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Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, President, Naval War Board, to Rear Admiral George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Squadron


[Washington, D.C., July 31, 1898]

Please propose by telegraph a naval station for the United States to hold in the Phillipine after peace is made, remembering that a port in the northern part of the group would be preferable on account of temperature and nearness to Chinese coast.1 A small island having a good harbor, seems desirable, but Department is uncertain, and desires you to propose such small island, and as an alternative a good port on one of the large islands surrounded by moderate area of land, and sufficient laborers in vicinity to meet coaling and other needs. Department also expects to take a Spanish island for a naval station between Hawaii and China. Would you recommend Guam or some other. The Caroline Group must be excluded.2

This was not sent

M S.

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, PGD. At top of page in the right-hand corner: “Dewey about last of July 98/MS/1898.” As the sign-off suggests, RAdm. Montgomery Sicard’s note was not sent to RAdm. George Dewey.

Footnote 1: The Naval War Board discussed the possibility of obtaining a coaling facility for the Asiatic Station in the Philippines, but never entertained acquiring the entire archipelago, or even part of it. By August the determination changed. For more information on this policy, see: Sicard to Long, 13 August 1898; and for the acquisition of the Philippines, see: Blockade and Siege of Manila.

Footnote 2: Guam surrendered on 20 June. See: Capture of Guam.

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