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by the act of Spain, I have been constrained, in exercise of the power and authority conferred upon me by the joint resolution aforesaid, to proclaim, under date of April 22, 1898,* a blockade of certain ports of the north coast of Cuba, lying between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and of the port of Cienfuegos, on the south coast of Cuba, and further in exercise of my constitutional powers and using the authority conferred upon me by the act of Congress approved April 22, 1898, to issue my proclamation dated April 23, 1898,† calling forth volunteers in order to carry into effect the said resolution of April 20, 1898. Copies of these proclamations are hereto appended.
In view of the measures so taken, and with a view to the adoption of such other measures as may be necessary to enable me to carry out the expressed will of the Congress of the United States in the premises, I now recommend to your honorable body the adoption of a joint resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain, and I urge speedy action thereon, to the end that the definition of the international status of the United States as a belligerent power may be made known and the assertion of all its rights and the maintenance of all its duties in the conduct of a public war may be assured. ‡
JOINT RESOLUTION for the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.
Whereas 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, culminating, as they have, in the destruction of a United States battle ship, with 266 of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of Havana, and cannot longer be endured, as has been set forth by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of April 11, 1898,§ upon which the action of Congress was invited: Therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, First. That the people of the island of Cuba are and of right ought to be free and independent.
Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.
Third. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States to such extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect.
*See pp. 247-248.
See pp. 248-249.
See p. 123.
See pp. 56-67.
Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the island to its people.
Approved, April 20, 1898.
To the Congress:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, April 27, 1898.
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State and accompanying papers relating to the claim against the United States of the Russian subject, Gustav Isak Dahlberg, master and principal owner of the Russian bark Hans, based on his wrongful and illegal arrest and imprisonment by officers of the United States district court for the southern district of Mississippi, and in view of the opinion expressed by the Department of Justice that the said arrest and detention of the complainant were wrongful and without authority of law, I recommend the appropriation by Congress of the sum of $5,000 to reimburse the master and owners of the vessel for all losses and damages incurred by reason of his said wrongful and illegal arrest and detention.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 9, 1898.
To the Congress of the United States:
On the 24th of April I directed the Secretary of the Navy to telegraph orders to Commodore George Dewey, of the United States Navy, commanding the Asiatic Squadron, then lying in the port of Hongkong, to proceed forthwith to the Philippine Islands, there to commence operations and engage the assembled Spanish fleet.
Promptly obeying that order, the United States squadron, consisting of the flagship Olympia, Baltimore, Raleigh, Boston, Concord, and Petrel, with the revenue cutter McCulloch as an auxiliary dispatch boat, entered the harbor of Manila at daybreak on the 1st of May and immediately engaged the entire Spanish fleet of eleven ships, which were under the protection of the fire of the land forts. After a stubborn fight, in which the enemy suffered great loss, these vessels were destroyed or completely disabled and the water battery at Cavite silenced. Of our brave officers and men not one was lost and only eight injured, and those slightly. All of our ships escaped any serious damage.
By the 4th of May, Commodore Dewey had taken possession of the naval station at Cavite, destroying the fortifications there and at the entrance of the bay and paroling their garrisons. The waters of the bay are under his complete control. He has established hospitals within the
American lines, where 250 of the Spanish sick and wounded are assisted and protected.
The magnitude of this victory can hardly be measured by the ordinary standard of naval warfare. Outweighing any material advantage is the moral effect of this initial success. At this unsurpassed achievement the great heart of our nation throbs, not with boasting or with greed of conquest, but with deep gratitude that this triumph has come. in a just cause and that by the grace of God an effective step has thus been taken toward the attainment of the wished-for peace. To those whose skill, courage, and devotion have won the fight, to the gallant commander and the brave officers and men who aided him, our country owes an incalculable debt.
Feeling as our people feel, and speaking in their name, I at once sent a message to Commodore Dewey thanking him and his officers and men for their splendid achievement and overwhelming victory and informing him that I had appointed him an acting rear-admiral.
I now recommend that, following our national precedents and expressing the fervent gratitude of every patriotic heart, the thanks of Congress be given Acting Rear-Admiral George Dewey, of the United States Navy, for highly distinguished conduct in conflict with the enemy, and to the officers and men under his command for their gallantry in the destruction of the enemy's fleet and the capture of the enemy's fortifications in the bay of Manila.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 16, 1898.
To the House of Representatives:
consuls of the United States In view of the value of these
I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of State, accompanying the annual reports of the upon foreign industries and commerce. reports to the business interests of the country, I indorse the recommendation of the Secretary of State that Congress authorize the printing of a special edition of 10,000 copies of the general summary entitled Review of the World's Commerce," and 5,000 copies of Commercial Relations (including this summary), to enable the Department of State to meet the demands for such information.
To the House of Representatives:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 16, 1898.
I return herewith to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, House bill No. 2219, entitled "An act for the relief of the