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Title: Cuba, Old and New
Author: Robinson, Albert G. (Albert Gardner), 1855-1932
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cuba, Old and New" ***

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[Illustration: TOWER OF LA FUERZA

_Havana_]

CUBA

OLD AND NEW

BY

ALBERT G. ROBINSON

1915.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER

I.    OLD CUBA

II.   NEW CUBA

III.  THE COUNTRY

IV.   THE OLD HAVANA

V.    THE NEW HAVANA

VI.   AROUND THE ISLAND

VII.  AROUND THE ISLAND (_Continued_)

VIII. THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA

IX.   CUBA'S REVOLUTIONS

X.    INDEPENDENCE

XI.   FILIBUSTERING

XII.  THE STORY OF SUGAR

XIII. VARIOUS PRODUCTS AND INDUSTRIES

XIV.  POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND COMMERCE



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


Tower of La Fuerza, Havana
The Morro, Havana
A Planter's Home, Havana Province
Iron Grille Gateway, El Vedado, suburb of Havana
Watering Herd of Cattle, Luyano River, near Havaria
Royal Palms
Custom House, Havana
Balconies, Old Havana
Street in Havana
Street and Church of the Angels, Havana
A Residence in El Vedado
The Volante (now quite rare)
A Village Street, Calvario, Havana Province
Street and Church, Camaguey
Cobre, Oriente Province
Hoisting the Cuban Flag over the Palace, May 20,1902
A Spanish Block House
Along the Harbor Wall, Havana
Country Road, Havana Province
Street in Camaguey
Palm-Thatched Roofs
A Peasant's Home



CUBA

OLD AND NEW



I

_OLD CUBA_


Christopher Columbus was a man of lively imagination. Had he been an
ordinary, prosaic and plodding individual, he would have stayed at home
combing wool as did his prosaic and plodding ancestors for several
generations. At the age of fourteen he went to sea and soon developed an
active curiosity about regions then unknown but believed to exist. There
was even then some knowledge of western Asia, and even of China as
approached from the west. Two and two being properly put together, the
result was a reasonable argument that China and India could be reached from
the other direction, that is, by going westward instead of eastward.

In the early autumn of the year 1492, Columbus was busy discovering islands
in the Caribbean Sea region, and, incidentally, seeking for the richest
of the group. From dwellers on other islands, he heard of one, called
Cubanacan, larger and richer than any that he had then discovered. A
mixture of those tales with his own vivid imagination produced a belief
in a country of wide extent, vastly rich in gold and gems, and already a
centre of an extensive commerce. Cruising in search of what he believed to
be the eastern coast of Asia, he sighted the shore of Cuba on the morning
of October 28, 1492. His journal, under date of October 24, states: "At
midnight I tripped my anchors off this _Cabo del Isleo de Isabella_, where
I was pitched to go to the island of Cuba, which I learn from these people
is very large and magnificent, and there are gold and spices in it, and
large ships and merchants. And so I think it must be the island of Cipango
(Japan), of which they tell such wonders." The record, under date of
Sunday, 28th of October, states: "Continued for the nearest land of Cuba,
and entered a beautiful estuary, clear of rocks and other dangers. The
mouth of the estuary had twelve fathoms depth, and it was wide enough for a
ship to work into." Students have disagreed regarding the first Cuban port
entered by Columbus. There is general acceptance of October 28 as the
date of arrival. Some contend that on that day he entered Nipe Bay, while
others, and apparently the greater number, locate the spot somewhat to the
west of Nuevitas. Wherever he first landed on it, there is agreement that
he called the island Juana, in honor of Prince Juan, taking possession "in
the name of Christ, Our Lady, and the reigning Sovereigns of Spain."

His record of the landing place is obscure. It is known that he sailed some
leagues beyond it, to the westward. While on board his caravel, on his
homeward voyage, he wrote a letter to his friend, Don Rafael Sanchez,
"Treasurer of their most Serene Highnesses," in which the experience is
described. The original letter is lost, but it was translated into Latin
and published in Barcelona in the following year, 1493. While the Latin
form is variously translated into English, the general tenor of all is the
same. He wrote: "When I arrived at Juana (Cuba), I sailed along the coast
to the west, discovering so great an extent of land that I could not
imagine it to be an island, but the continent of Cathay. I did not,
however, discover upon the coast any large cities, all we saw being a few
villages and farms, with the inhabitants of which we could not obtain any
communication, they flying at our approach. I continued my course, still
expecting to meet with some town or city, but after having gone a great
distance and not meeting with any, and finding myself proceeding toward
the north, which I was desirous, to avoid on account of the cold, and,
moreover, meeting with a contrary wind, I determined to return to the
south, and therefore put about and sailed back to a harbor which I had
before observed." That the actual landing was at or near the present port
of Nuevitas seems to be generally accepted.

Columbus appears to have been greatly impressed by the beauty of the
island. In his _Life of Columbus_, Washington Irving says: "From his
continual remarks on the beauty of scenery, and from his evident delight in
rural sounds and objects, he appears to have been extremely open to those
happy influences, exercised over some spirits, by the graces and wonders
of nature. He gives utterance to these feelings with characteristic
enthusiasm, and at the same time with the artlessness and simplicity of
diction of a child. When speaking of some lovely scene among the groves, or
along the flowery shores of these favored islands, he says, "One could
live there forever." Cuba broke upon him like an elysium. "It is the most
beautiful island," he says, "that ever eyes beheld, full of excellent ports
and profound rivers." A little discount must be made on such a statement.
Granting all that is to be said of Cuba's scenic charms, some allowance is
to be made for two influences. One is Don Cristobal's exuberance, and the
other is the fact that when one has been knocking about, as he had been,
for nearly three months on the open sea and among low-lying and sandy
islands and keys, any land, verdure clad and hilly, is a picture of
Paradise. Many people need only two or three days at sea to reach a similar
conclusion. In his letter to Luis de Santangel, Columbus says: "All these
countries are of surpassing excellence, and in particular Juana (Cuba,),
which contains abundance of fine harbors, excelling any in Christendom, as
also many large and beautiful rivers. The land is high, and exhibits chains
of tall mountains which seem to reach to the skies and surpass beyond
comparison the isle of Cetrefrey (Sicily). These display themselves in all
manner of beautiful shapes. They are accessible in every part, and covered
with a vast variety of lofty trees which it appears to me never lose their
foliage. Some were covered with blossoms, some with fruit, and others in
different stages according to their nature. There are palm trees of six or
eight sorts. Beautiful forests of pines are likewise found, and fields of
vast extent. Here are also honey and fruits of thousand sorts, and birds of
every variety."

Having landed at this indefinitely located point, Columbus, believing that
he had reached the region he was seeking, despatched messengers to the
interior to open communication with some high official of Cathay, in which
country he supposed himself to be, the idea of Cipango apparently having
been abandoned. "Many at the present day," says Washington Irving, "will
smile at this embassy to a naked savage chieftain in the interior of Cuba,
in mistake for an Asiatic monarch; but such was the singular nature of this
voyage, a continual series of golden dreams, and all interpreted by the
deluding volume of Marco Polo." But the messengers went on their journey,
and proceeded inland some thirty or forty miles. There they came upon a
village of about fifty huts and a population of about a thousand. They were
able to communicate only by signs, and it is quite certain that the replies
of the natives were as little understood by the messengers as the questions
were by the natives. The messengers sought something about which the
natives knew little or nothing. The communications were interpreted through
the medium of imagination and desire. Nothing accomplished, the commission
returned and made its disappointing report. Washington Irving thus
describes the further proceedings: "The report of the envoys put an end to
the many splendid fancies of Columbus, about the barbaric prince and his
capital. He was cruising, however, in a region of enchantment, in which
pleasing chimeras started up at every step, exercising by turns a power
over his imagination. During the absence of the emissaries, the Indians
had informed him, by signs, of a place to the eastward, where the people
collected gold along the river banks by torchlight and afterward wrought it
into bars with hammers. In speaking of this place they again used the words
Babeque and Bohio, which he, as usual, supposed to be the proper names of
islands or countries. His great object was to arrive at some opulent and
civilized country of the East, with which he might establish commercial
relations, and whence he might carry home a quantity of oriental
merchandise as a rich trophy of his discovery. The season was advancing;
the cool nights gave hints of approaching winter; he resolved, therefore,
not to proceed farther to the north, nor to linger about uncivilized places
which, at present, he had not the means of colonizing, but to return to the
east-south-east, in quest of Babeque, which he trusted might prove some
rich and civilized island on the coast of Asia." And so he sailed away for
Hispaniola (Santo Domingo) which appears to have become, a little later,
his favorite West Indian resort.

[Illustration: THE MORRO _Havana_]

He began his eastward journey on November 12th. As he did not reach Cape
Maisi, the eastern point of the island, until December 5th, he must have
made frequent stops to examine the shore. Referring to one of the ports
that he entered he wrote to the Spanish Sovereigns thus: "The amenity of
this river, and the clearness of the water, through which the sand at the
bottom may be seen; the multitude of palm trees of various forms, the
highest and most beautiful that I have met with, and an infinity of other
great and green trees; the birds in rich plumage and the verdure of the
fields, render this country of such marvellous beauty that it surpasses all
others in charms and graces, as the day doth the night in lustre. For which
reason I often say to my people that, much as I endeavor to give a complete
account of it to your majesties, my tongue cannot express the whole truth,
nor my pen describe it; and I have been so overwhelmed at the sight of so
much beauty that I have not known how to relate it."

Columbus made no settlement in Cuba; his part extends only to the
discovery. On his second expedition, in the spring of 1494, he visited and
explored the south coast as far west as the Isle of Pines, to which he gave
the name _La Evangelista_. He touched the south coast again on his fourth
voyage, in 1503. On his way eastward from his voyage of discovery on the
coast of Central America, he missed his direct course to Hispaniola, and
came upon the Cuban shore near Cape Cruz. He was detained there for some
days by heavy weather and adverse winds, and sailed thence to his unhappy
experience in Jamaica. The work of colonizing remained for others. Columbus
died in the belief that he had discovered a part of the continent of Asia.
That Cuba was only an island was determined by Sebastian de Ocampo who
sailed around it in 1508. Baron Humboldt, who visited Cuba in 1801 and
again in 1825, and wrote learnedly about it, states that "the first
settlement of the whites occurred in 1511, when Velasquez, under orders
from Don Diego Columbus, landed at Puerto de las Palmas, near Cape Maisi,
and subjugated the Cacique Hatuey who had fled from Haiti to the eastern
end of Cuba, where he became the chief of a confederation of several
smaller native princes." This was, in fact, a military expedition composed
of three hundred soldiers, with four vessels.

Hatuey deserves attention. His name is not infrequently seen in Cuba today,
but it is probable that few visitors know whether it refers to a man, a
bird, or a vegetable. He was the first Cuban hero of whom we have record,
although the entire reliability of the record is somewhat doubtful. The
notable historian of this period is Bartolome Las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa.
He appears to have been a man of great worth, a very tender heart, and an
imagination fully as vivid as that of Columbus. His sympathies were aroused
by the tales of the exceeding brutality of many of the early Spanish
voyagers in their relations with the natives. He went out to see for
himself, and wrote voluminously of his experiences. He also wrote with
exceeding frankness, and often with great indignation. He writes about
Hatuey. The inference is that this Cacique, or chieftain, fled from Haiti
to escape Spanish brutality, and even in fear of his life. There are other
translations of Las Casas, but for this purpose choice has been made of one
published in London about the year 1699. It is given thus:

"There happened divers things in this island (Cuba) that deserve to be
remarked. A rich and potent Cacique named Hatuey was retired into the Isle
of Cuba to avoid that Slavery and Death with which the Spaniards menaced
him; and being informed that his persecutors were upon the point of landing
in this Island, he assembled all his Subjects and Domestics together, and
made a Speech unto them after this manner. "You know, (said he) the Report
is spread abroad that the Spaniards are ready to invade this Island, and
you are not ignorant of the ill usage our Friends and Countrymen have met
with at their hands, and the cruelties they have committed at Haiti (so
Hispaniola is called in their Language). They are now coming hither with
a design to exercise the same Outrages and Persecutions upon us. Are
you ignorant (says he) of the ill Intentions of the People of whom I am
speaking? We know not (say they all with one voice) upon what account they
come hither, but we know they are a very wicked and cruel People. I'll tell
you then (replied the Cacique) that these Europeans worship a very covetous
sort of God, so that it is difficult to satisfy him; to perform the Worship
they render to this Idol, they will exact immense Treasures of us, and will
use their utmost endeavors to reduce us to a miserable state of Slavery,
or else put us to death." The historian leaves to the imagination and
credulity of his readers the task of determining just where and how he got
the full details of this speech and of the subsequent proceedings. The
report of the latter may well be generally correct inasmuch as there were
Spanish witnesses present, but the account of this oration, delivered prior
to the arrival of the Spanish invaders, is clearly open to a suspicion that
it may be more or less imaginary. But the historian continues: "Upon this
he took a Box full of Gold and valuable Jewels which he had with him, and
exposing it to their view: Here is (said he) the God of the Spaniards, whom
we must honor with our Sports and Dances, to see if we can appease him and
render him propitious to us; that so he may command the Spaniards not to
offer us any injury. They all applauded this Speech, and fell a leaping and
dancing around the Box, till they had quite tired and spent themselves.
After which the Cacique Hatuey resuming his Discourse, continued to speak
to them in these terms: If we keep this God (says he) till he's taken away
from us, he'll certainly cause our lives to be taken away from us; and
therefore I am of opinion it will be the best way to cast him into the
river. They all approved of this Advice, and went all together with one
accord to throw this pretended God into the River."

But the Spaniards came and encountered the resistance of Hatuey and his
followers. The invaders were victorious, and Hatuey was captured and burned
alive. Las Casas relates that while the poor wretch was in the midst of the
flames, tied to a stake, "a certain Franciscan Friar of great Piety and
Virtue, took upon him to speak to him of God and our Religion, and to
explain to him some Articles of Catholic Faith, of which he had never
heard a word before, promising him Eternal Life if he would believe and
threatening him with Eternal Torment if he continued obstinate in his
Infidelity. Hatuey reflecting on the matter, as much as the Place and
Condition in which he was would permit, asked the Friar that instructed
him, whether the Gate of Heaven was open to Spaniards; and being answered
that such of them as were good men might hope for entrance there: the
Cacique, without any farther deliberation, told him that he had no mind to
go to heaven for fear of meeting with such cruel and wicked Company as
they were; but he would much rather choose to go to Hell where he might be
delivered from the troublesome sight of such kind of People." And so died
the Cacique Hatuey. Four hundred years later, the Cuban Government named a
gunboat _Hatuey_, in his honor.

The Velasquez expedition, in the following year, founded Baracoa, now a
small city on the northern coast near the eastern extremity of the island.
It is a spot of exceeding scenic charm. It was established as the capital
city, but it held that honor for a few years only. In 1514 and 1515,
settlements were established at what is now Santiago, at Sancti Spiritus,
Trinidad, and Batabano. The latter was originally called San Cristobal de
la Habana, the name being transferred to the present city, on the north
coast, in 1519. It displaced the name Puerto de Carenas given to the
present Havana by Ocampo, who careened his vessels there in 1508. Baracoa
was made the seat of a bishopric, and a cathedral was begun, in 1518. In
1522, both the capital and the bishopric were transferred to Santiago, a
location more readily accessible from the new settlements on the south
coast, and also from Jamaica which was then included in the diocese.
Cuba, at about this period, was the point of departure for an important
expedition. In 1517, de Cordoba, with three vessels and 110 soldiers,
was sent on an expedition to the west for further and more northerly
exploration of the land discovered by Columbus in 1503. The coast from
Panama to Honduras had been occupied. The object of this expedition was to
learn what lay to the northward. The result was the discovery of Yucatan.
Cordoba returned to die of wounds received in a battle. A second and
stronger expedition was immediately despatched. This rounded the peninsula
and followed the coast as far as the present city of Vera Cruz. In 1518,
Hernan Cortez was _alcalde_, or mayor, of Santiago de Cuba. On November 18,
of that year, he sailed from that port in command of an expedition for
the conquest of Mexico, finally effected in 1521, after one of the most
romantic campaigns in the history of warfare. All that, however, is a story
in which Cuba has no place except that of the starting point and base of
the expedition. There is another story of the same kind, a few years later.
The first discovery of Florida is somewhat uncertain. It appears on an old
Spanish map dated 1502. Following the expedition of Ponce de Leon, in 1513,
and of Murielo, in 1516, Narvaez headed an expedition from Cuba in 1528
with some three hundred freebooters. They landed in Florida, where almost
the entire band was, very properly, destroyed by the Indians. In 1539, de
Soto sailed from Havana, with five hundred and seventy men and two hundred
and twenty-three horses, for an extended exploration. They wandered for
three years throughout what is now the southern part of the United States
from Georgia and South Carolina westward to Arkansas and Missouri. After a
series of almost incredible experiences, de Soto died in 1542, on the banks
of the Mississippi River at a point probably not far from the Red River.
These and other expeditions, from Cuba and from Mexico, to what is now
territory of the United States, produced no permanent results. No gold was
found.

Of the inhabitants of Cuba, as found by the Spaniards, comparatively little
is recorded. They seem to have been a somewhat negative people, generally
described as docile, gentle, generous, and indolent. Their garments were
quite limited, and their customs altogether primitive. They disappear
from Cuba's story in its earliest chapters. Very little is known of their
numbers. Some historians state that, in the days of Columbus, the island
had a million inhabitants, but this is obviously little if anything more
than a rough guess. Humboldt makes the following comment: "No means now
exist to arrive at a knowledge of the population of Cuba in the time of
Columbus; but how can we admit what some otherwise judicious historians
state, that when the island of Cuba was conquered in 1511, it contained a
million inhabitants of whom only 14,000 remained in 1517. The statistical
information which we find in the writings of Las Casas is filled with
contradictions." Forty years or so later the Dominican friar, Luis Bertram,
on his return to Spain, predicted that "the 200,000 Indians now in the
island of Cuba, will perish, victims to the cruelty of the Europeans." Yet
Gomara stated that there was not an Indian in Cuba after 1553. Whatever the
exact truth regarding numbers, it is evident that they disappeared rapidly,
worked to death by severe task-masters. The institution of African slavery,
to take the place of the inefficient and fast disappearing native labor,
had its beginning in 1521. Baron Humboldt states that from that time until
1790, the total number of African negroes imported as slaves was 90,875.
In the next thirty years, the business increased rapidly, and Humboldt
estimates the total arrivals, openly entered and smuggled in, from 1521 to
1820, as 372,449. Mr. J.S. Thrasher, in a translation of Humboldt's work,
issued in 1856, added a footnote showing the arrivals up to 1854 as
644,000. A British official authority, at the same period, gives the total
as a little less than 500,000. The exact number is not important. The
institution on a large scale, in its relation to the total number of
whites, was a fact.

It is, of course, quite impossible even today to argue the question of
slavery. To many, the offence lies in the mere fact; to others, it lies in
the operation of the system. At all events, the institution is no longer
tolerated in any civilized country. While some to whom the system itself
was a bitter offence have found much to criticize in its operation in Cuba,
the general opinion of observers appears to be that it was there notably
free from the brutality usually supposed to attend it. The Census Report of
1899, prepared under the auspices of the American authorities, states that
"while it was fraught with all the horrors of this nefarious business
elsewhere, the laws for the protection of slaves were unusually humane.
Almost from the beginning, slaves had a right to purchase their freedom or
change their masters, and long before slavery was abolished they could own
property and contract marriage. As a result, the proportion of free colored
to slaves has always been large." Humboldt, who studied the institution
while it was most extensive, states that "the position of the free negroes
in Cuba is much better than it is elsewhere, even among those nations which
have for ages flattered themselves as being most advanced in civilization."
The movement for the abolition of slavery had its beginning in 1815, with
the treaty of Vienna, to which Spain was a party. Various acts in the same
direction appear in the next fifty years. The Moret law, enacted in 1870 by
the Spanish Cortes, provided for gradual abolition in Spain's dominions,
and a law of 1880, one of the results of the Ten Years' War, definitely
abolished the system. Traces of it remained, however, until about 1887,
when it may be regarded as having become extinct forever in Cuba.

For the first two hundred and fifty years of Cuba's history, the city of
Havana appears as the special centre of interest. There was growth in other
sections, but it was slow, for reasons that will be explained elsewhere.
In 1538, Havana was attacked and totally destroyed by a French privateer.
Hernando de Soto, then Governor of the island, at once began the
construction of defences that are now one of the special points of interest
in the city. The first was the Castillo de la Fuerza. In 1552, Havana
became the capital city. In 1555, it was again attacked, and practically
destroyed, including the new fortress, by French buccaneers. Restoration
was effected as rapidly as possible. In 1589, La Fuerza was enlarged, and
the construction of the Morro and of La Punta, the fortress at the foot of
the Prado, was begun. The old city wall, of which portions still remain,
was of a later period. Despite these precautions, the city was repeatedly
attacked by pirates and privateers. Some reference to these experiences
will be made in a special chapter on the city. The slow progress of the
island is shown by the fact that an accepted official report gives the
total population in 1775 as 171,620, of whom less than 100,000 were white.
The absence of precious metals is doubtless the main reason for the lack of
Spanish interest in the development of the country. For a long time after
the occupation, the principal industry was cattle raising. Agriculture, the
production of sugar, tobacco, coffee, and other crops, on anything properly
to be regarded as a commercial scale, was an experience of later years. The
reason for this will be found in the mistaken colonial policy of Spain, a
policy the application of which, in a far milder manner, cost England its
richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, and which, in the first quarter
of the 19th Century, cost Spain all of its possessions in this half of the
world, with the exception of Cuba and Porto Rico.



II

_NEW CUBA_


While there is no point in Cuba's history that may be said to mark a
definite division between the Old Cuba and the New Cuba, the beginning of
the 19th Century may be taken for that purpose. Cuba's development dragged
for two hundred and fifty years. The population increased slowly and
industry lagged. For this, Spain's colonial policy was responsible. But it
was the policy of the time, carried out more or less effectively by all
nations having colonies. England wrote it particularly into her Navigation
Acts of 1651, 1660, and 1663, and supported it by later Acts. While not
rigorously enforced, and frequently evaded by the American colonists, the
system at last proved so offensive that the colonists revolted in 1775.
Most of Spain's colonies in the Western Hemisphere, for the same reason,
declared and maintained their independence in the first quarter of the
19th Century. At the bottom of Cuba's several little uprisings, and at the
bottom of its final revolt in 1895, lay the same cause of offence. In those
earlier years, it was held that colonies existed solely for the benefit
of the mother-country. In 1497, almost at the very beginning of Spain's
colonial enterprises in the New World, a royal decree was issued under
which the exclusive privilege to carry on trade with the colonies was
granted to the port of Seville. This monopoly was transferred to the port
of Cadiz in 1717, but it continued, in somewhat modified form in later
years, until Spain had no colonies left.

While Santiago was the capital of the island, from 1522 to 1552, trade
between Spain and the island could be carried on only through that port.
When Havana became the capital, in 1552, the exclusive privilege of trade
was transferred to that city. With the exception of the years 1762 and
1763, when the British occupied Havana and declared it open to all trade,
the commerce of the island could only be done through Havana with Seville,
until 1717, and afterward with Cadiz. Baracoa, or Santiago, or Trinidad,
or any other Cuban city, could not send goods to Santander, or Malaga, or
Barcelona, or any other Spanish market, or receive goods directly from
them. The law prohibited trade between Cuba and all other countries, and
limited all trade between the island and the mother-country to the port of
Havana, at one end, and to Seville or Cadiz, according to the time of the
control of those ports, at the other end. Even intercolonial commerce was
prohibited. At times, and for brief periods, the system was modified to
the extent of special trade licences, and, occasionally, by international
treaties. But the general system of trade restriction was maintained
throughout all of Spain's colonial experience. Between 1778 and 1803, most
of Cuba's ports were opened to trade with Spain. The European wars of the
early years of the 19th Century led to modification of the trade laws, but
in 1809 foreign commerce with Spanish American ports was again prohibited.
A few years later, Spain had lost nearly all its American colonies. A new
plan was adopted in 1818. Under that, Spain sought to hold the trade of
Cuba and Porto Rico by tariffs so highly favorable to merchandise from
the mother-country as to be effectively prohibitive with regard to many
products from other countries. This, in general outline, is the cause of
Cuba's slow progress until the 19th Century, and the explanation of its
failure to make more rapid progress during that century.

Naturally, under such conditions, bribery of officials and smuggling became
active and lucrative enterprises. It may be said, in strict confidence
between writer and reader, that Americans were frequently the parties of
the other part in these transactions. In search through a considerable
number of American histories, I have been unable to find definite
references to trade with Cuba, yet there seems to be abundant reason for
belief that such trade was carried on. There are many references to trade
with the West Indies as far back as 1640 and even a year or two earlier,
but allusions to trade with Cuba do not appear, doubtless for the reason
that it was contraband, a violation of both Spanish and British laws. There
was evidently some relaxation toward the close of the 18th Century.
There are no records of the commerce of the American colonies, and only
fragmentary records between 1776 and 1789. The more elaborate records of
1789 and following years show shipments of fish, whale oil, spermaceti
candles, lumber, staves and heading, and other articles to the "Spanish
West Indies," in which group Cuba was presumably included. The records of
the time are somewhat unreliable. It was a custom for the small vessels
engaged in that trade to take out clearance papers for the West Indies. The
cargo might be distributed in a number of ports, and the return cargo might
be similarly collected. For the year 1795, the records of the United States
show total imports from the Spanish West Indies as valued at $1,740,000,
and exports to that area as valued at $1,390,000. In 1800, the imports were
$10,588,000, and the exports $8,270,000. Just how much of this was trade
with Cuba, does not appear. Because of the trade increase at that time,
and because of other events that, soon afterward, brought Cuba into more
prominent notice, this period has been chosen as the line of division
between the Old and the New Cuba.

Compared with the wonderful fertility of Cuba, New England is a sterile
area. Yet in 1790, a hundred and seventy years after its settlement, the
latter had a population a little exceeding a million, while the former, in
1792, or two hundred and eighty years after its occupation, is officially
credited with a population of 272,300. Of these, 153,559 were white and
118,741 were colored. Several forces came into operation at this time, and
population increased rapidly, to 572,363 in 1817, and to 704,465 in 1827.
In 1841, it was a little more than a million. But the increase in colored
population, by the importation of African slaves, outstripped the increase
by the whites. In 1841, the population was divided into 418,291 whites and
589,333 colored. The importation of slaves having declined, the year 1861
shows a white preponderance, since continued and substantially increased.
Among the forces contributing to Cuba's rapid growth during this period
were a somewhat greater freedom of trade; the revolution in the neighboring
island of Haiti and Santo Domingo, that had its beginning in 1791 and
culminated, some ten years later, in the rule of Toussaint L'Ouverture; and
an increased demand for sugar. One result of the Haitian disorder was the
arrival, in eastern Cuba, of a large number of exiles and emigrants who
established extensive coffee plantations. During the first hundred and
fifty years of Cuba's history, the principal industry of the island was
cattle raising, aside from the domestic industry of food supply. The
proprietors lived, usually, in the cities and maintained their vast estates
in the neighborhood. To this, later on, were added the production of
honey and wax and the cultivation of tobacco. With the period now under
consideration, there came the expansion of the coffee and sugar industries.
The older activities do not appear to have been appreciably lessened; the
others were added on.

Europe and the Western Hemisphere were at that time in a state of general
upheaval and rearrangement. Following the American Revolution, there came
the French Revolution; the Napoleonic Wars; the war of 1812 between the
United States and England; and the general revolt of the Spanish colonies.
The world was learning new lessons, adopting new policies, in which the
Spanish colonial system was a blunder the folly of which Spain did not
even then fully realize. Yet from it all, by one means and another, Cuba
benefited. Spain was fortunate in its selection of Governors-General sent
out at this time. Luis de Las Casas, who arrived in 1790, is credited with
much useful work. He improved roads and built bridges; established schools
and the _Casa de Beneficencia_, still among the leading institutions in
Havana; paved the streets of Havana; improved as far as he could the
commercial conditions; and established the _Sociedad Patriotica_, sometimes
called the _Sociedad Economica_, an organization that has since contributed
immeasurably to Cuba's welfare and progress. He was followed by others
whose rule was creditable. But the principal evils, restricted commerce
and burdensome taxation, were not removed, although world conditions
practically compelled some modification of the commercial regulations. In
1801 the ports of the island were thrown open to the trade of friendly and
neutral nations. Eight years later, foreign commerce was again prohibited.
In 1818, a new system was established, that of a tariff so highly favorable
to merchandise from Spain that it was by no means unusual for goods to
be shipped to that country, even from the United States, and from there
reshipped to Cuba. Changes in the rates were made from time to time, but
the system of heavy discrimination in favor of Spanish goods in Spanish
ships continued until the equalization of conditions under the order of the
Government of Intervention, in 1899.

In his book published in 1840, Mr. Turnbull states that "the mercantile
interests of the island have been greatly promoted by the relaxation of
those restrictive regulations which under the old peninsular system bound
down all foreign commerce with the colonies of Spain, and laid it prostrate
at the feet of the mother-country. It cannot be said that the sound
principles of free trade, in any large or extended sense of the term,
have been recognized or acted upon even at the single port of Havana. The
discriminating duties imposed by the supreme government of Madrid on the
natural productions, manufactures, and shipping of foreign countries, in
contradistinction to those of Spain, are so stringent and so onerous as
altogether to exclude the idea of anything approaching to commercial
freedom. There is no longer, it is true, any absolute prohibition, but in
many cases the distinguishing duties are so heavy as to defeat their own
object, and, in place of promoting the interests of the mother-country,
have had little other effect than the establishment of an extensive and
ruinous contraband." Under such conditions as those existing in Cuba,
from its beginning practically until the establishment of its political
independence, industrial development and commercial expansion are more than
difficult.

One of the natural results of such a system appeared in the activities of
smugglers. The extent to which that industry was carried on cannot, of
course, be even guessed. Some have estimated that the merchandise imported
in violation of the laws equalled in value the merchandise entered at
the custom houses. An official publication (American) states that "from
smuggling on a large scale and privateering to buccaneering and piracy is
not a long step, and under the name of privateers French, Dutch, English,
and American smugglers and buccaneers swarmed the Caribbean Sea and the
Gulf of Mexico for more than two centuries, plundering Spanish _flotas_
and attacking colonial settlements. Among the latter, Cuba was the chief
sufferer." Had Cuba's coasts been made to order for the purpose, they could
hardly have been better adapted to the uses of smugglers. Off shore, for
more than half its coast line, both north and south, are small islands
and keys with narrow and shallow passages between them, thus making an
excellent dodging area for small boats if pursued by revenue vessels.
Thoroughly familiar with these entrances and hiding places, smugglers could
land their goods almost at will with little danger of detection or capture.

Another heavy handicap on the economic progress of the island appears in
the system of taxation. Regarding this system, the Census of 1899 reports
as follows:

"Apart from imports and exports, taxes were levied on real and personal
property and on industries and commerce of all kinds. Every profession,
art, or manual occupation contributed its quota, while, as far back as
1638, seal and stamp taxes were established on all judicial business and
on all kinds of petitions and claims made to official corporations, and
subsequently on all bills and accounts. These taxes were in the form of
stamps on official paper and at the date of American occupation the paper
cost from 35 cents to $3 a sheet. On deeds, wills, and other similar
documents the paper cost from 35 cents to $37.50 per sheet, according to
the value of the property concerned. Failure to use even the lowest-priced
paper involved a fine of $50.

"There was also a municipal tax on the slaughter of cattle for the market.
This privilege was sold by the municipal council to the highest bidder,
with the result that taxes were assessed on all animals slaughtered,
whether for the market or for private consumption, with a corresponding
increase in the price of meat.

"Another tax established in 1528, called the _derecho_ _de averia_,
required the payment of 20 ducats ($16) by every person, bond or free,
arriving in the island. In 1665 this tax was increased to $22, and
continued in force to 1765, thus retarding immigration, and, to that
extent, the increase of population, especially of the laboring class.

"An examination of these taxes will show their excessive, arbitrary, and
unscientific character, and how they operated to discourage Cubans from
owning property or engaging in many industrial pursuits tending to benefit
them and to promote the material improvement of the island.

"Taxes on real estate were estimated by the tax inspector on the basis
of its rental or productive capacity, and varied from 4 to 12 per cent.
Similarly, a nominal municipal tax of 25 per cent was levied on the
estimated profits of all industries and commerce, and on the income derived
from all professions, manual occupations, or agencies, the collector
receiving 6 per cent of all taxes assessed. Much unjust discrimination was
made against Cubans in determining assessable values and in collecting the
taxes, and it is said that bribery in some form was the only effective
defense against the most flagrant impositions."

Some of the experiences of this period will be considered in special
chapters on Cuba's alleged revolutions and on the relations of the United
States to Cuba and its affairs. One point may be noted here. The wave of
republicanism that swept over a considerable part of Europe and over the
Western Hemisphere, from 1775 to 1825 had its direct influence in Spain,
and an influence only less direct in Cuba. In 1812, Spain became a
constitutional monarchy. It is true that the institution had only a
brief life, but the sentiment that lay beneath it persisted and had been
repeatedly a cause of disturbance on the Peninsula. Something of the
same sentiment pervaded Cuba and excited ambitions, not for national
independence, but for some participation in government. A royal decree, in
1810, gave Cuba representation in the Cortes, and two deputies from the
island took part in framing the Constitution of 1812. This recognition of
Cuba lasted for only two years, the Constitution being abrogated in 1814,
but it was restored in 1820, only to cease again three years later.
Representatives were again admitted to the Cortes in 1834, and again
excluded in 1837. The effect of all this was, perhaps, psychological rather
than practical, but it gave rise to a new mental attitude and to some
change in conduct. The effect appears in the numerous recurrences of open
protest and passive resistance in the place of the earlier submission.
Writing in 1855, Mr. J.S. Thrasher stated that "the essential political
elements of the island are antagonistic to those of the mother-country.
While the Cortes and the crown have frequently declared that Cuba does not
form an integral part of the Spanish monarchy, but must be governed by
special laws not applicable to Spain, and persist in ruling her under the
erroneous and unjust European colonial system, the growing wealth and
increasing intelligence of the Cubans lead them to aspire to some share in
the elimination of the political principles under which their own affairs
shall be administered. A like antagonism exists in the economic relations
of the two countries. While the people of Cuba are not averse to the
raising of such revenue as may be required for the proper wants of the
State, in the administration of which they may participate, they complain,
with a feeling of national pride, that fiscal burdens of the most onerous
kind are laid upon them for the expressed purpose of advancing interests
which are in every sense opposed to their own. Thus, Spain imposes taxes to
support a large army and navy, the principal object of which is to prevent
any expression of the public will on the part of the people of Cuba.
Another class of impositions have for their object the diversion of
the trade of Cuba to channels which shall increase the profits of the
agriculturists and mariners of Spain without regard to the interests of the
people of the island."

[Illustration: A PLANTER'S HOME _Havana Province_]

Yet in spite of these severe restrictions and heavy burdens, Cuba shows a
considerable progress during the first half of the century. It is far from
easy to reach fair conclusions from contemporaneous writings. Naturally,
Spanish officials and Spanish writers strove to make the best possible case
for Spain, its policies and its conduct. The press of the island was either
under official control or stood in fear of official reprisals. The Cuban
side, naturally partisan, appears to have been presented chiefly by
fugitive pamphlets, more or less surreptitiously printed and distributed,
usually the product of political extremists. Among these was a man of
marked ability and of rare skill in the use of language. He was Don Antonio
Saco, known in Cuba as the "Immortal Saco." In a letter written to a
friend, in 1846, he says, "The tyranny of our mother-country, today most
acute, will have this result--that within a period of time not very remote
the Cubans will be compelled to take up arms to banish her." That British
observers and most American observers should take the side of the Cubans is
altogether natural. Writing in 1854, Mr. M.M. Ballou, in his _History of
Cuba_, says: "The Cubans owe all the blessings they enjoy to Providence
alone (so to speak), while the evils which they suffer are directly
referable to the oppression of the home government. Nothing short of a
military despotism could maintain the connection of such an island with a
mother-country more than three thousand miles distant; and accordingly we
find the captain-general of Cuba invested with unlimited power. He is, in
fact, a viceroy appointed by the crown of Spain, and accountable only to
the reigning sovereign for his administration of the colony. His rule is
absolute; he has the power of life and death and liberty in his hands. He
can, by his arbitrary will, send into exile any person whatever, be his
name or rank what it may, whose residence in the island he considers
prejudicial to the royal interest, even if he has committed no overt act.
He can suspend the operation of the laws and ordinances, if he sees fit to
do so; can destroy or confiscate property; and, in short, the island may be
said to be perpetually in a state of siege."

The student or the reader may take his choice. On one side are Spanish
statements, official and semi-official, and on the other side, Cuban
statements no less partisan. The facts appear to support the Cuban
argument. In spite of the severe restrictions and the heavy burdens, Cuba
shows a notable progress during the 19th Century. Governors came and went,
some very good and others very bad. There were a hundred of them from 1512
to 1866, and thirty-six more from 1866 to 1899, the average term of service
for the entire number being a little less than three years. On the whole,
the most notable of the group of 19th Century incumbents was Don Miguel
Tacon, who ruled from June 1, 1834, until April 16, 1838. His record would
seem to place him quite decidedly in the "reactionary" class, but he was a
man of action who left behind him monuments that remain to his credit even
now. One historian, Mr. Kimball, who wrote in 1850, describes him as one
in whom short-sightedness, narrow views, and jealous and weak mind, were
joined to an uncommon stubbornness of character. Another, Mr. M.M. Ballou,
says that "probably of all the governors-general that have filled the post
in Cuba none is better known abroad, or has left more monuments to his
enterprise, than Tacon. His reputation at Havana (this was written 1854) is
of a somewhat doubtful character; for, though he followed out with energy
various improvements, yet his modes of procedure were so violent that he
was an object of terror to the people generally, rather than of gratitude.
He vastly improved the appearance of the capital and its vicinity, built
the new prison, rebuilt the governor's palace, constructed a military road
to the neighboring forts, erected a spacious theatre and market house,
arranged a new public walk, and opened a vast parade ground without the
city walls, thus laying the foundation of the new city which has now sprung
up in this formerly desolate suburb. He suppressed the gaming houses and
rendered the streets, formerly infested with robbers, as secure as those of
Boston or New York." Another writer, Mr. Samuel Hazard, in 1870, says: "Of
all the governors who have been in command of the island Governor Tacon
seems to have been the best, doing the most to improve the island, and
particularly Havana; making laws, punishing offences, and establishing some
degree of safety for its inhabitants. It is reported of him that he is
said, like the great King Alfred, to have promised the Cubans that they
should be able to leave their purses of money on the public highway without
fear of having them stolen. At all events, his name is cherished by every
Cuban for the good he has done, and _paseos_, theatres, and monuments bear
his great name in Havana." The Tacon theatre is now the Nacional, and the
Paseo Tacon is now Carlos III. The "new prison" is the _Carcel_, or jail,
at the northern end of the Prado, near the fortress of La Punta. Don Miguel
may have been disliked for his methods and his manners, but he certainly
did much to make his rule memorable.

There is no reliable information that shows the progress of the island
during the 19th Century. Even the census figures are questioned. A reported
432,000 total population in 1804 is evidently no more than an estimate, yet
it is very likely not far from the actual. Concerning their distribution
throughout the island, and the number engaged in different occupations,
there are no records. There are no acceptable figures regarding the
respective numbers of whites and blacks. Nor is there any record of the
population in 1895, the year of the war for independence. From the definite
tabulation, under American auspices, in 1899, showing 1,576,797, it has
been estimated that the number in 1895, was a little less than 1,800,000,
the difference being represented by the disasters of the war, by the result
of reconcentration, and by departures during the disturbance. The general
result seems to be that the population was practically quadrupled. A
somewhat rough approximation would show the blacks as multiplied by three,
to an 1899 total of 505,000, with the whites multiplied by four, to a total
of 1,067,000. Nor are there figures of trade that afford any proper clue
to the growth of industry and commerce. There are records of imports
and exports from about 1850 onward, but before that time the matter of
contraband trade introduces an element of uncertainty. An American official
pamphlet on Cuban trade carries the statement, "the ascertainment of full
and exact details of the commerce of Cuba prior to the close of Spanish
dominion in the island is an impossibility. The Spanish authorities, as
a rule, published no complete returns of Cuban trade, either foreign or
domestic. Except with regard to Spain and the United States, most of the
existing commercial statistics of Cuba, prior to 1899, are fragmentary
and merely approximative. Spain and the United States have always kept a
separate and distinct trade account with Cuba; but the United Kingdom,
France, Germany, and other European countries excepting Spain, formerly
merged their statistics of trade with Cuba in one general item embracing
Cuba and Porto Rico, under the heading of "Spanish West Indies." Since
1899, however, all the Powers have kept separate accounts with Cuba,
and the statistics of the Cuban Republic have been reasonably full and
accurate."

[Illustration: IRON GRILLE GATEWAY _El Vedado, Suburb of Havana_]

Cuba's recorded imports in 1894 show a total value of $90,800,000, and
exports show a value of $102,000,000. Writing about the year 1825, Humboldt
says: "It is more than probable that the imports of the whole island, licit
and contraband, estimated at the actual value of the goods and the slaves,
amount, at the present time, to fifteen or sixteen millions of dollars, of
which barely three or four millions are re-exported." The same authority
gives the probable exports of that time as about $12,500,000. The trade at
the beginning of the century must have been far below this. The official
figures for 1851 show total imports amounting to $34,000,000, and exports
to $33,000,000, but the accuracy of the figures is open to question. The
more important fact is that of a very large gain in population and in
production. The coffee industry, that assumed important proportions during
a part of the first half of the century, gradually declined for the reason
that sugar became a much more profitable crop. Now, Cuba imports most of
its coffee from Porto Rico. Because of its convenience as a contraband
article, there are no reliable figures of the tobacco output. Prior to
1817, the commodity was, for much of the time, a crown monopoly and, for
the remainder of the time, a monopoly concession to private companies. In
that year, cultivation and trade became free, subject to a tax on each
planter of one-twentieth of his production.

As we shall see, in another chapter, Cuba at last wearied of Spanish
exactions and revolted as did the United States, weary of British rule and
British exactions and restrictions, more than a hundred years earlier.



III

_THE COUNTRY_


Description of the physical features of a country seldom makes highly
entertaining reading, but it seems a necessary part of a book of this kind.
Some readers may find interest if not entertainment in such a review. The
total area of the island, including a thousand or more adjacent islands,
islets, and keys, is given as 44,164 square miles, a little less than the
area of Pennsylvania and a little more than that of Ohio or Tennessee.
Illustration of its shape by some familiar object is difficult, although
various comparisons have been attempted. Some old Spanish geographers gave
the island the name of _La Lengua de Pajaro_, "the bird's tongue." Mr. M.M.
Ballou likened it to "the blade of a Turkish scimitar slightly curved back,
or approaching the form of a long, narrow, crescent." Mr. Robert T. Hill
holds that it "resembles a great hammer-headed shark, the head of which
forms the straight, south coast of the east end of the island, from which
the sinuous body extends westward. This analogy is made still more striking
by two long, finlike strings of keys, or islets, which extend backward
along the opposite coasts, parallel to the main body of the island." But
all such comparisons call for a lively imagination. It might be likened to
the curving handles of a plow attached to a share, or to any one of a dozen
things that it does not at all clearly resemble. Regarding the Oriente
coast, from Cape Cruz to Cape Maisi, as a base, from that springs a long
and comparatively slender arm that runs northwesterly for five hundred
miles to the vicinity of Havana. There, the arm, somewhat narrowed, turns
downward in a generally southwestern direction for about two hundred miles.
The total length of the island, from Cape Maisi on the east to Cape San
Antonio on the west, is about seven hundred and thirty miles. Its width
varies from a maximum, in Oriente Province, of about one hundred and sixty
miles, to a minimum, in Havana Province, of about twenty-two miles. It has
a general coast line of about twenty-two hundred miles, or, following all
its sinuosities, of about seven thousand miles. Its north coast is, for
much of its length, steep and rocky. Throughout the greater part of the
middle provinces, there is a border of coral reefs and small islands. At
the western end, the north coast is low, rising gradually to the eastward.
At the eastern end, the northern coast is abrupt and rugged, rising in a
series of hills to the elevations in the interior. Westward from Cape Maisi
to Cape Cruz, on the south coast, and immediately along the shore line,
runs a mountain range. From here westward, broken by an occasional hill or
bluff, the coast is low and marshy.

Probably the best description of the topography and the orography of the
island yet presented is that given by Mr. Robert T. Hill, of the United
States Geological Survey. In his book on Cuba and other islands of the West
Indies, Mr. Hill says:

"As regards diversity of relief, Cuba's eastern end is mountainous, with
summits standing high above the adjacent sea; its middle portion is wide,
consisting of gently sloping plains, well-drained, high above the sea, and
broken here and there by low, forest-clad hills; and its western third is
a picturesque region of mountains, with fertile slopes and valleys, of
different structure and less altitude than those of the east. Over the
whole is a mantle of tender vegetation, rich in every hue that a flora of
more than three thousand species can give, and kept green by mists and
gentle rains. Indenting the rock-bound coasts are a hundred pouch-shaped
harbors such as are but rarely found in the other islands and shores of the
American Mediterranean.

"But, at the outset the reader should dispossess his mind of any
preconceived idea that the island of Cuba is in any sense a physical unit.
On the contrary, it presents a diversity of topographic, climatic, and
cultural features, which, as distributed, divide the island into at least
three distinct natural provinces, for convenience termed the eastern,
central, and western regions. The distinct types of relief include regions
of high mountains, low hills, dissected plateaus, intermontane valleys, and
coastal swamps. With the exception of a strip of the south-central coast,
the island, as a whole, stands well above the sea, is thoroughly drained,
and presents a rugged aspect when viewed from the sea. About one-fourth of
the total area is mountainous, three-fifths are rolling plain, valleys, and
gentle arable slopes, and the remainder is swampy.

"The island border on the north presents a low cliff topography, with a
horizontal sky-line from Matanzas westward, gradually decreasing from five
hundred feet at Matanzas to one hundred feet on the west. The coast of the
east end is abrupt and rugged, presenting on both the north and south sides
a series of remarkable terraces, rising in stair-like arrangement to six
hundred feet or more, representing successive pauses or stages in the
elevation of the island above the sea, and constituting most striking
scenic features. About one-half the Cuban coast is bordered by keys, which
are largely old reef rock, the creations of the same coral-builders that
may now be seen through the transparent waters still at work on the modern
shallows, decking the rocks and sands with their graceful and many colored
tufts of animal foliage."

Mr. Hill summarizes the general appearance of the island, thus: "Santiago
de Cuba (now called Oriente) is predominantly a mountainous region of high
relief, especially along the coasts, with many interior valleys. Puerto
Principe (now Camaguey) and Santa Clara are broken regions of low mountain
relief, diversified by extensive valleys. Matanzas and Havana are vast
stretches of level cultivated plain, with only a few hills of relief. Pinar
del Rio is centrally mountainous, with fertile coastward slopes." The
notable elevations of the island are the Cordilleras de los Organos, or
Organ Mountains, in Pinar del Rio, of which an eastward extension appears
in the Tetas de Managua, the Arcas de Canasi, the Escalera de Jaruco,
the Pan de Matanzas, and other minor elevations in Havana and Matanzas
Provinces. In Santa Clara and Camaguey, the range is represented by crest
lines and plateaus along the north shore, and finally runs into the hill
and mountain maze of Oriente. In the south-central section of the island, a
somewhat isolated group of elevations appears, culminating in El Potrerillo
at a height of nearly 3,000 feet. In Oriente, immediately along the south
coast line, is the precipitous Sierra Maestra, reaching its greatest
altitude in the Pico del Turquino, with an elevation of approximately
8,500 feet. Another elevation, near Santiago, known as La Gran Piedra, is
estimated at 5,200 feet. All these heights are densely wooded. From the
tops of some of them, east, west, and central, the views are marvellously
beautiful, but the summits of most are reached only with considerable
difficulty. One of the most notable of these view points, and one of the
most easily reached, is the height immediately behind the city of Matanzas,
overlooking the famous Yumuri valley. The valley is a broad, shallow bowl,
some five or six miles in diameter, enclosed by steeply sloping walls of
five to six hundred feet in height. Through it winds the Yumuri River. It
is best seen in the early forenoon, or the late afternoon, when there come
the shadows and the lights that are largely killed by the more vertical
rays of a midday sun. At those hours, it is a scene of entrancing
loveliness. There are views, elsewhere, covering wider expanses, but none,
I think, of equal beauty.

The vicinity of Matanzas affords a spectacle of almost enchantment for the
sight-seer, and of deep interest for the geologist. Somewhat more than
fifty years ago, an accident revealed the beautiful caves of Bellamar, two
or three miles from the city, and easily reached by carriage. Caves ought
to be cool. These are not, but they are well worth all the perspiration it
costs to see them. They are a show place, and guides are always available.
In size, the caverns are not comparable with the caves of Kentucky and
Virginia, but they far excel in beauty. They are about three miles in
extent, and their lower levels are said to be about five hundred feet
from the surface. The rock is white limestone, in which are chambers and
passage-ways, stalactites and stalagmites innumerable. These have their
somewhat fantastic but not unfitting names, such as the Gothic Temple, the
Altar, the Guardian Spirit, the Fountain of Snow, and Columbus' Mantle.
The place has been called "a dream of fairyland," a fairly appropriate
description. The colors are snow-white, pink, and shades of yellow, and
many of the forms are wonderfully beautiful. There are many other caves in
the island, like Cotilla, in the Guines region not far from Havana, others
in the Cubitas Mountains in Camaguey Province, and still others in Oriente,
but in comparison with Bellamar they are little else than holes in the
ground. The trip through these remarkable aisles and chambers occupies some
three or four hours.

Cuba is not big enough for rivers of size. There are innumerable streams,
for the island generally is well-watered. The only river of real importance
is the Cauto, in Oriente Province. This is the longest and the largest
river in the island. It rises in the hills north of Santiago, and winds a
devious way westward for about a hundred and fifty miles, emptying at last
into the Gulf of Buena Esperanza, north of the city of Manzanillo. It
is navigable for small boats, according to the stage of the water, from
seventy-five to a hundred miles from its mouth. Numerous smaller streams
flow to the coast on both north and south. Some, that are really estuaries,
are called rivers. Very few of them serve any commercial purposes. There
are a few water areas called lakes, but they are really little other than
ponds. On the south coast, directly opposite Matanzas, lies a vast swamp
known as the Cienega de Zapata. It occupies an area of about seventy-five
miles in length and about thirty miles in width, almost a dead flat, and
practically at sea-level. Here and there are open spaces of water or
clusters of trees, but most of it is bog and quagmire and dense mangrove
thickets. Along the coast are numerous harbors, large and small, that are
or, by dredging, could be made available for commercial purposes. Among
these, on the north coast, from west to east, are Bahia Honda, Mariel,
Havana, Matanzas, Nuevitas, Nipe Bay, and Baracoa. On the south, from east
to west, are Guantanamo, Santiago, Manzanillo, Cienfuegos, and Batabano. At
all of these, there are now cities or towns with trade either by steamers
or small sailing vessels. Among the interesting physical curiosities of
the island are the numerous "disappearing rivers." Doubtless the action
of water on limestone has left, in many places, underground chambers and
tunnels into which the streams have found an opening and in which they
disappear, perhaps to emerge again and perhaps to find their way to the sea
without reappearance. This seems to explain numerous fresh-water springs
among the keys and off-shore. The Rio San Antonio quite disappears near San
Antonio de los Banos. Near Guantanamo, a cascade drops three hundred feet
into a cavern and reappears a short distance away. Such disappearing rivers
are not unknown elsewhere but Cuba has several of them.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Census Report of 1907, prepared under American auspices, states that
"the climate of Cuba is tropical and insular. There are no extremes of
heat, and there is no cold weather." This is quite true if the records of a
thermometer are the standard; quite untrue if measured by the sensations of
the human body. It is true that, in Havana, for instance, the thermometer
seldom exceeds 90° in the hottest months, and rarely if ever goes below 50°
in the coldest. But a day with the thermometer anywhere in the 80s may seem
to a northern body very hot, and a day with the thermometer in the 50s
is cold for anyone, whether a native or a visitor. There is doubtless a
physical reason for the fact that a hot day in the north seems hotter than
the same temperature in the south, while a day that seems, in the north,
only pleasantly cool, seems bitterly cold in the tropics. When the
thermometer drops below 60° in Havana, the coachmen blanket their horses,
the people put on all the clothes they have, and all visitors who are
at all sensitive to low temperature go about shivering. Steam heat and
furnaces are unknown, and fireplaces are a rarity. Yet, in general, the
variations are not wide, either from day to day or when measured by
seasons. The extremes are the infrequent exceptions. Nor is there wide
difference between day and night. Taking the island as a whole, the average
mean temperature for July, the hottest month, is about 82°, and for
January, the coolest month, about 71°. The mean for the year is about 77°,
as compared with 52° for New York, 48° for Chicago, 62° for Los Angeles,
and 68° for New Orleans. There are places that, by reason of exposure to
prevailing winds, or distance from the coast, are hotter or cooler than
other places. Havana is one of the cool spots, that is, relatively cool.
But no one goes there in search of cold. The yearly range in Havana, from
maximum to minimum, rarely if ever exceeds fifty degrees, and is usually
somewhat below that, while the range in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis
is usually from one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five degrees. The
particular cause of discomfort for those unused to it, is the humidity that
prevails throughout the greater part of the year. The worst season for
this, however, is the mid-year months when few people visit the island. The
winter months, locally known as the "_invierno_," a term to be associated
with our word "vernal" and not with "infernal," are almost invariably
delightful, bringing to northern systems a pleasurable physical laziness
that is attended by a mental indifference to, or satisfaction with, the
sensation.

[Illustration: WATERING HERD OF CATTLE _Luyano River near Havana_]

The rainfall varies so widely in different parts of the island, and from
year to year, that exact information is difficult. Taken as a whole, it is
little if at all greater than it is in most places in the United States. We
have our arid spots, like El Paso, Fresno, Boise, Phoenix, and Winnemucca,
where only a few inches fall in a year, just as Cuba has a few places where
the fall may reach sixty-five or seventy inches in a year. But the average
fall in Havana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Santiago, is little if any
greater than in Boston, New York, or Washington. A difference appears in
the fact that about three-quarters of Cuba's precipitation comes between
the first of May and the first of October. But the term "wet season" does
not mean that it rains all the time, or every day, any more than the term
"dry season" means that during those months it does not rain at all. At
times during the winter, or dry season, there come storms that are due to
unusual cold in the United States. These are known in Cuba, as they are in
Texas, as "northers." High winds sweep furiously across the Gulf of Mexico,
piling up huge seas on the Cuban coast, and bringing what, in the island,
is the substitute for cold weather, usually attended by rain and sometimes
by a torrent of it. The prevailing wind in Cuba is the northeast
trade-wind. In summer when the sun is directly overhead this wind is
nearly east, while in winter it is northeast. The proper way to avoid such
discomfort as attends humidity accompanying a thermometer in the 80s, is to
avoid haste in movement, to saunter instead of hurrying, to ride instead of
walking, to eat and drink in moderation, and where-ever possible, to keep
in the shade. Many of those who eat heartily and hurry always, will,
after a few days, be quite sure that they have yellow fever or some
other tropical disorder, but will be entirely mistaken about it. Modern
sanitation in Cuba has made yellow fever a remote possibility, and the
drinking water in Havana is as pure as any in the world.

Most of the official descriptions of the flora of Cuba appear to be copied
from Robert T. Hill's book, published in 1898. As nothing better is
available, it may be used here. He says: "The surface of the island is clad
in a voluptuous floral mantle, which, from its abundance and beauty, first
caused Cuba to be designated the Pearl of the Antilles. In addition
to those introduced from abroad, over 3,350 native plants have been
catalogued. The flora includes nearly all characteristic forms of the
other West Indies, the southern part of Florida, and the Central American
seaboard. Nearly all the large trees of the Mexican _Tierra Caliente_, so
remarkable for their size, foliage, and fragrance, reappear in western
Cuba. Numerous species of palm, including the famous royal palm, occur,
while the pine trees, elsewhere characteristic of the temperate zone and
the high altitudes of the tropics, are found associated with palms and
mahoganies in the province of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Pines, both
of which take their name from this tree. Among other woods are the
lignum-vitae, granadilla, the coco-wood, and the _Cedrela Odorata_
(fragrant cedar) which is used for cigar boxes and the lining of cabinet
work."

In quoting the number of native plants, Mr. Hill uses a report somewhat
antiquated. Later estimates place the number as between five and six
thousand. Flowers are abundant, flowers on vines, plants, shrubs, and
trees, tall stalks with massive heads, and dainty little blossoms by the
wayside. Brilliant flowering trees are planted to line the roadsides. Among
all the tree-growths, the royal palm is notable. Scoffers have likened it
to "a feather duster stood on end," but it is the prominent feature in most
of Cuba's landscape, and it serves many purposes other than that of mere
decoration. From its stem the Cuban peasant builds his little cottage which
he roofs with its leaves. Medicinal qualities are claimed for its roots.
From different parts of the tree, a wide variety of useful articles is
made, plates, buckets, basins, and even a kettle in which water may be
boiled. The huge clusters of seeds are excellent food for animals, and I
have heard it said, though without proper confirmation, that "a royal palm
will keep a hog." Almost invariably, its presence indicates a rich soil, as
it rarely grows in areas of poor land. The forest area of the island is not
known with exactness, and is variously estimated at from about six thousand
square miles to about sixteen thousand. The difference probably represents
the opinion of individual investigators as to what is forest. About
one-third of the total is reported as in Oriente, another third in
Camaguey, and the remainder scattered through the four remaining provinces.
A part of it is "public land," that is, owned by the central government,
but a greater part is of private ownership under old Spanish grants. Much
of it is dense jungle through which a way can be made only by hacking,
almost foot by foot. A good deal of it has already been cut over for its
most valuable timber. Most of the woods bear names entirely unfamiliar to
us. Some are used as cabinet woods, and some for tanning, for oils, dyes,
gums, or fibres.

Cuba has few four-footed native wild animals. There are rabbits, but their
nativity is not quite certain. There are deer, but it is known that their
ancestors were brought from some other country. There are wild dogs, wild
cats, and wild pigs, but all are only domestic animals run wild.

Perhaps the only animal of the kind known to be native is the _jutia_,
sometimes spelled, as pronounced, _hutia_. Some observers have referred to
it as a rat, but it climbs trees and grows to the size of a woodchuck,
or groundhog. It is sometimes eaten and is said to be quite palatable.
Reptiles are fairly common, but none of them is dangerous. The best known
is the _maja_, a snake that grows to a length, sometimes, of twelve or
fifteen feet. The country people not infrequently make of it a kind of
house pet. When that is done, the reptile often makes its home in the
cottage thatch, living on birds and mice. They are dull and sluggish in
motion. While visiting a sugar plantation a few years ago one of the hands
asked if I should be interested by their _maja_. He dipped his hand into a
nearby water-barrel in the bottom of which two of them were closely coiled.
He dragged out one of perhaps ten or twelve feet in length and four or five
inches in diameter, handling it as he would the same length of hawser. He
hung it over the limb of a tree so that I could have a good chance for
a picture of it. The thing squirmed slowly to the ground and crawled
sluggishly away to the place from which it had been taken. Of bird-life
there is a large representation, both native and migratory. Among them
are some fifty species of "waders." In some parts of the island, the very
unpleasant land-crab, about the size of a soup-plate, seems to exist in
millions, although thousands is probably nearer the actual. The American
soldiers made their acquaintance in large numbers at the time of the
Santiago campaign. They are not a proper article of food. They have a
salt-water relative that is most excellent eating, as is also the lobster
_(langosta)_ of Cuban waters. In the swamp known as the Cienega de Zapata
are both alligators and crocodiles, some of them of quite imposing
dimensions.

[Illustration: ROYAL PALMS]

The insect life of the island is extensive. From personal experience,
particularly behind the search-light of an automobile that drew them
in swarms, I, should say that the island would be a rich field for the
entomologist. There are mosquitos, gnats, beetles, moths, butterflies,
spiders, and scorpions. The bites of some of the spiders and the stings of
the scorpions are, of course, uncomfortable, but they are neither fatal nor
dangerous. With the exception of an occasional mosquito, and a perhaps more
than occasional flea, the visitor to cities only is likely to encounter
few of the members of these branches of Cuban zoology. There is one of
the beetle family, however, that is extremely interesting. That is
the _cucullo_, which Mr. Hazard, in his book on Cuba, calls a "bright
peripatetic candle-bearer, by whose brilliant light one can not only walk,
but even read." They are really a kind of glorified firefly, much larger
than ours, and with a much more brilliant light. I do not know their
candle-power, but Mr. Hazard exaggerates little if at all in the matter of
their brilliancy.

While those referred to in the foregoing are the most notable features
in this particular part of the Cuban field, there are others, though of
perhaps less importance, to which reference might be made. Among them would
be the sponge fisheries of the coast in the neighborhood of Batabano,
and the numerous mineral springs, some of them really having, and others
supposed to have, remarkable curative qualities. A half century or so ago,
a number of places not far from Havana were resorts to which rich and
poor went to drink or to bathe in springs hot or cold or sulphurous or
otherwise, for their healing. Among these were the baths at San Diego, near
the Organ Mountains in Pinar del Rio; Santa Rita, near Guanabacoa in Havana
Province; others near Marianao, on the outskirts of the city; and San
Antonio, also in Havana Province. Most of these places now appear to have
lost their popularity if not their medicinal virtues. Some, like those
at Madruga, not far from Havana, still have a considerable patronage.
Something may also be said of earthquakes and hurricanes. The former
occur, on a small scale, more or less frequently in Oriente, and much less
frequently and of less severity in Havana. The latter come from time
to time to work disaster to Cuban industries and, sometimes but not
frequently, to cause loss of life and the destruction of buildings. They
rarely occur except in the late summer and the autumn.

Nearly a hundred years ago, Alexander Humboldt, a traveller and a
scientist, wrote thus of the island of Cuba: "Notwithstanding the absence
of deep rivers and the unequal fertility of the soil, the island of Cuba
presents on every hand a most varied and agreeable country from its
undulating character, its ever-springing verdure, and the variety of its
vegetable formations."



IV

_THE OLD HAVANA_


Among the many pictures, stored away in the album of my memory, there are
two that stand out more vividly than any others. The subjects are separated
by half the world's circumference. One is the sunsets at Jolo, in the
southern Philippines. There the sun sank into the western sea in a blaze
of cloud-glory, between the low-lying islands on either hand with the rich
green of their foliage turned to purple shadows. The other is the sunrise
at Havana, seen from the deck of a steamer in the harbor. The long, soft
shadows and the mellow light fell on the blue and gray and green of the
buildings of the city, and on the red-tiled roofs, with the hills for a
background in one-half of the picture, and the gleaming water of the gulf
in the background of the other half. I had seen the long stretch of the
southern coast of the island, from Cape Antonio to Cape Maisi, while on an
excursion with a part of the army of occupation sent to Porto Rico in the
summer of 1898, and had set foot on Cuban soil at Daiquiri, but Havana in
the morning light, on January 2, 1899, was my first real Cuban experience.
It remains an ineffaceable memory. Of my surroundings and experiences aside
from that, I have no distinct recollection. All was submerged by that one
picture, and quickly buried by the activities into which I was immediately
plunged. I do not recall the length of time we were held on board for
medical inspection, nor whether the customs inspection was on board or
ashore. I recall the trip from the ship to the wharf, in one of the little
sailboats then used for the purpose, rather because of later experiences
than because of the first one. I have no purpose here to write a history
of those busy days, filled as they were with absorbing interest, with much
that was pathetic and not a little that was amusing. I have seen that
morning picture many times since, but never less beautiful, never less
impressive. Nowadays, it is lost to most travellers because the crossing
from Key West is made in the daytime, the boat reaching Havana in the
late-afternoon. Sometimes there is a partial compensation in the sunset
picture, but I have never seen that when it really rivalled the picture at
the beginning of the day.

The visitor to Cuba, unfamiliar with the island, should take it leisurely.
It is not a place through which the tourist may rush, guide book in hand,
making snapshots with a camera, and checking off places of interest as they
are visited. Picturesqueness and quaintness are not at all lacking, but
there are no noble cathedrals, no vast museums of art and antiquity, no
snow-clad mountains. There is a charm of light and shade and color that
is to be absorbed slowly rather than swallowed at a single gulp. It is
emphatically a place in which to dawdle. Let those who are obliged to do
so, work and hurry; the visitor and the traveller should take it without
haste. It is far better to see Havana and its vicinity slowly and
enjoyably, and look at pictures of the rest of the country, than it is to
rush through the island merely for the sake of doing so. In his essay on
_The Moral of Landscape_, Mr. Ruskin said that "all travelling becomes dull
in exact proportion to its rapidity." Nowhere is that more true than it
is in Cuba. There is very little in all the island that cannot be seen in
Havana and its immediate vicinity. It is well to see the other places if
one has ample time, but they should not be seen at the expense of a proper
enjoyment of Havana and its neighborhood. In Havana are buildings as old
and buildings as beautiful as any in the island. In its vicinity are sugar
plantations, tobacco fields, pineapples, cocoanuts, mangoes, royal palms,
ceibas, peasants' homes, typical towns and villages, all the life of the
people in the city and country. The common American desire to "see it all"
in a few days, is fatal to the greatest enjoyment, and productive mainly
of physical fatigue and mental confusion. It is the misfortune of most
travellers that they carry with them only the vaguest of ideas of what they
want to see. They have heard of Cuba, of Havana, the Morro, the Prado, of a
sunny island in the midst of a sapphire sea. While it is true that almost
everything in Cuba is worth seeing, it is best to acquire, before going,
some idea of the exhibition. That saves time and many steps. The old city
wall, La Fuerza, and La Punta, are mere piles of masonry, more or less dull
and uninteresting unless one knows something of their history. The manners
and customs of any country become increasingly interesting if one knows
something about them, the reason for them.

It is only a short trip to the Castillo del Principe, the fortress that
crowns the hill to the west of the city. From that height, the city and the
harbor are seen below, to the eastward. Across the bay, on the heights at
the entrance, are the frowning walls of Morro Castle surmounted by the
towering light-house, and the no less grim walls of La Cabaña. The
bay itself is a sprawling, shapeless body of water with a narrow neck
connecting it with the Florida Straits. Into the western side of the bay
the city thrusts itself in a shape that, on a large map, suggests more than
anything else the head and neck of an over-fed bulldog. Into this bay, in
1508, came Sebastian Ocampo, said to be the first white man to visit the
spot. He entered for the purpose of careening his little vessels in order
to remove the barnacles and accumulated weed-growth. It is possible that
the spot was discovered earlier, but there is no record of the discovery
if such was made. Ocampo gave it the name of Puerto de Carenas. The next
record is of its occupation, in 1519. Four years earlier, Diego Velasquez
had left a little colony near what is now called Batabano, on the south
coast. He gave the place the name of San Cristobal de la Habana, in memory
of the illustrious navigator and discoverer. Habana, or Havana, is a term
of aboriginal origin. It proved to be an uncomfortable place of residence,
and in 1519 the people moved across the island to the Puerto de Carenas,
taking with them the name given to the earlier settlement, and substituting
it for the name given by Ocampo. After a time, all was dropped except the
present title, Habana, or more commonly by English-speaking people, Havana.
It was not much of a place for a number of years, but in 1538 it was sacked
and burned by a French pirate, one of the many, of different nations, who
carried on a very lively buccaneering business in those and in later years
in West Indian waters. Hernando de Soto was then governor of the island,
with headquarters at the then capital city, Santiago de Cuba. He proceeded
at once to the scene of destruction. On his arrival, he ordered the
erection of a fortress. Some of the work then done still remains in the
old structure near the Palace, at the foot of Calle O'Reilly, known as La
Fuerza. A few years before this time, Hernan Cortes had conquered Mexico,
then called New Spain, and a business between Old Spain and New Spain soon
developed. The harbor of Havana made a convenient halting-place on the
voyages between the two, and the settlement assumed a steadily increasing
importance. A new governor, Gonzales Perez de Angulo, who arrived in 1549,
decided to make it his place of residence. The year 1552 is generally given
as the time of the creation of Havana as the capital city. It was at that
time made the residence city of the Governors, by their own choice, but
it was not officially established as the capital until 1589. The fortress
erected by order of de Soto proved somewhat ineffective. In 1554, another
French marauder attacked and destroyed the town. The principal industry of
those early days was cattle-raising, a considerable market being developed
for export to Mexico, and for the supply of vessels that entered the harbor
for food and water.

The continuance of incursions by pirates made necessary some further
provision for the defence of the city. In 1589, La Fuerza was enlarged and
strengthened, and the construction of Morro Castle was begun. To this
work was added La Punta, the little fortress on the western shore of
the entrance, at the point of the angle now formed by the Prado and the
Malecon. These ancient structures, of practically no value whatever in
modern warfare, are now among the most picturesque points of interest in
the neighborhood. Another, in the same class, of which only a little now
remains, is of a later time. This is the old city wall, the construction
of which was begun in 1671. Following the simile of the bull-dog's head,
a tract of land, formerly known as the Arsenal yard, and now the central
railway station, lies tucked away immediately under the animal's jaw. From
there to a point on the north shore, near La Punta, in a slightly curving
line, a high wall was erected for the purpose of defence on the western
or landward side. The old city lay entirely in the area defined by this
western wall and the shore of the harbor. At intervals, gates afforded exit
to the country beyond, heavy gates that could be closed to exclude any
possible attacking party. The fortifications erected from time to time were
supposed to afford a system of effective defence for the city. They are now
little else than picturesque features in the landscape, points of interest
for visitors. Taking the chain in its order, El Morro stands on the point
on the eastern side of the entrance to the harbor. Just beyond it is La
Cabaña. About a half a mile to the east of this was the stone fort on the
hill of San Diego. Three miles east of the Morro, on the shore at Cojimar,
is a small and somewhat ancient fortification. This group constituted the
defence system on the east. At the head of the bay, on an elevation a
little to the south of the city, stands El Castillo de Atares, begun in
1763, immediately after the capture and occupation of the city by the
British. This is supposed to protect the city on the south, as Castillo del
Principe is supposed to defend it on the west. This stands on a hill on
the western outskirts, a somewhat extensive structure, begun in 1774 and
completed about twenty years later. A little further to the west, at the
mouth of the Almendares river, stands a little fort, or tower, called
Chorrera, serving as a western outpost as Cojimar serves as an eastern
outpost. Both were erected about the year 1650. On the shore generally
north of Principe was the Santa Clara battery, and between that and La
Punta, at the foot of the Calzada de Belascoain, stood the Queen's battery.
From any modern point of view, the system is little more than military
junk, better fitted for its present use as barracks, asylums, and prisons
than for military defence. But it is all highly picturesque.

In the beginning, most of the buildings of the city were doubtless of wood,
with palm-thatched roofs. In time, these gave place to rows of abutting
stone buildings with tiled roofs. Most of them were of one story, some were
of two stories, and a few "palaces" had three. The city within the wall
is today very much as it was a century and more ago. Its streets run,
generally but not accurately, at right angles, one set almost due east and
west, from the harbor front to the line of the old wall, and the other set
runs southward from the shore of the entrance channel to the shore of the
inner harbor. Several of these streets are practically continuous
from north to south or from east to west. But most of them are rather
passage-ways than streets. The houses come to their very edges, except
for a narrow strip hardly to be classed as a sidewalk, originally left,
presumably, only for the purpose of preventing the scraping of the front of
the building by the wheels of passing carts and carriages. It is a somewhat
inconvenient system nowadays, but one gets quite used to it after a little,
threads the narrow walk a part of his way, takes to the street the rest
of the way, and steps aside to avoid passing vehicles quite as did the
carriageless in the old days. One excellent way to avoid the trouble is to
take a carriage and let the other fellow step aside. Riding in the _coche_
is still one of the cheapest forms of convenience and entertainment in the
city, excepting the afternoon drive around the Prado and the Malecon. That
is not cheap. We used to pay a dollar an hour. My last experience cost me
three times that.

[Illustration: CUSTOM HOUSE, HAVANA _Formerly Franciscan Convent Begun_
1574, _finished_ 1591]

Much of the old city is now devoted to business purposes, wholesale,
retail, and professional. But there are also residences, old churches, and
old public buildings. On the immediate water-front, and for many years used
as the custom house, stands the old Franciscan convent, erected during the
last quarter of the 16th Century. It is a somewhat imposing pile, dominated
by a high tower. I have not visited it for a number of years and do not
know if its interior is available for visitors without some special
introduction, but there is much worth seeing inside its walls, the flying
buttresses of the super-structure, some old and interesting frescoes, and
a system of dome construction that is quite remarkable. To the latter, my
attention was first called by General Ludlow, a distinguished engineer
officer of the United States Army, then acting as governor of the city. To
him belongs, although it is very rarely given, the credit for the cleansing
of Havana during the First Intervention. He frequently visited the old
convent just to see and study that interior dome construction. Immediately
behind the Palace is the old convent of the Dominicans, less imposing but
of about the same period as the Franciscan structure. It is now used as
a high-school building. The Cathedral, a block to the northward of the
Dominican convent building, is of a much later date, having been begun as
recently as 1742. It was originally the convent of the Jesuits, but became
the Cathedral in 1789. Many have believed, on what seems to be acceptable
evidence, that here for more than a hundred years rested the bones of
Christopher Columbus. He died in Valladolid in 1506, and was buried there.
His remains were removed to the Carthusian Monastery, in Seville, in 1513.
From there they are said to have been taken, in 1536, to the city of Santo
Domingo, where they remained until 1796, when they were brought to Havana
and placed in a niche in the walls of the old Cathedral, there to remain
until they were taken back to Spain in 1898. There is still an active
dispute as to whether the bones removed from Santo Domingo to Havana were
or were not those of Columbus. At all events, the urn supposed to contain
them was in this building for a hundred years, below a marble slab showing
a carving of the voyager holding a globe, with a finger pointing to the
Caribbean. Beneath this was a legend that has been thus translated:

  OH! REST THOU, IMAGE OF THE GREAT COLON,
  THOUSAND CENTURIES REMAIN, GUARDED IN THE URN,
  AND IN THE REMEMBRANCE OF OUR NATION.

In this neighborhood, to the east of the Plaza de Armas, on which the
Palace fronts, is a structure known as _El Templete_. It has the appearance
of the portico of an unfinished building, but it is a finished memorial,
erected in 1828. The tradition is that on this spot there stood, in 1519,
an old ceiba tree under which the newly arrived settlers celebrated their
first mass. The yellow Palace, for many years the official headquarters and
the residence of successive Governors-General, stands opposite, and speaks
for itself. In this building, somewhat devoid of architectural merit, much
of Cuba's history, for the last three-quarters of a century, has been
written. The best time to see all this and much more that is to be seen,
is the early morning, before the wheels begin to go around. The lights and
shadows are then the best, and the streets are quieter and less crowded.
The different points of interest are easily located by the various guide
books obtainable, and the distances are not great. A cup of _cafe con
leche_ should precede the excursion. If one feels lazy, as one is quite
apt to feel in the tropics and the sub-tropics, fairly comfortable open
carriages are at all times available. With them, of course, a greater
area can be covered and more places seen, though perhaps seen less
satisfactorily. There is much to be seen in the early morning that is best
seen in those hours, and much that is not seen later in the day. In all
cities there is an early morning life and Havana is no exception. I confess
to only a limited personal knowledge of it, but I have seen enough of it,
and heard enough about it, to know that the waking-up of cities, including
Havana, is an interesting process. I have, at least, had enough personal
experience to be sure that the early morning air is delicious, the best of
the day. I am not speaking of the unholy hours preceding daybreak, but
of six to eight o'clock, which for those of us who are inclined to long
evenings is also the best time to be in bed. The early morning church bells
are a disturbance to which visitors do not readily adjust their morning
naps. Mr. Samuel Hazard, who visited Cuba about the year 1870, and wrote
quite entertainingly about it, left the following description of his
experience in Havana:

"Hardly has the day begun to break when the newly arrived traveller is
startled from his delightful morning doze by the alarming sound of bells
ringing from every part of the town. Without any particular concert of
action, and with very different sounds, they ring out on the still morning
air, as though for a general conflagration, and the unfortunate traveller
rushes frantically from his bed to inquire if there is any hope of safety
from the flames which he imagines, from the noise made, must threaten the
whole town. Imagine, O reader! in thy native town, every square with its
church, every church with its tower, or maybe two or three of them, and
in each particular tower a half-dozen large bells, no two of which sound
alike; place the bell-ropes in the hands of some frantic man who pulls
away, first with one hand and then the other, and you will get a very faint
idea of your first awakening in Havana. Without apparent rhyme or reason,
ding, dong, ding they go, every bell-ringer at each different church
striving to see how much noise he can make, under the plea of bringing the
faithful to their prayers at the early morning mass."

[Illustration: BALCONIES IN OLD HAVANA STREET IN HAVANA]

The only conceivable advantage of these early bells is the fact that they
turn out many a traveller at the hour when Havana is really at its best.
Yet, as I read the descriptive tales left by those who wrote forty, fifty,
and sixty years ago, I am struck by the fact, that, after all, the old
Havana has changed but little. There are trolley lines, electric lights,
and a few other so-called modern improvements, but there is still much of
the old custom, the old atmosphere. The old wall, with its soldier-guarded
gates, is gone, and there are a few modern buildings, but only a few, for
which fact I always feel thankful, but the old city is much what it was
when Mr. Ballou, and Mr. Dana, and Mr. Kimball, and numerous others wrote
about it soon after 1850, and when Mr. Hazard wrote about it in 1870. The
automobile is there now in large numbers, in place of the old volante, and
there are asphalted streets in place of cobble-stones. The band plays in
the evening in the Parque Central or at the Glorieta, instead of in the
Plaza de Armas, but the band plays. The restaurants are still a prominent
feature in Havana life, as they were then. The ladies wear hats instead
of _mantillas_, but they buy hats on Calle Obispo just as and where their
mothers and grandmothers bought _mantillas_. Bull-fighting is gone,
presumably forever, but crowds flock to the baseball grounds. The midday
suspension of business continues, generally, and the afternoon parade, on
foot and in carriages, remains one of the important functions of the day.
There are many who know Havana, and love it, who pray diligently that it
may be many years before the city is Americanized as, for instance, New
Orleans has been.

Most of the life of the city, as it is seen by most visitors, is outside
the old city, and probably few know that any distinction is made, yet the
line is drawn with fair clearness. There is a different appearance in both
streets and buildings. While there are shops on San Rafael and Galiano and
elsewhere, the principal shopping district is in the old city, with Calle
Obispo as its centre. They have tried officially, to change the name of the
street, but the old familiar name sticks and seems likely to stick for a
long time yet. Far be it from a mere man to attempt analysis or description
of such a place. He might tell another mere man where to buy a hat, a pair
of shoes, or eyeglasses, or a necktie, or where to find a lawyer, but the
finer points of shopping, there or elsewhere, are not properly for any
masculine description. The ladies may be trusted to learn for themselves,
and very quickly, all that they need or want to know about that phase of
Havana's commerce. I am leaving much to the guide books that can afford
space for all necessary information about churches, statues, and other
objects of interest for visitors. Havana's retail merchants have their own
way of trading, much as they do in many foreign countries, and in not a few
stores in our own country. Prices are usually a question of the customer's
ability to match the commercial shrewdness of the dealer. Much of the trade
of visitors is now confined to the purchase of such articles as may be
immediately needed and to a few souvenirs. One of the charms of the place
is the cheap transportation. If you are tired, or in a hurry, there is
always a coach near at hand that will take you where you wish to go, for a
peseta, or a quarter, if within certain officially prescribed bounds. If
you desire to go beyond those bounds, make a bargain with your driver or
be prepared for trouble. Down in the old city are to be found several
restaurants that are well worth visiting, for those who want good food. I
shall not advertise the particular places, but they are well known. As the
early morning is the best time to see the old city, the forenoon is the
best time for shopping. Such an expedition may well be followed by the
_almuerzo_, the midday breakfast or lunch, whichever one sees fit to call
it, at one of these restaurants. After that, it is well to enjoy a midday
_siesta_, in preparation for the afternoon function on the Prado and the
Malecon.



V

THE NEW HAVANA


The new Havana, the city outside the old wall, is about as old as Chicago
but not nearly as tall. There is no reason why it should be. Here are wide
streets and broad avenues, and real sidewalks, some of them about as wide
as the entire street in the old city. About 1830, the region beyond the
wall was held largely by Spaniards to whom grants of land had been made
for one reason or another. These tracts were plantations, pastures, or
unimproved lands, according to the fancy of the proprietor who usually
lived in the city and enjoyed himself after the manner of his kind. Here
and there, a straggling village of palm-leaf huts sprang up. The roads were
rough tracks. To Governor-General Tacon seems due much of the credit for
the improvement beyond the walls. During his somewhat iron-handed rule
several notable buildings were erected, some of them by his authority.
The most notable feature of the district is the renowned Prado, a broad
boulevard with a park between two drive-ways, running from the water-front,
at the entrance to the harbor, southward for about a mile. A few years ago,
rows of trees shaded the central parkway, but they were almost entirely
wrecked by the hurricanes in 1906 and 1910.

A half mile or so from its northern end, the Prado runs along the west side
of the Parque Central, the most notable of the numerous little squares of
walks and trees and flowers. A block or two further on is a little park
with an excellent statue, known as La India. Opposite that is another
really beautiful park, from the western side of which runs a broad street
that leads to the Paseo de Carlos Tercero, formerly the Paseo de Tacon, one
of the monuments left to his own memory by one of Cuba's most noted Spanish
rulers. The Paseo runs westward to El Castillo del Principe, originally a
fortress but now a penitentiary. The Prado stops just beyond the companion
parks, La India and Colon. These originally formed the Campo de Marte, laid
out by General Tacon and, in his time, used as a military parade ground.
In a way, the Parque Central is the centre of the city. It is almost that,
geographically, and perhaps quite that, socially. In its immediate vicinity
are some of the leading hotels and the principal theatres. One of the
latter, facing the park on its western side, across the Prado, is now known
as the Nacional. Formerly it was the Tacon, a monument to that notable man.
There is quite a story about that structure. It is somewhat too long for
inclusion here, but it seems worth telling. The following is an abridgment
of the tale as it is told in Mr. Ballou's _History of Cuba_, published in
1854. Tacon was the Governor of the island from 1834 to 1838. At that time,
a certain man named Marti was eminent in the smuggling and piracy business,
an industry in which many others were engaged. But Marti seems to have
stood at the top of his profession, a man of skill and daring and evidently
well supplied with brains. Tacon's efforts to capture him, or to break up
his business, were entirely unsuccessful, and a large reward was offered
for his body, alive or dead. Mr. Ballou tells the story in somewhat
dramatic manner:

"It was a dark, cloudy night in Havana, a few months after the announcement
of the reward, when two sentinels were pacing backward and forward before
the main entrance to the Governor's palace. A little before midnight, a man
was watching them from behind a statue in the park, and after observing
that the sentinels paced their brief walk so as to meet each other, and
then turned their backs as they separated, leaving a brief moment in the
interval when the eyes of both were turned away from the entrance, seemed
to calculate upon passing them unobserved. It was an exceedingly delicate
manoeuvre, and required great care and dexterity to effect it; but, at
last, it was adroitly done, and the stranger sprang lightly through the
entrance, secreting himself behind one of the pillars of the inner court.
The sentinels paced on undisturbed. The figure which had thus stealthily
effected an entrance, now sought the broad stairs that led to the
Governor's suite, with a confidence that evinced a perfect knowledge of the
place. A second guard-post was to be passed at the head of the stairs; but,
assuming an air of authority, the stranger offered a cold military salute
and passed forward, as though there was not the most distant question of
his right to do so; and thus avoiding all suspicion in the guard's mind, he
boldly entered the Governor's reception room unchallenged, and closed the
door behind him."

In his office, alone, the stranger found Tacon, who was naturally surprised
at the appearance of an unannounced caller. He demanded to know who the
visitor was, but a direct answer was evaded. After referring to the matter
of the reward offered for the discovery of Marti, and the pledge of
immunity to the discoverer, the caller demanded and obtained a verbal
endorsement of the promise of immunity, under the Governor's word of honor,
whatever might be the circumstances of his revelation. He then announced
himself as the much-sought pirate and smuggler, Marti. Tacon was somewhat
astounded, but he kept his word. Marti was held overnight, but "on the
following day," the Ballou account proceeds, "one of the men-of-war that
lay idly beneath the guns of Morro Castle suddenly became the scene of the
utmost activity, and, before noon, had weighed her anchor, and was standing
out into the gulf stream. Marti the smuggler was on board as her pilot;
and faithfully did he guide the ship on the discharge of his treacherous
business, revealing every haunt of the rovers, exposing their most valuable
depots; and many a smuggling craft was taken and destroyed. The amount of
money and property thus secured was very great." The contemptible job
of betraying his former companions and followers being successfully
accomplished, Marti returned with the ships, and claimed his reward from
Tacon. The General, according to his word of honor, gave Marti a full
and unconditional pardon for all his past offences, and an order on the
treasury for the amount of the reward offered. The latter was declined but,
in lieu of the sum, Marti asked for and obtained a monopoly of the right
to sell fish in Havana. He offered to build, at his own expense, a public
market of stone, that should, after a specified term of years, revert to
the government, "with all right and the title to the fishery." This
struck Tacon as a good business proposition; he saved to his treasury
the important sum of the reward and, after a time, the city would own a
valuable fish-market. He agreed to the plan. Marti thereupon went into
the fish business, made huge profits, and became, so the story goes, the
richest man in the island. After a time, being burdened with wealth, he
looked about for means of increasing his income. So he asked for and
obtained a monopoly of the theatre business in Havana, promising to build
one of the largest and finest theatres in the world. The result of the
enterprise was the present Nacional theatre, for many years regarded as
second only to the Grand theatre in Milan. But it was named the Tacon. Its
special attraction was internal; its exterior was far from imposing. It has
recently been considerably glorified. Having thus halted for the story of
the theatre, we may return to the Prado on which it fronts. Here, Havana
society used to gather every afternoon to drive, walk, and talk. The
afternoon _paseo_ was and still is the great event of the day, the great
social function of the city. At the time of my first visit, in 1899, there
was no Malecon drive along the shore to the westward. That enterprise
was begun during the First Intervention, and continued by succeeding
administrations. In the earlier days, the route for driving was down the
east side of the Prado, between the Parque Central and the _Carcel_, and
up the west side, around and around, up and down, with bows and smiles to
acquaintances met or passed, and, probably, gossip about the strangers.
Many horsemen appeared in the procession, and the central promenade was
thronged with those who walked, either because they preferred to or because
they could not afford to ride around and around. In the Parque Central were
other walkers, chatting groups, and lookers-on. Some days the band played.
Then the Prado was extended to the water-front; the _glorieta_ was erected;
and that became another centre for chatterers and watchers. The building of
the Malecon extended the range of the driveway. This afternoon function is
an old established institution and a good one. It may not compare favorably
with the drive in some of our parks in this country, but it is the best
substitute possible in Havana. Indulgence in ices, cooling drinks,
chocolate, or other refections, during this daily ceremony, is fairly
common but by no means a general practice. The afternoon tea habit has not
yet seized upon Havana. The ices are almost invariably excellent. Some of
them are prepared from native fruit flavors that are quite unknown here.
The _guanabana_ ice is particularly to be recommended. All such matters are
quite individual, but a decoction called _chocolate Espanol_ is also to be
recommended. It is served hot, too thick to drink, and is to be taken with
a spoon, to the accompaniment of cake. It is highly nourishing as well as
palatable. There is a wide variety of "soft drinks," made with oranges,
limes, or other fruits, and the _orchata_, made from almonds, and the
products of American soda fountains, but there is little use of the
high-ball or the cocktail except by Americans.

[Illustration: STREET AND CHURCH OF THE ANGELS _Havana_]

The Cubans are an exceedingly temperate people. Wine is used by all
classes, and _aguadiente_, the native rum, is consumed in considerable
quantity, but the Cuban rarely drinks to excess. I recall an experience
during the earlier years. I was asked to write a series of articles on the
use of intoxicants in the island, for a temperance publication in this
country. My first article so offended the publishers that they declined
to print it, and cancelled the order for the rest of the series. It was
perhaps somewhat improper, but in that article I summed up the situation
by stating that "the temperance question in Cuba is only a question of how
soon we succeed in converting them into a nation of drunkards." Beer is
used, both imported and of local manufacture. Gin, brandy, and anisette,
cordials and liqueurs are all used to some but moderate extent, but
intoxication is quite rare. One fluid extract I particularly recommend,
that is the milk of the cocoanut, the green nut. Much, however, depends
upon the cocoanut. Properly ripened, the "milk" is delicious, cooling and
wholesome, more so perhaps on a country journey than in the city. The nut
not fully ripened gives the milk, or what is locally called the "water," an
unpleasant, woody taste. I have experimented with it in different parts of
the world, in the Philippines, Ceylon, and elsewhere, and have found it
wholesome and refreshing in all places.

The houses in the new Havana are, on the whole, vastly more cheerful
than are the dwellings in the old city. They are of the same general
architectural type, but because of the wider streets, more air and sunshine
gets into them. Some of the best and most costly are along the Prado.
A Cuban house interior generally impresses an American as lacking in
home-like quality. Some of the best are richly adorned, but there is a
certain bareness and an absence of color. As is usual with customs unlike
our own, and which we are therefore prone to regard as inferior to ours,
there are excellent reasons for Cuban interior decoration, or rather the
lack of it. A little experience, or even a little reflection, shows clearly
the impossibility of anything resembling American house decoration in
such a climate as that of Cuba. Our warm colors, hangings, upholstered
furniture, rugs, and much else that we regard as essential in northern
latitudes, would be utterly unendurable in Cuba. There, the marble or tiled
floors, the cool tones of wall and ceiling, and the furniture of wood and
cane, are not only altogether fitting but as well altogether necessary. Our
glass windows would only serve to increase heat and shut out air. As some
barrier is necessary to keep passers, even Americans, from intrusive
entrance by the windows whose bottoms are at floor level, the system of
iron bars or elaborate grille work is adopted. Few Americans see much, if
anything, of Cuban home life except as they see it through these barriers
as they pass. It is not the custom of the country to invite promiscuous or
casual acquaintances to call. It is even less the custom there than it is
with us. A book about Cuba, published a few years ago, gives a somewhat
extended account of what is called "home life," but it is the home life of
workmen and people who do laundry work to eke out a meagre living. It is
not even the life of fairly paid artisans, or of people of modest but
comfortable income. It is no more a proper description of the domestic life
of the island than would be a presentation of the life in the palaces of
the wealthy. Such attempts at description are almost invariably a mistake,
conveying, whether from purpose or from indifference to truth, a false
impression. Domestic economy and household management vary in Cuba as
they vary in the United States, in France, England, Japan, or Mexico. The
selection of an individual home, or of several, as a basis for description,
in Cuba or anywhere else, can only result in a picture badly out of drawing
and quite misleading.

There are Cuban homes, as there are American homes, that are slatternly and
badly managed, and there are Cuban homes that are as spick and span and as
orderly in their administration as any home in this country. Their customs,
as are ours, are the result of environment and tradition. To some of us, a
rectangle of six or eight rocking-chairs, placed in the centre of a room,
in which family and visitors sit and rock while they talk, may seem
curious, but it is a custom that we may not criticize either with fairness
or common decency. The same may be said of the not uncommon custom of using
a part of the street floor of the house as a stable. It is an old custom,
brought from Spain. But I have wandered from description to incident. I
have no intention to attempt a description of Cuban home life, beyond
saying that I have been a guest in costly homes in the city and in the
little palm-leaf "shacks" of peasants, and have invariably found in both,
and in the homes of intermediate classes, only cordial hospitality and
gracious courtesy. Those who have found anything different have carried it
with them in their own attitude toward their hosts. Many of us, probably
most of us, in the United States, make a sort of fetich of the privacy of
what we call our home life. We are encased in walls of wood or masonry,
with blinds, curtains, or shades at our windows. It might be supposed that
we wanted to hide, that there was something of which to be ashamed. It
might at least be so interpreted by one unfamiliar with our ways. It is
only, like the open domestic life in Cuba, a custom, a habit of long
standing. Certainly, much of the domestic life of Cuba is open. The
mistress of the house chides a servant, rebukes or comforts a child, sits
with her embroidery, chaffers with an itinerant merchant or with the
clerk from a store, all in plain sight and hearing of the passer-by. What
everyone does, no one notices. The customs of any country are curious only
to those from other countries where customs are different. Our ways of life
are quite as curious to others as are their ways to us. We are quite
blind to that fact chiefly because of an absurd conviction of the
immense superiority of our ways. We do not stop to consider reasons for
differences. A cup of coffee on an American breakfast table usually
consists of about four parts coffee and one part milk or cream. Most Cubans
usually reverse these percentages. There is a good reason for it. In
our climate, we do not need the large open doors and windows, the high
ceilings, and the full and free ventilation that make life endurable
in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Their system here would be as
impossible as would be our system there. Houses in Cuba like those of an
American city or town would make life a miserable burden. The publicity, or
semi-publicity, of Cuban home life is a necessary result of conditions.
It is, naturally, more in evidence in the city proper, where the houses,
abutting immediately on the street, as do most of our city houses, are
built, as ours are, in solid rows. We avoid a good deal of publicity by
piling our homes on top of each other, and by elevators and stair-climbing.

The location of a residence in Havana gives no special idea of the wealth
or the social standing of those who occupy it. Not a few well-to-do people
still live in the old city, where the streets are narrow and where business
is trying to crowd out everything except itself. The home in that quarter
may be in a block in which a number of buildings are residences, or it
may stand with a warehouse on one side and a workshop on the other. A few
people, of unquestionable social position still live in buildings in which
the street floor is a store or an office. There is nothing curious about
this. In many American cities, old families have clung to old homes, and
not a few new families have, from one reason or another, occupied similar
quarters. Such a residence may not conform to modern social ideas and
standards, but there are Americans in this country, as well as Cubans and
Spaniards in Havana, who can afford to ignore those standards. The same is
true of many who live in the newer city, outside the old walls. There as
here, business encroaches on many streets formerly strictly residential.
This holds in the newer part of the city as well as in the old part. A
number of streets there are, for a part of their length, quite given over
to business. Even the Prado itself is the victim of commercial invasion.
What was once one of the finest residences in the city, the old Aldama
place fronting on the Campo de Marte, is now a cigar factory. A little
beyond it is the Tacon market, occupying an entire block. Stores and shops
surround it. The old avenue leading to the once fashionable Cerro, and
to the only less fashionable Jesus del Monte, is now a business street.
Another business street leads out of the Parque Central, alongside the
former Tacon theatre. The broad Calzada de Galiano, once a fashionable
residence street, is now largely commercial. While less picturesque than
some parts of the old city within the walls, the most attractive part of
Havana is undoubtedly the section of El Vedado, the westward extension
along the shore. Here are broad streets, trees, gardens, and many beautiful
and costly dwellings. This is really the modern Havana. A part of it is
only a little above sea-level, and behind that strip is a hill. A few years
ago, only a small number of houses were on the hillside or the hilltop.
Now, it is well built over with modern houses. The architectural type is
generally retained, and it is rather a pity that there should be even
what variation there is. El Vedado is the region of the wealthy and the
well-to-do, with a large percentage of foreigners. It has its social ways,
very much as other places have, in this country, in France, Hong Kong, or
Honolulu. They are not quite our ways, but they are a result of conditions,
just as ours are.

On the hill, a little back of El Vedado, are two "points of interest" for
visitors; the old fortress, el Castillo del Principe, and the cemetery.
In the latter are some notable monuments. One is known as the Firemen's
Monument. For many years, Havana has had, supplementary to its municipal
organization, a volunteer firemen's corps. In various ways the latter
resembles a number of military organizations in the United States. It is at
once a somewhat exclusive social club and a practical force. Membership
is a social distinction. If you are in Havana and see men in admirably
tailored, uniforms and fire helmets, rushing in a particular direction in
cabs, carriages or automobiles, you may know that they are members of the
_Bomberos del Comercio_ on their way to a conflagration. Most excellent
real work they have done again and again in time of fire and flood. On
parade, they look exceedingly dapper with their helmets, uniforms, boots
and equipment, somewhat too dandified even to suggest any smoke other than
that of cigars or cigarettes. But they are the "real thing in smoke-eaters"
when they get to work. They have a long list of heroic deeds on their
records. The monument in Colon Cemetery commemorates one of those deeds.
In an extensive and dangerous fire, in May, 1890, thirty of these men
lost their lives. A few years later, this beautiful and costly shaft was
erected, by private subscription, as a tribute to their valor and devotion.
Another shaft, perhaps no less notable, commemorates a deplorable and
unpardonable event. A number of medical students, mere boys, in the
University of Havana, were charged with defacing the tomb of a Spanish
officer who had been killed by a Cuban in a political quarrel. At
its worst, it was a boyish prank, demanding rebuke or even some mild
punishment. Later evidence indicates that while there was a demonstration
there was no defacement of the vault. Forty-two students were arrested as
participants, tried by court-martial, and sentenced to be shot. Eight of
them were shot at La Punta, at the foot of the Prado near the sea-front,
and the remainder sentenced to imprisonment for life. All of these, I
believe, were afterward released. The Students' Monument expresses the
feeling of the Cubans in the matter, a noble memorial. There are numerous
other shafts and memorials that are notable and interesting. A number of
Cuba's leaders, Maximo Gomez, Calixto Garcia, and others, are buried in
this cemetery.

[Illustration: A RESIDENCE IN EL VEDADO]

Further on, to the southeast, are other sections of the new Havana, the
districts of Cerro and Jesus del Monte. El Vedado has largely supplanted
these neighborhoods as the "court end" of the city. Many of the fine old
residences of forty or fifty years ago still remain, but most of them are
now closely surrounded by the more modest homes of a less aristocratic
group. A few gardens remain to suggest what they were in the earlier days.
Still further out, in the west-and-south quarter-circle, are little towns,
villages, and hamlets, typically Cuban, with here and there the more
imposing estate of planter or proprietor. But, far the greater number of
visitors, perhaps with greater reason, find more of charm and interest
in the city itself than in the suburbs or the surrounding country. The
enjoyment of unfamiliar places is altogether personal. There are many who
really see nothing; they come away from a brief visit with only a confusion
of vague recollections of sights and sounds, of brief inspection of
buildings about which they knew nothing, of the big, yellow Palace, of this
church and that, of the Morro and the harbor, of sunny days, and of late
afternoons along the Prado and the Malecon. To me, Havana is losing its
greatest charm through an excess of Americanization, slowly but steadily
taking from the place much of the individuality that made it most
attractive. It will be a long time before that is entirely lost, but
five-story office buildings, automobiles in the afternoon parade, steaks
or ham and eggs at an eight or nine o'clock breakfast, and all kinds of
indescribable hats in place of dainty and graceful _mantillas_, seem to
me a detraction, like bay-windows and porticos added to an old colonial
mansion.



VI

_AROUND THE ISLAND_


A hundred years ago, the Cubans travelled from place to place about the
island, just as our ancestors did in this country, by water and over rough
trails few of which could, with any approach to correctness, be described
as roads. It was not until about a hundred years ago that we, in this
country, began to build anything even remotely resembling a modern highway.
Our towns and cities were on the seaboard or on the banks of rivers
navigable for vessels of size sufficient for their purposes. Commodities
carried to or brought from places not so located were dragged in stoutly
built wagons over routes the best of which was worse than the worst to be
found anywhere today. Because real road-making in Cuba is quite a modern
institution, an enterprise to which, in their phrase, the Spanish
Government did not "dedicate" itself, the Cuban wagons and carts of today
are chiefly those of the older time. They are heavy, cumbrous affairs with
large wheels, a diameter necessitated by the deep ruts through which a
passage was made. A smaller wheel would soon have been "hub-deep" and
hopelessly stuck. So, too, with the carriages of the nabobs. The poorer
people, when they travelled at all, went on foot or on horseback, as our
ancestors did. The nabobs had their _volantes_, still occasionally, but
with increasing rarity, seen in some parts of the island. Forty years ago,
such vehicles, only a little changed from the original type, were common
enough in Havana itself. About that time, or a few years earlier, the
four-wheeler began to supplant them for city use.

There is a technical difference between the original type of _volante_ and
its successor which, though still called a _volante_ was properly called a
_quitrin_. The only real difference was that the top of the _quitrin_ was
collapsible, and could be lowered when desirable, while the top of
the _volante_ was not. I have ridden in these affairs, I cannot say
comfortably, over roads that would have been quite impossible for any other
wheeled vehicle. At the back, and somewhat behind the body were two wheels,
six feet in diameter. From, the axle, two shafts projected for a distance,
if memory serves me, of some twelve or fifteen feet. A little forward of
the axle, the body, not unlike the old-fashioned American chaise, was
suspended on stout leather straps serving as springs. Away off in front, at
the end of the shafts, was a horse on which the driver rode in a heavy and
clumsy saddle. For long-distance travel, or for particularly rough roads,
a second horse was added, alongside the shaft horse, and sometimes a third
animal. The motion was pleasant enough over the occasional smooth places,
but the usual motion was much like that of a cork in a whirlpool, or of a
small boat in a choppy sea. Little attention was paid to rocks or ruts; it
was almost impossible to capsize the thing. One wheel might be two feet or
more higher than the other, whereupon the rider on the upper side would be
piled on top of the rider or riders on the lower side, but there was always
a fair distribution of this favor. The rocks and ruts were not always on
the same side of the road. The safety from overturn was in the long shafts
which allowed free play. In the older days, say sixty or seventy years
ago, the _volante_ or the _quitrin_ was an outward and visible sign of a
well-lined pocket-book. It indicated the possessor as a man of wealth,
probably a rich planter who needed such a vehicle to carry him and his
family from their mansion in the city to their perhaps quite as costly home
on the plantation. The _calisero_, or driver, was dressed in a costume
truly gorgeous, the horses were of the best, and the vehicle itself
may have cost two thousand dollars or more. The operation of such a
contrivance, extending, from the rear of the wheels to the horse's nose,
for twenty feet or more, in the narrow streets of the old city, was a
scientific problem, particularly in turning corners.

Cuba was early in the field with a railway. In 1830, the United States
had only thirty-two miles of line, the beginning of its present enormous
system. Cuba's first railway was opened to traffic in November, 1837. It
was a forty-five mile line connecting Havana with the town of Guines,
southeast of the city. While official permission was, of course, necessary
before the work could be undertaken, it was in fact a Cuban enterprise, due
to the activity of the _Junta de Fomento_, or Society for Improvement. It
was built with capital obtained in London, the construction being in charge
of Mr. Alfred Cruger, an American engineer. Ten years later there were
nearly three hundred miles of line. At the beginning of the American
occupation, in 1899, there were about nine-hundred and fifty miles. There
are now more than 2,000 miles of public service line in operation, and in
addition there are many hundreds of miles of private lines on the sugar
estates. Several cities have trolley lines. For some years after the
American occupation, as before that experience, there was only a
water-and-rail connection, or an all-water route, between the eastern and
western sections of the island. The usual route from Havana to Santiago
was by rail to Batabano or to Cienfuegos, and thence by steamer. The
alternative was an all-water route, consuming several days, by steamer
along the north coast, with halts at different ports, and around the
eastern end of the island to the destination. It is now an all-rail run of
twenty-four hours. The project for a "spinal railway" from one end of
the island to the other had been under consideration for many years. The
configuration lent itself excellently to such a system, and not at all
well to any other. A railway map of such a system shows a line, generally,
through the middle of the island along its length, with numerous branch
lines running north and south to the various cities and ports on the coast.
The plan, broadly, is being carried out. A combination of existing lines
afforded a route to the city of Santa Clara. From these eastward, the Cuba
Company, commonly known as the Van Home road, completed a through line in
1902. In its beginning, it was a highly ambitious scheme, involving the
building of many towns along the way, the erection of many sugar mills, and
the creation of a commercial city, at Nipe Bay, that would leave Havana in
the back-number class. All that called for a sum of money not then and not
now available. But the "spinal railroad" was built, and from it a number of
radiating lines have been built, to Sancti Spiritus, Manzanillo, Nipe
Bay, and to Guantanamo. About the only places on the island, really worth
seeing, with the exception of Trinidad and Baracoa, can now be reached by a
fairly comfortable railway journey.

[Illustration: THE VOLANTE _Now quite rare_]

In most of the larger cities of the island, a half dozen or so of them, the
traveller is made fairly comfortable and is almost invariably well fed. But
any question of physical comfort in hotels, more particularly in country
hotels, raises a question of standards. As Touchstone remarked, when in the
forest of Arden, "Travellers must be content." Those who are not ready to
make themselves so, no matter what the surroundings, should stay at home,
which, Touchstone also remarked, "is a better place." If the standard is
the ostentatious structure of the larger cities of this country, with its
elaborate menu and its systematized service, there will doubtless be cause
for complaint. So will there be if the standard is the quiet, cleanly inn
of many towns in this country and in parts of Europe. The larger towns and
villages of the island have a _posada_ in which food and lodging may be
obtained; the smaller places may or may not have "a place to stay." Cuba
is not a land in which commercial travellers swarm everywhere, demanding
comfort and willing to pay a reasonable price for it. However, few
travellers and fewer tourists have any inclination to depart from known
and beaten paths, or any reason for doing so. Nor does a fairly thorough
inspection of the island necessitate any halting in out-of-the-way places
where there is not even an imitation of an inn. All that one needs to see,
and all that most care to see, can be seen in little tours, for a day, from
the larger cities. Yet if one wants to wander a little in the by-paths, it
is easy enough to do so.

What one sees or does in Cuba will depend mainly upon the purpose of the
visit, and upon the violence of the individual mania for seeing as many
places as possible. If the object is merely an excursion or an escape from
the rigors of a northern winter, there is no occasion for wandering out of
sight of the capital city. There is more to see and more to do in Havana
than there is in all the rest of the island. Nor is there much to be seen
elsewhere that cannot be seen in the immediate vicinity of that city. This,
of course, does not cover the matter of scenery. There are no mountains,
no forest jungles in that neighborhood, but forests in Cuba are not
particularly interesting, and even the mountains of Oriente are no more
beautiful or majestic than are our own summits, our own White Hills of New
Hampshire, the Adirondacks, the Blue Ridge, the Alleghenies, the Rockies,
and the Sierras. The charm of Cuba, and it is extremely charming, is not
its special "points of interest." It is rather a general impression, a
combination of soft and genial climate with varying lights and shades and
colors. Even after much experience there, I am not yet quite ready either
to admit or to deny that the island, taken as a whole, is either beautiful
or picturesque, and yet there is much of both. Attention is rarely
challenged by the sublime or the majestic, but is often arrested by
some play of light and shade. Cuban villages, with few exceptions, are
unattractive, although there is not infrequently some particular building,
usually a church, that calls for a second look or a careful examination.
Most of these little communities consist of a row of low and ungraceful
structures bordering the highway. They are usually extended by building on
at the ends. If the town street gets undesirably long, a second street or a
third will be made, on one or both sides of the main street, and thus the
town acquires breadth as well as length. The houses are built immediately
upon the roadside, and sidewalks are quite unusual. Nor, until the place
becomes a large town or a small city, is there, in most cases, any attempt
at decoration by means of shade trees. A tree may be left if there happened
to be one when the village was born, but rarely do the inhabitants turn
their streets into tree-shaded avenues. There would be an excellent
opportunity for the activities of Village Improvement Societies in Cuba, if
it were not for the fact that such tree-planting would involve pushing all
the houses ten or fifteen feet back from the roadside.

I have never studied the system of town building in the island, yet it is
presumable that there was some such system. In the larger places, there is
usually a central park around which are arranged the church, the public
buildings, and the stores. Whether these were so constructed from an
original plan, or whether they are an evolution, along a general plan, from
the long, single street, I do not know. I am inclined to believe that the
former was the case, and that it followed the location of a church. The
custom is, of course, of Spanish origin, and is common throughout the
greater part of Latin America. It finds a fair parallel in our own country
custom, by no means infrequent, of an open "green" or common in front
of the village church and the town hall. Tree-setting along the Cuban
highways, more particularly in the neighborhood of the cities, is not at
all unusual, and some of these shaded roads are exceedingly charming. Some
are entirely over-arched by laurel trees and the gorgeous _flamboyan_,
making long tunnels of shade "through whose broken roof the sky looks in."
Evidently the Spanish authorities were too much interested in making money
and enjoying themselves in the cities to care very much for what happened
to the Cubans in the villages, as long as they paid the money that filled
the official pocket and paid for the official entertainment, and the Cubans
were too busy getting that money to have much time for village improvement.
The Spaniards, following their home custom, might decorate a military
highway to some extent, but the rough trail over which the peasant carried
his little crop did not concern them. That was quite the business of the
peasant who had neither the time nor money to do anything about it.

The question of good roads in Cuba is very much what it is in this country.
Cuba needs more good roads than its people can afford to build; so does the
United States. At the time of the American occupation, in 1899, there were
only 160 miles of improved highway in the entire island. Of this, 85 miles
were in Havana Province, and 75 miles in Pinar del Rio. The remainder of
the island had none. Some work was done during the First Intervention
and more was done under the Palma government. At the time of the Second
Intervention, there were about 380 miles. That is, the United States and
the Cuban Republic built, in six years, nearly 40 per cent, more highway
than the Spanish authorities built in four hundred years. During the Palma
regime, plans were drawn for an extensive road system, to be carried out
as rapidly as the financial resources permitted. Not unlike similar
proceedings in this country, in river and harbor work and public
buildings, politics came into the matter and, like our own under similar
circumstances, each Congressman insisted that some of such work as could
immediately be undertaken, some of the money that could be immediately
spent, should benefit his particular district. The result was that what was
done by the Cubans was somewhat scattered, short stretches built here and
there, new bridges built when there might or might not be a usable road to
them. The Cuban plan involved, for its completion, a period of years and
a large appropriation. It called for comparatively small yearly
appropriations for many roads, for more than four hundred different
projects. Then came the Second Intervention, in 1906, with what has seemed
to many of us an utterly unwise and unwarranted expenditure for the
completion of certain selected projects included in the Cuban plan. It may
be granted that the roads were needed, some of them very much needed, but
there are thousands of miles of unconstructed but much needed roads in
the United States. Yet, in this country, Federal, State, county, and town
treasuries are not drained to their last dollar, and their credit strained,
to build those roads. From the drain on its financial resources, the island
will recover, but the misfortune appears in the setting of a standard for
Federal expenditure, in its total for all purposes amounting to about
$40,000,000 a year, far beyond the reasonable or proper bearing power of
the island. But the work was done, the money spent, and the Cubans were
committed to more work and to further expenditure. I find no data showing
with exactness the mileage completed by the Magoon government, which came
to an end in January, 1909, but a Cuban official report made at the end of
1910 shows that the combined activities of the respective administrations,
Spanish, American, and Cuban, had given the island, at that time,
practically a thousand miles of improved highway, distributed throughout
the island.

To see the real Cuba, one must get into the country. Havana is the
principal city, and for many it is the most interesting place on the
island, but it is no more Cuba than Paris is France or than New York is the
United States. The real Cuba is rural; the real Cuban is a countryman, a
man of the soil. If he is rich, he desires to measure his possessions in
_caballerias_ of 33-1/3 acres; if poor, in _hectareas_ of 2-1/2 acres. I do
not recall any Cuban cartoon representing the Cuban people that was not a
picture of the peasant, the _guajiro_. Cuba, as a political organism, is
shown as a quite charming _senorita_, but _el pueblo Cubano_, the Cuban
people, are shown as the man of the fields. With the present equipment
of railroads, trolley lines, automobile busses, and highways, little
excursions are easily made in a day. The railways, trolleys, and automobile
busses are unsatisfactory means of locomotion for sight-seeing. The
passenger is rushed past the very sights that would be of the greatest
interest. To most of us, a private hired automobile is open to the very
serious objection of its expensiveness, an item that may sometimes be
reduced by division. It has been my good fortune in more recent years to be
whirled around in cars belonging to friends but my favorite trip in earlier
days is, I presume, still open to those who may care to make it. I have
recommended it to many, and have taken a number with me over the route.

It is an easy one-day excursion of about sixty miles, by rail to Guanajay,
by carriage to Marianao, and return to Havana by rail. Morning trains
run to Guanajay, through a region generally attractive and certainly
interesting to the novice, by way of Rincon and San Antonio de los Banos, a
somewhat roundabout route, but giving a very good idea of the country, its
plantations, villages, and peasant homes. At Guanajay, an early lunch, or a
late breakfast, may be obtained at the hotel, before or after an inspection
of the town itself, a typical place with its little central park, its old
church, and typical residences. Inquiry regarding the transportation to
Marianao by carriage should not be too direct. It should be treated as a
mere possibility depending upon a reasonable charge. I have sometimes spent
a very pleasant hour in intermittent bargaining with the competitors for
the job, although knowing very well what I would pay and what they would
finally accept. Amiably conducted, as such discussions should be in
Cuba, the chaffering becomes a matter of mutual entertainment. A bargain
concluded, a start may be made about noon for a drive over a good road,
through a series of typical villages, to Marianao, in time for a late
afternoon train to Havana, reaching there in ample time for dinner. Along
the road from Guanajay to Marianao, Maceo swept with ruthless hand in
1896, destroying Spanish property. Here the Spaniards, no less ruthless,
destroyed the property of Cubans. It is now a region of peaceful industry,
and little or nothing remains to indicate its condition when I first saw
it. The little villages along the way were in ruins, the fields were
uncultivated, and there were no cattle. At intervals there stood the walls
of what had been beautiful country estates. Only one of many was left
standing. At intervals, also, stood the Spanish blockhouses. All along that
route, in 1906, were the insurrectos of the unfortunate experience of that
year. In the village of Caimito, a short distance from Guanajay, along that
road, I visited Pino Guerra at his then headquarters when he and his
forces so menaced Havana that Secretary Taft, in his capacity of Peace
Commissioner, ordered their withdrawal to a greater distance. The trip by
rail and road, exhibits most of Cuba's special characteristics. There are
fields of sugar cane and fields of tobacco, country villages and peasant
homes, fruits and vegetables, ceiba trees, royal palms, cocoanut palms, and
mango trees. There is no other trip, as easily made, where so much can be
seen. But there are other excursions in the vicinity, for many reasons best
made by carriage or by private hired automobile. Within fifteen miles or so
of the city, are places like Calvario, Bejucal, and Managua, all reached
by good highways through interesting and typical country, and all well
illustrating the real life of the real Cubans. It was in the vicinity of
those places that Maximo Gomez operated in 1895 and 1896, terrorizing
Havana by menacing it from the south and the east while Maceo threatened it
from the west. Another short and pleasant trip can be made around the head
of the harbor to Guanabacoa, and thence to Cojimar. Another interesting and
easily reached point is Guines, a good example of places of its size and
class.

Of Cuba's larger cities, there are a score that would demand attention in a
guide-book. Just as there is a certain similarity in most American cities,
in that they are collections of business and residence buildings of
generally similar architecture, so is there a certain sameness in most of
Cuba's cities. To see two or three of them is to get a general idea of all,
although each has its particular features, some particular building, or
some special charm of surroundings. The most difficult of access are
Baracoa, the oldest city of the island, and Trinidad, founded only a few
years later. Glancing at some of these places, in their order from west
to east, the first is Pinar del Rio, a comparatively modern city, dating
really from the second half of the 18th Century. It owes its past and its
present importance to its location as a centre of the tobacco region of the
_Vuelta Abajo_. From comfortable headquarters here, excursions can be made,
by rail or road, through what is perhaps the most attractive, and not
the least interesting section of the island. To the north are the Organ
Mountains and the picturesque town of Vinales, one of the most charming
spots, in point of scenery, in Cuba. To the west, by rail, is Guane, the
oldest settlement in western Cuba, and all around are beautiful hills and
cultivated valleys. Eastward from Havana, the first city of importance is
Matanzas. Here is much to interest and much to charm, the city itself, its
harbor, its two rivers, the famous valley of the Yumuri, and the caves of
Bellamar. The city, founded in 1693, lies along the shore of the bay and
rises to the higher ground of the hills behind it. It lies about sixty
miles from Havana, and is easily reached by rail or by automobile. The
next city in order, also on the north coast, is Cardenas, a modern place,
settled in 1828, and owing its importance to its convenience as a shipping
port for the numerous sugar estates in its vicinity, an importance now
somewhat modified by the facilities for rail shipment to other harbors.
Seventy-five miles or so further eastward is Sagua la Grande, another point
of former convenience as a shipping point for sugar. The city itself is
located on a river, or estuary, some ten or twelve miles from its mouth.
Forty miles or so further on are Remedies and Caibarien, a few miles apart,
the latter on the coast and the former a few miles inland. Caibarien, like
Cardenas and Sagua, is chiefly notable as a sugar port, while Remedios is
the centre of one of the great tobacco districts, producing a leaf of good
quality but generally inferior to the _Partidos_ of Havana Province, and
quite inferior to the famous _Vuelta Abajo_. Southward of this region, and
about midway the width of the island, somewhat more than two hundred miles
eastward of Havana, is the city of Santa Clara, better known in the island
as Villa Clara. The city dates its existence from 1689. It lies surrounded
by rolling hills and expansive valleys, but in the absence of extensive
plantations in its immediate environs, one is led to wonder just why so
pleasant a place should be there, and why it should have reached its
present proportions. For the tourist who wants to "see it all," it is an
excellent and most comfortable central headquarters.

[Illustration: A VILLAGE STREET _Calvario, Havana Province_]

From Villa Clara it is only a short run to Cienfuegos, the "city of a
hundred fires," a modern place, only about a hundred years old. There is
every probability that Columbus entered the harbor in 1494, and perhaps
no less probability that Ocampo entered in 1508, on his voyage around the
island. The harbor extends inland for several miles, with an irregular
shore line, behind which rises a border line of hills. The city itself
is some four or five miles from the entrance to the harbor. It came into
existence, and still exists, chiefly by reason of the sugar business. It
is an important outlet for that industry, and many estates are in its near
vicinity. The old city of Trinidad is reached, by boat, from Cienfuegos, or
rather its port city, Casilda, is so reached. Presumably, it was the port
city that Velasquez founded in 1514, a location a few miles inland
being chosen later, as being less exposed to attacks by the pirates and
freebooters who infested the Caribbean Sea for many years. It is said that
Cortes landed here and recruited his forces on his way to Mexico, in 1518.
The city itself stands on the lower slopes of the hills that form its
highly effective background. Its streets are narrow and tortuous. Like most
of the cities of the island, and most of the cities of the world, it has
its humble homes of the poor, and its mansions of the rich. Immediately
behind it stands a hill with an elevation of about nine hundred feet above
sea-level. Its name indicates the reason for its application, _La Vigia_,
the "lookout," or the "watch-tower." From its summit, we may assume that
the people of earlier times scanned the horizon for any sign of approaching
pirates by whom they might be attacked. It serves a more satisfactory
purpose nowadays in that it affords one of the loveliest panoramic views to
be found anywhere in Cuba. Not far away, and accessible from the city, is
the Pico de Potrerillo, about 3,000 feet elevation, the highest point in
Central Cuba. Northeast of Trinidad, and reached by rail from Villa Clara,
is Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad's rival in antiquity, both having been
founded, by Velasquez, in the same year. Here also are narrow, crooked
streets in a city of no mean attractions, although it lacks the picturesque
charm of its rival in age. It is an inland city, about twenty-five miles
from the coast, but even that did not protect it from attack by the
pirates. It was several times the victim of their depredations.



VII

_AROUND THE ISLAND: Continued_


The next city, eastward, is Camaguey, in many ways doubtless the best
worth a visit, next to Havana, of any city on the island. It is a place
of interesting history and, for me personally, a place of somewhat mixed
recollections. The history may wait until I have told my story. I think
it must have been on my third visit to the island, early in 1902. On my
arrival in Havana, I met my friend Charles M. Pepper, a fellow laborer in
the newspaper field. He at once informed me that he and I were to start the
next morning for a three or four weeks' journey around the island. It was
news to me, and the fact that my baggage, excepting the suitcase that I
carried, had failed to come on the boat that brought me, led me to demur.
My objections were overruled on the ground that we could carry little
baggage anyway, and all that was needed could be bought before starting, or
along the way. The next morning saw us on the early train for Matanzas. We
spent a week or ten days in that city, in Cardenas, Sagua, Santa Clara, and
Cienfuegos, renewing former acquaintance and noting the changes effected by
the restoration from the war period. That was before the completion of the
Cuba Railway. To get to Camaguey, then known as Puerto Principe, we took
the steamer at Cienfuegos and journeyed along the coast to Jucaro. There,
because of shallow water, we were dropped into a shore boat some four or
five miles from the coast, and there our troubles began. Fortunately, it
was early morning. We got something to eat and some coffee, which is almost
invariably good in Cuba, but when we meet nowadays we have a laugh over
that breakfast at Jucaro. I don't know, and really don't care, what the
place is now. After some hours of waiting, we secured passage in an
antiquated little car attached to a freight train carrying supplies and
structural material to Ciego de Avila, for use by the railway then being
built in both directions, eastward and westward from that point. The line
that there crosses the island from north to south was built in the time
of the Ten Years' War (1868-1878) as a barrier against the revolutionists
operating in eastern Cuba. It was restored for use in the revolution of
1895, but its blockhouses at every kilometre, and its barbed wire tangles,
were entirely ineffective against Gomez and Maceo and other leaders, all of
whom crossed it at their own sweet will, although not without an occasional
vicious little contest. We reached Ciego de Avila soon after noon, and had
to wait there over night for a further advance. The place is now a thriving
little city, but it was then a somewhat sprawling village with a building
that was called a hotel. But we got food and drink and beds, all that is
really necessary for experienced campaigners. For the next two days, Old
Man Trouble made himself our personal companion and did not lose sight of
us for a single minute.

Through personal acquaintance with the railway officials, we obtained
permission to travel over the line, on any and all trains, as far as it was
then built, some forty miles or so toward Camaguey. Through them, also, we
arranged for saddle horses to meet us at railhead for the remainder of the
journey. There were no trains except construction trains carrying rails,
ties, lumber, and other materials. We boarded the first one out in the
morning. We had our choice of riding on any of those commodities that we
might select. There was not even a caboose. We chose a car of lumber as the
most promising. For four or five hours we crawled through that country,
roasting and broiling on that pile of planks, but the ties and the rails
were even hotter. The only way we could keep a place cool enough to sit on
was by sitting on it. I once occupied a stateroom next to the steamer's
funnel. I have seen, day after day, the pitch bubble between the planks of
a steamer's deck in the Indian Ocean. I have been in other places that I
thought plenty hot enough, but never have I been so thoroughly cooked as
were my companion and I perched on the lumber pile. On top of that, or
rather on top of us, there poured a constant rain of cinders from the
locomotive puffing away a few cars ahead of us. The road-bed was rough, and
at times we had to hang on for our very lives. We can laugh about it now,
but, at the time, it was no joke. At last we reached the end of the line,
somewhere in a hot Cuban forest, but there were no horses. We watched the
operation of railway building, and took turns in anathematizing, in every
language of which we had any knowledge, the abandoned ruffian who failed to
appear with those horses. Before night, we were almost ready to wish that
he had died on the way. At last he came. Our baggage was loaded on a
pack-horse; we mounted and rode gallantly on our way. We had about thirty
miles to cover by that or some other means of locomotion. Before we had
gone a mile, we developed a clear understanding of the reasons for the sale
of those horses by the Government of the United States, but why the United
States Army ever bought them for cavalry mounts we could not even imagine.
There was no road. Most of the way we followed the partly constructed
road-bed for the new railway, making frequent detours, through field or
jungle, to get around gaps or places of impossible roughness. Before we had
covered two miles, we began to wish that the man who sent those horses, a
Spaniard, by the way, might be doomed to ride them through all eternity
under the saddles with which they were equipped. We were sorry enough for
the poor brutes, but sorrier still for ourselves. For several days, I
limped in misery from a long row of savage blisters raised on my leg
by rawhide knots with which my saddle had been repaired. An hour after
starting, we were overtaken by a heavy thunder-shower. At nightfall, after
having covered about fifteen wretched miles, we reached a construction camp
where an American nobleman, disguised as a section-boss, gave us food and
lodging in the little palm-leaf shack that served as his temporary home. It
was barely big enough for one, but he made it do for three.

[Illustration: STREET AND CHURCH _Camaguey_]

Early in the morning, we resumed our journey, plodding along as best we
could over a half-graded "right-of-way." A couple of hours brought us to
a larger construction camp where we halted for such relief as we could
secure. We then were some twelve or fourteen miles from our destination. We
discussed the wisdom of making the rest of the way on foot, as preferable
to that particular kind of saddle-work, leaving our baggage to come along
with the horses when it might. But fortune smiled, or it may have been just
a grimace. Word came that a team, two horses and a wagon, would go to the
city that afternoon, and there would be room for us. We told our pilot,
the man with the horses, just what we thought of him and all his miserable
ancestors, gave him a couple of _pesos_, and rejoiced over our prospects of
better fortune. But it proved to be only an escape from the fire into
the frying-pan. I have driven over many miles of South African _veldt_,
straight "across lots," in all comfort, but while the general topography of
Camaguey puts it somewhat into the _veldt_ class, its immediate surface
did not in the least remind me of the South African plateau. The trip was
little short of wonderful for its bumpiness. We got to Camaguey sore and
bruised but, as far as we could discover, physically intact, and, having
arrived, may now return to its history and description. May no "gentle
reader" who scans these pages repeat our experience in getting there. It
is supposed that here, or immediately here-about, was the place of "fifty
houses and a thousand people" encountered by the messengers of Columbus,
when he sent them inland to deliver official letters of introduction to the
gorgeous ruler of the country in which he thought he was. Different writers
tell different stories about the settlement of the place, but there is no
doubt that it was among the earliest to be settled. Columbus gave to a
harbor in that vicinity, in all probability the Bay of Nuevitas, the name
Puerto del Principe, or Port of the Prince. He called the islands of the
neighborhood the Gardens of the King. On that bay, about 1514, Diego
Velasquez founded a city, probably the present Nuevitas, which he is said
to have called Santa Maria. Somewhere from two to ten years later, an
inland settlement was made. This developed into the city that was afterward
given the name of Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe, now very properly
changed to the old Indian name of Camaguey.

If the idea of an inland location was, as it is said to have been,
protection against pirates and buccaneers, it was not altogether a
success. The distinguished pirate, Mr. Henry Morgan, raided the place very
effectively in 1668, securing much loot. In his book, published in 1871,
Mr. Hazard says: "Puerto Principe (the present Camaguey) is, probably, the
oldest, quaintest town on the island,--in fact, it may be said to be a
finished town, as the world has gone on so fast that the place seems a
million years old, and from its style of dress, a visitor might think he
was put back almost to the days of Columbus." There have been changes
since that time, but the old charm is still there, the narrow and crooked
streets, forming almost a labyrinth, the old buildings, and much else that
I earnestly hope may never be changed. There is now an up-to-date hotel,
connected with the railway company, but if I were to go there again and the
old hotel was habitable, I know I should go where I first stayed, and where
we occupied a huge barrack-like room charged on our bill as "_habitaciones
preferentes_," the state chamber. It had a dirty tiled floor, and was the
home of many fleas, but there was something about it that I liked. I do not
mean to say that all of Camaguey, "the city of the plain," is lovely, or
picturesque or even interesting. No more is all of Paris, or Budapest,
or Amsterdam, or Washington. They are only so in some of their component
parts, but it is those parts that remain in the memory. The country around
the city is a vast plain, for many years, and still, a grazing country, a
land of horses and cattle. The charm is in the city itself. If I could see
only one place outside of Havana, I would see Camaguey. A little less than
fifty miles to the north is Nuevitas, reached by one of the first railways
built in Cuba, now if ever little more than the port city for its larger
neighbor. Columbus became somewhat ecstatic over the region. Perhaps it was
then more charming, or the season more favorable, than when I saw it. I
do not recall any feeling of special enthusiasm about its scenic charms.
Perhaps I should have discovered them had I stayed longer. Perhaps I should
have been more impressed had it not been for the impressions of Camaguey. I
saw Nuevitas only briefly on my way eastward on that memorable excursion by
construction train and saddle. The only route then available was by boat
along the north shore, and it was there that we caught the steamer for
Santiago.

That sail along the coast would have afforded greater pleasure had it
lacked the noisy presence of an itinerant opera company whose members
persisted, day and night, in exercising their lungs to the accompaniment of
an alleged piano in the cabin. I have a far more pleasant recollection, or
rather a memory because it stays with me, of music in those waters. The
transport on which I went to Porto Rico, in the summer of 1898, carried,
among other troops, a battery of light artillery. It had an unusually good
bugler, and his sounding of "taps" on those soft, starlit nights remains
with me as one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard. The shrieks,
squalls, and roars of those opera people were in a wholly different class.
About seventy-five miles east of Nuevitas is Gibara, merely a shipping port
for the inland city of Holguin. The former is only one of a number of such
places found along the coast. Most of them are attractive in point of
surrounding scenery, but little or not at all attractive in themselves,
being mere groups of uninteresting structures of the conventional type.
Holguin is perhaps two hundred years old, quite pleasantly situated, but
affording no special points of interest for the tourist. The city is now
easily reached by a branch of the Cuba Railway. It is worth the visit of
those who "want to see it all." Beyond Gibara is Nipe Bay, not improbably
the first Cuban harbor entered by Columbus. Nipe Bay and its near neighbor,
Banes Bay, are the centres of what is now the greatest industrial activity
of any part of the island. Here, recent American investment is measured in
scores of millions of dollars. Here, in the immediate neighborhood, are
some of the largest sugar plantations and mills on the island, the Boston
and the Preston. A little to the west of Gibara are two others, Chaparra
and Delicias. Hitherto, the western half of the island has been, the great
producing district, but present indications point to a not distant time
when the eastern district will rival and, it may be, outstrip the section
of older development. The foundation is already laid for an extensive
enterprise. Nature has afforded one of the finest land-locked harbors in
the world at Nipe, and another, though smaller, a few miles away, at Banes.
The region now has railroad connection with practically all parts of the
island. Around those bays are sugar lands, tobacco lands, fruit lands, and
a few miles inland are the vast iron ore beds that, as they are developed,
will afford employment for an army of workmen. Nipe Bay is the natural
commercial outlet for a vast area of richly productive soil. At present,
the region affords nothing of special interest except its industrial
activities, its miles and miles of sugar cane, its huge mills, and the
villages built to house its thousands of workmen.

Seventy-five miles or so eastward of Nipe, lies one of the most charming
and interesting spots on the island. This is old Baracoa, the oldest
settlement on the island, now to be reached only by water or by the
roughest of journeys over mountain trails. The town itself does not amount
to much, but the bay is a gem, a little, circular basin, forest-shaded to
its border, its waters clear as crystal. Behind it rise the forest-clad
hills, step on step, culminating in _el Yunque_, "the anvil," with an
elevation of about eighteen hundred feet. Baracoa is supposed to be the
place about which Columbus wrote one of his most glowing and extravagant
eulogies. Whether it is really worth the time and the discomfort of a
special trip to see it, is perhaps somewhat doubtful. It is a place of
scenery and sentiment, and little else. There is an old fort on a hilltop,
not particularly picturesque, and an old church in which is a cross quite
doubtfully reported as having been furnished by Columbus. Sometime, years
hence, there will be easier communication, and the fertile hillsides and
still more fertile valleys will supply various produces for consumption in
the United States. About twenty-five miles east of Baracoa is the end of
the island, Cape Maisi. Swinging around that, the coasting steamers turn
due west along the shore to Santiago, passing the harbor of Guantanamo,
with its United States naval station. That place is reached by rail from
Santiago, a highly picturesque route through the Guantanamo valley. Besides
the naval station, the place is a shipping port, affording nothing of
special interest to the traveller who has seen other and more easily
accessible cities of its type. It always seems to me that Santiago, or more
properly Santiago de Cuba, would be more engaging if we could forget the
more recent history of this city, known to most Cubans as Cuba (pronounced
Cooba). No doubt, it is a much better place in which to live than it was
twenty years ago, and much of its old charm remains. Its setting cannot
be changed. It is itself a hillside town, surrounded by hills, with real
mountains on its horizon. The old cathedral, a dominant structure, has
been quite a little patched up in recent years, and shows the patches. The
houses, big and little, are still painted in nearly all the shades of the
spectrum. But there is a seeming change, doubtless psychological rather
than physical. One sees, in imagination, Cervera's squadron "bottled up" in
the beautiful harbor, while Sampson's ships lie outside waiting for it to
come out. It is difficult to forget San Juan Hill and El Caney, a few
miles behind the city, and remember only its older stories. A good deal of
history has been made here in the last four hundred years. Its pages
show such names as Velasquez, Grijalva, Hernan Cortes, and Narvaez, and
centuries later, Cespedes, Marti, and Palma. Here was enacted the grim
tragedy of the _Virginius_, and here was the conflict that terminated
Spain's once vast dominion in the western world. My own impression is
that most of its history has already been written, that it will have no
important future. As a port of shipment, I think it must yield to the new
port, Nipe Bay, on the north coast. It is merely a bit of commercial logic,
the question of a sixty-mile rail-haul as compared with a voyage around the
end of the island. Santiago will not be wiped from the map, but I doubt its
long continuance as the leading commercial centre of eastern Cuba. It is
also a fairly safe prediction that the same laws of commercial logic will
some day operate to drain northward the products of the fertile valley of
the Cauto, and the region behind old Manzanillo and around the still older
Bayamo.

[Illustration: COBRE _Oriente Province_]

Except the places earlier mentioned, Jucaro, Trinidad and Cienfuegos, there
are no southern ports to the west until Batabano is reached, immediately
south of, and only a few miles from, the city of Havana. It is a shallow
harbor, of no commercial importance. It serves mainly as the centre of a
sponge-fishing industry, and as a point of departure for the Isle of Pines,
and for ports on the south coast. The Isle of Pines is of interest for a
number of reasons, among which are its history, its mineral springs, its
delightful climate, and an American colony that has made much trouble
in Washington. Columbus landed there in 1494, and gave it the name _La
Evangelista_. It lies about sixty miles off the coast, almost due south
from Havana. Between the island and the mainland lies a labyrinth of islets
and keys, many of them verdure-clad. Its area is officially given as 1,180
square miles. There seems no doubt that, at some earlier time, it formed a
part of the main island, with which it compares in geologic structure and
configuration. It is now, in effect, two islands connected by a marsh; the
northern part being broken and hilly, and the southern part low, flat, and
sandy, probably a comparatively recently reclaimed coralline plain. The
island has been, at various times, the headquarters of bands of pirates, a
military hospital, a penal institution, and a source of political trouble.
It is now a Cuban island the larger part of which is owned by Americans. It
is a part of the province of Havana, and will probably so remain as long as
Cuba is Cuba. My personal investigations of the disputed question of the
political ownership of the island began early in 1899. I then reached a
conclusion from which I have not since seen any reason to depart. The
island was then, had always been, and is now, as much a part of Cuba as
Long Island and Key West have been and are parts of the United States.

Just who it was that first raised the question of ownership, none of us who
investigated the matter at the time of its particular acuteness, was
able to determine satisfactorily, although some of us had a well-defined
suspicion. The man is now dead, and I shall not give his name. Article I,
of the Treaty of Paris, of December 10, 1898, presumably disposes of the
Cuban area; Article II refers to Porto Rico; and Article III refers to the
Philippines. The issue regarding the Isle of Pines was raised under
Article II, presumably referring only to Porto Rico. A slight but possibly
important difference appears in the Spanish and the English versions. The
English text reads that "Spain cedes ... the island of Porto Rico and other
islands now under Spanish sovereignty" etc. The Spanish text, literally
translated runs: "Spain cedes ... the island of Porto Rico and the others
that are now under its sovereignty." The obvious reference of the article
is to Mona, Viequez, and Culebra, all small islands in Porto Rican waters.
But the question was raised and was vigorously discussed. An official map
was issued showing the island as American territory. Americans jumped
in, bought up large tracts, and started a lively real estate boom. They
advertised it widely as American territory, and many put their little
collections of dollars into it. The claim of Spanish cession was afterward
denied in the very document that served to keep the issue alive for a
number of years. Article VI of the Platt Amendment, which the Cubans
accepted with marked reluctance, declared that the island was omitted from
the boundaries of Cuba, and that the title and ownership should be left to
future adjustment by treaty. But no alternative appears between cession and
no cession. Had the island become definitely American territory by cession,
its alienation, by such a step, would not have been possible. When we left
Cuba, in 1902, the official instructions from Washington were that the Isle
of Pines would remain under a _de facto_ American government. President
Palma, accepting the transfer, expressed his understanding that it would
"continue _de facto_ under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Cuba." In
some way, the departing American authority failed to leave any agent or
representative of the _de facto_ government of the United States, and the
Cubans included the island in their new administration, very properly. When
the treaty proposed by the Platt Amendment came before the United States
Senate, it hung fire, and finally found lodgment in one of the many
pigeon-holes generously provided for the use of that august body. There it
may probably be found today, a record and nothing more. Why? For the very
simple reason that some of the resident claimants for American ownership
sent up a consignment of cigars made on the island from tobacco grown on
the island, and refused to pay duty on them. The ground of refusal was that
they were a domestic product, sent from one port in the United States to
another port in the same country, and therefore not dutiable. The case of
Pearcy _vs_ Stranahan, the former representing the shippers, and the latter
being the Collector of the Port of New York, came before the Supreme Court
of the United States, and that final authority decided and declared that
the Isle of Pines was Cuban territory and a part of Cuba. The question is
settled, and the Isle of Pines can become territory of the United States
only by purchase, conquest, or some other form of territorial transfer.

While the American settlers in the Isle of Pines, and the several
real-estate companies who seek purchasers for their holdings, own a large
part of the territory, they still constitute a minority of the population.
Many of the settlers, probably most of them, are industrious and persistent
in their various productive activities. Their specialty is citrus fruits,
but their products are not limited to that line. More than a few have tried
their little experiment in pioneering, and have returned to their home land
more or less disgusted with their experience. Those who have remained,
and have worked faithfully and intelligently, have probably done a little
better than they would have done at home. The great wealth for which all,
doubtless, earnestly hoped, and in which many, doubtless, really believed,
has not come. This settlement is only one of many speculative exploitations
in Cuba. Some of these have been fairly honest, but many of them have been
little better than rank swindles. Many have been entirely abandoned, the
buyers losing the hard-earned dollars they had invested. Others, better
located, have been developed, by patience, persistence, and thrift, into
fairly prosperous colonies. I do not know how many victims have been
caught by unscrupulous and ignorant promoters in the last fifteen years,
principally in the United States and in Canada, but they are certainly
many, so many that the speculative industry has declined in recent years.
Many of the settlers who have remained have learned the game, have
discovered that prosperity in Cuba is purchased by hard work just as it is
elsewhere. In different parts of the island, east, west, and centre, there
are now thrifty and contented colonists who have fought their battle, and
have learned the rules that nature has formulated as the condition of
success in such countries. Whether these people have really done any better
than they would have done had they stayed at home and followed the rules
there laid down, is perhaps another question. At all events, there are
hundreds of very comfortable and happy American homes in Cuba, even in the
Isle of Pines, where they persist in growling because it is Cuba and not
the United States.

In a review of a country including forty-four thousand square miles of
territory, condensed into two chapters, it is quite impossible to include
all that is worth telling. Moreover, there is much in the island of which
no adequate description can be given. There is much that must be seen if it
if to be fairly understood and appreciated.



VIII

_THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA_


IN his message to Congress, on December 5, 1898, President McKinley
declared that "the new Cuba yet to arise from the ashes of the past must
needs be bound to us by ties of singular intimacy and strength if its
enduring welfare is to be assured."

Probably to many of the people of the United States, the story of our
relations with Cuba had its beginning with the Spanish-American war.
That is quite like a notion that the history of an apple begins with its
separation from the tree on which it grew. The general history of the
island is reviewed in other chapters in this volume. The story of our
active relations with Cuba and its affairs runs back for more than a
hundred years, at least to the days of President Thomas Jefferson who,
in 1808, wrote thus to Albert Gallatin: "I shall sincerely lament Cuba's
falling into any other hands but those of its present owners." Several
other references to the island appear at about that time. Two great
movements were then going on. Europe was in the throes of the Napoleonic
disturbance, and for more than twenty-five years both France and England
schemed, sometimes openly and sometimes secretly, for the possession of
Cuba. The other movement was the revolution in Spain's colonies in the
Western Hemisphere, a movement that cost Spain all of its possessions in
that area, with the exception of Cuba and Porto Rico. The influence of the
revolutionary activities naturally extended to Cuba, but it was not until
after 1820 that matters became dangerously critical. From that time until
the present, the question of Cuba's political fate, and the question of our
relations with the island, form an interesting and highly important chapter
in the history of the United States as well as in the history of Cuba.

In his book on the war with Spain, Henry Cabot Lodge makes a statement that
may seem curious to some and amazing to others. It is, however, the opinion
of a competent and thoroughly trained student of history. He writes thus:

"The expulsion of Spain from the Antilles is merely the last and final step
of the inexorable movement in which the United States has been engaged for
nearly a century. By influence and by example, or more directly, by arms
and by the pressure of ever-advancing settlements, the United States drove
Spain from all her continental possessions in the Western Hemisphere, until
nothing was left to the successors of Charles and Philip but Cuba and Porto
Rico. How did it happen that this great movement stopped when it came to
the ocean's edge? The movement against Spain was at once national
and organic, while the pause on the sea-coast was artificial and in
contravention of the laws of political evolution in the Americas. The
conditions in Cuba and Porto Rico did not differ from those which had gone
down in ruin wherever the flag of Spain waved on the mainland. The Cubans
desired freedom, and Bolivar would fain have gone to their aid. Mexico and
Colombia, in 1825, planned to invade the island, and at that time invasion
was sure to be successful. What power stayed the oncoming tide which had
swept over a continent? Not Cuban loyalty, for the expression 'Faithful
Cuba' was a lie from the beginning. The power which prevented the
liberation of Cuba was the United States, and more than seventy years later
this republic has had to fight a war because at the appointed time she set
herself against her own teachings, and brought to a halt the movement she
had herself started to free the New World from the oppression of the Old.
The United States held back Mexico and Colombia and Bolivar, used
her influence at home and abroad to that end, and, in the opinion of
contemporary mankind, succeeded, according to her desires, in keeping Cuba
under the dominion of Spain."

For a number of years, Cuba's destiny was a subject of the gravest concern
in Washington. Four solutions presented themselves; first, the acquisition
of Cuba by the United States; second, its retention by Spain; third,
its transfer to some power other than Spain; fourth, its political
independence. That the issue was decided by the United States is shown by
all the history of the time. While other factors had their influence in the
determination, it is entirely clear that the issue turned on the question
of slavery. In his book on _Cuba and International Relations_, Mr. Callahan
summarizes his review of the official proceedings by saying that "the South
did not want to see Cuba independent _without_ slavery, while the North did
not want to annex it _with_ slavery." In his work on the _Rise and Fall of
the Slave Power in America_, Mr. Henry Wilson declares that "thus clearly
and unequivocally did this Republic step forth the champion of slavery, and
boldly insist that these islands should remain under the hateful despotism
of Spain, rather than gain their independence by means that should inure to
the detriment of its cherished system. Indeed, it (the United States) would
fight to fasten more securely the double bondage on Cuba and the slave."

From this point of view, unquestionably correct, it is altogether evident
that the United States assumed responsibility for Cuba's welfare, not by
the intervention of 1898, but by its acts more than seventy years earlier.
The diplomatic records of those years are filled with communications
regarding the island, and it was again and again the subject of legislation
or proposed legislation. President after President dealt with it in
messages to Congress. The acquisition of the island, by purchase or
otherwise, was again and again discussed. Popular interest was again and
again excited; the Spanish colonial policy was denounced; and the burdens
and sufferings of the Cubans were depicted in many harrowing tales. For the
policy that led to the imposition of a restraining hand on proposals to
free Cuba, in those early days, the people of the United States today must
blush. The independence movement in the States of Spanish-America may be
said to have had its definite beginning in 1806, when Francisco Miranda,
a Venezuelan, sailed from New York with three ships manned by American
filibusters, although the first land battle was fought in Bolivia, in 1809,
and the last was fought in the same country, in 1825. But the great wave
swept from the northern border of Mexico to the southernmost point of
Spanish possession. When these States declared their independence, they
wrote into their Constitutions that all men should be free, that human
slavery should be abolished forever from their soil. The attitude of the
United States in the matter of Cuba was determined by the objection to the
existence of an anti-slavery State so near our border. The experience of
Haiti and Santo Domingo was, of course, clearly in mind, but the objection
went deeper than that. Those who are interested may read with profit the
debates in the Congress of the United States, in 1826, on the subject of
the despatch of delegates to the so-called Panama Congress-of that year. On
the whole, it is not pleasant reading from any present point of view.

Our cherished Monroe Doctrine was one of the fruits of this period, and in
the enunciation of that policy the affairs of Cuba were a prominent if not
the dominant force. The language of this doctrine is said to have been
written by Secretary Adams, but it is embodied in the message of President
Monroe, in December, 1823, and so bears his name. In April, of that year,
Secretary Adams sent a long communication to Mr. Nelson, then the American
Minister to Spain. For their bearing on the Cuban question, and for the
presentation of a view that runs through many years of American policy,
extracts from that letter may be included here.

  DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
  WASHINGTON, April 28, 1823.

"In the war between France and Spain, now commencing, other interests,
peculiarly ours, will, in all probability, be deeply involved. Whatever may
be the issue of this war, as between these two European powers, it may be
taken for granted that the dominion of Spain upon the American continent,
north and south, is irrecoverably gone. But the islands of Cuba and Porto
Rico still remain nominally, and so far really, dependent upon her, that
she possesses the power of transferring her own dominion over them,
together with the possession of them, to others. These islands, from their
local position are natural appendages to the North American continent,
and one of them, Cuba, almost in sight of our shores, from a multitude of
considerations, has become an object of transcendant importance to the
commercial and political interests of our Union. Its commanding position,
with reference to the Gulf of Mexico and the West India seas; the character
of its population; its situation midway between our southern coast and
the island of St. Domingo; its safe and capacious harbor of the Havana,
fronting a long line of our shores destitute of the same advantage; the
nature of its productions and of its wants, furnishing the supplies and
needing the returns of a commerce immensely profitable and mutually
beneficial,--give it an importance in the sum of our national interests
with which that of no other foreign territory can be compared, and little
inferior to that which binds the different members of this Union together.
Such, indeed, are the interests of that island and of this country, the
geographical, commercial, moral, and political relations, that, in looking
forward to the probable course of events, for the short period of half
a century, it is scarcely possible to resist the conviction that the
annexation of Cuba to our federal republic will be indispensable to the
continuance and integrity of the Union itself."

The communication proceeds to relate the knowledge of the Department that
both Great Britain and France were desirous of securing possession and
control of the island, and to disclaim, on the part of the United States,
all disposition to obtain possession of either Cuba or Porto Rico.
The complications of the situation became increasingly serious, more
particularly with regard to Cuba, and on December 2, of that year (1823),
President Monroe issued his message carrying the "doctrine," which may be
given thus:

"In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we
have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so.
It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent
injuries or make preparations for our defense. With the movements in this
hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected. We owe it,
therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the
United States and those powers (of Europe) to declare that we should
consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion
of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing
colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and
shall not interfere. But with the Governments that have declared their
independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have recognized,
we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or
controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any
other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward
the United States."

From this time onward, Cuba appears as an almost continuous object of
special interest to both the people and the officials of the United States.
Notwithstanding this disclaimer of President Monroe's message, the idea
of the acquisition of the island, by the United States, soon arose. It
persisted through all the years down to the time of the Teller amendment,
in 1898, and there are many who even now regard annexation as inevitable at
some future time, more or less distant. The plan appears as a suggestion
in a communication, under date of November 30, 1825, from Alexander
H. Everett, then Minister to Madrid, to President Adams. It crops up
repeatedly in various quarters in later years. It would be a difficult and
tedious undertaking to chase through all the diplomatic records of seventy
years the references to Cuba and its affairs.

From that period until the present time, the affairs of the island have
been a matter of constant interest and frequent anxiety in Washington. Fear
of British acquisition of the island appears to have subsided about 1860,
but there were in the island two groups, both relatively small, one of
them working for independence, and the other for annexation to the
United States. The great majority, however, desired some fair measure of
self-government, and relief from economic and financial burdens, under the
Spanish flag. The purchase of the island by the United States was proposed
by President Polk, in 1848; by President Pierce, in 1854; and by President
Buchanan, in his time. Crises appeared from time to time. Among them was
the incident of the _Black Warrior_, in 1854. Mr. Rhodes thus describes the
affair, in his _History of the United States_:

"_The Black Warrior_ was an American merchant steamer, plying between
Mobile and New York, stopping at Havana for passengers and mail. She had
made thirty-six such voyages, almost always having a cargo for the American
port, and never being permitted to bring freight into Havana. The custom
of her agent was to clear her 'in ballast' the day before her arrival. The
practice, while contrary to the regulations of Cuban ports, had always
been winked at by the authorities. It was well understood that the _Black
Warrior_ generally had a cargo aboard, but a detailed manifest of her load
had never been required. She had always been permitted to sail unmolested
until, when bound from Mobile to New York, she was stopped on the 28th of
February, 1854, by order of the royal exchequer, for having violated
the regulations of the port. The agent, finding that the cause of this
proceeding was the failure to manifest the cargo 'in transit,' offered to
amend the manifest, which under the rules he had a right to do; but this
the collector, on a flimsy pretext, refused to permit. The agent was at the
same time informed that the cargo was confiscated and the captain fined, in
pursuance of the custom-house regulations. The cargo was cotton, valued
at one hundred thousand dollars; and the captain was fined six thousand
dollars. The United States consul applied to the captain-general for
redress, but no satisfaction was obtained. A gang of men with lighters were
sent to the ship under the charge of the _commandante_, who ordered the
captain of the _Black Warrior_ to discharge her cargo. This he refused to
do. The _commandante_ then had the hatches opened, and his men began
to take out the bales of cotton. The captain hauled down his flag and
abandoned the vessel to the Spanish authorities."

The news of the incident created great excitement in Washington. President
Pierce sent a message to Congress, stating that demand had been made on
Spain for indemnity, and suggesting provisional legislation that would
enable him, if negotiations failed, "to insure the observance of our just
rights, to obtain redress for injuries received, and to vindicate the honor
of our flag."

Mr. Soule, then the American Minister to Madrid, was the official through
whom the negotiations were conducted. He was a man of somewhat impetuous
temperament, and an ardent advocate of Cuba's annexation. He quite
overstepped both the bounds of propriety and of his authority in his
submission, under instructions, of a demand for three hundred thousand
dollars indemnity. This, and Spanish diplomatic methods, led to delay, and
the excitement died out. In the meantime, Spain released the vessel and its
cargo, disavowed and disapproved the conduct of the local officials, paid
the indemnity claimed by the owners of the vessel, and the ship resumed its
regular trips, being treated with every courtesy when visiting Havana. But
the incident gave rise to active discussion, and for a time threatened
serious results. It followed on the heels of another experience, the Lopez
expeditions, to which reference is made in another chapter, and came at a
time when Cuba and Cuban affairs were topics of a lively public interest.
The subject of acquisition was under general public discussion and occupied
a large share of public attention. Some wanted war with Spain, and others
proposed the purchase of the island from Spain. But the immediate cause
of complaint having been removed by the release of the ship, Soule was
instructed to take no further steps in the matter, and the excitement
gradually passed away.

Immediately following this experience, and growing out of it, came the
incident of the "Ostend Manifesto." At that time, James Buchanan was
Minister to England. John Y. Mason was Minister to France, and Pierre Soule
was Minister to Spain. Secretary of State Marcy suggested a conference
between these three officials. They met at Ostend, but afterward
transferred their deliberations to Aix la Chapelle. The meeting attracted
general attention in Europe. The result of what they reported as "a full
and unreserved interchange of views and sentiments," was a recommendation
that an earnest effort be made immediately to purchase Cuba. They were of
opinion that the sum of one hundred and twenty million dollars be offered.
The report proceeded thus: "After we shall have offered Spain a price for
Cuba far beyond its present value, and this shall have been refused, it
will then be time to consider the question, does Cuba in the possession
of Spain seriously endanger our internal peace and the existence of our
cherished Union? Should this question be answered in the affirmative, then,
by every law, human and divine, we shall be justified in wresting it from
Spain if we possess the power; and this upon the very same principle that
would justify an individual in tearing down the burning house of his
neighbor if there were no other means of preventing the flame from
destroying his own home." It is evident that Soule dominated the meeting,
and only less evident that he, in some way, cajoled his associates
into signing the report. No action was taken on the matter by the
Administration, and the incident has passed into history somewhat, perhaps,
as one of the curiosities of diplomacy. At all events, all historians note
it, and some give it considerable attention.

The next serious complication arose out of the Ten Years' War, in Cuba,
in 1868, to which reference is made in a chapter on Cuba's revolutions.
Spain's leaders seemed quite incapable of grasping the Cuban situation, of
seeing it in its proper light. It is more than probable that, even then,
the Cubans would have remained loyal if the Spanish authorities had paid
attention to their just and reasonable demands. As stated by Mr. Pepper,
in his _Tomorrow in Cuba_, "The machete and the torch then gained what
peaceful agitation had not been able to achieve." The demands of the
Cubans are thus stated by Señor Cabrera, in his _Cuba and the Cubans_: "A
constitutional system in place of the autocracy of the Captain-General,
freedom of the press, the right of petition, cessation of the exclusion of
Cubans from public office, unrestricted industrial liberty, abolition of
restrictions on the transfer of landed property, the right of assembly and
of association, representation in the Cortes, and local self-government,"
all reasonable and just demands from every point of view of modern
civilization. Spain refused all, and on October 10, 1868, an actual
revolution began, the first in the history of the island to be properly
classed as a revolution. The United States soon became concerned and
involved. In his message to Congress on December 6, 1869, President Grant
said: "For more than a year, a valuable province of Spain, and a near
neighbor of ours, in whom all our people cannot but feel a deep interest,
has been struggling for independence and freedom. The people and the
Government of the United States entertain the same warm feelings and
sympathies for the people of Cuba in their pending struggle that they have
manifested throughout the previous struggles between Spain and her former
colonies (Mexico, Central America and South America) in behalf of the
latter. But the contest has at no time assumed the conditions which amount
to a war in the sense of international law, or which would show the
existence of a _de facto_ political organization of the insurgents
sufficient to justify a recognition of belligerency." On June 13, 1870,
President Grant sent a special message to Congress, in which he reviewed
the Cuban situation. Another reference appears in his message of December
5, 1870. In his message of December 4, 1871, he stated that "it is to be
regretted that the disturbed condition of the island of Cuba continues
to be a source of annoyance and anxiety. The existence of a protracted
struggle in such close proximity to our own territory, without apparent
prospect of an early termination, cannot be other than an object of concern
to a people who, while abstaining from interference in the affairs of other
powers, naturally desire to see every other country in the undisturbed
enjoyment of peace, liberty, and the blessings of free institutions." In
the message of December 2, 1872, he said: "It is with regret that I have
again to announce a continuance of the disturbed condition in the island of
Cuba. The contest has now lasted for more than four years. Were its scene
at a distance from our neighborhood, we might be indifferent to its result,
although humanity could not be unmoved by many of its incidents wherever
they might occur. It is, however, at out door." Reference was made to it in
all following annual messages, until President Hayes, in 1878, announced
its termination, ten years after its beginning. The contest had become
practically a deadlock, and a compromise was arranged by General Maximo
Gomez, for the Cubans, and General Martinez Campos, for Spain.

[Illustration: HOISTING THE CUBAN FLAG OVER THE PALACE, MAY 20, 1902
_Senate building on the right_]

The entanglements that grew out of the experiences of this period are too
long and too complicated for detailed review here. This country had no
desire for war with Spain, but approval of the Spanish policy in Cuba was
impossible. The sympathies of the American people were with the Cubans, as
they had been for fifty years, and as they continued to be until the end of
Spanish occupation in the West Indies. Rumors of all kinds were afloat, and
again and again the situation seemed to have reached a crisis that could be
ended only by war. A particularly aggravating incident appeared in what is
known as the _Virginius_ case. This was described as follows, in President
Grant's message to Congress on December 1, 1873.

"The steamer _Virginius_ was on the 26th day of September, 1870, duly
registered at the port of New York as a part of the commercial marine
of the United States. On the 4th of October, 1870, having received the
certificate of her register in the usual legal form, she sailed from
the port of New York, and has not since been within the territorial
jurisdiction of the United States. On the 31st day of October last (1873),
while sailing under the flag of the United States on the high seas, she was
forcibly seized by the Spanish gunboat _Tornado_, and was carried into the
port of Santiago de Cuba, where fifty-three of her passengers and crew were
inhumanly, and, so far at least as related to those who were citizens of
the United States, without due process of law, put to death."

Only for the timely arrival of the British man-of-war _Niobe_, and the
prompt and decisive action of her commander, there is no doubt that
ninety-three others would have shared the fate of their companions. Some
were Americans and some were British. The excitement in this country was
intense, and war with Spain was widely demanded. Further investigation
revealed the fact that the American registry was dishonest, that the ship
really belonged to or was chartered by Cubans, that it was engaged in
carrying supplies and munitions of war to the insurgents, and that its
right to fly the American flag was more than doubtful. The ship was seized
by the American authorities under a charge of violation of the maritime
laws of the United States, and was ordered to New York, for a trial of the
case. American naval officers were placed in command, but she was in bad
condition, and foundered in a gale near Cape Fear. As far as the vessel
was concerned, the incident was closed. There remained the question of
indemnity for what Caleb Cushing, then the American Minister to Spain, in
his communication to the Spanish authorities, denounced as "a dreadful,
a savage act, the inhuman slaughter in cold blood, of fifty-three human
beings, a large number of them citizens of the United States, shot without
lawful trial, without any valid pretension of authority, and to the horror
of the whole civilized world." England also filed its claim for the loss
of British subjects, and payment was soon after made "for the purpose of
relief of the families or persons of the ship's company and passengers." In
his _Cuba and International Relations_, Mr. Callahan says: "The catalogue
of irritating affairs in relation to Cuba, of which the _Virginius_ was
only the culmination, might have been urged as sufficient to justify a
policy of intervention to stop the stubborn war of extermination which had
been tolerated by peaceful neighbors for five years. Some would have been
ready to advocate intervention as a duty. The relations of Cuba to the
United States, the Spanish commercial restrictions which placed Cuba at
the mercy of Spanish monopolists, and the character of the Spanish rule,
pointed to the conclusion that if Spain should not voluntarily grant
reforms and guarantee pacification of the island, the United States might
be compelled, especially for future security, temporarily to occupy it and
assist in the organization of a liberal government based upon modern views.
Such action might have led to annexation, but not necessarily; it might
have led to a restoration of Spanish possession under restrictions as to
the character of Spanish rule, and as to the size of the Spanish army and
naval force in the vicinity; more likely it would have resulted in the
independence of Cuba under American protection."

These are only some of the more prominent features in fifty years of
American interest in Cuba. Throughout the entire period, the sympathies
of the American people were strongly pro-Cuban. Money and supplies were
contributed from time to time to assist the Cubans in their efforts to
effect a change in their conditions, either through modification of Spanish
laws, or by the road of independence. Only a minority of the Cubans sought
to follow that road at that time. The movement for independence was not
national until it was made so in 1895. What would have happened had we,
at the time of the Ten Years' War, granted to the Cubans the rights of
belligerents, is altogether a matter of speculation. Such a course was then
deemed politically inexpedient.



IX

_CUBA'S REVOLUTIONS_


Only by magnifying protests into revolts, and riots into revolutions, is it
possible to show Cuba as the "land of revolutions" that many have declared
it to be. The truth is that from the settlement of the island in 1512 until
the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, there were only two experiences
that can, by any proper use of the term, be called revolutions. This
statement, of course, disputes a widely accepted notion, but many notions
become widely accepted because of assertions that are not contradicted.
That a strong undercurrent of discontent runs through all Cuba's history
from 1820 to 1895, is true. That there were numerous manifestations of that
discontent, and occasional attempts at revolution, is also true. But none
of these experiences, prior to 1868, reached a stage that would properly
warrant its description as a revolution. The term is very loosely applied
to a wide range of experiences. It is customary to class as revolution all
disorders from riots to rebellions. This is particularly the case where
the disorder occurs in some country other than our own. The _Standard
Dictionary_ defines the essential idea of revolution as "a change in the
form of government, or the constitution, or rulers, otherwise than
as provided by the laws of succession, election, etc." The _Century
Dictionary_ defines such proceedings as "a radical change in social or
governmental conditions; the overthrow of an established political system."
Many exceedingly interesting parallels may be drawn between the experience
of the American colonies prior to their revolution, in 1775, and the
experience of Cuba during the 19th Century. In fact, it may perhaps be
said that there is no experience in Cuba's history that cannot be fairly
paralleled in our own. In his _History of the United States_, Mr. Edward
Channing says: "The governing classes of the old country wished to exploit
the American colonists for their own use and behoof." Change the word
"American" to "Spanish," and the Cuban situation is exactly defined. The
situation in America in the 18th Century was almost identical with the
situation in Cuba in the 19th Century. Both, in those respective periods,
suffered from oppressive and restrictive trade laws and from burdensome
taxation, from subordination of their interests to the interests of the
people of a mother-country three thousand miles away. Unfortunately for the
Cubans, Spain was better able to enforce its exactions than England
was. Cuba's area was limited, its available harbors few in number, its
population small.

Not until the years immediately preceding the revolutions by which the
United States and Cuba secured their independence, was there any general
demand for definite separation from the mother-country. The desire in both
was a fuller measure of economic and commercial opportunity. One striking
parallel may be noted. The Tories, or "loyalists," in this country have
their counterpart in the Cuban _Autonomistas_. Referring to conditions in
1763, Mr. Channing states that "never had the colonists felt a greater
pride in their connection with the British empire." Among the great figures
of the pre-revolutionary period in this country, none stands out more
clearly than James Otis, of Boston, and Patrick Henry, of Virginia. In an
impassioned address, in 1763, Otis declared that "every British subject in
America is of common right, by acts of Parliament, and by the laws of God
and nature, entitled to all the essential privileges of Britons. What God
in his Providence has united let no man dare attempt to pull asunder."
Thirteen years later, the sundering blow was struck. Patrick Henry's
resolutions submitted to the Virginia House of Burgesses, in 1765, set
that colony afire, but at that time neither he nor his associates desired
separation and independence if their natural rights were recognized. It was
not until the revolution of 1895 that the independence of Cuba became a
national demand, a movement based on realization of the hopelessness of
further dependence upon Spain for the desired economic and fiscal relief.
As in the American colonies there appeared, from time to time, individuals
or isolated groups who demanded drastic action on the part of the
colonists, so were there Cubans who, from time to time, appeared with
similar demands. Nathaniel Bacon headed a formidable revolution in Virginia
in 1676. Massachusetts rebelled against Andros and Dudley in 1689. From the
passage of the Navigation Acts, in the middle of the 17th Century, until
the culmination in 1775, there was an undercurrent of friction and a
succession of protests. The Cuban condition was quite the same excepting
the fact of burdens more grievous and more frequent open outbreaks.

The records of many of the disorders are fragmentary. Spain had no desire
to give them publicity, and the Cubans had few means for doing so. The
_Report on the Census of Cuba_, prepared by the War Department of the
United States, in 1899, contains a summary of the various disorders in
the island. The first is the rioting in 1717, when Captain-General Roja
enforced the decree establishing a government monopoly in tobacco. The
disturbances in Haiti and Santo Domingo (1791-1800) resulting in the
establishment of independence in Haiti, under Toussaint, excited
unimportant uprisings on the part of negroes in Cuba, but they were quickly
suppressed. The first movement worthy of note came in 1823. It was
a consequence of the general movement that extended throughout
Spanish-America and resulted in the independence of all Spain's former
colonies, excepting Cuba and Porto Rico. That the influence of so vast a
movement should have been felt in Cuba was almost inevitable. As disorder
continued throughout much of the time, the period 1820-1830 is best
considered collectively. The same influences were active, and the same
forces were operative for the greater part of the term. The accounts of
it all are greatly confused, and several nations were involved, including
Spain, the United States, France, England, Mexico, and Colombia. The
slavery question was involved, as was the question of the transfer of the
island to some Power other than Spain. Independence was the aim of some,
though probably no very great number. Practically all of Cuba's later
experiences have their roots in this period. During these ten years, the
issue between Cubans who sought a larger national and economic life,
and the Spanish element that insisted upon the continuance of Spanish
absolutism, had its definite beginning, to remain a cause of almost
constant friction for three-quarters of a century. The Spanish Constitution
of 1812, abrogated in 1814, was again proclaimed in 1820, and again
abrogated in 1823. The effort of Captain-General Vives, acting under
orders from Ferdinand VII, to restore absolutism encountered both vigorous
opposition and strong support. Secret societies were organized, whose exact
purposes do not appear to be well known. Some have asserted that it was a
Masonic movement, while others have held that the organizations were
more in the nature of the _Carbonari_. One of them, called the _Soles de
Bolivar_, in some way gave its name to the immediate activities. It was
charged with having planned a rebellion against the government, but the
plans were discovered and the leaders were arrested. The movement appears
to have been widespread, with its headquarters in Matanzas. An uprising was
planned to take place on August 16, 1823, but on that day Jose Francisco
Lemus, the leader, and a number of his associates were arrested and
imprisoned. Among them was José Maria Heredia, the Cuban poet, who was,
for this offence, condemned, in 1824, to perpetual exile for the crime of
treason.

Others engaged in the conspiracy fled the country. Some were officially
deported. But the punishments imposed on these people served to excite
the animosity of many more, and a period of agitation followed, marked by
occasional outbreaks and rioting. To meet the situation, an army intended
to be employed in reconquering some of the colonies that had already
declared and established their independence, was retained on the island.
In 1825, a royal decree conferred on the Spanish Governor in Cuba a power
practically absolute. This excited still further the anger of the Cuban
element and led to other manifestations of discontent. There was a
combination of political agitation with revolutionary demonstrations.
In 1826, there was a local uprising in Puerto Principe, directed more
particularly against the Spanish garrison, whose conduct was regarded as
highly offensive. A year or two later, Cuban exiles in Mexico and Colombia,
with support from the people of those countries, organized a secret society
known as the "Black Eagle," having for its purpose a Cuban revolution. Its
headquarters were in Mexico, and its activities were fruitless. Many
were arrested and tried and sentenced to death or deportation. But Vives
realized the folly of adding more fuel to the flames, and the sentences
were in all cases either mitigated or revoked. This seems to have brought
that particular series of conspiracies to an end. It was a time of active
political agitation and conspiracy, with occasional local riots that were
quickly suppressed. While much of it was revolutionary in its aims and
purposes, none of it may with any fitness be called a revolution, unless
a prevalence of a lively spirit of opposition and rebellion is to be so
classed. The agitation settled down for a number of years, but broke out in
local spasms occasionally. There were riots and disorders, but that is not
revolution. It is to be remembered that the cause of all this disturbance
was, in the main, an entirely creditable sentiment, quite as creditable
as that which led the American colonists to resist the Stamp taxes and to
destroy tea. It was a natural and righteous protest against oppression, a
movement lasting for seventy-five years, for which Americans, particularly,
should award praise rather than blame or carping criticism. Having done, in
our own way, very much what the Cubans have done, in their way, we are not
free to condemn them. The only real difference is that their methods were,
on the whole, a little more strenuous than ours. Cuban blood was stirred
by the successful revolutions in Mexico and in Spanish South America, and
conditions in the island were contrasted with those in the then somewhat
new United States. Something of the part played by this country in the
experiences of the time is presented in another chapter, on the relations
of the two countries.

The next movement worthy of note came in 1849, if we omit the quarrel, in
1837, between General Tacon and his subordinate, General Lorenzo, and the
alleged proposal of the slaves in the neighborhood of Matanzas to rise
and slaughter all the whites. Neither of these quite belongs in the
revolutionary class. In 1847, a conspiracy was organized in the vicinity
of Cienfuegos. Its leader was General Narciso Lopez. The movement was
discovered, and some of the participants were imprisoned. Lopez escaped to
the United States where he associated himself with a group of Cuban exiles,
and opened correspondence with sympathizers in the island. They were joined
by a considerable number of adventurous Americans, inspired by a variety
of motives. The declared purpose of the enterprise was independence as the
alternative of reform in Spanish laws. An expedition was organized, but
the plans became known and President Taylor, on August 11, 1849, issued
a proclamation in which he declared that "an enterprise to invade the
territories of a friendly nation, set on foot and prosecuted within the
limits of the United States, is in the highest degree criminal." He
therefore warned all citizens of the United States who might participate in
such an enterprise that they would be subject to heavy penalties, and would
forfeit the protection of their country. He also called on "every officer
of this Government, civil or military, to use all efforts in his power to
arrest for trial and punishment every such offender against the laws." The
party was captured as it was leaving New York. The best evidence of the
time is to the effect that there was in Cuba neither demand for nor support
of such a movement, but Lopez and his associates, many of them Americans,
persisted. A second expedition was arranged, and a party of more than six
hundred men, many of them American citizens, assembled on the island of
Contoy, off the Yucatan coast, and on May 19, 1850, landed at Cardenas. But
there was no uprising on the part of the people. The Spanish authorities,
informed of the expedition, sent ships by sea and troops by land. After
a sharp skirmish, the invaders fled for their lives. Lopez and those who
escaped with him succeeded in reaching Key West. He went to Savannah, where
he was arrested but promptly liberated in response to public clamor. But
even this did not satisfy the enthusiastic liberator of a people who did
not want to be liberated in that way. He tried again in the following
year. On August 3, 1851, he sailed from near New Orleans, on the steamer
_Pampero_, in command of a force of about four hundred, largely composed
of young Americans who had been lured into the enterprise by assurance of
thrilling adventure and large pay. They landed near Bahia Honda, about
fifty miles west of Havana. Here, again, the Cubans refused to rise and
join the invaders. Here, again, they encountered the Spanish forces by whom
they were beaten and routed. Many were killed, some were captured, and
others escaped into the surrounding country and were captured afterward.
Lopez was among the captured. He was taken to Havana, and died by _garrote_
in the little fortress La Punta. His first officer, Colonel Crittenden, and
some fifty Americans were captured and taken to Atares, the fortress at the
head of Havana harbor, where they were shot. For that somewhat brutal act,
the United States could ask no indemnity. In violation of the laws of the
United States, they had invaded the territory of a nation with which the
country was at peace. In the initial issue of the _New York Times_, on
October 18, 1851, there appeared a review of the incident, presenting a
contemporaneous opinion of the experience. It was, in part, as follows:

"Nothing can be clearer than the fact that, for the present, at least,
the inhabitants of Cuba do not desire their freedom. The opinion has very
widely prevailed that the Cubans were grievously oppressed by their Spanish
rulers, and that the severity of their oppression alone prevented them from
making some effort to throw it off. The presence of an armed force in their
midst, however small, it was supposed would summon them by thousands to the
standard of revolt, and convert the colony into a free republic. Men high
in office, men who had lived in Cuba and were supposed to be familiar with
the sentiments of its people, have uniformly represented that they were
ripe for revolt, and desired only the presence of a small military band to
serve as a nucleus for their force. Believing that the Cuban population
would aid them, American adventurers enlisted and were ruined. They found
no aid. Not a Cuban joined them. They were treated as pirates and robbers
from the first moment of their landing. Nor could they expect any other
treatment in case of failure. They ceased to be American citizens the
moment they set out, as invaders, for the shores of Cuba."

[Illustration: A SPANISH BLOCK HOUSE]

The excitement of the Lopez incident was passing when it was revived,
in 1854, by the _Black Warrior_ experience, to which reference is made
elsewhere. Another invasion was projected by exuberant and adventurous
Americans. It was to sail from New Orleans under command of General
Quitman, a former Governor of the State of Mississippi. No secret was
made of the expedition, and Quitman openly boasted of his purposes, in
Washington. The reports having reached the White House, President Pierce
issued a proclamation warning "all persons, citizens of the United States
and others residing therein" that the General Government would not fail to
prosecute with due energy all those who presumed to disregard the laws of
the land and our treaty obligations. He charged all officers of the United
States to exert all their lawful power to maintain the authority and
preserve the peace of the country. Quitman was arrested, and put under
bonds to respect the neutrality laws. There was a limited uprising in
Puerto Principe, in 1851, and a conspiracy was revealed, in Pinar del Rio,
in 1852. A few years later the Liberal Club in Havana and the Cuban Junta
in New York were reported as raising money and organizing expeditions. Some
sailed, but they accomplished little, except as the activities appear as a
manifestation of the persistent opposition on the part of what was probably
only a small minority of the Cuban people. For several years, the unrest
and the agitation continued. Spain's blindness to the situation is
puzzling. In his _Cuba and International Relations_, Mr. Callahan says:
"Spain, after squandering a continent, had still clung tenaciously to Cuba;
and the changing governments which had been born (in Spain) only to be
strangled, held her with a taxing hand. While England had allowed her
colonies to rule themselves, Spain had persisted in keeping Cuba in the
same state of tutelage that existed when she was the greatest power in
the world, and when the idea of colonial rights had not developed." In
_Tomorrow in Cuba_, Mr. Pepper notes that "though the conception of
colonial home rule for Cuba was non-existent among the Spanish statesmen of
that day, the perception of it was clear on the part of the thinking
people of the island. The educated and wealthy Cubans who in 1865 formed
themselves into a national party and urged administrative and economic
changes upon Madrid felt the lack of understanding among Spanish statesmen.
The concessions asked were not a broad application of civil liberties. When
their programme was rejected in its entirety they ceased to ask favors.
They inaugurated the Ten Years' War." Regarding this action by the Cubans,
Dr. Enrique José Varona, a distinguished Cuban and a former deputy to the
Cortes, has stated that "before the insurrection of 1868, the reform party
which included the most enlightened, wealthy, and influential Cubans,
exhausted all the resources within their reach to induce Spain to initiate
a healthy change in her Cuban policy. The party started the publication of
periodicals in Madrid and in the island, addressed petitions, maintained a
great agitation throughout the country, and having succeeded in leading the
Spanish Government to make an inquiry into the economic, political, and
social conditions in Cuba, they presented a complete plan of government
which satisfied public requirements as well as the aspirations of the
people. The Spanish Government disdainfully cast aside the proposition as
useless, increased taxation, and proceeded to its exaction with extreme
severity." Here not seek its independence; the object was reform in
oppressive laws and in burdensome taxation, a measure of self-government,
under Spain, and a greater industrial and commercial freedom. It is most
difficult to understand the short-sightedness of the Spanish authorities.
The war soon followed the refusal of these entirely reasonable demands, and
the course of the Cubans is entirely to their credit. An acceptance of the
situation and a further submission would have shown them as contemptible.

The details of a conflict that lasted for ten years are quite impossible
of presentation in a few pages. Nor are they of value or interest to any
except special students who can find them elaborately set forth in many
volumes, some in Spanish and a few in English. Having tried once before to
cover this period as briefly and as adequately as possible, I can do no
better here than to repeat the story as told in an earlier work (_Cuba, and
the Intervention_). On the 10th of October, 1868, Carlos Manuel Cespedes
and his associates raised the cry of Cuban independence at Yara, in the
Province of Puerto Principe (now Camaguey). On the 10th of April, 1869,
there was proclaimed the Constitution of the Cuban Republic. During the
intervening months, there was considerable fighting, though it was largely
in the nature of guerrilla skirmishing. The Spanish Minister of State
asserted in a memorandum issued to Spain's representatives in other
countries, under date of February 3, 1876, that at the outbreak of the
insurrection Spain had 7,500 troops, all told, in Cuba. According to
General Sickels, at that time the American Minister to Spain, this number
was increased by reinforcements of 34,500 within the first year of the war.
The accuracy of this information, however, has been questioned. Prior
to the establishment of the so-called Republic, the affairs of the
insurrection were in the hands of an Assembly of Representatives. On
February 26, this body issued a decree proclaiming the abolition of slavery
throughout the island, and calling upon those who thus received their
freedom to "contribute their efforts to the independence of Cuba." During
the opening days of April, 1869, the Assembly met at Guiamaro. On the tenth
of that month a government was organized, with a president, vice-president,
general-in-chief of the army, secretaries of departments, and a parliament
or congress. Carlos Manuel Cespedes was chosen as President, and Manuel
de Quesada as General-in-Chief. A Constitution was adopted. Señor Morales
Lemus was appointed as minister to the United States, to represent the new
Republic, and to ask official recognition by the American Government. The
government which the United States was asked to recognize was a somewhat
vague institution. The insurrection, or revolution, if it may be so
called, at this time consisted of a nominal central government, chiefly
self-organized and self-elected, and various roving bands, probably
numbering some thousands in their aggregate, of men rudely and
incompetently armed, and showing little or nothing of military organization
or method.

Like all Cuban-Spanish wars and warfare, the destruction of property was a
common procedure. Some of the methods employed for the suppression of the
insurrection were not unlike those adopted by General Weyler in the later
war. At Bayamo, on April 4, 1869, Count Valmaseda, the Spanish Commandant
of that district, issued the following proclamation:

1. Every man, from the age of fifteen years upward, found away from his
place of habitation, who does not prove a justified reason therefor, will
be shot.

2. Every unoccupied habitation will be burned by the troops.

3. Every habitation from which no white flag floats, as a signal that its
occupants desire peace, will be reduced to ashes.

In the summer of 1869, the United States essayed a reconciliation and
an adjustment of the differences between the contestants. To this Spain
replied that the mediation of any nation in a purely domestic question was
wholly incompatible with the honor of Spain, and that the independence of
Cuba was inadmissible as a basis of negotiation. Heavy reinforcements were
sent from Spain, and the strife continued. The commerce of the island
was not greatly disturbed, for the reason that the great producing and
commercial centres lay to the westward, and the military activities were
confined, almost exclusively, to the eastern and central areas. In April,
1874, Mr. Fish, then Secretary of State, reported that "it is now more than
five years since the uprising (in Cuba) and it has been announced with
apparent authority, that Spain has lost upward of 80,000 men, and has
expended upward of $100,000,000, in efforts to suppress it; yet the
insurrection seems today as active and as powerful as it has ever been."
Spain's losses among her troops were not due so much to the casualties of
war as they were to the ravages of disease, especially yellow fever. The
process, in which both parties would appear to be about equally culpable,
of destroying property and taking life when occasion offered, proceedings
which are hardly to be dignified by the name of war, continued until the
beginning of 1878. Throughout the entire period of the war, the American
officials labored diligently for its termination on a basis that would give
fair promise of an enduring peace. Many questions arose concerning the
arrest of American citizens and the destruction of property of American
ownership. Proposals to grant the Cubans the rights of belligerents were
dismissed as not properly warranted by the conditions, and questions
arose regarding the supply of arms and ammunition, from this country, by
filibustering expeditions. References to Cuban affairs appear in many
presidential messages, and the matter was a subject of much discussion and
numerous measures in Congress. Diplomatic communication was constantly
active. In his message of December 7, 1875, President Grant said: "The past
year has furnished no evidence of an approaching termination of the ruinous
conflict which has been raging for seven years in the neighboring island
of Cuba. While conscious that the insurrection has shown a strength and
endurance which make it at least doubtful whether it be in the power of
Spain to subdue it, it seems unquestionable that no such civil organization
exists which may be recognized as an independent government capable of
performing its international obligations and entitled to be treated as one
of the powers of the earth." Nor did he then deem the grant of belligerent
rights to the Cubans as either expedient or properly warranted by the
circumstances.

In 1878, Martinez Campos was Governor-General of Cuba, and Maximo Gomez
was Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban forces. Both parties were weary of
the prolonged hostilities, and neither was able to compel the other to
surrender. Spain, however, professed a willingness to yield an important
part of the demands of her rebellious subjects. Martinez Campos and Gomez
met at Zanjon and, on February 10, 1878, mutually agreed to what has been
variously called a peace pact, a treaty, and a capitulation. The agreement
was based on provisions for a redress of Cuban grievances through greater
civil, political, and administrative privileges for the Cubans, with
forgetfulness of the past and amnesty for all then under sentence for
political offences. Delay in carrying these provisions into effect gave
rise to an attempt to renew the struggle two years later, but the effort
was a failure.

Matters then quieted down for a number of years. The Cubans waited to see
what would be done. The Spanish Governor-General still remained the supreme
power and, aside from the abolition of slavery, the application of the
Spanish Constitution and Spanish laws to Cuba, and Cuban representation
in the Cortes, much of which was rather form than fact, the island gained
little by the new conditions. Discontent and protest continued and, at
last, broke again into open rebellion in 1895.

The story of that experience is told in another chapter. In 1906, there
came one of the most deplorable experiences in the history of the island,
the first and only discreditable revolution. The causes of the experience
are not open to our criticism. Our own records show too much of precisely
the same kind of work, illegal registration, ballot box stuffing, threats
and bribery. The first election in the new Republic was carried with only
a limited and somewhat perfunctory opposition to the candidacy of Estrada
Palma. Before the second election came, in 1905, he allied himself
definitely with an organization then known as the Moderate party. The
opposition was known as the Liberal party. Responsibility for the
disgraceful campaign that followed rests on both, almost equally. The
particular difference lies in the fact that, the principal offices having
been given to adherents of the Moderates, they were able to control both
registration and election proceedings. But the methods employed by the
opposition were no less censurable. Realizing defeat, the Liberals withdrew
from the field, by concerted action, on the day of the election, and the
Moderates elected every one of their candidates. Naturally, a feeling of
bitter resentment was created, and there came, in the spring of 1906,
rumors of armed revolt. In August, an actual insurrection was begun.
Disgruntled political leaders gathered formidable bands in Pinar del Rio
and in Santa Clara provinces. President Palma became seriously alarmed,
even actually frightened. Through the United States Consul-General in
Havana, he sent urgent appeals to Washington for naval and military aid.
Mr. Taft, then Secretary of War, and Mr. Bacon, the Assistant Secretary of
State, were sent to Havana to investigate and report on the situation. They
arrived in Havana on September 19. After ten days of careful and thorough
study, and earnest effort to effect an adjustment, a proclamation was
issued declaring the creation of a provisional government. This was
accepted by both parties and the insurgent bands dispersed. Charles E.
Magoon was sent down as Provisional Governor. Americans who are disposed to
censure the Cubans for this experience in their history, may perhaps turn
with profit to some little experiences in the history of their own country
in its political infancy, in 1786 and 1794. Those incidents do not relieve
the Cubans of the censure to which they are open, but they make it a
little difficult for us to condemn them with proper grace and dignity. The
provisional government continued until January 28, 1909, when control was
turned over to the duly elected officials, they being the same who withdrew
from the polls, acknowledging defeat, in the election of 1905.



X

_INDEPENDENCE_


Cuba's final movement for independence began on February 24, 1895. Under
the treaty of Zanjon, executed in 1878, Spain agreed to grant to the Cubans
such reforms as would remove their grounds of complaint, long continued.
The Cubans denied that the terms of the agreement had been kept. Those
terms are indicated in a statement submitted by Tomas Estrada y Palma to
Richard Olney, then Secretary of State of the United States. It bore the
date of December 7, 1895. The communication sets forth, from the Cuban
point of view, of course, the causes of the revolution of 1895. It says:

"These causes are substantially the same as those of the former revolution,
lasting from 1868 to 1878, and terminating only on the representation of
the Spanish Government that Cuba would be granted such reforms as
would remove the grounds of complaint on the part of the Cuban people.
Unfortunately the hopes thus held out have never been realized. The
representation which was to be given the Cubans has proved to be absolutely
without character; taxes have been levied anew on everything conceivable;
the offices in the island have increased, but the officers are all
Spaniards; the native Cubans have been left with no public duties
whatsoever to perform, except the payment of taxes to the Government and
blackmail to the officials, without privilege even to move from place to
place in the island except on the permission of government authority.

"Spain has framed laws so that the natives have substantially been deprived
of the right of suffrage. The taxes levied have been almost entirely
devoted to support the army and navy in Cuba, to pay interest on the debt
that Spain has saddled on the island, and to pay the salaries of the vast
number of Spanish office holders, devoting only $746,000 for internal
improvements out of the $26,000,000 collected by tax. No public schools are
in reach of the masses for their education. All the principal industries
of the island are hampered by excessive imposts. Her commerce with every
country but Spain has been crippled in every possible manner, as can
readily be seen by the frequent protests of shipowners and merchants.

"The Cubans have no security of person or property. The judiciary are
instruments of the military authorities. Trial by military tribunals can be
ordered at any time at the will of the Captain-General. There is, besides,
no freedom of speech, press, or religion. In point of fact, the causes of
the Revolution of 1775 in this country were not nearly as grave as those
that have driven the Cuban people to the various insurrections which
culminated in the present revolution."

Spain, of course, denied these charges, and asserted that the agreement had
been kept in good faith. The Spanish Government may have been technically
correct in its claim that all laws necessary to the fulfillment of its
promises had been enacted. But it seems entirely certain that they had not
been made effective. The conditions of the Cubans were in no way improved
and, some time before the outbreak, they began preparations for armed
resistance. In _Cuba and the Intervention_ (published in 1905) I have
already written an outline review of the experience of the revolution, and
I shall here make use of extracts from that volume. The notable leader
and instigator of the movement was José Marti, a patriot, a poet, and a
dreamer, but a man of action. He visited General Maximo Gomez at his home
in Santo Domingo, where that doughty old warrior had betaken himself after
the conclusion of the Ten Years' War. Gomez accepted the command of the
proposed army of Cuban liberation. Antonio Maceo also accepted a command.
He was a mulatto, an able and daring fighter, whose motives were perhaps a
compound of patriotism, hatred of Spain, and a love for the excitement of
warfare. Others whose names are written large in Cuba's history soon joined
the movement. A _junta_, or committee, was organized with headquarters in
New York. After the death of Marti, this was placed in charge of Tomas
Estrada y Palma, who afterward became the first President of the new
Republic. Its work was to raise funds, obtain and forward supplies and
ammunition, and to advance the cause in all possible ways. There were legal
battles to be fought by and through this organization, and Mr. Horatio S.
Rubens, a New York lawyer, was placed in charge of that department. The
twenty-fourth of February was set for the beginning of activities, but arms
were lacking, and while the movement was actually begun on that day, the
operations of the first six weeks or so were limited to numerous local
uprisings of little moment. But the local authorities became alarmed, and
martial law was proclaimed in Santa Clara and Matanzas provinces on the
27th. Spain became alarmed also, and immediately despatched General
Martinez Campos as Governor-General of the island, to succeed General
Calleja. He assumed command on April 16. Maceo and his associates, among
them his brother José, also a fighter of note, landed from Costa Rica
on April 1. Marti, Gomez, and others, reached the island on the 11th.
Meanwhile, Bartolomé Maso, an influential planter in Oriente, had been in
command of the forces in his vicinity. Many joined, and others stood ready
to join as soon as they could be equipped. Engagements with the Spanish
troops soon became a matter of daily occurrence, and Martinez Campos
realized that a formidable movement was on. Spain hurried thousands of
soldiers to the island.

For the first five months, the insurgents kept their opponents busy with an
almost uninterrupted series of little engagements, a guerrilla warfare. In
one of these, on May 19, José Marti was killed. His death was a severe blow
to the patriots, but it served rather to inspire a greater activity than
to check the movement. His death came in the effort of a small band of
insurgents to pass the Spanish cordon designed to confine activities to
Oriente Province. Immediately after the death of Marti, Maximo Gomez
crossed that barrier and organized an army in Camaguey. The first
engagement properly to be regarded as a battle occurred at Peralejo, near
Bayamo, in Oriente, about the middle of July. The respective leaders were
Antonio Maceo and General Martinez Campos, in person. The victory fell to
Maceo, and Martinez Campos barely eluded capture. The engagements of the
Ten Years' War were confined to the then sparsely settled eastern half of
the island. Those of the revolution of 1895 covered the greater part of the
island, sweeping gradually but steadily from east to west. During my first
visit to Cuba, I was frequently puzzled by references to "the invasion."
"What invasion?" I asked, "Who invaded the country?" I found that it meant
the westward sweep of the liberating army under Gomez and Maceo. It
covered a period of more than two years of frequent fighting and general
destruction of property. Early in the operations Gomez issued the following
proclamation:


GENERAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF LIBERATION

Najasa, Camaguey, July 1, 1895.

To THE PLANTERS AND OWNERS OF CATTLE RANCHES:

_In accord with the great interests of the revolution for the independence
of the country, and for which we are in arms_:

WHEREAS, _all exploitations of any product whatsoever are aids and
resources to the Government that we are fighting, it is resolved by the
general-in-chief to issue this general order throughout the island, that
the introduction of articles of commerce, as well as beef and cattle,
into the towns occupied by the enemy, is absolutely prohibited. The sugar
plantations will stop their labors, and those who shall attempt to grind
the crop notwithstanding this order, will have their cane burned and their
buildings demolished. The person who, disobeying this order, shall try to
profit from the present situation of affairs, will show by his conduct
little respect for the rights of the revolution of redemption, and
therefore shall be considered as an enemy, treated as a traitor, and tried
as such in case of his capture_.

  (_Signed_) MAXIMO GOMEZ,
  The General-in-Chief.

This proved only partially effective, and it was followed by a circular to
commanding officers, a few months later, reading thus:


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF LIBERATION

Territory of Sancti Spiritus, November 6, 1895.

_Animated by the spirit of unchangeable resolution in defence of the rights
of the revolution of redemption of this country of colonists, humiliated
and despised by Spain, and in harmony with what has been decreed concerning
the subject in the circular dated the 1st of July, I have ordered the
following_:

ARTICLE I. _That all plantations shall be totally destroyed, their cane and
outbuildings burned, and railroad connections destroyed_.

ARTICLE II. _All laborers who shall aid the sugar factories--these sources
of supplies that we must deprive the enemy of--shall be considered as
traitors to their country_.

ARTICLE III. _All who are caught in the act, or whose violation of Article
II shall be proven, shall be shot. Let all chiefs of operations of the army
of liberty comply with this order, determined to furl triumphantly, even
over ruin and ashes, the flag of the Republic of Cuba_.

_In regard to the manner of waging the war, follow the private instructions
that I have already given_.

_For the sake of the honor of our arms and your well-known courage and
patriotism, it is expected that you will strictly comply with the above
orders_.

  _(Signed)_ MAXIMO GOMEZ,
  General-in-Chief.

To peace-loving souls, all this sounds very brutal, but all war is brutal
and barbarous. In our strife in the Philippines, from 1899 to 1902, many of
us were proud to be told that we were conducting a "humane war." There is
no such thing. The very terms are contradictory. Gomez had declared that
if Spain would not give up Cuba to the Cubans, the Cubans would themselves
render the island so worthless and desolate a possession that Spain could
not afford to hold it. Short of further submission to a rule that was, very
rightly, regarded as no longer endurable, no other course was open to them.
Another proclamation appeared a few days later.


  HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF
  LIBERATION

  Sancti Spiritus, November 11 1895.

To HONEST MEN, VICTIMS OF THE TORCH:

_The painful measure made necessary by the revolution of redemption
drenched in innocent blood from Hatuey to our own times by cruel and
merciless Spain will plunge you in misery. As general-in-chief of the army
of liberation, it is my duty to lead it to victory, without permitting
myself to be restrained or terrified, by any means necessary to place Cuba
in the shortest time in possession of her dearest ideal. I therefore place
the responsibility for so great a ruin on those who look on impassively and
force us to those extreme measures which they then condemn like dolts and
hypocrites as they are. After so many years of supplication, humiliation,
contumely, banishment, and death, when this people, of its own will, has
arisen in arms, there remains no solution but to triumph, it matters not
what means are employed to accomplish it_.

_This people cannot hesitate between the wealth of Spain and the liberty
of Cuba. Its greatest crime would be to stain the land with blood without
effecting its purposes because of puerile scruples and fears which do not
concur with the character of the men who are in the field, challenging the
fury of an army which is one of the bravest in the world, but which in this
war is without enthusiasm or faith, ill-fed and unpaid. The war did not
begin February 24; it is about to begin now_.

_The war had to be organized; it was necessary to calm and lead into
the proper channels the revolutionary spirit always exaggerated in the
beginning by wild enthusiasm. The struggle ought to begin in obedience to a
plan and method more or less studied, as the result of the peculiarities of
this war. This has already been done. Let Spain now send her soldiers to
rivet the chains on her slaves; the children of this land are in the field,
armed with the weapons of liberty. The struggle will be terrible, but
success will crown the revolution and the efforts of the oppressed_.

(_Signed_) MAXIMO GOMEZ,
General-in-Chief.

Such an address doubtless savors of bombast to many Americans, but in the
history of political and military oratory in their own land they can find
an endless number of speeches that, in that particular quality, rival if
they do not surpass it. The Cuban situation was desperate, and the Cuban
attitude was one of fixed determination. Productive industry was generally
suppressed, and much property was destroyed, by both Cubans and Spaniards.
This necessarily threw many out of employment, and drove them into the
insurgent ranks. The Cubans are a peaceful people. All desired relief from
oppressive conditions, but many did not want war. While many entered the
army from patriotic motives, many others were brought into it only as a
consequence of conditions created by the conflict. The measures adopted
were severe, but decision of the contest by pitched battles was quite
impossible. The quoted figures are somewhat unreliable, but the Spanish
forces outnumbered the Cubans by at least five to one, and they could
obtain freely the supplies and ammunition that the Cubans could obtain only
by filibustering expeditions. The Cubans, therefore, adopted a policy, the
only policy that afforded promise of success. Spain poured in fresh troops
until, by the close of 1895, its army is reported as numbering 200,000 men.

The Cubans carried the contest westward from Oriente and Camaguey, through
Santa Clara, and into the provinces of Matanzas, Havana, and Pinar del Rio.

[Illustration: ALONG THE HARBOR WALL _Havana_]

The _trocha_ across the island, from Jucaro on the south to Moron on the
north, originally constructed during the Ten Years' War, was a line of
blockhouses, connected by barbed wire tangles, along a railway. This
obstructed but did not stop the Cuban advance. The authorities declared
martial law in the provinces of Havana and Pinar del Rio on January 2,
1896. Gomez advanced to Marianao, at Havana's very door, and that city was
terrified. Maceo was operating immediately beyond him in Pinar del Rio,
through the most important part of which he swept with torch and machete.
The Spaniards built a _trocha_ there from Mariel southward. Maceo crossed
it and continued his work of destruction, in which large numbers of the
people of the region joined. He burned and destroyed Spanish property;
the Spaniards, in retaliation, burned and destroyed property belonging to
Cubans. Along the highway from Marianao to Guanajay, out of many stately
country residences, only one was left standing. Villages were destroyed and
hamlets were wrecked. On one of his expeditions in December, 1896, Maceo
was killed near Punta Brava, within fifteen miles of Havana. Gomez planned
this westward sweep, from Oriente, six hundred miles away, but to Antonio
Maceo belongs a large part of the credit for its execution. The weakness of
the Ten Years' War was that it did not extend beyond the thinly populated
region of the east; Gomez and Maceo carried their war to the very gates of
the Spanish strongholds. There were occasional conflicts that might well be
called battles, but much of it was carried on by the Cubans by sudden and
unexpected dashes into Spanish camps or moving columns, brief but sometimes
bloody encounters from which the attacking force melted away after
inflicting such damage as it could. Guerrilla warfare is not perhaps a
respectable method of fighting. It involves much of what is commonly
regarded as outlawry, of pillage and of plunder, of destruction and
devastation. These results become respectable only when attained through
conventional processes, and are in some way supposed to be ennobled by
those processes. But they sometimes become the only means by which the weak
can meet the strong. Such they seemed to be in the Cuban revolt against
the Spaniards, when Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo made guerrilla warfare
almost a military science. Gomez formulated his plan of campaign, but, with
the means at his disposal, its successful execution was possible only by
the methods adopted. At all events, it succeeded. The Cubans were not
strong enough to drive Spain out of the island by force of arms, but they
showed themselves unconquerable by the Spanish troops. They had once
carried on a war for ten years in a limited area; by the methods adopted,
they could repeat that experience practically throughout the island. They
could at least keep insurrection alive until Spain should yield to their
terms, or until the United States should be compelled to intervene. No
great movements, but constant irritation, and the suspension of all
industry, was the policy adopted and pursued for the year 1897.

But there was another side to it all, a different line of activity.
Immediately after his arrival on the island, on April 11, 1895, Marti
had issued a call for the selection of representatives to form a civil
government. He was killed before this was effected. An assembly met, at
Jimaguayu, in Camaguey, on September 13, 1895. It consisted of twenty
members, representing nearly all parts of the island. Its purpose was the
organization of a Cuban Republic. On the 16th, it adopted a Constitution
and, on the 18th, elected, as President, Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, and
as Vice-President, Bartolomé Maso. Secretaries and sub-secretaries were
duly chosen, and all were formally installed. Maximo Gomez was officially
appointed as General-in-Chief of the army, with Antonio Maceo as Lieutenant
General. Tomas Estrada y Palma was chosen as delegate plenipotentiary
and general agent abroad, with headquarters in New York. Both civil and
military organizations were, for a time, crude and somewhat incoherent. It
could not be otherwise. They were engaged in a movement that could only
succeed by success. Arms and money were lacking. The civil government was
desirable in a field that the military arm could not cover. Action lay with
the military and with the Cuban Junta in the United States. The latter
organization immediately became active. Calls were made for financial
assistance and liberal responses were made, chiefly by Cubans. In 1896
and 1897, bonds were issued and sold, or were exchanged for supplies and
munitions of war. For a number of years scandalous stories were afloat
declaring that these bonds were printed by the acre, and issued, purely for
speculative purposes, to the extent of millions upon millions of dollars.
The truth is that every bond printed, whether issued or unissued, has been
fully accounted for, the actual issue being about $2,200,000. Provision was
made in Cuba's Constitution for the recognition of this indebtedness, and
it has since been discharged, while the plates and the unused bonds have
been destroyed. There may have been speculation in the bonds, as there was
in the bonds issued by the United States during the Civil War, but Cuba's
conduct in the whole matter has been honest and most honorable. In that
matter certainly, its detractors have been confounded. The principal
difficulty encountered by the _junta_ was the despatch to Cuba of the men
and the munitions so greatly needed by those in the field. That, however,
is a story that I shall endeavor to tell, in part, in another chapter. It
cannot now, if ever, be told in full.

Meanwhile, a complicated political situation developed. The story is too
long and too complicated for review in detail. It may be given in general
outline. The Peace of 1878 was followed by the organization of political
parties, the Liberal and the Union Constitutional. At first, there was
comparatively little difference in the essence of their respective
platforms, but the lines diverged as the situation developed. The Liberal
party became, and remained, the Cuban party, and the Union Constitutional
became the Spanish party. Later on, the Liberals became the Autonomists.
Their object, for twenty years, was reform in conditions under the rule of
Spain. There was no independence party. That was organized, in 1895, by
Marti, Gomez, Maceo, Maso, and their associates. It had only one plank in
its platform--_Cuba Libre y Independiente_--whatever the cost to the island
and its people. "The Autonomist group," says Mr. Pepper, in his _Tomorrow
in Cuba_, "became as much a political party as it could become under
Spanish institutions." It grew in strength and influence, and continued its
agitation persistently and stubbornly. The Spanish Cortes busied itself
with discussion of Cuban affairs, but reached no conclusions, produced no
results. In 1893, there came the definite organization of the Reformist
party, with aims not differing greatly from those of the _Autonomistas_.
But Spain delayed until Marti and his followers struck their blow. Official
efforts to placate them failed utterly, as did efforts to intimidate them
or to conquer them. The Autonomists declared their support of the existing
Government, and rebuked the insurgents in a _manifesto_ issued on April 4,
1895, six weeks after the outbreak. They only succeeded in antagonizing
both sides, the Spanish authorities and the revolutionists. Spain, greatly
alarmed, recalled Martinez Campos and sent out Weyler to succeed him.
Had Spain followed the advice of Martinez Campos, the failure of the
insurrection would have been little short of certain. It sent out Weyler,
on whom the Cubans, twenty years earlier, had conferred the title of
"Butcher." This step threw to the side of the insurgents the great mass
of the middle class Cubans who had previously wavered in uncertainty,
questioning the success of revolution while adhering to its general
object. Weyler instituted the brutal policy that came to be known as
reconcentration. It may be said, in a way, that the Cuban forces themselves
instituted this policy. To clear the country in which they were operating,
they had ordered all Spaniards and Spanish sympathizers to betake
themselves to the cities and towns occupied by Spanish garrisons. This was
inconvenient for its victims, but its purpose was humane. Gomez also sought
to concentrate the Cubans, particularly the women and children, in the
recesses of the hills where they would be less exposed to danger than they
would be in their homes. This also was a humane purpose.

Weyler's application of this policy was utterly brutal. The people of the
country were herded in prison camps, in settlements surrounded by stockades
or trenches beyond which they might not pass. No provision was made for
their food or maintenance. The victims were non-combatants, women, and
children. In his message of December, 1897, President McKinley said of
this system, as applied by Weyler, "It was not civilized warfare; it was
extermination. The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness
and the grave." In my experience as a campaign correspondent in several
conflicts, I have necessarily seen more or less of gruesome sights,
the result of disease and wounds, but I have seen nothing in any way
comparable, in horror and pitifulness, to the victims of this abominable
system. To describe their condition in detail would be little short of
offensive, those groups of hopeless, helpless sufferers who lingered only
until death came and kindly put them out of their misery and pain. But by
this time, two forces had come into active operation, dire alarm in Spain
and wrath and indignation in the United States. Weyler had failed as
Martinez Campos, when leaving the island, predicted. He was recalled, and
was succeeded, on October 31, 1897, by General Blanco. The new incumbent
tried conciliation, but it failed. The work had gone too far. The party in
the field had become the dominant party, not to be suppressed either by
force of arms or by promises of political and economic reform. At last,
Spain yielded. Outside pressure on Madrid, chiefly from the United States,
prevailed. A scheme for Cuban autonomy was devised and, on January 1,
1898, was put into effect. But it came too late. It was welcomed by many
non-participants in the war, and a form of government was organized under
it. But the party then dominant, the army in the field, distrusted the
arrangement and would have none of it. All overtures were rejected and
the struggle continued. On February 15, 1898, came the disaster to the
battleship _Maine_, in the harbor of Havana. On April 11th, President
McKinley's historic message went to Congress, declaring that "the only hope
of relief and repose from a condition which can no longer be endured is the
enforced pacification of Cuba," and asking for power and authority to use
the military and naval forces of the United States to effect a termination
of the strife in Cuba. Such, in the briefest possible outline, is the
record of this eventful period, eventful alike for Cuba and for the United
States.

During this struggle, the people of the United States became deeply
interested in the affairs of the island, and the Administration in
Washington became gravely concerned by them. A preceding chapter, on the
United States and Cuba, dropped the matter of the relations of this country
to the island at the end of the Ten Years' War, but the relations were by
no means dropped, nor were they even suspended. The affairs of the island
appear again and again in diplomatic correspondence and in presidential
messages. The platform of the Republican party, adopted at the national
convention in St. Louis, on June 18, 1896, contained the following: "From
the hour of achieving their own independence, the people of the United
States have regarded with sympathy the struggles of other American peoples
to free themselves from European domination. We watch with deep and abiding
interest the heroic battle of the Cuban patriots against cruelty and
oppression, and our best hopes go out for the full success of their
determined contest for liberty. The Government of Spain having lost control
of Cuba and being unable to protect the property or lives of resident
American citizens, or to comply with its treaty obligations, we believe
that the Government of the United States should actively use its influence
and good offices to restore peace and give independence to the island."
The Democratic party platform of the same year stated that "we extend our
sympathy to the people of Cuba in their heroic struggle for liberty and
independence." The platform of the People's party likewise expressed
sympathy, and declared the belief that the time had come when "the United
States should recognize that Cuba is and of right ought to be a free and
independent State." This may be regarded as the almost unanimous opinion of
the people of this country at that time. In 1896 and 1897 many resolutions
were introduced in the Congress urging action for the recognition of Cuban
independence. There was frequent and prolonged debate on the question, but
no final action was taken. In his message of December, 1897, President
McKinley said: "Of the untried measures (regarding Cuba) there remain
only: Recognition of the insurgents as belligerents; recognition of the
independence of Cuba; neutral intervention to end the war by imposing a
rational compromise between the contestants; and intervention in favor of
one or the other party. I speak not of forcible annexation, for that
cannot be thought of. That, by our code of morality, would be criminal
aggression."

[Illustration: COUNTRY ROAD _Havana Province_]

Recognition of the Cubans as belligerents would have effected a radical
change in the situation. It would have given the Cubans the right to buy in
the American market the arms and supplies that they could then only obtain
surreptitiously, that they could only ship by "filibustering expeditions,"
by blockade-runners. In law, the propriety of granting belligerent rights
depends upon the establishment of certain facts, upon the proof of the
existence of certain conditions. Those conditions did then exist in Cuba.
An unanswerable argument was submitted by Horatio S. Rubens, Esq., the
able counsel of the Cuban _junta_ in New York. The Cubans never asked for
intervention by the United States; they did, with full justification, ask
for recognition as belligerents. The consent of this country was deemed
inexpedient on political rather than on moral grounds. Had it suited the
purposes of this country to grant that right, very much the same arguments
would have been made in support of the course as those that were used to
support the denial of Cuba's requests. Recognition of Cuban independence,
or intervention in favor of the Cubans, would have been the equivalent of
the grant of belligerent rights. But the policy adopted, and the course
pursued, did not serve to avert war with Spain. The story of that war has
been written by many, and is not for inclusion here. The treaty of peace
was signed, in Paris, on December 10, 1898, duly ratified by both parties
in the following months, and was finally proclaimed on April 11, 1899. The
war was over, but its definite termination was officially declared on the
anniversary of the issuance of President McKinley's war message. On January
1, 1899, the American flag was hoisted throughout the island, as a signal
of full authority, but subject to the provisions of the Teller Amendment to
the Joint Resolution of Congress, of April 20, 1898, thus:

"That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to
exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said Island except
for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is
accomplished, to leave the government and control of the Island to its
people."

At twelve o'clock, noon, on the 20th of May, 1902, there was gathered
in the State Apartment of the Palace occupied by many Spanish
Governors-General, the officials of the United States, the elected
officials of the new Cuban Republic, and a limited number of guests. In
that same apartment, General Castellanos signed the abdication of Spanish
authority. In its turn, pursuant to its pledges, the United States
transferred authority to the President of the Cuban Republic. Four
centuries of subjection, and a century of protest and struggle, were there
and then ended, and Cuba joined the sisterhood of independent nations.



XI

_FILIBUSTERING_


The term "filibuster" affords an interesting example of the way in which
words and their uses become twisted into something altogether different
from their original meaning. It comes from a Dutch word, several centuries
old, _vrijbuiter_, or free vessel or boat. It got somehow into English as
"freebooter," and into Spanish as _filibustero_. The original referred
to piracy. Two or three centuries later, it meant an engagement in
unauthorized and illegal warfare against foreign States, in effect,
piratical invasions. In time, it came into use to describe the supply
of military material to revolutionists, and finally to obstruction in
legislative proceedings. In his message of June 13, 1870, President Grant
said that "the duty of opposition to filibustering has been admitted by
every President. Washington encountered the efforts of Genet and the French
revolutionists; John Adams, the projects of Miranda; Jefferson, the schemes
of Aaron Burr. Madison and subsequent Presidents had to deal with the
question of foreign enlistment and equipment in the United States, and
since the days of John Quincy Adams it has been one of the constant cares
of the Government in the United States to prevent piratical expeditions
against the feeble Spanish American Republics from leaving our shores."

In 1806, Francisco Miranda, a Venezuelan patriot whose revolutionary
activities preceded those of Simon Bolivar, sailed from New York on what
would have been called, some years later, a filibustering expedition. His
three vessels were manned chiefly by Americans. There are always those
whose love of excitement and adventure, sometimes mixed with an active
sympathy for an under dog, leads them to engage in such an enterprise. This
one was productive of no important results. There were plenty of American
pirates and privateers in earlier days, but I have found no record of any
earlier actual expedition whose purpose was the creation of a new republic.
But during the next hundred years, including the considerable number
of Americans who have engaged in the present disorder in Mexico, such
enterprises have been numerous. Among the most notable are the several
Lopez expeditions to Cuba, about 1850, and the Walker expeditions to
Lower California, Nicaragua, and Honduras, a few years later. The steamer
_Virginius_, to which reference is made in another chapter, was engaged
in filibustering when she was captured, in 1873, and many of her crew and
passengers unlawfully executed, by Spanish authority, in Santiago. But that
was only one of many similar enterprises during the Ten Years' War in Cuba.
It is very doubtful if the war could have continued as it did without them.
During our own Civil War, we called such industries "blockade-running," but
it was all quite the same sort of thing. The Confederate army needed arms,
ammunition, medicine, and supplies of many kinds. On April 19, 1861,
President Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of the ports of the seceded States,
with a supplementary proclamation on the 27th that completed the line, and
thus tied the South hand and foot. In his _History of the United States_,
Elson notes that raw cotton could be bought in Southern ports for four
cents a pound while it was worth $2.50 a pound in Liverpool, and that a ton
of salt worth seven or eight dollars in Nassau, a few miles off the coast,
was worth $1700 in gold in Richmond before the close of the war, all
because of the blockade.

There is, naturally, a lack of detail regarding the many expeditions, large
and small, of the Ten Years' War, but they began soon after the opening of
hostilities. In his _Diary_, Gideon Welles notes, under date of April 7,
1869, the prevalence of "rumors of illegal expeditions fitting out in our
country to aid the Cuban insurgents," and states that "our countrymen are
in sympathy with them." In December, of that year, President Grant reported
that a number of illegal expeditions had been broken up, but did not
refer to those that had succeeded. In October, 1870, he issued a general
proclamation, without specific reference to Cuba, warning all persons
against engagement in such expeditions. During the years of the war,
Spanish warships, at different times, seized American vessels, a proceeding
which led to some active diplomatic negotiation, and which, on several
occasions, threatened to involve this country in war with Spain. The
problem of the industry variously known as filibustering, blockade-running,
gun-running, and the shipment of contraband, has two ends. There is, first,
the task of getting the shipment out of one country, and, second, the task
of getting it into another country. While it is generally classed as an
unlawful enterprise, there frequently arises a difficulty in proving
violation of law, even when goods are seized and the participants arrested.
There is, perhaps, a moral question involved also. Such shipments may be a
violation of the law. They are generally so regarded. But they may be,
as in the case of the struggling Cubans, struggling against actual
and generally admitted wrongs, the only means of serving a worthy and
commendable end. There is no doubt that, in Cuba's revolution of 1895,
Americans who knew about the work were prone to regard a successful
expedition to the island with satisfaction if not with glee. They were
inclined to regard those engaged as worthy patriots rather than as
law-breakers.

Under date of February 23, 1898, the House of Representatives requested
the Secretary of the Treasury to inform that body "at the earliest date
practicable, if not incompatible with the public service, what has been
done by the United States to prevent the conveyance to the Cubans
of articles produced in the United States, and what to prevent
'filibustering,' and with what results, giving particulars, and at what
expense to the United States." A reply was sent on the 28th. It makes a
very good showing for the activities of the officials responsible for the
prevention of such expeditions, but from all I can learn about the matter,
it is quite incomplete. There were a number of excursions not set down in
the official records. Sailing dates and time and place of arrival were not
advertised in the daily papers.

The official statement shows that sixty reports of alleged filibustering
expeditions were brought to the attention of the Treasury Department; that
twenty-eight of them were frustrated through efforts of the Department;
that five were frustrated by the United States Navy; four by Spain; two
wrecked; one driven back by storm; one failed through a combination of
causes; and seventeen that may be regarded as successful expeditions. The
records of the Cuban _junta_ very materially increase the number in the
latter class. The despatch of these expeditions was a three-cornered battle
of wits. The groups engaged were the officials of the United States, the
representatives of Spain, and the agents of the revolution. The United
States employed the revenue service and the navy, aided on land by the
Customs Service, the Secret Service, and other Federal officers. The
official representatives of Spain employed scores of detectives and Spanish
spies. The Cuban group sought to outwit them all, and succeeded remarkably
well in doing so. A part of the story has been told, with general
correctness, in a little volume entitled _A Captain Unafraid_, described
as _The Strange Adventures of Dynamite Johnny O'Brien_. This man, really a
remarkable man in his special line, was born in New York, in 1837, and, at
the time this is written, is still living. He was born and grew to boyhood
in the shadow of the numerous shipyards then in active operation along the
East River. The yards were his playground. At thirteen years of age, he ran
away and went to see as cook on a fishing sloop. He admits that he could
not then "cook a pot of water without burning it," but claims that he
could catch cod-fish where no one else could find them. From fisherman,
sailing-master on private yachts, schooner captain, and officer in the
United States Navy in the Civil War, he became a licensed East River pilot
in New York. He became what might be called a professional filibuster
at the time of the revolution in Colombia, in 1885, following that with
similar experience in a revolt in Honduras two years later. The Cubans
landed a few expeditions in 1895, but a greater number were blocked.
In March, 1896, they applied to O'Brien and engaged him to command the
_Bermuda_, then lying in New York and ready to sail. Captain O'Brien
reports that her cargo included "2,500 rifles, a 12-pounder Hotchkiss
field-gun, 1,500 revolvers, 200 short carbines, 1000 pounds of dynamite,
1,200 _machetes_, and an abundance of ammunition." All was packed in boxes
marked "codfish," and "medicines."

The _Bermuda_ sailed the next morning, March 15, with O'Brien in command,
cleared for Vera Cruz. The Cubans, including General Calixto Garcia, who
were to go on the expedition, were sent to Atlantic City, there to engage a
fishing sloop to take them off-shore where they would be picked up by the
_Bermuda_ on her way. The ship was under suspicion, and was followed down
the bay by tugboats carrying United States marshals, customs officers, and
newspaper reporters. O'Brien says: "They hung on to us down through the
lower bay and out past Sandy Hook, without getting enough to pay for a
pound of the coal they were furiously burning to keep up with us. I don't
know how far they might have followed us, but when we were well clear of
the Hook, a kind fortune sent along a blinding snow-storm, which soon
chased them back home." General Garcia and his companions were picked up as
planned, and that part of the enterprise was completed. The vessel was
on its way. A somewhat roundabout route was taken in order to avoid any
possible overhauling by naval or revenue ships. The point selected for the
landing was a little harbor on the north coast about thirty miles from the
eastern end of the island. The party included two Cuban pilots, supposed to
know the coast where they were to land. One of them proved to be a traitor
and the other, O'Brien says, "was at best an ignoramus." The traitor, who,
after the landing, paid for his offence with his life, tried to take them
into the harbor of Baracoa, where lay five Spanish warships. But O'Brien
knew the difference, as shown by his official charts, between the Cape
Maisi light, visible for eighteen miles, and the Baracoa light, visible
for only eight miles, and kicked the pilot off the bridge. The landing was
begun at half-past ten at night, and completed about three o'clock in the
morning, with five Spanish warships barely more than five miles away. The
United States Treasury Department reported this expedition as "successful."
The vessel then proceeded to Honduras, where it took on a cargo of bananas,
and returned, under orders, to Philadelphia, the home city of its owner,
Mr. John D. Hart. Arrests were made soon after the arrival, including Hart,
the owner of the vessel, O'Brien, and his mate, and General Emilio Nuñez
who accompanied the expedition as the representative of the _junta_. The
case was transferred from the courts in Philadelphia to New York, and there
duly heard. The alleged offenders were defended by Horatio Rubens, Esq., of
New York, the official counsel of the _junta_. One of the grounds of the
defence was that the defendants might be guilty of smuggling arms into
Cuba, but with that offence the courts of the United States had nothing to
do. The jury disagreed. The indictments were held over the heads of the
members of the group, but no further action was taken, and two or three
years later the case was dismissed by order of the Attorney General of the
United States.

This expedition fairly illustrates the science of filibustering in its
elementary form, a clearance with some attendant risk; a voyage with
possibility of interference at any time; and a landing made with still
greater risk and danger of capture. The trip had been made so successfully
and with such full satisfaction to the promoters that the _junta_ urged
O'Brien to remain with them as long as there should be need for his
services, and he agreed to do so. A department of expeditions was organized
under the general control of Emilio Nuñez, with O'Brien as navigator.
Credit for the numerous successful expeditions that followed lies in
differing degrees with Nuñez, Palma, Rubens, O'Brien, Hart, Cartaya, and
others less well known in connection with the enterprises. But for the work
they did, the risks they ran, Cuba's revolution must have failed. All of
them risked jail sentences, and some of them risked their lives in ways
perhaps even more dangerous than fighting in the field. The success of the
_Bermuda_ expedition, carried out by what may be called direct evasion,
quite seriously disturbed the authorities in this country, and excited them
to greater precautions and wider activity. Whatever may have been their
personal feelings in the matter, it was their duty to see that the laws of
the country were enforced as far as they could be. The players of the game
for the Cubans met the new activities with complicated moves, many of
which puzzled the watching officials, and landed a number of expeditions.
Meanwhile, minor expeditions continued. The official report notes that on
March 12, 1896, the _Commodore_, a 100-ton steamer, sailed from Charleston
with men, arms, and ammunition, and landed them in Cuba. The _Laurada_, a
900-ton steamer, was reported by the Spanish Legation as having sailed on
May 9, meeting three tugs and two lighters, off the coast, from which were
transferred men and arms. The report states that "some of the men landed in
Cuba, but the larger part of the arms and ammunition was thrown into the
sea," which may or may not have been the case. On May 23, the tug _Three
Friends_ left Jacksonville, took on men and arms from two small vessels
waiting outside, and landed all in Cuba. A month later, and again two
months later, the _Three Friends_ repeated the trip from Florida ports. On
June 17, the _Commodore_ made another successful trip from Charleston.

While these and other minor expeditions were going on, the department of
expeditions in New York was busy with a more extensive enterprise. An order
was placed for 3000 rifles, 3,000,000 rounds of ammunition, 3 12-pound
Hotchkiss field-guns and 600 shells, _machetes_, and several tons of
dynamite. The steamer _Laurada_ was chartered, and the ocean-going tug
_Dauntless_ was bought in Brunswick, Georgia. A part of the purchased
munitions was ordered to New York, and the remainder, two car loads,
shipped to Jacksonville by express. Ostensibly, the _Laurada_ was to sail
from Philadelphia to Jamaica for a cargo of fruit, a business in which
she had at times engaged. Her actual instructions were to proceed to the
vicinity of Barnegat, about forty miles from New York, and there, at sea,
await orders. The arms and ammunition came down from Bridgeport on the
regular boat from that city, and were left on board until night. There was
no particular secrecy about the shipment, and detectives followed it. But
when, at dark, the big gates of the dock were closed and locked and all
seemed over for the day, the watchers assumed that nothing would be done
until the next day, and went away. But, immediately after their departure,
a big lighter slipped quietly into the dock across the wharf from the
Bridgeport boat, a swarm of men appeared and, behind the closed gates, in
the semi-darkness of the wharf, rushed boxes from steamer to lighter. The
work was finished at midnight; a tug slipped up and attached a hawser to
the lighter; and the cargo was on its way to Cuba. Johnny O'Brien was on
the tug. The _Laurada_ was met off Barnegat, as arranged, and the cargo and
about fifty Cubans put on board of her. She was ordered to proceed slowly
to Navassa Island where the _Dauntless_ would meet her. General Nuñez and
O'Brien returned to New York on the tug, and while the detectives suspected
that something had been done, they had no clue whatever to guide them.
Nuñez and O'Brien started immediately for Charleston, with detectives at
their heels. The _Commodore_, a tug then owned by the Cubans, lay in the
harbor of that city, with a revenue cutter standing guard over her. She was
ordered to get up steam and to go through all the motions of an immediate
departure. But this was a ruse to draw attention away from the actual
operations. Rubens, meanwhile, had gone to Jacksonville where he busied
himself in convincing the authorities that the tug _Three Friends_ was
about to get away with an expedition. With one revenue cutter watching the
_Commodore_ in Charleston, the other cutter in the neighborhood was engaged
in watching the _Three Friends_ in Jacksonville, thus leaving a clear coast
between those cities. In Charleston were about seventy-five Cubans waiting
a chance to get to the island. O'Brien states that about twenty-five
detectives were following their party. Late in the afternoon of August
13, while the smoke was pouring from the funnels of the _Commodore_, the
regular south-bound train pulled out of the city. Its rear car was a
reserved coach carrying the Cuban party, numbering a hundred or so.
Detectives tried to enter, but were told that it was a private car, which
it was. They went along in the forward cars. At ten o'clock that night, the
train reached Callahan, where the Coast Line crossed the Seaboard Air Line.
While the train was halted for the crossing, that rear car was quietly
uncoupled. The train went on, detectives and all. The railroad arrangements
were effected through the invaluable assistance of Mr. Alphonso Fritot, a
local railway man whose authority enabled him to do with trains and train
movement whatever he saw fit. He was himself of Cuban birth, though of
French-American parentage, with ample reason, both personal and patriotic,
for serving his Cuban friends, and his services were beyond measure. By his
orders, when that train with its band of detectives had pulled away for
Jacksonville, an engine picked up the detached car and ran it over to the
Coast Line. A few miles away, it collected from a blind siding the two cars
of arms and ammunition shipped some days before, from Bridgeport. A little
further on, the line crossed the Satilla River. There lay the _Dauntless_,
purchased by Rubens. Steam was up, and a quick job was made of transferring
cargo and men from train to boat. Another tug brought a supply of coal, and
soon after sunrise another expedition was on its way to Cuba. All this may
be very immoral, but some who were on the expedition have told me that it
was at least tremendously exciting.

On August 17, the passengers and cargo were landed on the Cuban coast near
Nuevitas. The tug then proceeded to Navassa Island to meet the _Laurada_.
Half of the men and half of the cargo of the steamer were transferred to
the tug, and all were safely landed in a little cove a few miles west of
Santiago. The landing was made in broad daylight. There were a number of
Spanish naval vessels in Santiago harbor, and the city itself was filled
with Spanish troops. The tug then returned for the remainder of the
_Laurada's_ passengers and cargo, all of which were landed a few days later
at the place of the earlier landing. The _Laurada_ went on to Jamaica and
loaded with bananas, with which she sailed for Charleston. Arrests were
made as a result of the expedition, and the owner of the ship, Mr. John D.
Hart, was convicted and sentenced to sixteen months in the penitentiary.
After serving four months of his term, a pardon was secured. He is said to
be the only one, out of all those engaged in the many expeditions, who was
actually convicted, and his only offence was the chartering of his ships
to the Cuban revolutionists. The _Dauntless_ was seized on her return to
Jacksonville, but was soon released. An effort was made to indict O'Brien,
but there was too much sympathy for the Cubans in Florida, where the effort
was made. A number of minor expeditions were carried out in the next few
months, by the _Dauntless_, the _Three Friends_, and the _Commodore_, the
latter being wrecked in the last week in December.

In February, 1897, another complicated manoeuvre was successfully executed.
This involved the use of the _Bermuda_, the _Laurada_, and no less than
seven smaller auxilliary vessels, tugs, lighters, and schooners. Rut the
_Laurada_ landed the cargo on the north-eastern coast of the island.
As O'Brien tells the story, this successful expedition so angered
Captain-General Weyler, then the ruler of the island, that he sent a
message to the daring filibuster, through an American newspaper man,
somewhat as follows: "Tell O'Brien that we will get him, sooner or later,
and when we do, instead of having him shot along with his Cuban companions,
I am going to have him ignominiously hanged from the flag-pole at Cabaña,
in full view of the city." Cabaña is the old fortress across the bay,
visible from nearly all parts of Havana. To this, O'Brien sent reply
saying: "To show my contempt for you and all who take orders from you, I
will make a landing within plain sight of Havana on my next trip to Cuba.
I may even land an expedition inside of the harbor and take you away a
prisoner. If we should capture you, which is much more likely than that you
will ever capture me, I will have you chopped up into small pieces and fed
to the fires of the _Dauntless_." A few months later, this little Irishman,
whom Weyler denounced as a "bloodthirsty, dare-devil," and who may have
been a dare-devil but was not bloodthirsty, actually carried out a part of
this seemingly reckless threat. He landed a cargo within a mile and a half
of Morro Castle.

By this time, vessels of the United States navy were employed,
supplementing the work of the Revenue Service. This, of course, added both
difficulty and danger to the work. In March and April, several expeditions
were interrupted. For the Spanish blockade of the Cuban coast, there was
only contempt. Captain O'Brien told a naval officer that if the navy and
the revenue cutters would let him alone he would "advertise the time and
place of departure, carry excursions on every trip, and guarantee that
every expedition would be landed on time." In May, 1897, two carloads of
arms and ammunition were shipped from New York to Jacksonville, but, by
the authority of Mr. Fritot, they were quietly dropped from the train at
a junction point, and sent to Wilmington, N.C. Their contents were
transferred to the tug _Alexander Jones_, and that boat proceeded
nonchalantly down the river. Soon afterward, an old schooner, the _John
D. Long_, loaded with coal, followed the tug. Two revenue cutters were on
hand, but there was nothing in the movements of these vessels to excite
their interest. Off shore, the tug attached a towline to the schooner that
was carrying its coal supply, its own bunkers being crammed with guns and
cartridges. Off Palm Beach, General Nuñez and some sixty Cubans were taken
from a fishing boat, according to a prearranged plan. Two days later, at an
agreed upon place, they were joined by the _Dauntless_ which had slipped
out of Jacksonville. The excursion was then complete. About half the cargo
of the _Jones_ was transferred to the _Dauntless_ and was landed, May 21, a
few miles east of Nuevitas. A second trip took the remainder of the cargo
of the _Jones_ and most of the Cuban passengers, and landed the lot under
the very guns, such as they were, of Morro Castle, and within about three
miles of the Palace of Captain-General Weyler. All that time, a force of
insurgents under Rodriguez and Aurenguren was operating in that immediate
vicinity, and was in great need of the supplies thus obtained. Some of the
dynamite then landed was used the next day to blow up a train on which
Weyler was supposed to be travelling, but in their haste the Cubans got one
train ahead of that carrying the official party. The row that Weyler made
about this landing will probably never be forgotten by the subordinates who
were the immediate victims of his rage.

These are only a few of the many expeditions, successful and unsuccessful,
made during those three eventful years. The Treasury Department report of
February 28, 1898, gives seventeen successful operations. As a matter of
fact, more than forty landings were made, although in a few cases a single
expedition accounted for two, and in one or two instances for three
landings. The experiences run through the entire gamut of human emotions,
from absurdity to tragedy. The former is illustrated by the case of the
_Dauntless_ when she was held up by a vessel of the United States navy, and
boarded by one of the officers of the ship. He examined the tug from stem
to stern, sat on boxes of ammunition which seemed to him to be boxes of
sardines, stumbled over packages of rifles from which butts and muzzles
protruded; and failed utterly to find anything that could be regarded as
contraband. The mere fact that a vessel is engaged in transporting arms and
ammunition does not, of necessity, bring it within reach of the law. But
that particular vessel was a good deal more than under suspicion; it was
under the closest surveillance and open to the sharpest scrutiny. The
temporary myopia of that particular lieutenant of the United States navy
was no more than an outward and visible sign of a well-developed sense of
humor, and an indication of at least a personal sympathy for the Cubans
in their struggle. Tragedy is illustrated by the disaster to the steamer
_Tillie_. One day, late in January, 1898, this vessel, lying off the end
of Long Island, took on one of the largest cargoes ever started on a
filibustering expedition to Cuba. The cause is not known, but soon after
starting a leak developed, beyond the capacity of the pumps. A heavy
sea was running, and disaster was soon inevitable. The cargo was thrown
overboard to lighten the ship and the vessel was headed for the shore on
the chance that it might float until it could be beached. The water in the
ship increased rapidly, and extinguished the fires under the boilers; the
wind, blowing a high gale, swung into the northwest, thus driving the now
helpless hulk out to sea. Huge combing waves swept the decks from end to
end. O'Brien tells the story: "We looked in vain for another craft of any
kind, and by the middle of the afternoon it seemed as though it was all up
with us, for there was not much daylight left, and with her deck almost
awash it was impossible that the _Tillie_ should keep afloat all night. The
gale had swept us rapidly out to sea. The wind, which was filled with icy
needles, had kicked up a wild cross-sea, and it was more comfortable to go
down with the ship than even to think of trying to escape in the boats." At
last, when there seemed no longer any hope of rescue, the big five-masted
schooner _Governor Ames_ came plunging through the heaving seas, and,
by masterly seamanship and good fortune, backed by the heroism of her
commander and crew, succeeded in taking off all except four, who went down
with the ship. But the work went on. There is not space here to tell of the
several vessels whose names, through the engagement of the craft in these
enterprises, became as familiar to newspaper readers as are the names of
ocean liners today. A few months later, the United States Government
sent its ships and its men to help those who, for three hard years, had
struggled for national independence.



XII

_THE STORY OF SUGAR_


Chemically, sugar is a compound belonging to the group of carbohydrates, or
organic compounds of carbon with oxygen and hydrogen. The group includes
sugars, starches, gums, and celluloses. Sugar is a product of the vegetable
kingdom, of plants, trees, root crops, etc. It is found in and is
producible from many growths. As a laboratory process, it is obtainable
from many sources, but, commercially, it is derived from only two, the
sugar cane and the beet root. This statement, however, has a certain
limitation in that it omits such products as maple sugar, malt sugar, milk
sugar, and others having commercial or chemical uses on a limited scale.
But it is only with the crystallized sucrose, the familiar sugar of the
market and the household, that we are dealing here. The output of the other
sugars is measurable in hundreds or even thousands of pounds, but the
output of the sugar of commerce is measured in millions of tons. Long
experience proves that the desired substance is most readily, most
abundantly, and most cheaply, obtained from the juices of the plant
commonly known as sugar cane, and from the vegetable known as the sugar
beet.

The mechanical processes employed in producing sugar from cane and from
beets, are practically the same. They are, broadly, the extraction or
expression of the juices, their clarification and evaporation, and
crystallization. These processes produce what is called "raw sugar," of
varying percentages of sucrose content. Following them, there comes,
for American uses, the process of refining, of removing the so-called
impurities and foreign substances, and the final production of sugar in
the shape of white crystals of different size, of sugar as powdered, cube,
loaf, or other form. In the case of cane sugar, this is usually a secondary
operation not conducted in the original mill. In the case of beet sugar,
production is not infrequently a continuous operation in the same mill,
from the beet root to the bagged or barrelled sugar ready for the market.
The final product from both cane and beet is practically the same. Pure
sugar is pure sugar, whatever its source. In the commercial production, on
large scale, there remains a small fraction of molasses or other harmless
substances, indistinguishable by sight, taste, or smell. With that fraction
removed and an absolute 100 per cent. secured, there would be no way
by which the particular origin could be determined. For all practical
purposes, the sugar of commerce, whether from cane or beet, is pure sugar.
It is doubtful if an adulterated sugar can be found in the United States,
notwithstanding the tales of the grocer who "sands" his sugar, and of the
producer who adds _terra alba_ or some other adulterant. In some countries
of Europe and elsewhere, there are sugars of inferior grades, of 85 or 90
or more degrees of sugar purity, but they are known as such and are sold at
prices adjusted to their quality. Sugars of that class are obtainable
in this country, but they are wanted almost exclusively for particular
industrial purposes, for their glucose rather than their sucrose content.
The American household, whether the home of the rich or of the poor,
demands the well-known white sugar of established purity.

There is still obtainable, in this country, but in limited quantity, a
sugar very pleasantly remembered by many who have reached or passed middle
age. It was variously known as "Muscovado" sugar, or as "plantation sugar,"
sometimes as "coffee" or "coffee crushed." It was a sugar somewhat
sweeter to the taste than the white sugar, by reason of the presence of
a percentage of molasses. It was a superior sugar for certain kitchen
products, for pies, certain kinds of cake, etc. It has many times been
urged in Congress that the employment of what is known as the Dutch
Standard, now abolished, excluded this sugar from our market. This is not
at all the fact. The disappearance of the commodity is due solely to change
in the mechanical methods of sugar production. It would be quite impossible
to supply the world's sugar demand by the old "open kettle" process by
which that sugar was made. The quality of sugar is easily tested by any one
who has a spoonful of sugar and a glass of water. If the sugar dissolves
entirely, and dissolves without discoloring the water, it may be accepted
as a pure sugar.

In his book on _The World's Cane Sugar Industry--Past and Present_, Mr.
H.C. Prinsen Geerligs, a recognized expert authority on the subject, gives
an elaborate history of the origin and development of the industry. His
chapters on those branches are much too long for inclusion in full, but the
following extracts tell the story in general outline. He states that the
probability that sugar cane originally came from India is very strong, "as
only the ancient literature of that country mentions sugar cane, while we
know for certain that it was conveyed (from there) to other countries by
travellers and sailors." The plant appears in Hindu mythology. A certain
prince expressed a desire to be translated to heaven during his lifetime,
but Indra, the monarch of the celestial regions, refused to admit him. A
famous Hindu hermit, Vishva Mitra, prepared a temporary paradise for the
prince, and for his use created the sugar cane as a heavenly food during
his occupation of the place. The abode was afterward demolished, but the
delectable plant, and a few other luxuries, were "spread all over the land
of mortals as a permanent memorial of Vishva Mitra's miraculous deeds." In
the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) there appear tales of "a
reed growing in India which produced honey without the aid of bees."

The early references are to sugar cane and not to cane sugar. While there
may have been earlier experiences, the history of sugar, as such, seems to
begin in the 7th century (A.D.). There is a story that the Chinese Emperor,
Tai Tsung (627-650 A.D.) sent people to Behar, in India, to learn the art
of sugar manufacture. The Arabs and the Egyptians soon learned how to
purify sugar by re-crystallization, and to manufacture sweetmeats from the
purified sugar. Marco Polo, who visited China during the last quarter of
the 13th Century, refers to "a great many sugar factories in South China,
where sugar could be freely bought at low prices." The Mohammedan records
of that period also show the manufacture, in India, of crystallized sugar
and candy. The area of production at that time covered, generally, the
entire Mediterranean coast. The crusaders found extensive plantations in
Tripoli, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Syria, and elsewhere. The plant is said to
have been introduced in Spain as early as the year 755. Its cultivation is
said to have been a flourishing industry there in the year 1150. Through
China, it was early extended to Japan, Formosa, and the Philippines. The
records of the 14th Century show the production and distribution of sugar
as an important commercial enterprise in the Mediterranean region. The
Portuguese discoveries of the 15th Century carried the plant to the Azores,
the Cape Verde islands, and to possessions in the Gulf of Guinea. The
Spaniards took it to the Western Hemisphere in the early years of the 16th
Century. The Portuguese took it to Brazil at about the same time. While a
Chinese traveller, visiting Java in 424, reports the cultivation of sugar
cane, it was not until more than twelve hundred years later that the
island, now an important source of sugar supply, began the production of
sugar as a commercial enterprise. By the end of the 18th Century there
was what might be called a sugar belt, girdling the globe and extending,
roughly, from thirty-five degrees north of the equator to thirty-five
degrees south of that line. It was then a product of many of the countries
within those limits. The supply of that time was obtained entirely from
cane.

The early years of the 19th Century brought a new experience in the sugar
business. That was the production of sugar, in commercial quantities,
from beets. From that time until now, the commodity has been a political
shuttlecock, the object of government bounties and the subject of taxation.
In 1747, Herr Marggraf, of the Academy of Sciences, in Berlin, discovered
the existence of crystallizable sugar in the juice of the beet and other
roots. No practical use was made of the discovery until 1801 when a factory
was established near Breslau, in Silesia. The European beet-sugar industry,
that has since attained enormous proportions, had its actual beginning in
the early years of the 19th Century. It was a result of the Napoleonic wars
of that period. When the wars were ended, and the blockades raised, the
industry was continued in France by the aid of premiums, differentials, and
practically prohibitory tariffs. The activities in other European countries
under similar conditions of governmental aid, came a little later. The
total world supply of sugar, including cane and beet, less than 1,500,000
tons, even as recently as 1850, seems small in comparison with the world's
requirement of about twelve times that quantity at the present time. The
output of beet sugar was then only about 200,000 tons, as compared with a
present production of approximately 8,000,000 tons. But sugar was then a
costly luxury while it is today a cheaply supplied household necessity. As
recently as 1870, the wholesale price of granulated sugar in New York
was thirteen and a half cents a pound, or about three times the present
average.

Cane sugar is produced in large or small quantities in some fifty
different countries and islands. In many, the output is only for domestic
consumption, or in quantity too small to warrant inclusion in the list of
sources of commercial supply. Sixteen countries are included in the list of
beet-sugar producers. Of these, all are in Europe with the exception of the
United States and Canada. Only two countries, the United States and
Spain, produce sugar from both beet and cane. British India leads in the
production of cane sugar, with Cuba a close second on the list, and Java
the third. In their total, these three countries supply about two-thirds
of the world's total output of cane sugar. Hawaii and Porto Rico, in that
order, stand next on the list of producers. Under normal conditions,
Germany leads in beet-sugar production, with Russia second, Austria-Hungary
third, France fourth, and the United States fifth, with Belgium, the
Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark following. The island of Cuba is
the most important source of commercial cane sugar. Immediately before
the revolution of 1895, its output a little exceeded a million tons. The
derangement caused by that experience covered several years, and it was not
until 1903 that so large a crop was again made. Since that time, the output
has more than doubled. The increase is attributable to the large increase
in demand in the United States, and to the advantage given Cuban sugar in
this market by the reciprocity treaty of 1903. Practically all of Cuba's
export product is in the class commonly known as 96 degree centrifugals,
that is, raw sugar of 96 per cent, or thereabout, of sugar content. Under
normal conditions, nearly all of Cuba's shipments are to the United States.
The sugar industry was introduced in Cuba very soon after the permanent
settlement of the island, by Spaniards, in the early years of the 16th
Century, but it was not until two hundred and fifty years later that
Spain's restrictive and oppressive colonial policy made even its fair
extension possible. In 1760, two and a half centuries after the first
settlement, the sugar exports of the island were a little less than 4,400
tons. In 1790, they were a little more than 14,000 tons. Some relaxation of
the laws regulating production and exportation, made possible an increase
to 41,000 tons in 1802, and further relaxation made possible, in 1850, an
output somewhat unreliably reported as 223,000 tons. It reached 632,000
tons in 1890, and the stimulus of the "free sugar" schedule of the United
States brought it, in the next few years, to more than a million tons.
Production in recent years has averaged about 2,500,000 tons.

In forty years, only a little more than a single generation, the world's
supply of sugar has been multiplied by five, from a little more than three
million tons a year to nearly eighteen million tons. The total world output
in 1875 would not today supply the demand of the United States alone.
This increase in production has been made possible by improvements in the
methods and the machinery of manufacture. Until quite recently, primitive
methods were employed, much like those used in the production of maple
sugar on the farm, although on larger scale. More attention has been paid
to varieties of the plant and some, though no very great, change has been
made in field processes. In Cuba, the cane is planted in vast areas, in
thousands of acres. Some of the estates plant and cultivate their
own fields, and grind the cane in their own mills. Others, known as
"_colonos_," are planters only, the crop being sold to the mills commonly
called "_centrales_." In its general appearance, a field of sugar-cane
looks quite like a field of corn, but the method of cultivation is somewhat
different. The slow oxen are still commonly used for plowing and for
carts. This is not because of any lack of progressive spirit, but because
experience has shown that, under all conditions of the industry, the ox
makes the most satisfactory and economical motive power, notwithstanding
his lack of pace.

The Encyclopædia describes sugar-cane as "a member of the grass family,
known botanically as _Saccbarum officinarum_. It is a tall, perennial
grass-like plant, giving off numerous erect stems 6 to 12 feet or more in
height, from a thick solid jointed root-stalk." The ground is plowed
in rows in which, not seed, but a stalk of cane is lightly buried. The
rootlets and the new cane spring from the joints of the planted stalk which
is laid flat and lengthwise of the row. It takes from a year to a year
and a half for the stalk to mature sufficiently for cutting and grinding.
Several cuttings, and sometimes many, are made from a single planting.
There are tales of fields on which cane has grown for forty years without
re-planting. A few years ago, ten or fifteen years was not an unusual
period. The present tendency is toward more frequent planting, but not
annual, as offering a better chance for stronger cane with a larger sugar
content. The whole process of cultivation and field treatment is hard,
heavy work, most of it very hard work. Probably the hardest and heaviest is
the cutting. This is done with a long, heavy-bladed knife, the _machete_.
The stalk, from an inch to two inches in thickness, is chopped down near
the root, the heavy knife swung with cut after cut, under a burning sun.
Only the strongest can stand it, a wearying, back-breaking task. After
cutting, the stalk is trimmed and loaded on carts to be hauled, according
to distance, either directly to the mill or to the railway running thereto.
The large estates have their own railway systems running to all the fields
of the plantation. These are private lines operated only for economy
in cane transportation. Most of the crushing mills measure their daily
consumption of cane in thousands of tons. While every precaution is taken,
there are occasional fires. In planting, wide "fire lanes," or uncultivated
strips are left to prevent the spread of fire if it occurs.

Mill installations vary on the different plantations, but the general
principle of operation is the same on all. The first process is the
extraction of the juice that carries the sugar. It is probable that this
was originally done in hand mortars. Next came the passing of the cane
between wooden rollers turned by ox power, the rollers standing upright and
connected with a projecting shaft or beam to the outer end of which the
animal was attached, to plod around and around while the cane was fed
between the rollers. The present system is merely an expansion of that old
principle. At the mill, the stalks are dumped, by carload or by cartload,
into a channel through which they are mechanically conveyed to huge
rollers, placed horizontally, arranged in pairs or in sets of three, and
slowly turned by powerful engines. The larger mills have a series of these
rollers, two, three, or even four sets, the stalks passing from one to
another for the expression of every possible drop of the juice, up to the
point where the cost of juice extraction exceeds the value of the juice
obtained. The expressed juices are collected in troughs through which they
are run to the next operation. The crushed stalks, then known as _bagasse_,
are conveyed to the huge boilers where they are used as fuel for the
generation of the steam required in the various operations, from the
feeding and the turning of the rollers, to the device from which the final
product, the crystallized sugar, is poured into bags ready for shipment.
All this is a seasonal enterprise. The cane grows throughout the year, but
it begins to ripen in December. Then the mills start up and run until the
rains of the next May or June suspend further operations. It then becomes
impossible to haul the cane over the heavily mired roads from the muddy
fields. Usually, only a few mills begin their work in December, and early
June usually sees most of them shut down. The beginning of the rainy season
is not uniform, and there are mills in eastern Cuba that sometimes run into
July and even into August. But the general grinding season may be given as
of about five months duration, and busy months they are. The work goes on
night and day.

The next step is the treatment of the juices expressed by the rollers and
collected in the troughs that carry it onward. The operations are highly
technical, and different methods are employed in different mills. The first
operation is one of purification. The juice, as it comes from the rollers,
carries such materials as glucose, salts, organic acids, and other
impurities, that must be removed. For this, lime is the principal agent.
The details of it all would be as tedious here as they are complicated
in the mill. The percentages of the different impurities vary with the
variation of the soils in which the cane is grown. The next step, following
clarification, is evaporation, the boiling out of a large percentage of
the water carried in the juice. For this purpose, a vacuum system is used,
making possible a more rapid evaporation with a smaller expenditure of
fuel. These two operations, clarification and evaporation by the use of the
vacuum, are merely improved methods for doing, on a large scale, what was
formerly done by boiling in pans or kettles, on a small scale. That method
is still used in many parts of the world, and even in the United States, in
a small way. For special reasons, it is still used on some of the Louisiana
plantations; it is common in the farm production of sorghum molasses in the
South; and in the manufacture of maple sugar in the North. In those places,
the juices are boiled in open pans or kettles, the impurities skimmed off
as they rise, and the boiling, for evaporation, is continued until a
proper consistency is reached, for molasses in the case of sorghum and for
crystallization in the case of plantation and maple sugars. There is an old
story of an erratic New England trader, in Newburyport, who called himself
Lord Timothy Dexter. In one of his shipments to the West Indies, a hundred
and fifty years ago, this picturesque individual included a consignment of
"warming pans," shallow metal basins with a cover and a long wooden handle,
used for warming beds on cold winter nights. The basin was filled with
coals from the fireplace, and then moved about between the sheets to take
off the chill. He was not a little ridiculed by his acquaintances for
sending such merchandise where it could not possibly be needed, but it is
said that he made considerable money out of his enterprise. With the covers
removed, the long-handled, shallow basins proved admirably adapted for use
in skimming the sugar in the boiling-pans. But the old-fashioned method
would be impossible today.

The different operations are too complicated and too technical for more
than a reference to the purpose of the successive processes. Clarification
and evaporation having been completed, the next step is crystallization,
also a complicated operation. When this is done, there remains a dark brown
mass consisting of sugar crystals and molasses, and the next step is
the removal of all except a small percentage of the molasses. This
is accomplished by what are called the centrifugals, deep bowls with
perforated walls, whirled at two or three thousand revolutions a minute.
This expels the greater part of the molasses, and leaves a mass of
yellow-brown crystals, the coloring being due to the molasses remaining.
This is the raw sugar of commerce. Most of Cuba's raw product is classed
as "96 degree centrifugals," that is, the raw sugar, as it comes from the
centrifugal machines and is bagged for shipment, is of 96 degrees of sugar
purity. This is shipped to market, usually in full cargo lots. There it
goes to the refineries, where it is melted, clarified, evaporated, and
crystallized. This second clarification removes practically everything
except the pure crystallized sugar of the market and the table. It is then
an article of daily use in every household, and a subject of everlasting
debate in Congress.



XIII

_VARIOUS PRODUCTS AND INDUSTRIES_


The Encyclopædia Britannica states that "although the fact has been
controverted, there cannot be a doubt that the knowledge of tobacco and
its uses came to the rest of the world from America. As the continent was
opened up and explored, it became evident that the consumption of tobacco,
especially by smoking, was a universal and immemorial usage, in many cases
bound up with the most significant and solemn tribal ceremonials." The name
"tobacco" was originally the name of the appliance in which it was smoked
and not of the plant itself, just as the term "chowder" comes from the
vessel (_chaudière_) in which the compound was prepared. The tobacco plant
was first taken to Europe in 1558, by Francisco Fernandez, a physician who
had been sent to Mexico by Philip II to investigate the products of that
country. The English, however, appear to have been the first Europeans
to adopt the smoking habit, and Sir Walter Raleigh was notable for his
indulgence in the weed. He is said to have called for a solacing pipe just
before his execution. Very soon after their arrival, in 1607, the Virginia
settlers engaged in the cultivation of tobacco, and it soon became the most
important commercial product of the colony. Smoking, as practiced in this
country, appears to have been largely, and perhaps only, by means of pipes
generally similar to those now in use. The contents of ancient Indian
mounds, or tumuli, opened in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, show the
use of pipes by the aborigines probably centuries before the discoveries
by Columbus. Many were elaborately carved in porphyry or some other hard
stone, while others were made of baked clay. Others, many of them also
elaborately carved and ornamented, have been found in Mexico. Roman
antiquities show many pipes, but they do not show the use of tobacco. It
is assumed that they were used for burning incense, or for smoking some
aromatic herb or hemp.

The first knowledge of the use of the plant in Cuba was in November, 1492,
when Columbus, on landing near Nuevitas, sent his messengers inland to
greet the supposed ruler of a supposed great Asiatic empire. Washington
Irving thus reports the story as it was told by Navarete, the Spanish
historian. Referring to those messengers, he says: "They beheld several of
the natives going about with firebrands in their hands, and certain dried
herbs which they rolled up in a leaf, and lighting one end, put the other
in their mouths, and continued exhaling and puffing out the smoke. A roll
of this kind they called a tobacco, a name since transferred to the plant
of which the rolls were made. The Spaniards, although prepared to meet with
wonders, were struck with astonishment at this singular and apparently
nauseous indulgence." A few years later, a different method was reported,
by Columbus, as employed in Hispaniola. This consisted of inhaling the
fumes of the leaf through a Y-shaped device applied to the nostrils. This
operation is said to have produced intoxication and stupefaction, which
appears to have been the desired result. The old name still continues
in Cuba, and if a smoker wants a cigar, he will get it by calling for a
"tobacco." The production of the plant is, next to sugar, Cuba's most
important commercial industry. Its early history is only imperfectly known.
There was probably very little commercial production during the 16th
Century, for the reason that there was then no demand for it. The demand
came in the first half of the 17th Century, and by the middle of that
period tobacco was known and used in practically all civilized countries.
The demand for it spread very rapidly, in spite of papal fulminations and
penal enactments. For a time, in Russia, the noses of smokers were cut off.
The early part of the 18th Century saw Cuba actively engaged in production
and shipment. In 1717, Cuba's tobacco was made a monopoly of the Spanish
Government. Under that system, production was regulated and prices were
fixed by the agents of the government, in utter disregard of the welfare
of the producers. As a result, several serious riots occurred. In 1723,
a large number of planters refused to accept the terms offered by the
officials, and destroyed the crops of those who did accept, a condition
repeated in the State of Kentucky a few years ago, the only difference
being that in the Cuban experience the monopolist was the Government, and
in Kentucky it was a corporation. A few years later, in 1734, the Cuban
monopoly was sold to Don José Tallapiedra who contracted to ship to Spain,
annually, three million pounds of tobacco. The contract was afterward given
to another, but control was resumed by the Crown, in 1760. Finally, in
1817, cultivation and trade were declared to be free, subject only to
taxation.

[Illustration: STREET IN CAMAGUEY]

In time, it became known that the choicest tobacco in the market came from
the western end of Cuba, from the Province of Pinar del Rio. It was given a
distinct name, _Vuelta Abajo_, a term variously translated but referring
to the downward bend of the section of the island in which that grade is
produced. Here is grown a tobacco that, thus far, has been impossible of
production elsewhere. Many experiments have been tried, in Cuba and in
other countries. Soils have been analyzed by chemists; seeds from the
_Vuelta Abajo_ have been planted; and localities have been sought where
climatic conditions corresponded. No success has been attained. Nor is the
crop of that region produced on an extensive scale, that is, the choicer
leaf. Not all of the tobacco is of the finest grade, although most of it is
of high quality. There are what may be called "patches" of ground, known
to the experts, on which the best is produced, for reasons not yet clearly
determined. The fact is well known, but the causes are somewhat mysterious.
Nor does the plant of this region appear to be susceptible of improvement
through any modern, scientific systems of cultivation. The quality
deteriorates rather than improves as a result of artificial fertilizers.
The people of the region, cultivating this special product through
generation after generation, seem to have developed a peculiar instinct for
its treatment. It is not impossible that a time may come when scientific
soil selection, seed selection, special cultivation, irrigation, and other
systems, singly or in combination, will make possible the production of a
standardized high-grade leaf in much greater quantity than heretofore, but
it seems little probable that anything so produced will excel or even equal
the best produced by these expert _vegueros_ by their indefinable but
thorough knowledge of the minutest peculiarities of this peculiar plant.
Thus far, it has not even been possible to produce it elsewhere in the
island. It has been tried outside of the fairly defined area of its
production, tried by men who knew it thoroughly within that area, tried
from the same seed, from soils that seem quite the same. But all failed.
Science may some day definitely locate the reasons, just as it may find the
reason for deterioration in the quality of Cuban tobacco eastward from that
area. The tobacco of Havana Province is excellent, but inferior to that of
Pinar del Rio. The growth of Santa Clara Province is of good quality, but
inferior to that of Havana Province, while the tobacco of eastern Cuba is
little short of an offence to a discriminating taste.

Tobacco is grown from seeds, planted in specially prepared seed beds.
Seeding is begun in the early autumn. When the young plant has attained a
proper height, about eight or ten inches, it is removed to, and planted
in, the field of its final growth. This preliminary process demands skill,
knowledge, and careful attention equal, perhaps, to the requirements of the
later stages. Experiments have been made with mechanical appliances, but
most of the work is still done by hand, particularly in the area producing
the better qualities of leaf. From the time of transplanting, it is watched
with the greatest care. A constant battle is waged with weeds and insect
life, and water must be brought if the season is too dry. If rains are
excessive, as they sometimes are, the crop may be partly or wholly
destroyed, as it was in the autumn of 1914. The plant matures in January,
after four months of constant watchfulness and labor, in cultivation,
pruning, and protection from worms and insects. When the leaves are
properly ripened, the stalks are cut in sections, two leaves to a section.
These are hung on poles and taken to the drying sheds where they are
suspended for three or more weeks. The time of this process, and its
results, depend upon moisture, temperature, and treatment. All this is
again an operation demanding expert knowledge and constant care. When
properly cured, the leaves are packed in bales of about 110 pounds each,
and are then ready for the market. Because of the varying conditions under
which the leaf is produced, from year to year, it is somewhat difficult
to determine with any accuracy the increase in the industry. Broadly, the
output appears to have been practically doubled in the last twenty years,
a growth attributed to the new economic conditions, to the extension of
transportation facilities that have made possible the opening of new areas
to cultivation, and to the investment of capital, largely American capital.
The exports show, generally, a material increase in sales of leaf tobacco
and some decline in sales of cigars. The principal market for the leaf, for
about 85 per cent of it, is in the United States where it is made, with
more or less honesty, into "all-Havana" cigars. This country, however,
takes only about a third of Cuba's cigar output. The United Kingdom takes
about as much of that product as we do, and Germany, in normal times, takes
about half as much. The remainder is widely scattered, and genuine imported
Havana cigars are obtainable in all countries throughout the world.
The total value of Cuba's yearly tobacco crop is from $40,000,000 to
$50,000,000, including domestic consumption and foreign trade.

The story that all Cubans, men and women alike, are habitual and constant
smokers, is not and never was true. Whatever it may have been in the past,
I am inclined to think that smoking by women is more common in this country
than it is in Cuba, particularly among the middle and upper social classes.
I have seen many American and English women smoke in public, but never a
Cuban woman. Nor is smoking by men without its exceptions. I doubt if the
percentage of non-smokers in this country is any greater than it is in
the island. There are many Cubans who do smoke, just as there are many
Americans, Englishmen, Germans, and Russians. Those who watch on the
street for a respectable Cuban woman with a cigar in her mouth, or even a
cigarette, will be disappointed. Cuba's tobacco is known by the name of the
region in which it is produced; the _Vuelta Abajo_ of Pinar del Rio; the
_Partidos_ of Havana Province; the _Manicaragua_ and the _Remedios_ of
Santa Clara; and the _Mayari_ of Oriente. Until quite recently, when
American organized capital secured control of many of the leading factories
in Cuba, it was possible to identify a cigar, in size and shape, by some
commonly employed name, such as _perfectos, conchas, panetelas, imperiales,
londres_, etc. The old names still appear, but to them there has been added
an almost interminable list in which the old distinction is almost
lost. Lost, too, or submerged, are many of the old well-known names of
manufacturers, names that were a guarantee of quality. There were also
names for different qualities, almost invariably reliable, and for color
that was supposed to mark the strength of the cigar. An accomplished smoker
may still follow the old system and call for a cigar to his liking, by the
use of the old terms and names made familiar by years of experience, but
the general run of smokers can only select, from a hundred or more boxes
bearing names and words that are unfamiliar or unknown, a cigar that
he thinks looks like one that he wants. It may be a "_superba_" an
"_imperial_" a "Wilson's Cabinet," or a "Havana Kid."

There is a wide difference in the dates given as the time of the
introduction of the coffee plant in Cuba. One writer gives the year 1720,
another gives 1748, and still another gives 1769. Others give various years
near the end of the century. It was doubtless a minor industry for fifty
years or more before that time, but it was given an impetus and began to
assume commercial proportions during the closing years of the 18th Century.
During that century, the industry was somewhat extensively carried on in
the neighboring island of Santo Domingo. In 1790, a revolution broke out
in that island, including Haiti, and lasted, with more or less violent
activity, for nearly ten years. One result was the emigration to Cuba of
a considerable number of refugees, many of them French. They settled in
eastern Cuba, where conditions for coffee-growing are highly favorable.
Knowing that industry from their experience with it in the adjacent island,
these people naturally took it up in their new home. The cultivation of
coffee in Cuba, prior to that time, was largely in the neighborhood of
Havana, the region then of the greater settlement and development. For
the next forty years or so, the industry developed and coffee assumed a
considerable importance as an export commodity, in addition to the domestic
supply. In 1840, there were more than two thousand coffee plantations,
large and small, producing more than seventy million pounds of coffee, the
greater part of which was exported. From about the middle of the century,
the industry declined, in part because of lower prices due to increase in
the world-supply through increased production in other countries, and in
part, because of the larger chance of profit in the growing of sugar, an
industry then showing an increased importance. Coffee culture has never
been entirely suspended in the island, and efforts are made from time to
time to revive it, but for many years Cuba has imported most of its coffee
supply, the larger share being purchased from Porto Rico. It would be
easily possible for Cuba to produce its entire requirement. There are few
more beautiful sights in all the world than a field of coffee trees in
blossom. One writer has likened it to "millions of snow drops scattered
over a sea of green." They blossom, in Cuba, about the end of February or
early in March, the fruit season and picking coming in the autumn. Coffee
culture is an industry requiring great care and some knowledge, and the
preparation of the berry for the market involves no less of care and
knowledge. The quality of the Cuban berry is of the best. It is the
misfortune of the people of the United States that very few of them really
know anything about coffee and its qualities, notwithstanding the fact that
they consume about a billion pounds a year, all except a small percentage
of it being coffee of really inferior quality. But coffee, like cigars,
pickles, or music, is largely a matter of individual preference.

Cuba produces a variety of vegetables, chiefly for domestic consumption,
and many fruits, some of which are exported. There is also a limited
production of grains. Among the tubers produced are sweet potatoes, white
potatoes, yams, the arum and the yucca. From the latter is made starch and
the cassava bread. The legumes are represented by varieties of beans and
peas. The most extensively used food of the island people is rice, only a
little of which is locally grown. The imports are valued at five or six
million dollars yearly. Corn is grown in some quantity, but nearly two
million dollars worth is imported yearly from the United States. There are
fruits of many kinds. The banana is the most important of the group, and is
grown throughout the island. It appears on the table of all, rich and
poor, sometimes _au naturel_ but more frequently cooked. There are many
varieties, some of which are exported while others are practically unknown
here. The Cuban mango is not of the best, but they are locally consumed by
the million. Only a few of the best are produced and those command a fancy
price even when they are obtainable. The aguacate, or alligator pear, is
produced in abundance. Cocoanuts are a product largely of the eastern end
of the island, although produced in fair supply elsewhere. The trees are
victims of a disastrous bud disease that has attacked them in recent years
causing heavy loss to growers.

[Illustration: PALM-THATCHED ROOFS A PEASANT'S HOME]

Since the American occupation, considerable attention has been given,
mainly by Americans, to the production of oranges, grape-fruit, and
pineapples, in which a considerable industry has been developed. There are
several varieties. The guava of Cuba makes a jelly that is superior to that
produced from the fruit in any other land of my experience. If there is a
better guava jelly produced anywhere, I should be pleased to sample it,
more pleased to obtain a supply. But there is a difference in the product
even there, just as there is a difference in currant or grape jelly
produced here. It depends a good deal on the maker. Some of the best of my
experience is made in the neighborhood of Santa Clara, but I have tried no
Cuban _jalea de guayaba_ that was not better than any I have had in the
Far East or elsewhere. The _guanabana_ is eaten in its natural state, but
serves its best purpose as a flavor for ices or cooling drinks. There are
a number of others, like the _anon_, the _zapote_, the _granadilla_, the
_mamey_, etc., with which visitors may experiment or not as they see fit.
Some like some of them and others like none of them. An excellent grade of
cacao, the basis of chocolate and cocoa, is produced in somewhat limited
quantity. The industry could easily be extended. In fact, there are many
soil products not now grown in the island but which might be grown there,
and many others now produced on small scale that could be produced in
important quantities. That they are not now so produced is due to lack of
both labor and capital. The industries of Cuba are, and always have been,
specialized. Sugar, tobacco, and at a time coffee, have absorbed the
capital and have afforded occupation for the greater number of the island
people. The lack of transportation facilities in earlier years, and
the system of land tenure, have made difficult if not impossible the
establishment of any large number of independent small farmers. The day
laborers in the tobacco fields and on sugar plantations have been unable to
save enough money to buy a little farm and equip it even if the land could
be purchased at all. Yet only a very small percentage of the area is
actually under cultivation. Cuba now imports nearly $40,000,000 worth of
alimentary substances, altogether too much for a country of its productive
possibilities. It is true that a part of this, such as wheat flour for
instance, cannot be produced on the island successfully, and that other
commodities, such as rice, hog products, and some other articles, can be
imported more cheaply than they can be produced locally. But the imports of
foodstuffs are undoubtedly excessive, although there are good reasons for
the present situation. It is a matter that will find adjustment in time.

The island has mineral resources of considerable value, although the number
of products is limited. The Spanish discoverers did not find the precious
metals for which they were seeking, and while gold has since been found,
it has never appeared in quantity sufficient to warrant its exploitation.
Silver discoveries have been reported, but not in quantity to pay for its
extraction. Nothing is ever certain in those industries, but it is quite
safe to assume that Cuba is not a land of precious metals. Copper was
discovered in eastern Cuba as early as about the year 1530, and the mines
near Santiago were operated as a Government monopoly for some two hundred
years, when they were abandoned. They were idle for about a hundred years
when, in 1830, an English company with a capital of $2,400,000 reopened
them. It is officially reported that in the next forty years copper of a
value of more than $50,000,000 was extracted and shipped. During that
time, the mines were among the most notable in the world. In the meantime,
ownership was transferred to a Spanish corporation organized in Havana.
This concern became involved in litigation with the railway concerning
freight charges, and this experience was followed by the Ten Years' War, in
the early course of which the plant was destroyed and the mines flooded. In
1902, an American company was organized. It acquired practically all the
copper property in the Cobre field and began operations on an extensive and
expensive scale. A huge sum was spent in pumping thousands of tons of
water from a depth of hundreds of feet, in new equipment for the mining
operations, and in the construction of a smelter. The best that can be done
is to hope that the investors will some day get their money back. Without
any doubt, there is a large amount of copper there, and more in other parts
of Oriente. So is there copper in Camaguey, Santa Clara, and Matanzas
provinces. There are holes in the ground near the city of Camaguey that
indicate profitable operations in earlier years. The metal is spread over
a wide area in Pinar del Rio, and venturous spirits have spent many good
Spanish pesos and still better American dollars in efforts to locate
deposits big enough to pay for its excavation. Some of that class are at it
even now, and one concern is reported as doing a profitable business.

The bitumens are represented in the island by asphalt, a low-grade coal,
and seepages of petroleum. At least, several writers tell of coal in the
vicinity of Havana, but the substance is probably only a particularly hard
asphaltum. The only real coal property of which I have any knowledge is a
quite recent discovery. The story was told me by the man whose money was
sought to develop it. It was, by the way, an anthracite property. In
response to an urgent invitation from a presumably reliable acquaintance,
my friend took his car and journeyed westward into Pinar del Rio, through a
charming country that he and I have many times enjoyed together. He picked
up his coal-discovering friend in the city of Pinar del Rio, and proceeded
into the country to inspect the coal-vein. At a number of points
immediately alongside the highway, his companion alighted to scrape away
a little of the surface of the earth and to return with a little lump of
really high-grade anthracite. Such a substance had no proper business
there, did not belong there geologically or otherwise. The explanation
soon dawned upon my friend. They were following the line of an abandoned
narrow-gauge railway, abandoned twenty years ago, along which had been
dumped, at intervals, little piles of perfectly good anthracite, imported
from Pennsylvania, for use by the portable engine used in the construction
of the road. My friend declares that he is entirely ready at any time to
swear that there are deposits of anthracite in Cuba. A very good quality
of asphalt is obtained in different parts of the island, and considerable
quantities have been shipped to the United States. Signs of petroleum
deposits have been strong enough to induce investigation and expenditure.
An American company is now at work drilling in Matanzas Province. The most
extensive and promising mineral industry is iron, especially in eastern
Cuba. Millions of tons of ore have been taken from the mountains along
the shore between Santiago and Guantanamo, and the supply appears to be
inexhaustible. The product is shipped to the United States, to a value of
several millions of dollars yearly. A few years ago, other and apparently
more extensive deposits were discovered in the northern section of Oriente,
The field bought by the Pennsylvania Steel Company is estimated to contain
600,000,000 tons of ore. The Bethlehem Steel Company is the owner of
another vast tract. The quality of these ores is excellent. In Oriente
Province also are deposits of manganese of which considerable shipments
have been made.

It is not possible in so brief a survey of Cuba's resources and industries
to include all its present activities, to say nothing of its future
possibilities. At the present time, the island is practically an extensive
but only partly cultivated farm, producing mainly sugar and tobacco, with
fruits and vegetables as a side line. The metal deposits supplement this,
with promise of becoming increasingly valuable. The forest resources,
commercially, are not great, although there are, and will continue to be,
sales of mahogany and other fine hardwoods. Local manufacturing is on a
comparatively limited scale. All cities and many towns have their artisans,
the bakers, tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, and others. Cigar making
is, of course, classed as a manufacturing enterprise, and so, for census
purposes, is the conversion of the juice of the sugar-cane into sugar.
A number of cities have breweries, ice factories, match factories, soap
works, and other establishments large or small. All these, however, are
incidental to the great industries of the soil, and the greater part of
Cuba's requirements in the line of mill and factory products is imported.
While little is done in the shipment of cattle or beef, Cuba is a natural
cattle country. Water and nutritious grasses are abundant, and there are
vast areas, now idle, that might well be utilized for stock-raising. There
are, of course, just as there are elsewhere, various difficulties to be
met, but they are met and overcome. There are insects and diseases, but
these are controlled by properly applied scientific methods. There is open
feeding throughout the entire year, so there is no need of barns or hay.
The local cattle industry makes possible the shipment of some $2,500,000
worth of hides and skins annually. Other lines of industry worthy of
mention, but not possible of detailed description here, include sponges,
tortoise shell, honey, wax, molasses, and henequen or sisal. All these
represent their individual thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars,
and their employment of scores or hundreds of wage-earners. Those who start
for Cuba with a notion that the Cubans are an idle and lazy people, will
do well to revise that notion. There is not the hustle that may be seen
further north, but the results of Cuban activity, measured in dollars or in
tons, fairly dispute the notion of any national indolence. When two and a
half million people produce what is produced in Cuba, somebody has to work.



XIV

_POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND COMMERCE_


The British colonists in America were in large measure self-governing. This
is notably true in their local affairs. The Spanish colonists were
governed almost absolutely by the mother-country. A United States official
publication reports that "all government control centred in the Council of
the Indies and the King, and local self government, which was developed at
an early stage in the English colonies, became practically impossible in
the Spanish colonies, no matter to what extent it may have existed in
theory. Special regulations, decrees, etc., modifying the application of
the laws to the colonies or promulgating new laws were frequent, and their
compilation in 1680 was published as Law of the Indies. This and the _Siete
Partidas_, on which they were largely based, comprised the code under which
the Spanish-American colonies were governed." There was a paper provision,
during the greater part of the time, for a municipal electorate, the
franchise being limited to a few of the largest tax-payers. In its
practical operation, the system was nullified by the power vested in the
appointed ruler. It was a highly effective centralized organization in
which no man held office, high or low, who was not a mere instrument in the
hands of the Governor-General. Under such an institution the Cubans had, of
course, absolutely no experience in self-government. The rulers made laws
and the people obeyed them; they imposed taxes and spent the money as they
saw fit; many of them enriched themselves and their personally appointed
official household throughout the island, at the expense of the tax-payers.

A competent observer has noted that such terms as "meeting,"
"mass-meeting," "self-government," and "home-rule," had no equivalent in
the Spanish language. The first of these terms, distorted into "_mitin_,"
is now in common use, and its origin is obvious. Of theories, ideals, and
intellectual conceptions, there was an abundance, but government based
on beautiful dreams does not succeed in this practical world. Denied
opportunity for free discussion of practical methods, the Cubans discussed
theories in lyceums. Under the military government of the United States,
from January 1, 1899, to May 20, 1902, there was freedom of speech and
freedom of organization. The Cubans began to hold "_mitins_," but visions
and beautiful theories characterized the addresses. Prior to the Ten Years'
War (1868-1878), there were organizations more or less political in their
nature, but the authorities were alert in preventing discussions of too
practical a character. In 1865, a number of influential Cubans organized
what has been somewhat inappropriately termed a "national party." It was
not at all a party in our use of that term. Its purpose was to suggest and
urge administrative and economic changes from the Cuban point of view. The
suggestions were ignored and, a few years later, revolution was adopted as
a means of emphasizing their importance. The result of the Ten Years' War
was an assortment of pledges of greater political and economic freedom.
Much was promised but little if anything was really granted. There was,
however, a relaxation of the earlier absolutism, and under that there
appeared a semblance of party organization, in the form of a Liberal party
and a Union Constitutional party. There was no special difference in what
might be called their platforms. Both focussed, in a somewhat general way,
the political aspirations and the economic desires of the Cuban people,
much the same aspirations and desires that had been manifested by
complaint, protest, and occasional outbreak, for fifty years. National
independence had no place in either. That came later, when an army in the
field declared that if Spain would not grant independence, the island would
be made so worthless a possession that Spain could not afford to hold it.
A few years after their organization, the Liberals became the Cuban party,
and so remained, and the Union Constitutionals became the Spanish party,
the party of the immediate administration. Later on, the Liberal party
became the Autonomist party, but Spain's concession of the demands of that
group came too late, forced, not by the Autonomists but by the party of the
Revolution that swept the island with fire and sword from Oriente to
Pinar del Rio. The Autonomists sought what their name indicates; the
Revolutionists demanded and secured national independence.

Shortly before the final dispersion of the Army of the Revolution,
there was organized a body with the imposing title of _La Asamblea de
Representantes del Ejercito Cubano_, or the Assembly of Representatives
of the Cuban Army. It was composed of leaders of the different military
divisions of that army, and included, as I recall it, thirty-one members.
This group made no little trouble in the early days of the American
occupation. It gathered in Havana, held meetings, declared itself the
duly chosen and representative agent of the Cuban people, and demanded
recognition as such by the American authorities. Some of its members even
asserted that it constituted a _de facto_ government, and held that the
Americans should turn the whole affair over to them and promptly sail away.
But their recognition was flatly refused by the authorities. At the time, I
supported the authorities in this refusal, but afterward I felt less sure
of the wisdom of the course. As a recognized body, it might have been
useful; rejected, it made no little trouble. Transfer of control to its
hands was quite out of the question, but recognition and co-operation
might have proved helpful. That the body had a considerable representative
quality, there is no doubt. Later, I found many of its members as members
of the Constitutional Convention, and, still later, many of them have
served in high official positions, as governors of provinces, members of
Congress, in cabinet and in diplomatic positions. I am inclined to regard
the group broadly, as the origin of the present much divided Liberal party
that has, from the beginning of definite party organization, included a
considerable numerical majority of the Cuban voters. In the first national
election, held December 31, 1901, this group, the military group, appeared
as the National party, supporting Tomas Estrada y Palma as its candidate.
Its opponent was called the Republican party. Realizing its overwhelming
defeat, the latter withdrew on the day of the election, alleging all manner
of fraud and unfairness on the part of the Nationals. It is useless to
follow in detail the history of Cuba's political parties since that time.
In the election of 1905, the former National party appeared as the Liberal
party, supporting José Miguel Gomez, while its opponents appeared as the
Moderate party, supporting Estrada Palma who, first elected on what he
declared to be a non-partisan basis, had definitely affiliated himself with
the so-called Moderates. The election was a game of political crookedness
on both sides, and the Liberals withdrew on election day. The result
was the revolution of 1906. The Liberals split into factions, not yet
harmonized, and the Moderate party became the Conservative party. By the
fusion of some of the Liberal groups, that party carried the election of
1908, held under American auspices. A renewal of internal disorders, a
quarrel among leaders, and much discontent with their administrative
methods, resulted in the defeat of the Liberals in the campaign of 1912
and in the election of General Mario Menocal, the head of the Conservative
ticket, and the present incumbent.

A fair presentation of political conditions in Cuba is exceedingly
difficult, or rather it is difficult so to present them that they will be
fairly understood. I have always regarded the establishment of the Cuban
Republic in 1902 as premature, though probably unavoidable. A few years of
experience with an autonomous government under American auspices, civil and
not military, as a prologue to full independence, might have been the wiser
course, but such a plan seemed impossible. The Cubans in the field had
forced from Spain concessions that were satisfactory to many. Whether they
could have forced more than that, without the physical assistance given
by the United States, is perhaps doubtful. The matter might have been
determined by the grant of the belligerent rights for which they repeatedly
appealed to the United States. At no time in the entire experience did they
ask for intervention. That came as the result of a combination of American
wrath and American sympathy, and more in the interest of the United States
than because of concern for the Cubans. But, their victory won and Spain
expelled, the triumphant Cubans naturally desired immediate enjoyment of
the fruits of victory. They desired to exercise the independence for which
they had fought. Many protests and not a few threats of trouble attended
even the brief period of American occupation. There was, moreover, an acute
political issue in the United States. The peace and order declared as the
purpose of American intervention had been established. The amendment to
the Joint Resolution of April 20, 1898, disclaimed "any disposition or
intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said
Island except for the pacification thereof," etc. The island was pacified.
The amendment asserted, further, the determination of the United States,
pacification having been accomplished, "to leave the government and control
of the island to its people." There was no pledge of any prolonged course
of education in principles and methods of self-government. Nor did such
education play any appreciable part in the experience of the American
military government. The work of the interventors had been done in
accordance with the specifications, and the Cubans were increasingly
restless under a control that many of them, with no little reason, declared
to be as autocratic as any ever exercised by Spain. Transfer and departure
seemed to be the politic if not the only course, and we transferred and
departed.

That these people, entirely without experience or training in
self-government, should make mistakes was quite as inevitable as it is that
a child in learning to walk will tumble down and bump its little nose. In
addition to the inevitable mistakes, there have been occasional instances
of deplorable misconduct on the part of individuals and of political
parties. For neither mistakes nor misconduct can we criticize or condemn
them without a similar criticism or condemnation of various experiences in
our own history. We should, at least, regard them with charity. There are,
moreover, incidents in the two experiences of American control of the
island that, at least, border on the unwise and the discreditable. The only
issue yet developed in Cuba is between good government and bad politics.
The first President started admirably along the line of the former, and
ended in a wretched tangle of the latter, though not at all by his own
choice or direction. Official pre-eminence and a "government job" make
quite the same appeal to the Cubans that they do to many thousands
of Americans. So do raids on the national treasury, and profitable
concessions. We see these motes in Cuban eyes somewhat more clearly than
we see the beams in our own eyes. A necessarily slow process of political
education is going on among the people, but in the meantime the
situation has afforded opportunity for exploitation by an assortment
of self-constituted political leaders who have adopted politics as a
profession and a means of livelihood. Cuba's gravest danger lies in the
political domination of men in this class. The present President, General
Mario Menocal, is not in that group. The office sought him; he did not seek
the office. Some of these self-constituted leaders have displayed a notable
aptitude for political organization, and it is largely by means of the
many little local organizations that the Cuban political game is played.
Although, I believe, somewhat less now than formerly, the little groups
follow and support individual leaders rather than parties or principles.
Parties and their minor divisions are known by the names of their leaders.
Thus, while both men are nominally of the same party, the Liberal, the
adherents of José Miguel Gomez, are known as Miguelistas, and the adherents
of Alfredo Zayas are known as Zayistas. Were either to announce himself
as a Conservative, or to start a new party and call it Reformist or
Progressive or any other title, he could count on being followed by most
of those who supported him as a Liberal. This is a condition that will, in
time, correct itself. What the Cuban really wants is what all people want,
an orderly, honest, and economical government, under which he may live in
peace and quiet, enjoying the fruits of his labor without paying an undue
share of the fruits to maintain his government. For that the Cuban people
took up arms against Spain. For a time they may be blinded by the idea of
mere political independence, but to that same issue they will yet return
by the route of the ballot-box. The game of politics for individual
preferment, or for personal profit, cannot long be successfully played
in Cuba, if I have rightly interpreted Cuban character and Cuban
characteristics.

"We, the delegates of the people of Cuba, having met in constitutional
convention for the purpose of preparing and adopting the fundamental law of
their organization as an independent and sovereign people, establishing a
government capable of fulfilling its international obligations, maintaining
public peace, ensuring liberty, justice, and promoting the general welfare,
do hereby agree upon and adopt the following constitution, invoking the
protection of the Almighty. Article I. The people of Cuba are hereby
constituted a sovereign and independent State and adopt a republican form
of government." Thus opens the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba.

I recall an intensely dramatic moment connected with the closing phrase of
the preamble. I have used a translation published by a distinguished Cuban.
That phrase, in the original, is "_invocando el favor de Dios_," perhaps
more exactly translated as "invoking the favor (or blessing) of God." When
the Constitution had been drafted and broadly approved, it was submitted
to the convention for suggestion of minor changes in verbiage. One of the
oldest and most distinguished members of the body proposed that this phrase
be left out. Another member, distinguished for his power as an orator and
for his cynicism, in a speech of considerable length set forth his opinion
that it made little difference whether it was included or excluded. There
was no benefit in its inclusion, and no advantage in excluding it. It would
hurt none and might please some to have it left in. Immediately across
the semi-circle of desks, and facing these two speakers, sat Señor Pedro
Llorente, a man of small stature, long, snow-white hair and beard, and a
nervous and alert manner. At times, his nervous energy made him almost
grotesque. At times, his absorbed earnestness made him, despite his
stature, a figure of commanding dignity. Through the preceding addresses he
waited with evident impatience. Obtaining recognition from the chairman,
he rose and stood with upraised hand his voice tremulous with emotion, to
protest against the proposed measure, declaring "as one not far from the
close of life, that the body there assembled did not represent an atheistic
people." The motion to strike out was lost, and the invocation remains.

The result of the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention is a
highly creditable instrument. It contains a well-devised Bill of Rights,
and makes all necessary provision for governmental organization and
conduct. One feature, however, seems open to criticism. In their desire to
avoid that form of centralized control, of which they had somewhat too much
under Spanish power, the new institution provides, perhaps, for too much
local government, for a too extensive provincial and municipal system. It
has already fallen down in some respects, and it has become necessary to
centralize certain functions, quite as it has become desirable in several
of our own matters. Cuba has, perhaps, an undue overload of officialdom,
somewhat too many public officers, and quite too many people on its
pay-rolls. The feature of Cuba's Constitution that is of greatest interest
and importance to the United States is what is known as the Platt
Amendment. The provision for a Constitutional Convention in Cuba was made
in what was known as Civil Order No. 301, issued by the Military Governor,
on July 25, 1900. It provided for an election of delegates to meet in
Havana on the first Monday in November, following. The convention was to
frame and adopt a Constitution and "as a part thereof, to provide for and
agree with the Government of the United States upon the relations to exist
between that Government and the Government of Cuba," etc. Against this, the
Cubans protested vigorously. The United States had declared that "Cuba
is and of right ought to be free and independent." The Cubans held, very
properly, that definition of international relations had no fitting place
in a Constitution "as a part thereof." Their point was recognized and,
under date of November 5, Civil Order No. 310 was modified by Civil Order
No. 455. That was issued to the delegates at the time of their assembly.
It declared as follows: "It will be your duty, first, to frame and adopt a
Constitution for Cuba, and, when that has been done, to formulate what,
in your opinion, ought to be the relations between Cuba and the United
States." Taking this as their programme, the delegates proceeded to draft
a Constitution, leaving the matter of "relations" in abeyance for
consideration at the proper time. Yet, before its work was done, the
Convention was savagely criticized in the United States for its failure
to include in the Constitution what it had been authorized, and virtually
instructed, to leave out. The Constitution was completed on February 11,
1901, and was duly signed by the delegates, on February 21. A committee
was appointed, on February 11, to prepare and submit plans and proposals
regarding the matter of "relations." Prior to that, however, the matter had
been frequently but informally discussed by the delegates. Suggestions had
been made in the local press, and individual members of the Convention had
expressed their views with considerable freedom. Had the United States kept
its hands off at that time, a serious and critical situation, as well as
a sense of injustice that has not yet entirely died out, would have been
averted.

Before the Cubans had time to put their "opinion of what ought to be
the relations" between the two countries into definite form, there was
presented to them, in a manner as needless as it was tactless, a statement
of what the American authorities thought those relations should be. The
Cubans, who were faithfully observing their earlier instructions, were
deeply offended by this interference, and by the way in which the
interference came. The measures known as the Platt Amendment was submitted
to the United States Senate, as an amendment to the Army Appropriation
bill, on February 25, 1901 The Senate passed the bill, and the House
concurred A storm of indignant protest swept over the island The Cubans
believed, and not without reason, that the instrument abridged the
independence of which they had been assured by those who now sought to
limit that independence. Public opinion in the United States was divided.
Some approved and some denounced the proceeding in bitter terms. The
division was not at all on party lines. The situation in Cuba was entirely
changed. Instead of formulating an opinion in accordance with their earlier
instructions, the members of the Convention were confronted by a choice of
what they then regarded as evils, acceptance of unacceptable terms or an
indefinite continuance of a military government then no less unacceptable.
A commission was sent to Washington to urge changes and modifications. It
was given dinners, lunches, and receptions, but nothing more. At last the
Cubans shrugged their shoulders. The desire for an immediate withdrawal of
American authority, and for Cuban assumption of the reins of government,
outweighed the objection to the terms imposed. A Cuban leader said: "There
is no use in objecting to the inevitable. It is either annexation or a
Republic with the Amendment. I prefer the latter." After four months of
stubborn opposition, the Cubans yielded, by a vote of sixteen to eleven,
with four absentees.

In many ways, the Cuban Government is like our own. The President and
Vice-President are elected, through an electoral college, for a term of
four years. A "third term" is specifically prohibited by the Constitution.
Senators, four from each Province, are chosen, for a term of eight years,
by an electoral board. Elections for one half of the body occur every four
years. The House is chosen, by direct vote, for terms of four years, one
half being elected every two years. The Cabinet, selected and appointed by
the President, consists of eight Secretaries of Departments as follows:
Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor; State; Government; Treasury (_Hacienda_);
Public Instruction; Justice; Public Works; and Health and Charities. There
is a Supreme Court, and there are the usual minor courts. The Constitution
also makes provision for the organization and the powers of the Provincial
and Municipal Governments. To the Constitution, the Platt Amendment is
attached as an appendix, by treaty arrangement. As far as governmental
system is concerned, Cuba is fairly well equipped; a possible source of
danger is its over-equipment. Its laws permit, rather than require, an
overburden of officials, high and low. But Cuba's governmental problem
is essentially one of administration. Its particular obstacle in that
department is professional politics.

The whole situation in Cuba is somewhat peculiar. The business of the
island, that is, the commercial business, the purchase and sale of
merchandise wholesale and retail, is almost entirely in the hands of
Spaniards. The Cuban youths seldom become clerks in stores. Most of the
so-called "_dependientes_" come out as boys from Spain. It is an old
established system. These lads, almost invariably hard workers, usually eat
and sleep in the place of their employment. The wage is small but board and
lodging, such as the latter is, are furnished. They are well fed, and the
whole system is quite paternal. For their recreation, education, and care
in case of illness, there are organizations, half club and half mutual
protective association, to which practically all belong. The fee is small
and the benefits many. Some of these are based on a regional plan, that is,
the _Centro de Asturianos_ is composed of those who come from the Spanish
province of Asturia, and those from other regions have their societies.
There is also a general society of "_dependientes_." Some of these groups
are rich, with large membership including not only the clerks of today but
those of the last thirty or forty years, men who by diligence and thrift
have risen to the top in Cuba's commercial life. Most of Cuba's business
men continue their membership in these organizations, and many contribute
liberally toward their maintenance.

This system more or less effectively bars Cuban youths from commercial
life. Nor does commercial life seem attractive to more than a very limited
number. This leaves to them, practically, only three lines of possible
activity, the ownership and operation of a plantation, a profession, or
manual labor. The greater number there, as elsewhere, are laborers, either
on some little bit of ground they call their own or rent from its owner,
or they are employed by the proprietors of the larger estates. Such
proprietorship is, of course, open to only a few. The problem, which is
both social and political, appears in a class that cannot or will not
engage in manual labor, the well-educated or fairly-educated sons of men
of fair income and a social position. Many of these take some professional
course. But there is not room for so many in so small a country, and the
professions are greatly overcrowded. The surplus either loafs and lives by
its wits or at the expense of the family, or turns to the Government for
a "job." It constitutes a considerable element on which the aspiring
professional politician can draw for support. Having such "jobs," it
constitutes a heavy burden on the tax-payers; deprived of its places on the
Government pay-roll, it becomes a social and political menace. If a Liberal
administration throws them out of their comfortable posts, they become
noisy and perhaps violent Conservatives; if discharged by an economical
Conservative administration, they become no less noisy and no less
potentially violent Liberals. But we may not criticize. The American
control that followed the insurrection of 1906 set no example in
administrative economy for the Cubans to follow.

The productive industries of the island have already been reviewed in other
chapters. The development of Cuba's commerce since the withdrawal of Spain,
and the substitution of a modern fiscal policy for an antiquated and
indefensible system, has been notable. It is, however, a mistake to
contrast the present condition with the condition existing at the time
of the American occupation, in 1899. The exact accuracy of the record is
questionable, but the returns for the year 1894, the year preceding the
revolution, show the total imports of the island as $77,000,000, and the
total exports as $99,000,000. The probability is that a proper valuation
would show a considerable advance in the value of the imports. The
statement of export values may be accepted. It may be assumed that had
there been no disorder, the trade of the island, by natural growth, would
have reached $90,000,000 for imports and $120,000,000, for exports, in
1900. That may be regarded as a fair normal. As it was, the imports of that
year were $72,000,000, and the exports, by reason of the general wreck of
the sugar business, were only $45,000,000. With peace and order fairly
assured, recovery came quickly. The exports of 1905, at $99,000,000,
equalled those of 1894, while the imports materially exceeded those of the
earlier year. In 1913, the exports reached $165,207,000, and the imports
$132,290,000. This growth of Cuba's commerce and industry is due mainly to
the economic requirements of the American people. We need Cuba's sugar and
we want its tobacco. These two commodities represent about 90 per cent,
of the total exports of the island. We buy nearly all of its sugar, under
normal conditions, and about 60 per cent, of its tobacco and cigars. On the
basis of the total commerce of the island, the records of recent years show
this country as the source of supply for about 53 per cent, of Cuba's
total imports, and as the market for about 83 per cent, of its exports. A
comparison of the years 1903 and 1913 shows a gain of about $87,000,000 in
Cuba's total exports. Of this, about $75,000,000 is represented by sugar.
The crop of 1894 a little exceeded a million tons. Such a quantity was
not again produced until 1903. With yearly variations, due to weather
conditions, later years show an enormous and unprecedented increase. The
crops of 1913 and 1914 were, approximately, 2,500,000 tons each. The
tobacco industry shows only a modest gain. The average value of the exports
of that commodity has risen, in ten years, from about $25,000,000 to about
$30,000,000. The increase in the industry appears largely in the shipment
of leaf tobacco. The cigar business shows practically no change, in that
time, as far as values are concerned. This résumé affords a fair idea of
Cuba's trade expansion under the conditions established through the change
in government. That event opened new and larger doors of opportunity, and
the Cubans and others have been prompt in taking advantage of them. Toward
the great increase shown, two forces have operated effectively. One is the
treaty by which the provisions of the so-called Platt Amendment to the
Cuban Constitution are made permanently effective. The other is the
reciprocity treaty of 1903.

By the operation of the former of these instruments the United States
virtually underwrites the political stability and the financial
responsibility of the Cuban Government. That Government cannot borrow any
important sums without the consent of the United States, and it has agreed
that this country "may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation
of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the
protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging
the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the
United States." This assumption of responsibility by the United States
inspired confidence on the part of capital, and large sums have been
invested in Cuban bonds, and in numerous public and private enterprises.
Railways and trolley lines have been built and many other works of public
utility have been undertaken. The activities of old sugar plantations have
been extended under improved conditions, and many new estates with costly
modern equipment have been created. The cultivation of large areas,
previously lying waste and idle, afforded both directly and indirectly
employment for an increased population, as did the numerous public works.
The other force, perhaps no less effective, appears in the reciprocity
treaty of 1903. This gave to Cuba's most important crop a large though by
no means absolute control of the constantly increasing sugar market of
the United States, as far as competition from other foreign countries
was concerned. The sugar industry of the island may be said to have been
restored to its normal proportions in 1903. Our imports for the five-year
period 1904-1908 averaged 1,200,000 tons a year. For the five-year period
1910-1914 they averaged 1,720,000 tons. In 1914, they were 2,200,000 tons
as compared with 1,260,000 tons in 1904. It is doubtful if the treaty had
any appreciable influence on the exports of Cuban tobacco to this country.
We buy Cuba's special tobacco irrespective of a custom-house advantage
that affects the box price only a little, and the price of a single cigar
probably not at all. On the other side of the account, that of our sales
to Cuba, there also appears a large increase since the application of the
reciprocity treaty. Using the figures showing exports from the United
States to Cuba, instead of Cuba's records showing imports from this
country, it appears that our sales to the island in the fiscal year 1903,
immediately preceding the operation of the treaty, amounted to $21,761,638.
In the fiscal year 1913 they were $70,581,000, and in 1914 were
$68,884,000.

Not all of this quite remarkable gain may properly be credited to the
influence of the reciprocity treaty. The purchases of the island are
determined, broadly, by its sales. As the latter increase, so do the
former. Almost invariably, a year of large export sales is followed by a
year of heavy import purchases. The fact that our imports from Cuba are
double our sales to Cuba, in the total of a period of years, has given rise
to some foolish criticism of the Cubans on the ground that, we buying so
heavily from them, they should purchase from us a much larger percentage of
their import requirements. No such obligation is held to exist in regard
to our trade with other lands, and it should have no place in any
consideration of our trade with Cuba. There are many markets, like Brazil,
British India, Japan, China, Mexico, and Egypt, in which our purchases
exceed our sales. There are more, like the United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Italy, Canada, Central America, and numerous others, in which our sales
considerably or greatly exceed our purchases. We do not buy from them
simply because they buy from us. We buy what we need or want in that market
in which we can buy to the greatest advantage. The Cuban merchants, who are
nearly all Spaniards, do the same. The notion held by some that, because
of our service to Cuba in the time of her struggle for national life, the
Cubans should buy from us is both foolish and altogether unworthy. Any
notion of Cuba's obligation to pay us for what we may have done for her
should be promptly dismissed and forgotten. There are commodities, such as
lumber, pork products, coal, wheat flour, and mineral oil produces,
that Cuba can buy in our markets on terms better than those obtainable
elsewhere. Other commodities, such as textiles, leather goods, sugar mill
equipment, railway equipment, drugs, chemicals, and much else, must be
sold by American dealers in sharp competition with the merchants of other
countries, with such assistance as may be afforded by the reciprocity
treaty. That instrument gives us a custom-house advantage of 20, 25, 30,
and 40 per cent, in the tariff rates. It is enough in some cases to give
us a fair equality with European sellers, and in a few cases to give us a
narrow margin of advantage over them. It does not give us enough to compel
Cuban buyers to trade with us because of lower delivered prices.

Cuba's economic future can be safely predicted on the basis of its past.
The pace of its development will depend mainly upon a further influx of
capital and an increase in its working population. Its political future
is less certain. There is ample ground for both hope and belief that the
little clouds that hang on the political horizon will be dissipated, that
there will come, year by year, a sane adjustment to the new institutions.
But full assurance of peace and order will come only when the people of the
island, whether planters or peasants, see clearly the difference between a
government conducted in their interest and a government conducted by Cubans
along Spanish lines.



INDEX


A

Adams, President John, 127
Angulo, Governor de, 59
Animals, wild, 50
Asphalt, 232, 233
Autonomy, 143, 178


B

Babeque, 6, 7
Bacon, Hon. Robert, 160
Bacon's Rebellion, 144
Ballou, M.M., 31, 32, 71
Banes, 113
Baracoa, 12, 91, 100, 114
Batabano, 12, 116
Baths, 52
Bellamar, Caves of, 42,110
Belligerent rights, 136, 140, 157, 158, 181
_Bermuda_, 189, 197
Bertram, Luis, 14
Betancourt, Salvador Cisneros, 174
Black Eagle conspiracy, 147
_Black Warrior_, 131
Blanco, General Ramon, 178
Bolivia, 126
Bolivar, Simon, 124, 185
Bonds, Cuban, 175
Boston sugar plantation, 113
Buchanan, President, 130


C

Cabaña, 57, 60
Cabinet, Cuban, 250
Cabrera, Raimundo, 135
Cadiz, 20
Caibarien, 102
Callahan, James M., 125, 139, 152
Camaguey, city, 105, 110, 111
Camaguey, province, 40, 109
Cardenas, 101
Casa de Beneficencia, 24
Castillo del Principe, 57, 60, 71, 83
Cathay, 3
Cathedral, Havana, 63
Cattle, 17, 235
Cauto river, 43
Caves, 42
Cemetery, Colon, 83
Census Reports, United States, 27, 35, 44, 144, 236
Cespedes, Carlos Manuel,154, 155
Channing, Edward, 142, 143
Chaparra sugar plantation, 113
Ciego de Avila, 106
Cienaga de Zapata, 43, 51
Cienfuegos, 102
Cigars, 224, 225, 254
Cipango, 2, 5
Clerks' Associations, 251
Climate, 45 et seq.
Coal, 232
Coffee, 23, 36, 226, et seq.
Colonies, American in Cuba, 12, 120
Colonies, British, 19, 236
Colonies, Spanish, 19, 21, 123, 126
Columbia, 124, 145
Columbus, Christopher
  Death and remains, 63
  Describes Cuba, 3, 4, 7
  Discovers Cuba, 2
  Extract from journal, 2
  Letter to Sanchez, 3
  Memorial to, 64
  Mistaken belief, 2, 3, 5, 8
  Report to Spanish sovereigns, 7
  Second expedition, 7
Commerce, 21, 22, 35, 36, 156, 253, 254, 257
_Commodore_, 193, 195, 197
Constitutional Convention, 247
Constitution, Cuban, 154, 245, 246
Constitution, Spanish, 29, 145, 159
Copper, 231, 232
Cordoba, de, 12
Cortes, Hernan, 13, 58
Cortes, Spanish, 29, 176
Crittenden, Col., 150
Cuba:
  Aborigines, 14, 15.
  Advice to visitors, 55.
  American attitude toward, 135, 137, 140.
  Annexation proposed, 125 et seq.
  Animals, wild, 49.
  Area, 37.
  Climate and temperature, 45 et seq.
  Colonized, 12.
  Commerce, 21, 22, 35, 36, 156, 253, 254, 257.
  Conquest by Velasquez, II.
  Described by Columbus, 3, 4, 7.
  Description, general, 37 et seq.
  Discovered, 2.
  Expeditions from, 13, 14.
  Flora, 48.
  Forests, 49.
  Future of, 258.
  Insects, 51.
  Intervention by United States, 25, 160, 182, 242.
  Mineral springs, 52.
  Monopolies in, 20, 144, 220, 231.
  Monroe Doctrine, 127.
  Nineteenth Century, 142.
  Population, 17, 23, 34.
  Railways, 89, 91.
  Relations with United States, 122 et seq., 247, 248.
  Republic of, 182.
  Revolutions, 141 et seq.
  Roads, 87, 95, 96.
  Self-government, 243.
  Slavery in, 15, 16, 23, 125, 145, 155.
  Spanish Governors, 24, 32.
  Spanish policy in, 17, 19 et seq. 24, 31.
  Trade restrictions, 20, 21, 24, 25, 30.
  Taxation, Spanish, 24, 27, 28, 30.
  Villages, 85, 93, 94, 100
_Cuba and the Intervention_, 154, 164
Cushing, Caleb, 138
Custom house, 62


D

_Dauntless_, 193, 194, 197, 199, 200
Delicias sugar plantation, 113
Dexter, Lord Timothy, 216
Domestic life, 80


E

EARTHQUAKES, 53
Elections, 240, 250
Elson, Henry William, 186
England, 19, 128, 130, 139, 145
Everett, Alexander H., 130


F

FILIBUSTERING expeditions, 148 et seq., 184 et seq.
Firemen, 83
Fish, Secretary, 157
Flora, 48
Florida, 13
Forests, 48, 49
Fortifications, 59, 60
France, 128, 145
Fritot, Alphonso, 196, 199
Fruits, 5, 229
Fuerza, la, 17, 58, 59


G

Garcia, General Calixto, 84, 190
Geerligs, H.C. Prinsen, 206
Gibara, 112
Gold, 2, 6, 231
Gomez, General Maximo, 84, 158, 164, 172, 174. Proclamations, 167 et seq.
Government, 250
Grant, President, 135 et seq.
Guane, 101
Guantanamo, 91, 115
Guines, 90


H

Haiti, 9, 10, 144
Harbors, 44
Hart, John D., 191, 197
Hatuey, 8 et seq.
Havana:
  Bells, church, 65.
  British occupation, 20.
  Capital, 20, 59.
  Cathedral, 63.
  Changes in, 66, 67, 82, 85.
  Commerce limited to, 20.
  Destroyed, 17, 58, 59.
  Discovered, 12, 57.
  Early conditions, 61.
  Excursions from, 97 et seq.
  Firemen, 83.
  Fortifications, 59, 60.
  Homes in, 77 et seq.
  Las Casas as governor, 24.
  Market, fish, 74.
  Name, origin of, 58.
  New City, 70 et seq.
  Old city, 54 et seq.
  Parks, 70, 71.
  _Paseo_, 75.
  Public buildings, 62 et seq.
  Sanitation of, 63.
  Settled 12, 58.
  Shopping in, 68.
  Streets 61, 71.
  Suburbs, 85.
  Sunrise in harbor, 54.
  Theatre, Nacional, 71 et seq.
Havana, province, 38, 41
Hayes, President, 136
Hazard, Samuel, 33, 65, 111
Henry, Patrick, 143
Heredia, José Maria, 146
Hill, Robert T., 39, 48
Holguin, 113
Hotels, 91, 111
Homes, 77 et seq.
Humboldt, Baron Alexander, 8, 14, 15, 16, 35, 53
Hurricanes, 53


I

Imports and Exports, 253, 256
Independence, 162 et seq.
Insect life, 51
Intervention, First, 25, 182, 242
Intervention, Second, 160
Iron ore, 233, 234
Irving, Washington, 4, 5, 6
Isle of Pines, 8, 116, 117 et seq.


J

Jefferson, Thomas, 122
Joint Resolution of 1898, 242
Jolo, 54
Juana, 2, 4
Jucaro, 106
Junta, 164, 174, 188


K

Kimball, R.B. 32


L

Las Casas, Bartolomé, 9, 14
Las Casas, Governor Luis de, 24
_Laurada_, 193 et seq.
Lemus, José Francisco, 146
Llorente, Pedro, 246
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 123
Lopez, Narciso, 148 et seq.
Ludlow, General William, 63


M

Maceo, General Antonio, 99, 164, 172, 174
McKinley, President, 122, 178, 179
Magoon, Charles E., 160
_Maine_, battleship, 179
Maisi, Cape, 7, 8, 38, 115
Malecon, 75
Manufactures, 234
Marti, José, 164, 166
Marti, the smuggler, 72 et seq.
Martinez Campos, General, 158, 165, 166, 177.
Maso, Bartolomé, 165, 174
Massachusetts rebellion, 144
Matanzas, city, 41, 101
Matanzas, province, 41
Menocal, General Mario, 241, 244
Mexico, 13, 58, 124, 145
Minerals, 231 et seq.
Mineral springs, 52
Miranda, Francisco, 126, 185
Monopolies, 20, 144, 220, 231.
Monroe Doctrine, 127
Monroe, President, 129
Monuments:
  Firemen's, 83, 84
  Students', 84
Moret law, 16
Morgan, Henry, no
Morro Castle, 17, 57, 59, 60
Mountains, 5, 41, 93
Murielo, 13


N

NARVAEZ, 13
Navigation acts, British, 19, 144
Nelson, Hugh, 127
Nipe Bay, 2, 91, 113, 114
Nuevitas, 2, 3, 110, 111, 112
Nuñez, General Emilio, 191, 192, 199


O

O'BRIEN, "Dynamite Johnny," 189, et seq.
Ocampo, Sebastian de, 8, 12, 57
Oriente, province, 40, 41
Ostend Manifesto, 133
Otis, James, 143


P

PALACE, Governor's, 64
Palma, Tomas Estrada y, 162, 174, 192
Palms, 5, 7, 48, 49
Panama Congress (1826), 126
Parks, Havana, 70, 71
Parties, Political, 159, 176, 237, 238, 240, 244
Pearcy _v_. Stranahan, 120
Pepper, Charles M., 105, 134, 152, 176
Petroleum, 233
Pierce, President, 130, 132, 151
Pinar del Rio, city, 101
Pinar del Rio, province, 41
Platt Amendment, 118, 247 et seq., 255
Politics, 252
Polk, President, 130
Ponce de Leon, 13
Population, 14, 17, 23, 34
Porto Rico, 118
Prado, 71, 75
Preston sugar plantation, 113
Puerto de Carenas, 12, 57
Puerto Principe, see Camaguey
Punta, la, 17


Q

QUITMAN expedition, 151


R

RAILWAYS, 89, 91
Rainfall, 46
Real estate speculation, 120
Reciprocity treaty, 255, 258
Reconcentration, 177
"Relations," question of, 247, 248
Remedios, 102
Revolutions, 19, 141 et seq.
  of 1868, 153 et seq.
  of 1895, 162 et seq.
  of 1906, 159, 160
Rhodes, James Ford, 131
Rivers, 43 44
Roads, 87, 95, 96
Rubens, Horatio, S., 165, 181, 191, 192, 195
Ruskin, John, 56


S

Saco, Antonio, 31
Sagua la Grande, 101
Sanchez, Rafael, 3
Sancti Spiritus, 12, 91, 104
Santa Clara, city, 102
Santa Clara, province, 40
Santangel, Luis de, 4
Santiago de Cuba, 12, 13, 20, 115, 116
Santo Domingo, 7
Seville, 20
Slavery, 15, 16, 23, 125, 145, 155
Smuggling, 21, 26
Snakes, 50
Sociedad Economica, 24
Sociedad Patriotica, 24
Soles de Bolivar, 146
Soto, Hernando de, 13, 14, 17, 58
Soule, Pierre, 132, 133
Spain, 17, 19, 24, 29, 123 et seq., 145, 236
Spanish-American independence, 126
Sugar, 113, 203 et seq.
  Beet sugar, 208
  Countries producing, 209
  History, 207
  In Cuba, 210
  Manufacture of, 204, 213
  Muscovado, 205
  Origin of, 206
  Planting and cutting, 213 et seq.
  Production of, 209, 254, 256
Supreme Court, United States, 120


T

Tacon, Governor Miguel, 32, 33, 70, 71 et seq.
Taft, Hon. William H., 99, 160
Tariff, Spanish, 21, 25
Taxes, 24, 27, 30, 163
Taylor, President, 148
Teller Amendment, 182
Temperance question, 76
Temperature, 45 et seq.
Templete, el, 64
Ten Years' War, 16, 134, 135 et seq., 153 et seq.
Thrasher, J.S., 15, 29
_Three Friends_, 193 et seq.
_Tillie_, wreck of the, 210
Times, New York, 150
Tobacco, 36, 102, 221, 222
  Cultivation in Cuba, 223
  History, 219 et seq.
  Origin, 218
  Use in Cuba, 225
Trade restricted, 20, 24, 25, 30
Transportation, 90
Treaty of Paris, 118, 182
Trinidad, 12, 91, 100, 103
Turnbull, David, 25


U

UNITED STATES:
  Diplomatic correspondence, 125 et seq.
  Mediation offered, 156
  Presidential messages, 125, 135, 136, 137, 158, 178, 179, 180, 184
  Relations with Cuba, 122 et seq., 179


V

Valmaseda proclamation, 156
Varona, Enrique José, 153
Vedado, el, 82
Vegetable products, 228 et seq.
Velasquez, 8, 58
Villages, 85, 93
_Virginius_ affair, 116, 137, 185
Volantes, 88


W

Welles, Gideon, 186
Weyler, General Valeriano, 177, 198
Wilson, Henry, 125


Y

Yumuri valley, 41


Z

Zanjon, treaty of, 158





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