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Sale 38 Lot 1161

CHARLES S. SPERRY (1847 - 1911) American naval Commander-in-Chief. An outstanding and historically important archive of material, being approximately 14 A.L.S.'s exceeding 80 pages in total, signed postcards, telegrams, photographs, itineraries, brochures, etc., written by Admiral Sperry to his son Marcy during the ground-breaking world cruise of the United States Great White Fleet. The world tour, dispatched by Theodore Roosevelt for the purpose of showing the world America's naval strength and strengthening diplomatic ties, lasted 434 days, from Jan. 1908 through Feb. 1909. The archive begins during the fleet's mini-tours, with Sperry commanding the U.S.S. Alabama, where he writes, on Mar. 8, 1908, in part: "...Admiral Evans has been in bed for two months...too weak...that he decided to give up command. It remains to be seen what the Dept. or the President will do about this. The ships weigh 14,000 tons apiece...If I become C. in C. I shall have more play time...". He continues on Mar. 13: "...I hear from the flagship they have unofficial advices from Washington...If Evans goes, Thomas will go...and I am to have the fleet. I hope it may be so but the bird must be in hand...". Mar. 29: "...I have received orders from the Navy Dept. to prepare plans for the great cruise [planned by Roosevelt] to Australia, Japan, etc. Australia in August, Japan in October and leave Manila to be home about Dec. 19 Arriving Hampton...July, 1909. General Porter has been looking after my interests and has said agreeable things to the President and his Advisors...". Mar. 30 continues: "...Fortunately, I knew the Japanese at the Hague very well and was on pleasurable terms with them. There is some talk of our going to a Chinese fort, but it is not decided. I've been making inspections of my four ships and this morning I called on board the Captains of two dirty ships and took them aboard a clean vessel so that they could make a comparison...". On July 22, Sperry writes from the flagship Connecticut: "...Tonight at six we commence to New Zealand. I need a little time for drill at sea and to pass Samoa in daylight so that our native citizens may see the fleet...The fleet - two days before we arrived in Honolulu - burned in one day 120 tons of coal. All kinds of leaks have been stopped...". July 30: "...The U.S.S. Minnesota has become one of the earliest U.S.S. Naval Post Offices at SCA...a success! I expect to make Auckland with at least five days coal in the oldest ships. Today, through our wireless, we talked to our tender 1500 miles away when it was supposed to be good for 300 at cruiside...". Aug. 29: "...We are just standing up for the entrance to Melbourne. We have the New York Herald man with the fleet...very friendly. I stayed at Government House in Sydney....I had a lovely room...own boy...to take care of my tasks. Afraid the Australians were told terrible tales of our riotous sailors...and now they are laughing at themselves and extolling the men's perfect conduct. The feast they threw was about a million dollars...and Sydney alone had 500,000 people in from the country...". Oct. 17: "...Expected to arrive at Yokohama tomorrow, a day late, three fleet ships lost their board, one man overboard and was lost...two others were picked up. The older vessels rolled and tumbled. The Japanese start in tomorrow and we will stay in Shebt Palace (Tokyo). I don't know whether it is the house that General Grant occupies...many years ago...". With much more fine content. Also included: an original, real photo postcard of Admiral Tojo's garden party held on Oct. 21, 1908), a signed postcard photo of the U.S.S. Connecticut, a signed postcard from Trinidad, U.S.S. Connecticut flagship postal card, a rare, special fleet general orders with itinerary and arrival at ports of call, telegrams, and more. A wonderful first-hand account of one of America's greatest Naval triumphs. Should be viewed, overall good condition, and certainly worthy of further research .
Estimate $ 1,500-2,000

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