Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Rear Admiral Joseph N. Miller, Commander, Pacific Station
Washington, June 30,1898.
I have to transmit, herewith, for your information, the enclosed extracts from a letter received in the Department of State from the United States Consul at Vancouver.
John D. Long
“Thus far there has been no information that any Spanish vessel has applied for a coal supply at the great mines on Vancouver Island.
“Large shipments of coal continue to be made from Vancouver Island to San Francisco, and other United States ports, consigned to merchants.
“I believe this is countenanced by the British and Canadian governments as not being in violation of the neutrality laws. Of course no coal is shipped directly to our war vessels.
“Arrangements have been made that will insure early information being received at this office of the approach of Spanish vessels, whether seeking coal or coming to this vicinity for other purposes.
“There is a rumor in the newspapers here that an agent of the Spanish Government is at Victoria, B.C., watching the shipments of coal to the United States.
“The newspapers also report that one George C. Brown of Victoria has applied to the Spanish Government for letters of Marque, promising to outfit vessels to prey upon the ships bringing gold from the Yukon Valley. I am informed that the officers at Victoria will prevent the sailing of any vessel intended for such service..”
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 29, pp. 40-41. Addressed below close: “Commander-in-Chief/U.S. Naval Force,/Pacific Station.” File no. placed to the right of Washington and also on the right-hand corner of the following letter: “122932.” Stationery heading in left-hand corner: “John D. Long,/SECRETARY.”