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World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War

Puerto Rican Perspective

Plaza in San Juan, with City Hall on the left. The Porto Rico of to-day; pen pictures of the people and the country, by Albert Gardner Robinson, p. 226.

During the 1880s and 1890s, Puerto Ricans developed many different political parties, some of which sought independence for the island while others, headquartered like their Cuban counterparts in New York, preferred to ally with the United States. Spain proclaimed the autonomy of Puerto Rico on November 25, 1897, although the news did not reach the island until January 1898 and a new government established on February 12, 1898.

Selected Resources on Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War

Selected Bibliography on Puerto Rican Perspective

The following selection of books provide the Puerto Rican perspective during the war. Each title links to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

Listing of selected manuscript collections concerning the Puerto Rican Theater

This is one of four separate listings of Manuscript Division collections related to the Spanish-American War of 1898: "Spanish-American War of 1898-General", "Spanish-American War of 1898-Cuban Theater", "Spanish-American War of 1898-Philippine Islands Theater", "Spanish-American War of 1898-Puerto Rican Theater". The contents of collections that pertain to more than one campaign are listed under "Spanish-American War of 1898-General" even though the activity of the individual, e.g., Theodore Roosevelt, has been identified usually with one campaign, e.g., Cuba. Those collections relating to Pacific islands, e.g., Marianas or Guam, appear in the "Spanish-American War of 1898-Philippine Islands Theater" listing. Each item in this selected listing contains a brief indication of content; a more complete description for each entry is available by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog. To gain further information about each collection, contact the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress regarding the availability of a register for that collection.

Maps of Puerto Rico

The Geography and Map Division houses a rich collection of maps for the areas involved in the Spanish-American War, including the Philippines. Bibliographic and cartographic information on the Library's collections from the Geography and Map Reading Room can be accessed in the following list. A number of maps of the Philippines have been scanned and are available online through the Library of Congress Digital Collections. You may also search more broadly for all digitized maps and other cartographic resources from or about Puerto Rico.

You may also search maps of Puerto Rico by city and/or region.

List of maps available for viewing in the Geography and Map Division:

General Maps

Author: O.H. Siltriani (?)
Title: Isla de Puerto Rico
Date: Nov. 10, 1898
Scale: 1:100,000
Dimension: 68 x 182 cm
Call no.: Porto Rico. War- Spanish American War. 1898. Supposed to be a tracing from Trent Map. Additions made in the office of the General U.S. Army.
Description: Blue map drawn on canvas. Through symbols it gives location of different events (camp sites, site of engagements) during invasion of Puerto Rico.

Author: Lt. Col. Hodges
Title: Topographical Map, Aibonito Pass Showing Spanish Position and Entrenchment
Date: Oct. 1898
Scale: 1in.= 500ft
Dimension: 81 x 28 cm
Call no.: United States War - Spanish American * 1898 * Hodges
Description: Map shows Spanish position and entrenchment at Aibonito Pass.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Military Map of Puerto Rico
Date: 1898
Scale: 1:126,720
Dimension: 64.5 x 144 cm
Call no.: Puerto Rico. "Outline Military Map". (actually a good general map). 1898. 1"= 2mi . War Dept., Adj., Office, M.I.D. 2 copies
Description: Colored map on paper glued to linen. The map details information such as boundary judicial district, roads, villages, telegraph lines, boundary of ayuntamiento.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Military Map: Island of Puerto Rico
Date: 1898
Scale: 1:250,000
Dimension: 56 x 71cm
Call no.: W. Morey Jr. C.E. Puerto Rico. 1898. 1:250,000. M.S. Army. US Morey
Description: Black and white map drawn on paper glued to linen. It details showing roads, railroads, and trails. Very detail view of the location of the towns in island.

Author: J.M. Lago
Title: Latest Map Island of Porto Rico - New Territory USA
Date: 1898
Scale: Scale Not Given
Dimension: 67 x 113 cm
Call no.: Porto Rico. 1898. Lago. 2 copies
Description: Yellow and light blue map drawn on paper. A paragraph to the upper right corner describes that the purpose of the map is for every citizen to have it, since Puerto Rico was part of the Republic (USA). In addition to the regular information that shows in every map, this one has the peculiarity that it highlights the highways. These highways were the probably first in the islands.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Diseño del Estado de los Trabajos del Mapa Militar de la Isla
Date: Jan. 1899
Scale: 1:150,000
Dimension: 74.5 x 133.5 cm
Call no.: West Indies. Puerto Rico (Island). 1899. 1:150,000. U.S. Corps of Engineers
Description: White and blue ink map on paper. It's the same as the map described (above) w/the only difference that the titles are in Spanish and it looks like the draft or first print of the other colored map with its entry below. Print isn't as clear.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Outline Map of Puerto Rico
Date: 1899
Scale: 1:150,000
Dimension: 74.5 x 125.5 cm
Call no.: West Indies. Porto Rico. 1899. 1:150,00. U.S. War Dept. copy 2
Description: Three color map drawn in paper and glued to linen. Detail general information - towns, cities, and location. Also it has drawn routes through water for within and outside Puerto Rico area.

Author: Martin Miller
Title: Porto Rico - Puerto Rico
Date: 1899
Scale: Scale Not Provided
Dimension: 25 x 38.5 cm
Call no.: West Indies. Porto Rico. 1899. Martin
Description: Multicolor map on paper. It shows the smaller islands that are part of Puerto Rico, Districts in which the Island was divided and the towns that belonged to them, water routes to travel.

Author: J. Domingo Sulona
Title: A Map of the Island of Puerto Rico
Date: 1899
Scale: 1:125,000
Dimension: 39.5 x 88 cm
Call no.: Porto Rico. 1899. 1:250,000. Solsona. Wordly Names Exhibit #226
Description: Multi colored map / laminated. detailed information about Geo. features of Island (mountain chain, ports, rivers), municipal and district boundaries, courts (supreme /principle) etc. It has a small paragraph in right corner talking about Puerto Rico. 2 copies.

San Juan

Title: Bird's - Eye View of San Juan and Vicinity
Date: July 19, 1898
Scale: Scale Not Provided
Dimension: 58 x 121 cm
Call no.: Puerto Rico * San Juan (city). and Vicinity. View (Birdeye's Eye). 1898. Ourland, Chase H. Repro. -Gen'l. Staff - MID
Description: Black and white map and geographical topography (lagoons, bays) of region. Also it has a table with the distance in miles from town to town.

Author: Saldana
Title: Plan of San Juan Puerto Rico Showing buildings Belonging to Quarter Master's Dept. US Army on June 30, 1899
Date: Aug. 1899
Scale: 1:5,000
Dimension: 47.5 x 93.5 cm
Call no.: Porto Rico. San Juan (City). 1899. Saldana. Buildings belonging to quartermaster's Dept. USA
Description: Blue map drawn on paper. The map identifies building by numbering them and having a list as AA code. The map is of the Peninsula of San Juan where government buildings were often located (defense fortress), forteleza (house of the governor), hospitals, etc.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Manati - Arecibo, San Juan
Date: 1899?
Scale: Scale not Provided
Dimension: 23 x 51cm Arecibo - Manti; 23 x 11cm San Juan
Call no.: Porto Rico. San Juan (cities of Manati and Arecibo. 1899?. Anon.
Description: Blue Maps drawn on canvas. There are 2 maps, one of the streets of San Juan and the other details the route from Manati to Arecibo and vs. Labels vegetation of area, Geo. features. The Arecibo-Manti has notations in pencil ( a vertical Line ) connecting 2 points.


Title: Croques del Departamento de Ponce
Date: July 29, 1898
Scale: 1:160,000
Dimension: 33 x 67.5 cm
Call no.: Puerto Rico. Ponce (province). 1898. 1:600,00. Map Tracing
Description: Black and white map drawn on tracing paper. It shows Ponce's location as well as the neighboring cities. It is not a detail map of the city of Ponce but of the defined and different roads for transportation (with train, roads, trails), and Geo. features of the area.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Compilation of Sketch Maps from Reconna issuances. Made before Cessation of Hostilities
Date: Aug. 1898
Scale: 1:48,000
Dimension: 56 x 111 cm
Call no.: Puerto Rico. Compilation of Sketch Maps. 1898. 1:48,000. Blueprint
Description: Blue paper map. It details roads between mountains in the South Region of Puerto Rico (Ponce, Aibonito, Coamo, etc.) It describes the features of specific areas by describing Geo. features (i.e. hilly with hills in places close to roads). It has a table in the lower left corner with distances between places in KM and Miles.

Author: Capt. Eugene Ellicott
Title: Ponce Bay and Environs, Porto Rico
Date: Oct. 1898
Scale: 1:1000
Dimension: 66 x 78.5 cm
Call no.: Porto Rico * Ponce (Bay-City) * 1898 * Ellicott
Description: blue paper map. The map is a preliminary survey of Ponce Bay and Environs. Porto Rico made by order of Lieut. Col. H.F. Hodges. It details: Physical geography of area (plantations, camp ground, railroads). 2 copies.

Author: Author Not Provided
Title: Plano General de Ponce Playa y Zona Jurisdiccional
Date: 190?
Scale: 1:10,000
Dimension: 74 x 61 cm
Call no.: Puerto Rico * Ponce (city) * "Ponce Playa y Zona Jurisdiccional" * (190-?)* 1:10,000
Description: White and black map drawn on paper glued to canvas. The map has some outlining in color pencils probably done by original user or geographer. Detail information about organization of city and beach area.