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Collection Number: 05122-z

Collection Title: Paul E. Embler Diary, 1907-1913

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Abstract Paul E. Embler (1877-1953) was a member of the Marine Guard that served aboard the U.S.S. Alabama, which began the voyage of the Great White Fleet in 1907, but after sailing around South America, had to remain in San Francisco for repairs. Diary entries, 27 August 1907-5 June 1908, with one entry dated 1913, outline daily ship routines, changes of command, leaves and furloughs, desertion and other offenses, deaths and burials at sea, Embler's health and dreams, ports visited in North and South America, and a race between the Alabama and the Maine.
Creator Embler, Paul E. (Paul Elias), 1877-1953.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Paul E. Embler Diary #5122-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
A transcription of the Paul E. Embler Diary is available at the Great White Fleet Organization website at http://www.greatwhitefleet.org/gwf/index.html. The site also contains biographical information and pictures.
Provenance
Received from Paul Embler of Portland, Ore., in March 2003 (Acc. 99460).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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Paul Elias Embler, son of James H. Embler and Sophronia Redmond Embler, was born on 30 January 1877 in Asheville, N.C. He enlisted on 16 June 1906 in Columbus, Ohio, and he served in the Marine Guard aboard the U.S.S. Alabama in 1907 and 1908, when it participated in the voyage of the Great White Fleet. The Alabama began the voyage with the fleet in December 1907. However, after sailing around the South American continent, the ship had to remain in San Francisco for repairs. Embler's diary is one of the few accounts of the U.S.S. Alabama's Marine Guard during the voyage. Embler was honorably discharged at the New York Navy Yard on 4 June 1910, and he received a Good Conduct Medal.

After leaving the military, Embler married Eliza Louise Willis of Morganton, N.C., and the couple had two children, Vreeland Ross and Edna Sophronia. Embler had a lifetime career as a florist, and, during the 1920s, he worked as an assistant horticulturalist at Ohio State University. During the Great Depression, he worked at various greenhouses in West Virginia and Detroit, Mich. Paul E. Embler died on 24 June 1953 at the age of 76.

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Diary kept by Paul E. Embler while he served in the Marine Guard aboard the U.S.S. Alabama in 1907 and 1908, when it participated in the voyage of the Great White Fleet. Entries date from 27 August 1907 through 5 June 1908, with one entry dated 1913. Entries outline daily ship routines; changes of command; leaves and furloughs; desertion and other offenses; deaths and burials at sea; Embler's health and dreams; ports visited in North and South America; and a race between the Alabama and the Maine.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Diary, 1907-1908, 1913.

1 item.

Diary kept by Paul E. Embler while he served in the Marine Guard aboard the U.S.S. Alabama in 1907 and 1908. The diary begins on 27 August 1907, when the Alabama was docked at Newport, R.I., and concludes on 5 June 1908, when the ship went in for repairs at San Francisco, Calif. It is one of the few accounts of the Marine Guard aboard the ship during the voyage of the Great White Fleet.

Diary entries dating from 27 August 1907 through 5 June 1908, detail Embler's life aboard the Alabama. Embler wrote in his diary almost daily from August through November 1907, but once the Great White Fleet departed from New York in December 1907, the entries become more sporadic and include less detail about daily routines. Entries outline the duties and activities of the Marine Guard, including training, drills, watches, coaling, and even laundry detail. Embler recorded the time each activity was performed, and he listed the uniform for the day, what items of clothing he washed, and the foods eaten at each meal. He described his shore leaves, including a visit to New York City and a furlough in New Jersey. He noted his health, interesting dreams, letters received, and activities of shipmates. Embler also recorded notable events on board the ship, including changes of command; court martials; desertions and other offenses, including fights and theft; and injuries, deaths, and burials at sea. He noted the various ports that the Alabama visited in North America and South America, including Newport, R.I.; Rock Port Harbor, Mass.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Hampton Roads, Va.; Trinidad; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Punta Arenas, Chile; Callao, Peru; Magdallena Bay, Mexico; San Diego, Calif.; and San Francisco, Calif. Often Embler descibed any notable occurrences, the scenery, and the local currency. He also provides details of a race between the Alabama and the Maine in April 1908.

One brief entry, dated 1913, concerns his son Vreeland's adenoid operation and the back of the diary contains a record of the laundry Embler washed for various people for the months February through April, presumably while on board the Alabama.

Folder 1

Diary #05122-z, Series: "Diary, 1907-1908, 1913." Folder 1

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