8vo., (9 x 5 ¾ inches). Advertisement on the verso of the second blank (light scattered spotting throughout). Contemporary half black morocco, marbled boards, the smooth spine gilt-ruled in five compartments with gilt lettering in one (extremities a bit worn).
Provenance: From the distinguished library of George Washington Storer (1789-1864) with his manuscript ownership inscription to title page, ? his sale James D. Julia Auctioneers (2010).
First edition. This document contains extensive information about officers serving in the United States Navy and Marine Corps, including place of birth, residence, dates of entry, commission, years at sea, shore duty, how long unemployed, when last at sea, present assignment, deaths, resignations, dismissals, plus general service information including pay grades, Department organization, vessels, squadrons, stations, Naval Yards, and more. This particular copy belonged to George Washington Storer, an officer in the United States Navy. “George W. Storer (1789-1864) served in the United States Navy for more than fifty years, including a term as commander-in-chief of the Brazil squadron from 1847 to 1850, which, in part, had the goal of preventing American ships from transporting African slaves.
“Born in 1789 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, George Washington Storer was the son of Samuel and Mary Storer. Legend has it that George Washington visited when he was a baby and stated that he hoped that Storer would be a better man than his namesake. Storer began his naval career in 1809 as a midshipman, but rose in rank to lieutenant in 1813, master-commandant in 1828, captain in 1837, and commander-in-chief of the Brazil Squadron in 1847, serving in that capacity until 1850. Following his service in the Brazil Squadron, Storer was on leave of absence from 1851 to 1854, and then, from 1855 to 1857, served as governor of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum, the first government-funded hospital and home for elderly and destitute United States sailors. In 1857 he served as president of the Naval Court of Inquiry #3, which followed an 1855 act of Congress amending ‘An Act to Promote the Efficiency of the Navy,’ under which more than 200 naval officers were dismissed from duty. Storer retired from the Navy in 1862, and died two years later, in 1864.
“Storer was appointed a captain in the Brazil Squadron in 1837 which tended to a variety of American interests in the South Pacific relating to diplomacy with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as playing an important role in enforcing the long-standing ban on American participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Because Brazil was the last nation which permitted the importation of slaves, Rio de Janeiro was a stop for ships transporting slaves from Africa. During Storer’s tenure as commander of the Brazil Squadron, from 1847 to 1850, the fleet, frequently working with the British Navy, captured four slave ships. Storer, as Commander in Chief of the Brazil Squadron, served under three secretaries of the Navy: John Y. Mason, William B. Preston, and William A. Graham” (Princeton University Library Finding Aids online).