Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Joseph Newton Hemphill Collection, 1860-1922

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff, September 1997, and Meg Hixon, July 2012

Summary Information
Title: Joseph Newton Hemphill collection
Creator: Hemphill, Joseph Newton, 1847-1931
Inclusive dates: 1860-1922
Bulk dates: 1868-1908
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
Abstract:
This collection consists of around 100 incoming letters addressed to Rear Admiral Joseph Newton Hemphill of Ripley, Ohio, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hemphill's parents, siblings, and cousins sent letters during the first years of his naval career (1868-1872), and his wife and daughter wrote between 1897 and 1908. Also included is a series of reports concerning Hemphill's standing in his United States Naval Academy class.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1996, 1998. M-3304.2, M-3439.4.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Joseph Newton Hemphill Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Printed Items

The Correspondence series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Samuel C. Hemphill was born in Pennsylvania in 1814, the son of a War of 1812 veteran. As a young child, he moved to Ripley, Ohio, where he later became a merchant. He and his wife, Sarah Campbell, had at least five children: Esther, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, and Anna.

Joseph Newton Hemphill was born on June 18, 1847, and entered the United States Naval Academy around 1862. After his graduation in 1866, he served onboard the Monongahela , DeSoto , Kenosha , Plymouth , Swatara , and other ships. He attained the rank of rear admiral before the end of his career. He and his wife Dora ("Oro") had at least one daughter, Oro Joe Hemphill, and lived in Washington, D. C. Joseph N. Hemphill died on July 8, 1931.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of around 100 incoming letters addressed to Rear Admiral Joseph Newton Hemphill of Ripley, Ohio, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hemphill's parents, siblings, and cousins sent letters during the first years of his naval career (1868-1872), and his wife and daughter wrote between 1897 and 1908. Also included are additional letters and a series of reports concerning Hemphill's standing in his United States Naval Academy class.

The Correspondence series comprises the bulk of the collection. During his time at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Joseph N. Hemphill received 1 letter from his mother, who provided educational and spiritual advice (October 3, 1865), and 1 letter from his father, who described President Ulysses S. Grant's inauguration (March 14, 1869). The bulk of the correspondence series consists of incoming letters from Hemphill's family, written while he served with the United States Navy. His mother, father, and siblings all provided family news and social updates from Ripley, Ohio, and his parents occasionally commented on local and national political issues. Around 1897, Hemphill received 2 letters from his wife Dora ("Oro"), who discussed the likely approach of war (Spanish-American War). In 1908, Hemphill's daughter Oro Joe wrote of her life in Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan, where she lived while he served elsewhere in the country. The final letters are addressed to Oro Joe in the early 20th century. In addition to his incoming correspondence, Joseph N. Hemphill wrote 2 letters to his wife while serving in the navy.

Printed items (November 1862-May 1864) include 11 monthly class standing reports for Joseph Hemphill during his time at the United States Naval Academy, a program for the Ohio delegation to the 1868 Republican National Convention, and a program for a vocal concert, accompanied by two newspaper clippings of hymns and poetry.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Families of military personnel.
    • Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885--Inauguration, 1869.
    • Japan--Description and travel.
    • Ohio--Social life and customs.
    • Republican National Convention (1868 : Chicago, Ill.)
    • Ripley (Ohio)
    • Sailors--United States.
    • Spain--Foreign relations--United States.
    • Tokyo (Japan)
    • United States--Foreign Relations--Spain.
    • United States Naval Academy.
    • United States. Navy--Officers.
    • United States--Politics and government--1865-1877.
    • Yokohama-shi (Japan)
    Contributors:
    • Hemphill, Anna.
    • Hemphill, Dora.
    • Hemphill, Elizabeth.
    • Hemphill, Oro Joe.
    • Hemphill, Samuel C., 1814-1879.
    • Hemphill, Sarah Campbell.
    • Kantz, Esther Hemphill.
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Programs (documents)
    • Report cards.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-12
     April 11, 1860-[January 15, 1923], and  undated
     
    Printed items [series]
    Box   1 Folder   13
     November 1, 1862-November 26, 1868
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Navy Department Library holds a collection of Joseph N. Hemphill material.

    Bibliography

    American Biographical Directories. District of Columbia: Concise Biographies of Its Most Prominent and Representative Contemporary Citizens, and Valuable Statistical Data, 1908-1909. Washington, D. C.: The Potomac Press, 1908.

    Parker, John P., and Stuart Sprague. His Promised Land: the Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996.