Long, John D.

1899 card signed as Navy Secretary, noted for feud with Under Secretary Theodore Roosevelt over preparations for Spanish-American War

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1838-1915) Massachusetts lawyer, 32nd Governor 1880-83, Secretary of the Navy 1897-1902, a period that notably included the Spanish -American War. Offered a cabinet post by his friend President McKinley, he chose to be Secretary of the Navy despite lacking knowledge of naval matters. He clashed with Under-Secretary Theodore Roosevelt over expansion of the Navy when the Spanish–American War broke out in 1898. In addition to personality differences, Roosevelt aggressively sought to modernize and expand the Navy; Long preferred to expand it gradually in line with McKinley's policies. Long sought to minimize the amount of power Roosevelt could exercise while Roosevelt sought ways to spur Long into action. Long believed tensions with Spain were unlikely to lead to war, and if they did, the war would be easily won, so he took no significant steps to prepare the Navy for that contingency. By early Feb. 1898 tensions had reached crisis proportions, and Long was compelled to begin drawing up plans for war. Ten days after the sinking of the USS Maine, he took a day off, and Roosevelt used his authority in Long's absence to issue orders to increase the Navy's readiness for war, including ordering Commodore Dewey into an aggressive offensive posture in the Philippines. Long countermanded some of Roosevelt's orders but began stepping up naval war preparations. When war was declared in April 1898, TR resigned in May and Long directed the Navy's activities throughout the war, greatly increasing its size in the process. He ordered Dewey to neutralize the Spanish fleet in the Philippines, ordered the seizure of Guam, supported a blockade and offensive operations against Cuba, and directed naval resources into threatening mainland Spain to encourage recall of a Spanish fleet headed for the Philippines. Long moved to create a permanent advisory staff after the war. Created in March 1900, it was to unify work of the Naval War College, Office of Naval Intelligence, and fleet leadership for production of war plans and proper preparation, planning, and deployment of naval resources defined in those plans. After the war he planned a naval base in the Philippines, but funding was held up in Congress and the base was caught in a rivalry with the War Department. Construction of Subic Bay Naval Base began after Long left office. He resigned after TR became President, and resumed law practice. Autograph sentiment signed on a 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 card headed "Autograph" in clerical hand, with title as Navy Secretary and January 7 1899 date, all but signature in clerical hand.

Condition: Very good, very light uniform toning
Type:Autograph Sentiment Signed






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