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Indiana State Library

Library > Collections > Rare Books & Manuscripts > Finding Aid Index > Thomas H. Escott Thomas H. Escott

Thomas H. Escott
1 box

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

Finding Aid by: Claire Rutledge, May 2012


Biographical Note:

Commander Thomas H. Escott was born in Indianapolis February 11, 1892. In 1910, Escott joined the United States Navy at the age of 18 as an as an apprentice seaman working up to Chief Quartermaster by 1917. In 1918, Escott became a commissioned officer, with assignments in Cuba and Mexico defending American positions against revolutionaries, advancing to Lieutenant (J.G.). As a Petty Officer, during World War I, he was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico. Escott was honorably discharged in 1919 and moved back to Indianapolis. He married Nellie J. Campbell, daughter of Frank O. and Elizabeth Campbell on September 13, 1918 in Vigo County, Indiana. While a civilian, Escott attended Benjamin Harrison Law School, graduating in 1922. He joined the US Navy Reserves in 1922. In 1935, the navy assigned Escott command over a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Kentucky. In 1940, Escott became a Navy recruiter as the country began preparing for entry into World War II. In 1943, the navy promoted Escott to Executive Officer of the U.S.S. Argonne. 
During World War II, Escott spent several years Navy in the South Pacific, at one point; he chastised a young John F. Kennedy, for disorderly conduct. After 28 months at sea, Escott returned to the U.S. with a medical condition and fatigue. He retired on June 1, 1949. He wrote an autobiography in the 1950’s-60’s, which he titled White Hat to Scrambled Eggs. Nellie Escott died in Indianapolis in August 1969 and Thomas Escott died in Broward County Florida, March 27, 1974.


Documents within the collection.
White Hat to Scrambled Eggs
Ancestry Library. Indiana State Library. May 2012.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection contains an autobiography/narrative on the everyday life in the U.S. Navy from 1910 to 1949. Also included are photographs, news clippings, and correspondence with publishers. Topics included are naval terminology, naval technology, and the inner workings of a 20th century naval ship. 

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.
Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1. 

1. 1900-1910’s. Early life & skirmish at Vera Cruz.
2. 1910’s. Cuba, Alabama, New Orleans, & entry of US into WWI.
3. 1920-1930’s. Armistice, naval aviation, CCC, & beginning of WWII.
4. 1940’s. Kentucky, Pacific, native culture in New Zealand, & WWII.
5. 1940’s. Torpedoing of Argonne, medical condition, & retirement.
6. Photographs & news clippings
7. 1960’s. Correspondence with publishers.

Collection Information

Size of Collection: 1 box, 7 folders
Collection Dates: 1910-1949
Provenance: Thomas Escott, 1974
Access : The collection is open for research use
Restrictions: None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: White Hats to Scrambled Eggs, Indiana collection

MA BA 6-10-2013