USRC Thomas Corwin (1876)
USRC Corwin: Departure for Alaska, 1885. Contemporary engraving.
|Name:||USRC Thomas Corwin|
|Builder:||Oregon Iron Works|
|Launched:||23 August 1876|
|Commissioned:||17 July 1877|
|Fate:||Sold 14 February 1900|
|Notes:||Continued operating as a merchant vessel|
|Owner:||Corwin Trading Co., Pacific Coal and Transportation Co., various|
|Port of registry:||Boston; Seattle|
|Route:||Seattle, Nome, Western Alaska coastal ports|
|In service:||1900, 1902–1915|
|Out of service:||1901|
|Fate:||Burned in drydock 1916|
|General characteristics as built|
|Propulsion:||Inverted-cylinder single-stage steam engine, 34" diameter × 34" stroke, single screw disconnected for sailing|
|Sail plan:||Topsail schooner|
|Speed:||11.5 knots steam, 12 knots sail, 14 knots combined|
|Complement:||8 officers 33 enlisted|
|Armament:||3 guns, unknown type and caliber|
|General characteristics 1900–1903|
|Tonnage:||307 gross, 153 net|
|Sail plan:||Brigantine (aka hermaphrodite brig)|
|General characteristics 1904–1916|
|Tonnage:||447 gross, 239 net|
The Thomas Corwin was a United States Revenue Cutter and subsequently a merchant vessel. These two very different roles both centered on Alaska and the Bering Sea. In 1912, Frank Willard Kimball wrote: "The Corwin has probably had a more varied and interesting career than any other vessel which plies the Alaskan waters."
The United States Revenue Cutter Thomas Corwin (aka the Corwin) was the first revenue cutter to regularly cruise the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Built in the state of Oregon, she was finished and commissioned in San Francisco which remained her home port. In a 23-year federal career, she participated in the search for the USS Jeannette, landed scientific parties on Wrangel and Herald islands, shelled the Tlingit village Angoon, interdicted whiskey traffic, rescued shipwrecked whalers, contributed to the exploration of Alaska, and arrested seal poachers. She had at least eight captains during her federal career, but is particularly associated with two: the cool and resolute Calvin L. Hooper and the volatile Michael Healy. She continued operating in the Bering Sea as a merchant and charter vessel after she was sold in 1900.
As a merchant vessel, the SS Corwin started out as a support vessel for minerals exploration, and subsequently was extensively modified to carry passengers. She served coastal ports on Norton and Kotzebue Sounds, the Seward Peninsula, and the Bering Strait during the shipping season, and generally wintered in Puget Sound. She was the first steamer to reach Nome in the spring multiple years, and also frequently the last steamer out in the fall. Her Master through most of her commercial service was Ellsworth Luce West. She attempted to rescue the Karluk survivors from Wrangel Island and participated in the search for four missing Karluk crewmen in 1914.
The Corwin was named for Thomas Corwin, a well-known mid-nineteenth-century politician who served as Secretary of the Treasury during Millard Fillmore's presidency. She was the second of three Revenue Cutter Service and Coast Guard vessels to bear the name (there was also a patrol boat Cape Corwin).
She was built as a single-screw steam-powered topsail schooner by Oregon Iron Works at Albina (Portland) Oregon in 1876 and commissioned at San Francisco in 1877. She was constructed of fir and "fastened with copper, galvanized iron, and locust tree nails". Her appearance was typical of revenue cutters of the period, flush-decked (or nearly so) with clipper bow, fantail stern, two sail-bearing masts, pilot house and funnel amidships and a deckhouse (probably including the upper parts of the engine and boiler rooms) beneath and extending behind the pilot house. The boiler powering the propulsion machinery was of the Scotch marine boiler type and was the first instance of that type of boiler on a Revenue Cutter Service vessel. The addition of steam jackets on the cylinders to reduce condensation losses was another innovation new to the service. Her cost and displacement were somewhat greater than the Dexter-class (1874) cutters of similar length and overall design.
Construction of the Corwin was contracted in May 1875 with completion scheduled for February 28, 1876. Captain John W. White was construction superintendent for the Revenue Cutter Service. The Corwin was the first government vessel constructed in the state of Oregon, and a large crowd came out to see her launched August 23, 1876. Oregon Iron Works became insolvent that fall and was declared bankrupt; this resulted in liens filed against the vessel by suppliers and subcontractors for unpaid bills. On January 2, 1877, Judge J. Deady of the U.S District Court, Oregon District ruled that the lien of libellants Coffin and Hendry was valid, that the government was not yet the owner of the vessel and had not been in possession when the vessel was seized by the marshal on November 29. However, the Corwin had been extricated about January 1, 1877 by Captain White and the USRC Rush and moved to the middle of the Columbia River (another source has this about January 10). The Government appealed Judge Deady's ruling and Coffin and Hendry withdrew their claim on the basis of assurances that they would be paid faster if they settled. After a flurry of unsuccessful legal actions by other claimants, the Corwin was removed to San Francisco where she was completed at a cost of $10150.77 and subsequently commissioned. Congress was still considering suppliers and workmen's claims in 1884.
The Corwin was reported to be capable of 12 knots under sail (48-hour average with a beam wind), 11.5 knots under steam alone, and 13–14 knots under combined power. In 1900, her speed (probably cruising speed) was reported as 9 knots. Details of the Corwin's original three-gun armament are not available. In 1891 she reportedly carried four three-inch breech-loading rifles and two Gatling guns. In July 1891, the New York Times reported that she would be rearmed with six-pounder Hotchkiss rapid-fire guns.
The Corwin spent her entire career in the Pacific and Arctic oceans; her home port throughout her government service was San Francisco. She made her first trip to northern waters in 1877 under Captain J.W. White. In 1880 and 1881 with Calvin L. Hooper commanding and Michael Healy as Executive Officer, she searched in the Arctic for the USS Jeannette, a lost exploration vessel, and two lost whalers, Vigilant and Mount Wollaston. For this expedition, she was sheathed with one-inch oak planks from two feet above the water line to six feet below, with the oak applied over the copper and secured with 2.5 inch composition nails . Also added was an ice-breaking attachment for her bow, constructed of 3/8 inch iron plate, which could be put in place when needed. Captain Hooper sent out exploratory parties by dogsled along the Siberian arctic coast. Artifacts and stories collected from the Chukchi residents of the coast confirmed that the Vigilant had been lost with no survivors, and apparently had picked up survivors from the Mount Wollaston before her own disaster. In the course of the Corwin's 1880 cruise, Captain Hooper located and mapped coal deposits in cliffs east of Cape Lisburne, Alaska, previously discovered by Captain E.E. Smith, the Corwin's ice pilot. The crew mined coal from these deposits in both 1880 and 1881, and the site has since been known as the Corwin coal mine.
In 1881 the Corwin carried a scientific detachment including John Muir, Irving C. Rosse, M.D., and Edward W. Nelson, and in the course of the search for the Jeannette landed parties on Herald and Wrangel Islands in the Chukchi Sea. In 1882, with Michael Healy as Captain, the Corwin was dispatched to St Lawrence Bay to pick up the stranded crew of the USS Rodgers, another ship of the Jeannette search which burned while overwintering in Siberia. The Rodgers crew was picked up by the whaler North Star and later transferred to the Corwin which returned them to San Francisco. That same year she participated in the shelling and burning of the Tlingit village Angoon in retaliation for a hostage-taking incident. A contemporary letter discovered about 1990 partly confirms and partly refutes the official Navy account of this incident. Her voyages in 1884 and 1885 included explorations by boat detachments of the Kobuk (1884 and 1885; Healy wrote Kowak) and Noatak (1885) rivers in Alaska and the first ascent and investigation of the newly formed Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutians.
The Corwin was replaced on the Arctic patrol by the USRC Bear starting in 1886. Among the reasons for this change was the Corwin's limited coal capacity which interfered with long cruises. The Corwin returned to the Bering Sea in 1886 and from 1890 to 1897 to combat fur seal poaching. In December 1893 she carried dispatches to US ambassador Albert S. Willis in Hawaii at the height of the political crisis following the deposition of Queen Liliuokalani. Corwin's arrival there caused some consternation since it was thought it might signal US intervention to restore the queen. The Corwin went into the dockyard at Quartermaster Harbor, Washington for extensive repairs including refastening and some engine work before the 1896 season. She operated under Navy orders with a Revenue Service crew during the Spanish American War, serving around San Diego, and was returned to the United States Treasury Department in August 1898. She was back in service in Alaska in 1899 The Corwin was decommissioned and sold February 14, 1900 for US$16,500 and was replaced on the Bering Sea patrol by the USRC Manning. Corwin remained active in the Bering Sea as a merchant and charter vessel after she was sold.
In 1900 Ellsworth Luce West, a whaling captain from Martha's Vineyard, and some Boston investors formed a company to develop the coal deposits near Cape Lisburne to supply the Nome market. Needing a suitable ship, they entered the winning bid for the Corwin and organized as the Corwin Trading Company. The project increased in scope when one investor (veteran prospector, engineer, and writer A.G. Kingsbury) pledged Nome gold claims for his shares. Although Kingsbury described them as "conservative Boston capitalists" the investors appear to have been as much enthusiasts as any Nome prospectors; all insisted on joining the expedition. To create cargo space in the Corwin, West had the entire wardroom torn out. The lost accommodations were replaced with a cabin constructed from the stern to the engine room, creating a raised poop deck. This modification is shown clearly in a 1902 photograph. West describes the Corwin as brig-rigged in this period, but photos from 1900 continue to show a gaff on the foremast and no yards crossed on the mainmast, so this is more a difference of terminology than a change of sail-plan.
Captain West could not obtain a passenger license for the ship without having her re-caulked, so the small number of passengers were signed as crew members. She went up to Nome carrying expedition equipment and general cargo and from about June 3–10 was occupied with the rescue and salvage of the barkentine Catherine Sudden, which had suffered a punctured hull and two broken masts hitting ice. A little later she set out on a prospecting expedition to Cape Chaplino and stopped at St Lawrence Island about June 17. There she encountered the Russian steamer Progress, chartered by American mining engineer Washington Vanderlip and his Russian backers. Vanderlip hired the Corwin to clear a channel through the ice so Progress could reach Cape Chaplino and the clear water just off the Siberian coast.
Vanderlip described the Corwin's action as an icebreaker: "Some of the ice the Corwin can push to one side or the other but when this is not possible she backs up in order to get good headway and charges the obstruction and strikes it fairly between the eyes. She comes to a dead stop and quivers from stem to stern with the tremendous impact A rending grinding noise is heard and the berg which challenged us is a berg no longer..." 
Finding the streams near Cape Chaplino still ice-clogged, the Corwin returned to Nome. In mid-July she headed north on a minerals exploration trip. She reached the coal deposits after prospecting stops at Grantley Harbor (adjacent to Port Clarence, Alaska) and along the coast. The largest seam had already been staked by a competing company (that party traveled by land), but the Corwin's party staked several other claims, mined and loaded coal, and returned to Nome with 100 tons (four lighter-loads) to sell. Coal was handled in sacks of 200 lb, lowered down the cliffs by rope. It reportedly sold tor $18–20 per ton at Nome. A second trip developed the mines and brought out 25 tons.
In April 1901 the Corwin was towed from Port Townsend to Esquimalt and hauled out for refitting. She then spent most of that summer tied to the dock for nonpayment of the dockyard bill. Captain West, who had spent the early part of the season as second mate on an east coast collier, was eventually sent west with $2000 to settle up. After paying the bills, he set about finding work for the vessel to pay her keep. A plan to charter her out for halibut fishing was vetoed by F.W. Huestis, president of the Corwin Trading Company, reportedly because of insurance costs.
Passenger and freight service
By 1902 the Corwin was licensed to carry passengers as well as freight. Accommodations were rearranged to carry 35 first-class and 50 steerage passengers. She departed Seattle in May and spent the summer and early fall serving Nome and surrounding towns and camps as far north as Deering on Kotzebue Sound. She underwent further modification at Moran's yard in Seattle before the 1904 season. This work extended or replaced the stern cabin to give her an entire second deck as well as a vertical stem (fitted with a steel ice protector), two new deckhouses, and a forward pilothouse. This so altered her appearance that only a few of her numerous subsequent photographs give any hint of her past as a schooner. Besides the outward changes she was modernized with addition of electric lighting throughout the ship and running water in all staterooms. The changes added six first-class staterooms and more steerage space, bringing her capacity to 100 passengers and about 200 tons freight. One source reports the cost of the rebuilding as $40000. When she headed out for Alaska in May 1904 after addition of the second deck there were rumors the modification had made her topheavy. Some passengers complained before departure that she was overloaded and unseaworthy. Inspectors ordered that all freight be stowed below deck, but permitted her to sail. Subsequently there were reports that wreckage from the ship had been found on Vancouver Island leading to fears she was lost, but she reached Nome safely on June 8. The Victoria Daily Colonist could not find the origin of the reports and branded them a deliberate hoax.
The Corwin continued in the passenger and freight business and from 1906 to 1910 held a contract to transport mail to towns on Norton Sound and the Seward Peninsula. She was the first ship to reach Nome in the spring in 1902–1909, 1913 and 1914. She generally returned to Puget Sound in the fall and was often the last ship out of Nome. In part, her early arrivals were due to the fact that she was sheathed and retained a protected and reinforced bow for ice work. In 1908, after arriving at Nome during a particularly bad ice season, the Corwin headed out again and cut channels to free three steamers that were stuck in the ice 50 miles from Nome, one (the Victoria) in danger of sinking and all in danger of being carried north by moving ice. On June 11, 1909, Corwin received a distress call from St. Croix a vessel trapped in the ice and taking on water South of Nome. Corwin refused to come to the aid of St. Croix for no less than $6,000. In 1914, it was arranged that she would lead the waiting fleet of steamers into Nome, following closely as the Revenue Cutter Bear picked out a channel through the ice. For most of her merchant career, she was owned by the Pacific Coal and Transportation Company (successor to the Corwin Trading Company), and her official home port was listed as Boston. Captain West returned as Master from 1902 to 1910; his wife Gertrude sailed with him as Ship's Clerk. Most of the crew were Eskimo (they were less likely to desert the ship to go prospecting), and the kitchen staff were Chinese. The Corwin held daily fire drills, and was equipped with wireless since the 1904 refit. In 1911 and 1912, the Corwin was listed as a ship of the Western Alaska Steamship Company. In 1913, her home port was listed as Seattle and her owner as Ben Moyses.
Attempted Karluk rescue
In 1914, a wealthy Nome mine-owner and businessman, Jafet Lindeberg, chartered the Corwin (Captain R.J. Healy) from the Kotzebue Transportation and Trading Company to attempt a rescue the Karluk survivors from Wrangel Island. She reached Wrangel Island one day after the survivors had been rescued by Olaf Swenson and his crew in the King & Winge. She then proceeded to look for four missing members of Karluk's crew, circling Herald Island without seeing any sign of the missing men. The Corwin struck a reef off Cape Douglas on her return trip and went hard aground. She was refloated by jettisoning and lightering supplies to lighten ship, with assistance from the USRC Bear and a crew from the Nome Lifesaving station.
Several places in Alaska and Yukon are named for the Corwin, including Corwin Bluff (the bluff near Cape Lisburne containing the Corwin Coal Mine), Corwin Rock in the Aleutian Islands, and possibly Cape Corwin on Nunivak Island. Kivalina lagoon was called Corwin Lagoon by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1884 to about 1950. The Corwin Cliffs in the Saint Elias Mountains, Yukon were named for the Corwin by I.C Russell in 1890.
A contemporaneous model of the Corwin built by Captain Thomas Mountain is in the collection of the Oregon State Historical Society and was displayed at the Alaska State Museum in 2006.
- US Coast Guard, Historian's Office (a)
- Canney, pp 44–45
- Bureau of Navigation 1901, 1903
- Bureau of Navigation 1904, 1913 part 2, 1913 part 6
- Kimball; italics substituted for Kimball's quotes on Corwin
- Commanders of the USRC Corwin: (Rank is Captain unless noted) J.W. White January 1877-July 1878; Lt. J. Brann approx. July 1878-April 1879; C.L. Hooper April 1880-Dec 1881; M.A. Healy Feb 1882-Apr 1886; A.B. Davis Apr 1886-May 1886; C.A. Abbey May 1886-Nov 1886; C.L.Hooper April 1887–1892, F.M. Munger 1892–1895, W.D. Roath 1896 (exchanged commands with H.D. Smith 1896); W.J. Herring 1898 (inclusive dates unknown). Captain [D.F.] Tozier handled the sale of the ship in 1900. McCurdy's lists additionally captains Roth [Roath?] and Slamm, without dates; Captain Slamm had the USRC Grant in 1896. A Who's Who entry lists [Lt] P.W. Thompson. US Coast Guard 1935; New York Times Nov 9, 1891; Nov 16, 1892; May 19, 1895; Dec 14, 1895; April 9, 1896; Sep 11, 1896; Treasury register 1879; Tacoma Public Library (c); Who's Who in America.
- US Coast Guard, Historian's Office (a,c)
- Tacoma Public Library (a)
- Evans, p 98
- Compare US Coast Guard, Historian's Office (b). The Dexter class consisted of Dexter, Rush, and Dallas.
- 50th Congress 1st Session House Report 456
- 48th Congress 1st session Senate Reports 572, 573
- The revenue cutter
- New York Times Jan 22, 1877
- New York Times January 17, 1892, June 16, 1891
- New York Times June 16, 1891, July 3, 1891
- Evans, p 115
- New York Times Nov 7, 1881
- Evans, pp 118–119
- New York Times April 30, 1882, June 22, 1882 June 24, 1882
- Naval Historical Center
- King, pp 39–40
- Strobridge & Noble, p 46
- Healy, M.A. 1887, 1889
- Evans, p 124
- Evans, p 129
- King, p 82
- United States Coast Guard (1935)
- New York Times December 6, 1893 (a,b), January 20, 1894; technically, Willis's title was Minister; ambassador (un-capitalized) is here used descriptively.
- Tacoma Public Library (b)
- New York Times Dec 14, 1895
- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
- New York Times October 17, 1899
- Record of Movements, p 196
- US Coast Guard, Historian's Office (a); West. McCurdy's has the sale in 1899, for US$17,025, to J.E Ryus (Tacoma Public Library (c)); Victoria Daily Colonist Feb 15, 1900 says Ryus did not fulfill offer; ship sold to Tacoma Fish Company for US$16,000
- Kingsbury 1900
- Curtis; a photo in Kingsbury (1900) shows the Corwin in the dockyard with the cabin partly built
- A brigantine is also known as a hermaphrodite brig in US usage, and the only difference between a brigantine and a topsail schooner is the presence of a fore-and-aft foresail in the latter. In the 1902 Curtis photo the foresail gaff is gone but there are still no yards on the mainmast. There is no foresail boom in any photo, even from her revenue cutter days. Vanderlip implausibly calls her a barkentine. West reports using sails at various times in 1900 and 1902.
- Standard Marine...
- The Catherine Sudden
- Vanderlip p. 305
- National Geographic
- Victoria Daily Colonist April 25, 1901; West. This paragraph follows West in having her towed from Port Townsend (rather than coming up from Seattle under her own power), but follows the Colonist for the date.
- Victoria Daily Colonist November 26, 1901
- Morning Leader Nov 29, 1902; Nov 1, 1903
- Nowell 1902
- West; the first ice protector was made in two pieces held by bolts, not the single wrap-around piece West specified. It tore loose as soon as it hit ice. A successor can be seen in the Lomen Brothers photo.
- Bureau of Navigation 1903, 1904; in 1903 tonnage was listed as 307 gross, 153 net, length 137.5', depth of hold 11.2'; in 1904, 447 tons gross, 239 net, 138' length, 13.2 depth of hold; List of Merchant Vessels 1913 Part 6 shows her with two decks. There is only one Corwin in these tables throughout this period and she is specifically identified as the former USRC Corwin by footnote.
- Anonymous, 1910
- Lomen Bros.
- Nowell 1907 a, b
- Kimball; it is not clear from the context whether this is the 1904 refit or the total cost of work from 1900 on. According to West, the 1904 work was initially estimated at $20000 but there were overruns.
- Victoria Daily Colonist May 20, 1904
- New York Times May 24, 1904
- Victoria Daily Colonist, June 25, 1904
- Victoria Daily Colonist, May 24, 1904 p3, May 26, 1904, p8
- Harrison p 374
- New York Times May 31, 1914
- West; Corwin had carried mail from Seattle to Nome in earlier years at no charge to the government.
- New York Times August 15, 1909
- Tacoma Public Library (d)
- Morning Leader Nov 29, 1902
- Kimball (1912) describes the sheathing as ironwood. Vanderlip describes her sheathing in 1900 as "greenheart timber", possibly Chlorocardium rodiei. The original oak could have been replaced in the 1896 refit or possibly earlier. Victoria Daily Colonist, May 9, 1901 reports the Corwin was stripped, caulked, sheathed, and copper painted at Bullen's yard, though West, p 90, is unaware she had been recaulked.
- West, Victoria Daily Colonist June 19, 1908; see also Kimball
- Stephenson, William, B (1919). The Land of Tomorrow. University of California Libraries: George H. Doran. p. 26.
- Bureau of Navigation 1901, 1903, 1904, 1909
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Commissioner of Navigation
- Bureau of Navigation 1913 Part 6
- New York Times September 22, 1914
- Cochran pp82-83
- Healy, R.J 1915
- Lewis, Anderson...
- Tacoma Public Library (e)
- United States Geological Survey
- Natural Resources Canada
- Alaska State Museums; Captain Mountain survived the sinking of the Peacock in 1841 during the United States Exploring Expedition.
- Alaska State Museums (2006) Bulletin (24) Fall 2006 p3.
- Anonymous (1910) Freighting from steamer Corwin with dog teams; Alaska's Digital Archives, Perry D. Palmer Photograph Album. Archives, University of Alaska, Fairbanks UAF-2004-120-10. (Photographer possibly H.G.Kaiser)
- Baker, Marcus (1906) "Geographic dictionary of Alaska, ed 2" United States Geological Survey Bulletin 299
- Bartlett, Robert A. and Hale, Ralph T. (1916). The last voyage of the Karluk : flagship of Vilhjalmar Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-16. McClelland, Toronto.
- Bureau of Navigation, US Dept. of Commerce. Annual list of merchant vessels of the United States; 1901 p226; 1903 p 216; 1904 p 211; 1909 p 177; 1913 Part 2 p. 149 and Part 6 p49; 1915 p 108. Government Printing Office, Washington.
- Canney, Donald L. (1995). U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790–1935. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland. ISBN 978-1-55750-101-1.
- Cochran, C.S. (1915). "Report of northern cruise, Coast Guard cutter Bear". Annual report of the United States Coast Guard. Washington: Government Printing Office. pp. 79–86.
- Commissioner of Navigation. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Navigation to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1912 (selected sections) Appendix K pp 149–163. Radio apparatus on vessels. 3. Vessels equipped subject to the act and inspected by the wireless inspectors, in detail, by ports. Table: Departing from Port Townsend
- Curtis, Asahel (1902) U.S. Revenue Cutter CORWIN bound for Nome, 1902 (Cataloger's title)
- DeGroff, Edward (undated) U.S.R.C. CORWIN. Sitka, Alaska; Alaska's Digital Archives, Wickersham State Historic Site. Photographs. ASL-P277-018-095
- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships U.S. Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center
- Evans, Stephen H. (1949). The United States Coast Guard 1790–1915: A Definitive History. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland.
- 48th Congress 1st session (1884) Senate Reports 572, 573 Congressional Serial Set, Government Printing Office, Washington
- 50th Congress 1st Session (1888)House Report 456 Congressional Serial Set, Government Printing Office, Washington
- Gagne-Hawes, Genevieve Juneau Empire Web posted Thursday, August 12, 1999. "1882 letter sheds light on Angoon tragedy"
- Harrison, Edward Sanford (1905) Nome and Seward Peninsula History, description, biographies, and stories. Metropolitan Press, Seattle, souvenir edition. p374.
- Healy, Michael A.; John C. Cantwell; Samuel B. McLenegan; Herbert W. Yemans (1889). Report of the cruise of the revenue marine steamer Corwin in the Arctic Ocean in the year 1884. Govt. print. off., Washington.
- Healy, M. A. (1887). Report of the cruise of the revenue marine steamer Corwin in the Arctic Ocean, 1885. Govt. print. off., Washington.
- Healy, R.J. (1915). "Letter to S.I. Kimball, Gen Supt U.S Lifesaving Service". Annual report of the United States Coast Guard. Washington: Government Printing Office. p. 263.
- Hooper, Calvin Leighton (1881). Report of the cruise of the U.S. revenue-steamer Corwin in the Arctic ocean. Govt. print. off., Washington.
- Hooper, Calvin L. (1884). Report of the cruise of the U.S. revenue steamer Thomas Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. Govt. print. off., Washington.
- Keeler, Nicholas Edward (1906) A Trip to Alaska and the Klondike in the Summer of 1905 Ebbert & Richardson Co., Cincinnati.
- Kimball, Frank Willard (1912) "Alaska's mail service"The Overland Monthly 59 (4) April 12 pp 293–297
- King, Irving H. (1996). The Coast Guard expands, 1865–1915: new roles, new frontiers. Naval Institute Press.
- Kingsbury, A.G. (1900) "Seattle and the Nome rush" National Magazine 12 (3) June pp 162–167
- Lewis, Anderson, Foard & Co. vs Kotzebue Trading & Transportation Co. (Lindeberg, Garnishee), 236 US 2898 (District Court, W.D. Washington, N.D. September 8, 1916).
- Lomen Bros (1910) U.S. Revenue Cutter CORWIN in the ice, n.d. (Cataloger's title) This photograph can be dated to June 1910 by the presence of the gasoline schooner Helen Johnston in the background.
- Morning Leader (Port Townsend) November 29, 1902, page three. "Steamer Corwin down from Nome"
- Morning Leader (Port Townsend) November 1, 1903, page one. "Former revenue cutter Corwin icebound"
- Muir, John, and William Frederic Badè (1917). The Cruise of the Corwin: Journal of the Arctic Expedition of 1881 in Search of De Long and the Jeannette. Houghton Mifflin Co.
- National Geographic 15 (12) December, 1904 p 500 . "Geographic notes"
- Natural Resources Canada. Canadian geographical names. Geographical names search service query Corwin.
- Naval Historical Center. Shelling of the Alaskan native American village of Angoon, October, 1882 Original reports from M.A. Healy, E.C. Merriman, W.G. Morris, and supporting documents, in PDF form.
- New York Times January 22, 1877 page 2. A REVENUE CUTTER SEIZED
- New York Times Nov 7, 1881 page 2. "A summer in polar seas. Captain Hooper's report..."
- New York Times April 30, 1882, page 8. "The errand of the Corwin"
- New York Times June 22, 1882, page 2. "The loss of the Rodgers; A thrilling story of disaster from the Arctic sea"
- New York Times June 24, 1882, page 2. "Crew of the Rodgers at San Francisco"
- New York Times June 16, 1891 page 2. Untitled; dateline San Francisco
- New York Times July 3, 1891, page 8. "New Guns for revenue cutters"
- New York Times Nov 9, 1891, page 5. LIEUT. ROBINSON'S GRAVE.; THE STORY OF HIS LAMENTABLE DEATH AWAY UP IN ICY BAY.
- New York Times January 17, 1892, page 2. "Work for Revenue Cutters. The Rush and Corwin to be equipped for naval service"
- New York Times November 16, 1892, page 9. TROUBLE OVER THE DEFICIT
- New York Times December 6, 1893, page 1 (a). "Bound to keep the peace; Minister Willis will have no rioting in Hawaii"
- New York Times December 6, 1893, page 1 (b)."The Corwin's secret mission; She sails for Honolulu with an agent of the State Department"
- New York Times January 20, 1894, page 8. "Will set up as a republic; Hawaiians preparing a constitution"
- New York Times May 19, 1895, page 25. OUR FLEET IN BERING SEA; For the First Time It Will Consist Entirely of Revenue Cutters.
- New York Times December 14, 1895. "The Bering Sea fleet. Grant and Corwin being repaired."
- New York Times April 9, 1896, page 2. THE BERING SEA PATROL FLEET.; It Will Sail from San Francisco for Its Field Next Monday
- New York Times September 11, 1896, page 7. THE BERING SEA FLEET.; It Is Doing Active Cruising Work and All Hands Are Well.
- New York Times October 17, 1899. "Food short at Cape Nome.; Revenue Cutter Corwin reports destitution among the miners and the prospect of starvation"
- New York Times May 24, 1904 "Many lives may be lost; Wreckage found from Alaska steamer that had eighty-nine passengers" Page 2
- New York Times August 15, 1909. "Delivering mail in our farthest North" Page SM7
- New York Times May 31, 1914. "Cutter Bear to go for Karluk's men"
- New York Times September 22, 1914 "Planning for Karluk men; Survivors, now on the cutter Bear, to be sent to Vancouver"
- Nourse, J. E. (1884) American explorations in the ice zones D. Lothrop, Boston.
- Nowell, Frank (1902) Passengers on beach waiting for steamship CORWIN, Teller, Alaska, October 30, 1902 (Cataloger's title)
- Nowell, Frank (1907 (a))Steamer Corwin at edge of ice. (Cataloger's title)
- Nowell, Frank (1907 (b)) Yupik people on beach at Whalen, Siberia, with Steamship CORWIN in distance, 1907 (Cataloger's title)
- Packard, Winthrop. (1900) "Coal mining at the north pole" National Magazine 13(3) December pp 163–170
- "Record of Movements, Vessels of the United States Coast Guard, 1790–December 31, 1933 (1989 reprint)" (pdf). U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Transportation.
- San Francisco Chronicle September 6, 1909, page 16. " 'Chronicle' First Paper on Coast to Install Wireless Apparatus"
- Standard Marine Insurance Co. v Nome Beach Lighterage and Transportation Co., 67 US 979 (Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit November 7, 1904).
- Stearns, Ezra S.; William Frederick Whitcher; Edward Everett Parker (1908) Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire. Lewis Publishing Comp v. 4. "Alonzo Elliott" p 1748
- Stefansson, Vilhjalmur (1921) The friendly Arctic; the story of five years in polar regions. Macmillan, N.Y. pp 726–730.
- Strobridge, Truman R.; Dennis L. Noble (1999). Alaska and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, 1867–1915. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-845-3.
- Tacoma Public Library, "Ships and Shipping Database" accessed May 26, 2009 query Corwin. This source quotes: (a) Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. New York: Antiquarian Press, Ltd., 1961., p 245; (b) Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. New York: Antiquarian Press, Ltd., 1961, pp 428–9, 436; and (c) Gordon Newell, "Maritime events of 1899," H. W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: Superior, 1966, p 57; (d) Gordon Newell, "Maritime events" [various years], H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: Superior, 1966., pp. 224, 227; (e) Gordon Newell, "Maritime events of 1916," H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: Superior, 1966., p. 265.
- The Catherine Sudden US District Court, 2nd division, Nome June 7, 1902 US 9th Circuit
- The revenue cutter US District Court, District of Oregon January 2, 1877 US 9th Circuit
- United States Coast Guard, Historians Office. (a) "Thomas Corwin (a.k.a. Corwin), 1876" (b) "Eighteenth, Nineteenth & Early Twentieth Century Revenue Cutters. A Historic Image Gallery" see particularly Boutwell, Dexter, Rush, and Perry; (c)"Coast Guard Cutters & Craft: A complete list with information & photography".
- United States Coast Guard (1935) Record of Movements, Vessels of the United States Coast Guard, 1790-December 31, 1933. Reprinted by the Coast Guard Historian's Office, Washington, 1989, pp 191–196.
- United States Geological Survey Geographic names identification system query Corwin (state=Alaska).
- Vanderlip, Washington Baker and Homer Bezaleel Hulbert (1903). In search of a Siberian Klondike The Century co., New York
- Victoria Daily Colonist Feb 15, 1900 p2 "Marine news"
- Victoria Daily Colonist April 25, 1901 p3 "Corwin here"
- Victoria Daily Colonist Nov 26, 1901 "Marine notes"
- Victoria Daily Colonist May 9, 1901 p3 "Marine notes"
- Victoria Daily Colonist May 20, 1904 p8 "Ordered below. Corwin deck cargo has to be stowed under hatches"
- Victoria Daily Colonist May 24, 1904 p3 "Probably a hoax"
- Victoria Daily Colonist May 26, 1904, p8 "Spoke Corwin far to the north. Tug pilot reports American steamer proceeding to Nome"
- Victoria Daily Colonist June 25, 1904. "Arrival at Nome" page 3
- Victoria Daily Colonist June 19, 1908. "Victoria starts back from Nome"
- West, Ellsworth Luce (1965) as told to Eleanor Ransom Mayhew. Captain's papers: a log of whaling and other sea experiences; Barre Publishers, Barre, MA
- Who's Who in America v6, 1910 p 1909.
- Killey, Gwen L. "Opening the Door to Alaska: The Cruises of the Revenue Cutter Thomas Corwin." Naval History (Fall 1988), pp. 23–27.
- Newell, Gordon and Joe Williamson (1959) Pacific Coastal Liners, Superior Publishing Co. Seattle. Little on the Corwin but a lot of context. Has a higher-resolution, but darker version of the Lomen Brothers photograph in which the schooner Helen Johnston is clearly identifiable by the painted name on her bow.
- United States. Revenue-Cutter Service; Muir, John; Nelson, Edward William; Rosse, Irving C; Bean, Tarleton H. Cruise of the revenue steamer Corwin in Alaska and the N. W. Arctic ocean in 1881 ... Notes and memoranda. (1883) Washington, Govt. Print. Off.