Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Station, to George Goodwin Dewey

Flag Ship “Olympia

Nagasaki Japan

4 January /98

My dear Son:

     I arrived here three days ago and relieved Adml. McNair1 in command yesterday.

     We had a delightful trip down from Tokio, passing through the celebrated inland sea, stopping two days at Kobe to discharge cargo.

     McNair sails by steamer “Coplai for San Francisco this evening.

     Affairs are very unsettled in the Far East and I expect my term of service out here will be very interesting

     The Germans, Russians, English and Japanese are playing a big game of bluff since it remains to be seen who will take that port.2 We are fortunate in being out of the game- All we have to do is to look on and see that our interests do not suffer. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and that you have received an advancement in the firm.

     I am informed the “Raleigh“ has been ordered from the Mediterranean to this station and that she is on her way out having left Port Said the day after Christmas- She should reach Hong Kong by the last of the month unless her Captain has orders to visit several ports on his way out. I shall be glad to see Billy Winder3 again.

     With much love

          Your [Affectionate Father

George Dewey]4

Source Note: ALS, DN-HC, PGGD, Box 1. Included with this document are a transcript and photocopy of the original envelope.

Footnote 1: Commo. (Acting RAdm.) Frederick V. McNair.

Footnote 2: Dewey is describing colonialist competition over Port Arthur, modern day Incheon, Korea. 

Footnote 3: Lt. William Winder of the protected cruiser Raleigh.

Footnote 4: This portion of the letter has been cut off. In Dewey’s other letters to his son he always signs “Your affectionate father, George Dewey.“

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