Robert I. Aitken
George Dewey Monument
The monument was named after Spanish–American War hero Admiral George Dewey. In 1901, President William McKinley visited San Francisco to break ground for the monument. Six months later McKinley was assassinated and was succeeded by his Theodore Roosevelt. On May 14, 1903, Roosevelt officially dedicated the monument, which "commemorates the victory of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines, on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War" and also is a tribute to the sailors of the US Navy.
Robert Ingersoll Aitken was hired to sculpt a 9-foot statue in honor of McKinley and Dewey. The statue holds a trident that represents Dewey and a wreath that represents McKinley. Aitken hired Alma de Bretteville Spreckels to model for the statue.
The statue stands on a square base with inscriptions on each side. They read:
"On the night of April 30, 1898 Commodore Dewey's squadron entered Manila Bay and, undaunted by the danger of submerged explosives, reached Manila at dawn of May 1, 1898. Attacked and destroyed the Spanish fleet of ten war ships. Reduced the forts and held the city in subjection until the arrival of troops from America."
"Erected by the citizens of San Francisco to commemorate the victory of the American Navy under Commodore George Dewey at Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. On May 23, 1901 the ground for this monument was broken by President William McKinley"
"Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Commodore George Dewey April 24, 1898: 'War has commenced between the United States and Spain. Proceed at once to the Philippine Islands and capture or destroy the Spanish fleet'"
"American squadron at Manila Bay: Olympia (flagship), Baltimore, Raleigh, Boston, Concord, Petrel, McColloch. On May 14, 1903 this monument was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt.