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Ostend Manifesto,document drawn up in Oct., 1854, at Ostend, Belgium, by James BuchananBuchanan, James,
1791–1868, 15th President of the United States (1857–61), b. near Mercersburg, Pa., grad. Dickinson College, 1809. Early Career
Buchanan studied law at Lancaster, Pa.
..... Click the link for more information. , American minister to Great Britain, John Y. MasonMason, John Young,
1799–1859, American statesman, b. Greensville co., Va. He studied law under Tapping Reeve at Litchfield, Conn., and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1819.
..... Click the link for more information. , minister to France, and Pierre SouléSoulé, Pierre
, 1801–70, American political leader and diplomat, b. Castillon, France. A lawyer, he was imprisoned for republican activities against the conservative Bourbons, but he escaped and fled (1825) to the United States.
..... Click the link for more information. , minister to Spain. William L. MarcyMarcy, William Learned,
1786–1857, American politician, b. Southbridge, Mass. He settled in Troy, N.Y., where he practiced law and, after serving in the War of 1812, held local offices.
..... Click the link for more information. , Secretary of State under President Pierce, instructed Soulé to try to buy Cuba from Spain, but Soulé antagonized the Spanish by his political intrigues and aggressive threats (he issued an unwarranted ultimatum to the Spanish government on the Black WarriorBlack Warrior,
merchant steamer that plied between New York City and Mobile, usually stopping at Havana, Cuba. Her seizure on Feb. 28, 1854, by Spanish authorities at Havana and the imposition of a $6,000 fine on the grounds that she had violated customs regulations nearly
..... Click the link for more information. affair). Pierce then ordered a conference of the three diplomats in Europe, all proslavery Democrats, at Ostend. The resulting manifesto strongly suggested that the United States should take Cuba by force if Spain refused to sell. Southerners, who had long feared that Cuba might become an independent black republic, applauded the document, but it was vigorously denounced by the free-soil press as a plot to extend slavery. Marcy immediately repudiated it for the U.S. government.
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