Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

George Dewey Correspondence

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Dewey, George, 1837-1917.
Title: George Dewey Correspondence
Inclusive Dates: 1844-1912
Quantity: 46 items (SC)
Abstract: Papers of the Admiral in the U.S. Navy. Collection consists of thirty-two outgoing letters (1902-1907) to John W. Crawford, as well as incoming letters from William E. Chandler, John Schuyler Crosby, Loyall Farragut, Marcus A. Hanna, and Hilary A. Herbert.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

George Dewey (1837-1917) was an American naval officer, celebrated in the Spanish-American War as "the hero of Manila Bay" for his victory in that battle without the loss of a single one of his own forces.

Born in Montpelier, Vermont, George Dewey attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Upon his graduation in 1861 he was commissioned a lieutenant and assigned as the Executive Officer for the Mississippi, a large and heavily armed ship in the fleeet of Commander David Farragut. Dewey proved an extremely skillful pilot in the Battle of New Orleans; he was eventually assigned as Executive Officer of Farragut's flagship and the two developed a close friendship.

Following the Civil War Dewey continued his naval career, serving various tours of duty including Chief of the Bureau of Equipment and President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, and seeing regular promotion. In 1898 Dewey took command of the Asiatic Squadron. He drilled the crews and overhauled his ships in Hong Kong, waiting for word of the declaration of war with Spain. When it came, Dewey proceeded immediately to Manila Bay where he destroyed the entire Spanish squadron with only eight American casualties, taking the city and remaining there for about a year. Upon his return to the United States he was greeted with tremendous public enthusiasm. Dewey served as President of the General Board of the Navy from 1900 until his death in 1917.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George Dewey Correspondence consists of forty-four (44) letters, both incoming and outgoing. Thirty-two of the letters are from Dewey to John W. Crawford, who was apparently left in charge of Dewey's affairs in Washington while the admiral and his wife were on vacation, and deal with routine housekeeping and financial matters. Three letters are from Dewey to his sister, Mary Perrin Greeley. The remaining letters are from William E. Chandler, John Schuyler Crosby, Loyall Farragut, Marcus A. Hanna, and Hilary A. Herbert.

There are also a few items of miscellena (seals and coats of arms).

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are arranged chronologically.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Chandler, William E. (William Eaton), 1835-1917.
Crawford, John W.
Crosby, John Schuyler, 1839-1914.
Dewey, George, 1837-1917 -- Correspondence.
Farragut, Loyall, b. 1844.
Hanna, Marcus Alonzo, 1837-1904.
Herbert, Hilary A. (Hilary Abner), 1834-1919.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Navy -- Officers.
United States. -- Navy.


Admirals -- United States.


United States -- History, Naval.

Genres and Forms




Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Dewey Correspondence,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1966-1970.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: FED
Date: Jun 1971
Revision history: Aug 1978 - revised (FED); 8 Feb 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC)

Return to top


Box 1 General 1844, 1886, 1898, 1900-1907, 1912
Box 1 Seals and coats of arms 1897, undated

Return to top