It was reported in the press both in this country and in Spain. And the Queen Regent was really impressed by the fact that McKinley could get $50 million to fight Spain simply by asking for it.
Because it was known that he was close to McKinley ah, reporters ah, began following Proctor around asking him what his conclusions were from his trip to Cuba. And he refused to say anything. By the time he was ready to speak on March 17th, 1898, there was tremendous interest in what he’d have to say.
I went to Cuba with a strong conviction that the picture had been overdrawn. What I saw I cannot tell so that others can see it. To me, the strongest appeal is not the loss of the Maine, but the spectacle of a million-and-a-half people, struggling for deliverance from the worst government of which I ever had knowledge.
After Senator Proctor’s speech, the business community came around. So McKinley now had the military better prepared. He had the Pacific fleet ready to go. He had a united business community behind him. And once he had those things coming together, McKinley was changing and was moving towards war.