Project Gutenberg's The History of Cuba, vol. 4, by Willis Fletcher Johnson

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Title: The History of Cuba, vol. 4

Author: Willis Fletcher Johnson

Release Date: October 8, 2010 [EBook #33848]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Etext transcriber's note:

Any of the images may be seen at an enlarged size by clicking on them.

The use of Spanish accents in this text varies and has not been altered (ie. both Senor and Señor [tilde n], Senora and Señora [tilde n], José [acute accented letter e] and Jose appear; both Nunez and Nuñez [tilde n], Marti and Martí [acute accented i], Carreno and Carreño appear [tilde n].)

Several typographical errors have been corrected (Almandares=>Almendares, Donate=>Donato, etc.).


The first great apostle and martyr of the Cuban War of Independence,
José Martí, was born in Havana on January 28, 1853, and fell in battle
at Dos Rios on May 19, 1895. He was a Professor of Literature, Doctor of
Laws, economist, philosopher, essayist, journalist, poet, historian,
statesman, tribune of the people, organizer of the final and triumphant
cause of Cuban freedom. He suffered imprisonment in Spain and exile in
Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States, doing his crowning work in the
last-named country as the vitalizing and energizing head of the Cuban
Junta in New York. His fame must be lasting as the nation which he
founded, wide as the world which he adorned.

The first great apostle and martyr of the Cuban War of Independence, José Martí, was born in Havana on January 28, 1853, and fell in battle at Dos Rios on May 19, 1895. He was a Professor of Literature, Doctor of Laws, economist, philosopher, essayist, journalist, poet, historian, statesman, tribune of the people, organizer of the final and triumphant cause of Cuban freedom. He suffered imprisonment in Spain and exile in Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States, doing his crowning work in the last-named country as the vitalizing and energizing head of the Cuban Junta in New York. His fame must be lasting as the nation which he founded, wide as the world which he adorned.


A.M., L.H.D.
Author of "A Century of Expansion," "Four Centuries of
the Panama Canal," "America's Foreign Relations"
Honorary Professor of the History of American Foreign
Relations in New York University





Copyright, 1920,
All rights reserved





 Cuba for the Cubans—Era of the War of Independence—Organization of the Cuban Revolutionary Party—Vigilance of the Spanish Government—The Sartorius Uprising—The Abarzuza "Home Rule" Measure—Beginning of the War of Independence—José Marti, His Genius and His Work—Members of the Junta in New York—Independence the Aim—Marti's Departure for Cuba—Association with Maximo Gomez—Death of Marti—His Legacy of Ideals to Cuba. 
 Aims and Methods of the Junta—Efforts to Avoid American Complications—Filibustering Expeditions—Contraband Messenger Service—Attitude of the Various Classes of the Cuban People Toward the Revolution—No Racial nor Partisan Differences—The Spanish Element—The Mass of the Cuban People United for National Independence. 
 The First Uprising—Failure in Havana—Success in Oriente—Response of the Spanish Authorities—Superior Numbers of the Spanish Forces—Early Complications with the United States-Seeking Terms with the Patriots—Grim Reception of an Envoy—Ministerial Crisis at Madrid over Cuban Affairs—Martinez Campos, "Spain's Greatest Soldier," Sent to Cuba—His Conciliatory Policy—His Military Preparations—Antonio Maceo—Uprisings in Many Places—Provisional Government of the Patriots—Campos's Barricades—Campos Beaten by Maceo. 
 Declaration of Cuban Independence—First Constitutional Convention—The First Government of Ministers—Founders of the Cuban Government—Desperate Efforts of Campos—Disadvantages of the Cubans—Plantation Work Forbidden—Campaigns by Maceo and Gomez—Losses of the Spaniards at Sea—Reenforcements from Spain Welcomed—Cuban Headquarters at Las Tunas—Invasion of Matanzas—Defeat and Narrow Escape of Campos—Action of the Autonomists—Loyalty Pledged to Campos—State of Siege in Havana—Campos Recalled to Spain. 
CHAPTER V— 65{iv}
 General Marin—General Weyler the New Captain-General—His Arrival and Remorseless Policy—Cuban Elections a Farce—The Trocha—A War of Ruthless Destruction—Many Filibustering Expeditions—Interest of the United States Government—Diplomatic Controversies—Efficiency of the Provisional Government—Strengthening the Trocha—Activity of Maceo—His Betrayal and Death—Campaigns of Gomez and Others—Calixto Garcia—The Great Advance Westward—President Cleveland's Significant Message to the United States Congress. 
 Bad Effects of Maceo's Death—Weyler in the Field Against Gomez—Daring and Death of Bandera—Dissensions in the Camp of Gomez—Weyler's Concentration Policy—A Practical Attempt at Extermination—Senator Proctor's Observations—President McKinley's Message—Crisis in Spain—Weyler Recalled and Succeeded by Ramon Blanco—Further Attempts at Reform and Conciliation—Condition of Cuba—The Revolutionists Uncompromising—The Ruiz-Aranguren Tragedy—Organization of the Autonomist Government—Attitude of the Spaniards—Visit of the Maine to Havana—Destruction of the Vessel—The Investigations—Futile Efforts of the Autonomist Government 
 The Destruction of the Maine not the Cause of American Intervention—Causes Which Led to the War—Diplomatic Negotiations—German Intrigue—President McKinley's War Message—His Attitude Toward the Cuban People—Spanish Resentment—Declaration of War—American Agents Sent to Cuba—Attitude of Maximo Gomez—Supplies, not Troops, Wanted—Blockade of the Cuban Coast—Spanish Fleet at Santiago—Landing of the American Army—Operations at Santiago—Services of the "Rough Riders"—Naval Battle of Santiago—Surrender of the Spanish Army—The Armistice. 
 Departure of the Spanish Forces from Cuba—Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Spain—Cuba to be Made Independent—The Cuban Debt—First American Government of Intervention—The Roll of Spanish Rulers from Velasquez in 1512 to Castellanos in 1899—Relations between Americans and Cubans—Disbandment of the Provisional Government and Demobilization of the Cuban Army—A Mutinous Demonstration—Paying Off the Cuban Soldiers. 
CHAPTER IX— 139{v}
 American Occupation of Cuba—General Wood's Administration at Santiago—His Antecedents and Preparation for His Great Work—A Formidable Undertaking—Conquering Pestilence—Organization of the Rural Guards—American Administration at Havana and Throughout the Island—Grave Problems Confronting General Brooke—Agricultural and Industrial Rehabilitation—Reorganizing Local Government—Triumphal Progress of Maximo Gomez—Unification of Sentiment Among the People—Finances of the Island—Church and State—Marriage Reform—Franchises Refused—The Census—Improving the School System. 
 General Brooke Succeeded by General Leonard Wood—Favorable Reception of the Soldier-Statesman—A Cabinet of Cubans—Efficient Attention Paid to Public Education—Cuban Teachers at Harvard—Caring for Derelict Children—Public Works—Sanitation—Port Improvements—Roads—Paving—The Heroic Drama of the Conquest of Yellow Fever—Work of General Gorgas—A Home of Pestilence Transformed into a Sanitarium—Reforms in Court Procedure—Cleaning Up the Prisons—The First Election in Free Cuba—Rise of Political Parties—Taxation and the Tariff—Increase of Commerce. 
 Preparations for Self-Government—Call for a Constitutional Convention—The Election—Meeting of the Convention—General Wood's Address—Organization of the Convention—Framing the Constitution—Debates over Church and State, and Presidential Qualifications—Signing of the Constitution—No Americans Present at the Convention—General Provisions of the Constitution—Relations between Cuba and the United States—Controversy between the Two Governments—Origin of the "Platt Amendment"—Attitude of the Cubans Toward It—Malign Agitation and Misrepresentation—A Mission to Washington—Final Adoption of the Amendment. 
 Text of the Constitution of the Cuban Republic—The Nation, Its Form of Government, and the National Territory—Cubans and Foreigners—Bill of Rights—Sovereignty and Public Powers—The Legislature—The President—The Vice-President—The Secretaries of State—The Judicial Power—Provincial and Municipal Governments—Amendments. 
 Election of the First Cuban Government—Candidates for the Presidency—Tomas Estrada Palma Chosen by Common Consent—General Maso's Candidacy—The Election—Close of the American Occupation—A Festal Week in Havana—Transfer of Authority to the Cuban Government—The Cuban Flag at Last Raised in Sovereignty of the Island—President Roosevelt's Estimate of General Wood's Work in Cuba—President Palma's Cabinet—His First Message—The United States Naval Station—Reciprocity Secured after Discreditable Delay at Washington. 
 Admirable Work of the Palma Administration—Rise of Sordid Factionalism—José Miguel Gomez, Alfredo Zayas and Orestes Ferrara—Character of the Liberal Party, and of the Conservative Party—Conspiracy to Discredit an Election—An Abortive Insurrection—Pino Guerra's Intrigues—The Rebellion of José Miguel Gomez—President Palma's Unpreparedness and Incredulity—His Faith in the People—The Crisis—Suggestions of the American Consul-General—American Intervention sought—Ships and Troops Sent—Arrival of Mr. Taft—His Negotiations with the Rebels—His Yielding to Their Threats—Resignation of Estrada Palma—Mr. Taft's Pardon to the Rebels—Charles E. Magoon Made Provisional Governor—Estimate of President Palma and His Administration. 
 Mr. Magoon's Administration—Recognition of the Liberals—The Offices Filled with Liberal Placeholders—Execution of Many Public Works—A New Census Taken—New Electoral Law—Proportional Representation—New Elections Held—Split in the Liberal Party—The Presidential Campaign—Bargain between José Miguel Gomez and Alfredo Zayas—General Menocal and Dr. Montoro—The Victory of the Liberals—Changes in Provincial and Municipal Administrations—Revision of Laws—Settling Church Claims—End of the Second Intervention. 
 Administration of President José Miguel Gomez—His Cabinet Sketch of His Career—Sketch of Vice-President Zayas—Army Reorganization—New Laws—The President's Sensitiveness to Criticism—Officials in Politics—Charges of Profligacy and Corruption—Clash with the Veterans' Association—The United States Interested—Quarrels between Gomez and Zayas—Formidable Negro Revolt Suppressed—Reluctance to Settle Claims—Outrage Upon an American Diplomat—Amnesty Bill—The Lottery Established—The "Dragado" Scandal—The Railroad Terminal. 
CHAPTER XVII— 312{vii}
 The Fourth Presidential Campaign—Candidacy and Career of Mario G. Menocal—His Brilliant Work in the War of Independence and in the Sugar Industry—Sketch of Enrique José Varona—Dr. Rafael Montoro's Distinguished Career—His Diplomatic Services and Literary Achievements—President Menocal's Cabinet—His Aims and Plans for His Administration—First Message to Congress—Factional Obstruction—Paying Off Old Debts—Trying to Abolish Gambling—The Civil Service—Controversy Over the Asbert Amnesty Bill—A Small Insurrection. 
 Reelection of President Menocal—Features of the Campaign—Liberal Conspiracy to Invalidate the Election by Revolutionary Means—Disputed Elections—The Double Treason of José Miguel Gomez—Outbreak of a Carefully Planned Insurrection—Intrigues of Orestes Ferrara in the United States—Vigorous Military Action of President Menocal—American Assistance Wisely Declined—Capture of the Rebel Chieftain—Efforts of the Insurgents at Devastation—Continuance of the Rebellion by Carlos Mendieta—Dr. Ferrara Warned by the American Government—Attempts to Assassinate President Menocal—Clemency Shown to Criminals—Attitude of the United States Government—Some Plain Talk from Washington. 
 Cuba's Entry into the War of the Nations—President Menocal's War Message—Prompt Response of Congress—Sentiments of the Cuban People—German Propaganda—Attitude of the Church—Liberal Intrigues with Germans—Seizure of German Ships—Conservation and Increased Production of Food—Military Services—Generous Subscriptions to Liberty Loans—Mrs. Menocal's Leadership in Red Cross Work—Noble Activities of the Women of Cuba—Moral and Spiritual Effect of Cuba's Participation in the War. 
 Marti's Epigram on the Revolution—How It has been Fulfilled by the Cuban Republic—The Sense of Responsibility—Progress in Popular Education as a Criterion—Great Gain in Health—Enormous Growth of the Sugar Industry—Commerce of the Island—Stable Finances—Sanitary Efficiency—Military Reorganization—Statesmanship of President Menocal—Cuba's Unique Situation Among the Countries of the Globe—Significance of the Record Which She has Made from Velasquez to Menocal. 




José MartiFrontispiece
The Prado16
Maximo Gomez44
José Antonio Maceo74
Bay and Harbor of Havana98
Old and New in Havana134
Leonard Wood158
University of Havana164
Carlos J. Finlay172
The Capitol204
Tomas Estrada Palma248
The President's Home268
The Academy of Arts and Crafts288
Mario G. Menocal312
Enrique José Varona316
Rafael Montoro320
Senora Menocal352
Boneato Road, Oriente358
Ricardo del Monte2
Julian del Casal6
José Ramon Villalon13
George Reno21
La Punta Fortress, Havana33
Aniceto G. Menocal50
General Weyler66
William McKinley87
Antonio Govin95{x}
Admiral Cervera110
Admiral Schley110
Old Fort at El Caney112
Theodore Roosevelt113
Monuments on San Juan Hill114
Admiral Sampson115
Peace Tree near Santiago116
Part of Old City Wall of Havana122
Gonzalez Lanuza146
Evelio Rodriguez Lendian162
Antonio Sanchez de Bustamente165
Almendares River, Havana167
Old Time Water Mill, Havana Province169
Street in Vedado, Suburb of Havana176
Aurelia Castillo de Gonzalez192
Scene in Villalon Park, Havana247
Flag of Cuba250
Coat of Arms of Cuba251
William H. Taft276
José Miguel Gomez298
Dr. Alfredo Zayas300
Birthplace of Mario G. Menocal313
Dr. Juan Guiteras321
General D. Emilio Nuñez328
José Luis Azcarata341
Francisco Dominguez Roldan357
José A. del Cueto359
Dr. Fernandez Mendez-Capote360
General José Marti360
Eugenio Sanchez Agramonte362
Academy of Sciences, Havana364

{Page 1}



Cuba for Cuba must be the grateful theme of the present volume. We have seen the identification of the Queen of the Antilles with the Spanish discovery and conquest of America. We have traced the development of widespread international interests in that island, especially implicating the vital attention of at least four great powers. We have reviewed the origin and development of a peculiar relationship, frequently troubled but ultimately beneficent to both, between Cuba and the United States of America. Now, in the briefest of the four major epochs into which Cuban history is naturally divided, we shall have the welcome record of the achievement of Cuba's secure establishment among the sovereign nations of the world.

The time for the War of Independence was well chosen. That conflict was, indeed, a necessary and inevitable sequel to the Ten Years' War and its appendix, the Little War; under the same flag, with the same principles and issues, and with some of the same leaders. Indeed we may rightly claim that the organization of the Cuban Republic remained continuous and unbroken, if not in Cuba itself, at least in the United States, where, in New York, the Cuban Junta was ever active and resolute. The Treaty of Zanjon ended field operations for the time. It did not for one moment or in the least degree quench or diminish the impassioned and resolute determination of the Cuban people to become a nation.{2}

We have said that the War of Independence was inevitable. That was manifestly so because of the determination of the Cubans to become independent. It was also because of the failure of the Spanish government to fulfil the terms and stipulations of the Treaty of Zanjon, concerning which we have hitherto spoken. It must remain a matter of speculation whether that government ever intended to fulfil them. It is certain that few thoughtful Cubans, capable of judging the probabilities of the future by the actualities of the past, expected that it would do so. We may also regard it as certain that even a scrupulous fulfilment of those terms, while it might have postponed it, would not and could not permanently have defeated the assertion of Cuban independence.

Journalist, critic, poet and patriot, Ricardo del Monte was born at
Cimorrones in 1830, and was educated in the United States and Europe. In
Rome he was attached to the Spanish embassy. In Spain he was a
journalist with liberal and democratic tendencies. He returned to Cuba
in 1847 and edited several papers in Havana, including, after the Ten
Years War, El Triunfo and El Pais, the organ of the Autonomists. He
was a writer in prose and verse of singular power and grace, his works
ranking in style with the best of modern Spanish literature. He died in


Journalist, critic, poet and patriot, Ricardo del Monte was born at Cimorrones in 1830, and was educated in the United States and Europe. In Rome he was attached to the Spanish embassy. In Spain he was a journalist with liberal and democratic tendencies. He returned to Cuba in 1847 and edited several papers in Havana, including, after the Ten Years War, El Triunfo and El Pais, the organ of the Autonomists. He was a writer in prose and verse of singular power and grace, his works ranking in style with the best of modern Spanish literature. He died in 1908.

The Cuban Revolutionary Party, which as we have said never went out of existence, was reorganized for renewed activity in New York in April, 1892; from which time we may properly date the beginning of the War of Independence. Its leader was Jose Marti, of whom we shall have much more to say hereafter; but he did not accept the official headship of the Junta.{3} That place was taken by Tomas Estrada Palma, the honored veteran of the Ten Years' War, who at this time was the principal of an excellent boys' school at Central Valley, New York. He was the President of the Junta. The Secretary was Gonzalo de Quesada, worthy bearer of an honored name; a fervent patriot and an eloquent orator. The Treasurer was Benjamin Guerra, an approved patriot, and the General Counsel was Horatio Rubens. This New York Junta, meeting at No. 56 New Street, New York City, was the real head of the whole movement. But it was supplemented by many other Cuban clubs elsewhere. There were ten in New York, 61 at Key West, Florida; 15 at Tampa, two at Ocala, two in Philadelphia, and one each at New Orleans, Jacksonville, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and St. Augustine. There were also six in the island of Jamaica, two in Mexico, and one in Hayti.

The multiplication of these organizations and their increasing activity did not escape the observation of the Spanish government, which realized that revolution was in the air, and that it behooved it to do something to counteract it if it was to avoid losing the last remains of its once vast American empire. Accordingly early in 1893 the Cortes at Madrid enacted a bill extending the electoral franchise in Cuba to all men paying each as much as five pesos tax yearly. The Autonomist party at first regarded this concession with doubt and suspicion, but finally decided to give it a trial and participated in the elections held under the new law. But the result was unsatisfactory; owing, it was openly charged, to gross intimidation and frauds by the Government. The sequel was increased activity of the revolutionary organizations.

The Spanish government was vigilant and strenuous.{4} It sent more troops to Cuba, and it sent a large part of its navy to American waters, to patrol the Cuban coast, to cruise off the Florida coast, and to guard the waters between the two, in order to prevent the sending of filibustering expeditions or cargoes of supplies from the United States to Cuba. These efforts were so efficient that no important expeditions got through. But in spite of that fact an insurrection was started in Cuba in the spring of 1893.

The leaders were two brothers, Manuel and Ricardo Sartorius, of Santiago de Cuba. On April 24 they put themselves at the head of a band of twenty men and, at Puernio, near Holguin, they proclaimed a revolution. The next day they were joined by eighteen more, and by the time they had marched to Milas, on the north coast, the band was increased to 300, while other bands, in sympathy with them, were formed at Holguin, Manzanillo, Guantanamo, and Las Tunas. This movement, however, was purely a private enterprise of the Sartorius Brothers; in which they presumably expected to be supported by a general uprising of the Cuban people. As a matter of fact there was no such uprising. The people seemed indifferent to it. The juntas and clubs in New York and elsewhere knew nothing about it. The Executive Committee of the Autonomist Party in Cuba adopted resolutions condemning it and giving moral support to the Spanish government, and the Cuban Senators and Deputies in the Cortes at Madrid took like action.

Meantime the Spanish authorities in the island acted promptly and with vigor. The Captain-General summoned a council of war on April 27, and sent troops to the scene of revolt, and directed the fleet to exercise renewed vigilance to prevent aid from reaching the insurgents from the United States. The next day martial{5} law was proclaimed throughout the province of Santiago de Cuba, and four thousand troops, divided into seven columns, were in hot pursuit of the revolutionists. The numbers of the latter rapidly dwindled through desertions and in a couple of days all had vanished save the two brothers and 29 of their followers. On May 2 these all surrendered, on promise of complete pardon, a promise which was fulfilled, and on May 9 martial law was withdrawn and the abortive revolt was ended.

This occurrence moved the Spanish government, however, to further efforts to placate the Cubans, and in 1894 the Minister for the Colonies, Senor Maura, proposed a bill for the reorganization of the insular government. The six provincial councils were to be merged into a single legislature. With this was to be combined an Executive Council, or Board of Administration, to administer the laws; consisting of the Governor-General as President, various high civil and military functionaries, and nine additional members named by Royal decree. This arrangement was strongly opposed and finally defeated, whereupon Senor Maura resigned. Later in the same year the Cabinet was reorganized with him as Minister of Justice and with Senor Abarzuza, a follower of Emilio Castelar, the Spanish Republican leader, as Minister for the Colonies. The Prime Minister was Praxedes Sagasta, the leader of the Spanish Liberals, and a statesman of consummate ability. There was much complaint by Conservatives that the Captain-General in Cuba, Emilio Calleja, favored the native Autonomists over the Loyalists or Spanish party. Despite this, Senor Abarzuza, after taking much counsel with the Prime Minister and others, planned radical action in behalf of Cuban autonomy, hoping to establish a new regime which, he fondly hoped, would allay discontent, abate{6} disaffection, and confirm Cuba in her traditional status of the "Ever Faithful Isle." Accordingly he entered into long and earnest consultation with the leaders of the various political parties in Spain, including the Carlists and Radical Republicans, and also with representative Loyalists and Home Rulers—otherwise Spaniards and Autonomists—of Cuba. Never, indeed, was a more thorough attempt made to secure the judgment of all parties and thus to frame a measure that would be satisfactory to all. Moreover, an exceptionally reasonable and conciliatory spirit was shown by all the leading politicians, of all shades of opinion, so that it seemed for a time that the resulting bill, framed by Senors Sagasta and Abarzuza, would be accepted with scarcely a word of criticism and would mark the opening of a new era in colonial affairs.


During his brief life, from 1863 to October 21, 1891, Julian del Casal,
invalid and misanthrope though he was, made a brilliant record in the
world of letters, and gave to Cuban poetry its greatest modern impulse.
Most of his life was spent in penury, on the meagre earnings of a hack
journalist, but his memory is cherished as that of one of the foremost
men of letters of his time.


During his brief life, from 1863 to October 21, 1891, Julian del Casal, invalid and misanthrope though he was, made a brilliant record in the world of letters, and gave to Cuban poetry its greatest modern impulse. Most of his life was spent in penury, on the meagre earnings of a hack journalist, but his memory is cherished as that of one of the foremost men of letters of his time.

The bill was drafted. It was in purport a West Indies Home Rule bill. Its salient feature was the establishment in Cuba of an Insular Council, which would be the local governing body of the colony. Of it the Spanish Viceroy, or Captain General, would be the President; and of course he would continue to be appointed by the Crown. Of the members of the Council, one half would be appointed by the Crown, from among certain{7} specified classes of the inhabitants of Cuba; and the other half would be elected by the suffrages of the Cuban people. This body would have, subject only to the veto of the Captain-General, control of all insular affairs, including supervision of provincial and municipal councils. It would also, subject to the approval of the Madrid government, legislate for the regulation of immigration, commerce, posts and telegraphs, revenue, and similar matters. On the face of it the measure promised great improvement in the government of the island, and the investing of the people of Cuba with a very large measure of self-government, both legislative and executive. It was the last and probably the best voluntary attempt ever made by Spain to give Cuba self-government.

Unfortunately for Spain there were two fatal flaws in the scheme; one subjective, one objective. The former was the fact that the appointment of half the members of the Council by the Crown would assure in that body a constant majority devoted to and subservient to the Crown, and that circumstance, together with the veto power, would prevent the possibility of any legislation not entirely pleasing to Madrid. That made the thing quite unacceptable to all Cubans whose aim was the independence of the island or even genuine autonomy and home rule. The other flaw was the fact that while Cuban Loyalists and Autonomists were called into consultation over the bill, and gave it their approval, Cuban advocates of Independence were not called; they would not have entered into conference; and they were irrevocably committed against any scheme that did not provide for the complete separation of the island from Spain and the creation of an entirely independent government. The bill was adopted by the Spanish Chamber of Deputies by a practically unanimous vote, on February 14, 1895, and{8} was likewise adopted by the Senate. In Cuba it was regarded by the Autonomists as not satisfactory, in that it retained too much power for the Crown. As for the party of Cuban Independence, it looked upon it as unworthy of serious consideration. Ten days after its passage by the Chamber of Deputies, the Cuban Revolution was proclaimed.

The reproachful comment has been made by some writers that the Cuban leaders started the revolution at that date, February 24, 1895, in order to defeat the beneficent designs of Spain in granting autonomy to the island, and that if they had not done so, the Abarzuza law would have been generally accepted and successfully applied, and Cuba would have remained a colony of Spain, contented, loyal and prosperous. For this strange theory there is no good foundation. It had been made perfectly clear for more than two years preceding that no such arrangement—indeed, that nothing short of complete separation from Spain—would satisfy the Cuban people. Moreover, preparations had been copiously made for the revolution, long before the passage of this measure. Cubans in the United States, of whom there were many, had contributed freely of their means for the purchase of arms and ammunition. There were considerable stocks of arms in Cuba which had remained concealed since the Ten Years' War, and these had been added to by surreptitious shipments from the United States. It is a matter of record that considerable quantities of first rate Mauser rifles were obtained from the arsenals of the Spanish government, being secretly purchased from custodians who were either corrupt or in sympathy with the revolutionists. Efforts were also made to land expeditions from the United States. One{9} formidable party was to have sailed from Fernandina, Florida, a month before the passage of the Abarzuza law, but it was checked and disbanded by the United States authorities.

The year 1895 was not inappropriate for the beginning of a war which should annihilate the Spanish colonial empire and should add a new member to the world's community of sovereign nations. In almost every quarter of the globe great things were happening. At the antipodes Japan was completing her crushing defeat of China and was thus bringing herself forward as one of the great military and naval powers. The ancient empire of Siam was establishing an enlightened constitutional and parliamentary system of government. In Africa the epochal conflict between Boer and Briton was developing inexorably, and France was about to achieve the conquest of Madagascar. In Europe, Nicholas II was newly seated upon the throne of the Czars, and the strange resignation of the Presidency by Casimir-Perier threw France into such a crisis as she had scarcely known before since the foundation of the Republic. Nearer home, Peru and Ecuador were convulsed with revolution, and the controversy between Venezuela and British Guiana began to loom acute and ominous. In such a setting was the War of Cuban Independence staged.

The foremost director of that war, its organizer and inspirer, was José Marti; one of those rare geniuses who have appeared occasionally in the history of the world to be the incarnation of great ideals of justice and human right. He was indeed many times a genius: Organizer, economist, historian, poet, statesman, tribune of the people, apostle of freedom, above all, Man. In himself he united the virtues, the enthusiasm and the energising vitality{10} which his countrymen needed to have aroused in themselves. To his disorganized and disheartened country he brought a magic personality which won all hearts and inspired them all with his own irrepressible and indestructible ideal, National Independence.

Marti was a native Cuban, born in Havana on January 28, 1853. In his mere boyhood he became an eloquent and inspiring advocate of the ideal to which he devoted his life and which he did so much to realize; and at the outbreak of the Ten Years' War, when he was scarcely yet sixteen years old, the Spanish government recognized in him one of its most formidable foes and one of the most efficient propagandists of Cuban independence. For that reason, before he had a chance to enter the ranks of the patriot army, he was deported from the island and doomed to exile. He made his way to Mexico, thence to Guatemala, and there, a lad still in his teens, became Professor of Literature in the National University of that country—a striking testimonial to his erudition and culture. After the Treaty of Zanjon he was permitted to return to Cuba, but he was one of those whom the Spanish government most feared, and he was therefore kept under the closest of surveillance by the police. It was not in his nature to dissemble, or to be afraid. He quickly came before the public in a series of memorable orations, memorable alike for their sonorous eloquence, their cultured erudition, and their intense patriotism; in which he set forth the deplorable state in which Cuba still lay, after her ten years' struggle for better things, and the need that the work which had been so bravely undertaken by Cespedes and his associates should be again undertaken and pressed to a successful conclusion. His orations seemed to have the effect attributed to Demosthenes in his Philippics: They made{11} his hearers want to take up arms and fight against their oppressors.

This of course brought upon him the wrath of Spain. He was arrested, and since he was altogether too dangerous a person to be set free in exile, he was carried a close prisoner to Spain. But he quickly made his escape and found asylum in the United States of America; and there his greatest work for Cuba was achieved. Porfirio Diaz had invited him to make his home in Mexico, where he might have risen to almost any eminence in the state, but he declined. "I must go," he said, "to the country where I can accomplish most for the freedom of Cuba from Spain. I am going to the United States." In New York City, where he made his home, he engaged in literary work, and was for some time a member of the staff of the New York Sun. But above all he devoted his time, thought, strength and means to organizing the Cuban revolution.

He gathered together in the Cuban Revolutionary Party all the surviving veterans of the Ten Years' War, Cuban political exiles—like himself—the remnants of Merchan's old "Laborers' Associations," and welded them into a harmonious and resolute whole. He also traveled about the United States, in Mexico and Central America, and in Jamaica and Santo Domingo, wherever Cubans were to be found, rousing them to patriotic zeal and organizing them into clubs tributary to the central Junta in New York. In Cuba itself many such clubs were organized, in secret, which maintained surreptitious correspondence with the New York headquarters.

We have already mentioned some of those with whom he surrounded himself: Tomas Estrada Palma, the President of the Junta; Gonzalo de Quesada, its Secretary, who lived to see the Republic established and to become{12} its Minister to Germany, where he died; Benjamin F. Guerra, its Treasurer; and Horatio Rubens, its Counsel, who had been trained in the law office of Elihu Root. Others of that memorable and devoted company were General Emilio Nunez, afterward Vice-President of the Cuban Republic; and Dr. Joaquin Castillo Duany, formerly an eminent physician in the United States Navy, who had distinguished himself in the relief of the famous Jeannette Arctic expedition. These two had charge of the filibustering or supply expeditions which were surreptitiously dispatched from the United States to Cuba. At first General Nunez had charge of all, but when Dr. Duany came from Cuba the work was divided, and the former devoted himself to the coast from Norfolk to the Rio Grande, while the latter supervised that from Norfolk to Eastport, Maine. Dr. Duany and his brother had been prominent citizens and officials in Santiago de Cuba. As soon as the War of Independence began they joined the patriot forces, and Dr. Duany was made Assistant Secretary of War in the Provisional Government. As such, he ran the Spanish blockade of the island, in company with Mr. George Reno, another ardent patriot, and bore to New York authority from the Provisional Government for the issuing of $3,000,000 of Cuban bonds. He also carried with him in a little satchel $90,000 in cash, which had been contributed by various patriotic residents of Cuba.

Another of Marti's associates in New York was Dr. Lincoln de Zayas, a brilliant orator, afterward Secretary of Public Instruction of the Cuban Republic; a man greatly loved by all who knew him. Dr. Enrique Agramonte, brother of that gallant Ignacio Agramonte who was a leader in the Ten Years' War and was killed in that conflict, was a member of the Junta in New York,{13} who inspected and selected all the men who were to go on filibustering expeditions; a keen judge of the physical, mental and moral fitness of all the candidates who presented themselves before him. Colonel José Ramon Villalon was also active in the Junta; and he has since been Secretary of Public Works at Havana under President Mario G. Menocal. Nor must Ponce de Leon, a publisher and bookseller, of No. 32 Broadway, New York, be forgotten. His office was frequently the meeting place of the conspirators, if so we may call the patriots, and he and his two sons—one a physician, the other in charge of the archives of the Cuban government—were among the most earnest and efficient workers for the cause of independence.


José Ramon Villalon, Secretary of Public Works, was born at Santiago in
1864. He was sent to Barcelona to be educated and later studied at the
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., where he graduated as civil engineer
in 1899. On the outbreak of the war he accompanied General Antonio Maceo
on his famous raid in Pinar del Rio province, and was present at the
engagements of Artemisa, Ceja del Negro, Montezuelo, attaining the rank
of lieutenant-colonel of engineers. While serving under Maceo he
designed and constructed the first field dynamite gun, now in the
National Museum in Havana. After the war he was made Secretary of Public
Works under the military government of General Leonard Wood. Col.
Villalon is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the
American Institute of Mining Engineers, the Academy of Sciences
(Havana), and the Cuban Society of Engineers.


José Ramon Villalon, Secretary of Public Works, was born at Santiago in 1864. He was sent to Barcelona to be educated and later studied at the Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., where he graduated as civil engineer in 1899. On the outbreak of the war he accompanied General Antonio Maceo on his famous raid in Pinar del Rio province, and was present at the engagements of Artemisa, Ceja del Negro, Montezuelo, attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel of engineers. While serving under Maceo he designed and constructed the first field dynamite gun, now in the National Museum in Havana. After the war he was made Secretary of Public Works under the military government of General Leonard Wood. Col. Villalon is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the Academy of Sciences (Havana), and the Cuban Society of Engineers.

The ideal of Marti and these associates was unequivocally that of Cuban independence. They had no thought of accepting or even considering mere autonomy under Spanish sovereignty, or any promises of reforms in the insular government. They might not have been inexorably opposed to annexation to the United States, had opportunity for that been offered. They might have accepted{14} it, in fact, for the sake of getting entirely away from Spain; for that would at least have meant independence from Spain. But as a matter of fact, annexation was not considered. It was never discussed. It formed no part of the programme, not even as an alternative.

Although a poet and a seer, Marti was one of the most practical of men. He realized with Cicero that "endless money forms the sinews of war." One of his first cares, therefore, was to finance the revolution. To that end he made a direct appeal to Cuban workmen—and women, too—wherever he could get into contact with them, to give one tenth of their weekly wages to the cause of Cuban independence. Probably never before or since in the world's wars has such a system of voluntary tithing been so successfully conducted. It seemed as though every Cuban in the United States responded. Wealthy men gave one tenth of their large incomes, and Cuban girls in cigar factories gave one tenth of their small wages. In many cases they did more, giving one day's wages each week. Indeed, this is said to have been the general rule in the cigar and cigarette factories of the United States. Next to Marti himself, Lincoln de Zayas was perhaps the most successful money raiser. Numerous speakers and canvassers went to all parts of the country where Cubans might be found, soliciting funds. Appeal was also made to Americans, but not so much for pecuniary aid as for sympathy and moral aid. But in fact much money was given by liberty loving Americans. John Jacob Astor, afterward a Colonel in the United States army in the war of intervention, gave $10,000. William E. D. Stokes, of New York, was also a large contributor and manifested much interest in the cause, presumably in part because his wife was a Cuban.{15}

Most of this work of Marti's was done in 1893 and 1894. His original plan was to launch a vast plan of numerous invasions of the island and simultaneous uprisings in all the provinces in 1894. He purchased and equipped three vessels, the Amadis, the Baracoa and the Lagonda, only to suffer the mortification and very heavy loss of having them seized by the American authorities for violation of the neutrality law. Undaunted and undismayed, he renewed his efforts, and at last had the satisfaction of seeing the revolution openly begun at Baire, near Santiago, on February 24, 1895. And then occurred one of the most lamentable and needless tragedies of the whole war—indeed, of all the history of Cuba.

It was not in Marti's generous and valiant spirit to remain at the rear and send others forward to face the fire of the foe. Accordingly, as soon as the revolution was started, he went from New York to Santo Domingo to confer with the old war horse of the Ten Years' conflict, Maximo Gomez, and from that island he issued his manifesto concerning the purposes and programme of the revolution. Well would it have been for him and for Cuba had he remained there, or had he returned to New York, to continue the work which he had been so successfully doing. But because of a thoughtless clamor in the press and on the part of the public he was moved to proceed to Cuba with Gomez. They landed in a frail craft at Playitas on April 11, with about 80 companions, many of them veterans of the Ten Years' War. They at once joined the cavalry forces of Perico Perez, and plunged into the thick of the fighting; Marti showing himself as brave in battle as he had been wise in council. Meantime a Provisional Government had been formed, by the proclamation of Antonio Maceo, with Tomas Estrada Palma as Provisional President of the Cuban Republic,{16} Maximo Gomez as Commander in Chief of the Army, and José Marti as Secretary General and Diplomatic Agent Abroad. This appointment was agreeable to Marti, and would have meant the most advantageous utilization of his masterful talents for the good of Cuba. But it was not possible for him immediately to begin such duties. He was with the army in the interior of the island, and his approach to the coast whence he was to sail on his mission must be effected with caution.

While Gomez set out for Camaguey, Marti turned toward the southern coast, intending to go first to Jamaica, whence he could take an English steamer for New York or any other destination he might select. Marti had with him an escort of only fifty men, and soon after parting company with Gomez he was led by a treacherous guide into a ravine where he was trapped by a Spanish force outnumbering the Cubans twenty to one. The Cubans fought with desperate valor, Marti himself leading a charge which nearly succeeded in cutting a way through the Spanish lines. But the odds were too heavy against them, and without even the satisfaction of taking two or three Spanish lives for every life they gave, the Cubans were all slain, Marti himself being among the last to fall. Word of the conflict reached Gomez, and he came hastening back, just too late to save his comrade, and was himself wounded in the furious attack which he made upon the Spaniards in an attempt at least to recover Marti's body. But his vengeful valor was ineffectual. Marti's body was taken possession of by the Spaniards, who demonstrated their appreciation of his greatness, though he was their most formidable foe, by bearing it reverently to Santiago and there interring it with all the honors of war.


Havana's most fashionable residence street and driving thoroughfare extends from the gloomy Punta fortress along the line of the ancient city wall, past the Central Park to Colon Park, shaded with laurels and lined with handsome homes and clubs. In 1907 a hurricane wrecked many of the great laurels, as well as the royal palms of Colon Park, but in the genial climate of Cuba the ravages of the elements were rapidly repaired. The Prado was officially renamed by the Cuban Republic the Paseo de Marti, in honor of José Marti, but the old name still clings inseparably to it.


Havana's most fashionable residence street and driving thoroughfare
extends from the gloomy Punta fortress along the line of the ancient
city wall, past the Central Park to Colon Park, shaded with laurels and
lined with handsome homes and clubs. In 1907 a hurricane wrecked many of
the great laurels, as well as the royal palms of Colon Park, but in the
genial climate of Cuba the ravages of the elements were rapidly
repaired. The Prado was officially renamed by the Cuban Republic the
Paseo de Marti, in honor of José Marti, but the old name still clings
inseparably to it.


Thus untimely perished the man who should have lived to be known as the Father of His Country. But he left a name crowned with imperishable fame. A Spanish American author has said that the Spanish race in America has produced only two geniuses, Bolivar and Marti. If that judgment be too severe in its restriction, at least it is not an over-estimate of those two transcendent patriots. Marti left, moreover, an example and an inspiration which never failed his countrymen during the subsequent years of war. Their loss in his death was irreparable, but they were not inconsolable; for while he perished, his cause survived. That cause was well set forth by him in the manifesto which he issued at Monte Cristi, Hayti, on March 25, 1895, and which read as follows:

"The war is not against the Spaniard, who, secured by his children and by loyalty to the country which the latter will establish, shall be able to enjoy, respected and even loved, that liberty which will sweep away only the thoughtless who block its path. Nor will the war be the cradle of disturbances which are alien to the tried moderation of the Cuban character, nor of tyranny. Those who have fomented it and are still its sponsors declare in its name to the country its freedom from all hatred, its fraternal indulgence to the timid Cuban, and its radical respect for the dignity of man, which constitutes the sinews of battle and the foundation of the Republic. And they affirm that it will be magnanimous with the penitent, and inflexible only with vice and inhumanity.

"In the war which has been recommenced in Cuba you will not find a revolution beside itself with the joy of rash heroism, but a revolution which comprehends the responsibilities incumbent upon the founders of nations. Cowardice might seek to profit by another fear under the pretext of prudence—the senseless fear which has never{18} been justified in Cuba—the fear of the negro race. The past revolution, with its generous though subordinate soldiers, indignantly denies, as does the long trial of exile as well as of the respite in the island, the menace of a race war, with which our Spanish beneficiaries would like to inspire a fear of the revolution. The war of emancipation and their common labor have obliterated the hatred which slavery might have inspired. The novelty and crudity of social relations consequent to the sudden change of a man who belonged to another into a man who belonged to himself, are overshadowed by the sincere esteem of the white Cuban for the equal soul, and the desire for education, the fervor of a free man, and the amiable character of his negro compatriot.

"In the Spanish inhabitants of Cuba, instead of the hateful spite of the first war, the revolution, which does not flatter nor fear, expects to find such affectionate neutrality or material aid that through them the war will be shorter, its disasters less, and more easy and friendly the subsequent peace in which father and son are to live. We Cubans commenced the war; the Cubans and Spaniards together will terminate it. If they do not ill treat us, we will not ill treat them. Let them respect us and we will respect them. Steel will answer to steel, and friendship to friendship."

It may be that not all the generous and altruistic anticipations of this exalted utterance were fully realized. It may be confidently declared that all were sincerely meant by their author; and the world will testify that seldom if ever was a war begun with nobler ideals than those thus set forth by Jose Marti.{19}


We have said that there was no consideration of annexation to the United States, on the part of the organizers and directors of the Cuban War of Independence. Neither was there much if any thought of intervention by the United States in Cuba's behalf; though that was what ultimately occurred. No doubt, if ever a fleeting thought of that passed through a Cuban patriot's mind, he esteemed it "a consummation devoutly to be wished." But it was not reckoned to be within the limits of reasonable possibility. Certainly it was never discussed, and it may be said with even more positiveness that there was never any attempt to bring it about by surreptitious means. The charge was occasionally made, in quarters unfriendly to the Cuban cause, that the Junta was endeavoring to embroil the United States in a war with Spain. That was absolutely untrue. No such effort was ever made by any responsible or authoritative Cuban.

It might rather be said that the Junta was solicitous to avoid so far as possible danger of complications between the United States and Spain. For example, it did not encourage Americans to enter the Cuban army, but discouraged them from so doing and often rejected them outright. An expert ex-Pinkerton detective was employed by the Junta to serve constantly in its New York office. His duties were in part to detect if possible any spies or Spanish agents who might come in and want to enlist with, of course, the intention of betraying the cause. But he also did his best to dissuade all but Cubans from enlisting.{20} He was under directions from the Junta to warn all American applicants, of whom there were many, that they had better not enter the Cuban service: First, because they did not realize the formidable and desperate character of the undertaking in which they were seeking to participate; second, because the Junta could give them no assurance of pay, or even of food; and third, because they were sure soon to grow tired of the arduous discouraging, up-hill campaign which was before them. The only men who were wanted, and the only men who were generally accepted were Cubans, whose patriotic interest in the island would enable them to endure cheerfully what would be intolerable to an alien. They were believed by the Junta to be the only men who would permanently stand the test.

As a matter of fact only a very few Americans were accepted; probably not more than forty or fifty all told. They were accepted partly because they were so insistent and persistent in their desires and demands, and partly because of some qualifications which made them of special value. They were chiefly sharpshooters who had formerly served in the United States army. When they were accepted they were reminded that they were forfeiting all claim upon the United States government for protection or rescue, no matter what might befall them. Thus if they were killed or captured and ill treated in any way by the Spanish they would be debarred from appealing to the United States, and there would be no danger of any friction between the United States and Spain on their account.

The only way in which the Junta deliberately incurred the risk of causing international trouble was in the organization and dispatching of filibustering and supply expeditions from the United States to Cuba. Of course,{21} all such performances were illegal. Spain protested and raged against them, and the United States government sincerely and indefatigably strove to prevent them. But it was to no avail. The expeditions kept going. For two years there was an average of one a month, carrying men, arms and ammunition, and other supplies.


Another important traffic between Cuba and the United States was that in information between the patriots in the island and the Junta in New York. The chief agent in this perilous but essential work was Mr. George Reno, who has since served in important capacities under the civil government of the Cuban Republic. It was his duty periodically to run the blockade between the little town of Guanaja and Nassau. The former was a little place of a few hundred inhabitants on the Bay of Sabinal, on the northern coast of Camaguey; and the latter was the capital of New Providence Island in the British Bahamas, the favorite resort of blockade runners during the Civil War in the United States, and since then the terminus of a cable line running to Jupiter, on the Florida coast. At Nassau Dr. Indalacio Salas, a Cuban physician, who had lived there many years, represented the Junta and acted as a sort of Cuban postmaster; receiving letters and messages from Cuba and forwarding them to the United States, and vice versa.

This contraband messenger service between Cuba and Nassau was one of the romantic features of the campaign of which the public knew nothing. The trips were made{22} in a little sloop-rigged yacht, carrying three or four men, and while they afforded no spectacle to the public eye and did not figure in the news as did various filibustering expeditions, they were often of vital importance to the patriot cause, and they were fraught with much peril. The passage of several hundred miles was made across the Great Bahama Bank and the Tongue of Ocean; perilous waters dotted with reefs and rocks and subject to violent storms, and closely watched at the south by Spanish cruisers. The portion of the trip nearest the Cuban coast was generally made at night, to avoid the Spaniards, but the darkness added to the peril in other respects.

This service was the chief though not the sole means of communication between the Cuban patriots and the rest of the world. Some correspondence was smuggled out of Havana on American steamers, but that was perilous work and was seldom attempted. Some was carried by a Cuban sailor in a little cat-rigged boat, with which he made trips when occasion offered between some point on the southern coast of Oriente and the island of Jamaica. On these trips, both from Nassau and Jamaica, were carried not only letters and communications of all sorts but also important supplies of medicines, surgical instruments, and other small articles which were often of indispensable value. The service was therefore of the greatest possible value to the Cubans, and it was arduous and perilous to those who rendered it. It was performed, however, without remuneration or compensation of any kind, save the satisfaction of aiding the patriot cause. The Cuban revolution had no money with which to pay salaries, but all men served for the sake of Cuba Libre.

The attitude of the people of Cuba toward the revolution, so far as at this early date they knew what was going on, was varied according to their occupations, interests{23} and relationships. The professional classes, the lawyers, physicians, educators, men of letters and others, for the most part wished for complete separation from Spain, and aided the cause of independence with their money and their influence. There were, however, some of them, including not a few of the most estimable and most patriotic men on the island, whose faith was not able to forecast victory. They saw on the side of the Cubans lack of money, lack of arms and ammunition, and lack of that direct connection with the outer world which was indispensable for support; and on the side of Spain plenty of money, equipment and communications, and an army of 200,000 trained soldiers thrown into a territory about the size of the State of Pennsylvania, together with an inflexible resolution never to surrender the island but to suppress every insurrection at no matter what cost. It was surely not strange that they regarded such odds as too formidable to be overcome, by even the most ardent and self-sacrificing patriotism, and therefore thought that the course of greater wisdom would be to persuade, compel or otherwise prevail upon Spain to bestow upon the island a genuine and satisfactory measure of autonomy.

The merchants and commercial classes very largely consisted of Spaniards, a fact which sufficiently indicates their attitude. They were not only resolutely committed against the revolution, and indeed against autonomy, but they were almost incredibly bitter against the Cuban Independence party. It was from those classes that the notorious "Cuban Volunteers" had been recruited in the Ten Years' war, men who, though living in Cuba and enriching themselves from her resources, were "more Spanish than Spain." They corresponded with the Tories of the American Revolution, and not merely the Tories who sat in their chairs and railed against the Revolution,{24} but rather those who took up arms in the British cause, and who allied themselves with the Red Indians with tomahawk and scalping knife. The animus of these Spaniards in Cuba was not, generally speaking, love of Spain, nor yet hatred of the Cubans, but rather greed of gain. They were not patriotic, but simply sordid. With Cuba under Spanish domination, they were enabled to amass great wealth, and they wanted such conditions and such opportunities of enrichment continued. That was not an exalted attitude, and it was naturally odious to the Cuban patriots who were serving without pay and sacrificing their all for the independence of the island and for the attainment of a degree of material prosperity as well as of civic and spiritual enfranchisement immeasurably beyond the sordid conceptions of these selfish time-servers.

The attitude of another important though less numerous and less demonstrative class, the manufacturers of sugar and tobacco, varied greatly according to the individual. Some were Spaniards; and they, like the merchants, were inflexibly opposed to the revolution, for similar reasons. Some were Autonomists, and they inclined toward compromise. They did not want their lands to be ravaged and their cane fields and buildings to be burned in war; not because they would hesitate at any necessary sacrifice for the welfare of Cuba but because they regarded such sacrifices as unnecessary. Some were members of the Cuban Independence party, and they cordially and eagerly supported the revolution; saying: "Let our fields and buildings be burned. If it is necessary in order to free the island that our property shall be ruined, let it be ruined!"

This patriotic attitude of some of the great property-owners, who had most to lose through the ravages of war{25} but who were ready to risk all, was finely displayed in the very midst of the conflict. There were in the Province of Santa Clara two very wealthy Cuban women, sisters. They were Marta Abreu, who became the wife of the Vice-President of the Cuban Republic, and who died in France, and Rosalie Abreu, whose home is preeminently the "show place" of Cuba and is perhaps the most beautiful residence in all the tropical regions of the world. These women gave large sums of money for the revolution and made many sacrifices for it, beside running great risks of utter disaster to their fortunes. They were both in Paris when news came of the death of Antonio Maceo, the brilliant and daring commander who had carried the war westward into Havana and Pinar del Rio and who fell in battle in the former province. His death was a disaster well calculated to shake the fortitude of the patriots, if not to strike them with despair. But immediately upon hearing the news Marta Abreu sent a cable dispatch to Benjamin Guerra, the Treasurer of the Junta, urging him not to be discouraged but to "keep the good work going," and adding that she and her sister were each mailing him a check for $50,000. Such a spirit was indomitable.

The small farmers of the island, or "guajiros," the peasantry and rural workingmen, were strongly in favor of the revolution, although it meant unspeakable hardships to them. They sent their families up into the mountains, where they would be comparatively safe from the actual fighting, and where the old men, the women and the children could cultivate little patches of ground, planted with sweet potatoes, yucca and other food plants, which would supply them with nourishment and also contribute to the feeding of the patriot army. Then the men joined the ranks of the revolutionary army. It should{26} be added that among the most eager recruits were many sons of Autonomists. Their fathers deprecated the war, but the sons realized its necessity. There were even some sons of Spanish Loyalists in the patriot army, who fought faithfully for the Cuban cause against their own fathers.

The priesthood of the island was absolutely against the revolution and in favor of maintaining the sovereignty of the Spanish crown in Cuba. There may have been a few exceptions, of priests who not only favored independence but who actually went into the field with the patriot army and fought for it. But apart from them the Church was solidly for Spain. The great majority of the priests had come from Spain, and remained Spaniards at heart and in political sympathy. They preached from their pulpits against the revolution, and undoubtedly exerted considerable influence in that direction. That fact was not forgotten after the war, and it explained the very general antipathy toward or at least lack of sympathy with the Church which then and thereafter prevailed among the men of Cuba. The women, even the most patriotic, largely remained faithful to the Church and subject to its spiritual influence, but the men renounced it because of what they regarded as its unfaithfulness to the cause of Free Cuba.

There were at this time happily no racial nor partisan differences among the patriots of Cuba. There were white men, there were negroes, and there were those of mixed blood. But the same spirit of independence animated them all, and they fought side by side in the field, and sat side by side in council, with never a thought of prejudice. Antonio Maceo, one of the most honored and trusted patriot generals, was a mulatto, but he was regarded as the peer of any of the white commanders, white men gladly served under him, and we have already seen{27} how his death was regarded by the Abreu sisters, who were aristocrats of the purest Creole blood. It was only in later years, after Cuban independence had been attained, that so much as an attempt was made at the raising of race issues in Cuba, and then only through the exercise of the most sinister and unworthy influences for sordid ends.

Nor were there partisan differences. Indeed at this time the Cuban Independence Party was a harmonious unity. There were no symptoms of any factional division. The rise of partisanship did not occur until after the war of independence had been won and, if we may for a moment anticipate the course of events, until it was realized that the United States really meant to keep its word and make Cuba an independent Republic. For, truth to tell, when the United States intervened in the conflict between Cuba and Spain, in the spring of 1898, while there was assured confidence throughout the island that the end of Spanish rule was at hand, there was also a general belief that annexation to the United States was inevitable. The great majority of the Cuban people probably did not know of the pledge which was appended to the Declaration of War, that the United States would withdraw and leave Cuba to self-government, and they assumed that American intervention meant American conquest and annexation. The comparatively few who did know about it had little expectation that it would ever be fulfilled. Even if the United States made the promise in good faith, something would happen to prevent its being carried out. When at last it was found that the United States was in earnest, and that Cuba was indeed to have independence, just as though she had won it without aid, there was surprise amounting almost to stupefaction, there was unbounded exultation, and there was,{28} unhappily, division of the people into antagonistic parties. Of these we shall hear more hereafter.

Thus was the issue joined. The great mass of the Cuban people was united and harmonious in its determination at last to achieve that independence of the island for which so many men during so many years had wished and worked and suffered. The Spanish party was implacable; and the Autonomists were largely unsympathetic—not all, for some in time joined the revolution; but the Cuban Independence party, comprising the large majority of the population, was resolute and irrepressible in its course.{29}


The war was on. Marti and his comrades had planned to have a simultaneous uprising in all six provinces on February 24. In each a leader was appointed, an organization was formed, and such supplies as could be obtained were provided. But in only three provinces did an actual insurrection occur. These were Oriente, or Santiago as it was then called, Santa Clara, and Matanzas; the extreme eastern and the two central provinces. In Oriente uprisings occurred at two points, under Henry Brooks at Guantanamo, and at Los Negros under Guillermon Moncada. In Matanzas there were also two uprisings; one at Aguacate, on the Havana borderline, under Manuel Garcia, and one at Ybarra. In Santa Clara the chief demonstration was near Cienfuegos, under General Matagas. The uprising in Havana was to have been under the leadership of Julio Sanguilly, but in some way never satisfactorily explained he was betrayed and arrested and the outbreak did not occur. There were not a few who at first suspected and even charged that Sanguilly himself had betrayed the cause, for Spanish money, but his sentence to life imprisonment by the Spanish authorities seemed abundantly to disprove this charge.

The insurgents naturally made most headway at first in Oriente. There were fewer Spanish troops in that province and there were more mountain fastnesses for refuge in case of enforced retreat, than in the more densely settled and populated central provinces. We have already seen that a numerous company of patriots marched from Baire to Santiago to present to the Spanish commander{30} there, General Jose Lachambre, their demands for the independence of Cuba. That officer of course rejected their demands, and on their retirement sent Colonel Perico Perez after them with 500 troops, to capture or disperse them. But Perez and his men did neither. Instead, they joined the insurgents under Henry Brooks, and were among the foremost to do effective work against the Spaniards. Maso Parra recruited a strong band near Manzanillo, but instead of fighting there proceeded to Havana Province, accompanied by Enrique Cespedes and Amador Guerra, in hope of raising the standard of revolution where Sanguilly had failed. The Spanish forces were so strong there, however, as to overawe most of the Cubans, or at any rate to make it seem more expedient to put forward their chief efforts in other places. In Matanzas the earliest engagements were fought by troops under Antonio Lopez Coloma and Juan Gualberto Gomez, with indifferent results. Another sharp conflict occurred at Jaguey Grande, and there were yet others at Vequita; at Sevilla, where the patriots defeated 1,500 Spanish regulars commanded by General Lachambre; at Ulloa, at Baire, and at Los Negros. A belated uprising in Pinar del Rio under General Azcuy came speedily to grief, as did another near Holguin. By the early days of March the entire movement seemed to have subsided save in the southern parts of Oriente.

The Spanish authorities had acted promptly and vigorously. The revolution began on February 24. The very next day a special meeting of the Spanish Cabinet was held at Madrid, as a result of which the Minister for the Colonies, Senor Abarzuza, authorized Captain-General Callejas to proclaim martial law throughout Cuba. This was in fact done by Callejas before Abarzuza's order reached him, and he also put into operation the "Public{31} Order law" which provided for the immediate punishment of anyone taken in the performance or attempt of a seditious act. The Captain-General had at his disposal at this time nominally six regiments of infantry and three of cavalry, two battalions of garrison artillery and one mountain battery, aggregating about 19,000 men, and nearly 14,000 local militia, remains of the notorious Volunteers of the Ten Years' War; a total of nearly 33,000 men. But these figures were delusive. Callejas himself reported, on his return to Spain two or three months later, that half of the regular forces existed only on paper, and that the militia was altogether untrustworthy. He had learned the latter fact by bitter experience when at the very beginning Perico Perez and his 500 men had deserted to the Cuban cause. The fact is that the leaven of patriotism had begun to work even among the old Volunteers and still more among their sons, and many of them came frankly over to the cause which they or their fathers had formerly so savagely opposed. Callejas's forces were very weak in artillery, but that did not greatly matter, since the revolutionists at this time had none at all. He enjoyed the great advantage of having possession of all the large towns and cities along the coast with their fortifications both inland and seaward; fortifications which were somewhat antiquated but still sufficiently effective against ill-armed insurgents without artillery. The Spanish navy in Cuban waters comprised five small cruisers and six gunboats; not a formidable force, but infinitely superior to that of the revolutionists, which consisted of nothing at all. It assisted in protecting the coast towns, and served for the transportation of troops and supplies, but its chief function was to guard the coast against filibustering and supply expeditions.

Although the Spanish forces were very considerably{32} superior to the revolutionists numerically as well as in equipment and abundance of supplies, Calleja realized that they would not be sufficient to cope with the patriots on their own ground and in the increasing numbers which he prudently anticipated would rally to their standard. Accordingly early in March he sent to Spain an urgent call for large reenforcements for both army and navy, declaring that he could not hold his own, much less suppress the revolt, without them, and giving warning that unless he received them promptly he would not be responsible for the consequences. In response a battalion of regulars was immediately transferred to Cuba from Porto Rico, and 7,000 more were sent from Spain. All the civil prefects throughout the island were replaced with military officers. In Havana and elsewhere all prominent Cubans suspected of complicity or even sympathy with the revolution were arrested and imprisoned. The Morro Castle at Havana was crowded with the best citizens of the metropolitan province. But this attempt at repression only added fuel to the flame. The revolution burst out anew in the Province of Oriente, and when Callejas ordered the local troops of Havana to proceed thither, they mutinied and refused to go. In such circumstances Callejas, who at first had affected to regard the outbreak as mere sporadic brigandage, now openly confessed that it was an island-wide revolution.

Complications with the United States also speedily arose. The arrest of Julio Sanguilly and others at Havana has been mentioned. These men had been in the United States for years, and had become naturalized citizens of that country, wherefore the United States consul-general at Havana, Ramon O. Williams, made formal demand that they should be tried before a civil court and should have the benefit of counsel, instead of being summarily{33} disposed of by court martial. This was a legitimate demand, which had to be granted, but it incensed Callejas so much that he asked the Spanish government to demand Williams's recall; which that government very prudently did not do. At Santiago, also, two American sailors, who had landed there in a small boat, and had been arrested as filibusters, made appeal to the American consul there, who also insisted that they should have a civil trial; as a result of which they were acquitted.


While thus careful to protect the rights of its citizens, native or naturalized, the United States government was equally energetic in its endeavors to prevent violations of the neutrality law by filibustering expeditions, and went to great expense and pains therein. It watched and guarded all Atlantic and Gulf ports to prevent the departure of such expeditions, and gave hospitality to a Spanish cruiser which lay at Key West to watch for and intercept them. Hannis Taylor, the American Minister at Madrid, assured the Spanish government that the United States would do all that was in its power to prevent such expeditions from departing from its shores, and that promise was fulfilled with exceptional efficiency. Indeed, the United States administration incurred much popular censure for its energy in stopping the sailing of{34} vessels which were suspected of carrying supplies to Cuba; for it did stop a number of them, to the very heavy pecuniary loss of the patriots. Nevertheless some vessels were successful in eluding the vigilance of the federal guards, and that fact gave umbrage in Spain; so that while at home the American government was charged with hostility to the Cuban cause, in Spain it was charged with too greatly favoring it.

With the receipt of reenforcements, Callejas made renewed efforts to suppress the revolution; though he had little heart in the matter and seemed to realize the hopelessness of the task. Practically all the fighting was in Oriente. Colonel Santocildes made an unsuccessful attack upon the patriots near Guantanamo on March 10, and a week later Colonel Bosch had an equally unsatisfactory meeting with them under Brooks and Perez near Ulloa. So strong were the insurgents becoming in that province that they began to exercise the functions of civil government, in the carrying of mails and the collection of taxes. Beside Henry Brooks and Perico Perez, under whom were the largest forces, Bartolome Maso, who had returned from Havana, held Manzanillo with a thousand troops, Jesus Rabi occupied Baire and Jiguani with 1,500, and Quintin Banderas, Amador Guerra and Esteban Tomayo had among them 2,000 more. After his repulse at Guantanamo the Spanish Colonel Santocildes went to Bayamo, where he was attacked and routed with heavy loss. A few days later, on March 24, a battle was fought at Jaraguana between Amador Guerra, with 900 Cubans, and Colonel Araoz, with 1,000 Spanish regulars, in which the latter suffered the heavier losses, though they finally compelled the Cubans to retire from the field.

At this time an effort was made by both the Captain-General and some leaders of the Cuban Autonomists to{35} make terms with the revolutionists. With the assent and cooperation of Callejas a commission of Autonomists, headed by Juan Bautista Spotorno,—who had once been for a time President of the Cuban Republic, shortly after the Ten Years' War,—proceeded to Oriente and sought a conference with Bartolome Maso at Manzanillo. That sturdy patriot received them grimly. He listened to their proposals in ominous silence. Then, in a voice all the more menacing for its repression of passion, he addressed Spotorno:

"You were once President of the Cuban Republic in the Field?"

"Yes, Bartolome; you know that."

"You then as President issued a decree of death against anyone who should seek to persuade the Cuban government to accept any terms short of independence?"

"Yes, but...."

"Then, Bautista Spotorno, for this once, go in peace; but go very quickly, lest I change my mind as you have changed yours. And be assured that if you or any of your kind ever come hither with such proposals again, I shall execute upon you or upon them your own decree!"

The next day Jose Marti and Maximo Gomez issued in Hayti the manifesto which we have already cited, which had the result of assuring all wavering or doubtful Cubans that the most authoritative leaders of their nation were directing the revolution, and that it was to be indeed a struggle to a finish. There was another result. The Spanish Captain-General, Emilio Callejas, despaired of coping with the steadily rising storm, and on March 27 he placed his resignation in the hands of the Queen Regent of Spain. That sovereign immediately summoned a Cabinet council, herself presiding. It was no longer the Liberal Cabinet of Praxedes Sagasta. That{36} body had fallen a few days before, in a political crisis which had arisen in Madrid over a newspaper controversy about Cuban affairs. An advanced Liberal paper, El Resúmen, had imputed cowardice to army officers who, it said, were always eager to serve in Cuba in time of peace, but shunned that island whenever there was fighting going on. At this a mob of officers attacked and wrecked the offices of the paper, and the next evening attacked the offices of El Heraldo and El Globo, which had denounced their doings. The next day all the papers of Madrid notified the government that they would suspend publication unless assured of protection against such outrages. General Lopez Dominguez approved the conduct of the riotous officers and demanded that the editors of the papers be delivered to him for trial by court martial. The Prime Minister, Sagasta, replied that that would not be legal, since all press offences against the army short of treason must be tried before civil juries. Then Marshal Martinez Campos, who as Captain-General had ended the Ten Years' War in Cuba, led a deputation of army officers to demand of Sagasta that he should suppress El Resúmen and have more strict press laws enacted. Sagasta refused and, finding his support in the Cortes untrustworthy in the face of military bullying, offered the resignation of the Ministry, on March 17. The Queen Regent invited Campos to form a Ministry, but he declined; though he announced that all newspaper men attacking the army would be shot, and he arbitrarily haled before military tribunals a number of editors, while other journalists fled the country.

The Queen Regent then called upon Canovas del Castillo, the Conservative leader, to form a cabinet, and on March 25 he did so, despite the fact that his party was in a minority in the Cortes, and it was this Conservative{37} cabinet which the sovereign consulted four days later concerning the resignation of Callejas and affairs in Cuba in general. It was decided to accept Callejas's resignation, with special thanks for his loyal services, to appoint Martinez Campos to succeed him, to ask fresh credits of $120,000,000 for the expenses of the war, to send large reenforcements to Cuba, and to increase the peace footing of the Spanish army from 71,000 to 82,000 men. The troops in Cuba were at once to be increased to 40,000 men, and 40,000 more were to be added, if needed, in four months. Thus did Spain rouse herself to fight her last fight for the retention of her last American possession.

It was not, however, until April 15 that Callejas received a message from the Queen Regent, formally accepting his resignation, thanking him for "the activity, zeal and ability" with which he had conducted the military operations against the revolutionists, complimenting all the forces under his command for their valor, and directing him to return to Spain by the next steamer that sailed from Havana after the arrival of his successor. And his successor landed the very next day, at Guantanamo. There was much adverse comment among Spaniards in Cuba upon this summary recall of Callejas. The explanation of it was that the government regarded him as culpable for letting the revolution gain so great headway, but it did not deem it politic to censure him publicly, or at all until he was back at Madrid. As for Martinez Campos, he promised on his acceptance of the appointment that he would quickly suppress the revolt, as he had done the Ten Years' War; and doubtless he expected that he would be able to do so.

Indeed, in sending Martinez Campos to Cuba, Spain "played her strongest card." He had long been known as "Spain's greatest General," and also as the "King-{38}Maker," since it was he who had restored the Bourbon dynasty to the throne. He was undoubtedly a soldier of great valor, skill and resource. He was also a statesman of more than ordinary ability, and had been for a time Prime Minister of Spain, and for fifteen years had been making and unmaking ministries at will. Now, at the age of sixty-four he was still in the prime of his powers and at the height of his popularity and influence. His departure from Madrid for Cuba was attended with demonstrations, both official and popular, which could scarcely have been exceeded for royalty itself. He reached Guantanamo on April 16, and on the following day assumed his office. It was not until a week later that he reached Havana. There he was received with unbounded rejoicings by the Spanish party, and with sincere satisfaction by the Autonomists, while it must be confessed that many Cuban patriots regarded his coming with dismay. There could be no doubt that it portended the putting forth of all the might of Spain against the revolution, under the command of a great soldier-statesman who had never yet failed in an undertaking.

On the very day after his arrival at Guantanamo the new Captain-General issued a proclamation to the people of Cuba. In it he pledged himself to fulfil in good faith all the reforms which had been promised in his own Treaty of Zanjon and in subsequent legislation by the Spanish Cortes, provided the loyal parties in Cuba would give him their support; this admission of dependence upon the people being obviously a bid for popularity. The parties in question were, of course, the Spaniards, who were divided into Conservatives and Reformists, and the Autonomists, or Cuban Home Rulers. They or their leaders at once pledged him their support, and the Spaniards gave it, for a time. But a number of the Autonomists{39} were dissatisfied because he would promise nothing more than the fulfilment of reforms which had never been regarded as sufficient, and on that account refused him their support. Instead, they gave it to the revolutionists, and many of them, especially the younger men, actually joined the revolutionary army, or went to Jamaica or the United States to assist in the raising of funds and the equipping of expeditions. It was thus at this time that the disintegration of the once influential Autonomist party began.

To the revolutionists he tried to be conciliatory. He offered full and free pardon to all who would lay down their arms, excepting a few of the leaders, and he doubtless expected that there would be a numerous response. It does not appear that there was any favorable response whatever. If any insurgents did surrender themselves—of whom there is no record—they were outnumbered a hundred to one by the Autonomists who at that time were transformed into revolutionists.

Campos did not rely, however, upon his proclamation for the suppression of the insurrection. He set to work at once with all his consummate military skill and his knowledge of the island and of Cuban methods of warfare, to organize a military campaign of victory. He made General Garrich governor of the Province of Oriente, with General Salcedo in command of the First Division, at Santiago, and General Lachambre of the Second Division, at Bayamo. He undertook the organization of numerous bodies of irregular troops, to wage a guerrilla warfare against the Cubans similar to that which the Cubans themselves waged successfully against Spanish regulars. When he found his troops from Spain disinclined toward such work, or unsuited to it, he sought the services of young Spaniards who had for some years{40} been settled in Cuba, such as had been so ready to serve in the former war. They generally declined, whereupon he sought to draft them into the service, and at that they threatened mutiny. As a last resort he sent for Lolo Benitez, a life prisoner at Ceuta. This man had been a guerrilla leader, on the Cuban side, in the Ten Years' War, but had been guilty of cruelties which caused the Cubans to repudiate him. He had been captured by the Spaniards and sent to the penal colony in Africa for life. But Campos brought him back and gave him a free pardon and commission as lieutenant colonel in the Spanish army, on condition that he would conduct a guerrilla warfare against his own countrymen. When this was done, and when under this man were placed numerous criminals released from Cuban jails, there were vigorous protests from Spanish officers against such degradation of the Spanish army, and warnings that such unworthy tactics would surely react against their author.

The official attitude of the Spanish government was at this time set forth by the Spanish Minister to the United States, Senor Dupuy de Lome. He belittled the reports of Spanish oppressions and of Cuban uprisings. "There is very little interest," he said, "being taken in the revolt by the people of Havana. I think the uprising will speedily be put down. The arrival of General Martinez Campos has brought order out of chaos. He has shown clearly to the people that their interests will be protected, and as a result has caused a feeling of security. He is every inch a soldier, not a toy fighter. He is loyal to his country, but he is humane, and as far as possible he will treat his enemies leniently. In the case of the leaders of the revolt, however, severe justice will be meted out."

Meantime the revolution was proceeding. The most{41} formidable figure in its ranks in Cuba was that of Antonio Maceo, the mulatto general who above most of his colleagues possessed a veritable genius for war, both in strategy and in direct fighting. He had come of a family of fighters, and had been born in Santiago in 1849, and had fought in the Ten Years' War. He was highly gifted with the qualities of leadership among men, with valor and resolution, with keen foresight and great intelligence. He was probably the ablest strategist in the War of Independence, and personally the most popular commander. At the end of March he arrived in Cuba from Costa Rica with an expedition well equipped with rifles and small field pieces. With him were his brother Jose Maceo, Flor Crombet, Dr. Francisco Agramonte, and several other officers. The landing was made at Baracoa, the Spanish gunboats which were watching the coast being successfully eluded. Soon after landing the patriots were attacked by General Lachambre's troops at Duaba, but the latter were repulsed with considerable loss. A part of the expedition was then sent around by sea to Manzanillo, on a British schooner. That vessel was wrecked and in consequence its captain and crew were captured by the Spaniards, who put the captain to death. Dr. Agramonte was one of several members of the expedition who were also taken, but he, being an American citizen, escaped court martial and was more leniently dealt with by a civil court, on the demand of the American consul at Santiago.

In a short time this masterful leader, Antonio Maceo, had control of practically all of the Province of Oriente outside of a few fortified coast cities and camps. The Captain-General, vainly imagining that the insurrection would be confined to that province, sent thither all available troops, leaving Havana, Matanzas and the others{42} with scarcely more than police guard. Thus greatly outnumbered, Maceo wisely resorted not so much to guerrilla warfare as to what may be called Fabian tactics. He maintained his army in complete organization and observed all the rules of civilized warfare. But he also maintained a high degree of mobility, avoiding any general engagement, and wearing out the morale of the Spaniards with forced marches, surprise attacks, and all the bewildering and baffling tactics of which so resourceful and alert a commander was capable. Early in April he was indeed in much peril, being almost completely surrounded by superior forces near Guantanamo, and actually suffering severe losses at Palmerito; but he cut his way out by desperate fighting in which he also showed himself a master hand. The most serious loss at that time was the death of the brave revolutionist Flor Crombet. He was killed not by Spaniards but by a traitor in his own command, whom Maceo presently detected and hanged. Soon after the affair at Palmerito, however, Maceo captured El Caney, in the very suburbs of Santiago, and seized the rich supplies in the Spanish arsenal at that place.

The sending of so many troops from the other provinces to Oriente emboldened the patriots of Havana and Matanzas to take up arms, and uprisings occurred at various places, particularly at Cardenas and the city of Matanzas. In the city of Havana itself a daring attempt was made to seize Cabanas and El Morro, liberate the political prisoners, and destroy the magazines if they could not be held. To encourage these movements Maceo sent detachments of his forces from Oriente westward, into Camaguey, then still known as the Province of Puerto Principe. Jesus Rabi occupied Victoria las Tunas, near the boundary of the latter province, and soon had bands{43} operating beyond the border. There was an Autonomist organization at Camaguey, which at first disavowed the revolution and gave its adherence to the Captain-General, but it became demoralized upon the approach of the revolutionary forces, and many of its members were soon serving zealously in Maceo's ranks.

The arrival of Jose Marti and Maximo Gomez in Cuba at the middle of April, as already related, almost simultaneously with the arrival of Martinez Campos, was promptly followed by increased activity on the part of the Cubans. Floriano Gascon organized a force of negro miners at Juragua, and inflicted a crushing defeat upon a Spanish garrison at Ramon de las Jaguas; the Spanish commander being afterward tried by Spanish court martial and condemned to death for inefficiency. At the end of the month a Spanish force was entrapped and almost destroyed by Jose Maceo, near Guantanamo. The first half of May was also marked with much fighting in the southern part of Oriente, in which the revolutionists were generally successful. Railroads were destroyed to break Spanish lines of communication, valuable supplies were captured, and Martinez Campos was made to realize the formidable character of the insurrection which he had so confidently promised to suppress.

Mention has already been made of the Provisional Government which was proclaimed by Maceo early in April. On May 18 this was succeeded by another organization elected by a convention of delegates consisting of one representative of each 100 revolutionists actually in the field. Bartolome Maso, who had been in control of the district of Bayamo since early in March, was unanimously chosen President; Maximo Gomez was designated as Commander in Chief of the army; and Antonio Maceo was made Commander of the Division of{44} Oriente. The next day occurred the tragedy of Marti's death, whereupon Tomas Estrada Palma, who had formerly been Provisional President, was named to succeed him as the delegate at large of the Cuban Republic to the United States and other countries; Manuel Sanguilly being later associated with him at Washington.

All through that summer the strife continued, steadily extending its area westward into Camaguey and Santa Clara. Campos endeavored to confine the war to Oriente, by stretching a line of 4,000 Spanish troops across the island at the western boundary of that province, but on June 2 Maximo Gomez broke through that line, crossed the Jobabo River, and entered Camaguey. There he was joined by a nephew of Salvador Cisneros, Marquis of Santa Lucia, with a large force, and by Marcos Garcia, mayor of Sancti Spiritus, who came across from the Province of Santa Clara. With these reenforcements Gomez soon had control of all the southern part of Camaguey, and on June 18 the Captain-General was compelled to declare that province in a state of siege.


The foremost military chieftain of the War of Independence, Maximo Gomez y Baez, was a Cuban by adoption rather than birth, having been born at Bani, Santo Domingo, in 1838. He was an officer in the last Spanish army in that island, and went with it thence to Cuba. There he became disgusted with the brutality of the Spanish officers toward the Cubans, personally assaulted his superior, General Villar, and quit the Spanish service, returning to Santo Domingo, where he engaged in business as a planter. At the beginning of the Ten Years' War he returned to Cuba, joined the patriots, and did efficient service, rising to the chief command. After that war he returned to his plantation in Santo Domingo, but in 1895 joined José Marti in leading the Cuban War of Independence. Thereafter his story was the story of the Cuban cause. Declining to be considered a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, he retired to private life after the establishment of independence, and died in 1905, full of years and honor.


The foremost military chieftain of the War of Independence, Maximo Gomez
y Baez, was a Cuban by adoption rather than birth, having been born at
Bani, Santo Domingo, in 1838. He was an officer in the last Spanish army
in that island, and went with it thence to Cuba. There he became
disgusted with the brutality of the Spanish officers toward the Cubans,
personally assaulted his superior, General Villar, and quit the Spanish
service, returning to Santo Domingo, where he engaged in business as a
planter. At the beginning of the Ten Years' War he returned to Cuba,
joined the patriots, and did efficient service, rising to the chief
command. After that war he returned to his plantation in Santo Domingo,
but in 1895 joined José Marti in leading the Cuban War of Independence.
Thereafter his story was the story of the Cuban cause. Declining to be
considered a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, he retired to
private life after the establishment of independence, and died in 1905,
full of years and honor.

Then Campos attempted a second barricade. He placed a line of troops across the island from Moron to Jucaro, near the western boundary of Camaguey, to prevent Gomez from going on into Santa Clara province. This was the line along which was afterward built a military railroad, and on which was constructed the famous "Trocha" or barrier of ditches, wire fences and block houses. It almost coincided with the line of demarcation between the two ecclesiastical dioceses into which the island was divided. But this attempt to confine the insurrection was no more successful than the other. Indeed it was folly to try to shut the revolution out of Santa Clara when it was already there. Marcos Garcia had left behind him many fervent patriots at{45} Sancti Spiritus, and these soon organized a formidable force under the competent lead of Carlos Ruloff, and took the field, advancing northward and westward as far as Vega Alta. General Zayas and other patriotic leaders operated in the southern part of Santa Clara, and soon that province was almost as fully aflame with revolution as Oriente itself. This was the more significant, because it was a populous and opulent province, where the inhabitants had much to lose through the ravages of war. But like the Romans in the "brave days of old," the Cubans of the revolution "spared neither lands nor gold, nor limb nor life," for the achievement of their national independence.

Meantime in Oriente the Cubans were more than holding their own. They suffered a sore loss in the death of the dashing champion Amador Guerra, who was treacherously slain in the moment of victory at Palmas Altas, near Manzanillo. But Henry Brooks landed supplies of artillery and ammunition at Portillo; Jesus Rabi almost annihilated a strong Spanish force in a defile near Jiguani and thus frustrated General Salcedo's plans to surround Maceo's camp at San Jorge; and on July 5 Quintin Bandera and Victoriano Garzon attacked and dispersed a newly landed Spanish army and captured its stores of arms and ammunition. These reverses for his arms exasperated Campos into the issuing of a proclamation on July 7, in which, while still offering pardon to all who voluntarily surrendered, he threatened death to all who were captured under arms, and exile to African prisons to all who were convicted of conspiring against the sovereignty of Spain.

Following this, Campos, "Spain's greatest soldier," took the field in person. Of this there was need, for Maceo was besieging Bayamo, capturing all supplies{46} which were sent thither, and threatening the Spanish garrison with starvation. Campos hastened to the relief of that place with General Santocildes and a strong force. But Maceo did not hesitate to measure strength with Campos. He attacked him openly at Peralejo, out-manœuvered him and out-fought him and came very near to capturing him with his whole headquarters staff. Campos was indeed saved from capture only by the desperate valor of Santocildes, who lost his life in defending him: but he did lose his entire ammunition train and was compelled to retreat with the remnant of his shattered forces into Bayamo and there undergo the humiliation of being besieged by the "rebels" whom he had affected to despise. There he remained for a week, until General Suarez Valdez could come with an army, not to defeat the Cubans but to help Campos to flee in safety over the road by which he had come. Then, when the Spaniards had concentrated more than 10,000 troops at Bayamo for a supreme struggle the wily Maceo quietly and swiftly removed his forces to another scene of action.

Meantime in the far east of the province the patriots besieged the fort in Sabana and would have forced its surrender had not Spanish reenforcements arrived from Baracoa for its relief. The fort was destroyed, however, and the place had to be abandoned by the Spanish. Also at Baire, where the revolution began, Jesus Rabi captured a Spanish fort and its garrison. Everywhere throughout Oriente the Spaniards were on the defensive, while in every other province, even in Pinar del Rio, the revolution was ominously gaining strength.{47}


It now seemed opportune to effect a more complete organization of the civil government of the Cuban Republic, and for that purpose a convention was held in the Valley of the Yara, at which on July 15 a Declaration of Cuban Independence was proclaimed, and on August 7, near Camaguey the action of May 18 was confirmed and amplified, Bartolome Maso being retained as President; Maximo Gomez as Vice-President and Minister of War; Salvador Cisneros as Minister of the Interior; Gonzalo Quesada as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, with residence in the United States; Antonio Maceo as General in Chief of the Army; and Jose Maceo as Commander of the Army of Oriente.

This was not, however, a finality. A national Constitutional Convention was called, at Najasa, near Guiamaro, in the Province of Camaguey, at which were present regularly elected representatives from all six provinces of the island. It afterward removed to Anton, in the same province, where it completed its labors on September 23, when the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba was completed and promulgated. Salvador Cisneros y Betancourt, Marquis of Santa Lucia, was chosen by acclamation to preside over the deliberations of this important body, and associated with him were the ablest and best minds of the Cuban nation.

This Constitution provided for the government of Cuba by a Council of Ministers, until such time as the achievement of independence and the signing of a treaty of peace with Spain should make it practicable for a Legislative{48} Assembly to be convoked and to meet for the performance of its functions. The Council of Ministers was to consist of six members: a President, Vice-President, and Secretaries of War, Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Treasury. This Council was to have full governmental powers, both legislative and administrative, civil and military; to levy taxes, contract loans, raise and equip armies, declare reprisals against the enemy when necessary, and in the last resort to control the military operations of the Commander in Chief. Treaties were to be made by the President and ratified by the Council. It was provided, however, that the treaty of peace with Spain, when made, must be ratified not only by the Council but also by the National Legislative Assembly which was then to be organized. No decree of the Council was valid unless approved by four of the six members, including the President. The President had power to dissolve the Council, in which case a new Council had to be formed within ten days. It was required that all Cubans should be obliged to serve the republic personally or with their property, as they might be able. But all property of foreigners was to be exempt from taxation or other levy, provided that their governments recognized the belligerency of Cuba. It was provided that there should be a national judiciary entirely independent of the legislature and executive.

Under this system the Council was organized as follows: President, Salvador Cisneros y Betancourt, of Camaguey; Vice-President, Bartolome Maso, of Manzanillo, Oriente; Secretaries—of War, Carlos Roloff, of Santa Clara; of Foreign Affairs, Rafael Portuondo, of Santiago; of the Treasury, Severa Pina, of Sancti Spiritus; of the Interior, Santiago J. Canizares, of Los Remedios. Each Secretary appointed his own Deputy, who should have full power when taking his chief's place, as{49} follows: War, Mario G. Menocal, of Matanzas; Foreign Affairs, Fermin G. Dominguez; Treasury, Joaquin Castillo Duany, of Santiago; Interior, Carlos Dubois, of Baracoa. The Commander in Chief was Maximo Gomez; the Lieutenant-General, or Vice-Commander in Chief was Antonio Maceo, and the Major Generals were Jose Maceo, Maso Capote, Serafin Sanchez, and Fuerto Rodriguez. Tomas Estrada Palma was minister plenipotentiary and diplomatic agent abroad. Later Bartolome Maso and General de Castillo were made special envoys to the United States.

Salvador Cisneros, the President, has already been frequently mentioned in this history. He came of distinguished ancestry, the names of Cisneros and Betancourt frequently occupying honorable places in the annals of Cuba. Born in 1832, he was by this time past the prime of life, but he was just as zealous and efficient in the cause of Cuban freedom as he was when he sacrificed his title of Marquis of Santa Lucia, and sacrificed his estates, too, which were confiscated by the Spanish government, when he joined the Ten Years' War, later to succeed the martyred Cespedes as President. Of Bartolome Maso, too, we have spoken much. He also was advanced in years, having been born in 1831, and he, too, had served through the Ten Years' War and had in consequence of his patriotism lost all his estates.

Carlos Roloff, the Secretary of War, was a Pole, who had come to Cuba in his youth and settled at Cienfuegos; bringing with him the passionate love of freedom which had long been characteristic of the Poles. He fought through the Ten Years' War and gained distinction therein, by his valor and military skill.

Mario G. Menocal, the Assistant Secretary of War, was a native of Jaguey Grande, Matanzas, at this time only{50} twenty-nine years old. He came of a family eminent in Cuban history, and indeed in the history of North America, since he was a nephew of that A. G. Menocal who was perhaps the most distinguished and efficient of all the engineers and surveyors for the Isthmian Canal schemes, both at Nicaragua and Panama. He himself was, even thus early in life, one of the foremost engineers of Cuba.


Rafael Portuondo y Tamayo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, was another young man—born at Santiago in 1867—of distinguished family and high ability. His Assistant Secretary, Fermin Valdes Dominguez, was one of the most eminent physicians of Havana, and was one of those students who, as hitherto related, were falsely accused by the Volunteers of desecrating an officer's grave. He escaped the fate of shooting, which was meted out to one in every five of his comrades, but was sent to life-long penal servitude at Ceuta. After the Treaty of Zanjon he was released and returned to Havana, where he attained great distinction in his profession.

Severa Pina, Secretary of the Treasury, belonged to one of the oldest families of Sancti Spiritus. His Assistant, Dr. Joaquin Castillo Duany, has already been mentioned as one of the organizers of the Cuban Junta in New York. He had served on the United States Naval relief expedition which went to the Arctic regions in quest of the survivors of the Jeannette exploring expedition.

Santiago J. Canizares, Secretary of the Interior, was one of the foremost citizens of Los Remedios, and his{51} Assistant, Carlos Dubois, enjoyed similar rank at Baracoa.

Meantime Martinez Campos was straining every effort to fulfil his promise of victory. At the middle of July he had nearly 40,000 regular infantry, more than 2,500 cavalry, more than 1,000 artillery and engineers, 4,400 civil guards, 2,700 marines, and nearly 1,200 guerrillas. His navy comprised 15 vessels, to which were to be added six which were approaching completion in Spain and 19 which were being purchased of other European nations. Thus his troops outnumbered the Cubans by just about two to one. For the latter aggregated only 24,000, of whom 12,000 were under Maceo in Oriente, 9,000 in Camaguey under Gomez, and 3,000 under Roloff and Sanchez in Santa Clara. In August large reenforcements for Campos arrived from Spain, and they were no longer, as before, half trained boys, but were the very flower of the Spanish army. They brought the total that had been sent to Cuba up to 80,000, of whom 60,000 were regular infantry. However, probably between 18,000 and 20,000 must be subtracted from those figures, for killed, deserted, and died of yellow fever and other diseases. But even if thus reduced to 60,000, the Spanish were still twice as many as the Cubans, who had increased their forces to not more than 30,000.

The plans of campaign gave the Cubans, however, a great advantage. Fully half of the Spaniards had to remain on garrison duty in the cities and towns, especially along the coast, so that the number free to take the field against the Cubans was no greater than that of the latter. With numbers anywhere near equal, the Cubans were almost sure to win, because of their superior morale and their better knowledge of the country.

The Cubans suffered much, it is true, from lack of supplies,{52} and this lack became the more marked and grievous as the Spaniards increased their naval forces and drew tighter and tighter their double cordon of vessels around the island. Several costly expeditions which were fitted out in the United States during the year came to grief, being either restrained from sailing by the United States authorities or intercepted and captured by the Spanish. One such vessel, fully laden with valuable supplies, was seized at the mouth of the Delaware River, as it was setting out for Cuba, and the cargo was confiscated. The company of Cubans in command of the vessel were arrested and brought to trial, but were acquitted since the mere exportation of arms and ammunition in an unarmed merchant vessel was no violation of law. Far different was the fate of any such who were captured by the Spanish at the other end of the voyage, as they were approaching the Cuban coast. The mildest fate they could expect was a term of many years of penal servitude at Ceuta. Such was the sentence imposed upon sailors who were guilty of nothing more than smuggling the contraband goods into Cuba. As for Juan Gualberto Gomez and his comrades in an expedition which presumptively was intended for fighting as well as smuggling, twenty years at Ceuta was their sentence.

During the summer of 1895 a severe but necessary order was issued by the Cuban commander in chief. This, addressed to the people of Camaguey Province, directed the cessation of all plantation work, save such as was necessary for the food supply of the families there resident; and also strictly forbade the supplying of any food to the Spanish garrisons in the towns and cities. Disobedience to these orders, it was plainly stated, would mean the destruction of the offending plantation. It was the purpose of General Gomez to deprive the Spaniards{53} of all local supplies and make them dependent upon shipments of food, even, from Spain. This meant, no doubt, much hardship to the Cuban people. But there was little complaint, and it was seldom that the rule was violated. Whenever a flagrant violation was detected, the torch was applied, and canefield and buildings were reduced to ashes. There was also much destruction of railroads, bridges, telegraph lines and what not, to deprive the Spanish of means of transport and communication. It was a fine demonstration of the patriotism of the Cuban people that they almost universally acquiesced in this plan of campaign, without demur and without repining, although it of course meant heavy loss and untold inconvenience and often severe suffering, to them. They realized that they were at war, and that war was not to be waged with lace fans and rosewater.

At the end of September, after the close of the Constitutional Convention, preparations were made for renewing the military campaign with more aggressive vigor. Jose Maceo was assigned to the command of the eastern part of Oriente, General Capote and General Sanchez took respectively the northern and southern parts of the western half, and General Rodriguez led the advance into Camaguey. Maximo Gomez himself accompanied Rodriguez's army, and was presently joined by Antonio Maceo, and together they planned the great campaign of the war, which was conceived by Gomez and executed by Maceo. This was nothing less than the extension of the war into every province and indeed every district and village of the island, by marching westward from Oriente to the further end of Pinar del Rio.

Early in October Antonio Maceo set out to join Gomez in Camaguey, taking with him 4,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. At San Nicolas he suffered a setback at the{54} hands of General Aldave and a superior force of Spaniards, but resolutely continued his progress. Gomez meanwhile pushed on into Santa Clara, established headquarters near Las Tunas, where he could be in touch with expeditions from Jamaica, and began the aggressive against the Spaniards around Sancti Spiritus. Roloff, meanwhile, was operating at the northern part of the province, at Vueltas. Martinez Campos himself was in the field near Sancti Spiritus, but failed to check the Cuban advance. In fact, at almost every point the campaign was going steadily against the Spanish; so much against them that Campos feared to let the truth be known to the world. Accordingly he issued a decree forbidding the publication of any news concerning the war save that which was officially given out at his headquarters or by his chief of staff at Havana. Only Spanish and foreign—no Cuban—correspondents were permitted to accompany the army, and they only on their compliance with the rules.

Still Campos appeared to cherish the thought that he could end the war by compromise, through pursuing a policy of leniency toward at least the rank and file of the insurgents; and in this he had the support of the Madrid government. That government had staked its all upon him, and was naturally disposed to give him a free hand and to approve everything that he did. However, it insisted that the rebellion must be crushed and that no further reforms for Cuba could be considered until that was done. It was feeling the strain of the war severely, especially since its last loan for war funds had to be placed at more than fifty per cent discount.

October was a disastrous month for the Spanish at sea. One of their gunboats was wrecked on a key, and another, which had just been purchased in the United States, was{55} boarded and seized by a party of revolutionists in the Cauto River, stripped of all its guns and ammunition, and disabled and scuttled. General Enrique Collazo, who earlier in the season had several times been baffled in such attempts, at last got away from Florida with a strong party of Cubans and Americans and effected a safe landing in Cuba. A little later Carlos Manuel de Cespedes did the same, bringing a large cargo of arms. Two expeditions also came from Canada, under General Francisco Carillo and Colonel Jose Maria Aguirre. The latter, by the way, was an American citizen who had been arrested in Havana at the very beginning of the war, along with Julio Sanguilly, but was released at the very urgent insistence of the United States government. Sanguilly, who was suspected by some Cubans of having betrayed their cause, was held, tried, and condemned to life imprisonment; a fact which cleared him of suspicion of complicity with the Spaniards.

Maceo advanced through Camaguey and on November 12 reached Las Villas with an army of 8,000 men. Gomez had meanwhile moved northward almost to the Gulf coast, and was operating with 5,000 men between Los Remedios and Sagua la Grande, where he joined forces with Sanchez, who had marched westward, and with Roloff, Suarez, Cespedes and Collazo. He established headquarters near the Matanzas border, where he was in touch with Lacret, Matagas and other guerrilla leaders who were actively engaged in the latter province. In that same month Maceo fought a pitched battle with General Navarro, near Santa Clara, and a few days later Gomez similarly fought General Suarez Valdes in the same region. These were two of the greatest battles of the war, in point of numbers engaged and losses suffered, and were both handsomely won by the Cubans.{56}

In view of these losses, Campos welcomed the arrival of 30,000 additional troops from Spain, under General Pando and General Marin. He also resorted to recruiting troops in some of the South American countries, particularly in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, thinking to find them hardier and better able to endure the climate and the hardships of Cuba than men from the Peninsula. Such recruiting was not regarded with favor in those countries, where sympathy was generally on the side of the Cubans; but a considerable number of adventurers were found who were willing to serve for good pay as soldiers of fortune. More and more, too, the Spanish soldiery indulged in excesses against the inhabitants of Cuba as well as against the revolutionists in the field, and the conflict showed symptoms of degenerating into the savagery which marked it at a later date. It is to be recalled to the credit of Campos that he resisted all such tendencies, and that he indeed sent back to Spain two prominent Generals, Bazan and Salcedo, because of their barbarous methods and their criticisms of his humanity. General Pando, on arriving with the fresh troops from Spain, was placed in command at Santiago; General Marin was assigned to Santa Clara; General Mella operated in Camaguey; and General Arderius was charged with the hopeless task of guarding Matanzas, Havana and Pinar del Rio from invasion by the revolutionists.

The Cuban government, of President Cisneros and his colleagues, established its headquarters at Las Tunas, and there approved another military proclamation by the Commander in Chief, ordering the burning of all cane fields and the laying waste of all plantations which were providing or were likely to provide supplies to the Spaniards, and threatening with death all persons found giving the Spaniards aid or comfort. One notable blow was{57} struck at the south, before the final advance was made toward Havana and the west. This was at the middle of December. Campos himself was at Cienfuegos, with 20,000 troops, and Gomez and Maceo decided to give him battle. The redoubtable negro farmer, Quintin Bandera, from Oriente, who at the age of sixty-three years had become one of the most agile, daring and successful guerrilla leaders, raided the Spanish lines and drew out a considerable force, upon which the Cubans fell at Mal Tiempo, thirty miles north of Cienfuegos. Only a couple of thousand men were engaged on each side, but it was one of the most significant battles of the war, because it was the first in which the Cubans relied upon the machete, and the result of the experiment made that fearful weapon thereafter their favorite arm, particularly in cavalry charges, and it struck a terror into the hearts of the Spanish soldiers such as nothing else could do. The machete was an enormous knife, as long as a cavalry sabre or longer, with a single edge as sharp as a razor on a blade almost as heavy as the head of a woodsman's axe. It had been used on sugar plantations, for cutting cane, and was so heavy that a single stroke was sufficient to cut through half a dozen of the thickest canes. Swung by the expert and sinewy arm of a Cuban soldier, it would sever a man's head from his body, or cut off an arm or leg, as surely as the blade of a guillotine. At Mal Tiempo a whole company of Spanish regulars was set upon by Cuban horsemen armed with nothing but machetes, and every one of them was killed.

Turning swiftly away from Mal Tiempo, where they had both been present, Gomez and Maceo led their troops swiftly to the northwest and before Campos realized what their objective was they were raiding and defeating Spanish troops around Colon, in the east central part of the{58} Province of Matanzas, between Campos and Havana. The distracted Captain-General hastened thither and, learning that they were retiring eastward toward the town of Santo Domingo, in Santa Clara, directed his course thither; only to find himself outwitted by the Cubans who had really moved further toward Colon. At last he came into contact with them, and with Emilio Nunez who had joined them, near the little village of Coliseo, and there he was badly worsted in the fight, and came near to losing his life, his adjutant being shot and killed at his side. The coming of night saved him from further losses. But then the Cubans, pursuing Fabian tactics, withdrew to Jaguey Grande, in Santa Clara, well content with their achievement, where they took counsel over plans for the great drive which was to carry them through Matanzas and Havana clear into Pinar del Rio.

Campos made the best of his way hastily back to Havana, in a far different frame of mind from that in which he had come to Cuba eight months before. He had at that time in the island more than 100,000 troops in active service. Since his appointment as Captain-General nearly 80,000 men had been sent thither from Spain. In addition there were the Volunteers, or what was left of them. According to Spanish authorities at Havana at that time the Volunteers numbered 63,000. True, they would not take the field. But they were serviceable for police and garrison duty in cities and towns, thus permitting all the regular army to be put into the field. The same authorities declared that with the Volunteers, marines and all other branches, Campos had at his disposal 189,000 men. It is probable that the entire force under Gomez and Maceo in that first invasion of Matanzas did not exceed 10,000 men. These things gave{59} "Spain's greatest General" much food for thought; not of the most agreeable kind.

It gave others food for thought; the Spanish Loyalists of both Constitutionalist and Reformist predilections, and the dwindling but still resolute body of Cuban Autonomists. The last-named were at this desperate conjuncture of affairs Campos's best friends. The Constitutionalists were hostile to him. They had from the first disapproved his moderate and humane methods, wishing to return to the savagery of Valmaseda in the Ten Years' War. The Reformists were hesitant; they had little faith in Campos, yet they doubted the expedience of openly repudiating him. The Autonomists, having faith in his sincerity, respecting his humanity, and deploring the devastation and ruin which was befalling Cuba, urged that he should be supported loyally in at least one last effort to pacify the island and abate the horrors of civil war.

The intellectual and moral power of the Autonomists carried the day. The Reformists first and then the Constitutionalists agreed to join them in making a demonstration of loyalty and confidence to the Captain-General, to cheer and sustain him in the depression—almost despair—which he was certainly suffering. So the representatives of all three factions appeared publicly before Campos. For the Constitutionalists, Santos Guzman spoke; an intense reactionary, who could not altogether conceal his feelings of disapproval of Campos's liberal course, or his realization of the desperate plight in which the country was at that time. But he made an impassioned pledge of the loyalty of his party to the Captain-General. For the Autonomists, Dr. Rafael Montoro was the spokesman, one of the foremost orators and scholars{60} of the Spanish-speaking world. He had been a Cuban Senator in the Spanish Cortes, and perhaps more than any other man in Cuba commanded the respect and confidence of all parties, Spanish and Cuban alike. He also pledged to Campos the unwavering support of the Autonomists in what he believed sincerely to be the best policy for both Cuba and Spain. A representative of the Reformists spoke to the same effect. Then Campos responded with a frank confession that he had meditated resignation, fearing that he had lost the united confidence of the various parties; but that after this demonstration of loyalty, he would continue his military and civil administration with restored hope of success in pacifying the island.

We have called the Autonomists at this time the best friends of Campos. It might be possible, however, to argue successfully that they were his worst friends, or at least badly mistaken friends. It might have been better, that is to say, for him to have persisted in retirement at that time, instead of merely postponing the day of wrath. For his renewed efforts either to crush or to pacify the revolutionists were vain. At the very moment when he was gratefully listening to those pledges of loyal support, Gomez and Maceo were pushing unrelentingly forward, not merely through Matanzas but far into Havana province itself. And like Israel of old, they were guided or accompanied by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. The plantations near the capital were sources of supply for the Spanish, and they must be destroyed. It seemed savage to doom canefields and factories to the torch. But it was more humane to do that and thus make the island uninhabitable for the Spaniards, than to lose myriads of lives in battle. Moreover, the destruction of the sugar crop, then ripe for harvest,{61} would do more than anything else to cripple the financial resources of Spain in the island. All Spain wanted of Cuba, said Gomez, grimly but truly, was what she could get out of it. Therefore if she was prevented from getting anything out of it she would no longer desire it but would let it go.

So night after night "the midnight sky was red" with the glow of blazing canefields and factories, and day after day the tropic sun was half obscured by rolling clouds of smoke from the same conflagrations; while behind them the advancing armies left a broad swath of blackened desolation, above which gaunt, tall chimneys towered solitary, above twisted and ruined machinery, grim monuments of the passing of the destroyer. Day after day the inexorable terror rolled toward the capital. On the last day of the year the vanguard of the patriot army was at Marianao, only ten miles from Havana, and every railroad leading out of the city was either cut or had suspended operations. Two days later Campos proclaimed martial law and a state of siege in the Provinces of Havana and Pinar del Rio. Thus the new year opened with the entire island involved in the War of Independence. Nor was it merely a nominal state of war. Already Pinar del Rio was overrun by bands of Cuban irregulars, who destroyed the cane fields of Spanish Loyalists and ravaged the tobacco plantations of the famous Vuelta Abajo. But this was not enough. On January 5, 1896, Gomez, leaving Maceo and Quintin Bandera to hold Campos in check at Havana, drove straight at the centre of the Spanish line which strove to bar his progress westward, broke through it, and marched his whole army into Pinar del Rio.

That was the beginning of the end for Campos. In desperation he flung all available troops in a line across{62} the western part of Havana Province vainly hoping, since he had not been able thus to keep him out of Pinar del Rio, that thus he could keep Gomez shut up in that province, deprived of supplies or succor. Meantime he sent three of his ablest generals, Luque, Navarro and Valdez, into the western province, in hope of capturing Gomez. But the wily Cuban chieftain played with them, marching and countermarching at will and wearing them out, until he had completed his work there. Then as if to show his scorn at Campos's military barriers, he burst out of Pinar del Rio and reentered Havana, sweeping like a besom of wrath through the southern part of that province, and defeating the army of Suarez Valdez near Batabano. Then, while all the Spanish columns were in full cry after Gomez, Maceo crossed the border into Pinar del Rio at the north, and marched along the coast as far as Cabanas, destroying several towns on his way.

From Batabano the Cubans under Gomez and Angel Guerra turned northward again, and by January 12 were at Managuas, in the outskirts of Havana, from which the sound of firing could be heard in the capital itself. The railroads had been stopped before, and now all telegraph communication with Havana was cut, save that by submarine cable. The city was not merely in a technical state of siege but was actually besieged, and if Jose Maceo and Jesus Rabi, who were on the eastern border of the province, had been able promptly to join Gomez and Bandera, Havana would probably have been captured. In this state of affairs the Spanish inhabitants of the city were frantic with fear, and with faultfinding against Campos for his inability to protect them from the revolutionists. The Volunteers mutinied outright refusing to serve longer under his orders unless he would{63} alter his policy to one of extreme severity. The Spanish political leaders openly inveighed against him.

In these circumstances Campos invited the leaders of the various parties, the very men who shortly before had pledged their support to him, to meet him again for a conference. They came, but in a different spirit from before. Santos Guzman was first to speak. He declared that the Constitutionalists had lost confidence in the Captain-General and did not approve his policy, and that they could no longer support him. The spokesman of the Reformists was less violent of phrase but no less hostile in intent and purport. From neither of the factions of the Spanish party could Campos hope for further support. There remained the Cuban Autonomists, and with a constancy which would have been sublime if only it had been exercised in a better cause, they reaffirmed their loyalty to Campos and to his policy and renewed their pledges of support. But this was in vain. Campos realized that a Spanish Captain-General who had not the support and confidence of the Spanish party would be an impossible anomaly. He would not resign, but he reported to Madrid the state of affairs, and placed himself, like a good soldier, at the commands of the government; excepting that he would not change his policy for one of ruthless severity. If he was to remain in Cuba, his policy of conciliation, in cooperation with the Autonomists, must be maintained.

The answer was not delayed. On January 17 a message came from Madrid, directing Campos to turn over his authority to General Sabas Marin, who would exercise it until a permanent successor could be appointed and could arrive; and to return forthwith to Spain. Of course there was nothing for him to do but to obey. In relinquishing his office to his temporary successor he{64} spoke strongly in defence of the policy which he had pursued. Later, out of office, he talked with much bitterness of the political conspiracies which had been formed against him by the Spaniards of Cuba, of their moral treason to the cause of Spain, and of the sordid tyranny which they exercised. He declared that Spain herself was at fault for the Cuban revolution, which never would have occurred if the island had been treated as an integral province of Spain and not as a subject and enslaved country; and he prophesied that the verdict of history would be, as it had been in the case of Central and South America, that Spain had lost her American empire through the perverse faults of the Spaniards themselves. "My successor," he added, "will fail." Three days later he sailed for Spain.{65}


The administration of General Marin lasted only a few weeks, but it was marked with strenuous doings. His first effort was to do what Campos had failed to do, namely, to maintain an impassable barrier between Pinar del Rio and Havana. He massed troops on the line between Havana and Batabano, and took command himself at the centre, hoping to draw Maceo into a general engagement. But Maceo sent Perico Diaz with 1,400 men from Artemisia to create a diversion just north of the centre, which was done very effectively, Diaz and General Jil drawing a large Spanish force into a trap and inflicting terrible slaughter with a cavalry machete charge. Taking advantage of this, Maceo with a small detachment easily crossed the trocha at the south. At once the Spanish forces all rushed in that direction, to head off Maceo and to prevent him from joining Gomez, whereupon the remainder of Maceo's troops crossed the trocha at the centre and north. After raiding Havana Province at will, and capturing fresh supplies, Maceo returned to Pinar del Rio, fought and won a pitched battle at Paso Real, won another at Candelaria, where the Spanish General Cornell was killed, and captured the city of Jaruco and its forts with 80 guns.

By this time the new Captain-General had arrived. This was General Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau; the man most of all desired—and indeed earnestly asked for—by the Volunteers and other extremists among the Spanish party in Cuba, the man most undesired by the Autonomists,{66} and the man most hated by the Cuban revolutionists. He had made himself unspeakably odious in the Ten Years' War as the chief aid of Valmaseda in his savage outrages, and he was confidently expected to renew in Cuba the horrors of that campaign; as he did. Upon the announcement of his appointment the Autonomists largely abandoned hope of any amicable arrangement, and those of them who were mayors or other officers promptly resigned their places, being unwilling to serve under him. Many of them left Cuba altogether, dreading the horrors which they knew were impending. As for the masses of the Cuban people, they flocked to the standard of the revolution in greater numbers than before. Within a month after Weyler's arrival at Havana, more than 15,000 fresh recruits were following the banners of Gomez and Maceo.


It was on February 10 that Weyler landed in Cuba. He promptly issued a number of decrees addressed to both the Spanish Loyalists and the Cuban Revolutionists. He chided the former for their indifference and fears, warned them that they must expect to make sacrifices and endure sufferings, and demanded of them that they should themselves undertake the guardianship of their cities and towns so as to release all his troops for service in the field. The latter he threatened with all possible pains and penalties if they persisted in their contumacy. Death or life imprisonment was to be the fate of all who circulated news unfavorable to the government, who interfered with the operation of railroads, telegraphs or{67} telephones, who by word of mouth disparaged Spain or Spanish soldiers or praised the enemy, who aided the enemy in any way, or who failed to help the government and to injure the revolutionists at every opportunity. All inhabitants of Oriente, Camaguey and the district of Sancti Spiritus in Santa Clara were required to register at military headquarters and receive permits to go about their business. Later he ordered all persons living in rural districts to move into fortified towns, and confiscated the property of all who were absent from their homes without leave. It should be added that at the beginning of his administration he sought to curb and even reproved and punished the cruelties of his subordinates.

In spite of the repudiation of Campos and his policy of pacification, and the accession of Weyler and his policy of severity, the Spanish Prime Minister, Canovas del Castillo, determined to make another attempt at amicable settlement. Elections for a new Cortes were to be held, and he directed that they should be held in Cuba as well as in the Peninsula. To that end it was desirable to raise the state of siege in at least the three western provinces, and on March 8 Weyler issued an order which he hoped would conduce to that end. The civil guard, or rural military police, was to be restored to duty, amnesty was offered to all insurgents who surrendered within fifteen days and who had not been guilty of burning or confiscating property, and all others were to be treated as bandits, to be put summarily to death. All loyal inhabitants were required actively to assist in repairing railroads, telegraph lines, etc. A similar proclamation was issued for the other provinces.

The elections were set for April 12, and were then held. The Reformist faction of Spaniards refused to{68} take part in them, not approving the policy of Weyler. The Cuban Autonomists also refused to vote, or to nominate candidates, excepting for Deputies from the University of Havana and the Economical Society of Havana. They did this at great risk to themselves, because Weyler after trying persuasions resorted to the most ominous threats against them if they would not take part in the elections, and there really was much danger that at least their leaders would be arrested and imprisoned for treason. The outcome was that only Constitutionalists voted, and only their candidates were elected; representing an insignificant fraction of the Cuban people.

Meantime the war raged unceasingly. Having failed to keep the Cubans from invading Pinar del Rio, and then from emerging from that province, Weyler again formed a trocha from Havana to Batabano to prevent them from moving further east. But both Gomez and Maceo broke through, the former marching into the heart of Matanzas and playing havoc with the sugar plantations, and the latter going southward to the Cienaga de Zapata and thence into Santa Clara, where he received strong reenforcements from Oriente and Camaguey. Then, when Weyler was massing his troops in Santa Clara, Maceo with 10,000 men swept back to the very gates of Havana. With the adoption of Weyler's policy as announced in his proclamations, the war became a campaign of destruction on both sides, each burning towns in order that they might not be occupied by the other. In this fashion in a few weeks there were burned or laid in ruins in Pinar del Rio the towns of Cabanaz, Cayajabos, Vinales, Palacios, San Juan Martinez, Montezuelo, Los Arroyos, Cuano, San Diego, Nunez, Bahia Honda, Hacha and Quiobra; in Havana there perished{69} La Catalina, San Nicolas, Nueva Paz, Bejucal, Jaruco, Wajay, Melena and Bainoa; in Matanzas, Los Ramos, Macagua, Roque, San Jose and Torriente; and in Santa Clara, Amaro, Flora, Mata, Maltiempo, Ranchuelo, Salamanca and San Juan. Many other towns were partially destroyed. On March 13 Maceo attacked Batabano, one of the most strongly defended Spanish coast towns, took 50 guns and much ammunition, and destroyed the town. Nine days later Gomez sent troops into the city of Santa Clara, and captured 240,000 rounds of ammunition. He established his headquarters so near Las Cruces that General Pando fled from that place to Cienfuegos; for which cowardice he was recalled to Spain, as were several other generals. Maceo, after his exploit at Batabano, returned to Pinar del Rio, routed General Linares at Candelaria and another Spanish army at Cayajibaos, and destroyed part of the town of Pinar del Rio.

Filibustering was now rife. In spite of the vigilance of the United States government and of the Spanish navy, numerous expeditions carried men and arms to the Cuban patriots. Those which were successful were little heard of by the public, while those which failed often attracted much attention. General Calixto Garcia, one of the most resolute and daring veterans of the Ten Years' War, sent one on the steamer Hawkins, which was lost at sea. He organized another on the British steamer Bermuda, which was detained by the United States authorities on February 24, and he was arrested and tried for "organizing a military expedition," but was acquitted. A little later he reorganized the expedition and reached Cuba with it in safety. Enrique Collazo and others sent an expedition from Cedar Keys on the Stephen R. Mallory, which was detained, for a time, but finally got off and landed most of the cargo in Matanzas. The{70} Danish steamer Horsa was seized by the United States authorities for carrying a military expedition. The Commodore carried a cargo of arms safely from Charleston, S. C. The Bermuda took another expedition from Jacksonville under Col. Vidal and Col. Torres, but was attacked by a Spanish gunboat before all the cargo was landed, and took to flight, throwing the rest of the cargo overboard. Other successful expeditions in the early part of 1896 were five on the steamer Three Friends, one of which was led by Julian Zarraga and one by Dr. Joaquin Castillo Duany; three on the Laurada, of which one was led by Juan Fernandez Ruiz and one by Rafael Portuondo; several led by Rafael Cabrera, one by General Carlos Roloff, and one by Juan Ruiz Rivera. One came from France, under Fernando Freyre y Andrade, bringing 5,000 rifles and 1,000,000 cartridges. President Cleveland issued a warning, that all violators of the United States neutrality laws would be prosecuted and severely punished, and General Weyler offered large rewards for information leading to the capture of such expeditions, but the chief effect was to stimulate Cuban patriots to greater efforts, if also to increased precautions.

Much attention was meanwhile paid to Cuban affairs by the United States government, not only in trying to check filibustering but also in looking after the rights—and wrongs—of American citizens, and also in seeking an ending of a war which was commercially ruinous and humanely most distressing. Several joint resolutions were introduced in the Congress at Washington, for recognizing the Cubans as belligerents, for inquiry into the state and conditions of the war, for intervention, and for recognizing the independence of the Cuban Republic. There were finally adopted on April 6 resolutions favoring{71} recognition of Cuban belligerency and the tender of good offices for the settlement of the war on the basis of Cuban independence. It was of course necessarily left to the discretion of the President to execute these designs. He did not deem it expedient to recognize Cuban belligerence, but he did promptly, on April 9, direct the American Minister at Madrid to make the tender of good offices for ending the war on the basis of reforms which would be satisfactory to the Cuban people. True, it had been made clear that the great mass of the Cuban people would accept nothing short of independence; but the American Secretary of State, Mr. Olney, believed that if a genuine measure of Home Rule were granted and put into effect, the Cubans and their friends in the United States would withdraw their support from the revolution and thus constrain the revolutionists to yield and accept the compromise. To this overture of the United States government Spain made no reply; nor did it to a similar suggestion offered by the Pope. But Tomas Estrada Palma, speaking for the Cuban Junta in New York and for Cubans and Cuban sympathizers throughout the United States, declared that they were not at all interested in any such scheme, and that they would consider nothing short of absolute independence.

The Spanish government did, indeed, consider a scheme of so-called autonomy, somewhat resembling that of Senor Abarzuza at the beginning of the war; but in the speech from the throne at the opening of the Cortes on May 11 it was frankly recognized that the revolutionists would accept nothing short of independence, and that therefore it would be expedient to attempt any such reforms until the insurrection had been subdued by force of arms; which was, of course, General Weyler's policy.

There were numerous diplomatic controversies between{72} Spain and the United States over Cuban affairs. The American Consul-General at Havana, Ramon O. Williams, intervened in behalf of numerous American citizens who had been arrested for complicity in the revolution, insisting upon their trial by civil and not by military courts. In the case of five American sailors taken on a filibustering expedition, death by shooting was ordered by Weyler, but the Spanish government quashed the sentence and ordered a civil trial on Mr. Williams's threat to close the Consulate and thus suspend relations. Antagonism between the consul and the Captain-General became so intense that Mr. Williams offered to resign his office, but the President requested him to remain. However he finally retired, at his own volition, and was succeeded on June 3 by Fitzhugh Lee; who proved equally resolute in his protection of American interests.

Meantime, what of the revolutionary civil government of the Republic of Cuba? At the beginning it was a fugitive in the mountain fastnesses of the Sierra Maestra, in the southern part of Oriente, between Santiago and Manzanillo. Thence it removed to Las Tunas, in the same province. But after the great eastward drive by Gomez and Maceo it established itself permanently in the Sierra de Cubitas, in the Province of Camaguey, midway between the city of Camaguey and the north coast of Cuba. There it remained, in a practically impregnable stronghold, and there it surrounded itself with such military industries as it was capable of conducting—largely the manufacture of dynamite, machetes, and of clothing. From that capital it directed an efficient administration of the major part of the island. It levied and collected taxes, and gave to about two-thirds of the island a mail service at least as efficient as that of the Spanish government had ever been. A complete judicial{73} and police system was maintained, and was more respected by the people than that of Spain. In brief it was substantially true, as President Cisneros declared, that the island was peaceful, law-abiding and well-governed, excepting in those places where the Spanish invaders were making trouble!

But the Spanish did make trouble. Weyler once more strove to place an impassable barrier between Pinar del Rio and Havana, to keep Maceo shut up in the former province. He constructed it so strongly, with ditches, block houses, barbed wire fences, artillery and what not as to make it almost impossible of passage. Then he put 10,000 of his best troops west of it, to fight Maceo, and distributed 28,000 more along the trocha to keep Maceo from breaking out. The result was most unfortunate for the Spanish troops west of the trocha. They were there to hunt down Maceo. Instead, Maceo hunted them. If they ventured to attack him, he repulsed them. More often he attacked them, and almost invariably routed them. At Lechuza he cut to pieces Colonel Debos's column and drove its survivors to the shelter of a gunboat at the shore. At Bahia Honda and Punta Brava the Spanish were badly beaten. In the Rubi Hills a Spanish force was all but annihilated, and the commanders began to clamor for reenforcements; though Maceo had only 11,000 men, and the Spanish had 50,000 along the trocha to keep him from crossing it. During the summer the campaign slackened a little, though Maceo won several spirited engagements and maintained his control of practically all the province excepting parts of the coast. In the early fall, with his army increased to 20,000 he resumed the aggressive; using for the first time a dynamite gun which thoroughly demoralized the Spaniards. Near Pinar del Rio city,{74} at Las Tumbas Torino, at San Francisco, at Guayabitos and at Vinales, he defeated the enemy and inflicted heavy losses. The same record was made early in October at San Felipe, at Tunibar del Torillo, at Manaja, at Ceja del Negro, and Guamo. A solitary Spanish victory was won at Guayabitos.

Like the general government at Cubitas, Maceo had headquarters in the mountains, and there guarded effectively a large and fertile region, where supplies ample for feeding his army could be produced. He also conducted workshops for the manufacture of arms and ammunition. Against this position, in his rage and desperation, Weyler himself in November led an army of 36,000 picked troops, with six Generals. For several days attack after attack was made, every one being repulsed by Maceo with heavy loss to the Spaniards, until at last, with a third of his army destroyed, Weyler abandoned the attempt and retreated. Unfortunately, on December 4 Maceo with his staff and a small force decided to undertake a secret expedition to seek a conference with leaders in Havana Province. They accordingly crossed the Bay of Mariel in a small boat and thus reached the eastern side of the trocha. Messages were sent to revolutionary chiefs in Havana and Matanzas, asking them to come to a council of war at a designated point near Punta Brava, familiar to them all as secure rendezvous. A few came promptly, but in some way the secret of the meeting became known to the Spanish. In consequence, on December 7, while he was expecting the arrival of more of his friends, Maceo heard the sound of firing at the outposts of his camp. Riding to the scene, he found Spanish troops attacking him. He rallied his troops and under his directions they were soon mastering the enemy, when a shot struck Maceo and he fell mortally wounded; his last words, referring to the progress of the skirmish, being, "It goes well."


Born at Santiago de Cuba in 1849, of a family of patriots and brave fighters, and dying in battle at Punta Brava, near Havana, on December 7, 1896, José Antonio Maceo was one of the most gallant soldiers in the Ten Years' War and one of the very foremost chieftains of the War of Independence. Gifted with military genius and with leadership of men, he was the greatest strategist and the most popular commander in the Liberating Army, and the greatest terror to the foe. Partly of Negro blood, he was an equal honor to both races, and finely typified in himself their union in the cause of Cuban independence. A monument to his imperishable memory crowns Cacagual Hill, where his remains were buried.


Born at Santiago de Cuba in 1849, of a family of patriots and brave
fighters, and dying in battle at Punta Brava, near Havana, on December
7, 1896, José Antonio Maceo was one of the most gallant soldiers in the
Ten Years' War and one of the very foremost chieftains of the War of
Independence. Gifted with military genius and with leadership of men, he
was the greatest strategist and the most popular commander in the
Liberating Army, and the greatest terror to the foe. Partly of Negro
blood, he was an equal honor to both races, and finely typified in
himself their union in the cause of Cuban independence. A monument to
his imperishable memory crowns Cacagual Hill, where his remains were


At his fall his troops were panic stricken and gave way, so that the Spaniards occupied the field and plundered and stripped the dead. It was said that they did not know that it was Maceo whom they had killed until a native guide who was with them recognized his body. While they were still plundering the dead Cuban reenforcements under Pedro Diaz came up, furious at the loss of their peerless chief, and a desperate fight ensued, which ended in the rout of the Spaniards and the recovery of Maceo's body by the Cubans. When the defeated Spaniards got back to headquarters and reported that they had slain Maceo, they were not believed. It was not considered possible that he had crossed the trocha. But a little later convincing confirmation came to them from a Cuban source. This was furnished when Dr. Maximo Zertucha, who had been Maceo's surgeon-general and who was the only member of his staff who had survived the disastrous fight at Punta Brava, came to Spanish headquarters and surrendered himself. He explained that he did so because he had seen Maceo killed, and he regarded the loss of that leader as certainly fatal to the cause of the Cuban revolution. The Spanish authorities accepted his surrender and granted him full amnesty, a circumstance which caused many Cubans to suspect that he had betrayed his chief, by sending word of his whereabouts to the Spanish commander. Of this there appears, however, to have been no proof. Thus perished Antonio Maceo, who would have been the generalissimo of the Cuban forces but for the prudent fear that maligners might then have spread successfully the damaging libel that the revolution was nothing but a negro insurrection; a fear which he himself felt, and on{76} account of which he insisted that Maximo Gomez should be the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolutionary armies. Thus perished Antonio Maceo, a soldier and a man without a superior in either of the contending armies, and a commander, indeed, who, in personal valor, in strategic skill, in resource, in resolution, in knowledge of the art of war, and in all the elements of military greatness, was worthy to be ranked among the great captains of all lands and of all time. The loss of him was irreparable. But it was not fatal to the Cuban cause. Thereafter the effort of every Cuban soldier and patriot was to increase his own efficiency to some degree, so that the aggregate would atone for the loss that had been sustained.

While Maceo was thus baffling the Spanish in the far west of the island, Gomez and his lieutenants were more than holding their own in the other five provinces. Jose Maceo in April marched from Oriente all the way to the western side of Havana, where he was joined by Serafin Sanchez, Rodriguez, Lacret, Maso, Aguirre and others, until nearly 20,000 Cubans were gathered there. Gomez remained in Santa Clara, where the Spaniards had a precarious foothold at Cienfuegos, protected by their fleet. Colonel Gonzalez, commanding in the district of Remedios, routed the forces of General Oliver. Then, the Spanish power in the three great eastern provinces having been rendered negligible, a general movement westward was undertaken, following in the trail of the two Maceos. Gomez himself took supreme command, and Collazo, Calixto Garcia and others marched their forces to join him. Calixto Garcia, after only Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo, was the foremost chieftain of the patriots, and not unworthy to rank with them in a trinity of military prowess. He was now advanced in{77} years, having been born in 1839, at Holguin, Oriente. From childhood a fervent patriot, at the outbreak of the Ten Years' War he took the field under Donato Marmol. His native bent for military achievement assured him advancement, and at Santa Rita and Baire he was a Brigadier General under Gomez. In 1871 he besieged Guisa and Holguin, and then, when Gomez marched westward into Camaguey, thence to force passage of the trocha between Jucaro and Moron, Garcia was left in supreme command in Oriente. In that capacity he was active, triumphing at Santa Maria, Holguin, Chaparra, the siege and capture of Manzanillo, and at Ojo de Agua de los Melones. Then came the incident which for the time ended his military career and which gave him that scar in the centre of his forehead which was ever after so conspicuous a feature. At San Antonio de Baja he and only twenty of his men were surprised and surrounded by a large force of Spaniards. Seeing that escape was impossible, and having vowed never to fall alive into the hands of Spain, he put the muzzle of a pistol beneath his chin and fired. The bullet passed through the tongue, the roof of his mouth, behind his nose, and out at the centre of his forehead. But not thus was he to die. The Spaniards took him to a hospital at Santiago, where he recovered, and then sent him to prison in Spain; whence he returned to Cuba after the Treaty of Zanjon. He was a leader in the "Little War"; then, enjoying the respect and friendship of Martinez Campos, he went back to Spain and for a time was a bank clerk at Madrid. Thus he was engaged when the War of Independence began. Suspected and watched, he was not able to escape until a year later. But on March 24, 1896, he landed at Baracoa with an important expedition, and thereafter he was a raging and consuming flame of war.{78}

The westward march was marked with victory. On May 14 Colonel Segura's whole battalion was captured. On June 9 and 10 near Najasa General Jiminez Castellanos was soundly beaten and forced to retreat to Camaguey. Then, hoping to bar the Cubans from Santa Clara, the Spanish reconstructed the eastern trocha, from Jucaro to Moron, and sent forces inland from Santiago and other coast towns to create a back fire in Oriente. Calixto Garcia turned upon these latter, and routed them on the Cauto River, at Venta de Casanova, and near Bayamo, and captured great stores of supplies. At Santa Ana several stubbornly contested battles occurred between Garcia and General Linares, in which the latter was finally worsted. At Loma del Gato on July 5 the Cubans under Jose Maceo and Perequito Perez defeated the forces of General Albert and Colonel Vara del Rey, but at the heavy cost of Maceo's death. Meanwhile Juan B. Zayas, Lacret and others penetrated Havana Province at will, in guerrilla warfare; but Zayas was finally killed in an engagement near Gabriel.

During the rainy season there was comparatively little activity, but in the fall the advance westward began in earnest. Garcia captured Guaimaro, and Gomez pushed on to Camaguey, but left the place to be dealt with by Garcia and hastened on, with Rodriguez, Rabi, Bandera and Carrillo. He crossed the trocha with ease, penetrated Santa Clara, and was soon in Matanzas, where Aguirre joined them with 3,200 men. He put an end to sugar making throughout most of the province, and then encamped in the Cienaga de Zapata, leaving a number of active guerrilla bands to harass and menace Havana. In the latter province at the beginning of December Raoul Arango and Nicolas Valencia attacked the town of Guanabacoa, only five miles from Havana, and{79} seized great stores of supplies. Beyond the western trocha Ruiz Rivera succeeded Antonio Maceo in command, and carried on his work with much success. Thus the second year of the war drew to a close with the patriots despite some heavy losses decidedly in the ascendant, and the Spanish campaign of ruthless severity no more successful than that of moderation and conciliation had been.

One other incident of the year 1896 was highly significant. At the beginning of December the President of the United States, Mr. Cleveland, in his annual message to Congress, discussed the Cuban problem very fully and frankly. He practically reasserted the historic policy toward that island first enunciated by John Quincy Adams, as quoted in a preceding volume of this history. He reasserted the Monroe Doctrine. He made it clear that the United States had special interests in Cuba, which not only all other nations but also Spain herself must recognize and acknowledge. Concerning the war he said, most justly:

"The spectacle of the utter ruin of an adjoining country, by nature one of the most fertile and charming on the globe, would engage the serious attention of the government and people of the United States in any circumstances. In point of fact, they have a concern with it which is by no means of a wholly sentimental or philanthropic character. It lies so near us as to be hardly separated from our territory. Our actual pecuniary interest in it is second only to that of the people and government of Spain. It is reasonably estimated that at least from $30,000,000 to $50,000,000 of American capital are invested in plantations and in railroad, mining and other business enterprises on the island. The volume of trade between the United States and Cuba, which{80} in 1889 amounted to about $64,000,000, rose in 1893 to about $103,000,000, and in 1894, the year before the present insurrection broke out, amounted to nearly $96,000,000. Beside this large pecuniary stake in the fortunes of Cuba, the United States, finds itself inextricably involved in the present contest in other ways both vexatious and costly."

Then he added, in words the purport of which was unmistakable:

"When the inability of Spain to deal successfully with the insurrection has become manifest, and it is demonstrated that her sovereignty is extinct in Cuba for all purposes of its rightful existence, and when a hopeless struggle for its reestablishment has degenerated into a strife which means nothing more than the useless sacrifice of human life and the utter destruction of the very subject-matter of the conflict, a situation will be presented in which our obligations to the sovereignty of Spain will be superseded by higher obligations, which we can hardly hesitate to recognize and discharge."

To those who knew Mr. Cleveland, and who appreciated the care with which he selected every word in all important addresses, this could have but one meaning. It meant that American intervention was inevitable. Note that he did not say "If the inability of Spain should ... a situation would ..." as though the thing were still problematic. No; but he said plumply "When the inability of Spain has become manifest ... a situation will be presented...." In his mind the thing was certain to come. It had already come, and only awaited disclosure and recognition. Remember, too, that of all men of his time Mr. Cleveland was one of the most opposed to "jingoism," and meddling with the affairs of other lands; while to any suggestion of conquest and{81} annexation of Cuba to the United States he would have offered the most resolute opposition of which he was capable. In view of those facts, that utterance in his message was of epochal import. It foreshadowed precisely what did occur less than a year and a half later. It was in effect a declaration of intervention and of war with Spain in behalf of Cuban independence, made more than a year before the steamer Maine entered Havana harbor.{82}


We have said that the death of Antonio Maceo moved Cuban patriots to redouble their efforts to atone for the grievous loss which their cause had thus suffered. Unfortunately not all of them were capable of so doing, while those who did so were unable to make devotion and zeal take the place of consummate military genius. In consequence, despite the utmost efforts of Gomez and his colleagues matters went badly for the revolution through most of the following year. Gomez himself indeed felt that he had lost his right arm. He was at La Reforma, near Sancti Spiritus, at the beginning of 1897, and he summoned the other revolutionary leaders to meet him there, to concentrate their forces, and to plan a new campaign. They came promptly and eagerly, some of them unfortunately thus leaving without protection important strategic points and centers of revolutionist industry, which were pounced upon and captured by the Spanish. When the patriot forces were thus gathered it was expected that there would be immediately undertaken a general advance westward, into Matanzas and Havana; for which it was believed the Cuban army was strong enough, and which the Spanish were not believed to be able to resist.

Instead, Gomez decided first to effect the reduction of Arroyo Blanco. This was a small and unimportant town in the Province of Camaguey, near the Santa Clara border; containing a Spanish garrison under Captain Escobar. Gomez first summoned Escobar to surrender,{83} in order to avoid the destruction which would be caused by the bombardment of the place with a dynamite gun, which he threatened to begin forthwith. Escobar defied him, and the bombardment was undertaken, but proved ineffective, and before Gomez could capture the place strong Spanish reenforcements arrived and the attempt had to be abandoned. Thereafter Gomez contented himself with sending several strong bands westward, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Spaniards wherever they could, while he himself remained near Sancti Spiritus, also engaging in irregular operations.

There he was presently menaced by Weyler himself. That formidable foe had practically achieved the conquest of Pinar del Rio. After Maceo's death the Cuban forces in that province had largely dispersed, some abandoning the struggle altogether as hopeless, and others going to the east, to join themselves with Gomez, Garcia or other surviving leaders. Only a few roving bands remained. Accordingly Weyler announced that the western province was pacified. That was sufficiently true; but it was conspicuously true in the sense expressed by Tacitus, and Byron. They had made a solitude, and called it peace. Seldom had any comparable region been so thoroughly devastated and desolated. Then Weyler felt himself free to lead his army elsewhere.

He set out from Havana with an imposing array of troops, and marched through the heart of the province and of Matanzas, into Santa Clara. On the way there was little fighting to do, not even to beat off guerrilla bands. His attention was given, therefore, to devastating the country, and to driving the inhabitants into "concentration camps," where they were doomed to starve to death by thousands. By the end of February he was triumphantly encamped at the foot of the Guamuhaya{84} Mountains, between Santa Clara and Trinidad, and had the satisfaction of having wrought vast destruction upon the property of Cubans and upon the essential supplies of the Cuban army.

A few weeks later Quintin Bandera with a small force came from Camaguey and, by wading through the shallow water of the Bay of Sabanabamar, got around the trocha and joined Gomez. The latter directed him to continue westward, and to harass the Spaniards with guerrilla attacks. This was done, and Bandera proceeded as far as Trinidad. Then failing to receive necessary support he turned back, and on July 4 was killed in a skirmish at Pelayo. East of the trocha Calixto Garcia continued his formidable career against such Spanish forces as remained in that region. He captured Las Tunas after forty-eight hours of almost incessant fighting. In Matanzas and Havana the revolutionary bands were badly broken up by the Spaniards, and they seemed to lack efficient leadership. Their leader, General Lacret, fell into an unfortunate controversy with Gomez over his treatment of Cubans who disregarded government orders, especially in their attitude toward the Spaniards. Gomez, remorseless, would have had them shot as traitors, but Lacret insisted upon more lenient treatment of them, realizing that they were almost literally "between the devil and the deep sea" and were therefore entitled to sympathetic consideration. The outcome was that Gomez relieved Lacret of his command and appointed Alexander Rodriguez in his place, in Matanzas. That officer failed to command the loyalty of his troops, and the result was that the latter generally deserted and dispersed. Mayia Rodriguez was then ordered to the scene, but was unable to collect a sufficient force, and remained in Santa Clara, hemmed in by the{85} Spanish. General Jose Maria Aguirre, who died in December, 1896, was succeeded in command in the Province of Havana by Nestor Aranguren, who performed some creditable minor operations, particularly against Spanish railroad communications, but achieved nothing of real importance. His lieutenant, General Adolfo Castillo, in the southern part of the province, was killed in battle, in September, and was succeeded by Juan Delgado. The Spanish General Parrado in October marched without opposition as far as Los Palos, and there received the surrender of a small Cuban band; and in November General Pando with a powerful army made his way without serious opposition from Havana to the western part of Oriente.

It was during this year that Weyler's ever infamous "concentration" policy, which was really a policy of extermination, reached its infernal climax and was then repudiated and abandoned. This system, as already related, was decreed on October 21, 1896. It required all Cubans, men, women and children, to leave their homes in the rural regions and enter concentration camps. These were simply huge pens, enclosed with fences and barbed wire and guarded by Spanish soldiers. There the hapless prisoners were huddled together, without shelter from the elements, and with little or no food save such as could be procured by stealth. There was none to be had within the enclosures, of course, and the prisoners could not go out to get any, even if any was to be found in the devastated country around them. Their friends outside seldom dared approach the camps to bring them food, because as they had not themselves surrendered as commanded by Weyler, they were liable to be shot at sight.

Elsewhere Cubans by thousands were driven into towns{86} and cities which were still under Spanish control, and were there kept prisoners within the Spanish lines. They were not quite so badly off as those in the concentration camps, though the difference was not great. They had no means of obtaining food, save as the municipal authorities, more merciful than Weyler, opened "soup kitchens" and thus in charity kept some of them from starvation. As it was the mortality from starvation, disease and exposure was appalling. As it was reported that many of these sufferers were American citizens, the President of the United States asked Congress to appropriate $50,000 for their relief. This was done, and the sum was sent to the Consul-General at Havana. He was, however, able to reach only a small proportion of the sufferers, and thus was presently compelled to report that he had been unable to expend more than a fraction of the sum at his disposal. This monstrous policy of waging war against non-combatants, including women and children, did more perhaps than anything else to crystallize public opinion throughout the United States against Weyler and against the Spanish government which he represented and which was responsible for him, and to strengthen the demand that was being made for intervention in behalf of humanity.

This demand was made not merely by the "yellow press," which was inspired by sordid and sinister motives, but also by the most thoughtful, disinterested and upright men of America. Fitzhugh Lee, the highly competent and trustworthy consul-general at Havana, officially reported in December, 1897, that in the Province of Havana alone there had been 101,000 of the "reconcentrados," of which more than half had died. About 400,000 innocent and unoffending persons, chiefly women and children, had been transformed into imprisoned{87} paupers, to be sustained by charity or to die of disease and famine. Senator Proctor, of Vermont, one of the foremost members of the United States Senate, made a personal tour of investigation in such parts of the island as were accessible, and reported to his colleagues that "It is not peace, nor is it war; it is desolation and distress, misery and starvation." The people of the United States thus came to the conclusion that the Spanish were unable to subdue the Cubans, and that the Cubans were unable to expel the Spanish, and that the war was therefore nothing but a campaign of destruction and extermination, which would end only when one side was exhausted or extirpated. It was impossible that a civilized and humane nation should regard such a spectacle at its very doors with indifference. We have hitherto quoted the significant remarks of President Cleveland on the subject in his message of December, 1896, clearly foreshadowing intervention. His successor, President McKinley, in his message of just a year later, in December, 1897, expressed in slightly different language the identical convictions and purposes. He said:


"The near future will demonstrate whether the indispensable conditions of a righteous peace, just alike to the Cubans and to Spain, as well as equitable to all our interests so intimately involved in the welfare of Cuba, is likely to be attained. If not, the exigency of further and other action by the United States will remain to be taken. When that time comes, that action will be determined in the line of indisputable right and duty....{88} If it shall hereafter appear to be a duty imposed by our obligations to ourselves, to civilization, and to humanity, to intervene with force, it shall be without fault on our part, and only because the necessity for such action will be so clear as to command the support and approval of the civilized world."

If McKinley, a less aggressive and more conciliatory man than Cleveland, spoke a little less positively than his predecessor, in that he employed the hypothetical form, the purport of his words was the same. The one a Democratic President, the other a Republican President, long before that incident of the Maine which has incorrectly been regarded by some as the cause of the American war with Spain, openly and in the most explicit manner contemplated the prospect of forcible intervention in Cuba and of consequent war.

Meantime Spain herself passed through a political crisis, which made a change in her Cuban administration. Loud protests were made there against the ruthless and inhuman policy of Weyler, but the Prime Minister, Canovas del Castillo, was deaf to them and persisted in retaining Weyler in command. But on August 8 Canovas was assassinated by an Anarchist, and was succeeded by General Azcarraga, Minister of War, who continued his policy unchanged. But on September 29 the whole Cabinet resigned, and on October 4 Sagasta, the Liberal leader, became Prime Minister. He promptly recalled Weyler and appointed General Ramon Blanco to be Captain-General of Cuba in his stead. Weyler departed, breathing wrath and hatred against Cuba and against America, and predicting failure for his successor, even as Campos had predicted it for Weyler himself.

Blanco arrived at Havana on November 1, 1897, with{89} the purpose, as he had announced before sailing, of putting sincerely into effect the reforms which Sagasta had outlined, reforms which would, he believed, be acceptable to the Cuban people. He found the condition of affairs in the island to be far worse than it had been reported, or than he had expected. The "reconcentrados" had been dying and were still dying by tens of thousands. The soldiers had not been paid for months and in consequence were disaffected and mutinous, and were looting to obtain food which they had no money to buy. Both the Spanish and the Cuban Autonomists were profoundly dissatisfied; while the Revolutionists, though making no progress, were as implacable as ever. He at once ordered the concentration camps to be abolished, saying that he would not make war upon women and children, and he secured a credit of $100,000 from the Spanish government to assist the Cuban peasantry in the rehabilitation of their ruined farms. All American citizens were released from prison, as were also many Cubans who were under sentence of death. Cuban refugees and exiles were invited to return home, and every facility possible was afforded for the resumption of sugar making and agriculture. He then undertook to put into effect a system of home rule which he fondly hoped would satisfy the Autonomists and would bring the masses of the Cuban people over to the side of that party.

Let us review briefly the state of Cuba at this epochal time, the ending of 1897 and the beginning of 1898, the ultimate climax of four centuries of Cuban history. The War of Independence had been in progress less than three years. Five successively unsuccessful Captains-General had striven to conquer a brave people resolved to be free. No fewer than 52,000 Spanish soldiers{90} had lost their lives in battle or from disease, 47,000 had been returned to Spain disabled, 42,000 were in hospitals unfit for duty, and 70,000 regulars and 16,000 irregulars still kept up the fatuous struggle. The infamies of Weyler had destroyed by starvation and disease 250,000 Cubans, the majority of them women and children, reducing the population of the island to 1,100,000 Cubans intent on independence and 150,000 Spaniards opposed to their having it. The Cuban army consisted of 25,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, fairly well armed, with some artillery. Maximo Gomez was Commander in Chief. Major-General Calixto Garcia commanded in Camaguey and Oriente, with Pedro Perez, Jesus Rabi and Mario G. Menocal as his lieutenants. Major-General Francisco Carrillo commanded in Santa Clara, aided by Jose Rodriguez, Hijino Esquerra, Jose Miguel Gomez and Jose Gonzales. In the western three provinces Major-General Jose Maria Rodriguez commanded, with Pedro Betancourt, Alexandra Rodriguez, Pedro Vias and Juan Lorente as his chief aids. The civil government of the Republic had been changed somewhat, Bartolome Maso being President, Domingo Mendez Capote Vice-President and Secretary of War, Andreas Moreno Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Fonts-Sterling Secretary of Finance, and Manuel Silva Secretary of the Interior. This organization, with its provincial and municipal subordinates, was performing the functions of government under great difficulties, yet much more efficiently and to a much wider extent throughout the island, than the Spanish administration.

The uncompromising attitude of the Revolutionists, and the hopelessness of any attempt at amicable adjustment of affairs, was at this time strikingly shown in a tragic incident. It was in December, 1897. There was{91} in Havana a young Spanish officer named Joaquin Ruiz, who had formerly served as a civil engineer, and had been intimately associated with Nestor Aranguren, another young engineer who had become a leader of the Revolutionists and had made himself particularly active and annoying to the Spanish in the Province of Havana. The two were close friends, and were both men of charming personality. The Spanish authorities in Havana determined to use this friendship in an attempt to seduce Aranguren into betraying or at least deserting the patriot cause. So Ruiz was directed to open a correspondence with Aranguren, with a view to securing a personal interview with him. Aranguren wrote to Ruiz that he would be glad to meet him personally, but could not do so if he came on any political errand; and he warned him that for him to come to the Cuban camp with any proposal of Cuban surrender or acceptance of autonomy would subject him to the penalty of death, which would infallibly be carried out. Despite this warning, and presumably against his own better judgment, Ruiz obeyed the orders of his superiors, and undertook the errand. He had no safe conduct. He bore no flag of truce. He went through no agreement between the commanding officers of the respective sides. He went in the circumstances and manner of a spy; and his purpose was to persuade, if possible, a Cuban officer to betray his trust and become a traitor to his own cause.

When in these circumstances Ruiz reached Aranguren, the latter was so distressed that it is said he burst into tears and, embracing his old friend, exclaimed, "Why have you come? It will mean your certain death! I cannot save you!" And such indeed was the case. Aranguren was devoted to his friend, but still more to Cuba. Ruiz was taken before a court martial. He{92} made no defence. He admitted the character and purpose of his errand. And he received the sentence of death with the fortitude of a brave man. An attempt was made by the Spanish authorities to exploit Ruiz as a martyr to Cuban savagery, but it recoiled upon their own heads. It was shown that they had unworthily employed a brave and devoted soldier in a discreditable errand, and that he had been dealt with according to the stern but just rules of war. It was also demonstrated that Cuban patriots were not thus to be corrupted. By a strange turn of fate, only a few weeks later Nestor Aranguren was killed by the Spanish during one of his daring raids against Havana. It was said that he was betrayed by a Spaniard who had become one of his followers for the purpose of avenging Ruiz. His body fell into the hands of the Spanish, and, despite their former assumed wrath over the execution of Ruiz, they treated it with all respect and interred it in the Columbus Cemetery at Havana, close to the grave of Ruiz.

This was not the only incident of the sort. Only a few weeks after the death of Ruiz a civilian named Morales went to the camp of Pedro Ruiz, in the Province of Pinar del Rio, with proposals for compromise on the basis of autonomy. He was promptly taken before a court martial, tried, condemned, and put to death. Whether Blanco himself was responsible for this policy of sending emissaries to the Cuban camp with proposals which he would not venture to make openly in an accredited manner to the Cuban government, did not appear. The presumption, because of his known character, is that he was not, and indeed that he was not aware that they were being made. There is even reason for thinking that after the Morales case was brought to{93} his attention, he prohibited any more such clandestine and illegal enterprises. Tragic as the incidents were, and especially regrettable as was the sacrifice of such a man as Ruiz, it was well to have it made unmistakably clear that the Cubans were not inclined to end the war by surrender or by compromise, but were intent upon fighting it out to the end.

In such circumstances Blanco strove for the last time to defeat the Cuban national desire for independence. He probably realized in advance the certainty of failure. He had been Captain-General before, succeeding Campos after the Ten Years' War and during the Little War, and he must have known the temper of the Cuban people and the unwillingness of the great majority of them to accept the delusive scheme of autonomy which Spain was fitfully offering, and in which he himself never had any real faith and which, indeed, he had never favored. But he was a loyal Spanish soldier, of the better type, and he was personally as little odious to the Cubans as any Spanish Captain General could be, for he had never been notably tyrannical or cruel. The decree of autonomy was adopted by the Spanish government on November 25, 1897, largely because of the urgings—to use no stronger term—of the United States, and was promulgated by Blanco in Cuba early in December. The scheme provided for universal suffrage; a bi-cameral Legislature consisting of a Council of eighteen elected members and seventeen appointed by the crown, and a House containing one elected member for each 25,000 inhabitants. To this Legislature were nominally committed most of the functions of government. But it was provided that "The supreme government of the colony shall be exercised by a Governor-General." That was{94} the crux of the whole matter. That made the Captain-General, or Governor-General as he was thereafter to be called, the practical dictator of the island.

To this entirely illusive and delusive scheme, the remnant of the Autonomist party gave adherence with a devotion worthy of a better cause. The Reformist faction of the Spanish party also, though not so readily, approved it. The intransigent Constitutionalists would have none of it. Tenuous and futile as were its apparent concessions to the Cubans, they were far too much for these insular Bourbons to be willing to grant. They socially ostracised Blanco, and before the system was to go into effect they called a convention at Havana to protest and to foment against it. The president of the party, the Cuban-born Marquis de Apezteguia, was indeed in favor of giving autonomy a trial. But he could not control the party whose other members were almost unanimously against it. They had defeated and expelled Campos. Now they resolved to do the same with Blanco. At the convention Apezteguia was rebuked and repudiated, though left in office. A telegram of sympathy was sent to Weyler. Speeches were made denouncing the United States, its President and its Congress. A resolution was adopted condemning and opposing autonomy, and another declaring that Constitutionalists would not vote nor take any part in public affairs.


Antonio Govin, born at Matanzas in 1849 and deceased in Havana in 1914,
was a jurist, publicist, orator and patriot of distinction. He was
Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Havana, and was the
author of a number of volumes on law and on Colonial history. He was one
of the founders and strong advocates of the Autonomist party and a
member of the Autonomist cabinet.


Antonio Govin, born at Matanzas in 1849 and deceased in Havana in 1914, was a jurist, publicist, orator and patriot of distinction. He was Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Havana, and was the author of a number of volumes on law and on Colonial history. He was one of the founders and strong advocates of the Autonomist party and a member of the Autonomist cabinet.

In the face of these circumstances, Blanco organized his Autonomist Cabinet. The date was January 1, 1898. The place was the historic throne room of the Captain-General's palace. There were present beside the Cabinet the various foreign consuls and the dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church. A small crowd of the people gathered outside, but the public in general paid little attention to the event. Yet the Cabinet which then came{95} into brief existence was a body of men that in other circumstances would have commanded most favorable attention. The nominal head, President of the Cabinet without portfolio, was José Maria Galvez, a lawyer and orator, the author of the Autonomist manifestoes of 1879 and 1895. The real head, the most forceful and influential member, not only, indeed, of the Cabinet but of the whole Autonomist party, was Dr. Rafael Montoro, the "Cuban Castelar" as his friends used to call him. He had long been an advocate of real autonomy, he had been the chief founder of the Autonomist party, he had been a Cuban Deputy to the Spanish Cortes, he had signed the Autonomist manifestoes of 1879 and 1895, and he had approved the insular reforms proposed by Canovas del Castillo. As lawyer, orator, scholar, writer, he had no superior if indeed a peer in Cuba. It was the inscrutable tragedy of a great career that he identified himself with the Autonomist movement. He was Minister of Finance. The Minister of Justice was Antonio Govin, also one of the original Autonomists, a man of great courage and ability, who on the failure of the Autonomist regime left Cuba and settled in the United States. Francisco Zayas, an accomplished educator, was made Minister{96} of Instruction. Laureano Rodriguez, a Peninsular Spaniard, was Minister of Agriculture, Labor and Commerce. Eduardo Dolz, a Reformist, was also a member, who was supposed to be the special representative of the Spanish crown. Two other men, not Ministers but high in Autonomist councils, Senors Amblard and Giberga, were regarded by the Spanish party as traitors who were really in league with the Revolutionists. Blanco swore in these Ministers, addressed them with an exhortation to support autonomy and to suppress the revolution, and gave them as the watchword of their administration "Long live Cuba, forever Spanish!"

For a few days the glamor and the illusion lasted. Some inconspicuous revolutionists yielded to Spanish blandishments and surrendered; to whom the honest and chivalrous Blanco granted in good faith the amnesty which he had promised. Some Cuban refugees returned from the United States. The Autonomists—the few who still remained; for the majority had by this time joined the Revolutionists, gone into exile, or been imprisoned—declared their adherence to the new order of affairs and professed satisfaction with it. Apparently they accepted at face value the explanations which were voluminously put forth by the government, to the effect that the system was practically identical with that of Canada, under which that country had long been contented, loyal and prosperous. Technically, no doubt, there was a tolerably close analogy between the two. It was quite true that the powers reserved to the Spanish crown in Cuba through the Governor-General were similar to those reserved to the British crown in Canada through the Viceroy. But the decisive factor in the case, which the Autonomists apparently ignored, was this, that while in Canada it was an unwritten but unbroken law{97} that the crown did not exercise its powers save in accordance with the will of the people, it was morally certain that in Cuba the Spanish crown would exercise its powers to the full, whether the people liked it or not. The Cuban Autonomists in the United States, where many of them deemed it prudent to remain, did not suffer from the illusions of their compatriots in Cuba, and generally expressed dissatisfaction with the scheme, or at least reserved their judgment upon it.

The Spanish Reformists in Cuba also approved the scheme. They had deserted and betrayed Campos, and had been ignored by Weyler. Now they struggled to return to public recognition and influence. True, they had never before wanted or approved autonomy. But they saw that now they must do so or remain in retirement. So they joined hands with the Cuban Autonomists, congratulated the Spanish government, and pledged their loyalty to Blanco. This gave the Spanish government ground for its exultant belief that these two parties had united in its support, and would probably control the island in behalf of autonomy.

But there were still the Constitutionalists to be reckoned with. They were implacable. They had shown in their convention a few weeks before their hostility to autonomy. They had ostracised Blanco. Now they proceeded to further extremes. They organized riotous disturbances in Havana, and made violent demonstrations against Blanco and, which was in some respects more serious, against the American government and the American citizens in Cuba. So ominous did these disturbances become at the middle of January that the Consul-General, Fitzhugh Lee, was driven to request the sending of a war ship to Havana harbor for the protection of American citizens. In consequence, on January{98} 24 the cruiser Maine was sent to Havana. This action was taken after consultation with the Spanish government, in which that government expressed great pleasure at the prospect of thus having a friendly visit of the American vessel to Cuban waters, and arranged to have its own cruiser the Vizcaya make a return visit to New York.

This was not satisfactory, however, to the Spanish Minister at Washington, Senor Dupuy de Lome, who having failed to bring President McKinley to his own point of view of Cuban affairs, showed plainly his animosity against that gentleman, and wrote a letter to a personal friend characterizing the President as a vacillating and time-serving politician. This letter through some clandestine means was placed in the hands of the United States Secretary of State, who at once sent for the Minister and asked him plumply if he had written it. The latter of course acknowledged that he had. Thereupon the Secretary cabled to the American Minister at Madrid to request the Spanish government to recall the offending envoy. This the Spanish government would doubtless have done, but for the fact that De Lome forestalled such action by cabling his resignation an hour before the dispatch of the Secretary of State reached Madrid. The Spanish government then sent Senor Polo y Bernabe to be its Minister at Washington.


The capital of Cuba is seated upon the shore of a spacious and beautiful bay, the entrance to which is between the two bold headlines crowned respectively by the Morro Castle and La Punta fortress, while the domes and spires of the great city have for a background the central mountain range of the island. The harbor of Havana is one of the most secure and commodious in the world, and in commercial importance, measured by tonnage of shipping, ranks among the foremost in the Western Hemisphere.


The capital of Cuba is seated upon the shore of a spacious and beautiful
bay, the entrance to which is between the two bold headlines crowned
respectively by the Morro Castle and La Punta fortress, while the domes
and spires of the great city have for a background the central mountain
range of the island. The harbor of Havana is one of the most secure and
commodious in the world, and in commercial importance, measured by
tonnage of shipping, ranks among the foremost in the Western

There next occurred the greatest and most mysterious tragedy of the entire revolutionary period. On the evening of February 15, at twenty minutes before ten o'clock, a violent explosion occurred under or in the forward portion of the Maine as she lay in Havana harbor, sufficient to lift the hull some distance above its normal level. A few seconds later another and more violent explosion followed, which so completely destroyed the forward part{99} of the ship that most of it could never be found. The remainder of the vessel almost immediately sank, in about six fathoms of water. Of the complement of 360, two officers and 264 men were killed, and of the remainder 60 were wounded. Captain Sigsbee, commander of the Maine, telegraphed to Washington that all judgment upon the matter should be suspended until after full investigation. Blanco telegraphed to Madrid that the catastrophe was doubtless due to an accident within the ship, and the Madrid government promptly expressed regret and sympathy.

In the United States there was a great outburst of grief and rage. Even the most restrained and conservative could not help a degree of suspicion of foul play, though of course not on the part of the Spanish government. A semi-criminal faction, in the "yellow" press, clamored furiously for war, charging Spaniards, even the Spanish government, with direct and malicious responsibility for the tragedy, and even publishing the grossest of falsehoods for the sake of inflaming popular sentiment. Too large a proportion of the nation was swayed by these latter sordid and sinister influences. But at least the government kept its head, and acted with admirable discretion; though for so doing the President incurred the virulent animosity of the chief clamorer for war, an animosity which was persistently maintained until it culminated in the incitement of a criminal Anarchist to assassinate the President.

When the explosion occurred, and Blanco learned what it was, it is said that he shed tears and exclaimed, "This is the beginning of the end!" Despite his message to his government, he probably feared that there had been foul play, and he realized what effect, in any case, the incident would have upon Spanish-American{100} relations. As for the Cuban revolutionists, both in Cuba and in the United States, they were almost stunned by two emotions. The hideous atrocity of the thing was overwhelming, and they grieved at the loss of the American sailors as though they themselves had been Americans. At the same time they could not be blind nor insensible to the almost certain sequel. They felt that, as Blanco said, it was the beginning of the end, and that now American intervention was practically assured.

The Spanish government proposed a joint investigation into the disaster, but the United States government declined and conducted a thorough investigation of its own, through a board of eminent official experts. The report was that the loss of the ship was not due to any accident or to any negligence on the part of the officers and crew. The first explosion was external to the hull, as if caused by a torpedo or mine, and it caused the second explosion, which was that of the ship's magazines. The Spanish government then conducted an investigation of its own, resulting in a report that both explosions were within the ship and were presumably purely accidental. It may be added that a final examination in after years, when a cofferdam was built about the hulk and it was floated and then taken out to sea and sunk in deep water, fully confirmed the report of the American investigating board.

It is to be recalled that Ramon O. Williams, who had only a little while before retired from the office of American Consul-General at Havana, and was particularly well informed and judicious, earnestly warned the United States government against sending a ship to Havana, because the harbor was very elaborately mined, and there was a bitter and truculent feeling among the Spaniards against the United States; wherefore the danger of some{101} untoward occurrence was too great to be incurred without a more pressing necessity than was then apparent. But despite his warning the Maine was sent. She was conducted by a Spanish official pilot to her anchorage at a buoy between Regla and the old custom house. Whether a mine was attached to that buoy or not is unknown, though Mr. Williams was confident that one was. His theory was that some malignant Spanish officer, who had access to the keyboard of the mines, perhaps through connivance with some other fanatic, watched to see the tide swing the ship directly over the mine and then touched the key and caused the explosion. That would account for the enormous hole which was blown in the side of the ship, and which could not have been caused by any little mine or torpedo which might have been floated to the side of the ship, but must have been produced by a very large mine planted deep beneath the hull.

The findings of the American board of investigation were reported officially to the Spanish government, and the President in a message to Congress expressed confidence that Spain would act in the matter according to the dictates of justice, honor and friendship. The Spanish government replied that it would certainly do so, and it presently proposed to submit the whole subject to investigation by impartial experts, and to determination by arbitration. But this proposal was not made until April 10, when so much else had occurred to strain relations between the two countries that it could not be entertained by the United States.

Meantime the Autonomist government in Cuba, with a devotion that was pathetic to behold, persisted in its efforts to justify its existence. An electoral census was taken, though of course it could not cover more than a{102} small fraction of the island, and on March 27 an "election" of Cuban Deputies to the Cortes was held. In fact there was no popular voting at all. A list was prepared of eligible candidates, twenty of them being Autonomists and Reformists, or supporters of the government, and ten representing the Constitutionalist opposition. The list was submitted to the Governor-General and approved by him, and the candidates were declared to have been duly elected. Jose Maria Galvez, the president of the Autonomist cabinet, reported to the President of the United States that the new government was satisfactorily performing its functions, and entreated him to give no encouragement to the revolutionists which would militate against its success. In April there was another "election" for members of the two houses of the Insular Legislature. On May 4 that Legislature met, chose Fernando del Casco as President of the Assembly, and confirmed the Autonomist cabinet in its place; and it continued patiently and valiantly to hold sessions, make laws, and act as though it were a real government, exercising real authority over the island, all through the period of the American war with Spain and the practical siege of the island by the American navy. When the Spanish forces yielded and a protocol for peace was signed, on August 12, the Legislature held its last meeting, and was declared dissolved by Blanco in October. The Autonomist Cabinet continued to exercise its functions, at least nominally, until the end of Spanish sovereignty in Cuba.{103}


There could be no greater mistake than that which has been too often and too persistently made, in regarding the destruction of the Maine as the cause of American, intervention in Cuba. The declarations of policy which we have already quoted from the messages of President Cleveland and President McKinley, the former fourteen months and the latter two months before that vessel went to Havana, are ample indications of the purpose of the American government to intervene unless there were a satisfactory amelioration of Cuban affairs. But there was no such amelioration, and therefore war was declared. It unquestionably would have been declared just the same, perhaps at a later and perhaps at an earlier date, if there had been no Maine at all.

Beginning before the destruction of the Maine, and accelerated after that event, both sides were preparing for war. Nevertheless diplomatic negotiations continued, chiefly conducted by the American Minister, Stewart L. Woodford, at Madrid. In order to facilitate such negotiations, President McKinley withheld the report on the Maine from Congress for a time. Spain asked that the pacification of Cuba, which the United States was urging, be left to the Autonomist Legislature, which was to meet on May 4. The United States, declaring that it did not want Cuba but did want peace in Cuba, proposed an armistice to begin at once and to last until October 1, itself meantime to act as mediator between the Cubans and Spain. Spain replied that an{104} armistice would be granted, to last at the pleasure of the Spanish commander, if the Cubans would ask for it themselves; and that already General Blanco had abandoned the "concentration" system. This was of course regarded as entirely unsatisfactory to the United States, but the peace-loving President McKinley hesitated to report to Congress his dissatisfaction with it.

Meantime the Pope semi-officially expressed to both governments his earnest desire for the maintenance of peace; but to no effect. The German government, strongly sympathizing with Spain and seeking to foment ill-feeling between the United States and Great Britain, had its Ambassador at Washington, Dr. Von Holleben, form a cabal of the chief members of the Diplomatic Corps, to call on the President with what amounted to a suggestion of mediation, maliciously persuading the British Ambassador to act as spokesman of the delegation, in order that any resentment or odium should fall upon him and his country; but the President with admirable temper and resolution declined with thanks all foreign meddling in a controversy which concerned only the United States and Spain. The Spanish government proclaimed on April 10 a suspension of hostilities, in deference to the wishes of the Pope and of the great European powers. It was reported officially to the United States government that this armistice was granted without conditions, though General Blanco's proclamation declared that it was to continue only at the pleasure of the Spanish commanders. The Cuban government, through Maximo Gomez, replied that it had not sought the armistice and would not accept it unless Spain agreed to evacuate Cuba.

The President of the United States at last, on April 11, laid the whole matter before Congress in a message{105} which for calm moderation in the presence of unspeakable provocation, for convincing logic, for lofty and unselfish benevolence, for keen and just perception of existing conditions, and for valorous resolution to deal with them in the only satisfactory way, must take high rank among the great historic state documents of the world. After reviewing the story of the Cuban revolution and the condition into which it had plunged the island, he said: "The war in Cuba is of such a nature that, short of subjugation or extermination, a military victory for either side seems impracticable." Then, recounting the efforts of the United States to effect a just settlement by negotiation, he added: "The only hope of relief and repose from a condition which can no 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 duty to speak and to act, the war in Cuba must stop. In view of these facts and these considerations I ask the Congress to authorize and empower the President to take measures to secure a full and final termination of hostilities between the government of Spain and the people of Cuba, and to secure in the island the establishment of a stable government capable of maintaining order and observing its international obligations, insuring peace and tranquillity and the security of its citizens as well as our own, and to use the military and naval forces of the United States as may be necessary for these purposes."

It is to be observed that the President spoke of the war "between the government of Spain and the Cuban people"—the Cuban people, not the Cuban government. There had as yet been no official recognition of the Cuban government, either as independent or as belligerent, and the President could therefore not properly refer{106} to it. At the same time he spoke of "the Cuban people" and not of merely a part of them, recognizing by inference that fact that the Cuban people were substantially a unit in revolting against Spain and in demanding independence.

Spain made it dear that she bitterly resented what she regarded as the unwarrantable meddling of the United States in Cuban affairs, and that she would prefer war to yielding to that meddling. France and Austria, at German suggestion, made one more effort at mediation by the great powers, but abandoned it when Great Britain refused to have anything to do with it and indicated clearly her sympathy with the United States.

Finally, on April 20 President McKinley signed the act of Congress which was made in response to his message of April 11. That memorable act, the Magna Charta of the Cuban Republic, declared that the people of Cuba were and of right ought to be free and independent; that it was the duty of the United States to demand, and it accordingly did demand, that Spain should immediately relinquish her authority and government in Cuba and withdraw her military and naval forces from that island and its waters; that the President be authorized to employ the army and navy of the United States as might be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect; and that the United States disclaimed any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction or control over Cuba, except for the pacification thereof, and asserted its determination, when that was accomplished, to leave the government and control of the island to its people.

Before signing this act the President cabled its substance to General Woodford at Madrid, in an ultimatum to the Spanish government, giving Spain three days in{107} which to comply with the demands. Before the three days expired the Spanish Minister at Washington asked for his passports and departed, and the Spanish government notified General Woodford that diplomatic relations between the two countries were at an end. He thereupon took his passports and departed. It should be added that on April 21 the Autonomist government of Cuba issued a proclamation to the people of the island, urging them to unite in support of the Spanish government in its resistance to the war of conquest which the United States was about to wage for the seizure and annexation of the island. The success of the United States, it added, would mean that Cuba would be subjugated, dominated and absorbed by an alien race, opposed to Cubans in temperament, traditions, language, religion and customs.

Thus the War of Independence entered a new and final phase, with the armed might of the United States assisting that Cuban cause the success of which had already become practically certain. The Cuban army rapidly grew in numbers and improved in morale, and was of course abundantly supplied with arms and ammunition, while the sending of reenforcements and supplies to the Spaniards was interfered with by the United States navy. As soon as the state of war began three United States agents were sent to Cuba, to investigate the condition and strength of the revolutionary army, and to arrange for its reenforcement and for cooperation between it and the American troops. Lieutenant Henry Whitney was thus sent to visit Maximo Gomez in the centre of the island; Lieutenant A. S. Rowan was sent to Oriente, and Lieutenant-Colonel J. H. Dorst was sent to Pinar del Rio.

Lieutenant Whitney reached the camp of Gomez in Santa Clara Province on April 28, found affairs in a most promising state, and arranged for the prompt forwarding{108} of supplies and of a considerable company of Cubans who had been enlisted in the United States for the revolutionary army. Gomez had an effective force of 3,000 men, and reenforcements of 750 under General Lacret, with supplies of food and munitions, were promised him. But the expeditions, in two steamers, failed to reach him, and after waiting for them on the coast for two weeks, until his supplies of food were exhausted, he was compelled to disband his army. Domingo Mendez Capote, Vice-President of the Cuban Republic, hastened to Washington, to explain to the government the urgent need of sending supplies, and as a result renewed efforts were made to land expeditions, but with little success.

The mission of Lieutenant-Colonel Dorst to Pinar del Rio was similarly unsuccessful. A few United States troops were landed under protection of the fire of gunboats, on May 12, but an attempt to deliver a great cargo of rifles and cartridges to the Cubans was defeated by the Spaniards, and the American troops were compelled to return to their ship and depart.

In Oriente Lieutenant Rowan was more successful, owing to the fact that few Spanish forces remained in that province. He found the Spanish, indeed, in possession of only the three towns of Santiago, Bayamo and Manzanillo, and the forts along the railroad; and on April 29 they evacuated Manzanillo, which was thereupon occupied by Calixto Garcia. Lieutenant Rowan reported to Washington that Garcia was able to put 8,000 efficient troops in the field, and presently considerable supplies were sent to him with little difficulty.

Perhaps the most significant information obtained by these American envoys, and particularly by Lieutenant Whitney in his visit to the Cuban Commander in Chief, was that the Cubans, while exulting in American intervention,{109} did not welcome but rather deprecated American invasion of the island. Maximo Gomez said frankly that he would prefer that not a single American soldier should set foot on the island, unless it were a force of artillery, which was an arm in which the Cubans were sorely lacking. All he asked was that the United States should supply the Cubans with arms and ammunition, and prevent supplies from reaching the Spaniards. If that were done, the Cubans would do the rest, and would expel the Spanish from the island without the loss of a single drop of American blood.

The reasons for this reluctance to have American troops invade the island were chiefly two. One was a certain praiseworthy pride in Cuban achievements and a desire to retain for Cubans the credit of winning their own independence. Gomez and his comrades had been fighting to that end for years, and they wanted the satisfaction of completing the job and of gaining for Cuba herself the glory of victory. The other reason was the very natural fear that American invasion and occupation of the island would mean American annexation, or at least perpetual American domination of Cuban affairs. It seemed contrary to human nature, contrary to all the experience and examples of the past, that it should not be so. Of course, there was the promise in the act of intervention, that the United States would leave the government of the island to its own people. But it is probable that only a very small percentage of Cubans ever so much as heard of it, while it would be surprising if more than a small minority of those who did know of it had any real confidence that it would be fulfilled. It will be recalled that a very considerable proportion of the people of the United States regarded that pledge as mere "buncombe" and declared unhesitatingly that it would not be permitted{110} for one moment to stand in the way of the annexation of Cuba. Truly, it would have been miraculous if Cubans had esteemed the integrity of an American promise more highly than Americans themselves.


The first weeks of the war were confined chiefly to naval operations. A blockade of Cuban ports was established and pretty well maintained, beginning along the central and western part of the north coast on April 22. A number of small Spanish vessels were captured, and there were some bombardments of shore towns and exchanges of shots with Spanish gunboats. Despite the vigilance of the American scouts and blockading squadrons, Admiral Cervera with several powerful Spanish warships, sailing from Cadiz on April 8 and touching at Martinique on May 11, succeeded in entering the harbor of Santiago on May 19. There he was soon besieged by a more powerful American fleet under the command of Commodore, afterward Admiral, Schley; who on June 1 was joined by Admiral Sampson, who thereafter took command. Lieutenant Victor Blue was sent ashore on June 11, to make a long detour to the hills back of the city, from which he was able to see and identify the Spanish ships. Meantime Lieutenant Richmond P. Hobson with seven picked men in the early morning of{111} June 3 took the big coal hulk Merrimac in to the narrowest part of the harbor entrance and there sunk it with a torpedo, hoping thus to block the passage and prevent Cervera's ships from coming out. The exploit was not entirely successful, the vessel not being sunk at quite the right point, though it did make exit much more difficult. Hobson and his comrades were taken prisoners by the Spaniards, but were treated with distinguished courtesy and consideration in recognition of their daring exploit. Thereafter the blockading fleet kept close watch day and night upon the harbor mouth, brilliantly illuminating it with searchlights all night, to prevent the escape of the Spanish fleet.

Meanwhile General Nelson A. Miles, commander of the United States army, was preparing for an invasion of the island. The Fifth Army Corps was organized at Tampa, Florida, under the command of Major-General William R. Shafter, and on June 14 was embarked on a fleet of 37 transports. This fleet sailed around Cape Maysi to the southern coast of Cuba, and on June 21 was off Santiago. General Shafter and Admiral Sampson went ashore to confer with General Calixto Garcia at his camp at Acerradero, and found the situation by no means as encouraging as they had hoped. Garcia had only about 3,500 Cubans in his force, and they were not all well armed, and there were 1,000 more at Guantanamo. General Shafter's army numbered fewer than 16,000 men. Against these the Spaniards under General Linares numbered about 40,000.

Averse as the Cubans had been to the landing of American troops, General Garcia accepted the inevitable, and promptly offered to place all his men under General Shafter's command. General Shafter accepted the offer, though he reminded General Garcia that he could exercise{112} no control over the troops beyond what he, Garcia, authorized. He of course saw to it that they were abundantly supplied with arms and ammunition, Garcia's troops were then employed very effectively in protecting the landing of the American troops, at Daiquiri; 6,000 of them being put ashore on June 22 and the remainder in the next two days. General Henry W. Lawton promptly led the advance to Siboney, from which the Spaniards were driven, being pursued after their evacuation by the Cubans under General Castillo.


The next attack was made upon the Spaniards at Las Guasimas, an action in which material aid was rendered by Cubans, and which resulted in the Spaniards being driven back a mile or more. By June 25 the Americans were on the Ridge of Sevilla, looking down upon Santiago, only six miles away, and two days later their outposts were within three miles of the city. There followed on July 1 a desperate contest at the fortified village of El{113} Caney, resulting in the capture of that place by storm, with great slaughter of the Spanish, who held their ground with stubborn valor. Simultaneously an attack was made by another part of the American forces upon Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill, where heavy losses were sustained on both sides. The climax of this engagement was a charge of Wheeler's division, the Tenth Cavalry, against the Spanish entrenched lines. The van of this division was occupied by the "Rough Riders" regiment, an organization recruited chiefly among western plainsmen and "cowboys" by Theodore Roosevelt, who had resigned the Assistant Secretaryship of the Navy thus to engage in active service. The charge was led by Colonel Roosevelt in person, though he was in fact second in command of the regiment, the chief command of which he had declined in favor of his friend Leonard Wood, who was destined to play one of the greatest parts in the establishment of Cuban independence. In this hot engagement the Americans were also completely victorious.


General Pando was now rushing 8,000 Spanish troops from the west to reinforce General Linares at Santiago, and Calixto Garcia with his Cuban forces undertook to hold him in check, though he was greatly outnumbered by the Spanish. On July 2 fighting was resumed, the Spanish assuming the aggressive, and before the day was done the Americans, greatly outnumbered and exhausted by the incessant fighting and the heat of the weather, began seriously considering withdrawal from positions which they feared they would not be able to hold. General Shafter{114} urged Admiral Sampson to aid him by making an attack upon the city with his fleet, but the latter demurred on account of the danger of entering a mined harbor. It was arranged that the two commanders should meet again for another council of war on the morning of July 3, and Admiral Sampson actually started up the coast toward Siboney for that purpose, when a dramatic event in a twinkling transformed the whole situation.


This was the unexpected emergence of the Spanish fleet from the Santiago harbor, on the morning of July 3, in a desperate attempt to break through the American blockade and fight their way around to Havana. In Admiral Sampson's temporary absence the command devolved upon Admiral Schley, and orders instantly were given to close in and engage the Spanish ships. The latter{115} were four in number, the Maria Teresa, the Vizcaya, the Colon and the Oquendo, with two torpedo boats, Pluton and Terror. Admiral Sampson quickly retraced his course but did not arrive until the close of the fight, which raged for hours, along the coast for fifty miles westward from Santiago. The result was the destruction of every one of the Spanish ships and the killing of one-third of their crews. Admiral Cervera with 1,200 men surrendered. On the American side only one man was killed and three were wounded, and not one of the ships was seriously damaged.


The Spaniards now knew that Santiago was doomed, though they continued to hold out with stubborn valor. On the night of July 4 they sank a vessel in the harbor mouth, in emulation of Hobson's deed, to shut the American fleet out, but failed to get it in the right place. Preparations were made for a joint attack by army and fleet on July 9, a truce being arranged until that date, and thereafter more or less continuous fighting prevailed, without important results, for three days. On July 12 General Toral, who had taken the Spanish command in place of General Linares, who was wounded at San Juan Hill, entered into negotiations with General Miles and General Wheeler, and on July 17 terms of surrender were adopted. All the Spanish troops in Oriente save 10,000 at Holguin, were surrendered, about 22,000 in all. Some minor naval operations followed at Manzanillo and Nipe, but there was no more serious fighting. For all practical purposes the war was ended.{116}


The next step was taken in behalf of Spain by the French Ambassador at Washington, Spain having committed to the French government the care of her diplomatic interests in America. M. Cambon on July 26 inquired of President McKinley if he would consider negotiations for peace. The President replied on July 30 that he was willing to discuss peace on the basis of certain conditions, the first of which was that Spain should relinquish all claim of sovereignty over or title to the island of Cuba, and should immediately evacuate that island. That was significant. It indicated that the United States purposed to fulfil its pledge concerning the independence of Cuba. The next condition was that Spain should cede to the United States the island of Porto Rico. But there was no hint at her cession of Cuba to the United States. She was merely to renounce her own sovereignty. These{117} conditions were accepted by the Spanish government through M. Cambon on August 12; the naval and military commanders on both sides were ordered to cease hostilities, the blockade of Cuba was discontinued; and the War of Independence was at a triumphant end.{118}


Following the protocol and the cessation of hostilities, two major tasks were to be performed. One was to remove the Spanish forces from the island and to establish permanent terms of peace, and the other was to organize and establish a permanent Cuban government.

The former of these was promptly undertaken, by the governments of the United States and Spain. A joint commission arranged the details of evacuation, which was a formidable undertaking because of the number of persons to be transported and the paucity of shipping facilities at the command of the Peninsular government. The city of Havana was not evacuated until January 1, 1899, and the last Spanish troops were not removed from the island until the middle of February following. There were about 130,000 officers and soldiers transported, together with some 15,000 military and civilian employes and their families.

Simultaneously the task of treaty-making proceeded. President McKinley on August 26 appointed five Commissioners to conduct the negotiations. They were William R. Day, Secretary of State, Chairman; Cushman K. Davis, Senator; William P. Frye, Senator; Whitelaw Reid, Ambassador; and Edward D. White, Justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. White found himself unable to serve, and on September 9 George Gray, Senator, was appointed in his place. The Spanish government named as Commissioners five of Spain's foremost statesmen: Eugenio Montero Rios, Buenaventura d'Abarzuza, Jose de Garnica, Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa Urrutia, and{119} Rafael Cerero. The Commissioners began their deliberations in Paris on October 1.

The first question discussed was the disposition of Cuba, and over it strong disagreement arose on two major points. The Spanish Commissioners declined to recognize the existence of any Cuban government, and argued that as there was no such government, and as Spain in relinquishing sovereignty over the island could not let that sovereignty lapse but must transfer it to some other responsible and competent power, the United States should accept cession of Cuba to it; which Spain was willing to grant. The American Commissioners replied that the United States was pledged not to annex the island, and as a matter of fact did not intend to do so and therefore could not and would not accept cession of the island to itself. Spain in the protocol had agreed to renounce her sovereignty without any stipulations further, and by that arrangement she must abide. The United States would, however, make itself responsible for the due observance of international law in Cuba so long as its occupation of the island lasted. The Spaniards were reluctant to yield, as a matter of pride and sentiment preferring to give Cuba to the United States rather than to surrender it to the insurgent Cubans. But the American Commissioners were resolute, and on October 27 the first article of the treaty was adopted; to wit:

"Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.

"And as the island is, on its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied by the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupation shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may under international law result from the fact of its occupation for the protection of life and property."{120}

This was clear and unmistakable notice to the world that the American government intended to fulfil its pledge, not to annex Cuba but to render that island to the control and government of its own people. True, not yet were all convinced that this would be done. The Spaniards were courteously skeptical. A considerable faction in the United States, half "Jingo" and half sordid, insisted that the island must be annexed. The majority of Cubans, inclined to judge all governments by their bitter experiences with that of Spain, were frankly incredulous, not understanding how any government could be thus altruistic and self-denying.

The second point of dispute was that of the Cuban debt. The Spanish government for years had been charging against Cuba the cost of maintaining an army for its subjugation and the costs of suppressing the various insurrections that had occurred, and the Commissioners proposed that all that enormous debt should be saddled upon the island and made a first charge upon its customs revenues. To this the American Commissioners demurred. Cuba had for centuries been "the milch cow of Spain," and had given to Spain far more than she had ever received in return. It would be monstrous injustice to burden a people with the cost of subjugating them and keeping them in slavery. In the end the Spanish Commissioners yielded, and no mention was made in the treaty of any debt resting upon Cuba.

It was further agreed that both parties should release and repatriate all prisoners of war, and that the United States would undertake to obtain such release of all Spanish prisoners held by the Cubans. Each party relinquished all claims for indemnity of any and every kind which had arisen since the beginning of the Cuban war. Spain relinquished in Cuba all immovable property belonging{121} to the public domain and to the crown of Spain; such relinquishment not impairing lawful property rights of municipalities, corporations or individuals. Spanish subjects were to be free to remain in Cuba or to remove therefrom, in either event retaining full property rights; and in the former case being free to become Cuban citizens or to retain their allegiance to Spain; and they were to be secured in the free exercise of their religion. There were various other stipulations, such as are customary in treaties, intended to assure Spain and Spaniards of equitable treatment and relationships in Cuba. It was added that the obligations of the United States in Cuba were to be limited to the period of its occupation of that island; but upon the termination of that occupation the United States promised to advise the succeeding Cuban government to assume the same obligations. The treaty was finally agreed to and signed on December 10, 1898, and it was ratified by the United States Senate on February 6, 1899.

General Ramon Blanco meanwhile, on November 26, 1898, resigned the Governor-Generalship of Cuba and returned to Spain. To General Jiminez Castellanos was left the unwelcome duty of holding nominal sway for a few weeks and then surrendering the sovereignty of four centuries to an alien power. Already American troops were in actual occupation and control of nearly all the island. In the latter part of December, 1898, the Seventh Army Corps, commanded by Major-General Fitzhugh Lee, was brought into the outskirts of Havana in readiness for the final function which was to be performed on the first day of the new year.

The end came. It was on January 1, 1899. Four hundred and six years, two months and three days before, the first Spaniard had landed upon Cuban soil and had{122} planted there the quartered flag of Leon and Castile in token of sovereignty. Now, after all that lapse of time, largely, it must be confessed, ill spent and ill-improved, the Spanish flag was finally to be lowered and withdrawn, in token of the passing away of Spanish sovereignty forever from the soil of Cuba.


The ceremonies were brief and simple; far more brief and simple, we may well believe, than were those with which the imaginative and exuberant Admiral proclaimed possession of the island centuries before. The official representatives of Spain and the United States met at noon in the Hall of State in the Governor's Palace, the scene of so many proud and imperious events in Spanish colonial history. On the one side the chief was General Jiminez Castellanos, the last successor of Velasquez. On the other, Major-General John R. Brooke. The one was the last of a long, long line of Spanish Governors-General;{123} the other was the first of a brief succession of American Military Governors who were soon to give way to an unending line of native Cuban Republican Presidents and Congresses. With a sad heart, with tear-suffused eyes, and with a hand that trembled to hold a pen far more than ever it had to wield a sword, General Jiminez Castellanos signed the document which abdicated and relinquished Spanish sovereignty in that Pearl of the Antilles which was nevermore to be known as the "Ever Faithful Isle." The crimson and gold barred banner of Spain descended. The Stars and Stripes rose in its place. The deed was done. The final settlement was made with Spain.

For three hundred and eighty-seven years Spain had been the sovereign of Cuba, exercising her power through one hundred and thirty-six administrations, of which the first was one of the longest and the last was one of the shortest. It will be worth our while to recall the roll, which bears some of the noblest and some of the vilest names in Spanish history:

No. Date 
11512 Diego Velasquez, Lieutenant-Governor
21524 Manuel de Rojas, Lieutenant-Governor, provisional
31525 Juan de Altamirano, Lieutenant-Governor
41526 Gonzalo de Guzman, Lieutenant-General
51532 Manuel de Rojas, Lieutenant-Governor, provisional
61535Gonzalo de Guzman, Lieutenant-Governor
71538Hernando de Soto, Governor-General
81544Juan de Avila, Governor-General
91546Antonio Chavez, Governor-General
101550Gonzalo Perez de Angulo, Governor-General
111556Diego de Mazariegos, Governor-General
121565Francisco Garcia Osorio, Governor-General
131568Pedro Menendez de Avilas, Governor-General
141573Gabriel Montalvo, Governor-General
151577Francisco Carreno, Governor-General
161579Gaspar de Torres, Governor-General, provisional
171581Gabriel de Lujan, Captain-General
181589Juan de Tejada, Captain-General
191594Juan Maldonado Balnuevo, Captain-General
201602Pedro Valdes Balnuevo, Captain-General
211608Gaspar Ruiz de Pereda, Captain-General
221616 Sancho de Alguizaz, Captain-General
231620 Geronimo de Quero, Captain-General, provisional
241620 Diego Vallejo, Captain-General
25Aug. 14, 1620 Francisco de Venegas, Captain-General
26  Juan Esquivil, Captain-General, provisional
27  Juan Riva Martin, Captain-General, provisional
281624 Garcia Giron de Loaysa, Captain-General, provisional
291624 Cristobal de Aranda, Captain-General, provisional
301625 Lorenzo de Cabrera, Captain-General
311630 Juan Bitrian de Viamontes, Captain-General
321634 Francisco Riano de Gamboa, Captain-General
331639 Alvaro de Luna, Captain-General
341647 Diego de Villalba, Captain-General
351653 Francisco Xeldes, Captain-General
361655 Juan Montano, Captain-General
371658 Juan de Salamanca, Captain-General
381663 Rodrigo de Flores, Captain-General
391664 Francisco Dairle, Captain-General
401670 Francisco de Ledesma, Captain-General
411680 Jose Fernandez de Cordoba, Captain-General
421685 Andres Munibe, Captain-General, provisional
43  Manuel Murguia, Captain-General, provisional
441687 Diego de Viana, Captain-General
451689 Severino de Manraneda, Captain-General
461695 Diego de Cordoba, Captain-General
471702 Pedro Benites de Lugo, Captain-General
481705 Nicolas Chirino, Captain-General, provisional
49.... Luis Chacon, Captain-General, provisional
501706 Pedro Alvares Villarin, Captain-General
511708 Laureano de Torres, Captain-General
521711 Luis Chacon, Captain-General
531713 Laureano de Torres, Captain-General
541716 Vicente Baja, Captain-General
551717 Gomez de Alvarez, Captain-General
561717 Gregorio Guazo, Captain-General
571724 Dionisio Martinez, Captain-General
581734 Juan F. Guemes, Captain-General
591745 Juan A. Tineo, Captain-General
601745 Diego Pinalosa, Captain-General
611747 Francisco Cagigal, Captain-General
621760 Pedro Alonso, Captain-General
631761 Juan de Prado Portocarrero, Captain-General
64July 1, 1762 Ambrosio Villapando, Count of Riela, Captain-General
65June, 1765 Diego Manrique, Captain-General
66July, 1765 Pasual Jimenez de Cisners, Captain-General, provisional
67March 19, 1766 Antonio M. Bucarely, Captain-General
681771 Marques de la Torre, Captain-General
69June, 1777 Diego J. Navarro, Captain-General
70May, 1781 Juan M. Cagigal, Captain-General
711782 Luis de Unzaga, Captain-General, provisional
721785 Bernardo Troncoso, Captain-General, provisional
73.... Jose Espeleta, Captain-General, provisional
74.... Domingo Cabello, Captain-General, provisional
75Dec. 28, 1785 Jose Espeleta, Captain-General
76Apr. 20, 1789 Domingo Cabello, Captain-General, provisional
77July 8, 1790 Luis de las Casas, Captain-General
78Dec. 6, 1796 Juan Bassecourt, Captain-General
79May 13, 1799 Salvador de Muro, Captain-General
80Apr. 14, 1812 Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, Captain-General
81July 2, 1816 Jose Cienfuegos, Captain-General
82Apr. 20, 1819 Juan M. Cagigal, Captain-General
83Mar. 3, 1821 Nicolas de Mahy, Captain-General
84July 2, 1823 Sebastian Kindelan, Captain-General, provisional
85May 2, 1823 Dionisio Vives. Given absolute authority by royal decree, 1821
86May 2, 1832 Mariano Rocafort. Given absolute authority by royal decree, 1825
87June 1, 1834 Miguel Tacon. Given absolute authority by royal decree of 1825
88From June 1, 1834,
to Apr. 16, 1838
Lt.-Gen. Miguel Tacon y Rosique, Captain-General
89From April 16, 1838
to Feb., 1840
Lieut. Gen. Joaquin Espeleta y Enrille
90Feb., 1840,
to May 10, 1841
Lieut. Gen. Pedro Tellez de Gironm, Prince of Anglona
91From May 10, 1841,
to Sept. 15, 1843
Lieut. Gen. Geronimo Valdes y Sierra
92From Sept. 15,
to Oct. 26, 1843
Lieut. Gen. of the Royal Navy, Francis Xavier de Ulloa, provisional
93From Oct. 26, 1843,
to Mar. 20, 1848
Lieut. Gen. Leopoldo O'Donnell y Joris, Count of Lucena.
94From Mar. 20, 1848,
to Nov. 13, 1850
Lieut. Gen. Federico Roncali, Count of Alcoy
95From Nov. 13, 1850,
to Apr. 22, 1852
Lieut. Gen. Jose Gutierrez de la Concha
96From Apr. 22, 1852,
to Dec. 3, 1853
Lieut. Gen. Valentin Canedo Miranda
97From Dec. 3, 1853,
to Sept. 21, 1854
Lieut. Gen. Juan de la Pezuela, Marquis of de la Pezuela
98From Sept. 14, 1854,
to Nov. 24, 1859
Lieut. Gen. Jose Gutierrez de la Concha, Marquis of Habana, second time
99From Nov. 14, 1859,
to Dec. 10, 1862
Lieut. Gen. Francisco Serrano, Duke de la Torre
100From Dec. 10, 1862,
to May 30, 1866
Lieut. Gen. Domingo Dulce y Garay
101From May 20, 1866,
to Nov. 3, 1866
Lieut. Gen. Francisco Lersundi
102From Nov. 3, 1866,
to Sept. 24, 1867
on which date he died
Lieut. Gen. Joaquin del Manzano y Manzano
103From Sept. 24, 1867,
to Nov. 3, 1866
Lieut. Gen. Blas Villate, Count of Valmaseda
104From Dec. 13, 1867,
to Jan. 4, 1869
Lieut. Gen. Francisco Lersundi
105From Jan. 4, 1869,
to June 2, 1869
Lieut. Gen. Domingo Dulce y Garay, second time
106From June 2, 1869,
to June 28, 1869
Lieut. Gen. Felipe Ginoves del Espinar, provisional
107From June 28, 1869,
to Dec. 15, 1870
Lieut. Gen. Antonio Fernandez y Caballero de Rodas
108From Dec. 15, 1870,
to July 11, 1872
Lieut. Gen. Blas Villate, Count of Valmaseda
109From July 11, 1872,
to Apr. 18, 1873
Lieut. Gen. Francisco Ceballos y Vargas
110From Apr. 18, 1873,
to Nov. 4, 1873
Lieut. Gen. Candido Pieltain y Jove-Huelgo
111From Nov. 4, 1873,
to Apr. 7, 1874
Lieut. Gen. Joaquin Jovellar y Soler
112From Apr. 7, 1874,
to May 8, 1875
Lieut. Gen. José Gutierrez de la Concha, Marquis of Habana
113From May 8, 1875,
to June 8, 1875
Lieut. Gen. Buenaventura Carbo, provisional
114From June 8, 1875,
to Jan. 18, 1876
Lieut. Gen. Blas Villate, Count of Valmaseda, third time
115From Jan. 18, 1876,
to June 18, 1878
Lieut. Gen. Joaquin Jovellar y Soler. He was under Martinez Campos, who was the general in chief
116From Oct. 8, 1876,
to Feb. 5, 1879
Lieut. Gen. Arsenio Martinez Campos
117From Feb. 5, 1879,
to Apr. 17, 1879
Lieut. Gen. Cayetano Figueroa y Garaondo, provisional
118From Apr. 17, 1879,
to Nov. 28, 1881
Lieut. Gen. Ramon Blanco y Erenas
119From Nov. 28, 1881,
to Aug. 5, 1883
Lieut. Gen. Luis Prendergast y Gordon, Marquis of Victoria de las Tunas
120From. Aug. 5, 1883,
to Sept. 28, 1883
Lieut. Gen. of Division Tomas de Reyan y Reyna, provisional
121From Sept. 28, 1883,
to Nov. 8, 1884
Lieut. Gen. Ignacio Maria del Castillo
122From Nov. 8, 1884,
to Mar. 25, 1886
Lieut. Gen. Ramon Fajardo e Izquierdo
123From Mar. 25, 1886,
to July 15, 1887
Lieut. Gen. Emilio Calleja e Isasi
124From July 15, 1887,
died Feb. 6, 1890
Lieut. Gen. Saba Marin y Gonzalez
125From Mar. 13, 1889,
died Feb. 6, 1890
Lieut. Gen. Manuel Salamanca y Begrete
126From Mar. 13, 1889,
to Apr. 4, 1890
General of Division Jose Sanchez Gomez, provisional
127From Apr. 4, 1890,
to Aug. 20, 1890
Lieut. Gen. Jose Chinchilla y Diez de Onate
128From Aug. 20, 1890,
to June 20, 1892
Lieut. Gen. Camilo Polavieja y del Castillo
129From June 20, 1892;
died July 15, 1893
Lieut. Gen. Alejandro Rodriguez Arias
130From July 15, 1893,
to Sept. 5, 1893
General of Division Jose Arderius y Garcia, provisional
131From Sept. 5, 1893,
to Apr. 16, 1895
Lieut. Gen. Emilio Calleja e Isasi
132From Apr. 16, 1895,
to Jan. 20, 1896
Captain Gen. Arsenio Martinez Campos
133From Jan. 20, 1896,
to Feb. 11, 1896
Lieut. Gen. Savas Marin y Gonzalez
134From Feb. 11, 1896,
to Oct. 31, 1897
Lieut. Gen. Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau
135From Oct. 31, 1897,
to Nov. 30, 1898
Capt. Gen. Ramon Blanco y Erenas
136 Nov. 30, 1898,
to Jan. 1, 1899,
at 12 noon.
Lieut. Gen. Adolfo Jimines Castellanos

There must be added an unwelcome note. The Spaniards—not their high officials—left most ungraciously. It is not to be wondered at that they were sad, that they were sullen, that they were resentful; that they were fearful lest the Cubans should rise against them at the last moment and inflict upon them vengeance for the treasured wrongs of many years. But there was of course no{133} such uprising. The Cubans wished to make the day an occasion of great public celebration, but the authorities—Cuban and American as well as Spanish—would not permit it. It was not courteous to exult over a beaten foe. Besides, any such celebration would have caused great danger of trouble. What was inexcusable, however, was the condition in which the Spanish left all public buildings. They looted and gutted them of everything that could be removed. They destroyed the plumbing and lighting fixtures. They broke or choked up the drains. They left every place in an indescribably filthy condition. There was nothing in all their record in Cuba more unbecoming than their manner of leaving it. Such was the last detail of the settlement with Spain.

The settlement with Cuba came next. Indeed, it was concurrently undertaken. And it was by far the more formidable task of the two. It was necessary to arrange for the transfer of the temporary trust of the United States to a permanent Cuban authority, and to do so in circumstances and conditions which would afford the largest possible degree of assurance of success. It is said that when the American flag was raised at Havana in token of temporary sovereignty, on January 1, 1899, an American Senator among the spectators exclaimed, "That flag will never come down!" There were also, doubtless, those among the Cuban spectators who thought and said that it should never have been raised, but that sovereignty should have been transferred directly from Spain to Cuba.

Both were wrong; as both in time came to realize. It was necessary for the sake of good faith and justice that the American flag should in time come down and give place to the flag of Cuba. It was equally necessary for the sake of the welfare of Cuba and of its future prosperity and tranquillity that there should be a period of{134} American stewardship preparatory to full independence.

There was, as we have already indicated, some friction between Cubans and Americans at the time of intervention in the Spring of 1898. The Cubans thought that the American army should not enter Cuba at all, save with an artillery force to serve as an adjunct to the Cuban army. On the other hand, Americans were too much inclined to disregard the Cuban army and Provisional Government, to forget what the Cubans had already achieved, and to act as though the war were solely between the United States and Spain. When the actual landing of Shafter's army was made, however, the Cubans accepted the fact loyally and gracefully, and gave the fullest possible measure of helpful cooperation.

The Provisional Government of the Cuban Republic, as soon as hostilities were ended and negotiations for peace had begun, decided to summon another National Assembly to determine what should be done during the interval which should elapse before the United States placed the destinies of Cuba in the hands of Cubans. This decision was made at a meeting at Santa Cruz on September 1, at which were present the President, Bartolome Maso; the Vice-President, Mendez Capote; and the three Secretaries, Aleman, Fonts-Sterling and Moreno de la Torre. It was felt, and not without reason, that the Insular government and its forces had not received the recognition which was their due. Calixto Garcia and Francisco Estrada had given valuable participation in the siege and capture of Santiago, yet they were not permitted by General Shafter to participate in the ceremony of the surrender of the Spanish forces, or even to be present on that exultant occasion. When the Americans thus took possession of Santiago and Oriente, the Cuban government, military and civil, was ignored, and General Leonard Wood was made Military Governor just as though there was no Cuban government in existence.


The architecture of Havana ranges from the sixteenth century to the twentieth, and specimens of all five centuries may in some places be found grouped within a single scene; with electric lights and telephones in buildings which were standing when Francis Drake threatened the city with conquest.


The architecture of Havana ranges from the sixteenth century to the
twentieth, and specimens of all five centuries may in some places be
found grouped within a single scene; with electric lights and telephones
in buildings which were standing when Francis Drake threatened the city
with conquest.


During the months of the American blockade of the island, moreover, the Cubans had suffered perhaps even more than the Spanish from lack of supplies. It was felt that while it was well thus to deprive the Spanish army of supplies, the Cuban people ought not to have been left to suffer. After the armistice affairs remained in a distressing condition. The Cuban army was without food and without pay with which to purchase food; and the Provisional Government was powerless to help it or to help the starving civilian population. It had no funds, and of course could not now raise any either by taxation or by loans. Late in November some relief was afforded by the sending of food from the United States, but on the whole the conditions were unsatisfactory, and did not conduce to cordial confidence between the Cubans and the Americans.

The National Assembly which had been called on September 1 met at Santa Cruz on November 7, and resolved upon the disbandment of the Provisional Government, and the appointment of a special Commission to look after Cuban interests during the period of American occupation. This Commission consisted of Domingo Mendez Capote, President; Ferdinand Freyre de Andrade, Vice-President; and Manuel M. Coronado and Dr. Porfirio Caliente, Secretaries. The army organization was to be retained, for the present, with General Maximo Gomez as Commander-in-Chief.

The real crux of the situation, at the moment, was the demobilization of the Cuban army. This could not be done—Gomez would not consider it—until the men could be paid, and there was no money with which to pay them.{136} Among the 36,000 men on the rosters, there were said to be 20,000 who had served two years or more, and who were entitled to pay. Gomez issued an appeal to the army and to the Cuban people generally to accept loyally the temporary American occupation and to cooperate with the Americans in the reestablishment of order and the development of governmental institutions, in order that at the earliest possible moment Cuba might be able to assume the whole task of self government. At the same time he urgently requested the United States government to advance money with which to pay off the soldiers, in order that the army might be disbanded and the men might return to their homes and their work, and thus restore the industrial prosperity of the island. For this purpose he suggested the sum of $60,000,000, not only for actual pay but also for compensation for the losses which the officers and men had suffered during the war. He was inclined to keep his men under arms until the United States should relinquish control of Cuba to the Cubans, or should fix a date for so doing; and toward the end of January, 1899, he mustered all his forces in the Province of Havana, and made his staff headquarters in the former palace of the Captain-General. Meantime the Commission of the Cuban National Assembly recommended that the men be granted furloughs, to enable them to go to work in response to the great demand for labor that was arising throughout the island. This course was pursued to a considerable extent.

Ultimately the United States government granted the sum of $3,000,000 for the purpose of paying off the soldiers. This was not a loan, to be repaid, but was an outright gift, being the remainder of the sum of $50,000,000 which had been voted to the President at the beginning of the war to use at his discretion. It was given on the{137} conditions that every recipient should prove his service in the army and should surrender a rifle. To this latter requirement, which meant the disarming of the Cubans, General Gomez strongly objected, but in the end he acquiesced and agreed to carry out the plan as soon as the money was at hand. Thereupon some other Cuban officers disputed his right to commit the Cuban army to any such arrangement. They were dissatisfied with the small amount, and they insisted that only the Cuban Assembly had power to act upon the American offer. They added that they would refuse to obey the orders of General Gomez, and would look to the Assembly for justice. It should be added that these officers were not those who had been most active and efficient in the field.

General Gomez ignored this mutinous demonstration, and proceeded with arrangements to receive and distribute the $3,000,000; whereupon the Assembly came together and on March 12 impeached General Gomez and removed him from office as Commander-in-Chief, the charge being that he had failed in his military duties and had disobeyed the orders of the Assembly. This scandalous performance was ignored by Gomez, and was condemned by the great majority of the Cuban people. It was also ignored by the American authorities. General Brooke continued his negotiations with Gomez, and finally reached an agreement. The terms were as follows: Every Cuban soldier who had been in service since before July 17, 1898, and who was not in receipt of salary from any public office, upon delivery of his arms and equipments was to receive $75 in United States gold. The arms and equipments were to be surrendered to municipal authorities, and to be placed and kept in armories, under the charge of armorers appointed by General Gomez, as memorials of the War of Independence.{138} The Cuban Commissioners protested against and resisted this settlement, but finally yielded when they saw all the soldiers accepting it. They continued for some time, however, to manifest disaffection and distrust toward the United States, and to propagate doubt whether that country would ever fulfill its promise to make Cuba independent. Some agitators went so far as to try to provoke insurrections against the American administration. But all such things met with no encouragement from General Gomez or from any of the real leaders of the Cuban people, who expressed the fullest confidence in the good faith of the United States and did their utmost to lead the nation to take advantage of the unparalleled opportunity which had been placed before it. Day by day the magnitude of that opportunity became more apparent, as did the practical beneficence of the American administration.{139}


American occupation of Cuba, formal and complete, did not begin, as we have seen, until January 1, 1899, when the ceremonial transfer of sovereignty was effected at Havana. But nearly six months before that epochal date actual occupation and administration was begun on an extensive scale and in a most auspicious manner. With singular appropriateness this was effected at that city which nearly four centuries before had been the first capital and metropolis of the island, and in that Province which had been the scene of the first Spanish settlements in Cuba and which had been more perhaps than all the rest of the island the scene and the base of operations of the revolution for independence.

The surrender of Santiago by General Toral on July 17, 1898, made the American army master of that city and practically of the Province of Oriente. Having the power and authority of government, the Americans had necessarily to assume the full responsibility of it; and this was promptly done. Even in advance of the date named, on July 13, the day after negotiations for the capitulation began, in anticipation of what was to occur President McKinley decreed that, pending further orders, existing Spanish laws should be maintained in the occupied territory. As soon as the protocol was signed on August 12, General Henry W. Lawton was appointed Military Governor of the Province of Oriente and commander in chief of the American forces. This was an honor due to that gallant officer, because of his leadership in the act of invasion{140} and conquest. But Lawton was a soldier rather than an administrator, and his services were indispensable in the field. Accordingly, after brief but most honorable occupancy of the governorship, he was succeeded on September 24 by a man who combined the qualities of soldier and administrator in a uniquely successful and triumphant degree, and whose advent in Cuba was auspicious of inestimable advantage to that country and to its relations with the United States and with the world. Indeed, though the fact was unrecognized at the time, it is not too much to say that Leonard Wood bore in his hand and mind and heart the destinies of Cuba. There might, it is true, have been found some other man who as a soldier would have pacified the island and would have held it firmly in the grasp of peace. There might have been found a sanitarian and physician who would free the island of pestilence. There were financiers who might have placed its fiscal interests upon a sound basis. There were jurists who could have revised its laws. There were statesmen who could have supervised and directed its general governmental affairs, both domestic and foreign. But there was need that all these qualities should be combined in and all these activities should be performed by one man.

Leonard Wood was at this time still a young man, scarcely thirty-eight years of age. Born at Winchester, New Hampshire, the son of an eminent physician and a descendant of a Mayflower Pilgrim, he had in boyhood engaged in seafaring pursuits, and then had been thoroughly trained for the medical profession at Harvard University. Obeying the promptings of patriotism, perhaps with some unrecognized pre-intimation of the vast services which he was destined to render to his country and to the world, he turned away from prospects of professional{141} preferment and profit to undertake the arduous and often thankless tasks of an army surgeon. He was appointed to that duty from the state of Massachusetts on January 5, 1886, as an Assistant Surgeon, and five years later was promoted to the rank of Captain. The nominal rank is, however, a slight indication of the merit of his services, for in the very first year of his army life he was credited with "distinguished conduct in campaign against Apache Indians while serving as medical and line officer of Captain Lawton's expedition"; for which he was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

At the beginning of American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence, Theodore Roosevelt resigned the office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy, which he had filled with distinction and to the great profit of the country, in order to organize from among the cowboys and frontiersmen of the West his famous regiment of "Rough Riders." But he would not himself accept the supreme command of it. His unerring judgment of men led him to select Leonard Wood for the Colonelcy, under whom he was himself glad to serve as Lieutenant-Colonel. So it was that Wood first went to Cuba, as Colonel of the First Regiment of United States Cavalry Volunteers. There soon followed the achievements at Guasimas and at San Juan Hill, to which reference has already been made, in recognition of his services in which on July 8, 1898, he was promoted to be Brigadier General, and on December 7 following to be Major General of Volunteers. It may be added that he was promoted to these same ranks in the regular army respectively on February 4, 1901 and August 8, 1903.

With these antecedents, on September 24 he entered upon the task of governing Santiago and the Province of Oriente. It was a position of unique responsibility and{142} power. The President's order made it incumbent upon him to administer the existing municipal laws so far as in his own judgment they were properly applicable to the new state of affairs. That was all. Otherwise he was thrown absolutely upon his own resources, with no treaty obligations or government promises to bind him. He was simply a "benevolent despot," intent upon tranquillizing and rehabilitating that vast eastern province of Cuba by methods of his own devising. It was a region at once the most unruly and the most impoverished in Cuba, and it had for its capital a plague-smitten city. For six months he labored there, and in that short period he so far advanced the work of reconstruction that thereafter Oriente served as an example and a model for all the other provinces of Cuba. Sympathetic, alert, untiring, frank, without vanity or ostentation, resolute, diplomatic, and always supremely just, General Wood's personality stood to the people of Cuba for qualities seldom if ever before associated with the occupant of the governor's palace, while his energy in fighting disease, relieving distress, reviving industry and maintaining order revealed to them as the Spanish régime never had done the beneficence of enlightened government. It would be impossible to estimate too highly the value of his services during those few months at Santiago, in commending to Cubans the benevolent purposes and attitude of the Americans toward them and in disclosing to them the vast material and moral benefits which would accrue to them through self-government wisely administered.

He began his work at Santiago in gruesome circumstances. An epidemic of smallpox and yellow fever was raging, and clouds of smoke hung over the city from the funeral pyres where were being burned many of the bodies for which burial was impossible. The city was reeking{143} with filth. Half the people were threatened with starvation. Lawlessness and complaints of grievances were rife. He had to be at once sanitarian, steward and judge. He labored heroically at all three tasks, and performed them so well that in a few weeks Santiago seemed like a new city. Of course there was much to do in other places in the province. In Holguin there were three thousand cases of smallpox, of which he treated 1,200 in hospitals. He sent thither as nurses 600 thoroughly vaccinated immunes, not one of whom contracted the disease. Hundreds of infected buildings, of flimsy construction, were burned, while all others were thoroughly disinfected, and the epidemic was conquered.

Early the next year General Wood sought a well earned rest in a brief visit to his former home in Boston, leaving, as he thought, affairs in Santiago in a securely satisfactory condition. But he was compelled to hasten back in July, 1899, to deal with another outbreak of disease. On his arrival he found both the city and his own army camp in the grip of malignant yellow fever. It was a time for heroic action, and that was what he performed. In a day he removed his troops to healthful places on the adjacent hills, and then subjected the city to such a cleansing and scientific sanitation as neither it nor any other Cuban city had ever known. The island and the world looked on with interest, to see if thus he could cope with and suppress the epidemic.

He succeeded. Not yet had the theory of Dr. Carlos J. Finlay, that mosquitoes were the sole propagators of the disease, been practically tested and applied, though it had been propounded by that eminent Cuban physician many years before. That immortal achievement was postponed for Messrs. Reed, Carroll, Agramonte and Lazear to effect, under General Wood's subsequent administration{144} at Havana. But even without it, by means of strenuous sanitation, the epidemic of July, 1899, was conquered, and Santiago was made clean and sound.

Another achievement of General Wood's at Santiago in the latter part of 1898 proved highly successful and was soon afterward extended to the other provinces of the island. This was the organization of the Rural Guards, a force which became invaluable for the policing of the rural portions of the island; just as Pennsylvania and some others of the United States are cared for by State Police. General Wood selected for this service officers and soldiers of the Cuban Army in the War of Independence who were recommended for their good character and efficiency. By the end of the year 1898 he had about 300 of these troopers patrolling the roads of Oriente, in the districts where such guardianship was most needed, with admirable results. The value of this service was observed and appreciated by the officers of the other provinces, and at the beginning of 1899 the system was introduced into all the provinces excepting Matanzas, where the same purpose was served by a mounted police force maintained by the larger municipalities. In the city of Havana the Military Governor, General Ludlow, held a conference with General Mario G. Menocal, of the Cuban Army, who had been invited to become Chief of Police in that city under the American administration, and with him worked out the details of the organization of Rural Guards in the suburbs of the capital and the rural portions of Havana Province. They formed a force of 350 men for service there, and thus quickly made all that region, even in the more or less disturbed period immediately following the war, noteworthy for its security and orderliness. When at the end of the American occupation the Rural Guards were transferred to the Cuban{145} Government, they comprised 15 bodies, numbering 1,605 officers and men, stationed at 247 different posts.

Meantime American occupation and administration were established throughout the island. Immediately upon the transfer of sovereignty on January 1, 1899, John R. Brooke, Major General commanding the Division of Cuba, and Military Governor, issued a proclamation to the people of the island. He told them that he came as the representative of the President, to give protection to the people and security to persons and property, to restore confidence, to build up waste plantations, to resume commercial traffic, and to afford full protection in the exercise of all civil and religious rights. To the attainment of those ends, all the efforts of the United States would be directed, in the interest and for the benefit of all the people of Cuba. The legal codes of the Spanish sovereignty were to be retained in force, with such changes and modifications as might from time to time be found necessary in the interest of good government. The people of Cuba, without regard to previous affiliations, were invited and urged to cooperate in these objects by the exercise of moderation, conciliation and good-will toward one another.

The island was divided for administrative purposes into seven departments, corresponding with the provinces and with the city of Havana forming the seventh. The commanders of these departments, under General Brooke, were: Havana City, Gen. William Ludlow; Havana Province, Gen. Fitzhugh Lee; Pinar del Rio, Gen. George W. Davis; Matanzas, Gen. James H. Wilson; Santa Clara, Gen. John C. Bates; Camaguey, Gen. L. H. Carpenter; Oriente, Gen. Leonard Wood. A civil government was organized on January 12, by the appointment of the following Cubans as Ministers of State: Secretary{146} of the Department of State and Government, Domingo Mendez Capote; Secretary of Finance, Pablo Desvernine; Secretary of Justice and Public Instruction, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Lanuza; Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce, Industries and Public Works, Adolfo Saenz Yanez. Later in the spring of that year the provinces of Havana and Pinar del Rio were united in one department, as were Matanzas and Santa Clara, and Camaguey and Oriente.


A distinguished jurist, penologist, and man of letters, Gonzalez Lanuza,
was born in Havana on July 17, 1865. He rose to eminence at the bar and
on the bench, became professor of penal law in the University of Havana,
and was the author of several important works on jurisprudence. He was
an agent of the revolution in Havana in 1895, and Secretary of the Cuban
Delegation in New York. During General Brooke's Governorship he was
Secretary of Justice and Public Instruction, and during President
Menocal's first term was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was
a delegate to the Pan-American Congress at Rio de Janeiro in 1906.


A distinguished jurist, penologist, and man of letters, Gonzalez Lanuza, was born in Havana on July 17, 1865. He rose to eminence at the bar and on the bench, became professor of penal law in the University of Havana, and was the author of several important works on jurisprudence. He was an agent of the revolution in Havana in 1895, and Secretary of the Cuban Delegation in New York. During General Brooke's Governorship he was Secretary of Justice and Public Instruction, and during President Menocal's first term was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a delegate to the Pan-American Congress at Rio de Janeiro in 1906.

The problems which confronted the American military administrators and their Cuban colleagues of the civil government were manifold and grave. There was the work of sanitation, which was undertaken on lines similar to those which General Wood had pursued in Santiago. The city of Havana had the advantage of the services of General Ludlow, an expert engineer and sanitarian. Then there was the work of feeding a starving population. So vast had been the ravages of war, so great had been the destruction of resources, that one of the most fertile and productive countries in the world was unable for a time to provide food for its own inhabitants, although their numbers had been diminished{147} by one-fourth by the horrors of war. In these circumstances the American government was compelled to establish a system of food distribution, on very liberal lines. In Havana alone more than 20,000 persons were dependent upon it to save them from actual starvation. So well was the system administered, however, and so vigorously did the Cubans themselves apply themselves to self-help that within five months it was found possible to abolish the general system of food supply, and to restrict such work to such cases of special need as are liable to occur in any community.

In thus redeeming the island from threatened if not actual famine, the American government undoubtedly did much, but the Cuban people themselves did far more. Self-help and mutual aid were the order of the day. All who could do so hastened to secure employment, either upon their own property or on the land or in the establishments of others. Planters whose fields had been ravaged and whose buildings had been destroyed borrowed money wherever they could, when necessary, for rehabilitation. If they could not raise money to pay their employes, they pledged them an interest in the proceeds of the coming harvest. The small farmers, who had lost all their implements and had no money to buy others to replace them, worked almost without tools, or borrowed and loaned among themselves so that a single plow would serve for half a dozen, and even hoes and spades were similarly passed from garden to garden. In the absence of horses and mules, plows were actually drawn by teams of four or six men, in such cases doing, perhaps, little more than to scratch the surface of the soil, though even this was sufficient to enable the planting of seed.

Reference has been made to the borrowing of money by the planters for the rehabilitation of their estates. This{148} was no easy task, because of the extent to which they were already overburdened with debts. Nearly all the land in Cuba was mortgaged, for a large percentage of its value. The census which was taken by the American authorities in 1899 showed a total real estate valuation in the entire island of only $323,641,895. These amazingly low figures were due, of course, to the depreciation of values through the ravages of war. But upon that valuation there was an 47,915,494; or more than 76 per cent. Obviously, the borrowing capacity of Cuban real estate had been exhausted. During the war, with the impairment of industry which then prevailed, it was impossible for farmers to pay off their mortgages, and accordingly the Spanish government, in May, 1896, decreed that all mortgages then maturing should be extended for a year, during which time all legal steps for collection of them should be halted. In Oriente and Camaguey, however, the grace thus granted was for only a month. Successive extensions of the grace carried it to April, 1899, when the American administration was in control. A final extension was then granted, to April, 1901.

Still another problem, and one which proved peculiarly embarrassing, was that of local or municipal government. The island was divided into six provinces, thirty-one judicial districts, and one hundred and thirty-two municipalities, and these last named were each divided into sub-districts and these again into wards. These all had their local officials and local systems of finance, and these latter were found by the Americans to be in serious confusion. It was necessary to reform them, but in the doing of this almost endless friction arose. Such matters so closely touched the Cuban people that they were naturally jealous and resentful of alien interference and dictation.{149} At the same time the Americans considered it necessary to supervise the reorganization of local government as a basis for satisfactory general government. Each side became more or less irritated against the other, with unfortunate results.

An interesting personal factor at this time, whose influence was on the whole helpful to the American government, was found in General Maximo Gomez. There is no question that he felt himself somewhat ill-treated by the Americans, as Calixto Garcia had felt at the surrender of Santiago. During the first month of the American rule at the capital he held aloof, remaining at his home at Remedios. But in February he came to Havana and had such a reception as probably no other man in Cuban history had ever enjoyed. From Remedios to Havana he proceeded through an almost unbroken series of popular demonstrations of the most enthusiastic kind, and at the capital he was greeted as a conquering hero and as the unrivalled idol of the people whose independence he had won. The only discordant note came from a small body of politicians identified with that Assembly which both Gomez and the American government had declined to recognize, and which Gomez had strongly antagonized in the matter of paying off and demobilizing the Cuban army. But that opposition to him did not lessen the affection and reverence with which the great mass of the Cuban people regarded the grim and grey old champion of their wars. It is to be recorded, too, that while he was thus being received by the people, his own attitude toward them was no less significant. At every place through which he passed on his journey to Havana, and at every gathering at which he was entertained in that city, he spoke to the people, tersely and vigorously, as became a soldier; exhorting them to forget{150} the differences of the past, even their righteous wrath against the Spaniards, and to unite and work together harmoniously and efficiently to complete in peace the great task for Cuba's welfare which had so far been advanced in war.

The result, at least for a time, was marvellous. Cuban and Spaniard, Revolutionist, Autonomist and Constitutionalist, for a time joined hands. At one of the chief public receptions given to Gomez in Havana, the flags of Cuba, of the United States, and of Spain were equally displayed, and were all three greeted with applause. That spirit did not, it is true, always thereafter prevail. But it was of incalculable profit to Cuba to have it so strongly aroused and manifested at that crucial period in her history.

During the administration of General Brooke the police force of Havana was completely reorganized, with the assistance of John B. McCullagh, formerly Superintendent of Police in New York. This was done as promptly as possible after the installation of American rule, and by the beginning of March, 1899, the peace and security of the Cuban capital were safeguarded by an admirable uniformed force of about a thousand men. Under the command of General Mario G. Menocal as Chief this body of men rendered Havana as efficient service, probably, as that in any American city of similar size. Police work in Havana, it should be understood, differs considerably from that in cities of the United States, for the reason that drunkenness and its attendant disorder and petty brawls are substantially unknown in the Cuban metropolis, and therefore one of the most prolific causes of arrests in American cities is there non-existent.

When the American administration took charge of{151} Cuban affairs it found the insular treasury quite empty. The departing Spaniards had seen to that. But a careful, honest and thrifty management of finances soon provided the island with a good working income. By the first of September, 1899, fully $10,000,000 had been received in revenue from different sources. Major E. F. Ladd of the United States army was made Treasurer and Disbursing Officer of the customs service, and a little later he was appointed Auditor and then Treasurer of the island. In those capacities he showed admirable efficiency and greatly ingratiated himself with the people; ranking as one of the most successful members of the American governing staff. His administration was the more appreciated by Cubans because of the welcome reform of the taxation system which was at that time effected. The old Spanish tax system had been abominable, and that of the short-lived Autonomist regime of 1897-1898 changed it chiefly with the result of adding to the confusion. Early in 1899, therefore, radical reforms were undertaken. An order was issued on February 10 remitting all taxes due under the old Spanish law which had remained unpaid on January 1, with the exception of taxes on passengers and freight which had according to custom been collected and were held by the railroad companies. All taxes on the principal articles of food and fuel were abolished, as were also all municipal taxes on imports and exports. These taxes had formerly been very burden-some and were a source of much grievance and irritation, and their abolition was very gratifying to the Cuban people, who began to appreciate what it meant to have a government whose prime object was to serve them and not to plunder them.

One tax was greatly increased, namely, the excise tax upon all alcoholic liquors, and this was made a part of{152} the revenue of the municipalities instead of the state, thus compensating the municipalities for the loss of the tax on merchandise. Despite the temperate habits of the Cuban people, the very general consumption of some form of alcoholic drink made this impost amount to a considerable sum.

A matter which urgently needed reform, but which unfortunately was reformed with more zeal than diplomacy, caused much dissension in that first year of American administration. That was the marriage law. Under Spanish government marriage was held to be exclusively a function, indeed, a sacrament, of the Roman Catholic church, and could not legally be performed by any other authority; though in later years there had been made a provision for the civil marriage of non-Catholics. But since to resort to the latter meant to incur a certain social reproach, few couples ever availed themselves of it. Of course loyal members of the church could not do so, the religious ceremony being imperative for them.

With the departure of the Spanish government from the island a complete separation of church and state occurred, and it was held imperative to provide a new law of marriage. The old system had become odious, it may be explained, because of the large fees which many ecclesiastics charged for performance of the ceremony, and because, on account of those fees, many couples among the poorer elements of the population, decided to dispense with the marriage ceremony altogether; a practice not conducive to social order, and frequently causing serious embarrassment and litigation over the inheritance of property. Unfortunately in trying to reform the system the new government went too far toward the opposite extreme. The author of the new law was Senor Jose Antonio Gonzalez Lanuza, the Secretary of Justice, and it{153} made civil marriage compulsory, though it permitted a supplementary religious ceremony at the pleasure of the parties. "Hereafter," it said, "only civil marriages shall be legally valid." It fixed the legal fee for marriages at one dollar.

The intention of the law was doubtless good, and it might be argued that it should not have caused offence, since it did not interfere with religious marriage ceremonies. There is no doubt that it was very strongly favored by a large part of the Cuban nation. When it was proposed to repeal or to modify it materially the vast majority of municipal governments in the island, all of the judges of the Supreme Court, a majority of the judges of first instance, and half of the Provincial Governors, urged its retention unchanged. The clergy of the Roman Catholic church, however, opposed it vigorously and persistently, and it was finally deemed desirable to modify it so as to make either civil or religious marriage valid. The objection to it had been, of course, that by invalidating religious marriages it cast a certain slur upon the church. It is interesting to recall, however, that the law in its objectionable form was the work of a Cuban jurist, while in its amended and acceptable form it was the work of an American and conformed with the law in the United States, where civil and religious marriage ceremonies are equally legal and valid.

In order to protect the island against undue exploitation by American speculators and "promoters," a law of the American Congress in February, 1899, forbade the granting of franchises or concessions of any kind during the period of American occupation and control. It was not pretended that there was no need of any such grants, but it was prudently contended that they should wait until the Cubans themselves had full control of the insular{154} government. The wisdom of this was apparent, and the law was generally approved, even by those who most clearly saw the desirability of developing the resources and industries of the island by the building of railroads, tramways, telegraph lines, etc. It was better for these to wait for a year or two than to incur the suspicion that an American administration had granted Cuban franchises to American promoters on terms which a Cuban government would not have approved.

A most important enterprise during the Brooke administration was the taking of a thorough census of the island. This was ordered by President McKinley on August 17, 1899, and was taken early in the ensuing fall. The island was divided into 1,607 enumeration districts, and the work of canvassing was given chiefly to Cubans. Among the canvassers were 142 women; the first women ever employed in government work in Cuba. The census was not a mere enumeration, but comprised a multiplicity of details concerning the age, nativity, citizenship, conjugal condition, literacy, etc., of the people, and also concerning agriculture and the other occupations in which they were engaged. The populations of the provinces were as follows, compared with the figures of the census of 1887:

Pinar del Rio173,082225,891
Santa Clara356,537354,122

These figures are significant. There should, of course, have been a considerable increase in population in those twelve years. Instead, there was a considerable decrease.{155} The entire number of normal increase, plus the 58,842 actual decrease, may be taken as representing the loss through the war. It will also be observed that the loss of population was in the three western provinces, where the Spanish most held sway during the war, and that there was no loss but a considerable increase in the three eastern provinces, which were largely controlled by the Cubans. The population by sexes and race was as follows:

Native white910,299
Foreign white  142,098

The report of citizenship was:

In suspense  175,811
Other aliens79,525

The total number of illegitimate children, of all ages, was 185,030; a discreditably high number, attributed largely to the former expensive marriage system. The statistics of education were distressing. The number of children under ten years of age who were attending or had attended school was only 40,559, and the number who had not attended was 316,428. The number of persons ten years old and over who could read and write{156} was only 443,670; those who could neither read nor write were 690,565—an appalling proportion of illiteracy, reflecting most discreditably upon the Spanish government of the island. The number of persons of "superior education" in the whole island was only 19,158.

Nor were the statistics of industry much more satisfactory. The following were the totals for the island:

Agriculture, fisheries and mining  299,197
Trade and transportation79,427
Manufactures and mechanics93,074
Domestic and personal141,936
No gainful occupation950,467

Another supremely important measure which was adopted during the closing weeks of General Brooke's administration, though its complete working out was reserved for his successor, was suggested by some of the census figures which we have just quoted. It was realized that the need of education was of all Cuban popular needs the most urgent. Accordingly on November 2, 1899, General Brooke ordered the organization of a new bureau in the Department of Justice and Public Instruction, at the head of which should be a Superintendent of Schools. The first incumbent of that office was Alexis E. Frye, who drafted another order, promulgated by General Brooke on December 6 and practically constituting a new school law for Cuba. It provided for the formation of Boards of Education and the opening of primary and grammar schools in all communities by December 11, 1899, or as soon thereafter as possible. That was the beginning of the popular education of the Cuban people.

After these things, General Brooke was on December{157} 20 relieved of his command in Cuba. He issued a brief farewell proclamation to the people, calling attention to the progress which had been made in good government, and toward complete self-government and independence; every word of which was amply justified by facts. He was a soldier rather than an administrator, and he was nearing the age of retirement from active service. His administration had been beset with difficulties; it had made some mistakes, and it had done much good work. He was charged by some with having entrusted the powers of government too largely to his Cuban Secretaries; while others commended him for that very circumstance. His inclination was toward a bureaucracy, but it was a Cuban and not an alien bureaucracy. It cannot be denied that he laid much of the foundation of subsequent achievements and of successful Cuban government. It was under his governorship that General Ludlow cleansed the city of Havana, that the Customs service and the treasury were reorganized, and that provision was made for a comprehensive system of public schools.{158}


General Brooke was succeeded by General Leonard Wood. He had also in a measure been preceded by him. General Wood had at Santiago been the real pioneer in American administration in Cuba. He laid the first foundations there. General Brooke at Havana enlarged upon those foundations. Then came General Wood to Havana to complete the structure. It was with the fame and prestige of his great victory over pestilence at Santiago, and of all his other achievements in Oriente, that he came to Havana on December 20, 1899, to be Military Governor of all Cuba. He was received not alone with the fullest measure of formal ceremony and official salutation, from both Cubans and Americans, but also with such an outpouring of popular welcome as few men have received anywhere and as nobody save perhaps Maximo Gomez had ever received at Havana. The attitude and sentiment of the people toward him were well expressed by an editorial writer in the Havana journal La Lucha, who said:


Soldier, scientist, statesman, administrator, it has been the fortune of Leonard Wood to render invaluable services to two nations. Born at Winchester, New Hampshire, on October 9, 1860, and educated in medicine at Harvard University, he became first a surgeon and then an officer of the United States army. After a brilliant career in Indian fighting in the Southwest he went to Cuba in 1898 as colonel of the cavalry regiment of "Rough Riders" and did notable work in the battles around Santiago. He was Military Governor of Santiago and Oriente, and later Military Governor of Cuba, in which places he transformed the sanitary, economic and political conditions of the island, and ushered it into its career of independent self-government. Since then he has served the United States with great distinction in the Philippines, and as the foremost officer of the army at home; not the least of his benefactions to the nation being his great campaign of education and awakening in preparation for what he saw to be America's inevitable participation in the World War.


Soldier, scientist, statesman, administrator, it has been the fortune of
Leonard Wood to render invaluable services to two nations. Born at
Winchester, New Hampshire, on October 9, 1860, and educated in medicine
at Harvard University, he became first a surgeon and then an officer of
the United States army. After a brilliant career in Indian fighting in
the Southwest he went to Cuba in 1898 as colonel of the cavalry regiment
of "Rough Riders" and did notable work in the battles around Santiago.
He was Military Governor of Santiago and Oriente, and later Military
Governor of Cuba, in which places he transformed the sanitary, economic
and political conditions of the island, and ushered it into its career
of independent self-government. Since then he has served the United
States with great distinction in the Philippines, and as the foremost
officer of the army at home; not the least of his benefactions to the
nation being his great campaign of education and awakening in
preparation for what he saw to be America's inevitable participation in
the World War.

"General Wood has shown great capacity for government and management while in command of the eastern end of the island. In that mountainous and rugged district, where passions and impulsive characters predominate, in that country where a strong rebellious spirit has been agitated for a long time, General Wood knew how to calm that spirit, how to establish moral peace and to cheer the hearts of all. He has been seen to practise a policy of harmony and ample liberty. We saw him, first{159} of all, promulgate the habeas corpus in the province he commanded, and he decreed that constitutional measure when the embers of the fire of domestic and international war were still smoking. In material things, General Wood cleansed the eastern cities and embellished them.... His government will prepare us for a broader life and give us the blessings of peace and liberty. As a man of clear mind and solid education, he will know how to study and to solve skilfully the economic and political problems that circumstances may introduce into the country. As he is a man of energy, he will be able to withstand every unhealthy influence. His policy will be eminently liberal, but at the same time it will be a guarantee for all who labor and produce. He will not associate himself with agitators but with statesmen."

Such was the just estimate which Cuba placed upon her new Governor. Of his actual reception the same journal that we have quoted said: "Although promising nothing, he speaks volumes by his quiet democratic manner of taking charge of affairs. He has captivated everyone."

The new Governor was welcomed on his arrival at Havana by an extraordinary and quite unprecedented gathering of representative men from all parts of the island; such a gathering as Havana had never seen before. He promptly entered into the fullest possible conference with them, to learn their views and to impart his own to them, and as a result of his intercourse with them he was able, on January 1, 1900, to gather about himself a noteworthy Cabinet, commanding in an exceptional measure the confidence of the Cuban people. It was thus composed:

Secretary of State and Government, Diego Tamayo.
Secretary of the Treasury, Jose Enrique Varona.{160}
Secretary of Justice, Louis Estevez.
Secretary of Public Works, Jose Ramon Villalon.
Secretary of Education, Juan Bautista Barreiro.
Secretary of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, Ruiz Rivera.

The selection of these men commanded the cordial approval of the Cuban people. Said La Lucha: "The new Cabinet contains men whose honest names are guarantees that the moral and material interests of the country are to be conserved." To this La Patria added: "General Wood is obviously imbued with the best intentions. Although the council of Cubans convened by him is not an elected body, it does represent the wishes of the Cuban people."

It will of course be observed that not one of General Brooke's cabinet was retained by General Wood. All were new men. Moreover, he increased their number by two, making a separate department of Education instead of lumping it with Justice, and making another of Public Works, instead of leaving it grouped with Agriculture, Industry and Commerce. This latter change was significant of two things. One was the increasing amount of actual governmental work that was devolving upon the administration. The other was the increased importance which, in General Wood's mind, attached to Education and Public Works. He rightly conceived them to be the two prime needs of Cuba. The cabinet did not remain as thus organized, however, very long. On May 1 Ruiz Rivera resigned the Secretaryship of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, and was succeeded by Perfecto Lacoste; and Louis Estevez resigned the portfolio of Justice and was succeeded by Juan Bautista Barreiro, who in turn was succeeded in the Department of Education by Jose Enrique Varona, while the last named was succeeded{161} as Secretary of the Treasury by Leopoldo Cancio. Finally on August 11 Senor Barreiro retired altogether and was succeeded in the Department of Justice by Miguel Gener y Rincon.

We have said that General Brooke was charged with letting his administration be controlled by his Secretaries. There was an inclination in some quarters to charge General Wood with exactly the reverse. He was not autocratic nor domineering. But he was Governor. He was the actual as well as the nominal head of the government. Realizing that he would be held personally responsible for everything that was done,—as he was,—he rightly determined to exercise his authority in everything that was done. Then, if he was blamed, he would not be blamed for the fault of somebody else.

The significance which we have attributed to his Cabinet enlargement was promptly demonstrated. Of the three subjects to which he most devoted his attention, public education came first. He had deemed it worthy of a Cabinet Department all for itself. He at once set about organizing that department de novo. Mr. Frye had done good work as Superintendent of Schools; but he had also done much of dubious merit. He had organized too many schools too rapidly, and with too little system. Perhaps that was partly the fault of the law, which bade him on December 6 to get them all going by December 11, if possible. But then, he was responsible for the law. He opened hundreds of schools. But most of them were pretty poor affairs, with no proper text-books, no desks, no equipment and supplies; they were not graded nor classified, and they were conducted without proper system or order.

Such schools General Wood regarded as of little value, and he took prompt measures, though at the cost of a{162} somewhat acrimonious controversy with Mr. Frye, to improve the system under which they were being created. On January 24 he issued an order creating a Board of Superintendents of Schools, instead of leaving the work to one man, and he appointed as its members Mr. Frye, Esteban Borrero Echeverria, and Lincoln de Zayas. The Board continued to act under the law of December 6, but applied it in a somewhat different way, with impressive results. It opened a great many more schools than Mr. Frye had done, and saw to it that they were better equipped than his had been. Within six months the number of schools was increased from 635 to 3,313. Indeed, on March 3 it was found necessary to put on brakes, by issuing an order that no more new schools should be opened for the present. That year more than $4,000,000, or nearly a fourth of the total revenue of Cuba, was spent on public schools.


One of the foremost educators of Cuba, Dr. Evelio Rodriguez Lendian, was
born at Guanabacoa in 1860, and was educated at the University of
Havana, where he is Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of
Science and Letters. He is also President of the Academy of History, and
Director of the Athenaeum. He has written a number of books and has
great repute as a public speaker.


One of the foremost educators of Cuba, Dr. Evelio Rodriguez Lendian, was born at Guanabacoa in 1860, and was educated at the University of Havana, where he is Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Letters. He is also President of the Academy of History, and Director of the Athenaeum. He has written a number of books and has great repute as a public speaker.

In addition to primary and grammar schools, which were made universal, trade schools of various kinds were established. In the principal cities, especially in Havana, there were free schools of stenography and type-writing. These latter were designed partly to supply a competent and up-to-date clerical force to the various government offices, and partly to promote modern business methods in private concerns. Of course they provided{163} profitable occupation to a large number of persons who otherwise might have been out of employment. The creation of the public schools also provided employment for several thousand persons, as teachers. These were almost entirely Cubans and, as in the United States, were very largely young women. Considering the paucity of numbers of those reported by the census as possessing "superior education" it was extraordinary that a sufficient staff of teachers could be obtained. Normal schools for the training of teachers in modern methods of education were established, and were largely attended by young Cubans eager to participate in the work of advancing the intellectual interests and indeed also the social and industrial interests of their country.

An admirable impetus, of inestimable value, was given to the work of Cuban education in 1900 when Harvard University, General Wood's alma mater, invited Cuban teachers to the number of a thousand to spend the summer at that institution, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where a great summer school in pedagogy and other sciences was conducted. Recognizing the immense value of such a visit from many points of view, the American administration in Cuba agreed to pay each teacher one month's salary for the purpose of the excursion, and to provide transportation from their homes to Havana or other convenient ports, whence their further travel was provided for by the Quartermaster's Department of the United States. On arriving at Cambridge they were received and entertained during their stay by a committee specially appointed by Harvard. They were thus enabled to have without cost an extended and singularly interesting and enjoyable excursion, such as many of them had never had before, to receive stimulus, suggestion and instruction in the most approved methods of education{164} and school management, and—perhaps most important of all—to come into direct touch with the people and institutions of the great northern republic with which their own country had and was destined always to have the closest of relations.

The school system of the island was strictly removed from politics, both local and general, and was taken from the control of the municipalities and placed directly and solely under that of the national government. Thus was assured a fine degree of uniformity in the quality and methods of teaching. Thus also the poorer districts, which could with difficulty have maintained any kind of schools at all, were enabled to have as good service as the richest communities. The salaries paid to teachers were good, comparing favorably with those paid in the United States.


Cuba is enviably distinguished for providing not only elementary but higher education, even of the best university grade, practically without cost to the children of her citizens. The University of Havana, which is the crown of the whole educational system of the country, was founded in 1728, and formerly was housed in the old convent of Santo Domingo. But in 1900 under the American administration of General Leonard Wood, it was removed to the fine site of the former Pirotecnica Militar, near El Principe.


Cuba is enviably distinguished for providing not only elementary but
higher education, even of the best university grade, practically without
cost to the children of her citizens. The University of Havana, which is
the crown of the whole educational system of the country, was founded in
1728, and formerly was housed in the old convent of Santo Domingo. But
in 1900 under the American administration of General Leonard Wood, it
was removed to the fine site of the former Pirotecnica Militar, near El

There was, it must be confessed, some criticism of this elaborate and expensive educational establishment. It was urged by some that approximately one-fourth was entirely too large a proportion of the national revenue to devote to this purpose, and that it would be to the greater benefit of the island to spend less money on schools and more on public works of various kinds. It was also pointed out that the average 6, 3, and in the Southern States, with which it was assumed that Cuba was properly to be compared, it was less than $9. Of course there was involved in these criticisms a triple fallacy. One was the notion that public works were neglected or sacrificed for the schools. That, as we shall see, was not so; a comparably great system of such works proceeding pari passu with the development of the school system. Another was, that the cost was too high. Naturally{165} the cost was much higher in the first year than it would be after the system was well established. It was in fact much lower than in those parts of the United States where the schools were efficient and the educational system was creditable. The third fallacy was in thinking that Cuba was to be compared with the Southern States, the backward condition of whose school systems had long been regarded as a reproach and a disgrace. In endowing Cuba with a school system it would have been indecent for the United States to take for the standard its own poorest and most discreditable systems. It was necessary that it should take rather the best that it had as an example to be emulated. It may be added that these criticisms were made chiefly by General Wood's American critics, and by those who ignorantly and arrogantly regarded Cuba as an inferior country for which an inferior system was good enough. The Cubans themselves with practical unanimity gave to the work their hearty and grateful approval.


One of the most eminent jurists and orators of Cuba, Dr. Antonio Sanchez
de Bustamente, was born on April 13, 1865, and was educated at the
University of Havana. He is a Senator, President of the Cuban Society of
International Law; President of the National Academy of Arts and
Letters; Dean of the Havana College of Lawyers, and Professor of
International, Public and Private Law in the University of Havana.


One of the most eminent jurists and orators of Cuba, Dr. Antonio Sanchez de Bustamente, was born on April 13, 1865, and was educated at the University of Havana. He is a Senator, President of the Cuban Society of International Law; President of the National Academy of Arts and Letters; Dean of the Havana College of Lawyers, and Professor of International, Public and Private Law in the University of Havana.

There was other work to do for the children of Cuba beside that of the ordinary schools. The war had been disastrous to domesticity. Thousands of homes had been entirely destroyed, the parents slain, the houses burned, the children left to wander as waifs. In that{166} genial clime, amid that profusion of the fruits of nature, these orphans did not necessarily starve or perish. Many of them lived practically as wild creatures of the woods. Many of them also were cared for in some fashion by the families whose homes had not been destroyed, for it was not in the Cuban heart, even the most poverty-stricken, to turn a suppliant from the door. But it was not fitting that these children should be left as waifs and charges upon the people. Under General Brooke's administration an excellent Department of Charities was organized, which gathered up and cared for thousands of them, and this work was continued during General Wood's administration. The children were partly placed in families which were willing to receive them, or in asylums and schools. Seeing that there was among them a certain proportion of defectives and delinquents, and that many were in need of useful training, correctional and industrial schools for both boys and girls were opened, and did admirable work.

The second object of General Wood's special interest was that of public works. Concerning that, two salient facts must be borne in mind. One is, that the prohibition of franchises and concessions during the American occupation materially militated against the making of many improvements; although it was on the whole a desirable restriction. The other is that many of the most urgent public works during the first year or two were those connected with sanitation and the renovation of public buildings, prisons, etc. During the first year of the intervention, under General Brooke, heroic work was done by General Ludlow in removing from the streets of Havana the accumulated filth of years. But that was only a beginning. In the next two years the work had to be continued and extended to every city and town on{167} the island. Water supplies had to be provided, and sewer systems. Above all, there had to be an extensive, persistent and, in the very nature of the case expensive campaign against yellow fever and malaria, the two traditional scourges of Cuba. To these works General Wood addressed himself with efficient energy, and to them he devoted an appropriate proportion of the public funds.


We have seen that the total cost of the schools in 1900 was more than $4,000,000. But as a considerable part of this was non-recurring expense for buildings, etc., the actual cost of maintenance was much less. The following figures show the apportionment of expenditures:{168}

For Education, non-recurring$337,460
For Education, maintenance3,672,000
Total for school system$4,009,460
For Public Works construction    $1,786,700
For Sanitation3,029,500
Total for Public Works$4,816,200

Despite the complaints of American critics that too much money was spent on schools in proportion to other things, therefore, it appears that much less was spent on them than on public works. Perhaps such complaints would have been less numerous and less bitter if General Wood had been willing or able to give profitable contracts and franchises to American speculators.

Much attention was paid to port improvements, naturally, in order to facilitate and promote the commerce which was essential to the prosperity of the island. The lighthouse service was placed under the most competent charge of General Mario G. Menocal, who conducted it with approved efficiency until the needs of his personal affairs compelled him to retire from public office. A thoroughly organized postal service was established throughout the island and was so well managed that by the end of the period of intervention it was within ten per cent. of being self supporting, or as near to self supporting as that of the United States had generally been. This was certainly a remarkable achievement in view of the fact that so large a proportion of Cubans were illiterate and therefore unable to make use of postal facilities.

For general purposes of public works the island was divided into six districts. At the head of each district{169} was a Chief Superintendent of Public Works, with a staff of assistants. The principal undertakings, apart from sanitation, were the construction of roads and the building of bridges and culverts, and these were judiciously planned so as to unite the various districts of the island with improved highways, and to open up rich agricultural regions with transportation facilities.


These undertakings involved General Wood in the disposition of an unpleasant controversy which had been left over from General Brooke's administration, which in turn had received it from the old Spanish government. In 1894 the Spanish authorities of Havana decided to have that city largely repaved and re-sewered, and asked an American firm somewhat noted for its political influence, that of Michael J. Dady & Co., of Brooklyn, New York, to submit plans. A year later it{170} accepted some of this firm's proposals, payment for the work to be made in bonds of the City of Havana. But the oncoming of the war caused postponement of the project, and it was not until December, 1898, just before the Spanish evacuation, that the corporation of Havana finally accepted the proposals and authorized the issue of bonds. The American authorities, however, who were about to take over the control of the city, protested against being thus saddled with a scheme of Spanish making, and accordingly the last Spanish Governor, General Castellanos, very properly declined to approve and sign the ordinance; declaring that it and all similar projects, which would have to be executed under American control, should await American approval.

A few days later the transfer of sovereignty occurred, and General Ludlow, as Governor of Havana, decided to set aside the Dady proposals altogether and to proceed with the work himself. This was doubtless an economical and logical course to pursue. But under the old Spanish law, which was still in force, Dady & Co. claimed to have certain rights in the matter. The matter remained in suspense for the whole of General Brooke's administration, with a succession of engineers from the United States making and remaking plans for the work and with Dady & Co.'s interests undecided. Apparently the United States government—for the whole matter was controlled by the Engineering Bureau of the War Department at Washington—was reluctant to challenge Dady & Co. to a trial of their claims in court, and was unwilling to seek a compromise with them, but was seeking by interminable postponements, changes of plan and delays to tire them out and induce them voluntarily to withdraw. But that was something which that astute and resolute corporation showed no inclination to do.{171} Meanwhile very important public works were at a stand-still.

This was an intolerable state of affairs, and General Wood in the spring of 1901 determined to end it after the manner of Alexander's disposition 50,000 in satisfaction of their claims, which was possibly less than the courts would have awarded them if the case had been carried before them, and then ordered bids to be solicited for the doing of the work. The only bid received was from Dady & Co., and the Washington authorities refused to sanction acceptance of it on the ground that it was too high. The plans were altered and new bids solicited, and the Havana Ayuntamiento voted to award the contract to the lowest bidders, McGivney & Rokeby. But before the contract was closed Dady & Co. on a plea of having misunderstood the plans offered a reduction of their bid below that of their competitors; whereupon the Ayuntamiento reconsidered its vote and ordered the contract to be made with Dady & Co. But the Washington authorities refused to sanction this change, apparently being averse to letting Dady & Co. have the job at any figure, and the result was that the whole matter remained at a deadlock until after the end of the American occupation.

From some points of view the greatest achievement of General Wood's administration was that of the conquest of disease, and it was one in which he as a physician and man of science took peculiar interest. When he fought and temporarily overcame yellow fever at Santiago, there was no application of the immortal theory of Dr. Finlay, but it was supposed that the pestilence spontaneously arose from filth. The same was true of General Ludlow's subsequent cleansing of Havana; he supposing that{172} by the removal of filth the sources of infection would be removed. But when he observed that the dreaded disease occurred where there was no filth, General Wood concluded that it must have another source, and decided to give Dr. Finlay's theory a practical test. In 1900 therefore a medical commission was formed, composed of Drs. Walter Reed, U. S. A., James Carroll, Aristides Agramonte, and Jesse W. Lazear, who, with the heroic cooperation of soldiers of the United States army, who were willing to risk their lives in experiments for the welfare of humanity, undertook an elaborate series of demonstrations which were epochal in the history not alone of Cuba but also of the whole world.

Reed took the initiative. He applied to General Wood for permission to undertake the work, including the conducting of experiments on persons who were not immune against the fever, which of course was a most perilous venture. He also asked for a considerable sum of money with which to reward volunteers who would thus submit themselves to deadly peril. General Wood did not hesitate for a moment. He granted the permission, appropriated the money, and entered into the momentous enterprise with helpful sympathy and untiring zeal.


Born at Camaguey on December 3, 1833, of English parents, and dying on August 20, 1915, Dr. Carlos J. Finlay left a name which greatly adorns the science of Cuba and which occupied a conspicuous place on the roster of the benefactors of humanity. He was educated in France and at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and rose to eminence in his profession. He first of all men propounded the theory that Stegomiya fasciata mosquito was the active and sole agent in the communication of yellow fever, and personally, under the Governorship of Leonard Wood, demonstrated the correctness of that theory and thus freed Cuba from its most dreaded pestilence and blazed the way for a like achievement in all other lands. For this epochal service to the world many foreign governments bestowed distinctions and decorations upon him. Though technically retaining the British citizenship with which his father endowed him, he devoted his life to Cuba and filled with high efficiency the place of chief of the Bureau of Sanitation.


Born at Camaguey on December 3, 1833, of English parents, and dying on
August 20, 1915, Dr. Carlos J. Finlay left a name which greatly adorns
the science of Cuba and which occupied a conspicuous place on the roster
of the benefactors of humanity. He was educated in France and at the
Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and rose to eminence in his
profession. He first of all men propounded the theory that Stegomiya
fasciata mosquito was the active and sole agent in the communication of
yellow fever, and personally, under the Governorship of Leonard Wood,
demonstrated the correctness of that theory and thus freed Cuba from its
most dreaded pestilence and blazed the way for a like achievement in all
other lands. For this epochal service to the world many foreign
governments bestowed distinctions and decorations upon him. Though
technically retaining the British citizenship with which his father
endowed him, he devoted his life to Cuba and filled with high efficiency
the place of chief of the Bureau of Sanitation.

The scene of the drama—for it was one of the most dramatic and heroic performances in human history—was Camp Lazear, fittingly named for the brave man who was a martyr to the cause of health, a few miles from Quemados, in the outskirts of Havana. Before the work at the camp was begun, however, two experiments were made by members of the commission, who thus demonstrated their personal readiness to incur any peril which might confront the volunteers for whom they were calling. Dr. Carroll was first. He deliberately caused himself to be bitten by a mosquito which twelve days before had{173} gorged itself with the blood of a yellow fever patient. Note that he did this with the expectation, indeed with the hope, that he would thus be infected with one of the deadliest of diseases. He sought to prove not that there was no danger in a mosquito bite, but on the contrary that there was the greatest possible danger. And his anticipations were fully realized. In due time after the bite he was stricken with yellow fever in a particularly severe form; from which, however, he happily recovered.

Dr. Lazear came next. At about the same time with Carroll he made a similar experiment upon himself. Apparently the insect by which he caused himself to be bitten had not itself been infected. At any rate Lazear did not develop the disease. At this he was disappointed, and he determined to expose himself again. Accordingly he was thoroughly bitten by another mosquito, in the yellow fever ward of the hospital. He noted the fact and all its results most carefully, as though he had been experimenting upon some inanimate object. In due time the disease manifested itself in its most malignant form. Everything possible was of course done for him, but in vain. He died of the disease which he had voluntarily contracted for the sake of saving others from it; one of the world's great martyrs to the cause not merely of science but of humanity.

So Camp Lazear was founded and was named after this hero. There were erected two large frame buildings, one for infected mosquitoes and one for infected clothing. The mosquito building was divided into two parts by a permanent wirecloth partition, impervious to even the smallest mosquito, but of course permitting free circulation of air. All the windows and doors were securely screened in like manner, so that it was impossible{174} for mosquitoes to pass in or out. This building was ventilated in the most thorough manner. Three men entered it and lived there for a fortnight. One of them entered the compartment which was infested with fever-infected mosquitoes, and was bitten by them. The others remained in the other compartment which was free from mosquitoes but through which the same air circulated and in which all other conditions were identical with those in the insect room. The result was that the man who was bitten developed the fever, while the others, though fully as susceptible to it as he, showed no signs of it. Such was the convincing demonstration of the mosquito house.

The clothing building was kept free from mosquitoes, but was well stocked with the clothing and bedding of yellow fever patients. There were the beds in which men had died of the fever, soiled with their vomit and other excreta. The room was purposely deprived of ventilation, so that its air should constantly be heavy with the reek of disease and death. Into that indescribably loathsome place brave men entered, and there they lived for weeks, wearing the soiled clothing and sleeping in the soiled beds of those who had died of the pestilence. But not one of them contracted the fever. Not one sickened. All emerged from the noisome place at the end of the experiment in perfect health. Such was the convincing demonstration of the infected clothing house.

One thing more remained. There was one remote possibility that the men who had remained free from the fever, in the noninfected room of the mosquito house and in the infected clothing house, were in some unsuspected way immune against the disease. To determine this, one of each of the companies permitted himself to{175} be bitten by an infected mosquito, with the result that he promptly developed the disease. That was the final, complete and crowning demonstration which made Camp Lazear forever famous in the annals of humanity. At a single stroke the pestilence which had been the haunting horror of the tropics was potentially conquered. Dr. Reed proclaimed to the world that the specific agent in the causation of yellow fever was a germ or toxin in the blood of a patient during only the first three days of the attack, which must be transmitted by the bite of a mosquito inflicted upon its victim at least twelve days after taking it from the blood of the first patient. In no other way was it possible to convey the infection. The notion that it was conveyed through the air, in the breath of patients, in their soiled clothing or the discharges of their bodies, was baseless.

That historic achievement was alone sufficient to make that first year of General Wood's administration in Cuba forever gratefully famous. Of course the lesson thus learned was at once put into effect with all possible thoroughness. War was declared upon the death-dealing mosquito. In February, 1901, the campaign was begun by Major William C. Gorgas, U. S. A., the chief sanitary officer of Havana. Every case of yellow fever was immediately reported, and the patient was rigidly isolated during the three days in which his blood was infective. All the rooms of his house and the adjacent houses were closed to prevent the escape of possible infected mosquitoes, and were then thoroughly fumigated so as to destroy every insect within them. In this way the spread of the disease was prevented. At the same time measures were taken to exterminate the mosquitoes altogether, by depriving them of breeding places. It was ascertained that the insect required for propagation{176} a certain amount of stagnant water, in which its eggs might be deposited and hatched. Steps were therefore taken to drain or otherwise get rid of all pools, or to apply to them a film of oil which would prevent the insects from using them, and to screen carefully all vessels and other receptacles in which water was necessarily kept. These were the same methods which Major—since Major General—Gorgas a few years later applied with distinguished success for the elimination of yellow fever from the Isthmus of Panama and thus rendered possible the construction of the interoceanic canal.


Begun in February, 1901, this work in Havana was so vigorously and skilfully prosecuted that before summer{177} every case of yellow fever had disappeared from that city and its environs. During the summer a few cases occurred, but the last of them was disposed of early in September. That was the last case of yellow fever to originate in a city which for a century and a half had annually been scourged by that disease. Since that date the only cases that have been known there have been a few which were imported from less sanitary ports—at one time Havana had to establish a fever quarantine against United States ports! Thus the island which had long suffered reproach as the especial home of one of the deadliest of diseases, as a veritable plague-spot, which American life insurance companies forbade their policy holders to visit, became noted for its freedom from that scourge and for its general salubrity.

A similar campaign was also conducted against another variety of mosquito which, by a like series of experiments, had been proved to be the propagating medium of so-called malarial fevers; with highly gratifying results.

Among the important reforms effected by General Wood was that of the entire system of law and justice. It began with the penal institutions. When the Americans assumed control, they found the old Spanish prison system still in existence. Most of the prisons were antiquated, unsanitary and inhuman structures, to enter which was ominous for the body, the mind and the soul. There was no segregation of prisoners according to age or degree of criminality. Mere boys, sentenced for some slight misdemeanor, were herded in with adult felons of the most hardened and incorrigible type. Many had been confined for months, even years, awaiting trial. They had been arrested, locked up in default of bail, and then practically forgotten. Of these many were{178} innocent of any wrong-doing; while some of those who were probably guilty were kept in confinement awaiting trial for a much longer term than they could have been sentenced for under the law if they had been tried and found guilty.

This shocking state of affairs was vigorously attacked during the first year of the American occupation, and it was thoroughly reformed before that occupation ended. There was a prompt disposal of all untried cases. Where it was possible, the prisoners were at once brought to trial. But in many cases there was nobody to appear against them; perhaps through lapse of time all the witnesses were dead; and it was impossible to make even a show of prosecuting them. Such persons simply had to be set at liberty. The system of jurisprudence was so modified as to assure prompt trials thereafter. The management of the prisons was made to aim at the reformation of the prisoners and not simply at their vindictive punishment. In some prisons schools were opened, to give the inmates instruction which would conduce to their right living after their release. Of course the buildings were renovated as far as possible, so as to make them sanitary and as comfortable as prisoners have a right to expect their prisons to be.

This led, under General Wood's administration, to a general revision of the system of courts, court procedure and jurisprudence. In the first year of intervention, indeed, General Ludlow established a Police Court in Havana. This was not authorized by Governor Brooke, and was regarded as of doubtful legality. Nevertheless it remained in operation and undoubtedly served a good purpose in disposing promptly of most of the petty cases of arrest for misdemeanor. So valuable was it that General Wood, on becoming Governor, determined to{179} place its legal status on the surest foundation possible, by issuing an official order for its creation and recognition. In this he did not himself escape criticism, not from Cubans but from Americans. The same people, or the same kind of people, who had blamed him for paying so much attention to Cuban education now declared that he had no business to meddle in any way with the judicial system of Cuba. That was not what America had intervened for. To such objections little attention was paid. General Wood rightly regarded it to be his business to do anything in any department of government that would promote the ends of justice and good government and the welfare of the Cuban nation.

Police courts were therefore established not only in Havana but also in the other cities. The Department of Justice was moved to examine into the conduct of all the courts. When judges were found to be unjust, corrupt, incompetent, or otherwise unfit to serve, they were removed. Competent clerks were appointed, and they and all other court employes were put on fair salaries, the fee system which formerly prevailed and which was so susceptible of abuse, being abolished. Competent and trustworthy lawyers were employed at state expense to serve as counsel for those who were too poor to hire them.

It was under General Wood, in his first year of administration and the second year of American intervention, that Cuban civil government was elaborated, that an election system was devised and put into effect, and that political parties had their rise. The Civil Governors of the Provinces were now all Cubans: Of Pinar del Rio, Dr. J. M. Quilez; of Havana, General Emilio Nunez; of Matanzas, General Pedro Betancourt; of Santa Clara, General Jose Miguel Gomez; of Camaguey,{180} General R. Lopez Recio; of Oriente, General Demetrio Castillo. It was General Wood's wise and just policy to fill Cuban offices with Cubans to the fullest possible extent.

Therefore it was determined in the spring of 1900 to hold an election for municipal officers throughout the island. An order was issued on April 18, appointing the election for June 16, for officers to be installed on July 1 for a term of one year. The officers to be chosen were Mayors, or Alcaldes; members of City Councils or Ayuntamientos; municipal treasurers and judges, and judges of the police courts.

The preparations for the election were made and a new electoral law was drafted by a commission of fifteen members, appointed by General Wood. Of the fifteen, thirteen were Cubans and two were Americans. The Cubans were representative of the various political parties into which the people of the island were beginning to divide themselves. It cannot be said that the meetings and deliberations of the commission were particularly harmonious. In the end two reports were submitted to the Governor, of which he selected for adoption that presented by the minority. It comprised the new elections law, which he promulgated on April 18 in the proclamation calling for the election. This law provided that a voter must be a male Cuban, native of Cuba or born of Cuban parents while they were temporarily visiting abroad, or a Spaniard included within the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, who had not elected to retain his Spanish allegiance; he must be twenty-one years old, and must have lived in his municipality for at least thirty days immediately preceding registration; and he must be able to read and 50 in American gold; or have served in the Cuban army prior to July 18, 1898, and have been honorably discharged therefrom. The ten consecutive days from May 6 to May 16 were appointed as days of registration.

The total number of voters registered was 150,648, which was a little more than fifty per cent, of the total number of men of voting age, which had been shown by the census of 1899 to be 297,765. However, there were some thousands of adult males in the island who had elected to retain their allegiance to Spain, and therefore could not vote, so that the number registered was considerably more than one half of the possible voters. At the election on June 16 the total vote cast was 110,816. There were some protests and complaints of fraud and illegal voting, and it is not improbable that there were some such abuses; as there have been known to be in other lands, even in the United States of America. On the whole the elections were probably reasonably fair and honest; they were peacefully and quietly conducted; and they gave much encouragement to the expectation that the people of Cuba would prove themselves worthy of the opportunity of self-government which was being placed before them.

At this election there were three parties. The Union Democratic was composed of the more conservative element, including many of the old Autonomist party, and it was largely inclined toward annexation to the United States, or toward a permanent and efficient protectorate by that country. Its numbers were few, and it took little part in the election. The Nationals and the Republicans ranged from liberal to radical, and between the two in principle there was no perceptible difference.{182} These parties did not long survive, but were transformed and merged into the Conservative and Liberal parties of later years.

Political parties in Cuba had their origin about the time of American intervention in the war. That was an assurance that Cuba was to have her independence and become self-governing, and that made it seem worth while to form into parties. The full development did not come, however, until it was seen that the United States intended to keep its word by leaving the government and control of Cuba to the people of the island, and that conviction did not come to the general Cuban mind until some time after the United States entered the war. It first began to arise in considerable strength when the United States government forbade the granting of any franchises or concessions during the American occupation. That certainly looked as though the Americans expected to get out of the island at an early date. As the administration of General Wood went on, constantly increasing the participation of Cubans in the government, the confidence in American good faith increased, and of course the organization of parties became more complete.

There were then, however, as there are now, no such differences between the parties on matters of political economy or administrative and legislative policy, as exist in other lands. They are simply the "Ins" and the "Outs." One party is in office and wants to stay in. The other is out and wants to get in. In their methods, however, the two differ widely. The Conservatives have been consistently in favor of constitutional and lawful measures, the maintenance of peace and the safeguarding of life and property. They have always been willing to accept and abide by the result of an election, even{183} though it were against them. The Liberals, on the other hand, as we shall more convincingly see in the course of this narrative, have been in favor of practically any means which would enable them to gain control of affairs. They have on several occasions not hesitated to involve the island in revolution, provided that they would be able to profit from it by gaining office.

In this first election for municipal officers there was little partisan rivalry, and indeed that did not rise to any great pitch until the end of the first intervention and the establishment of a purely Cuban government. The chief partisanship was really personal. Each important military or political leader had his own following. Such rivalries were not yet, however, acrimonious or sufficient to have any material effect upon the progress of public affairs.

Reference has been made to the reform of the taxation system which included the abolition of a number of annoying and oppressive imposts. There followed a revision of the tariff on imports, for the dual purposes of promoting commerce and industry and of providing a revenue for the insular government. In December, 1898, the United States had ordered maintenance of the old Spanish tariff, with certain modifications, chiefly dictated by the change of relations between Cuba and the United States. Subsequently other modifications were made from time to time as the need or desirability of them became apparent through experience. But on June 15, 1900, an entirely new tariff law went into effect, framed chiefly by American experts and following pretty closely the general lines of the American tariff system. Naturally it was calculated to encourage commerce between Cuba and the United States, particularly by the admission of products of the latter country into{184} Cuban markets at a minimum of cost. In view of the scarcity of food in Cuba and the devastated condition of much of the agricultural lands, American food products, both meats and breadstuffs, thus gained easy access to the Cuban market. This seemed anomalous, since Cuba was an agricultural country capable of producing a large surplus of food for export instead of needing imports of food. It was obvious, however, that this feature of the tariff would be merely temporary, and in fact it was materially modified by the increase of rates on such imports very soon after the establishment of the Cuban government.

Despite the fact that during the year about three million dollars' worth of food was imported, the total of Cuban imports was less than in the preceding year; a circumstance due to the change in tariff rates. At the same time there was a very considerable increase in exports. It was an interesting circumstance, also, that there was a decrease in trade with the United States; a pretty effective reply to the complaint which some made that the new tariff had been improperly framed so as to give the United States a monopoly of Cuban trade. It did give the United States some advantages which that country had not enjoyed before, but on the whole it was probably as fair and impartial as it could well have been made. Commercial reports showed that Cuban imports from the United 65,964,801 in 1901; and that Cuban exports to the United States were $31,371,704 in 1900 and $43,428,088 in 1901. Thus Cuban purchases from the United States were decreasing slightly, while Cuban sales to the United States were greatly increasing, and the balance of trade was growing more and more largely in Cuba's favor.{185}


The supreme work of the Government of Intervention, from the political point of view, was to prepare Cuba for complete self-government and then to relinquish the control of the island to its own people. It was with that end in view that General Wood filled all possible offices with Cubans. It was also to the same end that the municipal election was held in June, 1900, under a new election law. Soon after that election there came a call for another, of vastly greater importance. On July 25, 1900, the President of the United States authorized General Wood as Military Governor of Cuba to issue a call for the election of a Cuban Constitutional Convention, which should be representative of the Cuban people and which should prepare the fundamental law of the independent insular government which was about to be erected.

General Wood issued the call, fixing September 15 as the date of the election. This call repeated and reaffirmed the Congressional declaration of April 20, 1898, concerning the purpose of the United States not to annex Cuba but to "leave the government and control of the island to its people." It also called upon the people of Cuba, through their Constitutional Convention, not only to frame and adopt a Constitution, but also, "as a part thereof, to provide for and agree with the Government of the United States upon the relations to exist between that government and the Government of Cuba." That was a most significant thing. It made it quite clear that{186} the United States expected and intended that some special relations should exist between the two countries, apart from those ordinarily provided in treaties.

Comment, criticism and protest were provoked; some temperate, some intemperate. Most of the unfavorable comments, and by far the most severe, came from the United States and were obviously animated by political hostility to the President. In Cuba the chief objection was based upon the ground that the island was thus required to do something through a Constitutional Convention which that body was not intended to do but which should be done by the diplomatic department of the government; and also to put into the Constitution something which did not belong there but which should be determined in a treaty. In this there was obviously much logical and moral force, and that fact was appreciated by General Wood, and by the government at Washington, with the result that assurances were presently given that the order would be satisfactorily modified. On the strength of this assurance, which was given in undoubted good faith, Cubans generally prepared for the coming election and for the great work which lay beyond it. They had been so disturbed by the original form of the order that many had declared that they would not participate in the election or serve as delegates to the Convention. The promise of modification mollified them, and thereafter all went smoothly and auspiciously.

The call for the election was issued on August 11. The qualifications for suffrage which were prescribed were the same as those in the preceding municipal election, and were generally accepted as fair and just. The election was held on September 15, and it passed off in very much the same fashion as its predecessor. Only a moderate degree of popular interest was manifested{187} in it, and the vote cast was not a large one. The candidates were divided among the three parties already mentioned, but all save one were elected from the two radical organizations, the Nationals and the Republicans. Just one, Senor Eliseo Giberga, of Matanzas province, was returned by the Conservative Union Democrats. There were a few charges of fraud, but they were vague and general in terms and were not formulated nor pressed, and in the main the result of the polling was accepted in good part. The number of delegates from each province had been prescribed in the call for the election. The roll of the convention comprised the names of many of the foremost members of the Cuban nation, distinguished in war, in statecraft and in science, and was well representative of all parts and parties of the island.

The convention met for the first time on November 5, 1900, at two o'clock in the afternoon. All the delegates were present, and a great multitude of the people gathered in and about the palace to witness the spectacle and to pay honor to the occasion. They were not alone from the capital, but from all parts of Cuba. Every province and almost every important municipality was represented. Expectant optimism prevailed. There was only one note of uncertainty. That was concerning the promised modification of the order concerning relations with the United States. The modification had not yet been announced. There were a few who began to doubt whether it would ever be; but most put faith in the Military Governor and were sure that he would keep his word.

He did. At the appointed moment, when all were assembled, General Wood called the Convention to order and addressed it briefly.{188}

"It will," he said, "be your duty, first, to frame and adopt a Constitution for Cuba, and when that has been done, to formulate what, in your opinion, ought to be the relations between Cuba and the United States. The Constitution must be adequate to secure a stable, orderly and free government. When you have formulated the relations which, in your opinion, ought to exist between Cuba and the United States, the Government of the United States will doubtless take such action on its part as shall lead to a final and authoritative agreement between the people of the two countries to the promotion of their common good." He also reminded the Convention that it had no authority to take any part in the existing government of the island, or to do anything more than was prescribed in the order for its assembling. In thus speaking he was in fact reading to the Convention official instructions from Washington; in which the order concerning Cuban and American relations was materially modified. There was nothing in the revised version about making the agreement a part of the Constitution. The Convention was merely to express its opinion on the subject, to serve as a basis for further negotiations. General Wood emphasized this point distinctly, and it was received with entire satisfaction by the Convention and by the public.

Having thus delivered to the Convention its instructions and having expressed his personal good will and wishes for its success, General Wood retired and the Convention was left to its own counsels and devices. Thereupon Pedro Llorente, the oldest of the delegates, took the chair by common consent as temporary president, and Enrique Villuendas, the youngest delegate, similarly occupied the desk of the secretary. A fitting oath of office was administered to all by the Chief Justice of the Supreme{189} Court of the island; containing a formal renunciation of all other citizenship and allegiance than Cuban, because several delegates had become naturalized citizens of the United States and it was necessary for them thus to resume their status as Cubans. On the principle that "What was good enough for us when we were struggling in the field is good enough for us here," the rules of the Cuban Revolutionary Congress were adopted to govern the Convention. Finally Domingo Mendez Capote was elected permanent President of the Convention, and Alfredo Zayas and Enrique Villuendas permanent Secretaries.

There followed the usual experience of such bodies: Divided counsels, cross purposes, and what not; all gradually working together toward a common end. A few public sessions were held, at which there was more speechmaking than work, but after a few weeks private sessions and a great deal of committee work became the rule. There was no division on party lines, and there was a lack of dominant leadership; both favorable circumstances. Much attention was given to studying and analyzing the constitutions of all other republics in the world, in order to learn their good features and to avoid their errors and weaknesses. The constitution of the United States was of course among those studied, but rather less regard was paid to it than to others, for two reasons. One was, a desire to avoid even the appearance of making Cuba a mere appanage to or imitation of its northern neighbor, and the other was the very practical thought that the constitutions of Latin republics might be better suited to the Latin republic of Cuba than that of an Anglo-Saxon republic.

By January 21 the Constitution was drafted in form sufficiently complete to permit it to be read to the whole{190} convention in a public session, and thereafter there were daily discussions of its various provisions. Differences of opinion ranged from mere verbal form to the substance of the most momentous principles. There was a characteristic passage of verbal arms over a phrase in the preamble. That paragraph after stating the purpose of the Convention and of the Constitution, closed by "invoking the favor of God." When this was read the venerable Salvador Cisneros, formerly President of the Republic, moved that the phrase be stricken out. Manuel Sanguilly made a long and dramatic speech, arguing with much passion that it really did not matter whether the phrase were included or not, but that it would best be left in, because that might please some and could hurt nobody. Then the dean of the convention, Pedro Llorente, made an impassioned appeal for the retention of the words, to prove to the world that the Cubans were not a nation of infidels and atheists. In the end the phrase was retained.

Another animated debate arose over the question of religious freedom and the relations of church and state, which was ended by the adoption of an article guaranteeing freedom and equality for all forms of religion that were in accord with "Christian morality and public order," and decreeing separation of church and state and forbidding the subsidizing of any church. The question of suffrage was intensely controversial. There were those who dreaded the result of giving the ballot to tens of thousands of ignorant and illiterate men. Yet to disfranchise them would mean thus to debar thousands who had fought for Cuban independence in the late war, and it was not unreasonably feared that it would also cause dissatisfaction and resentment which{191} would culminate in disorder and insurrection. In the end universal equal suffrage was adopted.

The most bitter debate of all, however, was over the qualifications of the President of the Republic. A strong and persistent effort was made to imitate the Constitution of the United States by requiring him to be a native citizen. But that would have debarred Maximo Gomez, who was born in Santo Domingo. For that reason the proposed restriction was passionately opposed by all the friends of Gomez, and also by many who were not his friends and who would have opposed his candidacy for the Presidency but who felt that it would be disgraceful to put such a slight upon the gallant old hero of the two wars. On the other hand, the restriction was urged chiefly for that very reason, that it would debar Gomez; for, idolized as he was by the great mass of the Cuban people, he had a number of unrelenting enemies, especially among these politicians whom he had opposed and overruled in the matter of the Cuban Assembly and the payment of soldiers at the end of the war. After several days of acrimonious discussion the friends of Gomez won by a narrow margin, and the offensive proposal was rejected.

There were many other controversial points, less personal and more worthy of debate in such a gathering on bases not of personality but of principle. The governmental powers of the Provinces gave rise to debates resembling those over state rights in America. The recognition of Cuban debts was a momentous matter. The method of electing Senators was also much discussed, as was the principle which the Military Administration had adopted of having the state and not the provinces or municipalities control public education. The right of{192} the government to expel objectionable aliens was the theme of a long and spirited discussion. With all the animation, sentiment and rhetoric in which Latin debaters and orators more freely indulge than do the more phlegmatic Anglo-Saxons, all of these questions were very seriously considered according to their merits, and were disposed of on that same basis. There was no haste, and there was no undue delay; while everything was done "decently and in order." It took the Federal Convention of the United States four months of secret sessions to frame its Constitution, and its career was marked with many violent scenes, including the withdrawal of the representatives of one of the chief states from the Convention. The Cuban Convention had no incidents so unpleasant as that, and it completed its work in three months and a half.

February 21, 1901 was the crowning day. Ten days before the draft of the Constitution, as yet unsigned, had been published in pamphlet form. On the date named the Convention was to give it validity by signing it. The public was admitted to view the scene, the consuls of foreign powers were in attendance as specially invited guests, and a fine military band discoursed patriotic and classical music. The Constitution, finally engrossed,{193} was read aloud, and then one by one the delegates marched up to the President's desk and affixed their signatures. When the last name was written, all stood while the band played the national anthem of Cuba. The President of the Convention, Mendez Capote, made a graceful address of congratulation and good wishes; and the Convention adjourned, its work well ended.


Aurelia Castillo de Gonzalez, poet and essayist, was born in Camaguey in 1842, spent much time in European travel, and then settled in Havana. She first attracted literary attention by her elegy on "El Lugareno" in 1866, and since that time has been an incessant contributor to Cuban literature in verse and prose. She is the author of a fine study of the Life and Works of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, of a volume of fables, and a number of satires. Her complete works (to date) were published in five volumes in 1913.


Aurelia Castillo de Gonzalez, poet and essayist, was born in Camaguey in
1842, spent much time in European travel, and then settled in Havana.
She first attracted literary attention by her elegy on "El Lugareno" in
1866, and since that time has been an incessant contributor to Cuban
literature in verse and prose. She is the author of a fine study of the
Life and Works of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, of a volume of fables,
and a number of satires. Her complete works (to date) were published in
five volumes in 1913.

We have said that at the opening session, immediately after his introductory address, the American Military Governor left the hall. He did not revisit it, and neither he nor any American officer was ever present at any meeting of the Convention; nor was any American representative present at the closing function of the signing of the Constitution. The purpose of that abstention was obvious. It was to avoid so much as the appearance or the suspicion of American meddling or dictation in the work of the Convention. General Wood had told the Convention that it had nothing to do with his government of the island. Conversely he wished to show that he and his government had nothing to do with the work of the Convention.

The Constitution thus auspiciously brought into existence declares Cuba to be a sovereign republic. The powers of government are much more centralized than those in the United States. The six Provinces have no such rights as have the states of America, though they have a liberal measure of local governmental power. They are not states or provinces, however, but mere departments—fractions of the whole instead of integral units. Each has a Governor and an elected Assembly. So each city and town has a mayor and a council. Municipalities have the power to levy taxes for local needs. The control of railroads and telegraphs is a national function, and the judicial system is also national. There{194} is freedom of speech, of press and of worship. No prisoner may be held longer than twenty-four hours without judicial process. Congress consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. There are six Senators from each department, elected by the municipalities for six years, one third retiring every two years. Representatives are elected from districts by the people for four years, there being one member to every 25,000 inhabitants. Senators and Representatives must be twenty-five years old, and if not native citizens must have been naturalized eight years. The President and Vice-President are elected for four years by the people through electoral colleges, with a provision for minority representation, each citizen voting for only two-thirds of the number of electors to which his district is entitled. Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed for life by the President with the ratification of the Senate. The civil law and constitutional guarantees can be suspended in case of emergency only by Congress when it is in session, but by the President when Congress is not in session. The House of Representatives may impeach the President, when the Senate may suspend him from office, try him, and upon conviction remove him permanently. Amendments of the Constitution must be voted by two-thirds of both Houses and ratified by a popular convention specially called for the purpose.

There can be no question that this was a highly creditable production, and one which amply merited the qualified approval which was given to it by Elihu Root, Secretary of War of the United States, when he said: "I do not fully agree with the wisdom of some of the provisions of this Constitution. But it provides for a republican form of government; it was adopted after long and patient consideration and discussion; it represents{195} the views of the delegates elected by the people of Cuba; and it contains no features which would justify the assertion that a government organized under it will not be one to which the United States may properly transfer the obligations for the protection of life and property under international law, assumed in the Treaty of Paris."

The first part of the Convention's work was thus done. There remained the second part, the expression of Cuban opinion as to what ought to be the relations between that island and the United States. Over this a most unfortunate controversy arose, chiefly provoked and fomented, however, not by Cubans but by the partisan enemies of the President of the United States and of his policy, who did not scruple to intrigue against him in the affairs of foreign lands. It will be recalled that this hatred of him, provoked largely because of his insistence on fulfilling the pledge of Cuban freedom instead of seeking to serve certain sordid interests by forcibly annexing the island, culminated in the assassination of President McKinley at the incitement of his political foes. The opposition to him and to his policy in Cuba was continued unabated against his successor, President Roosevelt; and it was most unfortunate for both countries that the establishment of Cuban self-government and the determination of her relations to her northern neighbor, had to be effected in such circumstances.

The United States government had to deal on the one hand with those who insisted that it should have no more special relations with Cuba than any other country had; and on the other with those who demanded the repudiation of the Congressional pledge and the forcible annexation of the island. In those circumstances it was not strange that many Cubans were disinclined to make any such arrangement as had been required in the call for{196} the Convention. They recalled that the United States had declared that "Cuba is of right and ought to be free and independent," and they were not disposed to look beyond that declaration.

Three considerations were too much overlooked on both sides, save by the thoughtful American and Cuban statesmen who finally solved the problem. One was that the United States had for nearly a century exercised a certain degree of protection or supervision over Cuba. It had repeatedly forbidden European powers to meddle with the island, and had for many years guaranteed and protected Spain in her possession of it. It was held to be only reasonable that a similar degree of interest should be maintained in the island in its independent status. The second point was that in the Treaty of Paris in 1898 the United States had incurred a certain moral if not a legal responsibility for the future of Cuba. The third was the much less specific yet by no means negligible consideration that the United States had intervened in Cuba to put an end to conditions which had become intolerably offensive to it, and it was therefore equitably entitled to take all proper precautions against a recurrence of such conditions.

In pursuance of the requirements of the call for the Convention, then, immediately after the signing of the Constitution, a committee was appointed to draft a project concerning relations with the United States. It consisted of Diego Tamayo, Gonzalo de Quesada, Juan Gualberto Gomez, Enrique Villuendas, and Manuel Ramon Silva. These gentlemen conferred with General Wood, to learn the wishes of President McKinley, and then drafted a scheme which they presented to the Convention and which that body adopted on February 27. Unfortunately between the President's wishes and the{197} committee's project there were radical differences. The President, through his Secretary of War, Elihu Root, had on February 9 expressed with much circumstance and detail and a wealth of argument the relationship which the United States government regarded as essential. It amounted to this: That the Cuban government should never make any treaty or engagement which would impair its independence, nor make any special agreement with any foreign power without the consent of the United States; that it should contract no public debt in excess of the capacity of the ordinary revenues of the island; that the United States should have the right of intervention for the preservation of Cuban independence and the maintenance of a stable government; that all the acts of the American Military Administration should be validated; and that the United States should be permitted to acquire and to hold naval stations in Cuba at certain points.

The Committee of the Convention reported that in its judgment some of these conditions were unacceptable, inasmuch as they impaired the independence of Cuba. So it proposed and the Convention adopted proposals to this effect: That Cuba should never impair her independence by any agreement with any power, not excepting the United States; that she should never permit her territory to be used as a base or war against the United States; that she accepted the obligations expressed and implied in the Treaty of Paris; that she should validate the acts of the Military Government "for the good government of Cuba"; and that the United States and Cuba should regulate their commercial relations by means of a reciprocity treaty.

Obviously, there was a wide divergence between the two schemes. It was unfortunate that the American{198} Congress was about to adjourn, on March 4, and was reluctant to reassemble in special session, and also that the political passions to which we have referred were raging at so high a pitch. In more favorable circumstances the matter would have been settled diplomatically without friction or ill-feeling. There was, indeed, a very considerable conservative party in Cuba, probably comprising a majority of the substantial, well informed and orderly inhabitants, who favored some such scheme of American supervision and control as that which had been proposed, and if there had been a little more time for calm deliberation they would probably have won the Convention and the whole island to their point of view. Unhappily the government at Washington determined to finish the matter up before Congress adjourned on March 4, and in the short time which intervened the passionate voice of faction was much more in evidence man the thoughtful and measured voice of patriotic counsel.

Senator Orville H. Platt, of Connecticut, one of the ablest and fairest-minded men in that body, was the Chairman of the Committee on Relations with Cuba. It was probably he who suggested the modification which was made in the instructions to the Convention. He now declared that—which was perfectly true—the United States Congress had no power to approve, reject, or in any way amend or modify the Cuban Constitution. Cuba was entitled to establish her own government without let or hindrance. But he also held that by virtue of the grounds of its intervention in Cuban affairs the United States possessed certain rights and privileges in that island above those of other powers, and that it was in duty bound, for the sake of both Cuba and itself, to provide in some assured way for the permanent safe-{199}guarding of those special interests. These views were approved by the best thought of both countries, and ultimately prevailed.

In accordance with the views thus expressed, Senator Platt prepared as an addendum to the Army Appropriation bill, on February 25, the historic measure known as the Platt Amendment. This, consisting of eight brief paragraphs, embodied the very points which the President had already made on February 9, with the addition of three more. One of these was, that the Cuban government should maintain the work of sanitation already so auspiciously begun, for the protection of its own people and also the people of the United States from epidemic pestilence; a requirement which was probably quite superfluous, seeing that the Cubans were as intent as the Americans upon the elimination of yellow fever and malaria. The second was, that the Isle of Pines should be omitted from the proposed constitutional boundaries of Cuba, the title thereto being left for future adjustment by treaty. This extraordinary demand was a bad blot upon the measure, and it is difficult to understand how it ever was permitted to be inserted at the behest of some unscrupulous and sordid scheme of exploitation. Happily, subsequent treaty agreements and court decisions defeated its purpose and confirmed Cuba in her title to the Isle of Pines. The third was the requirement that Cuba should make this Platt Amendment either a part of her Constitution or an ordinance under it and appended to it, and should also embody it in a permanent treaty with the United States.

At this the storm broke. The great mass of the conservative and thoughtful people of Cuba, while they regretted the need of it, recognized the necessity of such an arrangement, and earnestly favored the acceptance of{200} the Platt Amendment, even with the one or two objectionable features. But the radicals vigorously opposed it, and in their opposition were greatly encouraged by the factional enemies of the President in the United States, who broke all bounds of decency, and not only raged against him there but organized a propaganda in Cuba itself, to incite Cubans to oppose and resist the United States. In this the foremost of such agitators were doubly false. They were not only stirring up a foreign people against their own country, but they were doing so with the deliberate and malignant hope of precipitating an armed conflict between the two countries which would result in the conquest and forcible annexation of Cuba. While pretending to sympathize with Cuba and to resent the alleged American impairment of her sovereignty, they were really scheming for the utter destruction of Cuban independence.

Agitation, discussion, proposals and counter proposals, upon none of which could the Convention agree, continued week after week. At the end of March the question arose of sending a Commission to Washington to see the President. This was opposed violently, chiefly at the incitement of American emissaries, who busied themselves in Cuba in urging the rejection of everything that promised a settlement of the controversy. On April 1 some unscrupulous intriguer caused a message to be telegraphed from Washington to the effect that if a Commission came it would not be received; and this was received in Havana just as the Convention was about to vote to send such a Commission. Naturally, the Commission was not sent. On April 9, having learned that the message was unofficial and mischievous, the Convention reconsidered the matter and by an overwhelming majority voted to send a commission. Again mysterious{201} dispatches came from Washington, saying that the President was resolute in refusing to recognize any Cuban envoys, and in consequence the sending of the Commission was delayed.

Then the proposal was made that the Convention should reject the Platt Amendment outright, and afterward send a Commission to Washington; and this was actually carried, though by mistake, some members voting exactly contrary to the way they intended. Then it was voted to send a Commission, with special instructions to try to secure the inclusion of a commercial treaty in the Platt Amendment. With this in view the Convention on April 15 designated five members of such a Commission. They were Mendez Capote, the President of the Convention; Diego Tamayo, Leopoldo Berriel, Pedro Gonzales Llorente, and Rafael Portuondo; but as Dr. Berriel could not go, General Pedro Betancourt was named in his place. The Commission sailed for Washington on April 20. General Wood also sailed on the same day, though on another steamer. The Cubans reached Washington four days later, and the next day, in contradiction to the false dispatches which had been sent, they were courteously received by President McKinley. After a brief interview he introduced them to the Secretary of War, to whose department Cuban affairs, under a Military governor, belonged. He received them most cordially. Indeed, he had strongly wished them to come to Washington for a conference. He told them frankly that the Platt Amendment must stand, just as it was, and that it must be accepted and adopted by Cuba before any further steps could be taken for the establishment of a Cuban government. Then, at their request, he gave a detailed explanation of what the United States government conceived to be the meaning,{202} the purpose and the effect of each of the provisions of that instrument. He especially showed that it was merely a logical continuation of long established American policy; that it was intended not for the gain of the United States but for the protection of Cuba; and that it would in no way interfere with the domestic self-sovereignty of the Cuban people, or with the rank of Cuba as an independent nation among the nations of the world.

The Committee returned to Havana and reported to the Convention the results of its mission, and the Convention resumed consideration of the American demands in the new light of Mr. Root's exposition of them. Faction was still furious. Enemies of the President in the United States went to Cuba or sent word thither, urging the radical element to hold out to the bitter end against the Platt Amendment, saying that it would need only a little longer resistance to compel the American government to abandon it altogether. Counsels were divided in the Convention, and numerous proposals of substitutes for the Amendment or for parts of it were made, but upon none of them could the Convention agree. Some of the most radical members suggested that the Convention adjourn without day. But on the whole wiser counsels prevailed. The Commission had been much impressed by Mr. Root's candid and cogent presentation of the case. It had also become convinced that if the Amendment were adopted a liberal reciprocity measure would be granted which would be of vast value to Cuban commerce and industry. Consideration of the subject continued until the latter part of May. On May 28 the question of adoption of the Platt Amendment with certain qualifications was presented to the Convention for a final vote. The Convention divided{203} equally. There were fourteen ayes and fourteen nays. Thereupon the President, Mendez Capote, cast the deciding ballot. He voted aye. This caused a renewal of the storm. Diego Tamayo and Juan Gualberto Gomez were especially outspoken in their denunciation of all who had voted for the measure, and some of the former's remarks were so severe that their retraction was required. The qualified acceptance of the Amendment was not, however, satisfactory to the Washington government, and the Convention was promptly informed of that fact. In consequence the matter was reopened, and on June 12, after a brief and temperate debate, a final vote was taken on unconditional acceptance and adoption of the Platt Amendment. The result was sixteen ayes to eleven nays.

That ended the matter. The Amendment had become a permanent addendum to the Cuban Constitution, and the relations between the island's future government and the United States was irrevocably determined. There was little further criticism. The American agitators and speculators who had been inciting the Cubans to resistance, in order thus to make them compass their own ruin, abandoned their execrable intrigues for other ventures elsewhere, while the Cubans who had been their dupes, relieved of their pernicious influence, soon began to appreciate the reasonableness of most of the provisions of the Amendment and the very material benefits which it would bestow upon Cuba.{204}


The concretion of Cuban history is in the Constitution of the Cuban Republic. In that document are realized the hopes of a patient but resolute people. In it are embodied the ideals for which Lopez fought and died; for which Cespedes strove; for which Marti pleaded and taught and planned; for which Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo battled against desperate odds; for which Estrada Palma gave the ripe statesmanship of a devoted life. There were provisional constitutions before, drafted in mountain camps in the intervals between battles, but they represented aspirations rather than achievements. It was reserved for the time of triumph, when the Spaniard was forever driven from the Cuban shores, and the Pearl of the Antilles was no more made to adorn an alien diadem, for the statesmanship of the island in calm deliberation to frame the instrument which was to confirm and safeguard for all time that which had been won with the blood of innumerable martyrs, and which was to erect the Cuban people into the Cuban Nation.


The Capitol, the new government building at Havana, is one of the great public works of the administration of President Menocal. It occupies a fine site in the heart of the city, and will architecturally rank among the noteworthy government buildings of the world. In the contrast between it and ancient La Fuerza, its original predecessor, is suggested the whole span of Cuban history.


The Capitol, the new government building at Havana, is one of the great
public works of the administration of President Menocal. It occupies a
fine site in the heart of the city, and will architecturally rank among
the noteworthy government buildings of the world. In the contrast
between it and ancient La Fuerza, its original predecessor, is suggested
the whole span of Cuban history.

We shall profitably pause for a space in our narrative, to note what manner of Constitution it was that was thus adopted:

We, the delegates of the people of Cuba, in national convention assembled for the purpose of framing and adopting the Fundamental Law under which Cuba is to be organized as an independent and sovereign State, and be given a government capable of fulfilling its international{205} obligations, preserving order, securing liberty and justice, and promoting the general welfare, do hereby ordain, adopt, and establish, invoking the favor of God, the following Constitution:

Title I


Article 1. The people of Cuba constitute themselves into a sovereign, independent State and adopt a republican form of government.

Art. 2. The island of Cuba and the islands and islets adjacent thereto, which up to the date of the ratification of the treaty of Paris, of December 10, 1898, were under the sovereignty of Spain, form the territory of the Republic.

Art. 3. The territory of the Republic shall be divided into the six provinces which now exist, each of which shall retain its present boundaries. The determination of their names corresponds to the respective provincial councils.

The provinces may by resolution of their respective provincial councils and the approval of Congress annex themselves to other provinces, or subdivide their territory and form new provinces.

Title II


Art. 4. Cuban nationality is acquired by birth or by naturalization.

Art. 5. Cubans by birth are:{206}

1. All persons born of Cuban parents whether within or without the territory of the Republic.

2. All persons born of foreign parents within the territory of the Republic, provided that on becoming of age they apply for inscription, as Cubans, in the proper register.

3. All persons born in foreign countries of parents natives of Cuba who have forfeited their Cuban nationality, provided that on becoming of age they apply for their inscription as Cubans in the register aforesaid.

Art. 6. Cubans by naturalization are:

1. Foreigners who having served in the liberating army claim Cuban nationality within six months following the promulgation of this constitution.

2. Foreigners domiciled in Cuba prior to January 1, 1899, who have retained their domicile, provided that they claim Cuban nationality within six months following the promulgation of this constitution, or if they are minors within a like period following the date on which they reach full age.

3. Foreigners who after five years' residence in the territory of the Republic, and not less than two years after the declaration of their intention to acquire Cuban nationality have obtained naturalization papers according to law.

4. Spaniards residing in the territory of Cuba on the 11th day of April, 1899, who failed to register themselves as such in the corresponding register within one year thereafter.

5. Africans who were slaves in Cuba, and those "emancipated" referred to in article 13 of treaty of June 28, 1835, between Spain and England.

Art. 7. Cuban nationality is lost:

1. By the acquisition of foreign citizenship.{207}

2. By the acceptance of employment or honors from another government without permission of the Senate.

3. By entering the military service of a foreign nation without the said permission.

4. In cases of naturalized Cubans, by their residence for five years continuously in the country of origin, except when serving an office or fulfilling a commission of the Government of the Republic.

Art. 8. Cuban nationality may be reacquired in the manner to be provided by law.

Art. 9. Every Cuban shall be bound:

1. To bear arms in defense of his country in such cases and in such manner as may be determined by the laws.

2. To contribute to the payment of public expenses in such manner and proportion as the laws may prescribe.

Title III


Art. 10. Foreigners residing within the territory of the Republic shall be on the same footing as Cubans:

1. In respect to protection of their persons and property.

2. In respect to the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by Section first of the following title, excepting those exclusively reserved to citizens.

3. In respect to the enjoyment of civil rights under the conditions and limitations prescribed in the law of aliens.

4. In respect to the obligation of obeying the laws, decrees, regulations, and all other statutes that may be in force in the Republic, and complying with their provisions.{208}

5. In respect to submission to the jurisdiction and decisions of the courts of justice and all other authorities of the Republic.

6. In respect to the obligation of contributing to the public expenses of the State, province, and municipality.

Title IV


Section First


Art. 11. All Cubans are equal before the law. The Republic does not recognize any personal prerogatives.

Art. 12. No law shall have retroactive effect, except when penal and favorable to the defendant.

Art. 13. Obligations of a civil nature arising out of contracts or other acts or omissions shall not be nullified by either the legislative or the executive power.

Art. 14. The penalty of death shall in no case be imposed for offenses of political character, said offenses to be defined by law.

Art. 15. No person shall be detained except in the cases and in the manner prescribed by law.

Art. 16. Every arrested person shall be set at liberty or placed at the disposal of the competent judge or court within twenty-four hours immediately following the arrest.

Art. 17. All arrests shall be terminated, or turned into formal imprisonments, within seventy-two hours, immediately after the delivery of the arrested person to the judge or court of competent jurisdiction. Within the same time notice shall be served upon the interested party of the action taken.{209}

Art. 18. No person shall be imprisoned except by order of a competent judge or court.

The order directing the imprisonment shall be affirmed or reversed, upon the proper hearing of the prisoner, within seventy-two hours next following the committal.

Art. 19. No person shall be prosecuted or sentenced except by a competent judge or court, by virtue of laws in force, prior to the commission of the offense, and in the manner and form prescribed by said laws.

Art. 20. Every person arrested or imprisoned without the formalities of law, or outside of the cases foreseen in this constitution or the laws, shall be set at liberty at his own request or that of any citizen.

The law shall determine the form of summary proceedings to be followed in this case.

Art. 21. No one shall be bound to testify against himself, neither shall he be compelled to testify against his consort, nor against his relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or second of affinity.

Art. 22. The secrecy of correspondence and other private documents is inviolable, and neither shall be seized or examined except by order of a competent authority and with the formalities prescribed by the laws. In all cases matters therein contained not relating to the subject under investigation shall be kept secret.

Art. 23. Domicile is inviolable; and therefore no one shall enter at night the house of another except by permission of its occupant, unless it be for the purpose of giving aid and assistance to victims of crime or accident; or in the daytime, except in the cases and in the manner prescribed by law.

Art. 24. No person shall be compelled to change his domicile or residence except by virtue of an order issued{210} by a competent authority and in the cases prescribed by law.

Art. 25. Every one may freely express his ideas either orally or in writing, through the press, or in any other manner, without subjection to previous censorship; but the responsibilities specified by law, when attacks are made upon the honor of individuals, the social order, or the public peace, shall be properly enforced.

Art. 26. The profession of all religions, as well as the practice of all forms of worship, is free, without any other restriction than that demanded by the respect for Christian morality and public order. The church shall be separated from the state, which in no case shall subsidize any religion.

Art. 27. All persons shall have the right to address petitions to the authorities, to have them duly acted upon, and to be informed of the action taken thereon.

Art. 28. All the inhabitants of the Republic have the right to assemble peacefully, without arms, and to associate with others for all lawful pursuits of life.

Art. 29. All persons shall have the right to enter or leave the territory of the Republic, to travel within its limits, and to change their residence, without necessity of safe conducts, passports, except when otherwise provided by the laws governing immigration, or by the authorities, in cases of criminal prosecution.

Art. 30. No Cuban shall be banished from the territory of the Republic or prohibited from entering it.

Art. 31. Primary instruction shall be compulsory and gratuitous. The teaching of arts and trades shall also be gratuitous. Both shall be supported by the State, as long as the municipalities and Provinces, respectively, may lack sufficient funds to defray their expenses.

Secondary and superior education shall be controlled{211} by the State. All persons however, may, without restriction, learn or teach any science, art, or profession, and found and maintain establishments of education and instruction, but it pertains to the State to determine what professions shall require special titles, what conditions shall be required for their practice and for the securing of diplomas, as well as for the issuing thereof as established by law.

Art. 32. No one shall be deprived of his property, except by competent authority, upon proof that the condemnation is required by public utility, and previous indemnification. If the indemnification is not previously paid, the courts shall protect the owners and, if needed, restore to them the property.

Art. 33. In no case shall the penalty of confiscation of property be imposed.

Art. 34. No person is bound to pay any tax or impost not legally established and the collection of which is not carried out in the manner prescribed by the laws.

Art. 35. Every author or inventor shall enjoy the exclusive ownership of his work or invention for the time and in the manner determined by law.

Art. 36. The enumeration of the rights expressly guaranteed by this Constitution does not exclude other rights based upon the principle of the sovereignty of the people and the republican form of Government.

Art. 37. The laws regulating the exercise of the rights which this Constitution guarantees shall be null and void if said rights are abridged, restricted, or adulterated by them.

Section Second


Art. 38. All Cubans of the masculine sex, over{212} twenty-one years of age, have the right of suffrage, except the following:

1. Those who are inmates of asylums.

2. Those judicially declared to be mentally incapacitated.

3. Those judicially deprived of civil rights on account of crime.

4. Those serving in the land or naval forces of the Republic when in active service.

Art. 39. The laws shall establish rules and methods of procedure to guarantee the intervention of the minorities in the preparation of the census of electors, and in all other electoral matters, and its representation in the House of Representatives and in the provincial and municipal councils.

Section Third


Art. 40. The guaranties established in articles 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 24, and 27, section first of this title, shall not be suspended either in the whole Republic, or in any part thereof, except temporarily and when the safety of the state may require it, in cases of invasion of the territory or of serious disturbances that may threaten public peace.

Art. 41. The territory in which the guaranties mentioned in the preceding article are suspended shall be ruled during the period of suspension according to the law of public order which may have been previously enacted. But neither the said law, nor any other, shall order the suspension of other guaranties not mentioned in the said article.{213}

Nor shall any new offenses be created, or new penalties not established by the law which was in force at the time of the suspension, be ordered to be inflicted during the same.

The executive power is hereby forbidden to exile or expel from the country any citizen thereof, or compel him to reside at any other place farther than one hundred and twenty kilometers from his domicile. Nor shall it detain any citizen for more than ten days, without delivering him to the judicial authorities, or repeat the detention during the time of the suspension of guaranties. The detained individuals shall be kept in special departments in the public establishments destined for the detention of prisoners charged with common offenses.

ART. 42. The suspension of the guaranties specified in article 40 shall be ordered only and exclusively by means of a law, but if Congress is not in session, it can be ordered by a decree of the President of the Republic. But the President shall have no power to suspend the guaranties more than once during the period intervening between two sessions of Congress, or for an indefinite period of time, or for a period longer than thirty days, without calling at the same time Congress to meet. In all cases the President shall report the facts to Congress, in order that it may act as deemed proper.

Title V


Art. 43. The sovereignty is vested in the people of Cuba, and from the said people all the public powers emanate.{214}

Title VI


Section First


Art. 44. The legislative power is vested in two elective bodies, to be known as the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate; the two together constituting the Congress.

Section Second


Art. 45. The Senate shall consist of four Senators for each Province, to be elected in each one for a period of eight years by the provincial councilors, and by double that number of electors forming with the councilors an electoral college.

One-half of the electors shall consist of citizens paying the greatest amount of taxes, and the other half shall possess the qualifications required by law. But it is necessary for all of them to be of full age and residents of the Province.

The election of electors shall be made by the provincial voters one hundred days before that of the senators.

The Senate shall be renewed by halves every four years.

Art. 46. No one shall be a senator who has not the following qualifications:

1. To be a Cuban by birth.

2. To be over thirty-five years of age.

3. To be in the full enjoyment of civil and political rights.{215}

Art. 47. The Senate shall have the following exclusive powers:

1. To try, sitting as a tribunal of justice, the impeachment of the President of the Republic, upon charges made against him by the Chamber of Representatives, for crimes against the external security of the State, against the free exercise of the legislative or judicial powers, or for violation of the constitutional provisions.

2. To try, sitting as a tribunal of justice, the impeachment of the secretaries of state, upon charges made against them by the Chamber of Representatives, for crimes against the external security of the State, the free exercise of the legislative or judicial powers, violation of the constitutional provision, or any other crime of political character determined by law.

3. To try, sitting as a tribunal of justice, the impeachment of the governors of Provinces, upon charges made against them by the provincial councils or by the President of the Republic for any of the crimes named in the foregoing paragraph.

When the Senate sits as a tribunal of justice, it shall be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and shall not impose any other penalty than that of removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification from holding any public office; but the infliction of any other penalty upon the convicted official shall be left to the courts declared by law to be competent for the purpose.

4. To confirm the nominations made by the President of the Republic for the positions of Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, diplomatic representatives and consular agents of the nation, and all other public officers whose nominations require the approval of the Senate in accordance with the law.{216}

5. To authorize Cuban citizens to accept employment or honors from foreign governments or to serve in their armies.

6. To approve the treaties entered into by the President of the Republic with other nations.

Section Third


Art. 48. The House of Representatives shall consist of one representative for each twenty-five thousand inhabitants or fraction thereof over twelve thousand five hundred, elected for the period of four years by the direct vote of the people and in the manner provided by law.

The House of Representatives shall be renewed by halves every two years.

Art. 49. No one shall be a Representative who has not the following qualifications:

1. To be a Cuban citizen by birth or by naturalization, provided in the latter case that the candidate has resided eight years in the Republic, to be counted from the date of his naturalization.

2. To have attained to the age of twenty-five years.

3. To be in full possession of all civil and political rights.

Art. 50. The power to impeach before the Senate the President of the Republic and the cabinet ministers, in the cases prescribed in paragraphs first and second of article 47 corresponds to the House of Representatives. But the concurrence of two-thirds of the total number of Representatives, in secret session, shall be required to exercise this right.{217}

Section Fourth


Art. 51. The positions of Senator and Representative are incompatible with the holding of any other paid position of Government appointment, except a professorship in a Government institution, obtained by competitive examination prior to the election.

Art. 52. Senators and Representatives shall receive from the State a pecuniary remuneration, alike for both positions, the amount of which may be changed at any time; the change shall not take effect until after the renewal of the legislative bodies.

Art. 53. Senators and Representatives shall be inviolable for their votes and opinions in the discharge of their duties. Senators and Representatives shall only be arrested or indicted upon permission of the body to which they belong, if Congress is then in Session, except in case of flagrante delicto. In this case, and in the case of the arrest or indictment being made when Congress is not in session, the fact shall be reported, as soon as practicable, to the respective House for proper action.

Art. 54. Both Houses of Congress shall open and close their sessions on the same day; they shall meet in the same city, and neither shall move to any other place, or adjourn for more than three days, except by common consent. Nor shall they begin to do business without two-thirds of the total number of their members being present, or continue their sessions without the attendance of an absolute majority.

Art. 55. Each House shall be the judge of the election of its respective members and shall also pass upon their resignations. No Senator or Representative shall be expelled from the House to which he belongs, except upon{218} grounds previously determined, and to the concurrence of at least two-thirds of the total number of its members.

Art. 56. Each House shall frame its respective rules and regulations, and elect from among its members its president, vice-presidents and secretaries. But the president of the Senate shall not discharge his duties as such, except in case the Vice-President of the Republic is absent or acting as President.

Section Fifth


Art. 57. Congress shall assemble, without necessity of previous call, twice in each year, each session to last not less than forty working days. The first session shall begin on the first Monday in April and the second on the first Monday in November.

It shall meet in extra session in such cases and in such manner as may be provided by its rules and regulations and when called to convene by the President of the Republic in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. In both cases it shall only consider the express object or objects for which it assembles.

Art. 58. Congress shall meet in joint session to proclaim, after counting and verifying the electoral vote, the President and Vice-President of the Republic.

In this case the president of the Senate, and in his absence the president of the House of Representatives, as vice-president of the Congress, shall preside over the joint meeting.

If upon counting the votes for President it is found that none of the candidates has an absolute majority of votes, or if the votes are equally divided, Congress, by the same majority, shall elect as President one of the two {219}candidates having obtained the greatest number of votes.

Should more than two candidates receive the highest number of votes—no one obtaining an absolute majority—two or more having secured the same number, Congress shall elect from said candidates.

The method established in the preceding paragraph shall be also employed in the election of Vice-President of the Republic.

The counting of the electoral vote shall take place prior to the expiration of the Presidential term.

Art. 59. Congress shall have the following powers:

1. To enact the national codes and the laws of a general nature; to determine the rules that shall be observed in the general, provincial, and municipal elections; to issue orders for the regulation and organization of all services pertaining to the administration of national, provincial, and municipal government; and to pass all other laws and resolutions which it may deem proper relating to other matters of public interest.

2. To discuss and approve the budgets of the revenues and expenses of the Government. The said revenues and expenses, except such as will be mentioned hereafter, shall be included in annual budgets which shall be available only during the year for which they shall have been approved.

The expenses of Congress, those of the administration of justice, and those required to meet the interest and redemption of loans, shall have, the same as the revenues with which they have to be paid, the character of permanent and shall be included in a fixed budget which shall remain in force until changed by special laws.

3. To contract loans, with the obligation, however, of providing permanent revenues for the payment of the interest and redemption thereof.

All measures relating to loans shall require the vote of two-thirds of the total numbers of the members of each House.

4. To coin money, fixing the standard, weight, value, and denomination thereof.

5. To regulate the system of weights and measures.

6. To make provisions for regulating and developing internal and foreign commerce.

7. To regulate the services of communications and railroads, roads, canals, and harbors, creating those required by public convenience.

8. To levy such taxes and imposts of national character as may be necessary for the needs of the government.

9. To establish rules and proceedings for obtaining naturalization.

10. To grant amnesties.

11. To fix the strength of the land and naval forces and provide for their organization.

12. To declare war and approve treaties of peace negotiated by the President of the Republic.

13. To designate, by means of a special law, the official who shall act as President of the Republic in case of death, resignation, removal, or supervenient inability of the President and Vice-President.

Art. 60. Congress shall not attach to appropriation bills any provision tending to make changes or reforms in the legislation or in the administration of the Government; nor shall it diminish or abolish revenues of permanent character without creating at the same time new revenues to take their place, except in case that the decrease or abolition depend upon the decrease or abolition of the equivalent permanent expenses. Nor shall Congress appropriate for any service to be provided for in the annual budget a larger sum of money than that {221}recommended in the estimates submitted by the Government; but Congress may by means of special laws create new services and reform or give greater scope to those already existing.

Section Sixth


Art. 61. The right to initiate legislation is vested without distinction in both houses of Congress.

Art. 62. Every bill passed by the two houses, and every resolution of the same which has to be executed by the President of the Republic, shall be submitted to him for approval. If they are approved, they shall be signed at once by the President. If they are not approved, they shall be returned by the President, with his objections, to the house in which they originated, which shall enter said objections upon its journal and engage again in the discussion of the subject.

If after this new discussion two-thirds of the total number of the members of the house vote in favor of the bill or resolution as originally passed, the latter shall be referred with the objections of the President, to the other house, where it shall be also discussed, and if the measure is approved there by the same majority it shall become law. In all these cases the vote shall be by yeas and nays.

If within ten working days immediately following the sending of the bill or resolution to the President, the latter fails to return it, it shall be considered approved and shall become law.

If within the last ten days of a session of Congress a bill is sent to the President of the Republic, and he wishes{222} to take advantage of the whole time granted him in the foregoing paragraph for the purposes of approval or disapproval, he shall acquaint the Congress with his desire, so as to cause it to remain in session, if it so wishes, until the end of the ten days. The failure by the President to do so shall cause the bill to be considered approved and become law.

No bill totally rejected by one house shall be discussed again in the same session.

Art. 63. Every law shall be promulgated within ten days next following its approval by either the President or the Congress, as the case may be, under the provisions of the preceding article.

Title VII




Art. 64. The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Republic.

Section Second


Art. 65. To be President of the Republic the following qualifications shall be required.

1. To be a Cuban by birth or naturalization, and in the latter case to have served in the Cuban armies in the wars of independence for at least ten years.

2. To be over forty years of age.

3. To be in the full enjoyment of civil and political rights.{223}

Art. 66. The President of the Republic shall be elected by presidential electors on the same day, in the manner provided by law.

The term of office shall be four years, and no one shall be President for three consecutive terms.

Art. 67. The President, before entering on the discharge of the duties of his office, shall take oath or affirmation before the supreme court of justice to faithfully discharge his duties and comply and cause others to comply with the constitution and the laws.

Art. 68. The President of the Republic shall have the following powers and duties:

1. To approve and promulgate the laws, and obey and cause others to obey their provisions. To enact, if Congress has not done so, such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the proper execution of the laws; and to issue all orders or decrees which may be conducive to the same purpose or to any other purposes of government and the administration thereof in the Republic, provided that in no case the said orders or decrees are at variance with the provisions of the law.

2. To call Congress, or the Senate alone, to meet in extra session in the cases set forth in the constitution, or when in his opinion the meeting may be necessary.

3. He shall adjourn Congress when no agreement can be reached between the two houses on the question of adjournment.

4. To transmit to Congress at the beginning of each session, and whenever he may deem it advisable, a message relating to the acts of his administration, showing the general condition of the affairs of the Republic, and recommending the adoption of such laws and measures as he may deem necessary or advisable.

5. To submit to Congress through either one of the{224} Houses, before the 15th of November, a draft of the annual budget.

6. To furnish Congress all the information desired by it on every matter of business which does not require secrecy.

7. To conduct all diplomatic negotiations and conclude treaties with foreign nations, provided that these treaties be submitted for approval of the Senate, without which requisite they shall be neither valid nor binding upon the Republic.

8. To freely appoint and remove the Secretaries of State, giving Congress information of his action.

9. To appoint, with the approval of the Senate, the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, and the diplomatic and consular agents of the Republic. If the vacancy occurs at a time in which the Senate is not in session, he shall have power to make the appointment of said functionaries ad interim.

10. To appoint all other public officers recognized by law, whose appointment is not entrusted to some other authority.

11. To suspend the exercise of the rights enumerated in article 40 of the constitution in the cases and in the manner set forth in articles 41 and 42.

12. To suspend the resolutions passed by the provincial and municipal councils in the cases and in the manner set forth in this constitution.

13. To order the suspension of the governors of provinces in case they exceed their powers or violate the laws; but in these cases he shall report the fact to the Senate, in the manner and form determined by law, for such action as may be proper.

14. To prefer charges against the governors of provinces in the cases set forth in paragraph 3 of article 47.{225}

15. To grant pardons according to the provisions of the law, except in the case of public functionaries convicted for wrongs done in the exercise of their functions.

16. To receive diplomatic representatives and admit consular agents of other nations.

17. To dispose of the land and sea forces of the Republic as chief commander of the same. To provide for the defense of the national territory, reporting to Congress what he may have done on the subject. To provide for the preservation of peace and public order in the interior of the country. If there is danger of invasion or of any rebellion breaking out and gravely threatening the public safety, Congress not being in session at the time, the President shall call it to convene without delay for such action as may be deemed proper.

Art. 69. The President shall not leave the territory of the Republic without the permission of Congress.

Art. 70. The President shall be responsible before the Supreme Court for the common offense he may commit during his term of office, but he shall not be prosecuted without previous permission of the Senate.

Art. 71. The President shall receive from the State a salary which may be changed at any time, but the change shall not go into effect until the next following presidential term.

Title VIII


Art. 72. There shall be a Vice-President of the Republic, who shall be elected in the same manner and for the same period of time as the President, and jointly with him. To be Vice-President the same qualifications set forth in this constitution to be President shall be required.{226}

Art. 73. The Vice-President of the Republic shall be the President of the Senate, but he shall vote only in case that the votes of the Senators are equally divided.

Art. 74. In case of temporary or permanent absence of the President of the Republic, the Vice-President shall act in his place. If the absence is permanent, the Acting President shall continue in office until the end of the presidential term.

Art. 75. The Vice-President shall receive from the State a salary which may be changed at any time, but the change shall not go into effect until the next following presidential term.

Title IX


Art. 76. For the transaction of the executive business the President of the Republic shall have as many Secretaries of State as the law may determine, and no one shall be a Secretary of State who is not a Cuban citizen in the full enjoyment of his civil and political rights.

Art. 77. All decrees, orders and decisions of the President of the Republic shall be counter-signed by the secretary of State to whom the matter corresponds. Without this signature no decree, order or decision of the President shall have binding force nor shall it be obeyed.

Art. 78. The secretaries of state shall be personally responsible for the measures signed by them, and jointly and severally for the measures agreed upon or authorized by them at a cabinet meeting. This responsibility does not exclude the personal and direct responsibility of the President of the Republic.

Art. 79. The secretaries of state shall be impeachable before the Senate by the House of Representatives in the{227} cases mentioned in the second paragraph of article 47.

Art. 80. The secretaries of state shall receive from the State a salary, which may be changed at any time, but the change shall not go into effect until the next following presidential term.

Title X


Section First


Art. 81. The judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court of Justice and in all the other tribunals which may be established by law. The law shall regulate the respective organization and powers of these tribunals, the manner of exercising their powers, and the qualifications required of the judicial functionaries.

Section Second


Art. 82. To be Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court the following qualifications shall be required:

1. To be a Cuban by birth.

2. To be over thirty-five years of age.

3. To be in the full enjoyment of civil and political rights and not to have been condemned to any corporal punishment for common offenses.

4. To have in addition to the foregoing qualifications any one of the following:

To have practiced in Cuba, during ten years at least, the profession of lawyer; or have discharged for the same{228} length of time judicial functions, or have taught law for the same number of years in an official establishment.

The following persons are also eligible for the positions of Chief Justice or Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, even if not having the qualifications set forth in clauses 1, 2, and 3 of this article:

(a) Those who have served in the judiciary of the time determined by law in a position of equal or immediately inferior category.

(b) Those who, previous to the promulgation of this constitution, served as justices of the supreme court of the island of Cuba.

The time of service in the judiciary shall be computed as time of practice of law for the purpose of qualifying the lawyers to be appointed justices of the supreme court.

Art. 83. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers, in addition to those already vested or hereafter to be vested in it:

1. To take cognizance of cases on a writ of error.

2. To decide conflicts of jurisdiction between courts immediately inferior to it, or not having a common superior.

3. To take cognizance of the cases to which the State on the one side and the provinces or municipalities on the other, are parties.

4. To decide as to the constitutionality of the laws, decrees, and regulations when a question of that effect is raised by any party.

Section Third


Art. 84. Justice shall be administered gratuitously throughout the entire territory of the Republic.{229}

Art. 85. The courts shall take cognizance of all cases, whether civil, criminal, or between the Government and private parties.

Art. 86. No judicial commissions or extraordinary tribunals, no matter under what name, shall ever be created.

Art. 87. No functionary of the judicial order shall be suspended or removed from his office except for crime or any other grave cause, fully proven, and always after being heard. Nor shall he be transferred without his consent to any other place, unless it is for the manifest benefit of the public service.

Art. 88. All judicial functionaries shall be personally responsible, in the manner and form determined by law, for the violations of law which they may commit.

Art. 89. The salaries of judicial functionaries shall not be changed except at the end of periods of more than five years, and by means of a law. The law, however, shall not give different salaries to positions whose rank, category, and functions are equal.

Art. 90. The courts for the forces of land and sea shall be governed by a special organic law.

Title XI


Section First


Art. 91. A province consists of the municipal districts established within its limits.

Art. 92. Each province shall have a governor and a provincial council elected directly by the people, in the manner and form established by law.{230}

The number of councilors in each province shall not be less than eight nor more than twenty.

Section Second


Art. 93. The provincial councils shall have the following powers:

1. To resolve upon matters concerning the provinces which, under the constitution, treaties or laws, are not within the general jurisdiction of the State or the exclusive jurisdiction of the municipal councils.

2. To frame the budget of their expenses, providing at the same time for the necessary revenue to meet them, provided that this is done in a manner not inconsistent with the system adopted by the State.

3. To contract loans for public works of provincial interest, provided that at the same time sufficient revenue is raised to meet the payment of interest and principal when due.

Such loans shall not be carried into effect unless they are approved by two-thirds of the municipal councils of the province.

4. To impeach before the Senate the governor of their respective province, in the case set forth in paragraph 3 of article 47, when two-thirds of the total number of provincial councilors decide in secret session that this should be done.

5. To appoint and remove, according to law, the provincial employes.

Art. 94. The provincial councils shall have no power to diminish or abolish revenue of permanent character without creating at the same time other revenue to take its place, except in case that the decrease or suppression{231} is due to the decrease or suppression of equivalent permanent expenses.

Art. 95. The resolutions of the provincial councils shall be sent to the governor of the province. If approved, they shall be signed by him; if not, they shall be returned with his objections to the council, wherein the subject shall be again discussed. If after the second discussion the resolution is approved by two-thirds of the total number of councilors it shall become a law.

If the governor does not return the resolution within ten days from the date of reference it shall be considered approved and shall become a law.

Art. 96. The resolutions of the provincial councils may be suspended by the governor of the province or by the President of the Republic, whenever, in their opinion, they are contrary to the constitution, the laws, or any resolutions passed by the municipal councils in due exercise of their functions; but the right to take cognizance of and pass upon the claims which may arise out of the said suspension shall be reserved to the courts of justice.

Art. 97. Neither the provincial councils not any section or committees, selected from their members or from persons not members thereof, shall intervene in matters belonging to any class of elections.

Art. 98. The provincial councilors shall be personally responsible before the courts in the manner determined by law for whatever may be done by them in the exercise of their functions.

Section Third


Art. 99. The governors of provinces shall have the following powers:{232}

1. To comply and cause others to comply, as far as their provinces are concerned, with the laws, decrees, and general rules and regulations of the nation.

2. To publish such resolutions of the provincial councils as have force of law, and comply and cause others to comply with them.

3. To issue orders, instructions, and rules for the proper execution of the resolutions of the provincial council, if the latter has not done so already.

4. To call the provincial councils to convene in extra session whenever in his own judgment the same may be necessary. The subjects to be discussed in this session shall be set forth in the call.

5. To suspend the resolutions of the provincial and municipal councils in the cases set forth in this constitution.

6. To order the suspension of mayors, in case they have exceeded their powers, violated the constitution or the laws, acted in contravention to the resolutions of the provincial councils, or failed to do their duty. The suspension shall be reported to the provincial council in the manner and form established by law.

7. To appoint and remove the employes of their offices in the manner provided by law.

Art. 100. The governors shall be responsible before the Senate in the cases set forth in this constitution, and before the courts of justice, according to the provisions of the law, in all other classes of offenses.

Art. 101. The governors shall receive from the provincial treasury a salary, which may be changed at any time, but the change shall not take effect until after a new governor's election is held.

Art. 102. In case of temporary or permanent vacancy of the position of governor of the province, the president of the provincial council shall act in his place. If the{233} vacancy is permanent, the acting governor shall continue in the discharge of his duties as such until the end of the term.

Title XII


Section First


Art. 103. The municipal districts shall be governed by municipal councils, consisting of aldermen or councilors directly elected by the people, in the number and in the manner provided by law.

Art. 104. There shall be in each municipal district a mayor elected by the people by direct vote in the manner and form established by law.

Section Second


Art. 105. The municipal councils shall have the following powers:

1. To resolve on all matters exclusively relating to their own municipal districts.

2. To prepare the budget of their expenses, providing at the same time, on condition, however, that this is done in a manner consistent with the general system of taxation of the Republic.

3. To resolve on the negotiation of loans, providing at the same time the permanent revenue necessary to meet the interest and principal when due.

In order that these loans may be carried into effect, they shall have to be approved by two-thirds of the electors of the municipal district.{234}

4. To appoint and remove the municipal employes in the manner established by law.

Art. 106. The municipal councils shall not decrease or suppress any revenues of permanent character without establishing at the same time some other revenues which may take their place, except in case the decrease or suppression is due to the decrease or suppression of the equivalent permanent expense.

Art. 107. The resolutions of the municipal councils shall be referred to the mayor. If approved by him, they shall be authorized with his signature; if not, they shall be returned, with his objections, to the municipal council, wherein they shall be again discussed. If, after a second discussion, two-thirds of the total number of councilors vote in favor of the resolution it shall become a law.

When the mayor does not return the resolution, within ten days after the date of reference, it shall be considered approved and become a law.

Art. 108. The resolutions of the municipal councils may be suspended by the mayor, the governor of the province, or the President of the Republic, when in their opinion they are contrary to the constitution, the treaties, the laws, or the resolutions passed by the provincial councils within the sphere of their powers. But the right to take cognizance and pass upon the claims which may arise out of said suspension shall be reserved to the courts of justice.

Art. 109. The members of the municipal councils shall be personally responsible before the courts of justice, in the manner and form established by law, for the acts done by them in the performance of their duties.{235}

Section Third


Art. 110. Mayors shall have power:

1. To publish such resolutions of the municipal councils as may have force of law, and execute and cause the same to be executed.

2. To administer the municipal affairs, issuing orders and instructions as well as rules for the better execution of the resolutions of the municipal councils, whenever the latter may fail to do so.

3. To appoint and remove the employes of their respective offices in the manner provided by law.

Art. 111. The Mayors shall be personally responsible before the courts of justice, in the manner prescribed by law, for all acts performed by them in the discharge of their functions.

Art. 112. Each Mayor shall receive a salary, to be paid by the municipal treasury, which may be changed at any time; but such change shall not take effect until after a new election for Mayor has been held.

Art. 113. In case of vacancy, either temporary or permanent, of the office of Mayor, the president of the municipal council shall act as Mayor.

Should the absence be permanent, the substitute shall act until the end of the term for which the Mayor was elected.

Title XIII


Art. 114. All property existing within the territory of the Republic not belonging to provinces, municipalities or private individuals or corporations, shall belong to the State.{236}



ART. 115. The Constitution shall not be amended, in whole or in part, except by resolution passed by two-thirds of the total number of members of each House of Congress.

Six months after the resolution to amend the Constitution has been passed, a constitutional convention shall be called to assemble for the exclusive and specific purpose of either approving or rejecting the amendment. Each House shall, in the meantime, continue to perform its duties with absolute independence of the convention.

Delegates to the said convention shall be elected by each province at the rate of one for every fifty thousand inhabitants, in the manner that may be provided by law.


First. The Republic of Cuba does not recognize any other debts or obligations than those legitimately contracted in favor of the revolution by commanders of bodies of the liberating army, subsequent to the twenty-fourth day of February, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, and prior to the nineteenth day of September of the same year, on which date the Jimaguayu Constitution was promulgated; and the debts and obligations contracted afterward, by the revolutionary government, either by itself or through its legitimate representatives in foreign countries. Congress shall examine said debts and obligations and decide upon the payment of those which are found legitimate.

Second. Persons born in Cuba, or children of native-born Cubans, who, at the time of the promulgation of this{237} Constitution, are citizens of any foreign nation shall not enjoy the rights of Cuban nationality without first renouncing expressly the foreign citizenship.

Third. The time of service of foreigners in the wars of independence of Cuba shall be counted as time of naturalization and residence, for the acquisition of the right granted to naturalized citizens in article 49.

Fourth. The basis of population established in relation to the election of representatives in Congress, and of delegates to the constitutional convention, in articles 48 and 115, may be changed by law whenever, in the judgment of Congress, the change becomes necessary through the increase in the number of inhabitants, shown by censuses to be periodically taken.

Fifth. At the time of the first organization of the Senate, the Senators shall be divided into two groups for the purpose of their renewal.

Those forming the first group shall cease in their duties at the expiration of the fourth year, and those forming the second group at the expiration of the eighth year. It shall be decided by lot which of the two Senators from each province shall belong to either group.

The law shall provide the method to be followed in the formation of the two groups into which the House of Representatives shall be divided for the purpose of its partial renewal.

Sixth. Ninety days after the promulgation of the electoral law, which shall be framed and adopted by the constitutional convention, an election shall be held of the public functionaries provided by the Constitution, to whom the transfer of the Government of Cuba, in conformity with the provisions of Order No. 301 of Headquarters Division of Cuba, dated July twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred, is to be made.{238}

Seventh. All laws, decrees, regulations, orders and other provisions which may be in force at the time of the promulgation of this Constitution shall continue to be observed, in so far as they do not conflict with the said Constitution, until legally revoked or amended.

Hall of sessions of the Constitutional Convention, Havana, February twenty-first, nineteen hundred and one.

The Constitutional Convention, acting in conformity with the order of the Military Governor of the island, of July 25, 1900, by which it was called to assemble, resolves to attach, and does hereby attach to the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba adopted on February twenty-first ultimo, the following.


Article I. The Government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any way authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes, or otherwise, lodgment in or control over any portion of said island.

Art. II. That said Government shall not assume or contract any public debt to pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking-fund provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of the island, after defraying the current expenses of Government, shall be inadequate.

Art. III. That the Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of{239} Peace on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba.

ART. IV. That all acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.

ART. V. That the Government of Cuba will execute, and, as far as necessary, extend the plans already devised, or other plans to be mutually agreed upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented, thereby assuring protection to the people and commerce of Cuba, as well as to the commerce of the southern ports of the United States and the people residing therein.

ART. VI. That the Isle of Pines shall be omitted from the proposed constitutional boundaries of Cuba, the title thereto being left to future adjustment by treaty.

ART. VII. That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defence, the Government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations, at certain specified points, to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.

ART. VIII. That, by way of further assurance, the Government of Cuba will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States.

Hall of sessions, June twelfth, nineteen hundred and one.{240}


After the Constitution, the Government. On October 14, 1901, General Wood as Military Governor of Cuba issued an order for the holding of a general election throughout the island on December 31, that day to be a legal holiday. At that election there were to be chosen Presidential and Senatorial Electors, Members of the House of Representatives, Governors of Provinces or Departments, and members of Provincial Assemblies or Councils. At the same time it was announced that the election of President, Vice-President and Senators, by the electoral colleges, would take place on February 24, 1902. A provisional election law was also promulgated at that time.

This order brought acutely to the fore the question of Presidential candidates. There were several of them, but none of them could be regarded as a party candidate for the reason that there were then practically no parties. The three which had existed had gradually dissolved, merged into each other, and left the Cuban people free to follow purely individual leaders again.

Maximo Gomez was naturally looked to as the foremost candidate for the Presidency, and despite the bitterness of some politicians against him there is little doubt that if he had consented to be a candidate he would have stood alone and been elected practically without opposition. No man deserved the honor more than he. But it was more than an honor. It was a tremendously serious responsibility. Now Gomez was not the man to{241} shirk responsibility. But he was not a man, either, to accept it rashly. He knew his own limitations. He knew, too, the requirements of the place. There was needed a scholar and statesman, rather than a "rough and ready" bushwhacking soldier. So he would not even consider the offer of the nomination. "I was never intended," he said, "to become the President of any country. I think too much of Cuba to become her President."

Calixto Garcia, who after the death of Antonio Maceo stood second to Gomez as a commander, and who was General-in-Chief of the eastern half of the island, had won a splendid reputation for efficient work in Oriente and Camaguey, and was a man of great force and ability, and of much popularity among the Cuban people. But he died at Washington of pneumonia soon after the close of the war.

With these two great chieftains of Cuba's wars thus out of the running, the choice by common consent fell upon Tomas Estrada Palma; and a better choice could not have been made. We have already seen something of his work as the head of the Cuban Junta in New York. He was now past the prime of life, having been born at Bayamo in 1837, but he was in full mastery of his ripe intellectual and physical powers. The son of a rich and distinguished family, he was sent in his youth to Seville to study law, and for a time practised it with much success in Cuba. But he was a patriot, and when the Ten Years' War began he entered the Cuban ranks and had a distinguished career in the field, as also in the councils of the Republic in the field. Unfortunately he was captured by the enemy and was sent to Spain, where he was a prisoner until the end of the war. Then he went to Honduras, became Postmaster-General of that country, and married the accomplished daughter of President Guardiola.{242} Thence he went to the United States and for some years was the head of an admirable private school for boys at Central Valley, New York; most of his pupils being from Cuba and other Latin-American countries.

At the outbreak of the War of Independence in 1895 the veteran patriot promptly offered himself for any service that he could perform. Though nearing the age of three score, he would gladly have taken up his rifle again and gone into the field. But there was more important and more profitable work for Cuba to be done than that would have been, and he entered upon it with zeal, as the head of the Cuban Junta in New York. Especially after the death of Marti, he was the guiding spirit of that organization, and as such, at least in the eyes of America and of the world at large, he was the actual head of the Cuban revolution, even more than the President of the Provisional Government in the patriot stronghold in the mountains of Cubitas. He was not merely the very active head of the working organization of the Junta, which supplied the Cuban army with the sinews of war, but he was the diplomatic representative of Cuba, though only informally recognized, at Washington. He was at this time still in the United States, and was making no effort whatever to secure the Presidential nomination. Doubtless he would have been quite content not to receive it, and would have given his heartiest and most efficient support to any other man who might have been chosen. But there was a spontaneous turning of all Cuban eyes and minds and hearts toward him as the man of all best fitted to inaugurate the independent republican sovereignty of the insular state as its first President. He was the choice of no party—parties were yet inchoate—but of the Cuban people.

In similar fashion General Bartolome Maso was put{243} forward for Vice-President. Of him we have already heard much in these pages; a stern old warrior patriot of Oriente, who had done inestimable service in the field in the two wars, and who had been President of the Revolutionary Government—its last President, in the mountains of Cubitas, at the time of the American intervention. A man of fine education, of unblemished integrity, of sterling patriotism, he commanded the respect and affection of all who knew him; though it must be confessed that he was personally little known at the capital or in the western half of the island.

For a time there seemed every prospect that these two men, so admirably chosen, would be elected without contest. But at the end of October there was a schism. Estrada Palma was favorably inclined toward the Platt Amendment, while Bartolome Maso remained outspoken against it. The sequel was that all the politicians of whatever factions who were opposed to that instrument joined in putting Maso forward as a candidate not for the Vice-Presidency but for the Presidency, in opposition to Palma. On October 31 Maso issued an address announcing his candidacy, which, he said, he had been induced to accept "in order to preserve the nationalism and patriotism of the country"; and he added that the American intervention had been "perverted into a military occupation approaching a conquest." This was exaggeration, though entirely sincere; Maso lacking the broad international vision necessary to appreciate the relationships with the United States and the rest of the world upon which Cuba was about to enter. But it made a strong appeal to a number of diverse and incongruous elements, including some of the former Autonomists, many of the Spaniards, and a number of Negroes who were inclined to form a race party of their own.{244}

There followed an animated but orderly and amicable campaign of mass meetings and stump speeches, quite after the American style. At one time the followers of Maso appeared to be numerous, and claimed that they were sixty per cent. of the citizens of Cuba. But such claims were illusory. Nearly all important leaders, from Maximo Gomez down, were on the side of Estrada Palma, and before the actual trial of strength at the polls Maso withdrew from the campaign, leaving Palma alone in the field. The supporters of Maso explained that his candidacy was withdrawn because there was no prospect of a fair election. They objected to some provisions of the election law, and complained that they were not fairly represented on the boards of registration and election. They even alleged that frauds were being committed in the registration, and they asked that the election be postponed in order that there might be another registration over which they should have a larger measure of supervision. This request was refused, whereupon they withdrew from all participation in the election. A manifesto was issued, denouncing the Central Board of Elections as "a coalition of partisans" and declaring that "neither in official circles in the United States nor in Cuba does the intention exist to see that the elections are carried out with sufficient legality to reflect the real wishes of the Cubans." These imputations were unwarranted, and most regrettable; and were rightly regarded by the great majority of Cubans as a practical confession of the weakness of the Maso faction.

The elections were duly held on the day appointed, and were conducted with admirable quiet, order and dignity. The unfortunate feature of them was that only a very light vote was polled. Not only did the supporters of Maso pretty generally abstain from voting, but many{245} of Palma's followers, knowing that there was no real contest, did not take the trouble to go to the polls. Commenting upon the circumstances, General Wood reported: "I regret to state that a large portion of the conservative element, composed of property owners, and business and professional men, did not take such an interest in the elections as proper regard for the welfare of their country required, and consequently the representation of this element among the officials elected has not been proportionately as large as the best interests of the island demand." Despite the abstention of Maso's followers from voting, eight members of that faction were elected in the sixty-three members of the Electoral College. On February 24 the Electoral College met and elected Tomas Estrada Palma to be President and Luis Estevez to be Vice-President of the Republic of Cuba.

President Roosevelt, in a message to the Congress of the United States on March 27, reported the progress of Cuba toward self-government, and recommended that provision be made for sending diplomatic and consular representatives thither, and the Secretary of War began preparations for withdrawing the Military Governor and all American officials and forces, and permitting the installation of the native government. It was arranged that the last-named event should occur on May 20, 1902, four years and a month after the American act of intervention.

The closing weeks of the American occupation were made busy with the closing up of affairs preparatory to departure. Two new laws relating to railroads were promulgated on February 7 and March 3; laws which the Cubans on assuming the government of the island found so beneficent that they retained them unchanged. Another law on January 24 rearranged the municipalities{246} of the island and abolished a considerable number of them, and still another on March 5 was intended to facilitate the determination of boundaries of estates. Still another, on April 12, was so vigorously opposed by Cubans that it was presently revoked, to the great loss of the island. This was practically an application of the merit system to a part of the civil service, declaring that officials in the judicial and public prosecution services should not be removed from their places without proof of adequate cause. Its revocation left those and all branches of the civil service to be the prey of the spoils system.

In April and May there were promulgated orders for systematizing municipal finances, a manual for military tribunals, quarantine regulations, rules for the revenue cutter service, immigration laws, sanitary regulations, and some modifications of the Code of Civil Procedure. These were all practical measures, of undoubted benefit to the island, and all dealt with matters in which American experience was reasonably supposed to be of advantage to Cuba.

General Wood on May 5 called the elected members of the Cuban Congress together at the Palace, in the name of the President of the United States, to welcome them and to wish them success in their coming work, and to have them examine and pass upon their own credentials and count and rectify the vote of the Electoral College for President and Vice-President. He also announced to them that the formal transfer of government, from the United States military authorities to the Cuban President and Congress, would take place at noon of May 20. Mendez Capote made a graceful and appreciative reply on behalf of himself and his colleagues, and the two Houses took possession of their respective halls and busied{247} themselves with their credentials and with preparations for the serious work which lay just a little distance before them.


Meantime Tomas Estrada Palma was closing up his affairs in the land of which he had been a guest for many years and was preparing to return to the land of his birth to be its chief magistrate. He did not leave the United States until late in April. Instead of going directly to Havana he landed at Gibara, on the northern coast of Oriente, whence he went to Holguin, to Santiago, and then to his old home, which also was destined to be his last, at Bayamo. After a few days' visit there he proceeded to Havana, and arrived in that city on May 11. All the way through the island he was greeted with unbounded {248}enthusiasm, and at every stopping place he was received and entertained with all possible social attention.

Havana itself for a week preceding the installation of the government gave itself up to one incessant fiesta. Arches spanned the principal streets, flowers and bunting made the day brilliant with color, and fireworks illumined the night. The night of May 19 was such as the ancient city had never before known. From evening to morning it was one glare of rockets and illuminations, one roar of anticipatory and jubilant cheers and music. If one single inhabitant of the city slept, his name is not recorded. The riot of joy continued unabated until just before noon, when it slackened for a time, only as a mark of respect for the epochal ceremony which was being performed in the great State Hall of the Palace.

There, in the very place where less than four years before General Castellanos had abdicated the power of Spain over the last of her American colonies, were gathered the members of the American Government of Intervention, about to retire; the members of the Cuban Government, about to assume authority; the representatives of various foreign powers; and a few private guests of distinction. The central figures were Leonard Wood and Tomas Estrada Palma. The former read a brief note from President Roosevelt, announcing the transfer which was about to be made, and expressing to the Cuban government the sincere friendship and good wishes of the United States, the most earnest hopes for the stability and success of the Cuban government, for the blessings of peace, justice and prosperity and ordered freedom among the people of Cuba and for enduring friendship between the United States and that Republic.


"The Franklin of Cuba," Tomas Estrada Palma, was born at Bayamo on July 9, 1835, was educated in Havana and at the University of Seville, Spain, and began the practice of law at his native place. But realizing that under Spanish rule there was little administration of real justice in Cuba, he abandoned his profession, devoted himself to the management of his plantation, and when the Ten Years' War was planned entered the patriotic conspiracy with zeal. He freed his slaves, gave his fortune to the cause, and entered the army. His mother accompanied him to the camp, and in his absence was captured by the Spaniards, who murdered her through starvation and ill-treatment. He became Secretary of the Republic and in March, 1876, was elected President. Betrayed to the enemy, he was imprisoned in Morro Castle, Havana, and afterward in Spain. At the end of the war he went to Honduras, taught school and served as Postmaster-General, and then went to New York State, where he established a school for boys. At the beginning of the War of Independence he again gave himself to the Cuban cause, succeeded Marti as head of the Junta in New York, became first President of the Republic, was forced to resign through a traitorous insurrection and ill-planned intervention, and died on November 4, 1908.


"The Franklin of Cuba," Tomas Estrada Palma, was born at Bayamo on July
9, 1835, was educated in Havana and at the University of Seville, Spain,
and began the practice of law at his native place. But realizing that
under Spanish rule there was little administration of real justice in
Cuba, he abandoned his profession, devoted himself to the management of
his plantation, and when the Ten Years' War was planned entered the
patriotic conspiracy with zeal. He freed his slaves, gave his fortune to
the cause, and entered the army. His mother accompanied him to the camp,
and in his absence was captured by the Spaniards, who murdered her
through starvation and ill-treatment. He became Secretary of the
Republic and in March, 1876, was elected President. Betrayed to the
enemy, he was imprisoned in Morro Castle, Havana, and afterward in
Spain. At the end of the war he went to Honduras, taught school and
served as Postmaster-General, and then went to New York State, where he
established a school for boys. At the beginning of the War of
Independence he again gave himself to the Cuban cause, succeeded Marti
as head of the Junta in New York, became first President of the
Republic, was forced to resign through a traitorous insurrection and
ill-planned intervention, and died on November 4, 1908.


General Wood then addressed the Cuban President and Congress, declaring that he transferred to them the government and control of the island, and that the American military occupation was ended. He reported the amount of public funds which he turned over to the new officials, and called attention to various plans for sewering, paving and other sanitary works which were in course of execution. President Palma responded, accepting the transfer of sovereignty, and expressing his and his countrymen's appreciation of the course which the American government had pursued.

Thus the transcendent consummation was achieved, for which during so many weary and tragic years so many Cuban patriots had longed and for which so much treasure had been spent, so much blood had been shed, and so many lives had been sacrificed. "Cuba Libre" was an accomplished fact among the nations of the world.

Leaving that memorable scene, General Wood telegraphed to the President of the United States:

"I have the honor to report that, in compliance with instructions received, I have this day, at 12 o'clock sharp, transferred to the President and Congress of the Republic of Cuba the government and control of the island, to be held and exercised by them under the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba."

One other incident remained. As soon as the brief ceremony with the palace was completed, the American flag was hauled down from that and all other public buildings and the Cuban flag was raised in its place. It is not known whether the American Senator who had predicted that "That Flag will never be hauled down!" was there to see the sight. Certain it is that the people of Cuba were almost—and most pardonably—wild with joy to see their own beautiful emblem at last float in token of sovereignty over their island's capital. The Cuban flag flying over the Palace and over the Morro Castle was{250} the supreme consummation of their patriotic dreams and visions.


The red, white and blue flag of Cuba, though then first raised in unchallenged sovereignty, was then by no means a new thing. It was already more than half a century old, and had been the guidon of brave men in three bloody wars. It was designed by the first great Cuban revolutionist, Narciso Lopez, and by his comrade, Miguel Teurbe Tolon, of Matanzas, a gifted poet and ardent patriot, and it was first displayed by Lopez in his raid upon and capture of the city of Cardenas, on May 19, 1850. The five bars, alternately blue and white, represented the five provinces into which the island was at that time divided; the red triangle represented the blood of patriots which was being shed in the cause of liberty; and the white star was the star of Cuba's hope. After the death of Lopez the flag disappeared. But when the Ten{251} Years' War began many flags of that same design were made, the workroom being in a house on Warren Street in the City of New York, and thereafter it remained familiar to every Cuban patriot.


The coat of arms of the Republic of Cuba displays the colors of the flag, and by their side the Royal Palm, perhaps the most notable of the trees in Cuba. The tree springs from a grassy plain, at the back of which is a mountain range; agriculture and mining being thus typified. Across the top of the shield extends a landscape-seascape, representing the ocean, with Florida at one side and Yucatan at the other, while between them lies the Key, Cuba. From the far horizon rises the sun. Above all is the Cap of Liberty, while around the shield are twined branches of oak and laurel.

No more just and fitting estimate of the great work of intervention which thus, on May 20, 1902, was consummated, has ever been made than that which was uttered only a few weeks later by President Roosevelt, in speaking before a distinguished audience at Harvard University. He said:

"Four years ago Leonard Wood went down to Cuba,{252} has served there ever since, has rendered her literally invaluable service; a man who through these four years thought of nothing else, did nothing else, save to try to bring up the standard of political and social life in that island, to clean it physically and morally, to make justice even and fair in it, to found a school system which should be akin to our own, to teach the people after four centuries of misrule that there were such things as government righteousness and honesty and fair play for all men on their merits as men."

That was the work which Leonard Wood did in Cuba; that was the work which the United States government did by and through him; the consummation of which was denoted in that unique act of withdrawing the American flag and raising the Cuban flag in its place. Fortunate was it, however, that the results of that work, the teachings of the American occupation, the meaning of the American flag, were not and could not be withdrawn when the Stars and Stripes came down. Just as the colors and indeed the essential pattern of the flag remained, in different arrangement, so the essential spirit of American republicanism remained, to be manifested not any longer by American interveners but by the Cuban people themselves.

It was a marvellous achievement, that of those four years. It was such as the world had not seen equalled, at any other time or in any other place. It was creditable in the highest degree to the Cuban people themselves. It was creditable to the United States, for its intervention at its own great cost and for its scrupulous keeping of its faith. It was creditable to many individual actors in the great drama, both insular and continental, who displayed unsurpassed fidelity, self-sacrifice and heroism in the cause of Cuban liberation. But{253} the simple truth and justice of history would be impaired if the chief credit were not given, primus inter pares, to the great American administrator, conquering soldier and constructive statesman, who from first to last was the guiding genius of Cuban rehabilitation.

The works of Durham in Canada, and of Cromer in Egypt, form splendid passages in the history of benevolent colonial administration. But there was a more difficult work performed not for a dependent colony which would return compensation to the Mother Country or to the suzerain power but for an alien land and people, presently to become entirely independent of their benefactor. He found the Pearl of the Antilles war-ravaged and faction-rent; her fields desolated, her industries destroyed; her women widowed and her children orphaned; her treasury empty and her debts heavy and pressing; her government abolished and her laws inadequate; with famine, pestilence and hopelessness stalking throughout the land. It was his work to heal the wounds of war and to unite the people of all classes and parties for the common good; to assist the revival of agriculture and the rebuilding of industry; to care for the widowed and the orphaned; to replenish the public treasury and to discharge the debt of honor to the veterans of the War of Independence; to organize efficient government and out of his own constructive genius to conceive and to promulgate needed and beneficent laws; to feed the hungry until they could feed themselves, to banish pestilence until a lazar-house became a health resort, and to inspire with hope and faith triumphant a people who for a generation had striven with the demons of despair.

With such a labor successfully achieved, through the exercise of a tact, a perseverance, a resourcefulness and an administrative genius not surpassed in his day and{254} generation, we may not wonder that he was universally beloved by all the Cuban people regardless of class, of previous condition or of political predilections; that the only cloud resting upon the brilliance of the consummation of Cuban independence proceeded from the fact of his departure from the island and the people he had so greatly served; and that, not waiting for the slow tributes of remote posterity, the Cuban people of his own day hold in their supremest confidence, gratitude, respect and enduring affection the name, the memory and the vital personality of Leonard Wood.

President Palma had already selected the members of his Cabinet on May 17, three days before the transfer. It contained six members, chosen without regard to party, for the President was not a partisan. As a matter of fact, however, it contained representatives of all three of the old parties, which were at this time in course of dissolution and reorganization into the two which have since divided the Cuban people between them. Diego Tamayo was the Secretary of Government, having charge of the postal service, the signal service, sanitation, and the Rural Guard. Carlos Zaldo was Secretary of State and of Justice. Emilio Terry was Secretary of Agriculture. Manual Luciano Diaz was Secretary of Public Works; Eduardo Yero was Secretary of Public Instruction; and Garcia Montes was Secretary of Finance.

The President presented his first message to Congress on May 28. He spoke with gratitude of the disinterested intervention and services of the United States, and with confidence of Cuba's ability to fulfil her duties as a sovereign State. He recommended care in the preparation of the budget, and the formulation of measures for the encouragement of cattle-raising and the growing{255} of sugar and tobacco. Just then, owing to the great increase of European beet sugar growing the Cuban sugar trade was in an unsatisfactory state, but he hoped to improve it by securing a reciprocity treaty with the United States which would admit Cuban sugar to the markets of that country free of tariff duty. He also promised to promote the building of much-needed railroads. He urged the cultivation of cordial relations and commercial intercourse with all nations, but especially with the United States. As a special act of grace, a number of Americans who had justly been sentenced to terms in Cuban prisons under the Government of Intervention received pardons. These included three men, Rathbone, Neely and Reeves, who had been sentenced for ten years for frauds in the Cuban postoffice, the only serious scandal of the American administration.

Two of the items in the Platt Amendment were soon taken up by the United States government, and were settled in a way eminently satisfactory to Cuba. One was the disposition of the Isle of Pines. It was decided by the State Department at Washington that when the American government was withdrawn from Cuba, control of the Isle of Pines was transferred to the Cuban government, to be held and exercised by it unless and until some other disposition should subsequently be effected. In time Cuban ownership of the isle was definitively confirmed by the government of the United States.

The other point was that of American naval stations. A report was made by Rear-Admiral Bradford of the United States Navy, recommending the establishment of naval stations at Triscornia, in Havana Harbor; and at Guantanamo, east of Santiago; and the establishment of coaling stations at Nipe Bay and Cienfuegos. The{256} Cubans were not inclined to object to any of these excepting the first-named, to which their objection was reasonable and convincing. It would not be agreeable, they thought, to have the flag of a foreign power flying right in front of their own capital and at the very gate of the harbor of that capital, so that foreign vessels would pass by it and salute it equally with the Cuban flag. This objection was recognized and respected by the United States government, which waived all claim to Triscornia, and on July 2, 1903, contented itself with land for naval stations at Guantanamo, one of the finest harbors in the world, on the south coast of Oriente, and Bahia Honda, another superb harbor, on the north coast of Pinar del Rio. Of these only Guantanamo has actually been utilized.

The matter of reciprocity between the United States and Cuba was taken up, but it was long before anything was effected. General Wood had urged that a reduction of at least 33⅓ per cent. should be made in the sugar duty in favor of Cuba, as absolutely essential to the prosperity of the island, and President Roosevelt urged upon Congress in the strongest possible manner the desirability of some such action, partly for the sake of Cuban prosperity, and partly for the fulfilment of America's moral duty toward that island. Indeed, such commercial relations had been promised to Cuba, and it was bad faith to withhold them. Of course the commercial interests of Europe, both in sugar and all other wares, were earnestly opposed to any such arrangement, and they had their governments exert all possible influence to prevent its being made. There were also large beet sugar interests in the United States which strenuously opposed any reduction of the tariff on Cuban sugar. President Roosevelt had a long and desperate battle with{257} Congress over the matter, before he finally prevailed upon it grudgingly and imperfectly to make a reciprocity agreement, from which the United States would profit much more than Cuba. This was on March 29, 1903. Meantime, because of the American refusal to grant reciprocity, Cuba suffered acute economic depression approximating disaster. The insular treasury had scarcely enough money with which to pay current expenses, and the government was driven to the imposition of burden-some taxes upon many articles to save itself from bankruptcy.

The reciprocity treaty was finally ratified by the American Senate on March 29, 1903. But it did not at once go into effect. There was needed Congressional legislation to make it effective, and this was not supplied. After discreditable delay on the part of the lawmakers, President Roosevelt called Congress together in special session on November 10, 1903, for the express purpose of having it take the needed action for putting the treaty into operation. "I deem," he said, "such legislation demanded not only by our interest but by our honor.... When the acceptance of the Platt Amendment was required from Cuba by the action of the Congress of the United States, this government thereby definitely committed itself to the policy of treating Cuba as occupying a unique position as regards this country. It was provided that when the island became a free and independent republic she should stand in such close relations with us as in certain respects to come within our system of international policy; and it necessarily followed that she must also to a certain degree become included within the lines of our economic policy.... We gave her liberty. We are knit to her by the memories of the blood and courage of our soldiers who fought for her in war;{258} by the memory of the wisdom and integrity of our administrators who served her in peace and who started so well on the difficult path of self-government. We must help her onward and upward; and in helping her we shall help ourselves.... A failure to enact such legislation would come perilously near a repudiation of the pledged faith of the nation."

Thus at last through such gallant urging a measure of justice was secured for Cuba. The unwillingness and delay of Congress formed the most discreditable chapter of the history of America's dealings with Cuba. But the real attitude, the real purpose, the real spirit of the United States toward Cuba, were unmistakably set forth not in the paltering and tergiversation of a sordid Congress, but in the lofty and inspiring words of the great American President.{259}


The result of the earnest and efficient work of all departments of the Palma administration, in spite of the fact that the employes had much to learn, and that mistakes were unavoidably made, was that Cuba began almost immediately to establish herself as a nation worthy of consideration, and respected among the other nations of the world. Her commerce and industries were started for the first time on a stable basis, and the general feeling of confidence, not only in the natural resources of the island, but in the protection that had been promised Cuba by her sister republic on the north, all tended to start the new republic along the right lines. In a very short time after reciprocity with the United States was secured funds began to accumulate in the treasury, and by the end of the first Palma administration over 0,000,000 had accrued to the credit of the country, and a large amount of constructive work had been undertaken in various parts of the island. Yet more than $4,000,000 had been spent on public works, and every village with 25 children had a school.

It was the accumulation of this money in the treasury, and the rapid success along commercial and other lines that seemed to attend the republic during President Palma's administration, that served to excite desire and envy among the more or less restless and unscrupulous elements, who did not form a part of the Palma government. Some of these outsiders were men of much ability, and many of them were excellent orators. All of them{260} were familiar with the methods in Latin American republics of securing control of the government through revolution, force and violence. It was then that parties began to be formed, although these were divided into many groups, each surrounding its own political hero, who, in these days, was necessarily a man with a supposed military record. They eventually resolved themselves into two groups, the Moderado, who were in many respects the parents of the present Conservative party now in power under President Menocal, and the Liberal, under the leadership of Dr. Alfredo Zayas, an able lawyer and a shrewd political leader.

During the Palma administration and especially at the beginning of the electoral campaign of 1905, another aspirant for presidential honors suddenly appeared in the person of General José Miguel Gomez, a man with no very brilliant record as a soldier, although he had taken part in the Ten Years' War, but who had a strong local following as Governor, under President Palma, of the Province of Santa Clara. General Gomez was an astute, clever, farseeing, active politician, with a considerable degree of originality and ability. Another man intimately connected with the history of Cuba was Gomez's chief clerk when Governor of the Province of Santa Clara, Orestes Ferrara, a gentleman of Italian birth, of somewhat reckless tendencies, who emerged from the War of Independence as a Cuban patriot, and was recognized as such by the Liberal party. Mr. Ferrara was a lawyer, a writer, a finely educated diplomat and an excellent speaker. All of these qualities succeeded in making him an important factor in influencing the destinies of the republic in its early days.

During the first years of the Palma administration, the Moderado and Liberal parties gradually shaped{261} themselves into the present Conservative and Liberal parties; organizations which differ in political methods rather than in principles; if by principles we mean fundamental doctrines of political economy or statecraft, such as form the issues of division between parties in most other countries. They also differ largely in personnel. Throughout the agricultural regions the Conservatives prevail. That is because farmers, large and small, care little for office holding but do care a great deal for that tranquillity of the country which is essential to progress and prosperity. They have a material stake in the country's welfare, which is conserved by constitutional order rather than by revolution. On the other hand, in the cities may be found the great strength of the Liberal party; composed of men who own no real estate, and many of whom have no business or steady occupation of any kind, who have nothing to lose from economic and social disturbance but on the contrary may gain something by getting into public employment through a change of government. Such men are numerous in all cities of all countries, and they become the facile followers of designing and unscrupulous politicians. In the United States such men are described as "feeding at the public crib." In Cuba the corresponding phrase, equally expressive, is "nursing at the public bottle"—epitomised in the one word, "botella."

It is not to be inferred that all Cuban Liberals are of this class, or that Conservatives are universally men of substance; but the dominant elements of the two parties are such as we have described. The restless and irresponsible Liberal masses have for leaders men of unquestioned ability, but unfortunately too often of more personal ambition of a sordid kind than sense of moral responsibility or sincere devotion to their country's best{262} interests. It will thus be seen that on more than one occasion men who were intellectually qualified to serve the Republic in the most efficient manner prostituted their talents to catering to the passions of the ignorant and idle, and made tools of them for their own selfish advancement, to the great detriment and greater menace of the Republic. In this deplorable state of affairs have been the main springs of most of the troubles which the young Republic has thus far suffered in its political and governmental affairs.

The Conservative party is confined very largely to the owners of property, men of good reputation and business standing. In other words, it consists of men who have nothing to gain through a revolution, and everything to lose during a period of upheaval which means destruction, not alone of actual property, but of the assets of the country, especially its credit and standing in the markets of the world. Small holders of property in the country districts, farmers, merchants, planters and stock raisers, are naturally allied with the Conservative party, or the party of law and order, as are the owners of the big sugar estates and the mills in which the staples are produced, since the cane fields become an immediate prey of those elements who wish to depose the government or bring about an intervention, through which they sometimes gain in the confusion that follows a change of government. To this party belong the majority of the professional men, the old Autonomistas, and those men who have a genuine interest in the welfare of Cuba, not only in her present, but in her future, and who realize that uprisings, strikes and all allied movements tend naturally to discourage investments in property, and to destroy credit and the good name of the island.

Such, then, in general terms, was the development of{263} political parties in Cuba which occurred as soon as it was realized that it was worth while to have them. As long as Cuba was under Spanish domination, there was no use in parties. So long as there was doubt concerning the intentions of the United States in Cuba, there was little encouragement to their formation. But the moment the Stars and Stripes actually went down from the Palace and from the Morro, the great fact dawned upon the Cuban mind that what many had scarcely dared to expect or to hope for was actually achieved. Cuba was independent. For that reason her political controversies were thereafter to be domestic, and there was opportunity, even perhaps desirability, of division of the population into parties.

This indeed was well, in principle. There is nothing more stimulating to citizenship or more conducive to good government in a republic than a healthful and amicable division of the citizens into parties, on grounds of principle. In a monarchy, the opposition party is one of protest and revolt. In a republic both parties are devoted to the governmental system, and differ only as to the principles of economics or what not on which it should be conducted. The lamentable feature of the Cuban case was that—chiefly, no doubt, because of antecedent conditions, because of centuries of ruthless repression of all national or civic aspirations—there had been no development of theories and principles of government to serve as bases for party division. It could not be said, for example, that this party was for a protective tariff and that one was for free trade, that one was for state rights and the other for national sovereignty. Such distinctions did not exist, and party divisions without them were therefore on less creditable lines. We have said that there were no questions of principle. But there{264} was one supreme question of principle, on which after all the division was made. But that was a question to which there was only one side for a worthy political party to take.

At the beginning of Estrada Palma's administration, as we have indicated, he was not identified with any political party. He was broad-minded, and conceived himself to be not the leader of a party but the chief executive of the whole Cuban nation. He selected for his Cabinet the men whom he thought best fitted for the places, regardless of their political affiliations. He would probably have been glad to go through his entire administration as a non-partisan President, occupying in that respect a position similar to that of a constitutional sovereign, who traditionally "has no politics." Indeed, he maintained this independent and impartial attitude until the spring of 1905. Then he found it impossible to get measures passed by Congress, which he wanted and which the country needed, unless he affiliated with party leaders. The result was that he practically associated himself with the Moderados, or Conservatives as they are now known. This of course gave great umbrage to the Liberals, which was greatly increased when some of that party were removed from office because of their unsatisfactory service and their places were filled with Conservatives. And this was the beginning of the Liberal insurrection which led to the resignation and death of Estrada Palma.

In the last days of President Palma's first term of office it was discovered that José Miguel Gomez had Presidential aspirations. He not only stated to the Moderate or Conservative party that he wanted to be President of the Republic of Cuba, but he declared that he proposed to succeed President Palma as such. This privilege was{265} refused him on the ground that the President, owing to his fair administration of the government during the four years of his service, was entitled to a second term. To this argument, General Gomez replied that if the Conservative party to which he had pretended to belong would not make him its Presidential nominee, he would go to the opposition and seek the nomination. This he at once proceeded to do, and with the assistance of Mr. Ferrara he persuaded the Liberals that, controlling the votes of the Province of Santa Clara, he held the balance of power. He also prevailed upon Dr. Alfredo Zayas to retire as a Presidential candidate, and to acquiesce in his running for election on the Liberal ticket; promising at the same time that, no matter what the result of the election might be, Dr. Zayas should have the nomination and his support four years afterward. It is interesting to observe that this promise was never fully kept, and that the two Liberal leaders have ever since been bitter enemies.

The Presidential nominees of the two parties, in November, 1906, on the part of the Conservatives, were Estrada Palma, the President of Cuba, and on the part of the Liberals, José Miguel Gomez, ex-leader of the Moderados of the Province of Santa Clara. The Liberals, a few days before the election, feeling apparently that it would go against them, began the old tactics so prevalent in some South American republics, and practised by Maso's followers in 1901, of proclaiming proposed election frauds on the part of their opponents, then in control of the government, and predicting all manner of illegal practices and intimidation.

At ten o'clock on the morning of election day, telegrams, announcements, and orders from Liberal leaders were posted at all voting places in the various cities and{266} country districts, directing members of that party to keep away from the polls, on the ground that the election frauds which had been arranged by the Conservatives could not possibly be overcome, and that the correct thing to do was to refuse to vote, as a protest against the government in power. These were obviously issued with a view of discrediting in advance an election which the Liberals could not hope to win. The Conservatives, of course, voted, and, as might be expected under those circumstances, the Palma government succeeded itself, with a few changes in the Cabinet, and everything seemed to promise well for the future.

Within a year, however, threats of coming trouble, whispers of discontent, and reports of incipient uprisings could be heard in the cafés and public resorts throughout the island, and the agents of the secret service warned President Palma that a serious crisis was impending. This the President refused to credit, staging that there could be no possible reason for a revolution. The island was prosperous, work was plentiful for all who cared to labor; there were no conditions present to justify a revolution or uprising, and suspicions of anything of the kind must therefore be unjustified. In spite of President Palma's confidence, however, the plotting went on almost openly. His confidence in the people was known to all the Liberals, and they took advantage of it. The first real outbreak occurred before the slightest preparation had been made to deal with it. One night in the month of July, 1905, a group of thirty armed men suddenly appeared at the barracks of the Rural Guards, shot a dozen of them to death as they lay sleeping on their cots, seized their arms, ammunition and horses, and fled into the country, shouting the cry of "Revolution against the Palma government!" General Alejandro Rodriguez,{267} a tried veteran of the War of Independence, and chief of the Rural Guards, gave an immediate order that they should be captured, dead or alive, and before ten o'clock the next morning nearly all of them had been taken and confined in the jails of Havana, where afterwards they were tried and convicted. These men in their defense claimed that the president of the Senate, Señor Moru Delgado, a prominent Liberal leader, had promised to meet them at daylight, on the morning of the assassination, with a body of three hundred armed and mounted Liberals, who were to start a revolution against President Palma; but did not fulfill his promise. The men who had been convicted were permitted to remain in jail until, as is too often the custom in some Latin American countries, they were freed by a general amnesty bill which had been forced through Congress by the Liberal party. The tendency to revolt against the Palma government apparently subsided with the arrest of these first disturbers, but, during the following January, 1906, reports of trouble in the extreme western portion of the island came to the notice of the officials. The leader was Pino Guerra, who, through his popularity as an accordion player at country dances, had secured election to the House of Representatives; and who with his taste for games of chance, at which he was generally unlucky, had got into debt to the amount of $7,000. His creditors in these debts were persistent, and this fact was given by him in a letter to General Fernando Freyre de Andrade, President of the House of Representatives, as an excuse for the revolution which he started. Pino Guerra indeed intimated that if someone would extend to him a little personal loan of $7,000 he would refrain from causing any trouble to the government. General Freyre de Andrade, being a politician who believed in{268} compromise and that even a poor end would justify the means, suggested to Guerra that he knew of $3,000 that had been appropriated for some purpose and not used, which might possibly be turned over, if his creditors would take it on account. "General" Guerra, as he called himself, consulted with his creditors, and they concluded to accept the offer, if they could get the cash. So the embryo revolutionist was conducted to the presence of the President, where the whole matter was explained by General Freyre de Andrade. To their surprise, President Palma promptly refused to have any of the treasury funds used to buy—or to pay blackmail to—a revolutionist. So "General" Guerra retired to nurse his resentment and to plan mischief; until some six weeks later when he started the uprising that was locally known as "Mr. Taft's picnic," because the leaders asserted that the capturing of the Palma government would be nothing more than a picnic, and assured Mr. Taft on his arrival to straighten out affairs that they really had not intended to assassinate President Palma, although three or four distinct plots had been made for that purpose; that they only meant to capture him, put him on the government yacht, and carry him to some remote part of the country and give him just a "pleasant picnic."


The new Presidential Palace, which replaces in its functions the old home of the Spanish Governors, is of striking architecture and impressive size, affording ample room for many other functions than the mere housing of the President and his family; and in completeness of its appointments and beauty of its furnishings and internal decorations must rank among the finest official residences in the world.


The new Presidential Palace, which replaces in its functions the old
home of the Spanish Governors, is of striking architecture and
impressive size, affording ample room for many other functions than the
mere housing of the President and his family; and in completeness of its
appointments and beauty of its furnishings and internal decorations must
rank among the finest official residences in the world.

President Palma was repeatedly warned by the secret service, of which Pepe Jerez Varona was the chief, that serious trouble was coming through the propaganda of the Liberal party whose leaders had taken the position that the late election had been fraudulent and that the Liberals had been prevented from casting their votes, which they said was sufficient excuse for the uprising that was imminent. Local bands of the so-called "Constitutional Army" soon began to make their appearance throughout the central districts of the island. Each of{269} these was headed by some prominent Liberal chieftain; among others, those at Havana by General Loinaz Castillo, in Pinar del Rio by Pino Guerra, and in Santa Clara by Orestes Ferrara, afterward President of the House of Representatives. The real promoters, instigators, and chiefs of the movement were General José Miguel Gomez, afterward President of the Republic; Carlos Garcia, later Minister to England; and Juan Gualberto Gomez, the trusted agent of Alfredo Zayas and leader of the negro Liberals of the island. Convincing proofs, in the form of documents over the signatures of these men, were found showing their treason to the republic. They did not actually lead the insurgent bands, because they were arrested and imprisoned just as they were setting out to do so. President Palma was advised that they should be tried and executed, but he protested against the courts taking such action, on the ground that he could not bring himself to sanction the execution of men, some of whom had in former days been his companions in arms.

In the meantime, the revolutionary force swept through various parts of the island, seizing horses, mules, beef cattle and produce, breaking open groceries and general stores, helping themselves to anything that suited their fancy, occasionally giving in exchange what was known as vale, or a receipt, to the owner, and if the owner happened to be an able bodied man, they usually compelled him to join the so-called "Constitutional Army." Congress at that time happened to have a Liberal majority, and it refused to consider or vote upon the budget of the coming year, thus practically compelling President Palma to use as the basis of expenditures the budget of the preceding year. The Liberals boasted that they had thus compelled the President technically to violate the {270}Constitution, and that they were therefore justified in calling themselves the Constitutional Party and in forcing him out of the Presidency.

The Cuban republic at this time had an armed force of about two thousand men, scattered throughout the island. These were the Rural Guards, and they were efficient, and as a rule loyal to the Palma government; but they were not sufficient in number to protect the sugar estates, and other properties. As before, President Palma refused, until the last moment, to believe that a serious uprising or revolution against his government was possible, on the ground that Cuba, although a young republic, had been very prosperous, that money was plentiful, that work was abundant for any man who cared to occupy himself, and that there was no real reason that would justify or cause a revolution. He cited the history and motives of previous revolutions in Cuba, and of those that had occurred in many other countries, insisting that this uprising could not be serious, and that the people of Cuba would not support it. Unfortunately he was not a politician. He had lived too many years in the safe and sane atmosphere of the United States, and did not realize the intense desire on the part of some of the people in Latin American countries to get into office, regardless of their qualifications or the means employed to accomplish their sordid purposes.

All of this resulted in a sad lack of preparation. President Palma's Secretary of Finance, Colonel Ernesto Fonts-Sterling, and General Rafael Montalvo, Secretary of Public Works, realized the threatening dangers and urged immediate action; and finally against the President's will, twenty machine guns were ordered from the United States, and shipped to Cuba, together with 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition. A call for volunteers{271} was then issued, and in response numerous Americans from various parts of the island, and others from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, in company with patriots of Cuba, came immediately to the side of the government. But the masses of the Cubans were very tired of war, and manifested a peculiar reluctance to assume responsibility, and to act in line with their consciences and best judgment, wherefore the call was not highly successful. Fourteen hundred veterans of the War of Independence, under the command of General Pedro Betancourt, of Matanzas, made response, and presented themselves in Havana for orders. A machine gun corps was formed, the gunners composed largely of Americans who had seen service in the war on the Mexican border, and who soon became excellent marksmen. Many of President Palma's counsellors urged immediate action to suppress the revolution with a firm hand. But he hesitated too long, hoping that some other way out of the difficulty would be discovered.

In this emergency the United States Consul General, Mr. Frank Steinhart, suggested to President Palma that he should request the assistance of the United States, and urged that a commission of military men be sent from Washington, backed by a certain display of naval or military force sufficient to discourage the revolution and to convince the Liberal leaders that further wanton destruction of property would not be tolerated. Mr. Steinhart also assured him that he would see to it that such a commission would come with a full understanding of the situation, and with the power and spirit to assist him in maintaining peace and order. President Palma made this request to which the United States promptly responded by sending the gunboat Bancroft, and a company of marines who immediately came ashore at Havana.{272} Following the Bancroft came other steamers, one of which brought the Secretary of War, William H. Taft, Robert Bacon, Assistant Secretary of State, and Major-General Frederick Funston, with several of his aides.

In fuller explanation of these circumstances some official correspondence may pertinently be cited. On September 8, 1906, Consul General Steinhart sent the following confidential telegram to the State Department:

"Secretary of State, Cuba, has requested me, in name of President Palma, to ask President Roosevelt to send immediately two vessels; one to Havana and other to Cienfuegos; they must come at once. Government forces are unable to quell revolution. The government is unable to protect lives and property. President Palma will convene Congress next Friday, and Congress will ask for our forcible intervention. It must be kept secret and confidential that Palma asked for vessels. No one here except President, Secretary of State and myself know about it. Very anxiously awaiting reply."

The State Department at Washington replied to this on September 10th:

"Your cable received. Two ships have been sent, due to arrive Wednesday. The President directs me to state that perhaps you had not yourself appreciated the reluctance with which this country would intervene. President Palma should be informed that in the public opinion here it would have a most damaging effect for intervention to be undertaken until the Cuban government has exhausted every effort in a serious attempt to put down the insurrection and has made this fact evident to the world. At present the impression certainly would be that there was no real popular support of the Cuban government, or else that the government was hopelessly weak. As conditions are at this moment we are not{273} prepared to say what shape the intervention should take. It is, of course, a very serious matter to undertake forcible intervention, and before going into it we should have to be absolutely certain of the equities of the case and of the needs of the situation. Meanwhile we assume that every effort is being made by the Government to come to a working agreement which will secure peace with the insurrectos, provided they are unable to hold their own with them in the field. Until such efforts have been made, we are not prepared to consider the question of intervention at all."

On September 10, Consul-General Steinhart cabled again:

"Your cable received and directly communicated to the President, who asks ships remain for a considerable time to give security to foreigners in the island of Cuba and says that he will do as much as possible with his forces to put down the insurrection, but if unable to conquer or compromise, Cuban Congress will indicate kind of intervention desirable. He appreciates reluctance on our part to intervene, especially in view of Secretary Root's recent statements. Few, however, understand Cuban situation, and a less number are able to appreciate same. This, of course, without any reference to superior authority. Palma applied public funds in public work and public education, and not in purchase of war materials. Insurrectionists for a considerable time prepared for present condition, hence government's apparent weakness at the commencement. Yesterday's defeat of rebels gives Government hope. Attempts useless from start."

On September 12, Consul-General Steinhart again cabled.

"Secretary of State the Republic of Cuba at 3:40 to-{274}day delivered to me memorandum in his own handwriting, a translation of which follows, and is transmitted notwithstanding the previous secret instructions on the subject. The rebellion is increasing in Provinces of Santa Clara, Habana and Pinar del Rio, and Cuban Government has no elements to contend with it, to defend the towns and prevent the rebels from destroying property. President Estrada Palma asks for American intervention and begs President Roosevelt to send to Habana with the greatest secrecy and rapidity 2,000 or 3,000 men to avoid any catastrophe in the capital. The intervention asked for should not be made public until American troops are in Habana. The situation is grave and any delay may produce massacre of citizens in Habana."

The next day, Mr. Steinhart again cabled:

"President Palma, the Republic of Cuba, through me officially asked for American intervention because he can not prevent rebels from entering cities and burning property. It is doubtful whether quorum when Congress assembles next Friday, tomorrow. President Palma has irrevocably resolved to resign and to deliver the government of Cuba to the representative whom the President of the United States will designate, as soon as sufficient American troops are landed in Cuba. This act on the part of President Palma to save his country from complete anarchy and imperative intervention come immediately. It may be necessary to land force of Denver to protect American property. About 8,000 rebels outside Habana. Cienfuegos also at mercy of rebels. Three sugar plantations destroyed. Foregoing all resolved in Palace."

On September 14, Consul-General Steinhart finally cabled:{275}

"President Palma has resolved not to continue at head of the government, and is ready to present his resignation even though present disturbances should cease at once. The Vice President has resolved not to accept the office. Cabinet ministers have declared that they will previously resign. Under these conditions it is impossible that Congress will meet for the lack of a proper person to convoke same to designate new President. The consequences will be the absence of legal power, and therefore the prevailing state of anarchy will continue unless government of the United States will adopt measures necessary to avoid this danger."

On that day President Roosevelt wrote to Robert Bacon, the Assistant Secretary of State, enclosing a letter to Senor Gonzalo de Quesada, the Cuban minister to the United States for publication in the public press, in which he begged the Cuban patriots to band together, to sink all differences and personal ambitions, and to rescue the island from the anarchy of civil war; closing the letter as follows:

"I am sending to Habana the Secretary of War, Mr. Taft, and the Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Bacon, as special representatives of this Government, who will render such aid as is possible toward these ends. I had hoped that Mr. Root, the Secretary of State, could have stopped in Habana on his return from South America, but the seeming imminence of the crisis forbids further delay."

Messrs. Taft and Bacon reached Cuba on September 19, 1906. Before leaving the ship they were informed that the Secretary of State and Justice of President Palma's cabinet would call at their convenience. They invited him on board at once and had a short talk with him. They were informed that immediately on publication{276} of the President's message, President Palma had directed a cessation of hostilities on the part of the government forces, and that the insurgents had done likewise. Messrs. Taft and Bacon then called upon President Palma. They told him that they regarded themselves as intermediaries and Peace Commissioners, and did not wish to negotiate with rebels in arms without his permission. He suggested that negotiations be conducted between the two political parties, rather than between himself and the insurgents, and suggested that the Vice-President, Mendez Capote, for the Moderate party, and Senator Alfredo Zayas, head of the Liberal party, be the negotiators. He added that General Menocal on behalf of the veterans of the War of Independence had previously attempted, on September 8, to bring about a compromise, but without avail.

William H. Taft

President Palma told Mr. Taft very earnestly and somewhat pathetically of his efforts to teach his people the knowledge of good government gained from his twenty years of residence in the United States, and his association with the American people, and called attention to his successful handling of Cuban finances, to the economy of expenditures of his government, to the fact that he had at all times encouraged the investment of foreign capital, and to the prosperity of his four years as President. He deplored what he regarded as a lack of patriotism on the part of the leaders of the insurrection, and cited a number of instances to prove that they were actuated by motives of greed and desire for office. His{277} demeanor was dignified and earnest, and what he said made a deep impression.

The Americans then went to the home of the American Minister at Marianao, a suburb of Havana, where the insurgents had outposts just across the bridge, about 1,000 yards from the minister's house. There they conferred, as President Palma had suggested, with Señors Capote and Zayas, with the Secretary of Government, General Rafael Montalvo, who had charge of mobilizing the forces of the government; with General Rodriguez, and with the American Consul General, Mr. Steinhart, who had been eight years in the island, understood its conditions, and spoke its language.

It was explained to Mr. Taft that some of the leaders of the revolution had been apprehended, and at present were incarcerated in the penitentiary, but that they could be summoned to the home of the American Minister, if he so desired. He did desire it, and the Liberal leaders were brought from their prison. They included Jose Miguel Gomez, Gualberto Gomez, Carlos Garcia, and others of the group. Senator Alfredo Zayas remained present, and when Mr. Taft asked for a statement from the prisoners regarding the causes of the revolution and their purposes and demands, he acted as counsel and spokesman. Dr. Zayas stated that the election of the President and his government had been absolutely fraudulent; that armed soldiers had prevented the approach of the Liberals to the polls; that they had absolute proof that the votes would never be counted but that the whole proceeding would be a farce, and that, as a protest against such frauds and miscarriage of justice, they had deliberately refrained from going to the polls after ten o'clock in the morning; that the results of the election had been absurd and ridiculous; that the Liberals were greatly in{278} the majority in the island, "as every one knew," and that the government, as constituted, was an imposition on the people, weak, inefficient and corrupt. He added that he and his compatriots wanted nothing more than that which they were in a position to enforce, and which they would have enforced had it not been for the suspension of hostilities which had been acquiesced in by the Liberals only out of deference to Mr. Taft and his commission.

In other words, Dr. Zayas stated that they wished the immediate resignation of President Palma, his cabinet, and all members of Congress who had secured their seats at the last election; and he intimated that the judges of the courts who had been appointed by the Conservative party were corrupt and incompetent, and should be replaced by better men. In fact, they demanded the removal of the entire administration, and the annulment of the results of the last election.

Against this Mr. Taft protested, stating that Dr. Zayas's suggestions were decidedly radical; that so far as Estrada Palma was concerned, he had been elected with at least the moral support of the United States government; that Washington knew and trusted him and had every reason to believe him a thoroughly honest man; and that he could not consent to any move so sweeping as that which Dr. Zayas suggested. Dr. Zayas immediately withdrew his objection to President Palma, stating that, on second thought, his retention as President would preserve the republican form of government, and save the island from a political change that should be avoided if possible. Therefore, Mr. Palma was more than welcome to remain as President of the Republic; but every other condition expressed with reference to Congress, the cabinet and the courts, must be enforced, and at once. That{279} was the ultimatum given to Mr. Taft by the leaders of the Liberals.

This ultimatum was conveyed at once to President Palma, together with the intimation that it was a bad mess all around, and that, since a force variously estimated at between twelve and twenty thousand men surrounded the City of Havana, and property was in danger, and since Orestes Ferrara had already notified the commission that if the demands were not acquiesced in, three of the large sugar plantations in the neighborhood of Cienfuegos would be given over to the torch at daylight the next morning, it was probably best to yield to the demands of the Liberals, and practically to let them have their way, in the interest of peace, brotherhood and conservation of the rights of property.

This astounding and unworthy attitude on the part of the Commission deeply hurt President Palma, who had with good cause expected not only its moral aid but probably also the military support of the armed force that came to Cuba, at least as long as the policy of his government could be justified. This mental attitude was not however indicated by any word that came from his lips. With unmoved dignity he bowed in uncomplaining acquiescence, and said that he entirely understood the situation; that Mr. Taft would receive his resignation as President, by word of mouth and in writing, as quickly as it could be dictated to his secretary; and that he would retire at once from the Presidency of Cuba. Against this action Mr. Taft protested, though he himself had obviously made it necessary, and explained that arrangements had been made, at his suggestion, in which Dr. Zayas as leader of the Liberals had acquiesced, to the effect that Mr. Palma should remain as President of the Republic, although the Liberals demanded the expulsion{280} of all other members of the administration. President Palma thanked Mr. Taft for his expression of faith in him personally, but absolutely refused to consider the withdrawal of his resignation, stating with impregnable logic, which Mr. Taft could not refute, that if his cabinet, his Congress and his courts were fraudulent, or held their positions illegally, he himself, having been elected at the same time, and in the same manner, was not the real President of Cuba. Therefore, he refused to remain longer in office. He added with punctilious courtesy that he would take the liberty of eating his supper in the palace with his family, since it was prepared, but he would not remain within its walls another day.

When this attitude of the President was communicated to the members of the Cuban Congress, a meeting was at once called, at which, after a great deal of animated discussion, a joint committee was appointed, consisting of twenty-four men, to wait upon and expostulate with President Palma, but after several hours of pleading, they were unsuccessful in persuading him to change his mind.

So came the fall of the Palma government, whereupon Secretary Taft assumed complete charge and control of the affairs of the Cuban Republic. The insurgent leaders signed a formal agreement to surrender, in which they promised to restore to their owners the horses and other property which they had seized, though as a matter of fact none of them did so; since, for good measure, perhaps, Mr. Taft through military decree gave to the rebels an absolute deed of ownership of the horses they had stolen from the stables and fields of their rightful owners. It took them nearly two weeks to disarm and disperse. Then Mr. Taft issued a proclamation granting "a full and complete amnesty and pardon to all persons who have{281} directly or indirectly participated in the recent insurrection in Cuba, or who have given aid or comfort to persons participating therein, for offenses political in their nature and committed in the course of the insurrection and prior to disbandment." This amnesty, he added, was to be "considered and construed as covering offenses of rebellion, sedition or conspiracy to commit the same, and other related offenses."

Finally, Mr. Taft announced on October 13 the turning over of the government of the island, with the full power which he himself had exercised, to Mr. Charles E. Magoon, and on that same date Mr. Magoon accepted and was installed in the office, thus beginning the second Government of Intervention. The general feeling of Cubans at that time was divided. The pessimistic elements rather suspected that the United States, having been called there a second time, might never leave. On the other hand, the thinking class, and those who had experienced the United States government and its various administrations in Cuba, especially under General Leonard Wood, were confident that it was only a temporary régime that circumstances had made necessary, and they hoped that out of it much good would come.

Thus ended the most pathetic and tragic incident in the history of the Cuban Republic, and the one which was on the whole most discreditable to the United States. Nothing could have been more deplorable than that a statesman of the great ability, the lofty ideals and especially the generally judicial mind of Mr. Taft should thus weakly and illogically have yielded to a vile conspiracy, manifested through lawless threats and unproved clamor, against a Chief of State who in validity of title, in purity of character, in unselfish devotion to the public good, and in potential efficiency of enlightened administrationship,{282} was not unworthy to be ranked even in the same category with the great President under whom Mr. Taft himself held his commission.

Estrada Palma, according to Mr. Taft's intimation, had erred. History will forever record that he erred chiefly if not solely in assuming, in his own transparent integrity, that other men were as honest as himself. He was, his enemies asserted, weak. But intelligence and justice must discern and declare that his only weakness was in an over-confidence in the people to whose service he had given all the best of his life and in whose loyalty and support he imagined that he could securely trust. He could not, in the greatness of his own soul, bring himself to believe it possible for men, for men calling themselves Cuban patriots, to do such things as those which Jose Miguel Gomez and Alfredo Zayas and Orestes Ferrara and their coparceners did. He was not moved by weakness, but by a desire to protect Cuba from the ravages of sordid revolution and from the unscrupulous exploitation of bushwhacking bandits, and to preserve for the Cuban people and their Republic the good name which had been so fairly and as he thought fully established during the years of his first administration. His place in the annals of Cuba is secure. His rank among the constitutional executives of the world is enviably high. There has been in Cuba or elsewhere no more honest administration than his, and none that more intelligently, unselfishly and untiringly strove to fulfil its every duty to the state. Its untimely fall is not to be charged against any subjective fault of its own, but to the unscrupulous malice of sordid foes, the apathy of the people in whom too great confidence had been reposed, and to the inexplicable betrayal by those who should have supported and protected it but who instead consented to its destruction.{283}


Mr. Magoon came to Cuba but little known to Cubans and unfamiliar with what was before him. During this second American intervention there were some radical changes in the administration, and more public works were undertaken than President Palma had ventured upon. The consensus of opinion among American officers, all the officers who had accompanied Mr. Magoon, was that the Palma administration had made a mistake in allowing so much money to accumulate in the treasury. It had become a temptation to those who were not in power, and it would have been better to have the money expended along lines that would tend to advance the republic rather than to permit it to accumulate. So it was realized that if it was not expended during Mr. Magoon's administration, it would be spent, and probably largely wasted, if not actually misappropriated, by the Liberals if they should secure control of the government.

The most unfortunate thing in connection with the visit of Mr. Taft, and therefore with the administration of Mr. Magoon, was that the Liberals had apparently gained their ends. The majority of thoughtful and patriotic Cubans had expected the intervention of the United States to result in the upholding of law, order and justice in the support of President Palma and his administration. They had expected that Mr. Taft would take time to investigate the case thoroughly, and that he would insist at the outset, as an indispensable preliminary to his{284} entering into conference with them, that the Liberal insurgents should surrender their arms and ammunition, return the property which they had stolen, and submit themselves loyally to the constitutional government of the island; and that after that, but only after it, he would see to it that justice was done to them as to all parties and all people. That course was unfortunately not taken. Mr. Taft entered into conference with unrepentant and defiant rebels whose followers were at the moment in arms, threatening and preparing to make further criminal assaults upon property and life. He regarded or at least treated them as no less worthy of a hearing and of being taken into conference than the President himself; and despite his protests he concluded the sorry performance by practically ousting President Palma and his cabinet at the behest of these lawless insurgents.

The sequel was tragedy. Estrada Palma died, not of pneumonia but of a broken heart. Nor was that all. Encouragement was given to the lawless and criminal elements of the island, and to those who resort to violence, insurrection and revolution as the means of attaining their political ends, which has been felt ever since and which has repeatedly given rise to attempts to repeat the performance which then was so successful. Recognition was given to the Liberals, through what were doubtless good but certainly were mistaken motives, and the Liberals insisted upon maintaining that recognition and profiting from it. So when a Council, or Consulting Board, of eleven members was formed with General Enoch H. Crowder as chairman, it contained only two Conservatives and one man of doubtful affiliations. Three members, Senors Garcia Kohly, Viondi and Carrera, did not belong to the August revolutionists but were members of the Moderado party, which had supported{285} Estrada Palma. They acted as "Independents" on the Commission, though they were intimately associated with the Liberals, and as "Independents" they participated in the municipal elections. But later they joined the Liberals outright. All the rest of the Commission, or Consulting Board, were Liberals who had actually taken part in the rebellion. No appointment to office could be made without the sanction of that Board, and the result was that the Second Government of Intervention was packed with Liberal placeholders. Competent men, who had served the State well under President Palma's administration, were dismissed and replaced by incompetents whose sole recommendation was that they were Liberals. Now the voters of Cuba are as a rule easily impressed, and do not always appreciate the possibility, through hard work, of transforming a minority into a majority. They delight in being at once on the winning side, and therefore pay much attention to determining not so much which of two rival and contending parties is really right and deserving of support, as which side is going to win. The fact that the Liberal leaders, who previously had had almost no recognition, social, political or official, suddenly came to the front, and with the apparent acquiescence of the United States, or of the commission appointed in Washington, were exerting great influence, seemed a pretty sure indication, or at least was so interpreted, that the United States had changed its ideas with regard to the government in Cuba, and was favoring, and probably would continue to favor and sustain the Liberal party. That was one of the reasons why the Liberals won their next election. In fact they pointed to it as evidence of America's moral support, and frequently referred to and displayed an order, said to have been issued through mistake, which provided that every man{286} who had stolen a horse, and who confessed his theft frankly, should have full proprietary title to that horse and need not surrender it to the owner. The order is still on the statute books, a memento of the American intervention. That was resented by the better citizens; it discouraged many people who had had great confidence in the United States, and it illustrates not the general policy of the second government of intervention, but some of the unfortunate things that took place under that intervention, that seemed to the better class in Cuba, as mistaken.

Mr. Magoon spent the larger part of the money found in the treasury on public works, the building of roads, and various enterprises for the best interests of the island. It is claimed that in some instances the contracts became a source of graft, and that the roads were not built according to specifications. At any rate, they were built, and were sorely needed, and the results on the whole were excellent. Of the 6,000,000 left by the Palma administration nearly every dollar was expended at that time.

Although the second Government of Intervention was theoretically and nominally, and doubtless meant to be actually, quite non-political and impartial as between the Cuban parties, the very circumstances of its origin made it appear to favor the Liberals. It had come into power by accepting the resignation of the Palma administration, which was practically Conservative, at the demand of the Liberals. The Liberals thus enjoyed all through its duration the prestige of victory, without having to bear any of the responsibility of being in office, or incurring any of the odium which is almost inevitable to every human government which has not learned to achieve the impossible task of pleasing everybody. There was no such foundation work to do as had been{287} done under the first Intervention, and the American government busied itself principally with routine matters, and with making it possible for the Cubans to resume control of their own affairs.

One of the most important undertakings at this time from a non-political point of view was the taking of a new census. This was not done on so elaborate a scale as the preceding census of 1899, but was more strictly an enumeration of the people, for purposes of apportionment, etc. It was taken under the direction of the American Government of Intervention in 1907, the actual work on it being done by a staff of Cuban canvassers and statisticians, and it was believed to have been accurately and comprehensively done.

The work of compiling the new census of Cuba which was taken in 1907 was continued in the early part of 1908 and was completed and results were published at the end of March of that year. The total population of the island was reported to be 2,048,980, and out of this number 419,342 were citizens and entitled to vote. It was then arranged to hold municipal and provincial elections on August 1, and a national election on November 14. These elections would be essential parts of the processes by which the United States government would bring its second intervention to a close and restore the island to the control and government of its own people. The electoral law under which they were to be conducted was promulgated for the August election on April 1 and for the November election on September 11, 1908.

This law had three salient and characterizing features. The first was that it established a system of permanent election boards which were charged with the work of conducting the elections. In each municipality there was to be a board of three members. In each department{288} or province there was to be a board of five members of whom two were to be representatives of the two principal political parties of the island while the other three were to be non-political members, officials of the courts or representatives of the education department. The second salient feature of the law was a system of compulsory registration. This provided for the making and keeping by the election boards of lists of all persons in the island who were entitled to vote. The basis of these lists was the census of 1907, and it was provided that the lists should be revised, corrected and amplified by the election boards every year.

The third and perhaps the most important feature of the law was its provision for proportional representation. This secured minority representation, giving each of the important political parties membership in legislative bodies and also in the Electoral College representation in proportion to the number of votes polled.

Under the constitution of Cuba the right of suffrage is guaranteed to every adult male in full enjoyment of his ordinary civil rights. This of course bestows the franchise upon a great number of illiterate persons. The commission which revised the electoral law in 1908 carefully considered the question of undertaking in some way to deal with the illiterate vote so that it would not be, as it seemed on the face to be, a potential menace to the state. It was finally decided however, that it would be impracticable and inadvisable to attempt in any way to modify the constitution. Provisions were, however, adopted whereby alien residents of the island, although not permitted to vote, were made eligible for election as members of municipal councils and also as associate members of municipal commissions.


The Academy of Arts and Crafts is one of the notable institutions which make Havana an important centre of culture, both theoretical and applied. This great school of technology was opened in 1882, and occupies a fine building of dignified and impressive academic architecture.


The Academy of Arts and Crafts is one of the notable institutions which
make Havana an important centre of culture, both theoretical and
applied. This great school of technology was opened in 1882, and
occupies a fine building of dignified and impressive academic


The provincial and municipal elections occurred on August 1. There were in the field three major political parties, namely, the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Historical Liberals. The latter two were formed by a split which had occurred in the Liberal party. The principal faction was led by Jose Miguel Gomez, who claimed to be representative of the original and only simon pure Liberals, and who regarded the other faction as an illegitimate schism. The followers of Gomez accordingly called themselves the Historical Liberal Party, but were popularly known as the Miguelistas. The other faction was led by Alfredo Zayas and called itself simply the Liberal Party, being popularly known as the Zayistas. There was another insignificant faction which had been known as the National Independent Party but which now merged itself with the Zayistas. The third party was of course the Conservative.

The result of the elections of August 1 was the polling of 269,132 votes or about 60 per cent. of the registration. The Conservatives elected their candidates for Governor in the three provinces of Pinar del Rio, Matanzas and Santa Clara. In the municipalities of the island the Conservatives elected twenty-eight mayors, the Miguelistas thirty-five and the Zayistas eighteen. The elections were conducted quietly and legally, no serious charges of intimidation or fraud were made, and the results were loyally accepted by men of all parties.

The campaign for the Presidential election was then continued with much zeal. The results of the election of August 1 were taken deeply to heart by the various Liberal leaders as demonstrating to them that the split in their party would be fatal to them in the national election unless it were healed or at least some sort of a modus vivendi were established. Accordingly Jose Miguel Gomez and Alfredo Zayas "got together" and{290} agreed upon a compromise of their claims. It was altogether apparent that Gomez was on the whole the stronger of the two candidates. Also he was the older of the two men. Therefore it was agreed that he should have the first chance at the Presidency of Cuba. He should be the candidate at the coming election of 1908, but if he was successful in being elected he should not seek a second term but at the end of his first should step aside and give his support to Zayas as his successor. With this understanding the party was reunited for the purposes of the campaign. Gomez was made the candidate for the Presidency and Zayas was nominated for the Vice-Presidency. The Conservatives nominated for the Presidency General Mario G. Menocal and for the Vice-Presidency Doctor Rafael Montoro.

The campaign was conducted with much spirit and earnestness but generally in a dignified and law abiding manner. The chief stock in trade of the Liberals was abuse of the former administration of Estrada Palma, and of General Menocal as the inheritor of its traditions and policies. There were also many intemperate attacks upon Doctor Montoro because of his former association with the Autonomist party and the brief Autonomist Government during the later part of the War of Independence. How insincere this criticism of Dr. Montoro was appeared a little later when that statesman was appointed to a very important office under the Gomez administration.

The election occurred on November 14, under the general supervision of the American Government of Intervention, and was conducted in a peaceful and legal manner, giving no cause for serious complaints on either side. The result of the polling was a decisive victory for the Liberal party. Of the 331,455 votes the Liberals{291} polled 201,199 and the Conservatives 130,256, there being thus a Liberal majority of 70,943. The Liberals carried all six provinces of the island, obtaining their largest majorities in Havana, Santa Clara and Oriente. Gomez and Zayas were assured of the entire electoral vote, though under the law of proportional representation for minorities the Conservatives elected thirty-two members of Congress to the Liberals' fifty-one.

Various reasons were assigned for this decisive defeat of General Menocal. One was, that the Liberals were in the public eye as coming men. It was said that as their leaders had never been tried as directors of the Republic, it was time to give them an opportunity to show what they could do. The policy which the Liberals had outlined in advance was very attractive to certain classes of the population. They promised to abolish the law which General Wood had made, prohibiting cock-fighting. They even harked back to "Jack" Cade for inspiration, and promised that when they came into power there should be no necessity for men to work as hard as they had been doing. In token of these two promises they adopted as their pictorial emblem in the campaign a plow standing idle in a weed-grown field without plowman or oxen, and with a fighting cock perched upon its beam. Their campaign cry might therefore appropriately have been "Cockfighting and Idleness!" It is not agreeable to recall that such issues appealed to so large a proportion of the citizens of Cuba that upon them the election of 1908 was won.

Much of the stock in trade of the Liberal campaign consisted also in denunciation of General Menocal. The Liberals declared that he was representative of the class and the régime that had practically been dismissed by the United States government in the Second Intervention,{292} namely, the "silk-stocking" or intellectual class, which did not sympathize with the people and with the real cause of popular liberty. It was also pointed out as though it were an opprobrious fact that General Menocal had associated with himself as Vice-Presidential candidate Dr. Rafael Montoro, to whose character and ability not even the Liberals ventured to take exception, but who had been an Autonomist. When this reputed reason for his defeat was mentioned to General Menocal he declared that he was willing to accept it, though he did not believe it to be the true one; adding that after having been associated with Dr. Montoro during the campaign and having intimately exchanged ideas with him, he regarded him, Autonomist though he had been, as one of the best men Cuba had ever produced, and would more gladly be defeated with him than be victorious with the companion of his opponent.

The various provincial and municipal officers who had been elected on August 1 took office and the new provincial laws went into effect on October 1, 1908. Because of the persistent failure of the Cuban Congress hitherto to enact new municipal legislation these were the first local officials chosen by the people since the municipal elections which were held under the first American Government of Intervention of 1901. Since 1901 all vacancies occurring in municipal offices had been filled either by the votes of the municipal councils themselves or by appointment of the national government. This was because no provision had been made for their election by the people. Naturally this state of affairs gave great dissatisfaction and repeated demands were made by the Liberals for the removal of the holdover officials. It was also contended by the Liberals that the election of members of the provincial councils in 1905 had been{293} illegal. Under the old law provincial governors and councilmen were elected for four years and half of the council was renewed every two years. Thus half of the council was elected in 1903 and these members took their seats in 1904, and half were again elected in 1905 and took their seats in 1906. The contention of the Liberals was that this latter half, of 1905-1906, were illegal. On April 6, 1908, the terms of councilmen elected in 1903 and seated in 1904 expired, leaving in office only those who had been elected in 1905 and seated in 1906, whom the Liberals affected to regard as having been illegally elected, and who in any case were not sufficient for a legal quorum. The Liberals demanded therefore that all seats be declared vacant and that the powers of the provincial assemblies be vested for the time in the Provisional Government of Intervention. This was done, and the provincial governors were also required to resign. These latter vacancies were filled temporarily by the appointment of United States army officers, who served until October 1, 1908, when they were succeeded by men elected by the Cuban people.

There was undoubtedly great need for a thorough revision of the laws of Cuba. Those existing at this time were for the most part a legacy of the old Spanish government and it was quite obvious that laws which had been enacted by a despotic government for the control of a subject colony were not suited for a free and independent republic. They were certainly not in harmony with the constitution which had been adopted. It was an anomalous state of affairs that after the adoption of the constitution Cuban municipalities should continue to be governed under the Spanish provincial and municipal code of 1878. This code gave the Central Government not only intimate supervision over but practical control{294} of all municipal affairs, even to the smallest details, and naturally was very unsatisfactory to the people who were desirous of local home rule as well as of national independence. In fact the efforts of the national authorities to enforce these laws were regarded with displeasure and actually caused strong local antagonism to the national government.

Under the second government of intervention, therefore, a commission was organized in 1907 consisting of both Cubans and Americans, the former being the majority, for the purpose of drafting elaborate codes of electoral, municipal, provincial, judiciary and civil service laws. This commission completed its work but all its recommendations were not adopted. Its provincial and municipal codes were however put into effect on October 1, 1908.

The general condition of the island during the second American intervention was excellent so far as the maintenance of law and order was concerned. This was largely due to the efficient work of the Rural Guard, the operations of which were directed by a number of American officers detailed for that purpose. While brigandage was not wholly suppressed, it was much diminished and held in check.

One of the chief controversies with which the government of intervention had to deal was that with the Roman Catholic church over various properties formerly belonging to it which had been confiscated by the Spanish government. There was some such property in the province of Oriente, a part of extensive estates once held by certain monastic orders. It had been taken by the Spanish government during the Ten Years' War, and at the end of that conflict the government refused to return it, but instead of doing so agreed to make an annual appropriation{295} for the benefit of the church. Upon the separation of State and Church under American intervention in 1899 these appropriations were discontinued, whereupon the church claimed that the property should be restored to it. The validity of this claim was recognized by the American government, but instead of complying with it by actual restoration of the property that government purchased a part of the property from the church at a price mutually agreed upon as satisfactory. It was over the remainder of this property that the controversy was renewed, and it was settled by a similar purchase in 1908. Another such controversy arose over valuable property in Havana, which had been taken from the church by the government for the custom house and other public offices; and it also was settled by fair purchase on July 12, 1907.

After the installation of provincial and municipal officers on October 1, 1908, and after the successful conduct of the national election on November 14 following, the American Government of Intervention busied itself chiefly with preparations for withdrawing from the island and returning the control and government to the representative of the Cuban people. This was finally effected on January 28, 1909, when Governor Magoon retired and Jose Miguel Gomez became President of Cuba. The total cost to Cuba of the second American intervention was estimated at about $6,000,000.

The general feeling of the responsible people of Cuba concerning the second American intervention was one of extreme disappointment, owing to the fact that they compared it with the intervention under General Wood, or rather with the conduct of affairs under him. That first intervention was under the control of military officers, and when they made up their mind that a thing should be done, it was done, and as a rule well done, and{296} the example which was set in directing affairs of the government, organizing public works, schools, in sanitation, and in auditing, made the second intervention suffer by comparison.{297}


Jose Miguel Gomez became President and Alfredo Zayas became Vice-President of the Republic of Cuba on January 28, 1909. With a substantial majority in Congress ready to do his will, and with the immeasurable prestige of success, first over the Palma Administration and later in the contest at the polls, the President was almost all-powerful to adopt and to execute whatever designs he had, either for the assumed welfare of Cuba or for the strengthening of his own political position. He selected a Cabinet of his own supporters, as follows:

Secretary of State, Senor Garcia Velez.
Secretary of Justice, Senor Divino.
Secretary of Government, Senor Lopez Leiva.
Secretary of the Treasury, Senor Diaz de Villegas.
Secretary of Public Works, Senor Chalons.
Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce and Labor, Senor Foyo.
Secretary of Public Instruction and Arts, Senor Meza.
Secretary of Sanitation and Charity, Senor Duque.
Secretary to the President, Senor Damaso Pasalodos.

Not many of these men had hitherto been conspicuous in the affairs of the island, in either peace or war, and their capacity for service was untried. It cannot be said that they were regarded with any large degree of enthusiastic confidence by the nation at large. Yet there was indubitably a general purpose, even among the most resolute Conservatives, to give them a fair trial and to wish them success. Men who had the welfare of Cuba{298} at heart cherished that welfare far above any mere personal or partisan ambitions.


It would not be easy to imagine a man much more different from the first President of Cuba than his successor, the second President; though indeed the latter was a man of no mean record, especially in war. Jose Miguel Gomez was born in Sancti Spiritus on July 6, 1858. He there obtained his earlier education, which he continued at the Institute of Havana, taking his degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in 1875. He joined the revolutionary forces shortly before the end of the Ten Years' War. When, after the Zanjon Peace, the struggle broke out afresh, in the Little War, Gomez took once more to the field and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. This outbreak having failed, he returned to his home and devoted himself to managing his father's estate in Sancti Spiritus. When once more the Cuban patriots resumed their struggle for the cause of independence in 1895, he again answered the call to arms. The action of Manajato won for him the rank of Colonel and the command of the Sancti Spiritus brigade. He was subsequently promoted to Brigadier General and then to the rank of Division General, after the battle of Santa Teresa where he was wounded. By the year 1898 he was at the head of the first division of the Fourth Army Corps which operated in Santa Clara Province. In this command he figured in most of the battles fought in that section at the time. The capture of the supposedly impregnable ingenio Canambo in the Trinidad Valley was one of the feats of{299} this campaign. Also the attack and capture of Jibaro, a town defended by a strong contingent, and the operation of strategical importance conducted against Arroyo Blanco, are to the General's credit in this campaign, in which he was effectively assisted by a remarkable staff of young men, who won a reputation for their capability and courage. When the Santa Cruz del Sur Assembly met, at the close of the war against Spain, General Gomez was elected to represent Santa Clara. Shortly after, he formed part of a delegation which was sent to Washington on a diplomatic mission. On his return to Cuba he was appointed Civil Governor of the Province of Santa Clara on March 14, 1899; which position he held until September 27, 1905, when he resigned, having been nominated as the candidate of the Liberal party for the Presidency. His years of office as Governor of Santa Clara were interrupted by his attending the sessions of the Constitutional Convention at Havana, as a delegate from Santa Clara. When General Gomez was defeated by President Estrada Palma, who ran for re-election, conspiracies and agitations were organized which culminated in the revolt of August, 1906, against Estrada Palma's administration. Of this conspiracy and agitation Gomez was the organizer and leader. The Palma Government having proved its inability to quench the uprising, the American authorities intervened, and at the close of that intervention, on January 28, 1909, Gomez was installed as President of Cuba.

Of different type entirely, yet not unsuited to work with Jose Miguel Gomez whenever their mutual interests made cooperation desirable, was the new Vice-President, Dr. Alfredo Zayas. He too was a man of conspicuous record, in the War of Independence and afterward, though it had not been made on the field of battle.{300}

Alfredo Zayas was born on February 21, 1861, and took his degree of licentiate in administrative law in 1882 at the University of Havana, and the following year in civil and canonic law. He soon acquired a reputation as a lawyer and in the world of letters. During the War of Independence he was the delegate in Havana of the revolutionary party. His activities in this connection having been discovered, he was imprisoned in September, 1896, and was sent to Spain and incarcerated at several of the prisons of the Spanish Government in Africa. After the War of Independence, Dr. Zayas led an active political life. He was the founder and Secretary of the Patriotic Committee, was a prominent member of the Constituent Convention, of which he acted as Secretary, and was foremost in organizing and leading the activities of the National, Liberal-National and Liberal parties. He served as Senator from the Province of Havana. He was one of the jurists who formed the Consultative Committee, appointed to draw up the organic laws of the executive and judicial powers, as well as the laws relating to the provincial and municipal institutions. At different times he occupied the posts of prosecuting attorney, municipal judge, and sub-secretary of Justice. During the revolutionary movement which took place in 1906 against the Estrada Palma administration, Dr. Zayas was president of the revolutionary committee. After the provisional administration which followed the fall of President Palma, he was elected to the Vice-Presidency of the Republic.



Dr. Zayas's life in the world of letters is no less interesting. From 1890-93 he published various periodicals and collaborated in others. He has written several books on Cuban history and studies on the language of the primitive inhabitants of the Island, on bibliography, on questions relating to law and political economy, etc. He is a member of the Academy of History and for eleven years was President of the Sociedad Economica.

The armed forces of the American government were of course withdrawn from Cuba on January 28, 1909, at the same time with the retirement of Governor Magoon and the second Government of Intervention, and the maintenance of order was left for a time entirely with the Rural Guard. That body of men had been very efficient during the American intervention and was considered by many to be quite ample for all the military purposes of the island. During 1909, however, President Gomez decided to organize a permanent Cuban army. To the chief command of this he appointed his friend Pino Guerra. The organization consisted of a general staff, a brigade of two regiments of infantry of three battalions each, amounting to about 2,500 officers and men; two batteries of light field artillery and four batteries of mounted artillery, amounting to about 800 officers and men; a machine gun corps of four companies comprising 500 officers and men; and a corps of coast artillery comprising 1,000 officers and men. This force was trained and equipped under the direction of officers of the United States army who were borrowed for the purpose by the Cuban government.

The administration of President Gomez was marked with the enactment of many new laws, and of the undertaking of a number of enterprises. One law granted amnesty to all persons excepting those who had been convicted{302} of certain peculiarly odious offenses. Another suspended the duty on the export of sugar, tobacco and liquors which had been imposed by the former Palma administration. On the other hand an additional tax was imposed upon all imports. Early in the administration a perpetual franchise was granted for telephone service throughout the entire Island, an act which was severely criticized on the ground that the President himself was believed to derive pecuniary profit from it. Laws were also enacted in 1909, legalizing cock fighting and establishing the national lottery.

In 1910, the second year of this administration, President Gomez began to manifest marked sensitiveness toward the criticisms which were made of his administration, and on February 3, two editors were convicted of libelling him, because they had accused him of deriving profit from governmental activities, and they were sentenced to terms of imprisonment. In April, he appointed to a place in his cabinet Senor Morua, a negro, and the first member of that race to hold cabinet office in Cuba. In July an insurrection occurred in Oriente near the town of El Caney, which was suppressed by the Rural Guards with little difficulty.

The active participation of government officers in party politics led to a disturbing incident at the beginning of August. At that time the Secretary of the Treasury, Senor Villegas, attended a convention of the Liberal party where he became involved in a violent quarrel. In consequence, the president ordered that thereafter no member of the Cabinet should be permitted to attend political meetings, or engage in active political work; whereupon Villegas resigned his place in the Cabinet.

In November, congressional elections were held to elect half of the members of the House of Representatives.{303} During the campaign the former quarrel in the Liberal party became acute. One faction started a violent agitation for the suppression of all religious orders in the Island, for the abolition of trusts in business, and for the prohibition of the holding of property in Cuba by foreign corporations. The other faction took for the chief plank in its platform the repudiation of the Platt Amendment. An attempt was also made by the negro members of the party to organize a third faction, comprising exclusively the members of their race. Because of these dissensions in the Liberal party the Conservatives made a somewhat better showing at the election than they had done in 1908, but the Liberals were generally successful and secured a majority in Congress.

At the opening of the session, President Gomez urged revision of the tariff in order to provide fuller protection for certain manufacturing industries; the building of a new Palace of Justice; and the establishment at state expense of public libraries in the chief cities. During this year an attempt was made to assassinate General Pino Guerra, but it was unsuccessful. The would-be assassin was arrested and Guerra professed to recognize in him an officer of the police who had had some grudge against him. Alfredo Zayas and Frank Steinhart, the former United States Consul General, also made public complaints of attempts to assassinate them, and reported the matter to the Supreme Court, but that tribunal declined to investigate their charges. An attempt was made to connect the attempted assassination of General Guerra with a bill pending before Congress, which provided that the head of the army should not be removed excepting for cause. It was said that this bill was strongly opposed by the Commander of the Rural Guards, and that he had in consequence incited the attempt to assassinate Guerra.{304} There was much public discussion and agitation of this matter, but nothing practical resulted from it.

Charges continued to be made increasingly of the profligacy and corruption of the Gomez administration. It was charged, doubtless with much truth, that the number of public offices and office holders had been unnecessarily multiplied to a scandalous extent for the sake of giving profitable jobs to the friends of Liberal leaders. It was also intimated that the Government had subsidized the press to suppress the truth concerning these and other charges, and thus to avoid an open scandal which might result in a third American intervention. Taxation was declared to be excessive and oppressive, amounting in some cases to as much as 30 per cent. of the value of the property. Other charges were that public offices, executive, legislative and even judicial, were practically sold to the highest bidder for cash; that concessions for public utilities were similarly disposed of for the profit not of the public but of members of the Government, and that then extortionate prices were charged to the public for the service rendered; that the natural resources of Cuba were thus being parceled out to speculators for cash; that a bill purporting to be for the improvement of the ports had increased four-fold the expenses of those ports, for the enrichment of a speculative company, and that in general the functions of the government were being perverted to the uses and the personal enrichment of a ring of Liberal politicians.

As the date of the electoral campaign of 1912 drew near, the conduct of the administration became such as to incur the menace of another intervention. In January of that year an arbitrary attempt was made by President Gomez to thwart the activities and impair the influence of the Veterans' Association, by forbidding army{305} officers and members of the Rural Guard to attend any of its meetings, on the pretended ground that they were engaged in factional political agitation. As the organization was in no sense a partisan affair, but was composed of men of varying shades of political opinion who had the good of Cuba at heart, and who strove to avert the danger of further intervention by making and keeping the Cuban government above reproach, this decree of the President's was sharply resented and was openly disobeyed by many army officers. When on the evening of Sunday, January 14, 1912, many officers and Rural Guards attended a meeting of the National Council of the Veterans' Association, and were received with much enthusiasm, the situation caused so much disquiet that the United States government felt constrained to send a note of warning to President Gomez, stating that it was much concerned over the state of affairs in Cuba; that the laws must be enforced and order maintained; and that the President of the United States looked to the President and government of Cuba to see to it that there was no need of a third intervention.

This note evoked from President Gomez the declaration that matters in Cuba were not in as bad a state as had been reported, and that he had the whole situation well in hand. General Emilio Nunez, the head of the Veterans' Association, declared that that organization would remain firm in its object to guarantee peace, to moralize the Administration, and to spread patriotism in the hearts of the people; and that it protested against that which might be a menace to the freedom and independence of Cuba, with confidence that the people of the United States would never regard its unselfish and patriotic campaign as an excuse for unwarranted intervention. He added that the Association had not sought to annul the law against participation{306} in politics by the army, but resented the charge in the Presidents' decree that it was "playing politics." "Patriotically we shall make every sacrifice, but we shall never resign ourselves to be miserable slaves dominated by irresponsible power untrammelled by laws or principles."

The leaders of the Liberal party were by no means a unit in attitude toward the crisis, the antagonism already mentioned between President Gomez and Vice-President Zayas flaming up anew. The newspaper organ of the Zayista faction openly declared: "We are on the brink of an abyss, whither we have been brought by the stubborn stupidity of a portion of the administration and by flagrant contempt for Congress and its enactments. These things have brought on all our existing ills." Orestes Ferrara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, much alarmed at the menace of intervention which might on this occasion have been as disastrous to the Liberals as the former intervention had been to the administration of Estrada Palma, declared that party differences must be dropped and that "We must resign our passions and ambitions to save Cuba from another shameful foreign domination."

Meantime the masses of thoughtful, patriotic citizens, disgusted with what they regarded as governmental extravagance and corruption, held themselves in admirable restraint, hoping that the peril of intervention would be in some way avoided until they could have an opportunity of permanently averting it through the election of a government which would give the United States no further cause for anxiety or for even a thought of resuming control of Cuban affairs. The crisis was thus fortunately passed, and the settlement of the Cuban people with the{307} administration of Jose Miguel Gomez was postponed, as was fitting, until the fall elections.

There followed a little later another ominous incident, for which President Gomez was largely responsible, but which he repudiated and dealt with in an energetic and efficient manner. The attempt, already referred to, at the organization of a negro party in the election campaign of 1910 was followed in May, 1912, by the outbreak of what seemed to be a formidable negro revolt. The leaders of this movement were two negro friends of Gomez, General Estenoz and General Ivonnet. They had been officers in the War of Independence, and it was said that Gomez had promised them and their negro followers great rewards if they would support him in his campaign for the presidency. When these promises were unfulfilled, these two men went through the Island urging the negroes to organize a political party of their own, which would probably hold the balance of power between the Conservatives and Liberals. Because of their violent agitation to this end they were arrested and imprisoned for a time. Then they were released and treated with much consideration. Indeed, they were offered appointment to offices, which, however, they declined. Instead, they renewed their agitation, and on May 22 an open revolt under their leadership occurred. So serious did the situation appear that an appeal was made to the United States Government, and preparations were actually made to send a naval and military expedition to protect the lives and property of Americans in the Island. President Gomez, however, rallied his military forces with much energy, and on June 14 completely routed the main body of the insurgents, capturing all their supplies of ammunition and provisions. This practically ended{308} the trouble. Estenoz was killed in the fighting, and Ivonnet was captured and then killed; "in an attempt to escape."

Another embarrassment for the passing administration occurred in August, 1912, when the United States government called upon President Gomez to make prompt settlement of certain claims which had been pending for two years, amounting to more than $500,000, and growing out of contracts for the waterworks and sanitation of the city of Cienfuegos. President Gomez protested that the Cuban treasury was without funds for the purpose, and that it would be necessary to wait until Congress could make a special appropriation. This reply was not convincing, seeing that payment of these identical claims had been made in a loan of $10,000,000 which the Cuban government had made in New York with the approval of the United States; and it was naturally assumed at Washington either that the money had been spent for other purposes or that it was being purposely withheld by President Gomez on some technicality or for some ulterior motive.

As an incident of this controversy, in the closing days of August, the Liberal press of Havana conducted a campaign of vilification against Hugh S. Gibson, the American Chargé d'Affaires in Cuba, which culminated in a personal assault upon that gentleman by Enrique Maza, a member of the staff of one of the papers. This outrage provoked a sharp protest from the Washington government, in terms which implied a menace of action if reparation were not made. This alarmed President Gomez, and caused him to make at least a show of punishing the offender, and to write a long message of apology and pleading to President Taft, in which he promised to deal with Maza and with the newspapers which had been{309} slandering Mr. Gibson, to the full extent of the law, and begged for a reassuring statement of friendship from the United States government. Ultimately Maza was punished by imprisonment, and the penalty of the law was also applied to Senor Soto, the responsible editor of one of the papers which had most libelled the American Charge d'Affaires. The Cienfuegos claim was also paid; but because of it an attempt was made to enact a law excluding all foreign contractors from participation in Cuban public works!

The Presidential election occurred on November 1, and resulted, as we shall hereafter see, in assurance that the Liberal party would be retired from power in May of the following year, and that the government of the island would be confided to the hands of those who had striven to uphold the wise and patriotic administration of Estrada Palma. In the few remaining months of his administration President Gomez pursued substantially the same policy that had marked the preceding years. In March, 1913, Congress enacted an Amnesty bill which would have meant a general jail delivery throughout the Island, and which President Gomez was strongly inclined to sign. He was restrained at the last moment from doing so, however, by the energetic protests of the United States government, which indeed were tantamount to an ultimatum; and instead returned the measure to Congress with his veto, and with a recommendation that it be revised so as to avoid the objections of the United States—though he did not directly mention the United States—and then repassed. This was done and the modified bill became a law at the middle of April.

In addition to the general extravagance of the Gomez administration, the overcrowding of all government offices with superfluous and incompetent placeholders, and{310} the expenditure of more than $140,000,000 within two and a half years, there were several specific performances which provoked severe censure. One of these was the installation of the National Lottery, which was done by vote of Congress at the dictation of the President. The pretext given for this was that Cubans loved to gamble, and that if they had no lottery of their own they would send their money to Madrid, for chances in the lottery there; and it was better to keep their money in Cuba than to have it sent to Spain.

Another act of the administration which incurred strong censure and which was ultimately repealed by the government of President Menocal, with the approval of the courts, was what was commonly known as the "Dragado deal." This was the granting to a speculative corporation composed chiefly of Liberal politicians and called the Ports Improvement Company of Cuba, of an omnibus concession for the dredging of harbors, reclaiming of coastal swamp lands, and similar works; for which the corporation was authorized to collect port fees, including a heavy surtax on imported merchandise, of which a small proportion would go to the government and the remainder to the coffers of the corporation. This concession was granted by President Gomez in 1911, against the advice of the United States government, and against strong and widespread protests from the people and press of Cuba, by whom it was regarded as a monstrous piece of corrupt jobbery. While it was in force, this concession paid millions of dollars a year to its holders, with an almost undiscernible minimum of advantage to the nation.

Following this came a bargain with the railroads centering in Havana, by which the arsenal grounds belonging to the Republic and comprising a large and valuable tract lying immediately on the Bay of Havana were given{311} to those companies in exchange for two comparatively small plots which had been occupied by them as a terminal station and warehouse. In addition the railroad companies agreed to build, or to provide the money for building, a new Presidential Palace, which President Gomez hoped to have finished in time for his own occupancy. This exchange was, in itself, undoubtedly a good thing. It gave the railroads an admirable site for the great terminal which they needed and which is now one of the valuable assets of Havana and indeed of Cuba. But the manner in which the bargain was made, the exercise of political influence, and the strong and unrefuted suspicion of the corrupt employment of pecuniary considerations, brought upon the transaction strong reprobation. An ironic sequel was that the work which was done on the proposed new palace was so bad that it presently had all to be torn down.

Fortunately there was no relaxation in the maintenance of sanitary measures for the prevention of epidemics, and while there was little or no road building or other such public works those already constructed were generally well maintained. The judgment of thoughtful and impartial men upon the administration of José Miguel Gomez was therefore that it had contained some good and much evil, and that even the good had been done too often in an unworthy if not an actually evil way. It had been the administration of an astute and not over-scrupulous politician, who sought to serve first his own interests, next those of his party and friends, and last those of the nation, and not that of an enlightened and patriotic statesman, seeking solely to promote the welfare of the people who had chosen him to be their chief executive.{312}


The fourth Presidential campaign in Cuba began in the spring of 1912. The Liberal administration had given the nation a thorough taste of its quality, with the result that there was a strong reaction against it on the part of many who had been its zealous upholders. The compact between José Miguel Gomez and Alfredo Zayas was, however, carried out, the former not seeking re-election but standing aside in favor of the latter, who accordingly received the Presidential nomination at the convention which was held on April 15. Before this, on April 7, the Conservative convention by unanimous vote and with great enthusiasm nominated General Mario G. Menocal for President, and Enrique José Varona for President. The campaign was conducted with much determination on both sides, but in a generally orderly fashion, and the election, which occurred on November 1, was also conducted in a creditable manner. Although the Liberals had made extravagant claims in advance, the result of the polling was a decisive victory for General Menocal, who easily carried every one of the six provinces. This result was due in part to the popular revulsion against the corruption of the Liberal administration, and partly to the immense popularity of the Conservative candidate and his admirable record as a useful public servant in various capacities.


The third President of the Republic of Cuba, General Mario G. Menocal, comes of one of the most distinguished families in Latin America. He was born at Jaguey Grande, Cuba, on December 17, 1866, was educated at Cornell University, New York, and became associated in professional and business work with his uncle, Aniceto G. Menocal, the distinguished canal and railroad engineer. He entered the War of Independence at the beginning and served to the end with distinction. He was defeated for the Presidency in 1908, but was elected in 1912 and reelected in 1916. His history is the history of Cuba for the last seven years.


The third President of the Republic of Cuba, General Mario G. Menocal,
comes of one of the most distinguished families in Latin America. He was
born at Jaguey Grande, Cuba, on December 17, 1866, was educated at
Cornell University, New York, and became associated in professional and
business work with his uncle, Aniceto G. Menocal, the distinguished
canal and railroad engineer. He entered the War of Independence at the
beginning and served to the end with distinction. He was defeated for
the Presidency in 1908, but was elected in 1912 and reelected in 1916.
His history is the history of Cuba for the last seven years.

{313} Mario G. Menocal, who was thus chosen to be the head of the Cuban Republic, came of an old Havana family, traditionally revolutionary, and was born in Jaguey Grande, Matanzas, in December, 1866. When his family emigrated, as a consequence of his father having taken part in the Ten Years' War, Mario Menocal began his education in the United States. He was graduated at Cornell University with the Class of 1888 and took his degree as Civil Engineer. No sooner was he graduated than his uncle, Aniceto G. Menocal, the distinguished engineer of the Isthmian Canals, summoned him to his side to work with him at Nicaragua. In 1893 he went to Cuba as engineer of a French Company to exploit a salt mine at Cayo Romano. He was working on the construction of the Santa Cruz railway in Camaguey when the War of Independence broke out in 1895. On June 5 of that year he joined the forces of Commander Alejandro Rodriguez as a private. At the attack on Fort Ramblazo he was promoted to sergeant, and it was not long before his military talents had won for him the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.


When the Revolutionary Government was constituted on September 15, 1895, Colonel Menocal was appointed{314} Assistant Secretary of War, and in that capacity assisted Generals Gomez and Maceo in organizing the "invasion" contingent. He later joined the Third Army Corps under Mayia Rodriguez, and remained with it until the beginning of 1896 when he was called by General Calixto Garcia, who had just reached the Island and who made Menocal his Chief of Staff. Thereafter his name was associated with Garcia's brilliant campaign in Oriente.

Among the many battles in which Colonel Menocal took part were the hard-fought engagements of La Gloria, Bellezas, Moscones, Hierba de Guinea, and the great struggle at Guantanamo, in July, 1896, against two Spanish columns which were cut apart and were obliged to abandon the Ramon de las Yaguas zone. In August the agricultural regions of Holguin were invaded and the Loma de Heirro fort seized, artillery being used for the first time in the war. This feat caused his promotion to the rank of Colonel. He then was active in the Sierra Maestra Mountains to meet Mendez's expedition. In October, Menocal seized Guaimaro, conducting personally the assault on Fort Gonfan, having captured which, he was made Brigadier General.

In November, 1896, he took part in the battles of Alta Conchita and Lugones against Gen. Pando. Later he was present at the siege of Jiguani (April 13, 1897) and at Tuaheque, Jacaibama and Jucaibanita against Vara del Rey and Nicolas Rey, and at Baire he fought at the battle of Ratonera. It was at this time that Gen. Calixto Garcia made him Chief of the 3rd Division of the 2nd Corps, which included the western part of Holguin and Tunas. At the head of these forces he organized the attack and capture of Tunas, which was achieved by Gen. Calixto Garcia, August 30, 1897, Menocal having been wounded in a trench assault.{315}

This strategic success won for him an immediate promotion to Division General. In November, 1897, he attacked Fort Guamo on the Cauto River, one of the bloodiest events of the war, and took part in the battles of Cayamos, Monte Oscuro, Nabraga and Aguacatones, succeeding in this latter in seizing Tejeda's supply train.

In March, 1898, he was appointed Chief of the 5th Army Corps, to join which he marched at the head of 200 select men, among whom were many prominent figures of the war—many still alive—as General Sartorius, Colonels Aurelio Hevea, Enrique Nunez, Federico Mendizabal, Pablo, Gustavo and Tomas Menocal, Rafael Pena, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, Commander Manuel Secades, Miguel Coyula, Ignacio Weber, Alberto de Cardenas, Antonio Calzades and Domingo Herrera. With this brave contingent, and assisted by the forces of Gen. Agramonte, Gen. Menocal passed the Trocha at its most dangerous point between Ciego de Avila and Jucaro. After a fifty days' march from Holguin, they reached Havana, relieving Gen. Alejandro Rodriguez of his command as Chief of the 5th Army Corps.

Gen. Menocal was in this command when the American Intervention came, and cooperated with the American authorities in maintaining public order in Havana while the evacuation of the Spanish troops took place. Then General Ludlow appointed him Chief of the Havana Police, which body he organized, giving posts under him to the most distinguished chiefs of the Province of Havana. In 1899 he was appointed Inspector of Light Houses and subsequently Inspector of Public Works, which offices he resigned to manage Central Chaparra, in June, 1899.

It is difficult to speak without danger of apparent exaggeration of the incommensurable work of General{316} Menocal at Chaparra, as a true "captain of industry." There what were formerly barren fields have been transformed by something more than the touch of a magician's wand into the greatest sugar-producing establishment in the world. Nor does it consist merely of the gigantic mills. Houses for homes, schools, stores, churches, surround it, forming a city of no fewer than 30,000 prosperous inhabitants, devoted to the manufacture of sugar. Of this unique community, General Menocal was the chief creator and for years the responsible head. Even it, however, did not monopolize his attention, for he organized and managed also great sugar mills at San Manuel, Las Delicias, and elsewhere.

In 1903 General Menocal was appointed by President Palma to be one of a Commission for the negotiation of a loan for the payment of the soldiers of the army in the War of Independence, together with Gonzalo de Quesada and D. Mendez Capote. Three years later he was conspicuous and active in the Veteran movement which strove to avert the necessity of the second American intervention. In 1908, as we have seen, he was nominated for the Presidency, with Dr. Montoro for the Vice-Presidency, but was defeated. Again he was nominated for the Presidency, with Enrique José Varona as candidate for the Vice-Presidency, and was elected for the term of 1913-1917; at the expiration of which he was reelected, with General Emilio Nunez as Vice-President.


Poet, philosopher and statesman, Enrique José Varona y Pera was born in Camaguey in 1849. Before attaining his majority he had published a volume of poems. Later he was the author of "Philosophical Lectures," "Commentaries on Spanish Grammar and Literature," "The Intellectual Movement in America," "Cain in Modern Literature," "Idealism" and "Naturalism." He was a Deputy from Cuba to the Spanish Cortes; editor of The Cuban Review and Patria, the latter the organ of the patriots—in New York—in the War of Independence; Secretary of Finance and Public Instruction during the Governorship of Leonard Wood; and Vice-President of the Republic during the first administration of President Menocal, in 1913-1917. For many years he has been Professor of Philosophy in the University of Havana.


Poet, philosopher and statesman, Enrique José Varona y Pera was born in
Camaguey in 1849. Before attaining his majority he had published a
volume of poems. Later he was the author of "Philosophical Lectures,"
"Commentaries on Spanish Grammar and Literature," "The Intellectual
Movement in America," "Cain in Modern Literature," "Idealism" and
"Naturalism." He was a Deputy from Cuba to the Spanish Cortes; editor of
The Cuban Review and Patria, the latter the organ of the
patriots—in New York—in the War of Independence; Secretary of Finance
and Public Instruction during the Governorship of Leonard Wood; and
Vice-President of the Republic during the first administration of
President Menocal, in 1913-1917. For many years he has been Professor of
Philosophy in the University of Havana.

Enrique José Varona, who thus became Vice-President of Cuba in 1913, ranked as one of the foremost scholars and writers of the nation. He was born in Camaguey on April 13, 1849, and in early life adopted the career of a man of letters in addition to serving the public in political matters. He was at once an orator of rare eloquence, a philosopher of profound learning, and a poet of{317} exceptional charm. He served, before the War of Independence, as a Deputy in the Spanish Cortes from Cuba; he wrote the famous plea for Cuban independence entitled "Cuba contra España," which was translated into a number of languages; and under the administration of General Wood was Secretary of Public Instruction and of the Treasury. He was once President of the Anthropological Society of Cuba, and was a Member of the Academy of History. He has written numerous books, comprising philosophical disquisitions, essays on nature and art, and lyrical poetry.

Dr. Rafael Montoro, who was refused election to the Vice-Presidency in 1908, has since that date been kept in the service of his country in highly important capacities, and now, as Secretary to the Presidency, is most intimately associated with President Menocal, and exerts an exceptional degree of usefulness in many directions to the national welfare of the Cuban Republic.

Rafael Montoro was born in Havana on October 24, 1852. He received his primary education in Havana and in his tenth year was taken to Europe and to the United States. He was a pupil of the Charlier Institute in New York until 1865. Having returned to Havana he took up his preparatory studies at the school of San Francisco de Asis. In 1867 he returned to Europe with his family, which settled in Madrid. Here he spent his youth until 1878, devoting himself to literary and intellectual activities; he contributed to various periodicals, was editor of the "Revista Contemporanea"; second secretary of the Ateneo de Madrid; vice president of the Moral and Political Sciences Section of that institution; second secretary of the Spanish Writers' and Artists' Association, etc. On his return to Cuba he took an active part in constituting and organizing the Liberal Party, which seized{318} the first opportunity to uphold the cause of Colonial Autonomy, calling itself the Autonomist Liberal Party. In 1879 he was elected a member of the Central Junta of the party and in the first elections after Cuba had been granted the right of representation at the Cortes took place, he was elected a Deputy from the province of Havana. Later he continued working for his party as editor of its organ El Triunfo, which became El Pais, and as an orator in meetings and assemblies. In 1886 he was reelected Deputy to the Cortes from the province of Camaguey and yearly went to Spain during the period of the Legislature, being a member of the Autonomist minority headed by Rafael Maria de Labra. The Sociedad Economica de Amigo del Pais appointed Dr. Montoro a Special Delegate to the Junta de Information which met at Madrid in 1890, the principal economic institutions of Cuba having been previously invited by the Spanish Colonial Department. The purpose of this Junta was to report on the tariff regime of the Island and on the proposed commercial treaty with the United States, as suggested by the famous McKinley Bill of 1890. Towards the middle of 1895 he returned to his activities in Havana as editorial writer of El Pais and member of the Central Junta of the Party.

When autonomy was granted in 1898, he formed part, as Secretary of the Treasury, of the Cabinet organized by José Maria Galvez, the head of the party since its foundation in 1878. When Spanish rule came to an end, as a consequence of the war and of the American intervention, and the Autonomist Government ceased, Dr. Montoro retired to private life. In 1900 and 1901 he was appointed to but did not accept the professorship of philosophy and history in the University of Havana. He was a member of the Committee which was to undertake the reform of{319} the Municipal suffrage legislation under Governor Brooke and of the Committee charged by General Wood with the revision of the legislation on the importation tariff.

In 1902 Dr. Montoro was appointed by the Palma administration as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James. In 1904 he was appointed also Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Germany, which caused him to reside alternately in both countries until 1906 when he was appointed with Gonzalo de Quesada and Gonzales Lanuza a delegate of the Republic to the Third Pan-American International Conference held at Rio de Janeiro. In the same year he was confirmed in both his posts, at London and Berlin, by Governor Magoon, as were the other members of the diplomatic and consular corps, but later he was appointed a member of the Consultive Committee on Laws. In 1907 he was one of the founders of the National Conservative Party, of which he was appointed second vice-president, and was nominated as the Party's candidate for the Vice-Presidency of the Republic, with General Menocal as Presidential Candidate.

When General Jose M. Gomez took possession of the Government as President, Dr. Montoro was confirmed in his posts as Minister at Berlin and London, returning to Europe to remain there until 1910, in which year he was appointed by President Gomez a delegate to the Fourth Pan-American International Conference, which took place at Buenos Aires. At this Conference he was elected to preside over the seventh section of Consular documents, Tariff regulations, Census and Commercial Statistics.

In 1910 and 1911, respectively, he ceased his posts as Minister at Berlin and London to become Diplomatic {320}Advisor of the State Department. In 1913 he was appointed Secretary of the Presidency under General Menocal to which post he gave an importance which it had lacked theretofore. In this capacity he still is an assiduous and valuable collaborator of the Menocal Administration.

Of Dr. Montoro's writings the following have been collected in book form: "Political and Parliamentary Speeches; Reports and Dissertations" (1878-1893), Philadelphia, 1894. "Elements of Moral and Civic Instruction" (1903).

Dr. Montoro is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters of which he was elected Director in 1812. He was President of the Executive Committee at Havana of the 2nd Pan-American Scientific Congress (1915) and was a member of the High Committee for Cuba of the Pan-American Financial Congress (1917) and of the American Institute of International Law (1916).

President Menocal gathered about himself a Cabinet of representative Cubans, selected for their ability rather than on grounds of personal favor or political advantage; two of them, the Secretaries of Justice and Education, being members of the Liberal party. The places were filled as follows:

Secretary of Government, Cosimo de la Torriente.
Secretary of the Interior, Aurelio Hevea.
Secretary of the Treasury, Leopoldo Cancio.
Secretary of Health and Charities, Enrique Nuñez.
Secretary of Justice, Cristobal de la Guardia.
Secretary of Agriculture, Emilio Nuñez.
Secretary of Public Works, José Villalon.
Secretary of Education, Ezequiel Garcia.


Called by Cabrera "Our Great Montoro" and by others the "Cuban Castelar," Dr. Rafael Montoro has long been eminent in the public life of Cuba as a scholar, writer, orator, statesman, diplomat, administrator, and unwavering and resolute patriot The record of his services to Cuba, as Ambassador to the foremost courts of Europe, as Secretary to the Presidency, and in other distinguished capacities at home and abroad, forms a brilliant passage elsewhere in this History of Cuba.


Called by Cabrera "Our Great Montoro" and by others the "Cuban
Castelar," Dr. Rafael Montoro has long been eminent in the public life
of Cuba as a scholar, writer, orator, statesman, diplomat,
administrator, and unwavering and resolute patriot The record of his
services to Cuba, as Ambassador to the foremost courts of Europe, as
Secretary to the Presidency, and in other distinguished capacities at
home and abroad, forms a brilliant passage elsewhere in this History of

{321} The spirit in which the new President began his work, and the spirit which animated his associates in the government, was admirably expressed by him soon after his election and before his inauguration, in a frank, informal but very serious personal conversation. "What," he was asked, "does Cuba need? And what do you expect to accomplish as her President?"

"Cuba," replied General Menocal, "needs an honest administration of its governmental affairs; and that is what I can give it and will give it. But more than that, Cuba needs more citizens anxious to develop its marvellous resources and fewer citizens anxious to hold office. I was not elected as a politician, and I have no ambition to succeed as a politician."


One of the foremost physicians and scientists of Cuba, Dr. Juan Guiteras
is the son of the distinguished educator Eusebio Guiteras, and was born
at Matanzas on January 4, 1852. He collaborated with Dr. Carlos J.
Finlay in the discovery and demonstration of the transmission of yellow
fever by mosquitoes, and contributed much to the eradication of that and
other pestilences from Cuba. Under President Menocal's administration he
was made Director of Sanitation. He was a delegate to the second
Pan-American Scientific Congress at Washington in 1916.


One of the foremost physicians and scientists of Cuba, Dr. Juan Guiteras is the son of the distinguished educator Eusebio Guiteras, and was born at Matanzas on January 4, 1852. He collaborated with Dr. Carlos J. Finlay in the discovery and demonstration of the transmission of yellow fever by mosquitoes, and contributed much to the eradication of that and other pestilences from Cuba. Under President Menocal's administration he was made Director of Sanitation. He was a delegate to the second Pan-American Scientific Congress at Washington in 1916.

Reference being made to the menace of revolution, President Menocal said, with emphasis:

"There will be no revolution under my administration. There may be outbreaks headed by disappointed politicians or military adventurers, but they will be crushed and their leaders will be punished. The day is past when men of this class can arrest the orderly processes of government. I shall have back of me not only a loyal army, but also a loyal people who are determined to show to the United States and to the world that Cuba realizes{322} her responsibilities and is capable of self-government. I shall appoint honest men, and will guarantee that they honestly administer their duties. I shall urge the passage of honest taxation laws, and have faith that the people will respond by electing men who will assist me to make Cuba worthy of the favors which God has lavished upon her."

With such purposes and with such expectations he entered upon his great work. Unfortunately there was not a majority upon which he could depend in Congress to enact the measures which were needed for the welfare of Cuba. Indeed, there was a hostile majority, as we shall see, which deliberately set itself to embarrass and thwart him in his undertakings. But that had merely the effect which obstacles usually have upon men who are really brave and strong. It indeed made his work more difficult, but it did not turn him from his purpose nor defeat his efforts. Rather did it give him all the greater credit and honor, to have achieved so much in the face of so much opposition.

General Mario G. Menocal became President and Senor Enrique Jose Varona became Vice-President of Cuba on May 20, 1913, the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the independent Cuban Government. The President delivered his first message to Congress on the following day. It was an eminently practical, statesman-like and businesslike document, in which he modestly promised a wise and prudent administration of his office, and especially an immediate reform of the finances of the Government, which was notoriously much needed. As a small beginning of this reform, 5,000 for Presidential secret service. Many debts had been left over by the former administration and he purposed to address himself{323} to the liquidation of these, so far as they had been honestly contracted. The notorious Dragado concession was repealed on August 4, and a commission was appointed to investigate the methods of the company. As a result of this and other investigations, the former Secretary of Public Works, and Auditor were indicted for misappropriation of public funds, and various other officers were prosecuted.

The President desired to obtain a loan of $15,000,000 with which to pay off the debts which had been left to him by his predecessor, and also for urgent road work, and the paving and sewering of the streets of Havana. This was, however, refused him by Congress, and that body, under the domination of the Liberals, refused to pass any budget whatever. President Menocal was therefore compelled to declare the budget of the preceding year still in force, pending the adoption of new financial provisions. Hoping to persuade or to compel Congress to perform its constitutional duty, he called that body together in special session in July and again in October, but on both occasions the Liberals all absented themselves and thus prevented the securing of a quorum. These, it will be observed, were similar to the tactics which the same party in Congress had employed against President Palma in their malignant campaign for the overthrow of his administration. But President Menocal was not thus to be overthrown. When the Liberals in October, a second time, refused to perform their duty he issued a manifesto in which he seriously criticized them and made it plain that no such methods would be permitted to interfere with the legitimate work of Government. Rumors were indeed current that he would resort to compulsion if persuasion failed. The Liberals attempted to reply with a countermanifesto protesting against his action as a{324} usurpation of congressional authority, declaring their opposition to the making of the proposed loan, and pretending that it would be illegal to hold the special session which he had called for October.

The President exercised patience and waited until November 2, when the regular session of Congress opened, and the Liberals took their seats. At this time the Liberals practically stultified themselves by agreeing to discuss and finally to approve the loan project which they had formerly opposed. After transacting this and some other business, Congress adjourned in December.

Among the reforms which President Menocal promptly undertook to effect was the abolition of the national lottery which had been established during the Gomez administration. In his messages and through the influence of all legitimate presidential influence he strove to abolish this form of legalized gambling. His arguments were that the low price of the tickets, only 25¢, and the appeal which was thus made to the poor and ignorant, to servants and working women as well as to men, had caused great injury and had brought about a certain degree of moral decline among the masses of the people. It had induced many individuals to borrow money and even to steal in order to purchase lottery tickets, in the delusive hope of winning one of the large prizes, which ran up to $100,000, and thus exempting themselves from the necessity of work for the rest of their lives. The lottery, it is true, yielded a considerable revenue each year for the government, but General Menocal regarded this as far more than counter-balanced by the social and moral evil which it wrought, and by the reproach which it brought upon the good name of the Republic. He was unable, however, to persuade Congress to abolish it, partly because of the popular love of gambling which so largely pervades Latin American{325} countries, and partly—perhaps chiefly—because the privilege of selling tickets at wholesale, at a handsome profit, was farmed out to many members of Congress.

At the beginning of his administration, President Menocal found all the Government offices crowded with the appointees of the former administration. A great many of them were entirely superfluous and a great many of them were also entirely incompetent to fill their places. There was, therefore, a considerable clearing out of placeholders. There might have been, of course, what is known in America as a "clean sweep," and this was urged by a few of the President's friends. But General Menocal would listen to no such proposition. A Civil Service law had indeed been formulated by the Consulting Commission presided over by General Crowder, and had been in force since 1907, and while an unscrupulous executive might have evaded its provisions, General Menocal was a believer in the merit system, and in secure tenure of office for men who were doing their duty. He therefore refused positively to remove a single man merely because of his political affiliations. So far as placeholders were dismissed, they were dismissed because of incompetence or dishonesty, or because their services were superfluous. As a result of this enlightened policy, it is true, President Menocal was compelled to conduct his administration through the agency of a staff, the majority of which was composed of his political opponents. He even appointed two Liberals to his cabinet, while nearly all the foreign ministers and consuls and important officers of the various departments were members of that party, holding over from the Gomez administration. It cannot be said that this policy was in all cases appreciated by those who personally profited from it, for some of these officeholders did not scruple to engage in intrigues against the President{326} whose generosity retained them in their places.

The United States Government retained a certain supervision over some of the acts of the Cuban Government. Thus, as hitherto stated, in March, 1913, an amnesty bill had been passed at the instance of the Gomez administration, which would have set at liberty several hundred political and other prisoners, but it was objected to by Mr. Bryan, the Secretary of State of the United States, and was accordingly vetoed. It was again posed in a modified form on April 25, and was again similarly vetoed. In November, 1913, it was once more taken up and revised so as to extend the pardon to those who had participated in the negro insurrection, and to some former officeholders of the Gomez administration who had been indicted. It was also intended that it should extend amnesty to General Ernesto Asbert, Governor of the Province of Havana, to Senator Vidal Morales, and to Representative Arias, who had been indicted for the murder of the Chief of Police of Havana, General Armando Riva; a tragedy which occurred during a police raid on a club, on the evening of July 7. This attempt to extend amnesty to these men caused an acute and prolonged controversy. But on December 9, 1914, the bill was finally passed in a form which granted amnesty to General Asbert, but not to Senator Arias. In this form the United States Government sanctioned its enactment because of the belief that the real burden of guilt rested upon the latter rather than upon the former.

This controversy over amnesty to General Asbert meanwhile had serious political effects in Cuba. For a time the so-called Asbert faction of the Liberal party allied itself with the Conservatives in Congress in support of President Menocal and thus gave him a majority in that body. But in the summer of 1914 this faction became{327} reunited with the rest of the Liberal party, and Conservative control of Congress was lost. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senor Gonzales Lanuza, a Conservative, resigned and was succeeded by Senor Urquiaga, a Liberal, on August 31. When at last in February, 1915, the act of amnesty for General Asbert was completed, and he was released and fully rehabilitated, there was a great popular celebration of the event in the City of Havana.

The first attempt at insurrection in President Menocal's administration occurred on November 9, 1913, when Crecencio Garcia, a mulatto, undertook to lead a revolt in the province of Santa Clara. It was promptly suppressed by the Rural Guard in a manner which augured well for the promise which the President had made, that there would be no revolutions during his administration; and there were no more such attempts until the great treason of ex-President Gomez.{328}


The fifth Presidential campaign of the Republic of Cuba occurred in 1916. The Conservative candidate for President was General Mario G. Menocal, who was thus seeking reelection, and the candidate for Vice-President was General Emilio Nuñez, of whom we have already heard as the leader of the Veterans' Association in its legitimate and orderly resistance to the corruption and despotism of the Gomez administration, who had had a distinguished career in the Liberating Army in the War of Independence, and who was at this time serving as Secretary of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce in the cabinet of President Menocal.


On the Liberal side, in accordance with the compact formerly made between him and José Miguel Gomez, the Presidential candidate was Dr. Alfredo Zayas, and the Vice-Presidential candidate was Carlos Mendieta, a journalist and Representative in Congress, who had long been conspicuous in the practical management of the Liberal Party.

The general prosperity which Cuba had been enjoying under the administration of President Menocal excited the envy and cupidity of the Liberal place-seekers and roused them to extraordinary efforts to regain possession of the government. A shameless attempt was made to{329} force a bill through Congress disqualifying a President for reelection unless he resigned his office at least sixty days before the election; but it failed of success. Long in advance of the actual contest a vigorous propaganda was started all over the island on lines similar to those which had been successful in causing the overthrow of Estrada Palma. While few ventured to asperse the character of President Menocal himself, his administration was vilified as corrupt and inefficient. It was charged that he did not, like Gomez, "divide the spoils" with his party followers, that he was both selfish and weak, and that his fatal weakness in office had been more than amply demonstrated, and would justify them in overthrowing his government. The Liberal newspapers asserted that at least three quarters of the inhabitants of the island were not in sympathy with the Conservative position and with the President, but had been deluded into voting for him; that they did not approve of his persistent acquiescence in every little hint and suggestion that might come from the United States; and that having been graduated from an American University, he was more American in his ideas and ideals than he was true Cuban, and deserved defeat at the next election.

This was largely for the purpose of preparing the public for the claim, which was made before the polls had been open two hours, that the Liberals were sweeping the country, and that the Conservatives could make no possible or effective showing in the election. In pursuance of this propaganda, it was so arranged that the local boards of the larger towns and cities, where there was an excess of the rank and file of the Liberal party, should rush in their returns. These records were sent in immediately and seemed to indicate a sweeping victory for the Liberal party. The country districts, where were registered{330} the votes of the farmers, the sugar planters, and the people of property who believed in work and the maintenance of law and order, being remote from the capital, came in much later, and in many instances, owing to distance and the uncertainty of travel, reliable returns from these districts were delayed until the next day, so that at midnight it looked as though the election had been carried by the Liberal party. On the following day, however, as the returns began to arrive from the remote districts, a decided change in the aspect of the situation became apparent, and by that night it was seen that a very closely contested election had taken place, and that the result would probably be in doubt, as it was in the United States, for several days.

This delay gave occasion for charges and accusations of fraud on both sides, and each prepared itself for a hard struggle. It was discovered that the matter would have to be settled by electoral boards and courts established for that purpose. In the meantime, the Liberals demanded that General Menocal acknowledge his defeat and proclaimed the election of Dr. Zayas on all sides, and openly demanded to have the government immediately turned over to them, or there would be serious trouble in store for the Conservatives and the country. In the meantime, pressure was brought to bear on the United States government, and protection was asked by the Liberals against the manifest danger that they would be cheated of their success at the polls. Threats were also heard that a revolution would undoubtedly follow as a protest against the usurpation, as it was termed, of their legitimate right to take control of the government, and Dr. Alfredo Zayas, in a private conversation with the American minister, hinted at this, and predicted that if a revolution should become necessary, it would undoubtedly{331} be successful, since he knew that two-thirds of the army was with him in sympathy, and would follow the Liberal command to overthrow the Menocal government if he should see fit to give such a command.

General Menocal stated very frankly that the determination of the contest must be left to the local boards and to the courts for decision, and whatever that might be, regardless of any injustice that might be imposed upon him and his party, he would acquiesce, and would be the first man to shake the hand of the successful candidate. A similar statement was never made by the Liberals. They continued the cry of fraud, and openly stated that if they did not succeed a revolution would follow. The judges of the courts, excepting the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Senor Pichardo, had been appointed by Gomez, and naturally great pressure was brought to bear on them to "save the constitution," as it was called, for the Liberals. In the decisions that followed, the Conservatives stated frankly that they believed this pressure was producing manifestly unfair decisions, but made at no time any attempt to ignore them or set them aside.

The court decided that in two districts, Victoria de las Tunas, in the province of Oriente, and another town in Santa Clara, new elections must be held. In the first one the Liberals had, at four o'clock in the morning previous to the day of election, set fire to the town hall, burning all of the electoral lists, so that an election was absolutely impossible. This was probably due to the fact that Victoria de las Tunas held General Menocal in great esteem, since, owing to his personal valor in leading the charges against the Spanish army, when in command of that town, the Cubans had been victorious. In the city of Santa Clara province, the frauds claimed by both sides rendered it so impossible to determine the true result of{332} the election that a second election was deemed necessary. According to the records of the Liberal party, the vote of these two towns, or possibly either one of them, would determine the election, and Dr. Alfredo Zayas felt quite confident that he would be the successor of General Menocal, and openly so stated.

The Conservatives, on the other hand, said, "We can only await and abide by the decisions of the courts, and will surrender nothing until such decisions are handed down." The supporters of Dr. Zayas stated that the soldiers, who had been sent there to maintain order, had been sent there for the sole purpose of preventing the Liberals from approaching the polls. At this General Nuñez, the Vice Presidential candidate, invited Dr. Zayas, the Liberal leader, to accompany him thither and to point out any Liberal in that district who wished to vote, promising that he would furnish a machine and any protection that might be necessary to see that he and every Liberal in the district deposited his vote, and that they together would witness the count.

Dr. Zayas never had an opportunity to bring this matter to a decision, owing to the fact that General Gomez, who hated Dr. Zayas bitterly, and who had opposed him in public print more strongly than any other man, saw immediately the possibility of riding into power as the man of the hour, as the real, dominating force of the republic, and as the only man, as he expressed it, able to save the electoral campaign from becoming one of protracted discord and dispute. So he forbade Dr. Zayas to go to the town where the election was to be held, or to accept General Nuñez's invitation, and stated that he was himself tired of the whole thing, and that he was going to take his yacht and go on a fishing trip, which he did, leaving at midnight with about thirty trusted friends, including{333} all of the prominent Liberal leaders. Passing around Cape San Antonio, the yacht anchored off the coast near Tunas de Zaza, and there met a group of men by previous arrangement, and started a revolution or a "popular uprising," as he termed it, against the Menocal government.

In the meantime, a carefully laid plot, that had been planned months before, for seizing control of the armed forces of the island was put into execution. On Saturday night, February 14, 1917, without warning, two companies of men stationed at the Columbia barracks, at a previously arranged signal of two shots, jumped from their beds, grabbed their arms and ammunition, and started across the parade ground for the open country, of the west. Although the details of this plot were known, other loyal companies at the command of their officers were called into immediate action, charged the Liberals and captured more than half of them and killed a few of the remainder, who at first had succeeded in escaping. This was the only apparent disloyalty in the western end of the island. Matanzas, Pinar del Rio and Havana remained loyal to the government. Among the forces stationed at the City of Santiago, far removed from the immediate control of the commanding generals of the army, seeds of sedition, which consisted largely of promises of immediate promotion of all officers, were planted. Every sergeant was to be made a captain, every captain a colonel, every lieutenant a major, with promises of increased pay, and the incidental rewards that come to the successful revolutionist. This was also true of the Province of Camaguey, where, at almost the same hour that the uprising took place in Camp Columbia barracks, several companies of men seized control, made prisoners of their comrades who were loyal to the government or shot them dead, captured and imprisoned the civil{334} governors, intimidated the police, or made them prisoners, and took charge of the customhouse and the accumulated funds, and all moneys deposited in banks, belonging to either the state or the federal government. Incidentally all moneys that were accessible were seized at the same time, which belonged to said banks, on the ground that there was no time to discriminate. In the City of Santiago several millions of dollars were thus seized by the three or four Liberal leaders in command. These men, when the failure of the revolution became apparent, escaped from the island, carrying some two or three millions in United States currency and Cuban gold with them, and landed in Santo Domingo, where some of them were afterward captured, while the others escaped to the United States.

Securing control of Santiago de Cuba, and having access to the cables, the rebels immediately wired to the revolutionary headquarters in New York, which had been established by Dr. Orestes Ferrara, one of the moving figures in the previous uprising of 1906, in company with Dr. Raimundo Cabrera, for the dissemination of news favorable to the Liberal side. Matter was issued, to be used in the American papers, for the purpose of preparing the United States for the usurpation of the government of Cuba by General Gomez, and defending such action on the ground that it was the only solution of a bad electoral muddle, and that the real choice of the people was General Gomez, who should have been, and was ultimately, the leader of their party. It was said that Dr. Zayas, without justification, had usurped and endeavored to maintain the permanent control of the Liberal party, and that his lack of popularity had been indicated by his defeat four years before. The entire island was represented, and especially the army, as having voluntarily gone over{335} to the side of the Liberals. General Gomez was pictured as having landed and by previous arrangement placed himself at the head of 12,000 men, who were marching upon the City of Havana; while the President of the republic was variously reported as having been shot, and afterward as having fled in abject fear from the palace, and as having at last found shelter in the home of the American minister, Mr. William E. Gonzales. It was added that Havana was under the control of the Liberals, as was the remainder of the island, and that all that was necessary was the triumphant march of General Gomez into the capital, where he would assume authority as Liberal Dictator until the island should assume its normal and peaceful condition, when another election would be called, in which the people would have an opportunity to choose and place the power in the hands of the only real man of destiny, General Gomez.

In the Province of Camaguey, the insurgents followed the same program as did those in Oriente, intimidating the police, by firing two volleys into police headquarters and assassinating those men who were forming a council, the civil government and various other officers having been imprisoned. They took immediate control of the railroads, and the rolling stock, placed Liberal or disloyal troops on trains, and started them across the border to Santa Clara, where they joined General Gomez, who, with his men, was marching north to the railroad.

In the meantime, General Menocal and the loyal troops of the island, in the west, started a vigorous campaign to prevent the island from falling into the hands of the rebels. Officers whose loyalty was beyond question were placed in command of troops, and sent at once into Santa Clara, Camaguey and Oriente, and one of Cuba's gunboats, with a company of 300 men, was dispatched to the{336} City of Santiago de Cuba, to drive the disloyal element from that place. Colonel Pujol was sent to take measures to restore order in Camaguey. Colonel Collazo and Lieutenant Colonel Lozama and other officials known for their courage, efficiency and valor were placed in command of three separate bodies of troops, with orders to surround Gomez, and give him and his supporters immediate battle, and capture or annihilate them. These men were equipped with machine guns, well armed and prepared for a campaign of extermination, if necessary. In the meantime, the Secretary of Government, Colonel Hevea, who, according to the Cuban law has control over and is responsible for order in the interior districts, traveled by locomotive and automobile, day and night, reporting to the President all that occurred, and giving those orders which seemed wise for suppressing the uprising. The American Minister, representing the sentiment of the United States, which seriously deprecated Cuba's falling into the revolutionary habit, visited the palace every day, with his military aide, then Major Wittemeyer, kept in close touch with Washington, and reported every change in the drama that was being presented in Cuba. In the meantime, one of the Cuban officials had effectively thwarted General Gomez in his proposed triumphant march into Havana, by blowing up the large bridge over the Zaza river, thus preventing the insurrectionists from gaining control of the railroads in the western half of the island.

Realizing the grave danger that threatened Cuba in the destruction of the cane through fire, which had already begun on a large scale, and in the stealing, and killing of both cattle and horses on the part of the insurrectionists, Major Wittemeyer, with the authority of the War Department in Washington, communicated to President{337} Menocal the fact that the United States government would gladly land whatever force was deemed necessary to assist in the maintenance of order and the protection of property. This offer the President refused, stating that he believed that there was a sufficient force absolutely loyal to his government to control the situation, adding that he was thoroughly aware of the plans of the Liberals, that he was in close touch with his own command and was confident that his officers would succeed in quelling the insurrection in a comparatively short time. He added that he thought it wise for the government of Cuba to demonstrate its ability to maintain itself, and to suppress any uprising that might occur of that nature, and thus avoid the rather unpleasant task, on the part of the United States, of being compelled to interfere with the personal and political affairs of their sister republic.

That General Menocal's prediction was based on sound logic was demonstrated by the fact that within twenty-three days the forces of ex-President Gomez were surrounded, defeated and captured. The General, his son, his aides and his entire staff were taken prisoners and brought to Havana and placed in the penitentiary on Principe Hill. In General Gomez's saddle bags were found military orders instructing his chiefs to burn every sugar plantation on the Island not known to be the property of Liberals, and tear up every mile of railroad, together with information demonstrating that he was preparing to blow up every bridge through the island, thus attempting to prevent the government from sending forces against him. This work of destruction, in so far as possible before the capture, had been carried out to the letter. The railroads along which the revolutionists had control were out of commission for several months, and much valuable property was destroyed.{338}

The disappointment in the Liberal ranks consequent upon the capture of General Gomez and his staff, and the inevitable failure of the movement, was general and profound, but the last desperate hope seemed to inspire them to continue the struggle under the leadership of Carlos Mendieta, who had been their candidate for Vice-President. The plan adopted by them was to revert to the desperate methods of some former wars. In brief, it was to divide into small bands, who were to carry on a reign of terror and destruction throughout the island, the purpose of which was solely to bring about another American intervention; the argument was used that they had succeeded in doing this in 1906, and thus had secured a tacit recognition of the Liberal party, and their ultimate control of the government. "We were successful," they argued, "and since the commercial, industrial and political relations between the two republics are so intimate and the Platt Amendment authorizes the United States to enter Cuba at any time when, in their estimation, the circumstances justify such action, if we continue long enough, burn enough, destroy enough, and succeed in keeping up this state of turmoil long enough, the American authorities will, sooner or later, be compelled to come here, and put an end to affairs that will undoubtedly bring about the resignation of Menocal. His life will be made intolerable and our several plans for his assassination, that have heretofore met with misfortune, if followed, will later bear fruit."

At the middle of March, Carlos Mendieta, as leader of this bushranging rebellion, issued a manifesto threatening the destruction of foreign property and declaring that there would be no guarantee for the safety of American lives unless the United States undertook the supervision of the elections in Santa Clara and Oriente provinces.{339}

In their manifesto the rebels promised to lay down their arms if the government would hold new elections in Santa Clara Province. If the government refused to hold such elections the rebels threatened to continue the revolution and to proclaim Mendieta Provisional President.

The activities of the revolutionary conspirators and propagandists in the United States, under the direction of Orestes Ferrara in New York, meanwhile became so offensive that the United States government felt compelled to take action. Accordingly on March 25, the State Department at Washington warned Dr. Ferrara that unless he ceased his pernicious operations he and his associate, Raimundo Cabrera, would be placed under arrest. This had the result of tempering somewhat the zeal of the conspirators, though their propaganda was still furtively maintained.

In passing, it may be stated that a part of the general plan—indeed the first step in the proposed uprising—was to assassinate General Menocal, while on his way from the palace to his estate, eight miles distant, known as El Chico. The mayor of the suburb of Marianao, together with the chief of police of that village, and four soldiers, who had agreed for a consideration to take part in the assassination, were stationed at a point carefully selected, with orders to fire a charge of buckshot into the President's back from the step of his automobile, and then behind the screen of trees and underbrush which lined the roadside to make their escape. It was proposed to assassinate the chauffeurs and all others who might be in the car in order to prevent immediate pursuit. Since General Menocal was in the habit of going to his country home every afternoon between five and six, the plan probably would have succeeded, had it not been for an attack{340} of conscience on the part of one of the soldiers, who, after agreeing, lost heart, and a few hours before the departure of the machine hastened to the palace and insisted upon seeing the President, to whom he gave all the details of the plot. The betrayal of the plot by the soldier, who was suspected when he did not make his appearance in company with the others, and the machine not leaving the palace at the usual hour, which was to have been telephoned to the plotters, convinced them that discovery was more than probable. The mayor, with the chief of police, and the others, immediately fled from Marianao. Pursuit was given, in spite of which they resisted capture for several days. Exhausted and wounded, they were finally taken in an old sugar mill near Bahia Honda, in the Province of Pinar del Rio.

Not discouraged by this failure, numerous other plans for the assassination of the President were arranged, among others the manufacture of a highly explosive bomb, and an arrangement by which four Liberals agreed to attempt to place or throw it under the President's desk. In order to make this plan work, it was necessary to have some man who could gain access to the palace, and to the office of the President, and this could be done through the assistance of some one of the soldiers who had been stationed on guard duty on the upper floor of the executive mansion. After several months of careful study, one of these soldiers was selected, and after another conference, the matter was settled, and the man was intrusted with the bomb, which was delivered to him at the appointed hour, and with which he ascended the palace stairs and eventually succeeded in reaching the President, to whom he delivered the bomb, with his evidence and the whole story. Of course, this second betrayal of the plans of the conspirators brought about their capture, and they{341} were tried and condemned to various terms in prison. Various other plots were formed, none of which was successful.


As a natural result of the revolution started a few days before, the two additional elections ordered by the Supreme Court, were necessarily postponed, since the island had been thrown into a turmoil by the action of General Gomez. They were, however, afterwards held, and resulted in decided Conservative majorities, which were carried by the electoral boards to the Central Electoral Junta, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Señor Pichardo, and justified that body in announcing the election of General Menocal to a second term as President. In spite of this decision of the courts, which General Menocal had previously agreed to abide by, the insurrectionary elements of the Liberal party still insisted that General Menocal's second term was secured through deliberate and carefully planned frauds and intimidation of the voters at the polls. The fact is that the election laws of Cuba forbid and prevent any soldier from standing even in the doorway of a polling place. He cannot approach nearer than the corner of the building in which the votes are being deposited, nor can he leave his post and come closer to the polls, unless some serious disturbance, where lives are threatened, occurs, with which the police of the district cannot cope. Since the minority is represented during the time of voting, and during the count by a man selected for that purpose, no fraud could{342} well be perpetrated without the consent of someone responsible to the opposition.

The army officers who had been led by José Miguel Gomez to revolt, had been captured with arms in their hands, fighting to overthrow the constitutional government of the island; a purpose of which they had made no secret. They were therefore guilty of sedition and treason, and were subject to trial by court martial and to capital punishment upon conviction of their crime. They were thus tried, and some were condemned to death and others to long terms of imprisonment; but the extreme sentence was never executed upon one of them, while many of the prison sentences were shortened and some of the men were pardoned outright. This generous action of President Menocal's was performed through the same spirit of magnanimity that moved Estrada Palma to like clemency, years before; and it was as ill requited. Some of the men whom he had thus saved from the gallows or the firing squad promptly resumed criminal conspiracies against him; while the Liberal party as a whole demanded that the pardoned officers should be at once reinstated in the army with full rank and back pay for the time which they had spent in insurrection and in prison, and railed against President Menocal for not granting that additional act of grace!

The government of the United States is naturally always on the side of law and order among its neighbors, and while it of course scrupulously refrains from meddling in their affairs unless under intolerable provocation, as in the case of Cuba in 1898, it has always given and doubtless will always give its sympathy and moral support to those who are striving for peace and progress and the security of life and property. Toward Cuba its attitude{343} is more marked than toward other states, because of the special relations which exist between the two countries. We have seen how it intervened in Cuban affairs for what it supposed to be the restoration of tranquillity in 1906. While unfortunately its influence was on that occasion made to appear as though given to the revolutionary rather than the legitimate side, its intent was unmistakable. In spite of the advantage which they took of its intervention at that time, the Liberal leaders in Cuba have since felt much aggrieved at it for standing in the way of their designs on more than one occasion when they wished to revolt against constitutional order.

The United States did not intervene in 1917. It was not, as President Menocal confidently assured it, necessary for it to do so. But it is pleasant to recall that it stood ready to do so, and there is of course no possible doubt as to what the purport of its intervention would have been. During that episode no fewer than five messages were addressed to the people of Cuba by the government of the United States, warning them against any attempt at forcible revolution. They breathed the spirit of the epigram of John Hay in 1903: "Revolutions have gone out of fashion in our neighborhood." Thus on February 19, 1917, the United States made it known to the Cuban government and through it to the Cuban people that—

"The American Government has in previous declarations defined its attitude respecting the confidence and support it gives the constitutional governments and the policy it has adopted toward any disturbers of the peace through revolutionary ventures. The American government again wishes to inform the Cuban people of the attitude it has assumed in view of the present events:{344}

"First—The government of the United States gives its support to and stands by the Constitutional Government of the Republic of Cuba.

"Second—The present insurrection against the Constitutional Government of Cuba is regarded by the American Government in the light of an anti-constitutional and illegal act, which it will not tolerate.

"Third—The leaders of the revolt will be held responsible for the damages which foreigners may suffer in their persons or their property.

"Fourth—The government of the United States will examine attentively what attitude it will adopt respecting those concerned in the present disturbance of the peace in Cuba, or those who are actually participating in it."

At the beginning of March American Marines and Bluejackets were landed at Santiago, Guantanamo, Manzanillo, Nuevitas, and El Cobre, for patrol duty for the protection of American interests.

Again, on March 24 the American government sent a note saying:

"It has come to the knowledge of the United States Government that in Cuba propaganda persists that in response to efforts of agents against the constitutional government the United States is studying the adoption of measures in their favor."

It was quite true. The remaining insurgents—Gomez and the other principal leaders had already been captured—were declaring that just as in 1906 American intervention had meant the success of the revolution, so now the United States was about to intervene again to the same effect. Wherefore this American note continued:

"The constitutional government of Cuba has been and will continue to be sustained and backed by the government{345} of the United States in its efforts to reestablish order throughout the territory of the republic.

"The United States government, emphasizing its condemnation of the reprehensible conduct of those rising against the constitutional government in an effort to settle by force of arms controversies for which existing laws establish adequate legal remedies, desires to make known that until those in rebellion recognize their duties as Cuban citizens, lay down their arms and return to legality, the United States can hold no communication whatever with any of them and will be forced to regard them as outside the law and unworthy of its consideration."

That was plain talk, and it had its effect. But the climax was yet to come in a final message which stated that if destruction of property, disturbance of public order and deliberate attempts to overthrow the established government were continued, Cuba being an ally of the United States, the United States would be compelled to regard the doers of such deeds as enemies and to proceed against them as such. At that time both the United States and Cuba were at war with Germany, and were therefore allies in offense and defense, and it was quite logical for one ally to regard as its enemy any enemy of the other ally. In brief, any one waging war against the Cuban government was in effect waging war against the government of the United States. That stern logic put a quietus upon the attempted insurrection. "Our last recourse," said one of the rebel leaders, "has been taken from us. There is no use in starting a revolution if it is to be doomed to failure before it begins."{346}


Cuba entered the Great War. That fact was the supreme seal to her title-deeds to a place as peer among the nations; placing her in blood-brotherhood with her neighbors. She entered the war almost simultaneously with the United States, though with less delay than that country. At Washington the President addressed Congress on April 2, advising a declaration of war against Germany, and the declaration was made on April 6. At Havana the President delivered his war message on April 6, and on April 7 war was declared. In that impressive and epochal message, the most momentous and solemn that any chief of state can ever utter, President Menocal reviewed in dispassionate detail the criminal record of Germany in her unrestricted submarine warfare, and then continued:

"The government of the United States, to which country we are bound by the closest ties, had during the last two years incessantly formulated energetic protests and claims based on the most elemental principles of justice in defence of its citizens who were victims on many occasions of attacks by German submarines; of the liberty of the seas and the respect due the lives and property of neutrals; and revindicating the right to navigate and engage in commerce freely, without restrictions save those sanctioned by international law, by treaties, and by the universal practise of civilized nations.

"Since February 1 submarines have attacked and sunk without mercy. Such acts of war without quarter,{347} directed against all nations, to close down the world's commerce under terrible penalties, cannot be tolerated without accepting them as legitimate to-day and always.

"Cuba cannot appear indifferent to such violations, which at any moment may be carried out at the cost of the lives and interests of its own citizens. Nor can it, without loss of dignity and decorum, show indifference to the noble attitude assumed by the United States, to which we are bound by ties of gratitude and by treaties. Cuba cannot remain neutral in this supreme conflict, because a declaration of neutrality would compel it to treat alike all belligerents, denying them with equal vigor entrance to our ports and imposing other restrictions which are contrary to the sentiment of the Cuban people and which inevitably in the end would result in conflict with our friend and ally.

"In full and firm consciousness that I am fulfilling one of my most sacred duties, although with profound sentiment, because I am about to propose a resolution which will plunge our country into the dangers of the greatest conflagration in history, but without casting odium upon, or without animosity toward, the German people, but convinced that we are compelled to take this step by our international obligations and the principles of justice and liberty, I appeal to the honorable Congress in the use of its executive faculties, with full knowledge of all the antecedents in the case and with the mature deliberation of its important claim, to resolve, as a result of these unjustifiable and repeated acts of aggression by submarines, notwithstanding the protests of neutral governments, among them Cuba, that there has been created and exists a state of war between Cuba and the imperial German government, and adopt all measures necessary, which I reserve to myself the right to recommend at the proper{348} moment, for the maintenance of our rights; to defend our territory; to provide for our security, and to cooperate decidedly to these ends with the United States government, lending it what assistance may be in our power for the defence of the liberty of the seas, of the rights of neutrals, and of international justice."

The next day the Cuban Congress adopted the declaration of war, in the exact words of the President's message. A resolution was at the same time introduced and adopted, authorizing the President to organize and to place at the disposal of the President of the United States a contingent of 10,000 men, for military service in Europe.

It would be superfluous to dwell upon the causes which led Cuba thus promptly and heartily to commit herself to the side of the Allies in the war. They were largely identical with those which impelled other nations to the same course. There was a resolution to vindicate the sanctity of treaties and the majesty of international law. There was an abhorrence of the infamous practices of the German government and the German army. There was resentment against the gross violation of neutral rights of which Germany had been guilty. There was recognition of the grave menace to popular governments the world over which was presented by the voracious and unscrupulous ambitions of Prussian militarism. There was a feeling that as the war had first been directed against two small nations, on the principle that small states had no rights that large ones were bound to respect, it was incumbent upon other small states to protest against that arrogant attitude. There was a desire to show that Cuba, youngest and one of the smallest of the nations, was ready to take her full part as a nation among nations, in war as well as in peace. There was, also, no doubt a legitimate feeling that in this matter it{349} would be appropriate for Cuba—though of course under no compulsion—to align herself with the great northern neighbor with whom she sustained such close relations.

At the same time, backed undoubtedly by German money, and as a part of the German propaganda, financial interests, banks and houses of long standing in Cuba, all of which were eventually placed on a black list, exerted a very strong influence among their customers and through their connections, commercial, social and political, in favor of Germany. They did succeed in influencing and directing the editorial policy of some prominent newspapers, but the chief result of their pernicious activities was to get themselves and their sympathizers into trouble. One of the foremost bankers of Havana, where he had lived for many years and was personally much liked and esteemed in society, while not openly espousing the cause of Germany, after Cuba had declared war, was known to be thoroughly in sympathy with Germany. He with over a hundred other Germans was interned, or kept incommunicado, and in his house documents were found demonstrating that he was not only an agent in distributing German propaganda, but also a distributor of funds intended to promote the cause of Germany in Cuba and the West Indies.

Another very strong influence that was exerted in Cuba against the attitude of President Menocal and his government was that of many of the clergy of the Roman Catholic church, who openly spoke to their congregations in favor of Germany and against the cause of the Allies. Nor was the Liberal party by any means as loyal to the Allies as the unanimous vote in Congress might seem to suggest. Many of its members either openly or secretly gave their sympathy and influence to the German side. This was partly because of their inveterate{350} opposition to anything advocated by the Conservative government; and partly because of the aid which German interests in Cuba had given, morally, politically and pecuniarily, to the insurrection of José Miguel Gomez in 1917. It was proved in trials in the courts of Cuba, which were held in consequence of the damages wrought by that uprising, that Germans and men of German parentage had conspired to give information to the rebels and to supply them with munitions, and in other ways strove to aid that movement in overthrowing the government. But these seditious and disloyal elements in Cuba were probably no stronger in Cuba than in the United States or other countries.

Cuba did not suffer from incendiarism and similar German outrages as did the United States. On the other hand, the Cuban government was fully as strict as that of the United States in taking possession of German property, and in blacklisting all firms and individuals known to be in sympathy with Germany. All trading of any kind with such parties was forbidden; an arrangement being made by which open accounts with them could be closed. A Custodian of Alien Property was also appointed.

Even before the declaration of war the Cuban government took strenuous means to prevent violations of neutrality. A few weeks before the declaration of war German agents fitted up a steamer in Havana harbor as a commerce-destroying cruiser, and watched for an opportunity to take her out to the high seas. Learning of these plans, the Cuban government stationed a cruiser alongside that vessel, with guns trained upon her, to prevent the purposed escape. Immediately upon the declaration of war the four German ships which were lying interned in Havana harbor were seized by the{351} Cuban government. It was found that the German crews had seriously damaged the machinery of the vessels, as they did at New York and elsewhere; but the Cuban government had repairs made and then turned the vessels over to the United States.

In what we may call the non-military activities of the war, Cuba was notably energetic and efficient. There was close cooperation with the United States government in the matter of food conservation and supply. Cuba was naturally looked to for an increased supply of sugar, for which there was great need; and as a result of inquiries by Mr. Hoover, the United States Food Commissioner, as to what the island could do in that respect, the Cuban Department of Agriculture sent the chief of its Bureau of Information, Captain George Reno, to Washington to confer with Mr. Hoover and to formulate plans for the exercise of the most efficient cooperation possible between Cuba and the United States. Recognizing the desirability if not the necessity that Cuba should not only be able to feed herself during the war but should also export as much food as possible, the insular government took steps at once for the increase of food production to the highest attainable degree, and also for the practice of thrift and economy. In consequence Cuba endured cheerfully the same system of wheatless days and meatless days and rationing in various articles of food that prevailed in the United States; with excellent results.

President Menocal also made preparations, at the suggestion of and in conjunction with the United States War Department, for the provision of a detachment of troops for service either in Europe or in any part of the world that the Department at Washington might deem expedient. The best officers of the Cuban army accepted{352} an invitation from the military authorities of the United States to receive instruction in modern military tactics, which had been brought out by the war, and Senator Manuel Coronado patriotically gave a sum sufficient for the building of a number of airplanes, to be used by Cuban aviators. Volunteers for this division were easily secured and the instruction began under the direction of Cuban aviators who had been in the service of France. The War Department of the United States notified the Republic of Cuba that owing to the severe exposure of the men to the freezing water and mud of the trenches of Belgium and France, it was doubtful whether soldiers of tropical countries could withstand the strain upon their health necessarily endured during the winter campaign in Europe, intimating that their services would be far more useful in taking the place of other troops stationed in warmer climates, as the Porto Ricans were taking the place of the marines that were stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. This was a rather severe disappointment to General Pujol and the other officers, who were very anxious to take their places in the line of fire.

Noteworthy and most admirable were the achievements of Cuba in the financial operations of the war. Subscriptions were eagerly made to every one of the Liberty Loans, and to the final Victory Loan, with the result that in every case the amount allotted to Cuba was far exceeded. The quota for the third loan was subscribed twice over within five days. In this work not only did banks and commercial houses take part, as a matter of business, but also many private citizens volunteered as canvassers; though indeed the eagerness of people to subscribe made canvassing perfunctory and urging superfluous.


It is not alone through the felicitous circumstance of her being the wife of President Mario G. Menocal that Señora Marienita Seva de Menocal is entitled to the distinction—never more appropriate than in her case—of being the "first lady of the land." Her title rests equally upon personal charm, the graces of social hospitality, and womanly leadership of the most efficient kind in philanthropic and patriotic endeavor for the advancement of the public welfare and the confirmation of the integrity and promotion of the prosperity of the Republic; while her indefatigable labors in the great war invested her name with affectionate and grateful distinction in the camps and among the peoples of the Allied nations.


It is not alone through the felicitous circumstance of her being the
wife of President Mario G. Menocal that Señora Marienita Seva de Menocal
is entitled to the distinction—never more appropriate than in her
case—of being the "first lady of the land." Her title rests equally
upon personal charm, the graces of social hospitality, and womanly
leadership of the most efficient kind in philanthropic and patriotic
endeavor for the advancement of the public welfare and the confirmation
of the integrity and promotion of the prosperity of the Republic; while
her indefatigable labors in the great war invested her name with
affectionate and grateful distinction in the camps and among the peoples
of the Allied nations.


A similar interest was manifested in Red Cross contributions and Red Cross work, with equally gratifying results. In both of these activities a leading and most efficient part was taken by the women of Cuba. In subscribing to the loans they were most generous; in canvassing for subscriptions from others and in collecting and working for the Red Cross they were indefatigable and irresistible. They made it a point of patriotic honor, and almost a condition of social acceptability, to respond in the fullest possible manner to every such call of the war. In Cuba's domestic struggles, the women had suffered cruelly, and their sympathies sprang spontaneously and generously toward the lands of Europe where womanhood was suffering a thousand martyrdoms. Thus as the manhood of Cuba with a unanimity which the few exceptions only emphasized rallied to the call of the President to throw the material and militant might of the Republic on the side of law, of civilization and of democracy, the womanhood of Cuba, with no less unanimity and zeal, followed Señora Menocal in the equally necessary and grateful tasks of the campaign which women even better than men could perform.

No tribute could be too high to render to these devoted women, who were always ready to make personal sacrifices of time, of strength, of money, of work, for the cause of humanity. Amid all its historic fiestas and pageants, Havana has seen no fairer or more inspiring spectacle than that of the Red Cross women, Senora Menocal at their head, marching in stately procession through her streets to manifest their devotion to the cause and to arouse others to equal earnestness. The magnitude of the sums raised by the women of Cuba for the war loans and for the Red Cross, and for Cuban hospital units at the front, and the amount of bandages and other hospital supplies and clothing prepared by them{354} for the armies "over there," made proud items in Cuban statistics of the Great War.

Thitherto Cuba had often been engaged in war, but it was always in what may be termed selfish war, for her own defence against an alien enemy or for her own liberation from oppressors who, at first kin, had become alien. Now for the first time it was her privilege to engage in a greater struggle than any before, and one which was for her own interests only to the extent to which those interests were involved with and were practically identical with the interests of all civilized nations and of world-wide humanity. Said Thomas Jefferson on a memorable occasion, referring to the relations between America and Great Britain:

"Nothing would more tend to knit our affections than to be fighting once more, side by side, in the same cause."

Thus we must reckon that affection and confidence between Cuba and the United States were greatly strengthened and confirmed by the fact that they were at least potentially and indeed to some degree actually fighting side by side in the same cause, and that cause not exclusively their own but that of the whole world. Nor was the event without a comparable effect upon Cuba's relations to the world at large. Her sympathies were broadened; her recognition by other powers was extended; and as once she had been a mere pawn in the international game, now she became a vital and potent factor in international affairs.{355}


"A revolution which comprehends the responsibilities incumbent upon the founders of nations." Those were almost the last words of José Marti, epigrammatically expressive of his purpose in fomenting the ultimate and triumphant revolution of 1895-1898, and of the purpose of those devoted men who caught the standard of liberty from his dying hand and through labors and perils and tragedies incommensurable bore it on to victory. How well that purpose has been served in these scarcely twenty years of the independent Republic of Cuba, how true to Marti's transcendent ideal his successors in Cuban leadership have been, the record which we have briefly rehearsed must tell. On the whole, the answer to the implied interrogatory is gratifying and reassuring.

The real leaders of the Cuban nation have comprehended the responsibilities, unspeakably profound and weighty, that rest upon the founders of a nation, and no less upon those who direct the affairs of a nation after its foundation, to the last chapter in its age-long annals. We should go far, very far, before we could find a statesman more appreciative of that responsibility than Tomas Estrada Palma, or one who more manfully strove to discharge its every duty with scrupulous fidelity and with all the discretion and wisdom with which he had himself been plenteously endowed and which he could summon to his council board from among his loyal compatriots.{356}

We must regard it as the supreme reproach of José Miguel Gomez that, with all his ability and energy, he lacked that supreme quality, the sense of civic responsibility, which Marti prescribed for Cuba and for Cubans. His shameful and unpardonable treason—a double treason, to his own party partner as well as to the government of his country—was not inspired by the genius of Marti. It did not comprehend the gigantic responsibilities which it so lightly sought to assume, but was marked with the irresponsibility which has characterized so many revolutions in other Latin American countries, and which has brought upon those lands disaster and measureless reproach.

Under the third Presidency which Cuba has enjoyed that responsibility is happily comprehended in complete degree. Not even Estrada Palma possessed a higher sense of duty to the state and to the world than Mario G. Menocal, nor gave to it more tangible and efficient exposition. Nor shall we incur reproach of lack of reverence for a great name if we perceive that in certain essential and potent particulars Cuba's third President is even more capable of discharging that responsibility than was the first. The younger, alert, practical man of affairs, expert in the duties of both peace and war, has the advantage over the elder sage whose life for many years had been cloistered in academic calm.

We might not inappropriately gauge the extent of Cuba's discharge of her responsibilities as a sovereign nation by the measure of her progress in various paths of human welfare. This is not the place for a comprehensive census of the island, or for a conspectus of its statistics. Ex pede Herculem. From a few items we may estimate the whole. In the days of unembarrassed Spanish rule, before that sovereignty was challenged by revolutions,{357} the island had a population of a million souls. It had between two hundred and three hundred teachers, and—in 1841—9,082 children enrolled in schools. That was one schoolchild in every 110 of the population. To-day the island has a population of 2,700,000, and it has 350,000 children enrolled in its schools. That is one child in every eight of the population. The contrast between one-eighth and one-one hundred and tenth is one valid and expressive measure of Cuba's discharge of her responsibility.

Under the administration of President Menocal the annual appropriation for public education is more than $10,000,000. There are six great normal schools to train the 5,500 teachers who are needed to care for the 350,000 pupils; and as the national government conducts all the schools there is no discrimination between poor places and wealthy communities, but an equal grade of teaching is maintained in all. Nor does the state stop with primary education, but provides practically free secondary and university education for all who desire it.


Shall we take public health as another measure of progress? In the half dozen years just before the War of Independence the death rate in Havana was 33 to the 1,000. By 1902 it was reduced to 22, or only a little more than in New York. To-day, under President Menocal, the death rate for all Cuba is only 11.2. In the registration area of the United States it is 14. In the United Kingdom it is 14.2, and Britain vaunts herself {358}upon its lowness. In France it is 19.6; in Argentina it is 21.6; in Chili it is 31.1. There are only three countries in the world with lower rates of mortality than Cuba; and they are New Zealand, with 9.5, Newfoundland with 10.5, and Australia with 10.6.


No country in the world, probably, is more amply equipped with good road—for both industrial and pleasure purposes, than Cuba. Radiating from the capital and other important cities splendid automobile highways give access to all parts of the island, leading not only to cities and ports but also for hundreds of miles through enchanting scenery. Of such highways the Boneato Road, winding through the mountains of Santiago, in the Province of Oriente, is a superb example.


No country in the world, probably, is more amply equipped with good
road—for both industrial and pleasure purposes, than Cuba. Radiating
from the capital and other important cities splendid automobile highways
give access to all parts of the island, leading not only to cities and
ports but also for hundreds of miles through enchanting scenery. Of such
highways the Boneato Road, winding through the mountains of Santiago, in
the Province of Oriente, is a superb example.

Again, consider what is still the chief industry of Cuba. Before the administration of President Menocal, these were the yearly sugar crops, in tons:

1910   1,804,349

Compare or contrast those figures with these, under the administration of a President who comprehends his responsibilities:

1919    4,000,000

No less impressive and significant are the figures which indicate the volume of trade between Cuba and the United States. The imports of 3,000,000; in 1908 they were $48,577,000; in 1917 they were $189,875,000. The exports of Cuban goods to the United States were in 1908 only $78,869,000, and in 1917 25,275,000, and in 1919 more than $500,000,000. The balance of trade is thus heavily in Cuba's favor. Small as Cuba is{359} in comparison with some of her neighbors, her commerce with the United States far exceeds theirs. Thus in 1917 the commerce, in both directions, of Brazil with the United States was $180,000,000; of Chili, 048,000,000; and of Cuba, $415,150,000.

Financially, the administration of President Menocal is to be credited with the cancellation of the heavy and largely unnecessary debts which were left to it by the preceding administration; an achievement which contributed greatly to the improvement of Cuba's international credit. The foreign claims of Great Britain, France and Germany, which had been an embarrassing problem for several years, have been so satisfactorily adjusted that their complete settlement will be effected at a time convenient to all parties concerned. The grave fiscal and economic crisis which followed the beginning of the war of 1914, in practically all the markets of the world was avoided in Cuba by the Economic Defense Bill, and the establishment of a Cuban national monetary system has facilitated exchange and all manner of transactions in Cuba, and has redeemed the country from the reproach of being ridden by and dependent upon foreign coin as its medium of exchange.


The sanitary redemption of Cuba was indeed effected under the administration of Leonard Wood in the first American Government of Intervention. But the fortunate condition then attained has been not only fully maintained but constantly and materially bettered{360} through the activity of the public health department of the Menocal administration. New problems in sanitation have arisen, only to be met with promptness, thoroughness and success. One of the most severe tests of the efficiency of the organization against disease occurred when the dreaded bubonic plague was imported; and that efficiency was amply vindicated by the complete eradication of that pestilence within a few weeks.


Shortly after his accession to the Presidency, General Menocal effected a complete reorganization of the military system. It was not his purpose to burden the country with unnecessary armaments, but he realized the necessity of a certain degree of militant preparation for emergencies and therefore provided it with a small but efficient army and navy, commensurate with the necessities of the country, and entirely subject, of course, to the control and direction of the people through their civil government. The efficiency of this arm of the Government was well demonstrated at the time already described in these pages when, early in 1917, a widespread revolution was attempted for the purpose of overthrowing the constitutional and legal government of the country. At that time the President showed the same triumphant ability as a military strategist that he had{361} displayed as a civil administrator, in directing the movements of the Government troops from the Palace in Havana. It was due to his vigilance and energy in directing the campaign, as well, of course, as to the able assistance of his staff, that the rebel forces were promptly surrounded and captured and thus a death blow was struck at what we may hope will prove to have been the last attempt at revolution in Cuba.

No less remarkable than his energy in war was the President's magnanimity in dealing with his vanquished enemies when peace had been restored, though sometimes against the will of many of his foremost advisers. He led the movement of opinion favorable to harmony and reconciliation, which was finally confirmed by a law of congress granting full amnesty to all civilians who participated in that ill advised insurrection. Instead of using persecution, bitterness and vindictive oppression against his enemies, President Menocal restored good will through the Island by his magnanimous generosity and abundant acts of grace.

We have already spoken of President Menocal's admirable course in pointing out where the duty of his country lay in the great crisis of the European war, and in confirming the traditional friendship between Cuba and the United States by making the insular republic an ally of its great northern neighbor in that world-wide conflict. His recommendation of a declaration of war was immediately and unanimously adopted by the Cuban Congress, and thereafter the policy of the republic, under his direction, was one of close cooperation with the United States, and of placing all the resources and energies of the Island at the disposal of the Allied cause. It is worthy of record that the French Government showed its appreciation, not only of his spirit and purpose{362} but of his actual achievements in the war, by conferring upon him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.

During these last few years the agricultural, industrial and economical resources of Cuba have been developed to an extent hitherto unknown and undreamed of in the history of the country. Industries have been immensely stimulated, great new enterprises have been created, and an expansion of foreign trade has been attained which makes Cuba in proportion to its size the foremost commercial country of the world.


Bearing a name which has been identified with many high achievements in medical and other science, Dr. Eugenio Sanchez Agramonte has added new lustre to it by his own achievements for the health of humanity and for the welfare of his fatherland. He was born in Camaguey on April 17, 1865, and had already attained enviable rank as a physician and sanitarian when, still a young man, he entered the War of Independence. His chief services were rendered as Director of the Sanitary Department of the Army of Liberation, in which place he had the rank of General. He was also Director of the great Casa de Beneficia. After the war he took an active interest in civic affairs, and became the president of the Conservative party. With the election of General Menocal to the Presidency of the Cuban Republic, General Agramonte was elected president of the Senate, which position he held until 1917, when President Menocal appointed him Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce and Labor.


Bearing a name which has been identified with many high achievements in
medical and other science, Dr. Eugenio Sanchez Agramonte has added new
lustre to it by his own achievements for the health of humanity and for
the welfare of his fatherland. He was born in Camaguey on April 17,
1865, and had already attained enviable rank as a physician and
sanitarian when, still a young man, he entered the War of Independence.
His chief services were rendered as Director of the Sanitary Department
of the Army of Liberation, in which place he had the rank of General. He
was also Director of the great Casa de Beneficia. After the war he took
an active interest in civic affairs, and became the president of the
Conservative party. With the election of General Menocal to the
Presidency of the Cuban Republic, General Agramonte was elected
president of the Senate, which position he held until 1917, when
President Menocal appointed him Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce and

According to recent data the foreign trade of Cuba is $800,000,000. Reckoning the population of the Island at about 2,700,000, that means a 96 per capita. In the year immediately preceding the outbreak of the European war, and before the great disturbance of commerce caused by that conflict, the foreign trade of the United States of America amounted to only $39 per{363} capita, and even that of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to only $170.

Before the enraptured vision of Columbus, Cuba baffled appreciation. To the more discriminating vision of to-day, her future equally baffles while it piques imagination. Louis Napoleon, meditating upon the possibilities of an American Isthmian canal, once said:

"The geographical position of Constantinople rendered her the Queen of the ancient world. Occupying, as she does, the central point between Europe, Asia and Africa, she could become the entreport of the commerce of all those countries, and obtain over them immense preponderance; for in politics, as in strategy, a central position always commands the circumference."

Then he pointed out the similarity of position of Nicaragua, where he hoped to construct a canal, and argued that it similarly might obtain a like status in the Western World. It needs little suggestion to point out that Cuba fulfils those conditions in a supreme degree. It was not vainly that Spaniards centuries ago called Havana the Key of the Gulf, of the Caribbean, of the Indies, of the Western World. The position of Cuba is unique and incomparable, with relation to the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America, and the two enclosed seas which form the Mediterranean of the American Continents. Of old the treasure fleets of Spain passed by her coasts, and visited her harbors. To-day she is similarly visited by the fleets which ply between North America and South America, and between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Reckoned by routes of traffic on the charted seas, she is the commercial centre of the world.


It is not with ambition for conquest or for political ascendancy that Cuba exults in that proud position, but{364} merely that she may in the words of her President "show herself worthy of the favors which God has lavished upon her," and make herself a joy unto herself and a convenience and a benefaction to the peaceful world.


It is into such an estate that she has now found the sure way to enter, and is indeed confidently and triumphantly entering, through achievements which, though embraced in only half a dozen years, are worthy of a generation of progress and are auspicious of immeasurable generations of progress yet to come; achievements toward which{365} her present Chief of State has greatly and indispensably contributed.

The story of Cuba is from Velasquez to Menocal. That is the story which we have tried to tell. But that is by no means the whole history of Cuba. Even of that portion of it we have been able here to give only an outline of the essential facts. But surely the span of four hundred and seven years must not be reckoned as a finality. It is only the beginning of the annals of a land and a people whose place among the nations of the world in honorable perpetuity is now assured as far as it can be assured by human purpose and achievement.

These pages are, then, in fact, merely the prologue to records of progress and attainment which shall honor the name of Cuba and adorn the story of the world, "far on, in summers that we shall not see."

From Velasquez to Menocal. The span is tremendous, in character as well as in lapse of time. It is a span from the fanatical and ruthless conqueror seeking only his own and his country's advantage, selfish and sordid, to the broad-minded and altruistic statesman and philanthropist, seeking the advantage and the advancement of his fellow men. It is a span, in brief, from the Sixteenth Century age of force to the Twentieth Century age of law.

Nevertheless, the span and the contrast involve a certain analogy. It was the work of Velasquez, masterful man of vision that he was, to begin the transformation of a land of aboriginal barbarians into at least a semblance of civilization; the transformation from the primitive, scarcely more than animal, existence of the Cuban autochthones, to the strenuous if sophisticated life of Spain. It has been and is the work of President Menocal and his accomplished and patriotic colleagues to induct the land{366} and people from the discredited remnants of a false colonial system into the clearer light, the fuller life and the immeasurably more spacious and elevated opportunities of a free and independent people who "comprehend the responsibilities incumbent upon the founders of nations."



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