« 前へ次へ »
selves than were the Spaniards who had been sent to rule
them. He painted a vivid picture of the terrors of reconcentration. "Torn from their homes, with foul earth, foul air, foul water, and foul food or none, what wonder that one half have died and that one quarter of the living are so diseased that they cannot be saved? ... Deaths in the street have not been uncommon. I was told by one of our consuls that they had been found dead about the markets in the morning, where they had crawled, hoping to get some stray bits of food from the early hucksters, and that there had been cases where they had dropped dead inside the market surrounded by food. These people were independent and self-supporting before Weyler's order."
Senator Proctor's speech made a more profound impression upon the country than had any previous testimony.
With public opinion now at white heat, as shown by the newspapers, magazines, public meetings, and the daily talk in Congress, in the clubs, hotels, and other places, where men excitedly discussed the situation, the President maintained his firm control. War may come, and probably will, he thought, but it must not come until we have proved to the world the justice of our cause and have demonstrated that the last possible effort has been made to attain our end by peaceful means. The hope of peace,
it must be admitted, was then very slender. It was clear that nothing short of independence would satisfy Cuba. Yet as late as February 1, Señor Gullon, the Spanish Minister of State, proposed to maintain Spanish sovereignty "at every hazard.' On that date he wrote to Mr. Woodford:
“The Island of Cuba, as Mr. Olney freely admitted in an official note, has its life and its future bound to those of its mother country, Spain, and the act of conspiring against the perpetual union of the Pearl of the Antilles and the historical discoverer of the American continent not only reveals destructive purposes, but also involves a hopeless attempt. Cuba free, autonomous, ruled by a government of her own and by the laws which she makes for herself, subject to the immutable sovereignty of Spain, and forming an integral part of Spain, presents the only solution of pending problems that is just to the colony and the mother country, the dénouement longed for by the great majority of their respective inhabitants and the most equitable for other states. It is only in this formula of colonial self-government and Spanish sovereignty that peace, which is so necessary to the Peninsula and to Cuba and so advantageous to the United States, can be found."
On February 26, Mr. Woodford reported the feel
ing of the Spanish Ministry in a letter to the President, in which he said:
As hitherto reported, they cannot go further in open concessions to us without being overthrown by their own people here in Spain. This is what made it difficult to get prompt and satisfactory settlement of the De Lome matter, and induced them to accept his resignation before permitting me to have an interview. ... They want peace if they can keep peace and save the dynasty. They prefer the chances of war, with the certain loss of Cuba, to the overthrow of the dynasty. They know that we want peace if we can get such justice for Cuba and such protection of American interests as will make peace permanent and prevent this old Cuban question from continual resurrection. I told them positively that I regarded the Spanish note of February I as a serious mistake; that I should advise all possible delay in answering it; and that whether our answer should be pleasant or disagreeable must depend entirely on practical results in Cuba. While I do not think that they can make any more direct concessions to us and retain their power here, I do begin to see possible ways by which they can make further concessions to Cuba through the insular Cuban government and so, possibly, avert war."
On March 1, Secretary Sherman, writing to Minis
ter Woodford, pointed out the futility of autonomy, the only solution of the problem that Spain had yet offered:
“As for the effect of the offer of autonomy upon the insurgents in the field, it must be confessed that no hopeful result has so far followed. Beyond a few isolated submissions of insurgent chiefs and their following, no disposition appears on the part of the leaders of the rebellion to accept autonomy as a solution. On the other hand, the hostility of the Spanish element in Cuba to this or any form of autonomy is apparent, so that the inaugurated reform stands between the two adverse fires of hostile opposition in the field and insidious malevolence in the very centers of government. That the latter form of opposition would be reduced and eventually overcome in proportion as autonomy proves a success may well be admitted; that autonomy is of itself, and unaided by military success, capable of winning over the insurgent element remains a doubtful proposition."
Mr. Day in a telegram to Mr. Woodford, March 20, indicated that a decision could not be longer delayed, and suggested April 15 as the latest date the United States would be willing to wait for Spain to restore peace and stop the starvation of the people. He said:
“Confidential report shows naval board will make
unanimous report that Maine was blown up by sub-
should know that, unless events otherwise