American Minute for December 10th

The Spanish-American War ended with a Treaty signed DECEMBER 10, 1898.

Leading up the war was slavery in Cuba.

President James Buchanan wrote December 19, 1859:

“When a market for African slaves shall no longer be furnished in Cuba … Christianity and civilization may gradually penetrate the existing gloom.”

In 1868, a revolt was begun by a wealthy Cuban sugar farmer named Carlos Manuel de C?spedes, called Padre de la Patria (Father of the Country).

Criollos, those of Spanish ancestry born in Cuba, led in drafting a “10th of October Manifesto” which called for abolishing slavery:

“Spain governs us with iron and blood;

it imposes … taxes at will;

it deprives us of all political, civil and religious freedom;

it has put us under military watch … arresting exiling and executing without being subject to any proceedings …

Spain loads us with hungry bureaucrats who live from our patrimony and consume the product of our work …

It forces us to maintain a expensive army, whose unique use is to repress and to humiliate us …

To the God of our consciousness we appealed, and to the good faith of the civilized nations …

We want to enjoy the freedom for whose use God created man …

We want to abolish slavery.”

President Ulysses S. Grant stated December 2, 1872:

“Slavery in Cuba is … a terrible evil … It is greatly to be hoped that … Spain will voluntarily adopt … emancipation … in sympathy with the other powers of the Christian and civilized world.”

President Grant said December 1, 1873:

“Several thousand persons illegally held as slaves in Cuba … The slaveholders of Havana … are vainly striving to stay the march of ideas which has terminated slavery in Christendom, Cuba only excepted.”

In 1878, the Spanish Government crushed the revolt, ending “The Ten Years War” in which over 200,000 died.

Another “Little War” took place in 1879.

Under international pressure, Spain ended slavery by Royal decree in 1886.

In 1895, open rebellion against Spain broke out in Cuba.

Spain sent Governor Valeriano Weyler to smash anti-government protestors.

Weyler rounded up hundreds of thousands of Cubans into crowded concentration camps–an example that Hitler and Stalin followed.

Between 1896-1897, nearly a third of Cuba’s population was in concentration camps, where over 225,000 died from starvation, exposure and yellow fever.

Pleas for help reached the United States to intervene.

In 1898, the U.S.S. Maine was in Havana’s Harbor and it blew up under suspicious circumstances on February 15, beginning the Spanish-American War.

On April 20, 1898, Congress wrote:

“The abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization …

Resolved … the people of the Island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be, free.”

On May 1, Commodore Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

On July 3, the United States, aided by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, captured Santiago, Cuba, and the war soon ended with Cuba’s independence.

On July 6, 1898, President William McKinley wrote:

“With the nation’s thanks let there be mingled … prayers that our gallant sons may be shielded from harm…on the battlefield and in the clash of fleets …

while they are striving to uphold their country’s honor …”

President William McKinley wrote:

“At a time … of the … glorious achievements of the naval and military arms … at Santiago de Cuba,

it is fitting that we should pause and … reverently bow before the throne of divine grace and give devout praise to God, who holdeth the nations in the hollow of His Hands.”

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