Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, President, Naval War Board, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
Office of Naval War Board
Washington, DC May 19th, 1898.
It is reported that a Spanish armored squadron has sailed, or may soon sail, from Spain, for the United States, and may stop at the Azores for coal.1
The Board recommends that the Department of State be requested toinform our Minister to Portugal and the Consuls at the Azores,2 the latter to be very attentive to watch for and report the arrival of such a squadron, and the Minister and Consuls3 to protest promptly and vigorously against any of these ships being allowed to take coal, on the ground that presence of the squadron can only signify an intention to attack the United States, they being entirely out of the routed from Spain to her western possessions.4
Rear Adml. Pres. of Board.
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 372. Addressed below close: “To the Honorable,/The Secretary of the Navy.”
Footnote 1: RAdm. Pascual Cervera y Topete’s squadron had already stopped at Cape Verde Islands on 14 April. There were still concerns that the Atlantic Coast of the United States would be raided.
Footnote 2: The Azores belonged to Portugal. The United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Portugal was Lawrence Townsend.
Footnote 3: The words “and Consuls” were handwritten above the line and a carat below the line.
Footnote 4: State Department files are filled with numerous requests of this kind from the Uited S Navy. Consult: April to July, 1898 in General Records of the State Department, Miscellaneous Letters of the Department of State, 1789-1906, RG 59, M171.