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Gideon Welles papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gideon Welles papers
    Dates: 1846-1902
    Bulk Dates: 1861-1870
    Collection Number: mssWE
    Creator OR Collector: Welles, Gideon, 1802-1878
    Extent: Approximately 600 pieces in 10 boxes, with some items housed separately.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The papers of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Administrative Information


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gideon Welles papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Stan V. Henkels (Philadelphia), 1924.

    Biographical Note

    Gideon Welles was Secretary of the Navy during the American Civil War.


    The collection is arranged chronologically. Several items are "oversize" and physically located in Box 10; some items are housed separately at the end of the collection.

    Scope and Content

    Letters, manuscripts (including Welles' 1846-1849 diaries), documents and ephemera covering Welles' career as a naval administrator: Chief of Bureau of Provision & Clothing for the Navy, 1846-1849; Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1869 (requests for appointments, purchase of government vessels by George D. Morgan); criticism of Welles's successor, George Maxwell Robeson, and Robeson's assistant David Dixon Porter. Naval operations during the Civil War, including blockades, letters of marque, and the capture of New Orleans in April, 1862; Welles' views on Reconstruction politics; Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Johnson. Much of the correspondence is written to Welles' son, Edgar T. Welles.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875
    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
    Morgan, George D.
    Robeson, George M. (George Maxwell), 1829-1897
    Welles, Edgar Thaddeus, 1843-1914
    Welles, Gideon, 1802-1878 -- Archives

    Corporate Names

    United States. Navy. Bureau of Provisions & Clothing for the Navy -- Archives
    United States. Navy Department -- History -- 19th century -- Sources


    Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Sources

    Geographic Areas

    New Orleans (La.) -- History -- Capture, 1862 -- Sources
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources
    United States -- History, Naval -- To 1900 -- Sources
    United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century -- Sources


    Diaries -- United States -- 19th century
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century
    Military records -- United States -- 19th century
    Personal papers -- United States -- 19th century
    Professional papers -- United States -- 19th century