Smithsonian National Postal MuseumTitle: The Pichs CollectionSan Carlos Institute
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Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage Stamps
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Postal History
Aviation History

The North American Intervention (1)

Even before the battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, the American people had been following the fortunes of the Cuban revolutionaries trying to cast off the shackles of Spain. The loss of the Maine heightened tensions between the United States and Spanish governments. On April 16, Congress passed the Belligerency Resolutions which recognized the right of the Cuban people to be free and independent. President McKinley signed the Cuban Bill, which called for the U.S. Navy to blockade Cuba’s ports.

Unposted envelope
Tome II, p.2: Unposted US patriotic, 1898.

While the U.S. Navy did not have enough vessels to blockade all Cuban ports, the port of Havana was blockaded on April 23. As a result, Spain declared war on the United States on April 24, and Congress declared war on Spain on April 25.

Recalling the beautiful designs produced by both the North and the South in the American Civil War, American stationers prepared patriotic envelopes and letterhead designs for this war. While no catalogue listing the various designs has yet been published, it appears that there are over 500 different designs known. If one includes variations in these designs, than well over 1000 can be counted.

This particular design features the battleship, U.S.S. Maine, together with Seated Liberty, the United States Flag and the American Eagle. It was copyrighted and published in 1898, by E. Rost.

Postal History
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