John M. Cavarly Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Stephanie E. Clayton, Mar. 12, 2010.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© March 2010
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: John M. Cavarly Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1856-1960
Bulk dates: 1856-1896
Collection Number: mssCavarly papers
Creator: Cavarly, John M.
Extent: 47 items.
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains 45 items related to John M. Cavarly (1832-1895), a ship's captain, who worked for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, from 1864 to 1890. Documents include some correspondence, scrapbooks, and ship's log. As well, the collection also includes the manuscript of the 1961 novel Annie's Captain, about Cavarly and his wife written by their granddaughter Kathryn Hulme.
Language: English.

Access

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

Administrative Information

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]. John M. Cavarly Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Gift of Kathryn Hulme, March 1962.

Biographical Note

John M. Cavarly (1832-1895) was born in 1832, presumably in New London, Connecticut. His father had been crippled by a fall at sea, but that did not deter Cavarly from going to sea at the age of 14 on a packet ship bound for London in 1848. He made captain by 1859 and sailed clipper ships for private interests. On one such voyage in 1859 to Hawaii from New York, he met and married Annie Bolles (1839-1890), daughter of a well-to-do Hawaiian businessman. In 1863, he lost his ship, the Anglo Saxon, to the Confederate steamer CSS Florida off the coast of Ireland.
It was upon his return from this loss that John M. Cavarly decided to sail steamers and transition to new naval technology. His first post was as the replacement First Mate on a Pacific Mail Steamship Company steamer his friend captained. He was soon hired by the company and promoted to captain in 1864. In all, he captained twenty-two ships for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company between 1864 and his retirement in 1890. He mainly sailed the Pacific Ocean, mostly the Panama Line, but he sailed the China Line from 1868 to 1870 (and then on two other occasions before his retirement as the need arose) and the Australia Line from 1876 to 1878. Annie Bolles Cavarly died in 1890 and John M. Cavarly delayed his retirement and sailed for three more years after her death. He was made Port Captain in 1863, but finally retired a year later. John M. Cavarly died in 1895.
John and Annie Cavarly had five children, three girls and two boys. The author of Annie’s Captain, Kathryn Hulme (1900-1981), is their second daughter’s child.

Scope and Content

This collection contains 47 items related to John M. Cavarly, a ship's captain, who worked for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, from 1864 to 1890. Documents include some correspondence, scrapbooks, and ship's log. As well, the collection also includes the manuscript of the 1961 novel Annie's Captain, about Cavarly and his wife written by their granddaughter Kathryn Hulme.
There are ten pieces of correspondence, six of which relate to particular voyages and four are letters from Cavalry to his daughter. The Scrapbook Pages are also filled with correspondence relating to Pacific Mail Steamship Company. The other scrapbooks contain clippings from newspapers regarding voyages, ships, and amusing anecdotes. The Bound Scrapbook used to be a ship’s log and there are pages that are not covered in newspaper clippings. The photographs include one photograph of the John M. Cavarly, a photograph of the steamer “City of New York,” and a photograph of her officers, including Captain Cavarly. The manuscript, Annie’s Captain, is a work of fiction about the lives of John M. Cavarly, his wife and their family.
Subjects in the collection include: CSA Florida; John Newland Maffitt; United States mail steamers; Pacific Mail Steamship Company; sailing anecdotes; fiction of Ship captains' spouses; fiction of ship captains; steamboats and steamboat disasters; San Francisco Steamboat lines; Steamboat lines to China; Steamboat lines of the Pacific Ocean; United States Civil War fiction; United States Civil War naval operations.

Arrangement

Items are arranged chronologically.

Related Materials

  • Pacific Mail Steamship Company records   (Call number: mssPacific mail steamship co)
  • Kathryn Hulme’s personal papers, family correspondence, and other research materials for her book are located in the Kathryn Hulme Papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Library.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Cavarly, John M.
Maffitt, John Newland, 1819-1886.
Florida (Cruiser)
Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
Sailing -- Anecdotes.
Ship captains.
Ship captains' spouses.
Steamboat disasters -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Steamboat lines -- China.
Steamboat lines -- Pacific Ocean.
Steamboats -- United States.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Naval operations.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century.
Manuscripts -- United States -- 20th century.
Scrapbooks -- United States -- 19th century.

Additional Contributors

Hulme, Kathryn, 1900-1981.

Indexing: Subjects

Florida (Cruiser)
  • Subject in Scrapbook Pages (1856, Apr. 17 – 1905, July 9). Box 1 (1).
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme, 1900-1981. Box 2 (1).
Maffitt, John Newland, 1819-1886
  • Subject in Scrapbook Pages (1856, Apr. 17 – 1905, July 9). Box 1 (1).
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme, 1900-1981. Box 2 (1).
Sailing – Anecdotes
  • Subject in Unbound Scrapbook Pages (1869- 1893, June). Box 1 (4).
  • Subject in Bound Scrapbook (1874, Sep. 29 – 1880, Apr. 7). Box 1 (6).
Ship captains' spouses – Fiction
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme, 1900-1981. Box 2 (1).
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme, 1900-1981. Box 2 (2).
Ship captains – United States – Diaries
  • Subject in S.S. Great Republic Ship’s Logs (1864, Sep. 3 – 1864, Nov. 19). Box 1 (3).
  • Subject in Bound Scrapbook (1874, Sep. 29 – 1880, Apr. 7). Box 1 (6).
  • Subject in S.S. Colima Compass Book (1883, Feb. 1 – 1887, May 29). Box 1 (9).
Ship captains - Fiction
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme, 1900-1981. Box 2 (1). John M. Cavarly Papers - Finding Aid - 5
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme, 1900-1981. Box 2 (2).
Steamboat disasters – United States – History – 19th century
  • Subject in Unbound Scrapbook Pages (1869- 1893, June). Box 1 (4).
  • Subject in Bound Scrapbook (1874, Sep. 29 – 1880, Apr. 7). Box 1 (6).
Steamboat lines – China
  • Subject in S.S. Great Republic Ship’s Logs (1864, Sep. 3 – 1864, Nov. 19). Box 1 (3).
  • Subject in Bound Scrapbook (1874, Sep. 29 – 1880, Apr. 7). Box 1 (6).
Steamboat lines – Pacific Ocean
  • Subject in S.S. Great Republic Ship’s Logs (1864, Sep. 3 – 1864, Nov. 19). Box 1 (3).
  • Subject in Bound Scrapbook (1874, Sep. 29 – 1880, Apr. 7). Box 1 (6).
  • Subject in Photographs ([1877]-1889). Box 1 (8).
  • Subject in S.S. Colima Compass Book (1883, Feb. 1 – 1887, May 29). Box 1 (9).
Steamboats
  • Subject in S.S. Great Republic Ship’s Logs (1864, Sep. 3 – 1864, Nov. 19). Box 1 (3).
  • Subject in Bound Scrapbook (1874, Sep. 29 – 1880, Apr. 7). Box 1 (6).
  • Subject in Photographs ([1877]-1889). Box 1 (8).
  • Subject in S.S. Colima Compass Book (1883, Feb. 1 – 1887, May 29). Box 1 (9).
Steamboats – Fiction
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme. Box 2 (1).
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme. Box 2 (2).
United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Fiction
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme. Box 2 (1).
United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Naval operations
  • Subject in Scrapbook Pages (1856, Apr. 17 – 1905, July 9). Box 1 (1).
United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Naval operations – Fiction
  • Subject in “Annie’s Captain” (1960?) manuscript by Kathryn Hulme. Box 2 (1).

Collection Contents

Box 1

Documents. 1856-1896

Folder 1

1856, Apr. 17-1905, July 9. Scrapbook Pages.

Physical Description: 18 items.
Folder 2

1861, Oct. 11-1861, Nov. 20. Cavalry, John M. 4 letters to William L. Coleman & Co. 5 items. Copied by Anne Bolles Cavarly. Includes one note.

Physical Description:
Folder 3

1864, Sep. 3-1864, Nov. 19. S.S. Great Republic Ship’s Logs.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 4

1869- 1893, June. Unbound Scrapbook Pages.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 5

1872, Nov. 27. Swin, Aldridge. 1 letter to John M. Cavarly.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 6

1874, Sep. 29-1880, Apr. 7. Bound Scrapbook [6 pages are loose].

Physical Description: 7 items.
Folder 7

1876, Sep. 14. Gough, Francis. 1 letter to John M. Cavarly.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 8

[1877]-1889. Photographs.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Folder 9

1883, Feb. 1-1887, May 29. S.S. Colima Compass Book.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 10

1883, Dec. 14-1890, Apr. 23. Cavarly, John M. 4 letters to Julia Cavarly Hulme. Includes one note.

Physical Description: 4 items.
Folder 11

1889, Feb. 28. Williams, Dimond & Co. 1 letter to John M. Cavarly.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 12

1890, Aug. 16. Cavarly, John M. Record in PMSS Services: [report].

Physical Description: 1 item.
Folder 13

1896. Advertisement [reproduction].

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2

"Annie's Captain" manuscript. 1960?

Folder 1

1960? Hulme, Kathryn, 1900-1981. “Annie’s Captain” [manuscript, typewritten draft: p. 1-154].

Folder 2

1960? Hulme, Kathryn, 1900-1981. “Annie’s Captain” [manuscript, typewritten draft: p. 155-310].