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Commander Frederick M. Symonds to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long

U. S. S. MARIETTA, 3d Rate,

At sea, Lat. 34 30 S., Long. 68 35 W.,

April 27, 1898.


     I have the honor and pleasure to report that while this vessel was at anchor off Valparaiso, Chile, from April 7th to 9th inclusive, the Chilian civil and naval authorities were especially solicitous for her safety, and took every precaution to prevent her receiving injury from outside sources.

     2.   Previous to our arrival, information had reached the Chilian authorities that certain Spanish residents of Valparaiso had threatened to destroy the MARIETTA during her stay at that port, and I was informed by the Intendente of the Port that he had received instructions from the President of Chile1 to see that the vessel was not injured.

     3.   Although we had a patrol boat about the vessel and made necessary preparations on board for a night attack, still it was unnecessary, as by orders of the civil authorities shore boats were not permitted under any pretext to approach the vessel within 300 meters during the night, and I learned that a Government detective force on shore closely watched suspected localities and persons until our departure.

     4.   Our arrival there was at an inopportune time for coaling or obtaining supplies, it being the latter part of the Holy week of Lent, including Holy Thursday and Good Friday, days receiving Chilian national recognition; still, all restrictions as to labor and issuing of permits for the delivery of stores afloat were removed in our case.

     5.   I called officially with the U.S. Minister on the Intendente and the Captain of the Port the day of our departure and thanked them in person for the courtesies extended.


F.M. Symonds.

Commander, U.S.N.,


Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 319. Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,/Navy Department,/Washington, D.C.” Note: Handwritten at top of the document are two indistinguishable words followed by “[Authorities] at Valparaiso.”

Footnote 1:   President Federico Errázuriz Echaurren.

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