Contents and Arrangement

Naval Service as Commander-in-Chief of the Brazil Squadron, 1847-1851

4 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Materials documenting Storer's naval service as commander-in-chief of the Brazil Squadron from 1847 to 1851 document the many facets of the duties of the Brazil Squadron. Although its primary task was "protecting American interests and trade," (Canney, page 111), the Brazil Squadron tended to a variety of American interests including diplomacy with Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina; and increasingly, after 1847, the enforcement of the long-standing ban on the American participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. There is correspondence with prominent naval officers and diplomats, information regarding ships (both United States Navy ships and slave ships), and a few official United States Navy records. In regards to diplomacy, Storer corresponded with H.H. Cocke, R.M. Hamilton, W.A. Harris, Thomas J. Morgan, and David Tod, all of whom were American diplomats in South America. In addition, Storer became involved in a case of a British youth who stowed away on one of his ships; a mob which attacked American citizens on the Brazilian island of Santa Catarina; and the ongoing Siege of Montevideo. There is also a letter book containing drafts of Storer's outgoing correspondence from July 1847 to July 1849 regarding naval operations in South America and, in particular, those of his ship, the U.S.S. Brandywine.

This material also includes numerous documents which relate directly to the efforts against the slave trade. Storer's 1847 initial orders from the Secretary of the Navy, John Y. Mason, include a mandate for "the repression of the slave trade," to "use every effort to arrest and bring to well merited punishment all persons who on the open seas may disgrace the American flag by making it in any way subservient to the pursuit or protection of this most nefarious commerce." Most dramatic is a long November 1848 letter from John I. Taylor reporting on the discovery of a slave trading port at Cabo Frio, Brazil. Several letters describe ships that were searched or impounded by the Americans or British, often drawing lengthy protests from the Brazilians, including files relating to the successful capture of the slaver Laurens by the USS Onkahye on January 23, 1848 and correspondence and reports relating to suspected, and on occasion, actual slave ships Casco, Flora, Imogen, Kingston, and Paulina.

Works Cited:

Canney, Donald L. Afica Squadron: The U.S. Navy and the Slave Trade, 1842-1861. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc., 2006.


Arranged alphabetically by genre of material.

Collection History


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Holly Mengel in 2012. Finding aid written by Holly Mengel in 2012.

Finding aid updated by Kelly Bolding in April 2018.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Naval Service as Commander-in-Chief of the Brazil Squadron; George W. Storer Brazil Squadron Papers, C1433, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
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