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Private log book of the cruise around the world of the Great White Fleet

Date: 4 January 1908 - 13 October 1908
Overall: 212 x 142 mm, 60 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, leather
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Copyright:
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Logbook
Object No: 00009084
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    United States Seaman William Hand compiled this private log book while on board USS GEORGIA during service in the Great White Fleet tour from 1907 to 1909. The peace time tour was an exercise in American public relations and incorporated 26 countries including Australia. This booklet date from 4 January to 13 October 1908 and is accompanied by photographs and newspaper articles.
    SignificanceThis log book represents the USA Great White Fleet tour in 1908 and demonstrates the personal stories of the crew on board, specifically Seaman William Hand.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a 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.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria.

    USS GEORGIA was a Virginia class battleship built by Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine and launched in the American Navy on 11 October 1904. GEORGIA became part of the Atlantic fleet in 1907 after conducting its shakedown cruise. In 1907 GEORGIA took part in training target exercises, and was involved in an accidental explosion that killed ten men. In December 1907 GEORGIA joined the Great White Fleet on its world peace tour. In was involved in World War I acting as a receiving vessel for new naval recruits. GEORGIA was decommissioned on 15 July 1920 and sold for scrap in compliance with the Washington Treaty.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Private log book of the cruise around the world of the Great White Fleet

    Web title: Private log book of the cruise around the world of the Great White Fleet

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