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The Loss of Pier No. 4


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Charles Rupert Biggs was a US Navy Storekeeper who served in the Wilmington Area during the First World War. A graduate of Princeton and Michigan Law School, he was admitted to the Delaware bar during or shortly before 1917.

Information derived from collection.

This short, narrative account of activities at a World War I cargo operation located at "Southern Railroad pier No. 4" was written by US Navy Storekeeper Charles Rupert Biggs.

This handwritten account was created by Charles Biggs, a naval pay clerk in the Wilmington, Delaware, are during World War I. Biggs' account was written in an acerbic tone, and the narrative was presented in the form of a classical Greek drama, complete with cast list (including himself), and chorus. He described each cast member, with especial (harsh description) reserved for Pay Clerk Moss of North Carolina. The story related involved the acquisition of Southern Railroad pier No. 4 by the United States Navy and Biggs' trip to the pier.

The Navy gained possession of the pier after sending seven thousand submarine net buoys to the pier, "with the assumption that possession is 9/10s of the law." Biggs, along with another clerk and his superior officer, was sent to oversee operations at the pier. Much of the short narrative regarding this "trip to the pier" dealt with the behavior of Paymaster Caroran (his superior officer), who was, according to Biggs, unpleasant to work with if one was a subordinate and whose attitude demoralized the entire outfit.

  1. Item 0003: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Gift of the Biggs Family, 1972.

Processed and encoded by Evan Echols, February 2012.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2012 February 2
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

The Loss of Pier No. 4, undated. 1 volume.
Item 0003
Physical Description

1 volume

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