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The Spanish-American War Quotes

They Said It

"Once the United States is in Cuba who will drive it out?"

- Cuban revolutionary José Martí, 189538
"We can no longer afford to disregard international rivalries now that we ourselves have become a competitor in the world-wide struggle for trade."

- U.S. State Department memorandum, 189839
"There had been about [five hundred] Spaniards at Daiquiri that morning, but they had fled even before the ships began shelling. In their place we found hundreds of Cuban insurgents, a crew of as utter tatterdemalions as human eyes ever looked on, armed with every kind of rifle in all stages of dilapidation. It was evident, at a glance, that they would be no use in serious fighting."

- Theodore Roosevelt, 189940
"The guns that thundered off Manila and Santiago left us echoes of glory, but they also left us a legacy of duty. If we drove out a medieval tyranny only to make room for savage anarchy we had better not have begun the task at all. It is worse than idle to say that we have no duty to perform, and can leave to their fates the islands we have conquered. Such a course would be the course of infamy. It would be followed at once by utter chaos in the wretched islands themselves. Some stronger manlier power would have to step in and do the work, and we would have shown ourselves weaklings, unable to carry to successful completion the labors that great and high-spirited nations are eager to undertake."

- Theodore Roosevelt, 189941
"I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people—the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."

- Leon Czolgosz, President William McKinley's assassin, speaking in the electric chair moments before his death, October 29, 190142

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