Presented by Mrs. C.D. Hull
Lt. Charles Wilkes led the famed U.S. Exploring Expedition around the world, America's first major surveying and scientific expedition. It is credited with discovering the Antartic, surveying the Oregon Territory coast and hundreds of Pacific Islands, and its collections evolved into the nascent Smithsonian Institution.
This chapeau, which belonged to Wilkes, is of a design approved in 1841 while he was at sea, and was a typical Naval officer's hat during the antebellum period. Wilkes probably obtained it after his return to the United States.
U.S. Naval Academy Museum