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Lieutenant William S. Sims, United States Naval Attaché in Paris, to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt


Partly in cipher.

  From Paris.

Received Washington May 2, 1898 4:45 P.M.

Received O.N.I.1 May 3, 1898 9:15 A.M.


Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

     Apparently reliable competent person, extensive acquaintance, agrees following proposition, cost about three hundred dollars monthly and eight thousand conditional on success:- Italian citizen will report movements Spanish fleet,until termination of the war, from Spain.

     Recommend proposition and another,equally reliable,costing less:- Will report movements Spanish fleets,from Canary Islands,- where my connection now broken.2

     Is above approved?

     Please cable about six hundred pounds.


Source Note: Decy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 464. Notation in lower right-hand corner: “Copy sent to/Bureau of Navigation.” Stamped in in lower left-hand corner: “Office of NAVAL INTELLIGENCE,navy department.” The typist’s initials “G.P.P.,” appears between these two stamped lines.

Footnote 1: Office of Naval Intelligence.

Footnote 2: For more information on Lt. William S. Sims’ network of informers in Spain, see, Trask, War with Spain, 87-88, 142-43 and Crumley, “Naval Attaché System,” 102-29. For an example of his reporting, see: Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to RAdm. William T. Sampson, 10 August 1898.

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