Black Warrior Affair

Black Warrior Affair

Black Warrior Affair was an 1854 incident touching trade and sovereignty between Spain, and her American possessions, and the United States. The Black Warrior, a vessel in the American coastwise trade, touched at Havana, Cuba on February 28, 1854, on her eighteenth voyage to New York City. In technical conformity with law, but contrary to informal agreements, a cargo manifest was demanded by Cuban authorities. Failing this, the ship and cargo was seized and held. The ship and cargo was restored to her owners on payment of a $6,000 fine, which was eventually remitted.

The controversy led to active discussions within the United States Congress and called forth able papers by the Secretary of State William L. Marcy. However, the tactics of Pierre Soule, American minister to Spain, temporarily threatened war. Linked somewhat with the Ostend Manifesto, the issue remained unresolved until August, 1855, when Spain paid an indemnity of $53,000.


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