Scope and arrangement
This collection of the papers of Rear Admiral Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough, U. S. N., dates from 1821 to 1573 and consists of two volumes and about 550 pieces of unbound manuscripts. It includes about sixty-five letters written to Mrs. Goldsborough, a daughter of William Wirt of Virginia, by members of her family for the most part.
Only about eighteen of the letters to Admiral Goldsborough were written prior to 1360. The remainder form a record of his service as commander of the frigate "Congress", flagship of the U. S. Brazil Squadron during a cruise in South American waters, 1859-1861; his Civil War service; and his service as commander of the European Squadron, 1865-1868. The papers contain very little, if any material, in regard to the joint army and navy expedition to the sounds of North Carolina, which Admiral Goldsborough planned and executed during the latter, part of 1861.
Admiral Goldsborough's correspondents included naval officers and officials as well as many other persons who were prominent during the Civil War period. Among the writers were Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy; Gustavus V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury; Admirals David D. Porter, Percy Drayton, Thornton A. Jenkins, J. R. Sands, Theodorus Bailey, A. Ludlow Case, Daniel Lawrence Braine, Thomas Oliver Selfridge, and Frederick Engle; and R. B. Forbes, leader of the Massachusetts Whig party.
The papers have been arranged in chronological order except those referring to the operations of ships which have been grouped around the names of the ships as follows; the "Congress", "Frolic", "Kearsarge", "Canandaigua", "Augusta", "Colorado", "Shamrock", and "Swatara".