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United States Naval Asiatic Squadron sailing in the 1890s

Date: c 1900
Overall: 55 x 766 x 665 mm, 4 kg
Medium: Lithograph on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00004429

User Terms

    Lithographic colour print of seven ships of the USA Asiatic squadron in the 1890s. The squadron made up of the flagship USS OLYMPIA, USS McCULLOCH, USS CONCORD, USS RALEIGH, USS BALTIMORE, USS BOSTON and USS PETREL sailed to the Philippines in 1898 to take part in the Spanish-American War.
    SignificanceThis lithograph highlights the imperial ambitions of the USA in the late 19th century, particularly in the Pacific.
    HistoryThe Asiatic Squadron was a United States naval warship squadron created in 1868. The Asiatic Squadron was stationed in East Asia during the latter half of the 19th Century. During its thirty years of service the Squadron participated in a number of conflicts.

    In May 1871 five Asiatic Squadron vessels, USS ALASKA, USS BENICIA, USS COLORADO, USS MONOCACY and USS PALOS took part in an expedition to Korea under the command of Rear Admiral John Rodgers. The expedition aimed to establish trade relations, ensure American sailors would be treated well if they became stranded in Korea, and ascertain the fate of the merchant vessel SS GENERAL SHERMAN. In June the USS PALOS and USS MONACACY became engaged in combat with a Selee River fort, after it opened fire on the PALOS. The squadron proceeded to attack, capture and destroy five of six hostile Korean forts. Despite the victory a trading treaty was not signed by the Koreans until 1882.

    On April 27 1898 seven of the Asiatic squadron vessels sailed from China to the Philippines to take part in the Spanish-American War. The squadron led by flagship USS OLYMPIA under the command of Admiral Dewey included USS McCULLOCH, USS CONCORD, USS RALEIGH, USS BALTIMORE, USS BOSTON and USS PETREL. The squadron took control of Manila Bay by destroying the Spanish fleet guarding the Philippines and assisted American troops to take control of the city of Manila. The USS CHARLESTON subsequently captured Guam in May 1898.

    From 1899 to 1902 the Asiatic squadron took part in the Philippine-American War. The squadron were engaged in various activities throughout the war including bombarding enemy positions during the Battles of Caloocan and Manila, shelling Panay Island and occupying Cebu province in 1899 and early 1900. In 1901 the squadron assisted land forces in capturing the Filipino rebel Emilio Aguinaldo and later the capture of General Vicente Lukban, a Filipon politico-military chief.
    During 1900 the Asiatic Squadron played a role in the American 'China Relief Expedition' which along with seven other countries formed an Eight Nation Alliance to crush the Boxer Rebellion in China. In 1902 the Squadron was upgraded to fleet status and called the Asiatic Fleet.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: United States Naval Asiatic Squadron sailing in the 1890s

    Primary title: Asiatic Squadron - Admiral Dewey

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