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


Hong Kong 3d Mch.

My dear Son:

     The news today is decidedly warlike and I have made my arrangements for a descent on Manila as soon as war is declared. As you can fancy I am very busy-

     The Baltimore should be here in ten or twelve days, as she sailed from Honolulu on Feby 25th

     I wish you would send me six cases of Whitteman Bros. & Co. Shoe polish for patent leather shoes. Send by paid express to Navy Pay Office San Francisco and write Pay Inspector Griffing1 and ask him to send to me by one of the China Steamers.

     Another thing, in case anything should happen to me during the war, you will become my sole heir to between $80.000 & $90.000- I wish you to pay to your Aunt Mary Greely during her life the sum of five hundred dollars a year $500.

     I don’t expect anything will happen but it is well that you should know my wishes.

     It looks to me today as if war was inevitable. I have written the Dpt. that I expect to capture the Spanish ships and reduce the defenses of Manila in one day.2

                                  With much love

                                      Your affectionate father

                                           George Dewey

The polish comes in small round boxes and is a paste.

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

Footnote 1: Paymaster George H. Griffing.

Footnote 2: This letter has not been found. The only known letter to the Navy Department where Dewey states that he would be able to reduce the defenses of Manila in a single day is a letter dated 31 March 1898. See: Dewey to John D. Long, 31 March 1898.

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