Mr. Woodford to the President.

Nos. 47, 48.]

Dear Mr. President: To-day (Monday), I get cipher dispatch from Judge Day, which I translate as follows:

Washington, March 20, 1898.

Woodford, Minister, Madrid:

The President is at a loss to know just what your telegram 19th covers, whether loss of Maine or whole situation. Confidential report shows naval board will make unanimous report that Maine was blown up by submarine mine. This report must go to Congress soon. Feeling in the United States very acute. People have borne themselves with great forbearance and self-restraint last month. President has no doubt Congress will act wisely and immediate crisis may be avoided, particularly if there be certainty of prompt restoration of peace in Cuba. Maine loss may be peaceably settled if full reparation is promptly made, such as the most civilized nation would offer, but there remain general conditions in Cuba which can not be longer endured and which will demand action on our part unless Spain restores honorable peace, which will stop starvation of people and give them opportunity to take care of themselves and restore commerce, now wholly lost. April 15 is none too early date for accomplishment of these purposes. Relations will be much influenced by attitude of Spanish Government in Maine matter, but general conditions must not be lost sight of. It is proper that you should know that, unless events otherwise indicate, the President, having exhausted all diplomatic agencies to secure peace in Cuba, will lay the whole question before Congress. Keep President fully advised, as action of next few days may control the situation.


I have to-day telegraphed you in cipher as follows:

Madrid, March 21, 1898.

President McKinley, Washington:

My No. 47. Dispatch signed Day received to-day, Monday, 10 o’clock a.m. I had no intimation as to the character of report on the Maine when I telegraphed my No. 45, but reserved your full liberty of action if such report should require it. Nothing confidential between Spanish Government and myself as to steamer Maine. That subject never discussed between us. All other suggestions in my No. 45 should be absolutely secret. Will keep you fully advised every day.


The situation is so delicate and yet so pressing that I venture no suggestions to-day. I will think to-night; see Minister Moret early to-morrow morning; will then say and do what shall then, after reflection, seem wisest, and will telegraph and write you to-morrow.

Faithfully yours,

Stewart L. Woodford.