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Goff’s Historical Map of the Spanish-American War in the West Indies, 1898, map by Eugenia Wheeler Goff and Henry Slade Goff, published 1899

Goff’s Historical Map, published soon after the 1898 Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War, recorded incidents of the war in the Caribbean. It showed maneuvers of land and sea forces in Cuba and Puerto Rico and––both on the main map and in an enlarged detail––noted the sinking of the Maine in Havana Harbor.

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress

Goff’s Historical Map of the Spanish-American War in the West Indies, 1898, map by Eugenia Wheeler Goff and Henry Slade Goff, published 1899

The Spanish-American War

The explosion of the USS Maine in February 1898 became a catalyst for war. In April Congress declared war against Spain, demanding that Spain relinquish control of Cuba. To disavow any colonial intentions, Congress first approved an amendment proposed by Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado supporting Cuba’s independence. The ensuing war extended to the Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, which Spain finally ceded to the United States in December 1898. The Spanish-American War ultimately expanded U.S.-controlled territory and enhanced America’s status as a world power