Spanish-American War (1898) Photos of Cuba | Student Handouts
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Photos of Cuba
Spanish-American War Era (1898)
Image Galleries > Spanish-American War Maps and Pictures > Independent Cuba Images
Click on an image to enlarge it. These antique photographic images are of Cuba, Cubans, the Cuban landscape, and the U.S. military occupation of the country as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898. The images come from the massive 1899 two-volume set Our Islands and Their People. The photographs are simply stunning and incredibly rare.  Each image is accompanied by a thorough description.  Please note that several of the captures use archaic Spanish spelling (e.g., "La Puenta" for "La Punta"). For our free educational materials on this period in history, click here.
  Spanish Earthworks and Wire Trocha   Peace Hath Her Victories   Scene of the Battle at La Guasimas   La Puenta Fortress   Interior of Atares Castle  
      TOMB OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: One of the most famous works of art in existence, situated under the dome of Havana's Cathedral.  Columbus is being carried by the kings of Aragon, Castile, Leon, and Navarre.  Columbus died in Spain in 1506.  He was first buried in Valladolid, Spain, then in Seville, Spain.  In 1542 his remains were taken to eastern Hispaniola (the island of Santo Domingo, in the area now called the Dominican Republic).  The French (who had taken over Santo Domingo) moved the remains to Havana, Cuba, in 1795.  It was not until after the Spanish-American War that the remains of Christopher Columbus were finally returned to Spain, where the tomb resides in the Cathedral of Seville.  This image is extremely rare in that it shows the tomb as it existed in Havana just prior to its return to Spain.   SCENE ON THE IMPERIAL ROAD, SUBURBS OF HAVANA: This photograph was taken in the outskirts of Marianao, and represents natives on their way to the fields to test the powers of their respective game birds.    
  Turret and Powder Magazine, Atares Castle   Surrender Tree   Tomb of Christopher Columbus   Havana's Imperial Road   Squad of Havana Volunteers  
  Plaza and Christopher Columbus Monument in Cardenas, Cuba   Field before Atares   Cuban Cockfight   Fisherman and Quarters near Batabano   El Templete  
  Street Scene in Guanabacoa   Scene at Suburban Town of Quemado   Harvesting Sponges at Batabano   Greek Sponge Fishers, Batabano, Cuba   Sixth Missouri Volunteers  
  Residence of the Alcalde of Nueva Gerona, Cuba   Native Wood-turner's Shop in Santa Fe, Cuba   Residence of Former Alcalde at Nueva Gerona, Isle of Pines, Cuba   Native Huts near Santa Fe   Publisher's Preface  
    Joseph Wheeler (1836-1906)   HAVANA POLICEMAN: A characteristic photograph of a representative of the new native police of Havana, with uniform, arms and accoutrements.      
  Type of Spanish Blockhouse   Joseph Wheeler (1836-1906)   Havana Policeman   Hangman's Tree   Peddler and His Outfit  
  Inn at Santa Fe   Havana Public School   Coasting Vessels Moored in Vicinity of Old Pirates' Rendezvous, Isle of Pines   Street Scene in Marianao, Cuba   U.S. Army of Occupation in Havana, Cuba  
  Cuban Insurgents   Unloading Coffee for Transport   Desolate Home   Insurgent Officers   Cabanas Fortress  
  American Soldiers Resting in a Cuban Village   Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine   Spanish Cavalry   Court of a Spanish Gentleman's Residence at Havana, Cuba   Bathing Pools near La Puente  
        THE CATHEDRAL OF HAVANA: This is the oldest church in Havana, having been built in 1724. The architecture is of the pronounced Spanish type and very antique. More than ordinary interest attaches to this cathedral from the fact that it contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus.   EVANGELINA BETANCOURT CISNEROS  
  Cuban Coffee Planter   Governor-General's Palace in Havana, Cuba   U.S.S. Maine Wreckage   Cathedral of Havana   Evangelina Betancourt Cisneros  
    INSURGENT CAMP IN VICINITY OF THE LOPEZ RENDEZVOUS   Cuban Ox Cart   ATARES CASTLE, HAVANA: Showing the principal entrance and drawbridge, in the center of which Colonel Crittenden, the famous Kentuckian, was shot.   CUSTOM HOUSE AT HAVANA: Merchandise from the United States undergoing inspection by the Customs officials.  
  Morro Castle   Insurgent Camp in the Vicinity of the Lopez Rendezvous   Cuban Ox Cart   Atares Castle, Havana   Custom House at Havana  
  FALUCAS, OR PLEASURE BOATS, IN HAVANA HARBOR: These boats are used to convey passengers from the larger ships to the docks and for the accommodation of pleasure seekers. There are upwards of 500 of these falucas, as they are styled, in Havana Harbor.   COL. HARDEMAN AND STAFF, 6TH MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS   AUDITORIUM OF TACON THEATRE: The interior finish of this theater is most superb, exceeding in elegance the famous playhouses of Paris. The decorations and embellishments are in silver and gold, the effect of which under the influence of the electric lights is gorgeous in the extreme.   RECOJIDAS JAIL, HAVANA: This is the celebrated jail in which Evangelina Cisneros was imprisoned at the time of her rescue. In the upper left hand corner will be seen the aperture through which she escaped to the street. The picture also shows a group of women prisoners at the jail entrance.   STREET ADJACENT TO RECOJIDAS JAIL: This is the street down which Miss Cisneros was driven by her rescuers to the home of Don Carlos Carbonel.  
  Falucas, or Pleasure Boats, in Havana Harbor   Col. Hardeman and Staff, 6th Missouri Volunteers   Auditorium of Tacon Theatre   Recojidas Jail, Havana   Street Adjacent to Recojidas Jail  
  THE DUNGEON UNDER ATARES CASTLE: The apartment on the left was formerly used as a place of torture and the doorway on the right enters the death chamber. In the foreground are shown various instruments of torture, together with the dead wagon used by the Spaniards.   PUENTES GRANDES, A SUBURB OF HAVANA: Showing four-ox team such as is used in all the districts of Cuba. Where the ascent is very pronounced an additional ox team is placed in the rear of the cart, being trained to assist by pushing.   STREET SCENE IN CERRO, SUBURBS OF HAVANA: A quaint village among the hills near the Almendares River. It is remarkable for its tortuous streets and antiquated houses, many of which are in ruins.   TEAMING ON THE IMPERIAL ROAD NEAR HAVANA: Photograph shows five-mule-tandem hitched to lumber cart. Lines are used only on the wheel animal, the leaders instinctively obeying his movements.   JUVENILE TYPES, SUBURBS OF HAVANA: Native boys near the village of Cerro, playing "chuck the rock," similar to the American game of "duck the rock." It is contrary to popular custom in Cuba for children of both sexes to play together, as is evinced by the attitude of the little girl who watches the game from behind the barred window casement.  
  Dungeon under Atares Castle   Puentes Grandes, a Suburb of Havana   Street Scene in Cerro, Suburbs of Havana   Teaming on the Imperial Road near Havana   Juvenile Types, Suburbs of Havana  
  SCENE AT BATABANO, SOUTH COAST OF HAVANA PROVINCE: Batabano is the center of the sponge-fishing industry of the West Indies. In this quaint little seaport, the streets are in some instances replaced by canals, like those of Venice. The photograph shows one of these watery thoroughfares, together with the gondola-like conveyances of the natives.   HEAD WATERS OF THE RIO ALMENDARES: Showing source and works of Havana's excellent water supply.   ANCIENT CHATALET ON THE ALMENDARES: An extreme outpost of the Imperial forces during the Cuban-Spanish war, the owner of this chatalet was on one occasion besieged in his stronghold by a detachment of insurgents and for a period of two months was unable to make his escape with his family.   SPONGE FISHING FLEET IN THE HARBOR OF BATABANO   WHERE THE HEROES OF THE MAINE LIE BURIED: A spot in the beautiful "Campo Santo," just west of Havana, that will always be held profoundly sacred in the hearts of the American people. In the center of the cross to the right is a tablet bearing the inscription, "A las victimes del Maine," being a tribute of respect from a prominent Havana club.  
  Scene at Batabano, South Coast of Havana Province, Cuba   Head Waters of the Rio Almendares   Ancient Chatalet on the Almendares River   Sponge Fishing Fleet in the Harbor of Batabano   Where the Heroes of the Maine Lie Buried  
  SUBURBAN RAILWAY SERVICE OF HAVANA: Showing interior and occupants of first-class passenger coach. The figure in white on the left is the conductor. The second- and third-class coaches differ only in the character of the seats, those of the former being of wood, and of the latter plain benches.   VIEW OF THE INTERIOR, NEAR THE MOUNTAINS: The range of mountains extending through the central portion of the Island of Cuba presents many extraordinarily beautiful views, and will afford delightful summer resorts for the inhabitants after they shall have recovered from the effects of war. Rich plantations of sugar cane nestle in the valleys, while coffee trees and other tropical products grow on the mountain sides.   CEMETERY IN THE SUBURBS OF HAVANA: The graves shown in the photograph were rented for a term of years. If at the expiration of the period the lease was not renewed, the bodies were exhumed and thrown into a great open pit in a remote corner of the grounds. This practice has recently been abolished by the American authorities.   INTERIOR COURT OF JAIL AT NUEVA GERONA, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): The figure leaning against the pillar is Dr. Fernando Plazaolo, the present Mayor of Nueva Gerona. Immediately to his right is the entrance to the cell in which Evangeline Cisneros was imprisoned.   FISHER FOLK AND THEIR HOMES AT BATABANO  
  Suburban Railway Service of Havana   View of the Cuban Interior near the Mountains   Cemetery in the Suburbs of Havana, Cuba   Interior Court of Jail at Nueva Gerona   Fisher Folk and Their Homes at Batabano  
  EXTERIOR OF JAIL AT NUEVA GERONA, WHERE EVANGELINA CISNEROS WAS IMPRISONED (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD)   RUINS OF SPANISH FORT, NUEVA GERONA, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): Destroyed by insurgents during the late Spanish-Cuban war.   MANUFACTURING A NEW PLOW: The implement is made entirely of wood, fashioned from a single piece of timber, and has but one handle. It is the plow in common use all over Cuba.   EARLY HOME OF EVANGELINA CISNEROS, NUEVA GERONA, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD)   BIRDSEYE VIEW OF NUEVA GERONA, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): This photograph was taken from the Custom House, and includes the principle portion of the town, showing character of houses and their surroundings.  
  Exterior of Jail at Nueva Gerona   Ruins of a Spanish Fort at Nueva Gerona   Manufacturing a New Plow   Early Home of Evangelina Cisneros, Nueva Gerona, Isle of Pines (Isla de la Juventud), Cuba   Birdseye View of Nueva Gerona, Isle of Pines (Isla de la Juventud), Cuba  
  Cart Pulled by a Pair of Oxen   Suburban Habitations and Native Types, Santa Fe, Isla de la Juventud   Portion of Santa Fe, Isla de la Juventud   American Army of Occupation Entering the Suburbs of Havana   Natives Coaching Their Game Birds  
  BRIDGE ACROSS THE SANTA FE RIVER, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD), NEAR THE TOWN OF SANTA FE: This photograph shows the mode of traveling adopted by our artist, Mr. W.B. Townsend, in the Isle of Pines, together with his guide, assistant and outfit. Senor Bloy Lopez, the guide, was a leader of the insurgents on the island, and has the marks of twenty machete wounds on different parts of his body, received in the various battles and combats in which he took part.   VOTARIES OF THE COCKPIT: The bird shown in the photograph is known as a "patogallo" (pato-gallo, literally "duck-rooster"), partaking both of the nature of a chicken and a goose, used in cockfighting. Attention is called to its sharpness of beak and length of legs, one of its toes being shown protruding from between the fingers of its master. This species of game fowl is the most formidable known, and one of them has been known to whip half a dozen ordinary fighting birds in rapid succession.   NATIVE BAKER ON HIS ROUNDS     A CARIB "AUNTIE," ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): There is little, if any, social distinction in the islands on account of color. The races associate together, and even intermarry, without losing caste or social position.  
  Bridge across the Santa Fe River, Isle of Pines   Votaries of the Cockpit   Native Baker on His Rounds   The Prado, Havana, Cuba   A Carib "Auntie," Isle of Pines  
    MAGNESIUM SPRING NEAR SANTA FE: This is the largest of the mineral springs. Its waters are used expressly for drinking purposes. The springs which supply the bathing pools are located close at hand.   FAMOUS MAGNESIUM CREEK, NEAR SANTA FE: The beautiful stream flows through a perfect tangle of tropical foliage. Its waters are marvelously clear and partake of the same medicinal qualities as the springs upon the bank.   GREEK FISHING BOAT, OFF ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): The boat is loaded with the products of the island, principally yuca, which is one of the most valuable articles of commerce. The man on the left was preparing breakfast of fish and rice over a charcoal fire when Mr. Townsend took the picture.   NATIVE OF SANTA FE: Showing popular method of carrying burdens in Isle of Pines (Isla de la Juventud).  
  Indian Statue in Havana, Cuba   Magnesium Spring near Santa Fe, Cuba   Famous Magnesium Creek, near Santa Fe   Greek Fishing Boat, off Isla de la Juventud   Native of Santa Fe  
  A TYPICAL SANTA FE RESIDENCE: These houses are constructed of concrete and adobe, roofed over with red tiling. The photograph shows native woman indulging in a cigarette while washing clothes.   BAHIA DEL CERRO (BAY OF THE HILLS): This place derives its name from its proximity to the interior foot-hills with which it is connected by a river of considerable size. It was formerly a favorite landing-place of the pirates and Buccaneers during the period of their dominance in the West Indian seas.     BUCCANEERS' COVE, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): A noted resort of Buccaneers. Showing, also, the interior range of mountains, to whose influence the salubrity and healthfulness of the climate are largely due.   CUSTOM HOUSE AT NUEVA GERONA, ISLE OF PINES (ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD): Showing how all kinds of merchandise is shipped in sacks with straw padding. Also the various types found on the island, from the fair-complected Spaniard to the ebony-skinned negro.  
  A Typical Santa Fe Residence   Bahia del Cerro (Bay of the Hills)   Native Charcoal Vendor   Buccaneers' Cove, Isle of Pines (Isla de la Juventud)   Custom House at Nueva Gerona, Isle of Pines  
  Noonday in a Havana Suburb          
  Noonday in a Havana Suburb   Ox-cart and Group of Natives in Outskirts of Marianao, Cuba   Sugar Mill and Employees near Havana   Police Holdover, or Common Jail, in Havana   A Cuban Volante  
  Stone Bridge across the Almendares   Docks at Havana   Interior of a Cuban Cigar-Cigarette Factory