while keeping on good terms with the jingoes of his party....

"I am entirely of your opinions; without a military end of the matter nothing will be accomplished in Cuba, and without a military and political settlement there will always be the danger of encouragement being given to the insurgents by a part of the public opinion if not by the Government. ...

“It would be very advantageous to take up, even if only for effect, the question of commercial relations, and to have a man of some prominence sent hither in order that I may make use of him here to carry on a propaganda among the Senators and others in opposition to the Junta and to try to win over the refugees."

The President could afford to ignore the disparaging language reflecting upon his personal character, and did so. But the plain implication, that the proposed autonomous government was intended merely to relieve the Spanish Government in the eyes of the American people from the blame of the occurrences in Cuba and to throw it upon the Cubans themselves, was a serious matter. There was also the clear indication that both De Lome and Canalejas believed that nothing would come of autonomy, and that a "military end of the matter" was inevitable. Still worse was the proposition to take up “even if only

for effect, the question of commercial relations." The letter was apparently written in December, and soon afterward De Lome was advocating, with every appearance of earnestness and sincerity, the adoption of such a policy.

Señor De Lome, learning of the forthcoming publication of the letter, telegraphed his resignation on the 8th. On the 9th, Assistant Secretary Day confronted him with the original and received an acknowledgment of its authenticity. On the same day a telegram was sent to Mr. Woodford instructing him to demand the instant recall of the Spanish Minister. Before the message could be delivered, the resignation was already in the hands of the Spanish Government, and it was accepted on the roth. The Ministry expressed its regret, promptly appointed a successor, and the incident was closed within a week. Nevertheless it served to irritate the American public, whose patience was becoming exhausted.

On the very day when the Spanish Government officially disavowed the De Lome incident and reasserted “the truth and sincerity of its purposes and the unstained good faith of its intentions," the terrible event occurred which forever shattered any lingering faith on the part of the American people in either. At 9.40 P.M., February 15, the United States battle

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ship Maine, lying peacefully at anchor in the harbor of Havana, whither she had gone by friendly agreement with Spain scarcely three weeks before, was rent in two by a terrific explosion, causing her to sink almost instantly. Out of a complement of three hundred and sixty men, two officers, and two hundred and sixty-four of the crew were killed or drowned, and sixty others wounded.

The news sent a thrill of horror throughout the country and created intense excitement in Congress. Many Senators and Representatives wished to declare war immediately. The President realized that a very serious factor had been introduced into the problem. Senator Fairbanks, who called at the White House by appointment on the night after the news reached Washington, says that he had never before seen the President in so serious a mood nor so careworn in appearance. They discussed the gravity of the situation, President McKinley expressing the fear that the minds of the people would be so influenced by the horror of the tragedy as to embarrass him in his dealings with the larger problem of intertention. He said: "I don't propose to be swept off my feet by the catastrophe. My duty is plain. We must learn the truth and endeavor, if possible, to fix the responsibility. The country can afford to withhold its judgment and not strike an avenging

blow until the truth is known. The Administration will go on preparing for war, but still hoping to avert it. It will not be plunged into war until it is ready for it. Responsibility for the catastrophe in Havana Harbor will be searched thoroughly and with all reasonable dispatch, and when the responsibility is fixed, the Government will be prepared to act, and if the facts warrant it will act with resolution - but not before."

A court of inquiry which was promptly appointed reported, after careful examination of the hull, that the Maine had been blown up by a submarine mine. The President transmitted the report to Congress in a special message March 28.

Meanwhile Congress prepared for the event which all thought to be inevitable by passing an appropriation of $50,000,000 for the national defense, to be expended at the discretion of the President. The bill received the unanimous vote of the House of Representatives on March 8 and of the Senate on March 9. It was approved immediately by the President. The reception of the news in Spain is shown by a letter to the President from Mr. Wood ford:

“This morning the papers announce the unanimous passage by the House of Mr. Cannon's bill putting $50,000,000 at your disposal. It has not excited the

Spaniards it has stunned them. To appropriate fifty millions out of money in the Treasury, without borrowing a cent, demonstrates wealth and power. Even Spain can see this. To put this money without restriction and by unanimous vote absolutely at your disposal demonstrates entire confidence in you by all parties. The Ministry and the press are simply stunned."

It was, indeed, a remarkable demonstration of unity of purpose, patriotism, and power, coupled with a not less extraordinary exhibition of confidence such as has rarely been given to an American President. The grant of $50,000,000, to be expended solely at the discretion of the Executive, by a vote of 311 in the House and 76 in the Senate, without a single dissenting vote, was an act without a parallel in American history.

On the 17th of March, Senator Proctor, of Vermont, a man of the highest reputation for conservatism, sagacity, and fairness, addressed the United States Senate on the Cuban situation, reporting the facts as he had found them in a recent visit. Whatever may have been the distrust of newspaper statements and sensational magazine articles, there could be no doubt of the truth of Senator Proctor's assertions. He denounced Spanish misrule and said that the Cubans were far better prepared to govern them


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