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Commander William H. Emory to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet


Blockade Off San Juan, Puerto Rico,

July 3, 1898.


    1. I have the honor to report the following vessels beached, destroyed or warned since Sunday June 26th, since which time the YOSEMITE has been the only vessel blockading this port.

    2. Tuesday, 28th, Spanish steamer between four and five thousand tons displacement, name unknown, beached and apparently bilged in the same position as run on shore and deserted.

    3. On Wednesday June 29th overhauled Spanish three-masted schooner Joven Maria, about 50 tons displacement, laden with salt, brought to near reefs; old and unseaworthy, scuttled.

    4. Sunday July 3d, overhauled English steamer Cayo Blanco of London to Jamaica, but apparently entering San Juan. Warned and warning entered on her register.1

    5. Sunday, July 3d, overhauled, with difficulty, English steamer “H. M. Pollack,” of London. Had sailed from Arecibo, a port a short distance to the westward of this place, cleared for Port Medio Mundo, on eastern end of Island.2 Overhauled the vessel carefully and found her partially loaded with a cargo of sugar. Have no doubts from the efforts of the vessel that she intended to go into San Juan. Warned the master and entered the warning in the log. When the Pollack was last seen she was hull down3 to the eastward of San Juan harbor.

    I have the honor to be

               Very respectfully,


Commander, U. S. Navy,


Source Note: TCy, DLC-MSS, William H. Emory Papers. At top-left corner: “(COPY H.E.K.”). Addressed below close: “To the/Commander-in-Chief,/U. S. Naval Force,/N. A. Station.”

Footnote 1: A ship’s register documents ownership and nationality. It is issued by a particular government; in this case Great Britain. The warning officially notifies London of this infraction.

Footnote 2: The island is Puerto Rico.

Footnote 3: When a ship is “hull down” only its superstructure is visible on the horizon.

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