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Collection Number: 03505

Collection Title: Henry A. Phelon Papers, 1861-1906.

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.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 140 items)
Abstract Henry A. Phelon (born 1831) was a United States naval officer and merchant. The collection includes letters primarily from Henry A. Phelon to his fiancee, Josephine Brand, containing descriptions of Civil War naval activity off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, while he served as executive officer on the Victoria and the Commodore Perry, commanded the gunboat Shawsheen, served as executive officer of the Atlanta, and, in July 1864, took command of the Monticello in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron under Rear Adm. Samuel P. Lee, in whose squadron he later commanded the Daylight. Included are letters, 1880-1906, to Phelon from Thomas J. Woodward of New Orleans, La., discussing their shared wartime experiences and postwar lives; and correspondence with Katharine Abell Cushing of Fredonia, N.Y., daughter of Commodore William Barker Cushing, asking Phelon's help with a biography of her father. Also included is biographical data about Phelon and some data concerning the pension Josephine Brand Phelon received after his death.
Creator Phelon, Henry A., b. 1831.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 Henry A. Phelon Papers, #3505, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Goodspeed's Bookshop, Boston, Mass., October 1960.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Henry A. Phelon (born 1831) was a United States naval officer and merchant. Pelon was born in Nantucket, Mass., and moved to West Springfield, Mass., in 1841 with his parents Mary Ann Folger Phelon and Henry Phelon. He became a sailor in 1848 and thereafter served on whaling ships and in the merchant service, eventually obtaining the rank of captain. During the Civil War he volunteer for service with the United States Navy and in February 1862 received a commission as acting master. He served as executive officer on the Victoria and the Commodore Perry, commanded the gunboat Shawsheen, served as executive officer of the Atlanta, and in July 1864 took command of the Monticello, in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron under Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee, in whose squadron he later commanded the Daylight. After the war Phelon returned to West Springfield where he was a merchant and postmaster. He was married on 13 June 1865 to Josephine Brand, daughter of C. C. Brand of Norwich, Conn. In 1876 he was appointed to a position in the customs house at Boston, Mass. He died sometime after 1900.

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The collection includes letters primarily from Henry A. Phelon to his fiancee, Josephine Brand, containing descriptions of Civil War naval activity off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina. Included are letters, 1880-1906, to Phelon from Thomas J. Woodward of New Orleans, discussing their shared wartime experiences and postwar lives; and correspondence with Katharine Abell Cushing of Fredonia, N.Y., daughter of Commodore William Barker Cushing, asking Phelon's help with a biography of her father. Also included is biographical data about Phelon and some data concerning the pension Josephine Brand Phelon received after his death.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Henry A. Phelon Papers, 1861-1906 and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, May 2009

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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