Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Captain William T. Sampson
CONFIDENTIAL. [Washington, D.C.] March 1, 1898
As soon as the Court of Inquiry of which you are President has reached its findings, you will transmit the same privately, through the Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic Station, to the Department. You will not, however, adjourn, but will continue your sittings for the purpose of putting your findings in proper form, etc.
The object of the Department in giving you these instructions is to enable the Administration to determine upon a policy in advance of the official announcement of the findings of the Court. You will, therefore, use the utmost caution to prevent the fact becoming public that the Court has reached a finding or that its finding has been transmitted privately to the Department.
John D Long
Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 29. Addressed below close: “Captain W.T. Sampson, U.S. Navy,/President, Naval Court of Inquiry./Key West, Fla./(C.-in-C.).”