1898 One Hundred Years Ago

Don’t You Know There’s a War On?

After America declared war on Spain in late April, heroic acts filled the newspapers almost daily. There was Dewey’s destruction of the Spanish fleet at Manila; Schley’s victory at Santiago; Hobson’s valiant scuttling of the Merrimack ; and of course the bloody land battles at Las Guasìmas, El Caney, and San Juan. In a brief war chock-full of glorious (or at least glorified) exploits, the least heroic incident must surely be the Navy’s bloodless capture of Guam. Read more »

Of Raleigh And The First Plantation

The Elizabethans and America: Part II -- The fate of the Virginia Colony rested on the endurance of adventurers, the financing of London merchants, and the favor of a courtier with his demanding spinster Queen.

In the marvelous 1580s everything was beginning to ripen together in the heat of the tension between England and Spain. Poetry and the drama that had been so sparse and backward were coming to a head with Sidney and Spenser and Marlowe; the first Elizabethan madrigals appear in the very year the war against Spain begins. And this is the moment when the idea of American colonization takes shape and wing—or, perhaps I should say, takes sail.