Cuban Revolutionary Army Commission to Washington - 1898
On the photo, left-to-right are, seated:
- José Miguel Gomez
- Calixto García Iñiguez (in the center)
- Julio Sanguily
- José Ramón Villalón Sanchez
- Jose Antonio Gonzalez Lanuza
The photo was taken in Washington, DC. This is likely the last photo of Calixto Garcia.
The original photo was property of Alvaro Cosculluela's mother. We are grateful to Alvaro for his generosity in making a digital copy available to us and in preparing the accompanying historic summary.
The General Assembly of the Cuban Revolutionary Army took place 24 October 1898 in Santa Cruz del Sur, Camaguey, at the end of the War of Independence.
In the Assembly, five individuals were nominated to a Commission to travel to Washongton with the objective of meeting with US President William McKinley to discuss matters of great importance, among them economic assitance to the Mambi Army.
The members of the Commission were::
- General Calixto García Iñiguez – as Presidente of the Commission.
- General José Miguel Gómez – who had been commander of the Fourth Army, which operated near the city of Cienfuegos. He was later President of Cuba from 1909 to 1913
- Colonel Manuel Sanguily - of the famous "rescue of Sanguily"
- Lieutenant Colonel José Ramón Villalón Sanchez – who attended the Assembly as representative of the Sixth Army - Pinar del Río
- Dr. José Antonio Gonzalez Lanuza - who also had been President of the Revolutionary Junta of that city.
Accompanying the Commission were:
- Cosme de la Torriente
- Colonel Carlos Martín y Poey
- Colonel Enrique Villuendas
- Lieutenant Ricardo Koby
They arrived in New York on the ship Saguranca from La Habana on 21 Noviembre 1898, except for Julio Sanguily who had arrived via Florida..
They were received in NY by:
- Tomas Estrada Palma
- Horacio Rubens
- Leon Benoit – Attorney of the Junta
- Benjamin Guerra –Treasurer of the Cuban Revolutionary Junta
- Antonio Colas
- Julio Ponce de León
- Octavio Zayas
- Captain John O’Brian, known as " Dynamite Johnny", who had made several expeditions to Cuba as ship Captain.
In NY they were housed in different hotels and homes of friends and relatives. Calixto García got together with relatives who were waiting for him at the dock and stayed at one of the family residences. Villalón stayed at Hoffman House
From there they went to Washington three days later for the meeting with President McKinley.
While in Washington, shortly after concluding the meeting with President McKinley, General Calixto García died at 10 AM on Sunday 11 December 1898. HIs son Justo was with hem when he died. It is believed that the cold weather in Washington was the prioncipal cause of his death. Calixto Garcia died of pneumonia at the Raleigh Hotel, where he was staying, at age 59.
The body of Calixto Garcia was mourned first in Washington, with his casket covered with a Cuban flag, and later transported to Cuba on board the ship Nashville, courtesy of the US government. The body was buried in the Colon Cemetery in La Habana on 11 February 1899.