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Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, President, Naval War Board, to Rear Admiral George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Squadron


[About last of July 1898]

Please propose by telegraph a naval station for the United States to hold in the Phillipines after peace is made, remembering that a port in the northern part of the group would be preferable on account of temperature and nearness to the china coast[.] A small island having a good harbor, seems desirable, but Department is uncertain, and desires you to propose such small island, and as an alternative a good port on one of the large islands surrounded by moderate area of land and sufficient laborers in the vicinity to meet coaling and other needs. Department also expects to take a Spanish island for a naval station between Hawaii and China. Would you recommend Guam or some other. The Caroline Group must be excluded.1

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Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, Papers of Montgomery Sicard. This handwritten document features a clarifying note by Sicard at the top concerning the date on which he prepared the memo. It states: “about last of July 1898/MS.”

Footnote 1: The Naval War Board, in a later report, indicated it was concerned about the United States accumulating too many naval and coaling stations in the Pacific. There was also concern about the possibility of conflict with Germany should the United States establish a base in the Caroline Islands. See: John D. Long to Dewey, 19 July 1898; and Challener, Admirals, Generals, and American Foreign Policy, 183.

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