The Kidder Randolph Breese logbook covers Breese's daily activities as an aide to Commodore Jacob J. Storer onboard the United States Frigate Brandywine along the eastern coast of South America between November 20, 1847, and October 18, 1850. The logbook, written primarily from various South American ports, records salutes given and received, the arrivals and departures of other ships, and visits by international naval personnel and other dignitaries.
During its South American travels, the Brandywine laid anchor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Pernambuco, Brazil. In these ports, the Brandywine regularly gave and received salutes from foreign ships, often for a related leader's birthday or other important national event: the Brazilian royal family frequently received salutes, and the Brandywine joined British ships in celebrating the anniversary of Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne (June 19-20, 1848). Breese also recorded the many visits Commodore Storer made to foreign ships, as well as those of visiting dignitaries to the Brandywine . Officials from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and from British, French, and Spanish vessels boarded the ship. Breese carefully noted the position of various international flags hoisted during salutes and visits, and the logbook provides insight into contemporary naval protocol. Following the journal entries, which conclude on October 18, 1850, are an illustrated essay on numerical naval light signaling (3 pages), colored illustrations of various naval flags (3 pages), and a pen sketch of a rocky shore. An undated enclosed document contains a "List of sails made for U. S. Frigate U. States ," including the type of sail and the number of yards of fabric used in its construction.