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Preparing for her long cruise. people and of American interests and of our horror, but the policy of concentrainvestments in the island provoked the tion was only completely abandoned under President to action. In the name of the spur of our indignation. The right humanity and civilization, an earnest pro- to care for its own is an inherent right of test was offered against the inhuman tactics every nation. President McKinley obenforced, and demand was made that the tained from Congress an appropriation war be conducted in accord with the mili- for the relief of American citizens in Cuba tary code of civilized nations. Small con- brought to destitution and sickness by cessions were made to the just expressions the devastation policy pursued in the island. This money, judiciously expended, guise the gravity of the situation,” Gensuccored many who were starving. The eral Woodford said, “nor conceal the good it wrought was an indication of the conviction of the President that, should greater good which could be accomplished his present effort be fruitless, his duty to by affording relief to the victims of the his countrymen will necessitate an early reconcentration camps. On December decision as to the course of action which 24, 1897, the eve of the birth of the the time and the transcendent emergency Master who taught the blessed lesson of may demand.” This was practically the charity, President McKinley appealed to text of the instruction given to General the American people to give of their Woodford before his departure for his plenty to the suffering Cubans. The post, and carefully considered by the response was generous. His own per- President and his Cabinet during the hot sonal contribution, of which few knew, summer days of the preceding July. was far beyond his means to give. Dis- Spain suffered a Cabinet crisis eleven tribution of the money and supplies col- days after the presentation of the Amerilected caused immediate alleviation of can note, and a new Ministry was formed, distress, and thousands were saved from with the Liberal Señor Sagasta as its death. The President's action was hu- President. Sagasta appreciated the power manitarian in conception and execution, of the United States and the temper of as it was also specially characteristic of our people. The note of General Woodhis own generous nature, but it was also ford, our able Minister to Spain, was internationally significant, for it marked answered by the announcement that an the beginning of American intervention autonomist government would be estabin Cuba.

lished in the island. The innovation was Temporary amelioration of the con- one that to the President and his Cabinet dition of the Cuban sufferers was the indicated a hopeful change of policy on immediate object of the Presidential ap- the part of the Spanish Crown. But peal for contributions for their sustenance. though autonomy was established in Cuba Eradication of the evils in the political within limited areas and with evidence of system of Cuba, which made such a con- good faith

the part of Spain, it dition possible, was the only remedy promptly developed its insufficiency to which could prevent its return. More- restore peace to the belligerent island. over, the United States owed it to itself Those loyal to Spain derided it; the and to its people to insist upon the ter- insurgents contemptuously refused to mination of a situation which was product- accept it. ive of disaster to American capital, indus- Americans must review these negotia. try, and commerce, which caused constant tions with a feeling of satisfaction, for they irritation and disturbance of domestic, clearly show that every opportunity and social, and business affairs, and which ample time were given to Spain to meet the menaced the health of the Nation through demands of our President, and to effect a the danger of the introduction of infec- settlement honorable and right to herself tious diseases from the reconcentration and her rebellious subjects. During the camps of the island. These obligations consideration of the notes exchanged, I were far more pressing upon the Presi. was often struck by the concern manident than, and in fact superseded, the fested by President McKinley and his obligation to respect the sovereignty of advisers of the Cabinet to be considerate Spain. The first step in their observance of the susceptibilities of the Spanish peowas intrusted to General Stewart L. Wood- ple, and at the same time to attain the one ford, of New York, who was appointed object in view—the permanent pacificaMinister to Spain. On September 18, tion of Cuba. It was of vital importance 1897, General Woodford tendered to the that the Navy Department should be adMadrid Government, on behalf of the vised of every developinent in the negotiaPresident, the most kindly offices of the tions, as the maintenance of the naval United States. This offer was couched anti-filibustering patrol was in its charge, in language decidedly more emphatic the protection of American life and propthan that employed by Secretary Olneyerty in foreign lands was the first duty of seventeen months before. “I cannot dis- our men-of-war, and there was, finally, the



Of the Naval War Board.


REAR-ADMIRAL A. S. CROWIXSHIELD Of the Naval War Board. probability that war-especially involving property and commercial interests hamthe navy-might be the ultimate result. pered by the absence of a naval force,

His conscientious view of the situation and the known determination of the had deterred President Cleveland from prior administration not to order a warsending a man-of-war to Cuban waters, ship to Cuban waters. In the first meetthough consular officers had not failed to ings of President McKinley's Cabinet call attention to the advisability of such consideration was given to the suggestion action. American citizens had been to despatch a man-of-war to Havana. But arbitrarily thrown into jail, and one, Dr. because it was desirable not to arouse the Ricardo Ruiz, died

suspicion that the in prison under cir

United States was cumstances which

applying pressure to indicated that he

Spain to compel had been foully

acceptance of the murdered. Ener

President's proposgetic representa

als for the terminations made by the

tion of the insurrecState Department

tion, it was decided during the Cleve

to defer such action. land and the first

Time, however, only few months of the

accentuated the McKinley adminis

gravity of the Cuban tration resulted in

situation, and there the release of all

were indications Americans confined

that Havana might in Cuban prisons.

become the scene of Nevertheless, Gen

disturbances antieral Fitzhugh Lee,

American in characour Consul-General


ter. Such demonin Havana during

strations, especially both administra

if directed against tions, found his rep

the American Conresentations in e

sulate, could only half of American

Of the Naval War Board.


had conse



quences disastrous to the peace of the two her in April, 1897. A few months before nations. As a measure of precaution, the Maine was sent to Key West, Captain therefore, President McKinley, in Octo- Sigsbee had shown good judgment in ber of 1897, decided that a war-ship avoiding in the East River, New York, a ought to be stationed within a short dis- collision with an excursion steamer loaded tance of the Cuban capital. Instructions with women and children. Captain Sigswere accordingly given to the second- bee's conduct in Havana demonstrated class battle-ship Maine to proceed to Port that the Department had justly estimated Royal, South Carolina. Early in Decem- his character. He was as punctilious as ber she was ordered to Key West, with the Spaniards in official courtesies. He instructions to open communication with diplomatically refrained from involving General Lee, proceed to Havana at such himself in Cuban politics. At the same time as, on notice from him, conditions in time, he served as the eyes and ears of that city should warrant, and to grant an the Navy Department, and transmitted to asylum to American citizens should they it all the information he could collect conappear to be in danger. The wisdom of cerning political and military conditions this action was proven by disturbances in the island. which occurred in Havana on January 12, When the Maine ordered to 1898, as a result of the hostility of the Havana, it was not intended that she Spanish royalists there to the plan of an should remain for a long time. In the autonomic government. General Lee judgment of the medical officers of the cabled to the State Department that un- Department, sanitary reasons forbade a certainty existed whether the Spanish protracted stay. Political necessity deCaptain-General could control the situa- manded, however, that the advantage tion, and advised that ships be prepared gained by the despatch of a vessel should to move promptly. Obviously, there was not be lost by her immediate withdrawal. but one thing to do. Through Minister General Lee expressed the opinion that Woodford and General Lee the Spanish conditions required the presence of a authorities had been advised of the pur- war-ship; that the retirement of the pose of the United States to have its war- Maine and neglect to order another ship ships resume friendly visits to Cuban in her place would aggravate them, and ports. Carrying out this decision, the that to counteract the Spanish estimate of Maine went to Havana, and the cruiser our navy a first-class battle-ship should Montgomery to Santiago de Cuba and be sent in case the Maine were relieved, Matanzas. Spain affected to see an ulte- and with it a torpedo-boat to preserve rior motive in this action, and declared communication with the Commander-inthat the presence of American war-ships Chief of the North Atlantic Squadron. would obstruct autonomy and cause dis- General Lee's views prevailed. The order, but responded to the announce- Maine remained in Havana Harbor, and ment of the purpose to despatch war ves- the torpedo-boat Cushing conveyed dessels to Cuban waters by declaring her patches to and from her to the Comappreciation of the proposed visits, and mander-in-Chief at Key West. stating that she would return the courtesy While representatives of the United by sending Spanish ships to the principal States, diplomatic, consular, and naval, ports of the United States.

were according to Spain the courtesy due Several reasons were responsible for to a friendly nation, the Envoy of the the selecting of the Maine for service at Spanish Government in Washington, Havana. She was a second-class battle Enrique Dupuy de Lome, committed an ship, really an armored cruiser, sufficiently unfortunate breach of etiquette and propowerful to impress the Spanish troops priety. In a letter to a friend in Havana and loyalists, and at the same time capa- the Minister referred to the President in ble of making a good defense in case of coarse and abusive terms. The letter, an attack by shore batteries and their brought to light, was submitted to the supporting ships in the harbor. She was State Department. The usefulness of its under an officer in whom the Department author ceased at once. His recall was had confidence—Captain Charles D. Sigs- demanded, but before the demand was bee, who had been ordered to command presented he anticipated it by tendering


Photographed from the Brooklyn Bridge by Enrique Muller. Copyright, 1901, by Enrique Muller.

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