Lucille M. Showalter Papers

Manuscripts Collection 334

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Showalter, Lucille M. (1920-2000)
Title: Lucille M. Showalter Papers
Dates: 1851-1999 (bulk 1969-1999)
Extent: 4545 items/2 volumes
Abstract: Collection, 1851-1994, contains research papers for Lucille M. Showalter’s graduate work in American History classes taken at Connecticut College, University of Connecticut, and Mystic Seaport’s Munson Institute. Includes information on Schooner POLARIS (built as AMERICA, 1864) and the Arctic voyage in which Captain Charles F. Hall mysteriously died. Also includes, information about the Inuit and members of the POLARIS crew as well as information on other Arctic voyages and whale men. Materials include photocopies of government reports, books, private journals and Showalter’s manuscripts. The oversize materials consist of Arctic maps and excerpts from 19th century newspapers.
Identification: Coll. 334
Accession number: MC 2003.19

Biography of Lucille M. Showalter

Lucille M. Showalter was born on November 2, 1920 in Norfolk, Virginia, the daughter of James G. and Dora L. Mayfield.

After moving to New London, Connecticut she began her life long passion with maritime history. She was especially fascinated with the whaling masters and polar explorers of New London. Much of her research and lectures were centered on these men. She also taught New London adult education history classes.

Lucille M. Showalter was the founding Director and C.E.O. of New London Maritime Society, Inc. and the 1833 Robert Mills U.S. Customs House.

Lucille M. Showalter died on May 1, 2000.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

This collection was generally kept in original order [the order it was received]. Within this order some files were subsequently arranged chronologically in the following series:

Series 1: Card files, research notes; undated

Series 2: Research material for manuscripts;1860-1998

Series 3: Manuscripts and notes; 1968-1975

Series 4: Miscellaneous papers; 1969-1993

Series 5: Volumes; undated

Series 6: Oversized material; 1853-1881

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.


Budington, Sidney O., 1823-1888
Hall Charles F., 1821-1871
Hayes, Noah
Showalter, Lucille M.,1920-2000

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

America (Schooner : 1864)


Arctic regions New London, (Conn.)


North Pole–Discovery and exploration–American
United States North Polar Expedition (1871-1873)

Document Types:

Card files
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc)


Graduate Students–United States

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 334, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1: Card files, research notes; undated
1 Budington, Tyson, Ebierbings, U.S. GEORGE HENRY and H.M.S. RESOLUTE; undated (approximately 315 pieces)
2 Various subjects A-T; undated (approximately 315 pieces)
3 Various subjects U-Z; undated (approximately 315 pieces)
4 Arctic explorers and Charles F. Hall’s expeditions; undated (approximately 325 pieces)
5 Arctic explorers, Donald B. Macmillan, Albert N. Markham and George S. Nares; undated (approximately 350 pieces)
6 Newspaper references, bibliography; undated (approximately 300 pieces)
Series 2: Research material for manuscripts;1860-1999
Box Folder
7 1 Photocopies from various books, reports and magazines concerning Charles F. Hall’s search for the Franklin Expedition; 1860-1876, undated (68 pieces)
2 Magazines, government reports and books all concerning POLARIS and Charles F. Hall; 1870-1876, 1932 (53 pieces)
3 Newspaper and magazine articles concerning POLARIS and Charles F. Hall’s death; 1872-1873, 1969,1994 (23 pieces)
4 Living Age, Fifth Series Volume XVII Our Arctic Voyage:published by Littell and Gay; 1877 (17 pieces)
5 Pages from Three Years of Arctic Service by Adolphus W. Greely; 1894 (43 pieces)
6 Pages from Robert E. Peary’s books on the Arctic, magazine articles and correspondence with Robert E. Peary’s daughter; 1907-1969 (68 pieces)
7 Research on Charles F. Hall, magazine and published biographies; 1932, 1972, 1993,1999 (37 pieces)
8 Correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed material concerning George E. Tyson; 1872-1970 (30 pieces)
9 Budington genealogy, obituaries and correspondence with Budington descendants; 1979, undated (32 pieces)
10 Magazine and newspaper articles concerning Joseph, Hannah and Sylvia Ebierbing, Inuit, who were on the POLARIS expedition; 1939-1998 (34 pieces)
11 Correspondence with Kenn Harper and a copy of his pamphlet Pangnirtung; 1972 (29 pieces)
Box Folder
8 1 Translated excerpts from Dr. Emil Bessel’s narrative of the POLARIS expedition; 1879 (9 pieces)
2 Medical testimony and naval inquiry concerning Charles F. Hall’s illness; 1873 (51 pieces)
3 Pages from various medical journals on meningitis; 1867, 1958 (44 pieces)
4 Pages from Epidemic Meningitis; undated (32 pieces)
5 Notes on meningitis and Charles F. Hall’s health; undated (32 pieces)
6 Correspondence with William C. Lowe M.D., and Chauncey Loomis, also pages from “Chamber’s Edinburgh Journal”: concerning arsenic poisoning; 1851-1972 (87 pieces)
7 Correspondence and materials concerning POLARIS’ whaleboat; 1891-1986 (22 pieces)
8 Copied pages from Pursuing the Whale; 1926 (117 pieces)
9 Copies of presidential correspondence and correspondence from the officers of the POLARIS; 1873-1874 (11 pieces)
Box Folder
9 1 Charles F. Hall’s letters to Sidney O. Budington; 1860-1862 (51 pieces)
2 Sidney O. Budington’ s journal, correspondence with Smithsonian; 1872, 1971 (54 pieces)
3 Private journal Noah Hayes; July-September 1871 (42 pieces)
4 Private journal Noah Hayes; October-December 1871 (55 pieces)
5 Private journal Noah Hayes; January- February 1872 (34 pieces)
6 Private journal Noah Hayes; March 1872 (57 pieces)
7 Private journal Noah Hayes; April-May 1872 (32 pieces)
8 Private journal Noah Hayes; June 1872 (50 pieces)
9 Private journal Noah Hayes; July-August 1872 (58 pieces)
10 Correspondence with National Archives, George Tyson letter to Noah Hayes; 1874, 1971 (39 pieces)
11 George Tyson letter to Noah Hayes; 1874 (35 pieces)
12 Correspondence with Library of Congress also Secretary of the Navy reports concerning POLARIS expedition; 1870-1883 (43 pieces)
13 Secretary of the Navy reports concerning POLARIS expedition; 1884-1900 (57 pieces)
Series 3: Manuscripts and notes; 1968-1975
Box Folder
10 1 “The Whaling Man’s Religion”, research and manuscript, Mystic Seaport RF101; 1968-1971 (42 pieces)
2 “The Story of Sidney O. Budington, Whaling Captain out of New London and His Plight as Sailing Master of the U.S.S. POLARIS North Pole Expedition 1871-1873” Munson Institute manuscript; 1969 (153 pieces)
3 “POLARIS” manuscript chapter notes; undated (80 pieces)
4 “POLARIS” manuscript chapter notes; undated (69 pieces)
5 “POLARIS 82 16′ North A Reconstructed History of the U.S.S. POLARIS North Pole Expedition, 1871—Captain Charles F. Hall Commanding. First Draft”, Connecticut College manuscript; 1970-1971 (40 pieces)
6 “Part III 1871 POLARIS to the Pole”; 1971 (112 pieces)
7 “Part III” chapter notes; undated (58 pieces)
8 “Part III” chapter notes; undated (23 pieces)
9 “Part III” chapter notes and correspondence ; 1969, undated (50 pieces)
10 “POLARIS 82 16′ North A Reconstructed History of the U.S.S. POLARIS North Polar Expedition, 1871— Captain Charles F. Hall Commanding”, Connecticut College manuscript; 1973 (118 pieces)
Box Folder
11 1 Thames Science Center “Naturalist Notebook” article “Adrift on an Ice Floe” by Lucille M. Showalter; 1973 (4 pieces)
2 “Journey’s End A scene from POLARIS 82 11′ North:” Scene film script of Film-Art History class; 1974 (14 pieces)
3 “The Puritan Sense of Mission of 19th Century Arctic Explorer, Captain Charles Frances Hall”; 1974 (32 pieces)
4 “Wresting and Resting with the Sea”, Munson Institute manuscript; 1975 (21 pieces)
5 “Illustrative Art of American Arctic Exploration (1850-1873) and the British Example (1819-1827)”, Munson Institute manuscript; 1975 (54 pieces)
6 “An Archaeological-Ethnographical Reconstruction of Innuit Life at Northumberland Inlet and Igloolik Arctic Regions (Lat 59 20’N) from Studies and Archaeological Findings in the Year 2,860 A.D.(sic)”; 1975 (54 pieces)
Series 4: Miscellaneous papers; 1969-1993
Box Folder
11 7 Letter to the Editor, Op-Ed article, American Studies Colloquium Session and spoken narratives; 1984-1993, undated (34 pieces)
8 Personal and scholarly correspondence; 1968-1985 (39 pieces)
9 Munson Institute, University of Connecticut, and Connecticut College papers and applications; 1969-1975 (47 pieces)
10 Munson Institute course descriptions and syllabi; 1968-1975 (83 pieces)
11 State of Connecticut Resolution concerning POLARIS Day; 1971 (14 pieces)
12 Correspondence, submarines; pamphlet on the Naval Submarine Base Centennial; 1971 (16 pieces)
13 Miscellaneous scraps of paper, note cards for a display; 1969-1973, undated (40 pieces)
Series 5: Volumes; undated
Box Folder
12 1 Scrapbook; undated (1 volume)
2 Scrapbook; undated (1 volume)
Series 6: Oversized; 1853-1881
Box Folder
OFM 18 Original pages from Harpers Weekly, Illustrated London News, Gleason’s Pictorial, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, and Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion; 1853-1881 (17 pieces)

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