Day, William R.; Davis, Cushman K.; Frye, William P.; Gray, George; Reid, Whitelaw

The American Commissioners that negotiated the 1898 Treaty of Paris to end the Spanish-American War

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WILLIAM R. DAY (1849-1923) Succeeded John Sherman as Secretary of State 1898, as his Asst. Scretary 1898-98 was involved in annexation of Hawaii and drafting terms of war against Spain. He left the Cabinet to lead the United States Peace Commission formed to negotiate an end to the Spanish-American War and signed the Treaty of Paris ending the War. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals judge 1899-1903, Associate Justice Supreme Court 1903-23. CUSHMAN K. DAVIS (1838-1900) 7th Governor of Minnesota (R) 1875-77, US Senator 1877-1900, member of US Peace Commission that signed the 1898 Treaty of Paris to end the Spanish-American War. As chairman of the Senate foreign Relations Committee 1897-1900, he was closely involved with the sequence of events leading to the Spanish-American War and talks for the treaty which ended the war. WILLIAM P. FRYE (1830-1911) Maine US Rep (R) 1871-81 & Senator (1881-1911), a founder of Bates College in Lewiston, longtime trustee of the College. During his Senate tenure he served as 60th President pro tempore for 15+ years. He was a member of the commission which met in Paris in September 1898 to draft the Treaty of Paris to end the Spanish-American War. GEORGE GRAY (1840-1925) Delaware US Senator (D) 1885-99, member of US delegation at negotiations for the Treaty of Paris to end the Spanish-American war, 3rd Circuit US Court of Appeals judge 1899-1914. Delaware Attorney General 1879-85, member of the Joint High Commission which met in Quebec in August 1898 to settle differences between the US and Canada, member of the commission to arrange terms of peace between the US and Spain in 1898 to end the Spanish-American War. While 3rd Circuit judge, he was chairman of the commission to investigate conditions of the 1902 Pennsylvania coal strike and was largely responsible for its settlement. He was proposed as a nominee for the Presidency at the 1904 & 1908 Democratic conventions, in 1908 coming in 2nd behind Wm. Jennings Bryan. President McKinley appointed him to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 1900, reappointed in 1906, 1912, and 1920. He was also a member of several commissions that arbitrated various international disputes. WHITELAW REID (1837-1912) journalist, Civil War correspondent for the New York Tribune, succeeded Horace Greeley as editor 1872-1905. Leader of 1872 Liberal Republican movement, Minister to France 1889-92, 1892 GOP VP candidate with Benjamin Harrison. Negotiated peace with Spain 1898, Minister to Great Britain 1905-12. Armistice negotiations conducted in Washington to end the Spanish-American War led to the signing of a protocol on Aug. 12, 1898, which, besides ending hostilities, provided that a peace conference be held in Paris by October, that Spain relinquish Cuba and cede Puerto Rico and one of the Mariana Islands to the US, and that the US hold Manila until the disposition of the Philippines was determined. The American Peace Commission consisted of William R. Day, Sen. Cushman K. Davis, Sen. William P. Frye, Sen. George Gray, and the Hon. Whitelaw Reid. The Spanish commission was headed by Don Eugenio Montero Rios, President of the Senate. The American commissioners negotiated in a hostile atmosphere because all Europe, except England, was sympathetic to Spain. Although the Conference discussed Cuba and debt questions, the major conflict concerned the Philippines. ADM Dewey's victory came as a great surprise and marked the entrance of the US into the Pacific. Spanish commissioners argued that Manila surrendered after the armistice and therefore the Philippines could not be demanded as a war conquest; they eventually yielded because they had no other choice. By the time that the conference opened on October 1, President McKinley had decided that the US must take possession of the Philippines. The demand was ultimately accepted with great reluctance by Spain, with the stipulation that the US would pay Spain $20 million nominally for public buildings and public works in the Philippines. The final treaty signed on December 10 also forced Spain to cede all claim to Cuba and to agree to assume liability for the Cuban debt, estimated at $400 million. As indemnity, Spain ceded Puerto Rico and Guam to the US. The treaty was vigorously opposed in the US Senate as inaugurating a policy of “imperialism” in the Philippines and was approved on Feb. 6, 1899, by only one vote. On Feb. 4, hostilities began at Manila between US troops and insurgents led by Emilio Aguinaldo. For more than 3 years, Filipinos carried on guerrilla warfare against US rule. 5 cards, each signed by a member of the United States Peace Commission that drafted and signed the 1899 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 (Reid, Gray, Frye, Davis), 2 1/2 x 3 1/4 (Day); New York (Reid); dated Jan. 10, 1899 (Reid, Gray), 1899 (Frye).

Condition: Very good, light toning at left edge (Frye), at left & bottom edges (Davis & Reid)
Type:Signed cards






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