Skip to Content

Found 435 Resources

Spanish American War Memorial

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Located in Arlington National Cemetery.

American Officer (Spanish American War)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Full length figure of a man, in uniform, standing and facing the spectator, turned slightly toward the left. He holds a sword in his right hand.

Soldier's Memorial Spanish American War of 1898

National Museum of American History

Soldier's Memorial Spanish American War of 1898

National Museum of American History

Spanish-American War patriotic cover

National Postal Museum
This patriotic envelope highlights sentiments from the Spanish-American War. It was sent in January 1902 during Philippine Insurrection. The multi-colored motif shows clear patriotism with its large flags and symbols of the United States and Great Britain. The stirring messages that there is “One Tongue, One Purpose” and “Invincible in War, Triumphant in Peace” strive to further link these two nations -- Britain was neutral during the conflict, but the British public’s support of the United States set it apart from other European nations.

The envelope is also used as a marketing tool for the stationery company K. A. Rost Printing and Publishing Co., who used the opportunity to provide their address and to advertise that they sell envelopes relating to this theme in 12 different styles.

This war cover is part of a wider phenomenon of stationery companies endorsing American patriotism by adding images and text to writing paper and envelopes. Such stationery proved popular with the public because it was both attractive and provided a means of publically endorsing a cause. For the stationery companies the benefit lay in allowing them to expand their product line while still appearing patriotic.

Button, Spanish American War Veteran

National Air and Space Museum
Spanish American War Veteran brass uniform button; relief of a cross with two figures depicted in the center of the cross; embossed text "CUBA U.S.A.".

Spanish-American War Memorial [sculpture] / (photographed by Curtis and Cameron)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
On photo mount label: B. L. Pratt. Spanish War soldier boy. Concord, N.H. St. Paul's School. Curtis + Cameron. Classification number: 282/P913/935. Accession: 47029.

1 photographic print : b&w, 9 3/8 x 4 3/4 in. (trimmed), mounted on 9 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. board.

Spanish American War Memorial [sculpture] / (photographed by Thomas E. Marr)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
On photo mount label: D. C. French. Memorial to Roger Wolcott, and to the Mass. soldiers and sailors of the Spanish War. Boston, State House. Bought of Miss Lerry (?). Classification number: 282/F873/505. Accession: 44737. On photograph, lower right: copyright 1907 / by / Thomas E. Marr. On photograph, lower left: 13521.

1 photographic print : b&w, 9 1/8 x 7 1/2 in. (trimmed), mounted on 9 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. board.

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Scenes during the Spanish American War

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Medal for United Spanish War Veterans

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A bronze three piece Spanish American War Veterans medal with ribbon issued to members of the United Spanish War Veterans. At the top of the medal is bronze American eagle in mid-flight within a laurel wreath in front of a shield with vertical stripes and five-pointed stars. Attached to this piece is a ribbon in the shape of an American flag hanging vertically with thirteen stripes and thirteen stars. Attached to the bottom of the ribbon is a bronze piece consisting of a cavalry saber, an infantry rifle, and a naval anchor, all crossed. Attached to this piece is the final component of the medal which is a bronze Spanish American War cross, with the four arms (clockwise from right to left), reading: "PORTO RICO/ CUBA/ PHILIPPINES/ USA". This cross also contains the dates "1898-1902" with the words "SPANISH WAR VETERANS" surround a small circular military scene. On the reverse side of the cross the four arms read (clockwise from right to left): "NORTH/ SOUTH/ EAST/ WEST." At the center circle of the cross is a field of five-pointed stars and vertical stripes with the word "UNITED" atop the field of stars and stripes.

A Jack Tar (Spanish American War)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The full-length figure of an American sailor in uniform, facing the spectator, the head turned toward the left. His hands are at his hips.

This Mysterious Event Led to the Spanish-American War

Smithsonian Channel
In early 1898, the USS Maine sailed into Havana harbor as a show of support for the Cuban revolutionaries. Two weeks later, it would explode in inexplicable circumstances lighting the fuse for the Spanish-American War. From the Series: Combat Ships: Metal War Ships http://bit.ly/2AT7GL6

The mock battle that ended the Spanish-American War

National Museum of American History
Blue, white, and red banner with an image of Admiral Dewey in center of white stripe, surrounded by laurels.George Dewey was promoted to the rank of rear admiral after the Battle of Manila Bay. Dewey was celebrated in American culture with songs, paintings, and public sculptures.

The Spanish-American War ended with a fantastic performance. It starred an American hero, a veteran commander taking control of a crew of both fresh-faced and veteran sailors in a corner of the Pacific few back home had heard about. His opponent: a Spaniard at the helm of his empire’s last stand in a far-flung colony. Both were aided by an efficient Belgian consul who brokered a plan to save Spanish honor, guarantee a bloodless victory, and, most important, keep a revolutionary Filipino general in the dark about the entire operation. But before we get to the main attraction, the fanfare.

Encrusted bugle with ship's nameplate visible in backgroundAn explosion aboard the USS Maine, which had been anchored in Havana harbor, ignited the Spanish-American War. An investigation argued that the ship’s ammunition stocks had caught fire but was not the result of Spanish sabotage.

On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war against Spain, and the U.S. Navy secretary cabled Commodore George Dewey, commanding the Asiatic Squadron, with orders to engage the enemy, not in the Caribbean but across the globe in the Philippines, where military commanders knew the empire was weakest, with a flotilla described as antiquated and decrepit.

Spanish flag with large yellow stripe with anchor and coat of arms. Red stripes on either side of yellow.By 1898, Spain had lost control of its once global reach, with the last of its colonies in the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba seized by the United States.

Often referred to as decisive, the United States’ battle for control of Manila involved Dewey’s squadron facing off with a Spanish flotilla described as a "grab-bag collection of mostly obsolete vessels" which was in "poor repair." Even so, this event has become the kind that has inspired the creation of songs like "Brave Dewey and His Men (Down at Manila Bay)" and public sculptures like the Dewey Monument in San Francisco’s Union Square. While Dewey controlled the bay with a blockade, Filipino General Emilio Aguinaldo and his army had cornered the Spanish on land. By late May, Aguinaldo’s troops had captured 5,000 Spaniards and surrounded the walled city section of Intramuros in an attempt to starve the colonizing army.

On June 12, Filipino revolutionary forces proclaimed the Philippine Declaration of Independence. The United States refused recognition. The result was a standstill: the U.S. Navy blockaded the bay, Filipino troops controlled the city, and Spanish troops found themselves cut off from support. Over the next two months, reinforcements for Dewey arrived from the United States, including 7,000 landing hundreds of kilometers north of Manila, with another 20,000 troops followed by two battleships.

With the help of Belgian Consul Édouard André, Dewey began secret negotiations with his Spanish opposite, Governor-General Basilio Augustín. The Spanish commander, whose family had been taken prisoner by Filipino troops, sent a telegram to his superiors describing the harsh conditions the Spaniards faced in the city: starvation, sickness, weak and swollen legs from exposure while defending trenches, and low morale among the troops. For telling the truth and proposing surrender, Augustín was dismissed and ordered to transfer command to General Fermín Jáudenes, whose job it was to hold the city for Spain.

Handwriting on paper attached to bamboo.This handwritten note, written in English, was directed to U.S. forces occupying the Philippines, offering them cash for surrending themselves and their weapons.

The Spanish, who had control over the Philippines since at least 1565, were not about to surrender to their colonial charges. The Americans, on the other hand, were new to the Philippines. The U.S. military’s treatment of native Filipinos echoed the longer histories of Americans’ attitudes toward African Americans and Native Americans back home.

During negotiations between Dewey’s camp and Jáudenes, U.S. Army General Wesley Merritt, commander of the San Francisco–based VIII Corps, shared his views of Filipinos. In an 1899 interview, Merrit told a journalist from the New York Sun that he had come "with orders not to treat with the Indians [sic]; not to recognize them, and not to promise anything," adding, General "Aguinaldo is just the same to me as a boy in the street." The Spanish commander held a similar attitude; he was "willing to surrender to white people," but never to Filipinos.

The players had agreed on the terms for the performance. Only André, Dewey, Merritt, and Jáudenes knew of the complete plans. The success of the performance hinged on keeping Filipino troops out of the city while U.S. and Spanish troops exchanged places.

On the morning of August 13, the mock battle for Manila began. The band on board the British armored cruiser HMS Immortalité serenaded the Americans with "patriotic aires." At 9 a.m., the "attack" commenced with Dewey’s flagship, the protected cruiser Olympia, lobbing a few shells into the old fort at Malate while the Spanish guns on the coast provided no response. Recently arrived land-based U.S. forces held back Filipinos outside the central city. The historian Teodoro Agoncillo understood the theatrical nature of the event when he wrote: "The few casualties on both sides in the phony attack were due to some ‘actors’ bungling their ‘lines,’ or possibly to the fact that very few officers were let in on the charade."

Rusted rifle made with pipeTo confront thousands of U.S. occupying forces, Filipino combatants, low on ammunition and weaponry from revolting against the Spanish in 1896, resorted to guerrilla warfare and improvised military tactics, including making their own arms.

According to plan, Dewey’s staff transmitted the code for surrender to Jáudenes, and the Spanish obliged by raising the white flag at 11:20 a.m., just in time for lunch. To bring the morning’s shock and awe to a close, the crew of the British armored cruiser HMS Immortalité fired a twenty-one-gun salute in honor of the U.S. flag that was hoisted atop Manila’s Fort Santiago, prompting Dewey to say, "I hope it floats there forever."

The mock battle offered Spanish forces in the Philippines an opportunity to save face by surrendering not to their Filipino charges of more than 300 years, but to militarily superior Americans. The Americans played the well-crafted role of savior. But Philippine freedom fighters were not convinced by either of the performances.

The mock battle that ended the Spanish-American War reinforced the Filipinos’ debt to their new American masters for the gift of regime change. That military engagement proved only to be the prelude to the United States’ war with the Philippines from 1899 to 1902, which took the lives of 4,200 American and at least 20,000 Filipino combatants. The U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian estimates that 200,000 civilians died.

The most popular writer of his time, Mark Twain, had much to say about the U.S. mission in the Philippines: "It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land."

Adapted from The Day the Dancers Stayed: Performing in the Filipino/American Diaspora by Theodore S. Gonzalves. Copyright © 2009 by Temple University Press. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Theodore S. Gonzalves is Curator of Asian Pacific American History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 16:15
OSayCanYouSee?d=qj6IDK7rITs OSayCanYouSee?d=7Q72WNTAKBA OSayCanYouSee?i=BzWwA2-F5fM:O-90n3kvVi4:V_sGLiPBpWU OSayCanYouSee?i=BzWwA2-F5fM:O-90n3kvVi4:gIN9vFwOqvQ OSayCanYouSee?d=yIl2AUoC8zA

The mock battle that ended the Spanish-American War

National Museum of American History
Blue, white, and red banner with an image of Admiral Dewey in center of white stripe, surrounded by laurels.George Dewey was promoted to the rank of rear admiral after the Battle of Manila Bay. Dewey was celebrated in American culture with songs, paintings, and public sculptures.

The Spanish-American War ended with a fantastic performance. It starred an American hero, a veteran commander taking control of a crew of both fresh-faced and veteran sailors in a corner of the Pacific few back home had heard about. His opponent: a Spaniard at the helm of his empire’s last stand in a far-flung colony. Both were aided by an efficient Belgian consul who brokered a plan to save Spanish honor, guarantee a bloodless victory, and, most important, keep a revolutionary Filipino general in the dark about the entire operation. But before we get to the main attraction, the fanfare.

Encrusted bugle with ship's nameplate visible in backgroundAn explosion aboard the USS Maine, which had been anchored in Havana harbor, ignited the Spanish-American War. An investigation argued that the ship’s ammunition stocks had caught fire but was not the result of Spanish sabotage.

On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war against Spain, and the U.S. Navy secretary cabled Commodore George Dewey, commanding the Asiatic Squadron, with orders to engage the enemy, not in the Caribbean but across the globe in the Philippines, where military commanders knew the empire was weakest, with a flotilla described as antiquated and decrepit.

Spanish flag with large yellow stripe with anchor and coat of arms. Red stripes on either side of yellow.By 1898, Spain had lost control of its once global reach, with the last of its colonies in the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba seized by the United States.

Often referred to as decisive, the United States’ battle for control of Manila involved Dewey’s squadron facing off with a Spanish flotilla described as a "grab-bag collection of mostly obsolete vessels" which was in "poor repair." Even so, this event has become the kind that has inspired the creation of songs like "Brave Dewey and His Men (Down at Manila Bay)" and public sculptures like the Dewey Monument in San Francisco’s Union Square. While Dewey controlled the bay with a blockade, Filipino General Emilio Aguinaldo and his army had cornered the Spanish on land. By late May, Aguinaldo’s troops had captured 5,000 Spaniards and surrounded the walled city section of Intramuros in an attempt to starve the colonizing army.

On June 12, Filipino revolutionary forces proclaimed the Philippine Declaration of Independence. The United States refused recognition. The result was a standstill: the U.S. Navy blockaded the bay, Filipino troops controlled the city, and Spanish troops found themselves cut off from support. Over the next two months, reinforcements for Dewey arrived from the United States, including 7,000 landing hundreds of kilometers north of Manila, with another 20,000 troops followed by two battleships.

With the help of Belgian Consul Édouard André, Dewey began secret negotiations with his Spanish opposite, Governor-General Basilio Augustín. The Spanish commander, whose family had been taken prisoner by Filipino troops, sent a telegram to his superiors describing the harsh conditions the Spaniards faced in the city: starvation, sickness, weak and swollen legs from exposure while defending trenches, and low morale among the troops. For telling the truth and proposing surrender, Augustín was dismissed and ordered to transfer command to General Fermín Jáudenes, whose job it was to hold the city for Spain.

Handwriting on paper attached to bamboo.This handwritten note, written in English, was directed to U.S. forces occupying the Philippines, offering them cash for surrending themselves and their weapons.

The Spanish, who had control over the Philippines since at least 1565, were not about to surrender to their colonial charges. The Americans, on the other hand, were new to the Philippines. The U.S. military’s treatment of native Filipinos echoed the longer histories of Americans’ attitudes toward African Americans and Native Americans back home.

During negotiations between Dewey’s camp and Jáudenes, U.S. Army General Wesley Merritt, commander of the San Francisco–based VIII Corps, shared his views of Filipinos. In an 1899 interview, Merrit told a journalist from the New York Sun that he had come "with orders not to treat with the Indians [sic]; not to recognize them, and not to promise anything," adding, General "Aguinaldo is just the same to me as a boy in the street." The Spanish commander held a similar attitude; he was "willing to surrender to white people," but never to Filipinos.

The players had agreed on the terms for the performance. Only André, Dewey, Merritt, and Jáudenes knew of the complete plans. The success of the performance hinged on keeping Filipino troops out of the city while U.S. and Spanish troops exchanged places.

On the morning of August 13, the mock battle for Manila began. The band on board the British armored cruiser HMS Immortalité serenaded the Americans with "patriotic aires." At 9 a.m., the "attack" commenced with Dewey’s flagship, the protected cruiser Olympia, lobbing a few shells into the old fort at Malate while the Spanish guns on the coast provided no response. Recently arrived land-based U.S. forces held back Filipinos outside the central city. The historian Teodoro Agoncillo understood the theatrical nature of the event when he wrote: "The few casualties on both sides in the phony attack were due to some ‘actors’ bungling their ‘lines,’ or possibly to the fact that very few officers were let in on the charade."

Rusted rifle made with pipeTo confront thousands of U.S. occupying forces, Filipino combatants, low on ammunition and weaponry from revolting against the Spanish in 1896, resorted to guerrilla warfare and improvised military tactics, including making their own arms.

According to plan, Dewey’s staff transmitted the code for surrender to Jáudenes, and the Spanish obliged by raising the white flag at 11:20 a.m., just in time for lunch. To bring the morning’s shock and awe to a close, the crew of the British armored cruiser HMS Immortalité fired a twenty-one-gun salute in honor of the U.S. flag that was hoisted atop Manila’s Fort Santiago, prompting Dewey to say, "I hope it floats there forever."

The mock battle offered Spanish forces in the Philippines an opportunity to save face by surrendering not to their Filipino charges of more than 300 years, but to militarily superior Americans. The Americans played the well-crafted role of savior. But Philippine freedom fighters were not convinced by either of the performances.

The mock battle that ended the Spanish-American War reinforced the Filipinos’ debt to their new American masters for the gift of regime change. That military engagement proved only to be the prelude to the United States’ war with the Philippines from 1899 to 1902, which took the lives of 4,200 American and at least 20,000 Filipino combatants. The U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian estimates that 200,000 civilians died.

The most popular writer of his time, Mark Twain, had much to say about the U.S. mission in the Philippines: "It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land."

Adapted from The Day the Dancers Stayed: Performing in the Filipino/American Diaspora by Theodore S. Gonzalves. Copyright © 2009 by Temple University Press. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Theodore S. Gonzalves is Curator of Asian Pacific American History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 16:15
OSayCanYouSee?d=qj6IDK7rITs OSayCanYouSee?d=7Q72WNTAKBA OSayCanYouSee?i=NcW84FJDReM:K87IfeJLl5U:V_sGLiPBpWU OSayCanYouSee?i=NcW84FJDReM:K87IfeJLl5U:gIN9vFwOqvQ OSayCanYouSee?d=yIl2AUoC8zA

Spanish Flag

National Museum of American History
Physical Description Large yellow stripe with anchor and coat of arms. Red stripes on either side of yellow. Specific History Spanish admiral’s flag captured by United States gunboat Petrel from the cruiser Isla de Luzon during the Battle of Manila Bay. General History The Battle of Manila Bay was one of two major American naval victories in the Spanish-American War. On May 1, 1898, only days after war had been declared between Spain and the United States, the Asiatic Squadron of the United States Navy under Commodore George Dewey engaged the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, Philippines. It was a complete and final victory, ending any threat from the Spanish naval forces involved. All major Spanish ships were destroyed or captured, without any significant damage to American forces.

Arts and Industries Building, Military History Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution Archives
The Destruction of the Maine.

55th Congress

National Museum of American History
1-24 of 435 Resources