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General Leary's General Orders No. 4

As Guam’s naval governor, Captain Richard P. Leary authored twenty-one military orders meant to diminish Spanish influences on Guam. Some of them also greatly undermined the local culture. For example, on August 25, 1899, Leary issued General Order No. 4, prohibiting any celebration outside of the Church walls on Catholic feast days and halting the customary daily tolling of bells. 

In another controversial action, he removed the remaining Spanish priests because they allowed cohabitation outside of marriage and also fathered children themselves. His aide, Lieutenant William Edwin Safford (whose book on Guam is displayed nearby), objected to Leary’s expulsion of the priests. 

Five of Leary’s orders addressed the problems of discipline among the U.S. sailors and marines stationed in Guam, which included public drunken- ness, assaults on civilians, vandalism, and the abandonment of duty stations without authorization.

Richard Phillips Leary (1842 - 1901)
Reproduction of document from 1900
20.3 × 13.1 cm (8 × 5 3/16 in.)
Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library, U.S. Naval Academy