By the time the Compania Trasatlantica Espanola (Spanish Transatlantic Company, or STC) awarded the contract of the would-be SS Antonio Lopez to the William Denny & Brothers Company of Dumbarton, Scotland, the sun had already set on the Imperial Spanish presence in the Western Hemisphere. Only two colonias de ultramar (overseas territories) remained of the once-vast empire, Cuba and Puerto Rico. However, the owner of the STC, Don Antonio Lopez y Lopez de la Madrid, understood that the residents of these islands and the newly created Spanish-speaking republics of Central and South America were an important market for Spanish goods. So he commissioned the building of a fast, brig-rigged, three-decked, steel-hulled, steam-propelled vessel to supply them with mail and goods.
The ship would have many “firsts.” She was the first Spanish commercial transoceanic steel-hulled vessel. She had electrical lighting in every room—a new advance and a luxury at the time. Her first-class service deck had other comforts as well: an ice machine, marble floors, hot water showers, and a grand piano.
*RED line course of the SS Antonio Lopez.
1 The Lopez misses entrance to San Juan continues on westerly course.
2 Turns to port.
6 Makes course east towards the Bay/under fire from the Yosemite turns starboard.
9 Runs aground, Angelina barrier reef.
BLUE line course of the USS Yosemite
3 Lookout sees pennant announcing approach of the Lopez/Yosemite makes way west/south-west course/opens fire on the Lopez.
5-10 receives fire from the Isabel II, General Concha, Ponce de Leon/turns to port and east to engage them. Continues to fire on the Lope with aft guns.
15 USS Yosemite under fire from the “El Morro” (12) guns turns out to sea and out of range.
YELLOW line course of the Ponce de Leon
11-14 Engages the Yosemite and continues out of the Bay on west course towards the Lopez. Reaches Lopez, takes off crew, cargo.
BLACK/GREEN lines Isabel II / General Concha
4-7 Isabel II turns around and comes out to Leeward side mouth of the Bay.
8 General Concha joins Isabel II on leeward side, mouth of the Bay