8 boxes (2.66 cu.ft.)
About William L. Hill (1855-1922):
William L. Hill was born on October 17, 1855 in Auburn, Iowa of Henry Clay and Margaret (Cater) Hill. On November 18, 1873, he enlisted in the United States Navy and began a career that was to span a lifetime. On September 12, he received the Medal of Honor, the highest decoration in the United States, for saving William Mulcahy from drowning when the young man fell overborad from Hill’s ship the U.S.S. Minnesota in Newport, Rhode Island on June 22 that same year. Hill served in the rank of boatswain on the U.S.S. Brooklyn during the Spanish-American War and received a special commendation from Rear Admiral W.S. Schley for his bravery and fortitude. In 1904 Chief Boatswain Hill took command of the U.S.S. Southery and U.S.S. Topeka prison ships at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and instituted policies of prison reform that were later adopted by other branches of the service and in civilain prisons (such as removing ankle chains from prisoners).
In 1901, Hill testified before the Schley Court of Inquiry established to evaluate the conduct of Rear Admiral Winfield S. Schley “during the recent war with Spain, and in connection with events thereof.” The Inquiry lasted a little more than eight weeks and newspaper accounts (not all complimentary) earmark Hill’s testimony as one of the highlights of the proceedings, “bringing the courtroom to its feet” in patriotic fervor.
William Hill was a member of St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 1 in Portsmouth from 1905. Hill married Blanche Hedden from Troy, New York in 1881. After her death, he married her best friend, Katherine Sweetser, on February 3, 1917 and it is through this connection that the collection has been made available. He took his own life on August 2, 1922 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
About the William L. Hill collection:
Chief Boatswain Hill was an avid collector of news clippings, especially those related to naval matters. Moreover, he was a precise and articulate (and often emotional) observer of people and events. Accordingly, the collection contains an unusual record of turn-of-the-century American Naval history, including first-hand reports of “The Battle of Santiago,” the decisive battle of the Spanish-American War, the Schley Court of Inquiry (1901), and a series of photographs of the Portsmouth Navy Yard around the turn of the century. The collection also contains a scrapbook by Katherine Sweetser Hill which details her activities, especially those as a member of the New Hampshire Federation of Women’s Clubs.
- Service Records
- Subject Files
- Newspaper Clippings
- Katherine Sweetser Hill
I. Service Records
|f.1||Continuous service certificate (in leather pouch).|
|f.2||Service records and assignments, 1875-1883.|
|f.3||Service records and assignments, 1886-1891.|
|f.4||Service records and assignments, 1892-1893.|
|f.5||Service records and assignments, 1894-1895.|
|f.6||Service records and assignments, 1896-1899.|
|f.7||Service records and assignments, 1900-1903.|
|f.8||Service records and assignments, 1904.|
|f.9||Service records and assignments, 1905-1906.|
|f.10||Service records and assignments, 1907-1908.|
|f.11||Service records and assignments, 1909-1914.|
|f.12||Service records and assignments, 1915-1917.|
|f.13||Service records and assignments, 1918.|
|f.14||Service records and assignments, 1919-1921.|
Army & Navy Register (US Military Gazette); Clinton H. Meneely Bell Co.; Dept. of the Interior; L.R. Hamersly & Co. (2); Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH; Navy Yard, New York; W.H. Reeder (2); W. Smith; US Navy Dept. (8) including 1 regarding award of Medal of Honor.
Geo. Brush; W. Bull; F.H. Cleveland; Chauncey M. Depew; James R. Durham; Mrs. Hardy; T.W. Hartford; Blanche Hill (Mrs. William) (2); F. Stanhope Hill; Theresa W. Hollis; Jordan Marsh & Co.; John Levis; Manhattan Railway Co.; National Association of Letter Carriers, New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Co.; John M. Portal; The United Press; US Army & Navy Journal; US Dept. Navy; US Dept. of War (2); US House of Representatives; US Post Office; T.R. Wilson; S.J. Wright; Alice and Charlie; Maggie, Charley & Vi.
The Denver Times; Historical Dept. of Iowa (4); Frank Jones; Thomas Lipton; William Ludlow; J.E.M. Sanford; US Army & Navy Journal; US Navy (2).
|f.4||July- December 1899.
W.A Marble; N.E. Mason(2); The Salem Iron Co.; W.S. Schley; George E. Van Nostrand; US Navy; Charley & Vi.
Army and Navy Journal; Baltimore American; Francis T. Bowles; First Presbyterian Church of Annapoles, Ind.;Frank Fitzmiller (2); E.H. Hall; Kearsarge Ass. Naval Veterans; E.W. Kennison; C.J. Leach; Chas. M. Moses (2); New York Times (2); A. Nowell; The Philadelphia Inquirer; Universalist Church of Portsmouth, NH; Andrew B. Rogers, US Dept. Navy (2); US House of Representatives (4).
The Army and Navy Register; Baltimore American; Francis T. Bowles; Pascual Cevera (in Spanish with translation); Commonwealth of Mass. House of Representatives; Clarence De Knight; Merta M. Fitch; First National Bank of Portsmouth, NH; Edward Hagman Hall; L.R. Hamersly Co.(2); Harry Hayden; N.E. Mason, US Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, RI (2); Frances W. Ross; Elihu Snow; Geo. S Wasson; US Dept. of Navy (2).
Army and Navy Register (2); Francis T. Bowles (2); S.R.(?) Luce; A.P. Niblock; J.E. Pillsbury (2); US Dept. Navy; Winston Churchill; Julia (sister).
F.T. Bowles; Geo. R. Bufferton (?). F.A. Cook; William S. Coombs; Lloyd Erickson (?); Richard Kipp; B. L. Lopez (?); N.E. Mason; J.E. Pillsbury; George Rafferty (?); Winfield S. Schley; Geo. S. Wasson.
J.S. Chadwick; W.L. Hill (2 letters relating to Hill’s heroic deed); Arthur F. Howard; Medal of Honor Legion; T.S. Peck; Treasury Dept. 0f Navy (4); US Navy Dept.
Pascual Cervera; John L. Garrity (?); Mrs. Mabel Humphreys; Arlo S. Knepper; J.C. Laughlin; Rear Admiral W.W. Mead (2) concerning rules for Peace Commission with Japan & Russia & (1) congratulations on a job well done ; New York Railway Co.; T.S. Peck; J.E. Pillsbury; Treasury Dept. of Navy; A. V. Wadhams (3); US Dept. of Navy.
Geo. A. Bufferton (?); Lena Cole; H.S. Howard; Wm. Kennedy; Horatio C King; Julius Langbein; Fred T. Lape (?); Robert H. Messer; T.S. Peck; Edgar Pressman (?); Alex Scott; H.A. Strohmeyer; Charles Todd; A. V. Wadhams; Charles & Vi; Leatie.
Florence H. Bodge; Moses Greeley Parker; Herbert Kimball; Arthur Mac Arthur; J.D. McClintock (2); J.P. Parker; J.E. Pillsbury (4); W. S. Schely; A.V. Wadhams; H.B. Wilson; B.Diehl (?); A.G. Muiterhalter; J. Louise Porter; unknown (2).
W.B. Caperton; Albert H. Lides; F.A. Wilson; Arthur A. Carey (8); G.R. Gove; Joseph Hill (brother); Arthur B. Hoff; R. Osborne McClintock; E.A. Moore; Louis W. Osborne; to Mrs. W. Schley; L.P. Rennolds (4); Josie Sullivan; Burman Winthrop(?).
Arthur a Carey (4); Anson W. Belding (8); Frederick W. Donnelly (2); Arthur B. Hoff; N.E. Mason; Thomas G. Nellist; L.P Rennolds; W. R. Rush (?); Ernest D. Trueman; B. Diehl (?); A Rust.
Arthur Carey (7); National Concrete Co.; E.A. Moore; H.R. Shaw; Ernest D. Trueman.
A. Watham (?); Charles, L. Stilman (?); Thos. J (?); W.E. Benson (2); Charles M. Charlton (2); F.A. Cook; Robert H. Messer; E.A. Moore; C.W. Parks; Thomas Mott Osborne; M.J. Shaw (2); Alberta Todd; E.D. Trueman (3); U.S. Dept. of State; Union Trust Company; U.S. Department of War; M.J. Wilkinson; G.L. Hanscom; Billie.
Joshua W. Estes; L. Gaylor; L.L. Thompson; Joyce.
III. Subject Files
|f.1||Sons of the American Revolution 1, 1892-1895.|
|f.2||Sons of the American Revolution 2, 1896.|
|f.3||Sons of the American Revolution 3, 1897.|
|f.4||Sons of the American Revolution 4, 1898-1899.|
|f.5||Medal of Honor Legion: Eighteen General Orders, one Special Order, two Circulars, 1894-1919.|
|f.6||Medal of Honor Legion:
Two Rosters, April 23, 1890-April 30, 1895, and April 23, 1890-March 1, 1898.
Program of a Reception by the Citizens of Brooklyn held at the Academy of Music, Sept. 11, N.Y.
One-page Congressional Report on the issuing of ribbons to Medal of Honor recipients in the Navy, January 13, 1897.
|f.7||Medal of Honor and Legion of Honor Banquet Programs, 1904, 1906, and 1911.|
|f.8||Programs for the Seventeenth (1907) and Twentieth (1910) Annual Conventions.|
|f.9||Newsclippings of W.L. Hill lectures, “The Battle of Santiago.”|
|f.10||Ledger containing handwritten extracts from letters written by Hill, Aug. 6, 1890-Aug. 29, 1891 and a journal of the cruise of the U.S.S. Brooklyn, Jan. 1-July 24, 1899.|
|f.11||Ledger containing information on “Heavy Weight Purchases”, misc. poetry and a detailed accounting of crew member results of annual skills testing (splicing, knots, exercise aloft, etc) circa 1889.|
|f.12||Cut Book – Standing, Running & Misc. rigging from U.S. Ship Portsmouth, Aug. 1888.|
|f.13||“Scrapbook” 1, 1895-1897.|
|f.14||“Scrapbook” 2, 1895-1897.|
|f.15||Receipts (W.L. Hill, 1902, 1905) including 3 purchase orders for the Peace Conference of 1905.|
|f.1||General Orders and Navy Records: 1891-1894.|
|f.2||General Orders and Navy Records: 1895.|
|f.3||General Orders and Navy Records: 1896.|
|f.4||General Orders and Navy Records: 1897.|
|f.5||General Orders and Navy Records: 1898.|
|f.6||General Orders and Navy Records: 1899.|
|f.7||General Orders and Navy Records: 1900-1904.|
|f.8||North Atlantic Station “Squadron Bulletin,” 1898.|
|f.9||Navy prisoner records (health record & service record) for 3 men in 1917.|
|f.10||Photocopies of f.9 (Navy prisoner records; health record & service record for 3 men in 1917.|
|f.11||Enlistment papers & fingerprint papers for 2 Navy prisoners, Jan. 1917.|
|f.12||Misc. papers pertaining to the USS Brooklyn 1897-1898: Crew lists for Oct. 1897 and July 4, 1898 including other correspondence.|
|f.13||Misc. papers including the Constitution and By-Laws of Warrant Officers Association 1893, International Flag Code, Knights of Templar certificate.|
|f.16||1898 souvenir booklet by Eugenio de Texeira, 1911 USS Southery & Topeka Christmas Menu.|
|f.17||Photocopies of original signatures of the officers for the USS Galena (1884), USS Brooklyn (1887), USS Jamestown (1889) and USS Prairie (1902). [In Box 8 are pieces of pink silk that have original signatures.]|
|f.18||3 indexes from William Hill’s scrapbooks. The Scrapbooks were dismantled for preservations purposes.|
IV. Newspaper Clippings
|f.1||Misc. newspaper reprints.|
|f.4||1897 – USS Brooklyn.|
|f.8||1898 – USS Maine.|
|f.10||1901 – “Admiral Sampson & Gunner Morgan.”|
|f.11||1901 – “Schley Trial.”|
|f.12||1901 – “Schley Trial & Death.”|
|f.13||1901 – “Schley Trial & Death.”|
|f.17||1919 – Retirement of William L. Hill.|
|f.18||1922 – Obituary of William L. Hill.|
|f.19||Re: Settlement of Estate of William L. Hill 1922-1923.|
|f.20||Re: Settlement of Estate of William L. Hill 1922-1923.|
|f.21||Re: Settlement of Estate of William L. Hill 1923-1945.|
|f.22||Account book of investments for William L. Hill.|
V. Katherine Sweetser Hill
|f.2||Blanche Hill’s Journal pertaining to “Young Ladies Social and Literary Society,” 1877.|
|f.3||Wedding Book, W.L. Hill, Katherine Sweetser, 1917.|
|f.4||Mrs. Hill’s Expense Book 1918-1921.|
|f.5||Personal Correspondence to Mrs. Hill, 1922-1937.|
|f.6||Business Correspondence to Mrs. Hill, 1922-1923.|
|f.7||Misc. receipts to Mrs. Hill, 1926-1930.|
|f.8||Mrs. Hill’s Diary, Sept.-Nov. 1932.|
|f.9||Foreign Investments papers-1944 for Mrs. Hill.|
|f.10||Misc. Tax papers for Mrs. Hill.|
|f.11||Mrs. Hill’s scrapbook, 1934-1936, pertaining to her involvement in the Graffort Club of Portsmouth, NH.|
|f.12||Typed Summaries of Speeches presented at Fifth Annual Forum on Current Problems 1936, sponsored by the New York Herald Tribune; copy of “The New Hampshire Clubwoman” May 1935.|
|e.1||W.L. Hill, Marseilles France, June 1, 1879.|
|e.2||W.L. Hill, 1881.|
|e.3||W.L. Hill, 1882 [Vallejo, Cal].|
|e.4||W.L. Hill, 1882 (?).|
|e.5||W.L. Hill, c. 1890s?|
|e.6||W.L. Hill, c. 1890s?|
|e.7||W.L. Hill, c. 1890s?, in an unidentified group of 5 females & 3 males with Hill in background (probably the Hedden family.|
|e.1||W.L. Hill, c. 1900s?, standing on deck of an unidentified ship in full uniform.|
|e.2||W.L. Hill, c. 1900s?, in uniform standing in front of an unidentified building (2 same pose).|
|e.3||W.L. Hill, c. 1900s?, double exposed image: Hill and Andrew E. Kakbash, Naval Cadet, U.S.N.|
|e.4||W.L. Hill, 1911, USN Commander of the Southery and the Topeka (3 same pose different sizes).|
|e.1||W.L. Hill, Jan. 1914, USN Commander of Southery (3 same pose different sizes).|
|e.2||W.L. Hill, Jan. 1914, USN Commander of Southery (5 same pose different sizes).|
|e.3||W.L. Hill, 1917ish, (3 different poses).|
|e.4||W.L. Hill, 1919?, (2 poses).|
|e.5||W.L. Hill in white uniform in his office at U.S.S. Southery, where he was commandant ca. 1900.|
|e.1||Portrait of Blanche (Hedden) Hill, William Hill’s 1st wife.|
|e.2||Portrait of Blanche (Hedden) Hill.|
|e.3||Blanche Hill and Mrs. Soden swimming.|
|e.4||Blanche Hill and Mrs. Soden sitting at water’s edge.|
|e.5||Blanche Hill and Katherine Sweetser (they were best friends) sitting on rocks. This was before she was married to Hill.|
|e.6||Blanche Hill and Katerine Sweeter standing at the waters edge in New Castle looking towards Seavey Island.|
|e.7||William L. Hill and Katherine Sweetser Hill (center) at launching of U.S.S. S-3, 1919 (2 copies).|
|e.1||W.L. Hill and unidentified male.|
|e.2||Autographed picture of Rear Admiral W.S. Schley.|
|e.3||Sergeant Peter J. Downey, boyhood companion and shipmate, 1897. Note of back of photos states Peter Downey and William Hill entered the Navy together in 1893.|
|e.4||Autographed picture of Joseph Daniels, Secretary of the Navy.|
|e.1||William L. Hill’s cat “Timmy.”|
|e.2||“Timmy” at Quarters G at Navy Yard.|
|e.3||Black & white photo of an unidentified house.|
|e.4||“The Pines,” Grover Cleveland’s house in Tamworth NH.|
|e.5||Unidentified young woman. This was before she was married to Hill.|
|e.1||Portsmouth Navy Yard from Portsmouth side, July 1920.|
|e.2||U.S.S. Southery and U.S.S. Topeka.|
|e.3||U.S.S V-1 (submarine), dated November 13, 1926.|
|e.4||2 unidentified photos of submarines.|
|e.5||H.M.S. Capetown, dated August 14-20, 1929.|
|e.6||Old Ironsides, Portsmouth, NH, July 4-19, 1931.|
|e.7||Unidentified photograph of the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard.|
|e.1||U.S S. Southery and U.S.S. Topeka at dock in Portsmouth.|
|e.2||Spanish-American prisoners of war on parade, W.L. Hill at right center.|
|e.3||Southery working parties, Rock Drilling & Stone Handling Squads, 3-8-15.|
|e.4||Section of Yard work force leaving Southery, 3-8-15.|
|e.5||Southery clothing factory squad, 3-9-15.|
|e.6||Southery prisoners at study 3-9-1915.|
|e.7||Driving the first rivet into the keel: William L. Hill holding pipe, R.P. Schlabach of the construction crew and Admiral C.J. Bouche (2 copies).|
|e.8||Unidentified crew as another keel is begun at Portsmouth Navy Yard.|
|e.1||Photograph of a painting of the U.S.S. Brooklyn (painted by George S. Wasson, commissioned by W.L. Hill, following the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on July 3, 1898).|
|e.2||“The Wreck of the Aquinda” a Spanish ship in Cuba.|
|e.3||Shore party in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.|
|e.4||Shore party in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.|
|e.5||Battleship in harbor, Spanish-American War.|
|e.6||Unidentified men looking at a ship from a pier.|
|e.7||Unidentified ship leaving port.|
|e.1||Connie Bean Community Center on Daniel Street in Portsmouth, originally the Off-Base Enlisted Men’s Reading Room. Hill raised the money for the building (2 copies).|
|e.2||Different view of the Connie Bean Community Center (2 copies).|
|e.3||Billiard & Men’s Reading room, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH, Sept. 17, 1913.|
|e.4||Billiard & Men’s Reading room, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH, March 8, 1915.|
|e.5||Billiard & Men’s Reading room, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH.|
|e.6||Reading Room Building No.22, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH.|
|e.7||Gymnasium, Building #22, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH, Sept. 17, 1913 (3 copies).|
|f.11||Various views of London (probably acquired in 1895 at the U.S.S. Brooklyn‘s participation in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee):|
|e.1||Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben (mistakenly called “Big Tom” on the back of photo).|
|e.2||The Strand and the Royal Courts of Justice with the monument, in the middle of the street, marking Temple Bar (mistakenly called “Temble Bar” on back of photo).|
|e.3||Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column.|
|e.4||St. Paul’s, top of Ludgate Hill on Cheapside.|
|e.5||London Bridge and the monument marking where the Great Fire of 1666 began.|
|e.6||Thames Embankment and Cleopatra’s Needle (mistakenly called Thotmosis Obelisk on back of photo; this was one of three obelisks originally ordered erected in Heliopolis by Thutmose III).|
|e.1||Tintype of unidentified Civil War sailor (in 3×3 black decorated box with a clasp).|
|f.1||Three pieces of pink silk bearing the signatures of the officers of the USS Galena (1884),
USS Brooklyn (1887), USS Jamestown (1889) and USS Prairie (1902).
“The Fight Off Santiago; A Personal Account of the Destruction of the Spanish Fleet” by Rear Admiral William Scott
Schley, Saturday Evening Post, August 13, 1904.