The New Student's Reference Work/Naval Academy of the United States, The
Na′val Acad′emy of the United States, The, a school for the training of naval cadets under the supervision and control of the government, was founded by Federal authority in 1845, Geo. Bancroft the historian, then secretary of the navy, having planned and established it, and opened for the reception of students in October of that year. It is at Annapolis, Md., on Severn River, and occupies the site of old Fort Severn. Previous to this date there had been a school for the training of midshipmen in connection with the Naval Asylum at Philadelphia, Pa. Commander Franklin Buchanan was the first superintendent. The institution was reorganized in 1850 and in 1851, important changes taking place at each of these dates. The grounds with the buildings occupy 50 acres, while outside the walls 100 acres additional belong to the park. Two students, known as midshipmen, are allowed for each senator, representative and delegate in Congress; two for the District of Columbia; and five each year from the United States at large; and one from Porto Rico, who must be a native of the island. The midshipmen from the District of Columbia and the country at large are appointed by the president, and the one from Porto Rico upon the recommendation of its governor. Candidates are required to pass an examination (after appointment) as to physical soundness, knowledge of spelling, grammar, geography, history of the United States, arithmetic and algebra as far as equations of the first degree. They must be between 16 and 20 and be unmarried. Midshipmen are allowed an annual honorarium of $500. If admitted, they must make a deposit of $200 to cover the cost of personal outfit; but their expenses of travel from their homes to Annapolis are refunded, and they receive $500 a year, subsistence, clothing and certain other expenses being, however, required of them. The course has been changed several times, but, as it now stands, all cadets must pass four years at the academy and two at sea. During the first three years cadets are instructed in English studies, history, French, Spanish or German, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, astronomy, physics, chemistry mechanical drawing and navigation. The studies of the fourth year are varied according to the special line of duty to which the cadet devotes himself, as naval construction, gunnery, infantry tactics, international law etc. The academy has 102 instructors and about 750 students. The library contains 50,000 volumes. The government has recently spent $15,000,000 for improvements at the Naval Academy. These consist of several massive practice-halls, a magnificent memorial chapel, modern living quarters and fine roadways and terraces. The body of John Paul Jones, brought to America from Paris in 1905, is interred in the chapel.