Two outstanding photographic albums containing 104 photographs, of Cuba during the U.S. Military rule after the Spanish-American War. The excellent condition and fine tonal range of these photographs makes them an important group of rare images.
These albums were possibly owned by Maj. General Leonard Wood, soldier and doctor who was the commander of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry (not Teddy Roosevelt as is popularly believed) and later became the American Military Governor of Cuba. The photographs were taken when Gen. Wood was Governor of Santiago Province (Eastern Cuba), and served to document the Province of Santiago and the various improvements being made to the infrastructure of the Island.
Size of images are approximately 190 x 240 mm (7 ½” x 9 ½”) or the reverse.
Condition of photographs overall is very good with excellent tonal range. There is minor foxing in some of the boards and in some of the photographs, which does not detract from these superb images. Many of the photographs have the name of Lamarque, Photographer Santiago in the negative and those that are not are probably by this photographer.
Descriptions of the photographs:
1. General Wood at work in his office.
2. Plaza Santiago.
3. Corner of Palace Santiago with General Wood and Major Rungie.
4. Morro Castle.
5. Morro Barracs (sic) from terrace.
6. Morro Barracs.
7. Castle from East.
8. Morro Door.
9. Morro Foss.
10. La Estrella Batery (sic) from Morro’s Terrace.
11. Harbor Entrance, Santiago – Smith Cay & Estrella Battery.
12. Spanish Gun at Punta Gorda.
13. Spanish Guns at Socapa.
14. Spanish Gun at Punta Gorda.
15. Spanish Gun at Punta Gorda (with an American “Rough Rider” Soldier leaning on it)
16. Yellow Fever Hospital.
18. Yard of the Jail, Santiago. (showing prisoners in yard and behind bars on upper level)
19. Jail Yard.
20. Caney Town from the Blockhouse.
21. Caney Town from the Blockhouse.
22. Caney Plaza.
23. Caney City Hall.
24. Caney Blockhouse.
25. Caney Blockhouse from a distance.
26. Caney Entrance.
27. Caney Suburbs.
28. Street in Caney.
29. Caney from Colonel Hill – Santiago in distance.
30. Building Cristina Promenade, Santiago.
31. Buliding a road to Santa Ines entrance near Santiago.
32. Building Santa Ines Road, Santiago.
33. San Juan Nepomuoeno Street, Santiago.
34. Paseo de Concha, Santiago.
35. Cristina Road, Santiago.
36. Barracs entrance.
37. Building Roads.
38. Mr. Hanna & Mr Wilkinson directing works on the roads, Santiago.
39. Building a road to the slaughterhouse, Santiago.
40. Bridge on Cristina Street, Santiago.
41. El Cobre.
42. Sanctuarium at El Cobre seen from town.
43. Caney Sanctuarium.
44. Ruins of Cooper Mines behind the Sanctuarium at El Cobre.
45. Gasometer and Battery of La Estrella.
46. Fort Santa Ines.
47. Panorama of Boniato.
48. A street in Santiago before American rule.
49. Same street after…
50. Plaza de Dolores.
51. Hospital Street, Santiago.
52. Magazine Island
53. Cato Ratones (Rats Cay) in Santiago.
54. Playa del Este.
55. Cyclone effect on the roof of Engineers Pier.(Nautic Club)
56. Santiago Suburbs.
57. Palace Santiago.
58. Old Hospital Civil now Orphelins Assylum.
59. Daiquiri, as seen from the sea.
61. Daiquiri Beach.
62. Daiquiri Pier.
63. A Daiquiri Cottage.
64. Siboney, near Daiquiri.
65. Morro Castle, as seen from the Canal.
66. San Juan Hill.
67. San Juan River.
68. Santiago City from the Civil Hill.
69. Suburbs, Santiago.
70. Surrender Tree.
71. A “Patio” Santiago.
72. Barracs, Santiago.
73. Barracs, back.
74. Barracs, Santiago .
75. Cathedral, Santiago.
76. Entrance to the Civil Hospital.
77. Principe Alfonso Hospital.
78. Punta Blance Battery, front view.
79. Officiers(sic) Hospital, Santiago.
80. Store Houses, Santiago.
81. Store Houses, Santiago.
82. Punta Blance Battery, Santiago.
83. A corner of the leading Cuban Club, Santiago (S. Carlos Club).
84. Plaza and San Carlos Club, Santiago.
85. A typical cabin, Santiago.
86. Santa Ursula Fort, Santiago.
87. Fort Sta. Ursula rear view.
88. Santiago suburbs from Sta. Ursula Fort.
89. Fort Sta. Ursula and suburbs, Santiago.
90. Fort number 7 , Santiago.
91. Fort number 7, Santiago (closer view)
92. Loading Manganese on Santiago (British ship “Straits of Dover”).
93. Improving the Warfs (sic) Santiago.
94. Bridge on Cristina Street, Santiago.
95. Hospital Street, Santiago.
96. A typical street, Santiago.
97. Uncaptioned street scene with horses, carts and people.
98. Juragua Pier, near Mr. Wood residence.
99. Plaza de Dolores, Santiago.
100. Typical houses in Santiago.
101. Stone cutting engine, Santiago.
102. A typical cart, Santiago.
103. Surrender Tree details.
104. Bullets effect on palm tree near San Juan.
Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans. By 1897–98, American public opinion grew angrier at reports of Spanish atrocities. After the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed the government of President William McKinley, a Republican, into a war McKinley had wished to avoid. Compromise proved impossible, resulting in an ultimatum sent to Madrid demanding it surrender control of Cuba immediately, which was not accepted. First Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war.
Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. American naval power proved decisive, allowing U.S. expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison already reeling from nation-wide insurgent attacks and wasted by yellow fever. Cuban, Philippine, and American forces obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila owing to their numerical superiority in most of the battles and despite the good performance of some of the Spanish infantry units and spirited defenses in places like San Juan Hill. With two obsolete Spanish squadrons sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay and a third, more modern fleet recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts, Madrid sued for peace. The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U.S., which allowed temporary American control of Cuba and, following their purchase from Spain, indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. (Wikipedia)