Sale 317

U.S. Stamps & Postal History and Important Historical Documents

Spanish American War
Lot Photo Description
Lot 1084

[Spanish-American War] Eye witness account of the surrender of Manila, 6½-page letter headed "U.S.S. Boston, Off Manila, August 14, 1898", written by one S.S. Robison to a Mrs. E.S. Parker in Washington, D.C., in part:

"After much palavering the Dons, when called upon to do so - surrendered gracefully - only stipulating that we should fire a few shots - to save the Governor-Generalís honor…It will be several days before we learn the details of what happened ashore - this vessel having been assigned a position about two miles off the entrance to the Pasig [River]…" In a second part of the letter dated August 18, after getting more details, Robison writes "…We find that some lions were sacrificed to preserve the Governor-Generalís honor - 8 of them American unfortunately and many more Spanish…They had much better batteries on the sea wall than we believed - and do not understand why with so many guns they did not fire a shot…" Later he adds "…No one knows yet whether our occupation will be permanent of temporary. But all agree that to give these Islands back to Spain would be a shame - their record of 300 years is one of cruelty, corruption and misrule…with the hold the insurgents now have it would take much time and many battles for the Spanish to regain their supremacy…" The rest of the letter is of personal impressions while on shore leave and family matters. Very Fine, accompanied by mailing envelope with damaged 2¢ stamp cancelled "Philippine Station, San Francisco, Cal., Aug 23 1898".
Estimate 500 - 750

Samuel Shelburn Robison (1867-1952) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1888 and eventually would rise through the ranks to Rear Admiral. He was the Commander of the Atlantic Submarine Force in World War I, was Military Governor of the Dominican Republic (1921-1922) and Superintendent of the Naval Academy (1928-1931).

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