May 2, 1898
Chas. Ainge, Esq.,
Your favor of April 29th, offering to look up Spanish spies in the State of Florida, duly received. The Governor has no funds whatever with which to employ such an agent; and consequently I beg leave to return you herein the papers enclosed.
I should suppose that the War Department at Washington would have means to employ such an officer. I would be pleased to consider the matter had the Legislature made any appropriation looking in that direction.
Very truly yours,
State Archives of Florida: Series S32, Volume 51
Reply from Florida Governor William Bloxham to detective Charles Ainge of Atlantic City, New Jersey, stating that he does not have funds to pay someone to hunt for Spanish spies in the state during the Spanish-American War.
May 2, 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.