A Guide to the Harry R. Van Brunt Papers, 1919-1939
Harry Russell Van Brunt of Tallahassee, Florida, joined the Navy upon the United States’ entry into World War I IN 1917. At the close of the war, late in 1918, Van Brunt entered into the U.S. shipping service as supercargo of the S. S. Liberty Glo. Built originally as a troop carrier at Hogs Island in Philadelphia in 1918, the Liberty Glo served as a cargo ship carrying supplies to Germany in 1919 under the command of Captain John I. Stousland. On December 5, 1919, at 2:15 pm the Liberty Glo hit a German mine in the English Channel off of the Dutch coast. Though the ship broke in two, one half stayed afloat; both the crew and cargo were saved. The ship, after extensive repairs, served as a cargo ship until 1950.
Correspondence, military documents, typescript narratives, newspaper clippings, and photographs comprise the Harry R. Van Brunt Papers, 1920-1939, and document the mining of the cargo ship S. S. Liberty Glo on December 5, 1919. The papers contain Van Brunt’s personal narratives and published reminiscences concerning the incident. The correspondence documents Van Brunt’s involvement with the U.S. shipping service and his dispute with the government over the payment of his expenses while ashore in England and Holland following the explosion. Additionally, the papers include Van Brunt’s official report of the incident and his Seaman’s Identification Certificate, issued in February 1920 from the U.S. Consulate in Amsterdam. The photographs depict Harry R. Van Brunt and the damaged S.S. Liberty Glo.
The collection is open for research use.
Harry R. Van Brunt Papers, 1919-1939, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Megan Mummey, August 2010.
Detailed Description of the Papers