The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
Historical Manuscripts Home
Alphabetical List of All Collections | Collections Listed By Subject

1.   Overview of the Collection

Repository: McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi

Creator: Tracy Hitt Greenberg

Collection Number: M501

Collection Title: Holmes (David) Research Collection

Size: 10 items

Language: English

Dates: 1943-2005

Collection Status: Fully processed

Abstract: An assortment of items relating to Mississippi’s first governor, David Holmes (1817-1820) and the Liberty Ship named in his honor during World War II.

2. Subjects

Mississippi Governors

World War II Ships

Liberty Ships


3. Biographical/Historical Note

David Holmes was born in York County, Pennsylvania, on March 10, 1769, but grew up in Virginia. Beginning in 1797, Holmes served as a United States representative for the state of Virginia. From 1809 to 1817, Holmes held the office of Mississippi Territory Governor. He officially became the state’s first governor in 1817 and completed his first term in 1820. During his tenure, the Elizabeth Female Academy was established; the state’s judicial and legislative branches were organized; and roads and waterways within the state were improved. David Holmes did not seek reelection after completing his first term. He stayed politically active, serving as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1820 to 1825. Holmes became Mississippi’s fifth governor when he was reelected to the governor’s office in September 1825. He was sworn into office on January 7, 1826, but resigned from his position on July 25, 1826, due to his declining health and he soon moved back to Virginia. Mississippi Governor Holmes died on August 28, 1832, and is interred at the Mount Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia.

In 1943, Delta Shipbuilding Company, New Orleans, Louisiana, built a tanker type Liberty Ship named the David Holmes, in honor of Mississippi’s former Governor, which was launched August 14, 1943. Liberty Ships were designed for emergency construction by the United States Maritime Commission during World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt nicknamed them “ugly ducklings” while most people called them “workhorses of the deep” because they were built in less than 50 days for $2,000,000, and were designed to carry 10,000 tons but often carried much more. A Liberty Ship was considered successful if it completed one half of its maiden voyage. Later in 1943, the David Holmes was sent to Wilmington, North Carolina, where it began changing hands and names. Paco Tankers, Incorporated, of Keystone Shipping Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the first buyer in 1951. The David Holmes, the Alpheus, the Andros Stream, the Patraikos, and the Tilemachos were the five names the vessel was known as while it sailed under the flags of United States, Liberia and Greece. Eventually, in 1967 the former David Holmes was scrapped in Mukaijima, Japan.

4. Scope and Content Note

This collection contains ten items that relate to the Mississippi Governor David Holmes. These items range from photographs of a World War II ship named for the governor, a portrait, and pictures of his gravesite. The other four documents consist of two letters written to the creator of the collection, an information sheet about the items in the collection, and an information sheet from a library about the David Holmes.

5. Arrangement

Original order was maintained for this one folder collection. The letter documents were found to be grouped together and arranged in reverse chronological order and the photographs were grouped together and arranged by related subject and chronologically.

6. Related Material

Related collections at the University of Southern Mississippi include:

·         M46 Holmes (David) Letter

7. Administrative Information

Provenance: Donated by Tracy Hitt Greenberg on May 23, 2005.     

Use Restrictions: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Reproduction of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Provision of photocopies or digital reproductions does not constitute permission to publish, distribute, provide internet access to, or otherwise display images of materials in this collection. Copyright is retained by the lawful copyright holder, and it is the responsibility of the permission seeker to contact and secure permission from the copyright holder. Where copyright permission is not granted, images are only for use in private study subject to the Fair Use exceptions made in U.S. Copyright Law.

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation Method: In citing these materials, the following information should be included:

Item, title of collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Processing Information: Collection processed and finding aid written by Carlie Burkett and Cindy Lawler, July 2016.


- David Holmes First and Fifth Governor of Mississippi: 1817-1820; 1826. In Mississippi History Now, D.G. Sansing. Retrieved from

- National Governors Association. Retrieved from

- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved from

- American Merchant Marine at War, Retrieved from

- Find a Grave

Case file

Collection content


8. Container List

Item 1              Document that contains general information about the David Holmes ship and the gravesite of the former governor. (ca. 2005)

Item 2              A letter from Lloyd’s of London addressed to Tracy Hitt Greenberg in reference to her search for research on the David Holmes ship. (February 1, 1993)

Item 3              A letter from a librarian and Director of Libraries of Guildhall Library in London, England to Tracy Hitt Greenberg in reference to her search for information about the David Holmes ship. (February 22, 1993)

Item 4              An information sheet that provides the history of the David Holmes from the Guildhall Library in London, England.  (February 22, 1993)

Item 5              A reprint of a photograph of the launching of the David Holmes Liberty ship. The original photograph was taken August 14, 1943, with a legend that states Delta Shipbuilding Company, Launching, Hull Numbers: MCE 1741 and Delta 71.

Item 6              A reprint of a photograph of Gertrude Hitt Clyburn of Clinton, Mississippi, christening the David Holmes ship. Gertrude Hitt Clyburn was Tracy Hitt Greenberg’s aunt. This item is an 8” x 10” black and white photograph. (1943)

Item 7              Two color 5” x 7” photographs of the gravesite of David Holmes, which is located in Winchester, Virginia. (ca. 2005)

Item 8              A color photograph depicting the inscriptions that can be found on the tomb of David Holmes. This photograph is an 8” x 10”. (ca. 2005)

Item 9              Two photographs that consist of the inscription on the headstone of Holmes’ grave. These items are 5” x 7” color photographs. (ca. 2005)

Item 10            This item is a photocopy of a portrait of David Holmes.


9.  Photograph Log

M501-1            The launching of the David Holmes. The launch date of August 14, 1943, Delta Shipbuilding Co.

                        8 x 10              B & W              August 14, 1943


M501-2            Gertrude Hitt Clyburn of Clinton, Mississippi, christening the David Holmes ship.

                        8 x 10              B & W              1943


M501-3            David Holmes’ gravesite in Winchester, Virginia.

                        5 x 7                Color               ca. 2005

                        Photographer: John P. Westervelt, AFP, CPP.


M501-4            David Holmes’ gravesite in Winchester, Virginia. Tombstones can be seen in the background.

                        5 x 7                Color               ca. 2005

                        Photographer: John P. Westervelt, AFP, CPP.


M501-5            Inscription on the end of David Holmes’ tomb.

                        8 x 10              Color               ca. 2005

                        Photographer: John P. Westervelt, AFP, CPP.


M501-6            Inscription on the gravestone of David Holmes’ tomb.

                        5 x 7                Color               ca. 2005

                        Photographer: John P. Westervelt, AFP, CPP.


M501-7            Close-up of inscription on the gravestone of David Holmes’ tomb.

                        5 x 7                Color               ca. 2005

                        Photographer: John P. Westervelt, AFP, CPP.


M501-8            Photocopy of a photograph of David Holmes with 1817-1820, 1826 and Adams County indicated.

                        4 x 6                B & W              n.d.


10. Publication Information

Publisher: The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, Special Collections


Physical Address: The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries

McCain Library & Archives

118 College Drive #5148

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148


Email Contact: To email, go to:


Revision Date: Last revised: July 2016

Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148