Then came word of the Black Warrior incident. It was an opportunity for the Americans to shift gears and try a more diplomatic approach. Had they, there is a chance that it would have put the deal over the top. Instead, they became even more belligerent and the Spaniards dug their heels in.
Then came world that an insurrection against the royal family in Spain was brewing. The American minister, Pierre Soulé, met with the opposition leaders and became convinced that he could negotiate with them even more favorable terms for the sale of Cuba. Convinced that they were on the verge of a break through, Soulé called for a meeting of the American ministers from England and France. They assembled in Germany to plot their final strategy. Soulé's communications with the Secretary of State became overconfident.
Spain's pride was hurt. They complained bitterly of the affair, and other European powers took up their cause, castigating the American President and his administration for their uncouth behavior towards a sovereign nation. The Secretary of State sent a note to the American ministers in Europe, rebuking them all. He reaffirmed the President's interest in purchasing Cuba but directed them to never raise the issue again unless Spain initiated the conversation.
With the issue behind them and their pride somewhat mollified, the Spaniards released the Black Warrior and paid its owners indemnification, but only a fraction of that which had been demanded. The ship returned to service until it sank in a gale as it attempted to find refuge in New York Harbor.