Minister Jackson to the Secretary of State.
Athens, March 5, 1906.
Sir: I have the honor to report that Rear-Admiral Charles Dwight Sigsbee, “commanding third division, Atlantic Fleet, detached,” in his flagship, the U. S. S. Brooklyn (Capt. Arthur P. Nazro), and accompanied by the U. S. S. Galveston (Commander William Gifford Cutler) and the U. S. S. Chattanooga (Commander Alexander Sharp), arrived in the harbor of the Piraeus—where berths had been prepared in accordance with my request—on the morning of Thursday, March 1, and that the admiral and his ships left again yesterday afternoon for Beirut.[Page 816]
During the afternoon of the day of their arrival the admiral and his staff, together with the several commanding officers, made a formal official call at the legation, and the next day I returned these calls on board their respective ships, where I was received with the customary honors.
Prior to the arrival of the admiral I had inquired as to whether or not it would be agreeable to Her Majesty Queen Olga and their royal highnesses the crown prince (regent) and the crown princess to grant audiences and had been informed that the admiral and his staff and the commanding officers would be received. The audiences took place about noon on Saturday, the 3d instant, that with the crown prince and princess being at their palace, and that with the Queen being at the large palace, where the usual honors were rendered.
Yesterday afternoon the Queen, accompanied by the crown prince and princess and Princes Nicolas and Christopher of Greece and Prince George of Sparta, visited the Brooklyn, where they were received by the admiral and his officers, as well as by the personnel of this legation. Salutes were fired when Her Majesty boarded and left the flagship, and the rail was manned, but the ships were not dressed with flags. The royalties remained on board ship for about an hour and a half, and I am sure that they found their visit entirely enjoyable.
During their stay the admiral and his officers made and received the customary official visits. Owing to court mourning, however, and to the fact that Lent had just begun, there was no entertaining beyond a few informal dinners. Having made his acquaintance at this legation, Admiral Sigsbee invited the British minister (Sir Francis Elliott) to take luncheon on board the Brooklyn, and subsequently the admiral and several officers dined at the British legation.
In this connection attention was called to the fact that about two years ago the British Admiralty had issued a circular stating that a new international agreement had been made (mentioning “the United States” as one of the concurring nations), which was to go into effect on April 1, 1904, in accordance with which an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary was in future to receive a salute of 17 guns upon appropriate occasion. The American naval regulations have not been changed, however, and following their provisions, 15 gun salutes were fired by Admiral Sigsbee’s division.
As usual, the visit of American ships to Greece was a welcome one, and it and the appearance of our sailors and marines and their conduct while on shore have given rise to nothing but favorable comment. General regret has been expressed at the shortness of the visit to a place which for many reasons must be of great interest to both officers and men. Hopes have been expressed that one vessel at least may be ordered to return at the time of the Olympian games. Next month British, French, and Italian men-of-war are expected, and members of their crews are to take part in the international athletic contests.
I have, etc.,