United States Naval Collection - PP154

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library


Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, January 2000



The United States Naval Academy, known originally as the Naval School, was established in 1845 by Secretary of the Navy, the Hon. George Bancroft in Annapolis, Md. at the site of Fort Severn, chosen for its location close to the national government. During the Civil War, the Naval Academy was removed to Newport, R.I., returning to Annapolis in 1865. After the Spanish-American War in 1898, with the United States’ new status as world naval power, the academy’s location was reconsidered in Congress, with the possibility of moving it further north. Instead, the facility in Annapolis was expanded, initiating a period in which the number of graduates grew from 41 in 1895 to nearly 200 per year by the time of World War I.

The Naval Academy campus is known as "The Yard". At the end of the 19th century, the main entrance was on Maryland Avenue, north of the State House, with additional gates on Governor and King George Streets. The Hall of Seamanship was the first building erected for the academy in 1846-1847, originally housing the dining hall and kitchen, athenaeum and library. The original Fort Severn structure became a gymnasium in the late 1860s. The dormitories in Stribling Row, also known as Midshipmen "Old Quarters", housed the Midshipman Lieutenant-Commander and the Second Class until 1900, and Spanish prisoners were held there in 1898.

Landmarks on campus include the Tripoli Monument honoring six naval officers killed in the Harbor of Tripoli off the African coast in 1804. Orginally placed in the Washington Navy Yard, and vandalized by British troops during their 1814 occupation, it was relocated to the U.S. Capitol in 1831, and later brought to the Naval Academy. Another is the statue known popularly as "Tecumseh" which actually depicts Tamanend, a Delaware chief. This was the wooden figurehead from the U.S.S. Delaware, brought to the Academy after the ship was scuttled. As the statue weathered, the wood was replaced with with bronze, and the original figurehead moved into the field house. Still a landmark on the campus, the figure has traditionally been deluged with pennies and left-handed salutes as midshipmen traverse the Yard to exams and football events.

Collection Origin

Provenance unknown, acquired after December 1989 (002812).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 8 folders containing 24 albumen photoprints, recorded as being made in 1892 by Frances Benjamin Johnston. All images depict the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Included are images of the Yard and entrance gate, midshipmen aboard practice ships and in dress parade, the Episcopal Chapel, various campus facilities including living quarters, and landmarks such as the Tripoli Monument.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 8 Folders

Box 1, Folder 1
PP154.1 – Yard, lower half, bird’s-eye view.

PP154.2 – Upper gate, loooking in.

PP154.3 – Captain’s house and garden.

Box 1, Folder 2
PP154.4 – Officer’s houses.

PP154.5 – Midshipmen’s old quarters.

PP154.6 – Front of old quarters.

Box 1, Folder 3
PP154.7 – Superintendant’s house.

PP154.8 – Observatory.

PP154.9 – Seamanship Building.

Box 1, Folder 4
PP154.10 – Episcopal Chapel.

PP154.11 – Tripoli Monument.

PP154.12 –Tripoli Monument.

Box 1, Folder 5
PP154.13 – Dining Hall, interior.

PP154.14 – Gunnery Model Room.

PP154.15 – Seamanship Building, interior.

Box 1, Folder 6
PP154.16 – Dress parade.

PP154.17 – Yard seen from cemetery, across water.

PP154.18 – View of Severn River.

Box 1, Folder 7
PP154.19 – Practice ships.

PP154.20-.21 – Students aboard ship Wyoming.

Box 1, Folder 8
PP154.22 – Students aboard ship Wyoming.

PP154.23 – Students in row boats.

PP154.24 – "Tecumseh", figurehead from U.S.S. Delaware. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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