Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The bridge that spanned the...
 At the New World's portal
 In Guanahani with Columbus
 Where was the admiral's landfa...
 Through the Bahama Isles
 The commissioner's mission...
 North coast of Cuba to Haiti
 The Haitian civilization
 The Buccaneers and the Black...
 The first American Christmas
 Round about Isabella
 Where the first gold was found
 The port of the silver mountai...
 Samana and the Bay of Arrows
 The holy hill of Santo Domingo
 The earthquake-buried towns
 In Santo Domingo city
 Where is the tomb of Columbus?
 Puerto Rico and Ponce De Leon
 Among the saints and the virgi...
 An island quite out of the...
 The second voyage to the New...
 Carib islands and lake dweller...
 Jamaica and the wreck of Colum...

Title: In the wake of Columbus
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078331/00001
 Material Information
Title: In the wake of Columbus adventures of the special commissioner sent by the World's Columbian exposition to the West Indies
Physical Description: 8 p., 515, 8 p. : illus., maps. ; 22cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ober, Frederick A ( Frederick Albion ), 1849-1913
Publisher: D. Lothrop company
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1893
Subject: Description and travel -- West Indies   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Frederick A. Ober.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078331
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000159360
oclc - 23588691
notis - AAS5686

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
        Preface 1
        Preface 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations 1
        List of Illustrations 2
        List of Illustrations 3
        List of Illustrations 4
        List of Illustrations 5
        List of Illustrations 6
        List of Illustrations 7
    The bridge that spanned the world
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        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
    At the New World's portal
        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
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    In Guanahani with Columbus
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 54a
        Page 54b
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
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        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    Where was the admiral's landfall?
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Through the Bahama Isles
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    The commissioner's mission to Cuba
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    North coast of Cuba to Haiti
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    The Haitian civilization
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
    The Buccaneers and the Black King
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    The first American Christmas
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
    Round about Isabella
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
    Where the first gold was found
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
    The port of the silver mountain
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
    Samana and the Bay of Arrows
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
    The holy hill of Santo Domingo
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
    The earthquake-buried towns
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
    In Santo Domingo city
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
    Where is the tomb of Columbus?
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
    Puerto Rico and Ponce De Leon
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
    Among the saints and the virgins
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
    An island quite out of the world
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
    The second voyage to the New World
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
    Carib islands and lake dwellers
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 475
        Page 476
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
        Page 486
        Page 487
        Page 488
        Page 489
        Page 490
        Page 491
    Jamaica and the wreck of Columbus
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
        Page 495
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
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        Page 520
        Page 521
        Page 522
        Page 523
Full Text
V ll:.....

.. .

'- .:pyi~




This edition is limited to two hundred and fifty
signed and numbered copies.

This copy is number.t.

/~;~&~,~e~,:ip,~~;?1,.~z*r~b*~~,~, ~4'~pr,






Author of "TAVnts IN Masco," "Tou SILVRa Crrm."
"MorIannA's GOLD Mi.ns," -rC, rC.,

With above two hundred alustrations from photographs by the
Author, and sketches by H: B. Blaney



nA. 0
CoArhUrr, 1893,


AUl ,Ukts e


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SIXTEra years ago, while sailing between Dominica and Martinique,
those verdure-clad islands lying midway the Caribbee chain, I first
looked upon land discovered by Columbus.
I will not deny that I was strangely thrilled; nor shall any scoffer put
me down as a sentimental voyager because I attached to those islands
an importance not implied in the Admiralty charts.
In the two succeeding years I had threaded the chain of the Caribbees,
explored all the islands discovered by the Admiral in his second and
third voyages, hunted in the forests in which he and his men had en-
countered the cannibal Caribs, and had lived for months with the de-
scendants of those same fierce Indians so graphically described by the pen
of the great Discoverer.
In 188o I re-visited the West Indies, and added other islands to those
already investigated, my object (as on the previous voyage) being the
ornithological exploration of the Lesser Antilles. Birds and woods -
the avi-fauaa of the islands and the great forests were the subjects I
particularly studied; but, from being constantly on the trail of the great
Genoese, I at last became interested in the story of his voyagings, and
began to collect information regarding the places identified with his life
and labors.
In i88r, on the toast of Yucatan, I was reminded of his last voyage
in the year 15o0, when he encountered that great canoe laden with cho-
colate beans, copper utensils and cotton, and guided by mariners of a
higher order of intelligence than any other of these new peoples he had
seen. Seven years later, in the Bahamas, I saw that island on which
Columbus landed San Salvador or Guanahani rising ghost-like from
the sea; the first landfall of the eventful voyage of z492. The south
coast of Cuba gave me the emerald Gardens of the Queen," and the
" Bay of the Hundred Fires."


Wherever I have wandered, it will be seen, I have met with reminders
of Columbus; and, having viewed with so keen an interest these jewels
of his gathering, with which he adorned the crown of Spain, was it
strange that I was impelled to seek that Mother Country, and that when
there I found no more precious relics than those of the Admiral of the
Ocean Sea?
Having followed the fortunes of Columbus, in a desultory manner,
for nearly fifteen years, it was extremely gratifying to have offered me
the opportunity for further investigation afforded in the appointment as
Columbian Commissioner to the West Indies. It was purely fortuitous,
as I had no previous acquaintance with any of the officials; but, being
specially charged to search out every spot and relic of the discovery. I
was thus enabled to carry out my own explorations and complete an
exhaustive study of the subject.
In this work, which I have called "In the Wake of Columbus," I aim
to present what may be termed the environment of the Admiral; giving
scenes with which he was identified, starting with the inception of the
enterprise in Spain, carrying the action across the Atlantic to the first
landfall, through the Bahamas to Cuba, thence to the scene of the first
wreck and the first fort, on the coast of Haiti, the first settlement at
Isabella, the initial attempts at discovery in Espafiola, showing where
the gold was found and the first cities started in fact, following him
through all his voyages, writing every description from personal observa-
tion, and using the historical events merely as a golden thread upon
which to string the beads of this Columbian rosary.
Whether my work has been well done or badly done, such as it is I
now offer it-a tribute to our great Exposition; to the genius that con-
ceived, the courage that continued, the energy that executed, and the
faith that sustained to a triumphant conclusion, this the grandest work
of its kind the world has ever seen; the crowning event of a century
filled with wonders and miracles of man's invention.
WASHINGTON, April, 1893.


Cuarsn PAGE




Columbus' received by the Catholic kings
after his first voyage Frontis.
In the Convent Garden 3
Dona Carmen and Carmencita 5
The Atalaya ofArbolote 8
Distant view of the Alhambra 9
The marble head of the Moor at Santa Fi .
City gate of Santa F/ I. .
The Bridge of Pines 13
Santa F1 across the Vega .
Entrance to the Bridge of Pines. .
The taking of Moclin 1. 9
The crosses of Zubia 21
A corner of my garden at Granada 2.
Moorish arch at Palos 23
The Mosque of a Thousand Columns at Cordova 25
Church of St. George; Palos 27
Seville, with the Tower of Gold in the foreground 31
The Convent of La Rabida 37
The Mirador of La Rabida 39
In the Convent Court.- 4. .
The Columbus Room, Convent of La Rabida 45


Alabaster tomb at Burgos 49
Cross at La Rabida .. 5
Crossing the Sargasso Sea 5
Map showing the route of the first voyage of
Columbus 55
A salt heap on Fortune Island 58
Windmill for pumping salt water 6o
My "Turtler" 64
Looking across the lagoons on Watling's Island 66
The landing-place of Columbus 69
Skull of Bahama Indian 75
Indian antiquities from the Bahamas 78
Carved seat of lignum-vite from the Bahamas 82
Map of Watling's Island 85
The headland coast of Watling's Island o
Green's Harbor, Watling's Island 93
The coast of Watling's Island 97
Map, showing route from Watling's Island to
Cuba ...99
Indian celt, from Cat Island .
Indian chisel found in the Islands o3.
Stone axe, Turk's Island 03
Natives of Watling's Island o. .
Pushing through the canal, Watling's Island o6
Cave on Cat Island 1o8
On the beach of Watling's Island o. o
The silk-cotton tree, Nassau 114
Statue of Columbus, front view 6
Statue of Columbus, rear view 7
Guanahani, or Watling's Island- Lady Blake's
Aquarelle P1


Tablet bust in cathedral at Havana, in memory
of Columbus 1
Palm Avenue 25
Cathedral St. Maria de la Concepcion, Havana,
Cuba ..130
The Morro 133
Les Cabanas 135
Morro Castle, Harbor of Havana 137
At the Market 138
On the Pasco 141
Belem 142
Real Acadamia, Havana 144
A bit of old Havana 147
Royal Palms 48
Selling plants in Havana 15o
Plaza de Armas, Havana 152
"Morning mist," Yumuri Valley from the
Cumbres 155
Yumuri Valley, from the hill of Guadeloupe 158
Mountains of Zibara 160
North coast of Cuba 163
Baracoa 166
In the Volante, Cuba 169
Frederick Douglas 173
Hyppolite .. 175
Hyppolite and staff 177
Abandoned estate, coast of Haiti .
D. F. Legitime 183
A view from the-residence of the English consul,
Haiti .. 186
Tortuga, the pirates'paradise 93


Old Buccaneer watch-tower, coast of Haiti 99
Sans Souci, the Black King's palace 205
Sans Souci, ruins of the Black King's palace 206
The Black King's castle o09
Old mortars in the Black King's castle 3. .
Broken arch, the Black King's castle 2z4
Beauty and the beasts, found at Millot 216
A religiousprocession at Cape Haitien 218
The Santa Maria, the flag-ship of Columbus 220
The wrecked caravel 223
In Petit Anse 227
Soldiers of the guard at rest 230
The anchor of Columbus, found at Petit Anse 231
St. John and the Agnus Dei 232
The oldconvent 235
Huckster's shanty, on the river Yaqui 236
The Bajo-Bonico 242
On the bluff at Isabella 244
Site of Isabella 249
Map of Isabella 252
The cactus-covered ruins of Isabella 254
Coco's idol 257
View on the Bajo-Bonico near the Hidalgos' pass 262
The American ferry across the Yaqui 264
In the valley ofthe Yaqui 265
" They built a wooden tower 268
View of Santiago across the Yaqui 270
The site of the tower of Santo Tomas 273
The bed of the river Yaqui 275
Loading a bull cart 279
View of the Plaza and church at Puerto Plata 284


Girl on bullock's back, Puerto Plata 287
The typical beast of burden 288
Washerwomen of Haiti 290
Coaling station, Samana Bay 293
Scene of the first encounter with the Indians 295
A typical washerwoman of Samana 297
The approach to Sanchez 300
A relic from Old Vega 302
In the Savannas of Santo Domingo 303
The manager's house at Sanchez 306
View of the Royal Plain 309
Santo Cerro Church and the aged tree 13
The shrine of the Virgin worshiped in the time
of Columbus 31
A view of Santo Cerro 37
Along the river Yuna 318
Window in Rosario Chapel, Santo Domingo 320
Ruins of the church built by bequest of Columbus 322
Ruins of Fort Concepcion 324
A precious relic 327
One of the most interesting spots of Jacagua 329
The cemetery at Santiago 333
Site of the old church at yacagua 335
Used by the early Spaniards 336
The whistling jug 337
A Santo Domingo seaport town 339
Homenage, the oldest castle in America 34r
The house of Columbus 344
The sun-dial to be seen in Santo Domingo 346
Columbus in chains 349
The cathedral, western entrance 351


Inscription on an old tombstone 354
View of the cathedral high altar and retable 356
The portal of the Mint, Santo Domingo 359
The Homenage 362
Bronze statue of Columbus before the door of the
cathedral in Santo Domingo city 369
The Columbus vaults in Santo Domingo cathedral 373
The Columbus casket, end view 375
The Columbus casket, front view 376
Fac-simile of old baptismal book 378
Fac-simile of inscriptions 379
The tablet and the vault at Santo Domingo 384
Arms of Puerto Rico 388
General Heureaux 391
The harbor of San Juan seen from the Casa
Blanca, or home of Ponce de Leon 395
A sugar lighter in Puerto Rico waters 399
Native huts and dove cotes 402
Along the river 404
Sentry box and cemetery gate at San Juan. 406
The Casa Blanca 408
The last of him who sought eternalyouth 4o
Arches of San Francisco Convent, Santo Domingo
City. 4
The harbor from the fort 415
Old fort at St. Thomas 419
Buccaneer cannon, St. John's 424
The ladder 430
Town of Bottom, Island of Saba 433
A tropical sunrise 437
Cacao fruit 442


Bread-fruit 443
St. Patrick's Rock, Saba 447
The island of St. Eustatius, seen from St. Kitt's 449
Washerwomen of Nevis 452
Great trees of the high woods 458
Banyan-tree, Guadeloupe 460
The waterfall out of the clouds 463
Volcano on St. Lucia 467
Negro boys of Martinique 469
The diamond rock off Martinique 472
The pitons of St. Lucia 474
Kingstown, capital of St. Vincent 475
Palms of the leeward coast, St. Vincent 477
The ten little caribs 479
Beach near the Boca, Trinidad. 483
The pitch lake, Trinidad 485
Sunset on the Venezuelan coast .488
Ploughing under the palms. 489
Washing clothes at Curacao 490
The heart of the cocoa palm 495
Carib carvings on a rock in the island of St.
John's 505
Don Christopher's Cove, where Columbus's car-
avels were wrecked, z153 5 r
The bay of St. Ann's,Jamaica 514




GARDENS of Granada
are famous throughout
S Spain, and of them all,
perhaps none more fasci-
nating than the Karmen
del Gran Capitan. The
Arabs called them Kar-
menes, those hillside
I vineyards lying abreast
." the sun of Spain and
Africa, and this particu-
lar garden received its name from having belonged to
the Great Captain, Gonsalvo de Cordova. It was given
him by King Ferdinand for his assistance at the siege
of Granada; this ancient vineyard of a luckless Moor.
All these particulars were set forth upon a tablet let
into the wall above one of the fountains that supplied


water for the household. Centuries old, as was the
dwelling attached, yet it did not present an appearance
of antiquity, for annual coats of whitewash kept fresh
its thick stone walls, while the roofing-tiles were rich
in reds and mellow tints of age-imparted browns.
Perhaps I may never attain more nearly to an earthly
paradise than I did in my residence in this beautiful
garden; and it was by the merest chance that I became
aware of its existence, and possessed it during the space
of a month. In Seville one day, where I had quarters
in the house of a priest, I encountered an English
artist whose eccentricities were a constant wonder to
the dwellers there. At the time of our meeting he
was engaged in kicking his slippers from the pavement
of the patio to the roof-tiles of the house, a feat which
he performed to his own entire satisfaction and the
openly-expressed astonishment of his Spanish specta-
tors. As he was going to Granada, it happened we
traveled together, and when there he introduced me to
the owners of the garden, who consented to take us as
dwellers therein for whatever time we might elect to
remain. The nominal head of the establishment was
Don Nicolas, a small asthmatic gentleman who did
business in the city of Granada; the actual and authori-
tative Presence was Dola Carmen, his wife: tall, stately,
magnificent; but the real ruler, the resident queen of
Carmen del Capitan, was little Carmencita, their joint
possession and pride. Rosalie, the smiling maid-of-all-
work, completed the family circle which, from center
to circumference, was so entirely at our service that it
seemed as though it must have been specially creAI



for us, and made only to revolve in anticipation of our
This, then, was the garden in which I had ensconced
myself for an attack upon the outposts of American
I have chosen it as vantage ground, as a base of
operations; for, in our little journeys in and about the
world, we all need a starting-point; a place to keep in
mind for retreat, or a deposit for our plunderings. One


may wander, and gather things new and old, but if one
has no home to return to where he may accumulate the
products of his toils and contemplate their values, what
good, then, his gatherings ? I felt almost as secure in
my garden as the old father of Boabdil, who fought
Ferdinand so gallantly, must have felt in his mountain
fortress in the Alpujarras; and, like him, I made many
a foray into the historic fields around me, returning
always well-laden with richest spoil My companion
in these adventures was Jos6, the gardener, whose
duties permitted him a day off whenever he liked,
and whose poverty made him gladly accept an oppor-
tunity for adding a few dollars to his scant salary. He
knew all the country round about and its traditions,
and, with the help of Washington Irving's "Conquest,"
which I carried in my pocket, we visited and identified
all the places of interest in the Vega.
As I have said, I went to Spain to study the begin-
nings of American history, and as the central figure of
that history is Christopher Columbus, we shall visit all
the most important places connected with his life after
he became interesting as the Personage with a purpose.
We shall take him at the outset of his career of dis-
covery and follow him to the end. And in assuming
that Columbus is the hero of America's initial appear-
ance upon the stage of history, I do not deny the great
Norsemen anything; only that the Genoese made his
discovery known, while the first visitors did not, and
through Columbus the way was opened whereby America
was peopled with those who brought the blessings of


Leaving this question of honors to the historian, let
us inquire a little into the conditions prevailing in Spain
at the close of the fifteenth century, in the last decade
of which her star was in the ascendant. Following the
successive invasions of the Phoenicians, the Carthagi-
nians, the Vandals and the Goths, came the Moors, at
the opening of the eighth century. The power of the
Goths terminated with the fall of Roderick, their last
king, who was overwhelmed beneath the Arab flood



from Africa. For nearly seven hundred years, the Moors
possessed the better part of Spain; they built mosques
and palaces, and intended their descendants should own
this fair land forever. They gave to Spain a distinctive
people, as well as Oriental forms of speech and of archi-
tecture. The Moorish invasion had been almost mirac-
ulous in its wide-spread conquests; but finally came the
time when they, too, must succumb, and to the prowess
of northern arms. Down from the mountains of the
North, from the Asturias and the Pyrenees, swept the
Castilian armies, wave after wave, until were wrested
from the Africans the soil and cities they had won with
so much bloodshed, and the conflict of centuries culmi-
nated in the fall of Granada, in 1492. Toward the
close of the fifteenth century, the only strongholds
remaining to the Moors lay in Andalusia, called by
the Spaniards the "Land of the most Sacred Virgin,"
because of its delightful climate, its fruitful fields, and
its natural advantages as a dwelling-place for man.
When at last the union of Isabella and Ferdinand joined
the forces of Leon and Castile, then appeared possible
the long-deferred, long-hoped-for scheme of universal
conquest, and the ultimate expulsion of the Moors from
their territory. The most fascinating episodes of that
final period of warfare occurred in the Vega of Granada,
and among the hills surrounding this beautiful plain.
Standing conspicuously upon every hill-crest overlook-
ing the Vega are the remains of Moorish watch-towers,
their atalayas, from which the watchful sentinels flashed
blazing signal-fires at the appearance of an enemy.
Even to-day, they may be seen in various places, lone


and solitary landmarks, though useless now, around the
fruitful valleys they were built to guard. Centuries have
slipped by since the danger-signals flamed from their
summit-platforms, and they are now fast going to ruin
and decay. One such atalaya rose above the hill of
Elvira, always visible from the Alhambra at sunset,
black sentinel against the brilliant sky. This tower I
took as the objective point of my first foray; and one
May morning, guided by Jos6, I left the Karmen, passed
through the beautiful grove of elms to the Alhambra,
and thence down the Darro, through the half-sleeping
city of Granada, seeking the distant hills. Fain would
I linger by the way to describe the beauties of the
palace we left behind, and the elm-grove in which I
have heard the nightingales singing at midnight, as
well as the golden-sanded Darro, down the right bank
of which we strolled. It was delightfully cool in the
grove, where the birds were twittering preparatory to
their matin music, and until we were well out upon the
plain beyond Granada, we did not feel the heat of the
sun. Three hours later we were reclining at the foot of
the tower, which is locally known as the Atalaya of
Arboote, whence we had a view outspread that well
rewarded the long and somewhat dusty walk. Nearly
all the Vega lay before us. At our feet were the
remains of old Roman Illora, dating from a period near
the birth of Christ; beyond, Granada, dark in the val-
ley, with the Hill of the Sun crowned by the Alhambra,
above it; and behind, the shining crests of the Sierra
Nevada, broadly breasting the sun;
"Like silver shields new burnished for display."


As in the time of Columbus, so now: smiling plain,
dark masses of olive-trees, silver threads of streams
coursing emerald meadows, frowning battlements cap-
ping the Alhambra hills, and glistening snow-peaks
lying against the sky. Columbus saw all this, and,
though he has left no description of it, its beauty
impressed him, for in his voyagings through the island-
dotted seas-
on which we
shall follow
him-he con-
stantly recurs
to the charms
of Andalusia.
But Gran-
ada and the
have left be-
hind. Before us lies a city seldom visited by strangers;
a city sleeping in the memories of the past, and with no
tie connecting it with the present. Four centuries agone
--and three years more the armies of Isabella and
Ferdinand had advanced their line of conquest he
mountain wall around the Vega. One after r
the Moorish towns and cities had fallen bef Fe
implacable Ferdinand: Zahara, Antequera, Alhama,
Loxa, Illora, Moclin; until, in 149o, Granada stood
alone; isolate, crippled, yet proudly defiant
In April, 1491, the Spanish army, horse gnd foot, fifty
thousand strong, poured over the hills "Iinto the
Vega, intrenching themselves upon the site Santa F6,


as a situation strategically important, in the center of
the plain.
Granada lay full in sight before them. Where to-day
rise the towers of its great cathedral, the minaret of a
Moslem mosque towered skyward, and from its summit
the muezzin called the faithful to prayers: "Allah il
Allah! Great God! great God! Come to prayer! come
to prayer! It is better to pray than to sleep!" So
near were the soldiers of Ferdinand to the object of
their desires, that they could almost hear the summon-
ing cry of the muezzin.
Upon the site of the fortified camp, which was first of
tents, then huts of wood and stone, was founded, in the
year 1492, the
town of Santa
li, ortheCityslf
of the Holy
Faith. Itmay
now be seen as
I saw it that
hot day in
lifting itself
above and beyond broad fields of barley, wheat and
alfalfa. A semi-somnolent city is Santa F4; completely
walled about, with most picturesque gates facing the
cardinal points. If the term dead-and-alive may be
applied to any place, it certainly may be to this. Yet
its history is interesting, and no student of the conquest
of Granada can afford to pass it by without at least a
peep into its past.


Although we are dealing with Columbus, yet we may.
not neglect the historical accessories that make his story
worth the telling. A hundred books, at least, will give
us the tale of his life and adventures, but they only re-
peat what is already familiar; and since a multitude of
writers are even now on the search, hunting the victim
from the cradle to the grave, as it were, we ourselves
will not join in, but will lie quietly in ambush; per-
chance *we may gain glimpses of the great man, una-
wares. Hence I will claim the privilege of digressing
a while, merely to relate one of those exciting encount-
ers that took place while the army was encamped at
Santa Fd, and which, while it enlivened the monotony
of camp life, kept up the spirits of the men.
Among the fiercest of the caballeros in command un-
der the Spanish king, as the army lay before Granada,
was, the historians tell us, Hernando del Pulgar. Cast-
ing about, one day, for an opportunity to distinguish
himself, he espied the city gate of Granada but negli-
gently guarded. Dashing in, he somehow evaded the
Moorish sentinels, and reached to the great mosque in
the center of the city. Losing not a moment, he rode
his horse against the door, and there, with his ppniard,
affixed a bit of wood with Ave Maria printed in it.
Then he wheeled about and darted through the gateway,
with great clatter of hoof and clank of weapon, hurling
cries of defiance at the astonished Moors, and escaped
with a whole skin to the camp.
The Moors at first were puzzled to account for this
foray; but when they finally found the 4ve Maria
pinned against the great door of the mosque, they were


beside themselves with rage. And the next day an
immense Moor, one of the most powerful and renowned
of the Moslem warriors, insolently paraded before the
Christian host, with the sacred emblem attached to the
tail of his horse, and dragging in the dust At the same


time he defied any one of the cavaliers to meet him in
single combat before the assembled armies.
Now, Ferdinand had forbidden any of his nobles to
engage in this manner with the Moors, because their
cavaliers were better horsemen, more skilled in the
feats of the tourney, and generally came off victorious,
thus greatly weakening the esprit de corps. But this


insult to the Christian religion could not be borne, and the
cavaliers all burned to avenge it. A fiery young Castil-
ian, Garcilasso de la Vega, rushed before Isabella, and
importuned her to allow him to defend the holy faith
against this pa-
gan Moor. Her
permission re-
luctantly grant-
ed, he armed
himself com-
pletely and went
to meet the Mos-
lem, who was
S almost twice his
size, and mount-
crrY GATE OF SarTA F& ed in a superior
manner. And
yet, notwithstanding the apparent odds against him,
young Garcilasso came out of the terrible combat tri-
umphant. He killed the boastful Moor, rescued the
emblem, and laid the head of his adversary at the feet
of Isabella.
The site of this memorable encounter, and the spot
where Isabella sat to witness it, is marked by a great
stone cross, protected by an artistic canopy. Subse-
quently, a church was erected in Santa F4, in which to-
day the sacristan can show you a silver lamp pointed
by Isabella; but the most striking thing ab l this
church stands between its two great towers: the marble
head of the vanquished Moor, of heroic siz s there
placidly, and above him rises the lance whi s used




to slay him, flanked with palm leaves, across which is
the emblem of the faith. Thus, everywhere in Spain,
are we reminded of the days of chivalry and their
romances, and the scenes of the distant past brought
vividly before us.
At the door of Isabella's silken tent another hero
stands awaiting royal favor. He asks no boon of her,
but only aid to carry out his schemes of conquest; he
craves permission, like Garcilasso, to enter the lists
against the infidel. The Moors are conquered, but
mayhap there are other Pagans, in the world unknown
beyond the sea.
He, Columbus, with his sovereigns' aid, and by the


grace of God, would go forth single-handed to battle
for the Crown.
It is the month of January, 1492. Briefly, the story
of Granada's downfall may be told. That month Gra-
nada capitulated, and the last stronghold of the Moors
in Europe passed from them forever. The year that
saw the star of Spain in the ascendant, was the birth-


year also of the history of civilization in America. The
two great events are coeval, for, as the star of the
Orient sank toward Africa, the star of the Occident
rose upon the horizon. And this era of exploration
and discovery was to be opened through the genius of
an obscure, almost unknown individual, waiting hum-
bly his sovereigns' pleasure in their camp at Santa Fd.
Spain's victories hitherto had been on land; for cent-
uries she had been engaged in wresting from the in-
fidel her own lost territory, foot by foot, city by city,
until at last the great work was accomplished. Now,
before their wearied soldiers had recovered breath,
while their arms were yet tired with wielding the sword,
and the blood of the slain was still fresh upon their
weapons, the Spanish rulers were again importuned by
that Genoese adventurer. He had gone away at last,
disheartened, but had returned again at the solicitations
of the queen's old confessor and at the instance of Isa-
bella herself. He had returned as persistent, as calmly
confident of ultimate aid from some quarter, as before.
He abated no jot or particle of his ridiculous demands:
he wanted ships and caravels, sailors, provisions, muni-
tions, articles for barter. He demanded that he be
made Admiral of the Ocean Sea; Viceroy over the re-
gions discovered; the privileges of the aristocracy, and
one tenth the revenue of that undiscovered country; in
truth, there seemed no limit to his demands. And this .
from an unknown man whose only claims were to pos- ".
sessions yet to be possessed: nothing more or less than
veritable "Castles in Spain." Perhaps, if the serious
queen ever did take a humorous view of a situation, she


may have seen the funny side of this one, and have
yielded at last out of sheer weariness.
At first, however, notwithstanding the urgent solici-
tations of her respected confessor, she could not bring
herself to accept the terms of Columbus, and he de-
parted again, this time fully resolved to abandon the
country. This, however, he was not allowed to do, for
he had not accomplished more than two leagues of his
journey back to the Convent of La Rabida, before he
was overtakened by a courier from Isabella promising
acquiescence to his demands.
Whether or not the queen did this of her own voli-
tion, whether her treasurer offered to find the requisite
money for the outlay, or whether she proffered the
pledge of her jewels, are matters for the historians to
settle. The chances are, that Isabel did not offer to
pledge her jewels, since they were, probably, already
pledged to aid in furnishing the sinews of war for the
siege of Granada. But let it suffice that she promised
assistance, and, once embarked in the enterprise, gave
the future admiral both pecuniary and moral support.
All the more creditable is this to Isabella, since it was
done at a time when the royal treasury had been com-
pletely exhausted by the drafts upon it for the Moorish
wars, and when she might have been supposed to be
already sated with the glory of conquest and not anxious
for further exploits.
The place at which the royal courier overtook Colum-
bus has been preserved in tradition ever since, and is
pointed out to-day with unerring finger. He had reached
a river flowing through the Vega, spanned then, as


now, by the "Bridge of Pines." It is locally known as
Pinos Puente, and was the object of another little jour-
ney by Jos6 and myself, after we had visited, and I had
photographed, Santa F6. We had noted it from our
atalaya tower, and one day, through seas of scarlet
and crimson
poppies, had
descended to
the valley.

Sh the discussion
was carried on
in Santa F6,
Still this spot
Smay belooked
upon as that at
which the ca-
ENTRANCE TO THE BRIDGE OF plrS. reer of Colum-

bus really
began; the turn of the tide in his fortunes, and the
turning-point in his journey. For this reason, and in
view of the far-reaching consequences of this departure,
I have taken the liberty of calling this Pinos Puente the
"Bridge that Spanned the World." It is a structure of
stone and masonry, creditable to its designers, with a
gateway and a turret, spanning the stream with two
high arches, and is nearly always a scene of busy life.
I rambled with my guide along the banks, and climbed
the hill above, where are the remains of an ancient
Moorish fort, finally resting at a meson, where the sim-
ple folk cheerfully served us with the best they had.

I11 1XISI~l *. M.OIrN.


Another trip, on another day, was to Moclin, on the
outer verge of the Vega, where the Moorish fortifica-
tions are exactly as left after being battered to pieces
by the cannon of King Ferdinand, the year previous to
the fall of Granada. Amongst the wood-carvings around
the silleria, or choir-stalls, of Toledo cathedral, is one
depicting the taking of Moclin; all the incidents of the
siege of Granada, in fact, are there illustrated.
Again, we visited successively Loxa, Illora and Zubia,
at which last place Isabella narrowly escaped capture
by the Moors, and where a group of great stone crosses
marks a religious shrine. Granada and its environs yet

tion to the
student of his-
tory, whether
interested in
the closing
scenes of
Moorish domi- ..
nation, the THE CROSSES OF ZWIA.
lives of Ferdi-
nand and Isabella, or the dawn of discovery in America.
Around Columbus, however, cluster the associations of
Santa Fd and the Bridge of Pines, at the opening of this
drama of the siege of Granada; thence, he followed the
court as the army advanced to take possession of the
city, and tradition relates, with an air of authenticity,


that in the Alhambra itself Columbus was a visitor
a while, pacing gloomily its columned corridors while
the issue of his voyage was pending. Here, it is re-
lated, took place a memorable interview between the
high contracting parties, in the beautiful Hall of Jus-
tice," the Sala dcl Tribunal, which bounds one side of
the famous "Court of Lions," and is a dream of beauty.
Here, where the swart Moors reclined and dreamed away
the noontide hours, and the stern caliphs sat, in days
departed, the queen received Columbus.
During a month of most delightful days, I myself
dwelt within the Alhambra walls, sallying forth upon
excursions, as narrated; wandering through the palace
by daylight and by moonlight, and weaving about the
departed Moors, the Christian conquerors and the great
Navigator, the tissue of a fabric I have herein attempted
to unfold. F00



A S wehave seen, Colum-
bus, crowned with
success, departed for Palos,
invested with all the rights
and privileges he for years
had been so anxious to obtain.
But two months after the
MOORSH ARCH AT PALOS. surrender of Boabdil to Fer-
dinand and Isabella, the same hands that had received
the emblems of their triumph over the Moors affixed
the royal sign-manual to a paper confirming Colum-
bus in titles in a yet undiscovered country beyond
the unknown sea. A commemorative chapel on the
bank of the Xenil marks the spot made famous by the
surrender of the Moor; in the royal chapel attached to
the cathedral of Granada the alabaster tombs of the
king and queen are sacred shrines, to which pilgrims by
thousands annually wend their way; but no monument
rises above the spot where the great Navigator en-
gaged to barter a world for prospective emolument and
titular honors.


We know with what tenacity he clung to the scheme
he had formulated for the enrichment and ennobling of
himself and his family, preferring to abandon the coun-
try rather than to abate one iota of his project. And it
was with doubtful pace that he followed the messenger
from Isabella who had overtaken him at the Bridge of
Pines, with the promise of her consent
But at last he was on his way to Palos, triumphant
And while he is pursuing his way toward the coast, let
us briefly review his history hitherto.
He was born in Genoa, the historians tell us, in the
year 1435 -this may not be the exact date; and re-
garding his youth and early manhood there is the same
obscurity; but about the year 1470, we find him resid-
ing in Portugal, the birthplace of his wife, and some-
what later engaged in correspondence with Toscanelli.
According to his son's statement, in 1477 he "navigated
one hundred leagues beyond Thule;" but in 1482 he is
in the South of Spain, having vainly endeavored to
enlist the king of Portugal in his plans, and is sent to
Isabella by the Duke of Medina Celi, at the court in
Cordova. He follows the court to Salamanca in 1486,
and there has audience with the queen. In 1487, hes
before the Council in the Dominican Convent; he returns
to Cordova the same year in the train of Isabella, wence
he is summoned to the military camp at Malaga.- The
year 1489 finds him before the walls of Baza, where he
witnessed the surrender of the Moors under Boaadil the
Elder, and doubtless conversed with the two monks
who there came to the queen from Jerusalem. 149o
sees him in Seville and Cordova, whence le finally


departs in disgust for the port of Huelva, on his way
stopping at the Convent of La Rabida, where he attracts
the attention of the prior, and subsequently has the


famous conference with the friar, the village doctor of
Palos, and Martin Alonzo Pinzon of Moguer.
This conference in the convent took place in the latter
part of the year 1491; as the result, a messenger was
dispatched to Isabella, then in camp at Santa F6, who
returned after fourteen days with royal orders for the
prior to go to Granada; he departs in haste, and eventu-
ally returns with the queen's command for Columbus to
appear before the court, and with the necessary money
for the trip.


Columbus arrives at Santa F6 the first week in Janu-
ary, 1492, in good time (as we have seen) to witness the
surrender of Granada. He has audience with his sover-
eigns, but cannot agree upon terms, so prepares to
depart from Spain. He is overtaken by the queen's
courier at the Bridge of Pines, returns, and is finally
made happy with the royal consent.
The Capitulation for conquest and exploration is
signed April 17, 1492, and the twelfth of May he sets
out for Palos. Ten days later--the twenty-third--
the royal command for the people of Palos to furnish
men for the voyage is read in the church of St. George,
and the Pinzon family come to his assistance. Prepara-
tions are hurried forward, and by the first of August
the vessels drop down the Rio Tinto to the Domingo
Rubio, where the final departure is taken at the Con-
vent of La Rabida. This much for a chronological
statement of events. We will now retrace our steps,
and visit in person the scenes of the great Discoverer's
weary wanderings and his final gladsome trip through
Memorials of Columbus are scattered throughout
Spain, to-day; in Madrid, the royal armory contains his
armor, the naval museum one of his charts; at Valla-
dolid, in 1506, he died, and the house is still pointed
out in which he drew his last breath; the convent, also,
in which his remains were first deposited.
But though we may trace the wanderings of our hero
over a great portion of Spain, it is in the South. that
the most interesting events occurred. Vastly rich is
Seville, the queen city of the Guadalquivir, iColumbian



memories; for here we find that valuable library, the
Colombina, bequeathed the city by his son Fernando,
containing twenty thousand volumes, among them some
that once pertained to the great man himself; one with
marginal notes by his own hand, and one of his charts.
Those very islands of the Bahamas, which I myself
have seen, dim and shadowy, and shining in the sun,


are here outlined by the great Discoverer himself, upon
paper discolored and stained by sea-salt, as though it
had accompanied him on all his voyages.
That, however, which oftenest drew me and longest
held me was the marble slab in the pavement of the
great cathedral, that formerly covered the remains of
Columbus, and now marks the resting-place of his son
Fernando, with its world-famous inscription: A Castilla

._ -.


y d Leon, Mundo Nuevo dio Colon; "To Castile and to
Leon, a New World gave Columbus." Thus, although
the remains of Columbus himself are now in the New
World, many glorious memorials of him are to be seen
in Spain, and mainly in Seville.
In the Lonja, containing the royal archives of the
Indies, in the city of Seville, is a mass of material per-
taining to the conquest of the West Indies and Mexico
that has never been exploited. Inaccessible to the
ordinary tourist, great bundles and packages of letters
and documents lie securely intrenched behind glass
doors. But affixed against the walls, at intervals, are
certain letters that bear their history on their faces;
they are open and can be read by every passer-by.
They are well-nigh priceless; unique, at all events, for
most of them are from the great conquistadores them-
selves. The first of these, in point of age, is one from
Magellanes, dated at Seville, October 24, i518.
Another, date October 12, 1519, is from Diego Velas-
quez, written from La Isla Fernandina (Cuba), giving
notice of the disobedience of Cortez, who had taken
possession of the ships and armament Velasquez himself
had collected, and sailed away to what (as we now
know) resulted in the conquest of Mexico.
Less than three years later, a letter is written by the
indomitable Cortez himself to Charles V., announcing
his great discoveries and acquisitions. It was written
from Coyoacan (near the city of Mexico) May 15, 1522;
one of those veritable Cartas de Cort/s that have proved
so valuable to historians.
Bearing date December 13, 1520, is a letter from


Diego Colon, son of Columbus, then in Santo Domingo
as viceroy.
Another, the same year, addressed to the king,
Charles I. (Charles V. of Germany), is from that fiery-
hearted monk, Bartholomew de las Casas. Long before
that letter was written, had the wrongs of the down-
trodden Indians begun to cry for redress, through the
good Bishop of Chiapas.
Next in sequence comes a letter from Juan Ponce de
Leon, "Puerto Rico, February io, 1521." He had
then, doubtless, given up his search for the "Fountain
of Youth," and was preparing for that last venture in
which he lost his life. A confirmation of the statement
by historians, that Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of
Peru, could not write his name, is found here; for the
letter purporting to be his bears his sign-mark only.
With date 1526, there is a royal redula of Charles I.;
and another from the same king to Don Louis Colon,
in 1537; another, by Phillip II., in x56o.
A letter written in July, 1539, from Hernando de
Soto, touches Americans, surely, for it comes from the
Puerto del Espiritu Santo, coast of Florida; Tampa
Bay, it is called now; and De Soto was then disembark-
ing his forces, preparatory to that terriblemarch through
the Floridian wilderness that ended at the Mississippi,
and brought him to his grave.
In 1556, that stout soldier and truthful historian,
Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who fought all through the
Mexican wars under Cortez, writes a letter to his sover-
eign. He was then governor of Guatemala, and his
letter comes thence: "Guatemala, ro de Mayo, 1556."


In these documents we have a history epitomized, and
romance condensed, with suggestions enough to keep an
elaborator busy for a lifetime.
But one more name, that of Columbus, is necessary to
bring before us the conquest and discoveries of that
period so rich in barbaric treasure, so red with Indian
blood misspilt:

No kay olla sin tocino,
Ni sermon sin Agustino."

No olla without its pork, no sermon without its
saint," says the Spanish proverb. The saint in my ser-
mon, these days, when the quadri-centennial lends an
interest to everything American and Columbian, is
Saint Colon; and it was to obtain information regarding
his voyages, that I visited the Lonja and Columbian
Library at Seville, and later the port of Palos and
Convent of La Rabida.
At Seville, I dwelt in the house of a cleric, and my
friend gave me a letter of introduction to the cura of
Moguer, the town nearest to Palos. It was a bright
morning in April when I left the city for a trip to Palos,
and the valley of the Guadalquivir was bright in green-
est fields of grain and of olive orchards. Seville is, in
truth, of queenly aspect, sitting in the midst of the fer-
tile plain, her towering Giralda rising far above the out-
line of distant hills. For two thirds the distance the
railroad runs through a fertile and highly-cultivated
plain, but the rest was mainly barren, though covered,
with sheets and beds of purple flowers in beautiful


bloom. We passed the ruins of a Roman fortification
of times most ancient, and then crossed a river flowing
over iron-colored rocks, most curiously worn. The char-
acter of the soil was shown in its color, which was yel-
low and deep red; noting which I inferred, and rightly,
that we had seen at last the historic Rio Tinto- the


Wine-colored River, from which Columbus sailed four
hundred years ago.
Just sixty years before me, in the spring of 1828, a
man more famous than I traversed this same route, and
with the same intent: gentle and genial Washington
Irving. But there was no railroad in those days, and
he was obliged to make the journey on horseback, tak-
ing as many days, perhaps, as I did hours; but enjoying
it, every mile.


Leaving the railway at the station of San Juan del
Puerto, I took the diligencia, an old carriage, for the
town of Moguer, a league distant on a hill, where I
found, contrary to my expectations, good accommoda-
tions: a fonda, or house of entertainment, with clean
beds and an excellent table. I was soon served with a
good breakfast, and "mine host" took quite a fancy to
me; insisting on taking me to the places of interest, and
telling me all the local news.
But he was lamentably ignorant respecting things
Columbian, though intelligent and inquisitive. When I
inquired about the scenes of interest to one studying
Columbus, he excused himself, saying he was from
another province, and not posted regarding the affairs
of Palos.
But this man, Columbus, when did he sail, Sefior ?
and are you sure he sailed from Palos ? No ship of any
size has left there this many a year; the village, even,
is half a mile from the river.
But I'll find thee a boy to act as a guide to Palos;
also a burro. It makes me impatient to have such a
man about me."
The boy he secured must have been the surliest speci-
men in Spain; but the poor little fellow had lost an arm
early in life, and I suppose that must have soured him;
at any rate, he probably had a hard time of it in his
struggle for bread.
He led up a donkey, hooked my valise on to his arm-
stump, seized the rope attached to the donkey's nose,
and then strode ahead without a glance at me. Doni;
Pedro sent an emphatic Spanish word flying after hin


that halted him instanter; at least long enough to allow
me to scramble upon the burro's back; then he marched
on again, pursued by the maledictions of my friend.
" What a beast of a boy, to be sure; and to think that
I, Pedro Val Verde, a respected householder of Moguer,
should have been the means of putting a distinguished
American traveler in his charge-one who has come
all the way from America, too, just to see our little port
of Palos. Bien, Vaya con Dios, Sefor -God be with
thee. You have a stick, let the burro feel the force of
your arm."
Palos and Moguer are at least three miles apart. The
road between them is broad and smooth, but traversed
by carts only in the vintage season, when the wines are
carried to the port of Palos. There was no saddle on
the beast I rode, and I sat astride an enormous pack of
old bags, using my ctidgel as a balancing-pole; but was
frequently obliged to bring it down upon the donkey's
resounding sides, at which, much pleased, apparently,
he would wag his ears and gently amble onward.
The bdy was abstracted, and the donkey absorbed in
meditation, so I gained little from their companionship;
but after an hour I sighted the hamlet Palos, the
ancient port whence Columbus sailed on his first voyage
to America, to-day consists of a few mean houses, scat-
tered along a hillside, and one long straggling street
It is nearly half a mile from the river, but it was a
port in the time of Columbus, and is called so now.
There may be some eight hundred inhabitants, all told.
and not one of them, that I could find, was aware that
the hamlet had a history known to the world beyond its


limits. Some of them had heard of Columbus; some
remembered that it was said he had sailed hence, once
upon a time, to a country called America; but no one
could tell me anything, and I must see the cura-the
parish priest-to know more. After an hour of wait-
ing I found that he knew no more than the others, but
the sacristan of the church, fortunately, was also the
schoolmaster, and took an interest in my mission.
He took me to the church of St. George, the veritable
one in which Columbhs read the royal commands to the
terrified sailors of Palos, and I found it as it doubtless
stood then: a simple church of stone, guarding the en-
trance to the town. I photographed its eastern front,
and also its rear, where there is a Moorish doorway
(now walled up) draped in vines. The interior of the
church is very plain, the chief ornament being an enor-
mous wooden image of St. George, the patron saint of
the church, slaying a terrible dragon. As St. George
stood in a corner so dark that I could not obtain a
photograph of his cheerful countenance, the sacristan
and his boy obligingly trundled him out into the sun-
light, where he was visible.
Sixty years ago, Washington Irving saw this same
saint in the act of slaying this same dragon, and he par-
ticularly mentions that both had beenrecently repainted,
and that the nose of the saint was as rosy-hued as the
sunset. It is, even now, as gorgeous as ever, and the
nose almost bright enough to guide the dragon in strik-
ing at his tormentor in the dark. 0
It was with great reluctance that I left the church;
and turned my face again toward Moguer; but the day


was nearly ended, there was no accommodation of any
sort for a traveler at Palos, and the boy and the burro
were anxious to be away. Don Pedro of the inn re-
ceived me cordially, spreading a table with fruit of his
garden and wine of his vineyard, and afterward invited
me to come forth and view the town. He first con-
ducted me to the church, and then to the house of the
Pinzon family, still in possession of a descendant of
the great Pinzon who sailed with Columbus. Over
the doorway is their coat-of-arms. I was delighted
to learn that the present representative of the family
is prosperous, and holds a position in the Spanish
It was not my good fortune to be entertained, as Irv-
ing was, by a descendant of the great Pinzon, though I
should have valued that attention more highly than any
other in Spain; for it was to the two brothers Pinzon
that Columbus was indebted for success. When he
came here, penniless and without authority, they were
prosperous citizens, men of influence over their neigh-
bors, and we all know the part they took in that first
voyage, furnishing money, men and vessels. Even the
royal proclamation read in the church of St. George,
was of less avail than their brave example. Badly
treated, they were, by Columbus and by Ferdinand, yet
posterity will not refuse them their meed of honor. In
truth, the deeds of the Genoese pale before their steady
glow of sturdy independence. The needy adventurer
whom they befriended, and who treated them so basely,
forgetting their noble friendship after his success was
won, has left no direct descendants; but the sturdy


Pinzon stock still flourishes in the birthplace of its
Our next visit was to the convent church of Santa
Clara, where Columbus and his sailors fulfilled their
vows after their return from the first voyage. You will
recall, perhaps, that they promised their saints that if
they were saved from a dreadful storm that threatened,
they would spend their first night ashore in prayer.
And it was in this very church that they performed
their vows; Columbus, at least, kneeling here all night
on the cold marbles, and before the altar.
As the church was then, it is now: with a magnificent
altar-piece, fine statues and rich paintings. It was
erected by the Puertocarreros, whose tombs and marble
effigies lie in niches on either side. They were a noble
family; and it was a Puertocarrero, you will remember,
who was intrusted with the first vessel sent from Mexico
to Spain, in z519, bearing from New to Old Spain a
portion of the rich treasure of Montezuma.
The day following, returning to Palos, a sturdy don-
key boy attended me, not the one-armed brute of the
day before, and we made the distance merrily, halting
at the town only for a lunch.
As the place came into view, I drewup my donkeyon
the brow of the hill and looked long at the white-walled
Palos, so silent before me, so lifeless, so sad. I need
not put on paper the thoughts that possessed me as I
gazed, nor the pictures that arose before my mental
vision, for I am an American, and have a share in that
common heritage left us by Columbus. Four;hundred
years only have passed since the great Genoese came



here, to this very port of Palos, and sailed away with
its sailor-citizens to the discovery of a continent, and
though since then the cynosure of all eyes, little Palos
has slumbered on, unmindful of its fame. One by one
its prosperous men were gathered out of sight, one by
one its houses fell to ruins, one by one its fleets were


depleted of its vessels, and to-day naught remains save
the memory of its greatness.
About three miles beyond Palos, passing through
scenery unattractive and sad, some clumps of trees
appear and a hill rises against the sky. Then, slowly
climbing, you bring the roofs and cupolas of a lone
white building into view, which are found to pertain to
a convent structure of the olden style. It is rambling,


yet compactly inclosed within a high wall, and is ex-
tremely picturesque. I was very fortunate, later on, in
securing a fine photograph of it, as clouds lay massed
beyond, and a flock of sheep slowly grazed before it.
And it was thus I found it, this Convent of La Rabida,
at the gate of which Columbus halted to request refresh-
ment for his son. How he came to such a secluded
place as La Rabida no one has explained; but he prob-
ably made for the coast of Spain, thinking, perhaps, to
obtain a vessel at Huelva, then, as now, a shipping port
for copper ore to foreign parts. Indeed, this very spot
is the ancient Tarshish of the Bible, and the Phonicians
came here more than two thousand years ago: those
men of Tyre, who discovered a passage between the
Pillars of Hercules. But Columbus came here, halted
at the gate (the arched entrance at the right), and the
prior of the convent, the good Marchena, chanced to
see and to enter into conversation with him. Struck
by his dignified appearance, and also by his evident
learning, the prior invited him to tarry a while, and soon
he had his visitor's story: of long-deferred plans, of
wearisome waiting and crushing defeat That very
night he caused his mule to be saddled, and started for
Granada, pursuing the same weary road through Palos
and Moguer that I have traversed (only he was not
favored by steam or stage) to the camp, perhaps two
hundred miles away.
Meanwhile, Columbus waited, resting in thol cor-
ridors, walking meditatively along the shore, affgazing
wistfully out upon the scene from the arched ad shel-
tered mirador.


The convent to-day is in excellent preservation, hav-
ing been carefully restored and placed in the care of a
faithful old soldier. I found the family in possession so
simple, and so kindly disposed, that I craved permission
to pass the day and night there, which they readily

(Looking out upon the streamn down which Columbus sailed from Palos to the sea.)

granted. So, paying my donkey boy double wages, and
sending him back to Moguer with a kind message for the
friendly landlord, I was soon placed in control of the con-
vent, isolate from all the world. Not even Fray Perez
could have possessed it more completely. I wandered
at will through its corridors, its cloisters and vacant
refectory, rambled over the hills back and beyond the


convent; hills covered with artemisia and stunted pines,
and indulged in solitary reverie to my heart's content
Climbing the winding stairway to the mirador, I had
before me broad vistas, through the arched openings, of
the river and the sea. Directly beneath, the hills
sloped rapidly to the half-submerged lands of the river
and sound. Half-way down its slope was a date-palm,
said to have been here in the time of Columbus; perhaps
equally old are the gnarled and twisted fig-trees and two
gray-green olives that keep it company. Extending
southward, even to the mouth of the Guadalquivir, are
the Arenas Gordas, or the great sands, that make this
coast a solitary waste. Truly, it is a lonesome spot,
this upon which the building is perched, and the soul
of Columbus must have been aweary as he drew near
the convent portal.
The Domingo Rubio, a sluggish stream tributary to
the Tinto, separates from Rabida a sandy island, where
there is an ancient watch-tower and a camp of carbi-
neers on the watch for contrabandistas. A little to the
west the Domingo Rubio meets with, and is lost in, the
Rio Tinto, and the two join with the Odiel and flow
tranquilly on to the ocean, where the foaming breakers
roar with a sound that reaches even to La Rabida. Be-
yond their united waters again, is another sandy island,
and another distant watch-tower, till the low coast fades
away in the distance. Down this channel sailed, or
floated, Columbus, bringing his boats from Palos, on
his way to the sea. The landscape is of a dreary kind,
flat, with distant woods, and farther on a hint of purple
hills. Opposite, across the broad bay, lies Huelva, like


a snowdrift, white upon a tongue of land between cop-
per-colored hills and the sea. A dreary landscape, yet
a bright sun in its setting might make it transiently
The old soldier in charge of the convent, Don Cristo-
bal Garcia, the concerge, was evidently straitened in cir-
cumstances, yet
he was cheerful, .11
and his hospital-
ity shone forth re-
splendently. He
laughingly in-
formed me that
he rejoiced in the
same name as
tobal; but, he
added, he had
never done any- IN THE CONVENE COURT.
thing to make it illustrious. He and his family lived in
a primitive and even pitiful state, at meal times gather-
ing around a common platter; but my own meals they
served me on snowy linen at a table apart. There were
six of them: the old man, his wife, a little girl named
Isabel, some twelve years old, and three boys. Isabel,
poor child, pattered about the stone pavement with bare
feet, but they were pretty feet, and with little brown
ankles neatly turned. There was another member of
the family, evidently an intruder, a little chap clad
solely in a short shirt, who had squint eyes and a great
shock of bristly black hair. Don Cristobal told me that


he was a descendant of one of the Indians brought to
Spain from America on the first voyage; and as the
child's face was certainly that of an Indian, I was more
than half-inclined to believe the story. The little people
were delighted with the peeps I gave them through my
camera, and capered about with delight at the sight of
the court and its flowers spread out before them in
miniature, and nearly jumping out of their clothes at
the inverted image of the grave old concierge standing
on his head, exclaiming, Mira! Mira!" and gazing at
me with awe and wonder.
They gave me a bed in one of the cloister-cells, the
very one, Don Cristobal assured me, that Columbus
occupied, and I slept well through the night. It was a
disappointment to me that I did not dream, and receive
a visitation from some steel-clad hidalgo, or from a
girdled monk or two; but of dreams I had none worth
preserving, and at six in the morning was awakened by
the good concierge, who inquired if Don Federico would
not like a little refreshment. Don Federico would, and
well he did, for it was three or four hours before he
received a hint of breakfast.
The eldest boy had gone to Palos for twenty cents'
worth of meat and two eggs, making apparent the
poverty of my host He did not return until ten, and
then we had breakfast; and there were the two eggs,
which the mistress could not have regarded more
proudly had they been golden, for they were very
scarce at that time in Palos, and it was waiting on a
hen's pleasure that caused the boy's delay. He had
been told to bring back two eggs, and if two hens had


not have happened along quite opportunely, I might
have been waiting that boy's return to this day.
There were meat and bread and golden wine. And
that wine! The product of Don Cristobal's own vine-
yard, true vino de Palos, sweet and yet sparkling. This
wine is of a golden color, with fine bouquet, and cele-
brated at Seville. This rich, ocherous earth seems to
have bestowed its fatness upon the wine-vat, for not on
the plains of Xeres is wine produced of so rare a flavor
as this made on the banks of the Rio Tinto. The rain
had fallen all the forenoon and had made the convent
cold and cheerless, so a fire was built in the fireplace
of the ancient monks, and as it crackled and leaped
up the huge chimney-throat we were warmed to our
very hearts.
Then the old soldier told me bits of his past history
and legends of the place, while the chubby children
gathered around, chins on their hands, stretched before
the fire like kittens, regarding us with wide-open,
wondering eyes.
I said we had meat; it was not flesh of lamb or sheep,
but of goat; and it was old, and it was tough. Don
Cristobal remarked my desperate effort to carve it,
vainly exerted, and observed that the market of Palos
was never supplied with other than goat-meat, and that
he doubted not that it was very old.
Now Don Cristobal had a way of ascribing everything
ancient to the time of Columbus.
Is this old?" I would inquire. And he would re-
ply, "Si Seior, es tiempo de Colon: "Yes, sir, surely,
of the time of Columbus."


So I said, pointing to the goat-meat, "This is very
old, is it not? Yes, sir," he replied; "I think so."
"Very, very old?" "Yes, sir." "Well, then, do
you think it is of the time of Columbus? "
The old man was slow at digesting this query at first,
but when he did he nearly exploded with laughter, and
hobbled outside to tell the Americano's joke to some
old cronies who were sunning themselves at the door.
After the rain had ceased, and while the sun was
struggling fiercely with the clouds, we ate our dinner in
the corridor, which ran around a court, orpatio, open to
the sky. This court was filled with flowers, vines crept
up the pillars, figs and oranges had possessed them-
selves of space enough for luxuriant growth, and al-
together it was an attractive spot. From this court
opened out many cloisters, but there was another,
farther in, where the chamber-cells of the monks were
very numerous. Vacant now, with doors ajar, and with
no one to inhale the fragrance of oranges and roses in
this inner court. Off at one side is the chapel where it
is said Columbus knelt in prayer, and on the opposite
side a passage leads to the refectory, the stone benches
on which the good monks sat empty and chill.
Climbing a narrow stairway, you come to a corner
room overlooking the Rio Tinto, a large square room,
with floor of earthen tiles and ceiling of cedar, with
dark beams overhead. This is the Columbus Room,
where the great Admiral, the prior and the learned
doctor held the famous consultation which resulted in
the monk's intercession with Isabella. Many a painting
has represented this historic scene, perhaps none more



faithfully than the one hung in the room itself. An
immense table, old but sturdy still, and around which
the great men are said to have gathered, occupies the
center of the room, and on it is the tintero, or inkstand,
said to have been used by them. Around the wall are
hung several excellent pictures; one representing the
discovery of land, one showing Columbus at the convent
gate, another the consultation, the embarkation at Palos,
the publication of the king's commands in the church,
and the final departure from La Rabida.
I had often thought that to be a monk, cloistered in
cool corridors, would be an ambition it were well to
gratify, and I must confess to a feeling of pity for the
poor frailes who were turned loose from these quiet
retreats and set adrift on an unfeeling world. I wonder
if they enjoyed, as I did, the seclusion of the place and
the sunset view from the mirador? In pleasant weather,
when the hot sun shines, it must be supremely attract-
ive, to one sitting in the shade and looking forth upon
the sea. Drowsy insects hum outside, the half-sup-
pressed noises of maritime life float in on the breeze,
and lively swallows fly in and out, twittering to one
another as they seek their nests. Ah! pleasant mira-
dor, overlooking the historic Rio Tinto and the sea!
The view afforded here comprises the scenes attendant
upon the momentous departure; right before us, on
the banks of the Domingo Rubio, it was, that Columbus
careened his vessels and took aboard his stores, just
before setting sail; somewhere near the mole he took
his final farewell of the good prior, the last, best friend
he had in Spain; and beyond the sand-spits glimmer


the breakers on the Bar of Saltes. Down the stream,
beyond the Tinto, glide lateen sails toward the bar the
sailors crossed in 1492.
Don Cristobal went down to engage passage for me
in a mystick, or little sloop, that was lading with ballast
at the river bank, and soon I followed him to the mole,
where a carabinero rowed me across the inlet Once
there, I found that the mystick would not leave till
night; but the men were cheerful and chatty, and so I
staid a while. It was on or near this very spot that
Columbus cleared for his voyage; and what thoughts
filled my mind as I tarried here!
But not a thought had the men for aught save their
sand, which they would take to Huelva and sell for
ballast. If I would wait, I was welcome to a passage;
but they thought that by crossing the sands I could hail
a fisherman in the main channel as he came in from
sea. The carabinero thought so, too, and took me to
an ancient tower where his companions were, two of
whom rowed me in a boat to mid-channel, where I had
the good luck to catch a fisherman bound for Huelva.
He took me willingly, and we sailed away with a spank-
ing breeze, arriving there in half an hour. Two men
and a boy comprised the crew, and an immense fish the
catch; and as we drew near the quay a boy drove down
a mule-cart into the water, backed it up to the boat, and
loaded us all into it, cargo and crew. Once on shore,
a little urchin, with wide-extended mouth, seized my
camera and valise and led the way to the railway station,
where I spent the forty minutes till train-time in gazing
wistfully at Palos and La Rabida.

(Albaste TombintBe tArtqa Cmawd, of Mj,,of. miBurgostA. AlgA aarolwhiAk
uaft"cAwrTA M09 gidd WiM LAeJfrgi gold broWgU frost AmeriB ~a bolumu.A.)


The convent lay against a bank of clouds, shining out
like silver; Palos also and Moguer gleaming white
against the hills. Two leagues away lay the sea; and
I had just ploughed the channel crossed by the world-
seeking caravels four hundred years ago. And so. I
left this historic triad of towns, which had evoked for
me so many memories of the great century that joined
the Old World with the New, left them shining
against the barren hills, as they have shone in memory
ever since.




W-E cannot
,but re-
Sgard the first
voyage of Co-
lumbus as a
of favorable
S and fortunate
events; for,
S barring a slight
iLi accident to the
SPinta, nothing
occurred to
-- baffle his plans
-until the first
land was in
sight. The
CRoSSINU Tili .ARGASS4) 8EA. final departure
(So named by he Sp~anWl.) may be said
to have been taken from Gomera in the Canary Islands,
and the last sight of land was off the Island of Ferro.


Two days after land was lost to sight, or on the
eleventh of September, a floating mast was seen, and
on the-thirteenth, the most important discovery was
made by Columbus. We may say, quoting a distin-
guished author, that Columbus made several discoveries
before he discovered land. The first of these was the
variation of the compass, the second the Sargasso Sea
and the third the trade-winds of the tropics.
The variation of the magnetic needle of course dis-
turbed him greatly; but he had the wisdom to keep his
discovery to himself, intil the change became so great
that the pilots noticed it; then he gave them a plausible
It was about the first of October that they approached
the region of the trade-winds, and noticed the peculiari-
ties of that vast weedy expanse known as the Sargasso
Sea. This seaweed, found floating on the surface of
the ocean, bears globules like small grapes in shape.
The Spanish sailors, fancying a resemblance between
them and the grape grown in Portugal, called the sea-
plant the sargasso, and the name was also given to that
portion of the ocean where the weed is found.
We know that his astronomical knowledge was imper-
fect, and the nautical instruments very crude. He had
a compass, and a rude instrument called the astrolabe,
by which he determined his latitude; but he could only
guess at his longitude, and he measured time by an
hour-glass. "It has been said that he probably had no
means for accurately calculating the speed of his ves-
sels, as there is no mention of the log-and-line before
x5ig; and as to the telescope, it was first used in the


year x61o. Having such a slight equipment, the sailors
of that day, of course, were very timid about venturing
far from land. The task that Columbus set himself was
simply to go to the Canary Islands, in about latitude
twenty-eight degrees north, and sail due west until he
struck land." He was diverted from his course by the
advice of the pilots and by the flight of birds to the
southward, otherwise he might have landed on the coast
of Florida, near the Indian River.
"When I think," said a celebrated writer, "of Co-
lumbus in his little bark, his only instruments an imper-
fect compass and a rude astrolabe, sailing forth upon an
unknown sea, I must award to him the credit of being
the boldest seaman that ever sailed the salt ocean."
After they had been a month at sea, the pilots reck-
oned they had sailed about five hundred and eighty
leagues west of the Canaries; but by the true, though
suppressed, figures of Columbus, they had made really
over seven hundred leagues. It was about that time, or
October io, that the crew became mutinous; but later,
signs of land, such as a branch with berries, and a
piece of carved wood, changed gloom to hope, and strict
watch was kept throughout the night. They were then
on the verge of the great discovery. All seemed to
have felt that some great event was pending; and on
the night of October ix, Columbus claimed to have seen
a wavering light. The next day, early in the morning,
or that is about two o'clock of October 12, land was
first sighted by a sailor on the Pinta. A landing was
made the same day, and possession taken in the name of
the Spanish sovereigns.

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All these events, of course, we are familiar with in
the works of many authors, notably in the history by
Washington Irving, who first made the English-speak-
ing world acquainted with the voyages of Columbus.
But, although it is only four hundred years since these
events took place, yet there is a great difference of
opinion as to the island which may claim to have been
the first land sighted on that memorable date, October
12, 1492.
One thing is certain: the first landfall of Columbus
was an island in .the Bahamas, although opinions vary
as to which one, claimants having arisen for several
others besides those mentioned. But although the islands
claimed extend over a distance of some three hundred
miles, yet, we may be justified in going a little farther,
and saying that not only was the first island one of the
Bahama group, but situate somewhere about midway in
the chain. Since the time of Irving and Humboldt,
several writers of distinction have given attention to
this question, and though not all coming to the same
conclusions, most of them agree upon Watling's Island,
as the place where the Europeans first set foot upon
soil of the New World.
Unfortunately for investigators, the journal of Colum-
bus, which, as he informed the queen, at the setting out
of the voyage, he should write day by day, has disap-
peared, and we have only a portion of it, alleged to
have been transcribed by a Spanish historian, Las
Casas. And again, it is unfortunate that this tran-
scription has apparently many discrepancies.
Since, however, the greater numberof writers recog-


nized as authorities are in favor of Watling's Island, it
will be as well to grant that one the honor.
Whichever island it may have been, I myself can
claim that I have seen it, as I have traversed the entire
chain, from Turk's to Cat, and have studied them ell
carefully, with a view to giving an opinion on this vexed
question. Years ago, it was my good fortune to bisect
the group on my way to the south coast of Cuba, when
I saw this island rising like a cloud, or rather a blue
mound, above the horizon. But it was not until July,
1892, that I had the opportunity for visiting it. Being
then in the West Indies as Commissioner for the World's
Columbian Exposition, I received orders from the exec-
utives to investigate this question of the Landfall, and
visit the islands in person.
I was then in Haiti, the Black Republic, and the first
opportunity did not occur until a month after receiving
my commands. Leaving the port of Cape Haitien early
one morning on a steamer of the Clyde Line, called the
Ozama, in a few hours we sighted the Island of Tortuga.
The day before, from another port on the Haitian
coast, we had scanned the leeward shore of this famous
haunt of the buccaneers in times gone by, and now were
on the bleak, iron-bound coast of the inward side.
Finally, the turtle-back Tortuga faded out of sight,
and the next land, or rather indication of land, was the
southwest point of Inagua, merely a shadowy semb-
lance of terra firma, emphasized a few hours later by
the flashing out of its revolving light from a high white
tower. Its capital, Matthewstown, may be a prosaic
place enough in broad daylight, but by the glamor of a


summer's night it was transformed into a thing of ex-
ceeding beauty, as we lay a mile or so off shore, await-
ing a little freight of Sisal hemp, mahogany logs that
had floated over from Santo Domingo, in the last great
storm, and some bags of smuggled coffee.
It had been my intention to land here, and take a
chance vessel (should by good luck any such occur) for
Watling's, in the center of the Bahama chain; but the
agents of the steamer advised me not to risk it, as noth-
ing promised for that island within a month. They
assured me I Would stand a better chance from Fortune
Island, and if I could only reach it, be a hundred miles
nearer my desired destination. As the steamer never
touched at Fortune, and indeed at none of the Bahamas
except occasionally, I felt myself in a predicament until
gallant Capt. Rockwell, the master of the Osama, came
to my assistance, and promised that if I would take
the chances he would drop me off the island, if the
people there ashore would answer his signals and send
out a boat.
Next morning at daylight we passed the light of Cas-
tle Island, and at ten o'clock were abreast the flashing
surf of Long Cay, and could see the little settlement
there that formed the only one on Fortune Island. Sig-
nals were set: "Passengers aboard; send off a boat,"
and shortly after we could see a movement on the beach
about a mile away, where a boat was being launched.
In a little while it came alongside, our engines having
stopped, and after an interchange of salutations my
luggage was quickly transferred to the boat below, and
I left the comfortable Ozama and launched out into


another unknown adventure. The steamer steered off,
my friends waved me a last farewell, and by the
time we reached the beach objects on board were
I found myself a stranger in a strange land, but for-
tunately had my usual good luck, and obtained board
and lodging at a house near the beach. Fortune Island,
or Long Cay,
is about eight
miles in length
and a mile or
so in breadth,
some eight hun-
dred acres in
area, with a
population of
-- seven hundred
people, mostly
black and col-
ored. The
chief production of the island is salt, which is raked
out of the vast shallow salt ponds formed just over
the sand-banks behind the reefs. The process of salt
gathering is a primitive one; the ponds are divided
into sections containing salt in various stages of crystal-
lization, and the water is sometimes pumped from one
to the other by means of a curious windmill. The great
heaps of salt, containing many thousands bushels, are
pyramidal in shape, white as snow, and glisten like
silver in the sun. Formerly this island was a great
rendezvous for the wreckers, and in yet earlier times


perhaps for the buccaneers; but latterly their occupa-
tion has departed, owing to the erection of lighthouses
and the substitution of steamers for the principal traffic
to and through the islands instead of sailing vessels.
Now and then a steamer touches here going from
New York to Jamaica and Central America, picks up a
crew of laborers for the voyage, and drops them again
at their homes on its return. It is a barren island as
compared with the islands of the West Indies proper;
and yet it is not unattractive, with its white sand
beaches, its glistening salt heaps, and its half-tropical
It was thought that I could readily get a vessel here
to take me to Watling's Island, but it will show you how
infrequently these islands are visited, even by coasting
craft, when I tell you that it was nine days before I
could secure a boat to take me over, a distance of only
one hundred miles. Even then, although that day
there happened four or five craft in port, the master of
the dirty little "turtler" asked six pounds for a run
of merely a night
The old wrecker instinct is still strong in the resi-
dents of these coral islands, and when they get hold of
a stranger they make him pay for long months of
deprivation. This was well illustrated by the treat-
ment I myself received at the hands of the man who
had taken me from the steamer. He gave me accom-
modation in a large vacant house he had on the beach,
but, although he is the accredited Commercial Agent of
our Government at Fortune Island, and at least should
have helped on my exploration, coming to him as I did,


with letters from the Department of State, yet he did
nothing for which I did not pay him the highest value.
More than this; knowing well the urgent nature of my
mission, he yet kept me practically a prisoner on For-
tune, when he could easily have sent me over to Wat-
ling's, only one hundred miles away. For, lying at
anchor inside the reef, during all my stay, was his fast
schooner, the 7ane, and a crew was at hand only too
eager to earn a few dollars by a run. To be sure he did

(Fortune Illand.)

offer to take me over at a most preposterous price one
hundred dollars-for the night's run, but that, as he
well knew, was out of the question. Days wore away
without the desired sail appearing; day by day I would
pace the beach and climb the highest elevation, scan-
ning vainly the horizon for a sign of rescuing sail in
sight. To pass the time I made a boat excursion to
Crooked Island, and thereby added to my increasing
store of information respecting the conjectural isles first


found by Columbus; for, in many respects, this one
answers to the description given in his journal.
It was the Fourth of July when I arrived at Fortune,
but the heat, I afterward learned, was not so oppressive
as it was at the same time in our Northern States. The
sun's rays may have been stronger, but all day long a
refreshing breeze was blowing, which at night increased
to a gale, and the only inconvenience during the day
was from the terrific glare on the snow-white sands of
the shore, and the unchanging blue of the sky. Soli-
tude here reigned supreme, the few inhabitants being
either within doors, at work on the salt pans, or with
the steamers on distant coasts. The beauty of the
moonlight on the pearly sands was something surpass-
ing; but I had it all to myself, and finally tired of
solitary strolls. My most refreshing diversion was sea-
bathing, which I indulged in every morning before the
sun got high, reveling to my heart's content in the
sparkling brine, and under the shadow of the great
black rocks stretching myself out in quiet enjoyment.
But the delightful sense of security was one day rudely
dispelled when, just as I was emerging from the water,
I saw a shapeless something prowling warily among
the coral ledges--a great gray ghost of a thing, which
finally came near enough for me to see it was a shark.
After that, when I went for a sea-dip, I took along a
small boy to stand watch while I sported in the surf.
The islanders had told me that no sharks ever came
within the barrier-reefs of coral, which cropped out
from some twenty yards to the distance of a quarter of
a mile away; but the very day I saw the first shark


two others came up directly in front of the house, im-
mense fellows, each one over ten feet in length. Some
fishermen had left fish-garbage on the sand, and in the
death-like quiet of the burning noon these monsters
stole boldly in, one after the other, and rolled over quite
on the beach, their gray bodies entirely out of water in
their efforts to snatch the refuse. This they repeated
several times, even after the alarm was given and the
people came flocking to the beach, and for several days
after they followed the fishermen in from the sea. It
is, even amongst the dwellers in these islands, a mooted
question whether sharks will attack and kill a human
being in water near the shore, and it is universally
acknowledged that they will not snap at a black man if
there is a white one near at the same time. Unlike
the alligator, which likes nothing so well as a succulent
negro, unless it may be a juicy porker, the discriminat-
ing shark always prefers white meat to dark; but what-
ever the fish's predilection, I for one shall give him as
wide a berth as possible in his native element.
The name of the settlement at Long Cay, as the port
of Fortune is locally called, is Albert's Town, a ram-
bling collection of huts and houses, with a population
composed mainly of negroes, there being but one per-
son of undoubted white lineage in the place.
This was the Collector and Resident Justice, a very
jolly Irishman, with a brogue as rich as the island itself
is poor; a man extremely well-informed, with whom it
was my delight to spend much of my spare time. He
lived in a little house among the palms, all alone except
for a small black boy whom he had in a way adopted,


having found him, some years before, abandoned by his
mother in a hut in a lonely place. Wherever the Col-
lector went, little Joe went too, and the petting he got
made him the envy of all the boys of the village. He
was, I fancy, the only one of his kind on that island in
danger of being spoiled by petting, and I have in mind
two others particularly ill-treated. They were in the
employ of my host, and the lashings he gave them were
about his only diversion. Poor little chaps! Without
the slightest provocation their master would lash them
unmercifully with a stinging whip, and the sight of
him set them to trembling so it was no wonder that
they let things fall occasionally and broke the dishes.
They were both of them orphans, and this brute had
them entirely at his mercy. I often told him that it
seemed to me burden enough for one to be black, and
that he ought not to add to their misery. One would
have thought that having himself a trace of black blood
in his veins, he would have been more compassionate
to those of his race; but it is strange, though true, that
these are the ones who treat the negro worst Once
having risen in the world, they forget and despise their
parents, and are harsh to their neighbors.
Although I regretted the loss of time in that island,
yet I am thankful that I was not indebted to this man
for any favors, and that he did nothing for which he was
not fully compensated.
At last came the day of deliverance; the long-watched-
for sails came in, three in one day, and.in one of these
unwashed "turtlers" I engaged a passage to the
island of my desires. Captain and crew were black,


and they lived on the windward coast of Crooked Island.
We left Long Cay at dark, and in a few hours we were
off the flashing light on Bird Rock, whence we took our
departure for Watling's, and at daylight next morning
I saw a long low line of land against
S the sky. It was the island we were
seeking. But the wind failed us for
a while, and it was full noon before
we could reach the roadstead of
SRiding-Rocks and the shelter of the
island's only settlement of Cockburn
Town. Having my consular flag
with me, I had the captain hoist it,
and we entered the harbor with the
stars and stripes displayed in all their
'- glory. This unexpected arrival at
this quiet port, flying a flag that
rarely was seen here, threw all the
town into consternation; but no ob-
jection was offered to my landing, as
the boat was mine for the time being, having been
chartered by me, and I was entitled to fly the flag I
liked best, of course. This was the view taken also by
the Collector, a handsome Englishman, a retired officer
of Her Majesty's navy, who was serving in this retired
spot temporarily, in order to secure a "good-service"
pension. He welcomed me most cordially, for strangers
and news were equally scarce, and placed his services
at my commands.
My arrival was most opportune, for the whole island
was suffering from a drought, and many people were on


the point of starvation. Fortunately, I had learned of
their condition before leaving Fortune, and had brought
a supply of provisions sufficient for a month. It proved
in such demand that I had hardly any remaining at the
end of the week. There was absolutely nothing to be
had, not even milk or eggs, those last resorts of these
needy people.
I had been recommended to the Resident Justice of
the island, Captain Maxwell Nairn, as one who would
attend to my wants; but recent and dangerous illness
had rendered him unable to extend me the hospitality
he would surely otherwise have done, and I could not
obtain even a room in which to sleep. He and his
family, however, were urgent in their endeavors to find
me quarters, and finally secured a room in the thatched
hut of an old black woman, who agreed to cook my
meals. The stone walls of the apartment were white
and clean, and the thatch overhead was neatly fastened
to the rafters, while the old lady's cooking was at least
endurable. Captain Nairn's was the only white family
on the island, the other six hundred inhabitants being
black and colored. The town consisted of a few score
huts and houses, an English church, and a Baptist
chapel.. One road ran across to a central lagoon, a mile
away, and a trail around the island; but the great high-
way is the ocean, their conveyances, boats and canoes.
Watling's Island is egg-shaped; it is about twelve miles
long, and from five to seven miles broad, with great
salt-water lagoons in the center, and entirely surrounded
with dangerous reefs. Once, it is believed, the coral
rock, of which it is entirely composed, supported a


fertile soil, but at present the rock is entirely denuded,
and the only soil is found in pockets and depressions in
the surface.
A Bahama farm, in fact, whether it be found in Nas-
sau or Turk's Island, is always a surprise to one from
the American States, because of its poverty. When the
scant vegetation that covers the coral rock is removed,

(" One road ran across to the central lagoon.")

there remains only the white, glistening rock itself,
gleaming out as bare and as devoid of plant life as a
marble monument.
But these naked rocks, so pitifully suggestive of pov-
erty, the natives regard with affectionate interest and
speak of them as their "farms." The great drought
of the past two years had deprived the farms of even
the scant moisture of ordinary years, and induced a
general failure of crops throughout the island.


Although the island lies just on the verge of the
Tropics, in latitude twenty-four, yet its vegetation is by
no means tropical in character, conveying rather a hint
of nearness to the mid-zone than actual fertility. I
am writing of the vegetation presumably natural to the
island, as seen in the woods and in the fields, and not
of the cultivated plants; for, indeed, all the fruits and
vegetables of the Tropics can be raised here.
But we no longer, note the luxuriant vegetation de-
scribed by Columbus, who speaks of the orchards of
trees, and of great forest giants, such as the present
day does not produce. All the vegetal covering is
now of the second growth, though there are evidences
of the forest primeval in old stumps, long submerged,
that still exist, showing that Columbus was probably
correct in his descriptions.
It was my desire to examine every evidence that
should help to establish the character of the people resi-
dent here at the coming of the Spaniards, and bring to
light all the existing proofs of their residence; hence I
devoted all my time to that end. The very morning
after my arrival, the Collector accompanied me on a
short exploring trip across the lagoon, where there was
said to be a cave that had never been explored.
He placed the entire police force at my disposal, said
police "force" consisting of one man, who, with his
two sons, managed our boat and carried us over the
shallow places in the lagoon. There were many shal-
low places, and also a small canal, so that their labor
as carriers was somewhat arduous; yet the police force
was equal to the demands upon him, and, all told, he


"backed the Collector and myself from the boat to the
shore, and vice versa, eight times that day, and without
apparent fatigue. As the Collector was a very large
man, weighing at least two hundred pounds, this per-
formance was very creditable to the "force."
After great difficulty, mainly experienced in cutting
our way through the thorny and matted growth that
everywhere covers the surface in all the Bahamas, we
reached the cave in which tradition averred the ancient
Indians used to dwell. It was merely a large opening
in the limestone, forming a room of goodly proportions,
the roof perforated in many places, and the floor cov-
ered with bat guano. It had not been investigated, the
islanders told us, but we found nothing to reward our
search, and so, late in the afternoon, we returned to the
lagoon and the town.
The heat had been so intense that day, that the next
I was unable to leave my hut, but the day after I went
on the real exploring trip of the voyage, across the
lagoon and up its entire length, to the north end of
the island, where lies the conjectural landing-place of
I had with me the two sons of the policeman, who
ably managed the boat, and by noon we were at the
head of the lagoon, where we left the craft in the mud,
and trudged over land, or rather rock, to the lighthouse,
which rose before us amile or so away. Arriving there,
heated and exhausted, I received a warm welcome from
the head keeper, who placed a comfortable house my
service, and took me to the top of the tower the
view. Built as it is, upon the highest elevation the



island, this tower commanded the surrounding country
and the sea adjacent, the whole of Watling's being visi-
ble, shaped like a pear, with its stem to the south.
There is little doubt in my mind that I was then lock-
ing upon the very spot at which Columbus landed just

.T- -- .

(Waling's Island.)
four hundred years before. The reefs off shore threw
up their sheets of foam as at the time of the discovery:
the bright lagoons in the center of the island lay directly
at my feet; the low hills scarce rising above the general
level, the green trees, the sparkling beaches all were
spread before me, and the prospect was pleasing and
beautiful in the extreme. Half a mile distant from the


tower stretched a long continuous beach of silver sands
terminated by promonotories, some two miles apart,
breasting which the water is calm as in a pond, though
broken by innumerable jagged reefs of coral. Beyond
this calm space of water that encircles the island all
around, lies a chain of barrier-reefs, that prevent the
tumultuous waves from reaching to the shore, and where
all is quiet and secure.
Bordering this beach, along its entire length, is a low
growth of sea-grapes, dwarf palmetto, and sweet shrubs,
just such as one may see on the southern coast of
Florida. Scattered over its silvery surface are shells
of every hue, and innumerable sprays of the Sargasso
weed, such as the first sailors saw, coming here in 1492.
Sea-birds hover over it, fleecy clouds fleck it with their
shadows; but, other than the distant murmur of the
breakers, no sound disturbs the eternal silence here.
It was at the southeast extremity of this beach, where
a jutting promontory of honey-combed coral rock runs
out toward the barrier-reefs, that we assume the first
landing took place, in a beautiful bay, with an open en-
trance from the ocean. On the beach, the fierce sun
beats relentlessly, but there are deep hollows in the
rock, where, in the morning, we can find shelter from
the heat; and, availing ourselves of one of these cool
retreats, let us rest a while, and read what Columbus
wrote respecting his landing on the sands before us.
Says that quaint old chronicler, Herrera: "Itpleased
God in his mercy, at the time when Don Christopher
Columbus could no longer withstand so much mutter-
ing, contradiction and contempt, that on Thursday, the


eleventh of October, of the aforesaid year, 1492, in the
evening, he received some comfort by the tokens they
perceived of their being near the land."
And the following, from the journal of the Admiral:
"Two hours after midnight the land appeared, about
two leagues off. They lowered all the sails, and lay to
until Friday, when they reached a small island of the
Lucayos, called Guanahani by the natives. They soon
saw people naked;- and the Admiral went on shore in
the armed boat, also Martin Alonzo and Vincente
Yanez Pinzon, commanders of the Pinta and Ni.a.
The Admiral took the royal standard, and the two
captains the two banners of the Green Cross, hav-
ing an 'F' and a 'Y' at each arm of the cross, sur-
mounted by its crown. As soon as they landed, they
saw trees of a brilliant green, abundance of water, and
fruits of various kinds. The Admiral called the two
captains and the rest, as well as the notary of the fleet,
to certify that he, in presence of them all, took posses-
sion of said island for the king and queen, his masters.
Soon after a large crowd of natives congregated there.
And what follows are the -Admiral's own-words, in his
book on the first voyage and discovery of these Indies.
'I presented some of these people with red caps and
strings of beads, and other trifles, by which we have got
a wonderful hold on their affections. They afterward
came to the boats of the vessels, swimming, bringing us
parrots, cotton thread in balls, and such trifles, which
they bartered for glass beads and little bells. All of
them go about naked as they came into the world,
their forms are graceful, their features good, their


hair as coarse as that of a horse's tail, cut short in
front and worn long behind. They are dark, like the
Canary Islanders, and paint themselves in various col-
ors. They do not carry arms, and have no knowledge
of them, for when I showed them the swords, they took
them by the edges, and through ignorance cut them-
selves. They have no iron, their spears consisting of
staffs tipped with a fish's tooth and other things ..
At dawn, of Saturday, October 13, many of the men
came to the ships in canoes made out of the trunks of
trees, each of one piece and wonderfully built, some
containing forty men, and others but a single one.
They paddle with a peel like that of a baker, and make
great speed, and if a canoe capsizes, all swim about and
bail out the water with calabashes. I examined them
closely, to ascertain if there was any gold, noticing that
some of them wore small pieces in their noses, and by
signs I was able to understand that by going to the
sou*h, or going around the island to the southward, I
would find a king who had large gold vessels, and also
gold in abundance. At this moment it is dark, and all
have gone ashore in their canoes. I have determined to
lose no time, but to wait till to-morrow even-
ing, and then sail for the southwest, to try if
I can find the Island of Cipango.'"
To this first land of the first voyage, Columbus gave
the name San Salvador. By the Indians it was called
Guanahani. By the "Indians," I say, for thus were
termed these people found in possession, and who were
here for the first time seen by Europeans. In the first
day of their stay on shore, the Spaniards had added sev-


eral new things to their discoveries: to the discovery of
the variation of the compass, the Trades, the Sargasso
Sea and weed, they now added the new people termed
by their commander "Indians," the craft called by
the Indians themselves canoes (canoas), new species of
parrots, implements of bone and stone, and, later on,
We would liketo know what kind of people these
were, who welcome&kthe first Europeans to America,
and if any of their kind exist to-day. What they were
we have seen; brown and bare, shapely, athletic, doing
no harm, but gentle and loving. "I swear to Your
Majesties," wrote Columbus, "there are no better people
on earth; they are gentle, and without knowing what
evil is, neither killing nor stealing."
And yet, what was their fate ? We know, and it is
true, that their lovable qualities availed them not, but
rather hastened their extinction. That very year, in
the closing decade of the fifteenth century, "was begun
that historical tapestry, woven by the Spanish artisan-
conquerors in the loom of the New World, the warp
whereof was blood and tears, the woof the sighs and
groans of a dying people."
One cannot but wonder why it was. We may find
the key-note of the acts of Columbus in a quaint ex-
pression regarding him by Bernal Diaz, one of the
conquerors who followed him: "He took his life in
his hand that he might give light to them who sit in
darkness, and satisfy the thirst for gold which all men
feeL" This thirst for gold was overpowering, it con-
trolled all his actions, and caused him to inaugurate a


system of slavery that eventually caused the extinction
of all the Indians of the West Indies. Yes; it is a
melancholy truth that of all the aborigines discovered
by Columbus, in the Bahamas, Cuba and the larger
islands, not a descendant lives to-day. In fact, hardly
one remained alive fifty years after the discovery.
In the year 1508, Haiti having been depopulated of
its Indians, the cruel Spaniards came to the Bahamas
and deported the Lucayans to wear their lives away
in the mines. They enticed them aboard their ves-
sels under pretext of taking them to see their friends
who had died. For it is certain," says the historian
Herrera, "that all the Indian nations believe in the
immortality of the soul, and that when the body was
dead the spirit went to certain places of delight." By
these allurements above forty thousand were trans-
ported, never to return; and a few years later the islands,
found teeming with inhabitants, were deserted and soli-
tary. In Cuba were found other Indians, but a little
better supplied with articles of adornment and subsist-
ence, who had hammocks (lhaznacas), made fire by rub-
bing together two pieces of wood, raised maize, or Indian
corn, and spun cotton, which grew everywhere in their
fields. The only domesticated quadruped was found in
Cuba, the utia or dumb dog; while in the Bahamas the
people had domesticated only the parrot, from the wild
life around them.
Having been so long extinct, let us say for three hun-
dred years at least, little remains from which we may re-
construct their lives as led at the period of discovery.
What little there is, I have seen it all, and will describe


it. From the disjecta membra found at intervals in
various places, we will try to evolve the Indian of the
fifteenth century. In the first place, we have bones and
skeletons, particularly crania, which undoubtedly per-
tained to the Lucayan, or Ceboyan, as he has been
called. These have mostly been found in caves, and
generally be-
neath the cave
earth, or bat
guano; and /
not one island .
alone has pro-
duced them,
but many,
the Bahamas.
I myself se-
cured two, for
exhibition at
the Exposition, which illustrate the peculiar features of
the Lucayan cranium. These have been described by
Prof. W. K. Brooks, of the Johns Hopkins University,
who says:
"The skulls are extremely broad in proportion to
their length, and are among the most brachycephalic
(round-headed), of all human skulls, the greatest breadth
being more than nine tenths of the greatest length. The
brain was large, and the capacity of the cranium is
about equal to that of an average Caucasian skull. The
Ceboyans flattened their heads artificially in infancy, so
that the vertical part of the forehead is completely


obliterated in all adult skulls, and the head slopes back-
ward immediately above the eyes."*
When I was in Cuba, in 189r, I saw and photographed,
in the rooms of the Royal Academy, a couple of Indian
skulls imbedded in lime-rock that had been found in a
cave at Cape Maysi, the eastern point of Cuba
Their origin and their antiquity are undoubted, al-
though, knowing, as we do, the rapidity of stalagmitic
formation in limestone caves, we need not argue the
extreme antiquity their surroundings might, at first
glance, imply. Again, in Santo Domingo I found two
crania,t in possession of a learned physician of Puerto
Plata,which were undoubtedly of the native Ciguyans-
the Indians living here at the arrival of Columbus.
The keeper of the Watling's Island light, Captain
Thompson, kindly procured me trusty men for my in-
vestigation, and himself guided me to the nearest cave
in which human bones had been found. It is only in
the caves and hollows in the rocks that we now find
human bones and skeletons; the deposition of the humus
being so scanty that nothing extraneous deposited there
has been preserved. To the caves, then, we went, for
those of Watling's Island had already yielded valuable
In 1886, the United States steamer Albatross visited
the island, and found many antiquities of value; and since
then Sir H. Blake, while Governor of the Bahamas,
Poplar ScieSce Motkli, November, t5g.
t Tese three different types of the chmcteristic atives of bese district groups of
islands- Bhamas, Cuba and Haiti I hae had caefully drawn fom my own photo-
graphs, oad from them the Ethnologist may be able to deduce something of value to


thoroughly explored every island of his extensive pro-
vince. Thus it will be seen that I myself could enter-
tain but little hope of finding anything of importance,
following in their wake. And, in truth, I do not make
any claims that I did; but every contribution to science is
welcomed by the earnest investigator, and the little I
can add, together with a grouping of all the "finds,"
here for the first time given, cannot be otherwise than
acceptable. We groped for hours, on that and succeed-
ing-days, in the dark and dismal caves, finding many
disjected fragments of skeletons and moldering bones,
but no skeleton in its entirety-as its owner left it when
he shuffled off this mortal coil. If Columbus only could
have known-if the Indians themselves could- what a
value would now attach to an aboriginal skeleton in this
quadri-centennial of their discovery, perhaps some of
them might have kindly bequeathed their bones to the
investigators of posterity. But the "Admiral" cared
more for gold than for bones, and as for the poor abori-
gines, though many of them were eventually skeleton-
ized by the Spaniards, it was not done in the interests
of scientific investigation, but out of revenge; in the
spirit of avarice, or lust. At all events, the three skulls
I secured later, at Nassau, for the Exposition, and possi-
bly one or two more, constitute all we have to work
The caves themselves are interesting, but as I had
already made the "grand round" of our own Mam-
mouth Cave, there was little here to attract, more than
could be found in other limestone formations.
Subsequently, in Cat Island, I found other bones, and,


as these were added to those obtained here, and the
whole given in charge of Prof. Putnam, of the Depart-
ment of Ethnology, something of interest may eventu-
ate. Yes, I must confess to grievous disappointment,
and I really felt quite incensed at Columbus and the
aborigines that they should have been so inconsiderately
forgetful as to leave no vestige of their remains.
I did get on the trail of one (alleged) aboriginal skull;
and though the recollection of the misadventure is by
no means pleasant; still, a good story shall never be
omitted because it reflects on me, and I will give it
without comment, if only to illustrate a certain phase


of negro character. It must be remembered that the
people of Watling's Island were on the verge of starva-
tion, and that my provisions and silver were, to say the
least, very acceptable. It goes without saying, then, that
if anything could have been obtained for money it was
available then, at the time of my visit. More "guides"
and laborers flocked around me than I could possibly
employ, and more were really engaged than I had any
use for.
They were honest enough, and faithful, especially


when the provision hampers were opened and the silver
disbursed; but they didn't like work. I have a fellow-
feeling for them there, but in view of the fact that they
were in sore need of money, and that I offered to give
them good prices for all the antiquities they could guide
me to, it seemed to me they might have exerted them-
selves a little more to our mutual advantage. At last
one of the negroes recollected that a boy had told him
of a skull he had seen, deep down in a cave, only a few
days before. Of course, I dispatched him for that boy,
The boy came; yes, he had seen the skull, and
more than that, "dey was heaps ob bones, too, sah." I
was afire at once; but as the hour was then late for the
trip, I arranged for him to return next morning, which
he promised faithfully to do. Morning came, but no
boy. I sent one of the assistants in waiting to look him
up, and as he did not return, another, until at last all
the men had temporarily intermitted their entomologi-
cal labors, and were scouring the fields for that boy.
Night came, at last, but without the desired scientist,
though the father of the delinquent came and told me
a very doleful story of the disappearance of the skull.
"De head-bone, Massa, him done gone 'tirely, sah;
when ma boy done go look fo' 'em, sah, dey wan' no
head-bone dah. I spec some Jumbie gos' gut 'em, sah."
I looked at the man severely, and told him that was
not true, which he admitted; but at the same time he
said his son had cleared out, and that I had to admit
Finally the truth came out. It seems that some months
previously the American artist, Bierstadt, had sojourned


here while painting, or rather making, the sketches for
his famous picture of the Landing-place of Columbus.
All unconsciously, he had been the cause of my discom-
fiture. One of the negroes had brought him a skull,
for which he had paid him a liberal price. But after
the artist had departed, the officers of the chapel to
which the negro belonged had hauled him over the
coals, on the alleged offense of desecratinga grave. I do
not suppose they for a moment entertained any scruples
on the subject, but there was one thing they were unan-
imous on: and that was, that the quondam owner of
those bones would sometime appear, in ghostly shape,
and demand satisfaction. The poor fellow was fright-
ened, as they intended he should be, but as he had
already spent the money received he could not make a
division with the chapel-which the unregenerate
declared was the real object of the discipline-and he
was put on probation.
This was the state of affairs when I entered into my
negotiation, and it shows what a strong hold superstition
still has upon those folk when, though in dire distress,
they will not venture to relieve themselves at the risk of
incensing the ghosts, or Jumbies. The boy did not
appear during my stay, and I came away without the
coveted cranium. As the black men themselves ex-
pressedit, "Dat was 'one' on the Buckra;" but I here-
with respectfully submit: the "Buckra" did not suffer
so much by it as they did.
But the bones are not the only remains the aborigines
have left us by which to determine their status, for
other objects are scattered throughout the West Indies.



Their houses, having been of perishable materials, such
as reeds and palm-leaves, nothing remains to show us
what they were; but some of the implements they used,
and even some of their household furniture, have been
found. The most numerous articles that have been re-
covered are those small stones carved and chipped in the
shape of chisels, gouges, spear-heads, and even hoes and
knives, known to collectors as "celts," and these have
been found everywhere. And here again comes in the
superstition and ignorance of the native, who, every-
where in the West Indies, calls these artificially-shaped
stones "thunderbolts." The belief that they are of
celestial origin is firmly planted and ineradicable, and I
have even seen some men who declare they themselves
have seen the t'underbolts" descend from the skies.
In Fortune Island I met one old negro who affirmed
that he had seen the identical stone I bought of him
drop out of the clouds during a thunder-storm. "Don'
yo' mek no mistek," he said, "me see him drap wiv my
own eye. One time da come t'under-storm an' da tree
in da front ma house he done 'truck ba de t'under, an'
ma wife he say, 'I 'clar I b'leve t'underbol' done drap
in yander tree;' an' sho nuff, whenme go look an' zamine
da he be right in de crack ob de lightnum. Me mus'
b'leve um ef me see unm."
The name is universal; in the interior of Santo Do-
mingo I found they go by the name of "Piedras de
Rayas," which is the equivalent in Spanish of "'Thunder-
bolt." One that I have in my possession, a beautiful
green stone, of perfect shape, I obtained of an old gold-
smith, in the historic region of gold where Columbus

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