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Lengthy document on paper with several signatures and a large red seal.

Proclamation to the Inhabitants of Guam

With this proclamation of 1899, Captain Richard P. Leary established U.S. government control over Guam, stressing the separation of church and state as well as submission to U.S. authority. Convinced that the people of Guam were unfit to govern themselves, Leary presided over Guam with increasing severity. 

Hearing word of the unfitness of Leary’s military rule, Major General Elwell S. Otis, then in charge of the campaign in the Philippines, sent Major General Joseph Wheeler to investigate the conditions of Guam. During Wheeler’s visit, Padre José Torres Palomo organized a petition to have William Edwin Safford appointed governor. Instead, Commander Seaton Shroeder replaced Leary in July 1900.

Richard P. Leary (1842–1901)
Ink on paper
37.3 × 21.5 cm (14 11/16 × 8 7/16 in.)
Special Collections and Archives, Nimitz Library, U.S. Naval Academy