Our painting of the centerboard sloop
Shamrock, ca. 1890, sets the tone for our lead article by Dr. John Hattendorf examining the development and current status of the sometimes uneasy relationship between the U.S. Navy and maritime (including naval) history. It also signals the commitment of the Naval War College to the subject of history—as recently evidenced by the foundation of a Maritime History Department, with Professor Hattendorf at its head.
Shamrock itself, built for the well-known yachtsman J. Roger Maxwell in 1887 by John Mumm, was one of the first vessels built to the New York Yacht Club’s specifications for Class One. The vessel had an overall length of seventy-seven feet three inches, a waterline length of sixty-eight feet six inches, and a draft of eight feet five inches. Shamrock was listed in the New York Yacht Club Register from 1888 to 1894. The artist is unknown, but the painting may be an original or copy of a work by either James E. Butterworth (1817–94) or Elisha Taylor Baker (died 1890).
Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Morrison of White Springs, Florida, donated the painting to the Naval War College Foundation in 2000, to be placed on permanent loan to the College.