, the largest of the West India Islands
Early in the sixteenth century it was a conspicuous point of departure for discoverers, explorers, and conquerors of the American
The island was discovered by Columbus
on Oct. 28, 1492, when, it is believed, he entered a bay near Nuevitas, on the north coast.
He gave it the name of Juana, in honor of Prince Juan, or John, son of Isabella.
Other names were afterwards given to it, but that of the natives—Cuba—is retained.
It was very thickly populated by a docile and loving copper-colored race, who were rightfully called by themselves The Good.
When, in the winter of 1509-10, Ojeda
was sailing from Central America
to Santo Domingo
with some of his followers, his vessel was stranded on the southern shores of Cuba
He and his crew suffered dreadfully in the morasses, and more than half of them perished.
They feared the natives, to whose protection persecuted ones in Santo Domingo
had fled, but hunger compelled the Spaniards to seek for food among them.
These suffering Christians were treated most kindly by the pagans, and through their good offices Ojeda
was enabled to reach Jamaica
, then settled by his countrymen.
He had built a chapel in Cuba
, and over its altar-piece he placed a small Flemish painting of the Virgin, and taught the natives to worship her as the “Mother of God.”
, on reaching Santo Domingo
, told his countrymen of the abundance of precious metals in Cuba
, when Diego Velasquez
, appointed governor of Cuba
by Diego Columbus
, went with 300 men and made an easy conquest of it. The natives had kept Ojeda
's chapel swept clean, made votive offerings to the Virgin, composed couplets to her, and sung them with accompaniments of instrumental music as they danced in the surrounding groves, and tried to convince their pious conquerors that they were fellow-Christians, but in vain.
The conquerors made slaves of them, and so cruelly worked and treated them, men and women, in the fields and mines, that in less than fifty years only a few natives were left, and their places were partially supplied by negro slaves.
Cruelty was the rule with the conquerors.
found there a rich and potent cacique, who had fled from Hispaniola
to avoid slavery or death, and he condemned the fugitive to the flames.
When he was fastened to the stake, a Franciscan friar, laboring to convert him, promised him immediate admittance to the joys of heaven if he would embrace the Christian
faith, and threatened him with eternal torment if he should continue in his unbelief.
The cacique asked whether there were any Spaniards in that region of bliss, and being answered in the affirmative, replied, “I will not go to a place where I may meet one of that accursed race.”
was made captain-general of Cuba
in 1537, and from that island he sailed to make a conquest of Florida
From it Cordova
also sailed, and Grijalva
, when they went and discovered Mexico
; and from it Velasquez
to make a conquest of the empire of Montezuma
From the advent of the Spaniards in 1511 the natives began to suffer, and they were persecuted steadily till 1898.
During its early history the island changed hands several times, the Dutch
once owning it for a short time and England
conquering it in 1762, but restoring it to Spain
in return for Florida
In 1829 occurred the Black Eagle
rebellion, which was directed from the United States
, and only put down by Spain
after three years fighting.
In 1844 occurred the insurrection of the blacks.
At the end of this rebellion 700 Cubans were put to death by torture, and the people of
America became so aroused that President Polk
$100,000,000 for the island, but the offer was refused.
In 1868, after the Spanish Revolution
, another rebellion broke out on the island and lasted ten years. The revolutionists proclaimed a republic, and Spain
, after spending $200,000,000 and sending over 50,000 troops, finding that she could not conquer the patriots, sent over Gen. Martinez Campos
, who, by promises, induced the patriots to lay down their arms.
's promises were never fulfilled.
In December, 1894, a bill presented in the Spanish Cortes
, for the purpose of giving Cuba
a larger measure of control in its own affairs, was greatly opposed.
The government attempted to make a compromise by offering to appoint a council to consist of twelve members, including the highest church officials and the president of the high court, and permitting Cuba
to elect fifteen other members by popular vote.
It was proposed that this council should meet in Havana
, arrange the local budget, administer local and financial affairs, and direct a general supervision over the municipal government.
Before this compromise was arranged, however, there was so much local dissatisfaction, that Spain
proclaimed martial law over the island Feb. 24, 1895.
This action precipitated another
Murder and mutilation of the natives of Cuba by the Spaniards (from an old print).|
revolution in the eastern and western provinces, although Jose Marti
, its promoter, had been busy for several years previous secretly shipping arms to the island.
As soon as the rebellion began the republic was again proclaimed, and the old flag of 1868, a triangular blue union with a single star and five stripes, three red and two white, was adopted.
On Aug. 7, Gen. Bartolomo Masco
was made President
of the provisional government.
On Sept. 23
the revolutionists proclaimed the independence of Cuba
, established a permanent republican government, and adopted a constitution.
Salvadore Cisneros Betancourt
Captain-General's Palace, Havana.|
was proclaimed President
, Gen. Maximo Gomez
was made commander-in-chief, and Gen. Antonio Maceo
was made lieutenantgeneral.
The patriots were uniformly successful in the early engagements.
During 1895 Spain
sent 50,000 troops to the island.
On Feb. 5, 1896, a resolution recommending that the Cubans be recognized as belligerents was introduced in the United States Senate, and on Feb. 27, a similar one was presented to the House
On Feb. 28, the Senate resolution was adopted by a vote of 64 to 6.
This action aroused great indignation in Spain
, and led to riots throughout the country.
The resolution presented to the House
was adopted on March 2, by a vote of 263 to 17; but on March 4 the Senate refused to agree with the House
resolution, and sent it to a conference committee, whose report became the subject of an animated debate till it was returned to the conference by a unanimous vote on March 23.
accepted the Senate resolutions on March 26.
From the beginning of the rebellion the Cubans carried on a guerilla warfare, burning many small towns, and destroying much plantation property.
On March 14, 1896, the strength of the Cuban army was estimated in Havana
at about 43,000 men, but the revolutionists themselves claimed 60,000, two-thirds of whom were well mounted, and about half well armed.
During 1896 Spain
sent 80,00.0 more troops to the island.
In spite of this great force, however, only one province, that of Pinar del Rio
, remained in the hands of the Spanish
, the other five being either wholly or partly given up to the patriots.
was again sent to put down the rebellion, but as he failed to do so, Gen. Valeriano Weyler
, of Nicolau, was sent to supersede him in February, 1896.
Weylers course was one of extreme cruelty, and aroused the people of the United States
During the progress of the revolution that year relations between the United States
became daily more strained.
Many vessels left ports in the United States
loaded with arms for the Cubans.
One of the leading incidents of the war thus far was the death of the Cuban General Maceo
He was found dead Dec. 17, 1896.
The truth regarding his death may never be known, but the belief of the Cubans was that he was betrayed by his physician, who was afterwards loaded with honors by General Weyler
and sent to Spain
were imprisoned by the Spanish
during January, 1897.
Their release, or at least a speedy civil trial, was demanded by this country.
Spain at first refused to grant this, and it seemed for a time as if war was inevitable, but Spain
finally agreed to grant the men a trial, after which they were set free.
In February, 1897, a number of reforms for the island were proposed by the Spanish
government, and their general features were made public, but they did not meet with favor.
In October, 1897, General Weyler
was succeeded as governor-general by Marshal Blanco Y Arenas
(q. v.), who immediately began a more humane regime, granted many pardons, and undertook relief measures for the thousands of Weyler
reconcentrados who were starving in the interior.
So great did the distress become during that year that President McKinley
appointed a central Cuban relief committee to raise funds for the sufferers.
Later Clara Barton
, president of the American Red Cross Association, went to the island, with the consent of the Spanish
government, and supervised the distribution of needed supplies.
When Señor Sagasta became prime minister for Spain
, a new policy of dealing with the trouble in Cuba
He declared that autonomy under the suzerainty of Spain
would be given to the island.
Accordingly, when Marshal Blanco
arrived in Havana
, he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants announcing that he had been sent by the home government to begin reforms and to establish self-government.
The full text of the decree granting autonomy to both Cuba
and Porto Rico
was published in the Official gazette
, on Nov. 27, of which the following is a synopsis:
Article I: explains the principles of the future government of the two islands.
decrees that the government of each island shall be composed of an insular parliament, divided into two chambers, while a governor-general, representing the home government, will exercise in its name the supreme authority.
declares that the faculty of many laws on colonial affairs rests with the insular chambers and the governor-general
directs that the insular representation shall be composed of two corporations, with equal powers, a Chamber of Representatives and a Council of Administration.
Article V: provides that the Council of Administration shall consist of thirty-five members, of whom eighteen shall be elected and seventeen nominated by the home government.
provides that the members of the Council of Administration must be Spaniards, thirty-five years of age, who were born in the island or who have resided there continuously for four years. It specifies numerous officials, such as senators, presidents of courts and of chambers of commerce and other bodies, as eligible to election to the Council.
to XIV., inclusive, deal with nominations and the conditions of election to councils.
Article XV: empowers the throne or the governor-general
to convoke, suspend, or dissolve the Chambers
, with an obligation to reassemble them within three months.
Article XVI: and the following articles deal with the procedure of the Chambers
, and grant immunity to members.
Article XXIX: empowers the insular parliament to receive the governor's oath and make effective the responsibility of
the secretaries forming the governor's council.
When the secretaries are impeached by the Chambers
they are to be judged by the Council of Administration.
Negotiations for treaties of commerce are to be made by the home government, with the assistance of the secretaries of the island.
Article XXXIX: confers upon parliament the imposing of customs duties.
Article XL: deals with the commercial relations of the islands with the peninsula, and provides that no import or export tax may differentiate to the prejudice of the productions of either island or the peninsula.
A list will be formed of articles coming from Spain
direct, which will be granted favorable treatment in regard to similar articles coming from abroad, and the same will be done for productions of the islands entering Spain
, the differential duty in no case to exceed 35 per cent.
The remaining features of the decree explained the powers of the governorgeneral.
He was to have supreme command, be responsible for the preservation of order, have the power to nominate officials, was to publish and execute the laws and decrees, conventions, international treaties, etc., and the power of pardoning, suspending constitutional guarantees, and ordering a state of siege, should circumstances require it.
In accordance with these provisions Marshal Blanco
, on Dec. 29, issued a decree announcing the plans on which autonomy was to be established.
In this decree was also included a synopsis of the duties of the several officers of the proposed cabinet pending the assemblage of the Cuban legislature and the establishment by it of permanent duties.
The members of this first cabinet were sworn into office on Jan. 1, 1898, and immediately assumed charge of their offices with a view of getting the new system well under way by the time the legislature met. In the following month this new colonial government undertook to bring the insurrection to an end by offering the following proposition to the insurgents:
1. The volunteers will be dissolved and a Cuban militia formed.
2. The insurgent colonels and generals will be recognized.
will be called upon to pay only $100,000,000 out of the $600,000,000 indebtedness due for both wars.
will pay $2,000,000 a year for the crown list.
will make her own treaties without interference by the Madrid government.
6. Spanish products will have only a 10 per cent. margin of protection over similar products from other countries.
7. No exiles or deportations will be made, even in war time, to Spain
, or to penal settlements elsewhere.
8. Death sentences for rebellion shall be abolished.
9. Martial law cannot be ordered by the captain-general
without the assent of both the House
and the Senate, if those bodies are in session, or without the assent of a majority of the cabinet if they are not in session.
10. The Archbishop
of Santiago de Cuba
shall always be a native Cuban.
11. The actual insurgent party shall have three seats in the first cabinet.
12. An armistice of fifteen days will be granted for the discussion of the terms of peace.
All efforts failed to open negotiations with the insurgents, and the scheme of autonomy never materialized.
On Jan. 9, 1898, the first distribution of relief stores from the United States
for the starving Cubans
took place in Havana
During the same week riots occurred in that city which required the presence of regular troops.
On Jan. 25 the United States
entered the harbor on a friendly visit.
Her officers made the customary formal calls on the Spanish
authorities, who, in turn, were received with the prescribed honors aboard ship.
On Feb. 11, Captain Sigsbee
, of the Maine
, and Consul-General Lee
called officially on General Blanco
, who was absent from Havana
when the Maine
arrived, and on Feb. 12 a visit of courtesy was paid to President Galvez
, of the new Cuban cabinet, who soon returned it. All of these courtesies were marked by the warmest cordiality by both parties.
On the night of Feb. 15, the Maine
was suddenly blown up at the anchorage
designated for her by the Spanish
authorities on her arrival, with the result that two officers and 264 men perished.
Great excitement immediately ensued, and every effort was made to save the survivors.
In this work of relief the Spaniards bore a prompt and large share.
The officers, crews, and boats of the Spanish cruiser Alfonso XII
., and of the City of Washington
, the mail steamship plying between New York and Cuba
, both lying near; the Havana officials, police, military, firemen, clergy, and citizens generally, were indefatigably engaged in the work of succor.
The remains of all the victims recovered up to the 18th were laid in state in the city hall, and later were buried with marks of deepest feeling by the Spanish
authorities, who bore the expense.
The home and local Spanish governments sent condolences to the United States
, all assigning the great catastrophe to an accident.
A naval court of inquiry was at once appointed, which held its first session in Havana
, and subsequent ones there and in Key West
For the expenses of this inquiry Congress voted $200,000, and professional wreckers were put to work on the ship's hull.
After a few days rumors gained currency that the disaster had been deliberately planned, instead of having been an accident.
On Feb. 20, the Spanish cruiser Vizcaya
steamed into New York Harbor to return the visit of the Maine
, her commander being in ignorance of the disaster.
As soon as the captain learned of the fate of the Maine
he lowered his flags to half-mast, and expressed his sympathy.
During her brief stay in New York the Vizcaya
was under close protection by both the city and federal authorities, a step never taken before towards a warvessel of a friendly country.
The usual official visits were made, and when Captain Eulate
left for Havana
he expressed himself as highly gratified with his treatment.
On account of the great need of food, clothing, and medical supplies in Cuba
, President McKinley
ordered two naval vessels to carry to the island the articles collected in the United States
The government of Spain
suggested that merchant vessels would be more desirable for this work, and that it would be pleased if Consul-General Lee
were recalled; but neither of these intimations were heeded by the President
On March 8, a bill appropriating $50,000,000 for national defence was passed in the House
, and on March 9 in the Senate, neither house raising a dissenting vote.
The court of inquiry completed its investigation on March 21, and on the 28th President McKinley
transmitted the findings and evidence to Congress,
accompanying them with a special message.
The following is the text of the report:
United States ship Iowa
Key West, Fla.
, Monday, March 21, 1898
After full and mature consideration of all the testimony before it, the court finds as follows:
1. That the United States
arrived in the harbor of Havana, Cuba
, on the 25th of January, 1898, and was taken to Buoy No. 4
, in from 5 1/2 to 6 fathoms of water, by the regular government pilot.
The United States consul-general at Havana
had notified the authorities at that place, the previous evening, of the intended arrival of the Maine
2. The state of discipline on board the Maine
was excellent, and all orders and regulations in regard to the care and safety of the ship were strictly carried out.
All ammunition was stowed in accordance with prescribed instructions, and proper care was taken whenever ammunition was handled.
Nothing was stowed in any of the magazines or shell-rooms which was not permitted to be stowed there.
The magazines and shell-rooms were always locked after having been opened, and after the destruction of the Maine
the keys were found in their proper place, in the captain's cabin, everything having been reported secure that evening at 8 P. M.
The temperature of the magazine and shellrooms was taken daily and reported.
The only magazine which had an undue amount of heat was the after 10-inch magazine, and that did not explode at the time the Maine
Wreck of the Maine in Havana Harbor.|
The torpedo warheads were all stowed in the after part of the ship under the wardroom, and neither caused nor participated in the destruction of the Maine
The dry gun-cotton primers and detonators were stowed in the cabin aft, and remote from the scene of the explosion.
Waste was carefully looked after on the Maine
to obviate danger.
Special orders in regard to this had been given by the commanding officer
Varnishes, driers, alcohol, and other combustibles of this nature were stowed on or above the main deck, and could not have had anything to do with the destruction of the Maine
The medical stores were stored aft under the ward-room and remote from the scene of the explosion.
No dangerous stores of any kind were stowed below in any of the other storerooms.
The coal bunkers were inspected daily.
Of those bunkers adjacent to the forward magazine and shell-rooms, four were empty– namely, B 3, B 4, B 5, B 6.
A 15 had been in use that day, and A 16 was full of New River
This coal had been carefully inspected before receiving it on board.
The bunker in which it was stowed was accessible on three sides at all times and the fourth side at this time, on account of bunkers B 4 and B 6 being empty.
This bunker, A 16, had been inspected that day by the engineer officer
The fire-alarms in the bunkers were in working-order, and there had never been a case of spontaneous combustion of coal on board the Maine
The two after-boilers of the ship were in use at the time of the disaster, but for auxiliary purposes only, with a comparatively low pressure of steam, and being tended by a reliable watch.
These boilers could not have caused the explosion of the ship.
The four forward boilers have since been found by the divers and are in a fair condition.
On the night of the destruction of the Maine
everything had been reported secure
for the night at 8 P. M. by reliable persons through the proper authorities to the commanding officer
At the time the Maine
was destroyed the ship was quiet and therefore least liable to accident, caused by movements from those on board.
Projection showing position of bow and keel of the Maine.
1. dotted line shows part of keel not accessible for direct measurement.
2. line of break in bottom plating.
3. Bilge keel.
4. line of keel.
5. stem enters mud here, where a hole in the mud was found 7 feet deep and 15 feet in diameter.|
3. The destruction of the Maine
occurred at 9.40 P. M., on the 15th day of February, 1898, in the harbor of Havana, Cuba
, she being at the time moored to the same buoy to which she had been taken upon her arrival.
There were two explosions of a distinctly different character, with a very short but distinct interval between them, and the forward part of the ship was lifted to a marked degree at the time of the first explosion.
The first explosion was more in the nature of a report, like that of a gun, while the second explosion was more open, prolonged and of greater volume.
This second explosion was, in the opinion of the court, caused by a partial explosion of two or more of the forward magazines of the Maine
The evidence bearing upon this, being principally obtained from divers, did not enable the court to form a definite conclusion as to the condition of the wreck, although it was established that the after part of the ship was practically intact and sank in that condition a very few minutes after the destruction of the forward part.
4. The following facts in regard to the forward part of the ship are, however, established by the testimony: That portion of the port side of the protective deck which extends from about Frame 50 to about Frame 41 was blown up aft and over to port.
The main deck from about Frame 41 was blown up aft and slightly over to starboard, folding the forward part of the middle structure over and on top of the after part.
This was, in the opinion of the court, caused by the partial explosion of two or more of the forward magazines of the Mainte
At Frame 17 the outer shell of the warship from a point 11 1/2 feet from the middle line of the ship and 6 feet above the keel when in its normal position has been braced up so as to be now about 4 feet above the surface of the water; therefore, about 34 feet above where it would be had the ship sunk uninjured.
The outside bottom plating is bent into a reversed V-shape, the other wing of which, about 15 feet broad and 30 feet in length (from Frame 17 to Frame 25), is doubled back upon itself against the continuation of the same plating extending forward.
At Frame 18 the vertical keel is broken in two, and the fiat keel bent into an angle similar to the angle formed by the outside bottom plating.
This break is now about 6 feet below the surface of the water and about 30 feet above its normal position.
In the opinion of the court, this effect could have been produced only by the explosion of a mine situated under the bottom of the ship at about Frame 18 and somewhere on the port side of the ship.
6. The court finds that the loss of the Maine
on the occasion named was not in any respect due to fault or negligence on the part of any of the officers or members of the crew of said vessel.
7. In the opinion of the court, the Maine
was destroyed by the explosion of a submarine mine, which caused the partial explosion of two or more of her forward magazines.
8. The court has been unable to obtain evidence fixing the responsibility for the destruction of the Maine
upon any person or persons.
W. T. Sampson
, United States Navy, President
, United States Navy,
The court having finished the Inquiry it was ordered to make, adjourned at 11 A. M.,
to await the action of the convening authority.
W. T. Sampson
, United States Navy, President
, United States Navy, Judge-Advocate
flag-ship New York
, March 22, 1898
, off Key West, Fla.
The proceedings and findings of the court of inquiry in the above case are approved.
of the United States Naval Force on the North
When it became evident that the difference existing between Spain
and the United States
would lead to war the ambassadors of Great Britain
, and Austria
called upon President McKinley
in a body on April 7, 1898, in the interest of peace.
Sir Julian Pauncefote
, the British
ambassador, handed to the President
the following joint note:
The undersigned representatives of Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia, duly authorized in that behalf, address, in the name of their respective governments, a pressing appeal to the feelings of humanity and moderation of the President and of the American people in their existing differences with Spain.
They earnestly hope that further negotiations will lead to an agreement which, while securing the maintenance of peace, will afford all necessary guarantees for the re-establishment of order in Cuba.
The powers do not doubt that the humanitarian and purely disinterested character of this representation will be fully recognized and appreciated by the American nation.
's reply to the powers was:
The government of the United States recognizes the good will which has prompted the friendly communication of the representatives of Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia, as set forth in the address of your excellencies, and shares the hope therein expressed that the outcome of the situation in Cuba may be the maintenance of peace between the United States and Spain by affording the necessary guarantee for the re-establishment of order in the island, so terminating the chronic condition of disturbance there which so deeply injures the interests and menaces the tranquillity of the American nation by the character and consequences of the struggle thus kept up at our doors, besides shocking its sentiment of humanity.
The government of the United States appreciates the humanitarian and disinterested character of the communication now made, on behalf of the powers named, and for its part is confident that equal appreciation will be shown for its own earnest and unselfish endeavors to fulfil a duty to humanity by ending a situation, the indefinite prolongation of which has become insufferable.
's special message on the situation was sent to Congress on April 11.
It was a long document, reviewing the history of the revolution in Cuba
from 1895, giving many precedents bearing on the questions of recognition, intervention, and independence; and citing the reasons which he claimed justified the intervention of the United States
The message concluded as follows:
In view of these facts and of these considerations, I ask Congress to authorize and empower the President to take measures to secure a full and final termination of hostilities between the government of Spain and the people of Cuba, and to secure in the island the establishment of a stable government, capable of maintaining order and observing its international obligations, insuring peace and tranquillity and the security of its citizens, as well as our own, and to use the military and naval forces of the United States as may be necessary.
On April 13 the House
passed the following resolution by a vote of 322 to 19:
Whereas, the government of Spain for three years past has been waging war on the island of Cuba against a revolution by the inhabitants thereof, without making any substantial progress towards the suppression of said revolution, and has conducted the warfare in a manner contrary to the laws of nations, by methods inhuman and uncivilized, causing the death by starvation of more than 200,000 innocent non-combatants, the victims being for the most part helpless women and
children, inflicting intolerable injury to the commercial interests of the United States, involving the destruction of the lives and property of many of our citizens, entailing the expenditure of millions of money in patrolling our coasts and policing the high seas in order to maintain our neutrality; and,
Whereas, this long series of losses, injuries, and murders for which Spain is responsible has culminated in the destruction of the United States battle-ship Maine in the harbor of Havana and in the death of 266 of our seamen;
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the President is hereby authorized and directed to intervene at once to stop the war in Cuba, to the end and with the purpose of securing permanent peace and order there, establishing by the free action of the people thereof a stable and independent government of their own in the island of Cuba; and the President is hereby authorized and empowered to use the land and naval forces of the United States to execute the purpose of this resolution.
The Senate on the 16th passed the following resolutions by a vote of 67 to 21, the recognition amendment being adopted by a vote of 51 to 37:
Joint resolutions for the recognition of the independence of the people and republic of Cuba, demanding that the government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba, and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.
Whereas, the abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization, culminating, as they have, in the destruction of a United States battle-ship, with 266 of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of Havana, and cannot longer be endured, as has been set forth by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of April 11, 1898, upon which the action of Congress was invited; therefore,
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled,
1. That the people of the island of Cuba are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent, and that the government of the United States hereby recognizes the republic of Cuba as the true and lawful government of the island.
2. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the government of the United States does hereby demand, that the government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.
3. That the President of the United States be and he hereby is directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States to such extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect.
4. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island except for the pacification thereof; and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the island to its people.
In the resolutions of the House
was directed to intervene, which was the power he desired; but the resolutions of the Senate not only gave directions for intervention but for recognition.
The latter act was contrary to the President
Thereupon both Houses of Congress held an all-night session; their resolutions were sent to a conference committee; mutual concessions were made, and early on the morning of the 19th, the resolutions of the Senate, with the recognition clause stricken out, were adopted by a vote of 42 to 35 in the Senate and 310 to 6 in the House
The President sent the following message to Congress on the 25th:
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
I transmit to the Congress for its consideration and appropriate action copies of correspondence recently had with the representative of Spain in the United States, with the United States minister at Madrid, and, through the latter, with the government of Spain, showing the action taken under the joint resolution approved April 20, 1898, “ for the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.”
Upon communicating to the Spanish minister in Washington the demand which it became the duty of the executive to address to the government of Spain in obedience to said resolution, the minister asked for his passports and withdrew.
The United States minister at Madrid was in turn notified by the Spanish minister for foreign affairs that the withdrawal of the Spanish representative from the United States had terminated diplomatic relations between the two countries, and that all official communications between their respective representatives ceased therewith.
I commend to your special attention the note addressed to the United States minister at Madrid by the Spanish minister for foreign affairs on the 21st inst., whereby the foregoing notification was conveyed.
It will be perceived therefrom that the government of Spain, having cognizance of the joint resolution of the United States Congress, and in view of the things which the President is thereby required and authorized to do, responds by treating the reasonable demands of this government as measures of hostility, following with that instant and complete severance of relations by its action, which by the usage of nations accompanies an existent state of war between sovereign powers.
The position of Spain being thus made known, and the demands of the United States being denied, with a complete rupture of intercourse by the act of Spain, I have been constrained in exercise of the power and authority conferred upon me by the joint resolution aforesaid, to proclaim under date of April 22, 1898, a blockade of certain ports of the north coast of Cuba lying between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and of the port of Cienfuegos, on the south coast of Cuba, and, further, in exercise of my constitutional powers, and using the authority conferred upon me by the act of Congress, approved April 22, 1898, to issue my proclamation, dated April 23, 1898, calling for volunteers in order to carry into effect the said resolutions of April 20, 1898.
Copies of these proclamations are hereto appended.
In view of the measures so taken, and with a view to the adoption of such other measures as may be necessary to enable me to carry out the expressed will of the Congress of the United States in the premises, I now recommend to your honorable body the adoption of a joint resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the United States of America and the kingdom of Spain, and I urge speedy action thereon to the end that the definition of the international status of the United States as a belligerent power may be made known, and the assertion of all its rights and the maintenance of all its duties in the conduct of a public war may be assured.
In response to this, Congress immediately made a formal declaration of war in the following terms:
1. That war be, and the same is, hereby declared to exist, and that war has existed since the 21st day of April, A. D. 1898, including said day, between the United States of America and the kingdom of Spain.
2. That the President of the United States be and he is hereby directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States to such extent as may be necessary to carry this act into effect.
This was succeeded on the following day by the executive proclamation:
By the President of the United States of America.
Whereas, by an act of Congress,
approved April 25, 1898, it is declared that war exists, and that war has existed since the 21st day of April, A. D. 1898, including said day, between the United States of America and the kingdom of Spain; and,
Whereas, it being desirable that such war should be conducted upon principles in harmony with the present views of nations and sanctioned by recent practice, it has already been announced that the policy of this government will be not to resort to privateering, but to adhere to the rules of the declaration of Paris.
Now, therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power invested in me by the Constitution and the laws, do hereby declare and proclaim:
1. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods excepting contraband of war.
2. Neutral goods not contraband of war are not liable to confiscation under the enemy's flag.
3. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective.
4. Spanish merchant vessels in any port or places within the United States shall be allowed until May 21, 1898, inclusive, for loading their cargoes and departing from such ports or places, and such Spanish merchant vessels, if met at sea by any United States ship, shall be permitted to continue their voyage if on examination of their papers it shall appear that their cargoes were taken on board before the expiration of the above terms, provided that nothing herein contained shall apply to Spanish vessels having on board any officers in the military or naval service of the enemy, or any coal (except such as may be necessary for their voyage), or any other article prohibited or contraband of war, or any despatch of or to the Spanish government.
5. Any Spanish merchant vessel, which, prior to April 21, 1898, shall have sailed from any foreign port bound for any port or place in the United States shall be permitted to enter such port or place, and to discharge her cargo and afterwards forthwith to depart without molestation, and any such vessel, if met at sea by any United States ship, shall be permitted to continue her voyage to any port not blockaded.
6. The right of search is to be exercised with strict regard for the right of neutrals, and the voyages of mail steamers are not to be interfered with except on the clearest ground of suspicion of a violation of law in respect to contraband or blockade.
On April 22 Congress adopted a conference report on the volunteer army bill, under the authority of which the President
, on April 23, issued a call for 125,000 volunteers to serve for two years unless mustered out sooner.
On April 26 a similar report on a bill to reorganize the regular army, and increase its strength to 61,919 officers and men, was passed.
For a list of the principal operations in and around Cuba
during the war, see battles
On Aug. 9, 1898, proposals for peace, at the initiative of Spain
, were submitted to the President
by M. Jules Martin Cambon
(q. v.), the ambassador of France
On the 10th an agreement was negotiated between M. Cambon
and Secretary Day
, was accepted by the Spanish
government on the 11th, and proclaimed by the President
on the 12th.
The following articles in the agreement show the terms under which the United States
was willing to make peace:
Article I: Spain will relinquish all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.
Spain will cede to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and also an island in the Ladrones, to be selected by the United States.
The United States will occupy and hold the city, bay, and harbor of Manila, pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace, which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.
Spain will immediately evacuate Cuba, Porto Rico, and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and to this end each government will, within ten days after the signing of this protocol, appoint commissioners, and the commissioners so appointed shall, within thirty days after the signing of this protocol, meet at Havana for the purpose of arranging and carrying
out the details of the aforesaid evacuation of Cuba and the adjacent islands. . . .
Art. V. The United States and Spain will each appoint not more than five commissioners to treat of peace, and the commissioners so appointed shall meet at Paris not later than Oct. 1, 1898, and proceed to the negotiation and conclusion of a treaty of peace, which treaty shall be subject to ratification according to the respective constitutional forms of the two countries.
Upon the conclusion and signing of this protocol hostilities between the two countries shall be suspended, and notice to that effect shall be given as soon as possible by each government to the commanders of its military and naval forces.
Under Article IV., the following military commission was appointed for Cuba
: American, Maj.-Gen. James F. Wade
, Rear-Admiral William T. Sampson
, Maj.-Gen. Matthew C. Butler
; Spanish, Maj-Gen. Gonzales Parrado
, Rear-Admiral Pastor
y Landero, Marquis Montero.
Under the direction of these commissioners Cuba
was formally evacuated Jan. 1, 1899.
After the American
occupation Maj.-Gen. John R. Brooke
(q. v.) was appointed the first American military governor
He served as such till early in 1900, when he was succeeded by Maj.-Gen. Leonard Wood
, who had been in command of the district and city of Santiago
In September, an election was held for delegates to a constitutional convention, which was held in November following.
The following is the text of the proposed constitution, as submitted by the central committee to the constitutional convention sitting in Havana
, in January, 1901:
The Platt Amendment.
The following resolution was reported to the United States Senate by the committee on the relations with Cuba
on Feb. 25.
It was passed by the Senate Feb. 27, and by the House
on March 1: