paper covers.

A. [Ship's Journal], by Charles H. Davis Jr., dated 1862 (8.3 x 13.3").

B. [United States Naval Academy Diploma], dated 1864 (15.8 x 21.5").


Condition: A

Diploma is in near fine condition. Text is clean and bright with a few illustrations scattered throughout the text. Covers and spine are worn and bumped but still intact.

Estimate: $500 - $650

Sold for: $375

Closed on 9/4/2013