Stephen McCarthy papers
Scope and Contents
This collection includes four commissions providing information related to Stephen McCarthy’s naval career from his commissioning as a Boatswain in 1889 to his final commission as Lieutenant in 1921. Also included is correspondence from G. C. Logan, acting Commanding Officer, Naval Training Station, acknowledging that McCarthy’s formal commission as Lieutenant had arrived.
- McCarthy, Stephen, 1859-1938 (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Access is open to all researchers, unless otherwise specified.
Conditions Governing Use
Material in this collection is in the public domain, unless otherwise noted.
Stephen McCarthy was born on 25 November 1859 in Connecticut. In 1875, he joined the Navy as a teenage seaman apprentice aboard the USS Minnesota. He officially joined the Navy as an enlisted man in 1877 and was appointed a Boatswain in the Navy on 13 May 1887 while in the state of New Jersey. He served various assignments in and around Newport, RI before being appointed a Chief Boatswain’s Mate in 1899 by Act of Congress. His career shifted between assignments at sea—on the USS Chicago in the European Squadron in 1903 and aboard a succession of screw tugs near the U.S. Coast, the USS Potomac, USS Ontario, and USS Montgomery. Most of his naval career was spent stationed in Newport, RI at the Newport Training Station, Torpedo Station, or aboard one of the training ships. He authored “The Boatswain’s Calls,” published in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 1913, a description of the calls and pipes used by boatswains in the U.S. Navy. His article was cited in a 2002 review of piping. Stephen McCarthy married Leonora Sharpe (1863-1905) and they had three daughters, one of whom, Leonora Muria married a naval officer, Lieutenant Commander Dallas Wait. Lieutenant McCarthy retired to Newport and lived at 82 Kay Street until his death in 1938.
Chronology of Naval Service note
- Born in Connecticut
- Seaman apprentice, USS Minnesota
- Won first class medal for sword exercise at “Naval Review”
- Aboard the Receiving-Ship New Hampshire, Newport, RI as Acting Boatswain
- Appointed Boatswain
- Appointment to Boatswain formalized by Commission
- Assigned to Training Station and Training-Ship USS Constellation
- Assigned to Torpedo Station, Newport, RI
- Chief Boatswain, USS Constellation, Training Ship, Newport, RI
- Chief Boatswain, USS Chicago, European Squadron
- Ordered back to the Torpedo Station, Newport, RI
- Chief Boatswain, USS Nina, submarine tender, Newport RI
- Assigned to Torpedo Station, Newport, RI.
- Chief Boatswain, USS Potomac (tug)
- Takes command of the USS Ontario (AT-13)
- Publishes “The Boatswain’s Calls” in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings
- Chief Boatswain, USS Montgomery (C-9)
- Lieutenant, Naval Training Station, Newport, RI
- Died in Newport, RI
0.2 Linear Feet (1 oversize folder in Folio drawer)
Lieutenant Stephen McCarthy (1859-1938) served in the U.S. Navy from 1887 until his retirement in 1923. He retired in Newport, Rhode Island. His papers include naval commissions from various promotions in the U.S. Navy.
This collection is arranged chronologically.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mrs. Leonora Dallas Wait in November 1985. The Stephen McCarthy papers were donated by Mrs. Wait along with the Dallas Wait papers (MSC 65). The donation was disambiguated after accession to create two separate collections.
Former Archivist, Evelyn Cherpak, oversaw the processing of the gift of Mrs. Dallas Wait. The four commissions from her father, LT Stephen McCarthy were separated from the Dallas Wait papers, housed in an oversize box, and designated as MSC 64. In August 2016, Dara Baker removed the commissions from the oversize box and rehoused them in a large format folder for inclusion in the Folio cabinets.
- Daniels, Josephus, 1862-1948 -- Autographs
- Harrison, Benjamin, 1833-1901 -- Autographs
- McKinley, William, 1843-1901 -- Autographs
- Tracy, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1830-1915 -- Autographs
- United States. Navy -- Non-commissioned officers
- Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924 -- Autographs
- letters (correspondence)
- military commissions
- Guide to the Stephen McCarthy papers1889-1920
- Dacs Finding Aid
- Finding aid prepared by Dara Baker.
- Sep 2016
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Based On Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Dacs)
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note