UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES
THIS VOLUME HAS BEEN MICROFILMED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES.
JOEMARTITH FATHER (;,F TURTOUNO 85
-TER OPPRESSION, STRUGGLE
.* FOR LIBERTY, HISTORY, AND PRESENT CONDITION
Causes and Justification
OF THE PRESENT WAR
BY RAFAEL M. MERCHAN
ONE OF THE LEADERS
OF THE CUBAN PATRIOTS
The History of the War
/ / /
By GONZALO de QUESADA
CUBAN CHARGE DE AFFAIRES AT WASHINGTON
AND SPECIAL CHAPTERS
By F. G. PIERRA, CHAIRMAN OF THE REVOLUTIONARY
COMMITTEE IN THE UNITED STATES
and by CAPTAIN RICARDO J. NAVARRO
. OF THE CUBAN ARMY EDITED BY
DR. JOHN GUITERAS
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
COPYRIGHT, 1896 BY
D. W. CASKEY, JR.
It seems hardly necessary to give the raison d' are of Free Cuba." The student of history and -of events-as the word is used-justifies the contention between Spain and Cuba, but yet there are not wanting those, who, from lack of opportunity or time, or both, are not familiar with the Conditions that led to it. The story of the monumental wrongs inflicted upon Cuba by Spain, reaches back for more than a century. Our own land, under less exacting conditions and with only a moiety of the taxation nder which Cuba has groaned, rose in righteous rebellion and threw off the yoke of the oppressor. Bold spirits in this garden spot of the world, smarting under wrongs that would stir a fever in the blood of age," have been repeatedly banded together and risen in arms against the tyranny that has denied them political, civil and religious liberty ; but with one exception these uprisings resulted in failure and defeat. Thne peace of Zanjon brought fair promise to the Cubans. Ten years of tears were to be forgotten in the honeyed words of gove-2.rnmental assurance, but the reforms which followed had the same lack of sincerity that belongs to Spanish administration, and the promises of free government were never fulfilled. This, and the absolute certainty that no arbiter but the sword could decide the question of freedom for Cuba on the one hand, or unknown years of supine
submission on the other, again fired the hearts and nerved the arms of those who are carrying on the war that has already driven the Spaniard's to the shelter of the fortified cities along the coast. Spain, the proudest nation in Rurope, and the poorest-despite the annual millions wrung from Cuba, appears to be going to the wall. The successes of this armed contention so far, are with the patriots. Their cause is just, they are fighting for all that men prize most. More, perhaps there are, who may read of the excessive beauty of this land where Nature has been most prodigal of her gifts-where all the men are brave and all the women pure, 1) and of her early history redolent of Castilian adventurers who bore in one hand the banner of the Cross, while the other held the sword of conquest; while all may see through the smoke that obscures her lovely fields a reflex of America's early struggles for independence. Humanity everywhere is interested in the outcome of the present conflict between Cuba and Spain. To lovers of freedom especially, this volume is offered,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Historical and Descriptive. PAGE
CHAPTER I.-The Queen of The Antilles, II
CHAPTER II.-Early History of The Island, 32
CHAPTER III.-Our Next Door Neighbor, 52
CHAPTER IV.-Cuban Cities, 71
CHAPTER V.-Sights and Scenes, 89
CHAPTER VI.-Passions and Amusements, 10o8
CHAPTER VII.-The Mother Church in Cuba. 125
CHAPTER VIII.-The Isle of Pines, .. 142
CHAPTER IX.-The Decay of Spain, 149
CHAPTER X.-The Cuba of To-day, 155
The Causes and Justification of the Present War.
By RAFAEL M. MERCHAN.
CHAPTER XI.-Corruption of the Spanish Administration 165 CHAPTER XII.-The Public Debt, 185
CHAPTER XIIL-Negroes and Foreigners, 197
CHAPTER XIV.-Population-Races-Emigration, 208
CHAPTER XV.-Ingratitude of the Cubans, 226
CHAPTER XVI.-Commercial and Industrial Obstructions. 238
CHAPTER XVII.-The Judiciary, 268
CHAPTER XVIII.-Criminology, 284
CHAPTER XIX.-Primary and Advanced Education, 296
CHAPTER XX.-Banks and Currency, 313
CHAPTER XXI.-The Electoral Franchise, 320
CHAPTER XXII.-Municipal and Provincial Government, 332
8 TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER XXIII.-Spanish Bureaucracy, 340
CHAPTER XXIV.-The Legend of the Subsidies, 352
CHAPTER XXV.-Cuba not a charge to the Nation, 364
CHAPTER XXVI.-Public Estimates-Revenues, 370
CHAPTER XXVII.-Public Estimates-Expenditures, 383
/ CHAPTER XXVIII.-The Treaty of Zanjdn, 400oo
CHAPTER XXIX.-Sinister Prophecies, 408
CHAPTER XXX.-The Destruction of Property, 418
CHAPTER XXXI.-The Autonomists-Their Past, 423
CHAPTER XXXII.-The Autonomists-Their Present and Future, 230
CHAPTER XXXIII.-The Prosperity of Cuba, 444
BY F. G. PIERRA.
CHAPTER XXXIV-In Rebel Camp and Spanish Prison, 455
By Captain RICARDO E. NAVARRO.
The Cuban Revolution of 1895.
BY GONZALO DE QUESADA.
CHAPTER XXXV.-The Uprising, 463
CHAPTER XXXVI.-First Battles, 491
CHAPTER XXXVII.-The Civil Government, 503
CHAPTER XXXVIII.-Continual Success, 510
CHAPTER XXXIX.-Weyler Succeeds Campos, 526
CHAPTER XL.-Filibustering Expeditions, 549
CHAPTER XLI.L-Spanish Cruelties, 557
CHAPTER XLII.-Bankrupt Spain and Cuba Abroad, 572
CHAPTER XLIII.-In The United States, ... 576
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Jos6 Marti, the Father of the Revolution of 1895, Frontispiece City and Harbor of Havana, 19
Morro Castle, Havana, 20
Views in and about Havana, 37
At a Landing Stage, Method of Serving Milk, The Old Cathedral,
Panorama of the Prado, Palace of the Captain-General, Avenue of
Tacon Theatre, Havana, 38 Railway Bridge Over the Almendares River, 55 Residence of Count de Fernandina, 56 Railway Station, Havana, 73 First Morning Train from Villaneuva Station, Havana, 74 St. Francis Wharf, Havana, 91 Cojimar, a Pleasure Resort Near Havana, 92 San Felipe, 109
Tile Bull Ring, Havana, 110 View of la Chorrera, 127
The Plaza de Armas, Manzanillo, 128 Residence in Puentes Grandes, 145 Puentes Grandes River, 146 Street Scene in Bayamo, 163 Ruins of the Convent of St. Francisco, Bayamo, 164 Hill of la Gibara in Vuelta Abajo, 181 Tile Jagiiey Coffee Plantation, 182 Ruins of tile Demajagua Plantation, 199 The "Portugalete Sugar Estate, 200 Church and Clubhouse at Gibara, 217
Spanish Troops at Havana, 218
Battalion of Volunteers on Parade, 235 Troops Passing the Theatre Pairet, Havana, 236 The King of Spain, 253 General Martinez Campos, 254 Landing of General Campos at Santiago de Cuba, 271 Papal Benediction of Troops at Vittoria, Spain, 272
10 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Embarking Troops for Cuba at Santander, Spain, 289 Military Hospital at Santiago de Cuba, 290
The Soldiers' Ward, Don Ramon Moros y Palacin, The Officers'
Ward, One of the Corridors, Exterior of the Building.
General Valeriano Weyler, 307
The "1Machete," the Weapon that is Winning Cuba's
The Test, Peeling an Orange, A Duel.
D. Salvador Cisneros, President of the Republic of Cuba, 325 The Demajagua House, .9. .. 326
Insurgent Attack Upon a Fort Near Vueltas, 343 Scouting Party of Spanish Soldiers, 344 General Maximo Gomez, 361
Group of Insurgents Under Gomez, 362 Railway Culvert Dynamited by the Insurgents, 379
Cars at the Bottom of the Culvert, Train off the Track, Third-class
Coach After the Explosion, Soldiers Repairing the Tracks, Section
Spanish Guerrillas in the Bush, 380 A Rebel Camp-Cooking a Pig for Dinner, 397 Plantation in Cuabitas, After a Visit from the Insurgents, 398 General Jose Maceo, .. 415
A Charge with Maceo, 416
General Calixto Garcia, 433 Train Derailed by Insurgents on the "Flora" Bridge, 434 General Antonio Maceo, 451 A Rebel Camp, .. 452
Cuban Cavalry Officer and Cavalryman, 469 After the Surrender, .. 470 Cuban Infantry Officer and Infantryman, 487 Spanish Troops Falling into an Ambuscade, 488 Fort on the Road from Las Tunas to Sancti Spiritus, 505 A Spanish Advanced Post, Outside Remedios, 506 Fort Cuba at Holguin, 523
Death of a Crack Shot, 524 Ceremonies at the Fort at Piedra Picada, 541 A Mounted Guerrilla Troop, .. 542
Police Viewing the Body After an Assassination, 559 The Prado and the Fountain of India, Havana, 560
Fort St. Joseph, between Manzanillo and Bayamo.
HISTORICAL ,42,'D DES CRJPTI YE.
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
CUBA, the "Queen of the Antilles," was the fifth of the great discoveries of Columbus. Already lie had seen and named San Salvador, Conception, Exuma and Isabella, and to his delighted imagination these seemed veritable "islands of delight." Forgotten were the hardships of the perilous voyage. To his grateful senses the balmy breezes wafted odors sweet as those of Araby the Blest, flocks of gaudy colored parrots obscured the sky above the palms that waved their fringes in the soft air, while strange plants and grasses trailed in profusion to meet the soft lapping of the summer sea. Although the "Great Admiral" skirted the whole of the southern and more than half of the northern coast of Cuba, he made no attempt to plant a settlement there, even while regarding it as a continent and not an island. In honor of the young prince John, heir to the crowns of Castile and Leon, Columbus bestowed the name of Juana upon this newly discovered land, but
12 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES,
later it received the name of Fernandina, by order of the king in whose name it was occupied and held. Subsequently the island was named Santiago after the patron saint of Spain, and still later Ave Maria, in honor of the Virgin; but eventually Cuba, the original designation of the natives, superseded both the Spanish ones. The wild natives received the strangers as beings of a superior race and gladly exchanged gifts with them, receiving trinkets for the gold bracelets they wore and indicating by gestures a land to the southwest in answver to inquiries as to where the gold came from. This, the discoverer reasoned, must be the Indies of his dreams, the Cipango to find which he had resolved
"To sail beyond the sunset and the baths
Of all the Western stars."
And so the adventurers hoisted sail and stood away first to Spain to tell the wonderful story of still more wonderful lands, to receive the highest royal favors, to have confirmed in Spain the title to these newv possessions by tbe Pope, who was supposed to have universal temporal sovereignty ; to pass in imposing processional of dusky natives, strange plants, skins of unknown animals, and birds of brilliant plumage before awe-struck and admiring crowds, and then to brave again the terrors of the main in search of the Eldorado that lay beyond. For Columbus, before leaving his new found paradise, had lured on board six men, seven women and three children to deck his triumph-an act of perfidy that admits of no palliation. Thus from the first did the Spaniard begin a course of systematic treachery in his dealings with the natives and in a few short months this duplicity bore fruit. Of the handful of men left
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 13
behind to garrison the rude fort, constructed from the timbers of one of his wrecked ships, on the island of Hayti, not one was left to tell the story of the intervening months when Columbus announced his return to La Navidad by the thunder of his cannon. Spanish perfidy and lust, supplemented by mutiny, had produced quarrels that resulted in dividing the garrison into two parties, and thus separated they were easily despatched by the overwhelming numbers of the natives.
Cuba and Columbus are indissolubly connected. It is difficult to separate the two, yet Cuba received less consideration at the hands of the first discoverer than did her sister islands. Fairer than any, of larger area and possessing the mountains and forests that the others lacked, with a fertile soil that would as gladly have taken to its bosom the wheat, sugar cane and other seeds bestowed by the adventurers on more favored spots, the "Pearl of the Antilles" in all the splendor of her tropical vegetation, was reserved for the conquest of another knight of Castile. Columbus twice visited the island after its discovery, once in 1494 and again in 1502, but contented himself with exploring the coast, following its windings and indentations for more than twelve hundred miles. Had he continued his voyage a day or two longer he would doubtless have compassed the island and probably discovered the Northern Continent. He gave the name of Santa Catalina to the point at which he first touched the shores of Cuba, some three hundred miles to the eastward of Havana, in which city the ashes of the "incomparable Almirante Christoval Colon" rest in their ebony casket in the wall by the side of the grand altar in the cathedral,
14 THE QUEEN OF THlE ANTILLES.
Even death did not end the voyages of Columbus. While his remains were first deposited in the Convent of San Francisco at Valladolid in 1506, they were removed in 1513 to the Carthusian Convent of Las Cuevas at Seville. In the year 1526 they were transported to Hispaniola and interred by the side of the grand altar of the cathedral of the city of San Domiiigo, from whence as precious relics connected with the most glorious epoch of Spanish history, they were borne in 1795 to the island of Cuba. The disinterment was accomplished in the presence of the highest civil, religious and military authorities of the city, and the procession that attended all that was mortal of the great captain to the ship that was to bear it away, marched with bnners covered with crape, chants and responses and discharges of artillery, while the most distinguished persons of the several orders took turns in supporting the coffin.
At Havana, the reception of the body was equally imposing. All the honors that pomp and ceremonial could bestow, were lavished upon him, who, but a fewv short years before, after bringing to the old world the freshness and fairness of the new, had been rewar-ded with chains and neglect.
During tI e ceremony of taking possession of the island of Cuba, the natives gazed in timid admiration upon the splendid dress, the equipments and complexion of the strangers. Themselves of a' tawny or copper hue with straight, coarse hair falling in long locks upon their shoulders, they were no less objects of curiosity to the Spaniards. Entirely naked, painted with a variety of colors and devices, with agreeable features, of moderate stature, but well shaped; they appeared to
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 15
be a simple and artless people of gentle and friendly disposition. For arms they bore lances pointed with flint or the bone of a fish. They had no iron nor any knowledge of its properties. Now supposing that he had landed on an island at the extremity of India, Columbus gave them the general name of Indians. All were delighted with the beads, caps and other trifles that were freely bestowed on them by the marvelous beings, who to their imagination were inhabitants of the skies. Nine independent chiefs or caciques ruled the inhabitants of this summer land. All lived in peace and tranquility, considerably removed from savagery. Their religion inculcated a belief in an all powerful and beneficent Being and the immortality of the soul, yet was devoid of a priesthood with its attendant rites and ceremonies. A simple and trusting people-yet they early learned to know that their golden ornaments and bits of gold which the white strangers were so eager to obtain, were the magnets that drew these uninvited visitors to their shores; and pointing to them they would say, "behold the christian's god."
To this people came in 1511, five years after the death of Columbus, Don Diego Velasquez, an experienced and able commander, of high rank and fortune. Panfilo de Narvaez was the second in command of this expedition, which was sent by Columbus' son and successor, Diego, in the hope of obtaining gold. Baracoa was their first settlement, then came Santiago and Trinidad, founded in 1514. San Cristoval de la Havana followed in 1515, receiving, however, the name of Batabano in 1519, while its first appellation was transferred to the present capital. The year 1538 saw Havana laid in ashes by a French privateer and again in 1554
16 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES,
-the city suffered the same fate at the hands of the French.
As Velasquez had treated the natives humanely, their subjugation had been quickly and easily accomplished, and his immediate successors pursued the same conlciliatory policy. The rearing of cattle first occupied the attention of the early settlers, and it was not until about 1524 that the- cultivation of tobacco and sugar cane was begun. Tfhe growth of these pursuits led to the introduction of negro slavery into the island, and ,for a time the natives were left unmolested while the field labor was performed by their darker skinned and more unfortunate brothers. Among the needy adventurers who followed the standard and fortunes of Pizarro, was Hernando de Soto. Returning enriched with the plunder of Peru he found favor with the Emperor Charles V. and received from the hands of that monarch a commission as governor of Cuba and Florida. It was under De Soto and his successors that the slavery of Cuban natives began. It was a fatal policy, for they in common with all American aborigines could not live in slavery. They rapidly pined to death, and in a generation or two were practically extinct, remnants of the more barbarous mountain tribes alone remaining. Notwithstanding the ravages committed upon Havana by the French and by the pirates who infested these seas, the fertility of its soil, its commanding position and fine harbor drew large numbers of immigrants to the capital city. Following the instructions of his royal master, De Soto began to fortify Havana, and the walls of the Castillo de la Fuerza began to arise under his direction. Leaving this work to be completed by his lieutenants, De Soto sailed for Florida in search of the El1 Dorado
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 17
supposed to exist there, but the expedition miserably failed, and the cypresses that fringed the Mississippi witnessed the burial of the explorer beneath the turbid tide of that mighty river. The year 1585 saw Havana menaced by the renowned Captain Francis Drake, and for more than a century after this period, the enemies of Spain continually harassed the colonists. The famous Castle of the Morro was begun in 1589, as wa( the Bateria de la Punta; both reached completion in 1597, while the erection of the walls of Havana was not undertaken until 1665.
In the course of the seventeenth century Havana became the great rendezvous for the gold ships of Spain, and the commercial centre of the Spanish possessions in America. One of the results of the wars in which Spain was incessantly involved during this period, was the practical extinction of sugar and tobacco culture at home, and their increased development in Cuba. Yet these same wars severely affected the prosperity of the island, and materially retarded its progress. After the destruction of the Armada, in 1588, the maritime power of Spain steadily declined, and the capture of her treasure fleet by the Dutch in 1628, and the destruction of her naval fleet in the Downs, left her West Indian colonies without other protection than their own walls and fortresses afforded. About this time the abritrary decree that the colonists should restrict their commerce with Spain to the port of Seville-the monopoly of which the needy government had sold-gave rise to an extensive smuggling traffic, very profitable to the colonists and the foreign adventurers who carried it on. The neighboring .sland of Hispaniola had been abandoned by most of
18 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
its settlers, the few people that remained living mainly from the herds of cattle, which now roamed in a wild condition over the island. The peculiar method of preparing the meat of these animals was called "bucanining," and consisted of smoking the carcass. The smugglers making their headquarters in the numerous bays of this island adopted this method of preserving meat for their ships and came to be known as Buccaneers." From smugglers to freebooters, was an easy transition and Spanish commerce began to suffer severely. With forces recruited from English, French and Dutch privateers they struck terror into the Spanish Colonies, and became the bravos of the seas, with ships, men and arms at the service of the highest bidder. The most remarkable of these piratical leaders were the Frenchmen, Lolonois, and the celebrated Morgan. Tortuga saw them with the French in 1641 and 1660, and Cromwell's English fleet was aided by them in the occupation of Jamaica in 1665. Previously, in 1654, the towns of Segovia in Honduras, Maracaibo and Gibraltar in the gulf of Venezuela had been sacked and plundered by the marauders, and the walls of Havana were erected largely as a defence against their persistent attacks. It was in 1670 that Don Rodriguez de Ledesma assumed the functions of governor and like his immediate predecessor, he prosecuted the work of fortification at Havana with the greatest order. He also prepared a naval armament for the protection of the coast. It was at this time that the working of the copper mines near Santiago was abandoned, and that the reconstruction of the cathedral in that city was begun ; but the greater part of the slaves employed in the mines were sent to Havana to work on
CITY AND HARBOR OF HAVANA.
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MWWWQWI ME MORRO CASTLE, HAVANA.
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 21
the fortifications. During Ledesma's administration a French party landed in the eastern part of the island, with the intention of plundering the city of Santiago, but they withdrew without doing any damage. In 1675, the city of Santiago was destroyed by an earthquake, a calamity from which the western parts of the island were exempt. The first lines of the City of Matanzas were traced on October 10th, 1693, in the presence of the Captain-General and many other persons of distinction. The etymology of the name Matanzas is in dispute. Some ascribe it to the slaughter of Indians at the time of the conquest of the island, contending that the supposed Indian name Yumurri, that of one of the two rivers between which the city stands, is in fact a synonym in bad Spanish for this general massacre. Others contend with equal pertinacity, that it was the natives who k A the Spaniards while passing from one side of the Vay to the other. Seven of the Spaniards are said to have attempted to escape, but were carried prisoners to a neighboring Indian town, where they were all put to death except one who escaped to tell the tale of the Matanza.
The treaty of peace between Spain and England in 1670 did not put an end to the depredations, but the war of 1689 between France and England led to divisions among themselves and their decline may be dated from that time. The period following the treaty of Ryswick in 1697 saw the passing of the buccaneers and the Cuban settlements grew rapidly, at the same time Cuba was comparatively free from the war of the Spanish succession, in the beginning of the eighteenth century and the agricultural wealth of the newer settlements An the interior of the island began to compare favor-
22 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
ably with the shipments of gold and silver from the Spanish colonies on the mainland.
The Casa de Ninios Espositos, or foundling hospital, in Havana, was founded in 1711 by Don Fray Jeronimo de Valdes, and like a similar institution at St. Pierre in the island of Martinique, is only resorted to by the white inhabitants, the presentation of a colored infant being a thing unknown. The first serious rupture between Spain and the colonists, grew out of making the tobacco trade a royal monopoly. This was done in 1717. The people violently resisted this high handed proceeding, and its enforcement was accompanied by sanguinary encounters between the military and the civilians.
British traders took advantage of this state of affairs to introduce a system of successful smuggling, and the war of 1739 bet England and Spain had its
rise in the friction arn' loy encounters that ensued from these conditions-a war which four years later was absorbed in the general European conflict that was terminated in 1748. Smuggling grew apace, and assumed such formidable proportions during the thirteen years of peace that followed, that a system of farming out the revenues from tobacco to private monopolists, was substituted for the odious royal monopoly. The growth of British commercial influence in America, hand in hand with the extension of English colonies, kept the jealousy of Spain and France continually excited, and further trouble was the result. Don Juan de Prado Porto Carrero was governor of the island when an English fleet of forty-four men-of-war and some one hundred and fifty other vessels under Admiral Pocock, carrying an army of fifteen thousand
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 23
men under Lord Albemarle, appeared before Havana. Although the Captain-General had been informed that the English were preparing for an invasion of the island, he did not seriously believe that the invasion would take place, and omitted to take measures for resistance until the hostile fleet appeared and prepared to effect a landing. The chief object of this expedition was, after seizing on the French possessions in the West Indies, to make a descent on Havana, which was justly considered as the principal key to the vast possessions of the Spanish Crown, in the two great divisions of the American Continent; the possession of which would effectually interrupt all coin m unication between the peninsula and the gulf of Mexico, and thereby give the court of the Catholic king a distaste for the alliance with that of St. Cloud. The siege of Havana began June 3d, and the Morro Castle surrendered on July 30th, after a most stubborn defence in which the Governor, Don Luis de Velasco fell mortally wounded in the final assault. His son was afterward created Vizconde del Morro, and to commemorate his name it was ordered that in the Real Armada, there should always be a ship bearing the name of Velasco. The Marquis de Gonzales, the second in command also lost his life in an attempt to rally the garrison.
After the fall of the Morro, the Punta Castle capitulated and negotiations for the surrender of the city were opened, resulting in its occupancy by the British on August 13th. With the capital, there was given up the whole territory annexed to it, extending one hundred and eighty miles to the westward, so that the conquest was considerable, and in the light of subsequent events, the consequences most decisive. Tlie loss to the Spaniards
24 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
in ships of war, merchant ships, money, tobacco and other articles of value amounted to upwards of three millions of dollars, which prize money was equally divided between the military and naval arms of the British service. The treaty of Paris in February, 1763, restored her Cuban colony to Spain, she giving Florida in exchange, to the English. The port of Havana was thrown open to free commerce during the occupancy of the English and as the Spanish government, upon their return, found itself practically unable to restore the old conditions, this occupancy proved to be of perianent importance. It was on the 7th of July that the keys of the city were formally delivered to the Conde de Ricla, who had arrived, accompanied by General O'Reilly, on the 30th of June previous, bringing the powers conferred by the treaty for the restoration of the British conquests in the island of Cuba.
It was during the administration of the first governor that the new fortresses of San Carlos and Atares were errected and the enlargement and rebuilding of the Morro and the Cabasias were begun. The old hospitals were placed on a better footing, new ones were built, a custom house revenue created and the regular troops, as well as the militia of the island, were placed upon a respectable footing. In 1776, Don Antonio Marica Bucarely assumed command. Bucarely paid great attention to the due administration of justice, and was distinguished by the affability of his manners, and the readiness with which he redressed the grievances of the people. When afterward appointed viceroy of New Spain it was announced .to him by command of the King, as an unexampled occurrence, that during the whole period of his administration not a single com-
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 25
plaint against him had reached the court of Madrid. Another of his merits was the gentleness and address with which he effected the expulsion of the Jesuits, who had come to the island with Don Pedro Augustin Morel, and had acquired there large possessions. The church attached to their seminary is that which is now the Cathedral of Havana. On. the promotion of Bucarelv in 1771, the Marquis de le Torre was named his successor, and became onie of the most popular Captains-General who have ever administered the government. He was replaced in 1777 by Don Diego Jos6 Navarro, who introduced great imnprovements in the administration of justice. The base and deteriorated coin which had been previously in circulation, was also called in and abolished in the time of Navarro. In the course of the war which had again broken out between England and Spain, the latter saw an opportunity to revenge herself and prepared an expedition for the recovery of Florida. But the peace of 1783 soon followed. Before Lord Rodney returned to England, Prince William Henry, afterward William IV., who accompanied the admiral, obtained leave to go on shore. He was so delighted with the city of Havana and the entertainments offered him, that he remained there three days and then was only induced to redmbark by the threat that the squadron would sail without him. It was said that a breakfast given the Prince, by Solano, the Spanish General of Marines, cost $4,000. Don Luis de las Casas became Captain-General in 1790 and the period of his administration was a brilliant epoch in the history of the island. To this ruler is due the establishment of the Sociedad Patriotica (P"atriotic Society) and the Casa de Beneficencia-a penitentiary or
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
Magdalen asylum, and seven hospitals, one of them containing a lunatic asylum. Il place of a monument to Las Casas, an inscription was conspicuously engraved in the common hall of the school for boys, declaring that on its erection it had been expressly dedicated to the memory of the founder of the institution, reminding the young pupils that he had not only been the founder of the Casa de Beneficencia, but of the first public library, and the first newspaper which had existed in the island, and of the patriotic and economical society. Las Casas increased the commercial prosperity of the island, by removing, as far as his authority extended, all the trammels imposed upon it by the old system of privilege and restriction. During his term of office, also, large sums were expended in the construction of roads and it was Las Casas, also, who introduced the culture of indigo. The hurricane which desolated the island on the 21st and 22d of June, 1791, afforded Las Casas a fresh opportunity for displaying the great resources of his mind in the promptitude with which he brought relief tothe sufferers. The French revolution having communicated its irresistible impulse to the western parts of San Domingo, the cabinet of Madrid took the alarm, and from Havana and Santiago, Vera Cruz, Carracas, Maracaibo and Porto Rico, collected a force amounting to six thousand men, the object of which was to suppress the insurrection. A sanguinary struggle ensued and the interest of the Spanish government in the island of San Domingo was definitely terminated by the treaty of Basle, soon afterward concluded with the French republic. It was to the energetic measures of Las Casas, at the time of this revolution in San Domingo, that the island of Cuba was in-
THE QtTEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 27
debted for the uninterrupted maintenance of its tran. quility. It was near the close of the reign of Las Casas that the remains of Columbus were transferred from San Domingo and interred in the Cathedral of Havana. On the occasion of his leaving the island in 1796 a formal eulogiuin on his merits as Captain-General was recorded in the archives of Havana, in which were enumerated the great benefits he had conferred upon the community. In this farewell eulogium he was also praised for the very questionable virtue of promoting the general prosperity, by the copious introduction of Bozal negroes from the coast of Africa, which was stated to have greatly extended the cultivation of sugar cane, the bread fruit tree, the cinnamon tree and other exotic plants of inestimable value. It is more easy to sympathize in the praises bestowed upon him for the great hospitality he showed to the unfortunate refugees from San Domingo, and for the exertions he made and the liberality he evinced in the institution of the Patriotic Society, the formation of a public library, and the publication of the Diario. Las Casas, in 1796 was succeeded in the government by the Count de Santa Clara, a man of noble and generous disposition and affable manners. He gave no encouragement however to education, but labored to increase the defences of the island. The redoubt of Santa Clara, among the fortifications of Havana takes its name from him. Upon his resignation in 1799, the Marquis de Someruelos succeeded to the rulership, whose sway continued for a much longer period than the five years to which, by the practice, if not by a formal regulation of the Spanish Government, the term of service of the Captains-General of the colonies was usually limited. The public
28 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
works which serve to commemorate the administration of Someruelos are the old theatre and the public cemetery, the chapel of which was ornamented with a painting in fresco, representing the Resurrection, with the motto ecce nunc in pulvere dormiam." Someruelos was considered stern and severe toward the poorer classes of society, and to reserve all his affability and condescension for the rich, yet on the occasion of the great fire of 1802 which destroyed the populous suburb of Jesus Maria, the Marquis went actually from door to door to petition relief for the sufferers. It was during the rule of Someruelos that the French made a descent upon the island, first threatening Santiago and afterwards landing at Batabano. The invaders consisted chiefly of refugees from San Domingo, but without recurring to actual force, the Captain-General prevailed on them to take their departure by a peaceful offer of the means of transit either to San Domingo or to France. The news of the abduction, by Napoleon, of the royal family of Spain reached Havana by a private opportunity, while the official intelligence arrived on the 17th of July, 1808. The colonial government immediately declared war against Napoleon and on the 20th, King Ferdinand VII., was proclaimed with general applause. The intelligence from Spain and the resolution of the Captain-General, were immediately communicated to all the colonial authorities in Spanish America. The events in the Peninsula soon began to be felt in Havana; but the demands of the French intruders for the recognition of their authority, were disregarded, and the public despatches which came from them were destroyed. The Infanta Dona Carlota made similar pretensions, but these, like those of the
THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES. 29
French were firmly resisted. The foreign trade of the island was reduced to such an extremity by the events of the war, that the authorities began seriously to consider the expediency of throwing the trade open, and admitting foreign supplies on the same terms with those from the Peninsula. In March, 1809, a serious disturbance arose, the object of which was to invite the return of the French to the island, but this popular movement was speedily put down by firmness and resolution on the part of all who had anything to lose, and by the prompt offer of their personal services for its suppression. Tranquility was restored with the loss of only two or three lives, but not without the destruction of a great deal of property. The French settlers in the rural districts were the greatest sufferers. Soon after these events a young man arrived from the United States, of whose proceedings and character, as an emissary of King Joseph, the colonial government had been previously informed. This unfortunate person, Don Manuel Aleman, was not even suffered to land. The Alguazils went on board ; took possession of his papers and his person; a council of war was immediately assembled; but his fate was determined beforehand; and on the following morning, the 13th of July, 1810, he was brought out to the Campo de la Punta, and hanged for his temerity. After this, the island of Cuba enjoyed a degree of tranquility quite remarkable under the circumstances of the sister colonies and this must be ascribed to the political prudence and sagacity of the Marquis de Someruelos. A negro conspiracy broke out in 1812, which excited considerable alarm in the minds of the landed proprietors, but it was summarily put down and the negro leader Aponte and his associ-
30 THE QUEEN OF THE ANTILLES.
ates were treated with unsparing severity. The western districts of the island were visited in 1810, by another of those tremendous hurricanes which sweep away so much life and property in tropical regions. The city of Havana was filled with dismay and consternation; the hopes of an abundant harvest were disappointed; in the harbor, so renowned for its security, the ships of war were driven from their anchors; and no less than sixty merchant vessels were destroyed. The successor of Someruelos was Don Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, afterward Count of Benadito, who arrived on the 14th of April, 1812, and he, for the first time, combined the command of the naval force on the station, with the office of Captain-General of the island. This unprecedented combination arose from the fear of the authors of the constitution of Cadiz, that their work and their representative would not be well received in this aristocratical colony. His first duty on his arrival was to proclaim the new constitution, and although it produced an extraordinary sensation, it was not openly resisted. The success of Apodaca in Cuba led to his promotion to the rank of Viceroy of Mexico; and on the 1st of July, 1816, he was succeeded at Havana by Lieutenant- General Don Jos6 Cienfuegos. This Captain-General made himself exceedingly unpopular at Havana by the severe methods of police he proclaimed and enforced. He caused the streets of Havana to be lighted, but this was only a part of the proceeding to which the citizens objected.. He insisted upon closing up the public thoroughfares immediately after the conclusion of the evening services in the churches, thus from that early hour, confining the inhabitants to their own particular quarter of the city, and giving rise to
THE QUEEN OF TUE ANTILLES. 31
the very disturbances which it was the object of his office to prevent. In August, 1819, he was relieved by the arrival of his successor Don Juan Manuel Cagigal. The following year was another period of trial and difficulty, but Cagigal succeeded by the prudence and delicacy of his conduct in avoiding the evils that arose from the difficult and extraordinary circumstances iii which he found himself placed. He was held in high estimation during his reign, and on the termination of his command, he applied for and received permission to take up his abode in the island; dying in the town of Guanabacoa, a simple but respected citizen.
NICOLAS DE MAIY was sent out in 1821 as the successor to Cajigal. Tumultuous conditions now prevailed in Cuba, owing to disturbances in Spain and the success of revolutions in Spanish-America. The new Captain-General, although of advanced years and of a temperament inclined to liberality, from a mistrust of the consequences, strove to restrain the progress of the liberal movement. His death, occurring in a little more than a year from his accession, cut short his policy of restriction, but his subordinate, Sebastian Kindelan, who retained command until May, 1823, carried it out along the lines indicated by his predecessor and in contravention of the liberal constitution, for in common with Mahy, the efforts of Kindelan were to reunite the military and civil power in the hands of the Captain-General.
The antagonism between the Spanish troops and the local militia, on this account were intense. Secret societies had rapidly taken root in Cuba. Some like the Italian Carbonari, others under the form of Freemasonry, but all were being made the instruments of social reorganization. Adherents of absolutism and the church found themselves opposing the zealous supporters of the liberal constitution. From this time the division of the people into two parties, the Cubans and the Spaniards was clearly defined. In the ranks of the
EARLY HISTORY. 33
Cubans were the moderately liberal members of the community, as well as the more radical, and on the other hand the beneficiaries of former monopolies, including those who were hangers-on of government and church officials were to be found in the Spanish party.
The compact of the Holy Alliance (made in Paris, September, 1815), now found itself impelled in the interest of peace and the stability of existing dynasties, to direct a French army to enter Spain, where these objects were imperiled by the success of a popular movement. The continental provinces had been affording the Captains-General who were governing Spain, a busy time in preventing the colony from following their examples, and the constitution itself was broken down by the events which preceded the Congress at Verona (October, 1822), where its demolition by force of arms was decreed, in the face of a protest from England. The Northern Powers called upon their servant France to do their bidding and Louis XVIII. himself a Bourbon and reigning under a constitution, addressed himself to the task of reestablishing absolutism in Spain. The year 1823, saw the work effectively done and Ferdinand VII. ruled absolutely, and renewed despotism soon made its weight felt in Cuba.
Marshall Francisco Dionisio Vives began in May, 1823, the work of saving Cuba from the danger of a liberal government. In resistance to the new order of things, a secret association known as the Soles de Bolivar" was formed, but the plans of its leaders to establish a Cuban republic were frustrated and the principal spirit, Jose Francisco Lemus and a number of other patriots were arrested and imprisoned. Others preserved their liberty by escaping from the island.
34 EARLY HISTORY.
Restored absolutism having been formally proclaimed in Cuba, one of the projects of the Holy Alliance was now taken up by the King. This was to make an arsenal of Cuba. The intervention of the United States, strengthened by the opposition of England who had proceeded to back up its protest against the operations of the Holy Alliance, by its recognition of the SpanishAmerican republics, frustrated this project. Various uprisings on the part of the Cubans were attempted from 1824 to 1830, but being imperfectly organized, all failed to spread. The bitter antagonisms engendered by these commotions, reached an extreme pitch and even extended to the military. A Congress of American Republics, projected on the basis of President Monroe's declaration of 1823, had been called to meet in Panama in 1826, to confer regarding their mutual interests in view of possible European aggression. This, and the turbulent condition of the island caused the Spaniards to retain there, the troops intended for further operations on the Continent. The first message of President John Quincy Adams, (December, 1825), informed Congress that the invitation to attend the Panama Congress had been accepted and that commissioners would be appointed. But this did not suit the views of the representatives of the slave holding states and while the commissioners were finally appointed, it was with such closely restricted functions that the attitude of the United States deprived the Congress of all influence or result. For the same reason, an invasion of Cuba by Mexico and Colombia, organized by fugitive Cubans in 1826 and which was to have been under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, was not undertaken and Cuba and Porto Rico were abandoned to the un-
EARLY HISTORY* 35
disputed possession of Spain. By royal decree of May 28 the Captain-General of Cuba was empowered to try political prisoners agreeably to the articles of war and was clothed with all the authority of martial law; but neither this nor the repeated failures of former revolutions deterred the Cuban patriots from further move-' menits of a like nature. The secret society of- the "1Black Eagle was organized in Columbia and Mexico by Cuban exiles, to start another revolution in the island, but this movement was rendered abortive from the start by the hostility of the slave holding element in the United States as well as in Cuba itself. The conspirators in this movement were ferreted out with little difficulty, but while the military commissions made short work of their trials, and despite the fact that numbers were condemned to suffer death, the farsighted Captain-General refrained from inflicting the death penalty and in every instance their sentences, were mitigated.
A military expedition against Mexico was undertaken by Vives after the fiasco of. the Congress at Panama. His views were, that an overturn of its government was possible, and in such an event, the recovery of the country for the Spanish crown was not improbable. The landing at Tampico was made in August, 1828, the Spanish force of three thousand five hundred expecting to be augmented by Mexican accessions. These expectations were not realized. Hemmed in by the Mexican forces, what was left of the expedition surrendered their arms, only stipulating that they might be permitted to return to Havana. This was granted, and in March, 1829, Havana saw their return. Vives was the first" of the governors of Cuba to whom~ were
36 EARLY HISTORY.
accorded absolute power, and this was given him in view of the extraordinary conditions prevailing in the island at the time of his accession, notwithstanding the fact that these conditions had changed, and that the government as well, had varied from an absolute to a constitutional form, his successors, up to the present time, have had the same powers continued to them, and all have enacted a despotism, mild or severe, according to their fear or temperament. Many, less wise than Vives, did not use their power with the discretion that marked his administration, but stretched their powers un il ebullitions of popular unrest were brought about. A marked difference between the administration of Vives and that of his immediate successor, Mariano Ricafort, was early observed. The wiser Vives had not permitted the absolute control to pass out of his own hands, but Ricafort permitted it to pass in a large degree to the venal and corrupt officials under him. The death of Ferdinand VII. in 1833 terminated a wretched reign ; Isabella, his infant daughter, was proclaimed queen, and Cristina, her mother, regent; while Carlos and Francisco, brothers of the late king, began what are known as the Carlist Wars. Demanding a constitutional government as a return for their assistance, the Spanish liberals obtained it from the queen regent, and absolutism in Spain was a thing of the past. Not so in Cuba. True, the constitution was proclaimed and elections to the Cortes ordered, but the powers of the Captain-General were not abated, but confirmed. The "period of conspiracies" in Cuba, began with the accession of General Miguel Tacon, who succeeded Ricafort in June, 1834. This was a time when a liberal policy on the part of Spain could have
VIEWS IN AND ABOUT HAVANA.
1. At a Landing Stage. 2. Method of Serving Milk.
3. The Old Cathedral where the Remains of Columbus are Buried.
4 Panoramna of the Prado. 5. Palace of the Captain-General 6 Avenue of Palms
UJ ) Nffl
TACoN TiiFUTRE HAVANA.
EARLY HISTORY. 39
brought about a relaxing of the strained relations that existed between Cuba and herself, but instead they were augmented by the arbitrary policy of Tacon. That he was a despot is not to be denied, yet the prison of Havana is a monument of jat least one good effected by Tacon. It is situated without and near the gate of La Punta, not far from the sea; the fresh breezes play freely through it, and protect its unfortunate inmates from those pestilential fevers arising from crowded and ill-ventilated rooms. It can contain five thousand prisoners and has had one thousand within its walls at one time. It is stated that its erection did not add to the expenses of the city ; that it was built by the labor of the convicts, and with funds, which, before the administration of Tacon, had been dishonestly appropriated by the civil officers, and of which he deprived them. Other benefits were improved streets and paseos, and the sudden check which he put upon murder, robbery and fraud. There are, perhaps, more anecdotes extant regarding Tacon than there are of any other of the Captains-General of Cuba, and all show contradictory phases of the man's nature. His methods becoming unbearable, Spanish public opinion secured his recall in 1838.
In the period that followed Tacon's administration, Cuba progressed in material prosperity, her proximity to the United States and the intercourse between the two countries contributing largely to this result. In 1845 the political agitation which procured the annexation of Texas, led to the wide discussion of a similar fate for Cuba, and a popular movement to that end was indeed started in 1846 during the Mexican War. It was in 1848, with the Mexican conflict concluded, that
40 EARLY HISTORY.
President Polk, through the American Minister at Madrid, proposed negotiations for the purchase of Cuba. The refusal of Spain was decided, and the project fell to the ground, the fall being accelerated by the antislavery sentiment in the United States. The eyes of Cuban patriots had long been fixed upon the United States, however. They had been looking for the cloud no larger than a man's hand." Narciso Lopez and his associates in the abortive conspiracy of 1847 were there in exile, 1849 saw their hopes frustrated by the United States Government, who prevented the Lopez expedition from sailing, but in May of the following year, Lopez succeeded in landing with six hundred men at Cardenas. Reeimbarking, because favorable conditions for the continuance of the uprising were not to be found at this point, the little expedition sailed for Key West, after barely escaping a Spanish war vessel, and there disbanded. Sporadic uprisings were now taking place in the interior of the island and to strengthen and extend them, Lopez got together another expedition, and sailitig from New Orleans, landed near Bahia Honda-some thirty miles west of Havana, August 12th, 1851. The devoted band was met by an overwhelming force of their enemies, and Col. Crittenden, of Kentucky, the second in command, was cut off with one hundred and fifty men, from the main body. After a sanguinary contest these were forced to surrender, and Lopez with the remainder of his forces were scattered in the woods, after the loss of all their ammunition by a tropical storm. All were either killed or taken prisoners; Lopez and fifty of his men were captured and taken to Havana, where the latter were shot, while Lopez was garroted. A concerted
EARLY HISTORY. 41
movement between the patriots on the island and others in the United States, next took place, but after contribution of money had been secured, enlistment of men and equipment of vessels provided for, the United States would not allow the movement to go on, and another failure was added to the long list of similar attempts to free Cuba. General Quitman, of Mississippi, was at the head of this movement in the United States. The Cuban leaders were ferreted out, imprisoned and a number of them were shot. In 1854, the slave-holding portion of the United States were disturbed by reason of a decree of Pezuela, the Captain-General of Cuba, relative to the manumission of slaves of advanced years. The "peculiar institution" was menaced and the situation was heightened by the detention of the steamer "Black Warrior," by the officials of Havana-violation of customhouse regulations being alleged. Then, several American vessels were searched by Spanish cruisers, on the high seas, and American citizens were arrested in Cuba on various formal charges. A war between the United States and Spain was imminent, but was averted by the removal of Captain-General Pezuela. The incident of the Ostend Manifesto was born of this complication, and upon the elevation of James Buchanan, who as American Minister to England had signed this document ; to the Presidency of the United States, the --subject was again revived, only to be obscured by the clouds of civil conflict that were gathering around the United States. Echoes of these happenings reached the Cuban patriots, and each disappointment led to heroic but futile efforts on their part, to free their country from its bondage. Francisco Lersundi succeeded Concha, who in turn had suc-
42 EARLY HISTORY.
ceeded Pezuela. Now Concha was recalled and the intolerable rule of Lersundi ended in 1858. Cuba became fairly quiescent until 1865, although the burden of taxation was increased, and commercial intercourse with Spain and foreign countries greatly restricted. Little could be done in the way of commerce between the island and the United States, as the tariff was practically prohibitory. During the period of the American Civil War the moderate rule of two able and liberal governors held in check the natural excitement attendant upon such a conflict. Spain accorded the rights of belligerency to the Southern States, a month before their first battle with the Northern States was fought, and it required all the tact and discretion of Francisco Serrano and the liberal-minded Domingo Dulce who succeeded him, to allay the irritation in the Northern States, developed by this proceeding. The allied expedition against Mexico in 1861 did not lessen this irritation. With the withdrawal of Spain and England, Napoleon III. was left to continue the plan of conquest and the death of Maximilian in 1867, passed into history. With the close of the Civil War in the United States and the abolition of slavery there, the liberal leaders in Cuba took heart, and. the Spanish Cabinet in power at this time, happening to be liberal, a commission of inquiry was appointed to examine into Cuban affairs. As might have been expected, the commission was a failure. Matters of vital moment such as a constitution in place of an autrocratic Captain-General, the right to petition, the admission of Cubans to public office, unhampered industrial liberty, the transfer of landed property, without restriction, the right of assembly, of association, of representation in the Cortes,
]EARLY HISTORY. 48
local self-government and the freedom of the press, were ignored, and only a few unimportant matters were considered. An additional tax of ten per cent. was added to the direct taxes, however. Lersundi was now in control of the island, and under his malevolent reign the condition of the Cubans was hopeless.
The revolution in Spain which resulted in the expulsion of Isabella II. brought no abatement of burdens to the Cubans. Plans for another insurrection had been considered for some time, and were now matured. At Bayamo, Francisco V. Aguilera, Manuel A. Aguilera and Francisco M. Osorio were the leaders; Carlos M. Cespedes in Manzanillo, Belisario Alvarez in Holguin. Vicente Garcia at Las Tunas, Donato Marmool in Jiguani and Manuel Fernandez in Santiago, were the patriots that formulated the plans for the uprising of 1868, now known as the ten years' war." The insurrection began on the Yara plantation October 10th, by Cespedes and one hundred and forty men, who proclaimed a Cuban republic. These were speedily reinforced from other districts, until upwards of ten thousand poorly armed and equipped men had collected. Proper steps were taken to promulgate a Declaration of Independence, and to frame a constitution. After the repulse of the troops sent against the rebels, operations were mostly along the line of the railway between Nuevitas and Puerto Principe, and this county the insurgents held during the winter of 1868-69. One after another, the important towns of the interior fell into the hands of the Cubans as the result of the guerilla campaign led by Manuel Quesada, and carried on by a force of not over twenty-six thousand men, against an army of one hundred and ten thousand
44 EARLY HISTOBIY,.
Spanish regulars and volunteers. Had it not been for the Spanish fleet, the lone star of Cuba would have floated over the seaports. Dulce was now brought forward again as Captain-General and it was thought by the Spanish Ministry that his good standing with the people would terminate the war. Dulce's offers of consideration of grievances and general amnesty were refused by the Cuban leaders, who now had their eye single upon independence, and in February, 1869, a Polander named Roloff succeeded in driving the
Spanish forces from the district of Las Villas. The Assembly of Cuban representatives that met on April 10th at Guaimaro, elected C(spedes as President, Manuel Quesada as Military Commander and framed a Constitution.
The patriots were in great need of arms and ammunition, despite the successful landing and distribution of the supplies which had been brought by two expeditions from the United States; under Rafael Quesada and Col. Thomas Jordan, formerly of the Confederate army, respectively, yet the Spaniards were beaten in every encounter. The landing of supplies was an "extra hazardous risk" in these days, for the coast was patrolled by a large number of light draft gunboats.
In the fall of 1870, both armies commenced active operations, after having reorganized their forces during the summer months. Yellow fever had decimated the new troops sent out from Spain, while the tone of the insurgent army had improved. The Spanish suffered a severe defeat near Guaimaro on January 1st, 1870, at the hands of Col. Jordan, who was now acting as a general officer, and the hold of the patriots on the eastern portion of the island was strengthened. Mean-
EARLY HISTORY. 45
while, those among the Cuban population who adhered to the Spanish cause, were having matters much their own way in the western part of the island. They were enrolled in battalions of different numbers and their ranks were filled out by arrivals from Spain, especially enlisted for the purpose, and each battalion was commanded by a colonel, often appointed from the aristocratic slave traders. Havana had some twenty thousand of these gentry doing "home duty" in and about the city, and when the war in the field was not conducted according to their ideas, very pronounced forms of insubordination were manifested. If they did not like their officers, they deposed them, and those who were in disgrace to-day, were in favor to-morrow, and many cities including Havana, were virtually at their mercy. From killing and wounding large numbers of people, who were leaving a theatre in Havana after the performance
-it being alleged that the performance was for the benefit of the insurgent cause-in May, 1870, gutting a caf6 and killing a number of people, a little later, during a street parade; they concluded in June of the same year that Captain-General Dulce was not the man for the office, and so sent him back to Spain with much expedition. General Lopez-Pinto, the commander at Matanzas, they also relegated to the mother country and continued to commit untold excesses throughout the country, while the Spanish government meekly submitted to these outrages. Cabellero de Rodas, the successor of Dulce, commended himself to these truculent "home guards" by the shooting of prisoners of war, galore. This official advised the Spanish cabinet that the war was approaching its end, but despite the reinforcements sent him, the Cubans invariably beat him
46 EARLY HISTORY.
in every engagement, so that he resigned after six months of authority. The Count of Balmeseda, who assumed control of the island in December, 1870, was powerless to stop the progress of the patriots, who were especially successful in carrying off material of war, by their incessant guerilla warfare. By September, 1872, Balmeseda was compelled to provisionally relinquish his command to Ceballos, and in 1873 to General Pieltan, definitely. His cruelties had been numerous and brutal enough to canonize him in the minds of his janissaries, if they had been accompanied by successes in the field; but the insurgents had inflicted terrible losses upon the Spaniards by their tactics in beating the smaller and eluding the larger bodies of troops and in various other ways. Repeated efforts on the part of General Pieltan to bring the war to a close by negotiation, were unsuccessful. The Cuban patriots refused to accept peace without independence, and bent all their energies to the conflict, making the campaign of 1873, the climax of the war. They were battling against heavy odds, yet Agramonte, Calixto Garcia and Maximo Gomez gained most important successes in the spring of this year, and during the summer the insurgents not only held the ground they had gained, but occupied additional territory. The "Virginins inci. dent" occurred in this year and for a time it seemed that war between the United States and Spain could hardly be averted. It was on October 31st that a Spanish gunboat captured the steamer Virginius off the island of Jamaica, regarding her as a "filibuster." Although Captain Fry claimed an American register, the number and character of her crew somewhat justified her capture and the steamer was taken to Santiago
EARLY HISTORY. 47
de Cuba and the crew landed on the following day. On the 4th of November, three Cubans and one American were shot; on the 7th Captain Fry and thirty-seven more men were excuted in the same way; and the next day twelve more men met the same fate as their comrades. The survivors, one hundred and two in number, would doubtless have been disposed of in the same way had it not been for the interference of Commander Lorrain of the British sloop-of-war Niobe, who stopped the bloody work; and after much diplomatic action the Virginius and the remainder of her crew were surrendered to the United States steamship Juniata on December 16th. The Virginius started for New York in tow of the Juniata, but foundered off Frying Pan Shoals, December 26th. Before this matter of the Virginius was fully settled, General Jovellar arrived in. the island, to succeed General Pieltan, and soon it could be seen that he was more able and competent to deal with the conditions that confronted him, than any of his predecessors had been. There had been some discord among the Cuban leaders, as well as among their enemies and this was manifested at the congress which met at Bijagual in December, 1873. Cespedes was deposed, and retired to the eastern part of the island, where, at San Lorenzo, a few months later he was surprised and mortally wounded by a detachment of Spanish troops. His death occurred March 22d, 1874. Those who had deposed Cspedes, could not agree upon his successor, and so, Salvador Cisneros, Marquis of Santa Lucia, the presiding officer of the Cuban Congress, became acting President of the Republic. The deposition of Ce'spedes was intensely regretted by a large number of the insurgent leaders, and until mat-
48 tARLY HISTORY.
ters adjusted themselves, much dissension prevailed. The ability of Cespedes was exceptional and his devotion to the cause, secured to him the confidence of his countrymen, in a very large degree. Dissension prevailed likewise among the enemies of the Cubans. Jovellar prepared to put down the rebellion. Every able-bodied man was drafted into the militia, ten per cent. of these levies, were sent into the field for service and the entire island declared to be in a state of siege. But the civilians raised the most angry of protests and the opposition of the home guards was so strong, that, at his own request, Jovellar was recalled and General Concha again appeared as Captain-General. Now the campaign was pushed vigorously, and with troops reinforced by arrivals from Spain, Concha met and defeated a large band of the patriots, but this engagement crippled his own forces so badly, that the campaign was practically fruitless.
For six weary years this war for Cuban independence had dragged along and neither the Cubans nor their foes could look forward to a successful termination of the conflict that had already cost an enormous loss of life, and millions in treasure. Without ships, the Cubans could not drive the Spanish from the island, and the Spaniards were unable to do more than keep the insurgents at a distance. Spain, occupied with the Carlist war could not send reinforcements to the island, and the troops of Concha were being hard pressed by their foes. Hitherto, the western portion of the island had escaped invasion, but now it was seriously threatened, and had not dissension again arisen among the Cuban leaders the Spanish position might have been rendered weaker than it was now and
EARLY IIISTORY. 49
the end of the war might have been reached. So, the Cubans and the Spaniards, both perceptibly weakened, allowed the year to pass, and there was little change in the conditions until the autumn of 1876, when General Martinez Campos arrived in the island, determined to end the war. Campos was a general of distinction and renown, and with him came twenty-five thousand
veterans of the Carlist war, ready for a decisive campaign.
The spring of 1877 found the insurgents pursuing their guefilla warfare; the hot season was at hand and Campos looked to negotiation to end the war, particularly as his troops were suffering terribly from the climate. With Jovellar again occupying the office of Governor-General, Campos devoted his energies to operations in the field, where general exhaustion prevailed on both sides, and where very little fighting was going on.
In 1878, an armistice was agreed upon, and the Cuban leaders met at Camagiey to consider the overtures for peace offered by General Campos. General Vicente Garcia, the successor of Cisneros as President of the Cuban republic, and nine others, were appointed a commission to confer with the Spanish commander, and the meeting was held at Augustin, near Zanjon, in the district of Camagdey. What is known as the peace of Zanjon resulted from this conference, February 10th, 1878. By its terms, the Cubans relinquished their fight for independence ; and the demands of the Cubans at the Commission of Inquiry in 1867, were substantially conceded by Spain-at least, Spain agreed to grant the reforms in question, in a slightly modified form.
50 EARLY HISTORY.
This compact accomplished, Campos returned to Madrid, but Canovas de Castillo resigned his ministry rather than lay before the cabinet, of which he was the head, the plans which Campos had formulated for the purpose of carrying out the reforms he had promised in the name of Spain, and which measures the Cubans had imposed as a condition of laying down their arms. Canovas' resignation was in March, 1879, and immediately a new cabinet was organized by Campos, who dissolved the Cortes and secured a majority representation in the new legislature. But Campos' plans met with only lukewarm support from his colleagues, and soon a split resulted in the new cabinet, Campos resigning and Canovas returning to the ministry, while the promises made at Zanjon were ignored. The final abolition of slavery was one of the results of the ten years' war, this institution becoming extinct in 1887. During the progress of the insurrection, the good offices of the United States government were repeatedly offered for the establishment of peace in the island. President Grant in his messages of 1869 and of 1875 indicated this, and in 1876 a joint intervention of the United States and the European powers, was proposed by President Grant. Nothing came of this however, although the question of recognizing the belligerency of the Cuban republic, several times came before the United States Congress, during the period named. Several of the South American republics, did, however, accord belligerent rights to the insurgents and their independence was recognized by Peru. how Spain kept the promises at Zanjon, has passed into history, and another page in the book of dishonor and treachery has been filled in. In her own handwriting the nations can
EARLY HISTORY. 51
see that Spain's losses in life as registered in the archives at Madrid, were eight thousand officers and more than twenty thousand common soldiers; in
treasure, three hundred million dollars actually expended and as much more by destruction in Cuba. The Cuban losses in men were difficult to obtain, but were probably not less than fifty thousand. During this contest, the most intense bitterness prevailed on both sides. No quarter was given, no prisoners were exchanged; all were slaughtered. The untold horrors of the ten years that preceded the peace of Zanjon, far exceeded those that have been recorded. From that event, to the beginning of the present armed contention between Cuba and Spain, on February 24th, 1895, it may be said that the efforts of patriotic and cultured Cubans to obtain redress from the severity of iniquitous laws, were never relaxed, and that the arbitration of the sword was only invoked when all other measures had been tried and proved absolutely futile.
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ONLY one hundred and thirty miles from the lighthouses and the sands of Florida, lies to the southeast the long irregular crescent of Cuba. With seven hundred and sixty miles for its greatest length and one hundred and thirty-five miles for its greatest breadth, it extends from 740 to 850 of west longitude, and from 190 50' to 230 10' of north latitude. Its convex side turned to the north receives the swell of the mighty Atlantic, broken only by the Bahamas, and to the east across the narrow Windward Passage lies H1ayti, the Hispaniola of Columbus. Jamaica-once San
Jago, the property of England, dots the blue Caribbean to the south, while on the west the finger of Cape Antonio on the island points across the channel of Yucutan to the mainland, with little more than a hunidred miles between. Cuba in common with her sister islands is almost entirely of coral or volcanic formation, and any approach is attended with difficulty and danger, except in the case of the larger harbors. A cordon of coral reefs guard nearly the entire extent of coast, forming many lagoons and expanding into islands of considerable size. One of the fortunate possessions of Cuba is her large number of excellent harbors. That of Havana, guarded by the frowning batteries of the Morro and the Punta is one of the finest in the world. Situated on the northwest coast of the island, its
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position commanding both inlets to the Gulf of Mexico gives it great political importance. The entrance to this magnificent bay is narrow, but the water is deep and there is no bar or other obstruction. Within, a thousand of the largest ships can ride in safety, while vessels of the largest draught can come direct to the, wharves.
Cienfuego3 on the southern coast can boast of more than fifty square miles of safe anchorage. Others of importance on the south are Santiano de Cuba, Manzanillo, Trinidad, Casilda and Guantanamo, with more than equal number on the northern coast including Bahia-Honda, Cabajias, Mariel, Matanzas, Nipe, Cardenas and Baracoa. Something over forty-three thousand square miles is the area of Cuba proper. The Isle of Pines on the southwest contributes some twelve hundred more, as Cuba has jurisdiction over this once celebrated resort and hiding place for pirates. Nearly the whole of the southern and a large portion of the northern coast of Cuba are dotted with small islands and keys, and everywhere the shores are flat and hardly above the level of high water.
The highest point of land on the island is the peak of Tarquino, rising to about eight thousand feet on the southeastern coast. Gran Piedra attains fifty-two hundred feet. Ojo del Toro and Yunque each lift their summits thirty-five hundred feet above the sea level, while an almost isolated mass of which Poterillo is the summit, rises to three thousand feet immediately behind the harbor of Trinidad. Guajibon, near the western extremity of the island is the last of the noted elevations and reaches something more than twenty-five hundred feet. Practically, the entire length of Cuba
54 OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.
is traversed by a mountain range of varying height. One part each of sandstone and of gypsum, not alike however in proportion, and two parts of compact limestone compose the foundation of the western and central portions of the island, and as is usual in this formation, the limestone contains many caverns. To the east of the central section the mountain ranges show secondary formations of syenitic and euphotide rocks united in groups. Petroleum flows out of rents in the serpentine with which the syenite strata is intercalated, and springs of this fluid are found in abundance in the eastern part of the island.
Of necessity the rivers of Cuba are of inconsiderable length. They flow to the north and south, the largest, the Cauto, rising in the Sierra del Cobre and falling into the Bay of Buena Esperanza. Some sixty miles of this river are navigable.
The Sagua ]a Grande and Sagua la Chica are next in importance and enter the Atlantic on the northern coast. Twenty-one miles for the former and a less number for the latter is the extent to which they are navigable. Smaller streams are the North and South Jatibonica, the Cuyaguateje and the Sasa. There is a network of streamlets in the fertile valleys of the islands, and these spread into swamps and marshes as they approach the coast assuming many of the characteristics of the everglades of Florida. A notable instance is the Cienaga de Zapata on the southern coast. A magnificent cascade of nearly three hundred feet is formed by the river Moa in a huge cavern in the hill bearing the same name as the river.
As in other lands on the borders of the tropics, two seasons take the place of the four belonging to the
:- .w 01 All Q"%TdK
. . We 'Ot
RAILWAY BRIDGR OVER THU ALMENDARES RIVER.
i i i
REsIDENCE'019 COUNT Di FURNANDINA, HAVANA.
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temperate zones-the wet and the dry. The former lasts from April to October while the latter stands for the early spring, autumn and winter of more northern latitudes. From 70 to 95' of temperature is the range on the lowlands along the sea ranges. That of Havana averages through the year 770 and the climate of the island is, generally speaking, pleasant and salubrious, the interior, or higher portions enjoying a more temperate atmosphere than the coast lands. The yellow fever which in the hot seasons afflicts the seaports more by reason of lack of proper sanitation than from any other cause, is entirely unknown in the interior,where at elevations of over three hundred feet the thermometer occasionally falls to the freezing point in winter. The prevailing wind is the easterly trade, but cool north winds or "northers" affect the western portions of the island for about forty-eight hours during the months that intervene between October and March.
Hurricanes are not so frequent in Cuba as in San Domingo and other islands of the Archipelago. When they do occur, it is generally between the middle of August and the middle of October. Slight shocks of earthquake are occasionally felt.
The mineral resources of Cuba have never been developed. In the early history of the island, the pursuit of gold and silver seems to have been the great object of the discoverers, and those who more immediately followed them; but though the precious metals undoubtedly exist, the quantity has never been sufficient to repay the search. Some of the early writers such as Anghiera and Herrera, asserted that the island of Cuba was richer in gold than San Domingo; but it may be doubted whether the gold sent from either of the islands
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to Spain during the early part of the sixteenth century was really the fruit of labor and research. It is more likely to have consisted of the accumulated wealth of the aborigines in previous centuries, torn from them by tyranny and rapine at the period of the conquest.
If the alluvial deposits of the island ever contained a sufficient proportion of gold to repay the labor of seeking for it, either that proportion has diminished, or the increasing value of labor has made the search no longer profitable. It is in sand of a granitic quality that the gold dust is usually found; and those parts of the island to which this description applies, are the mouths of the rivers Damusi and Caunado which fall into the bay of Jagua, and in those parts of the rivers Sagua la Grande and Agabama which are nearest to Escambray ; also at the point where the Saramaguacan falls into the bay of Nuevitas, and the rivers Holguin, Bayamo and Nipa in the eastern part of the island. Some specimens of the finest gold have been obtained from the workings of the Agabama and Sagua la Grande ; but at an expense of time and labor which would never remunerate the parties engaged in it, unless through the introduction of modern amalgamating appliances. In 1827, Don Jose Escalante announced the discovery of silver and copper in the lands of Manicarragua, in the jurisdiction of Villa Clara. The analysis of the first excavations by Don Ramon de la Sagra gave great promise of success, affording no less than seven ounces of silver to the quintal of mineral; but these first indications were not followed by corresponding results. The presence of iron in various parts of the island, is beyond doubt. Many portions of the great cordillera,
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called the Sierra Maestra, are undoubtedly crowned with stones of a ferruginous nature; but the difficulty of access, the scarcity of fuel, and the want of capital are more than sufficient to explain why no serious attempt has been made to engage in any extensive mining operations, yet some deposits of high grade iron ore have been worked with some degree of success. The native loadstone has been found in the mountains of Juragua, not far from Santiago de Cuba, and in some of the rising grounds close to the ports of Tanamo and Naranjo on the northeastern coast. The mountains of Santa Espiritu, Villa Clara, San Juan and Trinidad contain not only the precious metals, but a good deal of iron.
A variegated serpentine marble is found at Regla and Guanabacao, as well as in the Sierras of San Juan and Trinidad; and where it occurs, there are indications of magnesia, with occasionally copper and iron pyrites. Specimens of chalcedony have also been found at Guanabacao, said to be superior to that of Hecla. Chalcedony has likewise been procured in the Sierra de Juragua, in the eastern end of the island, in the lower Sierras of, Santo Espiritu, and in the bay of Nuevitas. Mines ofI alum and copperas were at one time worked in the' mountains of Juragua, but were speedily abandoned. Quartz and feldspar slates and schists have been found in various places. The schistose formation shows itself most conspicuously at the base of the mountains of San Juan and Trinidad where great masses of slate are to be found of a dark blue color and of a pyritous and bituminous quality well suited for writing upon. In the quarries near Havana a thick slate is found, fit for floors and pavements; but still better is brought from
60 OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.
the Isle of Pines. Marbles and jaspers of various colors,and susceptible of the highest polish, are also to be found in the Isle of Pines and in various parts of Cuba as well. From. the Cobre copper mines in the eastern part of the island, upwards of fifty tons per day of ore are taken out. The richer part of this output is shipped to Europe, while the poorer part is smelted at the works. These mines are situated about twelve miles from Santiago de Cuba, are of great extent and very rich. Perhaps no better quality of copper ore is found in any portion of the world. Coal of a highly ituminous nature abounds in Cuba. It affords a very strong heat and leaves very little residuum in the form. of ashes or cinders. A mineral bitumen is found in different districts of the island. Sometimes it is in a liquid state, like napthia, issuing from the fissures in the rocks; sometimes soft, like wax or half melted resin, as at Guanabacao and elsewhere, when it is called petroleum. It was doubtless in this state that the first discoverers of the island employed it in. careening their ships; a fact frequently referred to in accounts of the early voyagers.
The jutia or hutia from twelve to eighteen inches in length exclusive of the rat-like tail, is the only peculiar quadruped known in Cuba. It is black in color, feeds on leaves and fruits and lives in the hollows of trees. Its flesh is sometimes eaten, but is insipid to the taste. Of domestic animals the ox, the horse and the pig, are by far the most valuable and form a large proportion of the wealth of the island; there are sheep and goats in inferior numbers and the number of mules increases yearly. There are rabbits, and dogs, and cats are sufficiently numerous. The bloodhound, employed in early times in pursuit of the unfortunate
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aborigines, and later to check the wanderings of the negroes, is not a native of the island, although it usually bears the name of the Cuba bloodhound. The Perro Jibaro is the common domestic dog, who has fled into the mountains. Although at first of various races and colors, when restored to a state of nature, they uniformly become rough in the coat, nearly black in color, ferocious and carnivorous, though not so fierce as the wolf lof Europe, and never turn on man until closely pressed ;in the chase. They live in the forests or in caverns, and, although the constant object of attack, they increase considerably in numbers, doing great damage to the pigs, sheep, goats and other inferior domestic animals. The Gato Jibaro is in like manner the domestic cat, who has fled and become wild, and exceedingly destructive in the poultry yard.
Of domestic fowls, the cocks and hens of Europe are by far the most numerous, and the English game cock is prized for its decided pugnacity. The goose, the turkey, the pigeon and the peacock are also well known, and the parrot and parroquet are easily domesticated. The sylvan birds are numerous and distinguished by the beauty of their plumage. Some two hundred species are known on the island. Birds of prey are not numerous; and in Cuba as in other West Indian islands, the lazy-looking, bald-headed vulture and the turkey buzzard are protected by law and custom on account of the important services they render by their prompt removal of all sorts of carrion and other offal. The shortness of the time required ift consuming a dead ox, or a dead mule, is almost incredible ; although just before it fell, not one of these great, heavy-looking birds was to be seen within the range of the visible horizon,
62 OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.
The reefs and shallows, and the interior sandy beach by which the island is lined throughout the greater part of its circumference, but especially on the side of the old Bahama Channel, the Isle of Pines and the Cayos de Doce Leguas, are particularly favorable for the production of those species of turtle, from which the best quality of tortoise-shell is procured. There are other varieties of the Tortugo which inhabit the mouths of rivers, and the lagoons, both salt and fresh. In deeper waters, the crocodile and the cayman are found; the latter more especially where the water is stagnant. The manati belongs to the deep pools of fresh water, and the iguana, a sort of lizard, to the banks of streams, bays and lagoons. In some places the landcrab is so excessively numerous, as to become troublesome, and even dangerous to travelers on foot or on horseback. For a mile or more at a time the whole surface of the ground will be undermined by them, often producing serious accidents by entrapping the foot of the traveler or that of his horse. In some places the pigs feed on these crabs, to the great injury of their health. The common kind, the cangreja, is about seven inches in diameter, not including the extremities. These crustaceans cross the island from north to south every spring when the rains commence. Oysters are numerous, but of inferior quality, and may frequently be seen hanging like fruit from the branches of the mangrove, a tree which girdles the coast of most of the West India islands.
Snakes and reptiles are not very numerous in Cuba. The maja, twelve or fourteen feet in length, and eighteen or twenty inches in circumference, is generally found in the near neighborhood of country houses and other inhabited places, taking up its lodg-
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ing in the roof, and preying on the poultry. It seldom attacks man, and its flesh and fat are supposed to be medicinal. A smaller snake, the jubo, about six feet in length, is considered more dangerous, and is also more common than the maja. It lives generally on the surface of the ground, among stones and rubbish.
Among the insect tribe, the bee furnishes two important branches of export in its wax and its honey. In the higher grounds, and the cultivated portions of the island, the honey is of a delicious quality, but where the bee feeds upon the flowers of the shrubs and plants of the lower districts, the quality is very inferior. There is another sort of bee, supposed to be indigenous, called the abeja criolla, much lighter in color, and with a sting so short, that it scarcely makes itself felt. It builds its hive in hollow trees in the interior of forests or in clefts of the rock. Both the honey and wax are darker in color than that produced by the common bee, and possess balsamic qualities. The phosphorescent insects are also numerous in the island, and a dozen of the large sort called cocayo, when enclosed in a cage prepared for the purpose, will emit so much light of a brilliant green color, as to enable one to read by it. These insects may be preserved alive for three months or more, provided they are frequently bathed, and their favorite food, a piece of sugar cane stripped of its bark, is renewed at least daily. Among the noxious insects, the nigua, or jigger as it is called in the British islands, is perhaps the most troublesome, and there is a species of ant called the vivijagua which is exceedingly destructive in Cuba, particularly in orchards and coffee plantations. The different members of the mosquito family are an intolerable pest, and the sand-fly, though
64 OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.
scarcely perceptible to the eye, is quite as troublesome as the mosquito. The spider is, though, the most revolting of the whole insect tribe, and its sting is so painful and poisonous as to produce fever. The scorpion is very different from that of Europe in form, and is much less injurious. The centipede is neither so large nor so common as iii many other West Indian islands.
A very large portion of the Island of Cuba is still covered with dense forests, and these are rendered well nigh impassable by a luxuriant growth of tropical plants and vines.
The palm is the regal tree of the island, the queen of the forest. The common species, Palma Real (oreodoxa r-egia) is found in all parts of the island, but more largely in the -western portion. It is intensely and exclusively tropical; it gives no shade, and bears no fruit that is -valued by man; yet it has a strange fascination over the eye and the fancy, that will never allow it to be overlooked or forgotten. It seems to be conscious of its want of usefulness for food or shade, yet it has a dignity of its own, a pride of unmixed blood and royal descent,-the hidalgo of the soil. The -palm not only furnishes by its flowers a fruitful source of nectar to the bee, and by its seeds a favorite food to animals, but its leaves and trunk produce- all the materials requisite to build a modest cottage. It vegetates in all soils on the island, attains a height of fifty to seventy feet, while the trunk, erect and quite smooth, is but one or twvo feet thick. The latter is covered by a perfect coat of minute white lichen, giving it the look of unpolished marble, and is sometimes variegated by patches of red and black Plants of the same species. It ends in a perfectly
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green top six feet long, composed of the footstalks of the leaves, and enclosing the embryo foliage, which when boiled is more delicate than the garden cabbage. Each tree has twenty leaves, one of which is shed about every three weeks, leaving a circle of gum oni the trunk which remains indelible, and by the number of which the age of the tree can be calculated. It bears fruit when it is eighteen years old, and lives about two centuries; the one in the garden of the convent of Santa Clara, within the recollection of its successive inmates, has nearly attained that age. From the extremity of the green portion of the trunk, all the leaf stems spring in a single cluster. They are about fourteen feet long, with stiff, narrow and varnished leaflets in a triple row, two slightly arched and the third erect. The first circle of six stems arch downward, the second of a like number are horizontally arched, and the rest are more or less erect, with their extremities only bent over; while from the centre, a single unopened leaf, like a tall spear, shoots up ten feet high. The whole tree resembles a marble column supporting artificial arches of foliage; and when in flower, is a perfect model of the Corinthian column. There are several other varieties of palms indigenous to the island, among which are the guano de cana, chamerops ; its leaves are preferred for thatching, and Ion it the vanilla parasite, epidondruns, is alone found. The guano de ,yuaraguano ; the guana de costa ; the miraguano, chamerops antillaruni, its leaves are very strong and are used for making serones or sacks for packhorses ; the manaca, the palma jata and the palma epinosa. The cocoanut tree and the African palm are found also everywhere,
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The granadillo, brya abenus, grows in strong soil to the height of twelve feet and is selected for its hardness and beautiful color for walking sticks. The manzanillo, hipomane manzanillo, is found on the seacoasts and low grounds, growing to the height of twenty feet. The fruit which ripens in August, is used to poison dogs. The jucaro bravo prieto, benida, is a favorite wood for building, on account of its hardness and durability. It resembles somewhat the American live oak, and attains the height of forty feet and the diameter of three feet; its fragant flower is eagerly sought after by the bee. The ebano real, dyos piros (ebony) grows over the whole island, and attains the height of sixteen feet and the diameter of one foot; it is blacker than the ebano carbonero, and more sought after. The lignum vitae or guaiac tree is also common in many places. The majagua, hibiscus tiliaceus, is a fine widespreading tree, growing to the height of thirty-five feet and bears dull red flowers. It is remarkable for the strength of its bark, which is stripped into ribbons, and without any other preparation is twisted into thick ropes for wells and ox-carts, being stronger than hemp. There are others remarkable for durability and beauty, but the most remarkable tree in Cuba is the jaguey macho, ficus indica, and it seldom fails to attract the notice of every visitor. It is a parasite at first, and frequently sends from the topmost branches of the giant ceiba, or cotton tree, a small string down to the soil; which, as it approaches the earth, divides into numerous threads, each taking root. When about the thickness of a man's arm, though sometimes twenty feet from the trunk of the ceiba, it sends off a great many horizontal side-suckers or roots
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nearly fifty feet from the ground, all pointing toward the trunk of its foster parent. They at length reach it, encircle it on all sides, and increasing in strength and size, destroy it in their close embrace. The ceiba decays and not a vestige of it is left; while the jaguey, with its multiplied arms and roots soldered at every point into a curiously wrought trunk, and its irregular branches high in air, forms the most hideously-shaped tree of the forest. When once it takes root, no tree can withstand its destructive grasp. It bears a fruit, in May, that is greedily devoured by the bat; and on incision of its bark a resin exudes, which mixed with that of the maboa, is used as bird lime and as a stimulating plaster for the chest. Among other curious trees, is the sand box tree, covered to its smallest branches with a close mail of large conical thorns, and bearing a pod of beans, so shaped that it makes a perfect sand box; the trumpet tree, with a hollow trunk; the mangrove, sending down roots from every branch until it is multiplied into a forest, growing from the sea ; these are but a few of the most curious. Probably the mahogany, the cedar and the ebony are the most valuable, and large quantities of these "woods of value are exported.
Of the fruits of the island, the pine or anana and the orange are placed in the first class. The fig and the strawberry are to be found, although not so common. The nispero, or sapote de la India, is also an excellent fruit. There are, also, the melon of Castile and the sandia, or watermelon, with plantains and bananas in great variety, and the red and yellow mamey apple, while the lemons and sweet limes of the island are found in every thicket. Among the roots used for
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food, the sweet and bitter cassava are perhaps the most important. The sweet root is eaten as a vegetable, and the bitter is converted into bread after its poisonous juice has been extracted. The bread is made in the form of very thin cakes. Of the sweet potato there are various sorts with an equal variety of names. The yam abounds and is considered more nutritive than any of the sweet potatoes. From the sago plant, the flour of that name is produced. Indian corn or maize, is indigenous, and two crops of it are obtained in the year; and before it goes to seed, the leaves are an excellent feed for horses. Rice is also produced in considerable quantities in many districts of the island, particularly along the muddy belt surrounding the coast. The grains are smaller than those of the Carolina rice, but that produced in the island is preferred by the inhabitants. Beans of various sorts are also produced, but the cultivation of wheat has been abandoned. The cultivation of indigo has been repeatedly attempted in Cuba, but never with much success. The cotton plant thrives in many districts but has never received much attention. Cocoa and chocolate are also grown, but sugar, and tobacco are the chief agricultural products of Cuba.
In former years, coffee was one of the leading articles of export, but the growing of coffee has almost ceased under the competition of Brazil and Java. The change from coffee plantations to sugar plantations,-from the cafetal to the ingenio, seriously affected the social, as well as the economic condition of Cuba. Coffee must grow under shade. Consequently the coffee estate was, in the first place, a plantation of trees and by the hundred acres. Economy and taste led the planters, who
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were chiefly the French refugees from San Domingo, to select fruit trees, and trees valuable for their wood, as well as pleasing for their beauty and shade. Under these plantations of trees, grew the coffee plant, an evergreen, and an almost ever-flowering plant, with berries of changing hues, which, twice a year, brought its fruits to maturity.
That the coffee might be tended and gathered,
avenues wide enough for wagons must be carried through the plantations, at frequent intervals. The plantation was, therefore, laid out like a garden, with avenues and footpaths, all under the shade of the finest trees, and the spaces between the avenues were groves of fruit trees and shade trees, under which grew, trimmed down to the height of five or six feet, the coffee plant. The labor of the plantation was in tending, picking, drying, and shelling the coffee, and gatlering the fresh fruits of trees for use and for the market,
*and for preserves and sweetmeats, and in raising vegetables and poultry, and rearing sheep and horned cattle and horses. It was a beautiful and simple horticulture on a very large scale. Time was required to perfect this garden-the Cubans called it paradise-of a cafetal; but when matured, it was a cherished home. It required and admitted of no extraordinary mechanical power, or of the application of steam, or of science beyond the knowledge of soils, of simple culture, and of plants and trees. The disastrous hurricanes of 1843 and 1845, which destroyed many and damaged most of the coffee estates, added to the lack of protection on the part of the government, virtually put an end to the coffee plantations. But the same causes of soil and climate which made Cuba inferior in coffee growing,
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gave her a marked superiority in the cultivation of sugar. The damaged plantations were not restored as coffee estates, but were laid down to the sugar cane; and gradually, first in the western and northern parts, and then extending easterly and southerly over the entire island, exquisite cafetals have been prostrated and dismantled, the groves of shade and fruit trees cut down, the avenues and footpaths ploughed up, and the denuded land laid down to wastes of sugar cane.
Coffee was in habitual use at Constantinople at least a century before a coffee house was heard of in Paris or London. In 1672 at the fair of St. Germain, coffee was first sold publicly ; but it had previously been introduced at the court of his Most Christian Majesty, by Soliman Aga, and soon afterwards an Armenian established in Paris the first coffee house that ever existed in Western Europe. As soon as it became less an article of luxury and fashion than of comfort and necessity, the greatest efforts were made by such of the European powers as possessed colonies within the tropics to carry thither the coffee tree and accustom it to the climate. The Dutch were the first who succeeded. They carried it from Mocha to Batavia, and from Batavia they brought specimens to Amsterdam. The burgomasters of that city, sent a tree as a present to Louis XIV., who caused it to be carefully planted in the hothouses of the Garden of Plants. From thence in 1720 it was transferred to Martinique by M. Declieux, who was the first to introduce it in America. After being naturalized in Martinique, the French planters of San Domingo followed the example; and from San Domingo it was carried to Jamaica, from whence it spread rapidly over the whole of the West Indies.
HAVANA first. San Cristobal de la Havana, if you please, or with the becoming solemnity of formal official documents "La siempre Fidelissuna Cuidad de San Cristobal de la Iabana." An episcopal see as well as the seat of government, with a population of some three hundred thousand souls. The average traveler approaches the city for the first time with ideas of rather a romantic character. There will be grim fortresses guarding a magnificent bay, row upon row of palm trees and a profusion of fruit and flowers surely, and all under a tropical sun.
What he does see after passing the narrow strait, under the batteries of the Morro and the Punta into the harbor of Havana, is a low lying city of white, yellow and blue houses with red tiled roofs, the towers of churches rising above all, and long vistas of regular. lines of green trees losing themselves in the distance. A quaint and novel scene, full of strangeness. Around the walls of Havana cluster memories of haughty Spanish dons, visions of gallant adventurers and explorers, of murderous freebooters and gold-laden ships. Brushing these aside as the steamer threads her way among vessels flying the flags of all nations, until the anchorage is reached, the traveler makes his first acquaintance with the boatmen of Havana and their unique craft, which resemble a small canal boat with
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the top of a market wagon added. If not dazed by the babel of hotel runners, the presence of the custom officials asking for passports, and competitive profanity that would do credit to the mate of a Mississippi steamboat, get yourself and baggage over the side and enter the comfortless boat of a hotel runner and commit yourself to his tender mercies. If you look back upon the harbor you will see that it has the form of the ace of clubs, the entrance being the handle; or of the shamrock, when the stalk would be the handle and the three internal bays, its leaves. The alleys and byways, as they seem to you, through which you pass on first reaching the shore, -are here regarded as streets or even avenues. If you are wise you will walk to the hotel you have selected, gaining in this way strange yet agreeable impressions which will not be marred by the lapse of years. You are now in the land of people "4who never learn and who never forget," and in an hour you will see more ancient things in common use than there are in Cairo. The prevalence of iron barred windows in human habitations will strike you disagreeably. Everywhere it is the same, hotels, stores, dwellingsevery window barred from top to bottom. Do not expect glass in th-ese windows, or a carpet on your room, or a self-respecting mattress, or such a convenience as a latchkey, for they are not here. You are not used to variegated awnings stretched across the streets or the funny names of the funnier stores, as the "1Dehicias de las Darnas (ladies' delight), or "1Palo Gordo (fat stick)
-you are taking your first lessons in Havana life.
Here in Havana there are hotels and hotels. Though very unlike the "1Fifth Avenue or the "1Waldorf," every taste and purse can be satisfied', and o ne soon finds. the
. . . .
RAILWAY STATION,. HAVANA.
FIRST MORNING TRAIN FROM VILLANUEVA STATION, HAVANA*
CUBAN CITIES. 75
early morning chocolate or coffee, the cool salads and fruits of the eleven o'clock breakfast, and the abundant dinners at five or six o'clock, very pleasant and agreeable. One convenience you will certainly miss: there is not a hotel elevator in the city. Perhaps the most lively part of Havana is the Paseo, near the Tacon theatre, where the Hotel Inglaterra fronts the Parque Isabel. There the military band plays every night, and from the balconies of the hotel the views of the entrance to the harbor and of the "Prado" can never be forgotten.
Your first view of a volante will abide with you as well. This is said to be the sole and only Cuban invention and has been described as a "cross between a mule litter and a wheelbarrow run backward," and it has also been said "that there should be societies for its gradual suppression as a horse-killer." Look at this one. A pair of very long, limber shafts, at one end of which is a pair of huge wheels, and at the other end a horse with his tail braided and brought forward and tied to the saddle, an open chaise body resting on the shafts, about one-third of the way from the axle to the horse; and on the horse is a negro, in large postilion boots, long spurs and a bright jacket. Every third man, perhaps more, and not a few women are smoking cigars or cigarritos. There are things moving along, looking like cocks of new mown grass, under way, but presently you see the head of a horse or a mule peering out from under the mass, and a tail is visible at the other end, and feet are picking their slow way over the stones. These are the carriers of green fodder, the fresh-cut stalks and blades of corn, and they supply all the horses and mules in the city with their daily feed, as no hay is used. There are also mules, asses and horses,
76 CUBAN CITIES.
with bananas, plantains, oranges and other fruits in panniers reaching almost to the ground.
From the sea, Havana presents a picturesque appearance; the long lines of shipping and fortifications, with the church towers as well, relieve the effect of the gaily colored houses. Havana within the walls, is the old part of the city, and although the walls are almost entirely demolished, this part is still spoken of in this way to distinguish it from the newer portion lying without. The old city has streets of the narrowest description, while the newer portion has wide thoroughfares, bordered with trees. The houses are for the most part of stone and have flat roofs, as in Spain. The stranger will note the lavish use of white marble and be surprised to learn that it is brought from Genoa, in spite of the fact that the quarries on the island are sufficient to supply the demand. Havana has been described as "a city of noises and smells," and this will be true, as long as there is unsatisfactory drainage and no satisfactory cleaning of the streets. The refuse of the city is placed upon the narrow sidewalks and is removed during the night in a perfunctory sort of way by negroes. Much has been written about the defenses of Havana, and the Spaniards affect to believe them impregnable. El Morro and La Punta guard the entrance to the bay, with the Cabafa on the same side as the Morro, and both to the east. The Castle of Atares at the head of the western arm of the bay, commands both the city and the neighborhood, and the Castillo del Principe, on an eminence to the west, is the terminus of the Paseo Militar. If not a military man, it was formerly easy to obtain permission to visit the interior of the Cabanas fortress, and the view from the outer
CUBAN CITIES. 77
parapet is one of the most varied and pleasing around the city. Far down lies a forest of masts, the tops of which are hardly on a level with the base of the fortress; and just beyond is the populous city, with its 6olid blocks of turretted houses and occupying every space of the level land, and creeping half way up its surrounding hills. Southward, the shores of the little bay can be traced, everywhere studded with villas, its bosom covered by a fleet of vessels from all nations, riding securely at anchor, and the summits of the adjacent heights crowned by forts, protecting yet commanding the city. There are many beautiful drives near Havana, from which fine views may be obtained of the city and harbor. The Bishop's garden is well worth a visit. It was laid out by Juan de Espada, who established the public cemetery, and whose patriotism was so manifest, that it excited the jealousy of the mother country. He was recalled, but the Habaneros could not consent to part with their worthy bishop; and a certificate, asserting that the state of his health required him to remain, and signed by all the physicians of Havana, obtained the desired favor. No city in America has such an avenue as the Paseo de Tacon,, and you are told that like most of the glories of HavanaI it is owing to the energy and genius of the man whose name it bears. It is straight, very wide, with two carriage-ways and two footways, with rows of trees between and at three points has a statue and a fountain. It is nearly three miles in length and reaches from the Campo de Marte, just outside the walls, to the last statue and public garden, on gradually ascending ground, and lined with beautiful villas, and rich gardens full of tropical trees and plants.
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There is no better way to get an idea of the sights of Havana than to hire a carriage by the hour and drive in the early morning. Here is the Plaza de Armas, with its garden of trees and rich, fragrant flowers in full bloom, in front of the governor's palace. It is also adorned with fountains and a colossal statue of Ferdinand VII. At the corner, is the chapel erected over the spot, where, under the auspices of Columbus, mass was first celebrated on the island. We are driven by a gloomy convent, by innumerable shops, by drinking places, billiard rooms and the thick, dead walls of houses, with large windows grated like dungeons, and large gates showing glimpses of interior court yards, sometimes adorned with trees and flowers. A characteristic anecdote is related of an American sailor, who saw several ladies looking out upon the street through their grated parlor windows. Supposing them to be prisoners, and sympathizing with their forlorn condition, he told them to keep up a good heart,-aud then, after observing that he had been in limbo himself, he threw them a dollar, to the great amusement of the spectators, who understood the position of the inmates. Horses and carriages and gentlemen and ladies and servants, all seem to use the same entrance. There is one curious custom in Havana. In the chief room, rows of chairs are placed, facing each other and always running at right angles with the street wall of the house. As you pass along the street you look up this row of chairs-for the windows come to the ground-and in these the family and the visitors take their seats in formal order. You are thus privileged to inspect all the front parlors of Havana and can note each lady's toilet and see who is visiting her. There are no dis-
CUBAN CITIES. 79
tinctive costumes among the men. No Spanish hats, or Spanish cloaks, or bright jackets, or waistcoats, or open, slashed trousers, that are so picturesque in other Spanish countries; their dress would excite no particular comment in Paris, or London, or New York. We drive through the Puerta de Monserrate, a heavy gateway of the prevailing yellow or tawny color, where soldiers are on guard, across the moat, out upon the Paseo Isabel and are now without the walls. This PIaseo is a grand avenue runniig across the city from sea to bay, with two carriage drives abreast, and two walls for foot passengers, and all lined with trees in full foliage. Here we catch a glimpse of the Morro, and there of Presidio and here we are at the Tacon theatre. The evening is the busiest season for the shops and much of the business of shopping is done after the gas is lighted. Volantes and victorias are driving to and fro, and stopping at the shop doors, and attendants take their goods to the doors of the carriages. Billiard rooms and cafrs are filled, and the evening is the principal time for walking and for paying calls. The Cubans have a taste for grandiloquent or pretty names. They name the shops after the sun, moon and stars; after gods and goddesses, demigods and heroes; after fruits and flowers, gems and precious stones; after favorite names of women, with pretty, fanciful additions; and after all alluring qualities, all delights of the senses and all pleasing affections of the mind. The wards of jails and hospitals are each known by some religious or patriotic designation; and twelve guns in the Morro are named for the twelve apostles. Every town has the name of an apostle or saint, or of some sacred subject. The Fish Market is an object of
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no little interest in Havana, not only for the rich variety of beautiful fishes that usually decorate its long marble table, but for the place itself and its history. It was built during the administration of General Tacon, by a Mr. Marti, who, for a service rendered the government in detecting a gang of smugglers, with whom it was at least suspected that he was too well ac, quainted, was permitted to monopolize the sale of fish in the city for twenty years. Having the prices at his own control, he made an exceedingly profitable busi, ness out of it, and became one of the rich men of the island. He was also the proprietor of the Tacon theatre, which is one of the largest in the world, and which also had a twenty years' monopoly, without competition from any rival establishment. The Fish Market is one hundred and fifty feet in length, with one marble table extending from end to end, the roof supported by a series of arches resting upon plain pillars. It is open on one side to the street, and on the other to the harbor. It is consequently well ventilated and airy. It is probably the neatest and most inviting establishment of the kind in any country, and all visitors to Havana should pay their respects to it.
" No traveler, except for some special or overruling reason, leaves, willingly, Havana"; so wrote N. P Willis, and the visitor to the capital city of Cuba, will in a majority of instances, agree that this is true. While Havana is not Cuba in the sense that Paris is France," yet all the customs and manners of the island are reflected there. Whether one drives or walks, he is sure to find along such streets as Ricla, lined with handsome stores; up Mercaderes street, with its offices and warehouses; along O'Reilly street, which extends
CUBAN CITIES. 81
along side the Governor's palace to the walls of the city, something new, novel, inspiriting and instructive. So it is as well with Obispo street, the Calzada de Gatians," the Calzada del Corro," the Avenue of Palms and other celebrated thoroughfares. One of the most beautiful villas in the vicinity of Havana is that of the Count de la Fernandina on the Paseo d& Tacon.
The number of Irish families who have taken rank in the Spanish service and become connected with Cuba, is rather remarkable. Beside O'Reilly, there are O'Donnel, OFarrel, and O'Lawlor, descendants of Irishmen who entered the Spanish service after the battle of the Boyne. When you come to leave Havana, you find that the strange and picturesque character of the city has interested you more than you think, and regret the inevitable feeling that you can never relate the tenth part of what you have seen and heard.
We will go to Matanzas, and by rail. There are two roads, the longer one leaving from the station at Villa Nueva, outside the walls, and the shorter from Regla, which is reached by ferry from the foot of Luz street, Havana. Either route is beautiful. Matanzas is
situated on the northern shore, about sixty miles east of Havana. It commands the resources of a rich and extensive valley, and its exports of sugar and molasses are very large. The bay of Matanzas is deep and broad, and is defended by the Castle of San Severino. The harbor at the head of this bay is curiously protected agaist the swell of the sea, by a ledge of rocks extending nearly across it, leaving a narrow channel on each side for the admission of vessels. The city is built upon a low point of land, between two small
82 CUBAN CITIES.
rivers-San Juan and Yumurri-from which so heavy a deposit of mud has been made as to materially lessen the capacity of the harbor. The anchorage ground is consequently about half a mile from the shore and cargoes are lightered. Matanzas is the second city in importance, and occupies the site of an Indian village, known to the early discoverers. It has a fine public square-Plaza de Armas,-churches, and the finest theatre on the island. Near Matanzas are the celebrated "Caves of Bellamar," which can be reached by a pleasant drive of an hour. Matauzas has quite a Venetian look from some points, and altogether gives one a pleasing impression of beautifully built houses, with plenty of colored tiles, in luxurious gardens, and across the bay the hills that overtop the valley of Yumurri, beautiful beyond description. ,
Cardenas is a comparatively new place and is sometimes called the American City, with some twenty-two thousand inhabitants. It is finely situated at the head of a beautiful bay, fifty miles eastward of Matanzas. This bay was once a famous resort for pirates, xvho, secure from observation or winhed at by the well-fed officials, brought in the vessels they had seized, drove them ashore on the rocks and then claimed their cargoes as wreckers, the murdered crew not being able to claim even a salvage for their rightful owners. In the exhibition of scenes like this, the bay of Cardenas was not alone, or singular. Many an overhanging cliff and dark inlet of that blood stained shore could tell a similar tale. Cardenas is the shipping point for a fine sugar growing district, is well laid out with churches, caf~s, and numbers of finely built wharves.
What is regarded as the finest sugar plantation on
CUBAN CITIES. 83
the island--the "Flor de Cuba," is situated in the vicinity of Cardenas.
Sagua la Grande is what might be called a large town, of nineteen thousand inhabitants. It is situated oi the river of the same name and has railroad communication with Villa Clara farther in the interior, and with Cienfuegos on the southern coast.
Villa Clara is a very old town, its founding dating back to 1689. Probably it now has a population of fifteen thousand souls. Wealth is abundant in this city and the women are celebrated for their great beauty.
Cienfuegos, on the beautiful bay of Jaqua, on the southern coast, has, like Cardeiias, numbers of American merchants. Its beauty is enhanced by the majestic hills that encircle it, and it presents the appearance of a regularly laid out city. The public square is perhaps the largest in the island and is adorned with fine statues. The Commandante of the district resides here, and there is one really fine old church. From Cienfuegos one nay go by fine lines of steamers to Bata. bano, taking the Isle of Pines on the way, or westward to Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, etc. Trinidad is a rambling sort of a town, about six miles distant from the sea. The little village of Casilda is the port, and lighterage is employed in handling cargoes.
Trinidad is one of the oldest towns on the island, being settled in 1513 by Diego Velasquez. In common with other Cuban settlements, it suffered much at the hands of pirates in its early days, and the bay of Casilda witnessed the battle between the Spaniards and English, in which, after three days' fighting, the English were obliged to withdraw. Well built storehouses are characteristic of Trinidad, but the streets are crooked and
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narrow. Some private edifices are really magnificent, and the public square, called the Plaza de Serrano, is well laid out.
Around the Plaza de Carillo, which is very nearly the centre of the town, is a broad stone paseo, and inside there is beautiful shrubbery, vines and a graceful arbor; with a profusion of gas jets at night. The views and drives around Trinidad are superb, particularly the drive to the Loma del Puerto." In the winter, Trinidad is particularly gay and at any time has a wonderful charm for the visitor. The gardens of the Queen-" Jardines de la Reina "-are clusters of small islands, some sixteen hours' steaming from Trinidad. These keys-for they are not much more, were named by Columbus, on his first voyage, and present a most agreeable appearance as the steamer threads her way between their alternately wooded and barren shores.
Santa Cruz is the next stopping place, and Puerto Principe, in the interior of the island, can only be reached from this side of the island, at this point. There is little in Santa Cruz to attract the traveler.
And now here is Manzanillo, on the bay of Guacanayabo, an old town, settled in 1790, and one that in the early years suffered much from the buccaneers who plied their nefarious calling in these waters. Very much of the celebrated "Yara" tobacco is shipped from here, and there are sponge and turtle fisheries to the westward. Manzanillo has thirteen thousand or more people to promenade in the beautiful Plaza de Armas, but there is little here to delay the traveler, and now we must steam westward for awhile in order to round the Cape of the Cross, the extreme southern ex-
CtJBAN CITIES. 85
tremity of Cuba. Some of the highest peaks in the island are in the "Sierra Maestra," and here are as grand views of mountain scenery as are to be found in the United States.
Santiago de Cuba is another of the Cuban cities founded by Diego Velasquez, on his first voyage, in 1515, and the waters of its bay saw Juan de Grijalva sail for Yucatan and Panfilo de Narvaez for Florida, aind witnessed the arrival of the first Bishop of the island, Fr. Miguel Ramirez de Salamanca, as well as that of Hernando de Soto on the occasion of his assuming the command of the island. The French captured the city in 1553, and at times, the attacks of pirates nearly depopulated the city. It is now defended by the Morro Castle, the batteries of Aguadores and Estrella and the Cabanas. Santiago has suffered severely from earthquakes, and to this day the inhabitants rush into the streets and fall upon their knees at the first sound of the "terre moto." The year 1608 saw the cathedral ruined by an earthquake and in 1766, more than one hundred persons were killed and a large portion of the city destroyed by another seismic disturbance. Hernando de Soto was the first "alcade" (mayor) of the city and report has it, that the remains of Velasquez were buried in the old cathedral. The streets of Santiago de Cuba are regularly laid out, and the stone houses are well built. Some of the streets are very steep, climbing to the top of the hill, where the plain called Campo del Marte commands superb views of the bay and the mountain ranges. The grand cathedral is on the eastern side of the "Plaza de la Reina," (Square of the Quieen) in the centre of the city, and is the largest cathedral in the island. It has suf-
86 CUB3AN CITIES.
fered from earthquakes, but is in fairly good repair. The effect of the interior is best in the evening, when the fading sunlight falls along the main aisle. The altar and choir are very imposing and the chapels are elegantly decorated. The large iron cannon, repeatedly captured in a war in San Domingo, rests in a niche below the cathedral. "Paseo de Concha" is a beautiful drive, and it is very fashionable to be seen there on Sunday afternoons. The aqueduct "El Paso de la Virgen" supplies the city with an abundance of water. if you take the steamer for a trip around the eastern end of the island, you pass the beautiful bay of Guantanomo, one of the finest harbors on the coast. Cape Maisi will try your abilities for staying on deck during the rough seas that are often found there and Baracoa will be reached in about sixteen hours.
Baracoa has certainly very little to recommend it aside from the fact that it is the first settlement made on the island of Cuba. Columbus, however, wrote of it "the multitude of palm trees of various forms, the highest and most beautiful I have ever met with, and an infinity of other great and green trees; the birds in rich plumage, and the verdure of the fields, render this country, most Serene Princes, of such marvelous beauty, that it surpasses all others in charms and graces, as the day does the night in lustre. I have been so overwhelmed at the sight of so much beauty that I have not known how to relate it."
These words may be applied to many other points in this beautiful island where nature seems to have run riot.
It was Diego Velasquez again, who settled this town, and the name he gave it was "Nuestra Seniora
CUBAN CITIES. 87
de la Asuncion" (our Lady of the Assumption). This place was once the capital city of Cuba, a bishopric, and the residence of the governor of the island, but is now merely a shipping point for pineapples, bananas, cocoanuts and such products; with a population of about three thousand inhabitants.
The town of Holguin in the interior is connected b-y road, with the coast, at Jibara, which is a new port by comparison with those we have seen. Here is a beautiful and. roomy bay, but without sufficient depth of water to allow vessels to reach the wharves; so, as in so many other ports on the island, lighters are employed to load and unload the craft that visit Jibara in large numbers. There is a toy fort, which is supposed to guard the harbor, and the surroundings are a paradise for a lazy man.
The town of Nuevitas is small and unpretending, but the bay is superb and the second in extent of Cuba's beautiful harbors. It is land-locked and reached by a narrow strait four or five miles in length, and while the water is not deep, it is deliciously inviting by its clearness. The name of Puerto Principe was given to this lovely spot, by Columbus, on November 14th, 1492. Anchoring here, the great captain erected! a cross as a visible sign of possession, and for a number! of days afterwards explored the beautiful islands in the vicinity, to which he gave the name of El Jardin del Rey" (the King's Gardens). The original name of the town was Santa Maria, but no permanent settlement was effected, until 1513, when on his memorable voyage, Diego Velasquez planted the colony there, that was afterwards removed to the Indian village of Caonao, and a little later to Camaguey in the interior, now known as Puerto Principe. The present name of thc
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town, in full, is San Fernando de Nuevitas, and as such, its date is modern, only going back to 1819, when it became the port of entry for Puerto Principe, fortyfive miles distant. The exports from this place are sugar, molasses and hides, and sponge and turtle fish. series are carried on by an aquatic tribe, who live in houses built on poles, and directly over the water.
A stranger in Puerto Principe will receive the impression that he is in some forgotten land, at least one hundred years behind the age. The heart of the grazing country is around this quaint town of "Santa Maria del Puerto Principe," and much of the importance of the town is derived from this fact. The forty thousand people that comprise the population, are hospitable to a degree-a fortunate circumstance for the stranger, especially if lie has letters of introduction-for there are no hotels, but the streets are narrow and crooked and without sidewalks. There are several old churches as quaint and as queer as the town itself, a theatre, and the public buildings are rather above the average in Cuban towns.
The western part of the island contains the town of Batabano, Guanajay, San Christobal and Pinar Del Rio, all of which will afford the tourist many and pleasant and abiding memories, and in whatever direction he may travel, by rail, by steam, by volante or on horseback, he will find more of color, fascination and interest, than in any other land, unless it be Spain itself. The country is strange and beautiful, and the habits of the Cubans novel and striking.
SIGHTS AND SCENES.
SAN DIEGO is the Saratoga of the tropics, and the wonderful curative properties of its springs are known throughout the length and breadth of Cuba. These marvelous baths are on the left bank of the Caiguanabo river in the Vuelta Abajo. To reach this healing spot, one must leave Havana early in the morning of Thursdays by the railroad to Batabano, changing cars at San Felipe-and upon arrival take the steamer which connects with the train for Dayaniguas, reaching there the next morning. Early on this day (Friday), under escort of a detachment of the mounted Guardia Civil the trains of carriages leave for San Diego, which is reached at half past nine o'clock, having stopped for breakfast and change of horses at Paso Real. The story of the discovery of these waters,and the founding of the village, is, that a slave named Domingo being attacked with leprosy was compelled to live apart from any habitation in a hut built for him in the mountains. Prohibited from approaching anyone, the negro tired of his solitary life, and went roaming about in search of adventures. lie finally made his abode in a cave and subsisted on wild fruits and roots. One day while bathing to obtain some relief from the pain of his disease, he discovered that the water of the pool was warm and peculiar. Continuing these baths for a long time, his disease left him, and in good health he returned to the
90 SIGHTS AI4D SCENES.
house of his master, claiming that a miracle had been wrought upon him by St. Diego. It is pleasant to learn that he ended his days near his master in the full possession of freedom. Soon the news spread anld all sorts and conditions of people hastened to try the miraculous waters. From the first simple huts of palm leaves has grown a considerable town of handsome houses, a church and numerous hotels. Some two
thousand visitors reside there during the gay season. Here is a fine opportunity for a stranger to study the etiquette and manners of the best people of Cuba and Havana. The government has assisted in building up the town, and the dyke that has been constructed to keep the waters of the river from the springs, is really a skilful piece of engineering. These springs are four in number and are known as the "Tigre," the "Templado," the "Paila," and the "Santa Lucia." These springs have an average temperature of about ninety degrees and emit a great quantity of sulphuric acid gas. All are enclosed under one roof and the tanks and swimming pools are well appointed. In the neighborhood of San Diego are the "Arcos de Caiguanabo" caves formed by the passage of the San Diego River through a peculiar natural formation of rocks. The journey to these caves is generally made on horseback and amid wild and picturesque scenes, and these concrete petrifactions, the "doors," as they are sometimes called, are well worth a visit, although inferior to those of Bellamar near Matanzas.
The famous sanctuary of Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre is to the pious Cuban what Mecca is to the Turk, what Rome is to the Italian. It is the resort of pilgrims who make offerings or pay vows made in
ST. FRANCIS WHARF) HAVANA.
COJIMAR, A PLEASURE RESORT NEAR HAVANA.
SIGHTS AND SCENES. 93
some season of sorrow or calamity. ,The little village is about twelve miles from the city of Santiago de Cuba, at the base of the Cobre (copper) mountains on the southeastern coast of the island. An old church far up the mountain side was the home of the miraculo us image of the Virgin until the number of successful miracles it wrought and the accumulated wealth from the grateful offerings became so great, that the society of priests who had it in charge determined to build a temple that would be a worthy resting place for lat sanctissimct Virgin. The legend which is always told in reverent language is in effect that two Indians and a Creole saw from their canoe while in the Bay of Nisse, a white body floating in the water. Reaching it, they found up~on a board an image of the "1Sainted Virgin Mary" fifteen inches in height, with her precious child, of proportionate size, on her left arm, and a golden cross in her right hand. On the board was an inscription in large letters, "I am the Virgin of Charity." These good men bore the precious prize to the fold of Verajagna, where under a shelter of palm leaves the miraculous image received proper veneration. It was later transferred to the church of Cobre and finally a temple was erected for its special use. On the principal feast day, the image is arranged on a portable throne handsomely ornamented with gold, silver, ivory and tortoise shell, enclosed in a glass case around which twelve angels are arranged, with burning tapers in their hands. A sort of blue veil depends from the roof upon this precious throne and on it are hung the innumerable votive offerings. TJwo or three times a month one can go by steamer from Santiago de Cuba to Havana, passing entirely around the eastern end of the island and
94 SIGHTS AND SCENES.
so double Cape Maisi, the most easterly point of the island, which was considered by Columbus to be the eastern extremity of Asia.
The "Caves of Bellamar" are to the southeast of the city of Matanzas, and every visitor to Cuba should see them. The "Gothic Temple," though not equal in size to its namesake in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, is infinitely its superior in richness and splendor. The effect, however, would be much more magnificent if an additional number of lanterns were employed in producing the wonderful play of color from myriads of crystals and columns. "Columbus' Mantle" is shown and there are "altars without number. Then there is the Cloak of the Virgin and the "Fountain of Snow," all lovely and striking objects. The usual time spent in exploring these wonderful caves is about three hours, and the safety of the visitor is heightened by the enterprise of the proprietor, who has provided plank walks, iron railings and strong bridges wherever necessary. The Mammoth Cave is grand and solemn; here all is light and fantastic. If one were ever peopled with gnomes and demons, surely this other must have witnessed the revels of fairies and sprites, dancing to dreamy music amid wondrous coloring. Some three miles have been explored, and it is the intention of the proprietor to illuminate it with gas, eventually. Some portions now are lighted in that way.
By all means visit an "ingenio," or sugar estate, and if without letters of introduction to the administrator, make the acquaintance of the engineer, who, being generally an American or Englishman, will be pleased to see strangers, and to provide them a guide, if he is unable to do the honors of the place himself. Thousands of acres