The De Lôme Letter

by: Selase B


In the year of 1898 Enrique Dupuy De Lôme was the Spanish ambassador to the US, specifically Washington. Because he was the ambassador, he worked with high officials. He found that he did not agree with President McKinley or his policies. In a letter to his friend in Cuba, a government official in Havana, De Lôme admitted his true feeling about the US president writing that McKinley was a weak, people-pleasing, and low politician. Unfortunately for De Lôme, his letter was somehow intercepted from the mail by Cuban revolutionaries. They handed the letter over the Heart who was the head of the New York Journal. On February 9, 1898 Heart published the letter on the front page with the headline "The Worst Insult to the United States in Its History." Within a few days, the scandal was known nationwide. In response to the angry public and president, De Lôme resigned.


This letter fueled the already eager American public. Even though it is likely that a number of American had similar feelings about McKinley, the fact that it was written by a foreign official did not sit well with them. On top of his being foreign, De Lôme was also from Spain. Though he stated that the opinions in the letter reflected solely his feeling and not that of his country, Americans became even more belligerent towards Spain. The De Lôme Letter pushed the US closer to war and the explosion of the Maine that followed shortly after further exasperated the situation. In fact two months later, McKinley submitted a letter to congress asking for US intervention in Spain.

Works Cited

"De Lôme Letter (1898)." Our Documents -. National Archives, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <>.

"February 9, 1898: Dupuy De Lôme Letter Scandal." PBS. PBS, 1999. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <>.

Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, Thomas Andrew Bailey, and Thomas Andrew Bailey. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. Print.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Enrique Dupuy De Lôme in The Spanish-American War." Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <>.