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Date: 1908
88 x 140 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00040662

User Terms

    This postcard features a black and white photographic image of the USS NEW YORK. It was one of a series of cards by Waldon Fawcett who photographed ships of the Spanish American War and vessels that later participated in the Great White Fleet. This series was created before 1908, some as early as 1904. Patriotic postcards such as this were produced to commemorate the Great White Fleet world tour in 1907 - 1909.
    SignificanceThe tour of the American Great White Fleet in 1908 was an event of enormous proportions. Souvenir items such as this postcard demonstrate the excitement the visit generated around the world.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent the US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    The Great White Fleet began its tour on 16 December 1907 from Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Fleet sailed to Trinidad, the British West Indies, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico before sailing up the West Coast of America. The Fleet landed at San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Monterey and then San Francisco, California. The Fleet departed San Francisco on 7 July 1908 for the third and final legs of its tour, visiting Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippine’s, Japan, Ceylon and Egypt. The Fleet visited Messina, Italy in January 1909 to offer support and assistance following an earthquake, and after departing Messina, the Fleet visited Naples and Gibraltar before returning home to Hampton Roads, Virginia on 22 February 1909.

    Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria generated by the Great White Fleet's world tour. Badges, medallions, pins, postcards and photographs all reflected the enthusiasm surrounding the tour.

    The USS NEW YORK was a United States Navy armoured cruiser, launched on 2 December 1891 at William Cramp and Sons in Pennsylvania. NEW YORK was assigned to the South Atlantic Squadron in 1893, under the command of Captain John Philip. NEW YORK was stationed at Rio de Janeiro until being transferred to the North Atlantic Squadron in August 1894. The cruiser briefly joined the European Squadron when it represented the United States at the Kiel Canal opening in 1895, before rejoining the North Atlantic Squadron. It became involved in the Spanish-American War and became the flagship in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July 1898. In 1901 USS NEW YORK was assigned to the Asiatic Fleet, and in 1908 transferred to the Pacific Squadron where it became the flagship in 1904. The vessel was decommissioned in 1905 to undergo modernisation repairs, and upon recommission in 1909, NEW YORK was assigned to the Armored Cruiser Squadron. On 6 August 1910 USS NEW YORK joined the Asiatic Fleet and was renamed SARATOGA on 16 February 1911.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: USS NEW YORK

    Web title: USS NEW YORK

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