*- *'. .* -
"~ ``.;~ C: 4
LAJIBS ON TLEZ PAfQUE DE ISABEL II.
THE STRANGER IN THE TROPICS:
HAND-BOOK FOR HAVANA
(unie ook for Crabklers
CUBA, PUERTO RICO AND ST. THOMAS.
'liteseptions of the Vqincipal (bjctts of IntreAst,
SUGGESTIONS TO INVALIDS,
( By a Physician.)
HINTS FOR TOURS
AND GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR TRAVELLERS.
ILL USTRA TED.
AMERICAN NEWS COMPANY,
No. 119 & 121 NASSAU STREET.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by
C. D. TYNG,
-In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.
E. 0. JENKINS, PRINTER AND STEREOTYPER,
20 NORTH WILLIAM STREET
THE writer of this volume having long experienced the
want of a compact and ready book of reference for the use
of visitors at Havana, and travelers in the island of Cuba,
was induced, partly for his own amusement and partly to
assist his friends during their sojourn in the Gem of the
Antilles," to make copious notes of all he thought worthy
of observation, and of the best mode of visiting Cuba
and seeing it to advantage. In the course of a long resi-
dence in Havana, and repeated journeys in various parts
of the Island, he has not only traversed beaten routes,
but become acquainted with and visited many objects
of interest to which his countrymen rarely penetrate.
Thus his materials have largely accumulated, and in the
hope that they may prove of as much service to the public
generally as, he is assured, they already have to private
friends, he is now induced to put them forth in a printed
form. In the process of compilation, what was at first
intended to be a small and handy volume, has become a
not inconsiderable book. Yet many short-comings will
be encountered by readers, and doubtless some errors,
notwithstanding the care taken to avoid them.
For both sins of omission and commission, he craves
the kind indulgence of the reader. Should the work
prove acceptable to the public, these will be corrected in
a future issue, as far as they are brought to his knowledge;
and the writer will thankfully receive, through the pub-
lishers, any corrections of errors, or suggestions for future
To several personal friends thanks are due, and are grate-
fully tendered, for much valuable information and service;
and he here desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to
many writers whose works he has had occasion to consult,
and from some of which he has extracted freely.
Among these, acknowledgments are due to Las Casas,
Herrera, Bernal Diaz, Solis, El Inca Garcilaso, Arrate, Hum-
boldt, Sagra, Flitner, Wurdiman, La Torre, Pezuela, Knox,
Willis, Guiteras, Aenlle, and the Memorias de la Sociedad
Economic de la Habana."
NEW YORK, January 1, 1868.
PREFACE ........................ .............. 3
CONTENTS ...................... ................ 5
ATTrAcTIoxs oP TH TmnP.-What a Trip to the Tropics is-
Benefit of the Sea Voyage to Invalids Best Months the Holiday
Season Carnival -Where the Travel Goes Cost of a Trip
from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans. PBrPA-
RATIONS FOe THE TaoPIcs.- Hints to Travelers Clothing -
Letters of Credit- of Introduction- Arms Tea -Medicines -
Books News from Home Passport Embarking. CONSuLA
OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES.-Cuba- Puerto Rico- Hayti
and St. Domingo-Danish, British, French, Dutch and Swedish
W est Indies.................... ......... .................. 18
SUGGEsTIONS TO INVALIDS. By a Physician.-Climate of Cuba for
Pulmonary Disease- Stay in Havana- Where to Pass the Early
Winter Effect of Mineral Waters of Travel Expense Exer-
cise-The Disease and its Complications......................... S
2. HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
Voyage of Columbus -The Ciboneys -Embassy to the Interior-
Tobacco Name of the Island Early Events Anecdote of
Hatuey Settlements Eipeditions to the Continent Cortes -
De Soto Capture of Havana by the British The Effect Return
to Spain Events in Neighboring Countries Results to Cuba -
Lopez and Crittenden Population-Government Climate and
Diseases ............... ........... ..... ... ............ 82
3. LANDING IN HAVANA.
THE APPROACH TO THE CITY.-First Land made-Aspect of Ha-
vana-Scenes at the Entrance -The Harbor- Anchoring--
Landing-Hints to Travelers- Landing Permit- Construction
of the Dwellings--The West End -Streets -Defense against
Mud- Street Sellers -Offices and Stores. THING PACULAR TO
THE COUNTRY.-Fruit-Riding and Walking- Bathing- Per-
sonal Intercourse Etiquette in Smoking Cocullo, or Fire-fly -
The Cuban Horse- African Dances........................... 53
4. LIVING IN HAVANA.
Hotels Manner of Living Boarding Houses Lodgings Span-
ish Board-- Restaurants Breakfast Carte Dinner Carte Gov-
ernment Offices Passport Bureau Custom-house -Police Re-
gulations- Foreign Consuls. CuRBENCY Ix CUBA.-Hints about
Money- Gold Coins -Silver Coins Post-office -How to ind
Letters Mails City Delivery Postage Local Views for Let-
ters- Telegraphs Military Guards Night Watch- Express--
Baths--Sea Baths -Mineral Baths -Interpreters -Servants -
The Volante- Victoria- Hack Prices -Better Vehicles- Har-
ber Boats................. ....... ........... ...... ..
5. RECREATION IN HAVANA.
Plaza de Armas Templete Parque de Isabel II. The Retreta -
Campo Marte--Paseo de Tacon-Paseo de O'Donnel -Paseo de
Roncali Cortina de Valdez Muelle de Caballeria Confection-
cries Amusements in Havana Tacon Theatre and Opera Vil-
lanueva Theatre Liceo Circo Carnival -Bull Fight Cock-
pits ............................................................ 87
6. OBJECTS OF INTEREST IN HAVANA.
Remains of Columbus -Removal from St. Domingo-Arrival at
Havana Ceremonies of Reception The Tomb Inscription -
Cathedral Parish Churches Christmas Holidays Epiphany -
Holy Week Religious Festivals Court Receptions Public
Library Phenomena Markets The Fortifications -Arsenal -
Prison-Hospitals-Orphan Asylum .......................... 102
7. SHOPS AND THEIR CONTENTS.
SHOPPING IN HAVANA.-Customs with Ladies Shopping at Home
The Shops Spanish vara -What Goods can be Bought -
Ornaments and Presents-Clothing. HAVANA SEGARs.-Discov-
ery of Tobacco Origin of the Name -Vuelta Abajo Classes of
Tobacco Of Segars Changes of Flavor- What improves it -
Visit to the Factories How to Buy -U. S. Law of Importation -
How to Ship Cigarillos La Honradez. THE ROYAL LOTTRY.-
Plan and Scheme Prizes Tickets Drawings Payments -
Lost Tickets .................. ........................... 118
8. THE PICTURESQUE, PLEASING AND HEALTHFUL.
VICINITY or HAVANA.-The Cerro- Villas Gardens -Puentes
Grandes-Marianao -Jesus del Monte Guanabacoa-Regla -
The Almacenes Chorrera -Heights of Casa Blanca. SUGAB
PLANTATIONs.-Introduction of Sugar-cane The Season Grind-
ing and Manufacture Sugar How to Visit a Plantation What
to See. COPIEE PLANTATIONS.-Migrations of the Coffee-tree--
The Tree and Berries- Cultivation and Curing--When and how
to Visit a Plantation. MINERAL WATERs.-Watering Places in
Cuba San Diego Madruga Guanabacoa Isle of Pines...... 129
9. HOW TO LEAVE HAVANA.
THE PASSPORT REQUISITEs.-To Leave Cuba- To Travel in Cuba -
Office Hours Taking Passage by Steamship. OCEAN STEAMSHIP
LINES.-For the United States Europe Mexico St. Thomas-
Caribbean Sea. COASTING STEAiSHIP LuIs.-North Coast East
North Coast West South Coast East South Coast West To
the Isle of Pines.............. .............. ......... ....... 146
10.' HISTORICAL SKETCH OF HAVANA.
City Founded on South Coast Early Settlers at Havana Cort6s at
the Old City Transfer Burnt by Pirates Hernando de Soto -
La Fuerza Isabel de Bobadilla City again Burnt by Pirates -
Sir James Drake The Morro Walls Navy Yard British Ex-
pedition Siege by the British- Defense- Fire in the Works -
Fall of the Morro Surrender of the City Booty Occupation
by the British Its Results Restoration to Spain The Cabafna
Tobacco Monopoly Open Trade Increase of Population -
Aqueduct- Suppression of Monasteries -Railroad Construction
Havana Railroad Bay of Havana and Matanzas Railroad -Ha- /
vana Western Railroad ............. ......... ................ 156
11. A GUIDE BOOK FOR TRAVELERS.
Travel in Cuba -Hints for Tourists First Tour- Second Tour-
Inluence of Climate Hints to Invalids Baracoa Bataban6 -
Cardenas Cienfuegos Matnzas Gibara Guines Isle of
Pines Nuevitas (Puerto Principe) Remedios Sagua la Grande
St. Jago de Cuba Trinidad........ ........................ 172
Discovery- Appearance and Character- Climate, Soil and Industry
Inhabitants San Juan Mayaguez Ponce Population and
Trade-Steam Communication ... ......................... 186
Extent-History -Harbor and Town Sdciety- Climate Con-
trast with St. Croix -Accommodations for Visitors and Prioes--
Steam Communication Table of Fares of British Royal Mail B. S.
Company............. ... .......................... 190
LADIES ON THE PARQUE DE ISABEL II., ..... .Face Title.
STREET SCENE, ................ 56
A PUBLIC CONVEYANCE, . . .... 84
TOMB OF COLUMBUS, . . . .. 102
MAP, . . . . . End.
HAND-BOOK FOR HAVANA.
--JIFT FPP FT JP
Attractions of the Trip.
OxN of the most delightful winter excursions the Ameri-
can traveler can make, is a trip to Havana, with a short
run into the interior of the island of Cuba, or a still
more extended cruise among the islands of the Caribbean
Sea. "The entire novelty of climate and vegetation, and
the close neighborhood of so many varieties of govern-
ment and manners-Spanish, French, English, Danish
(American) and African islands, all within a summer day's
succession of visits-amount to a delightful and salutary
The facility of access to the great commercial capital of
Spanish America, presents a constant temptation to the
man of business to combine profit with pleasure; while to
the invalid, the benign winter climate of the tropics opens
the hope of a more permanent benefit.
To the pleasure-seeker the great contrast with home
scenes which these islands present, fn the language, habits
and manners of the people, the structure of government
and society, the products of the field, the fruits of the
orchard, the occupations of industry, and the amusements
and gaieties of social intercourse, brings a continued series
of the most delightful surprises and sensations.
A trip to Havana from New York is a translation, within
a very few days, from the busiest centre of Anglo-American
civilization, to one of the busiest and most prosperous cen-
tres of Latin civilization in America.
Nor are these days of translation without their changes
and their pleasures. A few hours sail from either of our
Atlantic ports, carries the traveler within the genial
influences of the Gulf stream, beneath which the shawls,
overcoats and heavy garments of winter give place, with
a delightful feeling of relief, to lighter and cooler vest-
ments. In his Health Trip to the Tropics," N. P. Willis
thus speaks of the effect of the air of the Gulf stream:
It is surprising what a balm for the lungs is in the air
of this warm channel from the tropics. After having
coughed for the greater part of every night for months,
I slept the night through, in the Gulf stream, as if stilled
by an opiate."
On board any of the fine steamships now plying to
Havana, the voyage is usually made within five days, at
the end of which time the traveler finds himself amid
scenery where battlements and domes, towers and palm-
trees, are the most conspicuous objects, and where the
Babel-like sounds of a foreign tongue fall, seemingly in
utter confusion, upon the ear.
When to Visit the Tropics.
The tropical region of the West Indies may be safely
visited, by residents of northern climes, at any time be-
tween the first of October and the first of June; but the
months of October and November present few attractions
in general, while, in particular localities, the islands are
subject, in these two months, to terrific hurricanes, which
are often as dangerous on the land as on the sea. Further-
more, to the man of business these two months are wanting
in the incentive offered by the crops, which mostly begin
to appear in the West India markets, in the winter months;
while, to the invalid, the severity of a northern winter
hardly begins to be felt before December.
It is in this month that the flow of travel southward
begins to set in. At this season the gorgeous festivities
of the Christmas holidays, as celebrated in the Spanish
and French islands where the Roman Catholic religion
prevails, the merry-making of the inhabitants and the
curious practices of the negroes, offer many attractions to
In nearly all of the islands, these are continued until the
day of Epiphany (January 6th), in such a way as to form
a serious detriment to business pursuits; and it is the cus-
tom of manyof the native families to pass the holiday
season with their friends on the plantations. After the
day of Epiphany the business season commences, and both
trade and amusement are active through all the months of
winter and spring.
The week before Lent-carnival week-is the time of
greatest activity in business and in pleasure. The rolling
season of the sugar plantations is far advanced, and their
crops are pouring into market. The theatres and places
of public amusement are filled with pleasure-seekers, and
the numerous masquerade balls, both public and private,
offer a pleasing and continued round of entertainment and
It is, therefore, during the severe months of winter and
spring, that the West India Islands offer to all, the com-
bined allurements of a genial climate, active business, and
novel scenes in their gayest and most happy moments.
The great facilities now offered by the numerous lines of
steamships plying to and through the West Indies, make
it feasible to the tourist and the traveler, to estimate with
approximate certainty the time of his going and returning,
and the duration and cost of his trip.
The great mass of island travel has been hitherto limited
to Cuba, and in particular to Havana and its vicinity. Re-
cent events have awakened public attention more largely
to an interest in St. Thomas and the Windward Islands;
and the increasing facilities of inter-island transit, now
make a visit to all the points of prominent attraction a
thing of easy attainment.
In the following pages, we trust, the reader will find all
he may need or desire on the subject. With them he may
plan an excursion of thirty days to Havana and back, which
shall cost him but $300; or he may arrange to do Cuba,
Hayti, St. Domingo, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, return-
ing either by Nassau or New Orleans, in sixty days, for
$500; and if so inclined, he can extend his tour to five
months, and for $1,000, make the entire round of the West
Indies, returning by way of New Orleans, the Southern
States and the Mississippi river.
How to Get to the Tropics.
In the various facilities offered from the different ports,
the choice of route by the traveler will be much influenced
by the proximity of the several ports of departure to the
place of his residence. Under an equality of other circum-
stances, New York is the best, from the fact that it offers
most frequent choice of conveyance.
FROM NEW YORK.-The fine side-wheel ships of the
Atlantic Mail Steamship Company, carrying the United
States mail, sail every Thursday at 3 P.M., and Saturday,
from Havana; and make their trips with a regularity that is
worthy of all praise. Their traffic is exclusively confined
to Havana, with the exception that every fourth week the
steamship of that week touches at Nassau, New Providence,
to land the British mails.
The accommodations of these ships are excellent, and
most of their commanders are men who commanded packet
ships in the trade, before steam had displaced sailing ves-
sels. Whoever has sailed with Barton, Adams, or Greene,
will gladly sail with them again.
The fares by these mail steamships are as follows:
New York to Havana $60 gold.
Nassau 50 "
Nassau Havana 20 "
Time, 5 days. Distance, 1,150 miles.
They have no second class or steerage accommodation.
One hundred pounds of baggage allowed to each passen-
ger, and passport vised by the Spanish consul required at
the office of the company on taking passage. Agent Geo.
B. Hartson, 5 Bowling Green, New York.
Besides the regular mail steamers, New York offers an-
other choice in the excellent ships of the Atlantic Coast
Mail Steamship Company plying to New Orleans, and leav-
ing New York every Saturday. Each alternate boat touches
at Havana, going and returning. The price of passage
and rules of these steamships are similar to those of the
Atlantic Mail Steamship Company. Agents, Livingston,
Fox & Co., 88 Liberty St., New York.
FOR ST. THOMAs.-The United States and Brazil Mail
S. S. Company dispatch one of their first class steamships
from New York, touching at St. Thomas, on the 23d of
every month. Fare to St. Thomas, $80, gold. Children
under twelve years of age, half fare. Steerage at half
rates, meals included. Return passages the same as above.
One hundred pounds of baggage allowed each adult pas-
senger; additional two cents per pound. Distance to St.
Thomas 1,400 miles. Time 6 days 15 hours.
This line connects at St. Thomas with three distinct
European steamship lines to Liverpool, Southampton, and
St. Nazaire, and eight other inter-colonial steam lines,
touching at the islands of Porto Rico, San Domingo, Cuba
and Jamaica, the Windward English, French, and Dutch
Islands, and Barbadoes. Also, on the continent, to Vera
Cruz, San Juan, Aspinwall, Santa Martha, Puerto Cabello,
.La Guira, and English, French and Dutch Guiana.
FROM PHILADELPHIA.-The steamships of the Philadel-
phia and Southern Steamship Company leave that port for
New Orleans, touching at Havana every other Saturday
(January 4th, 18th, etc.), and returning, leave New Orleans
on the same days.
Fare from Philadelphia to Havana, $50-currency.
New Orleans to Havana, 30 "
Other conditions same as other steamships. Agent, Wm.
L. James, 314 South Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia.
FROM BALTIMORE.-The Baltimore and Havana Steam-
ship Company dispatch their fine ships from Baltimore,
touching at Key West and Havana for New Orleans, on
the 1st and 15th of every month.
Fare to Havana, first class $50-gold.
second class 35 "
Children under twelve years, half fare. Steerage at half
first-class rates. One hundred pounds allowed to each
adult passenger; additional baggage two cents a pound.
Agents, H. M. Warfield & Co., 16 Spears' Wharf; Baltimore.
FROM NEW ORLEANs.-The steamships of the Baltimore
and Havana Steamship Company leave New Orleans about
the 1st and 15th of each month; fare to Havana, first-class,
$50; second class, $35-currency. Agents,. Witherspoon,
Halsey & Co.
The steamships of the Philadelphia and Southern Mail
Steamship Company leave New Orleans every other Satur-
day (January 4th, 18th, etc.); fare, $30-currency.
The steamships of the Atlantic Coast Mail Steamship
Company leave New Orleans three times a month for
Havana, and the ships of the French Imperial Mail Steam-
ship Company once a month.
AT HAVANA, these several lines connect with the three
European steamship lines to England, France and Spain,
and with the several inter-island steam lines, touching at
Hayti, St. Domingo, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Jamaica,
and the Windward English, French and Dutch Islands;
also with Vera Cruz, Tampico, Aspinwall, Santa Marta, La-
guaira, Puerto Cabello, English, French and Dutch Guiana.
Preparations for the Tropics.
As in all undertakings, more or less forethought and
preparation for a journey, are necessary to a pleasant and
successful issue. The extent and duration of the trip
should be considered, and, if possible, determined upon.
The probable needs of the traveler should be estimated
and provided for. Trunks, valises and carpet-bags should
be in good condition, and clearly marked with name and
residence; and, as in the West Indies many pleasant ex-
cursions can be made, where the facilities of the country
do not provide transportation for heavy trunks, a liberal
provision of valises and stout carpet-bags, of about equal
capacity for carriage on pack horses, is conducive to the
pleasure of the tourist.
It is our experience that travelers do best who take a
sufficient, but reasonable amount of baggage for all pur-
poses. In traveling through the islands, any surplus can
always be safely left at the principal points, to be called
for on return from excursions which it may be found pleas-
ant to make.
Changes of temperature in going to, and returning from,
the tropics in the fall, winter and spring months, are great,
and all will do well to take sufficient clothing for both
winter and summer use.
The port of departure should be determined upon, and
timely provision made, either by personal application or
by letter, to secure comfortable state-rooms for the sea trip.
Lines of excellent steamships run to Havana from New
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans, and from
New York to St. Thomas. Should health be the sole or
principal object of the trip, it may be desirable to pass a
longer time at sea than is occupied by steamers in the,
transit. In this case, good sailing vessels, with comfortable
accommodations, can frequently be found during the win-
ter months, loading in most-of the ports of the United
States for those in the West Indies.
The' cost of a trip to the tropics is in a great measure
regulated by the personal requirements and mode of con-
veyance of the traveler. Passage by sailing vessel is
cheaper than by steamer, but it also consumes more time.
It may usually be obtained from the northern ports of the
United States,. during the winter months, at from $20 to
$40, while by steamer $50 is charged.
CLOTHING.-In the matter of clothing, it should be re-
membered that the contemplated trip is almost entirely
within the influence of the tropics; and even in winter,
with the exception of a few occasional days, when a north
wind prevails, the daily maximum range of the thermom-
eter is about 800 Fahrenheit.
Summer clothing is, therefore, the most needed at all
seasons of the year. As a general thing, linen wear, par-
ticularly under-garments for gentlemen, can be obtained in
Havana, both ready made and to order, cheaper than in
the United States.
Ladies will find there a great and choice assortment of
linen and linen lawns, but under-clothing for them cannot
be so readily procured as for gentlemen. For both, a few
changes of such clothing as is found desirable in the north-
ern States during the spring and fall, will conduce to comfort.
Provision should be made of silk, or gauze flannel, under-
shirts, and these should be constantly worn while in the
tropics. The warm climate keeps the pores of the skin
open, and the structure of the houses there being such as
to promote cool drafts of air, a neglect of this precaution
often leads to colds and other unpleasant affections.
LETTERS OF CREDIT, enabling the holder to draw on
New York or London, will be found the most convenient
form of taking funds to meet expenses, as they enable the
traveler to avoid the risk of carrying much money with
him. These can be obtained of leading bankers in New
York, and can be readily cashed in all the principal ports.
An amount of current funds should always be kept in hand
sufficient for immediate purposes.
LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION.-It is well to obtain as many
of these as possible, if only to avoid the gloomy feeling of
being a stranger in a strange land. Some to whom they
be addressed, may only offer services never to be required,
and others may receive them with a bad grace; but even
a bowing acquaintance to whom one may go for advice, if
needed, will be found useful in frequent instances. They
should be presented personally as soon after arrival as pos-
sible, as an act of courtesy to those to whom they are ad-
dressed; but ladies may send them with their card and
the address of their hotel
ARMS.-No prudent traveler will ever enter upon a jour-
ney without making provision of some conveniently port-
able fire-arm. Their use may not, and probably will not,
be required; but the sense of personal security and self-
reliance which their possession gives, will often be of far
more value than their pecuniary cost. Our experience in-
duces us also to add, in getting your arms always get the
TEA.-The use of tea is not frequent in these coffee pro-
ducing islands; in many places it cannot be procured at
all, and in very few of good quality. A small package of
it will often be found conducive to the comfort of yourself
MEDICINEs.-Medical advice can always be had, but good
S and reliable medicines not so frequently. Some one of the
many small and compact cases now put up for family use,
may be found desirable, and will add little weight.
BOOKS, ETC.--A passage at sea is apt to be dull to those
who have started unprepared. Something to relieve the
tedium of the voyage will be desirable, and a few books,
chess, backgammon, etc., in an accessible place among the
baggage, will be found useful.
A good preparation to visit Cuba, if only for a short
time, is to take lessons in Spanish-that is, in the practical
or colloquial language; or, if this is not practicable, occa-
sional study of a phrase book will be useful. With even a
few general phrases in Spanish, enough more is easily ac-
quired after arrival to add much to one's pleasure and op-
portunities for enjoyment.
A pocket diary, in which to note dates and incidents
during the voyage, will be found useful. However trivial
these may appear at the time of their occurrence, they ac-
quire an interest afterwards, and form material for pleasant
letters to friends at home.
A folding chair for use on the deck of the steamship, is
a convenience, especially for invalids; and a pocket tele-
scope or field glass will frequently be found useful.
NEWS FRoM HOME.-Nothing conduces so much to the
pleasure of travel abroad, as frequent and regular news
from home. Leave with your friends an address or ad-
dresses, to the care of which your letters and papers may
be sent. If you have no banker, or hotel, determined on
at any particular point, these can be addressed to the care
of your consul, a list of which will be found on another
page. A newspaper ordered to be sent regularly by mail
from home, will be found a constantly recurring spring of
In sending-letters and newspapers to the West Indies it
should be remembered that the United States postage must
be prepaid, otherwise they are not forwarded by the post-
Prepayment of postage in the United States, does not
relieve receivers from the payment of local postage at the
place of delivery. Postage on letters from the West Indies
to the United States cannot be prepaid, but parties having
the ten cents stamps, can prepay the United States postage
by affixing them. These cannot be purchased in the is-
lands. Letters arriving in the United States by ship, with-
out stamps, are forwarded by the post-office department and
delivered on payment of postage.
PASSPORT.-A passport is required in most of the islands
in the West Indies, and every traveler should not only have
one, but have it in a conveniently portable form, always in
order with the proper vise, and always on his person. It is
often useful and convenient in a strange land to prove one's
personal identity. Each gentleman should have one for
himself but heads of families can have ladies and children
belonging to their party, named in theirs. The passport
should be vised at the port of departure by the consul of
the government at the port of destination.
They can be procured by personal application, or by let-
ter, from the Department of State at Washington, D. C.
In application by letter evidence must be transmitted, in
the form of a certificate by an officer of a federal court, of
name and nativity of the applicant, of citizenship, age,
height, color, hair, eyes, and any prominent mark. The
several consuls of the foreign governments also issue them,
without delay, on personal application.
When Cuba is the point of destination, the passport will
be required by the agent of the steamship before embark-
ing, and will be called for with the passage ticket, by the
purser of the ship after sailing. By him it will be
delivered to the boarding officer on arrival at Havana, and
there be retained in the passport bureau. It may be re-
claimed on departure from the city.
O MARL0IR OUNS7TUTE,
ENGLISH AND FRENCH SCHOOL FOR YOUNG GENTLEMEN,
No. 48 East Twenty-Fourth Street, New York.
SPANISH AND GERIAN TAUGHT BY NATIVE TEACHEiS.
The Prospectus of the School contains full details, terms, names of
pupils, (225 present December, 1867,) and those of their parents, during
the past twelve years.
MET ROPOLITAN HOTEL,
S. LELAND & CO.,
B:EROA -DWA, CNETIW YOREC..
Our vertical 2failway relieves aLadies from
ascending long fights of Stairs.
Immediate Vieinity of the Congress Spring.
0. 1D. IT Y TGr,
CALLE DE OBRAPIA, No. 13,
genmt jof itje Igarine thEberforiters
OF THE UNITED STATES.
A HAND-BOOK FOR HAVANA.
A HAN D-BOOK~ FOR HAVANA,
AMERICAN SHIP MASTERS' EXCHANGE,
No. 7 OBISPO STREET,
PLAZA DE AiBAs, HAVANA.
For forty years well known as the Headquarters of the principal Ship
Masters of all nations in this Port.
The Havana Nxpress,
Wsst Indi an, e ~can, and Brazihaldn press and
CARRINGTON & CO.,
No. 30 Broadway, New York.
Parcels and Freight forwarded to all parts of the Island of Cuba and West
Indies, Vera Cruz, Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, etc., etc.
I9 Goods should be delivered day before sailing of Steamer, with Bill
or Invoice showing Contents and Value.
AGENT IN HAVANA,
E~. RA.VIIREZ, 16 Calle Mercaderes.
CARRINCTON & CO.'S
GENERAL PURCHASING AGENCY,
30 BROADWAY, NEW YORK.
Purchase to order any article wanted, singly or in quantity, from this
City or from Europe, for Consumers or Dealers, for use or wear, comfort
or luxury, and at current City Prices, as low as could be obtained by the
customer in person.
TERMIS-Remittance with the order, or provision for City payment
COMMISSION FIVE PER CENT.
EMBARKING.-It will be well for the traveler to go on
board the steamer an hour or two before the hour of de-
parture, to have his baggage properly put away, and his
state-room prepared for the voyage. Such clothing and
articles as may be needed during the passage should be
packed in a valise or small trunk, and marked with name
and number of state-room.
If the departure is from a northern port it should be re-
membered that during the several days of passage to Ha-
vana or St. Thomas, the temperature will become percepti-
bly warmer each day, until thin clothing is necessary. The
rest of the baggage should be marked with name and
"below," to be stowed in the baggage-room, thus avoiding
inconvenience in the state-room, and annoyance to one's
self and room-mate.
Consular Officers of the United States in the West
With their places of official residence and compensation.
[Those marked thus () are consuls-general; (*) are con-
suls; (t) consular agents; (1) commercial agents; () vice-
consuls; consular officers at places marked thus () are at
liberty to transact business.]
Havana . William T. Miner $6,000
Matanzas . H. C. Hall 2,500
Trinidad de Cuba J. F. Cavada 2,500
Santiago de Cuba E. F. Wallace 2. 2,500
Baracoa .. t1 P. E. Alayo Fees.
Cardenas .. t N. Cross .. "
Cienfuegos . Cavada .
Gibara . .. t E. R. Codrington .
. tV J. A. Pianos .
. tT M. R. Ecay
. t1 Richard Gibbs .
. t1 Isaac Stone .
. t~ J. H. Homer .
. 1T D. B. Yznaga
... J.J. Hyde
.. J. C. Gallaher
DANISH WEST INDIES.
. .. J. C. Walker
E. H. Perkins
HAYTI AND ST. DOMINGO.
Port au Prince *
Aux Cayes *
Cape Haytien *
St. Marc . .
St. Domingo *
Kingston, Ja. *
Nassau, N. P. *
Turk's Island *
Trinidad .. .
Bermuda . *
Antigua . .
St. Christopher .
Balize ..... .
James De Long
J. M. Letts .
P. F. Jones .
E. K. Sperry
C. M. Allen .
E. S. Delisle
FRENCH WEST INDIES.
Martinique . *
Guadaloupe . *1 H. Thiouville .
DUTCH WEST INDIES.
St. Martin . Charles Rey Fees.
Curacoa . *T James Faxon .. "
SWEDISH WEST INDIES.
St. Bartholomew $ R. B. Dinzey Fees.
Suggestions to Invalids.
In addition to our remarks on preparations for a visit to
the tropics, the following suggestions to invalids will be
found valuable for those who visit Cuba; they are from
"Notes on Cuba, by a Physician," an excellent work pub-
lished several years since, and now out of print. The au-
thor visited Cuba three years successively for the improve-
ment of his health, and experienced the benefits he so
well explains to others:
"To invalids suffering from affections exacerbated by
the cold of winter, especially to those laboring under any
form of pulmonary disease, Cuba offers a clime far superior
to any that the continent of Europe possesses, not excepting
even that of Italy. There is a blandness. in its trade-winds
that is nowhere else felt; and although during the first
months of winter an occasional gust from the north chills
the air, by the exercise of a little prudence, all bad effects
from it may be avoided.
The invalid should make but a short stay during the
fall and early part of winter in Havana, the climate of
which is too damp, and the cities on the north coast expe-
rience too sensibly the rapid changes of the norther, to
benefit one in feeble health.
"The months of October, November and December may
be spent on the south side of the island, either at Guines
)r San Antonio de los Bafios. Both are in a great measure
protected by their position from those unpleasant accom-
paniments of northers-the drifting rains, the clouds being
often exhausted before they reach these places. The situ-
ation of San Antonio is drier, and the atmosphere more
bracing than that of Guines.
Matanzas is better ventilated than Havana, and the trav-
eler will linger awhile in it to visit the objects of curiosity
in its neighborhood. But like all the other towns situated
on a low, level soil, where malaria reigns in warm weather,
it is unfit as a residence for the invalid. The same objec-
tions apply in a greater or less degree to Guines, the cli-
mate of which is warm and oppressive; while in a broken
country, although the temperature may be the same, it is
bracing and dry.
"The high situation of Madruga, renders its air much
more cool and pleasant than that of the plains during the
spring, when the southwest winds are so annoying; and
for invalids it would form a desirable residence at that
time. The village is about forty miles from Havana, twelve
from Guines, and twenty-five from Matanzas.
The baths are situated a few hundred yards from the
posada (inn), and consist of two apartments, one for each
sex, with a large stone basin, into which the waters are
conveyed by gutters from the spring. The latter is cold,
its waters have a strong sulphureous odor, and leave a
white deposit, but are only slightly aperient. They would
no doubt be useful in cutaneous and rheumatic affections.
During the months of March and April a large number
of visitors come here from Havana, and at this time the
dulness of the place is changed to one of stirring activity.
The days are spent in visiting and promenades, and the
nights in balls, and, as at all our watering places, in
"Near to Matanzas i. the most pleasant spring residence
THE SHORTEST ROUTE TO *
Matanzas, Cardenas, and the Sugar Estates
lying between Bemba and Macagua.
Leave REGLA, on the East side of the Bay of Havana, at 6.00 a.m.,
10.40 a.m., and 3.25 p.m., performing the distance in
two hours. The Early Train connects with the
For SABANILLA, UNION, ISABEL, BAR6, and intermediate
places; and with the
For BEMBA, CARDENAS, MACAGUA, and intermediate places.
Leave the foot of CALLE DE LUZ ten minutes before and twenty
minutes after, every hour, for the Railroad Station at REGLA.
RETURN TRAINS from MATANZAS at 6.00 a.m., 10.30 a.m.,
and 3.15 p.m.
rOME FQR INVALIDB,
THE LARGE AND SPACIOUS MANSION,
No. 149 CALLE DE LA REINA,
Situated on the elevation near the celebrated Paseo de Tacon, has been
recently ftted up at great expense with most comfortable apartments for
the express accommodation of Invalids, where persons will receive every
care and attention from the most skillful Surgeons and Physicians, and
experienced male or female Nurses, under the personal supervision of
CHARLES E. BELOT, M.D., of Paris, Leipsig and Madrid.
Persons suffering with affections of the THROAT or LUNGS, will re-
ceive here special treatment.
No. 1 CALLE DE OBISPO, PLAZA DE ARMAS.
D. M. BURGESS, M.D., EDWARD BELOT, M.D.
THE AMERICAN AND ENGLISH CONSULS
ROUTE FOR TRAVELERS
RA1^3 QOW ISAN DISGOQe
The most Picturesque Tour of the Island of Cuba.
Express Trains leave Havana from the Villaneuva Depot on THUBsDAYS,
at 2.40 p.m., connecting with fine STEAMERS at Batabano, at 4.15 same
p.m., reaching Dayaniguas early next morning, where Carriages or Horses
are in readiness, provided by the Company to convey Travelers to the
celebrated Baths of San Diego, within two hours' ride.
Returning-Conveyances leave San Diego at sunrise on SATURDAYS.
TICKETS FOR THE TRIP.
1st Class-R.R. to Batabano, $2 94, Steamer across Lake (Cabin), $5 00
2d Class- do. do 2 06} do. do. (Steerage), 3 00
For a Carriage from Steamer to the Baths of San Diego, 17 00
For one seat in do. do. do. do. 8 50
For Saddle Horse do. do. do. 00
For Sumpter Mule for Baggage, . 2 50
Tickets for Steamer to be had on board. Arrangements for Land Con-
veyance can be made at the Office of the
Empress de Fomento y Navigacion del Sur Calle de los Oflcios, No. 30,
I AVA. N A.
on the island-Limonar, the climate of which the writer
has tested both in winter, spring and summer, and which,
compared with the other places he has visited, is in his
opinion, the most desirable for the invalid. The northern
are more severely felt here than on the south side, but
then the east wind, in fair weather, is much freer and
more invigorating than where the soil is level, like that of
Guines. The sulphur baths of San Miguel are about six
miles from Limonar, and are well attended in the months
of February and March.
"As a general rule, constant traveling, by the pleasant
stimulus it gives to the mind, and the attendant exercise
of the body, is the best course to be adopted by the inva-
lid. Nor must fears be entertained of the effects of ex-
posure to the vicissitudes of the weather. An enfeebled
frame will bear them better on a journey than a more ro-
bust one, if confined to the comparatively sedentary life of
In this opinion the writer is supported by all who have
treated of the effects of change of climate on chronic dis-
eases; and he who will try it will soon be convinced of
its beneficial influence. Should the invalid, however, feel
a constant improvement from a residence in any one place,
it would not be judicious to change it; and for some affec-
tions which have been greatly benefited by a residence in
Cuba, as spinal and other diseases of the nervous system,
rheumatism, etc., probably it would be preferable to re-
main at one place.
"The voyage from the United States to Cuba, and a resi-
dence of four months there can be accomplished for about
$400 in gold; for twice that sum a large portion of the is-
land may be visited, and the journeys be made on horse-
back, which, from the line action of the Cuban horse, is the
more pleasant mode of conveyance.
Indeed, horseback exercise is the only one that may be
safely indulged in on the island; and the objections to it
are easily answered, by the fact that the pace of a horse
may be varied from a walk which fatigues far less than a
promenade on foot, to a rapid march of six or eight miles an
hour, during which the rider will not receive a single jolt.
One of the pleasantest ways to travel is to hire guides
and pack-horses, and put up at the posadas on the road.
If in company with one or more companions, with pistols
in your holsters, not the least danger will be incurred on
the road, while the posadas are everywhere as safe as like
establishments in the United States.
"The writer in the preceding pages has expressed his
honest opinion. His sole motive has been to facilitate the
movements of invalids in Cuba, who are often, from inter-
ested motives, induced to remain in places where it is evi-
dent their health declined rapidly.
"Although the planters are hospitable to a fault, strang-
ers who go to the island without letters of introduction, will
not meet with much attention. The invalid should not
return to the United States until the commencement of
May, and should then delay in the South until the warm
June weather permits him to seek his northern clime.
One thing must ever be borne in mind by the consump-
tive, that his disease is one of debility; and how much so-
ever its complications of bronchitis, dyspepsia, affections
of the liver, heart, or other organs, may at times call for a
modification of the treatment, his main object must be to
improve his general health by active exercise in the open
air, and a complete abstinence from all drugs and nostrums.
Nor should any despair of recovery from the unfavor-
able aspect of their symptoms, which often is caused by a
transient increase of the bronchitis attendant on almost
every case, and which is under the control of medicine.
The disease is no longer considered necessarily fatal,
and the researches of modern pathologists have proved that
even the predisposition to it has been eradicated by time
and regimen. But the invalid must not relax his efforts
on the first abatement of his symptoms, he must persevere
to the end; let the restoration of health be the chief object
of his care, and his labor will, not improbably, be crowned
To the foregoing excellent suggestions of Dr. Wurdiman,
for the benefit of invalids visiting Cuba, we have only to
add a few remarks on the improved advantages resulting
from increased facilities for travel.
The village of Madruga, which he found so desirable, is
now accessible by rail in a few hours from Havana, Matan-
zas, and Guines; and has communication twice daily with
Since the period of Dr. Wurdiman's visit to Cuba, the
balmy regions of the Isle of Pines have become easily acces-
sible to invalids by rail and steamer: and during the pre-
valence of the northers, Santa Fe, in that island, is much
frequented by persons with lung complaints, who derive
great benefits from its pure air, equable temperature, and
excellent waters. Attention was first drawn to it from its
adoption by the government as a resort for army invalids,
for whom the official returns show it to have been very
beneficial. We refer the enquirer to the pages of The
Guide," article-" Isle of Pines."
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
2.--TISTOFICCAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
IT is now generally admitted by critical and exact stu-
dents of American history, that the land fall of Columbus
in his voyage to the New World, was Watling's Island, one
of the Bahama group lying a few miles east of the island
hitherto called Guanahani, or San Salvador.
After a fortnight of bewildering navigation among the
multitudinous islands in this vicinity, on the afternoon of
the 27th day of October, 1492, the mountains of Cuba first
rose to the view of European navigators. They were then
sailing southward, in what is now known as the Old Baha-
ma channel, and on the succeeding day made the shore of
the island, in its central portion, not far from the bay of
Finding this barrier to his farther progress southward,
Columbus again laid his course west. This he held for a
few days, but meeting with adverse winds and currents, he
sought a harbor under his lee, where he could rest his men
and refit his weather-beaten craft. He anchored in a large
bay, supposed to have been the bay of Nipe.
The inhabitants of the newly discovered land were a
slightly formed, olive-colored race; of medium stature,
coarse black hair, and wild aspect. On the first appear-
ance of the navigators they abandoned the habitations
found along the coast, which were few in number, and
evidently the homes of poverty-stricken fishermen. Their
houses were built of reeds or slabs of the palm tree, round,
and tapering to a. high point, and scantily provided with
rude implements for hunting and fishing.
When the Spaniards penetrated to the interior they
found many small villages, rarely exceeding fifty houses,
placed without order round a central open space, within
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
which was the better constructed residence of the
Every habitation had a small garden patch, in which the
self-producing plantain abounded; and a little corn, sweet
potatoes and yuca (of which they made their bread, still a
favorite with their successors,) was cultivated. The wild
cotton served.to make their scanty clothing, nets and ham-
The men and the maidens went entirely naked; the
married women Wore a species of short petticoat of cot-
ton, or rustic covering of barks, from the waist down to
the knee or the heel, according to the wealth of the wearer;
and the caciques and warriors adorned their heads with
They were more fond of play than of battle, and every
village had in front of the cacique's house an ample ball-
ground, where all resorted daily. Their custom was to
play in parties of either sex or both together, at times vary-
ing the interest by pitting the married against the single,
or the young men against the maidens.
Marriage was prohibited within certain degrees of con-
sanguinity, but polygamy was practised; and at their mar-
riage festivities they had a custom similar to one of the
old feudal laws of seniorage, which permitted every guest
of equal rank with the groom, to go in to the bride.
Their religious rites and medicinal practices-both of
the most scanty character-were administered by the same
person, who was accustomed to keep a strict diet, and inhale
an intoxicating and purging snuff, while practising his
healing arts. The dying, if of rank, were strangled as a
token of respect; while the vassals were suspended in their
hammocks in remote places, and left with a little water and
casava bread, to their fate. Such were the Ciboneys, the
first Indians encountered by Columbus in the New World.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
While refitting his vessels Columbus sent his first em-
bassy inland. This was composed of two Europeans and two
of the natives, one of whom had accompanied the expe-
dition from the neighboring islands. They were instructed
"to seek the more inhabited localities, and to explain to
the natives, in the name of the monarchs of Castile, the
principal reasons for his (Columbus) coming to these
"On the 5th of November," says Herrera, "the Castil-
ians returned, with three natives of the land, reporting
that they had traveled twenty-two leagues, where they
found a village of fifty houses, built like those seen on the
coast, and inhabited by about one thousand souls.
They further stated that in going and returning they
had seen many hamlets, but none contained more than five
or six houses; that on the way they encountered numbers
of people, all of whom bore a brand of fire in the hand, to
kindle a few herbs which they carried about with them to
perfume themselves." The Castilians were not long in
learning "to perfume themselves" with the new found
This was not the native name of the plant, which in the
now extinct Ciboney tongue, was called cohiba; but it was
given to it by the Spaniards, from the fact that the offer
of a segar from a native was usually accompanied by the
expression of "tabaco," now believed to mean "will you
After refitting his vessels Columbus continued his course
eastward, along the northern shore of Cuba. In rounding
Cape Maysi, its eastern extremity, he discovered the island
of St. Domingo, and did not again visit Cuba during his
In the earlier years of discovery the name of the island
experienced several changes. Arrate, the quaint, but ex-
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA. 35
act, native historian of Havana, tells us "it was first called
Juana by Columbus, in memory of the Princess of Castile,
the first-born of the Spanish monarchs (Ferdinand and Isa-
bella). The same Catholic Ferdinand, wishing afterward
to confer upon it greater honor, ordered that it should be
called Fernandina, in allusion to his own royal name.
Heaven would that it should be known as the 'Island of
Santiago,' and also as the 'Island of Ave Maria,' bearing
the first name from its patron saint, and acquiring the
second from the deep devotion of the native inhabit-
Notwithstanding these potent baptismal influences, it
has retained the name we may suppose it to have borne
before the era of discovery. In reply to the inquiries of the
Europeans for gold, the natives said they would find it
Ouba nacan, now admitted to mean "in the midst, or cen-
tre of Cuba."
In subsequent voyages, Columbus examined the south
coast as far west as the Isle of Pines. Though he believed
it to be an island, and so speaks of it in his writings, he
did not circumnavigate it.
"These regions," says the Baron Humboldt, who had
visited them personally, "have a charm in which most
parts of the New World are wanting. They are associated
with recollections of the greatest names of the Spanish mon-
archy-those of Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortes.
It was on the south side of the Island of Cuba, between
the bay of Cienfuegos and the Isle of Pines, that the great
Spanish admiral, in his second voyage, saw with astonish-
ment that mysterious king who spoke to his subjects only
by signs, and that group of men who wore long white
tunics, like the monks of Mercy, while the rest of the peo-
ple were naked. In his fourth voyage, Columbus found in
the Jardinillos (little gardens), great boats filled with Mex-
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
ican Indians, and laden with the rich productions and
merchandise of Yucatan."
Columbus having established in St. Domingo the seat of
his government, as Adelantado of the Indies," that island
became the centre of the early Spanish settlements. It was
not until 1508, sixteen years after its discovery, that Cuba
was circumnavigated by Ocampo. Tradition reports him
to have careened his vessels in a large bay on the north
coast, where he found a spring of liquid asphaltum, with
which, for lack of tar, he smeared the bottoms of his ships.
This bay, named by him, "Puerto de Carenas," is supposed
to have been the bay of Havana; and the known existence
of large veins of asphaltum in the neighboring hills of Gia-
nabacoa, seems to justify the supposition.
In these early years of discovery, there was much to ex-
plore, and the explorers were few. It was not till three
years after the voyage of Ocampo, that the formal occupa-
tion of Cuba by the Spaniards took place. In 1511, Diego,
the son of Columbus, who had succeeded his father as
Adelantado, commissioned Diego Velasquez, to subjugate
the island and settle it.
"The news of Velasquez's appointment," says Arrate,
" soon circulated through the island of St. Domingo. As
he was a wealthy person, with great credit for prudence
and affability in the management of public affairs, three
hundred Castilians attached themselves to him. They
embarked in four ships at Salvatierra de la Savana, and
landed happily at the port of Palmas, near Cape Maysi."
It was in this enterprise that Panfilo de Narvaez, Alvar-
ado, and others of the subsequent leaders in the conquest
of Mexico, served their apprenticeship in Indian warfare;
and here, too, do we first hear the name of Las Casas as
a benefactor to the Indian race. He accompanied the ex-
pedition as chaplain, and in several instances was the
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
mediator who attained the peaceful submission of the
The subjugation of the apathetic and poorly armed na-
tives, was a small task to the mail-clad warriors of Spain,
fresh from the conquest of Granada, and stimulated with
the memories of seven centuries of battle with the vigorous
But one instance of opposition to the Spaniards is rela-
ted. Hatuey, a native chief, either an exile from St. Do-
mingo, or who had learned through exiles from that island,
what submission there had led to, endeavoured to rouse
the spirit of resistance. Defeated and a prisoner, he was
put to the torture, and finally condemned to death by
Of him it is related that when chained to the stake, he
was appealed to by a friar, who presented the crucifix, ex-
horting him to become a Christian, and was told he would
then go to heaven and enjoy eternal glory and peace; but,
that if he persisted in his heathenish belief, he wordd
descend into a hell of perpetual torments. '
The cacique pondered awhile, and then asked if all
Christians went to heaven. Having been assured that
they did, he quickly replied: Then, I would rather go to
hell where I shall not meet such cruel people."
From this time the progress of the Spaniards was but a
march through the island. Velasquez founded Baracoa,
and sent Panfilo de Narvaez with a force, accompanied by
Las Casas, to examine the island and pacify the natives.
"The result," says Arrate, "was somewhat contrary to
the design of Velasquez for the natural ardor and impru-
dence of Narvaez, gave rise to much disturbance and dis-
quiet among the islanders. But in part the docility and
gentle nature of these, and in part the kindness of Las
Casas, enabled the Spaniards to pass through the provinces
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
of Bayamo and Camaguey, even to the extreme west,
where lay the province of Habana."
Velasquez subsequently joined them at Jagua, now Cien-
filegos, and in 1514, settlements had been established at
St. Jago de Cuba, Bayamo, and Puerto Principe. A year
later the town of San Cristobal de la Habana was founded
at a point on the south coast, near the mouth of a small
river a few leagues east of Batabano.
At this period Cuba advanced rapidly in European pop-
ulation, attracted thither by the genial climate, the fertility
of the soil, the facility with which cattle increased in num-
bers, and the great variety of its productions and fruits.
The native population, probably few in numbers at the
period of discovery, passed rapidly away, and as early as
1534, we find the conquerors praying the Emperor, Charles
V. of Germany and I. of Spain, to send them "negroes from
Africa, before the natives have entirely disappeared, that
we may not die of hunger."
But another era had already dawned upon the Island.
" The discovery of Yucatan and the Mexican empire," says
Pezuela, paralyzed the nascent prosperity of these early
settlements, inspiring their adventurous inhabitants with
a lively desire for conquest, and the attainment of wealth
by quicker methods than the tranquil labors of agriculture
and grazing. From 1517 to 1524, when Velasquez died,
six expeditions sailed from Cuba to the continent.
Of these the most famous was that, which, led by Cor-
tes, astonished the world with the conquest of Mexico;
and the most powerful that subsequently sent, under com-
mand of Narvaez, to reduce him to obedience to Velasquez,
but which, in fact, aided him to complete his wonderful
It was the capacious mind of Diego Velasquez, governor
of Cuba, that planned those great expeditions of discovery
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
and conquest in Mexico, of which others reaped all the
fruits. In 1518 the expedition entrusted to Cortes sailed
from St. Jago de Cuba. Touching at Trinidad and Haba-
na," (then still at the original place of settlement,) he swept
those young towns of their best and most enterprising
elements, to a degree that boded ill to the dreams of Velas-
quez as a founder, and to the prosperity of the islanders as
For a time Cuba continued to be the point of arrival
and departure for adventure in the New World-the step-
ping-stone to gold and glory-but before a new generation
appeared upon the scene, came the tidings of Pizarro and
the fabulous spoils of the Incas. So great was the immi-
gration then, that a contemporary official in his report to
the Emperor, informs him that "with the news from Peru,
Cuba is threatened with depopulation."
The effort of De Soto, its governor, and Adelantado of
Florida (1539), to rival in the north the deeds of Cortes
in the west, and of Pizarro in the south, placed a seal
upon its destiny and its growth. Those who had gone
forth never returned. Those who remained, too infirm or
too inert to take part in the active scenes of conquest
beyond them, devoted themselves almost entirely to the
rearing of cattle, and the population subsided into a com-
munity of graziers. In this chronic state of lethargy the
Cubans remained for nearly a hundred and fifty years.
During this long period few events occurred to disturb
the apathetic repose of Cuba. Too poor to tempt the
French fjbustiers to the enterprise of conquest, in which
they had so well succeeded in the neighboring island of
Hayti; or the English buccaneers to the efforts of daring
they had exhibited in the plunder of the rich cities of the
Spanish Main, the island escaped with only an occasional
menace of attack.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
A French pirate (1538) burned Havana; Drake (1588), re-
turning victorious from Carthagena, blockaded it; a Dutch
squadron (1638) menaced it; and during the war of the
succession in Spain in the early part of the eighteenth
century, a British squadron twice demanded of the author-
ities of Havana, recognition of the right of the Archduke
to the crown, but the demand was not enforced. The
most formal attack was that of Admiral Vernon with an
expedition from Jamaica (1742), which landed at Guanta-
namo but was repulsed by the Spanish forces.
During the sixteenth century and the beginning of the
next, the boldness of the corsairs carried terror along the
coast of the whole island, and several of the settlements
were transferred to the interior. Thus many of the inhab-
itants of Remedios removed, and founded Villa Clara, and
those of Nuevitas established themselves at Puerto Prin-
The famous Morgan landed on the south coast, and
plundered the latter place; and the French leader, Giron,
captured St. Jago de Cuba, carried off the bishop as a
prisoner, and only released him, after eighty days of cap-
tivity, on payment of 200 ducados, 1,000 hides, and 125
pounds of beef.
The extension in Europe of the taste for tobacco, and
the accepted fact that the best came from Cuba, gave the
first stimulus to agriculture there. This was fostered by
the government, and during the seventeenth century the
production extended rapidly; with this the white popula-
tion in the rural districts increased, giving rise to the
establishment of many new parishes, and eAen towns.
Yet, after two hundred years of colonization, Cuba did
not contain one hundred thousand inhabitants, and of
these not more than twenty thousand were slaves employed
in rural labor.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
The first great impulse to the material prosperity of
Cuba, was given by the capture of the city of Havana by
the British forces in 1762.
The place was held by some 3,600 soldiers and marines,
and about an equal number of badly armed militia. The
authorities had no time for preparation, their first intima-
tion of the existence of war between Spain and Great
Britain being given them by a schooner, which escaped
from the hostile fleet when within two days' sail of the
The armament brought against it by the British was
the most formidable which, up to that time, had been seen
in America. It consisted of thirty ships of war, and more
than one hundred transports, conveying 30,000 combatants.
Yet, such was the energy of the defence, more than three
months were employed in reducing the city; and after its
surrender, the English commander was never able to extend
his authority beyond the circuit of a few leagues from its
walls. The local authorities in the island persistently
repulsed every attempt to induce or force them to rec6g-
nize British rule.
The important results which followed this event are most
concisely given by Pezuela, a lucid and exact Spanish his-
torian of the present time. We quote his words:
During the nine months that they held the capital of
Cuba, these foreigners introduced nearly one thousand
loaded vessels in a port which up to that time had received
only ten or twelve a year. After with one hand seizing
everything, the English, with the other, taught the inhab-
itants not only the way to repair in a short time what they
had lost, but how to multiply it.
"They imported several thousands of negroes, began
the establishment of extensive agricultural operations,
augmented the productions and exports of the island;
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
and the local government, seeing the advantages which
followed, permitted intercourse and thus trade began to
By the treaty of Versailles (1762-63), known as the
Peace of Paris, England agreed to restore to Spain Havana
and all the other captured possessions. In return, Spain
renounced the right of fishery .on the banks of Newfound-
land, recognized the right of British subjects to cut dye-
woods in the Bay of Honduras (Balize), and ceded to Eng-
land Florida, with St. Augustine, Pensacola, and all the
Spanish possessions east and southeast of the Mississippi
These latter were held by England until 1780, when,
taking advantage of the stress of the English in the North
American colonies, Galvez, the Spanish governor of Louis-
iana, reconquered them. In this enterprise a strong ex-
pedition from Havana took part, assisting in the capture
of Mobile and Pensacola.
"After the restitution of Havana," says Pezuela, "by
the treaty of Versailles, the government, when it had
secured its possessions with the superb fortifications which
now defend it, slowly and jealously began the concessions
of commercial privileges.
It is opportune here to refer to a catastrophe which
served as a dolorous experience to the whole civilized
world, and a sorrowful refutation of the theories of foreign
abolitionists, at the very period they began to promulgate
them. I speak of the ruin of the French portion of St.
Domingo, which occurred when the progress of Cuba in
its second era began to be felt.
That foreign territory, usurped for more than a century
from the colonial possessions of Spain by the old flibustiers,
and recognized as a possession of France by the treaty of
Ryswick in 1697, with hardly a thousand square leagues
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
of superficial extent, contained, when the revolution began
in 1789 in the mother country, a population of 40,000
whites, 60,000 free negroes, and 600,000 slaves. .
The emancipation of slavery was decreed. Six hun-
dred and sixty thousand negroes who suddenly found
themselves free, and with equal rights with the whites
who had recently been their masters, inaugurated the use
of their liberty by destroying all who fell into their hands,
burning the buildings and the plantations, and reducing
to ruin and ashes, in one day, the immense wealth there
accumulated during a century.
"Its opulent capital, Cape Francois, was devoured by
the flames lighted by these savages, and many other flour-
ishing settlements experienced a like fate. .
"By the treaty of peace with France in 1795, Spain
agreed to cede to that power her possessions in St. Do-
mingo, and to make the delivery whenever the French
commissioners should present themselves to receive it.
But these never came.
The famous Toussaint L'Overture, who, at this time, in
imitation of Napoleon then said to be first of the whites,
claimed to be first among the blacks, heedless of the ex-
cuses of the Spanish authorities for the delayed delivery
of the territory, invaded it, claiming to be the agent to
receive possession for the French government.
The Spanish detachments on the frontiers, which barely
exceeded 2,000 men, fell back upon the capital. The Brit-
ish navy came to the assistance of the Haytiens, and the
governor of St. Domingo had no alternative but to capitu-
late, which he did after the reduced Spanish squadron had
safely placed in Cuba the ashes of Columbus, the principal
persons of the colony, and their most valuable effects.
This occurred in 1796, at which time so general was
the emigration of the whites, that barely one hundred of
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
them remained in that unhappy land. The greater part
removed their homes to the neighboring island of Cuba.
'" Subsequently, when the remains of Rochambeau's army
capitulated to the English fleet and abandoned the terri-
tory, all the whites who fell into the hands of the negroes,
more than ten thousand in number, where inhumanly mur-
About 30,000 escaped this fate, by taking refuge in the
neighboring island of Cuba, where the Spanish govern-
ment received them hospitably. This numerous immigra-
tion of French Dominicans, who mostly established them-
selves in the eastern part of the island, in the province of
St. Jago, returned, with great profit to the country, the
favor extended to them .... To their efforts and their
industry, is in fact due the extraordinary increase which
the cultivation of coffee took from that period.
About the same time of this happy episode for agricul-
ture and white population in Cuba, another political event
occurred which also contributed to their increase, though
in a less degree than the Haytien emigration.
I refer to the emigration, which the territorial cession
of Louisiana to France, afterwards sold by that power to
the United States, brought to Havana and the western part
of the island. At this period, twenty thousand per-
sons, not wishing to change their flag or nationality, re-
moved from that country to Cuba.
"The fate of Cuba seemed to be to prosper through the
misfortunes and ruin of other lands. This idea was further
confirmed a few years later when, in 1810, the immense
colonial possessions of Spain on the continent began to
In the space of twelve years, Mexico, Peru, Chili, Bue-
nos Ayres, Quito,, New Granada, Costa Firme, all, except
the Antilles, were successfully invaded and conquered by
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
the revolution. In this long interval, a multitude of famil-
ies and individuals, and not a few considerable fortunes,
took refuge in the Great Antilla.
The concurrence of this unexpected element of prosper-
ity, was the more opportune and useful, inasmuch as in
1818, the freedom of commerce had been decreed for Cuba.
"This measure was the true beginning of the prosperity
of the island. From the time of its cession, excepting a
short period during the constitutional agitation of Spain
from 1820 to 1823, nothing has occurred to stop the pro-
gress of Cuba in wealth and population."
From the time of its return by the English government,
Cuba has remained in peaceable possession of Spain.
During the Spanish-American revolutions, several political
conspiracies were formed in the island, but they were all
frustrated and suppressed by General Vives.
At subsequent periods (1849-51), efforts were made by
Lopez and the filibusters to separate Cuba from Spain.
Lopez landed twice on the island with small expeditions
from the United States. The first, in 1849,' took the city
of Cardenas, but the Cubans not joining him as he had an-
ticipated, the expedition returned to Key West, chased
into that harbor by a Spanish steamer.
The second expedition landed in 1851, near Bahia Hon-
da. Crittenden and his command becoming separated
from the main body, were captured, and this leader with
fifty of his men, were shot at Havana. The expedition was
soon after dispersed, and made prisoners by the Spanish
troops. Lopez was garroted, and the prisoners sent to
Spain, where they were soon after liberated by the Spanish
The latest statistical returns of the island, compiled in
1862, and published by the government in 1864, exhibit
the following aggregates:
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
POPULATION In 1862.
Whites, . . . 773,484
Free colored, . . 232,501
Slaves. . . . 370,550
Total, .......... 1,376,535
Population in 1846, . .. 898,752
Increase in sixteen years, ... .477,783
2,714 grazing farms for horned cattle.
6,175 stock farms (horses, mules, etc.)
1,521 sugar plantations.
782 coffee plantations.
11,541 tobacco plantations.
22,748 small farms.
11,738 garden farms.
The gross revenue of the government in 1864, was
Considerations of the present condition and future devel-
opment of these social elements, belong to the philosophic
observer and the historian, not to the guide.
Government-Religion-Climate and Diseases.
GOVERNMENT. The government of Cuba is vested
in the Governor and Captain-General, who is the civil
governor, commander-in-chief of the forces, and superin-
tendent of the treasury; and the General of Marine, who
is commander-in-chief of the naval forces.
In cases of extreme urgency to the public safety, these,
with the heads of several of the subordinate bureaus of
government, constitute a council with power to defez tem-
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
porarily the execution of the royal decrees. The decrees
of the crown, issued with the advice of the supreme coun-
cil of Indies, constitute the supreme law of the colonies.
For the purposes of administration, Cuba is divided in
two departments, western and eastern, the governors of
which reside respectively at Havana and St. Jago de
These departments are again sub-divided in districts,
and the districts in partidas. Each district is known by
the name of its capital. We give these in the order of
Capital. Pop. Capital.
Havana, ... .180,000 Villa Clara,
Matanzas, .. 26,000 Cienfuegos,
Trinidad, .. 14,200 Cardenas, .
Santi Espiritu, 11,000 Remedios,.
St. Jago de Cuba, . . ...
Puerto Principe, .. . . .
Bayamo, . . . .
RELIGION.--If ecclesiastial government, Cuba is divided
in two dioceses-the metropolitan of which are Havana
and St. Jago de Cuba. This division was made in 1788, at
p which time that of St. Jago de Cuba was elevated to an
The Jesuits were expelled from Cuba, in common with
the other dominions of Spain, in 1777. They have since
been re-admitted to the island. Nearly all the monastic
orders were suppressed in 1846. In both these cases their
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
possessions reverted to the crown, and were appropriated
to the public use.
No form of public worship other than the Roman Catho-
lic, is permitted in the Spanish colonies.
CLIMATE.-The climate of Cuba exhibits in its general
aspects all the characteristics of the Northern tropics,
within which it entirely lies. It is less unfavorable to the
development of the European race than that of the other
islands of the West Indies, from the fact that they are all
situated farther within the torrid zone.
Its great extent of surface and varied elevation above
the sea, confer upon it variations of temperature, which
are again modified by the accidents of topography and the
prevailing winds. The eastern portion of the island is the
most elevated, and on the mountains there frosts are not
The most important cities, Havana, Matanzas, Cardenas,
Cienfugos, Trinidad and St. Jago, lie immediately on the
sea coast; and, except during the transitory influence of
the northers, never enjoy an entirely cool temperature.
During the heat of the day the temperature is mitigated
by the sea breezes, which usually rise about ten in the
morning, and subside about four in the afternoon. The
nights are almost invariably pleasingly cool
The following table of thermometrical ranges exhibits
the mean of observations at Havana monthly for a year.
November 75 6' F. May 82 2' F.
December 70 June 82 7'
January 700 July 82 9'
February 72 August 83 4'
March 790 September 82 6'
April 78 9' October 790 5'
The inhabitants divide the year in two seasons, the wet
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
and the dry. The wet season, during which showers are
abundant, usually lasts from the end of May or beginning
of June until October. The dry season occupies the re-
maining months of the year.
During the autumn and winter occasional gales of wind
from the north are experienced. These are called north-
ers," and during December are usually accompanied with
cold rains. Though the thermometer seldom falls during
their prevalence below 600 or 650 F. the chilly sensation
they produce makes warm garments quite desirable. They
seldom last less than two or more than three days.
After January the northers are seldom accompanied by
rain, and are then delightfully bracing. During February
and March, the sun performs the office of frost in more
northern climes. The soil becomes dried to a great depth,
and the trees drop many of their leaves preparatory for
the new vegetation.
In April strong south winds are prevalent, and to many
persons bring headache.
Toward the close of spring many of the fruits ripen
and the orange is in its greatest perfection about the end
of April This month and May are usually very dry
months, and June, with its heavy showers and hot suns,
ushers in the summer. The pine-apple, the aguacate, the
anona, and the banana then make their appearance in pro-
fusion, continuing in season until November.
With these modifications the climate through the year
is quite even and unvarying. The sea breeze during the
day, and odorous land wind at night, each delightful to
the senses, is the prevailing condition. In walking or
riding no fear of sudden changes of temperature, as a gen-
eral thing, may be entertained. So far as the climate is
concerned, the dress which is comfortable in the morning,
will not be found uncomfortable in the evening.
50 HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
"Nogtwithstanding the frequency of rain," says Baron
Humboldt, "during the hot season, that is during the
months of July, August and September, these months do
not present the greatest number of cloudy days. The
rains of summer although copious, are of short duration,
and those days on which showers do not fall, are in general
"It may almost be said that during these months no
clouds are to be seen in the atmosphere, except while the
shower is falling; while in the other months, cloudy days
sometimes occur without rain. Days during which the
heavens are completely clouded are extremely rare in
Cuba: we give the mean of our observations for each
S .o 8
Clear and partially
These tables will give some idea of the beauty of the
sky in these regions, and of its effects upon the life and
luxuriant growth of vegetation. A high temperature,
moderated by great evaporation, which pours through the
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
atmosphere a continuous torrent of watery vapors, presents
the most favorable conditions for the development of an
admirable vegetation; which again contributes, in its
part, to maintain the humidity of the atmosphere-soul
of its exuberant life. Thus it is that through all seasons
of the year the fields and forests of Cuba preserve their ver-
dure; but it is principally at the beginning of summer,
during the rainy season, that all nature there seems to be
transformed into flowers."
DISEASEs.-Cuba has no diseases peculiar to itself, but
it shares, with the other islands of the West Indies, those
incidental to that portion of the world. A few remarks on
several of the most prominent of these, will not be deem-
ed inappropriate here.
The yellow fever, or "black vomit," was unknown there
until the summer of 1761, when this terrible disease was
introduced in Havana, by a detachment of prisoners
brought from Vera Cruz to work on the fortifications of
It did not extend beyond the city for many years.
Towards the close of the century is it known to have
invaded the other coast towns. It is observed that the
natives of the country are exempt from this fever, now
endemic to the island, as also are persons coming from the
hottest regions of Africa, that is negroes or persons of
color. It attacks about two-thirds of the Spaniards, Euro-
peans, Americans from the Northern States, and unaccli-
mated strangers coming from climates colder than that of
In all the maritime towns yellow fever prevails from
June until November, sometimes commencing in May.
Sporadic cases in occasional years occur during the other
months in Havana.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CUBA.
SIt usually makes its first appearance among the shipping
in the harbor, thus giving ample warning to visitors to
enable them to leave the island before danger is incurred
by residence in the city. The portions of the island a few
leagues distant from the coast are not subject to it.
The interior of the island is as healthy as France, fevers
prevailing only along the water courses and swamps, and
those chiefly intermittent The red lands are esteemed the
most healthy, sickness being there produced only by the
SPAsms.-There is great susceptibility to spasms among
both the white and black inhabitants of Cuba. A slight
surgical operation or wound often produces it; and sudden
exposure to wet, or a cool draft of air, while the body is
heated, will sometimes induce another'attack. Frictions
with olive oil, and the expressed juice of the garlic taken
in tea-spoonful doses are the popular remedies.
LEPROSY.-In our notice of the Hospital of San Lazaro
at Havana, which see, we have given the observations of
a very competent physician on this disease.
LANDING IN HAVANA.
3.-- ENDING IN JAVANA.
The Approach to the City.
THE approach to the island of Cuba and the city of Ha-
vana is a pleasing sight, that should not be lost, if the trav-
eler can possibly remain on deck. In arriving from the
north the first land usually made is the Pan of Matanzas,
a high mountain near that city, about sixty miles east
from Havana. From the Gulf of Mexico the land fall is
generally the highlands of Cabafas, fifty miles, or the ta-
ble land of Mariel, twenty-five miles, west of the city.
It is usual for ships, after making these points, to run
the remaining distance near enough to the shore to render
objects thereon clearly visible, particularly with a glass.
If the run along the coast is made after nightfall, the
delicious aroma of the land breeze is experienced. This
has been alluded to by many travelers, and Baron Hum-
boldt in his celebrated "Voyage" thus refers to it:
"In the evening when the breeze came from the land, we
perceived that delightful fragrance of flowers and honey
so characteristic of the shores of Cuba."
The "Maiden's Paps," two round hills in the interior
range, bearing south, is the landmark for seamen running
in to Havana. As the harbor is approached the city opens
to full view, lying, as it does, on the peninsula between
the sea shore and the bay which forms the haven.
"The aspect of Havana," says Baron Humboldt, "at the
entrance of the port, is one of the gayest and most pic-
turesque on the shore of equinoctial America north of the
equator. This spot is celebrated by travelers of all nations.
It boasts not the luxurious vegetation which adorns the
banks of the river Guayaquil, nor the wild majesty of the
rocky coast of Rio Janeiro; but the grace which in these
LANDING IN HAVANA.
climates embellishes the scenes of cultivated nature, is at
Havana mingled with the majesty of vegetable forms, and
the organic vigor that characterizes the torrid zone."
Above tower the walls of the Morro castle and the Ca-
bafia fortress, the great strongholds of the place; with the
walls of the city, the Punta fort, and the city prison in the
foreground, and the pointed roof of the Tacon theatre be-
yond. The large building far to the west, is the Benefi-
cencia (orphan asylum); and the fortification on the hill be-
hind it, is the Castillo del Principe. The water battery
near is called La Reina.
As the ship rounds the point of the Morro, on which
stands the light-house, she is hailed from the fortress, her
name and port of departure are demanded, and the latter
is communicated by signal to the city. On the left the
steep ascent to the Morro and Cabafia affords few objects
On the right, passing the Punta fort, is an open space,
with the city prison; and successively the city walls and
Punta gate; the ordnance stores; the rear of the cathe-
dral; water openings in the walls, which serve at once for
the city sewerage, and as an inlet for the small fishing-
boats to the fish-market; the offices of military engi-
neers; La Fuerza; the fountain of Neptune, on a small
projecting pier whence the shipping are supplied with
water; the offices of the Captain of the Port; and the
commencement of the city quay with its projecting sheds.
Here a fine view of the harbor opens in front and to the
right, expanding in a basin in the form of a trefoil, of
which the great axis, stretching from N.N.E. to S.S.W.,
is two and one-fifth miles long. The city quay, lined with
shipping, extends to where a high derrick is seen. Near
this is the passenger landing, and office for the examin-
ation of baggage.
LANDING IN HAVANA.
On the left extend the shipping, moored in tiers, which
have discharged their inward cargo, and are now loading
outward, or waiting freight. The great open space in the
centre of the harbor is reserved for ships of war of all na-
tions, where they swing leisurely at their anchors.
The village on the hill-side on the left is Casa Blanca,
inhabited almost entirely by shipwrights; in front of
which is moored a large floating dry dock, built some
years since in New Orleans, and towed to this port by two
steamers. A little beyond the houses of the village, is the
anchorage for the steamships.
On the shore, east, are two private hospitals, now closed;
south, the town of Regla and the Santa Catalina ware-
houses; and still further to the right and south, succes-
sively the great sugar warehouses, Matanzas railroad depot,
powder magazine, Atares fort, the navy-yard, and the city
wall, interrupted by the steam ferry landings, continued to
the passenger landing already spoken of. At an angle of
the wall is seen the Hospital de Paula, a hospital for
Soon after the steamer has anchored, it is surrounded
by a crowd of boats from the shore; but no one is per-
mitted to board a newly arrived ship until the govern-
ment visits and examination are completed.
When these are over the boats crowd to the ship, and a
babel of confusion arises. The tourist will do well to have
decided, before this time, what hotel he will go to.
If this has been done he should find the agent of the
hotel selected, point out to him at once the baggage, and
see that it is put into his boat. Much trouble, annoyance
and delay will thus be avoided.
When the passengers and baggage are embarked in the
boats, the flotilla, accompanied by a custom house officer,
proceeds to the landing. Here the baggage is placed on
LANDING IN HAVANA.
counters around the room assigned to this purpose, and
gentlemen will find the Spanish officials courteous in the
performance of their duties. In no part of the world are
travelers subjected to fewer annoyances in this proceeding
than in Havana.
Apply to the official within the railing for a landing per-
mit, boleta de desembarque. This gentleman speaks several
languages, and has a list of all passengers who arrive. It
is only requisite to give the name.
The landing permits are of two classes; one, "in transit,"
for those intending to remain but one month or less on the
island, for which the fee is one dollar; and the other for
those desiring to make a longer stay, fee two dollars.
These fees must be paid in Spanish revenue stamps, which
can be obtained in the baggage room.
The agent of the hotel can attend to all this for strangers,
and they will find it best to let him pay the boatman and
the carriage hire.
After this examination, the passenger and his baggage
are conveyed to the hotel For the conveyance of persons,
the volante, a vehicle peculiar to Cuba, and the victoria are
used. On arriving at the hotel, see that all the baggage is
brought in and taken to the room. Travellers are now
free to go and come as they choose; and persons who do
not meddle with what does not concern them, will find as
much personal liberty in Havana, as in any well regulated
city in the world.
Streets and Houses.
There is nothing which more forcibly strikes the atten-
tion of the stranger in Havana, than the substantial man-
ner in which the buildings are constructed. The walls of
a single story house are seldom less than twenty inches
or even two feet in thickness; and to witness the erection
STREET SCENE.-BAKER AND GREEN FODDER.
LANDING TN HAVANA.
of those of large size, the masonry might readily be mis-
taken for that of some embryo fortification, destined to
be cannon proof.
Many of the private dwellings are immense structures,
and the architecture of the larger houses is heavy. They
are so constructed as to form open squares in their centres,
which are their only yards. Some have one, and others
have two squares, where a few shrubs planted in boxes
serve to relieve the eye, and upon which the lofty arches
of the corridors look down.
The lower story is occupied in part by store-rooms, and
the stable; and in part by small stores, or dwellings,
which have no connection with the main habitation. The
great entrance to this is often half blocked up by the
volante, the national vehicle of Cuba, its arched passage-
way serving for a coach-house.
From the side of this, a wide flight of stone steps leads
to the corridor of the main story, into which all the rooms
open, and which forms the common passage to all of them.
It opens itself on the central square, and the spaces between
its heavy pillars and high sprung .arches, are generally
closed with Venetian blinds. An air of rude grandeur re-
igns throughout the structure, the architecture partaking
of a mixture of the Saracenic and Gothic styles.
The chief hall, or parlor, is generally from forty to fifty
feet long, twenty wide, and as many feet high; while the
doors and windows, reaching from the floor to the ceiling,
render it cool and pleasant during warm days, but afford
little protection against the damp northers. The floors are
all stuccoed or tiled, and the walls and ceilings not unfre-
quently ornamented with fresco; while here and there, a
few panes of glass let into the thick shutters, serve to
admit the light when these are closed.
But the striking peculiarity of the town house in Cuba,
LANDING IN HAVANA.
is the care taken to render it safe against assaults from
without. Every window that is at all accessible, either
from the street or the roofs of the neighboring houses, is
strongly latticed with iron bars; while the stout folding
doors, guarding the single entrance to the whole building,
would not be unfit to protect that of a fortress. They are
castellated palaces; and with their terraced roofs, their gal-
leries and passages, their barricaded windows, and pon-
derous doors, remind one of the old strongholds which
romancers have depicted.
There is no West End in Havana; the stately mansion
of the millionaire is often in juxtaposition with the ware-
house of the dealer in odorous jerked beef, or the work-
shop and home of the humble artisan. Many of the
dwellings are only of one story, and as the windows are
usually thrown open in the afternoon and evening, the par-
lors, and often, indeed, the sleeping rooms, are completely
exposed to the gaze of the passer by. Two rows of arm-
chairs are placed near the windows, where, during the
evening, the older members of the family may be seen
seated with their visitors. The younger ones stand within
the windows, looking through the interstices of the iron
bars, and occasionally conversing with an acquaintance as
he loiters on the street.
The streets are narrow, and well paved, but very ill pro-
vided with sidewalks; a narrow ledge on each side,
slightly raised above the pavement, being the only provis-
ion for pedestrians. In the morning hours, and until
about two o'clock, they are thronged with carriages, drays,
pack-horses, and street salesmen and women; and occas-
sionally after a shower, are, for a short space of time,
This, the ambling pace of the Cuban horse scatters
widely; and gentlemen will find that possession of a slight
LANDING IN HAVANA.
cane is often conducive to cleanliness of dress. The public
calasero of Havana has an independent disregard of the wish
not to be spattered, of any gentleman who does not carry
this, at times, useful appendage.
The street salesmen are a peculiarity of Havana. They
carry every thing, from a lottery ticket which may draw
one hundred thousand dollars, to a sixpence worth of
thread and needles, or a saucer of preserves for dessert.
The fruit and sweet-meat sellers are mostly women, and
their wares are always tempting. All the fruits in season
can be obtained from their trays; and the preserves, which
are usually prepared by native families, who eke out a liv-
ing in this way, sending their servant into the streets to sell
the daily made delicacies, will often be novelties to the
stranger in the tropics.
On the calle de los Oficios (the street of the offices), and
the calle de los Mercaderas (the street of the merchants),
will be found many of the mercantile houses; while on
the calle de la Muralla (street of the wall), calle de la
Obrapia (street of the pious work), and calle de Q'Reilly,
will be found many retail stores, although these are scat-
tered indiscriminately in several parts of the city.
Things Peculiar to the Country.
All countries have their peculiar customs and practices,
which, at times, are the results of prejudice or ignorance,
but more frequently are the fruits of experience and ob-
servation. Reference to a few of these as found in Cuba,
will not be deemed inappropriate here.
FRurr.-Every one in Havana partakes largely, during
certain hours of the day, of the many delicious fruits in
The liest hour for eating fruit, is held to be in the morn-
LANDING IN HAVANA.
ing, before breakfast. At this time any reasonable quan-
tity may be taken with impunity. It is much the prac-
tice also, to use it at noon, especially oranges and pine-
apples, and a little after dinner with dessert. At night all
fruits are held here to be hurtful.
With bananas it is well to avoid drinking stimulating
liquors or wines. It is believed to be very pernicious, and
has been known to produce death.
The plantain, which is a coarser-grained fruit than the
banana, is used only as a vegetable. As such it is a uni-
versal accompaniment of the Cuban table, being cooked
both green and ripe.
The water of the green cocoa nut is a very palatable and
refreshing drink in the heat of the day. It has a sweetish
taste, and is said to act as a diuretic-to almost as great
an extent as Holland gin. There is a popular idea that it
is beneficial to persons afflicted with gravel and kindred
The most attractive fruits are the pineapple, cocoa nut,
grape, melon, date, fig, sappodillo, orange, shaddock, lemon,
lime, citron, guava, plantain, fig-banana, mango, pomegran-
ate, star-apple, mamey, granadillo, water-lemon, aguacate,
tamarind, cashew, bread-fruit, custard-apple, and sour sop.
RIDING AND WALKNG.-In Havana, it is the custom for
gentlemen to sit on the left of a lady in a carriage; and it
is not considered to be in good taste for two gentlemen
and one lady to sit on the same seat; though two ladies
and one gentleman may do so, without infringing the rule
of Cuban etiquette. In this case the gentleman should
invariably be on the extreme left.
The custom of the country does not permit a lady to
appear unattended in the street, either walking or riding,
except in the morning, when going to and from mass.
LANDING IN HAVANA.
At the paseos and retreta, ladies are accustomed to alight
from the carriage and walk with near relatives, who may
be with them, or meet them there.
At the public places of refreshment, ladies not attended
by gentlemen do not alight from their carriage.
BATHING.-Cold and warm bathing is frequent in Cuba
among all classes, and conduces much to personal comfort.
Cold bathing is practised only in the cool hours of the
morning and evening. Warm baths are found most accept-
able during the heat of the day.
Among the people of the country, persons with colds or
convalescing from them, carefully abstain from the use of
cold water. This is even carried to the extent of refrain-
ing from washing of the face and hands; and the great
insensible perspiration which is always experienced in hot
and moist climates, seems to warrant the prejudice against
cold water while convalescing from a cold. At these times
the local custom is, to sponge with rum for purposes of
PERSONAL INTBECOURSE.-In his intercourse with stran-
gers, the Cuban is profuse in compliments and offers of
service, which by many is taken to be the evidence of a
want of sincerity, when in fact they are merely customs of
the country, which one would be held wanting in polite-
ness in not offering. They have an equal meaning, and
nothing more, with the expressions of distinguished con-
sideration" usual at the conclusion of diplomatic notes, or
the Yours, very truly," of a downright English letter.
You ask a Cuban, Whose house is this ? If it is his
own, the custom of the country impels him to reply:
SMine, and yours also." You praise it, and he must say:
" It is at your service." If you admire anything he pos-
sesses, the custom of the country forces him to offer it to
LANDING IN HAVANA.
you; and if he did not do so, he would feel that he was
returning your courtesy with downright rudeness.
Among all people of Spanish descent, it is not the cus-
tom to inquire of one about his wife. The usual form is
to inquire about the family; or if you are a near relative
or friend, you may inquire of one about the female mem-
bers of his family, giving the name, or more usually the
diminutive of the name, of each; as, for instance, if the
lady's name is Maria, you may inquire "how is Mari-
quita? For Josefa "Pepita;" for Concha "Conchita,"
and so on. This custom of the country is probably a rem-
nant of the seven centuries of Arab domination in Spain.
It is not the custom in Cuba to practise the indiscrimi-
nate introducing to each other of persons who may meet
casually; and no one makes a formal presentation of
another to any person, unless requested so to do.
Persons who meet casually, in company with a third
with whom both are acquainted, salute each other and
join in conversation; it being sufficient for such inter-
course, that they have a common acquaintance with the
third person. When they meet again, without the pre-
sence of the common friend, they recognize each other,
and simply bow; after this they pursue the acquaintance
or not, as convenience or inclination may dictate.
This custom of the country has its conveniences and
advantages. Persons of delicate feeling thus avoid hav-
ing told in their presence who and what they are; and
none have forced upon them acquaintances they do not
seek, or may not desire; to avoid whom the unpleasant-
ness of a formal cut, or neglect, might become necessary.
A bowing acquaintance can be cultivated farther, only
when it is agreeable to both parties.
It is the custom in Havana for gentlemenirst to salute,
on meeting ladies of their acquaintance.
LANDING IN HAVANA.
ETIQUETTE IN SMOKING.-There is probably no one cus-
tom of the country in which the stranger, unwittingly,
commits so many violations of etiquette as in the personal
intercourse arising from the practice of smoking. These
violations may be called peccadillos, or, if we may coin a
phrase, "white sins;" yet, as at variance with customs of
the country, they grate upon the instinctive feeling of
those who have been educated to, and use, these customs,
and produce a disagreeable impression.
When a Cuban takes from his pocket his petaca, (segar
case,) or ccaetilla, (roll of cigarettes,) his first act after
opening it, is to offer to every gentleman present before
When he asks his neighbor who is smoking to favor
him with a light, the smoker, before he hands his lighted
segar, draws a few whiffs to enliven the coal. Then, hold-
ing his segar between his thumb and index finger, he taps
it lightly with the second finger of the same hand, to
knock off the accumulated ash. He then with the same
second finger turns it lightly, so that in offering i to be
lighted from, he presents the lighted end'to the applicant.
If his segar be smoked too short for convenient passing
to another, he will, before doing so, take out his own case,
and lighting a fresh one, hand the newly lighted segar to
In this case he defers the offer of his segars to the by-
standers, until the requested light has been given; but he
does not return his segar-case to his pocket until he has
made the customary offer to all the gentlemen of the party.
The recipient, after lighting his segar, holds his neigh-
bor's between his thumb and index finger, and turning the
coal towards the ground, taps it lightly with the second
finger of the fame hand, to knock off any loose ashes that
might otherwise fall on his neighbor's dress; he then re-
LANDING IN HAVANA.
turns it, holding the coal towards himself In offering it
for return, he accompanies the act with a slight, graceful
motion of the hand, in acknowledgment of the courtesy
received. The recipient takes it with a like acknowledg-
ment, and passes it at once to his mouth, before the re-
ceiver of the light has turned away, that he may see there
is no disdain of a returned segar.
To tell a person to whom one has handed a well-smoked
stump of a segar to light from, to throw it away, is a per-
sonally discourteous act.
These customs in description seem intricate, but they
are readily acquired through imitation by those who reside
even a short time in Havana; and they evince a refined
and delicate sense of courtesy. An omission of them by
one who is accustomed to their practise would not be con-
sidered a grave offence, but it would seem to indicate a
want of that refined feeling and education which makes
gentle intercourse so pleasing.
No hesitation is felt by gentlemen in taking segars or
cigarillos thus continuously, and by every one offered; and
so universal is the custom, and so equal the quality of
segars generally smoked in Havana, the practice of offer-
ing does not become a personal tax. In the aggregate the
giving and receiving is very nearly balanced.
THE COCULLO, or fire-fly of Cuba, is one of the most
brilliant of its kind, and sometimes placed by ladies under
thin portions of their dress, or fastened in their hair. They
emit a lurid halo, and no idea can be formed of the bril-
liancy of their light by the sickly specimens sometimes
They leave the decayed timber, in which they undergo
transformation from the grub to the beetle, about the mid-
dle of May, and disappear about August The largest are
LANDING IN HAVANA.
about an inch and a half long, and a quarter of an inch
broad; and when laid on their back, turn over by a sud-
den snap with the head. The chief bright spot is on the
under part of their bodies, and is a quarter of an inch
long, and an eighth of an inch broad. This, while they
fly, resembles a burning taper, and is the means by which
they are attracted to each other. They are readily caught
at night, by holding up a live coal, or a captured one,
which will bring those on the wing from a great distance
to the very hands of the decoyer.
THE CUBAN HORSE is small, but his capability to endure
fatigue is great, and his paso, and march, are the easiest
gaits, combined with rapidity, possessed by any breed.
The most esteemed are supposed to derive from the cele-
brated horses of Andalusia. The horses are left entire, to
which they owe their fine manes, broad necks, and sweep-
ing tails. The mares are seldom used under the saddle,
but are chiefly employed in field labor or breeding, and
can be purchased for a much less sum than the stallions.
Riding is the most pleasant morning exercise, and the
tourist who once tries the Cuban horse under the saddle,
especially if he procures one whose gait is the paso gual-
trapeo, (a pace so easy that a full glass of water may be
carried by the rider without spilling,) will be apt to repeat
The inquiry is frequently made by strangers why the
tails of the horses are tied up, when in harness or under
the saddle in Cuba. It is a practice which originated in
former times, to save the horse from the increase of fatigue
that would be caused by the gathering of several pounds
of the tenacious mud of the country, on the long flowing
tail of the Cuban horse. Such a gathering is esteemed to
be equivalent to another rider on his back. The practice
LANDING IN HAVANA.
has been continued from habit, after the necessity which
called it into existence has ceased. .
AFRIcAx DANCES.-A large number of the negroes in
Cuba are native Africans, and preserve, with some modifi-
cation from their surroundings, much of their African
clanship, and many of their native habits and customs.
They are particularly tenacious of their African tribal
names, which in many cases they use, in the true barbarian
style, as a suffix to the baptismal name, which has been
conferred upon them after arrival in Cuba.
Most singularly few of the native African names which
they claim as the true appellation of their tribe, or clan,
are known to geographers. The Mandingoes, and the Con-
goes, have their place on our charts of the African conti-
nent; but we look in vain for Lucumi, Carabalf, Ganga, and
many others with which the traveler in Cuba will soon
become familiar; for on pressing his servant Jose or Pedro
to tell him what his other name is, he will invariably give
the name of his tribe. Thus he will find Jos6 Lucumf;
Pedro Mandinga; Juan Carabalf, etc.
The observant traveler, if he pushes his inquiries a little
further, will find that the negroes of the several African
tribes all exhibit a predilection for some one employment
suited to the tribal instincts. Thus one tribe, the Cara-
balf, are by nature traffickers, and can with difficulty be
trailed as house servants; while the Congo likes better to
be in the house than in the street; and the Lucumi prefers
the monotonous labor of a water carrier. The latter may
be known by the three horizontal scars on each cheek,
which is the tatoo of the tribe.
These Africans retain their clanship in Cuba, and each
clan has a ruler or rulers of its own; with its polity, rela-
tions, and a world of ideas and thoughts, to which the
LANDING IN HAVANA.
whites can rarely, and then only superficially, penetrate.
The chief public evidence of these things is the weekly
Sunday afternoon meetings and dances of the negroes, at
their cabildos, (council houses,) as they are styled. Numbers
of these will be found on the Calle de Monserrate, facing
the inner side of the city wall, and a walk through them
between the hours of four and six on a Sunday afternoon
will be very amusing to the stranger.
They are held in public, secret meetings being unlawful,
and any one can go and come at pleasure. The dancers
are all volunteers, and a silver quarter thrown into the
plate for contributions, which is always placed ostenta-
tiously near the door, will gratify the crowd, and generally
stimulate an accession to the dancers; while a silver dollar
will procure for the giver a surfeit of African pirouettes
and banjo drubbing. Some of the dances are not such as
can be agreeably witnessed by ladies.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
4.- GIVING IN JAVANA.
Hotels, Boarding Houses and Lodgings.
HOTEL.-It is only within a few years that edifices adapt-
ed to hotel purposes, and designed for the accommodation
of travelers, have been erected in Havana. Hitherto, the
wants of the traveling community had been met by the
adaptation of large private residences to this purpose; and
even now, several of the minor hotels and of the best pri-
vate boarding-houses, occupy the immense aristocratic con-
structions of former days.
The better class of hotels are now comfortably furnished,
well kept, and the traveler will find more convenience and
comfort in them than in private lodgings. In most of
them the attendants speak several languages, the host is
accustomed to the numerous requirements of strangers, and
the arrangements of the house and table are generally ad-
dressed to their tastes.
All of the large hotels have restaurants attached, and
arrangements can be made for board by the day, or on the
European plan. Prices run from $2 to $7 per day accord-
ing to the accommodation and conveniences required.
It is the general custom in Cuba, to take but two meals
a day. Fruit, with a cup of coffee and a roll, on rising in
the morning; breakfast, from nine to eleven; and dinner,
from four to six. As the evenings can almost always be
passed in the open air, it is usual, instead-of tea, to visit
some of the places of public resort, where ices, sweet-meats,
a cup of coffee, chocolate, or tea are taken.
We give the names of the principal hotels, in the order
in which they are esteemed in Havana.
El Telegrafo, fronting the Campo Marte; Hotel Ingla-
terra, fronting the Parque of Isabel II.; Santa Isabel, on
CAL-I. E IDE L .A AM2II rSTTA.ID,
JUAN MIGUEL CASTANEDA, Proprietor.
THE TELEGRAPH HOTEL,
Opposite the MILITARY PARADE, (Campo Marte), and in the imme-
diate vicinity of the Havana Railroad, the City Railroad, Caf6
Marte y Bellona, Caf6 del Prado, Caf6 Flor del Valle, Calle
de la Reina, Paseo de Tacon, Military Parades
and Exercises, and Aldama Residence.
THE TELEG~-ERAPH HOTEL,
THE FINEST HOTEL IN HAVANA,
Occupying a Splendid Edifice constructed especially for Hotel Purposes,
7 Saloons, 150 Booms, and 82 Baths.
English, 9Iench, Spanish and (|eiman $pohen.
Pt' Particular attention paid to the wishes and comfort of Patrons.
MEALS AT ALL HOURS,
SERVED IN SUITE, OR IN RESTAURANT.
RESTAURANT DE INGLATERRA,
CALLE DEL PRADO,
Fronting the Parque de Isabel II., and next to the Tacon Theatre,
HA AVA. A.
This establishment, from its situation, ranks among the first in the
city; and being the oldest of the hotels, needs no other recommendation
than its well established reputation among the most eminent travelers of
all countries who, on visiting the Capital of the Island of Cuba, have
The Hotel de. llaterra.
Situated in the most picturesque and frequented part of the city, it is
well known to natives and strangers. Its balconies command a beautiful
view of the ENTRANCE TO THE HARBOR, and the Magnificent PAsEo DEL
PIADO, from the Campo Marte to the sea behind the unta Castle.
Near the Cafe de Louvre, fronting on the Park of Isabel II., where the
Regimental Bands of the Garrison play every evening, and the most select
society meet, we may say
The Hotel de Inglaterra is the Rendezvous of the
Elegant Youth and Men of Business.
Next stands the Tacon Theatre, fronting which is the Cireo de Albizz, and
beyond the Parque de Isabel la Catolica, and the Havana Railroad Station.
In front of the Hotel run the cars of the City Railroads, extending to the
Cerro, Jesus del Monte and Chorrera.
DON LUIS I. GUANO, Proprietor and Director,
on his recent return from Europe, brought everything necessary to
furnish the establishment in modern style.
The greatly reduced prices, the exquisite attention to guests and their
safety, and above all, the select concourse that patronize it, place it in the
The Great Hotel and Restaurant of Inglaterra.
ALL LANGUAGES SPOKEN.
MEALS AT ALL HOURS. Prices, $3 to $5 Per Day.
An Elegant Barber Shop and Baths within the Building.
HOTEL BATAA ISABS1L
Plaza de Armas, HAVANA,
oppositee the Palaoe of thMe aptain-Amen ral,
AND ADJOINING THE CONSULATE OP THE UNITED STATEm.
The beautiful edifce on the Plaza de Annas, formerly
THE PALACE OF COUNT SANTOVENIA,
IS NOW OCCUPIED BY THE ABOVE WELL KNOWN HOTEL.
It is the only Hotel on the Island
KEPT IN THOROUGH AMERICAN STYLE.
The ROOMS are LARGE and AIRY, the house having frontage on the
PLAZA DE ABnAS, the CALLE DE EnA, and the magnificent HARBOB,
and are Newly and Completely Furnished throughout.
The Paeilos anld DinngflRol ms
SURPASS IN SIZE AND ELEGANCE ANY OTHERS IN THE CITY.
The Waiters all speak English, and Ladies are attended by persons of
their own sex.
Guests are Served with every Comfort and Convenience.
BREAKFAST, 9 to 12. LUNCH, 12 to 2. DINNER, 4 to 7.
IN THE HOUSE AT ALL HOURS.
S JOllU npplieb Bar attacIeb to tte Ql tablislement.
G~BA HOTL BE IUROPA,
MANUEL DE SOUTO, Proprietor.
Plaza de San Francisco, HAVANA.
THE GRAND HOTEL DE EUROPA,
Former y the Hotel of Jers. 7-%f y,
Is situated adjacent to the Mole, the beautiful
SAY OF? HAVANA AND THE S UPPING.
THE BEST ATTENDANCE IS FURNISHED
AT MOST MODERATE PRICES,
AND ATTACHED TO THE HOTEL ABB
FINE BATHS AND BARBER SHOP.
ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN AND SPANISH SPOKEN.
CALLE DE LA HAVANA, No. 85.
Good Rooms, a well supplied Table and
AT REASONABLE PRIICES.
IN SINGLE ROOMS, WITH BOARD, ... .$42 50 PR MONTH.
" DOUBLE ... 84 00 "
BOARD WITHOUT ROOM, . ... 25 00
ENGLISH AND FRENCH SPOKEN.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
the Plaza de Armas; Hotel Europa, on the Plaza San Fran-
cisco; Hotel America, on the Plaza de Cristina; Hotel
Cubano calle del Teniente Rey; Hotel San Carlos, Plaza de
Cristina; Hotel de Paris, calle de la Industria; Hotel de
Ambos Mundos, Plaza de Cristina.
BOARDING HousEs.-There are a number of these ar-
ranged to meet the wants of travelers in every respect.
Mrs. Almy, calle de San Pedro-$3 per day for transient
persons; Mrs. Tregent, calle de la Habana, and Madam
Rita, calle de Santa Clara-$42 50, for single rooms, $34
for double rooms, with board, per month. These charges
include two meals a day, lodging, and attendance.
LoDGINGs.-Unfurnished rooms can be readily obtained
in Havana, with entire freedom of access, at from $8 to
$25, for single rooms or suites. Furniture can be purchased
or hired from dealers as parties may desire.
SPANISH BOARD.-Many of the native families of the mid-
dle class have furnished rooms which they let to applicants,
with board with the family. Prices for these vary from
$25 to $34 per month. Persons desiring to acquire the
Spanish language rapidly, will find this a convenient course
RESTAUiRAwTS.-Besides those attached to the large hotels,
there are numerous public restaurants in the city, some of
which have rooms to let to gentlemen. Nearly all of them
pursue the practice of admitting monthly arrangements for
board, the price for which runs from $20 to $60 per month,
according to the number of dishes stipulated for breakfast
To convey an idea of the style of meals and living at
these, we give below a translation of the Carte of one of
the principal of these establishments. It opens with the
LIVING IN HAVANA.
announcement that orders are received for meals within
and without the house.
Mutton, Veal, & Pork Chops. Beefsteak with
Kidneys, broiled, with "
Champignon, en Brochet-
ta, and stewed. "
Liver, broiled, and A la la It
Pork fried. Bordi
Minced Beef. Chate
Minced Turkey. ar
Veal Hash. Orli.
Jerked Beef. Stewed tripe.
Calves Feet. Eggs, Fried, Be
Stewed Fish. Potatoes, "
Codfish Stew. Plantain, "
Milk, Coffee, Chocolate and Tea.
Fish A la M
Fish A la Islefia.
Fried, Baked, Boiled and Pickled.
Fish A la Sebastopol.
rith Vegetables. Prim.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
Oysters on Half Shell.
Calamares, fried and stewed.
Lobster, plain and salad.
a la Bordelaise.
Beef, roast and boiled.
A la marengo.
a la catalan.
Venison, stew and fricassee. Stewed wild hog's tongue.
Veal, stew and fricandeau. Sausages fried.
Chicken stew. Boned turkey.
Quail with truffles. Stuffed onions.
Guinea-fowl stew. Lubec sausages.
Florida duck. Spanish, "
Wild hog's tongue.
Vegetables and Salads.
Sweet Potatoes, baked, boiled, stewed and fried.
Cauliflower. Tomatoes. Asparagus.
Brocoli. Green Corn. Lubec.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
Beets. Radishes. Lettuce.
String Beans. Black Beans.
Green Peas. Rice.
Bilbao Peppers. Eggplant. Yam. Yuca.
Omlette au rhum, with fruit, jelly, sucr6.
Custard. Spanish Puffs.
Pudding. Fresh Curds.
Sweetmeats, Guava, Milk, Tomato, Papaw, Mamay, etc.
Guava Jelly, of Puerto Principe and Havana.
Marmalade, Guava and Quince. Canned fruits.
Cheese, Chester, Rochefort, Gruyere, Partagras, Cabrales,
Grapes, Oranges, Bananas, and all fruit in season.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES.-The stranger in Havana will
have need of little intercourse with the government offices,
except the necessary applications, on arriving and depart-
ing, to the officers of the Passport Bureau.
In no city in the world are person and property more
safe at all hours of the day and night, than in the city of
Havana; and in few is personal liberty so little interfered
with by the government. In exceptional cases, where ap-
plication to the officials becomes necessary, the usual delay
of official routine is experienced, but the deportment of
the officers is always polite, and to foreigners is invariably
considerate and obliging.
Personal access to the Captain General, during official
hours, is not difficult.
The principal offices are in the palace of the Captain
General, on the Plaza de Armas. Official hours from 10
A.M. to 8 P.M.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
SThe Secretario Politico is the official secretary of the
Captain General for all the civil affairs of the island.
Those of the military departments are conducted by the
The entrance to these offices is by the great portal of the
palace; the politico to the right, military to the left.
PASSPORT BUREAU.-In the palace, entrance on calle de
Obispo, offices on the first floor to the right.
Under the heading Landing in Havana," we have given
all the steps necessary to be taken on arrival. For those
requisite on leaving the city we refer the reader to the
remarks under How to leave Havana," on a subsequent
CusToM HousE.-The offices of the Customs are in the
ex-convent of San Francisco, at the corner of the plaza of
that name and the calle de los Oficios.
Only merchants who have been matriculated in the com-
merce of the city, can make inward or outward entries of
ships or goods, or transact any other business with this
department. Strangers who have need to apply at the
Custom House for any purpose must therefore do so
though one of the licensed merchants.
PoLICE.-Office of the chief of police, calle del Emperado,
The following extracts from the police regulations of
Havana may be useful:
No one will be allowed to disembark on the island with-
out a passport, except in case of inevitable loss of papers
by shipwreck, capture, or other similar cause, and the pre-
sentation of a bondsman, who will answer to the authorities
for the term of one year, and present him should he be de-
LIVING IN HAVANA.
"Passengers from foreign ports should have their pass-
ports certified by the Spanish consul
No master of a vessel shall receive on board any passen-
ger, to convey from one point to another, without passport,
under penalty of twenty-five dollars.
"Any person that receives a slave on board any vessel to
be conveyed from one point to another, without permission
from the master of the slave, shall incur a penalty of fifty
dollars, without prejudice to any action at law that may be
brought against him therefore.
No master of a vessel will receive on board any desert-
ing soldier or sailor, under the pains and penalties pre-
scribed in the military code.
"All colored persons, slaves or free, that arrive from
foreign countries shall be sent immediately to a deposit,
prepared by government for that purpose, where they shall
remain until the moment of leaving the island; or they can
remain on board the vessel, provided the consignee will
give a bond of one thousand dollars, to be forfeited in case
they leave her, which bond shall not be canceled until the
return of the boarding officer on the departure of the
Purchases made from slaves or servants shall be forfeit-
ed, and the purchaser punished as he may deserve. The
same is understood of purchases from soldiers, unless it be
of some article of their own manufacture, or made with the
intervention of an officer.
"No person shall make, sell, purchase, or carry, under
the penalties assigned by law, any of the following weap-
ons: pistols of all classes, muskets or carbines less than
four palms in the barrel, gun or pistol canes of any kind,
sword-canes, nor any cane with a concealed blade of any
kind, dirks or daggers of any kind less than four hands in
the blade, knives with spring backs, or any contrivance to
fix the blade when open, bayonet without the gun, nor any
pointed knife, great or small, of any kind."
Foreign Consuls in Havana.
We give below a list of the foreign consuls resident in
Havana. Visitors will generally derive both pleasure and
LIVING IN HAVANA.
advantage from a personal call upon the representative of
their country. It may be only a formal testimony of respect,
but they will always be received with courtesy, and the
consul can often render valuable advice and assistance.
If you have ordered your letters to be addressed to his
care, do not forget
leave the consulate.
sum may be small
great, and amounts
to pay the Havana postage before you
He has had it to pay, and though the
to each individual, the aggregate is
to quite a large yearly tax.
.No. 31 Amargura.
No. 6 San Pedro.
.No. 1 Obispo.
.No. San Ignacio.
.No. 8 Oficios.
.No. 2 Mercaderes.
S No. 22 Mercaderes.
No. 37 Mercaderes.
No. 75 Aguiar.
No. 17 Obispo.
No. 1 Inquisidor.
.No. 35 Mercaderes.
.No. 8 Oficios.
No. 40 San Ignacio.
S No. 82 Lamparilla.
No. 8 Oficios.
No. 27 Tejadillo.
No. 5 Barratillo.
No. 126 Aguiar.
No. 75 Aguiar.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
Russia, No. 20 Obrapia.
Sweden and Norway, .No. 22 Mercaderes.
Switzerland, No. 27 Mercaderes.
Uruguay, No. 17 Obispo.
Venezuela, .. No. 5 Barratillo.
Wurtemburg, No. 6 Empedrado.
Currency in Cuba.
It is advisable for the traveler to take a supply of money
in specie to meet expenses on landing.
On the steamships, United States currency can be used,
but the best currency for this purpose in Cuba is the Span-
ish and Spanish-American gold and silver coinage; and
preference should be given, in the gold coins, to the smaller
denominations, or fractions of the onza, or doublodn.
American gold can be exchanged in most of the ports of
the United States for these, at a rate somewhat under six-
teen dollars for the ounce. The Spanish ounce is current
in Cuba and Puerto Rico at seventeen dollars, fractions in
proportion, while the similar coinage of the Spanish-Amer-
ican republics, passes at the rate of sixteen to the ounce.
For change, United States halves, quarters, dimes, and
half-dimes are current at their value in Havana. In the
country, halves and quarters are not always current.
American gold in Havana is subject to fluctuations of
value, according to the rates of exchange.
The legal currency of Cuba is the gold and silver coinage
of Spain, the Spanish-American republics, and notes of the
Banco Espafiol. The latter are issued in denominations
of $25, $50, $100, $300, $500, and $1000.
TABLE OF GOLD COINs.-Spanish. Span.-Amer.
Onza, or ounce, $17 00 $16 00
Half, 8 50 8 00
LIVING IN HAVANA.
Quarter ounce, $4 25
Eighth, 2 121
Sixteenth, 1 06J
The doblon isabelina, a $5 Spanish gold coin of the pres-
ent reign, is not often seen in Cuba, as it does not bear the
six per cent. premium in current value which the older
The following table of the value of Spanish and Spanish-
American ounces, reduced to dollars, will be found conven-
ient for reference.
TABLE OF SILVER CoINS.-Spanish,
Dollar, pillard. Premium.
other Spanish Par.
Half-dollar, 50 cents.
Quarter dollar, pillard, 25 "
Fifth 20 "
Eighth pillard, 121 "
Tenth real, 10 "
Sixteenth 6 "
Twentieth" medio, 5 "
LIVING IN HAVANA.
PosT-OFFIE.-The General Post-Office is in calle de los
Oficios, not far from the passenger landing. Entrance to
apply for letters, in the rear of the building. Daily writ-
ten lists of letters received for persons not holding boxes,
are put up after the arrival and sorting of the mails, in
which each letter is numbered.
Letters are to be called for by number and not by address,
and strangers finding names on the list similar to their
own, will do well to call for the number against it, as the
post-office officials are not all experts in spelling foreign
names or deciphering foreign chirography. By writing
the numbers on a slip of paper, letters can be obtained by
parties not speaking the language. On receiving letters
the Spanish postage must be paid.
The lists are placed in glass frames, and are classified by
countries. Those of letters from the United States and
northern Europe, will be found in the second division at
the right on entering.
On the right of each division are lists of letters received
during the previous month, and not called for. On the
expiration of the second month these lists and the letters
are archived, and those uncalled for at the end of two
years, are burned unopened. To find letters that may have
been more than two months in the Havana post-office, per-
sonal application with the address can be made at the
MAsLs.-Those for the chief points of the island, are
made up daily, and close at 4.30 A.M.
For Spain, twice a month, and for Puerto Rico, St.
Thomas, Sisal, Vera Cruz, and Colon (Aspinwall), are made
up monthly on the respective advertised days, and trans*
mitted by the Spanish steamer. For other points in Eu-
rope, United States, Canada, Bahamas, Windward Islands,
LIVING IN HAVANA.
and Mexico, letters are received at the offices of the agents
of the several foreign steamship lines.
CITY DELIVERY.-A reliable delivery of prepaid letters
to addresses in the city, is made by carriers twice a day,
leaving the principal office at 7 A.M. and 3 P.M. City post-
age by stamps, two and a half cents.
Letters for the mails, or for city delivery, can be depos-
ited in the boxes, which are placed conspicuously in many
parts of the city, marked Correo," from which the last
collection takes place at 7 P.M., daily.
PosTAGE.-Prepayment with Spanish postage stamps,
is obligatory on all letters deposited in the post-office or
city letter boxes. The rates are:
For the Island, five cents for each half ounce.
other countries, ten cents for each half. ounce.
city delivery, two and a half cents.
Letters for the United States are mailed at the agencies
of the foreign steamship companies, and need not be pre-
paid, except when they are sent by the French mail steam-
ers. In this case the French postage must be prepaid in
LOCAL VIEWS FOR LETTERs.-At several of the photo-
graphic establishments and bookstores, local views and
letter paper prepared with scenes of interest, can be ob-
tained at reasonable prices. They add much to the interest
of letters to friends, and convey what no description can
-a picture to the eye and imagination of the reader.
TELEGRAPHS.-The telegraph lines in Cuba are under
the supervision of the government, and the bureau is in
the palace of the Captain General, entrance in the rear on
LIVING IN HAVANA.
calle de los Mercaderes. Here all the wires converge; the
land lines communicating with the principal points of the
island, and the submarine by cable to Punta Rasa, in Flor-
ida, connecting with the telegraph system of the United
States and Europe.
In the fine hall where the office is located, are two win-
dows for the reception of messages: on the left, those for
points in Cuba; on the right, for the submarine cable.
Telegraph Tolls by Land Line.
The tolls are uniform to all points in the island, to be
paid in postage stamps, units of dollar in ten cent stamps,
fractions of dollar in five cent stamps.
One to ten words, including date, address
and signature .. . $0 50
Ten to twenty words, including date, ad-
dress and signature . .. 0 75
Twenty-five cents additional for each ten words or less.
Telegraph Tolls by the Cable.
One to Each word
twenty words. additional.
To any point west of the
Mississippi river $15 00 $0 75
To any station in New
England . 11 00 0 55
To any other telegraph sta-
tion of the Western
Union Telegraph Co.
in the United States 10 00 0 50
Prepaid in gold. Every figure and punctuation mark
counts as a word. Each separate word in a compound
LIVING IN HAVANA.
word counts as a word. The minimum message is of
MILITARY GUARDS are stationed at various points of the
fortifications, the principal public offices, the residences of
the Captain General, and of several of the chief officers of
government, the Supreme Court, and the Banco Espafiol.
At these places sentinels are always on duty, and after
eleven o'clock at night they challenge persons approach-
ing their beat. This comes in a sharp and quick Quien
vive ?" (who goes there ?), which startles the stranger not
accustomed to it, and sometimes produces alarm. A reply
should at once be given. The customary form in use by
citizens, is to give in return the standing password, "Es-
pafia." The duty of the sentinel is to demand, Que gente ?"
(what class ?), as in case of the approach of an officer the
guard must come under arms. The reply is, paisano (citi-
zen), military (military), as the case may be. Persons
entitled to salute give their rank. Any reply on the part
of strangers will prevent further challenge by the sentinel.
NIGHT WATcH.-During the night the city is guarded
by an excellent and numerous corps of watchmen, each
provided with a dark lantern, pistol, pike, whistle and
rope. They never interfere with peaceable persons, and in
case of parties losing their way in going home, will, on
application, pass them from one to the other on their re-
spective beats, to the place desired. They call the hour
and weather every thirty minutes through the night, and
give the alarm in case of need. From the fact that their
cry generally ends with sereno (fair weather), they are
usually called serenos.
EXPRESS.-The excellent express system, which, origin-
ating in the United States, has extended throughout
LIVING IN HAVANA.
America and Europe. is well established in Cuba, penetrat-
ing to every portion of the island. Travelers require no
explanation of the operations of the system, and we need
only name here, the several companies which transact busi-
ness in Havana, and their connections.
HAVANA, MEXICAN, BRAZILIAN, and GENERAL WEST IN-
DIAN EXPRESS Co.
CARRINGTON & Co., 30 Broadway, New York. Con-
nects with the various American and European express
HAVANA, E. Ramirez, 16 calle de los Mercaderes.
Connects with every point in Cuba.
ST. THOMAS, J. T. Abbot & Co. Connects with all the
Windward islands. Parcels and freight forwarded to all
parts of the United States, Europe, West Indies, Mexico,
Purchases to order any, article wanted, singly or in
quantity, at prices guaranteed as low as could be obtained
by the customer in person.
ISLAND OF CUBA EXPRESS, E. Ramirez, 16 calle de los
Mercaderes. Agencies in the principal cities and towns in
Cuba. Connects with Carrington & Co.'s Havana, Mexican
Brazilian, and General West Indian Express Co., 30 Broad-
way, New York, and through that with the Adams' Ex-
press Co., of the United States, and the several American
and European express companies.
AMERICAN, EUROPEAN, AND ISLAND EXPRESS, BOMBALIER
& Co., 16 calle del Obispo. Agencies throughout the Island.
Connects at New York with the several American and
EXPRESO DE AMBOS MUNDOs, 5 calle del Barratillo. Agen-
cies throughout the island; connects especially with Spain.
ESPRESO DE LOS VAPORES Express, F. CRUZ PRADO, Muelle
de Luz. Agencies throughout Cuba.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
BATHs.-Many of the hotels have bathing establishments
attached to them for the use of the public, as well as for
the convenience of their guests, and there are numerous
places where hot and cold baths can be obtained at any
hour between 6 A.M. and 11 P.M.
The custom of the country for bathing, is to take the
cold bath in the morning before breakfast, and the warm
bath between one and four in the afternoon, just previous
to dinner. A certain degree of observance in this and
other respects, of the habits of the people, will be found
by visitors, who are unaccustomed to the climate, to con-
duce to their personal comfort and convenience.
SEA BATHS.-In the winter season, when the northers are
frequent, sea bathing is neither very practicable nor very
comfortable in Havana. The temperature of the sea water
during the northers, is much warmer than that of the air,
and precaution is very necessary in leaving the bath.
But in the spring and summer season, after the northers
have ceased, it is delightfully refreshing and healthful, and
is much indulged in, particularly in the early morning, by
For this purpose, several large bathing places have been
cut in the rock west of the Punta fort, along the calzada of
San Lazaro, which, during the season, are covered with
temporary wooden structures. In winter, these are usually
The water, fresh from the Gulf stream, is sparkling and
invigorating, and contains much more salt and iodine than
that of the more northern latitudes. Sponge off the body
with fresh water on coming out of the bath, otherwise, the
presence of the salt on the skin is apt to produce an un-
comfortable feeling during the rest of the day.
MIImN AL BATHs.-The mineral waters of Guanabacoa
LIVING IN HAVANA.
are easily accessible from Havana, and, in many cases, they
will be found valuable to invalids, both for bathing and
drinking. They are largely impregnated with magnesia
and sulphur, and are efficacious in all diseases for which
these minerals are prescribed. The baths of Barreto are
very agreeable; their temperature is very nearly that of the
atmosphere. (See Mineral Waters, Guanabacoa).
INTERPRETERS.-Persons to act in the capacity of interpre-
ters, and to accompany parties traveling in Cuba, can be
employed in Havana, and their services will often be found
useful to those who do not speak the language. The calling
is a new one here, having come into existence with the in-
crease of foreign travel, and the remuneration is entirely a
matter of private arrangement, varying with the class of
SERVANTS, of all colors, capacities and nationalities can
be obtained in Havana, by application at the intelligence
offices and the payment of a small fee.
Rates of wages vary with the capacity of the servant and
duties to be performed. The following list embraces the
House servants, $17 to $51 per month; cooks, $17 to
$45 per month; coachmen, $20 to $51 per month; maids
(colored), $17 to $25 per month; seamstress, $17 to $25 per
month; washer and ironer, $17 to $25 per month.
Transient persons will find good washers and ironers to
do their washing by the piece at from $1 50 upwards.
They can always be obtained at short notice in the
The usual public conveyance of Havana is the volante,
a carriage peculiar to the island, and the one most in use
A ..... ONVEANE WATNG FO A ASSENGE
A PUBLIC CONVEYANCE WAITING FOR A PASSENGER.
LIVING IN HAVANA.
by native families. Many persons find them pleasant to
ride in. It seldom is used to convey more than two gen-
tlemen, though very frequently, three ladies occupy one.
In this case, all sit on the same seat, the one in the middle
being a little in advance of the other two, and in private
vehicles, supported by a small moveable seat, adapted to
the purpose. Among the Habaneras, this seat is familiarly
called the seat of the nifa bonita (the beauty). The
driver of the volante rides on the horse, and is called
A four wheeled vehicle, the victoria, is also much used as
a public conveyance, and as the heat of the sun makes
walking very uncomfortable, these and the public volantes
drive a brisk business. The authorized charges are very
reasonable, but drivers, here as well as elsewhere, practice
impositions on strangers.
The following extract from police regulations, gives the
rates to be charged for public conveyances of Havana, when
no previous contract has been made-between the hours of
6 A.M. and 11 P.M. For night hours, double rates.
Carriages of two seats, for seats.
From any point in the city, to
one other, not beyond the
Calzada de Belascoain, .
From any point in the city, to
one other on the Calzada de
la Infanta, Quinta de los mo-
linos, or Jesus del Monte, to
the bridge of Agua dulce,.
By the hour.
Volantes and other two wheel-
ed vehicles, one hour, .
Four wheeled vehicles, one
horse, two or more seats, .
Do. do. two horses,
LIVING IN HAVANA.
There is a finer class than the usual public conveyances,
volantes and barouches with northern horses, which come
out only for afternoon and evening drives, and do not ply
as hacks at the tariff rates; they usually appear on the
stands about 3 P.M., and special contracts with them must
be made. They can be procured at any hour, by applica-
tion at the offices of the hotels. Their general charge is
$2 12iper hour, or $4 25 for the usual evening drive.
Special bargains must be made for long distances, and
for Sundays and holidays. The stands most frequented by
these conveyances, are the Plaza de Armas, the rear of the
Captain General's palace, and the square in front of the
Arrangements can be made with the livery stables for
the daily use of a volante and driver for the month, in
which case, parties secure a better looking vehicle and liv-
ery than the public carriage (some of them being equal to
the best private turnouts), and have always the same car-
riage and driver. The rates per month are from $119 to
$204, according to the appearance of the carriage, livery,
horses, and whether one or two horses are required.
HARBOR BOATs.-At the wharf, boats that ply about the
harbor, and to and from the shipping, can be found at all
hours of the day. They have a covering over the portion of
the boat assigned to the use of passengers, and are usually
pulled by one oarsman. For long pulls, or when the wind
is strong, an extra oarsman is frequently taken. Strangers
will always find it best to make a previous contract for each
RECREATION IN HAVANA.
5.--fECREATION IN JAVANA.
Public Squares and Walks.
A LAUDABLE attention has always been paid by the gov-
ernment in Cuba to the construction of public squares and
places for popular exercise and recreation.
PLAZA DE ABMAs.-The Plaza de Armas and the Plaza
de San Francisco, are, doubtless, coeval with the city itself;
and mark the site of the early settlement. Near to each
other, and both within a few rods of the magnificent har-
bor, and of its boldest shore and deepest water for ships,
the first settlers placed the bounds of the public square
of the young city, probably very much as they now exist.
On the western side of the Plaza de Armas, on the site
where the palace of the Captain General now stands, the
first church was erected, while on the north was reserved
the ground for the fortress which De Soto subsequently
constructed for the public defence.
On its eastern margin stands the Templete (little temple),
commemorating the act of foundation, which was solem-
nized with the celebration of mass, and the holding of a
The building of the Templete in itself has no preten-
sions, being merely a small portico with a closed recess.
Within the recess are a bust of Columbus and three his-
torical paintings. One of these is the installation of the
first municipal council in Cuba (St. Jago), Diego Velasquez
Another represents the celebration of the first mass on
the spot. The third commemorates the inauguration of
the monument itself, on the 19th of March, 1828, with por-
RECREATION IN HAVANA.
traits of the Captain General and chief officers attending.
The paintings are by Escobar, and of moderate merit.
In front of the Templete a stone column marks the site
of the old cotton wood which shaded the ancient cere-
mony, and the whole is surrounded with a high iron rail-
ing. Once a year, on the feast of San Cristobal (Novem-
ber 16th), the gates are opened, and entrance is permitted.
On the north side is the old fort built by De Soto, with-
in whose walls was the residence of his wife, Isabel de
Bcbadilla. Here she long waited tidings of the valiant
soldier, who after traversing the swamps of Florida, Geor-
gia, Alabama and Mississippi, found a burial at the hands
of his disheartened followers, beneath the yellow waves of
the Mississippi River.
The old church which stood on the west side of the
Plaza, was demolished in 1777, to make room for the pres-
ent residence of the Captain General.
In the wall of the building on the corner of Obispo
Street, and near the corner, is a tablet which formerly
stood in the old church; it commemorates the death of
Doia Maria Cepero, daughter of the Governor, Don Diego
Rivera y Cepero, who was killed in 1667, by the acciden-
tal discharge of an arquebus, while kneeling at her devo-
tions in the church.
In the centre of the Plaza is an excellent statue of Fer-
dinand VII. The trees around the square are fine speci-
mens of the Laurel de India, a species of banyan, and are
The palace on the north is the residence of the Goberna-
dor Politico, and also contains the offices of the Lottery, the
Monte Pio (a government pawn establishment for the tem-
porary relief of the poor), and other public offices. The old
fort, La Fuerza, stands in the rear of this building.
On the east side, besides the Templete, stands the palace