Front Door to Cuba

The Virginius Incident

The Virginius

Featuring restored and colorized images by J.A. Sierra


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1873...

The Virginius

The Cuban rebels are in the fourth year of their Ten-Year War for independence from the Spanish Empire. Against all odds they’ve managed to purchase and operate the ship Virginius to supply their forces, but the Spanish consider this a “pirate” ship.

Captain FryGeorge RyanVirginius pursued
Virginius captured

After an 8-hour sea chase the Virginius is captured on October 31, 1873. The officers and crew are executed...

Execution of Captain Fry - detailExecution of Cpn Fry

...including captain Joseph Fry and many others...

Hamilton Fish

Soon, a diplomatic conflict emerges between the United States, the British Empire and the Spanish Empire. The conflict could lead to war…

Virginius Sinking in color

The captured Virginius is eventually turned over to the American government. The ship is in such bad shape, that it is allowed to sink…

Twenty-five years later, a separate incident with a completely different ship has a very different outcome.