Skip to main content

Admiral Richard H. Leigh Papers

Identifier: MSS 0-165

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the papers of United States Navy Admiral Richard H. Leigh. They include a 17-volume holograph diary, dating 1917-1944, containing official orders, holograph and typed letters, newspaper clippings, printed programs, maps, pictures, and other related items. Also included is a four volume set of personal papers, and a book which Leigh entitled, Whereas, which consists of newspaper clippings, family pictures, programs, doctor bills, and other materials. Many of these documents relate to the history and development of the United States Navy, World War I, and events leading to the conflict with Japan and World War II.

Other subjects covered by this collection includes: United States, England, Ireland, France, Navy life at sea, California, New York, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Orlando, San Diego, Claremont, California, submarine chasers, detection devices, Siwash Indians, USS Oregon, map of Pacific Islands, Franklin Delano Roosevelt photograph, Honolulu, San Francisco, and naval training.

Online Copies Available

Some materials from the Leigh Papers have been digitized and are available through the FSU Digital Library.


  • Creation: 1870-1944
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1958


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Born near Batesville, Mississippi, August 12, 1870. Admiral Leigh graduated from U.S. Naval Academy in 1891 as an Ensign and graduated from Naval War College in 1925.

At the outbreak of Spanish-American War he commanded U.S.S. Justin, a collier attached to Commodore Schley’s Squadron; transferred, in 1898, to U.S.S. Princeton on patrol off the coast of Cuba; commander, U.S.S. Pampagna, Asiatic Station and Philippine Islands during the insurrection.

In 1913, Commander U.S.S. Galveston; in 1915, Bureau of Steam Engineering, Navy Dept., Washington; 1918 in charge of all submarine chasers in European waters, especially concerned with installation of submarine detecting devices; for this was was awarded Distinguished Service Medal, also made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CEE Military Div.) by the British Government, and Officer of the Order of Leopold by the Belgian Government.

After the armistice, Ass’t. Chief of Staff to Admiral Sims in London in 1918; appointed Ass't. Chief of Bureau of Navigation, Navy Dept., Washington. From 1920 to 1922 was commander U.SS. Tennessee; again Ass't. Chief of Bureau of Navigation; in 1925 on Staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet; 1926, Chief of Staff of the Commander in Chief, Battle Fleet; in 1930, with rank of Vice Admiral, was Commander, Battleship Division, Battle Fleet; 1931, with rank of Admiral, was Commander Battle Force, United States Fleet; 1932 was Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet; with rank of Rear Admiral, served as Chairman of the Gen. Board; was twice U.S. Taval Representative to the International Conferences of Limitation of Armaments, First in Geneva and later in London.

He transferred to the retired list of Navy, September 1, 1934, and, in 1942, advanced to the rank of Admiral on the retired list.

Other service medals awarded Admiral Leigh were: Spanish Campaign Medal; Philippine Campaign Medal; Cuban Pacification Medal, and Victory Medal.

Admiral Leigh married in Hardy, Mississippi, 1897, to Minnie Hartwell, daughter of Warren Ferrell Barksdale, and died without children, on February 4, 1946, in Long Beach, California.


1697.00 items

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Gift of Robert T. Leigh, nephew of Admiral Leigh

Method of Acquisition

Received between 1958-1962

Processing Information

Processed April 1968. Materials in Box 1011 re-foldered and re-described in February 2017.


Admiral Richard H. Leigh Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US