Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Diary of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

 

JULY                       SATURDAY 21                    1917

Talked to Tumulty1 about my statement to be made in letter to Tillman2 and made some changes to it.

Bo Sweeney3 was asked to resign by L4 & T5 advised not. Only D6 on guard.

Rodman7 wished to change from training ships to newer ones & came to me – I sent for Benson.8 He said “Why did you not speak to me first?” R. was in good spirits & I told B. it was ok for R. to express his preference

Roger Wells9 brought in recommendation for enrollment for Navy Leaguer who had been busy with the gang. I tore it up.10

Capps & Compensation Board .11

Strike in NY ship yards compelled taking yachts to navy yard to get ready for France

Long ride in the country-JDJr12 OK.

Source Note: D, DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diaries, Roll 1. Daniels kept his diary in a daybook so the date is printed along the top.

Footnote 1: Joseph P. Tumulty, private secretary to President Woodrow Wilson.

Footnote 2: Senator Benjamin R. Tillman, D-South Carolina, Chairman of the Naval Affairs Committee.

Footnote 3: Assistant Secretary of the Interior Bo Sweeney, who died unexpectedly on 15 July.

Footnote 4: Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane.

Footnote 5: Tumulty.

Footnote 6: Daniels occasionally referred to himself in the third person in his diary.

Footnote 7: Capt. Hugh Rodman. Daniels continues to refer to Rodman as “R.” in this diary entry.

Footnote 8: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations. Daniels continues to refer to Benson as “B.” throughout this diary entry.

Footnote 9: Capt. Roger Wells, Director of Naval Intelligence.

Footnote 10: In general, “Daniels did not get along well with most of the members of the Navy League,” primarily due to the fact that “during the political campaign of 1916, the league had strongly criticized Daniels’ administration of the Navy and had attacked his preparedness program as inadequate.” Daniels, Cabinet Diaries: 180.

Footnote 11: RAdm. Washington I. Capps headed the Compensation Board, created by Daniels to oversee payments and purchasing for the massive wartime naval construction program.

Footnote 12: Daniels’ son, Josephus Daniels Jr. Twenty-one when the U.S. declared war, Joe Jr. initially did not enlist because of his sickly health and poor eyesight. He bowed to public pressure, however, and joined the Marines. His well-being was a source of frequent concern to his father throughout the war. He served honorably and returned to the family newspaper, the Raleigh News and Observer after his discharge. Craig, Josephus Daniels: 331-332, 386.

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