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´╗┐Title: Cuba - Its Past, Present, and Future
Author: Hall, Arthur D.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cuba - Its Past, Present, and Future" ***

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[Illustration: book's cover]

[Illustration: map of Cuba]





[Illustration: colophon]








CHAPTER                                                         PAGE.

I.--Discovery and Early History                                     7

II.--The British Occupation--Spain's Gratitude                     19

III.--Cuba's Early Struggles for Liberty                           30

IV.--The Ten Years' War                                            43

V.--The Virginius Embroglio                                        59

VI.--Again Spain's Perfidy                                         67

VII.--Some Cuban Heroes                                            73

VIII.--Cuban Tactics                                               84

IX.--Weyler the Butcher                                            92

X.--The Crime of the Century                                      102

XI.--Two Methods of Warfare; The Spanish and the Cuban            110

XII.--The Butcher's Campaign                                      122

XIII.--America's Charity and Spain's Diplomacy                    132

XIV.--The Last Days of Peace                                      144

XV.--The Topography and Resources of Cuba                         154

XVI.--What Will the Future Be?                                    170




"The goodliest land that eye ever saw, the sweetest thing in the world."

Such was Columbus' opinion of Cuba, just after he first beheld it, and,
after the lapse of four hundred years, the words, making due allowance
for the hyperbole of enthusiasm, still hold good. And this, too, in
spite of all the trials and tribulations which the fair "Pearl of the
Antilles" has been forced to undergo at the hands of her greedy and
inhuman masters.

The eyes of all the world are now upon this indescribably beautiful and
fertile country. Like Andromeda, she has been shuddering and gasping in
the power of a monster, but at last a Perseus has come to her rescue.
Somewhat tardily perhaps the United States, united now in every meaning
of the word, has from pure philanthropy embraced her cause--the United
States whose watchword, with a sturdy hatred of the oppressor, has ever
been and always will be "freedom." The star of hope, symbolized by the
lone star upon the Cuban flag, and so long concealed by gloomy,
threatening clouds, is now shining clear and bright; and all
civilization is waiting with happy confidence for the day, God willing
not far distant, when "Cuba Libre" shall be not only an article of
creed, but an established fact.

The island of Cuba, the largest and richest of the West Indian Islands,
and up to the present the most important of Spain's colonial
possessions, not so vast as they once were but still of no
inconsiderable value, was discovered by Columbus during his first voyage
to the far west.

For many centuries, even back to the time of Solomon, the chief object
of explorers had been a discovery of a passage to India and the fabulous
wealth of the East. In the thirteenth century, Marco Polo, the famous
Venetian explorer, went far beyond any of his predecessors and succeeded
in reaching Pekin. He also heard of another empire which was called
Zipangri, the same that we now know as Japan. When he returned and
published what we are sorry to say was none too veracious an account,
Polo being only too ready to draw upon his imagination, other nations
were fired by emulation.

The Portuguese were the first to achieve any positive result. Early in
the fifteenth century, inspired by an able and enterprising sovereign,
they doubled Cape Non, discovered Madeira, occupied the Azores and
reached the Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. In 1486, Bartholomew
Diaz sighted the Cape of Good Hope, which some ten years later Vasco da
Gama, the most famous of all Portuguese explorers, rounded, and then
proceeded some distance toward India.

It was after hearing the wonderful tales of these explorers that
Columbus became inspired with the idea of sailing westward on the
unknown waters, expecting thus to reach India. After untold
discouragements, and finally by the generosity of Queen Isabella, who
was brought to believe in his conjectures, he set sail from Palos,
August 3, 1492, with three small vessels manned by about ninety sailors.
The following 12th of October he first sighted the western hemisphere,
which, however, he thought to be Asia, and by the way, lived and died in
that belief. This land was one of the Bahama Islands, called by the
natives Guanahani, but christened by Columbus as San Salvador. It is now
known as Cat Island.

The 28th of the same month Columbus discovered Cuba, entering the mouth
of a river in what he believed to be that "great land," of which he had
heard so much.

From the very beginning, it was as it has existed to the present
day--the Spaniards looked for gold and were determined to exploit their
new possessions to the very last peseta that could be wrung from them.

The island was first called Juana, in honor of Prince John, son of
Ferdinand and Isabella; but, after Ferdinand's death, it received the
name of Fernandina. Subsequently, it was designated, after Spain's
patron saint, Santiago, and still later Ave Maria, in honor of the

Finally it received its present name, the one originally bestowed upon
it by the natives. Cuba means "the place of gold," and Spain has
constantly kept this in mind, both theoretically and practically.

At first, however, the answers received in Cuba in reply to the
questions of her discoverers as to the existence of gold were not
satisfactory. It seemed as if this ne plus ultra to the Spaniards was to
be found in a neighboring and larger island, which has been known by the
various names of Hayti, Hispaniola and Santo Domingo. The prospect of
enrichment here was so inviting that the first settlement of Spain in
the New World was made in Hayti.

The aborigines seem to have made no resistance to the coming among them
of a new race of people. They were apparently peaceful and kindly,
dwelling in a state of happy tranquillity among themselves.

Their character is best demonstrated by an extract from a letter written
by Columbus to their Catholic majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella:

"The king having been informed of our misfortune expressed great grief
for our loss and immediately sent aboard all the people in the place in
many large canoes; we soon unloaded the ship of everything that was upon
deck, as the king gave us great assistance; he himself, with his
brothers and relations, took all possible care that everything should be
properly done, both aboard and on shore. And, from time to time, he sent
some of his relations weeping, to beg of me not to be dejected, for he
would give me all that he had. I can assure your highnesses that so much
care would not have been taken in securing our effects in any part of
Spain, as all our property was put together in one place near his
palace, until the houses which he wanted to prepare for the custody of
it were emptied. He immediately placed a guard of armed men, who watched
during the whole night, and those on shore lamented as if they had been
much interested in our loss. The people are so affectionate, so
tractable and so peaceable, that I swear to your highnesses that there
is not a better race of men nor a better country in the world. They love
their neighbor as themselves, their conversation is the sweetest and
mildest in the world, cheerful and always accompanied by a smile. And
although it is true that they go naked, yet your highnesses may be
assured that they have many very commendable customs; the king is served
with great state, and his behavior is so decent that it is pleasant to
see him, as it is likewise the wonderful memory which these people have,
and their desire of knowing everything which leads them to inquire into
its causes and effects."

Strange and far from pleasant reading this in the light of future
events. By so-called savages the invading Spaniards were treated with
the utmost kindness and courtesy, while many generations later the
descendants of these same Spaniards, on this same island, visited
nothing but cruelty and oppression upon those unfortunates who after all
were of their own flesh and blood.

As has been said, the first settlement of the Spaniards was made on the
island of Hayti. But the dreams of enormous revenue were not realized,
in spite of the fact that the natives were men, women and children
reduced to slavery, and all the work that was possible, without regard
to any of the dictates of humanity, was exacted from them. In spite of
the fact, did we say? No, rather because of it. For, owing to the
hardships inflicted upon them, the native population, which originally
was considerably over a million, was reduced to some fifty thousand, and
it was therefore impossible to extract from the earth the riches it
contained. Thus, does unbridled greed ever overleap itself.

After its discovery, Cuba was twice visited by Columbus, in April, 1494,
and again in 1502, but these visits do not seem to have been productive
of any particular results.

It was not until 1511 that the Spaniards thought it worth while to
colonize Cuba, and only then because they believed that they had
exhausted the resources of Hayti, in other words, that that particular
orange had been sucked dry.

Therefore they sent a band of three hundred men under Diego Velasquez,
who had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, to make a settlement
on the island.

Velasquez and his companions found the natives peaceful and happy, ruled
over by nine independent chiefs. They met with but little resistance,
and that little was easily overcome. Soon the weak and guileless Indians
were completely subjugated.

There was one instance which it is well worth while to relate here as
showing the Spanish character, which centuries have not changed, and
which is as cruel and bloodthirsty to-day as it was then.

There was one native chief, a refugee from Hayti, named Hatuey, who had
had previous dealings with the Spaniards, and knew what was to be
expected from them. He had strongly opposed their invasion, was
captured, and sentenced to be burned alive at the stake. As the flames
curled about him, a Franciscan monk held up a crucifix before him,
urging him to abjure the impotent gods of his ancestors and embrace

Hatuey, knowing well that his conversion would not save him from a
horrible death, and remembering all the atrocities he had seen
committed, asked where Heaven was and if there were many Spaniards

"A great many of then," answered the monk.

"Then," cried Hatuey, "I will not go to a place where I may meet one of
that accursed race. I prefer to go elsewhere."

Hatuey's death ended all rebellion, if struggling for one's rights can
be rebellion, and the iron hand of tyranny, whose grasp has never since
been relaxed, closed firmly upon the beautiful island.

Three hundred of the natives were given as slaves to each Spaniard, but,
as in Hayti, it was found that they were not strong enough for the
enormous tasks their masters would have imposed upon them. So negro
slaves were imported from the mother country, and their descendants
remained in the bonds of serfdom for centuries.

The first permanent settlement was made at Santiago de Cuba, on the
Southeastern coast, the scene of Admiral Sampson's recent brilliant
achievements, and this was for a long time the capital of the colony.
Then came Trinidad, and in 1515 a town was started called San Cristoval
de la Habana, which name was transferred four years later to the present
capital, the first named place being rechristened Batabana.

The natives were treated with the utmost cruelty, so cruelly, in fact,
that they were practically exterminated. Only a comparatively few years
after the settlement of the island there were scarcely any of them left.
The result of this short sighted policy on the part of Spain was that
agriculture declined to an enormous extent, and Cuba became virtually a
pastoral country.

In 1537, the king appointed as captain-general Hernando de Soto, the
picturesque adventurer, who was afterwards famous as the discoverer of
the Mississippi and for his romantic search for the fountain of eternal

All powers, both civil and military, were vested in the captain-general,
the title bestowed upon the governors, although many of them were

Shortly after this appointment, Havana was reduced to ashes by a French
privateer, and De Soto built for the city's protection the Castillo de
la Fuerza, a fortress which still exists. But this precaution proved
ineffectual, as in 1554, the city which had gained considerably in
importance, as it had now become the capital, was again attacked and
partially destroyed by the French. Two other fortresses were then
constructed, the Punta and the Morro.

The discovery of Mexico and other countries drew away from the island
the majority of its working population, and the government passed a law
imposing the penalty of death upon all who left it.

Spain also imposed the heaviest trade restrictions upon Cuba. It was
exploited in every direction for the benefit of the mother country and
to the exclusion of every one else. All foreigners, and even Spaniards
not natives of Castile, were prohibited from trading with the island or
settling in it.

The consequence was that the increase of population was slow, the
introduction of negroes, whose labor was most essential for prosperity,
was gradual, and the progress and growth of the island were almost

Moreover, Spain was ruler of the greater part of the Atlantic, and a
most despotic ruler she proved herself to be. Numerous tales are told of
the atrocities committed upon navigators, especially those of England.

When Cromwell, who caused many liberal ideas to be introduced into
England, tried to induce Spain to abolish the Inquisition and to allow
the free navigation of the Atlantic, the Spanish ambassador replied:

"For my master to relinquish those prerogatives would be the same as to
put out both his eyes."

One instance of Spain's cruelty, for which, however, she suffered a
well-merited retribution, may be related here. In 1564, a party of
French Huguenots settled in Florida near the mouth of the river St.
John. A certain Menendez, who was sailing under orders to "gibbet and
behead all Protestants in those regions," fell upon the colonists and
massacred all he could find. Some of the settlers, who happened to be
away at the time, shortly afterward fell into the hands of Menendez, who
hanged them all, placing this inscription above their heads: "Not as
Frenchmen, but as heretics." In 1567, however, a French expedition
surprised a body of Spaniards who had undertaken to found St. Augustine,
and in their turn hanged these settlers, "Not as Spaniards, but as

Hampered and oppressed as they were, deprived of a free and convenient
market for the produce of the soil by reason of the monopolies imposed
by the mother country, it is not strange that the Cubans had recourse to
smuggling, and this was especially the case after the British conquest
of Jamaica in 1655. So universal did the practice become, that when
Captain-General Valdez arrived, he found that nearly all the Havanese
were guilty of the crime of illicit trading, the punishment of which was
death. At the suggestion of Valdez, a ship was freighted with presents
for the king, and sent to Spain with a petition for pardon, which was
finally granted.

But the whole of Europe was against Spain in her arrogant assumption of
the suzerainty of the New World. Especially were her pretensions
condemned and resisted by the English, French, Portuguese and Dutch, all
of whom were engaged in colonizing different portions of America. Then
arose a body of men, who were productive of most important results.
These were known as buccaneers, and were practically a band of piratical
adventurers of different nationalities, united in their opposition to

Hayti, as has already been intimated, had been almost depopulated by the
oppressive colonial policy of Spain. The island had become the home of
immense herds of wild cattle, and it was the custom of the smugglers to
stop there to provision their ships.

The natives, which were still left, had learned to be skilled in
preserving the meat by means of fire and smoke, and they called their
kilns "boucans." The smugglers, besides obtaining what they desired for
their own use of this preserved meat, established an extensive illicit
trade in it. Hence, they obtained the name of buccaneers.

Spanish monopolies were the pest of every port in the New World, and
mariners of the western waters were filled with a detestation, quite
natural, of everything Spanish.

Gradually, the ranks of the buccaneers were recruited. They were given
assistance and encouragement, direct and indirect, by other nations,
even in some cases being furnished with letters-of-marque and reprisal
as privateers.

The commerce of Spain had been gradually dwindling since the defeat of
the so-called Invincible Armada, and the buccaneers commenced now to
seize the returning treasure ships and to plunder the seaboard cities of
Cuba and other Spanish possessions.

Even Havana itself was not spared by them.

The buccaneers, indefensible though many of their actions were, had a
great influence upon the power and colonial tactics of Spain.

Beyond this, they opened the eyes of the world to the rottenness of the
whole system of Spanish government and commerce in America, and
undoubtedly did much to build up the West Indian possessions of England,
France and Holland.

It is curious to note here the career of one of their most famous
leaders, an Englishman named Morgan. He was barbarous in the extreme and
returned from many expeditions laden with spoil. But, finally, he went
to Jamaica, turned respectable and was made deputy-governor of the
island. He died, by favor of Charles II., the "gallant" Sir Henry

But in 1697, the European powers generally condemned the buccaneers.

In spite of the lessons they had received, and the universal protest of
other nations, the Spaniards, obstinate then as ever, refused to change
their policy. They persisted in closing the magnificent harbors of Cuba
to the commerce of the rest of the world, and that, too, when Spain
could not begin to use the products of the island. Still she could not
and would not allow one bit of gold to slip from between her fingers.
She has always held on with eager greed to all that she could lay her
hands on. It is certainly food for the unrestrained laughter of gods and
men that she has recently been sneering at the United States as a nation
of traders and money grubbers.



In the early years of the eighteenth century, Cuba was more or less at
peace, that is so far as Spain, a degenerate mother of a far more
honorable daughter, would allow her to be at peace, and she increased in
population, and, to a certain extent, in material prosperity.

But in 1717, a revolt broke out, a revolt which was thoroughly

Spain felt that the agricultural wealth of the island was increasing,
and she desired for herself practically the whole of the advantages
which accrued from it.

Therefore, she demanded a royal monopoly of the tobacco trade. This
demand was strenuously and bitterly opposed by the Cubans.

The Captain-General, Raja, was obliged to flee, but finally the trouble
was ended, and Spain, by might far rather than by right, had her way.
The monopoly was established.

But the oppressive government led to another uprising in 1723, which
again was quickly quelled. Twelve of the leaders were hanged by Guazo,
who was at that time the captain-general.

Twice, therefore, did the one who was in the wrong conquer, simply from
the possession of superior force.

It is said that the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding
small. And in the light of recent events, this seems to be, and in fact,
so far as human intelligence can determine, it is true.

Richard Le Galliene, to-day, toward the end of the nineteenth century,
speaks in clarion tones, as follows:

    "Spain is an ancient dragon,
      That too long hath curled
    Its coils of blood and darkness
      About the new-born world.

    Think of the Inquisition
      Think of the Netherlands!
    Yea! think of all Spain's bloody deeds
      In many times and lands.

    And let no feeble pity
      Your sacred arms restrain;
    This is God's mighty moment
      To make an end of Spain."

About this time, that is, from 1724 to 1747, Cuba, chiefly, if not
almost entirely, at Havana, became a ship building centre, of course,
once more, at least for a time, to the advantage of Spain. In all, there
were constructed some one hundred and twenty-five vessels, carrying
amongst them four thousand guns. These ships comprised six ships of the
line, twenty-one of seventy to eighty guns each, twenty-six of fifty to
sixty guns, fourteen frigates of thirty to forty guns and fifty-eight
smaller vessels.

But then Spain became jealous--imagine a parent jealous of the success
of its child!--and the ship-building industry was peremptorily stopped.
During the present century, in Cuba only the machinery of one steamer,
the Saqua, has been constructed, and two ships, one a war steamer and
one a merchant steamer, have been built at Havana.

What a commentary on the dominating and destructive
policy--self-destructive policy, too--of Spain!

In 1739, there arose in England a popular excitement for a war against
Spain. One of the chief incidents which led to this was an episode which
caused Thomas Carlyle to call the strife that followed "The War of
Jenkins' Ear."

The English had persisted in maintaining a trade with Cuba in spite of
Spain's prohibition.

A certain Captain Jenkins, who was in command of an English merchantman,
was captured by a Spanish cruiser. His ship was subjected to search, and
he himself, according to his own declaration, put to the torture. The
Spaniards, however, could find little or nothing of which to convict
him, and, irritated at this they committed a most foolish act, a deed of
childish vengeance. They cut off one of his ears and told him to take it
back to England and show it to the king.

Jenkins preserved his mutilated ear in a bottle of spirits, and, in due
course of time, appeared himself before the House of Commons and
exhibited it to that body.

The excitement ensuing upon the proof of this outrage to a British
subject beggars description.

Walpole was at that time prime minister, and, although essentially a man
of peace, he found it impossible to stem the tide, and public sentiment
compelled him to declare war against Spain.

This war, however, was productive of but little result one way or the

But before long another struggle ensued, which was far more reaching in
its consequences.

In 1756, what is known in history as the Seven Years War, broke out.
This seems to have been a mere struggle for territory, and, besides a
duel between France and England, involved Austria, with its allies,
France, Russia and the German princes against the new kingdom of

This naturally led to an alliance between England and Prussia.

Towards the end of the war, early in 1762, hostilities were declared
against Spain.

An English fleet and army, under Lord Albemarle, were sent to Cuba. The
former consisted of more than two hundred vessels of all classes, and
the latter of fourteen thousand and forty-one men.

The opposing Spanish force numbered twenty-seven thousand six hundred
and ten men.

With the English, were a large number of Americans, some of whom figured
later more or less prominently in the war of the Revolution. Israel
Putnam, the hero of the breakneck ride at Horseneck, and General Lyman,
under whom Putnam eventually served, were among these, as was also
Lawrence Washington, a brother of "The Father of His Country."

By the way, the American loss in Cuba during this campaign was heavy.
Very few, either officers or men, ever returned home. Most of those who
were spared by the Spanish bullets succumbed to the rigors of the
tropical climate, to which they were unaccustomed and ill-prepared for.

May this experience of our forefathers in the last century not be
repeated in the persons of our brothers of the present!

The defense of Havana was excessively obstinate, and the Cuban
volunteers covered themselves with glory.

But, in spite of the superior force of the Spanish, the English were
finally successful.

Taking all things into consideration, it was a wonderful feat of arms,
one of which only the Anglo-Saxon race is capable.

Nevertheless, it was only after a prolonged struggle that the victory
was complete.

At last, on the 30th of July, Morro Castle surrendered, and about two
weeks afterward, the city of Havana capitulated.

The spoil divided among the captors amounted to about four million seven
hundred thousand dollars.

The English remained in possession of Cuba for something like six
mouths, and during that time instituted many important and far-reaching
reforms, so much so in fact that when the Spaniards regained possession,
they found it very difficult to re-establish their former restrictive
and tyrannous system.

For instance, the sanitary condition of Havana, which was atrocious even
in those comparatively primitive days of hygiene, was vastly improved.
All over the island, roads were opened. During the time of the English
occupation, over nine hundred loaded vessels entered the port of Havana,
more than in all the previous entries since the discovery.

The commerce of the island improved to a remarkable extent, and for the
first time the sugar industry began to be productive.

If the British had remained in possession of Cuba, it is probable that
that unhappy island would have been spared much of its misery and would
have been as contented, prosperous and loyal as Canada is to-day.

It really seemed as if an era of prosperity had begun, when by the
treaty of Paris, in February, 1763, most of the conquests made during
the Seven Years' War were restored to their original owners, and among
them unfortunately in the light of both past and future events, Cuba to
the misrule of the Spaniards.

England, however, was eminently the gainer by this treaty, as she
received from France all the territory formerly claimed by the latter
east of the Mississippi, together with Prince Edward's Island, Cape
Breton, St. Vincent, Dominica, Minorca and Tobago. In return for Cuba,
Spain ceded to England Florida, while the Spanish government received
Louisiana from France. On the other hand, Martinique, Guadeloupe,
Pondicherry and Goree were returned to France.

It was impossible for the Spanish to undo in a day all the good that the
English rule, short though it was, had accomplished.

Moreover, it was more than fortunate for Cuba that there followed not
long after two governors of more than ordinary ability and humanity,
both of whom had her interests at heart, and they caused a period of
unwonted prosperity, most grateful to the Cubans, to follow.

The first of these governors, or to give them their rightful title,
captain-generals, was Luis de Las Casas, who was appointed in 1790.

Now, for the first time in her history, Cuba really made rapid progress
in commercial prosperity as well as in public improvements. Las Casas
developed all branches of industry, allowed the establishment of
newspapers, and gave his aid to the patriotic societies.

He also introduced the culture of indigo, removed as far as his powers
permitted the old trammels, which an iniquitous system had placed upon
trade, and made noble efforts to bring about the emancipation of the
enslaved Indian natives.

His attitude toward the newly established republic of the United States
was most generous, and this helped largely to develop the industry of
the island.

By his judicious administration, the tranquillity of Cuba remained
undisturbed during the time of the rebellion in Hayti, and this in face
of the fact that strenuous efforts were made by the French, to form a
conspiracy and bring about an uprising among the free people of color in

Another thing that will redound forever to the credit of Las Casas and
which should make his memory beloved by all Americans--it was through
his efforts that the body of Columbus was removed from Hayti where it
had been entombed and deposited in its present resting-place in the
Cathedral of Havana.

In 1796, Las Casas was succeeded by another just and philanthropic
governor, the Count of Santa Clara. The latter greatly improved the
fortifications which then guarded the island and constructed a large
number of others, among them the Bateria de Santa Clara, just outside
Havana, and named in his honor.

It was undoubtedly due in a very great measure to the kindly policies of
these two noble and far seeing men that Cuba at that time became
confirmed in her allegiance to the mother country; and had they been
followed by men of equal calibre of both mind and heart, it is more than
probable that the history of Cuba would have been devoid of stirring
events. For, as the old saying has it: "Happy nations have no history."

In 1795 a number of French emigrants arrived from San Domingo, and
proved a valuable acquisition.

In 1802, a disastrous fire occurred in a suburb of Havana, called Jesu
Maria, and over eleven thousand four hundred people were rendered
destitute and homeless.

About this time, the star of Napoleon Bonaparte, the greatest of heroes
or the greatest of adventurers, according to the point of view, was in
the ascendant. Almost without exception there was not a country in
Europe that had not felt the weight of his heavy hand, and, to all
intents and purposes, he was the master of the continent.

Spain was by no means to escape his greed for conquest and power.

Her country was overrun and ravaged by his victorious armies. Her
reigning family was driven away. Napoleon deposed the descendant of a
long line of Bourbons, Ferdinand VII., and placed his own brother,
Joseph Bonaparte, upon the throne.

Then the attitude and the action of Cuba were superb. Her loyalty was
unwavering. Every member of the provincial council declared his fidelity
to the old dynasty, and took an oath to defend and preserve the island
for its legitimate sovereign.

More than this--the Cubans followed this declaration up by deeds, which
ever speak louder than mere words. They made numerous voluntary
subscriptions, they published vehement pamphlets, and they sent their
sons to fight and shed their blood for the agonized mother country.

For this, Cuba received the title of "The Ever Faithful Isle," by which
it has been known ever since.

A very pretty compliment truly! But let us see in what other and more
substantial ways was Cuba's magnificent fidelity rewarded.

The answer is as brief as it is true. In no way whatever.

Many promises were made at the time by the Provisional Government at
Seville, chief among them being that all Spanish subjects everywhere
should have equal rights. But not one of these promises was ever kept.

On the contrary, it was not long before the oppression became greater
than ever. There were deprivation of political, civil and religious
liberty, an exclusion of the islanders from all public offices, and a
heavy and iniquitous taxation to maintain the standing army and navy.

Clothed as they were with the powers of an Oriental despot, most of the
captain-generals from Spain covered themselves with infamy, the office
as a rule having been sought (and this was distinctly realized by the
Spanish government) only as an end and means to acquire a personal

To realize the practically absolute authority given to the
captain-generals, it is only necessary to read the royal decree
promulgated after Joseph Bonaparte had been deposed and the Bourbon
king, Ferdinand, restored to the throne.

A portion of this amazing document is as follows:

"His majesty, the king our Lord, desiring to obviate the inconveniences
that might, in extraordinary cases, result from a division of command,
and from the interferences and prerogatives of the respective officers:
for the important end of preserving in that precious island his
legitimate sovereign authority and the public tranquility, through
proper means, has resolved, in accordance with the opinion of his
council of ministers, to give to your excellency the fullest authority,
bestowing upon you all the powers which by the royal ordinances are
granted to the governors of besieged cities. In consequence of this his
majesty gives to your excellency the most ample and unbounded power, not
only to send away from the island any persons in office, whatever their
occupation, rank, class or condition, whose continuance therein your
excellency may deem injurious, or whose conduct, public or private, may
alarm you, replacing them with persons faithful to his majesty, and
deserving of all the confidence of your excellency; but also to suspend
the execution of any order whatsoever, or any general provision made
concerning any branch of the administration as your excellency may think
most suitable to the royal service."

For over one hundred and seventy years these orders have received little
or no change, and they still remain practically the supreme law of Cuba.

This was the way that magnanimous, grateful, chivalrous Spain began to
reward "The Ever Faithful Isle" for its unparalleled loyalty and

And Heaven save the mark! this was only the beginning.

"That precious island," says the royal decree. Precious! There was never
a truer word spoken. For Spain has always loved Cuba with a fanatical,
gloating passion, as the fox loves the goose, as Midas loved gold, and
as in the case of Midas, this love has eventually led to her



It was in 1813 that the Bonapartist regime came to an end in Spain, and
Ferdinand VII. reascended the throne. In the very beginning he paid no
attention to the Constitution; he dissolved the Cortes and did his best
to make his monarchy an absolute one.

Again, as has been said, Cuba felt the yoke of his despotism, all
previous promises, when the aid of the island was to his advantage,
being as completely ignored as if they had never been made.

In Spanish America, revolutionary movements had been begun some three
years before, and after stubborn warfare, Buenos Ayres, Venezuela and
Peru finally succeeded in obtaining complete independence from Spanish

From all these countries, swarms of Spanish loyalists made their way to
Cuba, and were ordered to be maintained at the expense of the island.

Spain also desired to make of Cuba a military station, whence she could
direct operations in her efforts to reconquer the new republic. This
plan was vehemently opposed by the Cubans.

Discontent rapidly fomented and increased throughout the island.
Numerous secret political societies were formed, and there arose two
great opposing factions, the one insisting that the liberal
constitution granted by the Provisional Government of Seville at the
time the Bourbon king was deposed should be the fundamental law of Cuba,
while the other proclaimed its partisanship of rigid colonial control.

In 1821, Hayti declared its independence of Spain, and in the same year
Florida passed into the possession of the United States.

Both these events increased the feeling of unrest and discontent in
Cuba, and this was further augmented by the establishment of a permanent
military commission, which took cognizance of even ordinary offenses,
but particularly of all offenses against disloyalty.

An attempt at revolution, the purpose being the establishment of a
republic, was made in 1823 by the "Soles de Bolivar" association. It was
arranged that uprisings should take place simultaneously in several of
the Cuban cities, but the plans became known to the government and the
intended revolution was nipped in the bud, all the leaders being
arrested and imprisoned the very day on which it had been arranged to
declare independence.

In 1826 Cuban refugees in Mexico and in some of the South American
republics planned an invasion of Cuba to be led by Simon Bolivar, the
great liberator of Colombia, but it came to nothing, owing to the
impossibility of securing adequate support both of men and money.

A year or two later these same men attempted another uprising in the
interests of greater privileges and freedom. A secret society, known as
the "Black Eagle" was organized, with headquarters at Mexico, but with a
branch office and recruiting stations in the United States.

This invasion, however, also proved abortive, owing chiefly to the
determined opposition displayed by the slave-holders both in the United
States and Cuba. The ringleaders were captured and severely punished by
the Spanish authorities.

The struggles for freedom had attracted the attention of the people of
the United States and were viewed by them with ever-increasing interest
and sympathy.

After the acquisition of Florida, the future of the island of Cuba
became of more or less importance to the people of the United States and
has remained so to the present day. As President Cleveland said in his
message of December, 1896: "It is so near to us as to be hardly
separated from our own territory." The truth of this is apparent when it
is remembered that the straits of Florida can be crossed by steamer in
five hours.

It began to be feared that Cuba might fall into the hands of England or
France and the governments of those countries as well as that of Spain
were informed that such a disposition of it would never be consented to.
Its position at the entrance of the gulf of Mexico could not be
disregarded. The American government declared its willingness that it
should remain a Spanish colony, but stated it would never permit it to
become the colony of another country.

In 1825 Spain made a proposition that, in consideration of certain
commercial concessions the United States should guarantee to her the
possession of Cuba; but this proposition was declined on the ground that
such a thing would be contrary to the established policy of the United

One of the most important consequences of Spain's efforts to regain
possession of the South American republics, the independence of which
had been recognized by the United States, was the formulation of what
has since been known as the "Monroe Doctrine." In his message of
December 2, 1823, President Monroe promulgated the policy of neither
entangling ourselves in the broils of Europe, nor suffering the powers
of the old world to interfere with the affairs of the new. He further
declared that any attempt on the part of the European powers "to extend
their system to any portion of this hemisphere" would be regarded by the
United States as "dangerous to our peace and safety," and would
accordingly be opposed.

Although since then there has been more or less friction with England
over the Monroe doctrine, at that time she greatly aided in its becoming
established as a feature of international law, and strengthened the
position of the United States, by her recognition of the South American

The Spanish slave code, by which the slave trade, which had formerly
been a monopoly, was made free, had given a great stimulus to the
importation of slaves. It was almost brought to an end, however, by the
energetic efforts of Captain-General Valdez. But the increased
consumption of sugar in Great Britain, owing to reduction of duty and
the placing of foreign and British sugars on the same basis gave a new
stimulus to the traffic; and, in their own pecuniary interest, ever more
prominent with them than any question of humanity, the Spanish relaxed
their efforts, and the slave trade attained greater dimensions than ever

In 1844 there occurred an uprising which was more serious than any which
had preceded it. The slaves on the sugar plantations in the neighborhood
of Matanzas were suspected of being about to revolt. There was no real
proof of this, and in order to obtain evidence a large number of slaves
were tortured. It was evident that Spain was still ready, if in her
opinion occasion required it, to have recourse to the barbarities of the
old Inquisitorial days. By evidence manufactured by such outrageous
methods, one thousand three hundred and forty-six persons were tried and
convicted, of whom seventy-eight were shot, and the others punished with
more or less severity. Of those declared guilty, fourteen were white,
one thousand two hundred and forty-two free colored persons, and
fifty-nine slaves.

The project of annexation to the United States was first mooted in 1848,
after the proclamation of the French republic. The people of the slave
States, in view of the increasing population and the anti-slavery
feeling of the North and West were beginning to feel alarmed as to the
safety of the "peculiar institution," and there was a strong sentiment
among them in favor of annexing Cuba and dividing it up into slave
states. President Polk, therefore, authorized the American minister at
Madrid to offer one hundred million dollars for Cuba; but the
proposition was rejected in the most peremptory manner. A similar
proposal was made ten years afterward in the Senate, but after a debate
it was withdrawn.

The next conspiracy, rebellion or revolution (it has been called by all
these names according to the point of view and the sympathies of those
speaking or writing of it) broke out in 1848. It was headed by Narciso
Lopez, who was a native of Venezuela, but who had served in the Spanish
army, and had attained therein the rank of major-general.

This was of considerable more importance than any of the outbreaks that
had preceded it.

The first attempt of Lopez at an insurrectionary movement was made in
the centre of the island. It proved to be unsuccessful, but Lopez, with
many of his adherents, managed to escape and reached New York, where
there were a large number of his sympathizers.

Lopez represented the majority of the Cuban population as dissatisfied
with Spanish rule, and eager for revolt and annexation to the United

In 1849, with a party small in numbers, he attempted to return to Cuba,
but the United States authorities prevented him accomplishing his

He was undaunted by failure, however, and the following year, he
succeeded in effecting another organization and sailed from New Orleans
on the steamer Pampero, with a force which has been variously estimated
at from three to six hundred men, the latter probably being nearer the

The second in command was W. S. Crittenden, a gallant young Kentuckian,
who was a graduate of West Point, and who had earned his title of
colonel in the Mexican war.

They landed at Morillo in the Vuelta Abajo. Here the forces were
divided; one hundred and thirty under Crittenden remained to guard the
supplies, while Lopez with the rest pushed on into the interior.

There had been no disguise in the United States as to the object of this
expedition. Details in regard to it had been freely and recklessly
published, and there is a lesson to be learned even from this
comparatively trivial attempt to obtain freedom as to a proper
censorship of the press in time of warfare.

The Spanish government was fully informed beforehand as to all the
little army's probable movements. The consequence was that Lopez was
surrounded and his whole force captured by the Spanish.

The expected uprising of the Cuban people, by the way, had not taken

Hearing no news of his superior officer, Crittenden at first made a
desperate attempt to escape by sea, but, being frustrated in this, he
took refuge in the woods.

At last he and his little force, now reduced to fifty men, were forced
to capitulate.

The United States Consul was asked to interfere in the case of
Crittenden, but refused to do so. It was said at the time that there
were two reasons for this: First, there was no doubt whatever as to the
nature of the expedition, and secondly, the consul, who does not appear
to have been particularly brave, was alarmed for his personal safety.

The trial, if trial it can be called, and condemnation followed with the
utmost, almost criminal, celerity.

In batches of six, Crittenden and his fifty brave surviving comrades
were shot beneath the walls of the fortress of Alara.

When the Spaniards ordered Crittenden, as was the custom, to kneel with
his back to the firing party, the heroic young Kentuckian responded:

"No! I will stand facing them! I kneel only to my God!"

It is stated that the bodies of the victims were mutilated in a horrible

There was no inconsiderable number of Cubans who sympathized with Lopez,
but, held as they were under a stern leash, they did not dare to
intercede for him.

He was garroted at Havana, being refused the honorable death of a
soldier. Some others of his comrades were shot, but most of them were
transported for life.

The sad fate of Crittenden aroused the greatest indignation and
bitterness in the United States, but the tenets of international law
forbade anything to be done in the case.

During the administration of President Pierce, there occurred an
incident which threatened at one time to lead to hostilities, and which
was one of the first of the many incidents that have embittered the
United States against Spain as regards its administration of Cuba.

This was the firing on the American steamer, Black Warrior, by a Spanish

The Black Warrior was a steamer owned in New York, and plying regularly
between that city and Mobile. It was her custom both on her outward and
homeward bound trips to touch always at Havana. The custom laws were
then very stringent, and she ought each time to have exhibited a
manifest of her cargo. But still this was totally unnecessary, as no
portion of her cargo was ever put off at Havana.

She was therefore entered and cleared under the technical term of "in
ballast." This was done nearly thirty times with full knowledge and
consent of the Spanish revenue officers; and, moreover the proceeding
was in accordance with a general order of the Cuban authorities.

But in February, 1850, the steamer was stopped and fired upon in the
harbor of Havana. The charge brought against her was that she had an
undeclared cargo on board. This cargo was confiscated, and a fine of
twice its value imposed. The commander of the vessel, Captain Bullock,
refused to pay the fine, and declared that the whole proceeding was
"violent, wrongful and in bad faith."

But, obtaining no redress, he hauled down his colors, and, carrying them
away with him, left the vessel as a Spanish capture. With his crew and
passengers, he made his way to New York, and reported the facts to the

The latter preferred a claim for indemnity of three hundred thousand
dollars. After a tedious delay of five years, this sum was paid, and so
the matter ended.

The affair of the Black Warrior was one of the cases that led to the
celebrated Ostend Conference.

This conference was held in 1854 at Ostend and Aix-la-Chapelle by
Messrs. Buchanan, Mason and Soule, United States ministers at London,
Paris and Madrid, and resulted in what is known as the Ostend manifesto.

The principal points of this manifesto were as follows:

"The United States ought if possible to purchase Cuba with as little
delay as possible.

"The probability is great that the government and Cortes of Spain will
prove willing to sell it because this would essentially promote the
highest and best interests of the Spanish people.

"The Union can never enjoy repose nor possess reliable securities as
long as Cuba is not embraced within its boundaries.

"The intercourse which its proximity to our coast begets and encourages
between them (the inhabitants of Cuba) and the citizens of the United
States has, in the progress of time, so united their interests and
blended their fortunes that they now look upon each other as if they
were one people and had but one destiny.

"The system of immigration and labor lately organized within the limits
of the island, and the tyranny and oppression which characterize its
immediate rulers, threaten an insurrection at every moment which may
result in direful consequences to the American people.

"Cuba has thus become to us an unceasing danger, and a permanent cause
for anxiety and alarm.

"Should Spain reject the present golden opportunity for developing her
resources and removing her financial embarrassments, it may never come

"Extreme oppression, it is now universally admitted, justifies any
people in endeavoring to free themselves from the yoke of their
oppressors. The sufferings which the corrupt, arbitrary and unrelenting
local administration necessarily entails upon the inhabitants of Cuba
cannot fail to stimulate and keep alive that spirit of resistance and
revolution against Spain which has of late years been so often
manifested. In this condition of affairs it is vain to expect that the
sympathies of the people of the United States will not be warmly
enlisted in favor of their oppressed neighbors.

"The United States has never acquired a foot of territory except by fair
purchase, or, as in the case of Texas, upon the free and voluntary
application of the people of that independent State, who desired to
blend their destinies with our own.

"It is certain that, should the Cubans themselves organize an
insurrection against the Spanish government, no human power could, in
our opinion, prevent the people and government of the United States from
taking part in such a civil war in support of their neighbors and

We have quoted thus largely from the Ostend manifesto, because it seems
to us, with one exception, to be so pertinent to the present status of

The one exception is: We no longer desire the annexation of Cuba. The
present war is a holy war. It has been entered into wholly and entirely
from motives of philanthropy, to give to a suffering and downtrodden
people the blessings of freedom which we ourselves enjoy.

Moreover, the manifesto clearly shows that the causes of Cuban uprising
are of no recent date; and that, before the United States rose in its
wrath, it was patient and long-suffering.

Although the Senate debated the questions raised by the manifesto for a
long time, nothing resulted from the deliberations.

Questions of extraordinary moment were arising in our own country, from
which terrible results were to ensue, and for the time being, indeed for
years to come, everything else sank into insignificance.

Meantime, the question of independence was still being agitated in Cuba.

General Jose de la Concha, in anticipation of a rising of the Creole
population threatened to turn the island into an African dependency. He
formed and drilled black troops, armed the native born Spaniards and
disarmed the Cubans. Everything was got in readiness for a desperate
defense. The Cuban junta in New York had enlisted a large body of men
and had made ready for an invasion. Under the circumstances, however,
the attempt was postponed. Pinto and Estrames, Cubans taken with arms in
their hands, were executed, while a hundred others were either condemned
to the galleys or deported. General de la Concha's foresight and
vigilance unquestionably prevented a revolution, and for his services he
was created Marquis of Havana.

Then ensued a period of comparative quiet, but the party of independence
was only awaiting an opportunity to strike.

Long before this, Spain had entered upon the downward path. "A whale
stranded upon the coast of Europe," some one designated her. She had
been accumulating a debt against her, a debt which can never be repaid.

And she has no one to blame for her wretched feeble, exhausted condition
but herself--her own obstinacy, selfishness and perversity.

Truly, Spain has changed but little, and that only in certain outward
aspects, since the time of Torquemada and the Inquisition. She is the
one nation of Europe that civilization does not seem to have reached.

The magnificent legacy left her by her famous son, Christopher Columbus,
has been gradually dissipated; the last beautiful jewel in the crown of
her colonial possessions, the "Pearl of the Antilles" is about to be
wrested from her.

Her case is indeed a pitiable one, and yet sympathy is arrested when we
remember that her reward to Columbus for his magnificent achievements
was to cover his reputation with obloquy and load his person with



For about fourteen years after 1854, the outbreaks in Cuba were
infrequent, and of little or no moment. To all intents and purposes, the
island was in a state of tranquility.

In September, 1868, a revolution broke out in the mother country, the
result of which was that Queen Isabella was deposed from the throne and
forced to flee the country.

This time Cuba did not proclaim her loyalty to the Bourbon dynasty, as
she had done some sixty years before. She had learned her lesson. She
knew now how Spanish sovereigns rewarded loyalty, and the fall of
Isabella, instead of inspiring the Cubans with sympathy, caused them to
rush into a revolution, an action which, paradoxical as it may seem, was
somewhat precipitate, although long contemplated.

All Cuba had been eagerly looking forward to the inauguration of
political reforms, or to an attempt to shake of the pressing yoke of
Spain. At first it was thought that the new government would ameliorate
the condition of Cuba, and so change affairs that the island might
remain contentedly connected with a country of which she had so long
formed a part.

But these hopes were soon dissipated, and the advanced party of Cuba at
once matured their plans for the liberation of the island from the
military despotism of Spain.

A declaration of Cuban independence was issued at Manzanillo in October,
1868, by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, a lawyer of Bayamo.

This declaration began as follows:

"As Spain has many a time promised us Cubans to respect our rights,
without having fulfilled her promises; as she continues to tax us
heavily, and by so doing is likely to destroy our wealth; as we are in
danger of losing our property, our lives and our honor under further
Spanish dominion, therefore, etc., etc."

Thus was inaugurated what was destined to prove the most protracted and
successful attempt at Cuban freedom, up to that time.

It is certain that the grievances of the islanders were many, and this
was even recognized to a certain extent in Spain itself.

In a speech delivered by one of the Cuban deputies to the Cortes in 1866
occurs this passage:

"I foresee a catastrophe near at hand, in case Spain persists in
remaining deaf to the just reclamations of the Cubans. Look at the old
colonies of the American continent. All have ended in conquering their
independence. Let Spain not forget the lesson; let the government be
just to the colonies that remain. Thus she will consolidate her dominion
over people who only aspire to be good sons of a worthy mother, but who
are not willing to live as slaves under the sceptre of a tyrant."

In 1868 the annual revenue exacted from Cuba by Spain was in the
neighborhood of twenty-six million dollars; and plans were in progress
by which even this great revenue was to be largely increased. Not one
penny of this was applied to Cuba's advantage. On the contrary, it was
expended in a manner which was simply maddening to the Cubans.

The officials of the island, be it understood, were invariably
Spaniards. The captain-general received a salary of fifty thousand
dollars a year; at this time, this sum was twice as much as that paid to
the President of the United States. The provincial governors obtained
twelve thousand dollars each, while the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba
and the Bishop of Havana were paid eighteen thousand dollars apiece. In
addition to these large salaries, there were perquisites which probably
amounted to as much again.

Even the lowest offices were filled by friends of Spanish politicians.
These officials had no sympathy with Cuba, and cared nothing for her
welfare, save in so far as they were enabled to fill their own pockets.

The stealing in the custom houses was enormous. It has been estimated at
over fifty per cent of the gross receipts. Every possible penny was
forced from the native planters under the guise of taxes and also by the
most flagrant blackmail.

By a system of differential duties, Spain still managed to retain a
monopoly of the trade to Cuba while the colonists were forced to pay the
highest possible rates for all they received from the mother country.

The rates of postage were absurdly outrageous. For instance there was an
extra charge for delivery. When a native Cuban received a prepaid letter
at his own door, he was obliged to pay thirty-seven and a half cents
additional postage.

The taxes on flour were so high that wheaten bread ceased to be an
article of ordinary diet. The annual consumption of bread in Spain was
four hundred pounds for each person, while in Cuba, it was only
fifty-three pounds, nine ounces. In fact, all the necessaries of life
were burdened with most iniquitous taxation.

Then again there was the interest on the national debt. While the
Spaniards paid three dollars and twenty-three cents per capita, six
dollars and thirty-nine cents, nearly double, was exacted from the

All these were the chief causes of the revolution which began in 1868,
and many of them still existed a few years ago and led to the last
revolution. By the way, there is but little chance but that it will
prove the last, bringing as its consequence, what has been struggled for
so long--the freedom of Cuba.

The standard of revolt in the Ten Years War, as has been stated, was
raised by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. He was well known as an able lawyer
and a wealthy planter. In the very beginning, he was unfortunately
forced to take action before he had intended to do so, by reason of news
of the projected outbreak reaching the authorities in Havana.

A letter carrier, who from his actions gave rise to suspicions, was
detained at Cespedes' sugar plantation, La Demajagua, and it was found
that he was the bearer of an order for the arrest of the conspirators.

With this information, immediate action became necessary. Cespedes
deemed it expedient to strike at once, and with only two hundred poorly
equipped men, he commenced the campaign at Yara.

This place was defended by a Spanish force too strong for the
insurgents. But Cespedes was not long in attracting to himself a most
respectable following.

At the end of a few weeks he found himself at the head of fifteen
thousand men. The little army, however, was anything but well provided
with arms and ammunition. Among them were many of Cespedes' former
slaves whom the general promptly liberated.

Attacks were made on Las Tunas, Cauto Embarcardero, Jiguana, La Guisa,
El Datil and Santa Rita, in almost every case victory remaining with the

On the 15th of October it was decided to attack Bayamo, an important
town of ten thousand inhabitants. On the 18th the town was captured. The
governor, with a small body of men, shut himself up in the fort, but a
few days after was forced to capitulate.

For the relief of Bayamo, a Spanish force under Colonel Quiros,
numbering, besides cavalry and artillery, about eight hundred infantry,
started out from Santiago de Cuba, but was defeated and driven back to
Santiago with heavy losses.

The Spanish general, Count Valmaseda, was sent from Havana into the
insurrectionary district, but was attacked and forced to return,
leaving his dead on the field.

Afterwards Valmaseda, who had increased his force to four thousand men,
marched on Bayamo. He received a severe check at Saladillo, but
eventually succeeded in crossing the Cauto. The Cubans saw the
hopelessness of defending the place against such superior numbers, and,
rather than have it fall into the hands of the enemy, burned the city.

In December, General Quesada, who afterward played a most prominent part
in the war, landed a cargo of arms and took command of the army at

Before the close of the year, Spain, realizing how desperate was to be
the struggle, had under arms nearly forty thousand troops which had been
sent from Europe, besides twelve thousand guerillas recruited on the
island and some forty thousand volunteers organized for the defense of
the cities. These latter were in many respects analogous to the National
Guard of the United States. They were raised from Spanish immigrants,
between whom and the native Cubans have always existed a bitter enmity
and jealousy.

In the spring of 1869, the revolutionists drew up a constitution, which
provided for a republican form of government, an elective president and
vice-president, a cabinet and a single legislative chamber. It also made
a declaration in favor of the immediate abolition of slavery. Cespedes
was elected president and Francisco Aquilero vice-president.

It is said that at the beginning of the war, before being driven to
reprisals, the Cubans behaved with all humanity. They took many Spanish
prisoners of war, but paroled them. On the other hand, the Cuban
prisoners were treated with the utmost treachery and cruelty. In all
parts of the island, no Cuban taken a prisoner of war was spared; to a
man they were shot on the spot as so many dogs.

Valmaseda, the Spanish general, in April, 1869, issued the following
proclamation, which speaks for itself:

"Inhabitants of the country! The re-enforcements of troops that I have
been waiting for have arrived; with them I shall give protection to the
good, and punish promptly those that still remain in rebellion against
the government of the metropolis.

"You know that I have pardoned those that have fought us with arms; that
your wives, mothers and sisters have found in me the unexpected
protection that you have refused them. You know, also, that many of
those I have pardoned have turned against us again.

"Before such ingratitude, such villainy, it is not possible for me to be
the man I have been; there is no longer a place for a falsified
neutrality; he that is not for me is against me, and that my soldiers
may know how to distinguish, you hear, the orders they carry:

1st. Every man, from the age of fifteen years, upward, found away from
his habitation and not proving a justified motive therefor, will be

2d. Every unoccupied habitation will be burned by the troops.

3d. Every habitation from which does not float a white flag, as a
signal that its occupants desire peace, will be reduced to ashes.

"Women that are not living at their own homes, or at the house of their
relatives, will collect in the town of Jiguana or Bayamo, where
maintenance will be provided. Those who do not present themselves will
be conducted forcibly."

The second paragraph was flagrantly untrue. Those who had fought against
the Spaniards had not been pardoned. On the contrary, they had been put
to death. Fearful atrocities had been committed in Havana and elsewhere.
To cite only a few instances: The shooting of men, women and children at
the Villanuesa Theatre, at the Louvre, and at the sack of Aldama's

Valmaseda's proclamation raised a storm of protest from all civilized
nations, and the Spaniards, stiff and unbending, never wavered, but the
policy embodied in Valmaseda's proclamation remained their tactics until
the end of the war.

The United States was especially roused and disgusted. Secretary Fish,
in a letter to Mr. Hale, then Minister to Spain, protested "against the
infamous proclamation of general, the Count of Valmaseda."

Even a Havanese paper is quoted as declaring that,

"Said proclamation does not even reach what is required by the
necessities of war in the most civilized nations."

The revolutionists were victorious in almost every engagement for the
first two years, although their losses were by no means inconsiderable.

It has even been acknowledged recently by a representative of Spain to
the United States that the greater and better part of the Cubans were in
sympathy with the insurrection. This opinion appeared in a statement
made by Senor De Lome (whose reputation among Americans is now somewhat
unsavory) in the New York Herald of February 23, 1896.

The Cubans were recognized as belligerents by Chili, Bolivia, Guatemala,
Peru, Columbia and Mexico.

There were two important expeditions of assistance sent to the Cubans in
the early part of the war. One was under the command of Rafael Quesada,
and, in addition to men, brought arms and ammunition, of which the
insurgents were sadly in need. The other was under General Thomas
Jordan, a West Point graduate and an ex-officer in the Confederate
service. By the way, the South, with its well-known chivalry, has always
evinced warm sympathy for the unfortunate Cubans. To their glory be it
spoken and remembered!

Quesada managed to reach the interior without resistance. But Jordan,
with only one hundred and seventy-five men, but carrying arms and
ammunition for two thousand six hundred men, besides several pieces of
artillery, was attacked at Camalito and again at El Ramon; he succeeded
in repulsing the enemy and reaching his destination.

Soon after, as General Quesada demanded extraordinary powers, he was
deposed by the Cuban congress, and General Jordan was appointed
commander-in-chief in his stead.

In August, 1870, the United States government offered to Spain their
good offices for a settlement of the strife. Mr. Fish, who was then
secretary of State, proposed terms for the cession of the island to the
Cubans, but the offer was declined. This is only one of the many times
when Spain, in her suicidal policy, has refused to listen to reason.

About this time the volunteers expelled General Dulce, and General de
Rodas was sent from Spain to replace him with a re-enforcement of thirty
thousand men.

General de Rodas, however, remained in command only about six months, he
in his turn being replaced by Valmaseda, again at the dictation of the

Speaking of these volunteers, who it will be remembered were recruited
from Spanish immigrants and who were peculiarly obnoxious to Cubans of
all classes, it will not be out of place to relate here an act of wanton
cruelty upon their part.

This took place in the autumn of 1871. One of the volunteers had died,
and his body had been placed in a public tomb in Havana. Later it was
discovered that the tomb had been defaced, by some inscription placed
upon it, no more, no less. Suspicion fell upon the students of the
university. The volunteers made a complaint and forty-three of the young
students were arrested and tried for the misdemeanor. An officer of the
regular Spanish army volunteered to defend them, and through his
efforts, they were acquitted.

This verdict did not satisfy the volunteers, however. They demanded and
obtained from the captain-general, who was a man of weak character, the
convening of another court-martial two-thirds of which was to be
composed of volunteers. Was there ever such a burlesque of justice? The
accusers and the judges were one and the same persons. Of course, there
could be but one result. All the prisoners were found guilty and
condemned, eight to be shot, and the others to imprisonment and hard

The day after the court-martial (?) fifteen hundred volunteers turned
out under arms and executed the eight boys.

This incident filled the whole of the United States with horror and
indignation. The action was censured by the Spanish Cortes, but the
matter ended there. No attempt whatever was made to punish the

The insurgents waged an active warfare until the spring of 1871. They
had at that time a force of about fifty thousand men, but they were
badly armed and poorly supplied with necessities of all sorts. The
resources of the Spaniards were infinitely greater. About this time the
Cuban soldiers who had been fighting in the district of Camaguey
signified a desire to surrender and cease the conflict, provided their
lives were spared. The proposition was accepted. Their commander,
General Agramonte refused to yield, and he was left with only about
thirty-five men who remained loyal to him. He formed a body of cavalry,
and continued fighting for some two years longer, when he was killed on
the field of battle.

In January, 1873, the Edinburg Review contained a very strong article on
the condition of affairs in Cuba, in the course of which it said:

"It is well known that Spain governs Cuba with an iron and blood-stained
hand. The former holds the latter deprived of political, civil and
religious liberty. Hence the unfortunate Cubans being illegally
prosecuted and sent into exile, or executed by military commissions in
time of peace; hence their being kept from public meeting, and forbidden
to speak or write on affairs of State; hence their remonstrances against
the evils that afflict them being looked on as the proceedings of
rebels, from the fact that they are bound to keep silence and obey;
hence the never-ending plague of hungry officials from Spain, to devour
the product of their industry and labor; hence their exclusion from
public stations, and want of opportunity to fit themselves for the art
of government; hence the restrictions to which public instruction with
them is subjected, in order to keep them so ignorant as not to be able
to know and enforce their rights in any shape or form whatever; hence
the navy and the standing army, which are kept in their country at an
enormous expenditure from their own wealth, to make them bend their
knees and submit their necks to the iron yoke that disgraces them; hence
the grinding taxation under which they labor, and which would make them
all perish in misery but for the marvelous fertility of their soil."

In July, 1873, Pieltain, then captain-general, sent an envoy to
President Cespedes to offer peace on condition that Cuba should remain
a state of the Spanish republic, but this offer was declined.

In December of the same year, Cespedes was deposed by the Cuban
Congress, and Salvador Cisneros elected in his place. The latter was a
scion of the old Spanish nobility who renounced his titles and had his
estates confiscated when he joined the revolution. He was and is
distinguished for his patriotism, intelligence and nobility of
character. It was his daughter, Evangelina Cisneros, who was rescued
from the horrors of a Spanish dungeon by Americans, and brought to the
United States.

After his retirement, Cespedes was found by the Spaniards, and put to
death, according to their usual policy: "Slay and spare not."

The war dragged on, being more a guerrilla warfare than anything else.
The losses were heavy on both sides. There is no data from which to
obtain the losses of the Cubans, but the records in the War Office at
Madrid show the total deaths in the Spanish land forces for the ten
years to have been over eighty thousand. Spain had sent to Cuba one
hundred and forty-five thousand men, and her best generals, but while
they kept the insurgents in check they were unable to subdue them. The
condition of the island was deplorable, her trade had greatly decreased
and her crops were ruined.

For years there had been a constant waste of men and money, with no
perceptible gain on either side.

By 1878, both parties were heartily weary of the struggle and ready to

General Martinez de Campos was then in command of the Spanish forces,
and he opened negotiations with the Cuban leader, Maximo Gomez, the same
who was destined later to attain even more prominence. Gomez listened to
what was proposed, and after certain deliberations, terms of peace were
concluded in February, 1878, by the treaty of El Zanjon.

This treaty guaranteed Cuba representation in the Spanish Cortes,
granted a free pardon to all who had taken part directly or indirectly,
in the revolution, and permitted all those who wished to do so to leave
the island.

At first glance these terms seem fair. But, as we shall see later, Spain
in this case as in all others was true to herself, that is, false to
every promise she made.



There was one event of the ten years' war which deserves to be treated
somewhat in detail, as the universal excitement in the United States
caused by the affair for a time appeared to make a war between the
United States and Spain inevitable. And the Cubans hoped that this
occurrence would lead to the immediate expulsion of the Spaniards from

The hopes thus raised, however, were doomed to meet with disappointment,
as the diplomatic negotiations opened between the United States and
Spain led to a peaceable settlement of the whole difficulty.

The trouble was this: On the 31st of October, 1873, the Virginius, a
ship sailing under the American flag, was captured on the high seas,
near Jamaica, by the Spanish steamer Tornado, on the ground that it
intended to land men and arms in Cuba for the insurgent army.

The Virginius was a steamer which was built in England during the civil
war, and was used as a blockade-runner. She was captured and brought to
the Washington Navy Yard. There she was sold at auction. The purchaser
was one John F. Patterson, who took an oath that he was a citizen of the
United States. On the 26th of September, 1870, the Virginius was
registered in the custom house of New York.

As all the requisites of the statute were fulfilled in her behalf, she
cleared in the usual way for Curacoa, and sailed early in September for
that port.

It was discovered a good many years after that Patterson was not the
real owner of the vessel, but that, as a matter of fact, the money for
her purchase had been furnished by Cuban sympathizers, and that she was
virtually controlled by them.

From the day of her clearance in New York, she certainly did not return
within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Nevertheless, she preserved her American papers, and whenever she
entered foreign ports, she made it a practice to put forth a claim to
American nationality, which claim was always recognized by the
authorities in those ports.

There is no evidence whatever to show that she committed any overt act,
or did anything that was contrary to international law.

She cleared from Kingston, Jamaica, on the 23rd of October, 1873, for
Costa Rica.

As President Grant said in his message to Congress, January 5th, 1874,
she was under the flag of the United States, and she would appear to
have had, as against all powers except the United States, the right to
fly that flag and to claim its protection as enjoyed by all regularly
documented vessels registered as part of our commercial marine.

Still quoting President Grant, no state of war existed conferring upon a
maritime power the right to molest and detain upon the high seas a
documented vessel, and it could not be pretended that the Virginius had
placed herself without the pale of all law by acts of piracy against the
human race. (And yet this very thing is what the Spaniards, without
rhyme or reason, did claim. Ever since they have been claiming what was
false, as for instance their reports of the victories (!) in the
American-Spanish war. By so doing they have made themselves the
laughing-stock of nations, for, although they never hesitate to lie,
they do not know how to lie with a semblance of truth, which might be,
far be it from us to say would be, a saving grace).

If the papers of the Virginius were irregular or fraudulent, and frankly
they probably were, the offense was one against the laws of the United
States, justifiable only in their tribunals. However, to return to
facts, on the morning of the 31st of October, the Virginius was seen
cruising near the coast of Cuba. She was chased by the Spanish
man-of-war Tornado, captured, and brought into the harbor of Santiago de
Cuba on the following day.

One hundred and fifty-five persons were on board, many of whom bore
Spanish names. This was made a great point of by the Spanish
authorities, although as a matter of fact it proved nothing.

This action was not only in violation of international law, but it was
in direct contravention of the provisions of the treaty of 1795.

Mr. E. G. Schmitt was at that time the American vice-consul at Santiago,
and he lost no time in demanding that he should be allowed to see the
prisoners, in order to obtain from them information which should enable
him to protect those who might be American citizens, and also whatever
rights the ship should chance to have.

Mr. Schmitt was treated with the utmost discourtesy by the authorities,
who practically told him that they would admit of no interference on his
part, and insisted that all on board the Virginius were pirates and
would be dealt with as such.

And indeed they were.

The Virginius was brought into Santiago late in the afternoon of the
first of November, and a court-martial was convened the next morning to
try the prisoners.

Within a week fifty-three men had received the semblance of a trial and
had been shot.

Meanwhile England, who even her worst enemies cannot deny, is always on
the side of humanity, intervened.

Reports of the barbarous proceedings had reached Jamaica, and H. M. S.
Niobe, under the command of Sir Lambton Lorraine, was dispatched to
Santiago with instructions to stop the massacre.

The Niobe arrived at Santiago on the eighth, and Lorraine threatened to
bombard the town unless the executions were immediately stopped.

This threat evidently frightened the bloodthirsty governor, for no more
shooting took place.

It was a noble act on the part of Sir Lambton Lorraine, and the American
public appreciated it. On his way home to England, he stopped in New
York. It was proposed to tender him a public reception, but this Sir
Lambton declined. But by way of telling what a "brick" he was
considered, a silver brick from Nevada was presented to him, upon the
face of which was inscribed: "Blood is thicker than water. Santiago de
Cuba, November, 1873. To Sir Lambton Lorraine, from the Comstock Mines,
Virginia City, Nevada, U. S. A."

President Grant, through General Daniel E. Sickles, who then represented
the United States at Madrid, directed that a demand should be made upon
Spain for the restoration of the Virginius, for the return of the
survivors to the protection of the United States, for a salute to the
flag, and for the punishment of the offending parties.

When the news of the massacre reached Washington, the Secretary of State
telegraphed Minister Sickles:

"Accounts have been received from Havana of the execution of the captain
and thirty-six of the crew and eighteen others. If true, General Sickles
will protest against the act as brutal and barbarous, and ample
reparation will be demanded."

Minister Sickles replied:

"President Castelar received these observations with his usual kindness,
and told me confidentially that at seven o'clock in the morning, as soon
as he read the telegram from Cuba, and without reference to any
international question, for that indeed had not occurred to him, he at
once sent a message to the captain-general, admonishing him that the
death penalty must not be imposed upon any non-combatant, without the
previous approval of the Cortes, nor upon any person taken in arms
against the government without the sanction of the executive."

About that time, a writer of some celebrity, who was also a war
correspondent, named Ralph Keeler, mysteriously disappeared. Although it
was never proven, there is little doubt but that he was assassinated by
the Spaniards.

Then, as now, there was an intense hatred in the Spanish breast against
every citizen of the United States.

As Murat Halstead expresses it, there seemed to be a blood madness in
the air.

Mr. Halstead, by the way, tells an anecdote of a madman, who seized a
rifle with sabre attached and assaulted a young man who had asked him an
innocent question. He knocked him down and stabbed him to death with a
bayonet, sticking it through him a score of times as he cried:

"Cable my country that I have killed a rebel!"

The murderer was adjudged insane. Further comment is unnecessary.

To return to the controversy over the Virginius between the United
States and Spain.

General Sickles, as he had been instructed, made a solemn protest
against the barbarities perpetrated at Santiago.

The Spanish Minister of State replied in a rather ill-humored way, and
amongst other things, he said that the protest of America was rejected
with serene energy.

This somewhat ridiculous expression gave General Sickles a chance to
rejoin, which he did, as follows:

"And if at last under the good auspices of Senor Carvajal, with the aid
of that serenity that is unmoved by slaughter, and that energy that
rejects the voice of humanity, which even the humblest may utter and the
most powerful cannot hush, this government is successful in restoring
order and peace and liberty where hitherto, and now, all is tumult and
conflict and despotism, the fame of the achievement, not confined to
Spain, will reach the continents beyond the seas and gladden the hearts
of millions who believe that the new world discovered by Columbus is the
home of freemen and not that of slaves."

About this time, Spain asked the good offices of England as an
intervener, but to his glory be it spoken and to the nation which he
represented, Lord Granville declined, "unless on the basis of ample
reparation made to the United States."

Spain continued to dilly-dally and evade the question of her

On the 25th of November Mr. Fish telegraphed to Minister Sickles:

"If no accommodation is reached by the close of to-morrow, leave. If a
proposition is submitted, you will refer it to Washington, and defer

This was just after Minister Sickles had informed the authorities at
Washington that Lord Granville regarded the reparation demanded as just
and moderate.

On the 26th, however, just as the American minister was preparing to
ask for his passports, close the legation and leave Spain, he received a
note from Senor Carvajal which conceded in part the demands of the
United States.

This proposition was virtually that the Virginius and the survivors
should be given up, but the salute was to be dispensed with, in case
Spain satisfied the United States within a certain time that the
Virginius had no right to carry the flag.

After considerable correspondence an arrangement was finally arrived at,
Spain further agreeing to proceed against those who had offended the
sovereignty of the United States, or who had violated their treaty

In his message, President Grant says:

"The surrender of the vessel and the survivors to the jurisdiction of
the tribunals of the United States was an admission of the principles
upon which our demand had been founded. I therefore had no hesitation in
agreeing to the arrangement which was moderate and just, and calculated
to cement the good relations which have so long existed between Spain
and the United States."

The following words, spoken by Secretary Fish to Admiral Polo, in an
interview during the progress of the negotiations, are worthy to be

"I decline to submit to arbitration the question of an indignity to the
flag. I am willing to submit all questions which are properly subjects
of reference."

On the 16th of December the Virginius, with the American flag flying,
was delivered to the United States at Bahia Honda.

The vessel was unseaworthy. Her engines were out of order and she was
leaking badly. On the passage to New York she encountered a severe
storm, and, in spite of the efforts of her officers and men, she sank
off Cape Fear. The survivors of the massacre were surrendered at
Santiago de Cuba on the 18th, and reached New York in safety.

About eighty thousand dollars were paid by Spain as compensation to the
families of the American and British victims who perished at Santiago.
But no punishment was ever visited upon the governor who ordered the
executions. There was a tremendous amount of feeling aroused in the
United States over the Virginius affair, and the government was severely
criticized and censured for not avenging the inhuman butcheries and the
insults to the flag.

But it must be remembered that the government had a very hard task to
deal with. There was little or no doubt but that the Virginius, at the
time of her capture was intended for an unlawful enterprise, in spite of
Captain Fry's words in a letter to his wife just before his execution:

"There is to be a fearful sacrifice of life from the Virginius, and, as
I think, a needless one, as the poor people are unconscious of crime and
even of their fate up to now. I hope God will forgive me, if I am to
blame for it."

The clamor of the American people for revenge was fiery in its
intensity, but the government did not yield to it, in which it was
right. There has been more than one time in our history when if public
opinion had been allowed to rule, the results would have been fatal;
and the very men who were most abused, in the light of future events,
have been praised for their wisdom and moderation.

Murat Halstead sums up the whole matter in a clear and just manner. He
says in his admirable book, "The Story of Cuba:"

"It is not, we must say, a correct use of words to say that the United
States was degraded by the Virginius incident. In proportion as nations
are great and dignified, they must at least obey their own laws and
treaties. When Grant was President of the United States and Castelar was
President of Spain, there was a reckless adventure and shocking
massacre, but we were not degraded because we did not indulge in a
policy of vengeance."



Before proceeding further, it is necessary to call attention to one very
important matter which was the direct result of the Ten Years' War. If
the insurgents accomplished nothing else, they may well be proud of this

Their own freedom they failed to obtain, but they were the cause of
freedom being bestowed upon others.

We refer to the manumission of the slaves.

The Spanish slave code, promulgated in 1789, is admitted everywhere to
have been very humane in its character. So much so that when Trinidad
came into the possession of the English, the anti-slavery party resisted
successfully the attempt of the planters of that island to have the
Spanish law replaced by the British.

Once again, however, were the words of Spain falsified by her deeds.
Spanish diplomacy up to the present day has only been another name for
lies. For, notwithstanding the mildness of the code, its provisions were
constantly and glaringly violated.

In 1840, a writer, who had personal knowledge of the affairs of Cuba,
declared that slavery in Cuba was more destructive to human life, more
pernicious to society, degrading to the slave and debasing to the
master, more fatal to health and happiness than in any other
slave-holding country on the face of the habitable globe.

It was in Cuba that the slaves were subjected to the coarsest fare and
the most exhausting and unremitting toil. A portion of their number was
even absolutely destroyed every year by the slow torture of overwork and
insufficient sleep and rest.

In 1792 the slave population of the island was estimated at eighty-four
thousand; in 1817, one hundred and seventy-nine thousand; in 1827, two
hundred and eighty-six thousand; in 1843, four hundred and thirty-six
thousand; in 1867, three hundred and seventy-nine thousand, five hundred
and twenty-three, and in 1873, five hundred thousand, or about one-third
of the entire population.

In 1870, two years after the beginning of the war, in which the colored
people, both free and slaves, took a prominent part, the Spanish
legislature passed an act, providing that every slave who had then
passed, or should thereafter pass, the age of sixty should be at once
free, and that all yet unborn children of slaves should also be free.
The latter, however, were to be maintained at the expense of the
proprietors up to their eighteenth year, and during that time to be kept
as apprentices at such work as was suitable to their age. Slavery was
absolutely abolished in Cuba in 1886. Spain was therefore the last
civilized country to cling to this vestige of barbarism, and she
probably would not have abandoned it then had she not been impelled to
by force and her self-interest.

After the treaty of El Zanjon, it was supposed by the Cubans, and
rightly too, had they been dealing with an honorable opponent and not a
trickster, that the condition of Cuba would be greatly improved.

The treaty, in the first place, guaranteed Cuba representation in the
Cortes in Madrid. This was kept to the letter, but the spirit was
abominably lacking.

The Peninsulars, that is, the Spaniards in Cuba, obtained complete
control of the polls, and, by unparalleled frauds, always managed to
elect a majority of the deputies. The deputies, purporting to come from
Cuba, might just as well have been appointed by the Spanish crown.

In other and plainer words, Cuba had no representation whatever in the

The cities of Cuba were hopelessly in debt and they were not able to
provide money for any municipal services.

There were no funds to keep up the schools, and in consequence they were

As for hospitals and asylums, they scarcely existed. There was only one
asylum for the insane in all the island, and that was wretchedly
managed. This asylum was in Havana. Elsewhere, the insane were confined
in the cells of jails.

The public debt of Spain was something enormous, and Cuba was forced to
pay a part of the interest on this which was out of all proportion.

Perez Castaneda spoke of this in the Spanish Cortes in the following

"The debt of Cuba was created in 1864 by a simple issue of three million
dollars, and it now amounts to the fabulous sum of one hundred and
seventy-five million dollars. What originated the Cuban debt? The wars
of Santo Domingo, of Peru and of Mexico. But are not these matters for
the Peninsula? Certainly they are matters for the whole of Spain. Why
must Cuba pay that debt?"

Again, Senor Robledo, in a debate at Madrid, after speaking of the
fearful abuses existent in the government of Havana, said:

"I do not intend to read the whole of the report; but I must put the
House in possession of one fact. To what do these defalcations amount?
They amount to twenty-two million, eight hundred and eleven thousand,
five hundred and sixteen dollars. Did not the government know this? What
has been done?"

In 1895 it was alleged that the custom house frauds in Cuba, since the
end of the Ten Years War, amounted to over one hundred millions of
dollars. It is enough to make one hold one's breath in horror. And,
remember well, there was absolutely no redress for the suffering Cubans
by peaceful means.

One more quotation. Rafael de Eslara of Havana, when speaking of the
misery of the island, thus summed up the situation:

"Granted the correctness of the points which I have just presented, it
seems to be self-evident that a curse is pressing upon Cuba, condemning
her to witness her own disintegration, and converting her into a prey
for the operation of those swarms of vampires that are so cruelly
devouring us, deaf to the voice of conscience, if they have any; it
will not be rash to venture the assertion that Cuba is undone; there is
no salvation possible."

Taxation on all sides was enormous, the two chief products of the
island, sugar and tobacco, suffering the most. While other countries
gave encouragement to their colonies, Spain did everything she could to
discourage her well-beloved "Ever Faithful Isle."

The Cuban planter had to struggle along with a heavy tax on his crop, an
enormous duty on his machinery, and an additional duty at the port of

America once rose in wrath against unjust taxation, but her grievances
were as nothing in comparison with those of--we had almost written--her
sister republic. May the inadvertency prove a prophecy!

To show how the products of Cuba, under this ghastly extortion have
declined, we make the following statement, based on the most reliable

In 1880 Cuba furnished twenty-five per cent. of all the sugar of the
world. In 1895 this had declined to ten and a half per cent. In 1889,
the export of cigars rated at forty dollars per one thousand amounted to
ten millions, nineteen thousand and forty dollars. In 1894 it was five
millions, three hundred and sixty-eight thousand, four hundred dollars,
a loss of nearly one-half in five years.

Then besides all this, Cuba had to pay the high salaries of the horde of
Spanish officials, nothing of which accrued to her advantage.

There can be no doubt but that the treaty of El Zanjon was a cheat, and
its administration a gigantic scandal.

Can any fair-minded person think then that the Cubans were wrong, when
driven to the wall, oppressed beyond measure, goaded to madness by an
inhuman master, they broke out once again into open revolt, determined
this time to fight to the death or to obtain their freedom?



Although the natural resources of Cuba are remarkable, as will be
demonstrated later, and more than sufficient for all her people, a large
number of Cubans have, either of their own free will or by force become

Besides over forty thousand in the United States, there are a large
number in the islands under British control, as well as throughout the
West Indies and in the South American republics.

It is perfectly natural that these exiles should feel the deepest
interest in their native land, and although Spain has complained
frequently of being menaced from beyond her borders, what else could she
expect after the way in which she treated these exiled sons of hers?
Besides she has had no just cause for grievance, as the right for
foreign countries to furnish asylums to political offenders has been
recognized from time immemorial, and, unless some overt act be
committed, there can be no responsibility on the part of such foreign

Enough perhaps has been said to show that the Cubans had every reason to
once again rise in revolt, but in order that there may be no doubt as to
the justice of their cause, let us recapitulate:

Spain has invariably drawn from the island all that could be squeezed
out of it.

In spite of her protests she has never done anything for Cuba, all her
aim being to replenish her own exhausted treasury and to enrich the
functionaries of the Spanish government.

While Cuba is a producing country, she has been refused the right to
dispose of her produce to other countries except at ruinous rates, in
spite of the fact that Spain herself could not begin to consume all that
Cuba had to offer. The market of the island, by the way, from the very
nature of things, is the United States, and not Spain.

The rules which limit importation have been most rigid. For instance,
American flour cannot enter Cuba free of duty, while it enters as a free
product into Spain.

Spain has governed Cuba with a most arbitrary hand. The island has had
nothing whatever to say as to the management of its own affairs.

The Cubans have purposely been kept in a state of ignorance, the system
of education amounting practically to nothing.

The Spaniards have never kept one promise made, but after each promise
have increased their oppression and tyranny.

In 1894 Senor Sagasta laid before the Cortes a project for reform in
Cuba; but the sense of this project was confused in the extreme; there
was little hope that a reform planned with such little method could meet
with any degree of successful realization. In fact there was little or
no possibility that the abuses under which the island groaned would be

At last patience ceased to be a virtue. The present rising in Cuba was
begun toward the close of 1894. The leader was Jose Marti, a poet and
orator, who was then in New York. He at the outset, was the very soul of
the revolutionary movement, and he held in his hands the threads of the

He was a man of charming and captivating personality, strong in his own
convictions and devoted body, heart and soul to the interests of his

He was the son of a Spanish colonel and when quite young was condemned,
for what reason has never been known, to ten years imprisonment in
Havana. Afterwards, he was sentenced to the galleys for life.

When the amnesty was declared, after the Ten Years War, he was given
back his freedom, but his resentment still continued and he vowed his
life to obtaining the liberty of Cuba.

He went first to Central America, and afterwards took up his residence
in the United States.

Everywhere he preached what he considered a holy war. Here and there he
gathered together contributions, which he sent to Cuba for the secret
purchase of arms and ammunition. He met with many rebuffs and
disappointments, but not for one moment did he doubt the justice of his
cause or its ultimate success. He was not a visionary man, but there
were those even among the ones he had won over by his impassioned words
who looked upon him as the victim of hallucinations. That this was not
true, the events of the past few years have fully proven.

Marti organized his first expedition in New York, and set sail for Cuba
with three vessels, the Lagonda, the Amadis and the Baracoa, containing
men and war materials. This expedition was stopped, however, by the
United States authorities.

Later, Marti joined Gomez, Cromlet, Cebreco and the Maceo brothers, all
of whom had fought in the Ten Years War, at Santo Domingo, which was
Gomez' home.

Some description of these men, all of whom have done magnificent work
for the freedom of their country, may not be out of place.

Maximo Gomez is about seventy-five years of age, and he may perhaps be
termed the "Washington" of the fight for liberty. It will be remembered
that he was a leader in the Ten Years War. He is a man of excellent
judgment, and, in spite of his years, of marvelous mental and physical
activity. No better man could the insurgents have selected as their

Flor Cromlet was a guerilla of unquestioned valor, who lost his life
early in the campaign, but his name will live in the annals of free and
independent Cuba. His mother was a mulatto, but his father was a

The Maceo brothers have been particularly distinguished. They were born
of colored parents, and were of the type of the mulatto. Both were men
of indomitable courage. Antonio Maceo was born at Santiago de Cuba in
1848. At the beginning of the Ten Years War, he was a mule driver, and
could neither read nor write. He was one of the first to enlist in the
Cuban army, and soon showed his courage and intelligence. He was
rapidly promoted to superior rank and became a terror to the Spanish
army. Their one idea seemed to be to capture him, but apparently he
possessed a charmed life. During his leisure moments, which it can be
imagined were but few, he managed to learn to read and write. He was one
of the last combatants to lay down his arms in the former war, and then
only because he saw that further struggle would only end in loss of life
without the winning of liberty.

He was exiled and then travelled through America, studying constantly
and ever endeavoring to improve himself. Here was a poor, obscure,
descendant of slaves who by sheer perseverance, of course coupled with
natural ability, afterward held the armies of a great nation at bay.

Antonio Maceo was killed in Havana province in 1896, probably through
the treachery of one of his followers, and his brother died, but not
until both had accomplished wonderful deeds of valor. It is a pity that
they could not have lived to see the results of their unselfish

Another mulatto who has won fame in the cause of "Free Cuba" is Augustin

The "Marion of Cuba," as he was called, Nestor Aranguren, must not be
forgotten. He was at the head of a little band of men, all members of
the best Havana families and graduates of the university. He was very
much like the "Swamp Fox" of our Revolution in the way he would
undertake some daring raid, and then retreat into the long grass of the
Manigua to rest his tired horses and recruit his men. One of his most
famous exploits was the capture of a train at the very gates of Havana.
Aranguren treated his captives most kindly, with one exception, and in
this he was justified. A man named Barrios had often informed against
the insurgents, and he was condemned to death. Of him, Aranguren said:
"That Cuban must die. I must rid my country of such an unnatural son.
Thank God, there are few such traitors!"

The rest were allowed to go free.

To one of the Spaniards who were on the train, Aranguren said:

"If Spain should grant a generous and liberal autonomy, peace is not
only possible, but probable; but, if she should persevere in her false
colors, she will not regain control of this island, until every true
soldier of Cuba is dead, and that will take a long time."

The ill-fated Aranguren died at the age of twenty-four.

It was not until May, 1895, that Marti and the other leaders thought it
wise to go to Cuba. When they reached there, they found that the
insurgents had already commenced the rebellion and had even gained some

At first the Spanish authorities looked upon the insurrection as a
trivial matter, nothing more serious than a negro riot.

They believed that it would be speedily suppressed as Spain had then in
the island an army of nineteen thousand men, besides the fifty thousand
volunteers, who could be called on in case of need. But, to make all
sure, seven thousand more soldiers were sent over from Spain.

In addition to this, many men, who afterward were among the leaders of
the insurgent party expressed their unqualified disapproval of the
movement. And in this, they were undoubtedly sincere, as they had not
the slightest idea that it could succeed.

The general lack of sympathy and the universal criticism that met the
little band of revolutionists unquestionably contributed much toward the
relaxation of the vigilance of the government.

But the government was soon to be undeceived. The insurrection became a
very serious matter indeed. The insurgents pursued very much the same
tactics that they had followed in the Ten Years War, that is, they would
seldom risk an open battle, and the Spaniards could gain but little
ground against the guerilla methods of their opponents.

The Cubans were very badly equipped; in fact they had scarcely any war
material whatever. They began by appropriating indiscriminately any fire
arms wherever they could find them, from the repeating rifle to the shot
gun with the ramrod. Many of them were armed only with revolvers, and
the majority of them had simply the "machete," a knife about nineteen
inches in length.

Recruits constantly came to their ranks, however, and it was not long
before they numbered over six thousand.

A political crisis now took place in Spain, and the conservative party
came into power. Premier Canovas then appointed as governor-general of
Cuba, Martinez Campos, who had been so successful, by diplomacy rather
than by anything else, in ending the Ten Years War.

He landed at Guantanamo, and before visiting Havana, he issued the most
elaborate instructions to every department of the military service,
which now had been largely reinforced.

In the early part of the war, a great misfortune befell the Cubans, and
that was in the loss of their beloved leader, Jose Marti.

On the 18th of May, a part of the insurgent army camped upon the plains
of Dos Rios, where they learned that the enemy was in the neighborhood,
in safety, protected by a fort.

The insurgents numbered about seven hundred cavalrymen, under the
command of Marti and Gomez.

The next morning they came upon the Spanish outpost. Gomez, who has
always shown himself to be a prudent general, thought it would be wiser
not to risk a battle, but to continue their route, as the object of the
expedition was not skirmishing, but to attempt to penetrate into the
Province of Puerto Principe.

But Jose Marti, in his fiery enthusiasm longed to fall upon the enemy;
he declared that not to do so would be dishonor. Gomez yielded.

Marti was mounted upon a very spirited horse. He was told that it was
unmanageable, but he would not listen to reason. Crying, "Come on, my
children!" and "Viva Cuba Libre," he dashed upon the Spanish, followed
by his men.

Before this onslaught, the Spaniards retreated, but in good order. Gomez
cried to his troops to rally, but Marti, dragged on by his horse which
he was unable to control, disappeared among the ranks of the enemy. He
received a bullet above the left eye, another in the throat, and several
bayonet thrusts in the body.

Led by Gomez, who was heart broken at the fate of his old companion and
friend, the insurgents charged upon the Spaniards, but it was of no
avail. The latter retained possession of the corpse of the gallant
soldier, whose only fault was a too reckless bravery.

And now it is a pleasure to be able to recount one noble act on the part
of the Spaniards, perhaps the only one in the whole course of the war.

General Campos, who was a just and honorable man, ordered the body of
the illustrious patriot to receive decent burial, and one of the Spanish
officers even pronounced a sort of eulogy over the remains.

There was a report that Gomez had also been killed, but this was a
mistake. About a mouth afterward he crossed the trocha and entered the
province of Puerto Principe, more commonly known as the Camaguey.

The trocha, by the way, was an invention of Campos in the preceding war,
and was found to be of great value. It was practically a line of forts
extending across the island between the provinces of Puerto Principe and
Santa Clara, and it was intended that the insurgents should not be
allowed to cross this line. Other trochas were afterwards erected, but
they have not proved of any extraordinary advantage in the present

An assembly, composed of representatives of all the bands that were
under arms, met and elected the officers of the revolutionary

Salvador Cisneros, otherwise known as the Marquis of Santa Lucia, was
elected president, the same office he had filled during the Ten Years

The other officers were:

Vice-President, Bartolomeo Maso.

Secretary of State, Rafael Portuondo y Tamayo.

Secretary of War, Carlos Roloff.

Secretary of the Treasury, Severo Pina.

General-in-Chief, Maximo Gomez.

Lieutenant-General, Antonio Maceo.

Afterwards, at another election, as officers, according to the Cuban
constitution, only serve two years, there were replaced by the

President, Bartolomeo Maso. Vice-President, Mendez Capote.

Secretary of State, Andres Moreno de la Torres.

Secretary of War, Jose B. Alemon.

Secretary of the Treasury, Ernesto Fons Sterling.

Maximo Gomez still remained general-in-chief.

Gomez and Campos were now pitted once more against each other, as they
had been in the previous war.

Both men issued orders to their respective commands.

Gomez ordered the Cubans to attack the small Spanish outposts, capture
their arms if possible setting at liberty every man who should deliver
them up; to cut all railway and telegraph lines; to keep on the
defensive and retreat in groups, unless the Cubans were in a position to
fight the enemy at great advantage; to destroy Spanish forts and other
buildings where any resistance was made by the enemy; to destroy all
sugar crops and mills, the owners of which refused to contribute to the
Cuban war fund; and, finally to forbid the farmers to send any food to
the cities unless upon the payment of certain taxes.

On his part, Campos issued the following commands:

Several regiments to protect the sugar estates; other detachments to be
placed along the railroads, and on every train in motion; to attack
always, unless the enemy's numbers were three to one; all rebels, except
officers, who surrendered, to be allowed to go free and unmolested;
convoys of provisions to be sent to such towns as needed them.

Everything was now in readiness for a fierce campaign, and one that
threatened to be protracted. It was not long before operations commenced
in earnest.



There was one incident which occurred in the early part of the
disturbances which caused a certain amount of excitement in the United
States, as it was thought that it would prove to be a repetition of the
Virginius affair.

On the 8th of March, 1895, the ship Allianca was bound from Colon to New
York. She was following the usual track of vessels near the Cuban shore.
But, outside the three mile limit, she was fired upon by a Spanish
gunboat. President Cleveland declared this to be an unwarrantable
interference by Spain with passing American ships. Protest was promptly
made by the United States against this act as not being justified by a
state of war; nor permissible in respect of a vessel on the usual paths
of commerce, nor tolerable in view of the wanton peril occasioned to
innocent life and property. This act was disavowed by Spain, with full
expression of regret, and with an assurance that there should not be
again such just cause for complaint. The offending officer was deposed
from his command. All this was eminently satisfactory, and the United
States took no further action in the matter.

The chief battle of the campaign, while Campos still remained
governor-general, was that fought at Bayamo, in July, 1895. Campos
himself commanded in person, and for the first time the Spaniards, ever
vain-glorious and self-confident, became aware of the mettle of the men
arrayed against them.

The Spanish forces numbered some five thousand men, while the Cubans had
not much more than half that number. It was the Spanish strategy,
however, to divide their men into detachments, and the Cubans were quick
to take advantage of this. The fight was a long and bloody affair, but
finally the victory, although not pronounced, remained with the Cubans.

The Spanish forces were more or less demoralized, and their loses were
heavy. Thirteen Spanish officers were killed, while the Cubans lost two
colonels. The Cubans admitted that fifty of their number were killed or
disabled, but they claimed that the loss of the Spaniards was over three

It is impossible to tell much from the Spanish accounts, as they were
far from being complete and were highly colored. It has been the same
way in the present war, as witness the laughable "one mule" report, with
which all are familiar.

In this engagement, General Santocildes was killed. It is said that
Santocildes sacrificed his own life to save that of his friend and
superior, Campos.

There are two very different stories told of the attitude of Antonio
Maceo toward Campos in this battle. One is to the effect that he did not
know that Campos was commanding in person, but when he was told of it
the following day, he said:

"Had I known it, I would have sacrificed five hundred more of my men,
and I would have taken him dead or alive! Thus with one blow I would
have ended the war."

The other is quite different, and has been very generally believed
amongst the Cubans. It is to the effect that, during the fight, Maceo
recognized Campos, and, pointing him out to his men, ordered them not to
harm him, as he was a soldier who made war honorably.

Murat Halstead relates two incidents of the battle of Bayamo, which,
however, he declares must be taken with a large grain of salt. One,
which comes from an insurgent authority is as follows:

"Campos only saved himself by a ruse. Taking advantage of the Cubans'
well-known respect for the wounded, he had himself placed in a covered
stretcher, which they allowed to pass, without looking inside the cover.
When outside of the Cuban lines he was obliged to walk on foot to
Bayamo, through six miles of by-paths, under cover of the darkness, only
accompanied by a colored guide."

The other tells that a son of Campos, who was a lieutenant, was
captured, but released with a friendly message to his father, who of
course, was expected to follow so admirable an example.

Whether these anecdotes are true or not, one thing is certain. After the
battle, Maceo collected the wounded, whom the Spaniards left upon the
field in their retreat, and treated them in the most humane manner
possible. He wrote to Campos the following letter:

* * *

"To His Excellency, the General Martinez Campos:

"Dear Sir--Anxious to give careful and efficient attendance to the
wounded Spanish soldiers that your troops left behind on the
battle-field, I have ordered that they be lodged in the houses of the
Cuban families that live nearest to the battle-ground, until you send
for them.

"With my assurance that the forces you may send to escort them back will
not meet any hostile demonstrations from my soldiers, I have the honor
to be, sir,

"Yours respectfully,

"Antonio Maceo."

* * *

While Maceo was thus maneuvering in the eastern part of the island, the
general-in-chief, Maximo Gomez, was fighting in Camaguey. The population
in the provinces of Puerto Principe and Santiago de Cuba had risen
almost to a man, and the movement was well under way in the province of
Santa Clara.

Several encounters took place, the most important being the attack upon
the little city of Cascorro, which Gomez succeeded in capturing. He
found there a large quantity of arms and ammunition, of which the Cubans
were greatly in need.

Gomez proved himself quite as magnanimous as Maceo. The wounded were all
cared for to the best of his ability, and the prisoners were returned to
the Spanish leaders. This example, however, seems to have been utterly
lost upon the Spaniards.

The insurgent forces, under Gomez, were at this time divided into six
portions, operating in the six provinces, and commanded by Antonio
Maceo, Aguerre, Lacret, Carillo, Suarez and Jose Maceo. Suarez was
afterwards cashiered for cowardice, and replaced by Garcia.

In August, 1895, Maceo joined his chief at a place called Jimaguaya,
where Gomez had called to him a large proportion of the Cuban forces,
which numbered at that time about thirty thousand.

And against these undisciplined soldiers was arrayed a regular army of
over eighty-five thousand men, not counting the armed volunteers.

The odds were terribly against the Cubans, but Gomez and Maceo were
confident of success.

It should be mentioned here that there were quite a number of women
fighting under Maceo, and these women did heroic service. In fact, the
Cuban women have given innumerable proofs of their devotion, body and
soul, to the cause of "Cuba Libre."

Gomez' objective point was Havana, and between Jimaguaya and Havana,
there were over fifty thousand Spanish soldiers.

When Gomez started, he had about twelve thousand men, which he divided
into three columns. He was quite well aware that the fighting must be of
the guerilla stamp. In fact, it was the only species of warfare

He therefore instructed his lieutenants to have recourse to strategy, to
foil the enemy at every point. The one object was to reach Havana.

"In the event of a forced battle," he said finally, "overthrow them!
Pass over them and on to Havana!"

The march was begun, the instructions being followed to the letter.
Actual combat was everywhere avoided. The Spanish papers constantly had
reports like this: "After a few shots the rebels ran away." They did not
understand that this was exactly Gomez' tactics, and he was succeeding,

Every day the insurgents advanced further and further west. At the end
of a fortnight they reached the trocha of Jaruco, which had been
constructed in the centre of the island. This trocha was occupied by a
large and important Spanish force.

Gomez ordered Maceo to make a feigned attack upon the northern portion
of the trocha. The Spaniards rushed there in a body, and Gomez, who had
counted upon this very thing, crossed the southern part, which was left
unprotected, without striking a blow.

As soon as Maceo knew that Gomez had passed over in safety, he
immediately disappeared with his men, and soon after managed to rejoin
his chief.

It was a very clever ruse, and Campos, whose headquarters were then in
Santa Clara realized that he had been outgeneralled. He ordered a
hurried march to Cienfuegos, and there took command.

The evasive movements of the insurgents continued, and again and again
was Campos outflanked.

With but little difficulty the Cubans crossed two other trochas, and
finally entered the Province of Matanzas, which Campos had felt positive
could never be invaded; the Spaniards meanwhile constantly retreating,
nearer and nearer to the capital.

At last, Campos determined to force an open conflict. He told his
lieutenants where they were to meet him.

This was in December, 1895.

Campos lay in wait for Maceo's forces at a point between Coliseo and

It seemed at first as if the insurgents were caught in a trap, and would
be forced to accept a battle in the open, which could not fail to be
disastrous to them.

But a happy thought came to Maceo, and, in connection with this plan, he
issued his orders.

Suddenly, the cane-fields which surrounded the camp of the Spaniards
burst into flame, and on each side was a great blazing plain. Campos
knew that he had once more been foiled, and he gave the order to retreat
at once.

This battle, if battle it can be called, had important results. It
enabled Gomez to reach Jovellanos, a city which commanded the railroad
lines of Cardenas, Matanzas and Havana. These lines Gomez destroyed as
well as every sugar plantation upon his route.

As to the destruction of the sugar fields and the reason therefor, we
shall have something to say later on.

Campos, completely outwitted and vanquished in his attempts to stop the
onward progress of the insurgents, now fell back upon Havana, which he
reached Christmas Day.

His reception in the capital was anything but a pleasant one. The
Spaniards there had clamored from the very beginning for revenge without
mercy, and they looked upon the successive checks which the army had
received as little less than criminal. They demanded of the
governor-general the reason for his repeated defeats, and even
threatened him personally.

There were three political parties in Cuba, the Conservatives, the
Reformists and the Autonomists. Campos met the leaders of these parties
in an interview, and asked for their opinions. The consultation was very
unsatisfactory, and as a result Campos proposed his resignation to which
the ministry made no objection.

Shortly after, his resignation was sent in and accepted. He sailed for
Spain the 17th of January, his place being temporarily filled by General
Sabas Marin.

In spite of Martinez Campos' failure to subdue the insurrection, nothing
but the greatest sympathy and respect can be felt for him, at least out
of Spain, where, speaking in a general manner, humanity has no place,
and gratitude is an unknown quantity.

Campos' services to his country had been great, including, as they did,
the pacification of Cuba in the Ten Years War, the quelling of a revolt
in Spain itself, and the restoration and support of the Spanish
monarchy. At an advanced age, when he should have been enjoying a well
deserved rest, he was sent away to fight a difficult war, and to risk
the tarnishing of his laurels as a military commander.

All praise to Martinez Campos for his pure patriotism, his unswerving
rectitude, his magnanimity and his exalted ideas of honor! This praise
even the enemies of his country cannot refuse to him.



No greater contrast to Campos could possibly be imagined than his
successor, General Valeriano Weyler, known, and with the utmost justice,
throughout Cuba and the United States as "The Butcher."

During his official life in Cuba, he proved again and again the truth of
his reputation for relentless cruelty.

There is no doubt that during former wars he committed the most
atrocious crimes.

It is not claimed that he ever showed any brilliant qualifications as a
military leader, and it was precisely because he lacked the
characteristics of General Campos, that Spain appointed him
governor-general, hoping that his severity (no, severity is too mild a
word, his savage brutality) would accomplish what Campos had failed to

In the light of events following his appointment, events which filled
the whole civilized world with indignation and horror, it has been
pretended by Spain that her ministry specially instructed him to
"moderate his ardor."

Moderate his ardor, indeed! Granted that he obeyed instructions, if,
indeed such instructions ever existed, just think for a moment what
would have happened if he had not!

It is very hard to write in a temperate vein when Weyler is the subject.
But where is the case for the plaintiff? Where are their defenders, when
Nero, Caligula or Judas is in question?

Let us now contemplate a pen picture of "The Butcher," painted by Mr.
Elbert Rappleye, a very clever American newspaper correspondent:

"General Weyler is one of those men who creates a first impression, the
first sight of whom can never be effaced from the mind, by whose
presence the most careless observer is impressed instantly, and yet,
taken altogether, he is a man in whom the elements of greatness are
concealed under a cloak of impenetrable obscurity. Inferior physically,
unsoldierly in bearing, exhibiting no trace of refined sensibilities nor
pleasure in the gentle associations that others live for, or at least
seek as diversions, he is nevertheless the embodiment of mental
acuteness, crafty, unscrupulous, fearless and of indomitable

"Campos was fat, good-natured, wise, philosophical, slow in his mental
processes, clear in his judgment, emphatic in his opinions, outspoken
and withal, lovable, humane, conservative, constructive, progressive,
with but one object ever before him, the glorification of Spain as a
motherland and a figure among peaceful, enlightened nations. Weyler is
lean, diminutive, shriveled, ambitious for immortality, irrespective of
its odor, a master of diplomacy, the slave of Spain for the glory of
sitting at the right of her throne, unlovable, unloving, exalted."

After telling of how he was admitted to Weyler's presence, Mr. Rappleye
continues his vivid description.

"And what a picture! A little man. An apparition of blacks--black eyes,
black hair, black beard, dark--exceedingly dark--complexion; a plain
black attire. He was alone and was standing facing the door I entered.
He had taken a position in the very centre of the room, and seemed lost
in its immense depths. His eyes, far apart, bright, alert and striking,
took me in at a glance. His face seemed to run to chin, his lower jaw
protruding far beyond any ordinary indication of firmness, persistence
or will power. His forehead is neither high nor receding; neither is it
that of a thoughtful or philosophic man. His ears are set far back; and
what is called the region of intellect, in which are those mental
attributes that might be defined as powers of observation, calculation,
judgment and execution, is strongly developed."

Mrs. Kate Masterson, another American journalist, was, we believe, the
only one, except Mr. Rappleye, who obtained an interview with Weyler.

Among other things that he said, Mrs. Masterson reports the following:

"I have shut out the Spanish and Cuban papers from the field as well as
the American. In the last war the correspondents created much jealousy
by what they wrote. They praised one and rebuked the other. They are a

"I have no time to pay attention to stories. Some of them are true and
some of them are not."

"The Spanish columns attend to their prisoners just as well as any other
country in times of war." An obviously false statement, by the way. "War
is war. You cannot make it otherwise, try as you will."

True to a certain extent, General Weyler, but not from your point of
view. There are certain humanitarian principles, of which you seem to be
ignorant that can be practiced in time of war as well as in time of

Weyler declared to Mrs. Masterson that women, if combatants, would be
treated just the same as men. As a matter of fact, whether combatants or
non-combatants, he treated them worse than men.

He sneered at the Cuban leaders, at Maceo for being a mulatto, and for
having, as he asseverated, no military instruction. And at Gomez, whom
he declared was not a brave soldier and had never distinguished himself
in any way.

It has always been the policy of the Spaniards to belittle the Cubans,
sneering at them as being generaled by negroes, half breeds and
illiterate to a degree. Beyond the fact that this is contemptibly false,
they do not stop to think how they are dishonoring their own troops
which have made such little headway against them.

When the Spaniards have forced the insurgents to surrender in all the
revolts that have taken place, it has been mainly through false
representations and lying promises, promise that they knew, when they
made them, were never intended to be carried out.

Weyler's character may perhaps be best understood from his own
following egotistical statement, which is well-authenticated:

"I care not for America, England, or any other country, but only for the
treaties we have with them. They are the law. I know I am merciless, but
mercy has no place in war, I know the reputation which has been built up
for me. I care not what is said about me unless it is a lie so grave as
to occasion alarm. I am not a politician. I am Weyler."

Contrast with these utterances, the words of Maximo Gomez, the grand old
man of Cuba, in his instructions to his men:

"Do not risk your life unnecessarily. You have only one and can best
serve your country by saving it. Dead men cannot fire guns. Keep your
head cool, your machete warm, and we will yet free Cuba."

Gomez, by the way, at one time, served under Weyler, the former a
captain, the latter as a colonel. The noble Cuban leader certainly did
not obtain his views of modern warfare from his then superior officer.

When Weyler arrived in Cuba he had at his command at least one hundred
and twenty thousand regulars, fifty thousand volunteers and a large
naval coast guard. Rather a formidable force to subdue what has been
characterized as a handful of bandits.

His policy from the beginning was one of extermination, and he made war
upon those who were not in arms against Spain as well as those who were,
upon women and children as well as upon men.

Although Weyler did not begin what may be called active operations
until November (he arrived in February), still he persecuted by every
means in his power the pacificos, that is, those who did not take arms
for or against either side.

He conceived what General Fitzhugh Lee calls "the brilliant idea" of
ruining the farmers so that they should not be able to give any aid to
the insurgents.

Read carefully the text of his famous reconcentrado order, which brought
misery, ruin and death to the peaceable inhabitants of the island:

* * *

"I, Don Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau, Marquis of Tenerife,
Governor-General, Captain-General of this island and Commander-in-Chief
of the Army, etc., etc., hereby order and command:

"1. That all inhabitants of the country districts, or those who reside
outside the lines of fortifications of the towns, shall within a delay
of eight days enter the towns which are occupied by the troops. Any
individual found outside the lines in the country at the expiration of
this period shall be considered a rebel and shall be dealt with as such.

"2. The transport of food from the towns, and the carrying of food from
one place to another by sea or by land, without the permission of the
military authorities of the place of departure, is absolutely forbidden.
Those who infringe upon the order will be tried and punished as aiders
and abettors of the rebellion.

"3. The owners of cattle must drive their herds to the towns, or the
immediate vicinity of the towns, for which purposes proper escorts will
be given them.

"4. When the period of eight days, which shall be reckoned in each
district from the day of the publication of this proclamation in the
country town of the district, shall have expired, all insurgents who may
present themselves will be placed under my orders for the purpose of
designating a place in which they may reside. The furnishing of news
concerning the enemy, which can be availed of with advantage, will serve
as a recommendation to them; also, when the presentation is made with
firearms in their possession, and when, and more especially, when the
insurgents present themselves in numbers.

Valeriano Weyler."

* * *

Was there ever a more damnable--there is no other word for it--a more
damnable proclamation issued?

And the result? Words can scarcely do justice to it. It was the
death-sentence of thousands and thousands of innocent people, the large
majority of whom were women and children.

The peasant farmers, with their families, were only allowed to bring
with them what they could carry on their backs, when they were forced to
leave all that they had in the world, and remove to the places of
"concentration," where it was impossible for them to make a living.

Before leaving they saw their houses and crops burned, and their live
stock, be it much or little, that they possessed, confiscated.

Starvation was before them, and starve they did. And let the reader bear
this fact well in mind--these were non-combatants, women and children.

The deaths have occurred in ghastly numbers. More than two hundred
thousand have perished from starvation and starvation alone, with no
hand from the government stretched out to aid them. The record made by
the butcher and the butcher's emissaries is without parallel in all
history. No wonder that the United States held its breath in horror,
before raising its mailed hand to strike forever the chains from this
suffering people.

General Weyler did not care how deeply he should wade in blood, nor to
what age or sex this blood belonged, so long as he should attain his

Talk as you please about the atrocities of the Turks, but they pale
before those of the Spaniards in Cuba; acts committed, too, not in
secret, but openly and by public proclamation.

Read what Stephen Bonsal, who was an eye-witness, says in his book: "The
Real Condition of Cuba To-day."

"In the western provinces, we find between three and four hundred
thousand people penned up in starvation stations and a prey to all kinds
of epidemic diseases. They are without means and without food, and with
only the shelter that the dried palm-leaves of their hastily erected
bohios afford, and in the rainy season that is now upon them, there is
no shelter at all. They have less clothing than the Patagonian savages,
and, half naked, they sleep upon the ground, exposed to the noxious
vapors which these low-lying swamp-lands emit. They have no prospect
before them but to die, or, what is more cruel, to see those of their
own flesh and blood dying about them, and to be powerless to succor and
to save. About these starvation stations the savage sentries pace up and
down with ready rifle and bared machete, to shoot down and to cut up any
one who dares to cross the line. And yet, who are these men who are shot
down in the night like midnight marauders? And why is it they seek, with
all the desperate courage of despair, to cross that line where death is
always awaiting their coming, and almost invariably overtakes them? They
are attempting nothing that history will preserve upon its imperishable
tablets, or even this passing generation remember. No, they are simply
attempting to get beyond the starvation lines, to dig their potatoes and
yams, to bring home again to the hovel in which their families are
housed with death and hunger all about them. And they do their simple
duty, not blinded as to the danger, or without warning as to their
probable fate, for hardly an hour of their interminable day passes
without their hearing the sharp click of the trigger and the hoarse cry
of the sentry which precede the murderous volley; and every morning,
through the narrow, filthy lanes upon which the huts have been erected
the guerillas, drive along the pack-mules bearing the mutilated bodies
of those who have been punished cruelly for the crime of seeking food to
keep their children from starvation. This colossal crime, with all the
refinement of slow torture, is so barbarous, so bloodthirsty and yet so
exquisite, that the human mind refuses to believe it, and revolts at the
suggestion that it was conceived, planned and plotted by a man. And yet
this crime, this murder of thousands of innocent men, women and
children, is now being daily committed in Cuba, at our very doors and
well-nigh in sight of our shores, and we are paying very little heed to
the spectacle."

These words were written before the United States came to the rescue,
and the criticism in the last sentence is, thank Heaven, no longer
applicable. We are slow to act perhaps, but when we do act, our work is
effective, and we never rest until our aim is accomplished.



To enlarge upon the sufferings of the Cubans is a painful task, but it
is a task that must be accomplished, in the interests of justice and
humanity, and also that the reader may clearly understand why it was the
bounden duty of the United States to interfere.

Let us therefore proceed with the evidence.

Julian Hawthorne gives his testimony as follows:

"These people have starved in a land capable of supplying tens of
millions of people with abundant food. The very ground on which they lie
down to breathe their last might be planted with produce that would feed
them to repletion. But so far from any effort to save them having been
made by Spain, she has wilfully and designedly compassed their
destruction. She has driven them in from their fields and plantations
and forbidden them to help themselves; the plantations themselves have
been laid waste, and should the miserable reconcentrados attempt under
the pretended kindly dispensation of Blanco to return to their
properties they would find the Spanish guerillas lying in wait to
massacre them. No agony of either mind or body has been wanting. The
wife has lost her husband, the mother, her children; the child its
parents, the husband, his family. They have seen them die. Often they
have seen them slaughtered wantonly as they lay helpless, waiting a
slower end. The active as well as the passive cruelties of the Spaniards
toward these people have been well-nigh unimaginable."

Call Richard Harding Davis to the stand!

"In other wars men have fought with men, and women have suffered
indirectly because the men were killed, but in this war it is the women
herded together in the towns like cattle who are going to die, while the
men camped in the fields and mountains will live."

General Fitz Hugh Lee says:

"General Weyler believes that everything is fair in war and every means
justifiable that will ultimately write success on his standards. He did
not purpose to make war with velvet paws, but to achieve his purpose of
putting down the insurrection, if he had to wade through, up to the
visor of his helmet, the blood of every Cuban, man, women and child, on
the island."

Now hear General Lee relate the following incident, an incident which
created much discussion and feeling in the United States:

"Dr. Ruiz, an American dentist, who was practicing his profession in a
town called Guanabacoa, some four miles from Havana, was arrested. A
railroad train between Havana and this town had been captured by the
insurgents, and the next day the Spanish authorities arrested a large
number of persons in Guanabacoa, charging them with giving information
which enabled the troops, under their enterprising young leader,
Aranguren, to make the capture; and among these persons arrested was
this American. He was a strongly built, athletic man, who confined
himself strictly to the practice of his profession and let politics
alone. He had nothing to do with the train being captured, but that
night was visiting a neighbor opposite, until nine or ten o'clock, when
he returned to his house and went to bed. He was arrested by the police
the next morning; thrown into an incommunicado cell; kept there some
fifty or sixty hours, and was finally (when half crazed by his horrible
imprisonment and calling for his wife and children) struck over the head
with a 'billy' in the hands of a brutal jailer and died from the
effects. Ruiz went into the cell an unusually healthy and vigorous man,
and came out a corpse."

James Creelman, a brilliant newspaper correspondent, gives his

"Everywhere the breadwinners of Cuba are fleeing in terror before the
Spanish columns, and the ranks of life are being turned into the ranks
of death, for the Cuban who has seen his honest and harmless neighbors
tied up and shot before his eyes, in order that some officer may get
credit for a battle, takes his family to the nearest town or city for
safety, and then goes out to strike a manly blow for his country."

Senator Thurston, who was sent to Cuba to investigate and report the
condition of affairs, in a passionate address to the United States
Senate testifies:

"For myself I went to Cuba firmly believing the condition of affairs
there had been greatly exaggerated by the press, and my own efforts were
directed in the first instance to the attempted exposure of these
supposed exaggerations. Mr. President, there has undoubtedly been much
sensationalism in the journalism of the time, but as to the condition of
affairs in Cuba, there has been no exaggeration, because exaggeration
has been impossible. The pictures in the American newspapers of the
starving reconcentrados are true. They can all be duplicated by the
thousands. I never saw, and please God I may never see again, so
deplorable a sight as the reconcentrados in the suburbs of Mantanzas. I
can never forget to my dying day the hopeless anguish in their
despairing eyes. Huddled about their little bark huts, they raised no
voice of appeal to us for alms as we went among them. The government of
Spain has not and will not appropriate one dollar to save these people.
They are now being attended and nursed and administered to by the
charity of the United States. Think of the spectacle! We are feeding
these citizens of Spain; we are nursing their sick; we are saving such
as can be saved, and yet there are those who still say: 'It is right for
us to send food, but we must keep our hands off.' I say that the time
has come when muskets ought to go with the food."

Finally, Senor Enrique Jose Verona, who was at one time a deputy to the
Spanish Cortes, sums up the situation as follows:

"Spain denies to the Cubans all effective powers in their own county.
Spain condemns the Cubans to a political inferiority in the land where
they were born. Spain confiscates the product of the Cubans' labor
without giving them in return either safety, prosperity or education.
Spain has shown itself utterly incapable of governing Cuba. Spain
exploits, impoverishes and demoralizes Cuba."

This is only a very small portion of the testimony which might be
offered, but can the opinions of men of undoubted honor and veracity be

Not a tithe of the horrors which has existed in the island of Cuba has
been told, and probably never will be told. Because a large proportion
of the sufferers did not, like Du Barri, shriek upon the scaffold, but,
like De Rohan, died mute.

But still something further can be said as to "The Butcher's" methods,
and, worse still, as to the putting into practice of those methods. The
insurgents have invariably been treated as if they were pirates. The
tigerish nature of Weyler spared no one. Refugees, that is those who did
not obey his barbarous proclamation, were shot down in cold blood.
Starvation was his policy, and starvation too of those, whatever their
sympathies might have been, had never raised a finger against the
existing government. The reconcentrados, harassed beyond all measure,
saw nothing before them but death, and the happiest among them were
those who died first.

How would you, reader, like to be shut off, with no means of
subsistence, for yourself, your wife and your children, within military
lines, to cross which meant instant death?

The Butcher could not conquer this valiant people in honorable warfare,
and therefore, worthy scion of his blood, he, without one qualm of
conscience, determined to exterminate them. Young boys, not more than
fifteen or sixteen years of age, were charged with the crime of
"rebellion and incendiarism" (that was the favorite charge of Weyler),
and sometimes with the pretence of a trial, sometimes with no trial at
all, were shot down in cold blood by the score. Poor little starving
babies clung to their mothers' breasts from which no substance was to be
obtained. Weyler knew all this, and in his palace in Havana simply
laughed, content so long as each day the death rate of the Cubans
increased, and he himself was gaining favor with his government, and
meanwhile had all that he wanted to eat and drink.

The merciless wretch, by the way, was ever careful not to expose his own
precious person to bullet or machete.

But what could be expected of him? He was a Spaniard, a man after
Spain's own heart, and one whom it was her delight to honor.

This picture is not over-painted. The colors if anything are laid on too

Although the so-called rebels were not conquered and never could be
conquered, Weyler was constantly sending reports home of the
"pacification" of first this and then that portion of the island. This
he probably supposed was necessary to placate the Spaniards, who are
divided amongst themselves and ever ready to rise against the existing
government whatever it may be.

In spite of all this, brute Weyler has been and still is the idol of a
certain class of Spaniards. In spite of all? No, we should have said,
because of all.

One of his adherents, among other things, said to Stephen Bonsal, and
this is the sort of utterance that the majority of Spain applauds:

"The only way to end this Cuban question is the way General Weyler is
going about it. The only way for Spain to retain her sovereignty over
these islands is to exterminate--butcher if you like--every man, woman
and child upon it who is infected with the contagion and dreams of Cuba
Libre. These people must be exterminated and we consider no measure too
ruthless to be adopted to secure this end.

"I read in an American paper the other day that General Weyler was
poisoning the streams from which the insurgents drink in Matanzas
province. It was not true, but I only wish it had been.

"General Weyler is our man. We feel sure of him. He will not be
satisfied until every insurgent lies in the ditch with his throat cut,
and that is all we want."

Stop a moment and think! These words were spoken at the end of the
nineteenth century by the representative of a professed Christian
country. How have the teachings of Christ, who always and primarily
advocated charity, been forgotten or perverted!

The whole matter of Cuba under Spanish rule is a disgrace to the age we
live in.

But (call it spread-eagleism if you like) the United States now has the
affair in hand. It can and will right this wrong, and so effectively
that there will be no possibility of its recurrence.



Now let us turn to the one crime, so-called, that has been alleged
against the Cubans.

We refer to the burning of the sugar crops.

That this has been done on each and every occasion, no one will deny. At
first glance, it seems an act of vandalism. But is it so? Let us examine
carefully into the causes and reasons for it.

The Spaniards claim that it is a notable example of the reckless and
uncivilized methods of the insurgents. On the contrary, it is a policy
which was carefully planned and systematically carried out by Gomez and
the other Cuban leaders.

In a proclamation by Gomez, he ordered his lieutenants to burn the sugar
plantations, but he did not tell them to destroy the mills, because he
did not wish, in case of his succeeding in his purpose of liberating
Cuba, to lay the producers flat upon their backs, from which position
they could never, or, only with the utmost difficulty, arise.

The destruction of the sugar cane was a necessity of war. It must be
remembered that from the sugar crop Spain has received her largest
revenue from Cuba, and to cut off this source of revenue is to cripple
Spain and take away from her a large sum of money with which she might
otherwise wage warfare.

To show that the damage wrought is by no means irreparable, we cannot do
better than quote Baron Antomarchi, a Frenchman who lived for a long
time in Cuba, was there during the early part of the present
insurrection, and knows of what he is speaking:

"Since the suppression of slavery, and as a result of the high price of
labor the work of sugar making had been modified. In former times a
sugar planter considered his plantation his most necessary possession.
After the process of manufacture was modified, it was his sugar mill
upon which he depended; his plantation was less important. So in burning
the sugar crop, Gomez did not strike a death-blow at the producer. It is
a well known fact that when the cane growth is cut by fire and the
fields are burnt close to the ground, the yield of the following season
is increased and improved; so we see that Gomez did not ruin the country
when he burned the plantations. True, the fields have been burned, but
they will spring up with a more vigorous luxuriance after the rest which
was one of the conditions imposed upon the first agricultural community
of which we have any reliable record, and if the mills which Gomez has
left intact are not destroyed by some authority equally potent, when the
country is reorganized, the sugar industry may flourish to a degree
undreamed of before the Cuban war for liberty."

Besides depriving Spain of her revenue, Gomez had another though a
lesser reason, for burning the sugar cane. He knew that those who were
thrown out of employment would flock to his standard, and his forces
thereby be greatly augmented.

On the whole, we do not see that the criticism and blame which have been
given to the insurgents for destroying the crops and for the time being
laying waste the land, are deserved. It was a measure of war, and one,
which it seems to us, under the circumstances, was thoroughly justified.

Now let us contrast, for a moment, the different methods of the
Spaniards and the Cubans in waging warfare.

In the first place, we do not mean to affirm that the insurgents have
not committed actions, which, in the light of civilization, are
indefensible, but they are few and far between, and they were forced
upon them. After all the horrors to which they were subjected, they
would have been less than human if they had not retaliated.

The Cubans, both in the Ten Years' War and in the present one, have been
merciful to those of the enemy who fell into their hands. The latter
have been almost invariably treated with kindness and allowed to go free
and unmolested.

But the Spaniards never reciprocated. It has been their invariable
policy not to exchange prisoners, a notable instance of this being their
recent refusal to exchange the gallant Hobson and his comrades. To be
sure, according to international law they are not compelled to do this,
but it is doubtful if there is another civilized nation (by the way, it
is an undeserved compliment to intimate that Spain is civilized), which
would have acted as the country which boasts of its chivalry has done.

Just here, let us say that those acts of cruelty which have been
committed by the Cuban army have been very far from receiving the
sanction of their leaders. On the contrary, they have been done in
violation of the explicit orders of those leaders; and whenever the
offenders have been discovered, they have been hanged as bandits to the
limb of the nearest tree.

The hatred and barbarity which the Spaniards have without exception,
evinced toward the Cubans have done much to alienate the latter, have
been the chief causes why peace could not be maintained, and have made
only one outcome possible--the freedom and independence of the island.

We have already seen the humanity with which Gomez, Maceo and the other
Cuban chiefs treated the wounded of the enemy who chanced to fall into
their hands.

But how was it on the other side? How did the Spaniards behave toward
the insurgent wounded? When not killed at once and their sufferings
ended immediately, they were cast into loathsome dungeons, with
insufficient food and with no medical attendance whatever.

Now to a charge which has more than once been brought against Spain,
which has been brought against her recently, which her government has
indignantly denied, but which both in the past and the present has been
proved beyond any question of a doubt.

The charge refers to an action which, with the exception of Spain, has
never been committed but by the most savage tribes, the Indians of North
America and the inhabitants of darkest Africa. We do not think that even
the Turks were ever accused of such an atrocious, unspeakable act.

We mean the mutilation of the dead bodies (often in a horrible, obscene
way) left upon the battlefield.

It is with regret and loathing that we approach the subject. But facts
must be spoken.

There has been scarcely a combat between the Spaniards and the Cubans,
in all the revolutions which have occurred, where the former have not
been guilty of the revolting practice of the mutilation of dead bodies.

Indeed the most savage of tribes have never gone further in the demoniac
wreaking of vengeance upon the fallen bodies of the enemy than the
Spaniards have.

It has been a common custom with them to disfigure, mangle and commit
nameless indignities upon the dead.

When Nestor Aranguren, who you will remember was one of the bravest of
the Cuban leaders, the "Marion," the "Swamp Fox" of the insurrection,
was killed, his body, covered with honorable wounds was taken to Havana,
and paraded before the citizens, subject to their jeers and curses.

When another insurgent leader, Castillo, was killed, the same frightful
spectacle was witnessed.

Indeed, it has been the rule among the Spaniards whenever the body of a
so-called rebel leader fell into their hands, to drag his nude and
mutilated body, tied at the end of a horse's tail, throughout the
nearest town, and the excuse for this was--what? That the body might be
fully identified.

Among the Cubans, there is only one instance related where they
retaliated in kind. And this was when it is said that they sent a
Spanish soldier back to Havana with his tongue cut out. But even this
story, the only act of brutality alleged against them is not well
authenticated, resting as it does entirely upon Spanish evidence. And we
know well how much credence can be given to that evidence.

To come down to more recent occurrences.

When it was first reported that the bodies of our marines killed at
Guantanamo were subjected to unmentionable mutilations by the Spaniards,
we could not believe it. It was said that the condition of the bodies
was caused by shots fired from the Mauser rifle. But the Mauser rifle
inflicts a clean cut hole. It could not possibly have been responsible
for the horrible condition of the bodies. It is impossible for us to
explain further in print. Remember or look up what was done by the
Apaches in some of our Indian wars, and then from your knowledge, or the
knowledge gained by research, fill up the hiatus.

And the Spaniards cannot claim in this latter instance, if indeed they
can in any other, that these barbarities were committed by irregular and
irresponsible troops. It is beyond question that by far the greater
portion of the troops employed against Colonel Huntington (we are
referring now to the affair at Guantanamo) belonged to the regular army,
under the command of General Linares.

The New York Herald, in an editorial on the subject, remarks most justly
and forcibly: "What sort of a degraded spectacle, then, does Spain
present, going whining through Europe in search of intercession or
intervention, with such a damnable record against her, made in the very
first engagement of troops?

"We can hear good old John Bull sputter out his righteous indignation,
but will his Holiness the Pope recognize such degenerate child? Can the
punctilious Francis Joseph of Austria afford to condone crimes like
these? Will the Emperor William or the Czar of Russia lift his voice in
behalf of such fiends? Can our sister republic, France, sympathize with
the monsters who disgrace the very name of soldier?

"Not so! All Europe will join with our own government, now thoroughly
aroused to the indignities put upon it, and voice the stern edict of
humanity and civilization:

"Spain has now placed herself without the pale of the nations. Let her
meet the retribution she so justly deserves."

Senor Estrado Palma, the representative of Cuba in the United States,
has declared in a manifesto that the Cubans threw themselves into the
struggle advisedly and deliberately, that they knew what they had to
face and decided unflinchingly to persevere until they should free
themselves from the Spanish government. Experience has taught them that
they have nothing to envy in the Spaniards; that in fact, they feel
themselves superior to them, and can expect from Spain no improvement,
no better education.

Slavery is ended in Cuba, and the white and the colored live together in
perfect harmony, fighting side by side, to obtain political liberty.

Senor Palma, by the way, asserts, with how much authority we are unable
to state, that the colored population in Cuba is superior to that of the
United States. He says that they are industrious, intelligent and lovers
of learning; also, that, during the last fifteen years, they have
attained remarkable intellectual development.

There are certain utterances of Senor Palma in this manifesto which
deserve to be quoted in full, so pregnant are they with truth, and so
full of food for thought to the average American citizen, whether he
agrees with them or not. Senor Palma says:

"We Cubans have a thousandfold more reason in our endeavor to free
ourselves from the Spanish yoke than had the people of the thirteen
colonies, when, in 1775, they rose in arms against the British
government. The people of these colonies were in full enjoyment of all
the rights of man; they had liberty of conscience, freedom of speech,
liberty of the press, the right of public meeting and the right of free
locomotion. They elected those who governed them, they made their own
laws, and, in fact, enjoyed the blessings of self-government. They were
not under the sway of a captain-general with arbitrary powers, who, at
his will could imprison them, deport them to penal colonies, or order
their execution even without the semblance of a court-martial. They did
not have to pay a permanent army and navy in order that they might be
kept in subjection, nor to feed a swarm of hungry employees yearly sent
over from the metropolis to prey upon the country. They were never
subjected to a stupid and crushing customs tariff which compelled them
to go to home markets for millions of merchandise annually which they
could buy much cheaper elsewhere; they were never compelled to cover a
budget of twenty-six or thirty millions a year without the consent of
the taxpayers and for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the army
and navy of the oppressor, to pay the salaries of thousands of worthless
European employees, the whole interest on a debt not incurred by the
colony, and other expenditures from which the island received no benefit
whatever; for, out of all those millions, only the paltry sum of seven
hundred thousand dollars was apparently applied for works of internal
improvement, and one-half of which invariably went into the pockets of
Spanish employees.

"If the right of the thirteen British colonies to rise in arms in order
to acquire their independence has never been questioned because of the
attempt of the mother country to tax them by a duty upon tea, or by the
Stamp Act, will there be a single citizen in this great republic of the
United States, whether he be a public or private man, who will doubt the
justice, the necessity in which the Cuban people find themselves of
fighting to-day and to-morrow and always, until they shall have
overthrown Spanish oppression and tyranny in their country, and formed
themselves into a free and independent republic?"

Now, honestly, all prejudice aside, this is not a bad brief for the
plaintiff, is it?

There is one more document to which we desire to call your attention.
And that is, a letter written to Professor Starr Jordan, of the Leland
Stanford, Jr., University of San Francisco, by a Havanese gentleman of
undoubted integrity and of Spanish origin.

Professor Jordan declares that this letter seems to show that "the
rebellion is not a mere bandit outbreak of negroes and jailbirds, but
the effort of the whole people to throw off the yoke of a government
they find intolerable."

The letter states, among other things, that the insurrection was begun
and is kept up by Cuban people; that the Spanish government has made
colossal and unheard-of efforts to put it down, but has not succeeded in
diminishing it; on the contrary, the insurrection has spread from one
extreme of the island to the other; that the flower of the Cuban youth
is in the army of the insurrection, in whose ranks are many physicians,
lawyers, druggists, professors, artists, business men, engineers and men
of that ilk.

Professor Jordan's correspondent declares that this fact can be proved
by the excellent consular service of the United States.

He admits that destruction has been carried on by both sides, but
affirms that the insurgents began by destroying their own property, in
order to deprive the troops of the government of shelter and sustenance.

He further declares that the insurgents will continue in their course
until they fulfill their purpose, carrying all before them by fire and

He concludes as follows:

"All eyes are directed toward the north, to the republic which is the
mother of all Americans. The people of the United States must bear
strongly in mind now, as never before, that profession is null and void,
if action does not affirm it."

But action has come at last, as the fiendish Spaniards have already
found out to their cost.

What is Cuba, the "Pearl of the Antilles," at the present time of
writing? The answer to that question is as follows:

A land devastated and temporarily ruined; a gem besmirched almost beyond
recognition; a heap of smoking ashes; a population of starving men,
women and children, with an iron hand clutching remorselessly at their
hearts; a horrible, ghastly picture of what savage men are capable of in
the way of destruction.

Now, Americans, people of the free and independent United States; you
who enjoy all the blessings of liberty; you who can pursue your
avocations without let or hindrance; you who are the jury in this
case--the evidence is before you.

You have undoubtedly heard it said that the interference of the United
States was unwarrantable; that there was no real reason for the present
Spanish-American war; that a stronger country took advantage of a
weaker; and other arguments ad nauseam.

But is there one of our readers who would see a woman, or a weak though
honorable man, attacked by a savage foe, without interfering, and doing
the best he could to give life and freedom to the oppressed?

Think it all over, Americans, and think it over carefully and

At your own doors, is a poor, miserable, starving wretch, starving from
no fault of his, and with a bulldog, not your own, but belonging to a
neighbor (a neighbor, grant you with whom you have always hitherto been
at peace) about to fasten its fangs in the throat of this unhappy man.

Would you hold your hands, saying that it was no affair of yours, or,
with your superior strength, would you fly to the rescue?

Once more, Americans, you have heard the whole evidence. The case is in
your hands.

What is your verdict?



Now let us go back to the making of history, to the time when the
butcher Weyler came to Cuba to assume the governor-generalship.

By this time the Cuban question had been brought authoritatively before
the United States Senate, the people were beginning to be strongly
roused with indignation at the state of affairs in Cuba, and there was
considerable excitement when the news of Weyler's appointment became

Strange to say, the insurgents rejoiced rather than grieved at this
appointment, the cause of which is not far to seek. They knew thoroughly
well Weyler's character, and what his policy was more than likely to be.
They thought that it would drive all the Cubans, who were wavering, into
their ranks and would at last force the United States, whose people,
when all is said and done, were their natural allies and defenders, to

After the battle of Coliseo, Gomez and Maceo made their way through
Madruga, Nueva-Paz and Guines. Then they destroyed, at a large number of
points, the very important railway which connected Havana with Batabano,
and also cut the telegraph wires. When they had accomplished this, the
two leaders separated, Gomez to advance in the direction of Havana, and
Maceo to invade Pinar del Rio, which is in the extreme west of the

Gomez succeeded in burning several more or less important suburbs of

Almost the first military movement that Weyler made was an attempt to
cut off Maceo and prevent his communication with the other detachments
of the Cuban army. It seemed to be his chief purpose to compass the
death of the mulatto leader, a purpose which at last was most
unfortunately accomplished, but then only through treachery.

In emulation of his predecessor, Weyler also tried his hand at trocha
building. He constructed a fence of this description across Cuba between
the port of Artemisa and the bay of Majana, about twenty-five miles from

It may be of interest to describe this particular trocha, as it was one
of, if not the most important, and a good example of the others.

As its name, trocha, signifies, it was a ditch, or rather two ditches,
some three yards wide and the same in depth, with a road between them
broad enough to allow cavalry to pass. On each bank was a barbed wire
fence, to stop the assailants' progress. Beyond the two ditches, were
trous-de-loup, or wolf-traps, from twenty to seventy feet apart. At
every hundred yards or so there were fortifications. After night fell,
this fortified line was lighted by electricity. Twelve thousand men
comprised the garrison, besides outposts of half as many more.

Weyler prided himself greatly upon this trocha, which was intended to
keep the rebels at a distance.

But, in spite of all the precautions taken, the wily Maceo and his men
more than once crossed the trocha, and the Spanish were not the wiser
until it was too late to prevent them.

Once, when they had passed the obstruction without a shot being fired,
the insurgents tore up some distance of a railway line on the further
side of the trocha, the Cuban leader remarking:

"We did this just to show the enemy that we noticed their plaything."

The headquarters of the insurgents was and is up to the present writing,
a place called Cubitas, the top of a mountain, something over a score of
miles from Puerto Principe. It is practically impregnable, only a very
narrow spiral path leading up to it. A handful of men could defend it
against a large army. The little plain on top of the mountain has an
area of more than a square mile. It is arable land, and many food
products are raised there. The insurgents have constructed here quite a
number of wooden buildings, and they have also a dynamite factory. It
would take a long time to capture the place by storm or to starve the
defenders out.

The Cubans have had one great advantage, that is, they are acclimated.
Quite the contrary is true of the Spanish army of invasion, and their
ranks have suffered far more from the climate than they have from the
bullets of the foe. Added to this, their wages are greatly in arrears
and the rations provided for them are unwholesome and insufficient. The
surgeons have a very small supply of quinine and antiseptics, both of
which are absolutely essential.

The strength of the two armies, at the time of Weyler's arrival in Cuba
was about as follows: The government has 200,000 men, including the
60,000 volunteers, while the insurgents numbered not much more than a
fourth of this, some fifty or sixty thousand men, which were scattered
among the various provinces, the largest proportion being massed in
Santiago de Cuba.

There were twenty-four generals in the Cuban army, nineteen being white,
three black, one a mulatto, and one an Indian; of the thirty-four
colonels, twenty-seven were white, five were black, and two were

The record of the mortality among the Spanish soldiers is an appalling
one, something simply ghastly to contemplate.

Harper's Weekly has published statistics concerning Spanish losses in
Cuba, which were obtained from a source that it was forbidden to
disclose. In two years from March, 1895 to March, 1897, 1,375 were
killed in battle, 765 died of wounds, and 8,627 were wounded, but
recovered. Ten per cent. of the killed and fatally wounded were
officers, and 5 per cent. of the wounded died of yellow fever, while 127
officers and about 40,000 men succumbed to other maladies.

Another authority gives the following rates of losses: Out of every
thousand, ten were killed, sixty-six died of yellow fever, two hundred
and one died of other diseases, while one hundred and forty-three were
sent home, either sick or wounded.

Out of two hundred thousand men sent to Cuba in two years, only in the
neighborhood of ninety-six thousand, capable of bearing arms, were left
the first of March, 1897.

During our own civil war one and sixty-five one-hundredths per cent. of
all those mustered into the United States service were killed in action
or died of their wounds; ten per cent. were wounded, and a little less
than two per cent. died of wounds and from unknown causes.

That we lost during the civil war, 186,216 men from disease is terrible
enough, but to equal the percentage of the Spanish losses from the same
cause, during twice the time that our war lasted, would bring the total
up to a million and a half of men.

From the very beginning, the insurgents held possession of the two
eastern provinces, Santiago and Puerto Principe. It was only by
unremitting efforts and the loss of many lives that the Spaniards
retained their hold on the district about Bayamo.

Late in 1890 General Calixto Garcia, now second in rank to Gomez, and
playing an important part in the aiding of the American troops, landed
on the island with strong reinforcements. Garcia, who was also a veteran
of the Ten Years' War had several more or less important engagements
with the Spanish, in almost all of which he was victorious.

Antonio Maceo, in order to consult with Gomez, crossed the trocha on
the night of December 4, 1896. The next day, at the head of five hundred
men and within an hour's ride of Havana, he was killed in a skirmish,
just as he had made the declaration that all was going well. A young son
of Gomez, who was suffering from an old wound, and who refused to leave
the ground until his chief was carried away, was also killed.

There is not the shadow of a doubt but that this double catastrophe was
due to the treachery of one of Maceo's companions, a certain Dr.

One of Maceo's aides tells the story as follows: "Firing was heard near
Punta Brava, and Zertucha, who had ridden off to one side of the road,
came galloping back, crying: "Come with me! Come with me! Quick! Quick!"
Maceo at once put spurs to his horse, and, followed by his five aids,
rode swiftly after the physician, who plunged into the thick growth on
the side of the road.

The party had only ridden a few yards, when Zertucha, bent low in his
saddle, and swerved sharply to one side, galloping away like mad.

Almost at the same moment, a volley was fired by a party of Spanish
soldiers hidden in the dense underbrush, and Maceo and four of his men
dropped out of their saddles, mortally wounded."

The single survivor, the man whose words are quoted above, contrived to
get back to his own party and brought them to the scene of the tragedy.
The Spaniards were driven away, Maceo's body was found stripped, and
young Gomez had been stabbed, and his skull was broken.

The traitor Zertucha surrendered to the Spanish by whom naturally he was
treated with the utmost kindness and consideration.

Afterwards Zertucha attempted to blacken Maceo's memory by declaring
that he was disheartened and desperate, and that his death was the
result of his own folly.

Senor Palma says of this:

"General Maceo was loved and supported by all men struggling for Cuban
independence, whether in a military or civil capacity. If a man was ever
idolized by his people, that man was General Maceo. Dr. Zertucha knows
that, but perhaps he has an object in making his false assertions."

An object? Of course he had an object--the currying of favor with the
Spaniards, the saving of his own wretched carcass and the obtaining of
the blood-money due him.

So perished the last of the Maceos, eight brothers, all having died
before him in the cause of Cuban liberty.

The following poem on Maceo's death appeared in the New York Sun:

                            Antonio Maceo.

    "Stern and unyielding, though others might bow to the tempest;
    Slain by the serpent who cowered in hiding behind thee;
    Slumber secure where the hands of thy comrades have laid thee;
    Dim to thine ear be the roar of the battle above thee.
    Set now is thy sun, going down in darkness and menace,
    While through the thick-gathering clouds one red ray of vengeance
    Streams up to heaven, blood red, from the place where thou liest.
    Though the sword of Death's angel lies cold on thy forehead,
    Still to the hearts of mankind speaks the voice of thy spirit:
    Still does thine angry shade arrest the step of the tyrant.
                                                       "V. B."

Maceo's death was a terrible blow to the insurgents, but, with
indomitable spirit they rallied and plunged with renewed energy into the

Maceo was succeeded by General Rius Rivers, who does not seem to have
been in any way the equal of his predecessor.

Having accomplished by low treachery what he had not succeeded in doing
by open, honorable warfare, Weyler increased his efforts to put down the
rebellion in Pinar del Rio, where Maceo had been in command.

The trochas now became of advantage, and Weyler succeeded in confining
Rivera's scattered bands to the province. Early in 1897, Rivera was made
a prisoner, and since then nothing of importance, from a military
standpoint, has occurred in Pinar del Rio.

In 1897 there were but few incidents of interest in the war. The Cubans
were holding back, evading conflicts wherever they could, and waiting
for the long-delayed interposition of the United States.

Guines, however, was taken by them, and General Garcia captured the
fortified post of Tunas after a fight of three days. The Spanish
commander and about forty per cent. of his force were killed. Finally
the remainder of the garrison surrendered. The spoils which fell into
the hands of the Cubans comprised a large amount of rifles and
ammunition, besides two Krupp guns.

The victory was a notable one, especially as Weyler had cabled his
government that Tunas was impregnable. Its fall gave rise to much harsh
criticism and bitter feeling in Spain.

Weyler was constantly proclaiming the "pacification" of certain
provinces, statements that were most transparently absurd and false. He
even immediately followed up his proclamations by the most severe and
brutal measures in those very provinces.

Finally even Madrid, to whom it would have mattered little if the policy
had proved a success, became convinced that Weyler's savage procedure
was a failure.

The butcher had gained absolutely no advantage, but had simply been the
cause of untold and undeserved suffering.

The insurrection, taking it all for all, was just as strong, if not
stronger, than it was the day Weyler arrived in Cuba.

So, in October, 1897, he was withdrawn from his post, and summoned back
to Spain.

It is to be hoped that the world will never again witness such a
shameful and shameless exhibition as was his administration.

Before dismissing him from these pages, let us quote from Stephen
Bonsal, with whose words no unprejudiced person can quarrel.

Mr. Bonsal says:

"Should they be wise, and they will have a moment of clairvoyance soon,
or they will disappear as a nation, the Spaniards should seek to cast a
mantle of oblivion and forgetfulness about the wretched name of Weyler
and all the ignoble deeds that have characterized his rule. While it
cannot be expected that the bishop will be displaced by the butcher,
there is one whom Weyler will displace upon his unenviable pinnacle of
prominence in the temple of infamy, and that is Alva. His name is
destined to become in every tongue that is spoken by civilized people a
synonym of bloody, relentless and pitiless war waged upon American soil,
upon the long-disused methods of the Vandals and the Visigoths; and
Alva, who had the cruel spirit of his age and a sincere fanaticism as
his excuse, will step down and out into an oblivion which will doubtless
be grateful to his shade, and most certainly so to those who bear his
execrated name.

"I could ask no more terrible punishment for him (Weyler) than many
years of life to listen to the voices of despair he has heard ring out
upon his path through Cuba; to hear again and ever the accusing voices
which no human power can hush, and to review the scenes of suffering
which he has occasioned which no human power can obliterate from his



The new governor-general of Cuba was Don Ramon Blanco, as to whose
character accounts differ. It is probable that while he is not the
high-minded, honorable gentleman that Campos was, he is far, very far
from being such an unmitigated beast as his predecessor.

Before he reached Cuba, which was the last of October, 1897, he stated
in an interview:

"My policy will never include concentration. I fight the enemy, not
women and children. One of the first things I shall do will be to allow
the reconcentrados to go out of the town and till the soil."

This sounds very just and right, but, as a matter of fact, the policy
enounced was never carried out, not even in minor particulars. The
persecution of the pacificos remained as bitter and relentless as ever.

Perhaps General Blanco is not entirely to blame for this, as the
pressure brought to bear against his expressed ideas both by the home
government and by the "peninsulars" in Havana, who had been in full
accord with the methods of the "Butcher," was so strong as scarcely to
be resisted.

Blanco issued an amnesty proclamation soon after his arrival in Havana,
but the insurgents paid little or no attention. Their experience in
such matters in the past had been too stern to be forgotten.

In the field, Blanco was also most unsuccessful, gaining nothing but
petty victories of no value whatever. The pay of the Spanish soldiers
was terribly in arrears, and their rations were of the most meagre
description. No wonder that they were disheartened, and in no condition
to fight.

In a word, Blanco absolutely failed, as completely as had his
predecessors, in quelling the rebellion.

The people of the United States were becoming more and more enraged at
the atrocities committed at their very door, and more and more anxious
that the Cubans should have the independence which they themselves had

Moreover, there was a large number of Americans in the island who were
made to suffer from the policy of reconcentration. Citizens of the
United States, a large number of them being naturalized Americans, were
constantly being seized and imprisoned, on suspicion alone, no proof
whatever being advanced, of their furnishing aid and comfort to the
insurgents. They were placed in filthy cells, no communication with the
outside world being allowed them. This is what the Spaniards term

No writing materials were allowed them and nothing whatever to read. The
windows were so high up that no view was to be obtained. The cells were
damp with the moisture of years and had rotten, disease-breeding floors,
covered with filth of every description. Moreover, they were overrun
with cockroaches, rats and other vermin.

The sustenance furnished the prisoners was wretched, and even such as it
was, it was not given to them regularly. More often than not, they were
left for long hours to suffer the pangs of hunger and thirst.

A notable instance of Americans being seized and imprisoned in these
loathsome dungeons is the following:

A little schooner called the "Competitor" attempted to land a
filibustering expedition. She was captured, after most of her passengers
had been landed, and her crew, numbering five, were tried by a court
which had been instructed to convict them, and sentenced to death. They
would undoubtedly have been executed, as some years before had been the
prisoners of the ill-fated Virginius, had it not been for the prompt
intervention of the United States, spurred thereto by General Fitz Hugh

The conviction was growing stronger and stronger in the United States
that something should be done to mitigate the terrible suffering in

The Red Cross Association, a splendid charitable organization, at the
head of which was Miss Clara Barton, undertook this noble work of
relief. The government of the United States lent its assistance and
support. Large sums of money and tons of supplies of food were
contributed throughout the Union, both by public and private donations.
The newspapers everywhere, North, East, South and West, did magnificent
service in furthering the good work.

Spain, instead of showing gratitude, rather resented this, and there was
considerable difficulty to prosecute the labor of charity. Still, the
efforts, in the interests of suffering humanity were by no means

President McKinley speaks of the movement as follows:

"The success which had attended the limited measure of relief extended
to the suffering American citizens of Cuba, by the judicious expenditure
through consular agencies, of money appropriated expressly for their
succor by the joint resolution approved May 24, 1897, prompted the
humane extension of a similar scheme of aid to the great body of
sufferers. A suggestion to this end was aquiesced in by the Spanish
authorities. On the twenty-fourth of December last, I caused to be
issued an appeal to the American people, inviting contributions, in
money or in kind, for the starving sufferers in Cuba, following this on
the eighth of January by a similar public announcement of the formation
of a Central Cuban Relief Committee, with headquarters in New York city,
composed of three members representing the American National Red Cross
Society, and the religious and business elements of the community. The
efforts of that committee have been untiring and have accomplished much.
Arrangements for free transportation to Cuba have greatly aided the
charitable work. The president of the American Red Cross and
representatives of other contributory organizations have generously
visited Cuba and co-operated with the consul-general and the local
authorities to make effective disposition of the relief collected
through the efforts of the Central Committee. Nearly $200,000 in money
and supplies has already reached the sufferers and more is forthcoming.
The supplies are admitted duty free, and transportation to the interior
has been arranged, so that the relief, at first necessarily confined to
Havana and the larger cities, is now extended through most if not all of
the towns through which suffering exists. Thousands of lives have
already been saved. The necessity for a change in the condition of the
reconcentrados is recognized in the Spanish government."

And yet Spain resented these charitable efforts, as being opposed to her
policy. The people of the United States, in sending this money and these
supplies, had nothing else in view but charity, a longing to do all that
they could to relieve the anguish of an oppressed and tortured people.
There was no ulterior motive whatever.

A large amount of the sums contributed was diverted to a purpose very
different from that for which it had been intended.

The Spanish government, more through fear of the condemnation of the
other European nations than anything else, voted about six hundred
thousand dollars for the relief of the starving reconcentradoes.

But this was a ruse, a sum chiefly on paper. General Lee, and his
testimony is incontrovertible, says:

"I do not believe six hundred thousand dollars, in supplies, will be
given to those people, and the soldiers left to starve. They will divide
it up here and there; a piece taken off here and a piece taken off
there. I do not believe they have appropriated anything of the kind. The
condition of the reconcentrados out in the country is just as bad as in
General Weyler's day. It has been relieved a good deal by supplies from
the United States, but that has ceased now.

"General Blanco published a proclamation, rescinding General Weyler's
bando, as they call it there, but it has had no practical effect. In the
first place, these people have no place to go; the houses have been
burned down; there is nothing but the bare land there, and it would take
them two months before they could raise the first crop. In the next
place, they are afraid to go out from the lines of the towns, because
the roving bands of the Spanish guerillas, as they are called, would
kill them. So they stick right in the edges of the town, just like they
did, with nothing to eat except what they can get from charity. The
Spanish have nothing to give."

The government and people of Spain now became very much afraid of the
attitude of the United States. They knew that something had to be done,
so to speak, to throw a sop to Cerberus. Therefore Sagasta, the premier
of Spain, conceived the idea of granting to Cuba a species of autonomy.
But, with the usual Spanish diplomacy, it was not autonomy at all. It
purposed to be home rule, but every article gave a loop-hole for Spain
not to fulfill her obligations.

It was a false and absurd proposition, intended to deceive, but too
flimsy in its fabric to deceive any one. It was rotten clean through,
and was opposed by everyone except the framers of the autonomistic
papers, General Blanco, his staff and a few others, who hoped, but hoped
in vain, great things from the proclamation.

The Cuban leaders, who at one time would have hailed with joy such a
concession, if they had been assured that the provisions would have been
followed out loyally and without fraud, now rejected the autonomistic
proposition with scorn and loathing.

Their battle cry was now, and they were determined it ever should be:
"Independence or death!"

It was too late. There was no possibility now of home rule under Spanish

Gomez even went so far as to declare that any one who should attempt to
bring to his camp any offer of autonomy would be seized as a spy and

General Lee, speaking of the proposed autonomy, says:

"Blanco's autonomistic government was doomed to failure from its
inception. The Spanish soldiers and officers scorned it because they did
not desire Cuban rule, which such autonomy, if genuine, would insure.
The Spanish merchants and citizens were opposed to it because they too
were hostile to the Cubans having control of the island, and, if the
question could be narrowed down to Cuban control or annexation to the
United States, they were all annexationists, believing that they could
get a better government, and one that would protect in a greater measure
life and property under the United States flag than under the Cuban
banner. On the other hand, the Cubans in arms would not touch it,
because they were fighting for free Cuba. And the Cuban citizens and
sympathizers were opposed to it also."

Senor Palma sums up the question of autonomy as follows:

"Autonomy would mean that the Cuban people will make their own laws,
appoint all their public officers, except the governor-general, and
attend to the local affairs with entire independence, without, of
course, interference by the metropolis. What then would be left to
Spain, since between her and Cuba there is no commercial intercourse of
any kind? Spain is not and cannot be, a market for Cuban products, and
is moreover unable to provide Cuba with the articles in need by the
latter. The natural market for the Cuban products is the United States,
from which in exchange Cuba buys with great advantage flour, provisions,
machinery, etc. What then, I repeat, is left to Spain but the big debt
incurred by her, without the consent and against the will of the people
of Cuba? We perfectly understand the autonomy of Canada as a colony of
Great Britain. The two countries are closely connected with each other
by the most powerful ties--the mutual interest of a reciprocal

Murat Halstead, who is invariably logical and correct, puts the whole
matter in a few trenchant words:

"There is nothing to regard as possible in any of the reforms the
Spaniards are promising with much animation and to which they ascribe
the greatest excellence, to take place after the insurgents have
surrendered their arms. Spain is, as always, incapable of changing her
fatal colonial policy, that never has been or can be reformed."

Spain's fatal colonial policy. Could there be truer words?

Let us pause for a moment to contemplate what this fatal colonial policy
has cost her.

At one time she swayed the destinies of Europe and had possessions in
every continent. Samuel Johnson, in writing of her, said:

    "Are there no regions yet unclaimed by Spain?
     Quick, let us rise, those unhappy lands explore,
     And bear oppression's insolence no more."

The whole reason of Spain's downfall is the ruthless and savage
character of the Spanish people.

Due to her oppression, note the following list of colonies which she has

1609. The Netherlands.

1628. Malacca, Ceylon, Java and other islands.

1640. Portugal.

1648. Spain renounced all claim to Holland.

1648. Brabant and other parts of Flanders.

1649. Maestricht, Hetogenbosch, Breda, Bergen-of-Zoom, and many other
fortresses in the Low Countries. In this year also she practically
surrendered supremacy on the seas to Northern Europe.

1659. Rousillon and Cardague. By the cession of these places to France,
the boundary line between France and Spain became the Pyrenees.

1668. Other portions of Flanders.

1672. Still more cities and towns in Flanders.

1704. Gibraltar.

1704. Majorca, Minorca and Ivizza.

1791. The Nootka Sound settlements.

1794. St. Domingo.

1800. Louisiana.

1802. Trinidad.

1819. Florida.

1810-21. Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chili,
Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Patagonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua,
San Salvador, Hayti and numerous other islands.

Spain has now not a foot of territory on the American continent, and
very shortly she will not have a foot anywhere except within the
confines of her own home.

To return again to the proposed autonomy of Cuba.

At the time it was offered Gomez, that grand old man of Cuba said:

"This is a war to the death for independence, and nothing but
independence will we accept. To talk of home rule is to idle away time.
But I have hopes that the United States, sooner or later, will recognize
our belligerency. It is a question of mere justice, and, in spite of all
arts of diplomacy, justice wins in the long run. The day we are
recognized as belligerents, I can name a fixed term for the end of the

"With regard to paying an indemnity to Spain, that is a question of
amount. A year ago we could pay $100,000,000, and I was ready to agree
to that. Now that Spain owes more than $400,000,000, we will not pay so

It was too late now to speak of reforms or of home rule in any shape.
The Cubans were not willing to nurse illusions. They were resolved on
absolute freedom or nothing.

Any form of Spanish rule would mean the entire subjection of the Cubans,
and, had they accepted the proposed autonomy, there is no doubt but that
the future would have been as bad, if not worse, than the past.

Public opinion in the United States was never so deeply aroused as it
was now. Citizens in all ranks of life were calling loudly for
interference, which, in the name of civilization and humanity, should
end the horrible state of affairs in Cuba.

The United States was Cuba's natural defender and protector, and now,
both press and public declared, was the time to act.

The president was fully aware of the gravity of the situation, but with
rare discretion, for which future historians will give him due credit,
he bided his time, preferring, if possible, peace with honor.

In his first message relating to the Cuban situation, President McKinley

"If it shall hereafter appear to be a duty imposed by our obligations to
ourselves, to civilization and humanity, to intervene with force, it
shall be without fault on our part, and only because the necessity of
such action will be so clear as to command the support and approval of
the civilized world."

General Stewart L. Woodford, our minister to Spain, behaved with the
utmost courtesy and did everything in the power of mortal man to avoid

One cause of the American people's irritability, and in all justice
there was much reason for it, was Spain's pretence that the Cuban war
had been prolonged because of America's inability or non desire to
maintain neutrality. Nothing could be falser or more absurd, for the
United States had invariably, whenever possible, stopped all
filibustering expeditions to Cuba. The records will bear out this
statement, without any possibility of refutation. More than two millions
of dollars had been expended by the United States in Spain's interest.
Certainly, gratitude or its equivalent is a word that does not appear in
the Spanish lexicon.



Then came the De Lome incident which served to inflame further passions
already aroused.

Senor Enrique Depuy De Lome was the Spanish minister to this country.

He wrote a letter, strongly denunciatory of the president's message, and
of the president himself; with the worst taste possible, he alluded to
Mr. McKinley as a low politician, one who catered, for political
purposes, to the rabble.

This letter was intercepted and a copy given to the press. The original
was sent to the State Department. Of course De Lome at once became
persona non grata, which the Spanish government recognized, and even
before Minister Woodford could make a "representation," De Lome was
recalled from his position and Senor Polo appointed in his place.

President McKinley showed the most admirable self-poise through all this
affair, evincing outwardly no resentment for what was a personal insult
to himself.

It was declared that we ought to have a ship of war in Havana harbor to
protect American citizens, and for that purpose, the Maine was sent

It was the visit of a friendly ship to, at that time, a friendly

The Maine was received by the Spanish officials with every outward show
of respect, the firing of salutes and the raising of the American and
Spanish flags on the vessels of different nationalities.

And yet what was the result? Once more came an exhibition of Spain's
perfidy. We know it is very much like the Scotch verdict of "non
proven," but still there is no doubt among fair-minded men.

A tragedy ensued, a tragedy in which Spain played the part of the
villain, and such an unconscionable villain as has never been seen upon
the boards of any stage.

On the night of Tuesday, February 19, 1898, the United States battleship
Maine, presumably in friendly waters, was lying calmly anchored in the
harbor of Havana. Suddenly, with no warning whatever, for there was no
suspicion on the part of either officers or men, the magnificent
battleship was blown up. Two officers and two hundred and sixty of the
crew perished, but their names and memories will ever be cherished
affectionately and gratefully by the American people.

All on board behaved in the most heroic manner, Captain Charles D.
Sigsbee, the commander being the last to leave the fated ship. The
famous naval historian, Captain Mahan, says:

"The self-control shown in the midst of a sudden and terrible danger, of
which not one of the men on board knew, showed that in battle with known
dangers about them, and expecting every minute the fate that might
overtake them, the fellow sailors of the men of the Maine would stand to
their guns and their ship to the last. It was evident that the old
naval spirit existed, and that the sailors of the new navy were as good
as those who manned the old-time ships."

The Maine was one of the very best vessels in the American navy; with
her stores and ammunition, she represented an expenditure of close upon
five millions of dollars.

The blowing up of the Maine and the loss of our brave men aroused the
most intense excitement throughout the United States, but the request of
Captain Sigsbee that public opinion should be suspended until thorough
investigation had been made, was followed, and the people behaved with
admirable and remarkable control.

A naval board of inquiry was at once organized by the United States
government. This board consisted of experienced officers, who were
greatly assisted in their labors by a strong force of experts, wreckers
and divers.

The investigation was most searching. The 21st of March, 1898, the board
presented a unanimous verdict. The report was most voluminous, embracing
some twelve thousand pages.

The verdict was practically that "the loss of the Maine was not in any
respect due to fault or negligence on the part of any of the officers or
members of her crew; that the ship was destroyed by the explosion of a
submarine mine, which caused the partial explosion of two or more of her
forward magazines; and that no evidence has been obtainable fixing the
responsibility of the destruction of the Maine upon any person or

Although it was not possible to obtain evidence which should convict the
guilty parties, there was not and never has been the faintest doubt in
the mind of any fair-minded person as to who was responsible for the
tragedy. When Congress afterward spoke of the crime or the criminal
negligence of the Spanish officials, the words found an ardent response
in the heart of every true American.

There is no doubt but that the destruction of the Maine was the lever
that started the machinery of war.

Like "Remember the Alamo!" "Remember the Maine!" is a clarion cry of
battle that will go echoing down the centuries.

In Cuba we were most fortunate in having a superb representative in the
person of General Fitz Hugh Lee, a man of rare intellectual ability,
ever courteous but ever firm, a fine specimen of Southern chivalry.

The Spaniards, as was but natural, hated him, but when his withdrawal
was suggested by the Spanish government President McKinley cabled to
Minister Woodford at Madrid that the services of General Lee at Havana
were indispensable and his removal could not be considered.

The relations between Spain and the United States became every day more
and more strained. Every effort was made by the President to bring about
a peaceable solution of the Cuban question, but Spain, stiff necked and
suicidal, refused to cooperate with him.

On April 11, the president sent his famous message to Congress.

In it, he alluded to the way in which we had been forced to police our
own waters and watch our own seaports in prevention of any unlawful act
in aid of Cuba.

He spoke of how our trade had suffered, how the capital invested by our
citizens in Cuba had been largely lost, and how the temperance and
forbearance of our own people had been so sorely tried as to beget a
perilous unrest among our own citizens.

The President, also, made some strong arguments against both
belligerency and recognition, especially against the latter.

He quoted Jackson's argument, on the subject of the recognition of
Texas, concluding as follows:

"Prudence, therefore, seems to dictate that we should stand aloof, and
maintain our present attitude, if not until Mexico itself or one of the
great foreign powers shall recognize the independence of the new
government; at least until the lapse of time or the course of events
should have proved beyond cavil or dispute the ability of the people of
that country to maintain their separate sovereignty and to uphold the
government constituted by them. Neither of the contending parties can
justly complain of this course. By pursuing it we are but carrying out
the long established policy of our government, a policy which has
secured us respect and influence abroad and inspired confidence at

It is necessary to quote still further from President McKinley's
message, a message so fine, so just and so true, that we are sure it
will go down into history praised by all future historians, as it well
deserves to be.

He says:

"The spirit of all our acts hitherto has been an earnest, unselfish
desire for peace and prosperity in Cuba, untarnished by differences
between us and Spain, and unstained by the blood of American citizens.

"The forcible intervention of the United States as a neutral to stop the
war, according to the large dictates of humanity and following many
historical precedents where neighboring states have interfered to check
the hopeless sacrifice of life by internecine conflicts beyond their
borders, is justifiable on rational grounds. It involves, however,
hostile constraint upon both parties to the contest, as well as to
enforce a truce as to guide the eventual settlement. The grounds for
such intervention may be briefly summarized as follows:

"1. In the cause of humanity and to put an end to the barbarities,
bloodshed, starvation and horrible miseries now existing there, and
which the parties to the conflict are either unable or unwilling to stop
or mitigate. It is no answer to say that this is all in another country,
belonging to another nation, and is, therefore, none of our business. It
is specially our duty, for it is right at our doors.

"2. We owe to our citizens in Cuba to afford them that protection and
indemnity for life and property which no government there can or will
afford, and to that end to terminate the conditions that deprive them of
local protection.

"3. The right to intervene may be justified by the very serious injury
to the commerce, trade and business interest of our people, and by the
wanton destruction of property and devastation of the island.

"4. And, what is of the utmost importance, the present condition of
affairs in Cuba is a constant menace to our peace and entails upon this
government an enormous expense. With such a conflict waged for years in
an island so near us, and with which our people have such trade and
business relations--when the lives and liberty of our citizens are in
constant dread, and their property destroyed and themselves
ruined--where our trading-vessels are liable to seizure and are seized
at our very door, by warships of a foreign nation, the expeditious of
filibustering that we are powerless to prevent altogether, and the
irritating questions and entanglements thus arising--all these and
others that I need not mention, with the resulting strained relations,
are a constant menace to our peace, and compel us to keep on a semi-war
footing with a nation with which we are at peace."

In his message, the President also gives utterance to these notable and
memorable words:

"The long trial has proved that the object for which Spain wages war
cannot be attained.

"The fire of insurrection may flame or may smoulder with varying
seasons, but it has not been, and it is plain that it cannot be,
extinguished by present methods. The only hope of relief and repose from
a condition which cannot longer be endured is the enforced pacification
of Cuba.

"In the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in behalf of
endangered American interests, which give us the right and the duty to
speak and to act, the war in Cuba must stop."

The President then refers the whole matter to Congress to decide as that
body may think best.

A somewhat acrimonious debate, of several days duration followed,
chiefly over the side issue of the recognition of the Republic of Cuba.

On April 19, 1898, by the way, the date of the first battle of the
Revolution at Concord, Massachusetts, the following joint resolution was
agreed upon.

"Joint resolution 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.

"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 battleship, with two hundred and sixty-six 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 right ought to be,
free and independent.

"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

"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."

The President set his seal of approval upon these resolutions the
following day, and the same day an ultimatum was sent to Spain,
practically the same as what has been quoted above.

It was also stated that it was the President's duty to request an answer
within forty-eight hours.

Within forty-eight hours the ultimatum was rejected by the Spanish

The ministers and representatives of the two countries were immediately
recalled from their various posts, and a state of warfare proclaimed.

The United States now stood pledged to aid and succor agonized Cuba, to
strike the shackles from off her bruised and bleeding limbs, and raise
her to a position which her valor had long deserved, amongst the free
and independent nations of the world.



Cuba lies in the northern portion of the torrid zone, and immediately
south of Florida. From Key West to the nearest point on the Cuban coast,
the distance in 86 miles.

The form of Cuba is an irregular crescent, with a large number of bays
or indentations. The coast line is about 2,200 miles, exclusive of the
indentations; or, if we include the latter, nearly 7,000 miles.

The island is about 760 miles long. Its breadth varies from 127 miles at
a point some fifty miles west of Santiago to 28 miles from Havana to the

Its area is 43,314 square miles, which includes the Isle of Pines and
several smaller islands.

Cuba is intersected by a range of mountains, more or less broken, which
extends across the entire island, from east to west, and from which the
rivers flow to the sea. This range is called the Sierra del Cobra, and
it includes the Pico de Turginuo, with an altitude of 7,670 feet, the
highest point on the whole island. There are other ranges, and the
eastern portion of the island is particularly hilly. We must not forget
the famous Pan of Matanzas which received its name from its resemblance
to a loaf of sugar. It is 1,300 feet high, and has been of great service
to mariners in enabling them to get their bearings.

Naturally the rivers are small, but they are numerous. The principal
one, and the only one that can properly be called navigable, is the
Canto. Schooners ascend this for about sixty miles. It rises in the
Sierra del Cobre, and empties upon the south coast, a few miles from
Manzanillo. Mineral springs abound, and their medicinal qualities are in
high repute.

Of lakes there are only a few, and most of these lie in the marsh lands.

The Scientific American says:

"The country may be broadly divided into the region of the plains the
rolling uplands and the forest lands. The lowlands form a practically
continuous belt around the island, and in them are to be found the great
sugar plantations. Above these and on the lower slopes are found the
grazing and farm lands, upon, which, among other things, is raised the
famous Havana tobacco. The remainder of the island, especially the
eastern portion is covered with a dense forest growth."

The vegetation of Cuba is of the most luxuriant and beautiful
description. The forests are full of a large variety of trees, almost
all of them most valuable for mechanical purposes. Some of them are
almost as hard as iron. One of these is called the quiebra hacha (the
axe breaker). There are other woods such as the jucaro, which are
indestructible, even under water. Still others are lignum vitae, ebony,
rosewood, mahogany, cedar, lancewood and many other species. There are
over fifty varieties of palm, and the orange and lemon trees are
indigenous. Although the forests are so dense so to be almost
impenetrable, there are no wild animals in them larger than the wild
dogs, which closely resemble wolves both in appearance and habits.

The fruits are those natural to the tropics, but only oranges,
pineapples and bananas are raised for exportation.

The land is not suited to the cultivation of cereals, and there is no
flour mill on the island. At one time, the coffee plantations were in a
flourishing condition, but the recent outbreak has largely interfered
with this industry.

By far the chief industries in the island are the cultivation of sugar
and tobacco, both of which are famous the world over.

The soil of Cuba is simply a marvel of richness, practically unrivalled
in any other part of the world. Except occasionally in the case of
tobacco, fertilizers are not used. Crops have been grown on the same
ground without an atom of fertilization for over a hundred years. This
superb soil gives the Cuban sugar planter an enormous advantage over his
competitors in other countries. For instance, in Jamaica, one to two
hogsheads of sugar is considered a good yield, but in Cuba, three
hogsheads are the average.

The introduction of modern machinery, which is very expensive, has done
much to drive out the small planters, and the tax imposed by the Spanish
government almost trebled the cost to the planter.

In times of peace, the sugar production of Cuba averaged a million of
tons a year, but this is nothing like what the island might be made to
yield under a decent government and proper enterprise. It has been
estimated that if all the land suitable to the growth of sugar cane were
devoted to that industry, Cuba might supply the entire western
hemisphere with sugar.

Mr. Gollan, the British consul general, says:

"Until a very recent date the manufacture of sugar and the growing of
the cane in Cuba were extremely profitable undertakings, and the reasons
for their prosperity may be stated as:

"1. The excellence of the climate and the fertility of the soil, which
allow of large crops of good cane. The rainfall, about 50 inches, is so
distributed that irrigation is not a necessity, though it would in many
cases be advisable.

"2. The great movement toward the centralization of the estates which
took place in the early eighties, planters having understood the value
of large sugar houses and overcome their difficulty in this way.

"3. The proximity of the United States, affording, as it does, a cash
market for the sugar."

To show how the sugar trade has been injured by the Cuban uprising, the
following figures are of interest:

    Description.    Tons in 1895.          Tons in 1896.

    Exports            832,431                  235,628
    Stocks             135,181                   36,260
                     ----------               ----------

    Local consumption  967,612                  271,888
                        50,000                   40,000
                     ----------               ----------
                     1,017,612                  311,888

    Stock on January 1
    (previous crop)     13,348                   86,667
                      ---------                 -------
    Total production 1,004,264                  225,221

The decrease in 1895-96 was 779,043 tons, equivalent to 77.574 per cent.

While the tobacco crop of some portions of Cuba is unsurpassed, notably
that of Vuelta Alajo and of Mayari, it is of excellent quality all over
the island, the poorest of it being quite as good as that of Hayti. The
entire crop is estimated at $10,000,000 annually. Yet, owing to the
extortions of the government, which loaded it with restrictions and
exactions of every description, the tobacco industry has always been an
uncertain one. It is said that the tobacco growers, disgusted with their
treatment, have always been in favor of the revolutionists.

The mineral riches of the island have never been exploited to any
considerable extent and yet it is known that they are by no means
unimportant. Gold and silver exist. Some specimens of the finest gold
have been obtained, but at an expense of time and labor that could not
remunerate the parties engaged in the enterprise. There are copper mines
near Santiago of large extent and very rich in ore. There are also
several iron mines. Numerous deposits of manganese have been found in
the Sierra Maestra range. As nearly all the manganese used in the United
States comes from the Black Sea, it is thought that these mines will
prove very valuable, when the conditions for operating them are more
favorable. Bituminous coal is very abundant. Marble, jasper and slate
are also to be found in many parts of the island.

The trade of the United States with Cuba since 1891 is given as follows
by the bureau of statistics, Treasury Department:

            Imports.     Exports.
    1891  $61,714,395  $12,224,888
    1892   77,931,671   17,953,570
    1893   78,706,506   24,157,698
    1894   75,678,261   20,125,321
    1895   52,871,259   12,807,661
    1896   40,017,730    7,530,880
    1897   18,406,815    8,259,776

The commerce of Spain with Cuba since 1891, the figures up to 1895 being
taken from a compilation by the department of agriculture, and those for
1896 from a British foreign office report was:

         Imports from  Exports to
             Cuba.        Cuba.
    1891  $7,193,173  $22,168,050
    1892   9,570,399   28,046,636
    1893   5,697,291   24,689,373
    1894   7,265,120   22,592,943
    1895   7,176,105   26,298,497
    1896   4,257,360   26,145,800

The railways are insufficient and wretchedly managed, while the roads
are in a deplorable condition, sometimes, in wet weather, being almost

In regard to the future commercial prosperity of Cuba, Mr. Hyatt, who
until recently was our consul at Santiago, gives the following opinion:

"Railroads and other highways, improved machinery and more modern
methods of doing business are among the wants of Cuba; and with the
onward march of civilization these will doubtless be hers in the near
future. Cuba, like other tropical and semi-tropical countries, is not
given to manufacturing; her people would rather sell the products of the
soil and mines and buy manufactured goods. The possibilities of the
island are great, while the probabilities remain an unsolved problem."

When the tropical position of Cuba is taken into consideration, it may
be stated that its climate is generally mild. In fact, we can say that
it is one of the best, if not the very best, of the countries lying
within the tropics; and, during the dry season, it is unsurpassable
anywhere. In this season, the days are delightful, and the nights, with
the clear, transparent air, and the sky spangled with myriads of stars
(many of which, notably the constellation known as "The Southern Cross,"
are not visible in more northern countries), are veritable dreams of

The heat and cold are never extreme, and there is only a slight
difference in the temperature all the year round. The warmest month at
Havana is July, with an average temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit,
and the coldest is January, with an average temperature of 70 degrees.

The rainy season lasts from the first of May till the first of October.
The popular impression is that it rains pretty nearly all the time
during this season, but this is a mistake. On an average there are not
more than ten rainy days a month, and the rain generally comes in the
afternoon. The temperature of Havana in the summer is but little higher
than that of New Orleans, while its rainfall is infinitely less. Yellow
fever exists in the coast cities all the year round, but it rarely makes
its appearance in the interior. The western part of the island is as
habitable as is Ohio.

It is certain that the effects of the climate upon the Spanish soldiers
has been disastrous, but much of the mortality among them have been due
not to the climate alone, but to a bad system of hygiene, wretched diet,
unsuitable clothing and a criminal disregard on the part of the military
authorities of the health of the men under their control.

The Medical Record, in an article on the subject, says:

"There is no evading the fact, however, that the landing of a large body
of more or less raw, unacclimatized men in the lowlands of a reputed
unhealthy coast at the beginning of the rainy season is an experiment
that must from the very nature of things be attended with much risk."

But the danger to our own soldiers must also from the very nature of
things, be much less than it has proved to the Spaniards. Our army is
composed of a much higher class of men intellectually, and besides that,
they will be infinitely better taken care of.

The next point to be considered is the population of Cuba. There has
been no official census taken since 1887. Then the entire population was
estimated at 1,631,687. Of these about one-fifth were natives of Spain,
10,500 were whites of foreign blood, 485,187 were free negroes, about
50,000 were Chinese and the rest native Cubans.

It may be interesting to note the percentage of whites and blacks, and
to see how the negro element has been decreasing both relatively and
absolutely during late years. At the present time the negroes are in all
probability not more than one-fourth of the entire population.

    Year.    White.   Negro.  Cent.
    1804    234,000  198,000  45.8
    1819    239,830  213,203  47.
    1830    332,352  423,343  56.
    1841    418,291  589,333  58.4
    1850    479,490  494,252  50.75
    1860    632,797  566,632  47.
    1869    797,596  602,215  43.
    1877    985,325  492,249  33.
    1887  1,102,689  485,188  30.55

The island is divided into six political divisions, each province taking
the name of its capital city: Havana, Matanzas, Santa Clara, Puerto
Principe, Santiago de Cuba and Pinar del Rio.

The figures in the following table give the population by provinces, as
well as the density of population (number of inhabitants per square

    Provinces.     Inhabitants.  Kilometers.  Density.
    Pinar del Rio      225,891     14,967      15.09
    Habana             451,928      8,610      52.49
    Matanzas           259,578      8,486      30.59
    Santa Clara        354,122     23,083      15.34
    Puerto Principe     67,789     32,341       2.10
    Santiago de Cuba   272,379     35,119       7.76
                     ---------    -------      -----
      Totals         1,631,687    122,606      13.31

In Cuba, under Spanish rule, the Roman Catholic is the only religion
tolerated by the government. There are no Protestant or Jewish places of
worship. A decree promulgated in Madrid in 1892 declares that, while a
person who should comply with all other requirements might be permitted
to remain on the island, he would not be allowed to advance doctrines at
variance with those of the established church. As Catholicism is a state
religion, its maintenance is charged to the revenues of the island, and
amounts to something like $400,000 a year.

Education in Cuba is, or has been, at a very low ebb. That is due, as
many other things are, to the wretched, short-sighted policy of Spain,
the country which has never completely emerged from the darkness of
barbarism. She was afraid to give education to the Cubans, thinking that
she could better dominate them in their ignorance. There is a royal
university in Havana, and a collegiate institute in each of the six
provinces, the number of students in all amounting to nearly three
thousand, but these come almost without exception from the ranks of the

Less than one out of every forty-five of the children in Cuba attend the
public schools. There was a farcical law passed in 1880, making
education compulsory. How could such a law be of any effect when there
was neither the ability nor the desire to provide school-houses and
instructors? Now let us take a brief glance at some of the chief cities
of Cuba.

Havana, the principal and capital city of the island, is situated on the
west side of the bay of Havana, on a peninsula of level land of
limestone formation.

It is the seat of the general government and captain-generalcy, superior
court of Havana (audencia,) general direction of finance, naval station,
arsenal, observatory, diocese of the bishopric and the residence of all
the administrative officers of the island (civil, military, maritime,
judicial and economic).

Its strategic position at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico has aptly
given to the city the name of the Key of the Gulf; and a symbolic key is
emblazoned in its coat-of-arms. The harbor, the entrance to which is
narrow, is wide and deep, and a thousand ships could easily ride there
at anchor.

It has always been supposed to be strongly fortified, its chief defences
being Morro Castle, the Cabana, the Castillo del Principe, Fort Atares,
the Punta and the Reina Battery.

The population of Havana, from the last official estimate, is about

Before the present war, Havana was one of the most charming places in
the world for the tourist to visit, more especially during the winter

There is scarcely a city in Europe which, to the American seemed so
foreign as Havana. The whole appearance of the place, its manners and
customs, were all totally different to what the American had been

The streets are so narrow that vehicles by law are obliged to pass down
one street and up another, while the sidewalks are not more than two
feet wide and hollowed down in the centre by the constant trampling of
feet. This applies to the city proper, for, outside the walls, there are
many broad and beautiful avenues. The streets are very noisy and, as a
rule, excessively unclean.

The houses, many of them palaces, wonderfully beautiful within, but
situated on dark and dirty alleys, are all built about a central
courtway. There are no fireplaces anywhere, nor a window shielded with
glass in the whole city. The windows have iron bars, and within those of
the first story is the inevitable row of American rocking chairs.
Through these bars the Cuban lover interviews his inamorata. It would be
the height of indecorum for him to approach nearer, to seek to speak
with her within the walls of her own home, even in the presence of her
father and mother.

Cows are driven about the streets and milked in front of your own door,
when you desire the lacteal fluid. This custom is, at all events, a
safeguard against adulteration.

Ladies do not go into the shops to make purchases, but all goods are
brought out to them as they sit in their volantes.

By the way, the volante (flyer) is the national carriage and no other,
practically, is used in the country. It consists of a two seated
vehicle, slung low down by leather straps from the axle of two large
wheels, and it has shafts fifteen feet long. The horse in the shafts is
led by a postillion, whose horse is harnessed on the other side of the
shafts in the same manner. The carriage is extremely comfortable to
travel in, and the height of the wheels and their distance apart prevent
all danger of turning over, although the roads in the country are for
the most part, mere tracks through fields and open land. Ox carts and
pack mules are used for conveying goods in the interior of the island
outside of the meagre railway lines.

Havana has some beautiful public parks and some really fine statues,
chiefly those of Spain's former rulers.

Its principal theatre, the Tacon, is celebrated throughout the world for
its size and beauty. In regard to theatres, there is one peculiar custom
in Havana: By the payment of a certain sum, beyond the price of
admission, one is allowed to go behind the scenes between the acts. This
privilege has caused great annoyance to many eminent artists.

The cathedral of Havana is rather imposing in architecture, although it
is badly situated, but it is very interesting because there is an urn
within its walls which is said, and with a large semblance of truth, to
contain the bones of Columbus.

Space does not permit us to tell of all the charms of Havana, but,
suffice it to say, that it was and will be again, under far happier
conditions too, one of the most delightful cities in the world.

The city of Cuba, next in commercial importance to Havana, is Matanzas.
It is beautifully situated on the north coast, about seventy miles from
Havana, and has a population of about fifty thousand. The climate is
fine, and Matanzas is considered the healthiest city on the island. With
proper drainage (something that has hitherto been almost unknown in Cuba
as are all other sanitary arrangements) yellow fever and malaria would
be almost unknown. If it should ever come under American enterprise, the
city would develop into a superb pleasure resort and be a fatal rival to
the Florida towns. We cannot forbear to mention the Caves of Bellamar.
These are not far from Matanzas and are subterranean caverns, of which
there are a number in Cuba. The walls and roofs are covered with
stalactites of every conceivable hue and shape, and forming pictures of
beauty far beyond anything conceived of, even in the Arabian Nights.

The most modern city of importance is Cienfuegos (as its name signifies,
the City of a Hundred Fires). It has a population of about twenty-six
thousand and its harbor is one of the best on the southern coast, with a
depth of 27 feet at the anchorage, and from 14 to 16 feet at the

Cardenas is a seaport on the north coast about 135 miles east of Havana.
Its population is about the same as Cienfuegos. In the rainy season, its
climate is distinctly bad and its sanitary conditions worse. It has some
large manufactories, and carries on a flourishing trade.

Santiago de Cuba, on the southeastern coast, is the second city of size
in Cuba (60,000 inhabitants), and the one on which all American eyes
have been fixed, for it is there that our brave Sampson bottled up
Cervera's illusive fleet, and on its suburbs a fierce battle was fought,
July 1, 2 and 3, between the American troops under General Shafter and
the Spanish army under General Linares, resulting in the defeat of the
latter and the subsequent surrender of the city to the United States'
forces on Sunday, July 17.

It is very difficult, by the way, to find the entrance to the harbor of
Santiago. Approaching it from the sea, nothing is seen but lofty
mountains. When quite near, two mountains seem to suddenly part, and a
channel only 180 yards wide, but of good depth, is revealed.

It is the oldest city in America, many years older than St. Augustine,
having been founded by Velasquez in 1514, and is exceedingly quaint and

Its chief fortifications are the Castillo of La Socapa and the Morro
Castle, the largest and most picturesque of the three of that name. The
latter was built about 1640, and is a fine specimen of the feudal
"donjon keep" with battlemented walls, moats, drawbridge, portcullis and
all the other paraphernalia of the days of romance. The harbor itself,
around which so much interest has clustered, is naturally one of the
finest in the world, but no pains has been taken to improve it, the
funds appropriated for that purpose having been stolen by the Spanish
engineers and officials.

Santiago is Spanish for St. James, who is the special patron saint of
Spain, on account of a myth that he once made a journey to that country.

Cuba, in short, is one of the most beautiful and fertile countries on
the face of the globe, but man, in the shape of brutal Spain, has done
everything he could, to ruin the gifts Nature so lavishly bestowed.

Let us hope and believe, as surely we have every reason to do, that upon
the "Pearl of the Antilles," the sun of prosperity will rise, driving
away the gloomy shadows of oppression, and that the dawn will be not
long postponed.



It is unnecessary to refer except in a brief manner to the
Spanish-American war, as the struggle is at the present time of writing
only in its inception, and no one can tell how long it will last or what
reverses each side may experience before peace is declared.

One thing is certain, however. The result is not problematical. It is
assured. The United States will be victorious in the end, be that end
near or distant, and Cuba must and shall be free.

If ever there was a war that was entered into purely from motives of
humanity and with no thought whatever of conquest, it is this one. The
entire people of the United States were agreed that their purpose was a
holy one, and instantly the call of the President was responded to from
all parts of the country. Sectional differences, such as they were,
vanished like mist before the sun. There was no Easterner, no Westerner,
no Northerner, no Southerner, but "Americans all."

We are proud of our army and navy, and justly so. Dewey destroyed a
large fleet, without the loss of a man, a feat unprecedented in the
annals of warfare, ancient or modern. Sampson bottled up Cervera's fleet
in the harbor of Santiago, after the wily admiral had attempted a
diplomacy which was nothing more nor less than absurd, and when
Cervera, on the eve of the surrender of the city, attempted to escape
from his self-constituted trap, his four armored cruisers and two
torpedo boat destroyers were literally riddled and sunk outside the
harbor by the skilful gunners of the American fleet. Hobson, in sinking
the Merrimac, displayed a heroism that has never been surpassed. And on
land, General Shafter's achievements have been brilliant in the extreme.

It is interesting here to examine for a moment the attitude of other
countries toward us since the declaration of war with Spain.

Of course they all declared neutrality.

At first France apparently was very bitter against us, declaring that it
was a war of aggression and one that was unjustified. We think we have
already shown in these pages how unwarrantable such an accusation was.
There was a reason for France's feeling, outside of the fact that her
people, like Spain's, belong to the Latin race, and that reason was that
a large proportion of Spanish bonds was held in France. Even the best of
us do not bear with equanimity anything which depletes our pockets. But
it was not long before a great change took place both in press and
public and a wave of French sympathy turned toward us. This is as it
should be and was inevitable. There could be no lasting rancor between
us and our sister republic, the country who gave us Lafayette and
presented us with the Statue of Liberty.

The press of Germany has unquestionably said some very harsh things.
But we are confident that the feeling is confined to the press and does
not represent the mass of the people. We do know that it is in no way
representative of the German government, which from the very beginning
has showed itself most friendly to us. The ties between Germany and the
United States are too strong ever to be severed, with the thousands and
thousands of Germans in this country who rank among our very best

Russia, who from time immemorial has been our friend and given us her
moral support in all our troubles, has treated us with the utmost

But the pleasantest thing of all has been the attitude of Great Britain,
our once mother country. She has stood by us through thick and thin,
hurling defiance in the face of the world in her championship of us, and
rejoicing in our victories almost as if they were her own. This has done
more to bring the two great English-speaking nations together than
anything else could possibly have done, and will probably have far
reaching consequences in the future.

The Marquis of Lansdowne, the British Secretary of State of War, in a
recent speech, thus expressed himself:

"There could be no more inspiring ideal than an understanding between
two nations sprung from the same race and having so many common
interests, nations which, together, are predominant in the world's
commerce and industry.

"Is there anything preposterous in the hope that these two nations
should be found--I will not say in a hard and fast alliance of offense
and defense, but closely connected in their diplomacy, absolutely frank
and unreserved in their international councils, and ready wherever the
affairs of the world are threatened with disturbance to throw their
influence into the same scale?

"Depend upon it, these are no mere idle dreams or hazy aspirations. The
change which has come over the sentiment of each country toward the
other during the last year or two is almost immeasurable. One can
scarcely believe they are the same United States with whom, only two
years ago, we were on the verge of a serious quarrel.

"The change is not an ephemeral understanding between diplomatists, but
a genuine desire of the two peoples to be friends, and therefore it
cannot be laughed out of existence by the sort of comments we have
lately heard."

There is a poem which we cannot forbear to quote here, it is so fine in
itself and so expressive of the existing situation. The author is
Richard Mansfield, the eminent actor:

           THE EAGLE'S SONG.


    The Lioness whelped, and the sturdy cub
    Was seized by an eagle and carried up
    And homed for a while in an eagle's nest,
    And slept for a while on an eagle's breast,
    And the eagle taught it the eagle's song:
    "To be staunch and valiant and free and strong!"

    The Lion whelp sprang from the eerie nest,
    From the lofty crag where the queen birds rest;
    He fought the King on the spreading plain,
    And drove him back o'er the foaming main.

    He held the land as a thrifty chief,
    And reared his cattle and reaped his sheaf,
    Nor sought the help of a foreign hand,
    Yet welcomed all to his own free land!

    Two were the sons that the country bore
    To the Northern lakes and the Southern shore,
    And Chivalry dwelt with the Southern son,
    And Industry lived with the Northern one.

    Tears for the time when they broke and fought!
    Tears was the price of the union wrought!
    And the land was red in a sea of blood,
    Where brother for brother had swelled the flood!

    And now that the two are one again,
    Behold on their shield the word "Refrain!"
    And the lion cubs twain sing the eagle's song,
    "To be staunch and valiant and free and strong!"
    For the eagle's beak and the lion's paw,
    And the lion's fangs and the eagle's claw,
    And the eagle's swoop and the lion's might,
    And the lion's leap and the eagle's sight,
    Shall guard the flag with the word "Refrain!"
    Now that the two are one again!
    Here's to a cheer for the Yankee ships!
    And "Well done, Sam," from the mother's lips!

War is unquestionably a terrible thing. As General Sherman put it, "war
is hell." But there are other terrible and yet necessary things, also,
such as the operations of surgery and the infliction of the death

War is justifiable, when waged, as the present one unquestionably is,
from purely unselfish motives, simply from a determination to rescue a
people whose sufferings had become unbearable to them and to the
lookers-on. The United States, by its action, has set a lesson for the
rest of the world, which the latter will not be slow to learn and for
which future generations will bless the name of America.

Nobly are we following out the precepts of our forefathers, who declared
in one of the most magnificent documents ever framed:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted
among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;
that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute
new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing
its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect
their safety and happiness."

We fought for these principles, in our own interests, a century and a
quarter ago; in the interests of others, we are fighting for them

A question which has been universally asked is this: Can the Cubans, if
they obtain freedom, govern themselves, or will not a free Cuba become a
second Hayti with all the horrors of that island?

To this our reply is: Most emphatically Cuba will be able to govern
herself; not in the beginning, perhaps, where mistakes must of
necessity be made, but most certainly in the end.

The Cuban leaders are men of high intelligence and lofty purposes, and
they know what reforms must be instituted. Some one has said that "love
of liberty is the surest guarantee of representative government."

Surely these men have shown their love of liberty in the fullest degree
and have proved themselves in every way fitted for self-government.

The Cubans, strange as the statement may seem to those who have studied
the matter only in a cursory way, are not a people who love trouble.
Though revolution after revolution has occurred in the island, the
Cubans have never taken up arms until every peaceful means of redress
had been resorted to.

It has been feared that the negro element would be a disturbing
influence, but we can see little or no reason for this dread. The same
thing was said of the emancipation of the slaves in our own South, but
certainly, taken altogether, the behavior of the colored race in the
United States, since the Civil War, has been most praiseworthy.

A Frenchman, Baron Antomarchi, who is naturally unprejudiced, says:

"When the time for the settlement of the Cuban question shall have come
it will be an affair of give and take between the whites and the
negroes, and if the negro does not succeed in convincing the white man
that he is entitled to a full measure of civil authority, a measure
which by reason of his numerical strength he will have a right, under a
republican government, to exact, then we may have to stand by while Cuba
engages in an internal struggle important enough to cripple or, to say
the least, seriously hinder, her development. Should the war come to an
end and should Cuba be free to develop the riches of the land for which
she is now battling, an American protectorate would prevent all dangers
of race conflict. The United States would be under a moral obligation to
avert disorder. Aside from all considerations of a commercial character
there would be the obligation resulting from an adherence to consistency
of conduct. The stand taken by the American legislators, or some of
them, to say nothing of the stand taken by the American people, would
make this latter obligation even still more binding.

Not until her machetes shall have been returned to their original use
can Cuba develop the riches bestowed upon her by Nature. After the dawn
of peace, when her sons are free to settle down to the tranquil life of
the untrammeled husbandman, there will be no hunted exiles in the long
grass of her savannas. When Cuba has attained the quiet calm that her
younger generation has never known, she will show the world that it was
not for idle brigands that Maceo died. In the shadow of the feathered
cocoa palms in the deep shade of the drooping heavy leaves where Gilard
dreamed of liberty, great cities shall one day loom in the misty, tropic
twilight, and peace shall brood over the land that now, seamed with the
graves of Cuba's heroes, awaits the murdered bodies of Cuban victims.
Not until that day has come will it be known how strong to endure
torment and sorrow, how brave in time of danger, were the men who won
the day for Cuban independence."

It is absolutely certain that all the natural and political ties that
have bound "the Ever Faithful Isle" to the mother country have been so
completely severed that it is utterly impossible they should ever be
united again.

The unique banner of Cuba, with its blue and white stripes and a single
star upon a red triangle, has cost more blood and treasure than any
revolutionary flag known to history.

When this war is over, and Spain has learned her lesson, severe but
well-deserved, and we hope salutary, then shall that flag take its place
among the honored ones of other nations; then will the Cubans show their
ability to prize and cherish the liberty for which the blood of their
heroes has been spilled; then, under the protectorate of the United
States, but as an independent republic, will Cuba, in the words of our
own General Lee, emerge from the dark shadows of the past, and stand
side by side with those countries who have their place in the sunlight
of peace, progress and prosperity.

Oh! Cuba Libre! as Longfellow said of our own Union, so do all
Americans, who are now fighting with you shoulder to shoulder, say to

    "Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee;
     Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
     Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
     Are all with thee--are all with thee!"


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: book's back cover]

Transcriber's note:

Both Hatury and Hatuey appear in the text. Due to the fact that there
were so many typographical errors in the printing, it is assumed that
Hatury is also one. Hatury has been changed to Hatuey which is the
original Spanish spelling of the Taino chief's name.

The spelling of the country, Chile remains spelled Chili.

The spelling of reconcehtrado was changed to reconcentrado;
add nauseam.=>ad nauseam.

The title page carrie the error: IT'S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.
This has been corrected: ITS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.

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