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Forbes, a man prominent in the business and social circles of his time, made known to the Government his intimacy with General Prim, then Premier of Spain. He also communicated certain intimations that the Spanish potentate might not be averse to nee two countries should not be compromised. The Spanish temper was known to be hot and suspicious as well as arrogant, and Prim must manage his part of the affair with consummate delicacy. Forbes started for Europe, but was unable to restrain his he reached Madrid the story of the proposed sale of Cuba was noised abroad. This at first almost balked the enterprise. Prim was frightened for his hold on power; he had not yet prepared the minds of his countrymen for the abandonment of the FaithCuba, the United States to guarantee the purchase bonds, and the matter was under consideration by the United States when Prim was assassinated. I was repeatedly assured in Cuba that he had been shot because he contemplated the sale. Be that as it
ith England should have precedence. Nevertheless, a negotiation was begun under Sickles at Madrid that promised to accomplish the peaceful purchase of Cuba while Prim was Prime Minister of Spain. A document was forwarded by Sickles to the State Department—not as a part of the public archives, but for the confidential knowledge of the Government, in which Prim declared himself ready to treat for the sale of the Island to the Cubans, the United States to become security for the purchase bonds, and to take a mortgage on the Island in return. This, it was supposed by all concerned, would result in the transfer of Cuba to this country. Prim especially stipPrim especially stipulated with Sickles that his part in the agreement should not be made known during his lifetime; the proposition must seem to proceed from other sources; for he declared that not only his political position and influence, but his very life, would be endangered if the jealous Spaniards discovered prematurely that he was arranging f