Front Cover
 Title Page
 Prefatory observations

Group Title: A geographical sketch of St. Domingo, Cuba, and Nicaragua : with remarks on the past and present policy of Great Britain affecting those countries ...
Title: A geographical sketch of St. Domingo, Cuba, and Nicaragua
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080567/00001
 Material Information
Title: A geographical sketch of St. Domingo, Cuba, and Nicaragua with remarks on the past and present policy of Great Britain affecting those countries ..
Physical Description: 35 p. : ; 25 x 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Clark, B. C ( Benjamin C )
Publisher: Eastburn's press
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1850
Subject: Haiti   ( lcsh )
History -- Haiti   ( lcsh )
Nicaragua   ( lcsh )
Mosquitia (Nicaragua and Honduras)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: By a traveller.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080567
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000413177
oclc - 24308895
notis - ACG0206

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
    Prefatory observations
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
Full Text









" The winds and seas are Britain's wide domain
And not a sail but by permission spreads."-






TIE object of this sketch is to illustrate the moral condition of a
region which has hitherto been regarded with but little interest except
on the score of trade, and to point out some of the obstacles which
have been placed in the way of its advancement.
These lands of the "Cypress and Myrtle," have, by their luxuri-
ous productions, ministered largely to the enjoyment of the people of
other countries, and almost the only plant of that clime which has
been viewed with total indifference by enlightened and polished nations
seems to have been MAN.
If these few pages should inspire a single operative kindly feeling
towards the race alluded to, or tend in any degree to the correction
of the abuses which have been so long practised, the writer's aim will
be accomplished.


THE island of Hayti was discovered by Colum-
bus in 1492. It is situated between 170 and 200
north latitude, and 680 and 75 west longitude. It is
360 miles in length, from east to west, varying in
breadth from 60 to 120 miles. Its circumference,
measured by an even line, excluding its bays, is
1000 miles. This island, so important for its situa-
tion and great natural advantages, lies 45 miles east
of Cuba, and 60 miles from Porto Rico, and can be
seen from either in clear weather. It is four times as
large as Jamaica, and about equal in extent to Ire-
land. Jamaica lies westward about 40 leagues, and
the Bahamas north about two days sail, and south-
ward is the great continent of South America. Colum-
bus gave it the name of Hispaniola, and that of San
Domingo, (the Spanish for Sunday) to a city estab-
lished on the south side in 1494, but in process of
time the whole island was called by the latter name.
It afterwards re-assumed its original name of Hayti,
and is now divided into two distinct territories. The


HIaytien Republic possesses about one-third of the
island-that part which the Spaniards had ceded to
the French, and which subsequently fell into the
hands of the black population. The Dominican Re-
public possesses two-thirds on the eastern side of the
island. Its inhabitants are the descendants of the
natives Columbus discovered, and of the Spaniards
that settled there.
This island is one of the richest in tropical pro-
ducts. The western side belonging to the Haytiens,
is remarkable for its fertility; and though the east-
ern side is by no means equal to the western, yet it
contains certain districts which alone are capable of
producing more sugar and other valuable products
than all the British West Indian Islands together.
The country is continually refreshed by breezes and
rains, and its salubrity seems to increase yearly.
There are three principal chains of mountains, the
whole of which are fertile and susceptible of cultiva-
tion even to their summits. Their highest elevation
is about 6000 feet above the level of the sea. These
are covered with forests of mahogany, Brazil-wood,
palms, elms, oaks, pines, iron-wood, cedar, ebony.
The island has its mines of gold, some of which must
even lie on the surface, as much of the dust rolls with
the sand of the Yago river, and is often gathered by
the peasantry, at certain seasons of the year. There
are also mines of silver, copper, iron, and lead. Its
plains nourish vast herds of cattle, equal in every re-
spect to those of the continent, and sufficient in num-


ber to supply all the West Indies. The temperature
from the tops of the mountains to the sea-side, varies
from 50 to 85'. It would be difficult for a person
unacquainted with mountain scenery in the tropics, to
form an idea of the grandeur and loveliness of nature
as exhibited in these wonderful hills. Jamaica and
Martinique have scenes of surpassing beauty, but are
as inferior to Hayti, as a lake compared to the ocean
in extent. In Hayti the soil is fertile in the extreme
-there are fields of canes which were planted in the
times of the French possession, which have yielded a
yearly crop ever since, and are yet in cultivation.
The French with great truthfulness, designated this
island as the Queen of the Antilles.
Turn we now from the pleasant contemplation of
the works of God to a consideration of some of the
baleful influences which have plunged these children
of nature into a labyrinth from which it is not easy
for soul or body to escape, into a condition worse than
that of slavery.
Hayti about a half a century ago was in a state of
rebellion against France, at the same time that the
latter was entangled in the European war. The Brit-
ish were then at war with France, and were one of
her most hostile neighbors, as they not only engaged
wherever they could meet the French at home, but
aimed also at their colonies. Hayti was one of the
most prosperous and richest spots of the new world,
and at the opening of the war attracted the attention
of the British government. They hastened to help


the Blacks, with no other motive than that of taking
possession of a French territory, the most beautiful
spot of creation, and to effect as much destruction as
possible, wherever they could come in contact with
French interest. They concealed from the Blacks the
real motive of their interference, and induced a belief
in their minds that England was their friend and
wished to assist them. They took possession of sev-
eral towns, built forts and began to settle as if at
home. The Blacks did not at first observe that this
intrusion was preparing a new struggle for them, but
soon after were obliged to turn their arms against their
early professed friends, and succeeded in driving them
out. The policy of the British was hypocritically
quiesent, and though driven out, they continued to fa-
vor the Blacks, increasing their means of defence and
preventing thereby future submission to France.
At this period Napoleon sent an army to Hayti of
about 40,000 men, the command of which was trusted
to his brother-in-law who had received from him secret
instructions. It is not to be supposed that it was with
the view only of reconquering St. Domingo, but also to
render harmless these troops who were the flower of
France, and devoted to the interest of General Moreau
his rival. He had orders to take possession of the
island and make it the home of the army. Had
these officers been experienced or well acquainted with
the state of things in the island, had they not intended
to renew the slave system, when emancipation had
been proclaimed by France itself, had they kept them-


selves in the sea-ports, instead of uselessly worrying
the poor soldiers in the mountains they would have
secured the possession of it to this day, though the
Haytiens at that time could set on foot 150,000 men
bearing arms. Fevers induced by excitement and
great privations destroyed most of the French army.
From 40,000 men it had been reduced to 1200, who
held in possession the town of Cape Haytien, then be-
sieged by 15,000 men under the black General Des-
saline. An English squadron having blockaded the
port, supplies of provision were cut off both by sea
and by land. Unable to obtain aid of any kind, Gen-
eral Rochambeau capitulated to the English squadron
on condition that officers and soldiers, though consid-
ered as prisoners should be exchanged on their arrival
in Europe for English prisoners. Such was the issue
of that expedition.
This unexpected assistance increased the amicable
feelings of the Blacks toward the British and they
truly believed the motive for assisting them was dis-
interested, which assistance was indeed continued to
Christophe, who was a native of St. Christopher's, and
came to Hayti before the rebellion. Meantime Des-
saline the Black emperor was shot and Gen. Christophe
elected President by the Assembly of Port au Prince.
He refused this election, but proclaimed himself king,
under the title of Henry 1st. Notwithstanding the
treaty of 1815 by which Hayti was guaranteed to the
French nation and the Spanish part to Spain, the Brit-
ish continued their protection to King Christophe who
_____ a ____ ______________


was at all times disposed to receive his much beloved
friends and their vessels on most favorable terms.
This friendly preference on one side and indirect pro-
tection on the other were carried to the extreme,-
Schools even, were established to teach the English
language. The deputy French ambassador, Medina,
in defiance of the law of humanity as acknowledged
among the most savage barbarians was put to death.
An American captain was also hung under the custom
house of Cape Henry, upon very questionable ground.
So well had the King been tutored in his duty and
taught that he might bully and defy every one, so
long as England was with him.
During the same period, Petion, a highly educated
Mulatto, and a patriotic chief, governed the other prat
of the island, he having been made President in the
place of Christophe who had refused the republican
Presidential chair to assume a self-made throne, that
he might be admitted to the brotherhood of Kings.
Petion's policy was a just one. He deemed friendly
connections with all nations necessary to the prosper-
ity of his country, at the same time refusing all trea-
ties and protection, that might endanger its prosperity
or the independence of its nationality. He had to
sustain a civil war against Christophe the king, which
he carried on with republican and liberal principles,
and though he was obliged to fight, not only Chris-
tophe and his army, but also against the indirect assis-
tance of Christophe's good friends, the English, his re-
public survived. He had received the French Deputy


sent to him, the colleague of Medina, who was basely
murdered by Christophe, with the considerations due
to his mission. He died some time after, leaving en-
couragement to the hopes of a future treaty with
Boyer succeeded him in 1818. He was an intelli-
gent man and capable at that time to take the lead.
He continued to hold the republican principles against
Christophe, the king, who could no longer govern his
people and was dethroned by his own followers, who
immediately after hailed the Republic with joy, while
the peasantry who had been under the rule of the
fallen King, greeted Boyer as their liberator and their
father. The British losing their ground by the death
of Christophe had no further opportunity for openly
exercising any direct influence, but were treated on
terms of equality with all other nations. Thus they
showed a policy inconsistent with truth,-having
signed a treaty restoring the Island of St. Domingo to
France on one side, and on the other giving direct as-
sistance to the Black King against the French up to
his death in 1820. This cannot be considered other-
wise than dishonorable, as that island was a French
colony till 1825, when Charles X, King of France ac-
knowledged its independence, under a treaty stipulat-
ing an indemnity in favor of the former landholders.
Boyer succeeded in uniting the whole island under
one government. The Spaniards, the descendants of
the friends of Columbus, and of the natives he found
in the island, proclaimed emancipation and their inde-


pendence of Spain and willingly joined the Haytien
government, under their then existing institutions.
Spain claimed an indemnity from Boyer who refused
it on the ground that if Spain possessed the abil-
ity to reconquer the Spanish territory and its inhab-
itants, that she had the full right, but that he could
not oppose an annexation, solicited by the natives
themselves. No people ever had reason to welcome
peace more joyfully than the Haytiens, for they had
been suffering for 30 years, a desolating war, which had
reduced the population to one-third of its former num-
ber. Under the French the population was about
600,000 ; now, it is not over 200,000,-The Domini-
cans number 100,000. The Haytiens are scarcely
able to set on foot 10,000 men, and the Dominicans
cannot raise more than 8,000.
Boyer fully capable of assuming the power in 1818,
and of carrying it on under its established principles,
concluded a treaty with France, and obtained by a
stipulated indemnity, the independence of the Repub-
lic. From that day he lost his popularity-he was no
longer the man for the new state of things. Some,
through ignorance, blamed him for consenting to the
indemnity, considering that they had already paid full
price for their independence, not perceiving that, by
this course, he at once established the country on a
solid basis. The President, on his side, still adhered
to his former policy, instead of adopting one grounded
upon religious principles and public virtue, which


might have quieted the many difficulties he had yet
to contend with, though outwardly at peace.
The new treaty had much annoyed the British, as
under its provision, the French enjoyed their full
rights in the country. The people, however, were
greatly in need of peace and liberty, particularly in
the north where they had been oppressed by the King,
worse even than in the past time of their slavery.
They remained quiet and for twenty years afforded
no hold in the North for foreign intrigue, grown yet
more active, while partially concealed by liberty of
action. In the South, where the Republic had ex-
tended its policy to the toleration of a licentious free-
dom, in order to lessen the monarchical power, demor-
alization and indolence took the place of their military
courage, thus leaving them open to foreign intrusion.
In the meantime, the British had emancipated the
Africans in her colonies-first in action she claimed
all the sympathy and gratitude of- the African race,
concealing from them that her sister nations had also
signed the treaty of Emancipation, though they had
not the advantage of accumulated gold in their coffers,
or any means of giving immediate compensation to
the owners of slaves. For as slavery had been a curse
transmitted from the ignorance of past ages, handed
down from father to son, under the sanction and pro-
tection of Government, and it being generally admitted
that Governments as well as individuals are obliged by
principle and equity, to give compensation for injury
committed, they could not abandon to distress and


ruin those who were relying on the protection of their
own laws, but recognized their obligation to indemnify
the owners of the emancipated slaves. This principle
of indemnification is the great obstacle in the way of
emancipation. The taxation consequent upon the
British Emancipation, was cheerfully met by the peo-
ple of the United Kingdom, and to them is a large
share of gratitude due, but the policy of Government
was concealed from all. A naval force was sent to the
coast of Africa, whose province it seems to have been
to allow thousands and thousands of Africans to be
shipped on board of slavers, crowded together like
sheep, only that they might be recaptured by ves-
sels of the squadron, the British Government paying
to the navy a premium for every one so recaptured.
Thus were these unfortunate beings exposed to the
danger of being drowned by whole cargoes, or of los-
ing their lives in the action of recapturing, for the
Slavers were desperate men, who preferring to be shot
rather than to be hung, often engaged in sanguinary
battles, without the slightest regard for the lives of
their innocent victims. Thus the immense capital ex-
pended by the British Government was of little or no
benefit to the cause of liberty, for though Emancipa.
tion had been proclaimed, they still designed to keep
the Africans in subjection to their own interests.
They proposed to Boyer to bring to Hayti some of
their recaptured cargoes of human flesh under condi-
tions that were not made known. Boyer refused, for
he could not misapply the revenue of the Republic,


already pledged to pay France the indemnity that se-
cured the independence of the country, and because
that at that time his expenses were immense in con-
sequence of the armies in the North and South, neither
of which he dared disband as he depended on one to
render the other powerless. He could not then spare
the money necessary for the education of men in a
wild and primitive state, and wished to save his coun-
try from being overwhelmed with a flood of ignorance.
His refusal prevented Hayti from participating in the
shameful system. The captured Africans have been
sent ever since to the British islands, and bound out
to planters under the name of apprentices. This cer-
tainly could not have been done either in Hayti or in
All classes of people had at this time become dis-
satisfied with the compromising policy of Boyer, per-
ceiving that it kept the country in a state of entire
stagnation and rendered its course retrograde. As
the views and principles of other governments chang-
ed, his needed to be altered, that the Haytiens might
also receive the impulse that should keep them in the
wake of other nations. Public schools were wanted, a
renovation of moral and religious principles were in-
dispensable, for no republic can long exist without
true hearted men devoted to the execution of its laws,
and to the prosperity of its institutions.
The revolution of 1843 was long in embryo among
the politicians and the conductors of the press. Young
men whose education had been confined to elementary


instruction, to the exclusion of more enlarged and
loftier views, made a vehement opposition, which of
course created party spirit, and made an opening for
foreign intrusion. The revolution begun at Aux
Cayes under the direction of individuals hitherto un-
known to the people, with no other merit on the part
of the leaders than that which belongs to the attribute
of brutes-animal courage. They started under a
manifesto written by some of their followers, contain-
ing principles, which if carried into practice, would
have honored the country. This manifesto was se-
cretly spread over the island, and adopted by the
whole population. Boyer on this occasion proved
that either age, fortune, or a secluded life had placed
him out of the political sphere of the times. Had he
been liberal, and willing to change his system of gov-
ernment for a better one, he could have checked that
revolution by an appeal to the people, for they had no
ill feeling towards him personally, but merely an hos-
tility to his monotonous and quiet policy. Had he ap-
pealed, many of the people in the South, the whole
North, the Dominicans and the Haytiens would have
joined his standard; he might have checked the pro-
gress of the revolution and placed the country in a
state of advancement, securing thereby its permanent
peace as well as his own safety, but he preferred to
persevere in obstinacy. Instead of sustaining his gov-
ernment under the modifications called for, at Port au
Prince, he injured his country by an untimely abdica-
tion, abandoning it at the very crisis when he was


needed, as the man who had received for twenty-five
years the peaceful obedience of the people, to one
whom he well knew possessed neither the ability to
govern, nor the confidence of the nation.
The leaders in that revolution betrayed their follow-
ers, by their immorality and their incapacity,-they
had not learned the first rudiments in the knowledge
of self-government.
Guerrier, a black man, assumed the power. He was
the oldest General then living,-and a man who had
displayed much dignity and independence of character
under the Government of Christophe, though at the
same time one of his most faithful soldiers. His high
qualities made him courteous to all, just and equitable
in every act. He had fought many battles in the for-
mer war, and had learned from experience to trust no
foreign counsel, for he had been possessed of many op-
portunities for observation while holding a station of
influence under Christophe, and had well improved
them. His first public act was an attempt to destroy
party spirit and division of color. He opposed all for-
eign interference, either direct or indirect, of what he
termed "snake-like policy." He refused to war
against the Dominicans, being under the conviction
that brotherly feelings would sooner unite them, and
considering that they had a natural right to their na-
tive land, he was on the eve of recognizing their inde-
pendence as another race of men, inoffensive to the
Republic. Indeed so far was he from encouraging the
war of caste that he often exhorted the blacks to unite


with the mulattoes, entreating them to regard each
other, as fathers, brothers, and children of one family.
He had a natural horror of bloodshed, and refused ever
to sign the death-warrant of any. He was old, and
died too soon for the good of his country.
A little before his death, he predicted that evil
would come from foreign influence consequent upon
the ignorance of his countrymen.
General Pierrot succeeded him.
He was a good-natured, well-disposed man, and lib-
eral in the extreme.
On his first arrival at the Capital he publicly declared
his wish that no differences on account of color should
be recognized, but that each citizen should receive fa-
vor and protection at the hands of the Government, in
proportion to his love of order, his neighbors, and his
Personally he used every effort to allay the preju-
dices of caste. Had he possessed the experience of
his predecessor, he might have done well, but Guerrier
had moved in an elevated sphere, while Pierrot had
passed most of his time amongst soldiers. A conspir-
acy broke out which he could have quelled, by shed-
ding much blood, but being averse to this, he refused
and resigned his office.
This conspiracy originated at a meeting of half a
dozen persons, black, colored, and white. Were we in-
clined to picture the individuals belonging to the last
race, much might be said. Pierrot was deposed;
Riche came into power. He had heretofore always


proved faithful and obedient to his superiors, and
throughout the rebellion he acted under an influence,
that if exposed, would throw much light upon the po-
litical state of the country. His administration was a
bloody one. Though fond of foreigners and inclined
to further their designs, he was also extremely vain, and
received the intimations of their wishes, only in the
most indirect manner. He subjected himself to more
fatigue than age would allow him to bear; he died in
The Senate assembled to elect a President. Two
candidates obtaining an equal number of votes, a third
competitor was brought forward-the present chief
Soulouque. lie was chosen by one party for an in-
strument suited to their end, and by the other as a
man against whom there was no ill-will, and on whose
peaceable disposition they might safely rely. His
election was hailed with general satisfaction. Soon
after this, parties were formed, and every means em-
ployed to set the blacks and mulattoes at war with
each other. Petitions were made, clubs were institut-
ed, envy was at work, black men in public life were
imbued with absurd prejudices, resolutions were pass-
ed to destroy the mulattoes. Soulouque did not at
first favor these proceedings, but was finally overruled
by men before whose eyes were flitting a crown and
an empire, and the trappings of nobility.
To all these occurrences, foreigners were neither
uninterested or inactive spectators. At about this
crisis, a stranger intruded upon Soulouque, and begged

an interview. On the day appointed he was admitted
in private, and addressed him thus: "Behold the por-
trait of Napoleon,-you have his head and bust-with-
out a doubt you possess his genius also. You may
become the Napoleon of the blacks and the Emperor of
the Antilles. Here is the chart of the West Indies,
the island of Porto Rico sixty miles, Cuba forty miles
distant-both within one day's sail from you. You
can liberate them and annex all the West Indies to
your Empire. The British will undoubtedly cede over
to you their islands under certain conditions, and the
French, Dutch and Danish islands will follow the tor-
rent, for they are spots containing the elements of com-
bustion within themselves." Soulouque smiled con-
temptuously at this and afterwards reported it, so
wicked did he then consider the means proposed, hav-
ing no confidence in the foreigner, who shrouded him-
self from the public eye, and remained unknown.
The means suggested by this satellite of a remote
power were, a war of caste, the destruction of all the
mulattoes, and the expulsion of foreigners by monop-
olizing the business in the hands of Government, that
it might transmit it to a few. The entire destruction
of the Dominicans was represented as of imperious
necessity, inasmuch as they stood in the way of the
general establishment of a black Government under a
foreign protectorate. Soulouque, as we have said,
deprecated this policy, and clung to the dictates of his
sense of justice, but he was at length overpersuaded by
the machiavellian influence of cruel men. Among


those who exercised this influence were a few whites,
the repudiated men of other countries-aiders and
abettors in a bad cause, ready to vanish if they did not
succeed. Some of them were acting under the in-
ducement of mercenary motives, hoping to monopolize
in some degree a profitable trade;-others again were
influenced by political feelings. There were some
there too bearing a priestly character, and possessing
a perfect knowledge of the darkness and ignorance of
the blacks, who instead of endeavoring to remove,
were base enough to presume upon it, and to make the
Church and the influence attaching to themselves as
ministers of religion, the instruments of carrying out
their own designs. These were Jesuits, who having
been driven from their own churches in Europe, had
come some time before to the island in quest of for-
tune. Designing and artful, they had quietly spread
their nets for power and plunder, and now used un-
scrupulously every means within their grasp, political
opinions, superstition, war, to effect their wretched
end. One of them, well known for his immorality and
baseness, took the lead in a club, through the members
of which he circulated false documents stating that it
was the wish of the people that Soulouque should be
made Emperor. Soon after (though a Frenchman) he
forwarded a petition asking British protection.
Since then it is in evidence that two British officers
occupying high stations in the island, while abroad
condemned the course taken by Soulouque as cruel
and ruinous to his country, and expressed hopes that


the British flag would yet float in Hayti. But one of
them at the same time acknowledged that he had
promised his influence, (which he considered very
large) to promote the election of the Emperor provided
he could be made a Duke, forgetting that it was base-
ly inconsistent for him to condemn Soulouque as a bar-
barian, and yet to be desirous of composing one of this
distinguished nobility. Such a man we do not believe
Englishmen are prepared to acknowledge, accident
must have placed him in his position.


THE island of Cuba, the capital of which is Havana,
is situated between 74' and 85 west longitude, and
19, and 23' north latitude. The form of the island is
extremely irregular, resembling the shape of a long
narrow crescent. It is the most westerly of the West
India Islands, and has decidedly a larger extent of ter-
ritory than any of them. Lying in the Gulf of Mexi-
co, it leaves two spacious passages, one of which, be-
tween the most northerly part of the island and the
southern point of Florida, is ninety miles wide; and
the other, between the southern point of Cuba and the
northern point of Yucatan, is one hundred and twenty
miles wide. The distance from Havana to, Cat Island,
at the mouth of the Mississippi, is six hundred and
sixty miles.
The entrance to the port of Havana is through a
channel three-quarters of a mile long, but so narrow
that only a single vessel can enter at once. It is forti-
fied through the whole distance with platforms, breast-
works and artillery. The mouth of this channel is se-

24 CUBA.

cured by two strong castles. The one on the eastern
side, called the Moro Castle, is built in the form of a
triangle, fortified with bastions and mounted with for-
ty pieces of cannon nearly on a level with the sea.
On the opposite side of the channel is another strong
fort called the Puntal, connected with the town on the
north. The city is situated on the western side of the
harbor, and is surrounded by ramparts, bastions, and
ditches. Besides these fortifications it is surrounded
by battlements, all of them furnished with a great
abundance of artillery. The square citadel, Elfuerte,
stands at the north east corner of the town; this has
also heavy cannon, and here the treasures of the Gov-
ernment are deposited.
The soil is fertile, and nature seems especially to
have fitted it in some parts for the growth of the best
tobacco, the use of which is considered by the Span-
iards one of the greatest luxuries. But it does not
equal in fertility the soil of Hayti,-she must ever re-
tain her pre-eminence on that score. The island has
also its mines and wealth of all kinds. It yields an
immense amount of produce for commerce, and has,
from its situation, command of both the north and
south channels of the Gulf of Mexico. The popula-
tion is about 900,000.
It appears from Jamaica newspapers, and also from
those of other British islands, that petitions have been
drawn up in public meetings at Havana and carried
about the streets to obtain signatures, asking from
Parliament the enforcement of the conditions of the

CUBA. 25

treaty relating to emancipation. But they do not sug-
gest the mode by which the indemnity due to owners
of slaves is to be provided for, or any means to secure
the well being of the slaves themselves; whether they
are to be left free as if in Africa that they may war
amongst themselves as they are doing in Hayti, or de-
stroy the whites and mulattoes and place the whole
island under the black Emperor Soulouque. By this
latter course Spain would be robbed of her island, and
Soulouque, under British protection, would possess the
only three outlets of the Gulf of Mexico.


THE territory of the Republic of Nicaragua extends
from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. It was
formerly a part of the Republic of Guatemala in Cen-
tral America. The northeast coast was discovered by
Columbus in 1502, and the greater part of it was con-
quered by the Spaniards in 1524.
Nicaragua takes its name from a powerful Cacique,
who was one of the first among the natives to enter
into friendly relations with the Spaniards, and to em-
brace their religion. Central America became inde-
pendent in 1821, and was subsequently incorporated
with Mexico, but on the fall of Iturbide it disconnect-
ed itself from the Mexican Republic, and was formed
into a separate confederation in 1823. Since the de-
claration of independence the country has been dis-
turbed by frequent civil wars, but these have now sub-
A noble lake in the interior adds greatly to the
beauty of the country. This lake, or rather inland
sea, is one hundred and twenty miles in length, and


forty-five in breadth at its widest parts. It extends to
within twenty miles of the Pacific. On this inland sea
the Spaniards formerly kept a brig of war of fourteen
guns. There is undoubtedly a sufficient depth of
water there for the largest ships.
The staple exports of Central America are gold and
silver, indigo, cochineal, sarsaparilla, hides, Brazil-wood,
logwood, and mahogany. No other section in this re-
gion has so great an abundance of valuable exports.
The population of the confederation is little short of
2,000,000, and comprises but few of the negro race.
A canal communication between the Atlantic and
Pacific Oceans through the lake is obviously one of
the most important projects connected with the coun-
try in a commercial point of view.
Mr. Robinson, an American writer, states the facili-
ties for its accomplishment as follows:
"Between the lake and the Pacific the ground is a
dead level. In the Pacific the water is said to be free
from rocks and shoals, and on the Popayago coast the
shore is so bold that a frigate may anchor within a few
yards of the beach. The river from the lake to St.
Juan is not navigable."
The distance from St. Juan river to the Pacific is
about two hundred and twenty geographical miles.
There is no doubt a -sufficiency of water in the Nicara-
gua lake for vessels of any burden.
History gives no record of the King of Musquito,
unless he be the chief of an Indian tribe under the
powerful cacique Nicaragua; but a little black boy


was taken from the mountains of Central America, not
long ago, sent to Jamaica to be educated under the di-
rection of Lord Grey, and afterwards made King of a
portion of the territory belonging to the Republic of
Nicaragua. Soon after this proceeding, six hundred
black troops were sent from Jamaica to the town of
St. Juan Nicaragua, that the King of Musquito might
be sustained in the territory that his protectors, the
English, had assigned to him, in return for which Eng-
lish enterprise, the town of St. Juan is converted into
Grey town. Through this united province Lord Pal-
merston coolly says to the Nicaraguans: "You must
respect the territory under our protectorate," and the
minister at Grey town says to the Government of the
Republic of Nicaragua: If you do not respect the
rights of our Mosquito King, our .home Government
will chastise' you by sending here more black troops
from Jamaica under Lord Grey." Obviously so, and
the next time Lord Grey will claim the whole Republic
of Nicaragua in return for his repeated services. It
will be perceived that, in this position of affairs, the
Blacks will be fighting against the Indians and the na-
tives in Central America, the Indians will be fighting
the Whites in Yucatan,* and Soulouque, the black Em-
*A New Orleans paper of the 26th of October says: By the kindness of
a commercial house here we give the following extract of a letter, received
here, and dated Campcachy, Oct. 9th: Our triumphs over the Indians are so
frequent, and their attacks against our entrenchments so weak, that it is very
apparent that their munitions of war are giving out. We have just been ad-
vised of the capture of a small English vessel with an agent of Pat, the Indian
leader, on board; also 6099 lbs. of powder and lead. This vessel was carried
to Bacalar, but it is expected the English Government will claim the whole.


peror, will continue the destruction of the colored in
Hayti; while at the same time floods of recaptured
Africans, and Africans in the transports of England
will be pouring into the West Indies.
Having now before our minds a rapidly drawn
sketch of the geographical and present political posi-
tion of these interesting, because hitherto unfortunate
countries, we are prepared to look further and to con-
sider whither their destiny is tending. Brought into
their present state of anarchy and confusion in a great
measure through the systematic influence of a power-
ful Government, exerted year after year with a consist-
ency and a constancy worthy of a better cause, it may
interest us to inquire why the affairs of remote and
comparatively unimportant countries should appear to
it so considerable as to claim such continued and un-
remitted regard. The policy pursued by England with
regard to the West Indies has been, as we have said,
unswervingly consistent, and being so, blind must he
be who cannot learn, from an attentive consideration
of it, her fixed intentions. And as it is within our
power, it may be for our advantage to see that the ful-
filment of those intentions interfere not at all with our
interests. The proximity of these countries to our con-
tinent, as well as the importance evidently attached to
them by England, should prevent us from being care-
less or inactive spectators, until it be too late. We
cannot but perceive, notwithstanding her professions,
the wretched state in which England retains her Afri-
can subjects. As Christians then let us not neglect


to consider the probable moral condition of Cuba and
Hayti should her designs prove successful.
In considering the colonial policy of England we
shall find it necessary to divest ourselves of all precon-
ceived opinions, founded upon her own pretensions to
philanthropy and benevolence, and look only at what
she has done, what she is doing, and upon the inevita-
ble tendency of these acts. We shall find, too, con-
vincing proof of the obliquity of England's course, in
the opportunities that will occur to compare it with
the honest and straight forward one of France. Differ-
ing principles must and ever will lead to different
courses of action.
We have already seen Soulouque assuming the
throne of an empire, receiving the congratulations of
the authorities of Jamaica, and meditating plans yet
more extensive, suggested by English emissaries-
plans which it will be impossible for him to carry into
execution without the assistance of England. But
that assistance is undoubtedly pledged-indeed, when
we glance at Cuba, already on the eve of an indis-
criminate emancipation, with no security from contin-
ued civil war but in joining itself to the kingdom of
Soulouque-at the King of Mosquito entirely subject
to the British Government-at the flocks of recaptur-
ed Africans, and Africans imported in English trans-
ports, trained to war and to implicit obedience to the
Government to whom they are so deeply indebted-
it must be apparent that the whole of Africa, or at
least as much of it as is requisite, will be used to es-


tablish a black Empire in the hemisphere of Republics.
But the same assistance which has been so freely given
to erect this monarchy will be needed to sustain it.
The Emperor of the Antilles then must ever remain
under British protection, and protection is no idle word,
implying, as it does, subjection.
Let us look at England possessing either directly or
indirectly a hold in the Republic of Nicaragua.
Fort Bacalar in Yucatan, Nassau and Havana com-
manding both north and south channels of the Gulf of
Mexico. Iayti alone capable of supporting fifteen
millions of inhabitants, and. then consider whether she
will be likely to use lightly the advantages obtained
by the unceasing labor of so many years. Holding
Cape and Bay Samana, and St. Nicholas Mole, she may
command the channels east and west of Hayti, and levy
taxes on the commerce of other nations using those
passages. In short, it is not easy to estimate the
power she may acquire under her volunteer protec-
In the mean time, what progress in civilization will
the subjects of this Black Empire be allowed-to make ?
Obviously none. They must be trained to war, and to
render them more effective, they must be kept in ignor-
ance; or at best be so falsely instructed as to make them
as savage as blood hounds. They must be imbued with
such prejudices as shall render it impossible for them
to discover their true friends; and through their lives
of misery and degradation they must continue to fight
for the promotion of the power and the wealth of a

Government which, notwithstanding its protestations to
the contrary, will be holding their race in the worst
form of bondage-the slavery of the mind.
Republican France in 1789 declared all men free
and equal, and her determination so to consider
them. With her republican government fell these
principles of freedom, but again, with more energy, in
1848 she freed herself from her kings and did more
for the cause of liberty in one day than England has
ever done. She has liberated and called the African
race to brotherhood. She has proclaimed Liberty,
Fraternity, and Equality to all. She has rooted out
slavery from its foundation, and invited the black man
to take his seat in the Assembly, not as a colonist, but
as a citizen of France, that he may defend his national
rights. There, he is neither sacrificed to the cupidity
of ambition, nor imbued with prejudices against other
nations, but is placed on the same footing with the
rest, and feels that he is a Frenchman and a French
The Americans long since emancipated their slaves
in all the Northern States. Schools are everywhere
provided for the Africans, and they have every ad-
vantage afforded them to obtain education, that they
may rise from the abject state in which slavery had
placed them. In the South, emancipation is not yet
seen in its true light, and some abolitionists, exercising
more zeal than knowledge or discretion, have retarded
instead of advancing the cause. The sad state of Hayti,
after having been independent for fifty years, is also


a stumbling block in its way. Yet we find more true
philanthropy in the measures adopted by the people
of the South than in any of those taken by the Brit-
ish Government, for they have established and sup-
ported the Republic of Liberia in Africa, on a conti-
nent where no question can arise concerning the rights
of the Africans, and by a monthly packet from Balti-
more afford facilities for return to those who appreciate
and enjoy a native land. This Republic has already
made much progress, and is on friendly relations with
European powers, while Hayti under British influence
is descending into barbarism.
If Hayti then is really unable for the time to defend
and carry out principles of justice, liberality, and be-
nevolence, and must claim foreign protection, it would
seem as if it were wisdom in her to trust a nation who
has ever proved itself friendly to her by deeds, rather
than one who has developed her good will, as yet, only
in words, and whose monopolizing selfishness is so ap-
parent that it cannot but be perceived.
Can Hayti have forgotten that on the sad and
bloody day of the massacre at Port au Prince, her sons
claimed protection, in their hour of extremity, from the
English Consul,-in vain! while at the hands not only
of the French Consul, but from French and American
merchants they received all possible aid.
What difference has the Haytien (chief, peasant,
trader or sojourner in the land) to expect in the treat-
ment of the British Government, when that Govern-
ment has never in the slightest degree reprobated the


conduct of its consul during the dismal scenes of April,
A consideration of matters connected with the
wrongs which have been heaped upon the unenlight-
ened people of the West Indies is already widely en-
tertained in this country.
In regard to the position which it becomes the United
States to assume, under the circumstances which ex-
ist, we cannot perhaps better express ourselves than
by adopting the language of a writer in the Boston
Journal, who, in relation to the nefarious course pur-
sued by the British Government affecting the West
India Islands, says:
It is incumbent upon us to scatter the web which
England has been weaving with so much care and cun-
ning, and it ought to be done irrespective of considera-
tions connected with trade or territory. Our country has
more to thank God for than any other; it owes some-
thing to his people who sit in darkness, (never deeper
than now) upon the borders of her prosperous shores.
The system which is now weighing down the African
in the West Indies is more disgraceful, and if possible,
more inhuman than that which would condemn him to
perpetual slavery."
The same writer, after descanting upon the fact that
"during the reign of Christophe the British were em-
ployed in exciting a horde of negroes to harass and
devour each other," says in conclusion, alluding to a
particular case of transcendent enormity, in which Sir
James Lucas Yeo acted as the blood-hound of the


black chief: "This atrocious act (of a powerful and
exemplary nation) confounded the dim notions which
these unenlightened Islanders had instinctively imbib-
ed in relation to humanity. Its influence for evil was
potent then; it is powerful amongst the same race now,
(after a lapse of forty years,) and it will continue to be
felt in the world long after the British Empire shall
have crumbled into dust, and the very name of Eng-
land is forgotten."


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