The brief Spanish-American War ended with the Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898) that resulted in Spain relinquishing its holdings in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. The island was governed by a US military; then it became an “organized but unincorporated” territory of the US.
On August 7 and 8, 1899, the San Ciriaco hurricane swept through Puerto Rico: at the same time, the booming Hawaiʻi sugar industry was looking for more workers. Puerto Ricans looked for alternatives and were drawn to another US territory, Hawaiʻi, and its sugar plantations. Eventually 5,100 settled on plantations in the Islands.