Wonderful little piece of Naval history and Americana. The present hymn book belonged to Rear Admiral Peirce Crosby during his years serving in Washington D. C. as Assistant Secretary of State.
His career had been a long, formidable one, including valuable service on the Atlantic Coast during the Civil War.
Admiral Peirce Crosby [1824-1899] was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy whose unusually lengthy career spanned both the Mexican-American and Civil Wars.
By the time the Civil War erupted, he was already a seasoned leader and was given responsibility immediately. From April–October 1861, he served in the sloop of war, Cumberland, and briefly commanded the new gunboat, Pembina. He was then sent to the Gulf of Mexico as Commanding Officer of the gunboat Pinola at the beginning of 1862. In Pinola, assisted by Itasca, he broke the chain barrier across the Mississippi to make possible the passage upriver of Flag Officer David Farragut's squadron, and the capture of New Orleans.
The following two years, Crosby helped enforce the blockade of the Confederacy's East Coast as Commanding Officer of the steamers Sangamon, Florida, and Keystone State. His success was evident and he was promoted to Fleet Captain of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Commander Crosby spent the first three years of the post-Civil War era in the south Atlantic as Commanding Officer of the gunboat Shamokin. Following promotion to Captain in May 1868, he had a variety of shore assignments and, in 1872–1873, commanded the steamer, Powhatan. In 1877–1881, in the rank of Commodore, Crosby was commandant of the League Island (Philadelphia) Navy Yard.
He finished his active career as a Rear Admiral, commanding the South Atlantic Squadron in 1882–1883 and the Asiatic Squadron later in 1883. Subsequent to his retirement from active duty, he served as the Assistant Secretary of State in Washington, D.C., where he died on 15 June 1899 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The destroyer USS Crosby (DD-164) was named after him.
The Hymnal. Revised and Enlarged. As Adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the Year of Our Lord 1892. Printed at the De Vinne Press for Thomas Nelson & Sons. 1892. 625pp.
Original cloth, faded and rubbed as shown, bold inscription on blank ffep, "Admiral Crosby. 1718 Connecticut Ave. Washington D. D. Pew 100. St. John's Church." A bit shaken at prelims. Otherwise solid and clean.