Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison (July 9, 1887—May 15, 1976)

Admiral Morrison, one of the most distinguished and pre-eminent American historians of the twentieth century, was especially recognized for his authoritative works of maritime history. In 1912, Morison received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He began teaching at Harvard in 1915 and eventually taught there for 40 years. Morison also taught at Johns Hopkins University and University of California, Berkeley.

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Morison’s work as part of the Guild was significant. In his book, The European Discovery of America,he wrote in detail about Francis Drake, Drake’s Point Reyes landing, and Drake’s Plate of Brass. Additionally, he praised several specific members of the Guild for their fine work.

Over the years they have done meticulous research on Drake and issued a number of valuable publications, of which the most comprehensive is Raymond Aker, "Report of Findings Relating to Identification of Sir Francis Drake’s Encampment at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Furthermore, he favorably cited the publications of two other Guild members.

"Two more important monographs, Robert W. Allen and Robert W. Parkinson, Identification of the Nova Albion Conie, and Examination of the Botanical References . . . at Nova Albion," both illustrated, were published by the Guild in 1971.

Before his Guild collaboration, Morison made tremendous academic contributions to the study of world history. Just after the United States entered World War II, Dr. Morison offered a proposal to President Roosevelt by suggesting that he write an operational history of the US Navy as an inside observer and participant by taking part in naval operations and later writing about them. The President agreed, so in early 1942, Dr. Morison was commissioned Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve and immediately ordered to active duty. Throughout the war, he participated in battle operations in the Pacific, European, and Mediterranean Theaters. In August 1945, he transferred to the Honorary Retired List of the Naval Reserve. With that transfer, he was promoted to Rear Admiral on the basis of combat awards.

Over the course of his career, Morison received numerous awards including military honors, literary prizes, and national awards from foreign countries. Among them were two Pulitzer Prizes, two Bancroft Prizes, the Legion of Merit, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.