State Archives of Florida: Series S578, Box 20, Folder 1
Letter from detective Charles Ainge of Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Florida Governor William Bloxham requesting a job hunting Spanish spies in Florida during the Spanish-American War.
April 29, 1898
In the 1890s, United States support for Cuban revolutionaries fighting for independence from Spain led to a deteriorating relationship between the two powers. Early in 1898, President William McKinley sent the battleship Maine to Havana to protect American interests. On February 15, the ship exploded. Though it is now believed that the deadly blast that sank the ship was accidental, at the time most Americans blamed the Spanish. In April, after some hesitancy, McKinley asked congress for a declaration of war. Upon the outbreak of the war, Florida became the scene of intense military activity. Training camps were established in various locations, and Tampa was selected as the main port of embarkation for an American expeditionary force headed for Cuba. Despite mass confusion, U.S. forces would successfully land in Cuba and force the surrender of the Spanish garrison after a brief campaign. The war lasted only until August, when the two belligerents signed an armistice. A final treaty was signed in December 1898.