William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Kidder Randolph Breese Logbook, 1847-1850
Meg Hixon, December 2011
Kidder Randolph Breese logbook
Breese, Kidder Randolph, 1831-1881
The Kidder Randolph Breese logbook covers Breese's daily activities as an aide to Commodore George W. 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.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
Kidder Randolph Breese Logbook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Kidder Randolph Breese was born on April 14, 1831, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became a United States Navy midshipman on November 6, 1846. He was stationed on the USS Saratoga in 1847, and he served onboard during the Mexican-American War. He moved to the Brandywine in 1848 as an aide to Commodore Jacob J. Storer and traveled along the Brazilian, Uruguayan, and Argentinean coasts until December 1850. On June 8, 1852, he became a warrant officer and was attached to the Mississippi , which accompanied Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan. During the Civil War, Breese served in the Union Navy, earning a promotion to lieutenant commander on July 16, 1862. Following the war, he served in a number of administrative positions, commanded the Plymouth (1870-1872), and received a captain's commission (August 9, 1874). He died in Newport, Rhode Island, on September 13, 1881. His wife, Martha I. Curtin, survived him.
Collection Scope and Content Note
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.
- Brandywine (Frigate)
- Buenos Aires (Argentina)--Description and travel.
- Montevideo (Uruguay)--Description and travel.
- Naval ceremonies, honors, and salutes.
- Pernambuco (Brazil)--Description and travel.
- Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)--Description and travel.
- United States. Navy--Signals and signaling.
- Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901--Anniversaries, etc.
- Signal lights.
- Signals and signaling.
Additional Descriptive Data
Hamersly, Lewis R. "Commander Kidder Randolph Breese." The Records of Living Officers of the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps. Revised Edition. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1870.