O'NEIL, CHARLES F. REAR ADMIRAL

Gilded Age Collections

Collection ID: GA-37
Location: GA-37

(Description ID: 594295)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Rear Admiral Charles F. O’Neil

GA-37 


Introduction
Biography Sketch
Scope and Content
Inventory

Introduction
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center acquired the papers of Rear Admiral Charles F. O’Neil in 1951. Additional collections of O’Neil’s papers are at the Library of Congress and the Naval Historical Foundation.

Biographical Sketch
Charles F. O’Neil was born in Manchester, England, March 15, 1842, son of John and Mary Anne (Francis) O’Neil. At the age of five he came to the U. S. with his parents, who settled in Boston, Massachusetts.  He went to sea at the age of 16, making a trip to Calcutta on the Oliver Putnam of Newburyport, Massachusetts.  On his second voyage on the Oliver Putnam, the vessel foundered in the Indian Ocean and O’Neil and others drifted for five days before being rescued by a French slaver. 

O’Neil’s naval career was lengthy and spectacular. At the opening of the Civil War, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He achieved the rare feat of rising from enlisted status in 1861 to flag rank by 1897. He was master’s mate on the U. S. S. Cumberland at the fight at Hatteras inlet and in the battle with the Merrimac in Hampton Roads, when the Cumberland was rammed and sunk. While the crew struggled in the water, O’Neil rescued Lt. Commander Morris, commander of the Cumberland. For his heroism, he was promoted to acting master.  As navigator on the gunboat Rhode Island, O’Neil participated in the attacks on Fort Fisher and blockade duty.  At war’s end, he held the rank of acting volunteer lieutenant.  In 1868, he was appointed lieutenant in the regular Navy. He became commander in 1884, and captain in 1897, and rear admiral in 1901.  While serving as first commander of the U.S.S. Marblehead, O’Neil sailed to the Nicaraguan coast in 1894. There he negotiated the sovereignty of Nicaragua to the satisfaction of the U. S. and Great Britain which had served as the country’s protectorate.  O’Neil also protected U. S. interests in Turkey in 1892 and 1893.

An expert in naval ordnance, O’Neil became superintendent of the naval gun factory at the Washington naval yard. He played a key role in developing the modern U. S. Navy. In 1897, he was made Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. Following the Spanish-American War, O’Neil designed naval guns of all calibers and as president of the U.S. Navy board of construction prepared plans for the Navy’s new vessels. He later was sent abroad to study the ordnance of departments of foreign navies. 

He married April 6, 1869 to Mary Caroline, daughter of Richard Frothingham, historian of Charlestown, Massachusetts. They had one son, Dr. Richard Frothingham O’Neil. Rear Admiral O’Neil died at Chelsea, Massachusetts February 28, 1927.

Dictionary of American Biography

Scope and Content
The collection consists of 365 letters received by Rear Admiral Charles F. O’Neil from 1897 – 1899. The bulk of the correspondence relates to his duties as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. These include the selection of sites for coastal batteries, inspections of shipyards, design of ordnance, and construction of shipyards and ordnance magazines, Also included is correspondence regarding requests for endorsements, promotions, recommendations, and orders for torpedo boats and bids on naval armament. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by surname and chronologically for each correspondent. An item-level inventory provides the names of all correspondents and dates of their letters. More than 50 letters are from Commander William Swift, Inspector of the New York Naval Yard. In addition to the correspondence, the collection contains an album of 18 images, mostly tintypes, of O’Neil’s wife and son. Nearly all of the images are identified and dated 1870 or 1871.

Inventory
Ac. 681
365 items

BOX 1: A – M

ACKERMAN, A. A.
Sept. 8, 1898

ACKROYD, Walter
Feb. 22, 1899

ALMY, J. W.
Aug. 14, 1898
Apr. 27, 1899
May 2, 1899
June 22, 1899

ANDERSEN, Henry
Aug. 22, [189]8

BADGE, Chas. J.
June 23, 1899

BARROLL, Henry H.
Dec. 27, 1898

BEALL, Mary Stevens
Aug. 9, 1898

BEAVOR-WEBB, J.
July 20, 1899

BENJAMIN, Marcus
Dec. 21, 1898

BIRMINGHAM, J.
July 26, 1898
Dec. 18, 1898
Mar. 7, 1899
Apr. 8, 1899
Apr. 29, 1899

BERNADON, John B.
June 17, 1898
July 21, 1898
Sept. 3, 1898
July 22, 1899

BERRYS, A. G.
Jan. 30, 1899

BLEECKER, John V. B.
Mar. 20, 1899

BOUTELLE, C. H.
Jan. 12, 1899
May 24, 1899

BRANDT, E. S.
Feb. 18, n.y.

BRICE, Arthur T.
May 22, 1899

BROWNSON, W. H.
May 15, 1899
June 9, 1899
June 26, 1899
July 27, 1899

BRUCKNER, Rudolph E.
Oct. 31, 1898

BURTON, B.
Oct. 31, 1898

BUSH, John B.
Mar. 13, 1899

CHAPEHART, Edward E.
Nov. 27, n.y.

CHADWICK, F. E.
July 12, 1898
Nov. 26, 1898
Mar. 18, 1899

CHESTER, I. W.
Apr. 10, 1899

CHOOK, Alf.
Aug. 9, 1898 (telegram)
Aug. 10, 1898 (telegram)

CITIZEN”S RELIEF ASSOCIATION
Dec. 1898

COLWELL, J. C.
Dec. 17, 1898

COOPER, P. H.
Sept. 30, 1898

CORDEN, Godfrey L.
Dec. 17, 1898

COULES, Wm. S.
Sept. 13, 1898

CRAMP, Chas. H.
Nov. 10, 1989
Nov. 12, 1898
Nov. 14, 1898
Nov. 17, 1898
Dec. 7, 1898

CRAWFORD, George A.
Aug. 28, 1898
Sept. 20, 1898
July 1, 1899

CROWNINSHIELD, A. S.
Aug. 10, 1898
Dec. 12, 1898

CULVER, A. E.
Jan. 19, 1899
Jan. 28, 1899

D., W. G.
[1899]

DABEY, C. M.
July 12, 1899

DAWSON, A. G.
Apr. 24, 1899

DELANO, Francis H.
July 18, [1898]
Mar. 25, 1899

DOBSON, Robert J.
Mar. 3, 1899

DOUGLAS, A. P., Rev.
Oct. 21, 1898

DRAKE, F. J.
Sept. 14, 1898
Sept. 14, 1898
Sept. 17, 1898
Oct. 28, 1898
Nov. 1, 1898
Apr. 25, 1899
May 1, 1899

DRIGGS-SEABURY, Gun and Ammunition Co.
July 7, 1899

DUNN, John F.
June 2, 1899
June 6, 1899

DWIGHT, Timothy
Apr. 21, 1899

DYRENFORTH, Robert G.
Aug. 25, 1898

EATON, Chas. P.
July 23, 1899

EDSON, Jarvis B.
Oct. 19, 1898

EIL, Saml. W.
May 27, 1899

ELMER, Adele W.
Dec. 19, 1898

ERBIN, Henry 
Oct. 16, 1898

EVERETT, W. H.
Dec. 27, 1898

FENTON, Theodore C.
July 29, 1898
n.d.

FLETCHER, W. B.
Aug. 22, 1898

FOLGER, Wm. M.
July 4, 1898
Feb. 15, 1899
Mar. 26, 1899
Apr. 5, 1899
May 5, 1899
Nov. 5, n.y.
n.d.

FRANKLIN, Marion
Oct. 28, [1898?]

GARCIN, R. E. L.
Sept. 27, 1898
Oct. 3, 1898
Oct. 28, 1898

GATLING, R. I.
Aug. 24, 1898

GIBBS, Wolcott
Feb. 4, 1899

GILINORE, F. F.
Mar. 18, 1899

GILL, Charles S.
Aug. 10, 1898
Aug. 11, 1898
Aug. 22, 1898
Dec. 15, 1898

GILLIS, L. W.
Dec. 30, 1898
Mar. 6, 1899

GILLIS, J. H.
Mar. 10, 1899

GOLDSBOROUGH, W.
Oct. 9, 1898

GRAHAM, S. L.
June 8, 1899

GREEN, F. M.
July 25, 1898
July 28, 1898
Aug. 1, 1898
Aug. 4, 1898
Sept. 6, 1898
Sept. 17, 1898
Apr. 8, 1899

GRIP, A.
Mar. 29, 1899
Mar. 31, 1899

HACKER, Morris
Aug. 16, 1898

HADWICK, Cornelia J.
July 26, 1898

HALPIN, Robert F.
Aug. 16, 1897

HAMERSLY, Lewis R.
Dec. 31, 1898

HANELER, T. J.
Aug. 3, 1898

HANAH, Chas. J.
Dec. 3, 1898

HANSCOM, J. F.
Nov. 29, 1898
Dec. 11, 1898

HARMER, A. C.
July 6, 1899

HEIMSOTH, Charles H.
Apr. 29, 1899

HEWES, Geo. H.
Apr. 4, 1899

HOPKINS, A. J.
July 12, 1899

HUBBARD, John
June 9, 1897

HUGHSON, Victor P.
Mar. 22, 1899

IRWIN, W. M.
Aug. 27, 1989
Apr. 10, 1899
June 15, 1899

JACKSON, O. P.
Sept. 16, 1898

JESSUP, Rev. and Mrs. Henry Harris
[Apr. 4, 1899]

JEWELL, T. F.
Feb. 2, 1898
Feb. 2, 1899 (Theo F.)

JONES, The John Paul, Statue Commission
Apr. 17, n.y.

KELLOGG, Chas. D.
Mar. 25, 1899

KHOURY, Constantine
Dec. 14, 1897

KIMBALL, W. W.
Aug. 9, 1898

KING, John L.
Apr. 9, 1898

LANDGEN, Palmer H.
Mar. 18, 1899

LONGNECKER, E.
Aug. 28, 1898
Mar. 5, 1899

LORD & TAYLOR
June 8, 1899

LOUDENSLAGER, Henry C.
Feb. 10, 1899

LOWE, Thomas F.
Nov. 24, 1898

LUCE, S. G.
June 2, 1899

LYMONDS, Y. M.
Aug. 14, 1898

MCCALLA, A. H.
Mar. 13, 1899
May 11, 1899
May 26, 1899

MCGOWAN, John
Feb. 10, 1899
Apr. 3, 1899

MCLEAN, T. C.
May 12, 1898
July 28, 1898
July 20, 1898
Aug. 1, 1898
Aug. 2, 1898
Aug. 24, 1898
Aug. 24, 1898
Sept. 25, 1898
Oct. 29, 1898
Nov. 12, 1898
Nov. 28, 1898
Dec. 14, 1898
Dec. 29, 1898
Jan. 22, 1899
Mar. 12, 1899
Mar. 15, 1899 (telegram)
Mar. 18, 1899
July 17, 1899

MCLEAN, Walter
Feb. 11, 1899

MCMULLEN, G. W.
Jan. 21, 1899

MAGRUDER, C. B.
July 11, 1899

MARQUIS, A. M.
Mar. 6, 1899

MASON, N. E.
July 20, 1898
Aug. 11, 1898
Jan. 30, 1898
Jan. 31, 1899
Feb. 8, 1899
Mar. 16, 1899
Apr. 22, 1899
July 11, 1899

MEADE, Robert L.
Oct. 12, 1898
Dec. 14, 1898
June 26, 1899
June 30, 1899

MEHILLE, D.[?]
Oct. 28, 1898

MENOCAL, A. Z.
Mar. 29, 1899

MEREDITH, William T.
May 29, 1899

MERRY, J. F.
Aug. 31, 1898
Nov. 16, 1898

MERTVAGEE, D. T.
Apr. 14, 1899

MESSINGER, Wm. H.
May 15, 1899
June 30, 1899

MILLER, Robt. A.
Sept. 2, 1898

MOODY, George B.
[Oct. 23, 1898]

MOORE, C. A.
May 15, 1899

MULLANY, F. A.
Dec. 15, 1898

MUNROE, Charles E.
Sept. 17, 1898
Mar. 18, 1899
Apr. 26, 1899
May 4, 1899
May 15, 1899

NAZRO, Albert P.
n.d.

NAZRO, Henry G.
Dec. 18, 1898

OAKES, Geo. A.
Apr. 2, 1899

O’NEIL, Dick
n.d.

PARKER, John H.
July 23, 1898 (clipping)

PAULDING, G.
Oct. 30, 1898

PAYER, J. M.
Aug. 24, 1898

PERKINS, Geo. C.
Sept. 13, 1898
Jan. 11, 1899

PETHERICK, C. J.
Mar. 16, 1899

PETRE, Axer.
Aug. 19, 1898
Sept. 2, 1898
Dec. 20, 1898

PEYTON, Leonard
Sept. 8, 1898
Feb. 24, 1899
June 19, 1899

PIGMAN, Geo. W.
Aug. 27, 1898
Dec. 3, 1898
Apr. 17, 1899

PORRITT, Edward
Oct. 19, 1898

POTTER, N. P.
June 23, 1899

POUNDSTONE, H. C.
Sept. 10, 1898
Sept. 20, 1898
n.d. (diagram)

PROUTY, Thos. S.
Mar. 29, 1899

RATHBUN, Richard
Oct. 15, 1898

REEDER, W. H.
Dec. 10, 189[?]

REID, James H.
Nov. 16, 1898

RIBBLE, G. W.
Feb. 2, 1899

RIMBALL, Wm. W.
Dec. 11, 1897

ROE, F. S.
Sept. 28, 1898

ROOSA, J. P.
Aug. 15, 1898
Aug. 17, 1898

ROOSEVELT, Theodore
Dec. 27, 1898

RORSCHACK, F.
June 22, 1899

RUBBARD, John
Sept. 21, 1898

SAMPSON, Olive Farrington
Sept. 19, n.y.

SCHELL, F. Cresson
May 10, 1899
Sept. 24, 1899

SCHWAB, C. M.
May 9, 1899

SEARS, W. J.
Aug. 29, 1899
Sept. 9, 1898
Sept. 18, 1898
Dec. 21, 1898
Feb. 14, 1899
Feb. 26, 1899
Mar. 10, 1899
Apr. 4, 1899
June 11, 1899
June 20, 1899
SEE, Jesse B. K.
Aug. 20, 1898
Oct. 28, 1898
Mar. 9, 1899
Jul 20, 1899

SHAW, W. O.
Sept. 4, 1898

SHUMAKER, C. O.
Apr. 11, [1899]

SLUYRS, Santo
Mar. 11, 1899

SMITH, Cyrus
n.d. (cd)

SMITH, Oberlin
Mar. 17, 1899
Mar. 22, 1899

SMITH, R. C.
Dec. 16, 1897
Dec. 16, 1897
Dec. 17, 1897
Aug. 27, 1898
Sept. 5, 1898
Jan. 13, 1899

SOUTHERLAND, W. H. H.
May 27, 1899

SPERRY, C. S.
Aug. 11, 1898
Oct. 27, 1898
Oct. 29, 1899

SPINWALL, H. C.
Apr. 9, 1899

SPOFFORD, Ainsworth R.
Mar. 7, 1899

STANWORTH, C. S.
July 17, 1899

STEVENS, B. F.
Mar. 28, 1899

STICHT, J. L.
July 8, 1899

STOCKTON, C. H.
Sept. 28, 1898

STRAUSS, Jos.
Mar. 22, 1899

SWIFT, Wm.
July 29, 1898
Aug. 5, 1898
Aug. 6, 1898
Aug. 9, 1898
Aug. 11, 1898
Aug. 16, 1898
Aug. 18, 1898
Aug. 27, 1898
Aug. 30, 1898
Aug. 30, 1898
Sept. 9, 1898
Nov. 7, 1898
Nov. 10, 1898
Nov. 16, 1898
Nov. 16, 1898
Nov. 29, 1898
Dec. 4, 1898
Dec. 6, 1898
Dec. 16, 1898
Dec. 27, 1898
Jan. 7, 1899
Jan. 9, 1899
Jan. 13, 1899
Feb. 15, 1899
Feb. 18, 1899
Feb. 28, 1899
Mar. 9, 1899
Apr. 5, 1899
Apr. 13, 1899
Apr. 22, 1899
Apr. 28, 1899
May 1, 1899
May 4, 1899
May 5, 1899
May 19, 1899
May 20, 1899
May 21, 1899
May 22, 1899
May 23, 1899
May 31, 1899
June 1, 1899
June 2, 1899
June 2, 1899
June 7, 1899
June 13, 1899
June 13, 1899
June 14, 1899
June 24, 1899
June 27, 1899
June 27, 1899
June 28, 1899
June 28, 1899
June 30, 1899
July 10, 1899
July 14, 1899
July 20, 1899

TAYLOR, H. C.
Sept. 19, 1898
Jan. 20, 1899

TAYLOR, Thomas, M.D.
Oct. 31, 1898

TAYLOR, W. M. C.
Mar. 8, 1899

TERWILLIGER, A. L.
Mar. 8, 1899

TISDALE, Ryland D.
May 17, 1899
n.d.

TRIZZ, Wm. R.
Sept. 12, 1898

TRUE, F. W.
Mar. 27, 1899

VAUGHAN, N. W.
May 15, 1899
July 22, 1899

VIXAN, Lewis
n.d.

WADHAMS, S. R.
Sept. 21, 1898

WALKER, J. G.
June 24, 1899

WATSON, J. C.
Jan. 9, 1899

WEIL, Samuel
May 27, 1899 (telegram)

WERNER, P. E.
July 3, 1899

WESHESSON, Jos.
 Feb. 8, 1899

WHERLWRIGHT, John F.
Sept. 16, 1898
Dec. 19, 1898
Dec. 22, 1898

WHITE, Geo. E.
Nov. 18, 1898

WHITING, Louis C.
Jan. 2, 1898

WHITMORE, F. G.
Nov. 23, 1897

WHITTELSEY, Wm. Bailey
June 14, 1899
July 5, 1899

WILDES, Frank
Mar. 1, n.y.

WILLIAMS, The J. B., Co.
Apr. 13, 1899

WINSLOW, Herbert
Oct. 7, 1898

WOOD, W. M.
Dec. 11, 1895

WOODWARD, J. J.
June 29, 1899

ZALINSKI, E. L.
Mar. 25, 1899

UNIDENTIFIED:
Nov. 30, 1898
Dec. 12, 1898
Mar. 30, 1899
Dec. 5, 1899
n.d.
n.d.
n.d.
Clippings (3)