Angevine, Robert G. "The Rise and Fall of the Office of Naval Intelligence, 1882-1892: A Technological Perspective." Journal of Military History 62, no. 2 (Apr. 1998): 291-312.
From abstract: In the ten years following its creation in 1882, ONI "attracted some of the most capable naval officers ... and aggressively collected intelligence on foreign naval technology.... After 1892, however, the ONI stagnated.... The ONI had largely been organized to help speed the creation of a 'new navy' through the gathering of intelligence concerning European technology, and by the 1890s this objective had been achieved, eliminating the rationale for the ONI."
Balano, Randy [CDR/USNR]. "T.B.M. Mason and the Office of Naval Intelligence." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 21, no. 3 (Sep. 2005): 30-33. Originally published in full as "U.S. Navy Owes T.B.M. Mason," Naval History (Jun. 2005).
Mason was the first commanding officer in 1882 of the newly established ONI.
Berry, A.G. "The Beginnings of the Office of Naval Intelligence." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 63, no. 1 (Jan. 1937): 102-103. [Petersen]
Coletta, Paolo E. "French Ensor Chadwick: The First American Naval Attache, 1882-1889." American Neptune 39 (Apr. 1979): 126-141. [Petersen]
Dorwart, Jeffrey M. The Office of Naval Intelligence: The Birth of America's First Intelligence Agency 1865-1918. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1979.
Constantinides says the author did "a fine job and set the pace for further research on the subject." This well-organized book presents ONI's background "in a balanced and perceptive manner." Dorwart's work is "far superior" to Green's The First Sixty Years. To Pforzheimer, Dorwart has conducted a "seemingly exhaustive search of published [and] unpublished archival material"; however, "some of his final conclusions are debatable."
Ellicott, J. M. "Theodorus Bailey Meyers Mason: Founder of the Office of Naval Intelligence." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 78, no. 3 (Mar. 1952): 265-267.
Green, James Robert. The First Sixty Years of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms, 1971.
Constantinides notes that this was a Master's thesis based solely on unclassified sources, and "can hardly do justice to its aim." However, the author's "judgments on the effectiveness of ONI in its various periods are generally sound." Persons interested in this subject would do better reading Dorwart's The Office of Naval Intelligence.
Hagan, Kenneth J. American Gunboat Diplomacy and the Old Navy, 1877- 1889. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1973.
Petersen: "Coverage of intelligence aspects."
Harris, Charles H., and Louis R. Sadler. The Archaeologist Was a Spy: Sylvannus G. Morley and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.
Peake, Studies 47.3, notes that Morley "was a 33-year-old Harvard-trained archaeologist studying the Mayan civilization in Mexico and Central America" when in 1917 he proposed to ONI that "he and a group of colleagues serve as agents in Central America." They were "to provide data on German, and later Japanese, efforts to establish submarine bases in the region.... The authors deal in some detail with ONI organizational problems, agent communications, relationships with American firms in the area, and the problems of maintaining cover when suspected of being spies." This work "is well documented with copies of Morley reports and primary source citations."
For Brooks, NIPQ 19.3, the authors have clearly documented Morley's work with ONI, providing "almost day-to-day accounts of his exploits." Beyond that, however, they "have made an even greater contribution to the history of ONI by obtaining the declassification of ONI records of the World War I era which document the far-flung nature of ONI agent operations." See also, Jamie Bisher, "Hunt for Superweapons, Circa 1918," The Submarine Review, Jul. 2004.
Long, David F. Gold Braid and Foreign Relations: Diplomatic Activities of U.S. Naval Officers, 1798-1883. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1988.
Bates, NIPQ, Spring 1996, extols this as an "elegant" book that suffers from "some slipshod editing." It is a "series of about 270 vignettes describing some 500 incidents where U.S. Naval officers were involved in the creation or implementation of foreign policy." There is "[n]o specific intelligence emphasis, although almost every one of the ventures described had an unspoken mission to gather intelligence."
Niblack, A. P. The History and Aims of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Washington, DC: GPO, 1920. [Petersen]
Shulman, Mark Russell. "The Rise and Fall of American Naval Intelligence, 1882-1917." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 2 (Apr. 1993): 214-226.
The thesis of this article is that naval intelligence "developed only as interwoven with the political exigencies of building a new navy." The author notes "the lack of influence intelligence had in shaping naval strategy." By 1893, naval intelligence "had been reduced to the role of a propaganda instrument for the Mahanian fleet."
Return to MI - Navy Table of Contents