“President [Grover] Cleveland faced a growing problem with Cuba in his second term, 1892-1896. As word of the horrors of [Spanish] General [Valerian] Weyler’s Reconcentration policy reached the United States, many fairs and rallies were held to protest the brutality of Spanish troops and to express pro-Cuban sentiments. Nevertheless, on June 12, 1895, President Cleveland signed a proclamation of neutrality and refused to show any preference to the insurgents.”

“Grover Cleveland: 1837-1908,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“1895; September. The Cuban Revolutionary Party (Cuban Junta), under the direction of chief policy leader Tomás Estrada Palma, was formed to encourage and to support the Cuban insurgency and to campaign for U.S. recognition of the Cuban belligerency.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only]

“Chronology of Cuba in the Spanish-American War,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“1896; 28 February. The U.S. Senate recognized Cuban belligerency when it passed overwhelmingly the joint John T. Morgan/Donald Cameron resolution calling for recognition of Cuban belligerency and Cuban independence. This resolution signaled to President [Grover] Cleveland and Secretary of State Richard Olney that the Cuban crisis needed attention.”

“Chronology of Cuba in the Spanish-American War,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“1896; March 2. The U.S. House of Representatives passed decisively its own version of the Morgan-Cameron Resolution which called for the recognition of Cuban belligerency.”

“Chronology of Cuba in the Spanish-American War,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“On April 7, 1896, Secretary of State Richard Olney spoke out and offered to present itself as a possible mediator in the conflict. After discussions with the Spanish ambassador Enrique Dupuy de Lome, the mediation plan included continued Spanish rule over Cuba, with some self-government for the island. The Spanish government, however, had to contend with anti-American demonstrations in reaction to the hostile resolutions emanating from the U.S. Congress. Consequently, it was in no rush to accept any offers of mediation coming from Washington. Finally, after two months of silence, the Spanish rejected the proposed reforms.”

“Grover Cleveland: 1837-1908,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“1896; December 7. U.S President Grover Cleveland declared that the U.S might take action in Cuba if Spain failed to resolve the crisis there.”

“Chronology of Cuba in the Spanish-American War,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“Toward the end of his presidency, [President Grover] Cleveland relented a bit on his neutral stance, perhaps because his successor William McKinley would have to manage whatever ensued. On December 1896, Cleveland commented that the United States might have to respond if Spain was unable to settle the Cuba issue. Hannis Taylor, U.S. envoy to Madrid, actually proposed that Spain grant Cuba autonomy to [Spanish] President [Antonio] Cánovas, but received no response. Ironically, less than a year later Cánovas was dead and by the following year Spain granted a limited autonomy to Cuba.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

“Grover Cleveland: 1837-1908,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov


“William McKinley (March 4, 1897-September 14, 1901). Republican. In his elections McKinley fought fiercely for upholding the gold standard and high tariffs. His leadership brought victory for the U.S. in 90 days in the Spanish America War. He is also highly regarded for forging a Republican coalition that dominated U.S. politics until the 1930s.”

“U.S. Presidents,” TotallyHistory.com


“President [William] McKinley sent the second class battleship USS Maine from Key West to Havana…At 9:40 on the evening of 15 February [1898], a terrible explosion on board Maine shattered the stillness in Havana Harbor. Later investigations revealed that more than five tons of powder charges for the vessel’s six and ten-inch guns ignited, virtually obliterating the forward third of the ship. The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. Most of Maine’s crew were sleeping or resting in the enlisted quarters in the forward part of the ship when the explosion occurred. Two hundred and sixty-six men lost their lives as a result of the disaster: 260 died in the explosion or shortly thereafter, and six more died later from injuries. The U.S. Navy Department immediately formed a board of inquiry to determine the reason for Maine’s destruction…In the end, they concluded that a mine had detonated under the ship…When the Navy’s verdict was announced, the American public reacted with predictable outrage…the public had already placed guilt on the Spanish government. Although he continued to press for a diplomatic settlement to the Cuban problem, President McKinley accelerated military preparations…”

“The Destruction of USS Maine,” Department of the Navy-Naval History and Heritage Command, History.Navy.mil


“1898; March 17. Senator Redfield Proctor (Vermont) pushed Congress and the U.S. business community toward war with Spain. He had traveled at his own expense in February 1898 to Cuba to investigate the effects of the reconcentration policy and returned to report on his findings before the Senate.”

“Chronology of Cuba in the Spanish-American War,” Library of Congress, LOC.gov