Summary of Content: Typed letter on office letterhead of the Secretary of the Navy John D. Long. Written by Allen as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (on the letter his title is noted as ”Acting Secretary”) to Walker as a retired Rear Admiral. Asks Walker to proceed to Buffalo, New York for special temporary duty in connection to assignment as a Senior Member of the Niagara River Bridge Commission. Is authorized to preform necessary travel around Buffalo. Must keep a memorandum of the travel and submit it for approval to the War Department from time to time. After his duties are up, he is ordered to return to Washington and resume his ”present duties.” Stamp on verso from the U.S. Navy Pay Office says he received $70.72 for his mileage between Washington and Buffalo on 22 September 1898.
Background: In 1898 President William McKinley named Allen Assistant Secretary of the Navy when Theodore Roosevelt resigned the post to enter the Spanish-American War. He held this position from 1898 to 1900. At the end of the war President McKinley appointed Allen as the first civil governor of Puerto Rico. Allen retired from this post in 1901 with the island government out of debt and with over one million dollars in its treasury.