Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain French E. Chadwick to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt

U.S S. New York.

24.3.98

Dear Mr. Roosevelt.

     May I say another word?

     After seeing (and believing) the state of Cuba. my conviction is that the thing for our Govt- to do is to issue a manifest stating that it has become a necessity for us to put an end to horrors which we can no longer tolerate at our doors. and that in the interest of humanity, and to prevent the extinction of a people we demand that Spain leave the island.

     Put it on the ground that we cannot tolerate wholesale murder, which this is. It is far better than indemnity demands, revenge or recouping commercial losses. The other is a moral attitude which the world must and will applaud when the facts shall be known. The trouble is our people themselves do not believe the facts or there would not be a day’s hesitancy.

     I hope to Heaven we shall not listen to any Wall St. compromise. Why should the dirty Jews who have supported this thing go off smiling with full pockets.1 Honor and economy are both on the side of immediate action. It will be nothing for us to take Cuba. Havana is fed almost entirely from here. Seize Matanzas as a base and blockade Havana & in ten days the island is ours. They have made it a desert & would, in such case reap the effect.

     Our people have been engaged after the manner of which Napolean complained of his Marshals, in making pictures to themselves until they are in a state of ridiculous funk. This squadron as it stands could wipe up every thing Spain has in 20 minutes. Our losses would be nothing— We could no doubt take Havana by assault. But whats the use? There is no use in climbing a tree & tearing yr- trowsers for a cherry which could fall of itself by a few moments waiting.

     Every condition is now favorable for us, even the moon, which down in this clear atmosphere is far better than any search lights, against torpedo attack.

Sincerely Yours

F E Chadwick

Source Note: LS, DLC-MSS, PTR.

Footnote 1: Chadwick was here echoing a popular prejudice of the time that Jewish businessmen controlled American financial markets.

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