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USS Powhatan Letter

 Single Item

  • Request

Letter to Mary E. Morgan in Alabama, USA, from JCD [? probably an American naval officer] on board USS Powhatan in Cape Town describing his recent visit to St. Helena and then to Cape Town.

Dated: 25 April 1853. Postmark: Boston, Massachusetts.


  • Creation: 25 April 1853


1 leaf

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS.Afr.r.272].

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Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 4680

Biographical / Historical

The USS Powhatan was a side-wheel steamer, built at the Norfolk Navy Yard (Norfolk Naval Shipyard), Portsmouth, Virginia, USA, and commissioned on the 2 September 1852. It served in the Home Squadron until dispatched to the East India Squadron in 1853 where it served as Commodore Matthew C. Perry's flagship, both on his visit to Whampoa and for the negotiations in Tokyo Bay in 1854. The Powhatan, under David Dixon Porter, saw active service throughout the Civil War, including being involved in the assault on Fort Fisher (December 1864-January 1865). After serving as the flagship of the South Pacific Squadron (1866-1869) the steamer was assigned to the Home Squadron until 1886. In that year the Powhatan was decommissioned and it was scrapped the next year.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in April 2004.


USS Powhatan Letter
Marion Lowman
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom