Mr. Dupuy de Lôme to Mr. Olney.
Swampscott, September 19, 1895.
Mr. Secretary: In confirmation of what I had the honor to state to your excellency by telegraph, I deem it my duty to inform you that all the consuls and agents of Spain in the State of Florida write to me that there is an extraordinary agitation among the Cuban rebels, who publicly say that they are organizing one or several military armed expeditions in order to disembark them in the Island of Cuba.
The persons who for several months past have been quartered in Tampa, Key West, and Jacksonville, where they have been receiving-military instructions, have now split up into groups, which go about from one point to another in order to throw the authorities off the trail and to deceive those whose duty it is to be aware of their plans.[Page 1201]
I have sufficient information to suspect that the arms seized at Cedar Keys, with the active and loyal cooperation of the collector of that port, are not all those which were gathered for the expedition, and I am told that in the same neighborhood, and perhaps on the banks of the Suwanee River, where about 150 men are supposed to be encamped, will be found the point whence the leaders (who are the brothers Henry and Thomas Collazo) are to take their departure.
The vessels which I have thus far had reason to suspect are the James Woodall, which is now at New Orleans, and which has already made one or more filibustering expeditions, and the Commodore, which cleared a few days ago from New London, Conn., for Cartagena, Colombia.
Your excellency knows the fact (for which, in the name of my Government, I tender you most sincere thanks) that a steamer of the coast guard of Key West has seized the schooner Lark, at Pine Tree, with 33 men on board, who had set out from Key West. It is notorious in Key West that this schooner was bought in order to violate the neutrality laws, and although the judicial proofs thereof are not in my hands, no moral proof is wanting.
The consuls [of Spain] in Florida have gone before the competent authorities and have declared under oath all that they know and that has been brought to their notice.
I deem it my duty to bring all these facts to the knowledge of the Department under your worthy care, in order that they may be of service to the Government of the United States—which, as I take pleasure in recognizing, is fulfilling with all loyalty its international duties—to the end that it may communicate them to the subordinate authorities and stimulate their zeal in order that they may not leave their duty unfulfilled.
I improve this opportunity, etc.,