Commodore Arent S. Crowninshield, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, to Commander William C. Gibson
Washington, May 4th, 1898.
William C. Gibson, U.S.N.,
Navy Yard, Mare Island, Cal.
S i r :
In order to facilitate the purchase of coal and supplies on the Asiatic Station, it is necessary that the steamship “City of Pekin” should preserve her character as a merchant vessel. She has, however, been placed in commission as a naval vessel in order that the officers attached to her may be entitled to their sea pay. It is not considered advisable, however, that you should fly, while in Asiatic waters, a pennant, or in any other manner insist upon the naval character of the vessel under your command.
This information is furnished to you confidentially for your guidance.
(Signed) A. S. Crowninshield,
Chief of Bureau.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 55.