Puerto Principe, [Cuba]. Sept. 10, 1898. Broadside, 16 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches. Toned, old folds and creases, minor edge chipping, short closed tear, slight fold separations. Very good. Item #WRCAM54953
A very rare, possibly unique surviving example of a Cuban broadside dating from the month after the conclusion of the Spanish- American War. The war ceased with a truce between the United States and Spain on Aug. 12, 1898; the official end of the war came a few months later on December 10 when the two parties signed the historic Treaty of Paris. Here, on September 10, in the interim between truce and treaty, the outgoing Spanish colonial governor of the south-central Cuban city of Puerto Principe (present-day Camagüey), Emilio March y Garcia, calls for reinforcement of the truce agreement that would ensure free and open commercial trade in the region in the face of continuing interference by Cuban insurgents. March y Garcia claims that the Cuban revolutionaries are illegally detaining people, interrupting the cattle trade, trampling property rights, carrying arms in flagrant disregard for the law, and more. The ARIZONA REPUBLICAN published an English translation of this proclamation in its Sept. 26, 1898 issue. The translation reads: "I hereby inform, the commanders of insurgent bands who are pillaging in the neighborhood of this city; who, not observing the agreement between the Spanish and American governments with regard to the freedom of commercial relations, are illegally detaining the country people; who are obliging the land owners to procure special passes and permits in order to put in order their plantations, and will not allow them either to sell their cattle, under the absurd pretext that the estates are the property of the nominal Cuban state, and that its government alone can distribute and sell them and turn their products to what uses it sees fit, thus trampling under foot the rights of property, whereas on the part of this government the most absolute liberty in making contracts has been allowed and will be allowed in the future, thus demonstrating the respect it has for the rights of all persons within its jurisdiction. I must call to notice with real sorrow that if these towns are suffering almost the horrors of starvation it is the result of the measures adopted by the chiefs of the insurgent bands, who are impeding free traffic by forbidding the entry of all kinds of provisions, especially cattle, into the towns. In view of what I have already explained I consider it necessary to publish the following warnings: Article 1. I repeat my order of August 23 last permitting free entry and exit to all towns of this province subject to my authority and the most absolute freedom of trade between all the inhabitants of the province. Article 2. The prohibition to enter towns with arms remains in force and whoever is found with arms in his possession will be punished in accordance with the laws." Don Emilio Augusto March y Garcia Mesa was a career Spanish military commander who spent at least three stretches of time in Cuba, the last as military governor of Puerto Principe during the Spanish defeat in the Spanish- American War. He also served as the colonial governor of Puerto Rico and general captain of Arago, the Balearic Islands, and the Canary Islands. The present broadside is exceedingly rare and quite possibly unique, with no copies listed in OCLC and no records at auction.