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Hot Springs weekly star. (Hot Springs, S.D.) 1892-1917, March 11, 1898, Image 3

Image and text provided by South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn96090259/1898-03-11/ed-1/seq-3/

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DDIET ON THE SURFACE
Warlike Spirit of the People Has Some
what Subsided.
Verdict of the Naval Board is Pa-
vV*
tiently Awaited.
Two Weeks May Elapse Before Official
Reports Arc Made on the Maine
Disaster—Belligerent Congressmen
Claim tlic Silence Is Ominous—Mean
time Uncle Sam Will Be Prenarcd
for War.
The naval court of inquiry in the case
•of
tlio ill-fated battleship Maine is pro
ceeding as a court martial and keeping its
proceedings to itself. The Secretary of
the Navy says that he has no informa
tion not given to the public, that he knows
nothing of the character of the evidence
taken, or the opinions or conclusions of
the board of inquiry. What is more to
the point, Secretary Long intimates .that
lie
does not expect to know anything
about how the Maine was destroyed until
the board of inquiry makes its report,
which may be not for two or three weeks.
With such positive assertions from Secre
tary Long, there can be nothing but spec
ulation in Washington as to wliut the ver
dict will be. There is plenty of specula
tion and little of it is now in line with the
accident theory.
In the absence of exciting news from
Havana there has leen a noticeable cessa
tion of the war talk in Washington. The
conservative attitude of the President has
reflected in Congress, and members who
first would listen to nothing but war are
now disposed to wait patiently for the
actual decision by the court of inquiry.
Members of Congress, says a Washington
correspondent, are gradually coming to
see that events are moving fast enough
Without any assistance on their part, ami
that if an outside explosion is proved and
an indemnity demanded Spain would
nearly certainly refuse it and thus justify
the President in interfering actively to
preserve peace in Cuba. It is said at both
the State and Navy Departments that
there is no disposition to delay the publi
cation of the finding of the board, but it
is mo.e than hinted that in all probability
the board will merely present the facta
and say that they are too vague to make
a positive declaration one way or the oth
er.
That contingency will produce new com
plications, and it is probably this which
has induced the President to say positive
ly that there is no immediate prospect of
any war between this country and Spain,
for if the board of inquiry is not able to
reach a positive finding it will be exceed
ingly dillicult for the State Department to
formulate any kind of a demand upon
Spain. The President will not precipitate
the country in a war unless the facts are
such as to justify him in the eyes of an
overwhelming majority of the people. He
evidently realizes, however, the strained
relations between the two countries and
the active possibility it' not probability of
a dispute arising which could only be set
tled by a show of force on the part of this
country.
The President's desire for niul belief in
peace has not interfered in any way with
the orders issued to the army and navy to
put the armed forces of the country into a
condition for active service. It' is dis
tinctively announced that this is the ounce
of prevention rather than the pound of
cure and that the preparations will con
tinue until all possibility of uctual war
has been disposed of.
So far as the general public is concern
ed the war scare has subsided, for the
present at least. There may be more ex
citement when the report of the court of
Inquiry on the Maine disaster is received
but it may not be easy to stir the country
up again. Besides, it is now pretty well
At best it is going to take time to ascer
tain the truth, and the country will have
need of all its stock of patience. The
court of inquiry will return to Havana
to be present after the wrecking opera
tions have been started. Although no
official news concerning the movements of
the court has been received, the authori
ties think the court will need at least two
weeks, and perhaps a much longer time,
for completion of its work. This inquiry,
the conservatives say, is too important to
be rushed through. Too much depends
upon its results. Most serious is the re
sponsibility which the members of this
court have assumed. As high-minded offi
cers
they are naturally eager to acquit
themselves with credit. The issue of
war
or peace
between nations
may depend
opon their verdict, and this is
bo
Willi
matter to be rushed through in haste. All
the investigation the court has so far been
able to make in Havana was of a purely
preliminary character. The members will
now have to carefully and patiently watch
the wrecking operations for further evi
dence.
Secretary Long does not profess to be
lieve in the accident theory as he did for
several days after the Maine was blown
up. Other members of the cabinet be
lieve, as docs Secretary Long, that the
ship was blown up by design. The ex
perts in the navy also believe this, or now
profess to believe it, but they will await
facts before expressing positive opinions.
Mctliotl in tlic Silence.
It may be truthfully asserted, however,
says a well-informed Washington corre
spondent, that nine out of every ten mem
bers of Congress believe there is a deep
significance in lie seemingly dilatory tac
tics of the administration in regard to
tin disaster. They believe that President
SIcKinley and the members of liis cabinet
Si
IlAUTOI.OMi: MASSO, PUESJDEXT OF CUBA
are not so much in the dark regarding the
information secured by the court of in
quiry as is indicated by the ollicial bulle
tins, an.l that there is method in the si
lence. Many of the members arc convinc
ed that the President is playing for time
and that every minute is being utilized
to make preparations for war. Other
members believe that the President has
received word from the court of inquiry
that the explosion was nn accident and
that he is taking measures to have it ap
pear that the court is making a most ex
haustive and deliberate investigation in
order that 110 cry may bo raised that a
snap verdict was returned.
It is believed by some that Spain is pre
pariug the way to contest any finding
that the battleship was blown up by acci
dent. With the wreck sinking deejier and
deeper into the mud of the harbor, it may
be ditllcult to prove any assertion to the
contrary. It has beeu asserted by Span
iards that there were mines in the "harbor,
RECOVERING BOPUfcS FROM THE MAINE BY MEANS OF ROPES.
understood that it is going to take a long
time to get at the facts. Secretary Long
received a letter from one of the officers
at Havana, in which the statement was
made that so far the result of the investi
gations made by the divers within the
wreck has been rather unsatisfactory.
The writer explains that the water of
Havana harbor is so foul the divers can
not see their way about and have to de
pend upon the sense of touch. It is un
derstood the writer of the letter was rath
er pessimistic as to the outlook for getting
at the actual facts.
and there has been no denial until Senor
du Bosc made the unofficial assertion Sat
urday. Shortly after Blanco became cap
tain general of Cuba there were reports
from Havana of explosions in the harbor
which excited people, but were explained
as caused by experimenting with explo
sives in the harbor, where Spanish officers
were planting mines and torpedoes. It
hns never been denied that Havana was
protected by these modern defenses. The
dcnjal at this time is looked upon as the
beginning of more diplomatic maneuvers
by Spain to delay and escape the responsi
bility for blowing up the Maine.
Incitement Is Abated.
Everywhere in Washington abatement
of unrest and excitement of the past fort
night is noticcablc and it is now quite evi
dent that the administration has settled
down to the belief that the naval board
of inquiry will not conclude its work and
be ready to report for two or three weeks,
and that in the meantime the Government
and people can only wait as patiently as
may be for the verdict.
The action Monday of Senator Hale and
Representative Boutolle, chairmen, re
spectively, of the Senate and House com
mittees on naval affairs, in pigeonholing
the recommendation of Acting Secretary
of the Navy Roosevelt for legislative au-
trifling thority to enlist at one* 1,(500 mMitippai
p-
BOA11D OF INQU1KY EXAMINING A WOUNDED MAUI NIC.
seamen deprived Senators and Represent
atives of an opportunity to diseuss the sit-j
nation growing out of the Maine disasterJ
Naval preparations go 011 as before, bun
the diplomatic policy of the administriH
tion with regard to the Cuban question
is held in abeyance. Those close to the
President say that he is less apprehensive
of tlio consequences of the disaster than
lie was a week ago. These represent Mc
Kinley as being inclined to think that tlio
warlike spirit of the people which broke
out so fiercely upon receipt of news that
the Maine had been destroyed is subsiding
somewhat.
That the disaster to the Maine has up
set completely the President's Cuban pol
icy is indicated by the fact that the time
has already arrived when the ultimatum
of the administration was to have beeu
sent to Spain. It was generally under
stood the Sagasta ministry would not be
permitted to postpone beyond March its
reply to the demands made upon it by
Woodford, but the President knows 110
more now officially as to whether Wood
ford's mission is to meet with success ot
failure than lie did when the minister for
warded Sagasta's first reply to his note of
instructions.
EIGHT-HOUR LAW IS UPHELD.
Important Supreme Court Decision on
a Case Appealed from Utah.
Iii the Supreme Court at Washington
an opinion was handed down in the ease
of K. F. Ilolden vs. the sheriff of Salt
Lake County, Utah, upholding the con
stitutionality of the territorial law fixing
a day's work in smelters and mines in the
territory at eight hours.
Mr. Ilolden was arrested for violating
the law and was sentenced to imprison
ment, He brought the ease to the Su
preme Court in an effort to secure a writ
of error on the ground that the law was
unconstitutional in that it was calculated
to deprive a citizen of life or property
without due process of law. The court
held that such was not the case, but that
the law was, ail exercise of the State's
police powers.
Justice Brown said in passing upon the
ease that it was not the intention of the
court to pass generally upon the constitu
tionality of eight-hour laws, but that in
so far ns State laws were exerted for
the protection of the lives, the health or
the morals of a community there could
be no doubt of their propriety or of their
constitutionality. There could be no doubt
of tlio exceptional and unhcalthful char
acter of work in smelters or mines, be
cause of bad air, high temperature and
noxious gases, and hence the wisdom of
the State legislation. The decision of
the Supreme Court of Utah was affirmed
CANNOT INSPECT MEAT.
Federal Officers Deprived of Their
Power ly a Decision in Court.
By a decision handed down by the Unit
ed States District Court at Kansas City,
Mo., by Judge John P. Rogers at Fort
Smith, Ark., the entire system of Govern
ment inspection of meat was declared un
constitutional. The opinion of the jurist
is to the effect that Congress has no au
thority to create the ofliee of meat inspec
tor and to place such an oflicial in the
packing houses in the United States to
examine the product before it is packed
and shipped or delivered for consumption.
'Hie opinion was handed down in tlio
ease of a man named Ilarry Boyer, who
was indicted by the Federal grand jury
on the charge of attempting to bribe a
.Government meat inspector. Boyer is
foreman in the fresh meat department of
the Jacob Dold Packing Company. The
court holds that Congress exceeded its
power in creating the office of meat in
spector and that even if Boyer had at
tempted to bribe such an official he could
not be lleld as pn offender. His act, the
court decided, was not a crime against
the Government. Under this decision the
packers of this country may disregard the
meat inspection statutes with impunity.
RATE IS CUT $38.
War Begins Between American Boada
and Canadian Pacific.
Thirty-six dollars was clipped from the
passenger rate of all lines between Chi
cago and Seattle and other north Pacific
coast points Monday morning. The rate
hereafter will be $31.50. Up to that day
the authorized charge was $07.50 on the
same class of transportation. On unlim
ited transportation it had been as high as
$81.50. The cut, therefore, is one of more
than 50 per cent.
No higher charge will bo put into effect
until the warfare between the American
lines and the Canadian Pacific is settled
either by amicable agreement or the buck
ing down of one or the other interest.
Prospects for yet lower charges are ex
ceedingly bright, for American lines are
determined to make the fight a bitter one
and the Canadian Pacific shows no siirns
of weakening.
The rate of $31.50 will be applied
through Oinaba, Kansas City and other
Missouri river gateways, as well as
through St. Paul. Through Missouri
river cities, however, single tickets will
be sold on the rebate plan, purchasers be
ing obliged to deposit the regular rate,
$07.50, with the agent who sells the tick
ets. At Seattle, $30 will be refunded to
them. Three or more persons traveling
together may secure their tickets via the
Missouri river gateways at the flat rate
of $31.00. Through St Paul all tickets
will be sold at the flat rate of $31X0.
&
COULDN'T FIGHT US.
SPANIARDS WOULDN'T HAVE A
GHOST OF A SHOW.
What Uncle 8am Could Do in Event of
War—Ready to Fight on Short Notice
—Would Sweep Cuba and Speedily
End the Struggle. ..
Military Campaign Outlined.
Wtslilugton correspondence:
IIATEVER the Span
ish populace may think,
the Spanish rulers
know that Spain would
be powerless to con
duct a successful war
with the United States. I
This country has "got'
the men, got the ships
and got the money,
too." Spain hasn't.
The United States has
a population of 70,000,
000 and Spain has a
population of 17.500,
000. The United Slates
is one of the richest
countries 011 earth
Spain is practically
bankrupt. One squadron of the United
States navy (the North Atlantic) is su
perior in strength to the entire navy of 1
Spain.
By the Spanish system of naval no
menclature what is reckoned by the Amer
ican and English system as a first-class
cruiser is called a battleship. Thus the
Vizcaya and the other ships of its class
are known to the Spaniards as battleships,
but by the British and American stand
ard are only first-class cruisers. Spain
has only one ship which would be reck-
riiiSPAitixo to
nnop
si-rmaiiixb mixes.
oncd as a battleship according to the
British and American standards. That
is the antiquated Pelayo, not an effective
vessel. In comparing tlio naval forces of
the two countries this difference in classi
fication should be borne in mind. Ac
cording to the Spanish system of rating
%BB3B809lm
Spain has eight battleships to our live,
while according to our higher standard
we have six battleships to her one, and
that one "no good."
With its regular army and organized
militia the United States could put into
the field immediately an army of 150,000
men, and the full fighting strength of the
"enrolled" militia which might be called
upon in case of need is over 10,000,000
men. The army of Spain on a war foot
ing is nbout 200,000 men.
In order to send to Cuba the 150,000
men with which she has been prosecuting
her unsuccessful war there she has been
obliged to resort to conscription and has
sent out regiments composed of mere
boys. Her legitimate military resources
are exhausted, and in the event of a big
war a levy "en masse" is all that is left
her. This, she claims, would give her
1,000,000 men. But even if there were
not such great discrepancies between the
powers of the two nations Spain would
still be at tremendous disadvantage in
trying to carry on war across 3,000 miles
of ocean against an enemy fighting within
easy distance of its base of supplies.
The transportation and maintenance of
troops in large numbers in a distant coun
try is an undertaking fraught with diffi
culty and involving a tremendous ex
pense. To maintain a powerful fleet of
warships 3,000 miles from home is also an
operation calculated to deplete even a
well-stocked treasury.
The supplying of food, medicines and
military stores for the Spanish army in
Cuba has been found so difficult and ex
pensive from Spain that it has been done
to a considerable extent by purchase in
this country. If there were war with the
United States no further supplies could
go from this country to the stranded army
and to convey stores nud supplies from
Spain if It is ditllcult in times of peace,
what would it be with aruied merchant
men and swift cruisers sweeping the occuu
on the lookout for prizes?
Every supply ship would have to sail
tinder convoy of cruisers able to beat off
the cruisers of the United States. Spain's
navy could never carry on a war and sup
ply sufficient cruisers for convoy duty at
the same time. The United States could
easily land an expeditionary force in
Cuba. The ease with which filibustering
expeditions land! there is proof of it. A
strong expeditionary force joined with
the army of Maximo Gomez would soon
Eweep
the island.
Meantime the harbors of the United
States are fairly well defended with mod-
NCLE SAfl: "IS THIS TREACHERY?"
ern forts armed with modern ordnance.
Even if the Spaniards did, at some unde
fended point, succeed in effecting a land
ing, any force which they could land from
a fleet would be speedily overwhelmed.
Then there is the United States fleet,
which could both help in the defense of
the coast and operate against the Spanish
possessions in the West Indies.
If the Spanish fleet came to the const
the American fleet would meet it off the
point it aimed at and in all probability
annihilate it. If the Spanish fleet con
centrated in the West Indies, the North
Atlantic squadron would meet it there
and try the arbitrament of battle in those
waters. If the Spanish fleet split up, part
coming on the coast and part going to the
West Indies, the American navy would
lie able to leave enough vessels to assist
t':e forts and the land forces in the pro
tection of the seaboard, and could concen
trate an overwhelming force against the
part of the Spanish navy left in the West
Indian waters.
Here is a list of our available vessels in
the Atlantic: The battleships Indiana,
Iowa and Massachusetts armored cruis
ers New York and Brooklyn second-class
battleship Texas the cruisers Detroit,
Marblehead, Montgomery, Essex, Alli
ance, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Colum
bia and Minneapolis gunboats Nashville,
tttflfeps
msm
-iilSI
srtssJIIB!
AMERICAN WAtt SHIPS IN THE HARBOR AT KEY WEST.
Tl Coutt of Inquiry held its sessions in Government Building in the foreground Fort Taylor is in the distance 011 the left.
Wilmington, Newport, Vicksbtirg, Annap
olis, Castine, Bancroft and Helena dyna
mite vessel Vesuvius torpedo boats Por
ter, Foote, Dupont, Cushing, Ericsson
and Winslow, and the monitors Amplii
trite, Terror and Puritan.
Meantime, in the Pacific ocean the Unit
ed States has the battleship Oregon and
the cruisers Olympia, Boston, Raleigh,
Petrel, Baltimore and Bennington, the
coast defense vessel Monterey and some
old vessels. A portion of this force only
would be necessary for a descent upon the
Spanish possessions in the Philippines,
where the insurgents are still in the field.
All this is giving Spain the benefit of
every doubt as to her ability to make a
fight. The probability is that there would
be only one conflict, and that a short one,
off the harbor of Havana. Then it would
be all over.
The most effective fleet that Spain could
send over would consist of the armored
DltlLLINQ NAVAL CADETS IN COD DOCK
cruisers Emperndor Carlos V, Infanta
Maria Theresa, Vizcaya, Almirante Oque
don, Catalunn, Cardinal Cisneros and
Princessa de Asturias. It takes 8,400
tons of coal to give these seven ships their
normal coal supply. The fleet would use
up its first 8.400 tons in getting across the
Atlantic. To coal it three times when
operating 011 this side of the water would
take 25,200 tons. Where is Spain going
to get that amount of coal?
The coal with which she supplies her
blockading fleet now in Cuban waters
comes from Philadelphia and New York.
She has little coal stored in Havana and
has encroached greatly upon the store she
had in Porto Bico. Spain herself gets her
•VU",'
coal from England. She could not supply
it to her transatlantic fleet. Iu case of
war with the United States the coal to
maintain her fleet 011 this side of the water
would have to come from England. Now
coal is a contraband of war, and a British
ship carrying coal to the Spanish fleet
would be liable to capture. That some
coal would get to the fleet from England
is undoubted, for there never was a block
ade yet in the world which was absolute
ly effective. But it is also a fact that
enough could not escaie the vigilance of
American cruisers to keep the Spanish
fleet supplied, and what did get through
would cost the Spanish Government enor
mously.
If war should come between Spain and
the United States, this Government would
be able to move in the field of naval and
military operations with a celerity, a com
pleteness of organization, an effectiveness
which would astonish the world. The
navy of the United States is now practi
cally 011 a war footing. Not only have
our fighting ships beeu equipped with am
munition and fully manned, but every
possible preparation in the way of coaling
and opening of lines of communication has
been made. Our naval authorities know
now, and have known for months, just
how cable communication may be estab
lished to various parts of the West In.
dies, just what it will be necessary to do
in case certain cables are cut and to just
what points dispatch boats must be sent.
They know, too, nbout coal supplies, dry
docks, fortifications, guns, depth of water,
etc., throughout Spanish America.
In fact, the Navy Department and the
War Department have together prepared
a complete military campaign. Every de
tail is arranged. It is known just what
the fleets are to do, just what the army
is to do, in case of war. No precious duys
will be wasted in preparing the plan of
campaign, in deciding what is to be done.
All that has been attended to. The plan
is complete and perfect. Every ship, ev
ery regiment, every transport, vessel, ev
ery man will be sent to its or his proper
place the instant the word of command is
given by Congress.
If there should be a war the militia
Without any excitement or hnste, or any
p'ressure from the President or members
of the cabinet, the various bureaus of the
two military departments of the Govern
ment have for a long time (been making
preparations for active operations. It is
a matter of professional pride with the
chiefs of these bureaus to get all the bus
iness under their charge as near as poss'i
ble to a state of perfection. The result
is, that without wanting war, seeking it
or expecting it, Uncle Sam is to-day pre
pared to amaze the world with the rapid
ity and effectiveness of the blows which
he will strike if it become.necessary for
him to move. His officials believe that
if we became ipvolved in trouble with
Spain the war will be over iu sixty days.
They also believe that a state of pre
paredness is the best guarantee of peaces
tiv.
-f.
w?
4
•1
'•M
A
V-
'J
ot
the various States would play an impor
tant part in it. Months ago the War De
partment sent out secret agents to make
reports upon the State militia—the num
ber of men that could be put in the field,
their drill, discipline, equipments, bat
teries, field outfit, etc. Having amassed
all possible information, the authorities
here know what they can depend upon.
They know, for instance, that within 24
hours, in addition to a part of the regular
or Federal army, 20,000 militiamen can
be on the railway trains en route for the
seaboard. They know that within 48
hours 40,000 men can be on the cars. They,
know that within ten days, counting reg
ular troops and militia, 75,000 men can bis
mobilized at the seaports. In all 100,000
trained and equipped soldiers are availa
ble for the offensive or defensive opera
tions of the Government.
1

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