Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
April 17, 1898.
The War Board does not wish to needlessly bore you by repeating advice, and of course it is ignorant of the larger proficiencies and purposes of the administration; but with the light we have we would again respectfully state that in our opinion the construction of torpedo-boats and torpedo-boat destroyers should be begun at once, and that all the battleships, and especially the KEARSARGE and KENTUCKY, should be hastened to completion, working night and day. Surely the KEARSARGE and KENTUCKY could be gotten ready by next fall if necessary. The board has agreed upon the armament for the four American Liners, following in this respect the suggestion of Captain O’Neil. We have also substantially adopted his suggestion with regard to the armament for the remaining cruisers.
Some of the yachts we have taken have been overloaded with armor, so that their speed has been greatly reduced. The Board thinks that it would be well to take the CORSAIR and put very light guns aboard her, so as to use her merely for a dispatch vessel. She is the best yacht, barring the MAYFLOWER and possibly the SOVEREIGN, that we have had up.
The NEWARK is already being pushed to completion as rapidly as possible, and will soon be ready. I think the CHICAGO <and Atlanta> should be likewise pushed.
Source Note: TLS, MHi, Papers of John D. Long, Box 40. Addressed below close: The Honorable,/The Secretary of the Navy.”On “Theodore Roosevelt/ASSISTANT SECRETARY” stationary. Words in angle brackets are handwritten interlineations.