The capture of an arms-running ship fraudulently flying the US flag during the Cuban rebellion against Spain (1868–78). Seized off the coast of Jamaica by a Spanish gunboat, the Virginius was taken to Santiago de Cuba. Subsequently her commander, Captain Fry, a US citizen, and 52 others, including British and American citizens, were executed by the Spanish as filibusters (persons engaged in unauthorized warfare against a foreign state). Despite the angry reaction of the USA the dispute was resolved by compromise and Spain paid the families of the executed Americans compensation totalling $80,000. The families of the British victims were also paid compensation.
Subjects: International Law — World History.