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Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Mrs. John Rogers

Washington, May 11th, 1898.



     The Department has read with interest your letter of the 5th inst., regarding Spanish agents who are endeavoring to obtain information concerning our military and naval movements.
     It would be very desirable if you would inform the Department of the name, or names, and general appearance of those who “offered to pay a certain person to get into the Navy or
War Department and said they would not need to get any salary as they would make up for that”;”that they had plenty of money for that purpose, &c.””They said moreover that they had spies already in the Department who could get almost any information, but they said they wanted all they could get.”

     The Department would like very much to have the name of the person”with a familiar face” whom you met on the ferry boat to Brooklyn recently. It is undoubtedly your duty, and a very important one, to give all the information which you have concerning such matters as spies, but you should give positive information with names, etc., so that the government may might be able to take some effective action.1


Source Note: TD, DNA, RG 45, Entry 372. Addressed before opening: “Mrs. John Rogers,/General Delivery,/P. O., Brooklyn, N.Y.” This letter is done on Secretary of the Navy stationery. At top left-hand corner is printed: “john long,/secretary.”

Footnote 1: This letter is evidence of the panic that infected cities along the East Coast of the United States in the opening days of the war and ultimately factored into naval strategy such as with the creation of the “Flying Squadron.”

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