Adventures and Letters HTML version

Campaigning In Cuba And Greece
In December, 1896, Richard and Frederic Remington, the artist, were commissioned by
the New York Journal to visit Cuba which was then at war with Spain. It was their
intention to go from Key West in the Vamoose, a very fast but frail steam-launch, and to
make a landing at some uninhabited point on the Cuban coast. After this their plans seem
to have been to trust to luck and the kindliness of the revolutionists. After waiting for
some time at Key West for favorable weather, they at last started out on a dark night to
make the crossing. A few hours after the Vamoose had left Key West a heavy storm
arose--apparently much too violent for the slightly built launch. The crew struck and the
captain finally refused to go on to Cuba and put back to Key West. Shortly after this
Remington and my brother reached Havana by a more simple and ostentatious route. This
was my brother's first effort as a war correspondent, and I presume it was this fact and the
very indefiniteness of the original plan that caused his mother and father so much
uneasiness. And, indeed, it did prove eventually a hazardous exploit.
way to Key West.
December 19, 1896.
I hope you won't be cross with me for going off and not letting you know, but I thought it
was better to do it that way as there was such delay in our getting started. I am going to
Cuba by way of Key West with Frederic Remington and Michaelson, a correspondent
who has been there for six months. We are to be taken by the Vamoose the fastest steam
yacht made to Santa Clara province where the Cubans will meet us and take us to Gomez.
We will stay a month with him, the yacht calling for copy and sketches once a week, and
finally for us in a month. I get all my expenses and The Journal pays me $3,000 for the
month's work. The Harper's Magazine also takes a story at six hundred dollars and
Russell will reprint Remington's sketches and my story in book form, so I shall probably
clear $4,000 in the next month or six weeks. I was a week in getting information on the
subject so I know all about it from the men who have just been there and I want you to
pay attention to what I tell you they told me and not to listen to any stray visitor who
comes in for tea and talks without any tact or knowledge. There is no danger in the trip
except the problem of getting there and getting away again, and that is now removed by
The Journal's yacht. I would have gone earlier had any of the periodicals that asked me to
go shown me any way to get there-- THERE IS NO FEVER THIS TIME OF YEAR and
as you know fever never touches me. It got all the others in Central America and never
worried me at all. There is no danger of getting shot, as the province into which we go,
the Santa Clara province, is owned and populated and patrolled by the Cubans. It is no
more Spanish than New Jersey and the Spaniards cannot get in there. We have the
strongest possible letters from the Junta, and I have from Lamont, Bayard and Olney and
credentials in every language. We will sit around the Gomez camp and send messengers
back to the coast. It is a three days trip and as Gomez may be moving from place to place
you may not hear from us for a month and we may not hear from you but remember it
was a much longer time than that before you heard from me when I went to Honduras.