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Title: Santo Domingo: A Country with a Future
Author: Schoenrich, Otto, 1876-
Language: English
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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 "Santo Domingo: A Country with a Future" ***

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SANTO DOMINGO

A COUNTRY WITH A FUTURE

BY

OTTO SCHOENRICH


1918



PREFACE


It is remarkable how little has been written about the Dominican
Republic, a country so near to our shores, which has for years had
intimate commercial and political relations with our country, which is
at present under the provisional administration of the American
Government, and which is destined to develop under the protection and
guidance of the United States. The only comprehensive publications on
the Dominican Republic, in the English language, are the Report of the
United States Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo, published in
1871, Hazard's "Santo Domingo, Past and Present," written about the
same time, and Professor Hollander's notable Report on the Debt of
Santo Domingo, published in 1905. The first and the last of these
publications are no longer obtainable; hence, Hazard's book, written
almost half a century ago, is still the chief source of information.

These considerations prompted me to indite the following pages, in
which I have essayed to give a bird's-eye view of the history and
present condition of Santo Domingo. The task has been complicated by
two circumstances. One is the extraordinary difficulty of obtaining
accurate data. The other is the fact that the country has arrived at a
turning point in its history. Any description of political, financial
and economic conditions can refer only, or almost only, to the past;
the American occupation has already introduced fundamental innovations
which will shortly be further developed, and a rapid and radical
transformation is in progress. Santo Domingo at this moment is a
country which has no present, only a past and a future.

My personal acquaintance with Santo Domingo and Dominican affairs is
derived from observations on several trips to the Dominican Republic
and Haiti, from friendships formed with prominent Dominican families
during a residence of many years in Latin America, and from experience
as secretary to the special United States commissioner to investigate
the financial condition of Santo Domingo in 1905, and as secretary to
the Dominican minister of finance during the 1906 loan negotiations.

In compiling this work I have endeavored to read all books of any
consequence which have been published with reference to Santo Domingo
and Haiti and have especially consulted the following:

José Ramón Abad,
  "La República Dominicana";
  Santo Domingo, 1886.

Rudolf Cronau,
  "Amerika, die Geschichte seiner Entdeckung";
  Leipzig, 1892.

Enrique Deschamps,
  "La República Dominicana, Directorio y Guía General";
  Barcelona, 1906.

José Gabriel García,
  "Compendio de la Historia de Santo Domingo";
  Santo Domingo, 1896.

H. Harrisse,
  "Christophe Colomb";
  Paris, 1884.

Samuel Hazard,
  "Santo Domingo, Past and Present, with a Glance at Haiti";
  New York, 1873.

Jacob H. Hollander,
  "Report on the Debt of Santo Domingo";
  59th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Executive Document;
  Washington, 1905.

Antonio López Prieto,
  "Informe sobre los Restos de Colón";
  Habana, 1878.

Fernando A. de Meriño,
  "Elementos de Geografía Física, Política e Histórica
      de la República Dominicana";
  Santo Domingo, 1898.

Médéric Louis Elie Moreau de Saint-Méry,
  "Description
  de la partie espagnole de l'isle Saint-Domingue";
  Philadelphia, 1796.

Casimiro N. de Moya,
  "Bosquejo Histórico del Descubrimiento y Conquista
      de la Isla de Santo Domingo";
  Santo Domingo, 1913.

F.A. Ober,
  "A Guide to the West Indies and Panama";
  New York, 1914.

Publications of the Dominican Government.

Publications of the Bureau of American Republics
      and the Pan-American Union.

Annual Reports of the General Receiver of Customs of the
      Dominican Republic to the Bureau of Insular Affairs,
      War Department, Washington, 1907 to 1917.

"Report of the United States Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo";
  42d Congress, 1st Session, Senate Document,
  Washington, 1871.

Emiliano Tejera,
  "Los Restos de Colon";
  Santo Domingo, 1878;
      and
  "Los dos Restos de Colon";
  Santo Domingo, 1879.

L. Gentil Tippenhauer,
  "Die Insel Haiti";
  Leipzig, 1892.

A. Hyatt Verrill,
  "Porto Rico, Past and Present, and San Domingo of To-Day";
  New York, 1914.

William Walton, Jr.,
  "Present State of the Spanish Colonies, including a particular
      report of Hispañola";
  London, 1810.

O. S.

New York, _January_, 1918.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


CHAPTER I. Historical Sketch-Days of the Conquest--1492 to 1533

Aborigines--Discovery--Founding of Isabela--Disaffection of the
  colonists--Indian wars--Oppression of the Indians--Founding of
  Santo Domingo City--Roldan's insurrection--Humiliation of
  Columbus--Ovando's administration--Extermination of the
  natives--Administrations of Diego Columbus--Treaty with Indian
  survivors.

CHAPTER II. Historical Sketch--Colonial Vicissitudes--1533 to 1801

Decline of the colony--English attacks on Santo Domingo
  City--Settlement of Tortuga by freebooters--French settlements in
  western Santo Domingo--Border wars--Cession of western coast to
  France--Return of prosperity--Effect of French Revolution--Negro
  uprising in French Santo Domingo--Rise of Toussaint
  l'Ouverture--Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France--Evacuation
  by Spain.

CHAPTER III. Historical Sketch--Changes of Government--1801 TO 1844

Rule of Toussaint l'Ouverture--Exodus of whites--Capture of Santo
  Domingo by French--War with negroes--Government of
  Ferrand--Incursion of Dessalines--Insurrection of Sanchez
  Ramirez--Reestablishment of Spanish rule--Proclamation of Colombian
  State of Spanish Haiti--Conquest by Haiti--Haitian rule--Duarte's
  conspiracy--Declaration of Independence.

CHAPTER IV. Historical Sketch--First Republic and Spanish
Annexation--1844 TO 1865.

Constitution of the government--Santana's first administration--Wars
  with the Haitians--Administration of Jimenez--Victory of Las
  Carreras--Baez' first administration--Santana's second
  administration--_Repulse of Soulouque_--Baez' second
  administration--Period of the two governments--Santana's third
  administration--Annexation negotiations--Annexation to Spain--War of
  the Restoration.

Chapter V. Historical Sketch--Second Republic-Revolutions and
Dictatorships--1863 TO 1904.

Restoration of the Republic--Military presidents--Cabral's
  administration--Baez' fourth administration--Annexation negotiations
  with the United States--Civil wars--Heureaux's rule--Administrations
  of Jimenez, Vasquez and Woss y Gil--Election of Morales.

Chapter VI. Historical Sketch--American Influence-1904 to date (1918)

Financial difficulties--Fiscal convention with the United
 States--Caceres' administration--Provisional presidents--Civil
  disturbances--Jimenez' second administration--American intervention.

Chapter VII. Area and Boundaries

Area of Republics of Haiti and Santo Domingo--Boundary
  disputes--Harbors on north coast--Character of shore--Samana
  Bay--Character of east and south coast--Harbors of Macoris and Santo
  Domingo--Ocoa Bay--Islands--Haitian frontier.

Chapter VIII. Topography and Climate

Mountains--Valleys and plains--Rivers--Lakes--Temperature and
  Rainfall--Hurricanes--Health conditions.

Chapter IX. Geology and Minerals

Rock formation--Mineral
  deposits--Gold-Copper--Iron--Coal--Silver--Salt--Building
  stone--Petroleum--Mineral springs--Earthquakes.

Chapter X. Flora and Fauna

Agricultural conditions--Land titles and measures--Wet and arid
  regions--Exports--Sugar--Cacao--Tobacco--Coffee--Tropical
  fruits--Forest products--Insects--Reptiles--Fishery--Birds--Cattle
  raising.

Chapter XI. The People

Population--Distribution--Race--Descendants of American
  negroes--Language--Physical traits--Mental
  traits--Amusements--Dances, theatres, clubs,
  carnivals--Gaming--Morality--Homes.

CHAPTER XII. Religion

Catholic religion--Concordat--Ownership of church
  buildings--Clergy--Religious sentiment--Shrines--Religious customs
  and holidays--Religious toleration--Protestant sects.

CHAPTER XIII. Education and Literature

Education in Spanish times--Work of Hostos--School
  organization--Professional institute--Primary and secondary
  education--Literacy--Libraries--Newspapers--Literature--Fine arts.

CHAPTER XIV. Means of Transportation and Communication

Railroads-Samana--Santiago Railroad--Central Dominican
  Railway--Roads--Mode of traveling--Inns--Principal highways--Steamer
  lines--Postal facilities--Telegraph and telephone lines.

CHAPTER XV. Commerce

Exports and imports--Foreign trade--Trade with the United
  States--Ports of entry--Wharf concessions--Domestic
  trade--Business houses--Banks--Manufactures.

CHAPTER XVI. Cities and Towns

General condition of municipalities--Santo Domingo City; ruins,
  churches, streets, popular legends--Other towns of Santo Domingo
  Province--San Pedro de Macoris--Seibo--Samana and
  Sanchez--Pacificador Province--Conceptión de la Vega--Moca--Santiago
  de los Caballeros--Puerto Plata--Monte Cristi--Azua--Barahona.

CHAPTER XVII. The Remains of Columbus

Burial of Columbus--Disappearance of epitaph--Removal of remains in
  1795--Discovery of remains in 1877--Resting-place of Discoverer
  of America.

CHAPTER XVIII. Government

Form of
  government--Constitutions--Presidents--Election--Powers--Executive
  Secretaries--Land and sea forces--Congress--Local
  subdivisions--Provincial governors--Communal governments.

CHAPTER XIX. Politics and Revolutions

Political parties--Elections--Relation between politics and
  revolutions--Conduct of revolutions--Casualties--Number of
  revolutions--Effect of revolutions.

CHAPTER XX. Law and Justice

Audiencia of Santo Domingo--Legal system--Judicial
  organization-Observance of law--Prisons--Character of offenses.

CHAPTER XXI. The dominican debt and the fiscal treaty with the United
States.

Financial situation in 1905--Causes of debt--Amount of debt--Bonded
  debt--Liquidated debt--Floating debt--Declared claims--Undeclared
  claims--Surrender of Puerto Plata custom-house--Fiscal convention of
  1905--Modus vivendi--Negotiations for adjustment of debt--New bond
  issue--Fiscal treaty of 1907--Adjustment with creditors--19l2
  loan--Present financial situation.

CHAPTER XXII. Finances

Financial system--National revenues--Customs tariff--National
  budget--Legal tender--Municipal income--Municipal budgets.

CHAPTER XXIII. The Future of Santo Domingo

Attraction by the United States--Political future of Santo
  Domingo-Economic future of Santo Domingo.

APPENDIX A. Chiefs of State of Santo Domingo, 1492-1918

APPENDIX B. Old Weights and Measures in Use in Santo Domingo

APPENDIX C. American-Dominican Fiscal Convention of 1907

INDEX

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


Columbus Monument on Cathedral Plaza, Santo Domingo City.

Map of Santo Domingo

Historic Gateway "La Puerta del Conde," where
    the independence of the Dominican Republic
    was declared:
        View from within the city
        View from without, during a revolution

The Strongest Presidents of Santo Domingo:
        President Pedro Santana
        President Buenaventura Baez
        President Ulises Heureaux
        President Ramon Caceres

Four Prominent Dominicans:
        President Juan Isidro Jimenez
        President Horacio Vasquez
        Minister of Finance Federico Velazquez
        Archbishop Adolfo A. Nouel

One of the Many Beautiful Spots on the Shores
    of Samana Bay

Partaking of Cocoanut-water

Street in Bani

Street in Puerto Plata

A Roadside Store

Building a House with the Products of the Palm-tree

Room in "Casino de la Juventud," Santo Domingo City

A Holiday Gathering, Santo Domingo City

Ruins of San Francisco Church, Santo Domingo City

A "Calvario" in the Road

Road Scene: A Mudhole

Wharf and Harbor of San Pedro de Macoris

Entrance to Cathedral of Santo Domingo

"House of Columbus," Ruins of Diego Columbus' Palace

The "Tower of Homage," the oldest fortification erected by white men
  in America:
        View from mouth of Ozama River
        View from within fort

Puerto Plata Scene: Milkmen

Puerto Plata Scene: The Ox as a Riding Animal

Sanctuary of Santo Domingo Cathedral

Diagram of Sanctuary of Cathedral

Lead Box found in 1877 with Remains of Columbus

Inscription on Lid of Lead Box

Obverse Side of Silver Plate

Reverse Side of Silver Plate

The Bane of Santo Domingo: Intrenchment at Puerta del Conde during a
  revolution

Independence Plaza, Santo Domingo City

Cathedral Plaza, Santo Domingo City


SANTO DOMINGO



CHAPTER I

HISTORICAL SKETCH.--DAYS OF THE CONQUEST.--1492 to 1533


Aborigines.--Discovery.--Founding of Isabela.--Disaffection of the
colonists.--Indian wars.--Oppression of the Indians.--Founding of
Santo Domingo City.--Roldan's insurrection.--Humiliation of
Columbus,--Ovando's administration.--Extermination of the
natives.--Administrations of Diego Columbus.--Treaty with Indian
survivors.

When Columbus, in December, 1492, sailed along the northern coast of
the island of Haiti or Santo Domingo, he was more enchanted with what
he saw than he had been with any of his previous discoveries. Giant
mountains, covered with verdant forests, seemed to rise precipitately
from the blue waters and lift their heads to the very clouds.
Beautiful rivers watered fertile valleys, luscious fruits hung from
the trees, fragrant flowers carpeted the ground, and the air was
filled with the songs of birds of gay plumage. There were scenes of
nature's magnificence such as are found only in the tropics. Columbus,
as he gazed upon them in admiration, little thought that this
beautiful island was to witness his greatest sorrows, that it was to
be his final resting place, and that it was in later generations to
become the theater of long years of war and carnage.

At the time of its discovery the island of Santo Domingo was thickly
inhabited. The native Indians were Arawaks belonging to the same race
as those who occupied the other larger West India Islands. Unlike the
fierce Caribs who inhabited some of the smaller Antilles, the Arawaks
were of a gentle and meek disposition. They were inclined to idleness
and sensuality. Columbus lauded their kindliness and generosity; the
possession of these traits, however, did not prevent them from
fighting bravely when exasperated.

Living in the stone age, they knew none of the useful metals, but gold
ornaments were used for adornment. Older men and married women wore
short aprons of cotton or feathers; all other persons went entirely
nude. Their favorite amusements were ball games and savage dances with
weird, monotonous music; their religion was the worship of a great
spirit and of subordinate deities represented by idols, called
"zemis," carved of wood and stone in grotesque form, and of which some
are still occasionally found in caverns or tombs. They dwelt in rude
palm-thatched huts, the principal article of furniture being the
hammock. Simple agriculture, hunting and fishing provided their means
of livelihood.

The natives called the island Haiti, signifying "high ground," but the
western portion was also called Babeque or Bohio, meaning "land of
gold" and the eastern part Quisqueya, meaning "mother of the earth."
The name Quisqueya is the one by which Dominican poets now refer to
their country. The inhabitants lived in communities ruled by local
caciques, and the country was divided into five principal regions,
each under an absolute chief cacique, as follows:

Magua, signifying "watered plain," the northeastern part of the island
and comprising most of what is to-day known as the Cibao--that part of
the Dominican Republic lying north of the central mountain-range. The
chief was Guarionex.

Marien, or Mariel, comprised the northwestern portion of the island
and was ruled by Guacanagari.

Jaragua comprised the southwestern part, its chief being Bohechio, the
oldest of the caciques.

Maguana extended from the center of the island to the south coast near
Azua and was ruled by the proud Caonabo.

Higuey, or Higuayagua, the most bellicose portion of the country,
comprised the entire southeast and was ruled by Cayacoa.

Columbus happened upon the island on his first voyage. After
discovering Guanahani on October 12, 1492, and vainly searching for
Japan among the Bahama Islands, he discovered Cuba and while skirting
along the north shore of what he supposed to be the mainland heard of
an island said to be rich in gold, lying to the east. Taking an
easterly course, he was abandoned by the Pinta, one of his caravels,
whose captain, disregarding the admiral's signals, sailed away to seek
his fortune alone. Continuing with his remaining caravels, the Santa
Maria and the Niña, Columbus reached Cape Maisi, the easternmost point
of Cuba, where he sighted a high mountainous land lying in a
southeasterly direction. On the following day, December 6, 1492, he
reached this land, which he called la Española, because it reminded
him of Andalusia. In English histories the name is modified to
Hispaniola. The port Columbus called San Nicolas, as he had entered it
on St. Nicholas day, and it is now known as Mole St. Nicolas.

Columbus then sailed along the north coast of the island and entered
the pretty little port known to-day as Port-à-l'Ecu. Here, on December
12, he solemnly took possession of the country in the name of his
sovereigns, erecting a wooden cross on a high hill on the western
side of the bay. He then visited Tortuga Island, to the north, giving
it this name on account of its shape and the great number of turtles
in the water near its coast. After stopping in a harbor which he
called Puerto de Paz, Port of Peace, because of the harmony which
prevailed at the meetings with the natives, Columbus continued in an
easterly direction, but adverse winds compelled him to put into the
bay of Santo Tomas, to-day bay of l'Acul, where the cordial
intercourse with the natives was renewed. Here he received an embassy
from the chief of the district, Guacanagari, inviting him to visit the
cacique's residence, further along the coast, and bringing him as
presents a wampum belt artistically worked and a wooden mask with
eyes, tongue and nose of gold.

To accept the invitation Columbus set sail on the morning of December
24. In the evening when the admiral had retired the helmsman committed
the indiscretion of confiding the helm to a ship's boy. About midnight
when off Cape Haitien, near their destination, the vessel was caught
in a current and swept upon a sandbank where she began to keel over.
During the confusion which followed, Columbus had the mainmast chopped
down but all efforts to right the ship were in vain, and Columbus and
the crew were obliged to take refuge on the little Niña.

As soon as Guacanagari received news of the disaster he sent large
canoes filled with men to help the strangers transport their stores to
the shore. The relations between the Spaniards and the Indians became
most cordial, especially as the Spaniards were gratified to obtain
much gold in exchange for articles of insignificant value, owing to
which circumstances and to the natural advantages of the location,
Columbus determined to build a fort with the wreckage of his vessel.
The fort was on a hill east of the site of the present town of Cape
Haitien. Columbus gave it the name of La Navidad because he had
entered the bay on Christmas day, and leaving thirty-nine men as
colonists set out on the Niña on January 4, 1493, on his return
trip to Spain.

Near the great yellow promontory on the north of the island, to which
Columbus gave the name it still retains of Monte Cristi, the Pinta,
which had deserted the other vessels off Cuba, was sighted. Columbus
having heard the excuses of the Pinta's captain, took no action with
respect to the latter's delinquency, but set about exploring a large
river in the vicinity to which he gave the name of Rio de Oro and
which to-day is called the Yaque. Continuing the journey along the
coast of the island the vessels rounded the giant promontory of Cape
Cabron and that of Samana and entered the great bay of Samana which
Columbus at first took to be an arm of the sea. Here it was that the
first armed encounter between sons of the old world and the new took
place. The Indians set upon the Spaniards when they landed but were
quickly driven to flight, one of their number being severely wounded.
On the following day, however, a more pleasant meeting took place and
presents were exchanged. On January 16 the two vessels set sail
for Spain.

The immense excitement produced in Spain by the discoveries of
Columbus made the preparation of another expedition an easy matter,
and on September 25, 1493, the admiral again set out from Spain, this
time with sixteen ships and some 1300 men. After touching at several
of the Leeward Islands and Porto Rico, the fleet sighted the Samana
peninsula on November 22, 1493, and three days later arrived at Monte
Cristi. Here the finding of two corpses of Spaniards filled the
members of the expedition with grave apprehensions, which proved
justified when two days later they arrived at La Navidad and found the
fort completely destroyed, the Indian village burnt to the ground, and
the whole neighborhood silent and desolate.

Guacanagari was found at a village further inland and according to his
story and that of other Indians, a number of Spaniards had succumbed
to disease, others were killed in brawls among themselves and the
remainder died at the hands of the inland caciques Caonabo and
Guarionex and their warriors, who attacked and destroyed both the fort
and the village of Guacanagari. At the same time it was stated that
the Spaniards had made themselves hateful to the natives by their
domineering disposition and their lewdness and covetousness. The
finding in some of the native huts of objects that had belonged to the
colonists, as well as other suspicious circumstances, caused Father
Boil and other companions of Columbus to doubt the chief's story and
insist that sanguinary vengeance be taken. Columbus, however, affected
to be satisfied with the explanation given and determined to take no
further action, but to seek a new location for the colony. From this
time forward discord divided not only the Spaniards and Indians but
also the Spaniards themselves.

As the fleet was sailing east the weather obliged it to put into an
indentation of the coast fifty miles east of Monte Cristi. The place
so charmed the Spaniards that it was decided to found a town here. The
first city of the new world was therefore laid out and Columbus gave
it the name of Isabela, in honor of his royal patron. During the
construction of the city Columbus sent two expeditions to the Cibao
mountains, both of which succeeded in collecting a large amount
of gold.

It soon became evident that the neighborhood of Isabela was not a
healthy one. Fever invaded the colony; Columbus himself was not
exempt. Discontent came and an uprising among the soldiers was nipped
in the bud. On recovering from his illness Columbus resolved to make
an exploration of the interior; and with drums beating and flags
flying a brilliant expedition left Isabela. The beautiful Royal Plain
was soon reached and friendly relations established with its peaceful
inhabitants, whose wonder at the Spaniards and terror at their horses
knew no bounds. A fortress was founded on the banks of the Janico
river and called Santo Tomas. Columbus then returned to Isabela to
find the town in a state of excitement on account of petty quarrels
and the general sickness. Picking out the principal malcontents he
sent them to Santo Tomas, and ordered that another fortress be
founded. On April 24, 1494, he left the island with three vessels for
a voyage of exploration to the west, entrusting the government of the
colony to his brother Diego and an executive council.

But a short time elapsed before new dissensions broke out, followed by
troubles with the Indians. A military expedition dispatched to the
interior committed numerous depredations and drove the natives into
the ranks of Caonabo, who was planning the expulsion of the strangers.
The commander of the expedition, Moisen Pedro de Margarite, was called
to account by Diego Columbus; but conspiring with Father Boil, the
religious head of the colony, the two contrived to excite a popular
insurrection against the governor, which may be regarded as the first
Dominican revolution. At this time Bartholomew Columbus, another
brother of the admiral, arrived with provisions, and the
insurrectionists, taking possession of the ships, returned in them to
Spain where they lost no opportunity to disparage the achievements of
Columbus and to slander him and his brothers.

The principal caciques of the island now formed an alliance and
uniting their forces laid siege to Santo Tomas. Only Guacanagari
refused to join them and hurried to Isabela to offer his services to
the Spaniards. At this juncture, on September 29, 1494, Columbus, sick
and weary, returned from his voyage, during which, after other
discoveries, he had explored a portion of the south coast of the
island. As soon as he had recovered sufficient strength he led an
expedition into the interior, relieved Santo Tomas, won numerous
victories over the natives and founded another fortress, La
Concepcion, in the Vega Real, or Royal Plain. Caonabo, however,
assembled a vast number of warriors and forced Columbus to renewed
efforts. The Spaniards and Indians met where the ruins of the old city
of Concepcion de la Vega now are, and the famous battle of the Royal
Plain was fought on March 25, 1495. The natives are alleged by the
Spanish historians to have numbered 100,000, while the Spaniards had
but 200 men and 20 horses, besides the warriors of Guacanagari. In the
battle, a bloody one, the Indians were completely beaten, their
discomfiture being due principally to the superior arms of the
Europeans and the fear inspired by the horses and by twenty
blood-hounds brought into the fight by the Spaniards. On the occasion
of this battle the miracle of the Santo Cerro, or Holy Hill, is said
to have occurred, when, according to the Spanish chroniclers, the
Indians captured an eminence on which the Spaniards had erected a
wooden cross, but were unable to destroy the cross with fire or
hatchet, and were finally frightened away by the apparition of the
Virgin Mary.

This one crushing defeat definitely broke the Indians' power, for
though there were subsequent outbreaks they were only sporadic and,
with one exception, of comparatively little importance. Caonabo still
remained at large and the Spaniards secured possession of his person
by one of those feats of individual prowess which mark the history of
the conquest. The Spaniard Alonso de Ojeda went out in search of the
cacique, and having found him with his warriors, suggested that they
repair to Isabela together to arrange terms of peace with Columbus.
The suggestion being accepted, they set out and on crossing the Yaque
river Ojeda pressed the Indian to put on a pair of handcuffs,
asserting that these bracelets were a distinction of the king of
Castile. Caonabo acceded, whereupon the Spaniard sprang upon his horse
and swinging the chief upon the croup, fled from the midst of the
astonished warriors and bore him a prisoner to Isabela. Caonabo was
later embarked for Spain but died on the voyage.

A beginning was now made of the harsh oppression which was soon to
cause the entire disappearance of the native race. A quarterly tribute
was imposed on every Indian above the age of fourteen. Those who lived
in the auriferous region of the Cibao were obliged to deliver as much
gold dust as could be held in a small bell, others were to give
twenty-five pounds of cotton. Many natives fled to the mountains to
escape the onerous tax and new settlements were established by the
Spaniards.

The enemies of Columbus had in the meantime been sufficiently
successful in Spain to cause one de Aguado to be sent out with the
object of investigating conditions in the colony. His conduct from the
very first was so arrogant that the admiral determined to return at
once to justify himself before the court. On March  10, 1496, he
embarked for Spain, leaving his brother Bartholomew as governor of
the colony.

Before his departure the news arrived of the discovery of several rich
gold mines in the southern part of the island. They were found by a
soldier named Miguel Diaz, who having fled to the wilderness to escape
punishment for wounding a comrade, had established conjugal relations
with an Indian woman near the present site of Santo Domingo City.
Noticing that her consort was tiring of her, the lady tried to retain
him by revealing the existence of gold deposits in the region; and
Diaz promptly secured his pardon and promotion by reporting the find
to Isabela. The romance had a sad ending, for the Indian, shocked at
the cruel treatment accorded her countrymen by the Spaniards who came
to the place, abandoned her husband and children and disappeared in
the forest.

On arriving in Spain, Columbus wrote his brother to found a town on
the south coast at the mouth of the Ozama. Bartholomew Columbus
immediately set out to select a site and on August 4, 1496, laid the
first stone of the new city on the left bank of the Ozama, calling it
Nueva Isabela, in honor of the queen. The name was afterwards changed
to Santo Domingo in honor, so tradition has it, of the saint to whom
the day of its foundation was dedicated. As the location of this city
was much healthier than that of fever-ridden Isabela on the north
coast, the settlers in an ever increasing stream removed to the new
town which flourished as the other decayed, until after a few years
Isabela was entirely abandoned. The only vestiges now remaining of it
are a few ruined foundation walls and shapeless heaps of stone
overgrown with rank tropical vegetation.

Bartholomew Columbus busied himself with further explorations of the
interior, founding a number of strongholds, among them Santiago de los
Caballeros, which commanded the Royal Plain. While at Concepcion de la
Vega he was informed that several Indians had burned an altar erected
by friars in the interior, and had buried the sacred images. The
bigoted governor had the Indians apprehended and burnt alive in the
public square. This cruel act induced fourteen caciques to conspire
for an uprising; but their designs being betrayed, they were captured
by a bold stroke and two of them executed. Determined to crush the
spirit of the natives, Bartholomew Columbus invaded and devastated the
district of Monte Cristi, driving the Indians into the remote forests
and capturing and imprisoning their chiefs.

His severity was not confined to the Indians, but the Spaniards,
naturally restive under the government of a Genovese, were also made
to feel it until their disaffection developed into open rebellion.

At the head of the conspiracy was Francisco Roldan, the judge of the
colony, a man ambitious and seditious by nature, but who owed Columbus
many favors. Others, disgusted because their dreams of gold had not
been realized, followed him and the insurrection was soon well under
way. The rebels took Isabela and sacked the government storehouse and
then took steps to besiege Bartholomew Columbus at Concepcion de la
Vega. The arrival of fresh troops and stores from Spain enabled the
governor to hold the rebels in check.

Such was the deplorable state of affairs when Columbus returned to the
island on August 30, 1498. Realizing Roldan's strength, he consented
to make terms under which the insurgents were to receive stores and
other property and return to Spain. By the time their vessels were
ready most of them had changed their mind and declined to go, but
they wrote letters to Spain bitterly complaining of the admiral and
his brothers, and accusing them of oppression and despotism. Columbus
found himself obliged to agree to the most humiliating terms with the
rebels, conceding a complete pardon, restoring them to their official
posts, promising to pay their salary in arrears and distributing lands
and Indians among them. Nevertheless, other quarrels followed,
Columbus was forced to take severe measures and the complaints
against him grew.

Little by little the stories of arrogance and oppression circulated
with reference to the Columbus brothers undermined the esteem in which
they were held by the sovereigns, who were also disappointed at not
seeing the fabulous wealth they had expected from the new discoveries.
They determined to send to the island of Española a person authorized
to investigate conditions and decide all disputes.

Their choice for the mission was unfortunate; it fell on Francisco
Bobadilla, a spiteful, arrogant and tactless man. On arriving in Santo
Domingo on August 23, 1500, he immediately began to annul dispositions
made by Columbus and sent for the admiral who was in the interior. As
soon as Columbus appeared, Bobadilla, far exceeding his authority,
caused him to be put in chains and confined in a cell of the fortress
of Santo Domingo. He also imprisoned the brothers of Columbus and sent
them to Spain together with the Discoverer, all chained like infamous
criminals. At the same time he made a report attributing malfeasance,
injustice and fraud to all.

The administration of Bobadilla was disastrous. In his efforts to
ingratiate himself with Columbus' enemies he heaped favors on Roldan
and his followers and gave them franchises and lands. He made the
slavery of the Indians more galling than ever, obliging them to labor
in the fields and mines. Columbus' property and papers were
confiscated and Columbus' friend, the explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas,
was imprisoned and his property seized.

The captain of the vessel bearing Columbus treated his distinguished
prisoner with all possible deference and offered to take off the
chains, but the Discoverer, whose heart was breaking under the
indignities heaped upon him and the injustice of which he was the
victim, proudly refused. When the vessel arrived in Spain the
sovereigns, shocked at Bobadilla's proceedings, commanded the
immediate release of Columbus, ordered that his property be restored
and overwhelmed him with distinctions, though providing that his
dignities as viceroy were to remain temporarily suspended; probably
because the calculating spirit of King Ferdinand believed that too
much power had been vested in his subject. Bobadilla was removed from
office, and Nicolas de Ovando, a member of the religious-military
order of Alcantara, was appointed governor in his place.

Ovando arrived in Santo Domingo on April 15, 1502, with a fleet of
thirty vessels, the largest which up to that time had arrived in the
new world, carrying stores of every kind and over 1500 persons, among
them many who later attained distinction in conquests on the mainland.
He was courteous to Bobadilla, but took measures to send Roldan and
the most turbulent of his companions back to Spain on the return of
his fleet, the largest vessel of which was placed at the disposition
of Bobadilla.

Just before the sailing of the fleet, on June 30, 1502, Columbus
unexpectedly appeared before the city on his fourth voyage, and asked
permission to enter the port for protection from a hurricane which he
believed was approaching. Ovando, either because he had secret orders,
or perhaps because he feared Columbus' presence might cause renewed
disturbances, denied the request, and the great man, deeply wounded by
the refusal, sought shelter further up the coast.

The pilots of the great fleet derided Columbus' prediction and the
ships set sail. They had not reached the easternmost point of the
island when a terrific hurricane broke loose. All but two of the
vessels were lost, and by a strange coincidence one of these two bore
Rodrigo de Bastidas, the friend of Columbus, while the other, the
smallest and weakest vessel of the fleet, was the one that carried
Columbus' property. Bobadilla, Roldan and other enemies of the
admiral, and many other passengers and Indian captives perished and
large stores of gold were lost. Columbus' squadron rode out the storm
in safety in a cove of the bay of Azua, whereupon he continued
his voyage.

On land, too, the hurricane wrought great destruction. The houses of
the town of Santo Domingo were demolished and as the right bank of the
Ozama was higher and seemed more suitable, Ovando ordered that the
town be rebuilt on that side, where it now stands.

Ovando now inaugurated a period of general prosperity. He established
peace and order, issued rules for the different branches of the public
service, placed honest men in the posts of responsibility and
encouraged industry and agriculture. Yet, strange mixture of energy
and cruelty, of valor and bigotry that he was, his treatment of the
Indians was most oppressive. To each Spanish landholder was assigned a
number of Indians under the pretext that they were to be given
religious instruction and accustomed to work; but so onerous and
unremitting was the labor imposed that they succumbed to disease by
thousands, while thousands of others perished by their own hand in an
epidemic of suicide which swept through the country, and many fled to
almost inaccessible mountain regions.

But two Indian chieftains still reigned in the island, one the Indian
queen Anacaona in the district of Jaragua, the other the chief of
Higuey. Ovando's severe measures against the natives made him ready to
believe the tales of conspiracies brought to him. He therefore sent a
troop of 300 infantry under Diego Velazquez, the future conqueror of
Cuba, and 70 horsemen, to the territory of Anacaona, where they were
received with every mark of kindness. The Spaniards invited the
natives to witness a military drill and when the queen, her principal
caciques and a great crowd of Indians were assembled, the exercises
commenced. The Indians were awed by the spectacle so new and imposing
to them, when suddenly the trumpets gave a signal, the infantry opened
fire and the cavalry charged on the defenseless spectators. All the
Indians who could not escape by flight were massacred without respect
to age or sex. Anacaona alone was spared and carried off to Santo
Domingo where she was shortly afterwards ignominiously executed, on
the pretext that she was not sufficiently sincere in the Catholic
religion which she had recently professed! A tenacious persecution of
the Indians who would not become slaves was instituted and but few
were able to hide in the mountains of the interior.

In 1503 the subjugation of the last remaining independent chieftain,
Cotubanama, lord of Higuey, in the extreme eastern part of the island,
was undertaken. Near this province a Spaniard wantonly set his hound
upon one of the principal natives, and the Indian was torn to pieces,
whereupon the chief, indignant at his friend's death, caused a
boatload of Spaniards to be killed, thus giving Ovando a welcome
excuse for the invasion. Four hundred Spaniards dealt death and
desolation throughout the region, pursuing the Indians into the
mountains and forests and sparing neither women nor children. When at
last they captured and hung an aged Indian woman revered as a
prophetess, the terrified aborigines sued for peace and agreed to pay
a heavy tribute. A fortress was erected at Higuey, but the conduct of
the Spanish garrison was so outrageous that the Indians in desperation
again rose, and killed every Spaniard in the district. Ovando then
began a war of extermination and the Indians were killed off by
thousands, Cotubanama resisted heroically but in vain, and after being
beaten in a number of desperate battles he withdrew to the island of
Saona, southeast of Santo Domingo. Here he was surprised and captured
by the Spaniards, his remaining warriors mercilessly shot and he
himself taken to the city of Santo Domingo and hung. With his death
the island was thoroughly pacified, though at a bloody cost, and the
conquest proper ended.

On August 13, 1504, Columbus once more arrived in Santo Domingo. On
his ill-fated fourth voyage he had been shipwrecked in Jamaica and one
of his men crossed the ocean in an open boat, to solicit aid of
Ovando. The latter, after dallying for months, finally yielded to the
murmurings of the colony and sent for the Discoverer. He received
Columbus well, but subjected him to humiliation by arbitrarily
liberating a mutineer imprisoned by the admiral. Disappointed and sad,
the great navigator left the shores of the island he loved and
returned to Spain where his death occurred two years later. The
golden age of the colony was now at hand. Ovando built up the city of
Santo Domingo, constructed forts and other defences, and laid the
foundations of most of its public buildings. Fine private residences
and great churches and convents were erected. Sugar-cane was
introduced in 1506 and gave rich returns, the production of the gold
mines continued to increase, and cattle raising brought large profits.
The Indians were dying out under the rigorous treatment, and others
were imported from the surrounding islands under the pretense of
converting them to Christianity; and when these also succumbed, the
importation of negroes from Africa was commenced. About 1508 the
island began to be called Santo Domingo, but for almost three
centuries royal decrees continued to refer to it as Espanola. So
flourishing was its state at this time that thirteen of its towns were
granted coats of arms and three were declared cities. The colony was
and for many years continued to be a starting point for voyages of
discovery and conquest in the islands and along the shores of the
Caribbean Sea.

After the death of Christopher Columbus his son Diego made fruitless
efforts to recover the honors of which his father had been despoiled,
but it was not until he married Maria de Toledo, the beautiful niece
of the Duke of Alba, that he met with partial success, probably more
because of the influence of his wife's family than because of the
justice of his claims. In 1509 he was appointed governor of Santo
Domingo to succeed Ovando and arrived in the colony with his wife, his
uncles, and a brilliant suite.

Diego Columbus inaugurated his administration with a splendor till
then unknown in the new world, establishing a kind of vice-regal
court. He built the castle of which the ruins are still to be seen
near the San Diego gate in the city of Santo Domingo, and which in its
glory must have been an imposing structure. Unfortunately many persons
transferred to the son the hatred they had borne the father and he
found his plans balked. Intending to carry into effect the royal
dispositions relative to the release of the Indians from slavery he
incurred the hostility of the planters and when he desisted owing to
their opposition, he was attacked by the friars. Complaints poured in
upon King Ferdinand; the accusation most calculated to arouse the
suspicious monarch's fears was that the second admiral, as Diego
Columbus was called, harbored the intention of proclaiming himself
sovereign of Santo Domingo. Ferdinand accordingly instituted the
audiencia or high court of justice of Santo Domingo, which was
invested with a comprehensive jurisdiction, being authorized to hear
appeals even from decisions of the governor, whose powers were thus
materially curtailed.

This circumstance, as well as a new distribution of the Indians, made
over the head of the governor, induced Diego Columbus to return to
Spain in 1515 in order to defend his interests. During the term of the
two governors who succeeded him, various dispositions were made for
the protection of the natives whose numbers were rapidly diminishing
notwithstanding importations from the other islands and from South
America. The only result of these orders was a change of masters; for
when Diego Columbus returned as governor in 1520, he found the Indians
exploited by the priests and officers of the crown to whom they had
been intrusted ostensibly for religious instruction, while the
mine-owners and planters now employed negro slaves.

Almost simultaneously with the return of the second admiral began the
insurrection of a young Indian cacique known as Enrique. This noble
Indian, a relative of Anacaona, had been converted to Christianity and
educated by the Spaniards, but was nevertheless enslaved in one of the
"repartimientos," or distributions. His wife having been gravely
offended by the Spaniard to whom they were assigned, he retired to the
almost inaccessible mountains in the center of the island, and many of
the remaining natives fled to join him. Efforts to dislodge him were
in vain and negotiations only elicited from him the promise to act on
the defensive alone, which was equivalent to an indefinite truce. The
number of negro slaves had in the meantime increased, and the
treatment given them was as harsh as that which had been accorded the
aborigines. As a result an insurrection, the first negro uprising in
the new world, began near Santo Domingo City on December 27, 1522.
Several Spaniards were murdered, but the troops overpowered the
mutineers and a number were hung.

Diego Columbus continued in his efforts to promote the welfare of the
colony, but became involved in a quarrel with the royal audiencia and
found himself obliged in March, 1524, to return to Spain where he died
two years later. The new governor, Bishop Sebastian Ramirez de
Fuenleal, was appointed president of the royal court, and the offices
of governor and president of the court were thenceforth consolidated.
Both he and his successor used their best efforts to promote
immigration into the colony which was beginning to suffer on account
of the draughts of men that left for the mainland. An army was
dispatched against the insurgent chief Enrique who still menaced the
tranquillity of the colonists from his mountain fastnesses. When it was
found impossible to reach him, peaceful methods were employed.
Negotiations were opened, and a treaty of peace signed in 1533, on an
island in the beautiful lake still known as Lake Enriquillo. By this
treaty the Indians, now reduced to not more than 4000 in number, were
freed from slavery and assigned lands in Boya, in the mountains to the
northeast of Santo Domingo City. From this time forward there is no
further mention of the Indians in the island's history; they
disappeared completely by dying out and by assimilation.



CHAPTER II

HISTORICAL SKETCH.--COLONIAL VICISSITUDES.--1533 TO 1801


Decline of the colony.--English attacks on Santo Domingo
City.--Settlement of Tortuga by freebooters.--French settlements in
western Santo Domingo.--Border wars.--Cession of western coast to
France.--Return of prosperity.--Effect of French revolution.--Negro
uprising in French Santo Domingo.--Rise of Toussaint l'Ouverture.
--Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France.--Evacuation by Spain.

Within forty years after its discovery Santo Domingo had passed the
zenith of its glory. The vast and wealthy countries discovered and
conquered on the mainland of America absorbed the attention of
colonists and of the government, and Santo Domingo quickly sank to a
position of economic and political insignificance. So little
importance was given the island by chroniclers during the ensuing two
hundred and fifty years and so few are the records remaining, that not
even the names of all the governors and the periods of their rule can
be accurately determined. The colony barely existed, the monotony of
its life was interrupted only by occasional attacks or menaces of
attacks by pirates or other foes.

Every effort was made to prevent decay. Decrees were issued forbidding
emigration or the recruiting of troops for expeditions of discovery,
but they were evaded. Thus Louis Columbus, the grandson of the
Discoverer and one of the most influential men of the colony, fitted
out an expedition against Veragua. African slaves continued to be
imported to take the place of the exterminated Indians, but as their
importation was expensive the mines were abandoned and the number of
sugar estates declined. For the greater part of the period from 1533
to 1556 the government was in the hands of an energetic man,
Licentiate Alonso de Fuenmayor, Bishop of Santo Domingo and La Vega,
and later first Archbishop of Santo Domingo. He pushed to a conclusion
the work on the cathedral and other religious edifices then building,
repaired the edifices belonging to the state and constructed the walls
and bastions which still surround the city. He was able to ward off
the attacks of corsairs, who multiplied in West Indian waters to such
an extent that in 1561 the Spanish Government forbade vessels to
travel to and from the new world except under convoy.

In 1564 the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Concepcion de la
Vega were completely destroyed by an earthquake and the few remaining
inhabitants reestablished the towns at short distances from the
original sites. The entire intercourse of the colony with Spain was
reduced to two or three caravels a year and the revenues sank so low
that the salaries of state officials were paid and continued to be
paid for over two hundred years, from the treasury of Mexico.

The year 1586 was marked by the capture of Santo Domingo City by the
noted English navigator, Sir Francis Drake, during the celebrated
cruise on which he took the strongest towns on the Spanish main. On
the morning of January 11, 1586, the inhabitants of Santo Domingo City
were thrown into consternation at seeing eighteen foreign vessels in
the roadstead, in a line which stretched from Torrecilla Point to the
slaughterhouse. To the joy of the people the fleet set sail for the
west, but their joy was short lived, for the next morning messengers
arrived with the news that the enemy had landed at the mouth of the
Jaina River and was marching on the city. Preparations were made for
defense, but terror gained the upper hand and soon the civil and
religious authorities, the monks and nuns and the entire population
were fleeing in confusion on foot, in carts and in canoes, leaving
their belongings behind. Some one hundred and fifty men remained to
dispute the passage of Lieutenant-General Carliell who appeared at the
head of a thousand men. They were quickly dispersed by the invaders
who entered the gates with little loss and proceeded to the plaza
where they encamped. For twenty-five days Drake held the deserted
city, carrying on negotiations meanwhile for its ransom. When these
flagged he ordered the gradual destruction of the town and every
morning for eleven days a number of buildings were burned and
demolished, a work of some difficulty on account of the solidity of
the houses. Not quite one-third of the city was so destroyed when the
residents paid a ransom of 25,000 ducats, about $30,000, for the
remainder. Drake thereupon embarked, carrying with him the bronze
cannon of the fort and whatever of value he found in the churches and
private houses. He also ordered the hanging of several friars, held by
him as prisoners, in retaliation for the murder of a negro boy whom he
had sent with a flag of truce.

Seventy years later Santo Domingo was again attacked by English
forces, this time with the object of making a permanent landing.
Oliver Cromwell after declaring war against Spain sent a fleet to the
West Indies under the command of Admiral William Penn, having on board
an army of 9000 men. The fleet appeared off Santo Domingo City on May
14, 1655, and a landing was effected in two bodies, the advance guard
under Col. Buller going ashore at the mouth of the Jaina River while
the main body under General Venables disembarked at Najayo, much
further down the coast. Buller met with strong resistance at Fort San
Geronimo and was forced to retire to Venables' intrenchments. The
united English forces made several attempts to march on the capital,
but fell into ambuscades and sustained heavy losses. Despairing of
success, the fleet and army left the island on June 3 and proceeded to
Jamaica, which they captured.

The rovers of the sea and the restrictive trade regulations imposed by
the Spanish government, which limited trade with the new world to the
single port of Seville in Spain, made development of the island's
commerce impossible. The trade restrictions had the effect of
encouraging a brisk contraband traffic with Dutch vessels on the north
coast, to stop which the Spanish government adopted the incredible
expedient of shutting up every port except Santo Domingo City and
ordering the destruction of the north coast towns. Puerto Plata, Monte
Cristi and two villages on the coast of what is now Haiti were thus
destroyed in 1606 and the inhabitants transferred to towns almost in
the center of the island, where they were far removed from temptation
to smuggle. The measure temporarily stopped contraband trade on the
north coast, but destroyed all legitimate trade in that region,
transformed the coast into a desert and furnished an opportunity for
the settlement of the buccaneers in the northwest.

The English, French and Dutch, in resisting Spain's claim to sole
trading rights in the new world, authorized the fitting out of
privateers that often degenerated into pirates. The bays and inlets of
the coast of Santo Domingo became favorite resorts for such ships. The
depot of the corsairs on the island of St. Christopher having been
destroyed by the Spaniards in 1630, a number of refugees sought
shelter on the island of Tortuga, on the northwest coast of Haiti.
Some of them began to cultivate the soil, others took to hunting wild
cattle on the mainland of Haiti, while others indulged in piracy.
Tortuga soon became the busy headquarters of reckless freebooters of
all nations, who here fitted out daring expeditions and returned to
waste their gains in wild carousals. In 1638 the Spanish governor of
Santo Domingo made a descent on the island and destroyed the
settlement, but most of the buccaneers were absent at the time and the
only result of the raid was to cause them to organize under the
captaincy of an Englishman named Willis. French national pride
asserted itself, however, and with the assistance of a French force
from St. Christopher, the English inhabitants of Tortuga, who were in
a minority, were persuaded to leave for Jamaica, and Tortuga
thenceforth continued under French governors.

In 1648 the Spaniards of Santo Domingo made another fruitless attempt
to expel the buccaneers; but in 1653 the Spanish governor, the Count
of Peñalva, collected a force which caught the island unawares and was
strong enough to overawe the inhabitants, who were permitted to leave,
though abandoning all their property. The Spaniards left a garrison
but the persistent Frenchmen returned and drove it out. In 1664 the
French West India Company took possession, established a garrison, and
appointed as governor an energetic man, D'Ogeron, under whom the
country rapidly advanced in prosperity and commerce. With the idea of
encouraging permanent settlement, D'Ogeron had women brought over from
the slums of Paris and portioned out as wives to the rude colonists.

The rapidly increasing population caused settlements to be made on
the Haitian mainland, and the city of Port-de-Paix was founded on a
beautiful bay opposite Tortuga. The city flourished to such an extent
and the advantages of settlement on the mainland were so superior that
the settlers of Tortuga gradually left the smaller island and settled
along the Haitian coast. Within twenty years Tortuga was practically
deserted and it so continues to this day.

A better class of people now arrived from France. Families were
brought in from Anjou and Brittany, and the French settlements
continued to spread all the way down the western coast of the island,
the French settlement at Samana being withdrawn. Slaves were imported
from Africa, and in 1678 a rising took place among them, which was
easily put down. In 1684 the French government formally sent out
commissioners to provide for the regular government of the colony, and
churches and courts of justice were established.

The Spanish inhabitants of Santo Domingo meanwhile made attack after
attack on the French, but the Spanish colony was in such reduced
straits that no extended efforts were possible. Where the French were
repulsed the Spaniards were too few numerically to hold the territory
and it was soon reoccupied. Angered at the repeated aggressions,
D'Ogeron sent out an expedition under Delisle in 1673, which landed at
Puerto Plata and marched inland to Santiago. The inhabitants fled to
La Vega and only avoided the burning of their city by paying a ransom
of 25,000 pesos, whereupon Delisle returned to the French colony.
D'Ogeron at this time proposed to the French government the conquest
of the entire island for France, and would probably have attempted to
carry out this plan, had not his death occurred shortly after.

Cordial relations existing between France and Spain in 1685,
tentative boundary agreements were made between the French and Spanish
authorities, but each side accused the other of violations and the
strife continued as before. When in 1689, war broke out between Spain
and France, the French governor organized an expedition to invade the
Spanish section. He reached Santiago where some of his men died after
consuming meat and wine found in the deserted houses. Believing them
poisoned, he ordered the torch to be applied to the city and retired
after seeing it reduced to ashes. Admiral Perez Caro, the Spanish
governor, thereupon made preparations for a telling blow on the
French. The colony's militia and regular troops sent by the viceroy of
Mexico invaded the French section and on January 21, 1692,
administered a crushing defeat on the opposing force in the plain of
La Limonade, killing the French governor and his principal officers.
The victorious army marched through the French settlements, desolating
the fields and putting all prisoners to the sword. At the same time a
new settlement the French had made at Samana was exterminated.

The new French governor found the affairs of his colony in very bad
condition; but with the assistance of refugees from other islands he
sent an expedition to Jamaica, from where over 3,000 slaves together
with stores of indigo and other property were carried off. In
retaliation the English and Spanish fleets combined and with 4,000 men
aboard set sail from Manzanillo Bay in 1695, and sacked and burned
Cape Français and Port-de-Paix, the English carrying off all the men
they took prisoners and the Spaniards the women and children.
Hostilities were ended in 1697 by the peace of Ryswick by which Spain
recovered territory conquered from her by the French and ceded the
western part of the island of Santo Domingo to France. The occupation
of the western coast by France, so long resented as an intrusion, was
thus formally recognized.

The French colony immediately entered upon an era of prosperity which
soon made it the richest country of the West Indies. Great plantations
of tobacco, indigo, cacao, coffee and sugar were established. The
country came to be known as the paradise of the West Indies and the
wealth of the planters became proverbial. The grave defect was that
this prosperity was built on the false foundation of slavery. In 1754
the population numbered 14,000 whites, 4000 free mulattoes and
172,000 negroes.

The Spanish colony on the other hand sank lower than ever. Practically
abandoned by the mother country, there was no commerce beyond a little
contraband and only the most indispensable agriculture, the
inhabitants devoting themselves almost entirely to cattle raising. The
ports were the haunts of pirates, and a number of Dominicans also
became corsairs. By the year 1730 the entire country held but 6000
inhabitants, of whom about 500 lived in the ruined capital and the
remaining urban population was disseminated among the vestiges of
Cotui, Santiago, Azua, Banica, Monte Plata, Bayaguana, La Vega, Higuey
and Seibo. Such was the poverty prevailing that a majority of the
people went in rags; and the arrival of the ship from Mexico, which
brought the salaries of the civil officials and the military, was
hailed with the joyful ringing of church bells.

To how great an extent this depression was due to trade restrictions
is evident from the circumstance that when in 1740 several ports were
opened to foreign commerce there was an immediate change for the
better. Agriculture expanded, exports and imports increased, money
circulated, the cost of the necessaries of life fell, the population
rapidly increased and many new towns sprang up. According to an
ecclesiastical census the population had in 1785 advanced to 152,640
inhabitants. Of these only 30,000 were slaves, owing to the Spanish
laws which made it easy for a slave to purchase his freedom. Many of
the freemen were negroes or mulattoes.

In 1751 the colony was visited by a severe hurricane, which caused the
Ozama to leave its banks, and by a destructive earthquake which
overthrew the cities of Azua and Seibo and did much damage to the
church buildings of Santo Domingo. Azua and Seibo were reestablished
on their present sites. Another earthquake in 1770 destroyed several
towns in the French part of the island.

From the beginning of the century the boundary between the French and
Spanish colonies of Santo Domingo had been a source of constant
friction and bickerings. A preliminary agreement had been made in
1730, but in 1776 a permanent treaty was drafted, it was ratified at
Aranjuez in 1777, and the boundary was marked with stone monuments.

When the French revolution broke out in 1789 both the Spanish and
French colonies of Santo Domingo were enjoying a high degree of
prosperity. In the French colony there were about 30,000 whites, and
the haughty white planters were wont to indulge in every form of
luxury and sybaritic pleasure; the negro slaves, whose number had
grown to almost half a million, were subjected to the most barbarous
ill-treatment; and a class of about 30,000 ambitious free mulattoes
had arisen, many of whom where cultured and wealthy, but who were all
rigidly excluded from participation in public affairs. It was evident
that but a spark was needed to produce what might turn out to be a
general conflagration.

The spark came in the formation of the National Assembly in France and
its declaration of the rights of man. The mulattoes at once petitioned
the National Assembly for civil and political rights, which were in
1790 equivocally denied and in 1791 finally granted them. The whites
resisted the government decrees and uprisings began. The first of
these was a revolt of the mulattoes under Ogé, which was quickly
suppressed. Ogé fled to Spanish Santo Domingo, but was surrendered by
the Spaniards on condition that his life be spared, a promise that was
not kept for he was publicly broken on the wheel. Jean François,
another mulatto, then raised an insurrection of the negroes in the
north, marching on Cape Français, burning and murdering, with the body
of a white infant carried on a spear-head at the head of his troops.
His forces were defeated by the whites, who commenced an
indiscriminate slaughter of their victims. The negroes thereupon rose
in every direction and the paradise of the West Indies became a hell.
The great plantation houses were burned, the wide estates desolated,
white women were ravished and murdered and white men put to death with
horrible tortures, while the liberated slaves indulged in orgies at
which the beverage was rum mixed with human blood. It was a fearful
day of reckoning.

In 1793, France went to war with England and Spain. The Spanish
authorities of Santo Domingo made overtures to negro leaders of whom a
number entered the Spanish army as officers of high rank, among them
Toussaint, an intelligent ex-slave who later assumed the surname of
l'Ouverture and who showed remarkable military and administrative
qualities. The French government sent commissioners to the colony,
whose tactless handling of a difficult situation fanned the flames of
civil war. The English attacked the colony, captured Port-au-Prince,
and enlisted the aid of the revolted slaves in overrunning the
surrounding country. When they besieged Port-de-Paix the French
commander sent secret emissaries to Spanish Santo Domingo and induced
Toussaint to desert from the Spanish ranks and with his negro
followers help to drive out the English. Killing the Spanish soldiers
he found in his way, Toussaint went to fight the English, with such
success that in 1797 he was made general-in-chief of all the French
troops. The English, decimated by disease, were obliged to leave in
1798 and sign a treaty of peace with Toussaint by which the island was
recognized as an independent and neutral state during their war with
France. The operations in Santo Domingo are said to have cost the
English $100,000,000 in money and 45,000 lives.

In the meanwhile border fights were going on in Spanish Santo Domingo
between Toussaint's troops and forces collected from the various
Spanish possessions on the Caribbean Sea. They continued until 1795,
when by the treaty of Basle peace was declared between France and
Spain and the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo was--to the dismay of
its inhabitants--ceded to France, the whole island thus passing under
French control. Toward the end of that year part of the Spanish troops
and members of religious orders embarked and an emigration of the
better families began, many taking their slaves with them. The
Spaniards also exhumed what they supposed to be the remains of
Columbus in the cathedral of Santo Domingo and carried them to Havana.
One of the terms of the treaty was that the colony should formally be
delivered when French troops were sent to occupy it, but as the
French were at this time kept busy in the western portion, the Spanish
governor and authorities continued to administer the country for
several years. Little by little troops and civil officials were
withdrawn and in 1799 the royal audiencia or high court was
transferred to Puerto Principe, in Cuba, most of the lawyers of the
colony leaving at the same time with their families.

Toussaint l'Ouverture was now in supreme command in the west, though
nominally holding under the French republic. He displayed considerable
ability in promoting peace, ordered the blacks to return to work and
gave protection to the whites. It was evident, however, that he aimed
to make himself absolute master of the whole island. Pursuant to this
plan he called on the Spanish governor, General Joaquin Garcia, to
surrender the Spanish colony in accordance with the stipulations of
the treaty of Basle, Governor Garcia prepared to resist, but Toussaint
invaded the colony with an army, was successful in a skirmish on the
Nizao River and appearing before the capital protested that he came as
a French general in the name of the French republic. Garcia had no
alternative but to comply with the negro chief's demands. On the 27th
of January, 1801, Toussaint l'Ouverture entered the capital with his
troops and formally took possession. Amid the booming of cannon the
Spanish ensign was lowered and the French tricolor raised; and
Toussaint invited the authorities to the cathedral where a Te Deum was
chanted. Governor Garcia immediately embarked for Cuba with the
remaining Spanish civil and military authorities.



CHAPTER III

HISTORICAL SKETCH.--CHANGES OF GOVERNMENT.-18O1 TO 1844


Rule of Toussaint l'Ouverture.--Exodus of whites.--Capture of Santo
Domingo by French.--War with negroes.--Government of Ferrand.
--Incursion of Dessalines.--Insurrection of Sanchez Ramirez.
--Reestablishment of Spanish rule.--Proclamation of Colombian
State of Spanish Haiti.--Conquest by Haiti.--Haitian rule.--Duarte's
conspiracy.--Declaration of Independence.


Toussaint l'Ouverture's occupation of Santo Domingo occasioned a new
exodus of white families who were fearful of what might happen under
negro rule. From the French portion of the island the whites had been
emigrating since the first uprisings; a number had fled into the
Spanish colony and these now also left. It is estimated that in the
decade beginning with 1795 the Spanish portion lost over 40,000
inhabitants, more than one-third of its population. Most of the
persons who abandoned the island during these troublous times settled
in Cuba, Porto Rico and Venezuela, where they established coffee and
sugar plantations, to the great advantage of these countries. Some of
the most prominent families of Cuba to-day are descendants of families
which left Santo Domingo at this time.

Toussaint tried to stem the tide of emigration by issuing conciliatory
proclamations; but when he found his efforts in vain, it is claimed
that he conceived the idea of a general massacre of the whites
remaining in the capital. He ordered the entire population, without
distinction of age or sex to gather on the plaza and the men, women
and children to be separated into different groups, the whole plaza
being surrounded by strong forces of cavalry. Appearing before the
terrified people Toussaint declared slavery abolished and began to
walk up and down and ask the women in broken Spanish whether they were
French or Spanish, touching them with his cane in an ever more
insolent manner. It was too much for one high-spirited young woman,
who commenced to upbraid him for daring to touch her. At this critical
moment a severe storm, that had been gathering since he appeared on
the plaza, broke, and Toussaint, apparently regarding it as a sign of
divine disapproval, ordered the children removed, then permitted the
women to retire and finally sent the soldiers to their barracks,
leaving the men to disperse of themselves.

Toussaint divided the Spanish part of the island into two departments,
making his brother Paul l'Ouverture governor of the south with
headquarters at Santo Domingo and General Clervaux governor of the
Cibao, with headquarters at Santiago. He then made a journey through
the country, being everywhere received by the frightened inhabitants
with every mark of distinction. Upon his return to the French section
he promulgated, in July, 1801, a constitution for the island, by which
he was declared governor for life and commander-in-chief, with the
right of appointing his successor and with an annual salary of 300,00
francs. At the same time he confiscated the property of persons who
had emigrated.

Toussaint's constitution was a challenge to Napoleon Bonaparte, who
having temporarily made peace with England, determined to reestablish
French authority in the island. He accordingly dispatched to Santo
Domingo a fleet with a well-equipped army of 25,000 men under his
brother-in-law, General Le Clerc. Upon arriving in Samana Bay the
force was divided into several bodies which were to operate in
different parts of the island. The reconquest of the Spanish part was
confided to Generals Kerverseau and Ferrand.

General Ferrand landed in Monte Cristi and without difficulty took
possession of the Cibao while the colored chief, Clervaux, knowing the
hostility of the population toward him, retired without giving battle.
General Kerverseau took Samana by assault and then sailed for Santo
Domingo City. The negro Governor Paul l'Ouverture prepared to resist,
but a brave Dominican, Colonel Juan Baron, organized an
insurrectionary force and placed himself in communication with
Kerverseau. The first attempt at uprising was a failure, as his plans
were betrayed, and a rough sea prevented the French from landing. His
enemies took the opportunity to sack the town of San Carlos, outside
the city gates, and to murder a number of Dominicans. Baron gathered a
larger force and in unison with Kerverseau demanded the surrender of
the city. Paul l'Ouverture reluctantly capitulated and the French thus
assumed command of the Spanish portion of the island, with Kerverseau
as governor. When Toussaint heard of what had occurred he ordered the
murder of a battalion of Dominican soldiers whom he had retained
as hostages.

The war waged between the French and the blacks in the old French
Colony of St. Domingue was characterized by nameless atrocities
committed on both sides. The last vestiges of former prosperity were
swept away and the country converted into a wilderness. Toussaint was
captured through treachery and died in a European prison, but yellow
fever invaded the French ranks and did great havoc. Le Clerc died, and
Rochambeau, his successor, was unable, even with reinforcements, to
hold his own. England, again at war with France, impeded further
reinforcements and actively assisted the insurgent negroes. Death by
disease and wounds made the great French army melt away, and towards
the end of 1803 the last remnant was forced off the island. On January
1, 1804, the negro generals proclaimed the island an independent
republic under the name of Haiti, one of the island's Indian names.
Jean Jacques Dessalines, a rough, illiterate negro, but of
indefatigable energy, was made governor for life, with dictatorial
powers. One of his first acts was to order the extermination of such
whites as still remained. Dessalines a year later assumed the title
of emperor.

Ferrand, the French general in the Cibao, conceived the project of
disobeying his orders to evacuate and of trying to hold Spanish Santo
Domingo for France. Finding that Kerverseau was ready to capitulate,
he determined to assume command himself, feeling sure that the French
government would approve his action, if his plans were successful. He
therefore marched to Santo Domingo City and after a few days'
parleying deposed Kerverseau, placed him aboard a vessel that carried
him to Mayaguez, in Porto Rico, and assumed the governorship.

Dessalines did not long keep him waiting. Desiring to extend his
authority over the whole island, and angered by an injudicious decree
of Ferrand, which permitted the enslaving of Haitians of over fourteen
years found beyond their frontier, he invaded the country with a horde
of 25,000 men. The population of the border towns fled before him in
terror, the very slaves remaining with their masters rather than join
him. Victorious in an engagement on the Yaque river, he laid siege to
the capital on March 5, 1805. In the meantime his lieutenant,
Christophe, overran the Cibao, sacking the towns and committing
horrors. Santiago was captured before the inhabitants had time to
flee, and a large number were murdered by the savage invaders. The
members of the municipal council were hung, naked, on the balcony of
the city hall; the people who had sought refuge in the main church
were put to the sword and their bodies mutilated; and the priest was
burnt alive in the church, the furniture of the edifice constituting
his funeral pyre.

Santo Domingo City had been placed in a state of defense and artillery
mounted on the tower of Mercedes church and the roofs of the San
Francisco and Jesuit churches. The garrison consisted of some 2,000
men, but to maintain these and the 6,000 inhabitants of the city as
well as the refugees there were only limited supplies on hand. Food
quickly ran low when, providentially, a French fleet appeared before
the city. The admiral, who thought the entire island abandoned by the
French, was delighted to find the French flag still flying and gladly
rendered assistance. A desperate sortie was made on March 28, the
twenty-third day of the siege, with such success that Dessalines
precipitately retired, abandoning his stores. The main body of the
Haitians retreated by way of the Cibao, the others through the south,
all devastating the country as far as they could. Azua, San José de
las Matas, Monte Plata, Cotui, San Francisco de Macoris, La Vega,
Santiago and Monte Cristi were reduced to ashes. In Moca 500
inhabitants, deceived by the promises of Christophe, returned from
their hiding places in the hills and assembled for divine service in
the parish church, where they were butchered by the negro soldiers. In
La Vega and Santiago the Haitian troops made prisoners of numerous
families, aggregating 900 persons among men, women and children in La
Vega and probably more in Santiago, and forced them to accompany the
army to northern Haiti, where they were kept in captivity, working
practically as slaves for their captors, for four years. The march was
full of horrors for the poor prisoners, who were prohibited from
wearing hats or shoes and were brutally treated by their guards.

As a civil administrator Ferrand did excellent work. He encouraged the
resettlement of the abandoned fields, persuaded emigrated families to
return, established schools and began to build water-works for the
capital, a work which he nearly completed, but which was abandoned by
his successors and has never been realized in the century that has
since transpired. Napoleon on hearing of Ferrand's conduct not only
approved everything he had done but sent him the cross of the Legion
of Honor and financial assistance. Ferrand was especially impressed
with the importance of Samana Bay and made plans for a city to be
located west of the town of Samana, to which he intended to give the
name of Napoleon. The peaceful conditions to which the country
returned were only troubled by British vessels which occasionally
attempted to establish blockades. On February 6, 1806, a British
squadron of eight vessels under Sir John Duckworth badly defeated a
French squadron, also of eight vessels, in a hotly contested fight off
Point Palenque to the southwest of Santo Domingo City.

Although Ferrand was personally liked, discontent began to brew in the
country. The inhabitants were loyal to Spain and chafed under foreign
rule; many believed there was danger of Haitian invasion so long as
the French remained; certain tax exactions stirred up animosity; and
the stories of Spain's resistance to Napoleon's aggressions inflamed
the spirits of the leading men. Conspiracies ensued, fomented
principally by a Cotui planter named Juan Sanchez Ramirez, who had
emigrated in 1803, but returned after four years of exile, and the
Spanish flag was formally raised in Seibo in October, 1808. Ferrand
immediately set out to quell the uprising and on November 7, 1808, met
Sanchez Ramirez at Palo Hincado, about two miles west of Seibo. He was
vigorously attacked by the revolutionists, his native troops deserted,
and his other troops were cut to pieces. Seeing that all was lost and
that all his work was ruined, Ferrand blew out his brains with
a pistol.

The revolutionists received assistance from the governor-general of
Porto Rico and from their former enemy Christophe, who had made
himself king of northern Haiti; a British squadron took Samana, the
only post held by the French outside of Santo Domingo City, and raised
the Spanish flag; and Sanchez Ramirez laid siege to the capital, where
the French general Barquier had assumed command, while British vessels
blockaded it by sea. The siege lasted almost nine months, during which
the besieged suffered greatly from want of provisions, being reduced
to eating dogs and cats, and the surrounding country was devastated by
sorties and foraging parties. The severest fighting took place about
San Geronimo castle, on the shore three miles west of the city, which
was taken and retaken. In the sixth and seventh months of the siege
the city was repeatedly bombarded from land and sea, but without
result. At length Sanchez applied to the governor of Jamaica and a
British force under Sir Hugh Lyle Carmichael was sent to his
assistance. It landed at Palenque and took up a position in San
Carlos. A general assault had been determined upon, when the brave
little defender of the city, realizing the hopelessness of further
resistance, agreed to capitulate to the English. On July 9, 1809, the
French flag was lowered and the country again became a dependency of
Spain, and in 1814 Spain's dominion was confirmed by the treaty
of Paris.

Spain had been busy fighting the French within her own borders, and
when normal conditions were restored had her hands full in keeping
order and in trying to bring her revolting colonies of America back to
obedience. She had little time for affairs in Santo Domingo, and did
nothing to ameliorate conditions. The colony was left to vegetate in
absolute poverty. This second Spanish era came to be known as the
period of "Espana boba," "stupid Spain," as the home government
remained so indifferent to the colony's affairs. The only redeeming
feature was the return of a number of exiled families. Sanchez
Ramirez, who had been proclaimed governor-general, was confirmed in
the office and held the same until his death in 1811, being succeeded
by Spanish military officers.

In the first years of the new Spanish colony there was an undefined
attempt at uprising on the part of a few white hotheads, and an
attempt to incite the slaves against their masters on the part of a
few black ones, but in both cases the ringleaders were captured and
put to death. The great struggle for independence in South America
gradually influenced the minds of the inhabitants of Santo Domingo;
Bolivar's brief visit to Haiti also had its effect, and secret
separatist societies began to be founded. In the beginning of 1821 a
conspiracy was discovered and numerous arrests made. Plotting
continued nevertheless, stimulated by a prominent lawyer, José Nuñez
de Caceres, who dreamed of making the country a state of Bolivar's
Colombian Republic. On the night of November 30, 1821, the conspiracy
culminated in an uprising in the capital; most of the troops had been
won over to the cause of independence and offered no resistance; the
rest were taken by surprise; and the revolutionists without difficulty
made themselves masters of the gateway "Puerta del Conde" and of the
other gates and forts. The Spanish governor was placed under arrest
and put aboard a vessel sailing for Europe, and the Colombian flag was
raised. Public proclamation was made of the independent and sovereign
State of Spanish Haiti, affiliated with the Republic of Colombia, and
José Nuñez de Caceres assumed the office of political governor and
president of the State, while the provincial assembly became a
provisional junta of government.

The State of Spanish Haiti lasted barely nine weeks. An emissary sent
to Colombia for assistance in maintaining independence was
unsuccessful. Another emissary sent to President Boyer of Haiti, for
the negotiation of a treaty, brought back the answer that "the whole
island should constitute a single republic under the flag of Haiti."
For several years Boyer, a dark mulatto, who had united Haiti under
his rule, had been endeavoring to influence the colored people on the
Spanish side of the border, to such an extent that the activities of
his agents repeatedly provoked protests from the Spanish governors,
and he now recognized that his opportunity had come. Invading the
country in the north and south his forces captured the most important
points. He met with no resistance, due to the fact that the temporary
government was entirely unprepared, that the population feared a
repetition of the horrors of 1805, and that many were in sympathy with
him while others were indifferent. On February 9, 1822, Nuñez de
Caceres was obliged to deliver the keys of Santo Domingo City to the
invader and the whole island came under the dominion of Haiti.

The twenty-two years of Haitian rule marked a period of social and
economic retrogression for the old Spanish portion of the island. Most
of the whites, especially the more prominent families, the principal
representatives of the community's wealth and culture, definitely
abandoned the country, some immediately upon the advent of the
Haitians, others in 1824, when a hopeless conspiracy in favor of a
restoration of Spanish rule was quenched in blood, and others in 1830,
when a quixotic demand of the Spanish king for a return of his domain
was refused by Boyer. The Haitians, anxious to eliminate the whites,
encouraged such emigration and confiscated the property left by the
emigrants. The policy of the Haitian government was to build up a
strong African state in the whole island, and in pursuance of this
policy it emancipated all slaves, colonized Haitian negroes on the
Samana peninsula and in other parts of the Spanish-speaking territory
and brought in colored people from the United States. Some of these
remained in Puerto Plata, others in Santo Domingo City, but the larger
number settled on the Samana peninsula, where their descendants still
form the bulk of the population. Every effort was made to Haitianize
the country by extending the Haitian laws, and imposing Haitian
governors. Representation was also accorded in the Haitian congress.
In 1825 the French government recognized the independence of the
French part of the island in consideration of the payment of an
indemnity, toward which the Haitians forced the Spanish part to
contribute.

The wanton acts of the Haitian authorities, their hostility to whites
and lighter colored mulattoes, their opposition to the Spanish
language and customs, and their neglect of the country's development,
caused much discontent, and the idea of separating from Haiti began to
be entertained. An enthusiastic young man, Juan Pablo Duarte, who had
been educated in Europe, in 1838 founded a secret revolutionary
society, called "La Trinitaria," to work for the country's
independence. In May, 1842, an earthquake destroyed Santiago and La
Vega, as well as Cape Haitien and other towns in the western part of
the island, and with lesser earthquakes which followed caused a panic
throughout the country, which in turn made conditions more favorable
for a change of government.

In the meantime opposition to Boyer had spread in Haiti also, and in
1843 gave rise to a revolution, as a result of which Boyer was driven
from the country and Charles Hérard installed as dictator-president.
Duarte redoubled his activities for independence, struggling against
the opinion of many who thought such an aspiration hopeless, but his
plans were discovered and he and others obliged to flee. His work had
been well done, however; his ideas continued to spread, and it was
determined to proclaim the independence of Santo Domingo on February
27, 1844. Late that night a large group of Dominicans under Francisco
del Rosario Sanchez appeared at the principal gateway of Santo Domingo
City, "Puerta del Conde," and received the surrender of the guard, and
on the following morning the Dominican flag, as designed by Duarte,
was waving over the gate.

Dessalines, the emperor of Haiti, had adopted red and blue, two of the
colors of the French Republic's flag, for the flag of Haiti, leaving
out white, because to this hated color he attributed all the
misfortunes of his country and his race. Duarte took the Haitian
colors, arranged them in four alternate squares and placed a white
cross in the center to signify the union of the races through
Christianity and civilization.

The other points of vantage were quickly occupied and the Haitian
general, finding himself shut up in the fort "La Fuerza" without hope
of successful resistance, surrendered and was permitted to withdraw
with his officers. On the same day or within a few days afterward the
flag of the new republic was raised in every town of the old Spanish
colony of Santo Domingo, except certain towns in the west which are
still in possession of the Haitians, and the country entered upon the
period of independence.



CHAPTER IV

HISTORICAL SKETCH.--FIRST REPUBLIC AND SPANISH ANNEXATION.--1844 TO
1865.


Constitution of the government.--Santana's first administration.--Wars
with the Haitians.--Administration of Jimenez.--Victory of Las
Carreras.--Baez' first administration.--Santana's second
administration.--Repulse of Soulouque.--Baez' second administration.
--Period of the two governments.--Santana's third administration.
--Annexation negotiations.--Annexation to Spain.--War of the
Restoration.


Immediately upon the declaration of independence a central council of
government was formed for the provisional administration of the
country's affairs. The new republic assumed the name of Dominican
Republic and the people were thenceforth known as Dominicans. The
first business before the central council of government was to prepare
for the defense of the territory against the Haitian president,
Hérard, who was advancing with an army to reestablish his authority.
An encounter took place near Azua, in which the Dominican forces,
under General Pedro Santana, were victorious, but instead of following
up his victory, Santana fell back on Bani and permitted the enemy to
occupy Azua. In the meantime another Haitian army was advancing in the
north. In the midst of his operations Hérard was interrupted by the
news of a revolutionary movement against him in Haitian territory, and
hastily recalling his troops, retired to combat it, burning Azua and
devastating the country through which he passed.

Many prominent Dominicans were in doubt as to whether the republic
would be able to maintain a stable government and resist the
incursions of the Haitians, and believed that the best course for the
safety and prosperity of the country would be to seek the protection
of a foreign power. These men, who came to be known as conservatives
and who counted Santana among their number, began to spread their
doctrines and were bitterly opposed by a different element, calling
themselves liberals, among whom were Duarte, returned from exile, and
the members of the central council of government. A number of
prominent conservatives were obliged to go into hiding in order to
escape imprisonment, and the central council of government appointed
Duarte its representative in the north and ordered that General
Francisco del Rosario Sanchez supersede Santana in command of the
troops in the south. Duarte was proclaimed president of the republic
by the people of the north, but Santana's soldiers refusing to
recognize any other leader, marched on the capital, which they entered
on July 12, 1844, and deposed the central council of government,
declaring Santana chief of state with dictatorial powers. Thus the
unhappy series of revolutions which have done such harm to the
Dominican Republic was inaugurated within five months after the
declaration of independence.

Santana organized a new central council of government and sent
emissaries to the Cibao, or northern part of the republic, where he
won over the army and the principal leaders. Duarte, Sanchez and
others who had risked their lives and spent their fortunes in behalf
of Dominican independence were arrested, imprisoned in irons in the
ancient "Tower of Homage" of Santo Domingo and exiled as traitors to
their country!

A constitutional convention was called, which met at San Cristobal
and drafted the first constitution of the Republic, taking the
constitution of the United States as a model. It was promulgated on
November 6, 1844. In accordance with a provision of the constitution
that the convention elect the president for the first two terms,
General Santana was chosen, as was to be expected. General Pedro
Santana, who thus became the first constitutional president, was a
rough, uncouth and uneducated man, but possessed of keen perception
and great personal bravery. He had a strong strain of negro and
probably also of Indian blood. Born in Hincha, he had left his native
town during the troubles of the early part of the century and settled
in the province of Seibo, where he acquired an ascendency over the
population that made him a kind of local demigod.

Conspiracies against Santana's government were immediately set on foot
by the liberals, but were discovered and three ringleaders were
executed on the first anniversary of the Republic's independence. In
the spring of 1845 the first Congress met and proceeded to organize
the government.

In the meantime a guerilla warfare had been going on with the Haitians
along the border, and President Pierrot, who had overthrown Hérard,
was preparing to invade the Dominican Republic. His two armies were at
first successful and captured several border towns, but that which
entered in the south was repulsed at Estrelleta, while that which
invaded the north was defeated at Beler. A small Haitian fleet which
set out to attack Puerto Plata blundered on a shoal where it was left
high and dry and captured by the Dominicans.

Steps were now taken to secure the recognition of the republic by
foreign powers. The government soon found itself in financial
difficulties, as it was expensive to maintain the country in a state
of defense against the Haitians, and an issue of paper money without
sufficient guarantees made matters worse. Revolutionary mutterings
were heard, and though a number of leaders were shot, the public
discontent grew greater and more apparent. Santana comprehended the
situation and determined to resign the presidency, which he did on
August 4, 1848. The cabinet officers temporarily carried on the
government and called an election, as a result of which General Manuel
Jimenez, who had fought the Haitians and had been secretary of war
under Santana, was declared president, entering upon office on
September 8, 1848.

In his efforts to face the economic troubles of the government Jimenez
disbanded part of the army and reduced military expenses. The moment
was inopportune, for the implacable Haitians, who continued to
consider Santo Domingo as Haitian territory in revolt, were preparing
for another invasion. Soulouque, who had attained the presidency of
the black republic, made a sudden incursion and marched victoriously
as far as Azua. The Dominican government observed a vacillating policy
which provoked general distrust and protests from the friends of
Santana, whose partisans in the Congress called on him to take command
of the army. Jimenez at first demurred but finally consented, and
Santana, emerging from retirement, collected a few hundred ragged
troops at Sabana Buey, near Azua. Soulouque attempted to move eastward
by way of the canon of El Número, but was prevented by a Dominican
force under General Duvergé; he then tried the pass of Las Carreras
and was met and utterly defeated on April 21, 1849, by General
Santana. The Haitians retreated to their own territory, burning Azua
and other towns on the way.  Quarrels between President Jimenez and
Congress continued meanwhile, and his opponents induced the army to
declare itself against the president and request General Santana "not
to lay down his arms until a government was established which would
respect the constitution and the laws and forever banish discord from
Dominican soil." The Congress called the president to appear before
it, and some of the officers of his staff, hearing him harshly
criticised, drew swords and pistols to punish the offending
congressman, and only the energy of the speaker, Buenaventura Baez,
averted a bloody conflict. Congress adjourned to San Cristobal, the
most important towns of the country rose against the administration,
and Santana laid siege to the capital. After the siege had lasted a
week, and the suburban town of San Carlos had been destroyed by fire,
President Jimenez yielded to the arguments of the British, French and
American consuls and agreed to resign the presidency and leave the
country on a British warship. Santana entered the city at the head of
his army on May 30, 1849, and assumed the reins of government, one of
his first measures being a wholesale expulsion of Jimenez followers.
He was crowned with honors by Congress and given the title of
"Libertador."

The electoral college having been convened, Santiago Espaillat was
chosen president, but refused to accept, realizing that Santana would
expect to manage him as a puppet. Colonel Buenaventura Baez was then
chosen and on December 24,1849, entered upon his first term as
president of the Dominican Republic.

Baez, who was to play a leading part in the history of his country
during the next thirty years, was the antithesis of Santana in manners
and education. Born in Azua in 1812, the oldest of a family of seven
children, his father had sent him to Europe to study and he returned
one of the most polished and best educated Dominicans of his day.
Under Haitian rule he was a member of the Haitian congress and of one
of the Haitian constitutional assemblies. Almost white himself, he
here distinguished himself by his boldness in opposing measures
restricting the rights of whites in Haiti. After the declaration of
independence of Santo Domingo he was a member of the first
constitutional assembly and speaker of the first congress, being
elected from the province of Azua, where his influence was similar to
that enjoyed by Santana in Seibo. Until he became president he was a
close friend of Santana.

Baez determined to take the offensive against Haiti, and a small naval
campaign was undertaken in which Dominican government schooners
captured Anse-à-Pitre and one or two other villages on the southern
coast of Haiti, which were sacked and burned by the Dominicans. At the
same time Baez requested the mediation of the United States, France
and England to put an end to the struggle between Haiti and the
Dominican Republic. Soulouque, who had meanwhile proclaimed himself
Emperor of Haiti, offered to agree to peace and recognize Baez, but on
condition that the Haitian flag be raised in Santo Domingo and the
sovereignty of Haiti be admitted. His conditions were naturally
rejected by the Dominicans, and the mediating powers informed the
negro emperor that if he persisted in his plans of invading Santo
Domingo they would be obliged to impose a suspension of hostilities
for ten years. Nevertheless his forces continued to mass on the
frontiers and small bodies actually entered Dominican territory, but
were driven back. Upon the protests of the three powers Soulouque
explained the incursions as having been due to disobedience to orders,
and under pressure agreed to a truce for one year, during which
negotiations were to continue for a definite treaty of peace or an
armistice of ten years. In December, 1852, the minister of foreign
affairs of France notified Haiti that the maritime nations of Europe
were disposed to maintain the independence of Santo Domingo.

A period of peace now began which afforded a breathing-spell to the
country. Upon the expiration of Baez' four year term, Santana was
again elected president and entered upon the office on February 15,
1853. It was one of the occasions, only too rare in Dominican history,
on which a president served out his term and personally delivered up
the office to his successor.

The domineering spirit of Santana gave rise to serious dissensions. He
quarrelled with the clergy, which had been taking an active part in
politics since the declaration of independence, forced the archbishop,
under penalty of expulsion, to take the oath of allegiance to the
constitution, and banished several priests. One of the reasons for his
stand was perhaps the circumstance that Baez had sought to attract the
church. For several years Santana had become jealous of the extension
of Baez' influence and wrathful at the independent spirit displayed by
his former protegé. It soon became apparent that the retirement of
Baez was equivalent to a fall from power. In July, 1853, Santana
issued a proclamation in which he accused Baez of treason and of
playing into the hands of the Haitians, and ordered his banishment.
Baez fled from the country and answered with a fiery counter-appeal,
justifying himself and accusing Santana of despotism, whereupon the
breach between the two strong men was complete. Santana also quarrelled
with Congress and banished or shot his principal adversaries.  In
1854 a constitutional convention assembled to draft a constitution
more to Santana's taste than the existing one. The presidential term
was extended to six years and the office of vice-president was
introduced, General Manuel de Regla Mota being elected to this office
when General Felipe Alfau declined it. This constitution did not last
six months, for before the end of the year Santana had it further
restricted.

Under fear of foreign complications Haiti had remained quiet for
several years, but in 1855, when England and France were engaged in
the Crimean war, the emperor Soulouque made a last determined effort
to subjugate Santo Domingo. One army advanced by way of the south,
another through the central valley; both captured the border towns and
drove the Dominican outposts before them; and both were defeated on
the same day, December 22, 1855, the southern army at Cambronal, near
Neiba, by a Dominican force under General Sosa, and the other on the
savanna of Santomé, by a force under General José Maria Cabral. Not to
be deterred, Soulouque rallied his men within Haitian territory, shot
a few of his generals, and, believing all the Dominican forces
collected in the south, marched north to invade the Cibao. Here he was
met by another band of Dominicans at Sabana Larga and again defeated,
retreating precipitately to his dominions. It was the last Haitian
invasion, but Haiti did not formally recognize the independence of the
Dominican Republic until 1874.

The harsh measures of Santana had provoked general dissatisfaction and
the friends of Baez seized the opportunity to conspire in his favor.
Santana realized that the days of his government were numbered, and
resigned the presidency as he had done in 1849, retiring to his farm
near Seibo. Manuel de Regla Mota, the vice-president, thereupon on
March 26, 1856, became president. Baez soon after arrived in the
country and was elected vice-president; thereupon Regla Mota resigned
as president and Baez thus slid into the presidency in a perfectly
legal manner.

The second administration of Baez opened with a revolution against him
in the Neiba district, which was promptly put down. Baez then had
Santana arrested and exiled, feeling uncomfortable while his former
chief remained in the country. But he was not destined to have peace.
An ill-considered issue of more paper money, when the rate of exchange
with gold was already fifty to one, created indignation in the tobacco
region of the Cibao and on July 7, 1857, Santiago declared itself in
revolution. The movement rapidly spread, a provisional government was
set up in the Cibao, the forces of Baez were repulsed, and soon the
president held only Santo Domingo City and Samana. The revolutionists
called a constitutional convention which met at Moca and in February,
1858, promulgated another constitution, designating Santiago as the
capital. An election was held in the midst of the war and General José
Desiderio Valverde was declared elected president. For months there
were thus two governments in the country. The revolutionists began the
siege of Santo Domingo City towards the end of July, 1857, and later
Santana arrived and took charge of military operations. There were
frequent artillery duels, the fourteenth anniversary of Dominican
independence, February 27, 1858, being celebrated by a cannonade along
the Ozama River lasting all day. Fortunately the most distinctive
feature of the combats was the noise, but the Baez family suffered,
two of the president's brothers being killed in the war. Baez held out
for eleven months, but after the fall of Samana and when Santo
Domingo was reduced to starvation he at length yielded to the
entreaties of the foreign consuls and capitulated on June 12, 1858. As
soon as he had embarked for Curaçao, General Santana marched into the
city with the victorious army.

It was not compatible with Santana's character to be subordinate to
anyone else, and by the end of July he had with the government
at Santiago and set up a government of his own "in order
that the lovers of liberty be not disquieted, in order that peace
prevail, and in order that the nation be saved," as he said in his
proclamation. The Santiago government attempted to resist but was
overcome and its members banished. Santana declared the constitution
of December, 1854, in force again and called an election at which he
was, of course, chosen president, taking the oath of office on January
31, 1859. He thereupon crushed a revolution in Azua, executing the
leaders. As the large amount of paper in circulation caused
difficulties, he coolly repudiated the greater part, upon which a
number of European countries temporarily broke off diplomatic
relations because of the injury done their citizens and forced him to
retire the paper by issuing in lieu thereof certificates acceptable
for customs dues. This trouble removed, he devoted himself to securing
the annexation of Santo Domingo to Spain.

From the earliest days of the Dominican Republic the most prominent
men had believed that the happiness of the country depended upon
securing the protection of a strong power, capable of preserving
order, and the years of warfare confirmed them in their opinion. The
hope of remaining in power was also an incentive to the party which
happened to be in control. Spain and France were preferred, for
reasons of identity or similarity of language, customs and religion.
Many also favored the United States, but while the republican form of
government and the probability of commercial advantages were
attractions, the existence of slavery and of prejudice against the
colored race inspired misgivings. As early as 1843, even before the
declaration of independence, an attempt was made to secure a French
protectorate, and during the first war with Haiti, Santana continued
the negotiations. In 1846 an attempt was made to obtain a Spanish
protectorate. In 1849 President Baez in his message to Congress
referred to the advisability of "hastening a solution of the matter by
obtaining the intervention and protection of a strong nation which
would offer the most advantageous terms, for on this depends public
prosperity."

On October 18, 1849, the Dominican minister of foreign affairs in a
note to the French consul, stated that "the present situation of the
country and the barbarous wars with the Haitians, obliged him to beg,
in the name of his government, that the government of France give a
definite solution to the important matter of the protectorate; and if
the decision of France should unfortunately be in the negative, that
it at least be not deferred too long to prevent him from addressing
himself to the special representative of the United States, who had
just arrived." The United States was mentioned as a bogey, for when
France declined, the Dominican government stated that it could not
consider the negative as final and appealed to the French sentiments
of humanity. In 1854 another strong attempt was made to secure a
Spanish protectorate. Neither France nor Spain was anxious to annex a
hornet's nest, and Spain was fearful that any uprising against her
authority would find an echo in Cuba and Porto Rico. In 1855
negotiations were opened with General William L. Cazneau, special
agent of President Pierce, for the lease of the Samana peninsula to
the United States, and in the following year Captain (later
Major-General) George B. McClellan, of the United States Army, made an
examination of Samana Bay. Nothing came of this matter owing to
opposition by foreign powers and the fall of the Santana government.
Most annexation negotiations were secret, as the opponents of the
party that happened to be in power never failed to stigmatize them as
treasonable.

The fear of American influence was one of the reasons given by the
Haitian emperor Soulouque for his invasion of 1855, and for an
invitation issued by him in 1858 to the Dominican people, calling upon
them to return to the Haitian flag. It had its influence on the
Spanish government also, which began to look more kindly upon
annexation propositions and agreed to furnish arms, ammunition and
military instructors to Santo Domingo. In 1860 Santana addressed
himself directly to the Queen of Spain, and proposed a closer union.
Bases for annexation were drawn up, founded "on the free and
spontaneous wish of the Dominican people." Santana was careful to win
over the local military chiefs to his ideas. His opponents vainly
combatted the proposition from Curaçao and from Haiti, which was now a
republic again.

On March 18, 1861, the people of the capital assembled on the main
plaza pursuant to a call issued on the day before, General Santana and
the members of his government appeared on the gallery of the palace of
justice, a document was read to the public proclaiming the
reincorporation of the country as a part of the Spanish dominions, and
thereupon the red and gold flag of Spain was raised on the fort and on
the gate "Puerta del Conde" and saluted with 101 guns. On the same day
and during the week following, the Spanish flag was raised with
similar ceremonies in most of the other towns. A few days later
Spanish troops were disembarked at different points. Santana was
appointed governor and captain-general of the colony, with the rank of
lieutenant-general in the Spanish army.

The Dominican conspirators in Haiti, comprising General Sanchez and
others who had distinguished themselves in securing independence for
their country, crossed the boundary and endeavored to stir up an
insurrection, but with such misfortune that they were surrounded and
the majority captured. Santana ordered the prisoners shot and twenty
were executed on July 4, 1861, notwithstanding the protests of General
Pelaez, the Spanish officer second in command. The act provoked
bitterness against Spain and made the men so killed martyrs in the
eyes of their countrymen. It also marked the beginning of strained
relations between Santana and Pelaez, made worse by Santana's
arrogance. The friction resulted in Santana's resignation on January
7, 1862. He evidently hoped the queen would ask him to reconsider and
give him carte blanche in Dominican affairs, but the resignation was
accepted, though sweetened by the grant to him of the title of Marques
de las Carreras and a life pension of $12,000 per annum. His
successors in the governorship were high officers of the Spanish army.

Discontent was not slow in spreading among the people. Injudicious
measures enacted by the Spanish authorities, the importation of hordes
of foreign officials, the overbearing manners of several local Spanish
commanders, increases in the budget, intolerance on the part of the
Spanish priests, and the natural unrest of the Dominicans, all
combined to give rise to small revolts which were put down, until, on
August 16, 1863, a farmer named Cabrera with a small band of
followers, at Capotillo, near Guayubin in the Cibao, began an
insurrection which quickly became general and is known in Dominican
history as the War of the Restoration. The Spanish forces of the Cibao
valley were obliged to concentrate in Fort San Luis, at Santiago de
los Caballeros, where they were besieged by the insurgents. The
Dominicans also captured Puerto Plata, but the city was retaken by
Spanish troops from Cuba. Reinforcements were sent to the besieged
garrison of Santiago, and in the fight which the Dominicans made to
prevent the joining of the Spanish forces, the city of Santiago was
set on fire and reduced to ashes. The Spaniards determined to evacuate
the place, and marched down to the coast, being constantly harassed by
Dominican guerillas, so that they lost over a thousand men before
reaching Puerto Plata. The Dominicans established a provisional
government with its capital at Santiago and the country continued to
be devastated with fire and sword.

General Santana was given command of a Spanish force to put down the
insurrection in the east, but insisting on carrying out his own plan
of campaign, he disobeyed orders and so rudely answered the
governor-general's remonstrances that he was summarily removed from
his position. In high dudgeon he retired to the capital, and it is
stated that the governor intended to ship him off to Cuba; but on June
14, 1864, he suddenly died, after an illness of only a few hours.

If the Spaniards had displayed energy in opposing the revolutionists
they would probably have carried off the victory, but the whole number
of their troops on the island available for military service at any
one time rarely reached eight thousand men. A campaign in the Monte
Cristi district which might have ended the war was rendered sterile
by the lack of troops. Finally the Spaniards, unable to garrison the
towns they won, were reduced to the possession of Santo Domingo City
and a few other places near the seacoast, all practically in a state
of siege. Meanwhile the military operations were costing the home
government large sums of money, and it became evident that, owing to
the failure to strike at the right time, the subjugation of the
country would entail enormous expenditures. Political conditions in
Spain were not favorable to such a war of conquest, and the Spanish
government determined to withdraw from Santo Domingo, alleging that
Spain had taken possession only because she believed the Dominicans
were anxious for annexation but that she did not wish to remain
against their will. Possible complications with the United States,
just emerging from the Civil War, were probably also taken into
account. On May 1, 1865, the Queen of Spain sanctioned a law of the
Spanish Cortes providing for the relinquishment of the colony. The
Spanish forces were brought together at Santo Domingo City, and on
July 11, 1865, after the guns in the forts had been spiked and the
military stores on hand had been destroyed, the troops and the
authorities embarked in a fleet assembled for that purpose and the
Spanish flag was lowered, for the last time, in Santo Domingo.



CHAPTER V

HISTORICAL SKETCH.--SECOND REPUBLIC.--REVOLUTIONS AND
DICTATORSHIPS.--1863 TO 1904.


Restoration of the republic.--Military presidents.--Cabral's
administration.--Baez' fourth administration.--Annexation negotiations
with the United States.--Civil wars.--Heureaux's rule.--Administrations
of Jimenez, Vasquez and Woss y Gil.--Election of Morales.


From the very beginning of the War of the Restoration and for several
years afterwards, the principal Dominican military chiefs were engaged
in a disgraceful squabble for leadership. As soon as the Spanish
forces retired from Santiago the revolutionists, on September 14,
1863, proclaimed the restoration of the republic and set up a
provisional government under the presidency of General José Antonio
Salcedo. The other generals accused Salcedo of lack of energy in
pushing the war and on October 10, 1864, deposed him and made General
Gaspar Polanco president in his stead. Poor Salcedo tried to resist,
but was captured, hurried by a friend from one camp to another to keep
him from being shot, and at last foully murdered. Polanco did not
enjoy his triumph long. A reaction set in, a revolution was initiated
against him, his troops deserted, he was captured and imprisoned, and
on January 24, 1865, a superior council of government was formed by
the insurgents, presided over by General Benigno Filomeno de Rojas.
The council called a constitutional convention which proclaimed the
constitution of Moca of 1858 and in March, 1865, elected General Pedro
Antonio Pimentel president. It was he who entered Santo Domingo City
after the evacuation by the Spaniards.

Hardly had the evacuation taken place when Generals Cabral and
Manzueta raised an insurrection which overthrew Pimentel's government
while he was absent on the Haitian border, and General José Maria
Cabral, an educated mulatto, was proclaimed Protector of the Republic.
Cabral had formerly been one of the most enthusiastic followers of
Baez but it soon became evident that he was working for himself. He
convoked a constitutional assembly which was convening when General
Pedro Guillermo rose in the east and proclaimed General Buenaventura
Baez president. The movement was successful and the Congress,
completely convinced by the sight of a sword unsheathed in its
presence by one of the victorious generals, elected Baez to the
presidency.

Since his overthrow in 1858 Baez had been in exile, but he had
accepted Spanish sovereignty and the rank of fieldmarshal in the
Spanish army. On the outbreak of the War of the Restoration, he sent
Cabral to join the Dominican forces as his representative. He was now
living in Curaçao and a commission journeyed there to invite him back
to Santo Domingo, a council inaugurated on October 25, 1865, meanwhile
taking charge. A new constitution was drafted and promulgated on
November 14, 1865, and on the same day Baez entered upon his office.
Neither he nor the constitution lasted long. The constitution being
too liberal, he had it abrogated on April 19, 1866, and Santana's
constitution of December 16, 1854, was adopted in its stead. This
action was the excuse for an insurrection which broke out in Santiago
on May 1, 1866, under the leadership of Pimentel in combination with
Cabral, and quickly assumed such alarming proportions that Baez found
it prudent to resign before the end of the month and retire
to Curaçao.

As usual a constitutional assembly was called, and a new constitution
was promulgated on September 26, 1866. An election was held and Cabral
chosen president by a practically unanimous vote. Nevertheless his
government had scarcely a day's peace from insurrections. It found
time, however, to resume amicable relations with Spain, to make a
commercial treaty with the United States and to found a professional
institute. Other relations with the United States were also planned;
for as Spain and France were eliminated from the annexation idea and
the United States had abolished slavery, this country was looked upon
with greater favor. The cost of the government's military activities
was such that a strong attempt was made to lease Samana Bay to the
United States for two million dollars; but as complete control was not
offered the plan fell through. Later a special commissioner was sent
to Washington to negotiate for the absolute lease of the Samana
peninsula and Samana Bay, which negotiations were the prelude to the
later annexation negotiations, but they were interrupted by a
revolution in favor of Baez which broke out in Monte Cristi on October
7, 1867. and deposed Cabral on January 31, 1868. A council of generals
administered affairs until Baez took charge for the fourth time, on
May 4, 1868.

In accordance with established usage, the existing constitution was
abrogated and Baez' pet constitution, that of December, 1854, placed
in force, but with amendments. Baez then began to rule with a firm
hand, and though occasionally bothered by small uprisings on the
Haitian border, promoted by Cabral, Luperon and other unruly spirits,
managed to sustain himself in power for almost his full term of six
years. He was able to realize what had been the golden dream of
administrations since the birth of the Republic, the contracting of a
foreign loan. Hartmont & Co., a firm of London bankers, agreed to
issue bonds of the Republic to the amount of £757,700, though at a
ruinous rate, and actually paid over £38,095. The dream turned to a
nightmare, for when the government annulled the contract on the ground
of failure to comply with conditions, the bankers continued to issue
bonds and kept the proceeds themselves; and the bonds thus
fraudulently issued constituted the nucleus of the enormous debt which
later led to American intervention.

Though Baez had, for political reasons, protested against Cabral's
negotiations with the United States, he was too sagacious a statesman
to fail to recognize the value of American protection. It was now
Cabral's turn to indulge in tirades full of patriotic indignation, for
Baez actively pursued negotiations for the annexation of the country
to the United States. On November 29, 1869, two treaties were signed
in Santo Domingo City by representatives of the American and Dominican
governments: by one the Samana peninsula and Samana Bay were leased to
the United States for fifty years at an annual rental of $150,000, and
by the other the Dominican Republic was annexed to the United States.
Baez submitted the annexation treaty to a plebiscite in his country in
February, 1870, and an overwhelming vote was cast in favor thereof.
While the adversaries of the treaty did not dare to oppose it actively
within the country, it is probable that the vote represented the true
sentiment of the Dominican people, for aside from the evident economic
advantages of annexation, the influence of Baez was such that the
people were ready to follow blindly whatever he advised.  Both
treaties lapsed, but the annexation treaty was renewed and President
Grant in his messages to Congress strongly urged its passage. Powerful
opposition developed in the United States Senate, led by Senator
Sumner, and the treaty failed of ratification. By a resolution of
Congress, approved January 12, 1871, the President of the United
States was authorized to send a commission of inquiry to Santo
Domingo. President Grant appointed three eminent men, Benjamin F.
Wade, Andrew D. White and Samuel G. Howe, who were assisted by
Frederick Douglas, Major-General Franz Sigel and a number of
scientists. The commission proceeded to Santo Domingo, travelled
across the country in several directions and made an extensive report,
which is still an important source of information as to the
characteristics of the island. The commission's report was transmitted
to Congress, and President Grant made another earnest plea for the
annexation of Santo Domingo. Congress took no further action, however,
and the United States thus deliberately rejected an opportunity to
obtain control of a most important strategical position and to secure
peace and prosperity to the Dominican people.

It is interesting to speculate on what the future of Santo Domingo
would have been if annexation had been realized. The power of the
United States would have maintained peace; salutary laws would have
educated the people in self-government; liberal tariff concessions
would have stimulated agriculture and industry; the influx of a good
stock of immigrants would have developed and settled the interior;
honest administration would have provided roads and schools, and soon
the country would have attained a high degree of development and
prosperity. The failure of the United States to extend a helping hand
condemned Santo Domingo to long years of anarchy and dictatorships.

When it became apparent that nothing would come of the annexation
plans, the Baez administration, on December 28, 1872, rented the
Samana peninsula to an American corporation, the "Samana Bay Company,"
for ninety-nine years, at an annual rental of $150,000. The company,
which intended to found a large city on Samana Bay, actually paid the
sum of $147,229.91, the greater part in gold and the remainder in arms
and ammunition. This payment, with that received on account of the
Hartmont bonds, and with the higher customs receipts due to quiet
conditions, afforded relief to the treasury; while peace brought the
country a prosperity further increased by the immigration of numerous
Cubans driven from their homes by the ten years' war that had begun
in 1869.

President Baez did not lose hope in the ultimate realization of
annexation, and it was also his intention to have himself reelected
for another term of six years. These circumstances were used against
him by his ambitious enemies, and on November 25, 1873, a revolution
broke out in Puerto Plata which spread so rapidly that Baez was
obliged to capitulate on December 31 of the same year. A new
generation, grown up since the independence of the country and which
had come to look upon civil disorder as a normal condition, now came
into power, and the question of foreign annexation ceased to be
an issue.

A period of constant revolutionary ferment and frequent changes of the
constitution followed, with a wearisome succession of military
presidents. General Ignacio Maria Gonzalez became provisional
president in 1874, took advantage of the non-payment of an annuity by
the Samana Bay Company to rescind the contract with the company,
called a national assembly, which formulated the constitution of March
24, 1874, and had himself elected president, entering upon office on
April 6 of that year. As the constitution did not suit him, he called
a new national convention and had another constitution promulgated on
March 9, 1875. This was too much even for Santo Domingo, and his
enemies formed a powerful league in Santiago with a view to having him
impeached, but the Congress rejected the charges. Another civil war
was imminent when Gonzalez resigned on February 23, 1876.

The council of ministers took charge of the government and held an
election at which Ulises F. Espaillat was designated president. He
entered upon office on April 29, 1876, and as he was an excellent man
would have given a good account of himself under different conditions;
but General Gonzalez started a revolution on the Haitian frontier, and
on October 5, 1876, Espaillat was ousted. A superior council of
government was formed, which appointed General Gonzalez president in
the beginning of November, 1876. Gonzalez had been in power for just
one month when he was overthrown, in December, 1876, by a revolution
that originated in the Cibao, and General Buenaventura Baez became
president for the fifth time. The Republic thus had four presidents in
1876: Gonzalez twice, Espaillat and Baez. Baez called a constitutional
convention and the constitution of May 14, 1877, was promulgated.
Under the influence of the younger element he was less autocratic than
in his previous administrations, but perhaps for that very reason his
whole term was one prolonged struggle with insurrections, until he was
obliged to surrender on February 24, 1878. He retired to Porto Rico
and died near Mayaguez in 1884.  Two governments were now
established, General Ignacio Maria Gonzalez being proclaimed president
in the Cibao, and General Cesareo Guillermo in Santo Domingo. An
agreement was reached by them on April 13, 1878, and Guillermo became
provisional president of the entire country. The constitution of 1877
was reproclaimed with amendments, an election was held and General
Gonzalez was declared constitutional president, entering upon office
on July 6, 1878. Guillermo immediately started a revolution with
General Ulises Heureaux and compelled Gonzalez to abdicate on
September 2, 1878. It was the end of Gonzalez' meteoric presidential
flights, but after a period of retirement he ventured into public life
again, and for many years was Dominican minister to Haiti.

Jacinto de Castro, the president of the supreme court, acted as
president until September 29,1878, when he was succeeded by the
council of ministers of which Guillermo was chief. The constitution of
1878 was promulgated, with amendments, on February 11, 1879, and on
February 28, Guillermo, after going through the form of an election,
became constitutional president. He did not last long. On October 6,
1879, a revolution broke out at Puerto Plata and a provisional
government was formed under the presidency of General Gregorio
Luperon, an intelligent negro, who had been imprisoned for larceny
under Spanish rule, but had redeemed himself by signal services in the
War of the Restoration. Guillermo resisted two months, but was
compelled to surrender on December 6, 1879.

Luperon did not depart from the usual custom, but called a
constitutional assembly which, in 1880, adopted with amendments the
constitution of 1879, and fixed the presidential term at two years.
Luperon then held an election and gave the presidency, for the two
years beginning September 1, 1880, to one of his supporters, Father
Fernando de Meriño, an eloquent priest who had taken an active part in
politics since his youth, and who later became archbishop of Santo
Domingo. The reverend gentleman suppressed all revolutionary uprisings
with uncompromising severity and did not hesitate to execute the
conspirators that fell into his hands.

During Meriño's administration General Ulises Heureaux served as
minister of the interior and began to wield the power which he was to
retain for twenty years. Heureaux was born in Puerto Plata about 1846.
Both of his parents were negroes, his father being a Haitian who
followed the sea and afterwards became a merchant, and his mother a
St. Thomas woman. He received a mercantile education and took part as
a subordinate in the War of the Restoration against the Spaniards. On
the withdrawal of the Spaniards, in 1865, he became a bandit on the
Haitian border and practised horse stealing on a large scale. Later he
obtained a position in the Puerto Plata custom-house and took a more
and more prominent part in the civil disturbances of his country,
until he became well known as a politician and a revolutionist. He
distinguished himself by his bravery and was many times wounded.
Throughout these civil wars he remained a sturdy follower of General
Luperon, the successor of Santana as leader of the "Blue" party and an
implacable opponent of General Buenaventura Baez, the chief of the
"Reds" and of General Ignacio Maria Gonzalez, the leader of the
"Greens." When General Luperon overthrew President Cesareo Guillermo,
in 1879, Heureaux was closely associated with the revolutionary movement.

Heureaux was able to strengthen himself to such an extent that when,
in 1882, Luperon determined to become president himself he found that
his former follower had outgrown him in power. The result was that
Heureaux became president and served from September 1, 1882, to
September 1, 1884. When his term expired a bitter struggle ensued with
Luperon, who still retained considerable influence. Luperon's
candidate was Segundo Imbert, while Heureaux supported General
Francisco Gregorio Billini, who was ultimately victorious. Luperon
went into exile, but later became reconciled with Heureaux and
returned to die in Santo Domingo.

Billini entered upon the presidency on September 1, 1884, but became
restive under the demands of Heureaux and his friends and resigned on
May 15, 1885. The vice-president, Alejandro Woss y Gil, succeeded to
the chief office. His term was to have expired in September of the
following year, but a formidable insurrection broke out in July, 1886,
under General Casimiro N. de Moya, with the object of preventing
Heureaux from carrying out his design of succeeding Gil. After six
months of fighting, during which the number of fatalities was happily
remarkably small, Heureaux was victorious, and having had himself
re-elected, resumed the presidency on January 6, 1887, until which
time Woss y Gil remained in office.

The biennial elections were a source of annoyance even to one who was
sure of victory, and Heureaux therefore called a constitutional
convention which amended the constitution then in force and lengthened
the presidential term to four years, beginning in 1889. As General
Cesareo Guillermo, Heureaux's former companion in arms and later
opponent, was understood to be nursing aspirations for the presidency,
Heureaux sought to apprehend him. Guillermo fled, but finding himself
pressed, committed suicide. No further obstacle opposed Heureaux's
election, and he was again inaugurated on February 27, 1889.

In the meantime negotiations had been undertaken for the contracting
of new foreign loans, and one was floated in 1888 and another in 1892.
The government's fiscal agent who secured these loans in Europe was
General Eugenio Generoso Marchena, a man of much influence. In 1892
General Marchena announced himself as a candidate for the presidency.
Heureaux won without difficulty, but still uneasy, he arrested
Marchena in Santo Domingo, imprisoned him for a year and sent him to
Azua to be shot.

During Heureaux's new term, beginning in 1893, the country by
improvident bond issues and debt contraction, made rapid strides in
the direction of bankruptcy. In 1893, the San Domingo Improvement
Company, an American corporation, under contract with the government
took charge of the customs collections for the purpose of providing
for the services of the loans. The illegal imprisonment of several
Frenchmen gave rise to friction with the French government and in 1894
a French fleet appeared before Santo Domingo City, but the matter was
adjusted by the payment of an indemnity. As the 1889 constitution
forbade a president from holding office for more than two terms in
succession, Heureaux, wishing to continue in the presidency, obviated
the difficulty by the simple expedient of promulgating a new
constitution in 1896, in which the limitation was removed. He was
declared unanimously elected in 1896 and began his final term on
February 27, 1897.

The long period of comparative peace enjoyed by the country under the
rule of President Ulises Heureaux, or "Lilis," as the dictator was
popularly known, brought seeming progress and prosperity, though at a
heavy price. Many of his opponents Heureaux was able to buy, and in
this way he retained the loyalty of hundreds of little military chiefs
scattered through the country. Those whom he could not buy he
persecuted, imprisoned, exiled, or executed. While possessing pleasant
and affable manners, he was unrelenting in his persecution of
conspirators and many stories are told of his harshness in this
respect. It is related that when he was minister of the interior under
Meriño he discovered that his brother-in-law was implicated in a plot;
he therefore invited him to dinner and after they had dined, asked how
his guest had enjoyed the meal. "Very well," was the answer. "I am
glad of that," said Heureaux, "for I am about to have you shot. Take a
cigar," he added pleasantly, "it will be your last." And it was, for
the execution followed at once. On another occasion, so the story
goes, after he had become president, a prominent general was his guest
and after dinner they took a stroll. Coming to a place in the suburbs
where workmen were digging a peculiar trench, the general inquired,
"What are they digging here?" "They are digging your grave," answered
Heureaux, and before the general could recover from his consternation
a squad of soldiers appeared. He was shot and buried then and there.
The governor of Macoris and the minister of war were both powerful men
whose influence was feared by Heureaux. He therefore cunningly wrought
up the latter against the former to such an extent that one fine
morning the minister suddenly appeared in Macoris and had the governor
summarily shot. An outcry was made by the governor's friends, and
Heureaux, affecting indignation at the act, had the minister of war
executed. Many of his prisoners mysteriously disappeared, and popular
rumor points out one of the lower platforms of the fort "La Fuerza,"
where an aguacate tree formerly grew, as the place where prisoners
were shot at night, their bodies being thrown to the sharks at the
base of the cliff. Some of the dictator's suspects were assassinated
in the public streets. Even exiles were not secure from his wrath and
in one instance a Dominican writer named Eugenio Deschamps, who had
been publishing articles against him in Porto Rico, was seriously
wounded in the streets of Ponce by an assassin's bullet.

Ability and unscrupulousness, courage and cruelty, resolution and
cunning were mingled in the character of Heureaux. Over the country he
exercised the powers of an absolute monarch. He was the fountain head
of all government and the real chief of every department. The accounts
of the government and his private accounts were treated by him as one
and the same thing. His ambition to remain in power necessitated the
expenditure of large sums which he obtained through improvident
foreign loans and usurious contracts with local merchants. Those whom
he favored grew rich; his enemies he ruined. In other ways also his
morals swerved from the straight and narrow path, and an isolated town
gloried in the distinction of being the only place in the Republic
where the president did not have a mistress. He himself stated that he
had no concern as to what history would say of him, since he would not
be there to read it.

During the latter part of Heureaux's administration the leaders of the
opposition were recognized as Juan Isidro Jimenez and Horacio Vasquez,
Vasquez was the chief of a large landholding family of the Cibao.
Jimenez had been a prominent merchant, at one time carrying on
mercantile houses in Monte Cristi, New York, Paris and Hamburg; his
family had formerly been prominent in Dominican affairs, his father
having been president of the Republic in 1848 and his grandfather one
of the leading spirits of the revolution by which the Haitian yoke was
thrown off. Jimenez was born in Santo Domingo City in 1846 and as a
boy went to Haiti with his father, growing up in Port-au-Prince. As a
youth he removed to Monte Cristi, where he established himself in
business and took part in the War of the Restoration against the
Spaniards. Having with Heureaux, he resided for a number of
years in Cape Haitien, Haiti, and from there directed conspiracies
against the dictator.

In May, 1898, Jimenez made a bold attempt to overthrow the Heureaux
government. He fitted out a small steamer, the "Fanita," in the United
States and left ostensibly to aid the Cuban insurgents; and as the
United States was then at war with Spain the expedition was not
opposed by the American government. A landing was made at Monte Cristi
with only twenty-five men, a general uprising being expected as soon
as his arrival became known. Jimenez' followers took the town, but the
governor of the district was able to escape to the country and
returned with a large force, driving Jimenez back to his vessel with a
loss of one-half of his companions. The "Fanita" had touched in the
Bahamas on the way down and on returning to Inagua Island, Jimenez was
arrested by the British authorities as a filibuster. Heureaux sent a
man-of-war to Nassau and did all he could to have the case pressed.
Jimenez was tried twice; at the first trial the jury did not agree,
and the second time he was acquitted.

Though popular hatred against Heureaux was strong on account of his
tyrannical conduct and his attempts to compel the circulation of a
large issue of inconvertible bank notes with which he flooded the
country, the fear in which he was held prevented any general uprising.
There were many, however, among them Horacio Vasquez, who never ceased
conspiring against the dictator. When it became known that Heureaux
was resolved to bring about Vasquez' death, Ramon Caceres, a cousin of
Vasquez, and other members of the Vasquez clan, were drawn into the
conspiracies. The father of Caceres, once vice-president under Baez,
had been killed, it is said, by order of Heureaux. In July, 1899, when
Heureaux prepared for a trip through the Cibao, he was informed of a
plot to kill him on the way. When he arrived in Moca he thought that
no danger awaited him there, as he expected that if any attack were to
be made on him it would be at some solitary portion of the road and
not in a town in broad daylight. When about to leave Moca on July 26,
1899, he ordered the governor of the province to arrest Caceres and
his companions. Caceres was informed of the order by the secretary of
the governor, who was his friend, and knowing that the arrest would
probably be followed by an execution, with several companions he
repaired to a store where Heureaux was talking with the proprietor,
the provincial treasurer. As soon as Heureaux appeared in the doorway
Caceres began to shoot, and the other conspirators continued firing,
although the first shot had been fatal. Heureaux before falling drew
his revolver and returned the fire, but the darkness of death clouded
his vision and the shots went wild, one of them, however, killing a
beggar to whom he had a few moments before given alms. Caceres and his
companions fled to the mountains, and the body of Heureaux was taken
to Santiago, where it was afterwards interred in the cathedral. Juan
Wenceslao Figuereo, vice-president of the Republic, an aged negro,
succeeded to the presidency.

The death of Heureaux precipitated a revolution headed by General
Horacio Vasquez. President Figuereo made no resistance, but at the end
of August resigned, together with his cabinet, first designating a
committee of citizens to administer affairs until the arrival of
Vasquez, who entered the capital on September 5, 1899, and became the
head of the provisional government. Jimenez in the meantime hastened
to the country and was everywhere received with rejoicing. The two
leaders arranged that Jimenez should become president and Vasquez
vice-president, and an election was held on October 20, by which this
result was attained, the inauguration taking place November 20, 1899.
Ramon Caceres, the slayer of Heureaux, was made governor of Santiago
and delegate of the government in the Cibao.

The Jimenez administration was the reaction of that of Heureaux. It
deserved, more than any the Republic had had up to that time, the name
of civil and constitutional government. The executive was not
absolute, as in the time of Heureaux, nor were there sanguinary
executions. Almost too little restraint was exercised, and the press,
so long muzzled, began to convert its liberty into license. Jimenez,
too, was so good-hearted that at times he yielded to importunities
which had better been resisted. The financial problems left by the
Heureaux administration caused considerable trouble and though the
waste of the public revenues was curtailed, large sums were still
absorbed in the payment of revolutionary claims and of pensions for
local military chiefs.

Jealousies soon ripened between Jimenez and Vasquez, who was known to
long for the presidency and had only temporarily laid aside his
aspirations on account of the overwhelming popularity of Jimenez. Each
of the chiefs collected a group of friends about him and in this way
originated the still existing political parties, Jimenistas and
Horacistas, the respective followers of Jimenez and Horacio Vasquez.
Several minor uprisings occurred but were suppressed by the
government. In the beginning of 1902 the Dominican Congress, which was
composed largely of Vasquez' friends, considered the advisability of
impeaching President Jimenez on account of the financial transactions
of the administration, and a vote of censure was finally passed.
Jimenez believed Vasquez at the bottom of the agitation and endeavored
to have the municipalities protest against the action of Congress.
Rumors became current that Jimenez intended to imprison his
vice-president and thus insure his own reelection. Vasquez, urged on
by his friends, therefore started a revolution in the Cibao, and after
a fight in San Carlos and a four days' siege of the capital entered
Santo Domingo City on May 2, 1902, and became president of a
provisional government. Jimenez sought refuge in the French consulate
and embarked for Porto Rico a few days later.

General Horacio Vasquez was born in Moca and was a ranchman, merchant
and planter. He possessed military capacity and took a minor part in
several revolutions. At first a friend of Heureaux, he afterwards
became one of his bitterest enemies, and for a number of years lived
as an exile in Cuba and Porto Rico, returning to Moca shortly before
the death of Heureaux to remain in retirement on his plantation. The
Vasquez administration had as much difficulty with financial matters
as that of his predecessor, but the president had little opportunity
to show what he could do. Local outbreaks began in Monte Cristi and
became general in October, 1902. Disturbances continued until March
24, 1903, when, during the absence of President Vasquez in the Cibao,
the political prisoners in the fort of Santo Domingo City, through
connivance with the general in charge, broke out, took the fort,
liberated the convicts, threw the city into a panic with a continued
fusillade, and proclaimed a revolution. They were for the most part
Jimenistas and "Lilicistas," or members of the old Heureaux party, and
their candidate for the presidency would probably have been Jimenez;
but in Jimenez' absence the presidency was offered to Figuereo and
others, who declined, and was finally accepted by Alejandro Woss y
Gil, who had only the week before been liberated from the same
political prison.

General Vasquez returned with an army, arriving before Santo Domingo
City at the end of March. The ensuing siege was one long battle,
during which a portion of the suburban town of San Carlos was
destroyed by fire. On April 18, 1903, Generals Alvarez and Cordero,
the best generals of the besiegers, made a violent attack on the city
and effected an entrance, but fighting continued in the streets and
these leaders and most of the storming party were killed. Vasquez
thereupon fled to Santiago, resigned his post, and left the country
for Cuba. On the triumph of his party a year later, he returned to
Santo Domingo and retired to his plantation in Moca.

Woss y Gil, who thus became president of the provisional government,
called a session of Congress and by appointments favorable to his
interests so intrenched himself that his continuance as president
became assured. Jimenez, who arrived shortly after, advanced the claim
that he was still president de jure, since the constitutional term of
four years for which he had been elected had not expired, and he
denominated the Vasquez government a temporary and illegal usurpation
of power. In his efforts to regain office he sent his friend Eugenio
Deschamps to treat with Gil, but Deschamps, seeing Gil obdurate, made
an agreement by which Woss y Gil was to become president and Deschamps
vice-president, Jimenez was obliged to yield to the inevitable and
returned to Porto Rico in the hope of eventually succeeding Woss y
Gil. An election was held in which Woss y Gil and Deschamps were the
only candidates and on June 20, 1903, they were inaugurated.

In General Alejandro Woss y Gil the Republic had a very talented man
as president. Born in Seibo, he had entered politics in his youth, and
became a friend and follower of Heureaux. At times he was governor of
a province, later for a long period Dominican consul at New York, and
from 1885 to 1887 president of the Republic. He had received a good
education and traveled extensively, spoke several modern languages,
had some knowledge of the classic languages, and was a poet, musician
and writer.

Unfortunately the talents of Woss y Gil did not extend to the securing
of an honest and efficient administration. The ministers appointed by
him were exceedingly injudicious selections, and a carnival of fraud
and dishonesty was soon in progress. Discontent grew general, and by
the end of October, 1903, General Carlos F. Morales, governor of
Puerto Plata, raised the standard of revolt and his troops marched on
the capital. The revolution was supported by both parties, the
Jimenistas and Horacistas, and was known as the "war of the union."
Morales, the leader of the insurrection, had been a follower of
Jimenez and favored the aspirations of the latter to the extent even
of sending requests to Jimenez to come to Santo Domingo at once. The
siege of Santo Domingo City lasted for about three weeks. On November
24, 1903, Woss y Gil, finding himself vanquished, permitted Morales'
troops to enter the city and sought refuge in the British consulate.
Three days later a German man-of-war carried him to Porto Rico, and he
later continued to Cuba, where he long resided in the city
of Santiago.

For a short time a tripartite revolution was in progress, the
supporters of Woss y Gil, Horacio Vasquez and Jimenez fighting in
different parts of the country. Morales, on entering Santo Domingo,
became president of the provisional government. The new governors of
the Cibao were Jimenistas, but most of the appointments Morales made
in the south were Horacistas, and it began to be suspected among the
Jimenez followers that he had designs on the presidency. When Jimenez
arrived in Santiago he realized that his ambitions were again
endangered and he and his friends grew restless. On December 6, 1903,
Jimenez fled from Santiago to Monte Cristi, claiming that Morales had
sent a troop of fifty men to assassinate him.

A counter revolution followed at once and swiftly attained large
proportions. It became the most serious unsuccessful revolution the
Republic had seen. At one time the whole country was in the hands of
Jimenez except Santo Domingo City and the small port of Sosua, near
Puerto Plata. The government forces were able to retake Puerto Plata,
but the siege of the capital continued uninterruptedly from December
to February. Attacks and sallies were frequent, every house along the
walls and in the suburbs soon showed bullet marks and the town of San
Carlos was again partially destroyed by fire. Finally Morales defeated
the besiegers,  and in March, Macoris was taken by the government
forces and the backbone of the revolution was broken. The insurrection
had spent itself on account of lack of supplies and efficient leaders.
Jimenez, financially ruined by his attempts to reestablish himself in
power, again withdrew to Porto Rico. The government forces were unable
to retake the Monte Cristi district, but an agreement was reached by
which the Jimenista authorities remained in full control and the
district became practically independent.

An election was held, as a result of which Carlos F. Morales became
president and Ramon Caceres vice-president, and they were inaugurated
on June 19, 1904. The new president, Morales, was an unusually clever
man, although his conduct sometimes betrayed that he came from a
family in which there had been mental derangement. He was born in
Puerto Plata, studied for the priesthood, took orders, and held the
office of parish priest in various places in the Cibao. After the
death of a brother who participated in Jimenez' ill-fated "Fanita"
expedition and was killed in the attack on Monte Cristi, Morales took
an interest in public affairs and during the administration of Jimenez
became a member of Congress. At this time he laid aside his religious
habit, married, and devoted himself exclusively to politics. During
the Vasquez administration he was an exile in Cuba, but on the
ascendancy of Woss y Gil he was made governor of Puerto Plata, and in
this capacity initiated the revolt against the Gil government.



CHAPTER VI

HISTORICAL SKETCH.--AMERICAN INFLUENCE.--1904 TO DATE (1918)


Financial difficulties.--Fiscal convention with the United
States.--Caceres' administration.-Provisional presidents.--Civil
disturbances.--Jimenez' second administration.--American intervention.


The enormous foreign and internal debt left by the Heureaux
administration had been constantly increased by ruinous loans to which
the succeeding governments were obliged to resort during the years of
civil warfare, until the country was in a condition of hopeless
bankruptcy. In the beginning of 1904 every item of the debt had been
in default for months.

Under pressure from foreign governments, the principal debt items due
foreign citizens had been recognized in international protocols and
the income from each of the more important custom-houses was
specifically pledged for their payment, but in no case was payment
made. One of these protocols, signed with the American chargé
d'affaires, liquidated the government's accounts with the San Domingo
Improvement Company, which had been turned out from the administration
of custom-houses by President Jimenez, and provided for a board of
arbitration to settle the manner of payment. The arbitrators
determined the instalments payable and specified the custom-house of
Puerto Plata and certain others as security, which were to be turned
over to an American agent in case of failure to pay. No payment being
made, the American agent demanded compliance with the arbitral award
and on October 20, 1904, was placed in possession of the custom-house
at Puerto Plata.

The other foreign creditors, principally French, Belgian, and Italian,
naturally began to clamor for the payment of their credits and for the
delivery of the custom-houses pledged to them. To have done so would
have meant absolute ruin, as the government would have been entirely
deprived of means of subsistence. In face of the imminent likelihood
of foreign intervention the Dominican government applied to the United
States for assistance, and in February, 1905, the protocol of an
agreement between the Dominican Republic and the United States was
approved, providing for the collection of Dominican customs revenues
under the direction of the United States, and the segregation of a
specified portion toward the ultimate payment of the debt. The treaty
was submitted to the United States Senate, but that body adjourned in
March, 1905, without final action. The creditors again became
importunate and an interim modus vivendi was therefore arranged, under
which the Dominican customs were to be collected by a receiver
designated by the President of the United States, and the proportion
mentioned in the pending treaty was reserved as a creditors' fund. The
temporary arrangement went into effect on April 1, 1905, and the
effect was immediately apparent. Confidence was restored, the customs
receipts rose to higher figures than ever before, and the prospects of
peace became brighter as revolutionists could no longer count on
captured customhouses to replenish their exchequer.

The position of President Morales was a difficult one. He was an
ex-Jimenista at the head of an Horacista government, and there was no
sympathy between him and his council. The Horacistas distrusted him
and forced him to dismiss his friends from the cabinet and to make
distasteful appointments. Seeing that he was being reduced to a
figurehead, Morales secretly tried to form a party for himself or make
arrangements with the Jimenistas who for months had been conspiring
and threatening to rise. The friction became more severe until
Morales, fearing that both his office and his life were in danger, on
the day before Christmas, 1905, fled from the capital, while the
Jimenistas rose in Monte Cristi and marched down to attack Santiago
and Puerto Plata.

It was the anomalous spectacle of a president leading an insurrection
against his own government. Fortune was against the insurgents from
the beginning. Morales, while trying to scale a rocky wall near the
Jaina River, in the neighborhood of the capital, fell and sprained his
leg, so that he was unable to proceed further but was obliged to
remain in hiding in the woods, suffering much pain. In the Cibao,
important dispatches of the revolutionists were captured by the
government forces, which were thus enabled to make surprise attacks.
The insurgents attacked Puerto Plata under their best general,
Demetrio Rodriguez, an intelligent mulatto, and would probably have
taken the town, had not Rodriguez received a bullet in the temple,
whereupon his men became panic-stricken and dispersed. Morales saw
that all was lost and returned to the capital, where he went to the
American legation for protection. On the following morning, January
12, 1906, with his foot bandaged and tears rolling down his cheeks, he
wrote out his resignation. He was immediately conveyed to Porto Rico
on an American cruiser. The triumph of the government was complete,
its troops overran Monte Cristi, and an Horacista was made governor of
the district. Morales fixed his residence in the island of St. Thomas
and later in France. He continually conspired for a return to the
presidency, and was once tried for filibustering in Porto Rico, but
acquitted. A friendly administration made him Dominican minister in
Paris, where he died in 1914.

Upon the resignation of Morales the vice-president, General Ramon
Caceres, assumed the presidency. Caceres was born in Moca on December
15, 1867, and was a prominent cacao-planter. It was he who killed
Heureaux in 1899, after which he entered public life, being governor
of Santiago and delegate of the government in the Cibao during the
administrations of Jimenez and Vasquez, an exile in Cuba during the
administration of Woss y Gil, and vice-president and governmental
delegate during the administration of Morales. He had the appearance
of an honest country squire, large of body and great of heart.

During the years 1906 and 1907 special attention was given to the
settlement of the debts of the republic. A new bond issue of
$20,000,000 was made for the purpose of converting the old debts, and
an arrangement was effected with the principal creditors, by which the
amounts due were reduced by about one-half. Instead of the still
pending convention of February, 1905, with the United States, a new
fiscal treaty was agreed upon, and approved by the United States
Senate and the Dominican Congress, taking effect on August 1, 1907. In
similarity with the provisions of the modus vivendi, the customs
income of the Republic is collected by a General Receiver of Dominican
Customs, appointed by the President of the United States, and a
portion of the income is set aside by him for the service of the loan.

For years the various governments had been planning to revise the
constitution of 1896, Vasquez even calling a constitutional
convention; but the political kaleidoscope turned before such
intentions could be realized. Conditions becoming sufficiently stable,
a new constitution was promulgated on September 9, 1907. It was found
unsatisfactory and a constitutional convention met in Santiago and on
February 22, 1908, promulgated the present constitution, by which the
presidential term was lengthened to six years and the office of
vice-president abolished. An election was held and General Ramon
Caceres was chosen president, entering upon his new term on July
1, 1908.

As a result of the Dominican-American fiscal arrangement the old debt
was practically all canceled, burdensome concessions were redeemed,
and a large portion of the surplus from the new bond issue was set
aside for public works, of which several were undertaken. A few
uprisings by dissatisfied chiefs remained local and unsuccessful. A
border clash with Haiti, which in January, 1911, caused the dispatch
of troops to the frontier, was settled by diplomacy. The hope of
continued peaceful conditions gave a new impulse to agriculture,
industry and commerce, and the exports and imports increased year
by year.

At a time when the future seemed brightest, the Republic was suddenly
startled by the news of the assassination of President Caceres on
Sunday afternoon, November 19, 1911. The president, with a single
companion, was returning from a drive along the new road to San
Geronimo. At Guibia, a suburb of the capital, a number of conspirators
rushed for the carriage, seized the reins of the horse and began to
shoot. The president's companion fled, but Caceres, a fearless man and
an excellent shot, returned the fire. Almost simultaneously a bullet
shattered his right wrist. The coachman lashed the horse in an
attempt to escape, but the horse reared and threw the carriage against
a hedge. The coachman then dragged Caceres from the carriage and
assisted him to the stable of a house on the roadside, adjoining the
American legation, but the conspirators meantime continued to fire
furiously and several shots struck the president. Seeing their object
accomplished, the assassins withdrew, and the president, mortally
wounded, was carried to the American legation, where he expired a few
minutes later.

The conspirators were a handful of malcontents led by General Luis
Tejera, a young man of prominent family, at one time governor of the
capital under Caceres, but lately estranged. Caceres had known of
Tejera's seditious sentiments but refused to take them seriously.
Immediately after the shooting, the conspirators hastened away in a
waiting automobile, carrying with them their leader Tejera, who had
been wounded in the leg during the affray. At the Jaina ferry the
automobile was accidentally precipitated into the river, and the
wounded man was fished out half drowned. The other conspirators left
him in a hut by the road and escaped. Tejera was found by the
pursuers, taken to the fort in Santo Domingo City, and summarily
executed.

The commandant of arms of the capital, General Alfredo M. Victoria,
who controlled the military forces, permitted his own ambitions to
influence him more than the welfare of his country. Being only
twenty-six years old, he was not of the constitutional age to be
president, but listening to the counsel of scheming politicians, he
dominated the situation by force of arms and brought about the
selection of his uncle, Eladio Victoria, as provisional president. The
latter was a senator from Santiago province, and had at one time been
a member of Caceres' cabinet, but he was not regarded as of
presidential calibre and his selection provoked general surprise and
indignation. General Victoria's army was a potent argument; it
withered the ambition of other aspirants to the presidency, and
Senator Victoria was elected provisional president and entered upon
office December 6, 1911. In the following February the usual form of
public election was gone through and on February 27, 1912, he took the
oath of office as constitutional president. His nephew occupied
important cabinet positions under the new administration.

The general opposition to President Victoria and to the method of
electing him found expression in revolutionary uprisings throughout
the country, especially in the Cibao and Azua. Ex-President Vasquez,
ex-President Morales and several Jimenista generals took the field
independently. Morales was captured, but the others continued the
fight. Beginning early in December, 1911, the war dragged on for
months, both sides sustaining heavy losses and extensive sections of
the country being devastated.

It became apparent that there was a deadlock, the government being
powerless to subdue the revolutionists, while the revolutionists were
unable to carry on an active campaign against the government. The
American government eventually extended its good offices with a view
to the reestablishment of peace and order. A special commission
appointed by the President of the United States and consisting of an
official of the War Department and another of the State Department
arrived in Santo Domingo in October, 1912, and initiated a series of
conferences with government and revolutionary leaders. An agreement
was concluded and in accordance therewith the Dominican Congress
assembled on November 26, 1912, accepted the resignation of President
Victoria, and elected the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Monsignor
Adolfo A. Nouel, as provisional president for a period of two years.
He was inducted into office on December 1, 1912.

Archbishop Nouel, a man of great learning, beloved and respected
throughout the country, entered upon his duties with the announced
purpose of giving an impartial administration and governing with both
parties. The difficulties of the plan were soon impressed upon him,
particularly as he relied entirely upon moral suasion to carry his
policies into effect. Pressure was applied for favors which he could
not grant, his appointments were bitterly criticised as savoring of
nepotism or as unduly favoring one side or the other, and some of the
fiercer military chiefs assumed a menacing attitude. Sick and
disgusted, Monsignor Nouel resigned the presidential office on March
31, 1913, and embarked for Europe.

The Dominican Congress immediately considered the choice of a
temporary successor and after many ballots elected a compromise
candidate, General José Bordas Valdez, an Horacista senator from Monte
Cristi, as provisional president for a period of one year. He assumed
office April 14, 1913. His designation did not please the Jimenistas,
and the Horacistas also became hostile when it appeared that President
Bordas contemplated forming a party of his own. His opponents promptly
rose in the Cibao and took possession of the ports of Puerto Plata,
Sanchez and Samana, which were thereupon blockaded by the government
forces. In the latter part of September, 1913, the revolutionists laid
down their arms on the promise of the American minister that free
elections for presidential electors and members of a constitutional
convention would be guaranteed. A municipal election was in fact
held, but President Bordas, alleging that conditions were too
unsettled for a general presidential election, held on as president de
facto beyond the term for which he had been provisionally elected. On
the day his term ended, April 13, 1914, another revolution broke out
and rapidly spread to all parts of the Republic. Puerto Plata was
occupied by the insurgents and blockaded for several months by
government vessels, the blockade being accompanied by a siege of the
city under the direction of the president himself. On the other hand,
the insurgents laid siege to the capital. The government contracted
heavy debts to carry on the war and the commerce of the country
suffered greatly.

Again the American government lent its good offices for the
restoration of order. In August, 1914, a commission of three delegates
of the United States arrived in Santo Domingo to present a plan for
the resignation of Bordas, the selection of a provisional president by
the chiefs of the several political parties, a revision of the
election law, and the holding of general elections. The plan was
agreed to, President Bordas resigned, and Dr. Ramon Baez, a son of
former President Buenaventura Baez, was elected by the Dominican
Congress as provisional president on August 27, 1914.

Popular elections were held in October, at which there were four
candidates: ex-President Juan Isidro Jimenez, ex-President Horacio
Vasquez, ex-Minister of Finance Federico Velazquez, and a fourth of
little consequence. The Jimenez and Velazquez forces effected a
combination, as a result of which Juan Isidro Jimenez was elected
president a second time, and took the oath of office on December
5, 1914.

For a moment it seemed as though the country was at last entering upon
an era of peace and prosperity. The government made efforts to solve
the financial problems left by the recent civil wars and to resume
public improvements. Investments of foreign capital increased, and
agriculture and commerce expanded.

The elements of disorganization were present, however, in as strong a
degree as ever. Corruption was general in the administration of the
public funds, but attempts at reform had no result further than to
stimulate violent opposition. The old leaven of sedition was at work,
and disgruntled military chiefs found a willing leader in the minister
of war, General Desiderio Arias, a chronic revolutionist from Monte
Cristi, who had for years used the popularity of Jimenez as a cloak
for his own aspirations. The president, aged and infirm, was unable to
meet the situation with energy, and disinclined to adopt
severe measures.

In the early part of 1916 Arias had his friends in Congress vote to
impeach President Jimenez for alleged frauds. The matter was still
under discussion, and the president was ill at his country place on
the San Cristobal road, near Santo Domingo City, when in April, 1916,
General Arias suddenly seized the military control of the capital and
issued a proclamation by which he practically deposed Jimenez and
assumed the executive power himself.

Another civil war was imminent when deliverance came in an unexpected
manner. For many years past in previous disturbances, one or both of
the warring factions had looked to the United States government for
help in restoring order, and diplomatic assistance had time after time
put an end to strife. The endless succession of revolts had at length
exhausted the patience of the American government. In the face of
another general war with its attendant destruction of life and
property, harm to American and other foreign interests, and danger of
international complications (a British and a French man-of-war were
already solicitously hovering off the capital), the American
government took decisive action. With the consent of President
Jimenez, it landed marines at old San Geronimo castle, on the Guibia
road, near Santo Domingo City.

Though Jimenez approved of this action and recognized that his country
could not emerge from the slough of revolution without American
assistance, he was depressed at the condition of affairs, and in view
of his physical feebleness felt himself unequal to the task of guiding
the country through impending difficulties. He therefore on May 6,
1916, resigned the presidency of the Republic, and subsequently
returned to Porto Rico to live. The council of ministers temporarily
assumed the administration.

Arias, dismayed at the action of the United States, made protest, but
the American government refused to admit the legality or sincerity of
his conduct. Its troops advanced on Santo Domingo City and
Rear-Admiral Caperton, the American commander, gave Arias twenty-four
hours to evacuate. He promptly obeyed, and on May 15 the Americans
occupied the city.

American troops continued to be landed, at Puerto Plata on June 5; at
Monte Cristi on June 19; and at other seaports as necessity demanded,
until a total of about 1800 marines had been disembarked. They
proceeded into the interior, taking over the preservation of public
order and disarming the inhabitants. They advanced on foot, in
improvised motor trucks, and as real "horse marines," in accordance
with a plan to secure thorough pacification by having them appear in
all parts of the country.  The American marines met with no serious
opposition except in the Cibao, in the section between Monte Cristi,
Puerto Plata and Santiago, where the following of Arias was strongest.
To clear this section two columns were launched from the seacoast with
Santiago as the objective, the first of 800 men from Monte Cristi, the
second of about 200 men from Puerto Plata, the entire force being
under command of Brigadier-General Joseph H. Pendleton. The
expeditionary force from Monte Cristi, under Colonel Dunlop, advanced
along the highway, which was little more than a muddy trail through a
jungle of cactus and thorny brush, and several Americans were shot
from ambush. Repeatedly small detachments of rebels made a stand upon
some favorable piece of ground, until routed by the marines. The
decisive encounter took place on July 1, 1916, at Guayacanes, near
Esperanza, where a force of 400 marines after a stubborn fight carried
a strongly entrenched position defended by about 300 rebels. The
American losses were 1 enlisted man killed and 1 officer and 7
enlisted men wounded; the rebels are estimated to have lost several
score between killed and wounded, their leader, Maximito Cabral, being
killed fighting in the trenches after all his men were dead or
driven off.

The second column, from Puerto Plata, under Major Bearss, opened up
the railroad, encountering its principal resistance at the tunnel
south of Altamira. The two columns joined forces at Navarrete and then
occupied Santiago. All the insurgents eventually dispersed or
surrendered, and Arias himself submitted to the American military
control, which became absolute throughout the country. The total
American losses in occupying the country were 3 officers killed and 3
wounded and 4 enlisted men killed and 12 wounded; the losses of the
insurgents are estimated at between 100 and 300 killed and wounded.

The Dominican Congress proceeded on July 25, 1916, to elect a
temporary president, and chose Dr. Francisco Henriquez Carvajal, a
distinguished physician and highly cultured man. It was understood
that he was to hold for six months and was not to seek reelection at
the general election to be held within that time. The United States
government, however, was loath to extend recognition unless assured
that Santo Domingo would enter upon a path of order and progress. The
fiscal treaty of 1907 had not secured the peace expected of it; the
prohibition against the contracting of further indebtedness had been
frequently violated; disorder and corruption had continued; and the
American government deemed its task uncompleted if it should surrender
the country to the same chaotic conditions. It accordingly required,
as a condition of recognizing Henriquez, that a new treaty between the
two countries be adopted, similar to the recently approved treaty
between the United States and Haiti, where a series of revolutions
culminating in a massacre of prisoners had the year before obliged the
American government to intervene. The principal features of this
treaty were the collection of customs under American auspices, the
appointment of an American financial adviser, and the establishment of
a constabulary force officered by Americans.

Henriquez, jealous of his country's sovereignty and fearful that the
proposed arrangement would make the Dominican government a puppet
controlled by all-powerful and not sufficiently responsible American
officials, refused to accede to the American demands. The American
authorities thereupon declined to pay over any of the Republic's
revenues to a government which they did not recognize. Inasmuch as
they not only collected the customs and port dues, but had assumed
control of the other revenues as well, the Henriquez government was
left penniless. Nevertheless, the American demands continued to be
rejected. As a result, no salaries were paid in any part of the
Republic; the officials who continued in their duties did so with the
hope of being compensated at some future date; some services, such as
the mail service, were discontinued almost entirely; and the whole
machinery of the government was paralyzed.

This tension and anomalous condition lasted for several months. As the
term for which Henriquez had been elected drew to a close, it became
evident that he had no idea of retiring from the presidency, but, on
the contrary, intended to hold general elections, in which he expected
to be the successful candidate. The deadlock thus threatened to
continue indefinitely, and the American government thereupon
determined to cut the Gordian knot.

On November 29, 1916, Captain (later Rear-Admiral) H. S. Knapp, of the
United States navy, commander of the American cruiser force in
Dominican waters, and of the forces of occupation of the Dominican
Republic, issued a proclamation, declaring the Dominican Republic
under the military administration of the United States. The
proclamation recited that the Dominican Republic had failed to live up
to the terms of the treaty of 1907; that the American government had
patiently endeavored to aid the Dominican government, but that the
latter was not inclined or able to adopt the measures suggested,
wherefore the American government believed the time at hand to take
steps to assure the execution of said Convention and to maintain
domestic tranquillity in the Republic. He therefore declared that the
Dominican Republic was placed in a state of military occupation by the
forces under his command; that the object of the occupation was not to
destroy Dominican sovereignty, but to restore order; that Dominican
laws were to continue in effect so far as they did not conflict with
the objects of the occupation or the decrees of the military
government; that the Dominican courts were to continue in their
functions, except that offenses against the military government were
to be judged by military courts; and that all the revenues of the
Dominican government were to be paid over to the military government,
which would administer the same. He called on all inhabitants to
cooperate with the forces of the United States.

The military government so established took full possession of the
country. The chiefs of the executive departments not having appeared
in their offices, their posts were declared vacant and filled with
officers of the American navy. In the country at large, there was
little open opposition, and such as appeared was suppressed without
difficulty. The inhabitants quickly reconciled themselves to the
situation, realizing that it was to the best interests of their
country. Dr. Henriquez, the ex-president, left for Cuba in the early
part of December.

The military government thereupon proceeded to organize the finances,
to pay arrears of salaries, to subdue several bandits who refused
allegiance, and to confiscate all arms. Absolute order and security,
greater than have prevailed in Santo Domingo since colonial days, were
soon established. The military government then devoted itself to the
construction of public works, especially roads, the organization of a
police force, and in general to the improvement of the country.

 After the Washington government determined to participate in the
European war, the American military governor on April 12, 1917,
connected Santo Domingo with the war by canceling the exequaturs of
the German consular representatives in the Dominican Republic; there
was no formal rupture, as no diplomatic representative of either
country was at the time residing in the other. German residents were
subjected to surveillance by the American authorities.

The Dominican Republic is still (January, 1918) being administered by
American naval officers and the work of reorganization continues.
Eventually--in all likelihood after the European war--the government
is to be turned back to the Dominican people, and it is probable that
such devolution will be under conditions that will assure a stable
government, peace and progress.



CHAPTER VII


AREA AND BOUNDARIES

Area of Republics of Haiti and Santo Domingo.--Boundary
disputes.--Harbors on north coast.--Character of shore.--Samana
Bay.--Character of east and south coast.--Harbors of Macoris and Santo
Domingo.--Ocoa Bay.--Islands.--Haitian frontier.


Of the great chain of islands which extends in a vast semi-circle from
the southern coast of Florida to the northeastern coast of Venezuela,
the second largest is the Island of Haiti or Santo Domingo, situated
midway between Cuba and Porto Rico, and lying between latitude
17°36'40" and 19°58'20" north and longitude 68°18' and 74°51' west of
Greenwich. The island is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north,
the Mona Channel on the east, the Caribbean Sea on the south, and the
Windward Passage on the west. The nearest point of Porto Rico is 54
miles distant, of Cuba 50 miles, of Jamaica 90 miles and of Venezuela,
the nearest country on the South American continent, 480 miles. The
distance from Puerto Plata, on the north coast of the island, to New
York is 1255 miles, to Havana 710 miles, and to Southampton 3925
miles. The distance from Santo Domingo City to San Juan, Porto Rico,
is 230 miles, to La Guayra 500 miles, and to Colon 810 miles.

The island is divided between two political entities, the western one,
comprising one-third of its surface, being the Republic of Haiti,
while the eastern one is popularly known as Santo Domingo or San
Domingo, though it is officially termed the Dominican Republic. These
two republics present at once interesting resemblances and contrasts.
They are separated by no natural bounds; their soil, resources, and
political conditions are similar; but while in Haiti the language and
historical associations are French and the numerically predominant
race stock is black, in Santo Domingo, on the other hand, the language
and historical associations are Spanish, and the mulatto rather than
the black is most in evidence.

The area of the island is generally stated at 28,249 square miles, of
which Haiti is credited with 10,204 square miles and the Dominican
Republic with 18,045 square miles. Since no part of the island has
ever been carefully surveyed, such figures can be regarded as only
approximately correct. The Dominican Republic is therefore about as
large as the States of New Hampshire and Vermont together, less than
half as large as Cuba and more than five times the size of Porto Rico.

In the above estimate of the area of the two Republics no account is
taken of their reciprocal claims to further lands. Each claims about
1500 square miles occupied by the other. The Dominicans affirm they
have a right to the plain of Hinche and St. Raphael, comprising some
of the finest agricultural lands on the island. They contend that
Haiti is entitled only to the territory embraced in the confines of
the old French colony of Saint-Domingue. Under the treaty of Aranjuez,
of June 3, 1777, the boundaries of the French and Spanish colonies on
the Island of Santo Domingo were carefully defined and marked by
monuments. In 1795 the Spanish colony was ceded to France; but when in
1804 the Haitians declared the independence of the island, they were
able to control little more than the old French portion, most of the
old Spanish portion remaining in the possession of France. The
boundary line remained unchanged when the old Spanish portion again
came under the rule of Spain in 1809. In 1822 Haitian rule was
extended over the entire island, but in 1844, when the inhabitants of
the eastern portion proclaimed their independence their declaration
comprised the whole of the old Spanish part of the island. The Haitian
government made strenuous efforts to reconquer the revolting
provinces, with the final result that it was able to retain and still
retains 1500 square miles more than belonged to the former French
colony. This is the portion still claimed by Santo Domingo.

On the other hand, the Haitians, based on alleged boundary conditions
and tentative arrangements in 1856 and 1874, claim a strip of land now
occupied by Santo Domingo lying along the border and also aggregating
about 1500 square miles. Maps published in Haiti always show the
boundary line from five to forty miles further east than it is
in reality.

Arbitration has repeatedly been suggested to determine the boundary,
and efforts were made in 1895 to submit the question to the Pope and
in 1911 to resort to The Hague, but without success.

The Haitians have not only peopled and carefully guarded the territory
controlled by them, but have attempted to push the frontier further
east toward the line they claim. In 1911 and a year later, alleged
encroachments by Haiti almost led to war between the two countries.
The United States interposed its good offices and in 1912 suggested as
provisional boundary, until otherwise determined by mutual agreement
between the two countries, the line which was observed as boundary in
1905 when the American receiver general of customs took charge of the
frontier custom-houses. Both countries agreeing, the line as suggested
has since been regarded as the boundary and bids fair to become, with
perhaps a few unimportant modifications, the permanent boundary
between Haiti and Santo Domingo. The outlook for arbitration seems to
be no better now than heretofore, nor is it probable that any court of
arbitration would divest either Haiti or Santo Domingo of any
considerable portion of the lands they have so long possessed.

The boundary disputes have not tended to improve the relations between
the two countries, which formerly regarded each other with a hatred
that has only in the past fifty years softened down to mutual distrust
and dislike. It has frequently happened that the authorities of one
country abetted insurrections in the other; and it was common practice
for insurgents in either country to retreat across the border to
recuperate in the other. In the Dominican revolutions of 1912 to 1914
several bands of revolutionists had permanent headquarters on the
Haitian side.

The greatest breadth of the Dominican Republic, from the Morro of
Monte Cristi to Cape Beata, is about 170 miles, the greatest length,
from Cape Engaño to the Haitian frontier, about 260 miles. The
Republic has a coast line of about 940 miles, on which there are
several good ports and large bays.

One of these is Manzanillo Bay, which lies at the extreme northwestern
point of the Republic. Large and well protected, affording excellent
anchorage for any class of vessels, it is one of the best harbors and
perhaps the most important point strategically, on the north coast of
the island. It receives the waters of the Dajabon or Massacre River,
which constitutes part of the boundary between Haiti and the Dominican
Republic, and of the turbulent Yaque del Norte, which here forms a
delta of considerable extent. Owing to the proximity of Monte Cristi
the various projects for the establishment of a port and custom-house
at this point have hitherto failed of realization.

Fifteen miles to the northeast of Manzanillo Bay is the ancient port
of Monte Cristi, discovered by Columbus, in his vessel the Niña, on
his first voyage. The great explorer landed here to examine the plain
near the shore, and departed at dawn on January 6, 1493. The port of
Monte Cristi is a large open bay with a fine roadstead, but the
shallow water near the shore obliges vessels to anchor over a mile
from land. On the eastern side the harbor is sheltered by a high
promontory now known as El Morro, to which Columbus gave the name of
Monte Cristi, after a remarkable profile, recalling the pictures of
Christ, which is visible in the outlines of the mount to vessels
entering the harbor. The isolated, treeless mountain under the usually
cloudless sky of beautiful blue strongly recalls the buttes of our
Western plains.

The range of mountains known as the Monte Cristi Range, forms a
background for the entire northern coast of the Republic. From Monte
Cristi for fifty miles east, to the bay of Isabela, the shore is bleak
and barren, formed of rocks and cliffs with short intervals of sandy
beach. Isabela Bay is where the first Spanish settlement in America
was laid out by Columbus in 1493. Little remains to mark the site, but
the white palm-fringed strand gleams in the sunlight and is caressed
by the blue waters just as in Columbus' day. The harbor at the mouth
of a stream flowing down from the mountains is small and shallow, but
it is occasionally visited by coastwise vessels in search of cargoes
of mahogany and other woods from the nearby hills.

Thirty miles east of Isabela lies Puerto Plata. The intervening coast
possesses a few small ports of little importance, but sometimes
visited by coasting schooners. The most important one is Blanco,
which during the War of the Restoration with the Spaniards was the
insurgents' port of entry and the base of considerable illicit trade
with Turks Island. The harbor of Puerto Plata, the most important city
on the north coast, is formed by a small bay, enclosed on the sea side
by a reef of coral rock. There is plenty of depth within, but little
room, and only three or four large steamers can with safety anchor
here at the same time. The harbor is well protected except on the
north. During gales from that direction it becomes exceedingly
uncomfortable, and the narrow entrance channel quite dangerous.
Portions of wrecks rising above the foaming water of the reef--the
broken bow of one vessel and ship's engine of another--bear witness to
the perils lurking there at such times. Near the shore the harbor is
shallow, and though there is little tide, the water recedes some
distance. To avoid the difficulty there is a long pier for the use of
small boats and it is no longer necessary, as of yore, for passengers
to be carried ashore from boats in the arms of the boatmen. A fine
public dock for large vessels is also nearing completion.

A broad and fertile coast plain extends from Puerto Plata some
twenty-five miles to the small port of La Goleta. On this plain about
twelve miles from Puerto Plata, lies the port of Sosua. La Goleta is a
distributing point for the lumber cut in this district. A considerable
portion thereof proceeds from the headwaters of the nearby river
Yásica, being floated down the river and then along the ocean shore.
From the Yásica River, the mouth of which is about 100 feet wide, an
uneven rocky stretch of coast extends in a southeasterly direction to
Cape Frances Viejo, where there is a new lighthouse. Numerous brooks
traverse this region and leap down to the sea from the rocks, in
beautiful cascades often twenty and thirty feet in height. Near Cape
Frances lies the small town formerly called Tres Amarras and now
Cabrera. The Monte Cristi Range terminates here, its foothills forming
the promontories of Cape Frances and Point Sabaneta. Travel along this
rugged part of the coast is difficult; in order to avoid the
troublesome gullies of the shore, the trail often runs far inland
through dense jungle. The rocks are of a conglomerate formation, and
are worn by the waves into the most fantastic shapes. From the
appearance of the cliffs it seems that at remote periods two distinct
upheavals of the land took place, the first of which formed the peaks
which rise about twelve miles in the interior, the second and more
recent one giving origin to the great rocks along the coast. The
precipices in the interior, which in ages past were washed by the sea,
rise to a sheer height of from two hundred to four hundred feet and
are crowned with trees. The rocky masses in the coast forests are full
of clefts and caverns which furnish habitation to millions of bees.

The shore now curves southward and becomes low and sandy. There are
low coast plains covered with trees, especially groves of palm trees,
which extend far into the interior. Four rivers are crossed, which
carry comparatively little water, and the mouths of which are
obstructed by sand bars caused by the prevailing north and east winds.
As a result of these bars the streams flood the country and form large
stagnant lakes, that have effectively prevented a settlement of the
region. Some seven miles before reaching the mouth of the Gran Estero
there is a little town called Matanzas, a kind of headquarters for
turtle fishermen and which, though the entrance to its bay is almost
closed by a sand bank, is often visited by coasting schooners that
call for cacao from nearby plantations.  What is called the Gran
Estero is a network of bayous and channels, some upon the surface,
others subterranean, which extends from the Yuna River to the ocean
and traverses the marshy plain forming the neck of the Samana
peninsula. It is apparent that the Yuna River centuries ago emptied
into the ocean and that what is to-day the Samana peninsula was once
an island separated by a broad channel from the mainland, to which it
became united by the gradual rise of the land and by the alluvium
deposited by the river. The great swamp so formed is in one place as
much as 18 miles wide, and is covered with stunted mangrove trees and
rank weeds and bushes. The decaying vegetation gives the water of the
bayous and stagnant ponds a dirty coffee color and taints the air with
malarial miasma. The opening of channels and draining of the swamp
would remedy the defects, at the same time providing important means
of communication and reclaiming large tracts of the richest
agricultural land.

From Matanzas the coast extends due east, closely following the
mountain range which beginning near Port Jackson forms the backbone of
the Samana peninsula. Spurs of the mountains rise precipitously from
the sea which foams at their rocky base, and from the summits to the
water's edge the country is covered with luxuriant vegetation. The few
rocky coves along the shore were a favorite resort for buccaneers in
days gone by. One of them is Port Jackson; the entrance is rendered
dangerous by a coral reef, but once within, the deep waters are always
tranquil and offer good shelter to the little craft of the turtle
fishermen. Though the waters of this region are said to teem with the
finest fish but little attention is paid to fishing. Another cove,
difficult of access because of the jagged rocks near the entrance, is
Port Escondido, or Hidden Port, near the most conspicuous feature of
this coast, the lofty promontory of Cape Cabron, or Cabo del
Enamorado, Lover's Cape. The easternmost point of the peninsula is the
rugged double-terraced headland of Cape Samana, reckoned as the
beginning of Samana Bay, though strictly speaking the Bay begins at
the majestic cliff known as Balandra Point.

This magnificent bay, one of the great harbors of the world and the
finest by far of the West Indies, has ever excited the admiration of
travelers. Securely sheltered against storms, of an extent sufficient
to accommodate the navies of the world, easily fortified and defended,
occupying a highly important strategical position, its advantages
cannot be overestimated. Samana Bay, a submerged extension of the
great valley of the Yuna River, is thirty-five miles in length and
from ten to fifteen miles in width. Looking up the Bay from the
entrance no land is descried on the horizon. Columbus, when he first
entered, believed he was on an ocean channel dividing two islands. The
north coast is protected by the low mountain-range of the Samana
peninsula, in places resembling the Palisades on the Hudson, and the
southern shore is fringed by a chain of hills, so that the emerald
green waters of the Bay are perfectly sheltered against all winds
except those from the east. Even here the effect of the wind is
modified and it is only during eastern gales that choppy waves oblige
small boats to seek the coves along the shore. About four miles from
Point Balandra, is a group of five islets, known as the Cayos
Levantados. The channel between these Keys and the northern shore of
the Bay, 2000 yards in width with a maximum depth of 140 and a minimum
depth of 50 feet, constitutes the principal entrance to the Bay, the
only one which is available for large vessels. The other channel,
known as the  Half Moon Channel, lies immediately south of the Keys;
but being narrow and shallow, is navigable only by vessels of light
draft. The great expanse of water, fifteen miles in width, between
this channel and the south shore of the Bay is so dotted with shoals
as to be absolutely impassable. It will thus be seen that the actual
entrance to the great Bay is quite narrow and could easily be defended
by mines or by fortifications on the Cayos and the peninsula. The Bay
is like a great bottle with a very narrow neck. The Spaniards, in
fact, established a small fort on the headland, its ruins being now
hidden by dense underbrush.

It seems surprising that no large and flourishing metropolis should
have arisen on the shores of this splendid body of water. Apparently
the principal reason why it did not appeal to the Spaniards was that
owing to the prevailing easterly breezes their clumsy vessels would
have encountered difficulty in leaving. Since the days of steam, of
course, this trouble is obviated. The value of the Bay as a naval
station has been widely advertised, and France, England and the United
States have at various times entertained projects of acquiring it. The
American government in 1869 even negotiated a treaty for the lease of
Samana peninsula and Samana Bay, but the United States Senate failed
to act and the treaty was lost by expiration of time. The Bay would
constitute a military and commercial key to this part of the world for
any power possessing it.

Near Balandra point is the tiny settlement of Las Flechas, located
upon the scene of the first encounter marked by bloodshed between the
Spaniards and Indians. A number of Columbus' men having landed here in
January, 1493. were attacked by Indians and in the ensuing engagement
an Indian was wounded.  The occurrence induced Columbus to name the
Bay Golfo de las Flechas, Gulf of the Arrows. At the end of the main
channel of entrance to the Bay the north shore is indented by the
large and commodious basin of Clara, and about two miles further to
the west is the harbor of the old city of Santa Barbara de Samana, a
tranquil sheet of water, separated from the Bay proper by several
small islands, but which can be entered only by vessels drawing less
than twenty feet. Beyond Samana the coast becomes a little less steep
and the verdure-covered mountains recede sufficiently to give room to
narrow coast plains, thickly grown with cocoa-nut palms. Along the
beach are landscapes of idyllic beauty. Deep water extends up to the
shore and there are half a dozen points which excel for landing
places. Some twenty miles from Samana the last offshoots from the
mountains encompass the town of Sanchez. Beyond in a large
semi-circle, the end of the Bay is skirted by the great swamp which
comprises the Gran Estero and the delta of the Yuna River.

The town of Sanchez, the terminus of the railroad from La Vega, is an
important outlet for the products of the Royal Plain, but though one
of the principal ports of the Republic its situation on Samana Bay is
unfavorable. Located where the Samana mountains slope into the Gran
Estero, the site is ill adapted for the expansion of the settlement;
the vicinity of the great marsh is not inviting, though the prevailing
eastern breezes serve to drive back its noxious emanations; and the
harbor, even now so shallow that vessels are obliged to anchor a mile
from shore, is gradually silting up with sediment from the Yuna River.
The story goes that the selection of this unpropitious spot for the
terminus of the railroad was due to the passion of a moment. A tract
of land at Point Santa Capuza, five miles down the bay, where a level
coast plain and deep water up to the very shore invited the
establishment of a port, had previously been chosen. The railroad had
been extended to this spot and the foundations of the shops were being
laid when the principal owner of the road, who was directing the
construction work, learned that several of his engineers had acquired
a controlling interest in a portion of the site of the projected town.
The choleric Scotchman immediately removed his headquarters to Las
Cañitas, where Sanchez is now located, and though a vast amount of
digging and filling was necessary the shops were erected here and the
road to Santa Capuza was abandoned. The railroad has since purchased,
for a song, almost all the land which caused the trouble, but as it
has only recently expended £10,000 in the extension of its wharf at
Sanchez from six to ten feet on water, and made other improvements,
there is evidently no intention of moving the terminus.

Beginning at Sanchez the entire western shore of Samana Bay is lined
by swamp land, interspersed with the sandbanks formed by the various
mouths of the Yuna. Turning east, the coast becomes almost
inaccessible owing to the reefs and rocks which line it and constitute
the beginning of low rocky ridges running into the interior. This
region, known as "Los Haitis," continues until the Bay of San Lorenzo
is reached. This capacious inlet, the only good harbor on the southern
coast of Samana Bay is almost completely landlocked by a peninsula
extending across its mouth, and affords good anchorage. The project of
establishing a city and free port here was considered in 1883 and a
comprehensive concession was granted with this object in view, but
nothing was done and the concession lapsed. San Lorenzo Bay is also
called Bahia de las Perlas, from the pearls found in its waters in
the early-days; it is related that in 1531 five pecks were sent to
Spain as the royal fifth. On the western side of the bay are extensive
and beautiful stalactitic caves, in pre-Columbian days the abode of
Indians, and in the seventeenth century a favorite resort for pirates,
who were well acquainted with every nook and inlet along the shores of
Samana Bay. Some five miles to the east of the Bay of San Lorenzo lies
the village of Sabana la Mar. So shallow is the water here that not
even small vessels can approach near to the low and sandy shore. The
same condition prevails along the remainder of the southern shore of
Samana Bay. Branching from the low hills that skirt the coast is the
headland of Cape Rafael at the end of the Bay, forming a fitting
counterpart to Cape Samana on the north.

Turning southeasterly along the coast Point Nisibon is reached, where
a calcareous rock formation and soil suitable for sugar planting
begins. Forty miles of rocky shore intervene between this point and
Cape Engaño, the easternmost cape of the island, with a new
lighthouse, the light of which is visible twenty miles away. The coast
now leads southwesterly to Point Espada, shaped like a sword, and but
twenty-five miles distant from the Island of Mona, a dependency of
Porto Rico. Southwest from Point Espada lies the largest island of the
Dominican Republic, the Island of Saona, fifteen miles long by four
miles wide, the low hills of which are covered with abundant
vegetation. At the time of the conquest it was the home of a numerous
Indian population; later when owned by the Jesuits it had well-kept
plantations; to-day it is almost uninhabited. Not far away are the
smaller islands of Catalina and Catalinita, which possess valuable
timber but like Saona are uninhabited.  From Point Palmilla opposite
Saona Island, the shore-line, fringed with coral rocks, turns
northwest and then due west. It bounds the great flat region of Santo
Domingo, and to the traveler on passing ships is the most monotonous
part of the coast, for in the absence of mountains to break the
sky-line, there is nothing to be seen but a low palm-crowned rocky
wall with surf beating at its base. The harbors are estuaries of
rivers; those of La Romana, Soco and San Pedro de Macoris are of this
description.

San Pedro de Macoris is the principal port for the exportation of
sugar. Its harbor is commodious, but access thereto is rendered
difficult by a bar traversed only by a narrow and tortuous channel.
Extensive harbor improvements were here undertaken under a concession
which caused considerable litigation and discussion until it was
redeemed by the government by means of the 1907 bond issue.

In the forty miles intervening between San Pedro de Macoris and Santo
Domingo City, about the only place of interest is the Bay of Andres,
midway between the two cities, which is the home of innumerable wild
ducks. The City of Santo Domingo is situated on the west bank of the
Ozama River, the mouth of which constitutes the city's harbor. Since
the town was founded four centuries ago the width of the river here
seems to have diminished by fully one-fourth owing to accretion along
the shores. A bar across the entrance renders access impracticable for
vessels drawing more than fifteen feet of water. This bar has given
considerable trouble, for at times it has grown in such manner as to
leave a depth of but five feet. It is now kept open by means of
jetties and dredging. Within the bar the river is perfectly smooth and
vessels can without trouble draw up to the dock, but the roadstead
outside is generally very rough and the embarking and disembarking of
passengers is attended with experiences more exciting than pleasant.
At this place more than one passenger has had an involuntary bath and
many a piece of luggage lies at the bottom of the sea. On two
occasions on which I disembarked here in stormy weather it seemed an
even wager that the boat would be swamped before reaching the
river mouth.

The wall of coral rock girding the coast continues as far as Point
Palenque, when it is succeeded by sandy beach. This inhospitable shore
has been the witness of stirring episodes, for it was near Fort San
Geronimo where the American troops came ashore in 1916; at the mouth
of the Jaina that Drake disembarked in 1586 to accomplish his bold
reduction of Santo Domingo City; at the cove of Najayo where Penn and
Venables landed in 1655 in their unsuccessful descent upon the colony;
and near Port Palenque where a British force under Carmichael landed
in 1809 to assist the Dominicans in retaking Santo Domingo City from
the French. Off Point Palenque, too, in 1806 a British squadron under
Vice-Admiral Duckworth defeated a French squadron commanded by
Rear-Admiral Lessiegues, forcing two French ships-of-the-line ashore
and capturing several other vessels. The ports are all shallow and
unsheltered, but are occasionally visited by coasting sloops in quest
of timber and other products of the country.

The lofty mountains which in Santo Domingo City can be discerned on
the distant horizon have at Palenque become more distinct and
approached nearer to the shore. On the green plain which slopes from
their base to the sea, white specks, glittering in the sun, betray the
presence of the town of Bani. But little further on, the mountains
rise from the very shore, their spurs in the surf, their peaks capped
by clouds.  The triangular bay of Ocoa, the second largest of the
Republic, is now reached. Almost 25 miles in width at its mouth with a
length of some 13 miles, its extent earned for it, in olden days, the
name of Puerto Hermoso de los Españoles, the beautiful port of the
Spaniards. It has plenty of water and is well protected by high hills
on both sides, but on account of its wide entrance becomes very rough
in a south wind. There are several good anchorages along its shore,
and inlets which are used as harbors by various plantations. At its
southeastern entrance is the landlocked body of water known as Caldera
or Kettle Bay, claimed to be the best harbor on the southern coast of
the Republic. It is separated from the ocean by a long narrow tongue
of land, and being securely sheltered from all winds, its surface is
always as placid as a lake. Caldera Bay is presumed to be the harbor
in which Columbus on his fourth voyage rode out the great hurricane of
1502 which demolished the infant city of Santo Domingo and sunk the
gold fleet that had just set sail for Spain. This harbor was a
rendezvous for the Spanish war vessels and transports in 1861 when
Spain resumed control of Santo Domingo and again in 1865 when she
relinquished possession. The extent and depth of Caldera Bay are
claimed to be sufficient to accommodate the largest ships, but vessels
seldom venture into it, as the charts of this part of the coast are
deficient.

At the upper end of Ocoa Bay is Port Tortuguero, the harbor of the
city of Azua, affording good anchorage, but very rough in south winds.
It. was the scene of one of the few naval engagements in the history
of Santo Domingo, for here on April 15, 1844, two Dominican schooners
sustained a drawn battle with three Haitian vessels. The surrounding
hills appear almost bare of vegetation owing to the aridity of the
climate. The only buildings at the port are a small custom-house and
several sheds, the city of Azua lying about three miles inland. The
former harbor of Azua, Puerto Viejo or Escondido, Old or Hidden Port,
is a sheltered inlet on the western side of Ocoa Bay, but is available
only for vessels of light draft.

Point Martin Garcia where the western side of Ocoa Bay is regarded as
terminating also marks the beginning of another large bay, Neiba Bay,
which has the form of a cul-de-sac, with a length of eighteen miles
and an average breadth of seven miles. It is open to the southeast,
but in all other directions is well protected by high mountains. The
water is of ample depth and there are several good anchorages, the
best being the port of the small city of Barahona.

From Neiba Bay to Cape Beata the coast waters are shallow and are only
visited by small vessels which come to take away lumber or coffee from
the neighboring heights. At Cape Beata, the southernmost cape of the
Republic, the coast turns northwest, to the Pedernales River, which
forms part of the boundary between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Several small bays indent this portion of the shore, the one most
favorable for shipping being Las Aguilas Bay, also known as Bahia sin
Fondo, or Bottomless Bay. This part of the country, the Baboruco
peninsula, is very sparsely inhabited. In the beginning of the
nineteenth century it was the abode of maroons, half-savage fugitive
slaves and their descendants.

Four miles to the southwest of Cape Beata lies Beata Island, sloping
down from an elevation in the south to a long point in the north. Its
greatest length is about 7 miles, its maximum breadth 3 miles, and
access is difficult as the only anchorage is on the eastern side
almost two miles from land. The island is covered with dense forests
in which wild cattle abound. During the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries the island was a convenient resort for the pirates that
infested the Spanish main; at one time it is said to have contained
fine plantations, but at present it is only occasionally visited by
Dominican or Haitian fishermen.

Rising precipitously from the sea, at a distance of about ten miles
southwest of Beata Island, is a huge bell-shaped mass of rock, 500
feet in height, almost two miles in length and a mile in width. It
reminded Columbus of a giant ship under full sail, wherefore he named
it Alta Vela, or High Sail, sometimes corrupted to Alto Velo. The
valuable deposits of guano on the rock induced a party of Americans in
1860 to take possession of it in the name of the United States as an
ownerless guano island, but upon protest by the Dominican authorities
the American government promptly recognized the superior rights of
Santo Domingo. Visible from far out at sea, with a lighthouse on its
summit, the great granite peak stands like a sentinel guarding the
southern shore of the Republic.

On the land side the vague boundary has varied constantly, influenced
by the conflicting Haitian and Dominican claims, the greater or less
energy of the border authorities on each side, and the tendency of the
rapidly increasing Haitian population to establish homes in the
uninhabited frontier region of Santo Domingo. The absolute lack of
correct maps and the rugged character of the country make it
difficult, even on the spot, to determine where the boundary line
should be considered to run. In riding through the region about Lake
Azuei, I noticed some bad dents in the frontier and came to the
conclusion that not all the boundary pushing has been done
by Haitians.

On the frontier as provisionally fixed by the American government in
1912, the Dajabon, Capotillo or Massacre River constitutes the
northern end of the boundary. The lower course of this river is the
only part of the boundary line where Haitian and Dominican claimants
are able to agree. In the mountains to the west of Restauracion the
line jumps over to the headwaters of the Libon River, which it follows
to the upper Artibonite, continuing along this river as far as Banica.
From here it runs across high mountains between Comendador and Hondo
Valle on the Dominican side and Belladere and Savanette on the Haitian
side, to the north shore of Lake Azuei, thence across the lake to the
headwaters of the Pedernales River--with an indentation to give Haiti
the post of Bois Tombé--and along that river to the sea. For the
greater part of its extent the line traverses a wild mountainous
country, rarely visited on the Dominican side, except by smugglers or
an occasional frontier guard.



CHAPTER VIII

TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE


Mountains.--Valleys and plains.--Rivers.--Lakes.--Temperature and
rainfall.--Hurricanes.--Health conditions.

It is related that an English admiral, in endeavoring to illustrate to
George III the topography of one of the West India Islands crumpled up
a piece of paper in his hand and laid it on the table before the
monarch, saying: "That, sir, is the island." The traveler touring the
West Indies finds the story following him from place to place. Among
the islands which claim to have given origin to the anecdote is Haiti,
and however that may be, such description seems to apply admirably.
Rugged irregular mountain ranges interspersed with valleys form the
greater part of the surface, while in the southeast a great plain
extends from the mountains to the coast.

The mountains of the Dominican Republic may be grouped in five
principal ranges, two along the northern coast, one in the center of
the island, and two in the southwest. They all extend from east to
west and present numerous offshoots, especially the central range
which is the most important one and comprises the highest peaks.

One of the northern ranges is the short Samana Range, beginning at
Cape Samana, extending the length of the Samana Peninsula, over thirty
miles, and ending near the Gran Estero. The greatest altitude is
attained by Mt. Pilon de Azucar and Mt. Diablo which are 1900 and
1300 feet in height, respectively. This group at first sight appears
to be an extension of the second chain, the Monte Cristi Range, but
its geological formation proves it rather to belong to the great
central range. It was probably at a remote period an island lying off
from the mainland.

The other northern range has its beginning near Samana Bay and extends
all the way to Monte Cristi. It is known as the Monte Cristi Range
though the eastern portion is also called the Sierra de Macoris. It
sends several branches to the coast, the most important one being that
which terminates at Puerto Plata. The highest points of the range are
Mt. Diego de Ocampo, with an altitude of 4000 feet, Nord Peak 3500
feet, and Mt. Murazo 3400 feet. A notable landmark is Mt. Isabel de
Torres, 2300 feet in height, which overlooks Puerto Plata. Its head is
usually shrouded in a cap of clouds, and small mists frequently hover
about its surface. To Columbus, passing out at sea on his first
voyage, the cloudcap appeared shining like burnished silver in the
morning sun. He took it to be snow until closer investigation
disclosed its true nature, whereupon he named the mountain Monte
Plata, or Silver Mount, and the port at the base was afterwards called
Puerto Plata. The mountain is said to have been given its present
name, Isabel de Torres, in honor of the wife of a prominent settler,
Diego de Ocampo, domiciled in Santiago in the early days, after whom
the great mountain near that city was named. According to a local
legend, this couple, although blessed with worldly goods, was also
mutually possessed of such a nagging spirit and ungovernable temper
that a separation became necessary, the husband remaining in Santiago,
the wife removing to Puerto Plata. When leagues intervened between
them their conduct was so charming that the inhabitants of the two
cities gave their names to the high mountains near the respective
towns. "If you doubt the story," the legend concludes, "there are the
mountains to prove it."

The principal mountain range, the Cordillera Central, begins at the
extreme eastern point of the island, traverses the center of the
Republic, crosses into Haitian territory and sinks into the sea at
Mole St. Nicolas to reappear in Cuba, on the other side of the
Windward Passage. It constitutes a part of the great ridge which forms
the backbone of all the islands bounding the Caribbean Sea on the
north. In the eastern part of Santo Domingo the range consists merely
of a chain of high hills which rarely reach an altitude of more than
900 feet, but in the center and west of the Republic it assumes much
greater magnitude, sending out branches which are important mountain
chains in themselves, and several of its peaks are over 6000 feet in
height. The highest point in the island and in the West Indies is Mt.
Tina, with an altitude of 10,300 feet, a magnificent outpost of that
branch of the central range which traverses the south-central portion
of the Republic. The next highest point, is Yaque Peak, 9700 feet
high, nearly at the center of the island. The dense jungle covering
the rugged slopes of these giants has so far baffled the few attempts
at exploration of their summits. To the west of Yaque Peak is Mt.
Cucurucho, 7400 feet high, and to the northwest Mt. Entre los Rios,
8000 feet and Mt. Gallo, 8200 feet in height. It must be remembered
that in the absence of any careful measurements, the altitudes given
are mere approximations.

The Cordillera Central is peculiar in its numerous branches which are
often more intricate in their ramifications and comprise loftier peaks
than the parent range. The most important of these branches are those
which extend from Mt. Banilejo to the southern coast, and fill the
district between San Cristobal and Azua with a jumble of mountains.
Besides Mt. Tina, already mentioned, their principal peaks are Mt. Rio
Grande, 6900 feet, overlooking the beautiful Constanza Valley, and Mt.
Valdesia, 5900 feet high. One of the best defined ranges on the south
is the Sierra del Agua, which runs south from the Central Cordillera
to the San Juan River. The branches on the north are even more
numerous and cover a greater area. Among them special reference may be
made to the Sierra Zamba, which runs parallel to the Yaque del Norte
River, the Sierra de San José de las Matas, the Santiago Range, the
Jarabacoa Range and the Cotui Range.

The fourth principal mountain range of the Republic, the Neiba Range,
is sometimes classed as a part of the Cordillera Central. It rises on
the western bank of the Neiba River and runs west parallel with the
central chain, into Haitian territory. Among its principal peaks is
Mt. Panso, 6200 feet high. The fifth principal range, situated in the
extreme southwest of the Republic, is known as the Baboruco Range, and
sometimes as Maniel de los Negros. It begins at the Caribbean coast
south of Barahona Bay and runs west into Haiti, forming an integral
portion of the mountain chain that traverses the great peninsula in
the south of the Republic of Haiti.

These several ranges and their offshoots divide the country into a
number of distinct regions, which, owing to the difficulty of
communication, have developed more or less independently of one
another. The most important division is that effected by the broad
central belt of mountains which, twelve miles wide in its narrowest
part, and extending from the shores of the Mona Channel to and beyond
the Haitian frontier, constitutes a rugged barrier between the north
and the south of the Republic.

The district to the north of the Central Cordillera, comprising the
richest portion of the country, still retains its old Indian name
"Cibao"--a word which awoke fond hopes in the heart of Columbus who
identified it with "Cipango," the Japan he was so eagerly seeking. The
Cibao includes the northern slope of the central range with the
fertile valleys enclosed by branches of that range, the Samana
peninsula, the Monte Cristi Range with its valleys and coastal plains,
and particularly the magnificent valley of the Cibao, which lying
between the central chain and the Monte Cristi Range, extends all the
way from Samana Bay to Manzanillo Bay. The length of this remarkable
valley is about 150 miles, its average breadth is 10 miles in the
northwestern and 15 miles in the southeastern part, and it comprises
the most fertile lands and the most populous interior towns of the
Republic. The highest part of the valley is about 600 feet above
sea-level and is situated at its middle point, near the city of
Santiago, where a line of low hills dividing the valley into two parts
forms a watershed for its rivers. The northwestern of these two
sections is known as the Santiago or Yaque valley and forms the
greater portion of the basin of the Yaque del Norte, while the
southeastern half, through which the Yuna River flows, is the superb
Royal Valley or Royal Plain.

One of the most beautiful views in the Cibao Valley, and in the world,
is obtained from the historic eminence of Santo Cerro, an outpost
hill of the central range, situated about three miles from the city of
La Vega. From the foot of this hill the great plain stretches into the
distance, meeting the azure sky on the eastern horizon, and far in
the north skirting the brown slopes of the lofty Monte Cristi
mountains, the more remote peaks of which are but faintly perceptible
in their envelope of blue haze. A rich carpet of dark green
overspreads the plain, where lighter spots indicate patches of tilled
land and silver threads betray the presence of streams. The cities of
Moca and La Vega are easily distinguished and on clear days even San
Francisco de Macoris can be discerned. Clouds or rainstorms moving
over portions of the vast expanse, add animation to the landscape.
Columbus, gazing out upon the enchanting scene, was so impressed by
its magnificence that he gave the great vale the name it still
bears--La Vega Real, The Royal Plain.

To the south of the central range the number of plains is greater. The
largest expanse of level land on the island is the great plain which
forms the southeastern part of the Dominican Republic. It includes
almost the entire region east of the Jaina River and south of the
central range, being about 115 miles long by 30 miles wide. This
Eastern Valley or Seibo Plain, as it is sometimes called, is covered
with forests and broad savannas, the most notable of which are
comprised in the series of prairies known as Los Llanos, the Plains.

Two smaller and irregular plains are the arid Bani coastal plain,
lying between the Nizao River and the Ocoa, with a length of 25 miles
and a width ranging from 3 to 12 miles, and the Azua Valley, winding
from Mt. Numero, near the Ocoa, to the Neiba River, a distance of 33
miles with a breadth of from 3 to 30 miles.

The Neiba Valley, situated in the southwestern portion of the Republic
between the Neiba and the Baboruco Mountains is more regular. It is
part of the valley which stretches from Neiba Bay, in Santo Domingo,
to Port-au-Prince in Haiti. The Dominican portion is 65 miles long by
12 miles wide, and over one-half of its area is covered by the waters
of Lake Enriquillo. The peninsula south of the Baboruco Mountains is
an uneven plateau.

In the very center of the Republic, surrounded on all sides by lofty
mountains of the central group, is Constanza Valley, rich but to-day
almost inaccessible. No less rich, but many times larger, is the other
interior plain, known as the Eastern or Central Valley, a succession
of fertile valleys, extending from the Neiba River to St. Raphael,
almost 115 miles, with a width of from nine to twenty miles. The
entire plain is claimed by the Dominican Republic, but more than half
is in possession of Haiti.

All these various valleys and plains enjoy the advantage of being
watered by a comprehensive network of rivers of greater or less size.
Many of the streams are navigable for miles in the lower part of their
course by boats and canoes, affording means of communication to which
the wretched condition of the land highways gives added importance.

The largest river of the Republic is the Yaque del Norte, some 240
miles in length, which rises on the slope of Yaque Peak, describes a
circuitous northerly course, receiving numerous mountain affluents,
until it reaches the vicinity of the city of Santiago de los
Caballeros, whence, turning northwesterly it flows through the
Santiago Valley, being reinforced by scores of tributaries. Its waters
are finally discharged partially into Monte Cristi Bay and partly
through its many mouthed delta into Manzanillo Bay. Detritus and
driftwood brought down by the river, for many years entirely filled
the Monte Cristi channel, and still constitute barriers which cause
large lagoons to form in the delta and to inundate extensive tracts of
rich farmland. Though the bars at its entrance render the river
inaccessible for larger boats, it is navigable for canoes over its
entire course in the Santiago Valley.

Another large river is the yellow Yuna, which waters the eastern part
of the Cibao Valley. Rising in the mountains near the center of the
Republic, it directs its course to the Royal Plain where it receives
the waters of the rapid Camu, and thence flows eastwardly and enters
Samana Bay through a marshy delta, its total length being over 200
miles. Part of its waters find their way through the great swamp, the
Gran Estero, into the Atlantic Ocean. Up to its junction with the
Camu, a distance of some 30 miles, the Yuna is navigable by boats and
barges, and above the junction both the Yuna and the Camu are
navigable by canoes for nearly 30 miles more though there are shallow
stretches where the streams run rapidly and great care is necessary.
In former days, the Yuna was one of the chief outlets of the Cibao;
freight and passengers were transported over its course to Samana Bay
and on the waters of the Bay to the town of Samana where transshipment
to larger vessels took place. With the establishment of the railroad
from La Vega to Sanchez, the river has lost much of its old-time
importance.

The third largest river is the Neiba or Yaque del Sur, which rises
near the sources of the Yaque del Norte and pursues a southerly
direction for some 180 miles, emptying into Neiba Bay. The repetition
of geographical means is one of the peculiarities of Santo Domingo.
Thus there are two rivers and a mountain named Yaque, several
mountains named Cucurucho, a mountain-range and two cities named
Macoris while in a host of minor instances rivers, mountains and
districts in different parts of the country have identical names. The
repetition of names seems all the more curious as the Dominicans have
not hesitated to change historic names of towns and streets. The Yaque
del Sur, or Neiba River, receives several copious affluents, the
largest one being the San Juan River. Much of the lumber exported at
Barahona is floated down the Yaque and the river is navigable about 20
miles for flat-bottomed boats, though rapids and rocky ledges
interpose obstacles.

The other rivers of the southern part of Santo Domingo are much
smaller. The principal one is the Ozama, at the mouth of which the
capital city is located. This river is about 60 miles in length and
carries a surprising amount of water. Being navigable by barges for 9
miles from its mouth and by canoes for 15 miles, it forms an important
avenue of supply for Santo Domingo City. In the three miles from its
junction with the Isabela to the sea, its depth is about 24 feet, but
over the sandbar at its mouth but 15 feet. Two rivers in the
southeastern peninsula, the Macoris and the Soco furnish valuable
outlets for the products of the sugar estates on their banks. A number
of Dominican streams offer peculiarities. In the mountains there are
brooks which gush out of the hillside, merrily ripple on for miles and
vanish into the ground as mysteriously as they came. A number of coast
streams sink into the sand of the beach, just before reaching the
ocean. The Brujuelas River, which rises on the edge of the great
plains, northwest of Bayaguana, flows south 25 miles through the
plains and disappears in the ground a mile from the sea. Most streams
ordinarily insignificant and innocent looking, are in a surprisingly
short space of time converted by rains into raging torrents. The most
formidable of these torrential rivers is the Nizao which flows into
the Caribbean Sea near Point Palenque. In the lower part of this
river's course its bed is about a mile wide, of which only a small
portion is covered by the several branches of the river, the remainder
being taken up with sandbanks, gravel beds, marshy tracts and stagnant
bayous; and so frequently and erratically does the river change its
channels, and to such sudden rises is it subject, that the local
authorities are obliged to keep guides stationed on its banks almost
continuously, in order to direct travelers across.

The rapids and cascades of Dominican streams are pregnant with
possibilities, but up to the present time they have remained in their
pristine condition, nor is their energy utilized to drive a single
piece of machinery. The largest and most beautiful waterfall of the
island is doubtless that of the Jimenoa River, in the mountains some
ten miles south of the city of La Vega, where the Jimenoa rushes over
a precipice one hundred feet in height, producing clouds of spray and
a roar that can sometimes be perceived as far as Jarabacoa, six miles
away. Another beautiful fall is that of the Dajabon River, on the
Haitian frontier, 30 feet in height, and there are notable cascades
also on the Comate River, near Bayaguana, on the great plains; on the
Nigua and Higuero Rivers, not many miles from Santo Domingo City; on
the Inova River, near the town of San José de las Matas; and on the
Guaranas River, on the Haitian frontier in the commune of Neiba.

The only lakes of any size are two which lie in the Neiba Valley, the
larger one, Lake Enriquillo, being comprised entirely within Dominican
territory, while of the smaller one, variously called Etang Saumatre,
or Lake Azuei, or Laguna del Fondo, through which the frontier line
passes, less than one-fourth is under Dominican jurisdiction. They are
both very picturesque, and with the greenish color of their water and
their arid mountain surroundings recall portions of Lake Titicaca in
Bolivia. In stormy weather they become as rough as the ocean. Lake
Enriquillo derives its name from the last Indian cacique of the
Island, the romantic chieftain Enriquillo, who after fiercely
resisting the Spaniards finally in 1533 concluded an honorable peace
with them on the island of Cabras in the center of this lake. The lake
is over 70 miles in circumference, having a length of about 33 miles
and a width ranging from 3 to 9 miles, Cabras Island, 6 miles long by
one in width, is the home of herds of goats. Lake Azuei is but 15
miles in length with a width of from 2 to 7 miles.

Though the two lakes are scarcely five miles apart, Lake Enriquillo is
102 feet below and Lake Azuei 56 feet above sea-level. Both lakes
receive the waters of several small fresh water creeks, yet they
apparently have no outlet and their water is salt, that of Lake Azuei
only slightly, but that of Lake Enriquillo more so than the sea. On
Cabras Island, however, there is a fresh water spring, and three
lagoons to the east and south of Lake Enriquillo also contain fresh
water. Lake Azuei often shows the paradox of going down during the
rainy season and rising during the dry season; the phenomenon is
attributed to the presence of springs at the bottom of the lake, which
are unusually copious at the end of the rainy season. Both lakes have
at least one variety of ocean fish, though the nearest point of the
seacoast is some twenty miles distant; turtles abound in both and
there are many alligators in Lake Enriquillo and a few in Lake Azuei.

The climate of Santo Domingo is that of the torrid zone and is
characterized by heat and humidity. Yet the heat rarely becomes as
intense as it sometimes does in the United States in summer and the
nights are always cool and pleasant. The mean annual temperature of
Santo Domingo City is between 77° and 78° Fahrenheit, and the
variation between the mean temperature of the hottest and coolest
month is hardly more than 6°. The highest temperature recorded in
Santo Domingo City in a period of seven years was 95°. The average
highest temperature in July and August is between 91° and 92°. In the
mountainous regions of the interior there is a noticeable difference
in temperature; it is necessary to sleep under a blanket every night
of the year and the temperature sometimes falls below the freezing
point. The pleasantest months of the year are from December
to February.

The heat of the climate is tempered and rendered bearable by cooling
breezes which are seldom absent. During the day the prevailing breeze
is from the east, but shortly after sunset a breeze sets in from the
interior, blowing out to the ocean, and continues until after sunrise.

The heavy rains also tend to cool the atmosphere. The island is so cut
up by mountain ranges running in different directions that there is no
regular rainy season for the whole country. In the south, the west and
the interior, the rainy season is generally reckoned as lasting from
April to November, while in the eastern section the rainy season is
from May to December. These seasons are not absolute, for at times
there are heavy rains during what should be the dry season, while
occasionally there are many days of drouth during the wet months. The
rains are rarely long-continued drizzles, but instead for several
hours the floodgates of heaven are opened wide, after which the sky
clears and remains serene until the following day. The amount of
rainfall varies in different parts of the country, being lightest in
the arid districts of Monte Cristi, Azua and Barahona.

The United States Weather Bureau maintained a station at Santo Domingo
City for a number of years and from the observations made the
following data are compiled:


OBSERVATIONS FOR SANTO DOMINGO CITY

                   Highest     Lowest      Mean              Average
       Mean        temperature temperature relative Average  number
       temperature recorded    recorded    humidity rainfall of days
          °F          °F          °F       per cl.  inches   with rain

January   74          86          61          85      2.01      11
February  74          88          60          82       .96       8
March     75          87          59          79      2.15       9
April     76          91          59          80      6.86      14
May       78          88          67          83      6.29      13
June      78          90          67          86      7.42      18
July      79          92          67          86      8.34      18
August    80          95          68          84      6.77      17
September 79          93          69          85      7.63      16
October   79          92          67          86      9.63      15
November  78          91          64          85      2.76      11
December  76          89          61          87      2.09      11
------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual    77          95          59          84     62.91     161


Santo Domingo has at intervals felt the violence of the destructive
hurricanes which occasionally ravage the West Indies. They often
combine the features of a tornado and a cloudburst, and while the
furious whirlwind wrecks houses, uproots trees and strips forests bare
of leaves, the accompanying severe rains swell the streams to abnormal
height and cause extensive inundations. The hurricane season is
reckoned as beginning in July and ending in October and when during
this period a sudden fall of the barometer announces the proximity of
unusual atmospheric disturbances all shipping keeps to the harbors and
the dwellers on shore take measures to guard against the devastating
rage of the wind.

The first West Indian hurricane of which we have any record was that
of 1502 which destroyed the first city of Santo Domingo and sank a
Spanish fleet. More recent storms felt in Santo Domingo were those of
1834, 1865, 1876 and 1883. That of September 6, 1883, desolated the
southwestern provinces of the Republic, and the rise of the Ozama
River swept away the bridge connecting the capital with the opposite
shore. The hurricane of 1899 which laid waste the nearby island of
Porto Rico was scarcely felt in Santo Domingo. The latest unusually
heavy storm was that which swept over the Republic during the first
week of November, 1909, and caused much damage, especially in the
Cibao. A sudden storm in the afternoon of August 29, 1916, accompanied
by a kind of tidal wave, surprised the American 14,500 ton armored
cruiser "Memphis" at anchor in the roadstead of Santo Domingo City and
wrecked it against the rocky shore.

With regard to health conditions, the Dominican Republic has been
maligned because of the fevers that decimated the English and French
armies in the Haitian wars of a century ago. It must be remembered,
however, that the French part of the island being shut out from the
eastern breezes by high mountain ranges is hotter than the Spanish
part, and that the European troops, improperly clad and fed, underwent
great hardships and were ignorant of sanitary precautions. Among
travelers it is the concensus of opinion that climatic conditions in
the Dominican Republic are as favorable as in any other tropical
country. Far from presenting dangers to health there are few districts
in the Republic which with proper hotel accommodations would not
offer delightful refuge to invalids seeking to escape the rigors of
the northern winter. The salubrity of the climate is reflected in the
sturdy character of the peasantry, and exemplified by numerous cases
of unusual longevity. In the towns the death-rate is somewhat higher
than in the country regions; but the very fact that in spite of
uncleaned streets, reeking garbage heaps, and defiance of sanitary
precepts by the majority of the inhabitants, there has been so
comparatively little sickness, bears strong witness to the
healthfulness of the country. By a law of 1912 boards of health were
established, and under American impulse more attention is now being
given to sanitation.

As no census of the Republic has ever been taken and data relative to
births and deaths have not been collected regularly, it is not
possible to compile statistics as to the death rate in the various
provinces. The data so far available seem to indicate that the
healthiest province is Puerto Plata, followed by Santiago, Azua and
Monte Cristi, after which come Santo Domingo, La Vega, Espaillat,
Pacificador, Samana and Barahona. The mortality rate is highest in the
province of Macoris where the annual number of deaths is reported to
average about thirty per thousand.

The most frequent endemic diseases are malaria which is to be feared
near marshes and stagnant waters, pulmonary consumption, which,
however, is not more common than in the United States, and diseases of
the digestive organs. Yellow fever is unknown and the sporadic cases
which have occurred were due to the importation of the disease from
other countries. The only epidemic in recent years occurred in Puerto
Plata in 1901 when ten deaths were recorded.

The hookworm disease is very prevalent, but its ravages are not so
apparent as in certain other tropical countries. Venereal diseases are
exceedingly common. Evidences of the presence of leprosy and
elephantiasis are occasionally seen. The measures taken for the
segregation of lepers are far from thorough; the lepers' asylum of
Santo Domingo City is situated inside the city walls and is surrounded
by habitations of the poor. Cases of typhoid fever are sometimes
registered during the hot spell, from July to October, but the victims
are usually foreigners who have been careless of climatic
requirements. The foreigner who will observe temperance and prudence
in all things, who will be careful of what he eats and drinks, who
will avoid exposure to rain showers, or to drafts when in
perspiration, will easily become acclimated. Realizing that many
tropical disorders originate in a foul stomach, the natives upon the
slightest provocation have recourse to a purgative, and the custom is
one which the stranger should not hesitate to adopt.



CHAPTER IX

GEOLOGY AND MINERALS


Rock formation.--Mineral
deposits.--Gold.--Copper.--Iron.-Coal.--Silver.--Salt--Building
stone.--Petroleum.--Mineral springs.--Earthquakes.


The geological formation and the mineral wealth of the Dominican
Republic have never been thoroughly studied, in part because of the
physical difficulties and in part as a result of the civil
dissensions. The government has never had money to spare for such
objects, and private investigators have suffered much hardship and
lost many days in opening paths through tangled underbrush, and in
crossing rugged mountain ranges in uninhabited regions. The physical
obstacles and the necessarily superficial examination consequent
thereon may explain the contradictions of detail in different reports.
About the middle of the nineteenth century several studies were
published, and three scientists who accompanied the American
Commission of Inquiry in the year 1871 made a report on geological
conditions.

From such studies as have been published it appears that the rock
formations of Santo Domingo correspond to the secondary, the lower and
middle tertiary and the quaternary epoch. The most ancient part of the
island is the central mountain range, also a series of protuberances
in the Samana peninsula, the nucleus of the Baboruco mountains and a
single point in the northern coast range near Puerto Plata. The
tertiary lands are those forming the entire northern part of the
island from the central range to the sea, portions of the Samana
peninsula between the older rocks, a large area to the southwest of
the Zamba hills, smaller tracts between the Jaina and Nizao rivers,
and the region between the salt lakes on the Haitian frontier and
between Barahona and Neiba. The modern lands are the coast plains and
the small terraces on the south of the central range and on the south
of the Baboruco mountains, the Maguana, Azua and Neiba valleys, small
areas on the north coast at the foot of the mountains, and the marshes
and Yuna River delta at the head of Samana Bay.

In the central mountain range is found a nucleus of eruptive rocks
which have raised and twisted sedimentary strata, covering them and
forcing them aside. This nucleus is not a regular feature of the whole
length of the chain, but is an irregular mass beginning about at the
middle, in the region of the Jaina River, and extending in a series of
parallel lines obliquely across the backbone of the range to the
border of the Republic and on into Haiti. Among these rocks and bent
and broken by them are the slates, conglomerates and calcareous rocks
which are found in the mountains and over the whole surface of the
island. The character of the central range and the inclination of the
strata of cretaceous rocks make it probable that the island emerged
from the sea in the eocene period, its area being then confined to the
extent of the central mountain chain, with a few small islands to the
south, one or more islets to the northeast, comprising the older peaks
of the Samana range, and a small archipelago to the southeast, where
the hills of Seibo now are. During the miocene period these islands
became surrounded with coral reefs, the vestiges of which remain in
strips of calcareous rock found in the same position in which they
were deposited. Towards the end of the tertiary period, after a time
of quiet, there was a new rise of the land. While the hills to the
south of Samana Bay and the bed of the Cibao Valley from Samana Bay to
Monte Cristi rose slowly, there was an upheaval further to the north,
and the Monte Cristi Range was formed. Before this period it had been
a bar at sea-level, covered with a clayey sediment of chalk. At a
later geological period the great plains to the north and east of
Santo Domingo City were formed.

Traces of valuable minerals are so general in the Republic that it is
said there is hardly a commune where a more or less abundant mineral
deposit is not found. The exceptions are the lands of recent coralline
formation, such as the municipality of San Pedro de Macoris and the
southern portion of the commune of Higuey.

The magnet which attracted the Spaniards at the time of the conquest
was the island's mineral wealth, especially the gold deposits. It is a
historical fact that large quantities of gold in dust and nuggets were
collected during the first years of Spanish colonization. According to
the Spanish writers, from 1502 to 1530 placer gold was produced to the
value of from $200,000 to $1,000,000 per annum. The fleet which set
out in 1502 and was wrecked by a hurricane before leaving the coast
waters of Santo Domingo was laden with gold mined in the island. A
tribute of a small amount of gold each year was imposed on half the
Indians of the country. Much of the gold came from the mountains
behind Santiago and La Vega, from the gold-bearing sands of the Jaina
River, around Buenaventura, and from the vicinity of Cotui, then
called "Las Minas." Ancient pits are still to be found in all these
places. At La Vega a mint was established for coining gold and silver.
A nugget of extraordinary size was found by an Indian woman in a
brook near the Jaina River; her Spanish masters in their exultation
had a roast suckling pig served on it, boasting that never had the
king of Spain dined from so valuable a table. The Indian received no
part of the gold: "she was lucky if they gave her a piece of the pig,"
remarks Father Las Casas. This nugget was purchased by Bobadilla to
send to Spain, and went down with the 1502 treasure fleet.

The gold deposits found by the Spaniards were the surface
accumulations of centuries. When these were exhausted and the supply of
cheap labor fell off owing to the dying out of the Indians, the
mineral production waned. In 1502 labor difficulties caused a
temporary cessation in mining. In 1511 many mines were definitely
closed because of the scarcity of laborers and because the cultivation
of sugar-cane offered surer profits. Then came the discovery of mines
of fabulous wealth in Mexico and Peru, and the interest they aroused,
as well as the lack of labor in Santo Domingo, caused the mines of the
island to be completely neglected. Finally, in 1543, mining work
ceased and by a royal decree all mines were ordered closed.
Prospecting and desultory mining, especially placer mining, have been
kept up, however, until the present day.

The prospecting has generally been confined to the more accessible
regions and nothing is known of the mountain valleys in the interior.
The mineral deposits discovered have been of sufficient richness to
cause the formation of mining companies for their development or
further investigation. I do not, however, know of a single case where
prospectors or mining companies have ever made expenses. The cause of
failure has most frequently been the lack of transportation facilities
in the island, on account of which the cost of carrying the ore to a
place where it might be reduced became prohibitive. Sometimes
enterprises failed because the deposit turned out to be too small,
sometimes because the ore did not keep up to the standard, and not
infrequently mining companies fell by the wayside because of bad
management. Enough evidence of mineral wealth has been found to
justify the belief that workable deposits do exist, and to warrant
careful further investigation, especially as the means of
communication are extended.

The metals most frequently found are gold, copper and iron. Veins of
auriferous quartz are found throughout the central chain, the richest
lodes being encountered in metamorphic rocks near crystalline
formations. The metal is most abundant in placers formed in the river
beds. Such placers are common in the Jaina River and its tributaries
in the province of Santo Domingo; in Bonao creek in Seibo province;
and in the Verde River, the streams of Sabaneta and a number of other
streams of the Cibao. On the upper Jaina and on the Verde River there
are still persons who make their living by washing gold from the river
sands. Hydraulic mining was attempted in Santiago province, but after
the construction of an expensive canal the project was abandoned.
Under the liberal mining law mining privileges have in recent years
been granted for gold mines reported at numerous places in the
communes of San Jose de las Matas, San Cristobal, Janico, San Juan de
la Maguana, Sabaneta and others. Prof. William P. Black, one of the
scientists accompanying the United States Commission of Inquiry in
1871, reported:

"There is a very considerable extent of gold-bearing country in the
interior and gold is washed from the rivers at various points. It is
found along the Jaina, upon the Verde, and upon the Yaque and its
tributaries, and doubtless upon the large rivers of the interior.
Some portions of the gold fields were worked anciently by the
Spaniards and Indians. There are doubtless many gold deposits, not
only along the bed of rivers, but on the hills, which have never been
worked, and there probably is considerable gold remaining among the
old workings. The appearance of the soil and rocks is such as to
justify the labor and expense of carefully prospecting the
gold region."

Copper is next to gold in frequency of occurrence. Some of the best
deposits have been found in the commune of San Cristobal, province of
Santo Domingo. A company working lodes at Mount Mateo on the Nigua
River, encountered ore yielding as high as 33 per cent of copper. On
the Jaina River near the ruins of Buenaventura, I have seen promising
ledges of copper ore. Copper carbonates predominated, the green ore
known as malachite and the beautiful blue ore azurite were quite
common, and white quartz, which on being broken showed little specks
of native copper, was also to be found. The asperity of the region,
the absence of roads and the uncertainty as to the extent of these
deposits caused the attempts at working them to be but feeble until
recently, when extensive works of development were undertaken in the
vicinity. Copper veins have also been reported in the mountains of the
commune of Bani, province of Santo Domingo; in the communes of Cotui
and Bonao, province of La Vega; in the canton of Moncion, province of
Monte Cristi; in the commune of San Juan de la Maguana, province of
Azua, and at a number of other places.

Iron is reported in large quantities in various parts of the country.
The largest deposit so far known is on the banks of the Maimon River
in the municipality of Cotui, being a bed of black magnetic oxide of
iron, nine miles long. It is said to be excellent in quality and
inexhaustible in quantity. The difficulties of transportation in this
case could be obviated by the canalization of the river to its
confluence with the Yuna River, so as to make it navigable for small
boats. Iron ore has been discovered on the slope of Mt. Isabel de
Torres behind the city of Puerto Plata, limonite deposits at various
places in Santo Domingo province, and a rich black iron oxide on the
upper Ozama River. A layer of iron pyrites extending from Los Llanos
all the way to Sabana la Mar was believed by its discoverers to be a
gold mine. The central ridge of Santo Domingo is part of the same
mountain chain which extends through Santiago province in Cuba where
enormous quantities of iron are produced, and it is not improbable
that some of the Dominican mines will be found to pay.

Coal mines found in the Samana peninsula produced a kind of lignite
which proved of little commercial value and gave rise to the belief
that the Republic's coal deposits had not emerged from the formative
period. Later investigations show that while there is considerable
undeveloped lignite, coal suitable for fuel is not wanting. Small coal
deposits have been discovered in the Cibao Valley, between the central
and the northern mountain chain, in the province of Pacificador and
that of Santiago. Anthracite coal found at Tamboril, near the city of
Santiago, was used to run a small motor exhibited at an industrial
fair in Santiago in 1903. In the commune of Altamira, province of
Puerto Plata, lignite and anthracite beds have been discovered, and
traces of anthracite have also been found in San Cristobal commune,
and in the petroleum region of Azua. In the central mountain chain a
valuable coal deposit has been found on the Haitian side and similar
beds may be expected in Santo Domingo.

Silver has been discovered at Tanci, near Yásica, in the commune of
Puerto Plata. The old chronicles refer to silver mines at Jarabacoa
and Cotui in La Vega province, also to others near Santiago, near
Higuey and on the Jaina River. Platinum occurs at Jarabacoa, traces of
quicksilver have been found near Santiago, Banica and San Cristobal,
and tin in Seibo and Higuey.

Rock salt is found near Neiba in inexhaustible quantities, there being
several hills of native salt covered with a thin layer of soil. The
fact that the waters of Lake Enriquillo are saltier than the sea is
attributed by some to a deposit of this kind. The salt is so pure that
it does not attract moisture and deliquesce. The isolation of the
district has been an obstacle to the development of the salt mines,
but there is a project for the building of a railroad to the port of
Barahona. Part of the salt used in the island comes from salt ponds
near Azua, where salt is obtained from sea water by solar evaporation.

On a hill at the confluence of the Jimenoa and the Yaque del Norte an
alum deposit reaches the surface and the natives gather alum which
they sell in Santiago City. A deposit of amber having been reported in
the Cibao a company was formed several years ago for its development,
but as the company did nothing, so far as known, except issue stock,
and no part of the untold millions which were affirmed to be within
easy reach has materialized, the deposit is not regarded as possessing
commercial value.

For building purposes there is a large variety of limestone and lime.
The coral rock is easy to quarry and soft enough to shape with the
axe, but exposure to the air makes it hard as granite, as is proven by
the old buildings and city walls of Santo Domingo City, which have
stood for centuries. In the central range, on the Samana peninsula and
near Puerto Plata, granite, syenite and other building stones are
found, but owing to the absence of transportation facilities they are
not utilized. In the Bani region a sandstone occurs from which
grindstones are made. Clay of a fine grade, proper for the manufacture
of bricks and tiles, is abundant. Clays of various colors, found in
the interior of the island, are suitable for the manufacture of
paints. Gypsum is found, especially in Azua province, and the presence
of kaolin and feldspar in the province of Santo Domingo, south of the
central range, offers a possibility of porcelain manufacture.

Petroleum has been found in large quantities in the vicinity of Azua.
The presence of the oil is suspected in other parts of the island and
it is claimed that a petroleum belt which is believed to extend from
Pennsylvania to Venezuela embraces a considerable portion of the
Dominican Republic. Near Puerto Plata, during rains, one of the
streams flowing down from the mountains in the Mameyes section, is
covered with greasy spots thought to be petroleum that has oozed from
the subsoil. Traces of petroleum have also been discovered near Neiba,
and in the provinces of Pacificador and Seibo.

Borings have been made only in the neighborhood of Azua. A pool known
as "agua hedionda," "stinking water," had long suggested petroleum,
and an American company known as the West Indies Petroleum Mining and
Export Company undertook the development of the field. Oil was struck
on November 14, 1904, the well spouting oil to a height of seventy
feet and producing about 500 barrels per day. The grade of the oil was
22 Baume gravity with an asphaltum base. It was better than the
average of Texas oil and was considered a good fuel and lubricating
product. The main difficulty in this field was the presence of salt
water above the oil (as is often the case in oil regions), which here
came in rapidly at a depth of about 900 to 1000 feet. It was necessary
to put a gate valve on the first well, keeping it enclosed for a
period of six months, in order to prevent the damaging of the
surrounding property from the flow of oil, as there were no storage
tanks. During this time the continued agitation of the casing by the
gas pressure and the looseness of the upper soils and shales let in
the salt water and ruined the well, and, it is to be feared, to some
extent affected the surrounding territory. The company sunk four wells
more, all but one of which produced some oil, but as the salt water
entered in such large quantities they were unable to penetrate below
the 1200 feet level and were forced to abandon the wells at just about
the depth where they expected to reach the real oil sand. The fifth
well showed greater evidence of a genuine oil field than any drilled
previously but for the same reason it could not be carried to the
desired depth. At this point dissensions arose in the management of
the company with regard to the method of drilling, the suggestion
being made that a combination drilling machinery comprising what is
known as the rotary process be adopted in combination with the old
cable rig style. No agreement was reached, and operations were
discontinued. Since the beginning of 1917 other interests have made
investigations and it is rumored that development work will shortly
begin. There are indications that if drilled with the proper
appliances the field will yield excellent results. How far the Azua
oil field extends is a matter of conjecture, but it has been estimated
to cover an area of over 190 square miles.

Thermal springs are also found near Azua. At Resoli, about 21 miles
southwest of Azua City, there are hot sulphur springs of very copious
flow. Nearby there is one of tepid water, slightly acid and stinging,
though pleasant to the taste, and with no trace of sulphur. Within a
radius of a hundred yards there are about a dozen springs of different
temperatures and medicinal properties, and the place is admirably
adapted for the location of a health resort. Mineral springs,
especially sulphur springs, abound along the western frontier of the
Republic. On the Viajama River, where a sulphur mine is reported,
there are cold sulphur springs which are said to have gushed forth for
the first time during the earthquake of 1751. To the east of Santiago
are the Anibaje springs which contain sulphur and iron. Hot and cold
sulphur springs are found in the outskirts of San José de las Matas,
southwest of Santiago, and hot springs at Banica, and to the east and
west of Lake Enriquillo.

While there are no volcanoes on the island, severe seismic
disturbances have at times occasioned great havoc and loss of life.
One of the first and most memorable was that of 1564 which overthrew
the cities of La Vega and Santiago de los Caballeros. La Vega was at
that time a good sized town with substantial brick houses, and the
masses of masonry strewn about in the thicket which now covers the
site of the old city give evidence of the force of the earthquake. In
1654 and 1673 dwellings and churches in Santo Domingo City were
damaged by lesser shocks, and in 1751 an earthquake wrecked edifices
in the capital, and completely destroyed the old city of Azua and the
town of Seibo. The most recent and perhaps the most disastrous
earthquake was that of 1842 when a violent commotion in the northern
part of the island demolished the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros
on the Dominican side and Cape Haitien on the Haitian side, bringing
death to hundreds of their inhabitants. Since that date there have
been no severe shocks, though, as is the case in other West India
Islands, slight tremblings of the earth are not infrequent. I have
experienced several of such tremblings in Santo Domingo and have never
been able to ward off a kind of creepy feeling when the rattling of
windows and doors indicated their approach and passage. Near the ruins
of ancient La Vega the natives point out a spot in the woods which
they call "tembladera" and where they say the earth quakes at the
approach of man. Investigation discloses that while the earth really
does tremble when anyone walks at this place the cause is not so
deep-seated as many imagine, the phenomenon being caused by the fact
that the rich loamy soil is sustained by the interlaced roots of
trees, the foundation having been washed away by subterranean waters,
and the grassy floor is swayed by every motion upon it.



CHAPTER X


FLORA AND FAUNA

Agricultural conditions.--Land titles and measures.--Wet and arid
regions.--Exports.--Sugar.--Cacao.--Tobacco.--Coffee.--Tropical
fruits.--Forest products.--Insects.--Reptiles.--Fishery.--Birds.
--Cattle raising.


Of all the islands visited by Columbus none impressed him so favorably
as Santo Domingo. His enthusiasm is reflected in the glowing
description given in his letter to his friend and patron, Luis de
Santangel, dated February 15, 1493, of which the following forms part:

"In it (la Española) there are many havens on the sea, coast,
incomparable with any others I know in Christendom--and plenty of
rivers, so good and great that it is a marvel. The lands there are
high, and in it there are very many ranges of hills and most lofty
mountains, incomparably beyond the Island of Cetrefrey (Teneriffe);
all most beautiful in a thousand shapes and all accessible, and full
of trees of a thousand kinds, so lofty that they seem to reach the
sky. And I am assured that they never lose their foliage, as may be
imagined, since I saw them as green and as beautiful as they are in
Spain in May, and some of them were in flower, some in fruit, some in
another stage, according to their kind. And the nightingale was
singing, and other birds of a thousand sorts, in the month of
November, round about the way I was going. There are palm trees of six
or eight species, wondrous to see for their beautiful variety; but so
are the other trees and fruits and plants therein. There are wonderful
pine groves and very large plains of verdure, and there is honey and
many kinds of birds and great diversity of fruits. There are many
mines of metals in the earth, and the population is of inestimable
number. Española is a marvel; the mountains and hills, and plains, and
fields, and the soil so beautiful and rich for planting and sowing,
for breeding cattle of all sorts, for building towns and villages.
There could be no believing, without seeing, such harbors as are here,
as well as the many and great rivers and excellent waters, most of
which contain gold. In the trees and fruits and plants there is great
diversity from those of Juana (Cuba). In this island there are many
species and great mines of gold and other metals."

Columbus' panegyric on the beauty, fertility and resources of the
Island has been echoed by every writer and traveler who has since
visited the country. The United States Commission of Inquiry to Santo
Domingo reported in 1871: "The resources of the country are vast and
various, and its products may be increased with scarcely any other
limit than the labor expended upon them.... Taken as a whole, this
Republic is one of the most fertile regions on the face of the earth.
The evidence of men well acquainted with the other West India Islands
declares this to be naturally the richest of them all." Yet the
country's wonderful resources are to-day in almost virgin condition;
in the greater part of the Republic's extent they remain absolutely
untouched; in the remainder the beginning of development has scarcely
been made.

In the first days of the colony it appeared that agricultural
prosperity would quickly be attained. Great plantations were set out
and the remains of palaces and convents in Santo Domingo City testify
to the wealth they produced. But the prosperity was founded on the
basis of slavery. The laughing aborigines soon succumbed under forced
labor, the importation of negroes was found expensive, and hopes of
better fortune attracted the colonists to the American continent.
While the country languished under restrictive trade regulations,
stock raising became almost the sole pursuit of the Spanish section of
the island. In the meantime the French settled the western coast, and
the name of their colony, also founded on slavery, became a synonym
for wealth and luxury. The development of the Spanish section had
scarcely begun at the end of the eighteenth century when it was
blocked by wars, the Haitian occupation, and later by the civil
disturbances. The native had no incentive to accumulate property,
which would only attract revolutionists, and the foreigner was chary
of investing his money in so turbulent a community. What progress has
been made is due to the short periods of peace, principally the period
of Heureaux's ascendancy, from 1880 to 1899, and the periods from 1905
to date. The rapid and gratifying strides made since the
Dominican-American fiscal treaty increased the probabilities of peace
are an indication of what the country may and will in time attain. As
an English-speaking resident put it, paraphrasing a familiar saying in
the United States, "If the people will only raise more cacao and less
Hades, the country will soon be a paradise." At the present time the
most serious obstacle to rural development is the lack of adequate
means of communication--roads and railroads. It is evident that the
interior cannot be developed so long as the cost of transportation is
prohibitive or the roads are impassable during a great part of
the year.

The condition of land titles leaves much to be desired. All titles are
supposed to be derived from original grants by the crown or the
government of the Republic. As there is no record extant of such
grants and as much land has been acquired by adverse possession, the
amount of land remaining to the state cannot even be the subject of an
intelligent guess. The greater part of such land passed to the
Republic as successor to the Spanish crown, another portion was added
in 1844 by the confiscation of property belonging to Haitians, but no
attempt has ever been made to survey or even to list state lands.
According to some estimates the state owns as much as one or even
two-fifths the area of the Republic, but it is probable that these
estimates are exaggerated and almost the only tracts remaining to the
government are situated in the inaccessible mountain region of the
interior and along the Haitian border. The income of the Republic is
still insufficient to leave money for the investigation of public
lands, and every year's delay will permit more of such lands to be
absorbed by private persons.

A large portion of the rural land is held in common. Tracts originally
belonging to one owner descended undivided among his heirs for
generations, individual heirs sometimes sold their shares, and the
result is that often the tract belongs in common to many persons, some
of them holding very small shares. The shares of the co-owners are
known as "pesos de posesión," "dollars of possession," corresponding
to the value given them at some remote period. The owner of any
undivided portion of such "comunero" property, though he hold only one
or two shares or "pesos de posesión," may enter upon and cultivate any
part of the land he finds unoccupied by other co-owners, and use
anything growing or existing thereon, except certain timber or unless
it be the result of the labor of other co-owners. That this peculiar
mode of enjoying the comunero property has not resulted in friction
and conflicts may be ascribed to the smallness of the cultivated
fields, the small population and the enormous expanse of vacant land.
For the prospective purchaser the doubts surrounding the title to
comunero lands are enhanced by the existence of fraudulent "peso"
titles and by the destruction of public offices where title transfers
should have been recorded. In recent years much division of comunero
land among the co-owners has been going on and such action is
facilitated by a law of 1911, but the importance of the matter merits
additional laws to cheapen and hasten the division.

All the planting of small crops by the poorer countryman is done in
what are called "conucos," cleared spaces fenced by sticks laid
tightly against each other in order to keep out the wild pigs which
infest the country. The construction of the fences is a laborious
task, yet after one or two years they require extensive repairs, and
when the repairs are such as to amount to a practical rebuilding, the
"conuco" is commonly abandoned, and a new one located elsewhere. This
method is wasteful of fence-material and land. The planting is done in
the most primitive way, commonly by making a hole in the ground with a
machete or by using a forked stick as a plow. There are few hoes, and
among the natives no modern steel plows.

A "conuco" is usually about one acre in extent, or to be precise
twenty-five varas conuqueras square. Though the metric system is the
official system of measurement and is gradually coming into use, many
of the older standards still prevail. A common measure of length is
the Castilian vara, about equivalent to an English yard; the vara
conuquera, about two and a half yards; the tarea, used for measuring
fences, twenty-five varas conuqueras in length, and the league,
something over three miles. The common units of surface measurement
are the tarea, of about one-sixth acre, and the caballeria of 1200
tareas or about 200 acres.

Generally speaking, a line drawn from Cape Isabela on the north coast,
through Santiago, to the mouth of the Nizao River in the south,
divides the country into two regions of which the eastern one has
abundant rainfall and luxuriant tropical vegetation, while in the
western one there is little rain, and cactus plants and thorny bushes
betoken the aridity of the soil. The two ends of the Cibao Valley seem
like different countries, the eastern end covered with palm-trees,
ferns and other flora of the torrid zone, and the western portion dry
and dotted with giant cacti of fantastic shape. In the country near
Azua and Monte Cristi I have imagined myself on the plains of New
Mexico, with their scorching heat, their cactus, mesquite bushes and
distant violet mountains fading into the azure sky. While arid, these
western regions of Santo Domingo are as fertile as the rest of the
country and when irrigated give remarkable crops. One of the Dominican
government's projects is an extensive irrigation scheme for the Monte
Cristi district. The most productive portion of the Republic is
undoubtedly the Royal Plain in the Cibao Valley, which is of almost
incredible fertility. It is covered with a rich black loam from three
to fifteen feet deep, as can be seen wherever brooks have cut ravines
into the earth, and is referred to as the Mississippi Valley of the
Dominican Republic.

The greater or less elevation of the land has likewise produced
different agricultural zones: the lower plains of the southern coast
are favored for sugar planting; the slightly higher lands are given
over to cacao and coffee, and the highest part of the country, the
mountain region, is covered with timber. Broad savannas are a feature
of the southern portion of the Republic; on the plains to the east of
Santo Domingo City, all the way to the ocean, there are great seas of
grass, like the prairies of the United States, with large islands of
trees, while to the west they constitute lakes in a continent
of forest.

All tropical fruits grow in profusion and many vegetables, fruits and
cereals indigenous to countries of the temperate zone are successfully
grown. Practically all the vegetables and fruits, as well as the
grains and staples of the Middle States of the American Union may be
produced, especially in the higher portion of the island. The fact
that raspberries and delicious grapes grow wild in the highland
indicates the possibilities of fruit culture. With a view to
encouraging agriculture the various provinces for years had "boards of
development" paid from national funds, but the positions on these
boards were regarded as political plums, and while the members drew
their salaries, no other result of their activities was apparent. The
government has also made spasmodic attempts to establish an
agricultural experiment station, but with its limited resources
nothing tangible has been accomplished. The establishment and
extension of large sugar estates was stimulated by a law of
agricultural franchises, enacted in 1911, granting excessively broad
privileges and exemptions to sugar, cacao and coffee plantations which
registered under that law.

The table on the opposite page shows the quantity and value of the
principal exports of the Dominican Republic since 1913 and is the best
illustration of the fact that agriculture is the mainstay of
the country.


          EXPORTS OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

                       1913         1914         1915         1916
Sugar (raw) kilos[1] 78,849,465  101,428,847  102,800,551 122,642,514
             value   $3,650,556   $4,943,452   $7,676,383 $12,028,297
Cacao        kilos   19,470,827   20,744,517   20,223,023  21,053,305
             value   $4,119,955   $3,896,489   $4,863,754  $5,958,669
Tobacco leaf kilos    9,790,398    3,705,549    6,235,409   7,925,151
             value   $1,121,775     $394,224     $972,896  $1,433,323
Coffee       kilos    1,048,922    1,831,938    2,468,435   1,731,718
             value     $257,076     $345,579     $458,431    $316,827
Hides and    kilos      541,154      685,042      638,020     616,446
   skins     value     $241,072     $253,832     $270,356    $334,665
Sugar cane   value       --        $62,585     $195,782    $295,622
Bananas      bunches    592,804      114,142      327,169     348,560
             value     $296,368      $57,044     $166,432    $172,615
Beeswax and
   honey     value     $206,749     $207,290     $144,579    $176,144
Molasses     kilos   12,064,038   17,962,441   15,484,205  18,752,440
             value      $60,737      $93,787     $100,023    $120,738
Forest       value     $167,037      $66,464      $64,368     $57,250
  products
Cotton       kilos      242,221      167,123     141,623       91,258
             value      $85,398      $67,830     $60,600      $31,759
All other    value     $263,224     $200,211    $240,457     $601,964
  exports
                     ------------------------------------------------
Total       value   $10,469,947  $10,588,787  $15,209,061 $21,527,873

[Footnote 1: 1 kilo = 2.2 pounds]

Sugar, the leading export, is the principal product of the southern
portion of the Republic. In contrast with the cultivation of cacao,
coffee and tobacco, sugar planting requires a large outlay of capital.
The fields must be carefully prepared, extensive ditching must be done
in order to provide irrigation during the dry season; the fields must
be cleaned repeatedly while the cane is growing; and when the cane
eventually matures, after fourteen to eighteen months of growth,
it must upon cutting be immediately transported to the mill,
where expensive machinery grinds it and fabricates sugar from
the cane juice. The large sugar plantations of the country
are all owned by foreigners, principally Americans and Italians,
but dependent upon them are many small plots, planted under
contract with the central factory by small native owners or
contractors. Before the establishment of the first of these
plantations near Macoris in the early eighties, the apparatus for
making sugar was as crude as that employed by the first colonists,
consisting of small presses turned by oxen, and large caldrons to boil
the cane. The other West India Islands are dotted with the ruins of
old sugar mills erected in the beginning and middle of the last
century, but those days were not favorable to investment in Santo
Domingo and such buildings and ruins are absolutely wanting in
this island.

Most of the large plantations are located in the vicinity of San Pedro
de Macoris, and to them the city owes its rapid development. These
represent a value of millions of dollars, are equipped with plantation
railroads and modern mills and extend over thousands of acres of the
plains behind the city. The great Consuelo estate, the Santa Fé
plantation, the Porvenir and the Puerto Rico estates are owned by
American capital, and two others, the Quisqueya and Cristobal Colon
plantations are owned by Americans and Cubans. The Angelina estate is
an Italian investment, but its owners hold it in the name of the
General Industrial Company, a corporation organized by them under the
laws of New Jersey, apparently with a view to claiming American
protection in case of disturbances. The principal owners of this
estate as well as of other Italian sugar estates on the south coast
are heirs of J.B. Vicini, who was a wealthy Italian merchant of Santo
Domingo City.

One of the largest sugar estates of the Republic is the Central
Romana, which controls some 40,000 acres near the port of La Romana,
and is owned by the South Porto Rico Sugar Company. Since the first
crop in 1911 the cane has been shipped to the mill at Guanica, Porto
Rico, for grinding, but a huge fifteen-roller mill, which will be the
largest on the island, is now in course of erection at La Romana.

Two plantations near Santo Domingo City, San Isidro and La Fé, belong
to Americans. The Italia sugar estate at Yaguate, near the Nizao
River, the Ocoa estate and the Central Azuano, on the outskirts of
Azua all belong to the Vicini heirs. At Azua there is another
plantation, the Ansonia estate, which is the property of Americans.
The plantations at Azua and Ocoa are watered by irrigation, those of
Azua deriving their water from artesian wells. American capital is
also establishing sugar plantations near Barahona. On the north coast
there are only two small sugar plantations near Puerto Plata, in which
German and Spanish capital is interested, but another is being
established at Sosua.

So rich are the Dominican lands that cane will grow from the same root
for ten and even twenty years, while in Porto Rico and the lesser
Antilles long cultivation has exhausted the soil and replanting is
necessary every three years. Near Macoris the planters have had so
much land available that instead of replanting they have often
abandoned their old fields and taken up virgin lands instead. The
busiest time in Macoris is the crop season from November to May. Many
laborers are then required, and as native labor is not abundant, large
numbers of negroes come from the British West Indies to work on the
plantations, returning to their homes when the cane has been cut.

Most of the Dominican sugar goes to the United States and a large
portion is eventually sold in Canada and England. When the amount of
sugar produced in little Porto Rico is compared with that grown in
Santo Domingo, it is evident that the Dominican production might
easily be increased to twenty times its present figure.

While sugar attracts the foreigner, the Dominican's favorite staple
has been cacao. The cacao or chocolate tree grows in a number of the
West India Islands, but in none of them is it cultivated to such an
extent as in Santo Domingo. Cacao is peculiarly fitted to be a "poor
man's crop," as little land and labor are required and, while the
trees are growing, corn, bananas and other crops can be raised on the
same field. Most of the cacao is raised on small plantations,
producing from fifty to one hundred barrels, a barrel being worth
about eight dollars. For the preparation and planting of the field of
a poor man the whole family turns out and neighbors often come to
help, regular planting bees being organized. The larger landowner
makes contracts for the preparation of his lands, paying at the rate
of $2 or $2.50 a tarea.

The best months for planting cacao are the wet months, which in the
Cibao are May and October. Small holes are dug in the earth about
three yards apart and three beans placed in each. When the sprouts
grow into young trees, two of the three should be cut off, and the
best developed allowed to remain; but the countrymen generally permit
all three to grow, with resulting dwarfed trees and poor crops. To
protect the small plants from the hot sun a yuca or cassava plant is
set out next to each one. While the trees are growing, corn is planted
between the rows and three or even four crops are obtained in each
year. After two years the cacao trees begin to bloom, after three
years they begin to give fruit, and their production gradually
increases until their eighth year when they reach mature growth. Each
tree furnishes about two pounds of cacao per year. On the larger
plantations less attention is paid to ancillary crops and the cacao
plants are raised in seedbeds, the seedlings being transplanted to the
field after six months or a year. When the pods containing the cacao
beans are ripe the beans are extracted, soaked in water and then dried
in the sun. During the crop season cacao beans are spread on mats
before every native hut and in the streets of every town and village
in the Cibao, and the sourish smell of the drying bean pervades
the air.

The principal cacao region is the Cibao and the upper Seibo plain, and
the largest plantation, belonging to the well-known Swiss chocolate
manufacturer, Suchard, is situated near Sabana la Mar, on the south
side of Samana Bay. The cacao here produced is not of the finest
grade, such as that grown in Ecuador, but goes to make the cheaper
grades of chocolate.

The ease with which cacao is planted and the profits to be derived
from it often cause the small farmers to neglect everything else for
cacao and purchase articles of food which they could themselves raise.
The consequence is that when the cacao crop fails, there is widespread
want and discontent.

Cacao has been exported since 1888, before which time it was grown for
local consumption only. For years it led the country's exports, until
sugar took first place in 1914. The greater portion of the cacao crop
is exported through the port of Sanchez, on Samana Bay. Formerly
almost the whole crop went to Europe, Havre being the chief market,
but of late years the United States has become one of the
principal buyers.

The cultivation of tobacco is confined to the Cibao region, where it
was grown by the Indians when the Spaniards landed. It is a crop
yielding rapid returns, but cacao has paid so much better that the
progress of tobacco culture has been slow. The effort of the
countrymen to produce quantity rather than quality has prevented the
development of the finer grades and the price paid for Dominican
tobacco is low. While the tobacco grown is of inferior quality, there
is no reason why it should not be susceptible of improvement as the
climatic and soil conditions of the interior valleys are very similar
to those of the tobacco regions of Cuba and Porto Rico.

Tobacco is grown mostly by small planters and sold to the large
commercial houses of Santiago and Puerto Plata. Practically the entire
crop is exported through Puerto Plata. Before the European war the
great market for Dominican tobacco was Hamburg. Up to 1907 tobacco was
exported only in leaf, but since then a small cigarette industry has
developed.

Coffee is another native crop the development of which has been
checked by the popularity of cacao. It is also a crop which can be
grown with profit on small tracts of land. The coffee bushes flourish
in the mountains and are grown under the shade of larger trees. A
clearing having been made in the forest, the small coffee trees are
planted in rows or irregularly and near each a banana or plantain
tree. The latter reach full height within six months and afford shade
until guava and other shade trees planted on the field have attained
sufficient size. A wait of five years is necessary before the coffee
bushes begin to bear, but after that they continue indefinitely every
year, the only labor required being that of keeping the plantation
clear of brush and picking the berries when they are ripe. The trees
grow to a height of six or eight feet; they bloom with a fragrant,
white, star-like flower which on withering leaves the green embryo of
the berry. When the berry has reached the size of a hazel-nut it turns
red and is picked, much of the picking being done by women.  The
berries are poured into a simple machine which extracts the two coffee
beans encased in each berry. The beans are dried in the sun, on the
largest plantations in drying machines. They are then transported to
the merchants in town, where they are polished in another machine,
assorted and bagged for export. The town of Moca owes its name to the
fact that the principal coffee plantations lie in its vicinity. Other
important coffee districts are Santiago and Bani. About two-thirds of
the coffee of the Republic is exported from Puerto Plata.

The coffee of Santo Domingo is of excellent quality. In normal times
the greater portion was exported to France and Germany, but most of it
now goes to the United States.

With one exception the limitless resources of Santo Domingo with
reference to fruit culture have remained untouched. The single
exception was the United Fruit Company's banana plantation at Sosua,
about ten miles east of Puerto Plata, and even this estate is at
present, in consequence of the greater attractiveness of sugar, being
converted into a sugar plantation. Otherwise there has been no attempt
to raise fruit for export, though the sweet and bitter orange, the
lemon, the lime, the grapefruit and the paradoxical sweet lemon, grow
wild. Pineapples are raised only for the small home consumption. An
obstacle to the cultivation of such fruits at the present time would
be the absence of rapid fruit steamers to the United States. The
fruits peculiar to the torrid zone all grow in profusion and among
them the native is fondest of the juicy mango, the guava, the aguacate
or alligator pear, the anon or custard apple, the guanabana or
soursop, the mamon or sweetsop, the mamey or marmalade fruit, the
nispero or sapodilla and the tamarind. From the large palm-groves
about Samana Bay cocoanuts and a little copra are exported,
principally to the United States.

Small attempts have been made to cultivate other products to which the
country is adapted. Growers of cotton and hemp are encouraged by
results, but a rice plantation established in the swamp-lands near the
head of Samana Bay proved a failure rather on account of errors of
management than for other reasons.

In the forests which cover her mountains Santo Domingo has hardwoods,
dyewoods and building timber of inestimable value. Only a generation
ago mahogany trees grew all the way to the water's edge, but years of
wasteful cutting have exhausted the nearer supplies and the more
valuable woods must now be sought in the interior. In the mountains
and on the high plateaus of the interior there are hundreds of square
miles of Spanish cedar and longleaf pine. The principal woods exported
are mahogany, guayacan, known to commerce as lignum vitae (one of the
hardest woods and so heavy that when in loading the steamer a log
drops into the sea it sinks to the bottom like iron), bera or bastard
lignum vitae, espinillo or yellowwood, campeche or logwood (a famous
dyeing material), sparwood and cedar. Other forest products exported
are dividivi, a tanning bark, and resins. Most of these exports go to
the United States and England. For the preparation of lumber for local
needs there are sawmills in La Vega and Santiago de los Caballeros.

With regard to indigenous fauna Santo Domingo occupies a position
midway between the diverse and abundant fauna of Cuba and the more
limited species of the Leeward Islands. Insects abound and in all the
coast towns it is necessary to sleep under a mosquito bar. Wild bees
are found in many parts of the country and apiculture has met with
much success.  Of poisonous insects there are few. Those sometimes
met with are the species of tarantula known as the hairy spider, the
spider known as guava, and the blue spider, also the scorpion and the
centipede. Their sting produces intense pain, inflammation and fever.
They are found in crevices, under stones, in caves, and in rotten
wood. The last two are often seen in old houses, but daily use of the
broom and duster will make them appear but rarely. Some of these
animals grow to a large size. On a ride on the Haitian border my horse
shied at a tarantula in the trail, and in calling my Dominican
companion's attention to it, I remarked that it was as large as a
saucer. "That is nothing," he replied, "there are many around here as
large as a soup plate."

There are few classes of reptiles. Santo Domingo is a paradise where
serpents are at a discount, for they are few in number and although
occasionally some are found of considerable size, they are all
harmless. Lizards are plentiful in the forests, the largest class
being known as iguana, which is eaten by some of the country people,
as it was in former days by the Indians. The lizards are all
inoffensive. A species of alligator is found in the lower waters of
the Yaque del Norte and of the Yaque del Sur, and in the salt lakes on
the Haitian border. Tortoises occur in such numbers that their shell
forms an article of commerce.

Crustaceans and testaceans are abundant in number though few in
species. A tiny oyster is found, not much larger than a thumb-nail,
but very succulent. The marine fauna is the same as that of the
neighboring Antilles, the sea and rivers teeming with edible fish, to
which, however, but little attention is paid. Sharks infest the coasts
and render bathing unsafe except behind protecting reefs.
Occasionally, too, a manati, or sea-cow, is seen. This strange mammal
has breasts which resemble those of a human being and emits cries
that sound almost human. It was probably a party of manati gamboling
about in the water which induced Columbus gravely to enter in his
logbook that he had sighted mermaids near Monte Cristi.

Of birds there are over one hundred and fifty species, about
ninety-five of which are residents and among these several peculiar to
this island. The forests resound with the cries of parrots and other
birds of beautiful plumage; from any point on the coast pelicans and
other ichthyophagous birds can be observed darting into the waters
after their prey; the lakes and rivers are the home of thousands of
wild ducks; myriads of wild pigeons breed in the woods; and the number
of insectivorous birds, including the sweet-singing nightingale,
jilguero and turpial, the swallow and the small pitirre and colibri,
is infinite. The caves are inhabited by swarms of bats, the guano of
which, mingled with the calcareous detritus of the rocky walls, is
found in great deposits and constitutes a good fertilizer.

At the time of the discovery the Spaniards found very few kinds of
quadruped mammals. One was the agouti, looking like a large rat and
inhabiting the forests; another the coati, similar to the squirrel and
easily domesticated. Three other classes are mentioned, the quemi,
mohui and perro mudo (dumb dog), but are not now to be found and as
the description of two of them almost tallies with that of the others
above mentioned, it is possible that different names were applied to
the same animals. It is possible, too, that reference was made to the
solenodon or almiqui, an animal long thought to be extinct but of
which several specimens have recently been found in Santo Domingo.
This animal is about two feet, long and resembles a rat, but having a
long prehensile snout and the habits of an ant-eater, it is considered
to be a remnant of the early zoölogical type from which diverged both
the rodents and the insectivorous animals of the present.

The Spaniards introduced the European domestic animals, which
immediately began to flourish. During the seventeenth and eighteenth
century the principal and for a long time almost the only industry of
the Spanish portion of the island was cattle-raising. Some of the
cattle and pigs escaped to the woods and reverted to the wild state,
and towards the middle and end of the seventeenth century great herds
of wild cattle roamed over the island. Such herds no longer exist, but
wild pigs have found their way to the most remote recesses of the
mountains and are the plague of the fields. The equine species, sprung
from the Andalusian horses brought by the Spaniards, has degenerated
considerably and the best horses in the Republic today are of Porto
Rican stock, but attention is at last being given to breeding. The
largest herds of cattle roam about in the unfenced arid regions of the
northwest. Hides are exported in large quantities, but there is little
dairying. Of late years attention is being directed to improving the
stock and several stock farms have been established near San Pedro
de Macoris.

Sheep raising is followed to some extent in the arid regions of the
southwest and northwest, but the wool is of coarse grade. An important
industry in these regions, especially in the neighborhood of Azua, is
goat-raising. My inquiry as to the population of Azua was answered by
the purser of the Clyde line steamer: "About three thousand people and
about three million goats." Though his estimate of the number of goats
may have been somewhat exaggerated, the fact is that they are
everywhere in evidence and charge through the streets in droves, and
at the great Azua church I found a goat in the vestibule looking
reverently in. Over nine-tenths of the goatskins exported from the
Republic go to the United States.



CHAPTER XI


THE PEOPLE

Population.--Distribution.--Race.--Descendants of American
negroes.--Language.--Physical traits.--Mental traits.--Amusements.
--Dances, theaters, clubs, carnivals.--Gaming.--Morality.--Homes.


The estimates of the early Spanish writers as to the Indian population
of Hispaniola at the time of its first settlement in 1493 range all
the way from one million to three million inhabitants. While it is
probable that the former number was nearer to the truth, it is evident
that the island was well inhabited, for Columbus found every valley
swarming with natives. The severe labor imposed by the Spaniards made
such frightful inroads on the native population that within a decade
labor for the plantations and mines began to grow scarce and forty
thousand inhabitants of the Bahama Islands were imported to increase
the supply. They were lured on board the Spanish transports by the
promise that they were to be conveyed to the beautiful home of their
departed ancestors and though they did indeed quickly join their
deceased relatives, it was not until after a taste of purgatory in the
mines of Santo Domingo. In 1507 the entire Indian population was
estimated at only 70,000, in 1508 it had fallen to 40,000, and in 1514
to 14,000. Six years later the remnant of the aborigines united in the
mountains to resist the Spaniards to the end, but in 1533 a treaty was
concluded by which the Indians were assigned certain lands near Boya,
thirty miles northeast of Santo Domingo City. According to some
authorities 4000 and according to others only 600 natives remained to
take advantage of this provision. Thereafter all mention of the
Indians disappears from Dominican annals. Types recalling Indian
characteristics are sometimes seen, however, and it is probable that
some Indian blood is still represented in the country.

Father Las Casas, the friend of the Indians, is credited with the
suggestion that in place of the frail natives negroes be imported for
labor in the mines and on the plantations. The earliest importations
seem to have taken place in the opening years of the sixteenth
century, for as early as 1505 King Ferdinand authorized the shipment
of more negroes in lots of 100. Later, licenses were issued for the
importation of negro slaves by the thousands and many more were
probably smuggled in. The Spanish population also grew rapidly until
about 1530 when the colony reached the zenith of its wealth and
prosperity. Twelve years later, when the decline had become marked, it
was estimated that besides a substantial white population there were
30,000 negro slaves on the island. The superior attractions of other
newly discovered countries and the fear of piratical invasions had by
1591 decreased the total population of the colony to 15,000. This
number remained almost stationary until about 1663 when it began to
dwindle further until the low water mark was reached, about 1737, and
the entire population of the Spanish portion of the island was
estimated at but 6,000. Timely tariff concessions revived trade and
encouraged immigration and new importations of slaves the number of
inhabitants increased rapidly and in 1785 was reckoned at 150,000,
including 30,000 slaves and a considerable proportion of free colored
persons.  A decade later saw the beginning of the negro insurrection
in the French section of Santo Domingo; the horrors attending this
war, the invasion of the Spanish colony by the Haitians, the menace of
further invasions, the frequent changes of sovereignty, and adverse
economic conditions, produced an exodus in the course of which the
great majority of the white population abandoned the island, many with
all their slaves and dependents. A few returned, but in 1809 it was
calculated that the inhabitants of Spanish Santo Domingo numbered
104,000 and in 1819 but 63,000, of whom the greater number were
colored. During Haitian rule, from 1822 to 1844, white emigration
again took place and white immigration was discouraged, while
settlements of negroes from Haiti and the United States were made in
different parts of the country. The increase of the population since
that time has been subject to little outside influence; there has been
practically no emigration, and immigration has been insignificant, the
few new settlers being chiefly negroes from the British colonies,
Haitians, Porto Ricans, Syrians and European merchants. In 1863 an
ecclesiastical census, based on the returns of the various parish
priests, placed the population at 207,700. This number may be
described as little more than a compilation of guesses and was
probably exaggerated. A similar ecclesiastical census taken in 1888
gave a total of 382,312 inhabitants.

These ecclesiastical computations were founded to some extent on
parish records of baptisms and burials, but this basis became more and
more precarious as the population increased. Probably the records most
nearly accurate are the baptismal records of the Church, for almost
every Dominican is baptized at some time in his life. The death
records are the least complete on account of the obstacles presented
during the civil disorders and the distance at which many country
people live from the place of registry. A law of civil registry,
requiring the inscription of all births, marriages and deaths has been
only indifferently carried out and during times of insurrection
entirely suspended. A government census was begun in 1908 but not
concluded. Any accurate computation is thus out of the question.

Unofficial estimates of the population to-day range all the way from
400,000 to 920,000. In 1908 an official estimate based on birth
statistics, placed it at 605,000. An unofficial estimate in 1917, made
on the assumption that there are 1000 inhabitants for every 37 births
reported, calculated the total population at 795,432, thus distributed
among the several provinces:

Santo Domingo ... 127,976
Santiago ........ 123,972
La Vega.......... 105,000
Pacificador......  90,569
Seibo............  68,135
Espaillat........  64,108
Azua ............  59,783
Puerto Plata  ...  55,864
Monte Cristi  ...  41,459
Macoris..........  28,000
Barahona ........  17,891
Samana ..........  12,675

The estimate of 37 births per 1000 inhabitants is probably too large
as the birth-rate in Jamaica is but 34.6, in the Leeward Islands 33,
and in the birth-registration area of the United States only 24.9. A
reduction of ten per cent in the above figures would probably make
them more nearly correct. That would give a total population of about
715,000. Accepting the number of inhabitants as 715,000 the
population per square mile is about 39.6. A comparison with the
surrounding West Indian countries reveals considerable disproportion.
The Dominican Republic is not quite one-half the size of Cuba but has
only one-fourth the number of inhabitants; it is almost double the
size of the Republic of Haiti but has less than one-half the
inhabitants; it is five times the size of Porto Rico and has but
one-half the population; it is one hundred and seven times as large as
Barbados but has only four times the population. If the Dominican
Republic were as densely populated as the neighboring Republic of
Haiti, it would have 3,000,000 inhabitants; if the population were as
dense as that of Porto Rico, it would be 7,000,000; if the Republic
were as densely inhabited as Barbados it would have over 21,000,000
people. Though the climatic and topographical conditions of the
country would not permit it to become as thickly populated as
Barbados, there is no reason why it should not support a population
proportional to that of Porto Rico.

As in the other West India Islands the population is principally
rural. There are probably not more than a dozen towns in the Republic
with more than 1500 inhabitants. A government census of Santo Domingo
City, the capital and largest urban center, taken in November, 1908,
showed a population of 18,626, and the number is now estimated
as 21,000.

A census of Santiago de los Caballeros, taken by the municipal
authorities in 1903, showed an urban population of 10,921, the present
estimate being 14,000. The estimated population of Puerto Plata is
about 7000; La Vega and San Pedro de Macoris are believed to have
about 5000 inhabitants each, but in every other case the urban
population falls below 3000.  The population of the Dominican
Republic is not scattered uniformly over the country, but is to be
found chiefly in a fringe along the shore all the way from Monte
Cristi to Barahona, and in the Cibao Valley. The most densely
populated region is that part of the Cibao Valley known as the Royal
Plain. In the mountainous interior there are vast stretches almost or
entirely uninhabited; and remote valleys which have not been visited
since the days of the conquest.

The vicissitudes through which Santo Domingo has passed, the departure
of so large a proportion of whites in the beginning of the nineteenth
century and the intermingling of blood before and since that time have
determined the character of the population. At the present time the
pure negroes are in a minority, constituting probably less than
one-fourth the entire population. The great majority of the
inhabitants are of mixed Spanish and African blood, their color
ranging from black to white. The lighter shades predominate,
especially in the Cibao. There is also a sprinkling of pure whites,
the majority of whom are to be found in the Cibao region or are
foreigners residing in the larger cities. Many families would pass for
white anywhere, showing absolutely no trace of colored blood, and it
is difficult to believe confidential assurances of their intimate
friends, indicating a different condition. A few families trace their
ancestry back to the first Spanish colonists. As most of the blacks
live south of the central mountain range the population of this region
is a good deal darker than that of the northern part of the island.
The census of Santo Domingo City in 1908 reported 7016 whites, 6934
colored persons and 4676 blacks, but apart from the circumstance that
numerous white foreigners reside in the capital, it is probable that
many persons were classified as white who would have been considered
colored in the United States under the stricter rules there
prevailing.

A comparison with Haiti discloses marked racial differences. In the
French-speaking republic about ninety per cent of the inhabitants are
pure blacks, the remainder being mulattoes. The distinction between
the two countries is due to several circumstances: in Santo Domingo
the pure blacks have never been in a majority; the whites have never
all left the country; massacres of mulattoes and whites have never
taken place; there have never been political parties based on color;
and the relations between the races have always been cordial. In
company, side by side, mulattoes, blacks and whites have lived,
worked, enjoyed themselves and fought their revolutions. There is
absolutely no color line. A friend of mine from Virginia received
quite a shock the first time he attended a state ball in Santo Domingo
and saw an immense negro, as black as coal, a member of Congress,
dancing with a girl as white as any of the foreign ladies present. He
rushed to the refreshment room and beckoned to a tall mulatto in a
dress suit: "I'll have something to cool off, here waiter--" He was
stopped just in time for he was mistaking the secretary of foreign
affairs for a waiter; but after this experience he was afraid of
giving his order to anyone else for fear he might be offending some
other high official. The blacks are commonly the lower laborers, but
negroes are to be found in all grades of society and are not
infrequently represented in the cabinet itself. Of the presidents the
majority have been of mixed blood, but several, like Luperon and
Heureaux, were full-blood negroes. It appears that the strong strain
of white blood in the country has elevated all, mulattoes and negroes.
The negroes have produced men of high ability: Heureaux, for
instance, though unscrupulous and cruel, was a man of remarkable
sagacity and energy.

It must not be supposed for a moment that the Dominicans are inimical
to whites or, like their neighbors, the Haitians, prefer to see their
country peopled by negroes only. On the contrary they are anxious to
be considered as belonging to the white race and are not pleased by
reference to their mixed blood. For this reason the former policy of
the United States of sending colored men as ministers and consuls to
Santo Domingo was resented by the Dominicans who saw therein an
evidence of contempt. I have often heard Dominican statesmen express
an eager desire for immigration, but only white immigration. This
sentiment is reflected in immigration laws and in several concessions
granted in late years in which the concessionnaire was prohibited from
importing laborers of African or Asiatic descent. The Congress has
even made appropriations for the introduction of white families and
their settlement along the Haitian frontier, but the isolation of this
region and other circumstances made such laws impracticable of
execution.

During Haitian rule, from 1822 to 1844, a different policy prevailed.
President Boyer was desirous of seeing every part of the island
populated by blacks and accordingly settled Haitian negroes in various
parts of Santo Domingo and encouraged negro immigration from the
United States by premiums to ship captains bringing such immigrants.
The American negroes were distributed in Haiti and in Santo Domingo,
particularly near Puerto Plata and in the Samana peninsula. The Puerto
Plata settlers have mingled with the rest of the population, but
around the town of Samana, where the largest settlement, consisting of
some sixty families, was made, the descendants of the American
immigrants still form a distinct class. Large portions of the
peninsula are taken up by their well kept farms, and one of the
sections or districts into which the commune of Samana is divided, is
officially named "Sección de los Americanos." The people still
preserve the English language and proudly proclaim that they are "of
American abstraction."

They have kept considerably aloof and only in recent years have there
been marriages between them and their Spanish-speaking neighbors.
Their exclusiveness has more than once been criticised by Dominicans.
Of the original settlers all have passed away, their surviving
children are advanced in age and the third generation is in its prime.
The Methodist preacher of the district, a kindly black man, presented
me to the oldest person of the American colony, a woman of about
eighty years of age who was born only a few years after her parents
arrived from Virginia. As the old woman stood smiling in the door of
her little cabin, the walls of which were covered with leafy creepers,
she looked the picture of an old Southern mammy. Her dialect was
typical; when I said: "I am glad to meet you, Mrs. Sheppard," she
answered, beaming, "Me likewise, I'se always glad to meet Americans, I
is." Several of the American negroes have distinguished themselves in
military matters, one of the most noted being General Anderson who
grew gray in many revolutions.

Between the coast towns and the ports of the surrounding countries,
particularly Porto Rico, there is considerable coming and going. This
was called to my attention the first time I set foot on Dominican
soil, when a large negro darted out from a group of loungers on the
wharf and seized my suit-case, crying: "Let me carry your baggage,
Judge." Surprised, I inquired how he knew me, whereupon he asked
reproachfully: "Don't you remember you sent me to jail in Mayaguez
for shampooing a saucy stevedore's head with a brick?"

Whether as a settler or transient visitor the foreigner may be sure of
courteous and respectful treatment so long as he himself observes the
proprieties. The laws grant the foreigner rights as ample as in the
most advanced countries of the world.

The language of Santo Domingo is Spanish, and the comparative purity
with which it is spoken is remarkable when the long period of
isolation of the country and the extended duration of Haitian rule are
considered. In this particular Haiti offers a contrast, for though
French is the official language the mass of the people speak Creole
French, a patois unintelligible to anyone who has not lived in Haiti.
The Dominicans do not lisp the "c" as do the Spaniards, and other
peculiarities of Spanish as spoken in America are manifest, but on the
whole the difference between the Dominican's Spanish and the
Spaniard's Spanish may be compared to the difference between English
as spoken in the United States and as spoken in England. Like several
other Spanish-American nations the Dominicans are to be distinguished
by their preference for certain words and endings, and by their accent
and inflection. As everywhere else the unlettered classes are given to
grammatical faults and provincialisms, but on the whole the vocabulary
of the Dominican peasant contains fewer archaic expressions and Indian
roots than that of the Porto Rican "jibaro" and is more easily
understood by the outsider. Slight differences of pronunciation are
noticeable in different parts of the country: the people of Seibo are
inclined to use the vowel "i" instead of the consonant "r" and say
"poique" instead of "porque," somewhat as the New York street urchin
says "boid" for "bird"; the people of Santiago sometimes drop the "r"
entirely and say "poque," as the Southern negro in the United States
says "fo" for "four"; the peasants of Puerto Plata show a tendency to
use the "u" instead of "o" and say "tudu" instead of "todo," like some
of the inhabitants of Catalonia in Spain. The Azuans claim to speak
the best Spanish of the Republic, but their claim is disputed by other
provinces.

Besides Spanish, the English and French languages are heard to a
limited extent. On the Samana peninsula, where the descendants of
American negroes are in a majority, as much English is spoken as
Spanish, and in the coast towns, San Pedro de Macoris, Puerto Plata,
Monte Cristi and Santo Domingo, it is also often heard. In these
cities it is usually the singsong English of negroes from the British
colonies. Along the Haitian border and at the extremity of the Samana
peninsula, where a Haitian colony was planted by President Boyer, the
French language is spoken. On the wharf at Monte Cristi I have
encountered fruit-vendors from the interior who spoke no language
except Creole French. Some persons who have been born and bred on the
Samana peninsula know not a word of Spanish but only English. Many
members of the wealthier class of the Republic have studied or
traveled in Europe or the United States and speak one or more foreign
languages. In Puerto Plata I was surprised to hear a jet-black negro
speak German fluently; he had been educated in a commercial school in
Hamburg. The larger cities have their foreign colonies, consisting
principally of merchants, and most of the languages of Europe are
represented.

As a race the Dominicans are robust and sturdy. All the Dominican
presidents of late years have been men of commanding physique, fitting
representatives of their people. As far as industry is concerned the
average Dominican is little more laborious than absolutely necessary
to support himself and his family. Why should he do more when nature
has been so bountiful and when in the past any accumulated fruits of
his toil might have been swept away by the next revolution? The spirit
of the tropics pervades the country and the tendency not to do to-day
what can be conveniently left for "mañana" is constantly observed.

The Dominican women are as a rule graceful of body and fair of face,
with large and beautiful eyes. They make devoted wives and loving
mothers. The ladies of the better class are quite as susceptible to
the allurements of Parisian fashions as their American and European
cousins, and the scenes at balls and at evening promenades on the
plaza are very attractive. The heat of the climate makes a liberal use
of powder necessary, and it almost seems as if the darker the color of
the woman the greater is her fondness for powder, so that some of the
negresses assume an almost grayish hue. The Dominican woman is very
domestic, she rarely goes out except to church, to an occasional dance
or to the band concerts on the plaza. Before her marriage she is
carefully chaperoned and guarded; all courting takes place in the
presence of her mother or some other near relative.

Notwithstanding the large mixture of African blood and long isolation
of the Dominican race, the strong personality of the Spaniard has
survived unmodified and the population is to-day as thoroughly Spanish
in character, customs and mode of thinking as the people of Cuba and
Porto Rico. How completely the Spanish consciousness pervades the
country was illustrated by a remark made to an American naval officer
by the mayor of an inland town of Santo Domingo; he was a very black
negro, but in the course of a discussion observed: "Your arguments
will fit Anglo-Saxons, but _we Latins_ are a different people." The
first trait noticeable is the politeness of Dominicans of every
degree. Only once have I met a rude official and that by a curious
coincidence was the very first one with whom I had dealings, but after
this beginning there were no further exceptions to the rule. A
charming characteristic is the open-hearted hospitality everywhere
encountered. The stranger who is introduced in any home is immediately
assured in the customary Spanish way: "This is your house." The words,
though figuratively spoken, are sincere, and the hosts are glad to
have their new friend visit their house as though it were his own. As
companions the Dominicans are delightful, being generally jovial and
amiable. Some there are, especially among the country people, whose
natural reticence makes them seem sullen, but once the ice is broken
they are quite as light-hearted as the others.

In the idealistic tendency of their mind the Dominicans strongly show
their brotherhood with the other Spanish peoples. In this connection
the spirit of their renowned kinsman, Don Quixote de la Mancha, is
often in evidence. When one of them mounts his Rocinante in defense of
some particularly attractive abstract proposition, nothing less than a
blow from a windmill will bring him back to reality. And so when any
person or group of persons become enamored of an idea they are
unwilling to brook contradiction or compromise. The inclination of the
majority to do their will irrespective of the wishes of the minority
and the unwillingness of the minority to bow to the resolutions of the
majority have been and will continue to be grave problems in the
government of the country. Even in personal relations a spirit of
intolerance can frequently be noticed and while almost anything is
forgiven a friend, not a single redeeming feature is recognized in an
enemy. To their idealistic tendency may be ascribed the worship of the
words "patriotism" and "liberty." Unnumbered sins have been committed
under the cloak of patriotism, and true personal liberty, such as it
is understood in the United States, has never prevailed in Santo
Domingo; but the adoration of these conceptions continues and it is to
be hoped that now, with American assistance, it will bring real and
lasting liberty to the country. Perhaps it is their idealism, as much
as their isolation, which causes the Dominicans to take themselves so
very seriously and renders them so extremely sensitive to criticism or
jokes on the subject of their country, customs or revolutions.

Foreigners sometimes complain that the affirmations of Dominicans
cannot be trusted. In many cases investigation has shown that these
foreigners were misled with regard to some mine, woodland or other
property they had come to buy. Persons anxious to sell mines and other
undeveloped properties have not distinguished themselves for veracity
in any country, and with regard to sincerity in general the Dominicans
may be regarded as no better but certainly no worse than the general
run of humanity. With their personal friends they are generally loyal
and true, but in their political relations the picture is not so
attractive; for while there have been many cases where subordinates
have followed their fallen chief into exile rather than submit to the
victor, it is saddening to note the frequency with which governors of
provinces and other local authorities have betrayed the confidence
reposed in them by the chief executive, and have initiated or joined
revolutionary uprisings. I have heard both ex-President Jimenez and
ex-President Morales sorrowfully complain that their fall was due to
the treachery of trusted subordinates. A particularly repulsive case
of perfidiousness was that of General Luis Felipe Vidal, a prominent
politician, who participated in the murder of President Caceres,
though he had only a few hours before visited the President, played
billiards with him and fondled his infant daughter.

Of all amusements there is none which appeals so strongly to every
class of the population as dancing. Every public holiday is an excuse
for the giving of a "baile" or dance, and when holidays are scarce the
"baile" is arranged anyhow. So, while elsewhere special occasions are
celebrated by banquets, here the rule is to give a dance. Historical
anniversaries, political triumphs, religious holidays, weddings,
birthdays, christenings: all are celebrated by dances. Waltz music is
popular but the favorite dance music is the pretty Porto Rican
"danza," which is kin to Mexican airs and to the Cuban "guaracha" and
may be compared to a flowing brook, now gliding along serenely, now
rushing in cascades. The dances are often interrupted by the serving
of sweets and ices.

In the country the dance music is quite different. A rhythmic beating
is kept up on a drum made of a barrel or hollow log and rude fiddles
or guitars or an accordion play an accompaniment. To the traveler,
riding along his road at night, the deep regular rumbling of the drums
of distant "bailes" comes with indescribable weirdness. In some dances
the participants engage in a monotonous chant, in others there are
pauses in which the young men must quickly improvise verses on some
subject suggested by one of the lassies. In the cities the dances
begin at ten o'clock at night and last until the wee hours of morning,
but in the country they begin at almost any time and occasionally last
two or three days--especially during the Christmas holidays.

These country dances with drum accompaniment are similar to those
popular among the negroes in Porto Rico and are probably an African
legacy. But, like Porto Rico, the Dominican Republic is absolutely
free from the practise of those barbarous negro rites, of which dances
like these often form part, and which are known in Haiti under the
name of "voudou," in Cuba under that of "witchcraft" and in the
British West Indies under that of "obeah," and which sometimes lead
even to human sacrifices. This is all the more remarkable in Santo
Domingo as the adjoining Republic of Haiti has been the worst sufferer
from such practices.

The country dances are occasionally the scenes of violent personal
altercations. While drunkenness is very rare and a drunkard is
regarded almost as a social outcast, the countrymen are fond of
regaling themselves with rum made of cane juice, and at dances where
such rum is served it is not infrequent for some one to become unduly
excited. If he happened to meet another in the same condition and a
controversy arose with reference to some dusky damsel, a frequent
unfortunate outcome was, until lately, for both to draw revolvers and
blaze away at each other and if ejected from the house to stand nearby
and fire through the wooden walls. In Porto Rico such affairs are
decided with the machete and only the immediate combatants are hurt,
but revolver bullets are more dangerous to the innocent bystander than
to those doing the shooting. In Macoris I was told of a dance where
the casualties were fifteen killed--more than in the average
revolution. Yet so deep-seated is the fondness for dancing that after
the smoke has cleared away and the dead or wounded victim been
removed, it has often happened that the ladies dried their tears and
men and women continued with the "baile."

Up to the time of American intervention in 1916, the practise of
carrying weapons was general. In the country a man strapped on his
pistol or carried his gun as he would in other countries put on his
necktie or take up his cane. At the railroad stations in the Cibao I
have sometimes observed everyone congregated about the station wearing
a revolver more or less visible, except two or three, evidently the
poorest farm-laborers, who could not afford anything more than a dirk
and who gazed at the others with envious eyes. Beautiful pearl-handled
revolvers were proudly exhibited to the public eye, and on one
occasion I saw a little boy not over ten years old with a revolver
that reached to his knee. The habit was all the more indefensible as
it was absolutely unnecessary, Santo Domingo being as safe a country
to travel in as any other. Governors of provinces sometimes forbade
the carrying of arms, but the prohibition was rarely enforced with
reference to their friends and adherents. The American authorities
have put a stop to the habit, however, and confiscated all the arms
they could find; some 15,000 rifles and revolvers have thus been
taken up.

After all, the average Dominican will resent a shot less than a blow.
A story is told of a prominent youth in the capital who received a
slap during a quarrel; the aggressor fled, but the young man kept
holding his handkerchief to his cheek for days until he met his
assailant and was able to wipe out the insult in blood.

Only in the larger towns are there facilities for the gratification of
the popular fondness for theatrical performances. Puerto Plata has a
pretty theatre. In Santo Domingo City the ancient Jesuit church, long
abandoned, was converted into a theater, the stage being located
where the altar formerly stood, the boxes occupying the aisles, and
the chairs of the audience being arranged in the nave; but a new
open-air theatre, the "Teatro Independencia," is more commodious. The
Spanish drama is popular, as well as the delightful Spanish "zarzuela"
or musical comedy. Owing to the isolation of the country it is not
often visited by good professional troupes, and the interior is
entirely dependent upon amateur talent.

In social life the clubs are prominent features. A town must be
unimportant indeed if it has not at least one club where the men can
meet, read the papers and play cards or billiards. The first attention
shown the stranger within the gates is to take him to the club and
enroll him as a visitor, this action being equivalent to a general
local introduction. The clubs give pleasant musical and literary
entertainments and dances attended by the best local society. In Santo
Domingo, Puerto Plata and Santiago the ladies have a club of their own
where they can meet and chat to their hearts' content. Needless to say
the most popular entertainments and dances are those given by the
"Club de Damas." All these clubs have been of great value in the
social development of the country and many of them have given
important impulses to education.

Another valuable contribution to civic development is rendered by the
municipal bands existing in many towns. They are voluntary
associations and tend to awaken in the inhabitants an interest and
pride in their city. On Sunday night and sometimes on other nights
during the week they play on the plaza, while the people, following
the usual custom in the Spanish cities, promenade up and down. Such
scenes are very attractive, the ladies, dressed in their best, with
their light gowns brilliant in the moonlight; the men walking with
them or watching the promenaders. It is on the plaza and in the
ball-room where Cupid's arrows do most execution.

Of late years some interest has been shown in athletics, and baseball
has invaded the island. Bicycle races occasionally form part of public
celebrations, and horse-races and tournaments have long been popular.

Santo Domingo may be said to have two carnivals, one on St. Andrew's
day, November 30, the other during the three days preceding Lent. The
former is the more exciting. Until recent years there was not a person
in the capital and Santiago, where the populace was most given to the
typical diversion of the day, who did not voluntarily or involuntarily
participate therein. The diversion consisted in throwing water or
flour or both on everyone within reach. The poorer people would arm
themselves with great syringes and discharge them at every passerby or
through the keyholes of house-doors. Others would station themselves
at points of vantage with barrels and tubs of water and duck the
unwary they were able to entrap. People of the better class would
place great tubs of water on their balconies or roofs, which the
servants would assiduously keep filled while their masters emptied
buckets-full on friends in the street. The young men rode through the
streets in open carriages, bombarding the ladies on balconies and
housetops with eggs filled with perfumed water, and receiving
drenchings in return. Within the last few years the authorities have
restricted or prohibited the throwing of water, and the principal
celebration of the day is now what is called a "white dance" given by
the better society, at which the participants are supposed to come
dressed in white in order that the many-colored confetti, serpentines
and gilt powders which those present throw at each other between
dances, may appear to better effect. During the carnival proper,
before Lent, the streets are filled with masked persons in groups or
alone, who dance, make impudent remarks or otherwise indulge in
nonsense, to the special delight of the ubiquitous small boy. The
better class celebrate with masquerade balls, where the merry spirit
of the Dominican is given free rein.

The principal vice of the country is gaming. Men of the better class
play cards, dominoes, chess, checkers and billiards, for money, but
they do so rather for pastime than for gain. Among the poorer classes,
however, the predominant idea is that of making money quickly. Cards
and dice are often used, but the typical form of gambling, the one at
which the poor countryman is fondest of staking his hard-earned wages,
is the cockfight. Every town has its cockpit where on Sundays and
holidays the barbarous sport is carried on in the presence of crowds
of whooping, screaming spectators who often ride miles to attend. The
authorities claim that efforts have been made to stop this sport, but
that they have all been unavailing. It constitutes a source of
municipal income, the right to open cockpits being annually conceded
to the highest bidder by the various municipalities. Raffles and
lotteries are also permitted by law, being subject to taxation by the
municipalities, and in one or two cities there are municipal
lotteries.

With respect to morality the same conditions may be said to prevail in
Santo Domingo as in other southern countries, the women being in
general virtuous and pure and the men inclined to amorous intrigues.
The official statistics relating to marriages and births show that of
the children born in the Republic almost sixty per cent are
illegitimate. These figures, while serious, are rendered less alarming
than would appear at first sight by the large number of what the
census-takers term "consensual unions" among the humbler classes, or
cases where a man and woman, though not united by marriage ceremony,
live together publicly as man and wife, rear a family and are as
faithful to each other as if they were legitimately married. "Married
but not parsoned" is the way in which such unions are referred to in
some of the British West Indies. The considerable number of these
unions may be explained by the high cost of the marriage
ceremony,--for while there are some priests ready to waive their fees
for a religious wedding and some alcaldes who are satisfied with what
the law allows for the civil ceremony, others are not so
complaisant--also by the fact that such unions have become so common
that the parties see nothing wrong in them, and further by the
circumstance that the parties often believe it more to their advantage
to remain single rather than to be married. A friend of mine had a
respectable colored man working on his plantation, the head of a large
family, but not married to the woman with whom he had been living for
over a score of years and to whom he was devotedly attached. My friend
endeavored to persuade him to marry the woman, but the answer was a
determined negative. "If I marry her she will know I have to support
her and she may get careless and lazy. Knowing that I can leave her
when I like she will continue to behave herself." Persuasion was then
tried with his wife and her refusal was almost identical: "If I marry
him he will know that I am bound to him and then he may go and fall in
love with some other woman. Knowing that I can leave him when I like
he will continue to behave himself."

The homes of the poorer people are mere huts generally built of
palmwood and covered with palm-thatch. The houses of the country
people are exactly like the "bohios" used by the Indians at the time
of the conquest, as pictured and described by the early writers. In
the towns outside of the capital wooden houses are the rule and some
of the wealthier people have pretty chalets. In the large cities there
is a good deal of "mampostería" construction: brick or stone work,
covered with cement. In the capital the walls of a majority of the
houses have come down from the early days and are of great
solidity--here a man's house is literally his fortress. The barred
windows of the olden days are here still to be seen. One-story
structures are the rule, and there are few if any of more than two
stories. The heat of the climate makes window-glass impracticable and
the windows and doors are fitted with shutters which permit the air to
pass through. Except in the houses of the wealthiest persons the
furniture is very simple and of small amount. In the parlors a
caneseat sofa, several rockers and chairs and a small table with a few
knicknacks are arranged everywhere in the same way. The bedsteads are
of iron and the bedroom furniture is reduced to the simplest articles.
The floors are bare except for a few rugs. The climate is responsible
for the simplicity of the furniture, as carpets would breed insects,
and more furniture would mean endless cleaning and dusting, since
everything must be open all day. The kitchens are not furnished with
iron stoves, but cooking is done on brick hearths, as in Cuba and
Porto Rico. The most serious drawback about Dominican houses is the
want of proper bathing facilities and of sanitary closets, due to lack
of running water in most cities. The most attractive feature of the
houses is the patio, or yard, which is often gay with flowers, though
not so assiduously cared for as in some other Spanish countries. In
similarity to other tropical lands home life is not nearly so intense
as in colder climates.



CHAPTER XII


RELIGION

Catholic religion.--Concordat.--Ownership of church
buildings.--Clergy.--Religious sentiment.--Shrines.--Religious customs
and holidays.--Religious toleration.--Protestant sects.

The Roman Catholic creed has been the dominant religion of Santo
Domingo from the time of the conquest. When Columbus arrived on his
second voyage he brought with him twelve friars, some of whom were as
holy men as their leader, the vindictive Father Boil, was a nuisance.
Others were not long in arriving and soon the country had as many
priests in proportion as Spain herself. Large estates came into
possession of the church, and in the city of Santo Domingo imposing
churches and spacious cloisters were erected, which still stand,
either in ruins or used for religious or secular purposes. There were
three monasteries, two nunneries, and some ten churches and chapels in
the capital.

As early as 1511 bishops were appointed for Santo Domingo and
Concepcion de la Vega and in 1547 the first archbishopric in the new
world was established in Santo Domingo City. From 1516 to 1519 the
island was governed directly by three friars, and the licentiate
Alonso de Fuenmayor, who governed thirty years later, was not only
governor and captain-general of the island, and president of the royal
audiencia, but archbishop of Santo Domingo as well. The Inquisition
was established in Santo Domingo in 1564.

With the decline of the colony the number of churchmen declined also,
and by the middle of the seventeenth century the majority of the
church buildings were closed and falling to ruin and the church's vast
country estates were abandoned. The revival of the country during the
eighteenth century affected the church as well, but the occupation by
Haitians and French during the beginning of the nineteenth century
caused its influence to wane, and restrictive legislation under
Haitian dominion and the expulsion of the archbishop for political
reasons in 1830, severed all connection with Rome for many years. The
first archbishop appointed after the independence of the Republic was
consecrated in 1848.

The Roman Catholic religion is now the recognized state religion. In
1884 the Dominican government entered into an agreement with the Holy
See according to the terms of which the archbishop of Santo Domingo is
to be appointed by the Pope from a list of three names, native
Dominicans or residents of the Republic, submitted by the Dominican
Congress, which in turn engaged to pay the salary of the archbishop
and certain other officials. The agreement as to the payments
incumbent upon the Dominican government had the same fate as other
financial contracts: it was observed for a short time and then
disregarded, so that for years only small appropriations have been
made for church purposes.

In the year 1908 a controversy arose with reference to the ownership
of the buildings and lands occupied by the church. The archbishop and
church officials claimed that such buildings belong to the church
absolutely; while the government officials alleged that they are the
property of the state, possessed by the church with the state's
consent. Previously few persons had ever given a thought to the
matter, the church having as many buildings as it could properly care
for, and more, while other former religious edifices were used by the
state. Contributions for the erection and repair of churches were
frequently made by Dominican towns without exciting discussion. The
controversy of 1908 was precipitated by the determination of the
church authorities to erect a mausoleum in the cathedral of Santo
Domingo City for the remains of the late Archbishop Meriño. The
Executive of Santo Domingo demanded that the government's permission
be first obtained, but the church officials refused to ask for such
permission, holding it unnecessary. Neither side lacked historical
grounds for its contention. In the old colonial days church and state
were united and the questions of ownership of the church buildings
never arose. When the Haitians assumed control in 1822 they considered
the church edifices as the property of the state alone and religious
services continued only by sufferance of the government. Upon the
establishment of the independence of Santo Domingo, the new
government, although friendly towards the Catholic Church, took a
similar view of the ownership of church edifices and property. By law
of June 7, 1845, of the Dominican Congress, all "censos" and other
perpetual rents established in favor of the church were declared
extinguished and by law of July 2, 1845, all property, real and
personal, formerly belonging to convents and orders no longer in being
in the country was formally proclaimed to pertain to the state. In
1853 burials in churches were prohibited by law of Congress as being
dangerous to the public health, but in exceptional cases the Executive
granted permission therefor on the payment of a fee which of late
years has been $300. On the other hand, it was argued that the church
has been in uninterrupted possession of its present buildings for
centuries; that these buildings are not comprised in the laws of
1845; that a law of 1867 granting the gardens of the archbishop's
residence to the municipality of Santo Domingo for the establishment
of a market and cockpit was repealed in 1871 as being a despoilment of
the church and unconstitutional; and that when the mausoleum of
Columbus was erected in the cathedral the committee in charge,
presided over by the vice-president of the Republic, applied for
permission to the authorities of the church. The dispute regarding the
mausoleum of Archbishop Meriño came to an end when the government
receded from its demand, but the main question is not regarded
as settled.

At the present time the Republic is divided into fifty-seven parishes.
The episcopal head is the Archbishop of Santo Domingo. In 1903, when
old age had enfeebled Archbishop Meriño, one of his assistants,
Monsignor Adolfo Nouel, was made titular Archbishop of Metymne, and on
the death of the venerable churchman in 1906 succeeded him as
Archbishop of Santo Domingo.

In the olden days many religious orders were represented in the
island, but to-day the clergy is secular, with the exception of a few
friars brought over in recent years from Spain and France. The
majority of the priests are native Dominicans, graduated from the
seminary in the capital. There are in the clerical body a number of
black sheep, far too fond of the pleasures of the flesh. Of this stamp
was a noted prelate, of whom I was told when I asked whether he was
old: "Yes, quite old, his oldest son is over forty." As a general
rule, however, the priests of Santo Domingo are earnest, hardworking,
honorable men. The standard is being raised through the efforts of the
present Archbishop Nouel.

The unfortunate political history of the country has not been
conducive to the establishment of eleemosynary institutions or to
other philanthropic activity, and such work has devolved almost
exclusively upon the priests. The names of many of these are held in
grateful remembrance for their efforts in behalf of charity. Perhaps
the most celebrated was Father Billini, who, a member of one of the
foremost families of Santo Domingo, consecrated his life to helping
his fellowmen. He was a father to the poor and through his efforts the
insane asylum of Santo Domingo, an orphan asylum and a college were
established. His name became notable in other directions also, for he
was instrumental in the discovery of the remains of Columbus in the
Santo Domingo cathedral in 1877. At times the methods of the good
father were a little spectacular: thus on one occasion when
supplicating Heureaux in behalf of several prisoners sentenced to
death, he took off his hat and vowed he would not put it on again
until the prisoners were pardoned, but the order of execution was
carried out and ever afterwards Father Billini went hatless. In so
great esteem is his name held that the only statue in Santo Domingo
City, besides that of Columbus on the plaza, is erected to his memory.

Practically the entire population of the country is at least nominally
Roman Catholic. Among the educated classes in the cities the women, as
a rule, are devout; the men either openly acknowledge themselves free
thinkers or their religion is very superficial indeed. On one occasion
a Dominican earnestly assured me he was a Catholic and would always
remain one, "but," he added, "I cannot accept all the doctrines of the
church: thus I do not believe in the Virgin Mary, nor the saints, nor
the power of the priests to forgive sins, nor in the divinity of
Christ, but I feel almost certain of the existence of a God." The
fondness for display makes the ornate ceremonies of the Catholic
Church popular with all, however, and they are observed by officers of
the state whenever possible. The president always goes to mass after
taking the oath of office, and the army flags are solemnly blessed.

The less educated people of the cities and most of the country people
not only hold their priests in great respect, but are blindly
superstitious. It is common to find crosses in the courtyards of
country houses, placed there to keep evil spirits away. Frequently
also, three crosses are seen in conspicuous places near the roadside
or even in the middle of the road. They are supposed to propitiate the
Almighty, and pious persons mumble prayers as they pass them. When the
destruction wrought by the Martinique volcano became known here, the
dismay of the countrymen was responsible for more than one "calvario"
(calvary), as these collections of crosses are called. It is
especially desired by the country people to receive the last
sacraments from the priests before death. On one occasion far out in
the country I met a crowd of people engaged in transporting a dying
man many miles to the priest in the nearest town. When asked why the
priest was not called to the sick man, they explained innocently: "He
couldn't come. The priest is too fat."

There are in the territory of the Republic several shrines of more
than usual renown, which at certain seasons of the year attract crowds
of worshipers, some coming all the way from Porto Rico. Wonderful
cures of invalids are registered which recall the miracles of Lourdes.
The most celebrated of these churches is the one on the Santo Cerro,
the Holy Hill, built on the exact spot where forces of Columbus
planted their cross when defending the hill against the Indians. After
the Indians had stormed the place all their efforts to destroy the
cross were unavailing, so the story goes, and they were finally driven
to precipitate flight by the apparition of the Virgin, sitting on the
cross. A church was founded on the spot and a convent near by. During
the dark years of the colony the convent was abandoned and fell to
ruin but at no time was a priest lacking to look after the site of the
miracle. In the time of Heureaux the humble wooden chapel then
crowning the hill was replaced by a larger but modest brick church,
the greater part of the bricks being carried up from the ruins of the
old city of La Vega which lie at the foot of the hill. The church
occupies an eminence overlooking the great Royal Plain. Its most
prized treasure, which is reverently kissed by the priest before he
shows it to the stranger, consists of two splinters about an inch
long, of black wood, parts of the original cross of Columbus, enclosed
in another small cross of gold filigree work. A larger piece of the
original cross is kept in the cathedral at Santo Domingo City, to be
exhibited on special occasions. The pieces of the original cross
carried away by the Spaniards were enough to make a score of crosses,
yet nevertheless there was always some wood left, which circumstance
was heralded as an additional miracle.

Within the church on the Holy Hill, in one of the chapels, there is a
hole in the stone floor a little over two feet square and deep, which
is pointed out as the exact place where the cross of Columbus stood.
There is nothing so coveted by pilgrims as to be able to kneel in this
hole and offer up their prayers. The soil from this spot is credited
with strange powers, such as that of healing wounds on which it is
laid, and that of causing floods to subside, when sprinkled on the
troubled waters. The late Archbishop Meriño assured me that the
miraculous nature of the spot is evidenced by the fact that however
much soil is taken out of the hole, the bottom thereof always retains
the same level, but my later inspection of the dry yellow earth at the
bottom disclosed nothing unusual. Near the Santo Cerro church is the
trunk of the nispero tree, gnarled with age, from which Columbus is
said to have cut the wood for his cross. All around are miserable
shacks, inhabited, so the pure-minded priest of the church sorrowfully
told me, by people the conduct of many of whom is quite at variance
with the holiness supposed to pervade the place.

The town of Bayaguana, to the northeast of Santo Domingo City, also
attracts the faithful, especially about the first of the year, by
reason of the fame of the "Cristo de Bayaguana," a very ancient figure
of Christ in the church of that town. In the same way Higuey in the
eastern part of the island is specially noted for its shrine of the
"Altagracia," a picture of the Virgin, of which tradition says that in
the early days of the colony it was given by an aged mysterious
stranger to the father of a devout maiden who had pined therefor. The
church is built on the site of an orange tree under which, it is said,
the picture was first admired by the girl and her relatives; the trunk
of this tree is shown behind the altar of the church. Pilgrimages to
this place take place preferably about the twenty-first of January and
the miracles ascribed to the Virgin are astounding. Miracles of quite
a different nature are attributed to an image of Saint Andrew, in the
capital. The populace confidently believe that as sure as this figure
is carried to the street an earthquake will follow.

There are always several altars in the churches, surmounted by figures
of the saints to whom they are dedicated. Some of these statues are
quite beautiful, others, in some of the poorer churches, are hideous.
As in other Spanish countries the churches are bare of seats, and
people who attend either send small chairs before the service, or
stand. It is not unusual to see well dressed ladies carrying their
chairs to church. Women are much more in evidence than men, and the
Dominican woman is not different from her sisters in other countries,
for a new hat or dress is apt to awaken in her an irresistible
yearning to go to church. Young men are fond of attending, too, but it
is to be feared that in many cases their object is to see the young
ladies rather than to hear the sermon.

The custom of celebrating the saint's day instead of the birthday is
followed, so that birthdays pass unperceived while the day dedicated
in the calendar of the Catholic Church to the saint whose name a
person bears, is the day which he celebrates and on which he receives
the felicitations of his friends.

Christmas tide is not a time when presents are exchanged, and
Christmas trees are not found, save rarely and where the foreign
influence is strong. There is no lack of celebration, however. On
Christmas Eve the churches are crowded and there are banquets and
dances going on everywhere. In the cities the small boys amuse
themselves by setting off fireworks. During the Christmas week dances
are frequent, and in the country they continue sometimes for days to
the lugubrious accompaniment of accordions and large drums. December
the twenty-eighth, Holy Innocents' day, is All Fools' day, instead of
April the first, it being argued that just as the innocents of Herod's
day were made to suffer, so the innocents of this age should be
persecuted. Many are the pranks perpetrated and the small boy is in
his glory. On New Year's Eve many families receive their friends;
there is generally some large ball, and the new year is ushered in
with fireworks and other noises.

The great day of the year for the children is the sixth of January,
the feast of Epiphany, or Three Kings' Day, as it is called in Santo
Domingo. Just as the three wise men from the East brought presents to
the infant Christ in ages past, so they now make the rounds and leave
presents for deserving children, thus taking the place of our Santa
Claus. The receptacles they choose for the good things they deliver
are either the children's slippers or shoes, or boxes made ready by
the little ones. For weeks before the anxiously awaited day, letters
are written to the Kings, explaining what gifts would be acceptable,
and are given to the parents who undertake to deliver them. The
children are careful to facilitate the display of the Kings'
generosity by placing their shoes or boxes in conspicuous places and
filling the boxes with grass, so that the horses of the Kings can eat.
Their thoughtfulness is rewarded, for on the following morning the
visit of the Kings is attested by indubitable evidence, as there is an
abundance of toys and sweets and the grass is often quite strewn
about. Excited little ones are sure they heard the pawing of the
horses on the balcony. The Kings usually show a magnanimous disregard
of past offenses, but occasionally they leave a letter of advice or
warning, and they have even been known to place a switch in the box of
a particularly bad boy.

Easter is celebrated with great solemnity. In order to provide
opportunity for observing all the ceremonies prescribed by the church,
they are so arranged that the ceremonies corresponding to the
commemoration of the death of Christ are begun on Thursday at noon and
the celebration of the resurrection on Saturday at noon, and this is
the order of dates accepted by the people in general. On Thursday and
Friday soldiers form a guard of honor before the churches, and up to
Easter of 1906 there was a strict prohibition of any vehicle going
through the streets between Thursday noon and Saturday noon. Not a
wheel was permitted to turn in this period, giving rise to much
inconvenience and discomfort. Since 1906 a more liberal view has
prevailed. At this time as on certain other church festivals, solemn
religious processions wind through the streets.

The church has charge of several small hospitals and orphan asylums. A
few schools in the Republic are also under its auspices, but in
general religious education is much neglected.

Although the Catholic religion is the state religion and is professed
by so large a majority of the population, the influence of the church
in the government is no more than in many countries where no such
circumstances prevail. Discipline in the priesthood is limited almost
entirely to ecclesiastical matters and priests otherwise speak and act
for themselves. They frequently participate in politics and are often
to be met in municipal councils and in Congress, and in such cases
their acts indicate that they sit, not as priests representing the
church, but entirely as individuals representing the constituency from
which they were elected. Father Meriño, who later became archbishop,
was elected president and served out his term. President Morales had
been a priest, but had abandoned the priesthood when he was elected to
Congress. The present head of the church, Archbishop Nouel, has also
been president, under a temporary compromise.

Another peculiarity of Dominican Catholicism is its tolerant attitude
towards freemasonry. It is not unusual for persons who are recognized
as fervent Catholics to be at the same time enthusiastic masons.
There are instances even of devout families, where one of the sons
belongs to the priesthood and the other sons and the father are
zealous masons, but where all live under the same roof in absolute
concord. The first lodges were founded in 1858 and there are lodges to
be found to-day in all the principal cities. Several of them have
their own buildings, that at Santiago being especially worthy of
remark. They have done excellent work in behalf of charity and
education. The lodges of Santo Domingo City, Santiago, La Vega and
Moca maintain free public schools, and the lodge of Puerto Plata a
hospital. The lodges of oddfellows in the Republic have done similar
good work.

The absence of religious fanaticism is further exemplified by the
tolerance accorded other religious sects. These, it is true, are but
slimly represented. Of the Jewish faith there are probably not two
dozen persons in the Republic. The Protestants are almost entirely
negroes from the British and former Danish islands and other
foreigners, and descendants of the American negroes settled in Santo
Domingo. For these the Wesleyan Methodist Church of England maintains
a flourishing mission with chapels in Puerto Plata, Samana, and
Sanchez and a small branch in Santo Domingo City. The principal chapel
is in Puerto Plata, which is also the residence of the minister in
charge of the mission. The African Methodist Church also has small
stations at Samana and San Pedro de Macoris, though the word "African"
does not tend to make the church popular in Santo Domingo. There is
further an almost abandoned Baptist mission in Puerto Plata and Monte
Cristi. In all these churches, services are generally carried on in
the English language alone. In San Francisco de Macoris, Protestant
services are conducted in Spanish by devotees who do not seem to be
ordained by any particular sect.



CHAPTER XIII


EDUCATION AND LITERATURE

Education in Spanish times.--Work of Hostos.--School
organization.--Professional institute.--Primary and secondary
education.--Literacy.--Libraries.--Newspapers.--Literature.--Fine Arts.


As in other Spanish colonies, it was not the policy of the Spanish
government in Santo Domingo to foster popular education. Learning was
confined to the clergy and the aristocracy and was imparted only by
servants of the church. As early as 1538, the Dominican friars
obtained a papal bull for the establishment of a university, and in
1558 the institution known as the University of St. Thomas of Aquino
was inaugurated by them in Santo Domingo City, with faculties of
medicine, philosophy, theology and law, the principal branch being
theology. This university acquired considerable celebrity, but
practically disappeared during the colony's decline, being revived by
royal decree of May 26, 1747, which gave it the title of Royal and
Pontifical University of Santo Domingo. The cession of the island to
France and the wars which followed weakened the famous institution,
which was definitely closed by the Haitians when they assumed control
of the government. The Haitian occupation and the civil disorders of
the first forty years of the Republic were not propitious for the
spreading of education. Beyond a theological seminary founded in 1848,
there were only a few humble public and private schools, leading a
precarious existence.  An eminent Porto Rican educator, Eugenio M. de
Hostos, was responsible for the intellectual renaissance of Santo
Domingo. This remarkable man was one of those talented dreamers
produced by Latin-America, a lover of the abstract ideal in
government, philosophy and pedagogy, erudite, eloquent, with an
enthusiasm which fired his pupils and hearers. Early in life he
conceived the idea which he preached unceasingly: that of a
Confederated West Indian Republic, in which the principal states were
to be Cuba, Santo Domingo and Porto Rico. Inspired by the Cuban war of
independence of 1868 to 1878, he wrote and spoke throughout Spanish
America in behalf of the union of the Spanish speaking peoples of the
West Indies, the first step to that end to be the independence of
Cuba. In 1880 he arrived for the third time in Santo Domingo, where he
was then less known than in South America. Having obtained from the
government a commission to found normal schools in the Republic, he
was appointed director of the normal school of Santo Domingo City. He
came as the right man at the right time. His teachings touched a
responsive chord in the hearts of the Dominicans; his unsparing
condemnation of old pedagogical methods and eager advocacy of new ones
gave rise to discussions which awakened a general interest in
education and letters; and his aggressive enthusiasm smote the rock
which held Dominican literature bound. A prominent Dominican
historian, Americo Lugo, says: "I believe that what may be called
national literature does not begin until after the arrival in the
Republic of the eminent educator Eugenio M. de Hostos."

Hostos labored in Santo Domingo for eight years, during which time he
had as pupils many who have since become prominent in the councils of
the Republic. The baneful policies of Heureaux forced his departure,
and he settled in Chile with his family, being appointed professor of
constitutional law at the National University. Upon the conclusion of
the Spanish-American war, when it became apparent that Porto Rico
would be American and his ideal of an Antillan Confederation
definitely shattered, he journeyed to Washington to labor in behalf of
Porto Rico, returning later to his native island in the hope of
uniting the Porto Ricans in a demand for autonomy. There political
passion ran high, and Hostos, disappointed, went back to Santo
Domingo, where his entry was almost triumphal. He again assumed charge
of public education though the civil disorders filled him with
sadness. In 1903 he died in Santo Domingo, but the seed he sowed lives
and flourishes and his memory is revered by Dominicans.

In 1884 a general school law was passed, repeatedly modified since,
according to which primary instruction is a charge upon the
municipality, while the cost of secondary instruction is to be
defrayed by the state. Supreme inspection over educational matters was
given to the Minister of Justice and Public Instruction, who was
assisted by a superior board of education with school inspectors in
the various provinces. There were further special boards of education
in each province, presided over by the governor, and school boards in
the communes which are not capitals of provinces and in the cantons.
Owing to the difficulty of finding competent personnel, the inspection
of the educational institutions has generally been perfunctory and the
teachers have done pretty much as they pleased. Unfortunately the
financial limitations of the country have not permitted the
development of the schools in the measure desired. Since the middle of
1917 numerous changes in the school system and curriculum have been
decreed by the Department of Public Instruction and the system is
undergoing a general reorganization.

In 1882 a "Professional Institute" was founded, the name of which was
in 1914 changed to "University of Santo Domingo," and it is now called
the Central University of Santo Domingo. It occupies the same building
in the capital, adjoining the church of St. Dominic, where the old
university was located. It confers degrees in five branches: law,
medicine, pharmacy, dental surgery and mathematics and surveying.
Practically all the lawyers of the Republic have graduated from this
school. Most of the native pharmacists, also, have studied here. With
reference to instruction in medicine and surgery, and in dentistry,
the institution is handicapped by the lack of a suitable hospital and
clinic. As a result those who wish to adopt any of these professions
pursue their studies abroad, if possible, and all the best known
physicians are graduates of foreign universities. The entire annual
appropriation for the University is only about $24,000. A similar
institution, on a smaller scale, is the Professional Institute of
Santiago, founded in 1916. In several cities there are high schools
called normal schools, and other institutions called superior schools,
and the capital has an academy of drawing, painting and sculpture.

With the exception of a few private schools, primary education is in
the hands of the municipalities, which are assisted by small
subventions from the national government. In the municipalities there
is more enthusiasm for education than in Congress, if we judge from
the figures presented by the budgets. Every little town takes pride in
making its budget for education as large as possible, year after year.
The total amount spent for educational purposes, however, including
salaries, rent, supplies, subventions and teachers' pensions, is only
in the neighborhood of $500,000, contributed about in equal shares by
the state and the municipalities.

The total number of scholars enrolled is only about 20,000. The
schools are generally located in rented houses, there being no
buildings erected expressly for school purposes. Their equipment is as
a rule deficient. The teaching force is handicapped by lack of
facilities and training. The salaries of the elementary teachers are
very small, and while some municipalities are prompt in their
payments, others lag far behind, and the Spanish saying "as hungry as
a schoolmaster" has not lost all its meaning.

If the amounts expended for education are not large, it is due to lack
of money and not to lack of realization of the advantages of learning.
The interest manifested in education and the eagerness of parents to
furnish their children as much schooling as possible, are among the
most hopeful signs for the future. In the towns and villages where the
schools are located, most children learn at least to read and write,
but out in the country illiteracy and ignorance reign supreme. In the
absence of statistics it is not possible to determine the proportion
of illiterates; there is no doubt, however, that it is very large, and
I have heard it estimated at all the way from seventy to ninety per
cent of the population over ten years of age.

Some of the best schools are private institutions, one of the best
known being the institute for girls and young ladies, founded by Santo
Domingo's foremost woman poet, Salomé Ureña de Henriquez. It is the
custom also for well-to-do families to send their children abroad for
study and to travel themselves, and the Dominicans are not few who,
besides their native Spanish, speak other languages, acquired abroad.
Within the country, too, there is a predilection among the upper class
for the study of foreign tongues, and many learn English and French in
the family circle or by association with persons speaking these
languages.

As a result of the educational limitations, the population of the
country may be divided into three groups: first, a number of persons,
small in comparison with the whole number of inhabitants, who compare
in culture, education and accomplishments with members of the best
society in any country; second, a much larger group of persons who
possess knowledge more or less rudimentary; and third, the great
majority of the inhabitants, who are unlettered and unlearned.

One obstacle to the spread of information is the lack of public
libraries. There is a public library in Puerto Plata, and various
clubs in the larger towns have libraries, for their members or the
public, but they are all very small and limited. The newspapers,
therefore, furnish the only source of reading for the majority.
Practically all the papers are published in the cities of Santo
Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata, and all are of modest dimensions.
Many newspapers have been founded in the Republic and after leading an
ephemeral existence have succumbed, some because their editors were
persuaded by threats or rewards on the part of the government to cease
publication, and the greater portion because of financial
embarrassment. Notwithstanding the constitutional precept guaranteeing
free speech, editors of the opposition have generally found it more
healthy to withdraw to the neighboring countries and conduct their
campaigns at long range. On the other hand, it must be said that
several governments have honestly endeavored to allow the press full
liberty, but that the privilege has always been abused. The principal
daily newspaper of the Republic, and the one having the largest
circulation is the "Listin Diario" of Santo Domingo. It is a four-page
sheet and its daily edition is about 10,000 copies. It is the only
paper having a cable service, and it receives its cablegrams from the
French cable company, whose line crosses the island. It is also one of
the oldest of the existing newspapers, having been founded in 1889,
and maintained itself by constantly observing a prudent attitude. In
the capital there also appear the "Gaceta Oficial," in which the laws
and governmental decisions and announcements are published; the
"Boletín Municipal," containing municipal announcements; several
reviews whose character is indicated by their title: "Revista Médica,"
"Revista de Agricultura," "Revista Judicial," "Boletín Masónico"; two
small humorous papers; two commercial sheets; an illustrated paper,
"Blanco y Negro," and a well-known literary monthly, "Cuna de América"
(Cradle of America). Santiago also boasts a daily paper, "El Diario,"
as also several smaller papers and literary periodicals. In Puerto
Plata "El Porvenir," the oldest of existing Dominican newspapers, is
published, as well as three less important sheets.

Especially interesting among these publications are the "Cuna de
América" and others devoted to belles-lettres. They constitute a
reflection of current Dominican literature, being given over to poems,
lyric compositions, biographic, historical, philosophic and other
articles, and extracts from new plays and books. In these periodicals
most of the poems which have brought fame to Santo Domingo
have appeared.

Before the intellectual awakening incident to the labors of Hostos the
number of Dominican writers was small. Little was done in colonial
times. In the turbulent period following the cessation of Spanish
sovereignty at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the situation
of the country was not favorable for the cultivation of the muses, but
scions of the families who then emigrated have made their names
immortal in the literature of Cuba and other neighboring countries.
Juan Pablo Duarte, the liberator, Antonio Delmonte y Tejada, the
historian, and a small group of others who flourished shortly before
or at the time of the establishment of the Republic, may be said to
initiate the literature of the country, but their fame is mostly
local. The first generation of Dominican citizens furnished a somewhat
larger proportion of literary men, among whom may be mentioned the
venerable Emiliano Tejera, the late Archbishop Fernando A. de Meriño,
Francisco X. Amiama, Francisco Gregorio Billini, Mariano A. Cestero,
the historian Jose G. Garcia and the novelist Manuel de J. Galvan,
though it is significant that the best productions of some of these
appeared after 1880. It is since that year that literature has really
flourished. So fecund have Dominican writers been, and so excellent
their productions, that Santo Domingo occupies a proud place in the
beautiful field of Latin-American literature, where only a few years
ago it was practically unknown. There is an abundance of poets,
essayists, historians and novelists worthy of mention, and an attempt
to single out a few might lead to unjust distinctions. A number of the
best writers are women, and all prominent newspaper men are also
distinguished in literature.

In poetry, especially lyric poetry, the Dominican writers excel. They
show great depth of feeling and a full command of the sonorous
Castilian tongue. A favorite theme is, of course, the old story which
is ever new. The civil wars have inspired many pathetic compositions,
and poems like Salomé Ureña's apostrophe to the ruins of colonial
times, Bienvenido S. Nouel's elegy on the ruins left by the late
revolutions, and Enrique Henriquez' "Miserere!", gems of verse, are
veritable cries of anguish at the desolation wrought by fratricidal
strife. Perhaps it is the poets' sorrow at the misfortunes of their
country which is the cause of the note of sadness so often to be
remarked in Dominican writings. Some writers are classed as poets
though they have versified little or not at all; of these Tulio M.
Cestero, one of the most popular of the younger writers, is an
example, it being said of him that "he writes his poetry in prose."

The love of poetry is by no means confined to persons of higher
education, but is general throughout the country. It has been said
that if there were one engineer in Santo Domingo for every hundred
poets, there would be fewer mudholes in the roads. The productions of
some poetasters are characterized by an abundance of rare adjectives,
which are introduced as well to give an impression of depth of thought
as to advertise the author's erudition. However, there are so many
good poets that forgiveness is readily extended to the others.

The national song of Santo Domingo, an ode to liberty, was written by
a school teacher, Emilio Prud'homme. The music was composed by José
Reyes, who died several years ago, and is agreeable and almost
majestic. Reyes occupies probably the most prominent place among
Dominican composers. Others have also obtained prominence, and their
number is constantly increasing; among them special mention may be
made of José de J. Ravelo, one of the younger men whose work has
attracted attention and gives promise of even better things.

In painting and sculpture several Dominicans have attained prominence
of late fears. The principal artists are Arturo Grullon, a prominent
oculist; Luis Desangles; and Miss Adriana Billini, whose paintings
have received prizes in Paris, Porto Rico and Havana respectively.
Desangles painted the picture "Caonabo," which hangs in the session
hall of the City Council of Puerto Plata and shows the Indian chief in
chains. The sculptors are few, and their fame so far is only local,
The foremost is Abelardo Rodriguez U., a photographer of the capital,
who is something of an artistic genius. His photographs can compete in
artistic merit with the best produced anywhere, and he is also a
painter of no small merit. His best known sculpture is the figure of a
dying guerilla soldier, significantly entitled, "Uno de tantos"--"One
of so many."

Powerful assistance has been given to education and artistic
development by various clubs and literary associations, especially
women's clubs, throughout the country. Though at times eclipsed by
revolutionary turmoil, their work has continued undaunted and has had
gratifying results. The educational plane attained by Santo Domingo in
spite of all obstacles, and the general recognition of the supreme
importance of public instruction, justify confident predictions of
advance in the future.



CHAPTER XIV

MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION


Railroads.--Samana-Santiago Railroad.--Central Dominican
Railway.--Roads.--Mode of Traveling.--Inns.--Principal highways.
--Steamer lines.--Postal facilities.--Telegraph and telephone lines.


A potent cause of the undeveloped state of Santo Domingo's agriculture
has been the absence of transportation facilities, which has likewise
been a cause and an effect of the internal disturbances. There are but
two public railroads in the Republic, both in the Cibao region, with
an aggregate length of 144 miles. The highways are generally little
more than trails, difficult and dangerous even in dry weather, and
almost impassable in the rainy season. It is therefore not surprising
that the northern and southern sections of the Republic should have
developed almost as different countries and that large areas in the
interior should be practically uninhabited.

The importance and possibilities of railroad lines have been
recognized and numerous concessions for railroad construction have
been sought and granted; but the concessionnaires have, as a rule,
either been impecunious, entering the field only with speculative
intentions, or have been frightened off by the internal disturbances,
and in either case the concession has been permitted to lapse.

The oldest of the two railroads now in operation is the road known as
the Samana-Santiago Railroad--something of a misnomer, as the road
neither reaches Samana, on the one side, nor Santiago on the other,
but extends from Sanchez, at the head of Samana Bay, to La Vega, a
distance of 62 miles in the interior, with a branch to San Francisco
de Macoris, 7 miles, and another branch to Salcedo, 11 miles, and
Moca, 7 miles, or a total length of 87 miles. Prior to its
construction, the products of the eastern portion of the Royal Plain
had been floated on lighters or light draft boats down the Yuna River
and across Samana Bay to Samana, where they were transshipped to
ocean-going vessels. The value of a railroad in this region early
became apparent, and a concession granted in 1881 was acquired by
Alexander Baird, a wealthy Scotchman, who constructed the road. Under
the concession the Dominican government granted the right to build and
operate a railroad from Samana to Santiago, to construct wharves on
Samana Bay and collect wharf dues, and to enjoy certain tax exemptions
and other privileges.

The Gran Estero, the large swamp just west of Sanchez, proved much
more difficult to cross than the engineers had calculated. It
swallowed up tons of rock and thousands of pounds sterling. Further
disappointment arose when public lands promised by the government
failed to materialize. The enthusiasm of the promoters cooled and the
construction work on the railroad ceased when La Vega was reached. To
the east of Sanchez the road was continued along the Samana peninsula
to Point Santa Capuza, but this position was abandoned and the
terminus was established at Sanchez. The road from Sanchez to La Vega
was opened to traffic in 1886.

The important city of San Francisco de Macoris lay seven miles to the
north of the line of the Samana-Santiago railroad and in 1892 a
concession was granted to a prominent Dominican for the building of a
connecting road. It was constructed with Dominican capital from La
Gina to San Francisco de Macoris, and is leased to the Samana-Santiago
Road and operated as a branch of this road.

In 1907 the Samana-Santiago Railroad waived its right to the
percentage of import duties collected at Sanchez, in consideration of
a payment made by the government, and agreed to construct a branch
line to Salcedo and later continue it to Moca. A line from Las
Cabullas, on the main road, to Salcedo was promptly built and opened
to traffic, but the Moca extension was delayed by civil disturbances
and not completed until 1917.

The gauge of the Samana-Santiago road is 1.10 meters, about three feet
six inches. It rises very gradually from sea-level at Sanchez to the
altitude of La Vega and Moca, about 400 feet. The engineering problems
attending its construction and preservation have been those connected
with the crossing of the Gran Estero swamp, and the bridging of
numerous small tributaries of the Yuna River, which from modest
brooklets in the dry season swell to turbulent torrents in rainy
weather. The bridge across the Camu River near La Vega has been washed
away repeatedly and further trouble has been caused by the river
changing its course.

The journey from Sanchez to La Vega, including the side trip to San
Francisco de Macoris, consumes five and a half hours. After leaving
Sanchez the end of the Samana range is soon reached and for miles the
train travels across a mangrove swamp, where the bushy vegetation is
exceedingly dense and the roadbed is covered with grass. Forests
follow, the trees of which are encumbered with great hanging vines. As
soon as a higher level is reached, clearings become frequent. At the
stations along the route the entire population of the small towns
seems to turn out to await the train's arrival. At two larger places,
Villa Rivas and Pimentel, the train makes lengthier stops. The houses
all along are similar, one story wooden buildings, generally
whitewashed and roofed with tiles, corrugated zinc or palm thatch. La
Gina is the beginning of the branch line which extends through
monotonous woodland to San Francisco de Macoris. On the main line,
after passing La Gina, there are numerous cacao plantations, and near
La Vega the muddy Cotui road emerges from the woods and follows the
railroad. About eight miles from La Vega is the station of Las
Cabullas, the starting point of the branch to Salcedo and Moca.

Affording, as it does, the outlet for the products of the eastern
portion of the Cibao, the Samana-Santiago railroad transports the
greater part of the cacao exported from the country. It has been the
most important factor in the development of the Royal Plain, but owing
to the country's internal troubles was run at a loss for years. It is
well managed and of late years has made handsome profits.

The name of the other Dominican railroad is also misleading, it being
called the Central Dominican Railway, though only extending from
Puerto Plata, on the north coast, to Santiago de los Caballeros, a
distance of 41 miles, with an extension to Moca, 16 miles, a total of
57 miles. Its name is due to the fact, that it was considered the
first section of a road which was ultimately to connect Puerto Plata
and Santo Domingo City. The need for such a road had been and is still
urgently felt, and the construction of no portion was more imperative
than that between Santiago and the coast. The mountain roads in this
section were indescribably bad; a trip from Santiago to Puerto Plata
meant at least two days of dangerous riding; and all merchandise to
and from Santiago had to be transported on mule-back. President
Heureaux therefore considered himself fortunate when the Dominican
government was able, in 1890, in connection with a bond issue, to make
contracts with the banking firm of Westendorp & Co., of Amsterdam, for
the construction of the section of the railroad from Puerto Plata to
Santiago. Belgian money was furnished and Belgian engineers made the
plans. The road was given a gauge of only two feet six inches, and the
short-sightedness is inconceivable which permitted the adoption on
this road of a gauge different from that of the Samana-Santiago
Railroad, when the two were expected to join in Santiago. Ultimately
the gauge of the Central Dominican Railway will have to be widened,
but the change will cost a considerable sum and require a complete
renovation of the rolling stock. In view of the steepness of the
slopes to be surmounted, the plans contemplated the construction, on
several portions of the road, of a rack-line or cremaillère, a third
track provided with cogs, between the other two, and the use of
special mountain-climbing locomotives having a cogwheel by means of
which the ascent was to be accomplished and the descent regulated. The
Belgian engineers built the road from Puerto Plata as far as
Bajabonico, a distance of about eleven miles.

At this stage the financial difficulties of the Dominican government
induced the Belgians to sell their rights to American interests, which
formed the San Domingo Improvement Company to take them over. American
engineers accordingly finished the road to Santiago. The rack-rail
feature being undesirable, plans were made for the construction of the
road as an adhesion road. No further rack-rail was built and one of
the portions constructed was converted, but two short stretches of
rack-rail remained near Puerto Plata, one of one mile and another of
three miles. The Central Dominican Railway Company was incorporated
for the operation of the road.

During the controversy later carried on between the Dominican
government and the San Domingo Improvement Company the Company
contended that the road had cost in the neighborhood of $3,000,000, or
about $600,000 in excess of the sums realized by the sale of the bonds
assigned by the government to defray the cost of construction. The
dispute found its settlement in the protocol of January 31, 1903, by
which the Dominican government agreed to purchase all the holdings of
the Improvement Company. In the negotiations of which this convention
was an incident, the value of the railroad was generally estimated at
$1,500,000. Upon the delivery by the Dominican government of the cash
and bonds agreed upon by the settlement of 1907 as the price of the
Improvement Company's interests, the Company, in February, 1908,
turned over the railroad to the government. It has since been operated
by the Dominican government with satisfactory results, though it has
suffered serious injury from revolutions. The insurgents destroyed
bridges and the rack-rail; the latter has not been replaced, and the
four and ten per cent grades are now laboriously overcome by means of
Shay geared engines. Surveys show that the troublesome grades can be
avoided by the construction of curves which will increase the length
of the road by not more than three or four miles.

Owing to the mountainous character of the country traversed, the
scenery on this road is splendid. The speed attained by the trains
would not alarm a nervous wreck, for though the length of the road is
about 41 miles, the ascent from Puerto Plata to Santiago takes almost
six hours and the return trip from Santiago five, in which the slow
engines, the steep grades, the former rack-road section and the
numerous long stops have equal shares of responsibility. The roadbed
is very rough and the passengers are considerably shaken up, but the
memory of what used to be helps to mitigate the discomfort. On one of
my trips over the road, when a fellow-passenger made a remark about
the severe jolting that almost shook us off our seats, an elderly
Dominican gentleman observed: "My friend, you evidently never took a
trip from Santiago to Puerto Plata before the railroad was built.
Compared with travel then, this mode of conveyance is like being
carried in angels' arms." As on the Samana-Santiago Road, the regular
trains are mixed trains, that is, a freight and passenger together,
usually looking like a freight train with a small passenger car
attached. Except in unusually dull periods there is one daily train
each way. The city of Santiago is about 600 feet above the level of
the sea; from here the course is over a rich plain among tobacco farms
and meadows full of cattle, for a distance of about twelve miles,
until the foothills are reached and the ascent of the coast range is
begun. Higher and higher along the mountainside, through country
wilder and wilder, the train winds its way to the highest point of the
road, 1580 feet above sea-level and 20 miles from Santiago, where a
short tunnel pierces the mountain. The mountain pass at this point is
1720 feet above sea-level and is the lowest one in twenty miles. At
the station on the other side of the mountain a fifteen minute stop is
made for lunch. Then begins a rapid descent along a deep valley, on
the wooded slopes of which little houses peer out between the trees.
The town of Altamira, on a knob in the middle of the valley, is
passed, and further down, near Bajabonico, a small sugar plantation.
Another ascent, on which is the old rack-road section, is now
reached; a powerful mountain engine is placed before the train and
slowly works its way up. From the top of the ridge the scene is
magnificent. Below, in the far distance, Puerto Plata is seen, a
miniature city with tiny bright-colored houses, nestling at the foot
of the great verdure-covered cone, Mt. Isabel de Torres; before it
lies its almost circular harbor with what look like toy ships riding
at anchor; the foam of the breakers on the reefs at the harbor
entrance gleams in the sunlight; and beyond, in vast immensity extends
the blue expanse of the ocean. On the final descent quicker time is
made than anywhere else on the road.

The extension of the Central Dominican Railroad from Santiago to Moca
was built and is operated by the Dominican government. In 1894 a
franchise was granted the San Domingo Improvement Company for the Moca
road, and grading was done for several miles outside of Santiago, but
the financial troubles of the Dominican government suspended the work.
When better times came, the government in 1906 began to build the road
from Santiago to Moca with current revenues, and it was opened to
traffic in 1910. At Moca this road is met by the extension of the
Samana-Santiago Railroad from Salcedo, so that it is possible to
travel by rail through the fertile Cibao from Sanchez to Puerto Plata,
though the difference in gauge requires a change of cars at Moca.

A railroad between the Cibao and Santo Domingo City has long been
contemplated. Government engineers a few years ago surveyed a route
from Santo Domingo City to La Gina, on the Samana-Santiago Railroad,
passing through Cotui. The route is 80 miles long, and the estimated
cost is about $2,325,000. Such a through railroad would open up great
tracts now isolated, afford an easy means of communication between
the north and south, and be of inestimable advantage to the Republic.
It is the most urgent and important public work under consideration in
the country.

Another road which has long been projected and which the Dominican
government in 1906 determined to have constructed with current
revenues, is one in the east, from Seibo, on the plains in the
interior, to the port of La Romana in the southern coast. This region,
excellently adapted for cacao raising and sugar planting, has been
kept secluded by bad roads. After several thousand dollars had been
spent in surveys and a little grading, the work was stopped by lack of
funds and the government decided that the expense of construction and
the undeveloped character of the country counselled an abandonment of
the project for the moment. If the railroad is finally built, it will
probably be from Seibo to San Pedro de Macoris and not to La Romana.

Even in the immediate vicinity of Santo Domingo City most roads are in
such bad condition that during the rainy season villages only a few
miles away cannot be reached except by floundering through the mud for
many hours, and even during the dry season, with all conditions
favorable, it requires two days hard riding to reach the city of Azua,
80 miles to the west. A railroad from the capital to Azua has
therefore been proposed repeatedly, and in 1901 a concession was
granted for the first section thereof, from Santo Domingo to San
Cristobal, a distance of 16 miles, with the right of extension. The
revolution of the spring of 1903 interrupted the construction of this
road, but a little work was done in 1906 under a new contract, which
has since been declared lapsed.

Private plantation railroads are to be found on several sugar
plantations near La Romana, San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo City
and Azua, and on the United Fruit Company's plantation near Puerto
Plata. They aggregate about 225 miles in length and are used
exclusively for the purposes of the respective estates, except one
which carries passengers between the town of Azua and its port on
steamer days.

In several of the larger cities carriages and light automobiles can be
hired at a reasonable figure, and furnish the principal means of
communication within the city and to other places as far as the roads
will permit. Between Monte Cristi and La Vega there is a regular
automobile service, as also between Santo Domingo City and nearby
towns. In only one place is there a car line--in Monte Cristi, where a
small car runs--if that term can be applied to its motion--between the
town and the harbor, a little more than a mile away. The cars, each
drawn by a meek little mule, remind one of matchboxes on wheels; they
are open on all sides and contain simply two benches, back to back,
which will hold a maximum of three passengers each. In Santo Domingo
City there was a horse car line for almost twenty years, running out
as far as Fort San Geronimo, about three miles; but in March, 1903,
while the city was under siege during a revolution, the car barns were
destroyed by fire and with them the entire rolling stock, the car
axles being taken for barricades. In 1915 the government granted
several franchises for electric car lines, one for Santo Domingo City,
with the right to extend as far as Bani; another for Santiago, with
the right of extension to Janico; and a third for Macoris, with the
right of extension to Seibo, but no work has been done on
these projects.

On certain parts of the country roads there is communication by oxcart
during the dry season, and in the arid region such communication is
possible almost all the year round. On the Samana peninsula and in
other mountain districts, merchandise is occasionally transported in
Indian fashion, on two poles tied to a horse and trailing on the
ground behind. In general, however, recourse must be had for
transportation purposes to the faithful horse and the patient donkey.
In the northern part of the Republic the ox is often used as a beast
of burden and sometimes for riding, furnishing an odd spectacle. The
ox is guided by a string tied to a ring in his nose, but neither the
configuration of his back nor his gait are to be recommended for
comfortable rides.

Most of the roads of Santo Domingo can be called roads only by
courtesy. They are generally little more than trails of greater or
less width. The larger receipts enjoyed by the government since the
customs collections were taken over by Americans in 1905, have caused
a little improvement. Thus, a first-class macadam road has been
constructed from Santo Domingo City to San Cristobal, a distance of
sixteen miles; the old trail from Santo Domingo to San Pedro de
Macoris has become available for automobiles; and the royal road in
the Cibao from La Vega through Moca and Santiago to Monte Cristi, a
distance of about 100 miles, formerly a horror, has been converted
into a fair dirt road. The amount of work to be done appears all the
more appalling when it is considered that in the small island of
Jamaica, less than one-fourth the size of the Dominican Republic,
there are 1000 miles of fine roads. The American authorities in the
island are giving considerable attention to the improvement of the
principal highways around and between the more important cities, and
valuable work is being done. By an executive order of November 23,
1917, the military governor appropriated $650,000, to be expended on
portions of a trunk road which is ultimately to connect Santo Domingo,
La Vega, Moca, Santiago and Monte Cristi.

The majority of the roads and trails have scarcely been touched since
their course was fixed, centuries ago. Occasionally the abutting
property owners or an energetic communal chief cut away encroaching
vegetation or drained an unusually bad bog or threw dirt from the
sides of the road to the middle in order to raise it above water level
in the wet season, but such instances of civic thoughtfulness have
been only too infrequent.

During the rainy season travel becomes troublesome on all roads and
impossible on many. On the unimproved highways deep, dangerous bogs
form in every depression, containing either liquid mud where the horse
is almost forced to swim, or soft tough clay, where the horse's feet
are imprisoned and the animal in its desperate efforts to jerk itself
free indulges in contortions anything but pleasant for the rider. The
horses and cargo animals ever treading in each other's footsteps,
cause the earth to wear away in furrows across the road, which fill
with water and with mud of all colors and conditions of toughness.
With few interruptions the monotonous splash, splash, splash of
horses' feet constantly accompanies the traveler. The first ten
minutes of such a journey on slippery ground make the trip appear an
adventure, the next ten an experience, but after that the expedition
becomes exceedingly wearisome. In the dry season all moisture
disappears and the ridges between the mud trenches become hard as
brick. The efforts of travelers to avoid bad places by going around
them has caused the roads to become very wide in places--the width
varying from one to over a hundred feet. At times, in grassy or stony
stretches, the road disappears entirely, and the traveler's best guide
is the telegraph wire, where there is one. Again it passes through
thorny woods with overhanging branches which continually threaten to
unhorse the rider. Thus it winds along, through forests and plains,
over fallen logs and trees, beside precipices, down steep banks,
across rapid streams. A trip into the interior in Santo Domingo
requires a good horse, a strong constitution and a large supply
of patience.

In rainy weather the traveled roads are even worse than the
unfrequented ones, for the ground is rendered more miry, and the bogs
are more frequent. On a highroad near La Vega I arrived at a mudhole
where an old man was being rescued by a passer-by from drowning in the
liquid mud; I snapped a photograph of the scene when he was still
knee-deep. Near the city of Moca there is a slope where many a horse
has fallen and thrown its rider on the slippery loam. A friend of mine
who for safety's sake alighted from his horse to walk to the other
side of the gully, had his foot so tightly lodged in the pasty mud
that, in his straining to withdraw it, the foot slipped out of the
shoe, which remained as firmly imbedded as before. His posture and
predicament were naturally a good deal more amusing for his companions
than for himself. Yet some of these roads in dry weather are excellent
dirt roads. On a road in the Cibao I made a trip of fifteen miles in
the rainy season in five hours of hard riding and arrived with an
exhausted horse; six months later when the road was dry I made the
same journey comfortably in an hour and a half. On the first of these
occasions--it was in the course of a vacation trip for the purpose of
studying the country--I happened upon two other travelers and together
we floundered for many weary miles through black mud varying from the
consistency of soup to that of pudding. The road was indescribably
bad, and riders and horses were covered with mire and thoroughly
fatigued. That evening at the inn, through the open door between our
rooms, I heard my traveling companions discussing me. One of them
asked: "What is his object in coming here?" The other answered: "He
says he is traveling for pleasure." "Then," responded the first
solemnly, "he is either lying or he is insane."

The streams must usually be crossed either by fording or by ferry, and
not infrequently the horse must swim part of the distance across.
Outside the railroad bridges, there are scarcely half a dozen bridges
which deserve the name in the Dominican Republic. A good bridge has
recently been constructed over the Jaina River on the San Cristobal
road, and another was completed in May, 1917, across the Ozama River
at Santo Domingo City, in place of one destroyed by a freshet some
years ago. Bridges, where there are any, are generally rude logs laid
across brooks.

When journeying overland it is advisable to take advantage as much as
possible of moonlight nights. It is best to rise at two or three
o'clock in the morning, ride until about eleven o'clock, then rest for
about three hours while the sun is highest, and then continue till
evening. Riding at night, however, exposes one to the danger of making
too intimate an acquaintance with some mudhole or some low hanging
bough or telegraph wire, but these risks can be avoided by vigilance.
The hours of dawn are the coolest of the twenty-four, and more
distance can be covered with less fatigue than later in the day.

If the traveler takes the precaution to furnish himself with canned
food before starting on a journey inland, he will not regret his
foresight. Inns do not exist out in the country. In the larger cities,
indeed, there are hotels, but all are modest establishments. Perhaps
the most pretentious is the French Hotel in Santo Domingo City. In
hotels which are located in important seaports or railroad termini and
are frequented by travelers, the meals and accommodations are fair. In
other localities the food is almost inedible to an unaccustomed
palate, and the sleeping accommodations are primitive cots. Even in
important towns like Moca and Azua I found the inns kept by poor
mulatto women, widows with families, having one room for travelers,
divided from the family apartment by a thin partition, through which
all the proceedings on the other side could be followed throughout
the night.

The difficulty of land transportation explains why, with the exception
of three cities in the Cibao, all important towns are located on the
seacoast. It also makes plain why water transportation is preferred to
travel by land, and the inhabitants of the north and south await the
bi-weekly steamer rather than make the trip overland, which in the
most favorable cases will take about three days. The roads and trails
are used for travel locally or when boat connections are not
convenient or feasible, and for mail transportation. The following are
the principal highways:

1. Road from Santo Domingo to the Cibao, by way of Bonao. There are
three roads from Santo Domingo City to the Cibao, the most westerly
one being the Bonao trail, the most easterly one the Sillon de la
Viuda and the middle one the Gallinas trail. The Bonao road leaves
Santo Domingo by way of Duar Avenue and San Carlos and ascends gently
in a northwesterly direction through slightly rolling land to the
Santa Rosa plain, which it traverses. As far as Los Alcarrizos it has
been improved, but further on it is merely a dirt road without
drainage and becomes one long slough in rainy weather. On the Jobo
savanna the road divides; the eastern branch runs along a range of
hills and the western branch over to the Jaina River, where it passes
the site of the old mining town of Buenaventura, of which only a few
vestiges of walls remain. Whichever of the two branches the traveler
takes, he will be sorry he did not choose the other, for they are
equally bad. The branches meet on the plain of Las Nasas, from where
the highway continues through wooded lands and natural meadows,
crossing the Jaina River three times and the Guananitos River nine
times. The soil is a rich, soft loam, pure vegetable detritus, and the
frequent rains and the absence of drainage make this part of the road
very difficult at all seasons. After crossing a stretch of beautiful
savanna, known as Sabana del Puerto, the ascent of a range of the
central mountain system begins. The road makes many windings along the
mountain side until the heights of Laguneta are attained. The high
hill of Piedra Blanca must be crossed and a number of small streams
forded before Bonao is reached. From Bonao to La Vega the road is of
the same general character. There are many miry places, many ascents
and descents and many difficult river passes, the Yuna River, near
Bonao, being crossed by ferry. On some of the steep descents the
horses and mules accustomed to the road put their four feet together
and slide, while the unaccustomed traveler feels his hair standing on
end. The distance from Santo Domingo City to Bonao is about 65 miles;
from Bonao to La Vega some 30 miles.

This seems to have been an ancient Indian trail between Santo Domingo
and the Cibao. Bartholomew Columbus, under orders from his brother,
founded both Buenaventura and Bonao in 1496 as military posts, as
part of the chain of forts stretching across the island. The decay of
these towns when the mines were abandoned, the miry soil and the many
crossings of streams all caused travel to be diverted to the road of
the Sillon de la Viuda. The Bonao road, being the most direct route to
La Vega, has been designated by the military government for
improvement as a trunk road.

2. Road from Santo Domingo to the Cibao by way of the pass of the
Sillon de la Viuda, or Widow's Chair. While the Widow's Chair road is
about twenty miles longer than the Bonao road, it is preferable since
on the whole it lies over firmer ground. It leads due north from Santo
Domingo City and after four miles the Isabela River is crossed by
ferry near its confluence with the Ozama. A steep ascent follows and
the road runs through wooded land until the town of Mella is reached.
Small forests and wide savannas follow each other in rapid succession;
the Ozama River is forded and a stretch of swampy soil with bad bogs
is encountered. A fine piece of prairie land known as the Luisa
savanna is crossed, more natural meadows follow and the ascent of the
central mountain range begins. The road becomes so steep that the
rider can scarcely keep his seat on his horse. From the summit, the
Widow's Pass, which is almost 2000 feet above the level of the sea, a
sublime view of mountains, valleys and plains is obtained. The pass
itself is a narrow rocky defile where a score of men might hold an
army at bay. It is said that there are lower passes in the vicinity by
utilizing which the steep grade might be avoided, but the fact could
be ascertained only by a more thorough exploration than has yet been
made. On the north the road descends through heavy timber, with many
miry places. Savannas separated by small forests are then crossed and
the little town of Cevicos is reached, the halfway place between Santo
Domingo and La Vega. Eighteen miles further on, separated from Cevicos
by a hard road crossed by numerous deep gullies, sleeps the ancient
town of Cotui. The Yuna River near Cotui must be crossed in canoes.
Then follows a road thirty-five miles long to La Vega, which in the
rainy season is little more than mud and water, but leads through a
beautiful wooded country. It is better to take the road from Cotui to
La Gina, or that to Pimentel, on the Samana-Santiago Railroad and
complete the journey by rail, for though the character of these trails
is similar to the La Vega trail, they are only about fifteen
miles long.

3. Road from Santo Domingo to the Cibao by way of the Gallinas Pass.
This is also an ancient trail which formerly passed through the town
of Yamasá, but was diverted to shorten the distance to the Cibao.
Leaving Santo Domingo the same route is followed as in going to the
Widow's Pass, as far as Mella, where the road branches off to the
left. Small grassy plains and rolling wooded lands are traversed, as
is also the wide prairie known as the Maricao savanna. Several streams
are forded, among them the upper Ozama, and the country continues of
the same general character until the huts on the old cattle ranch of
la Guazuma, formerly Las Gallinas, are sighted. Here the road slopes
upward as far as the foot of the Demajagua mountain, when a long
tedious ascent to the pass begins, followed by a rough ride through
the mountains. The long descent toward Cotui is broken by numerous
water-courses. No less than eleven smaller streams are forded, and
there are three crossings of the Chacuey River, before the road
leading to Cotui from Cevicos and the Widow's Pass is attained near
the former town. By this road it is about 65 miles from Santo Domingo
to Cotui.

The three passes described are the only ones suitable, so far as
known, for communication between the capital and the Cibao. There are,
indeed, lower and more convenient passes farther to the east, but the
roads emerge near Samana Bay, too far from the Royal Plain to be
available. The middle route of the three, that by way of the Gallinas
Pass, is followed by the telegraph line and used by the post. It has
been preferred by travelers for it is considered the shortest road to
the Cibao and its highest point is reported to be only about 1200 feet
above sea-level.

4. Road from Santo Domingo to Sabana la Mar. Since the southeastern
part of the Dominican Republic consists of great plains, the roads in
this region are all perfectly level and less difficult than those of
the mountains, but they are little more than trails and the wide
savannas make traveling monotonous. The road which turns northeast
from Santo Domingo on the left side of the Ozama passes the sugar
estates there situated, continues by a wide path through a lightly
wooded country to the town of Guerra and shortly thereafter enters
upon the Guabatico prairie, which it crosses in its entire width of
over twenty miles. The ascent to the first pass, that of the
Castellanos mountain, then begins. The descent is as easy as the
ascent, a valley is crossed in which the headwaters of the Macoris
River are forded, and then follows a long ascent to the second pass.
From the foot of the mountain to El Valle and Sabana la Mar the
country is wooded and the road level and wide, but so miry as to be
practically impassable during the entire rainy season. The distance
from Santo Domingo to Sabana la Mar is something over sixty miles.

5. Road from Santo Domingo to Higuey. This road is the same as the
Sabana la Mar road as far as Guerra, then traverses small forests and
grassy plains to Seibo, passing through the important towns of Los
Llanos and Hato Mayor. The greater part of the last 36 miles of the
road, from Seibo to Higuey, runs over the foothills of the central
mountain range. The entire length of the road is about 110 miles.

6. Road from Santo Domingo to Azua. On this ancient road more military
expeditions have marched and fought than on any other in the island of
Santo Domingo. Spanish, British, French, Haitian, Dominican and
American forces have tramped on its dusty course. The road runs west
from Santo Domingo City parallel with the seashore. Near the city it
is a perfectly level boulevard bordered by pretty cottages. About
three miles from the town the small fortress of San Geronimo is
passed, a romantic structure, built by the early Spaniards as an
outpost against piratical invasions. Seven miles further on is the
collection of huts constituting the town of Jaina on the river of the
same name. A fine new bridge spans the river and the road continues
through luxuriant tropical vegetation. The little town of Nigua, with
an old chapel perched high on a hill, is reached, and here the road
divides, the left branch continuing near the seashore, while the right
branch turns inland to San Cristobal. The former pursues its way over
land generally level though with occasional steep hills and cut by
frequent brooks, skirts the ocean beach for a short distance, crosses
the turbulent Nizao River by a long and dangerous ford and enters the
arid country. The other branch extends to the grass-grown town of San
Cristobal, where the macadam road from Santo Domingo ends. Continuing,
the road traverses a fertile country by way of the town of Yaguate,
crosses the broad bed of the Nizao River, which changes its channels
with dangerous frequency, threads a way through monotonous woods and
joins the other road near Paya. But a few miles further on is the
clean little town of Bani. From here two roads lead to Azua. The
inland road leads through the pass of Las Carreras,--where Santana on
April 21, 1849, assured the independence of Santo Domingo by his
victory over the Haitian forces--and finally joins the coast road. The
road of the seacoast, which, though longer, is preferable by reason of
being more level, leaves Bani through a weird country, where giant
cactus is the only vegetation produced by the rocky soil. After
crossing a stretch of grass-grown tableland it descends to the waters
of Ocoa Bay and continues literally through the surf. Several hours of
travel through a dreary forest of cactus and thorny brush then follow
before Azua is reached.

7. Cibao Valley Road. The road, or combination of roads, from Samana
Bay to Monte Cristi, lies in level country. The urgency for the
improvement of the eastern portion has been less since the
establishment of the railroad from Sanchez to La Vega, and the trail
from near the mouth of the Yuna River to San Francisco de Macoris,
with the branches from there to Moca and La Vega, is now important
only locally. The two roads between La Vega and Santiago, however, in
the heart of the Royal Plain, are the most important and most heavily
traveled highways in the Republic. They run through the most fertile
section of the island, are quite level, and available for carts and
automobiles, but in the rainy season they become very muddy. The
direct road from La Vega to Santiago is about twenty-seven miles long
and lies to the south of the famous Santo Cerro. The other road is
about six miles longer and passes through the important city of Moca.
After leaving La Vega and crossing the yellow Camu, the latter road
skirts the northern slope of the Santo Cerro and the traveler who
can, deserts it temporarily to climb the rocky height and regale
himself with a view of the most magnificent valley of the West Indies.
Upon passing the second brook after leaving the foot of the Santo
Cerro the road traverses historic ground, for here stood the important
city of La Concepción, or old La Vega. The distance from La Vega to
Moca is about fifteen miles and from here two roads lead on to
Santiago, both about eighteen miles long and both lined with fine
cacao plantations, but one turning a little to the south while the
other approaches the foothills and leads through the smiling town of
Tamboril. From Santiago on there are two roads, one to the north and
the other to the south of the Yaque River. They lie through a dry
country where cactus is the favorite product of the soil. The road
along the northern bank of the Yaque is the better of the two, since
the roadbed is good and there are few rivers to cross. It is the
highway between Santiago and Monte Cristi, a distance of sixty-seven
miles, and passes through the inland town of Guayubin. The southern
road crosses numerous streams which flow down from the Cordillera to
join the Yaque, turns southwesterly at Guayubin and continues to
Dajabon and on into the borders of Haiti.

The above are the highways of most traffic. There is further a main
road or rather trail westward from Azua along Lake Enriquillo and
leading on to Port-au-Prince; another from Azua northwesterly through
the fertile valley of San Juan, also leading into Haiti; and two
perilous trails branching off from the latter road and running through
remote mountain regions to Santiago and La Vega. There is no direct
communication in Dominican territory between the northwestern and
southwestern portions of the Republic, and it is necessary either to
make a long detour or to pass through Haitian territory. Less
important local trails, more or less difficult of travel, are to be
found in all inhabited portions of the country.

In order to avoid the troubles of land travel, recourse is had,
whenever possible, to water transportation. The foreign steamship
lines afford considerable relief in this respect, for they generally
stop at more than one port of the Republic. In normal times there are
four foreign steamer lines with passenger service to Dominican
ports, namely:

The Clyde line, with bi-weekly sailings between New York and Santo
Domingo, stopping at Monte Cristi, Puerto Plata, Samana, Sanchez,
Macoris and Santo Domingo City, and Azua.

The Cuban "Herrera Line," with a tri-weekly steamer service between
ports of Cuba and Porto Rico, calling at Santo Domingo City
and Macoris.

The "Compagnie Générale Transatlantique," two routes of which touch in
the Republic. A monthly steamer between French and Haitian ports calls
at Puerto Plata, and returning also at Sanchez, in the Dominican
Republic, and then makes calls in Porto Rico and St. Thomas. A smaller
steamer plying once a month between Haitian ports and Guadeloupe and
Martinique calls at Santiago de Cuba, Santo Domingo City, Porto Rican
ports and St. Thomas. The steamers on these routes, though not
uncomfortable, are venerable hulks which have seen long service in
different parts of the world.

The Hamburg-American Line, a monthly steamer of which called regularly
at Santo Domingo City and also at other points in the Republic when
cargo conditions were favorable, and connected with other ports in the
Antilles and with vessels from Europe. Other steamers of this line
called at the northern ports to take cargo to Europe.

There is further a fruit line between Boston and Puerto Plata and
sugar steamers between New York and Macoris during the cane grinding
season, but they carry no passengers. How far the interests of Spain
and Santo Domingo have diverged is indicated by the fact that not one
of the Spanish transatlantic liners which run to Porto Rico, Cuba,
Central and South America, touches in Santo Domingo.

A steamer of the Bull line runs between ports in Santo Domingo and
Porto Rico and there is also a coast line under Dominican registry,
which extends to Porto Rico, but the steamers of which do not
distinguish themselves for comfort. Thus there is at present frequent
steamer service between Santo Domingo and Porto Rico, but little
communication with Haiti and Cuba.

Most of the steamer lines touching in the Republic carry mails. Santo
Domingo is a member of the International Postal Union and its post
offices offer the usual facilities, except that there is no money
order system. More than three-quarters of the incoming foreign mail
comes from the United States, including Porto Rico, and over one-half
the outgoing foreign mail is directed to this country. The American
authorities are engaged in a thorough re-organization of the Dominican
postal service.

In connection with the post offices the government operates a
telegraph and telephone system. The government lines connect all the
more important points in the country. Constructed without plan or
method and insufficiently cared for, these lines are all in poor
condition and badly in need of repair or reconstruction. The charges
are high and the service poor. The government also has a wireless
telegraph station at Santo Domingo City and another at Macoris.

The French Submarine Telegraph Co. affords Santo Domingo cable
connection with the rest of the world. Its cable touches at Puerto
Plata and Santo Domingo City, crossing the Republic by means of a land
line which is also open to local messages. The interruptions of
communication over this land line in the various revolutions have
given rise to numerous damage claims on the part of the Company.

There are also telephone lines on the Samana-Santiago Railroad and on
the Central Dominican Railroad operated in connection with the
respective roads. Local public telephone systems are in operation in
Santo Domingo City and San Pedro de Macoris, and there are private
telephone lines between the principal cities and plantations in
their vicinity.



CHAPTER XV

COMMERCE


Exports and imports.--Foreign trade.--Trade with the United States.--
Ports of entry.--Wharf concessions.--Domestic trade.--Business
houses.--Banks.--Manufactures.


The fact that Dominican commerce has more than trebled in twelve years
demonstrates the epoch-making character of the fiscal convention with
the United States. The trade figures since 1905 are as follows:


              GROWTH OF DOMINICAN TRADE
       (All figures are in American currency)

           Imports         Exports         Total

1905     $ 2,736,828     $ 6,896,098     $ 9,632,926
1906       4,065,437       6,536,378      10,601,915
1907       4,948,961       7,628,356      12,577,317
1908       4,767,775       9,396,487      14,164,262
1909       4,425,913       8,113,690      12,539,603
1910       6,257,691      10,849,623      17,107,314
1911       6,949,662      10,995,546      17,945,208
1913       8,217,898      12,385,248      20,603,146
1913       9,272,278      10,469,947      19,742,225
1914       6,729,007      10,588,787      17,317,794
1915       9,118,514      15,209,061      24,327,575
1916      11,664,430      21,527,873      33,192,303


The increase in 1916 over 1915 was almost as much as the entire trade
of the country in 1905. The temporary setback of 1909 was caused by
the partial failure of the cacao crop and the paralyzation of
commerce in anticipation of lower tariff rates. That of 1914 was due
to the European war and a domestic revolution. Santo Domingo has,
however, repeatedly presented the anomalous spectacle of showing
enormous trade figures in the midst of warfare, as for example, in
1912. The advance in commerce has been especially marked since the
presence of the American troops assured peaceful conditions.

Not a year has passed since 1904 without a large balance of trade in
favor of Santo Domingo. While the greater part of this is represented
by huge sugar profits which have gone to foreign investors, a
considerable portion remained in the country. The great increase in
wealth since 1904 is apparent to anyone who knew the country at
that time.

The imports cover the wide range to be expected in a nonmanufacturing,
agricultural country in the tropics. The principal imports in
1916 were:


Cotton goods                                          $1,721,534
Iron and steel manufactures, including sugar machinery 1,562,367
Rice                                                   1,080,068
Wheat flour                                              621,900
Provisions, meat and dairy products                      530,195
Oils                                                     545,284
Bagging and other manufactures of vegetable fiber        508,644
Vehicles and boats                                       408,832
Manufactures of leather                                  385,518
Wood and manufactures of wood                            317,421
Codfish and other preserved fish and fish products       309,204
Chemicals, drugs and dyes                                293,072
Soap, and ingredients for the manufacture of soap        233,991
Paper and manufactures of paper                          171,706
Beer                                                     168,901
Agricultural implements                                  121,830


The United States furnished practically all the flour and other
breadstuffs, oils, lumber, agricultural implements and leather
articles and most of the cotton goods, hardware, machinery, fish, meat
and dairy products. Before the European war all the rice was bought in
Germany, as well as a considerable portion of the fish, beer, meat and
dairy products. At present the rice is brought from the United States
and England. The other imports from England are almost entirely cotton
goods and bagging, with some iron and steel manufactures.

In the chapter on the flora of the country, statistics are given with
reference to the exports of the country, which are, as there pointed
out, principally: sugar, cacao, tobacco, coffee, bananas, beeswax and
honey, hides, cotton, hardwoods and dyewoods.

Owing to its geographical position the United States naturally has the
greater part of Dominican trade, but since the European war set the
commerce of the world awry that proportion has grown until in 1916 the
imports from the United States, including Porto Rico, were 90.4 per
cent of the total and the exports to the United States and Porto Rico
were 82.8 per cent of the total, though the latter figure varies
somewhat from final destination, as much of the sugar and cacao is
shipped subject to order. Before the European war something more than
one-half of the trade of Santo Domingo was with the United States,
one-fifth with Germany, and the remainder with France, England and
other countries. The countries of origin of imports and destination of
exports of the Dominican Republic in the year 1916, as compared with
the list for 1913, the last preceding normal year, are here shown:

DOMINICAN TRADE BY COUNTRIES


IMPORTS
                          1913                       1916

                    Value     Percentage       Value       Percentage
                              of whole                     of whole

Cuba             $     7,352       .08        $   136,587      1.17
France               274,318       2.96           152,358      1.30
Germany            1,677,833      18.10              ----      ----
Italy                173,105       1.87            63,450      .54
Porto Rico            62,900       .67            378,219      3.24
Spain                210,781       2.27           151,451      1.30
United Kingdom       730,191       7.88           481,305      4.13
United States      5,769,061      62.22        10,162,698     87.13
Other Countries      366,737       3.95           138,362      1.19

Total            $ 9,272,278     100.00       $11,664,430    100.00

EXPORTS

Cuba             $    27,536        .26       $    19,447      .09
France               887,907       8.48           287,799      1.34
Germany            2,068,384      19.76              ----      ----
Italy                 20,430        .19             2,496      .01
Porto Rico            28,994        .28           425,483      1.98
United Kingdom       241,810       2.31           105,107      .49
United States      5,600,768      53.49        17,412,088     80.88
Other Countries    1,594,118      15.23         3,275,543     15.21

Total            $10,469,947     100.00       $21,527,873    100.00


Very interesting statistics with reference to all these matters are
published annually in the report of the general receiver of Dominican
customs. Since the establishment of the receivership full and accurate
trade statistics have become available for the first time in the
history of the Republic. Before 1891 no statistics at all were kept.
During the nineties there was an attempt at compilation, but the
corruption in the custom-houses was so notorious that the figures
cannot be regarded as reliable. For the disturbed years immediately
following the death of Heureaux the data are incomplete and uncertain.

The question of shipping has been a serious problem confronting
Dominican commerce since the beginning of the European war. Freight
rates are rising to almost prohibitive figures, which have their
effect in an enormous increase in the cost of living, Santo Domingo
has as much reason as the rest of the world to desire an early
cessation of the world calamity.

After the war the old trade rivalry will be revived, but American
commerce with the Republic should easily retain its lead, if properly
cultivated. The observations so frequently made with reference to the
extension of American trade with South America also hold good in the
case of Santo Domingo. American merchants should send as
representatives cultured men who speak Spanish; they should provide
catalogs in good Spanish with accurate descriptions of the articles
offered; they should fill orders as received, without substituting
other articles; they should pack their shipments very carefully and
with a view to local transportation conditions. The success of the
Germans in building up their Dominican trade was due in large measure
to the polish and fluent Spanish of their representatives, to their
thorough study of local conditions, and to their favorable terms
of payment.

American commerce with Santo Domingo would be further stimulated and
strengthened by a tariff reciprocity agreement similar to the customs
convention between the United States and Cuba. The mutual advantages
of such an agreement would be enormous and the development of Santo
Domingo would be effectively promoted. Closer relations would also be
fostered by a postal convention applying the domestic rates of postage
to all mail between the two countries, a good beginning having been
made by a recent arrangement applying the domestic postage rate to
letters between the United States and the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic has twelve ports of entry, but nine-tenths of
the foreign commerce goes through the ports of Macoris, Santo Domingo,
Sanchez and Puerto Plata. The first two supply the import and export
requirements of the southern portion of the Republic, the other two
those of the Cibao. The other eight custom-houses exist for local
convenience and for the prevention of smuggling. This is especially
true of the three along the Haitian frontier. In former years there
was considerable smuggling across the border, as the import duties on
certain articles in Haiti are much lower than in the Dominican
Republic. Although the profitable smuggling business demoralized trade
in those regions, the government did not interfere with it owing to
the difficulty of policing the wild and sparsely populated border
district. The American general receiver determined that the back door
should be guarded as well as the front entrance, and formed a frontier
guard which stopped contraband traffic, though at a heavy cost, for
two brave American officials have been killed and three wounded by
smugglers and outlaws, while fourteen Dominican guardsmen and
inspectors have been killed and twenty-three wounded. The expense of
the three frontier custom-houses is greater than the revenue they
produce, but entries in Azua, Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata increased
significantly after the frontier guard began its patrolling.
Incidentally the guard has helped to keep the boundary line in place.

In the seaports most of the loading and unloading is done by lighters,
the wharves generally being small affairs. Only in Puerto Plata (where
extensive harbor improvements are now under way), Macoris and Santo
Domingo can larger vessels approach the wharves. All the wharves were
built under concessions from the government, which, in the
impossibility to provide them itself on account of its perpetual lack
of funds, was obliged to procure their construction by granting the
right to collect a specified wharf tax, more or less onerous, for a
period of years. The Santo Domingo City wharf concession provided that
everything exported from and imported into this city or any other
coast point in the province must pay the tax, whether the wharf was
used or not. The Samana wharf concession; as amended, gave the right
to collect certain high wharf taxes for fifty years, from 1875 to
1925, in return for the building of a diminutive dock. One of the
important objects accomplished through the 1907 bond issue was the
redemption by the government of the monopolistic wharf concessions.

A peculiar feature of the country's domestic trade is that almost
fifty per cent of it is in the hands of Syrians. These people are
found in a number of the West India Islands, but nowhere have they
gained such a foothold as in Santo Domingo. They appeared in the
nineties, and for a number of years confined their activities to
peddling goods about the country, both men and women traveling around
with great bundles of merchandise which they spread out wherever they
met prospective purchasers. Their next step was to establish retail
stores and crowd the native Dominican storekeeper out, and of late
years they have opened large business houses. They are not regarded
as a desirable element, as they do not amalgamate or mingle with the
Dominican population, but seem possessed of the single idea to make a
fortune and return with it to their country.

Such part of the retail trade as is not controlled by Syrians, is
mostly in the hands of Dominicans. The stores are generally small,
with a limited stock of goods; they have no show-windows, but are
arranged on the style of bazars. Fixed prices are rare and most sales
become negotiations with the polite shopkeeper. In the country it is
customary for the storekeeper to make advances of merchandise to the
smaller farmers until crop time; they then pay him in cacao, coffee,
tobacco or other farm products, which he remits to the seaport to the
wholesale merchant with whom he deals.

The larger business houses are in a majority of cases owned by
foreigners, principally of Italian, German, Spanish, American and
Cuban citizenship, and now also including numerous Syrian firms. A
majority of those classed as Americans are natives of Porto Rico. A
number of these merchants arrived in Santo Domingo as poor men and by
hard work and shrewd investment built up respectable firms. They
carefully preserved their foreign nationality as a valuable asset
which protected them from undue interference on the part of the
government. One of the most prominent and successful merchants of
Santo Domingo was the late J.B. Vicini, an Italian who came to the
country penniless, but with his energy and sagacity amassed the
largest fortune of the island. His business is now managed by
his sons.

The larger merchants combine a banking business with their export and
import business. The foremost of these private bankers of late years
was Santiago  Michelena, a Porto Rican. Less than ten years ago there
was not a single bank in the Republic, but there are now three well
equipped banking institutions, all of them with their local
headquarters in the capital. One of these is the International Banking
Corporation, which is connected with the National City Bank of New
York; it entered the Dominican Republic in April, 1917, by taking over
Michelena's banking business. It has a branch in Macoris and Puerto
Plata and agencies and correspondents throughout the country. Another
bank is the Royal Bank of Canada, which does a flourishing business in
a number of the West India Islands; it has branches in five cities of
the Dominican Republic. The third bank is the Banco Nacional de Santo
Domingo, incorporated by Americans under the Dominican banking law of
1909, with a capital of $500,000. Although it has several branches,
its business is not so active as that of the other banks, since it has
lent most of its capital to the government. Under the banking law this
institution has the right to issue bank notes, but it has not
attempted to use the privilege.

Slowly the establishment of small factories has proceeded, for the
partial provision of local needs. The principal cities have ice
plants, of which some are subject to annoying interruptions. In the
Cibao there are several sawmills. Further there are, in the larger
cities, small establishments for the manufacture of cigars,
cigarettes, matches, rum, straw hats, shoes, chocolate, soap and a few
other articles. These are financed by Dominican capital and are not
able to supply the local demand. In Santo Domingo City are the remains
of a costly brewery erected by Americans with a view to supplying the
West Indies; it was ruined, so local reports say, by bad management
and has been idle for fifteen years. If the amount of soap used by a
people is really an index of its degree of civilization, then the
Dominicans can claim to be far advanced, for the consumption of soap
manufactured in the country and imported, is very considerable. The
government has encouraged manufacturing enterprises and repeatedly
granted concessions exempting their machinery and raw material from
import duties for specified periods. The number of manufacturing
plants will doubtless increase, but agriculture is bound to remain the
mainstay of the country.



CHAPTER XVI

CITIES AND TOWNS


General condition of municipalities.--Santo Domingo City; ruins,
churches, streets, popular legends.--Other towns of Santo Domingo
Province.--San Pedro de Macoris.--Seibo.--Samana and Sanchez.
--Pacificador Province.--Concepción de La Vega.--Moca.--Santiago
de los Caballeros.--Puerto Plata.--Monte Cristi.--Azua.--Barahona.


Compared with cities in the United States a majority of Dominican
towns are hoary with age. The capital city and a number of others were
founded more than a century before Virginia was settled, and had begun
to decline almost a hundred years before the Pilgrims landed on
Plymouth Rock. Yet such have been the vicissitudes of the country that
only one city, the capital, shows signs of its antiquity; the others
from their appearance might be taken to be but a few decades old, and
with the exception of two or three ancient churches in the interior
none of the older buildings of these towns have survived the ravages
of time, wars and earthquakes. The modern appearance of most cities is
heightened by the fact that frame structures predominate, and outside
of Santo Domingo, Santiago, La Vega and Puerto Plata stone houses are
infrequent.

The impoverishment of the country by periodic revolutions has had its
effect on the municipalities and prevented their proper development.
In no city are all municipal needs and services properly attended to,
and in most towns they are all badly neglected. Sanitary inspection is
nowhere given due attention; sewers are practically unknown; but two
cities, Puerto Plata and  Santiago, have a general system of
waterworks, the others being dependent on water drawn from cisterns or
wells, or carried from rivers or springs; in all but five or six
little attention is paid to the condition of the streets. Only
Santiago, Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo have electric light, but that
of Santo Domingo is very deficient. Little by little conditions are
improving and especially the larger municipalities are endeavoring to
improve their streets and provide a water supply.

To the smallness of the urban centers their lack of municipal
conveniences is partly to be attributed. The Dominican towns are all
built on the same general plan as other Spanish cities, being
constructed around a central plaza on which the church and government
building are located.

The principal cities are the capitals of the twelve provinces, and the
city of Sanchez. A brief description of these cities follows, with a
reference to the other more important towns and villages of
each province.

PROVINCE OF SANTO DOMINGO

_Santo Domingo de Guzmán_, the capital of the Republic and of the
province of the same name, is the oldest city founded by Europeans in
the new world, the first city, Isabela, having disappeared a few years
after settlement. It was founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496 on
the east bank of the Ozama River as the capital of the colony, but the
small houses constituting the town having been destroyed by a
hurricane in 1502 it was transferred to the west bank of the river by
order of Governor Ovando. It grew rapidly in population and wealth
until it merited the eulogies of Oviedo who wrote to Charles V in 1525
that he did not hesitate to assure that there was not in Spain a city
he would prefer whether on account of advantageous and agreeable
location, beauty and arrangement of squares and streets or charms of
the surrounding country, adding that "their Highnesses oftentimes
lodged in palaces which have neither the conveniences, the ample size
nor the wealth of some of those in Santo Domingo." By the middle of
the sixteenth century the city had passed the zenith of its glory, and
its capture by Drake in 1586 and the destruction of the houses about
the main plaza was a severe blow. The decline continued rapidly,
although in 1655 the city was still strong enough to repel an invasion
by Admiral William Penn. In 1684 and 1691 it was visited by
destructive earthquakes and in 1700 it was full of ruins among which
grew great trees. The lowest ebb was reached about 1737 when the
population had fallen to 500 "and," writes Father Valverde, "more than
half the buildings of the capital were entirely ruined, and of those
still standing two-thirds were uninhabitable or closed and the other
third was more than enough for the population. There were houses and
lands whose owners were unknown, and of which people took advantage as
belonging to the first one who might occupy them, either because there
was entire lack of heirs of the owners or because they had emigrated
elsewhere." In a few years, however, the tide of fortune turned and
the city's rise was as rapid as its decline had been long, until by
about the year 1790 it had quite recovered its ancient glory. Another
reverse was quick in coming, for the cession to France in 1795 and the
revolt of the negroes in French Saint-Domingue drove away the best
inhabitants. In 1801 Toussaint l'Ouverture took possession of the city
and in 1805 it was successfully held by the French against the siege
of the negro emperor Dessalines. This siege was the beginning of a
series lasting for a century. In 1809 after a desperate struggle the
city was recaptured for Spain by the Dominicans, but from 1822 to 1844
it was in the hands of the Haitians, and abandoned by all the whites
who could flee. Since the declaration of Dominican independence in
1844 almost every revolution has involved a siege of the capital.
Within the last twenty-five years the city has made rapid strides
forward and spread far beyond the old city walls.

To the stranger Santo Domingo is by far the most interesting city of
the Republic, on account of its stirring history and its venerable
monuments of the past. Unfortunately the relics of the early days have
met with scant respect from later generations, and ruins which would
be the pride of other cities have been wantonly demolished. The
Haitian governors gloried in this kind of vandalism, using the old
churches as quarries and destroying the coats of arms of famous
families which were cut in stone on the facades of their former houses
and in their chapels in the cathedral. One which they left, on a house
on Mercedes street, adjoining the government building, was obliterated
in 1907 by the erection of a balcony. Since the declaration of
independence ignorance and negligence have been responsible for much
damage and the few administrations which took an interest in the old
monuments needed all their money for military purposes. Ancient
bastions have been needlessly razed, inscriptions effaced and no steps
taken for the preservation of such memorials as remained. In 1883 a
concession for the improvement of Santo Domingo harbor even provided
that the concessionnaire might tear down the ruins belonging to the
state and use the material for filling purposes; happily he was able
to carry out but little of this part of the contract. The great
majority of the brick and stone structures of Santo Domingo are
ancient houses and convents preserved or rebuilt with more or less
alteration. In some cases behind walls and doorways of great age are
little huts of the poor. Though many signs of the past have thus
disappeared, many still remain. It is to be hoped that the American
authorities in Santo Domingo will be less indifferent to the
preservation of ancient monuments than has been the case in other West
Indian countries.

The most interesting ancient building is the massive ruin known as the
"House of the Admiral" or "House of Columbus," which even now, after
centuries of neglect and decay, gives eloquent testimony of former
greatness. It was built soon after 1509 by Diego Columbus, the son of
the great navigator, on a height overlooking the Ozama River. Here
Diego Columbus governed with regal splendor and here most of his
children were born. It was the home of his widow, Maria de Toledo,
until her death in 1549. Here also their son Louis Columbus lived for
many years and embarked on two of his mad marriages. Another son,
Cristobal, who was in the government employ in Santo Domingo, also
seems to have lived in this house, after Louis went to Spain in 1551.
On Cristobal's death in 1571 and that of Louis in 1572, it passed to
Cristobal's son Diego. From the date of this Diego's death in 1578,
when the direct male line of the Discoverer's descendants became
extinct, the history of the house becomes obscure: it was sequestered
by court decree in the course of the long inheritance litigation
between the members of the Columbus family and appears to have been
awarded in 1583 to the Admiral of Aragon, son of a sister of Louis and
Cristobal, and in 1605 to Nuño de Portugal, grandson of another
sister; the former may have sojourned there temporarily, but it is
doubtful whether the latter or any of his descendants ever visited
Santo Domingo. There is reason to believe that it was occupied for a
time by the family of Luis de Avila, judge of Santo Domingo City, who
was married to a daughter of Cristobal and whose children were still
living in the colony at the end of the sixteenth century. When in 1790
a descendant of this Avila was at length awarded the last vestiges of
the Columbus honors, no attention seems to have been given to this
house, which was then as complete a ruin as at present, though it was
in better condition and the arcade supporting the front porch was
still extant.

The edifice is built of stone blocks; porches supported by graceful
arches were once an attractive feature; the windows and principal
doorways were embellished with handsome arabesques; and Oviedo and
other chroniclers dwell at length on the magnificence of the interior.
They especially refer to the beauty and value of a sculpture showing
the arms of Castile, located in the great reception hall behind the
viceroy's throne. At the present time the building is reduced to a
mere shell, roofless and windowless; in a part of its interior there
is a little palm thatch shelter for stabling horses; while the court
yard and terrace reek with offal from dirty cabins round about.

At the foot of the house of Columbus is part of the old city wall
erected in 1537 and of which numerous portions remain intact, though
all traces of the moat have disappeared. The old city was in the form
of a trapezium occupying an area of a caballeria or about 200 acres,
and the wall on the north side, provided with numerous redoubts and
watch towers, was much the longest, the western wall being the
shortest. Santo Domingo is one of the cities of the Spanish main which
lay claim to the story that when the accounts for the city's walls
were laid before the king of Spain, he went, to the window and gazed
at the horizon, saying he was "looking for the reflection of those
walls, for they must be built of gold, they cost so much." Judging by
the relative size of the walls, the story should rather be awarded to
Cartagena, in Colombia, or possibly to another city, but Santo
Domingo's walls are massive enough to have justified the Spanish king
in squinting at the horizon, at least. The ancient gates which were
formerly closed from sunset to sunrise, still remain, but no longer
afford the only means of ingress and egress as breaches have been made
in the walls at most street terminations. The most famous of the old
gates is the "Puerta del Conde," "Gate of the Count," so called
because it was constructed by the Count of Peñalva, Governor of Santo
Domingo, about 1655, though the bastion through which it leads is as
old as the city wall. It was here that the cry of independence was
raised on February 27, 1844, and it is therefore regarded as the
cradle of Dominican independence and its official name is "Bulwark of
the twenty-seventh of February." Another important gate is the "Gate
of San Diego," also called "Gate of the Admiral," near the ruins of
Diego Columbus' house and affording communication with the wharves on
the Ozama River. It is one of the original three gates of the city. Up
the river, near the lumber market, is a very old ceiba tree to which
it is claimed Columbus once tied up his vessel. Still further up the
river is a spring the enclosure about which is said to have been built
by Diego Columbus.

"La Fuerza," the fort and barracks, is situated at the southeast
corner of the city. According to an inscription over the gate it was
built in the year 1783. Within its enclosure on a bluff at the place
where the Ozama empties into the sea, rises the ancient citadel, the
"Torre del Homenaje," "Tower of Homage" the enormously thick walls of
which were erected not later than 1504. There are many who affirm that
it was built before 1500, although the town was then situated on the
other side of the river, and a cell with a small barred window is
pointed out as the cell in which Bobadilla imprisoned Columbus before
sending him to Spain in chains. Others claim that recently-discovered
old foundation-walls on the east side of the river were the
foundations of the building in which Columbus was confined. "In that
case," Dominican wags observe, "the Tower of Homage is the place where
he would have been confined if it had then been erected." In any event
the tower and the terraces below it are the oldest fortifications
constructed by white men in America. Cortez and Pizarro, Velazquez,
Ponce de Leon, Narvaez and many others passed out of the Ozama River
under the shadow of this building, full of hope for the future. Within
its somber walls have been immured many an Indian chief in the time of
the conquest and many a revolutionist in later days. The tower proper
has been for years a political prison, while around the courtyard at
its base on the riverside, is the common jail.

The churches form an important connecting link between old and new
Santo Domingo. Of these the most beautiful and imposing is the
cathedral, built in what may be called Ibero-Romanesque style. As
early as 1506 Ferdinand and Isabella ordered its erection, in 1512 a
grant of revenue was made and two years later the work of construction
was begun. In one of the chapels is a large rough-hewn mahogany cross
on which is painted the legend: "This is the first sign planted in the
center of this field to mark the beginning of this magnificent temple
in the year MDXIV." The work progressed slowly; an inscription in the
doorway leading to the plaza states that the church was completed to
that point in 1527 and another inscription in the old choir, torn down
in 1877, stated that the building was finished in 1540. It is probable
that the original plans called for an even loftier building. One of
the towers first projected was begun, but it was never concluded and
the belfry is still a temporary one. Of late years there have been
attempts to provide for the completion of this tower by popular
subscription. The building has been damaged repeatedly by earthquakes
and the repairs made have changed its original outer appearance on the
plaza side. In its roof there is still lodged a cannon-ball fired into
the city by a Spanish battery during the siege of 1809.

In the interior, great pillars of a soft dark-red tint support the
high groined arches and the effect is severe and impressive. The altar
at the head of the nave is beautifully inlaid with wrought silver and
is surmounted by the coat of arms of Spain placed there by order of
Charles V, a relic of Spanish days which was hidden away while the
Haitians were in possession of the city. On the altar platform a
marble slab indicates the place where the bones of Columbus were found
in 1877, another slab the former location of the remains taken to Cuba
in 1795 as the remains of Columbus, and still another the resting
place of Louis Columbus, the grandson of the Discoverer. At the end of
the nave, near the entrance door, is the airy marble monument beneath
which is guarded the casket that contains the remains of the
Discoverer of America.

The cathedral like the other churches is made more interesting by the
ancient epitaphs on slabs in the pavement and walls, marking the
burial places of persons famous in the history of the island. In one
of the lateral chapels, which belonged to the Bastidas family, the
resting place of Bishop Bastidas, who in the early days was bishop in
Venezuela, Porto Rico and Santo Domingo, is marked by a large marble
recumbant figure of a bishop and the chapel is therefore known as "the
chapel of the stone bishop." Nearby is the tomb of his father, that
Rodrigo de Bastidas who was imprisoned by Bobadilla, and an epitaph
full of abbreviations which reads:

"Here lies the very magnificent Sir Don Rodrigo de Bastidas, first
Adelantado and Governor and Captain-General of Santa Marta, who in the
year 1502 discovered Terra-firma by order of the Catholic Sovereigns
from Cape Vela to Darien: he died March 28, 1527."

Close by is another epitaph:

"Here lies the virtuous, Christian and religious lady Doña Isabel
Rodrigo de Romera, native of the noble town of Carmona, who was wife
of the Adelantado Don Rodrigo de Bastidas and mother of the most
reverend Bishop of San Juan, Don Rodrigo de Bastidas. She died
September 15, 1533. May she rest in peace."

And in Latin:

"I believe that my Redeemer lived and that on the judgment day I shall
be resurrected."

In another chapel is a slab ten feet long with an elaborate coat of
arms, surmounted by a helmet with flowing plumes, and having an
inscription reading:

"Here lies the magnificent knight Diego Caballero, councilor of this
Island of Española, first secretary of the first Royal Audiencia which
the Catholic Sovereigns established in these Indies. He died January
22, 1553."  Surrounding this inscription is another:

"Likewise lies here the generous lady Isabel Bacan, his good wife: she
died in the year 1551."

Above is a verse stating that he flourished with the strength given
him by God, and on an adjoining stone are the words;

"I have ended my cares. Hope and fortune, remain and seek others to
mock."

On another tombstone is the inscription:

"This tomb belongs to Don Francisco de Almansa, canon of this holy
principal church and commissioner of the Holy Inquisition, and to
his heirs."

There are many other interesting inscriptions. In one of the chapels
is an artistic gem, a well preserved picture of Our Lady of Antigua,
presented by Ferdinand and Isabella who are represented in an attitude
of devotion at the foot of the Virgin. It is probably by Antonio del
Rincon, their court painter. Other very old and obscure paintings in
the church are ascribed to Velazquez or Murillo. Another chapel,
adorned with the Dominican coat of arms in marble relief, is the
resting place of Dominican celebrities.

The oldest Christian church in the new world was that of San Nicolas,
founded by Governor Nicolas de Ovando in 1502. It was suffered to go
to ruin, then restored and used as a military hospital and then again
abandoned to decay until, overgrown with weeds and almost roofless, it
was latterly used by a blacksmith as his workshop. The suggestion was
frequently made that it be converted into a museum of Dominican
antiquities, but the matter was neglected too long and in 1909 the
historic building was condemned and the front portion demolished, but
the groined arch over the presbytery remains.

The most picturesque ruin of the city is that of the church of San
Francisco, erected by the Franciscan monks about 1504 at the most
conspicuous point in the city, and which is now, after the destruction
of San Nicolas church, the oldest church ruin in America. It was the
largest church in old Santo Domingo. Here were deposited and probably
still rest, the remains of Bartholomew Columbus, the brother of the
Discoverer. The church and convent, like several other churches of the
city, were badly damaged by the earthquake of 1751 but were rebuilt
better than before. When the Haitians came the church was abandoned;
in 1824 it was assigned to the negro immigrants from the United States
as a Methodist church, but it was allowed to go to complete ruin and
much of its masonry was utilized by the Haitian rulers. A small part
of the monastery has been rebuilt for use as an asylum for the insane.
The Franciscan community was one of the wealthiest of the city, and
fronting on the city's principal market still stands a large house
formerly belonging to it and known as the "Casa del Cordón," "House of
the Cord," because of a Franciscan's girdle hewn in stone over the
doorway. Tradition says that Diego Columbus resided here while his
palace was under construction.

The other larger churches have all been restored and among them may be
mentioned the church of St. Dominic or Santo Domingo founded in 1507,
with massive walls and arches. It contains numerous tombs belonging to
families that flourished in the island in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, but most of the inscriptions are rudely carved.
A slab in one of the chapels shows a coat of arms with thirteen stars;
there is no inscription further than a short Latin quotation from the
26th psalm, but the stone is supposed to date from the latter part of
the sixteenth century and to mark the grave of Lope de Bardeci, the
founder of the chapel. Other churches are the lofty Mercedes church by
the side of the ruined monastery of the friars of Mercy; the church of
Regina Angelorum, the spacious building adjoining which, now used by
the courts of justice, was formerly a nunnery; that of St. Clara,
formerly a nunnery and rebuilt from ruin in 1885 by the sisters of
charity; the church of San Lazaro, at the leper asylum; the quaint old
church of Santa Barbara; and the chapel of San Miguel, founded about
1520 by Miguel de Pasamonte, the royal treasurer, an inveterate enemy
of the Columbus family. The old Jesuit church is used as a theater and
the former Jesuit convent is occupied by business houses and private
residences.

The main plaza of Santo Domingo is a pretty square planted with
flowers and shade trees. In the center stands a bronze statue of
Columbus who is represented with the flag of Spain taking possession
of Quisqueya for his sovereigns. At the foot of the pedestal is an
Indian writing thereon the words found engraved on the box that
contained what are believed to be Columbus' remains: "Ill'tre. y
Es'do. Varon D'n Cristoval Colon," "Illustrious and noble man Don
Cristopher Columbus." On the south side of the plaza is the cathedral,
on the west side the old city hall, recently renovated and provided
with an ugly tower, and on the east side the government building,
erected during the Haitian occupation with bricks from the San
Francisco and Santa Clara churches. Popular superstition therefore
regards this building as unlucky and points out that one of the Baez
brothers was killed in a revolution when the family resided here. The
edifice was for years occupied by all the government offices until
the renovation of the ancient palace of government. Adjoining is the
small building in which the Dominican Congress meets. It occupies a
site on which in the olden days stood a prison, the walls of which
still remain behind the Congress Hall. The spacious building known as
the old palace of government is one of the most ancient edifices in
the city. Its cornerstone was laid about 1504 by Ovando and it
contained the offices of the Spanish governors-general in colonial
times. Through neglect it was permitted to fall to ruin but since 1900
it has gradually been renovated. Nearby is a large sundial, erected
in 1753.

The old palace of government is on Colon street, which was in the
early days called "Calle de las Damas," "Street of the Ladies,"
because on it resided the ladies who came from Spain with the wife of
Diego Columbus. It is to be regretted that the old street names which
were pregnant with memories of the past have been so lightly changed.
At present most of the streets are named after events, battles or
persons prominent in the more recent history of the country.

The streets of the capital are not quite so narrow as those of Havana,
San Juan and other old Spanish cities. After years of neglect the
principal streets have at length been placed in excellent condition
and the steam roller has even invaded the side streets. The sidewalks
are generally narrow, being only about three feet in width, and as
municipal supervision over them has not been carefully exercised,
there are differences in grade along the sidewalks of certain streets
and in passing along it is necessary to go up and down steps. Along
the improved streets, however, new sidewalks and gutters have been
constructed. The style of architecture of the houses with their thick
walls and iron-barred windows makes the streets resemble those of
other Spanish-American cities. Among the finest buildings of the city
may be counted the palatial quarters of the young men's club "Casino
de la Juventud" and of the Union Club, of which the most prominent men
of the city, especially merchants, are members. Leading out of the
city are two boulevards along which are fine residences of wealthier
Dominicans.

A city of such history naturally abounds with popular legends. Stories
are current of a network of ancient subterranean passages which are
said to connect the principal churches and the fort, and knowledge of
the location of which has been lost because their entrances have
either been walled up or become obstructed by debris. Local historians
deride such tales, though admitting that underground passages may have
existed at isolated points. It is related that not many years ago a
woman was digging in her garden on a street which passes the ruins of
Mercedes convent, when the earth gave way and an aperture became
visible. Her husband investigated and found a subterranean passage
which led across the street: and directly under the convent ruins,
where it was choked up with stones and earth. Other stories refer to
deep, forgotten vaults said to exist under many buildings. Popular
rumor, morbid when dealing with President Heureaux, affirms that in
vaults under the ancient mansion which was converted into a palace for
him, the remains of some of his victims were found. In vaults and
dungeons under the barracks of La Fuerza the Spaniards in retiring
from the island at the close of the eighteenth century, secreted part
of their military supplies. Many years later an old man who had
assisted in walling up the stores revealed their existence to
President Baez and he, when besieged in Santo Domingo in 1857 brought
them out and utilized them against the revolutionists. The old
mortars and grenades were found in excellent condition and at first
caused a panic among the besiegers who thought the shells had fallen
from the sky.

The favorite stories are those relating to buried treasure. During the
vicissitudes through which the island has passed and especially during
the troublous period at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of
the nineteenth century many persons who left the country first
secreted their valuables in the belief that their absence would be
only temporary. They did not return, their property passed into other
hands and the treasure was forgotten. Occasionally, too, people buried
their money for safe-keeping and died without imparting the secret.
There have been authenticated cases of treasure-trove, especially in
the first half of the nineteenth century. The finds have almost always
been accidental, as when in hanging a hammock a nail gave way and
revealed a cavity, or in rebuilding a hidden orifice was disclosed. In
many popular stories a foreigner with a map plays a part. According to
one of these tales a stranger appeared some years ago near Mercedes
church taking measurements, so that the neighbors thought him insane.
He finally approached the owner of one of the houses and offered to
rent it. When his increased offers were refused he drew from his
pocket a paper which he said showed the location of a hidden treasure
and offered the houseowner a share if he were permitted to make the
search. The cupidity of the other was aroused and he would agree to
take nothing less than three-fourths of the whole, whereupon the
stranger in a rage lit a match and burnt the paper before the
horrified houseowner's eyes, exclaiming: "Now you will never find it."
For months afterwards the proprietor delved through the ground below
the house and perforated the walls in scores of places, but the
prediction of the stranger would probably have been verified had it
not been for an accident. Some four years later, after a heavy rain, a
woman of the neighborhood came to draw water from the cistern of this
particular house. As the rope stuck in the pulley she gave a tug,
slipped and fell into the cistern to her waist in water. Her screams
brought assistance and as she was drawn out it was noticed that in her
descent, she had loosened several bricks in the wall of the cistern.
An examination revealed an aperture large enough to hold a man, and
filled with plate, jewelry and coins.

In another story the stranger was more fortunate. He rented a small
house, also on Mercedes street, paying several months' rent in
advance. When after a few days the house was found closed it was
thought the stranger had taken a trip to the country, but when two and
three months passed and the tenant did not reappear, the proprietress
applied to the authorities. The door was forced open and in the middle
of the room a deep hole was found, at the bottom of which was an empty
strongbox, while smaller boxes and the pick and shovel used in the
excavation lay scattered around. On a table in the corner lay a
parchment with a map that showed the location of the strongbox.
Further investigation revealed that the stranger a week after his
disappearance took passage on a schooner for a foreign port.

The fortunate finders of such treasures have generally kept silence in
order to avoid the possibility of adverse claimants, and when
discovered would minimize the find. Popular rumor still designates
several houses as containing hidden treasures. One of them, situated
on Billini Plaza, near the cathedral, has all but been torn to pieces
by tenants in vain efforts to penetrate the secret. In other cases the
rumors are more vague. General Ferrand, the energetic French governor
of Santo Domingo, is reported to have buried the state treasure before
departing in 1808 on the disastrous expedition in which he lost his
life in Palo Hincado, and in more than one place excavations have been
made to seek it.

Outside the walls of the city is the cemetery, which is pretty and
clean and has many vaults and varicolored plants. The most conspicuous
objects are the crosses which surmount the graves and the iron fences
surrounding many lots, with a little lantern at each corner. The
lanterns are lighted up on All Soul's Day, when people flock to the
cemetery and decorate the graves of their departed friends with
wreaths and flowers.

An interesting monument of old Santo Domingo is the small fortress of
San Geronimo, which stands deserted on the ocean shore about three
miles from the city. It was built in the early days of Spanish
colonization as a protection against foes who might land up the coast
and is a good specimen of medieval military architecture, with its
walls of immense thickness, its watch towers, its deep moat and its
dark dungeons. In revolutions it was usually garrisoned and has been
taken and retaken unnumbered times, and in 1903 it was bombarded by a
Dominican cruiser.

In the midst of its monuments of the past Santo Domingo throbs with
the life of the present. Being one of the principal ports and the seat
of the government it is the busiest city of the Republic. Its docks,
markets and business streets are always congested with workers
and traders.

_San Carlos_ is a suburb of Santo Domingo City, adjoining the same on
the northwest, and since 1910 forming an integral part thereof. It
was founded towards the end of the seventeenth century by Canary
Islanders. Owing to its proximity to Santo Domingo and as part of the
town overlooks the capital, it has in all the sieges of Santo Domingo
been held by the besiegers and lost heavily. The fifteen days' siege
by the negro emperor Dessalines in 1805 caused serious damage; in the
siege of eight months in 1808 by Juan Sanchez Ramirez it was almost
entirely ruined; in the fifteen days' siege of 1849 by Santana it was
burned; in the nine months' siege of 1857 by Santana it was again
partially destroyed and since that time in every siege it has
sustained damage. In the two months' siege in the beginning of 1904
the church and other buildings were damaged by shells, and several
blocks of dwellings were burned to the ground. Yet the town has always
risen, phoenix-like, from its ashes. One of the points of interest is
an old public cistern of great size and depth. Near San Carlos is the
picturesque grotto of Santa Ana, said to have been an Indian
sanctuary.

On the Ozama River opposite the capital is _Villa Duarte_, formerly
called _Pajarito_. On an adjoining estate is the ruined chapel of
Rosario, believed to date from the first city of Santo Domingo and
which may have been the church where Bobadilla proclaimed his
authority over Columbus. Not far from the town is an interesting cave
with three crystal pools called Tres Ojos.

_San Cristobal_, about 16 miles to the west of the capital, had only a
chapel and two or three huts in 1820, but attained more importance
when slaves freed by the Haitians on the surrounding sugar estates
settled there.

_Bani_ is a pretty little town founded in 1764 and situated about 39
miles west of Santo Domingo, between the foothills and the sea. Its
chief pride is that it was the birthplace of Maximo Gomez, the famous
warrior for Cuban independence. Gomez became a major in the Spanish
army, fought against his countrymen during the War of the Restoration
and abandoned Santo Domingo with the Spaniards, but this record has
been forgiven by the Dominicans in view of his later services in
behalf of Cuba libre.

_Bayaguana_ and _Monte Plata_, about 30 and 28 miles northeast of
Santo Domingo, respectively, were both founded in 1606 for the
settlement of residents of coast towns destroyed in order to stop
smuggling, the former receiving the inhabitants of Bayajá and Yaguana,
the latter those of Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata. The church of
Bayaguana is visited by many pilgrims who come to adore an image of
Christ to which miracles are attributed.

Other villages of the province are: _San Lorenzo de los Minas_, 3
miles northeast of Santo Domingo, first settled in 1719 by negroes of
the Minas tribe, refugees from French Santo Domingo; _San Antonio de
Guerra_, situated in the plains 19 miles northeast of the capital;
_Boyá_, 32 miles northeast of the capital, founded in 1533 by
Enriquillo, the last Indian chief and by the last survivors of the
Indians of the island: it contains an old church of composite
aboriginal Gothic architecture, in which the remains of Enriquillo and
of his wife Doña Mencia are believed to rest; _Mella_, 7 miles, and
_La Victoria_, 12 miles north of the capital; _Yamasá_, 30 miles
northwest of Santo Domingo; and _Sábana Grande_, or _Palenque_, 22
miles west of the city.



PROVINCE OF SAN PEDRO DE MACORÍS

_San Pedro de Macorís_, about 45 miles east of Santo Domingo City, is
one of the most modern and flourishing cities of the Republic. In
1885 it was merely a small fishing village, about that time sugar
plantations began to be established in the surrounding plains and the
town commenced to grow. To-day there are pretty houses, the streets
are clean and in good repair, the plaza has a handsome park and the
whole city wears a prosperous look. There are busy scenes on the
modern docks and in the harbor. Around Macoris, as in other parts of
the Republic, there are large numbers of beautiful graceful cocoanut
palms and royal palms.

The Province of Macoris is small and contains but one other town
worthy of mention, namely, _San José de los Llanos_, about 15 miles
northeast of Macoris, founded in the plains in the eighteenth century.



PROVINCE OF SEIBO

_Santa Cruz del Seibo_, 74 miles northeast of Santo Domingo, was
originally founded by Juan de Esquivel in 1502, but being destroyed by
an earthquake in 1751, was moved to its present location, to the north
of its old site. It lies in the center of a region devoted to cacao
planting and stockraising. The town has a pretty church, and is
celebrated in Dominican history as having instigated the reconquest
for Spain in 1808 and as having been the home and bulwark of General
Pedro Santana, who was idolized by the Seibanos.

_Salvaleón de Higüey_, the easternmost city of the Republic, situated
31 miles southeast of Seibo, was also founded by Juan de Esquivel in
the days of Ovando. Its church contains a picture of Our Lady of
Altagracia, to which miracles are ascribed and which attracts pilgrims
from all parts of Santo Domingo and Haiti.

Other towns are _Hato Mayor_, 18 miles west of Seibo; _Ramón Santana_,
formerly called _Guaza_, 19 miles south-west of Seibo; _La Romana_,
on the coast 25 miles south of Seibo, with rapidly expanding sugar
estates; and _El Jovero_, a hamlet on the coast near the eastern end
of Samana Bay.



PROVINCE OF SAMANÁ

_Santa Bárbara de Samaná_, 78 miles northeast of the capital of the
Republic, is built on a cove on the north side of Samana Bay. The
protected character of the inlet made it a favorite resort for pirates
in the seventeenth century, and beginning with 1673, French buccaneers
made several attempts to settle here but were driven out by the
Spanish authorities. The town was definitely settled in 1756 by
families from the Canary Islands. In the town and neighborhood live
many English-speaking negroes, descendants of those who were brought
from the United States by the Haitian President Boyer about 1825.

A larger town is _Sánchez_ at the western end of Samana Bay,
twenty-five miles from the town of Samana. In 1886 there was here a
tiny hamlet, known as _Las Canitas_, but on becoming the terminus of
the railroad from La Vega, the name of Sanchez, a hero of Dominican
independence, was given it, and the town rapidly grew in size. Its
dwellings are scattered over two ridges of land divided by a deep
valley. On one of the ridges the houses are pretty one-story buildings
with gardens in front. The beautiful grounds surrounding the house of
the general manager of the Samana-Santiago Railroad are situated on a
height overlooking the sparkling expanse of Samana Bay and give a
suggestion of the possibilities of landscape gardening in Santo
Domingo. Colored families from St. Thomas and the British West Indies
and descendants of American negroes make up a considerable proportion
of the population, so that more English is heard here than Spanish.

On the south side of Samana Bay is the small village of _Sábana de la
Mar_, commonly known as _Sábana la Mar_, founded by Canary Islanders
in 1756. There are many stories of pirates' buried gold in
this region.



PROVINCE OF PACIFICADOR

_San Francisco de Macoris_, the capital of the province, is about 85
miles northwest of Santo Domingo City and occupies the site of a fort
established by Ovando in 1504 and known as the fort of La Magdalena.
It was founded in 1774 around a chapel dedicated to St. Ann which
stood on a ranch called San Francisco. Lying in a fertile district
formerly devoted to tobacco and now one of the chief cacao regions of
the island, it is a town of considerable business. It is also called
_Macoris del Norte_, to distinguish it from San Pedro de Macoris,
which is called Macoris del Este.

_Villa Rivas_, on the Samana-Santiago Railroad, 19 miles from Samana
bay, was formerly called Almacén, or Storehouse, because here was
situated, before the railroad was built, a warehouse for the storage
of merchandise imported and exported by way of Samana and the
Yuna river.

The other towns, all of recent foundation, are _Matanzas_, a fishing
village on the edge of a cacao district on the northeast coast, and
three villages named after heroes of the War of Restoration: _Cabrera_
on the coast at Tres Amarras point; _Castillo_, 8 miles west of Rivas;
and _Pimentel_, formerly called _Barbero_, a station on the
Samana-Santiago Railroad and the center of an important cacao zone.



 PROVINCE OF LA VEGA

_Concepción de la Vega_, capital of the province and one of the most
important cities of the Royal Plain, is 90 miles from Santo Domingo
City. The old town of Concepción de la Vega was founded by Columbus in
1495 at the foot of the eminence known as Santo Cerro and at the place
of residence of the Indian chief Guarionex. It quickly attained such
importance that in 1508 it was declared a city and endowed with a coat
of arms, and in the same year a bishopric was erected there, which
was, however, in 1527 merged with the bishopric of Santo Domingo. An
earthquake overthrew its fine buildings in 1564 and the city was
thereupon relocated at a distance of three miles on the bank of the
Camu. The site of the old city is now private property and is
overgrown with tropical vegetation. Moss-grown foundation walls
protrude from the ground; a mass of brickwork some twenty feet high
and having the form of a blockhouse chimney remains of the old church;
and part of the circular tower erected at the corner of the fort of
Columbus, well provided with loop-holes for muskets, still remains
standing. In desultory excavations made at different times small
objects such as ancient spurs, stirrups and coins have been found.

The new city led a languishing existence until it became the interior
terminus of the Samana-Santiago Railroad which gave it a great
impetus. It is regularly laid out, the streets are fairly wide and a
majority of the houses are built of brick. The city has a pretty plaza
laid out as a garden, a new market building, a theater, and like every
other town of importance in Santo Domingo, a club. At the entrance to
the town is a bronze statue of Gregorio Rivas, a progressive merchant
and philanthropist of this region, who died twenty years ago.

The feature of the city which attracts the traveler's attention
unfavorably is the neglect of the city streets. During the dry season
the lack of pavements does not matter but when the rains come the rich
loam turns to a deep black mud. Along most streets there are narrow
sidewalks, but where there are none, or where it is necessary to cross
to the other side, the mode of progress is by hop, skip and jump from
one dry place to another--the religion of the virtuous pedestrian
being put to a severe test when after a strenuous jump he lands in a
muddy place up to his shoe tops. At some crossings thoughtful
storekeepers lay a plank of salvation for the passer-by. The city is a
great center for cacao, tobacco and coffee, and several sawmills are
kept busy cutting up pine logs from the surrounding hills.

_Cotuí_, about 31 miles southeast of La Vega, was founded by order of
Ovando in 1505, being called _Las Minas_ in the early days because of
the mines of gold, copper and other metals in the neighborhood.
_Bonao_, about 26 miles south of La Vega, was founded by order of
Columbus in 1496 to protect the mines in the nearby mountains and was
the scene of Roldan's revolt against Columbus. Both of these towns
almost disappeared when the colony declined and are now
humble villages.

Other villages are _Jarabacoa_, 18 miles southwest of La Vega;
_Constanza_, 30 miles southwest of La Vega and rarely visited by
strangers because of its isolation among the mountains, near the
beautiful valley of Constanza; _Cevicos_, also hidden in the
mountains, 12 miles southeast of Cotui; and _Santo Cerro_, 3 miles
north of La Vega, on a hill which commands a magnificent view of the
Royal Plain.



 PROVINCE OF ESPAILLAT

_Moca_, also called _Espaillat_, 100 miles northwest of Santo Domingo
City, is a thriving city. It was the scene of the "Moca massacre" in
1805, when the Haitian general Christophe, having guaranteed the
safety of the inhabitants, induced them to return from their hiding
places in the mountains and assemble in the church to the number of
five hundred in order to hold a mass of thanksgiving, whereupon they
were massacred by the Haitian soldiers. In more recent history it has
been taken and retaken many times during revolutions and in 1899 was
the scene of the killing of President Heureaux. Its houses are mostly
one story in height and many are built of brick, while picturesque
huts of the poor surround the town. Gutters have been constructed in
the principal streets, but the possibilities of paving have by no
means been exhausted. The town sustains two churches, one on the
outskirts, and another with a peculiar square tower, on the plaza. The
inhabitants take pride in their pretty flower-grown plaza and in the
elaborate portal of their cemetery.

The other town of the province is _Salcedo_, formerly called _Juana
Núñez_, 7 miles east of Moca in a rich cacao district.



PROVINCE OF SANTIAGO

_Santiago de los Caballeros_, Santiago of the Gentlemen, 115 miles
northwest of Santo Domingo, was founded as a military station on a
bluff of the Yaque River about 1497 by order of Bartholomew Columbus,
and settled in 1504 by thirty knights, from which circumstance it
derives its name. It received many settlers from the old town of
Isabela, was given a coat of arms in 1508, reached a flourishing
state, and was destroyed in 1564 by the same earthquake which
overthrew La Vega. Its inhabitants then removed to the present site,
about six miles east of the location of the old city, the ruins of
which are still to be seen. The city was burned three times by the
French buccaneers during their struggles with the Spanish colonial
authorities and later by the Haitian general Christophe on the
occasion of the retreat of the emperor Dessalines in 1805. It had
again attained importance when it was destroyed by an earthquake in
1842. Once more it was reduced to ashes in 1863 at the outbreak of the
War of the Restoration. To-day Santiago is one of the richest and most
flourishing cities of the island and has aspirations to become the
capital of the Republic, so that an intense rivalry exists with Santo
Domingo. The streets are regular and clean and a general repair has
been commenced. There are important business houses and well-stocked
bazaars and the market place is one of the busiest in the country.

The plaza in the center of the city has a handsome garden established
by popular subscription, and gay with flowers and palms. Two churches
are on the plaza, the larger of which has a beautiful altar. The
remains of President Heureaux are buried here, his resting place being
marked by a marble slab with the Dominican coat of arms. The
government palace fronting on the plaza is a substantial affair with
walls dating from Haitian times, and the city hall, also fronting on
the plaza, is a fine structure. In the cemetery there is a street of
beautiful mausoleums, the architecture of several being Egyptian in
style and others bearing medallions or recumbent figures of the
deceased. The volunteer fire corps of Santiago has a special lot and a
pretty monument.  _San José de las Matas_, 24 miles southwest of
Santiago, is situated on a high plain in the midst of the mountains
and is surrounded by great pine forests. Its salubrious climate and
picturesque environments make it a favorite summer resort for wealthy
families of Santiago, Puerto Plata and Moca, and a health resort for
persons afflicted with stomach or lung trouble. Nearby are hot and
cold sulphur springs, the beautiful Inoa waterfall, the picturesque
confluence of the Amina and Inoa rivers and the high Rubio Peak, which
commands one of the finest panoramas in the island.

Other towns are _Valverde_, formerly _Mao_, 30 miles northwest of
Santiago; _Jânico_, 14 miles southwest of Santiago, _Esperanza_, 27
miles northwest of Santiago; and _Canton Peña_, also called
_Tamboril_, 7 miles east of Santiago and having such close social
relations with that city as to be regarded as a suburb of the same.



PROVINCE OF PUERTO PLATA

_Puerto Plata_, 150 miles northwest of Santo Domingo, is the most
important port of the north of the Republic. Columbus is said to have
made the plans for the streets of the town; as early as 1499 there
were settlers here; and in 1502 the city was formally founded by order
of Ovando. It enjoyed prosperity during the first years of the colony,
but in 1543 was attacked by pirates and thereafter rapidly went to
decay. The stringent laws which restricted the commerce of the island
to certain ports of the mother country encouraged contraband trade and
the place became the headquarters for smugglers. The government
endeavored to stop smuggling in 1606 by the brilliant expedient of
destroying the town and moving all the inhabitants to Monte Plata, far
in the interior of Santo Domingo province. In 1750 Puerto Plata was
populated anew and shared with Monte Cristi the advantage of the law
permitting free trade for ten years. It rapidly grew in population
until it became the most important commercial point of the Republic,
and the port of the entire Cibao region, part of which now finds an
outlet at Sanchez. It was in a flourishing state and had fine houses
when it was totally destroyed by fire in 1863, during the War of
Restoration, whether by the Spaniards or the Dominicans remains in
doubt. Prosperity again followed, many foreigners were attracted by
its commercial possibilities and to-day it is again one of the most
thriving towns of Santo Domingo.

The first thing to attract the traveler's notice is the excellent
condition of the city streets. Though the macadamized streets and the
sidewalks are narrow, they are clean, well kept and well lighted at
night. In streets, schools and public squares the city is in advance
of most of the other cities of the Republic. This is attributed to a
great extent to the presence of many cultured foreigners as well as to
the progressive natives. The inhabitants of Puerto Plata boast that
what Puerto Plata does the rest of the Republic does. They point as an
example to their plaza. Formerly the plaza of Dominican cities was a
bare, shadeless tract of ground in the center of the city. Puerto
Plata was the first to plant trees, lay out a garden and provide its
plaza with a music stand. This plaza in the center of the town is the
oldest and prettiest of the city's three public squares and is now
shaded by large, leafy trees and embellished with beautiful flowers
and varicolored bushes. On Sunday nights on this plaza and on Thursday
nights on one of the others, band concerts attract crowds of people,
young and old, who promenade to the strains of the music. The belles
of the city are very handsome and owing to the intermarriage of
natives with foreigners from all parts of the world widely different
types of beauty are to be observed at such concerts.

On one side of the principal plaza is the church, on another stand
side by side the theater, the government building, where the
provincial offices are located, and the city hall, on the first floor
of which is a well-attended school. The three principal clubs of the
city are also located in commodious quarters fronting on this plaza.
One of these clubs counts among its members most of the merchants and
staid and elderly people, another is the club of the young men and a
third is the ladies' club. The ladies' club is open only in the
afternoon and evening, but in the clubs frequented by gentlemen games
of billiards may be seen going on at almost any hour of the day.

The buildings of the city are all of modern date. Only a few
foundation walls near the ocean shore, and the old fort, remain from
former days. The old fort is situated on the point of land partly
enclosing Puerto Plata harbor and is surrounded on three sides by
buildings of the present fort. It is a large round whitewashed
structure having the appearance of a huge cheesebox; its walls are of
enormous thickness and it is now used as a jail. In former days the
inhabitants had much difficulty in obtaining drinking water, but
Puerto Plata was the first city to be provided with a general system
of water works, having been followed only recently by Santiago. The
water is brought from a stream a little over a mile away. The ride
there is a beautiful one but it goes to prove that the movement for
good thoroughfares has not yet extended to the roads. From all parts
of Puerto Plata Mt. Isabel de Torres is seen towering behind the city.
The view obtained from the slopes of the mountain, over miles of
shoreline and a broad expanse of ocean, is of indescribable grandeur.

The traveler who visits Puerto Plata carries away with him pleasant
memories of the clean city, its comfortable clubs, its hospitable
citizens and its beautiful surroundings.

Other towns of the province are _Altamira_, 18 miles southwest of
Puerto Plata, astride a hill rising in the middle of a valley of the
coast range of mountains; _Blanco_, on the coast 20 miles northwest of
Puerto Plata and 10 miles east of the site of Isabela, the first city
in the new world; and _Bajabonico_, 10 miles southwest of Puerto
Plata, a village called into being by the building of the Central
Dominican Railroad.



PROVINCE OF MONTE CRISTI

_San Fernando de Monte Cristi_, 196 miles northwest of Santo Domingo
City, the capital of Monte Cristi province, was founded during the
government of Ovando by sixty Spanish families, and after giving
promise of prosperity decayed with the rest of the colony. It was
supported for a time by a brisk contraband trade which sprang up with
the Dutch and other nations and to put a stop to which the town was
destroyed in 1606 like Puerto Plata and the inhabitants transferred to
Monte Plata, to the south of the central mountain range. In 1750 a
royal dispensation granted it the right to free trade with all nations
for a period of ten years and it began to attain prominence as a port,
but the wars with the Haitians, the War of Restoration with the
Spaniards and the many civil wars have retarded its progress. Only in
the last few years has it received a new impetus. The town is built
about a mile from the shore, with which it is connected by a tiny
horse car. About thirty houses are connected with a private system of
waterworks which supplies water from the Yaque river. Situated as it
is in the arid region of Santo Domingo the city bears much resemblance
to some of the western towns of the United States.

Other towns are _Guayubín_, 24 miles, _Sabaneta_, 36 miles, and
_Monción_, 46 miles southeast of Monte Cristi; and _Dajabón_, 22
miles, _Restauración_, 40 miles, and _Copey_, 12 miles southwest of
Monte Cristi. They are all small villages. Dajabon, founded towards
the middle of the eighteenth century, is situated on the east bank of
the Massacre river, which constitutes the Haitian boundary, and is one
of the inland ports of entry. Restauración is peopled largely by
French speaking negroes from Haiti.



PROVINCE OF AZUA

_Azua de Compostela_, about 83 miles west of Santo Domingo City, was
founded by Diego de Velazquez in 1504 at a point four miles southwest
of its present location. It was first called Compostela after a
Galician official who held some property here, but the Indian name of
the region prevailed. Hernando Cortez, later the conqueror of Mexico,
settled here and for some five years was the notary of the town. At
first prosperous, the city soon suffered a serious decline, but was
beginning to revive when on August 18, 1751, it was entirely destroyed
by an earthquake. The inhabitants then transferred the town to its
present location on the western bank of the Via River. The ruins of
the old city are still visible near the hamlet called Pueblo Viejo,
Old Town. Azua was destroyed by fire three times in the Haitian wars:
in 1805, by order of the Haitian emperor Dessalines, in 1844 by
President Herard, and in 1849 by President Soulouque. To-day it is
the most important town in the southwestern part of the Republic.
Situated in an arid region, like Monte Cristi, it is similar to many a
town in New Mexico and Arizona, with hot, sunny, shadeless streets
beginning and ending in space, one story houses, a great plain of dark
green beyond the town and purple mountains in the distance. The houses
here are of wood or stone and with thatched or zinc roofs. There is a
large new church, the images in which seem to be very old and do not
distinguish themselves for beauty. The town is about three miles
inland from the port, but a branch of a narrow gauge plantation
railroad connects the city with the wharf and on steamer days a
passenger car makes several trips. Azua is famous throughout Santo
Domingo for its excellent "dulce de leche," a kind of milk taffy,
which is well made elsewhere in the Republic, but is better in Azua as
it is here prepared from goat's milk.

_San Juan de la Maguana_, 48 miles northwest of Azua, was founded in
1504 by Diego Velazquez in the beautiful Maguana valley where the
Indian chief Caonabo had his residence, became almost extinct in 1606,
but revived in 1764 with the establishment of new cattle ranches in
the vicinity. During the Haitian wars it was burned repeatedly. Near
the town is a curious relic of Indian times called Anacaona's circus
or "el corral de los Indios," consisting of large stones laid in a
huge circle, and in the center a strange cylindrical stone, carved
with Indian figures, which is supposed to have served as the throne of
the Indian queen Anacaona.

_Las Matas de Farfán_, 64 miles northwest of Azua, was established in
1780 and suffered greatly during the wars with the Haitians. Like the
other villages of the Maguana valley its chief industry is
stockraising. _Bánica_, 75 miles northwest of Azua, on the Haitian
frontier, was one of the towns established by Diego Velazquez in 1504.
Though an important town in the early days it decayed, and in the
beginning of the nineteenth century was abandoned entirely. During
Haitian rule it was reestablished, but upon the declaration of
Dominican independence was again abandoned for fear of Haitian
vengeance, remaining so until the War of Restoration during which it
was settled anew.

Other villages are _San José de Ocoa_, also known as _Maniel_, 18
miles northeast of Azua, founded in 1844 in a picturesque region;
_Túbano_, 34 miles northwest of Azua; _El Cercado_, 12 miles southwest
of Las Matas de Farfan; and _Comendador_, near the Haitian frontier,
13 miles west of Las Matas de Farfan, the seat of one of the inland
custom-houses.

Dominican writers include among the towns pertaining to the Province
of Azua those situated in that part of the territory of the former
Spanish colony which is now held by Haiti. The principal towns in this
territory are _Lares de Guajaba_ or _Hincha_, to-day called _Hinche_,
which was founded in 1504 and was the birthplace of General Pedro
Santana; _Las Caobas_, founded about the middle of the eighteenth
century; _San Miguel de la Atalaya_, to-day called _St. Michel_,
founded about the same time; and _San Rafael de la Angostura_, called
_St. Raphael_ by the Haitians.



PROVINCE OF BARAHONA

_Barahona_, 126 miles west of Santo Domingo City, became capital of
the Barahona district when a provincial government was established
there in 1881. It is a small town, which began to be settled in the
beginning of the nineteenth century, and suffered greatly during the
Haitian wars and the revolutions following them. At present its fame
is its fine coffee.

Other towns are _Enriquillo_, formerly called _Petitrú_ (Petit Trou)
on the coast 22 miles south of Barahona; _Neiba_, 32 miles northwest
of Barahona, founded a century ago and prevented from developing by
the damages it sustained first in the Haitian, then in the civil wars;
and _Duvergé_, formerly called _Las Damas_, which commands a fine view
of Lake Enriquillo with Cabras Island in the distance. In the
northwest corner of the province is the small collection of huts
called _Tierra Nueva_, and a few miles beyond, isolated in a wild
region on the frontier, the inland customhouse of _Las Lajas_.



CHAPTER XVII

THE REMAINS OF COLUMBUS


Burial of Columbus.--Disappearance of epitaph.--Removal of remains in
1795.--Discovery of remains in 1877.--Resting place of Discoverer
of America.


The greatest pride of the Dominican people is that they are the
custodians of the mortal remains of Christopher Columbus. The same
honor is claimed by Spain, but a Dominican would consider it almost
treasonable to doubt the justice of the Dominican claim. It is a
strange freak of fate that not only should the great navigator have
been denied in life the rewards promised him, not only should the new
world he discovered have been given the name of another, but that his
very tomb is a matter of controversy. It is admitted that after his
death in Spain his remains were transferred to Santo Domingo City and
there deposited in the cathedral. In 1795, when the Spanish colony of
Santo Domingo was ceded to France, the Spaniards carried with them to
Cuba what they supposed were the remains of Columbus, and these were
in 1898 taken to Spain, but in the year 1877 another casket was
brought to light in the Santo Domingo cathedral, with inscriptions
which indicated that it contained the bones of the great Discoverer.

It was the desire of Columbus to be buried in Santo Domingo, his
favorite island. In his will, executed shortly before his death, he
called on his son Diego to found, if possible, a chapel dedicated to
the Holy Trinity, "and if this can be in the Island of Española, I
should like to have it there where I invoked the Trinity, which is in
La Vega, named Concepción." Columbus died on May 20, 1506, in
Valladolid and his body was deposited in the church of Santa Maria de
la Antigua in that city. In 1513, or perhaps before, it was
transferred to the Carthusian monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas
in Seville, where was also deposited the body of his son Diego, who
died in 1526. Diego Columbus, in his will of the year 1523, stated
that he had been unable to carry out his father's wishes, but
requested his heirs to found in the city of Santo Domingo, inasmuch as
La Vega was losing population, a nunnery dedicated to St. Clara, the
sanctuary of which was to be the burial place of the Columbus family.
His plans were modified in favor of a nobler mausoleum and his widow,
Maria de Toledo, in the name of her son Louis Columbus, applied to the
king of Spain for the sanctuary of the cathedral of Santo Domingo as a
burial place for her husband, his father and his heirs, which grant
the king made in 1537 and reiterated in 1539. A difference having
arisen with the bishop of Santo Domingo, who wished to reserve the
higher platform of the sanctuary for the interment of prelates and
cede only the lower portion to the Columbus family, the king in 1540
again reiterated his concession of the whole sanctuary. According to
the annals of the Carthusian monastery of Seville, the bodies of
Christopher Columbus and his son were taken away in 1536, and it is
probable that they were deposited in the cathedral of Santo Domingo in
1540 or 1541, after the issue of the king's third order and the
conclusion of the work on the cathedral. Where they were during the
intervening four or five years and in what year they were brought to
Santo Domingo, is not known. Las Casas, writing in 1544, states that
the remains of the Admiral were at that time buried in the sanctuary
of the cathedral of Santo Domingo. In the year 1572 Louis Columbus,
the grandson of the Discoverer, died in Oran, in Africa, and his
remains were taken to the Carthusian monastery in Seville. It is not
known when they were brought to Santo Domingo, but the transfer
probably took place in the beginning of the seventeenth century.

The early records of the Santo Domingo cathedral were burnt at the
time of Drake's invasion in 1586, and those since that year have been
so damaged by the ravages of tropical insects that little is left of
them. They make little and only passing reference to the tomb of
Columbus, and mention no monument or inscription whatever. Juan de
Castellanos, in his book "Varones Ilustres de Indias," printed in
1589, recites a Latin epitaph which he says appeared near the place
where lay the body of Columbus in Seville, but pretty Latin epitaphs
were Castellanos' weakness, and it is to be feared that this one, like
others which he dedicated to American explorers, was nothing more than
a figment of his poetic imagination. Two writers, Coleti and Alcedo,
who almost two centuries later mentioned the same epitaph as marking
the grave in Santo Domingo, must have copied from Castellanos.

Undoubtedly there was at first some inscription to mark the tomb, but
in the course of the years any slabs with inscriptions were permitted
to disappear entirely from the graves of Columbus, his son and
grandson, and the very existence of their remains in the cathedral
became a matter of tradition. It is possible that the epitaphs
disappeared at some time when the pavement of the church was renewed,
or when damages inflicted by earthquake shocks were repaired, or when
changes were made in the windows and doors about the main altar, or
when the higher altar platform was extended to reach the desks on
which lie the Gospels and Epistles. At any such times the slabs over
the burial vaults may have been broken or laid aside and never
replaced. It is also possible that they were intentionally removed in
order to guard against profanation of the tombs by enemies in time of
war or by West Indian pirates, who captured and sacked stronger cities
than Santo Domingo. In 1655 when an English fleet under Admiral
William Penn appeared before the city and landed an army under General
Venables, there was great excitement and fear in Santo Domingo, and
the archbishop ordered that the sacred ornaments and vessels be hidden
and that "the sepulchres be covered in order that no irreverence or
profanation be committed against them by the heretics, and especially
do I so request with reference to the sepulchre of the old Admiral
which is on the gospel side of my holy church and sanctuary," That
other tombs were hidden, whether at this time or another, was shown in
1879, when, on repairing the flooring in the chapel of the "stone
bishop" in the cathedral, the slab indicating the grave of the
Adelantado Rodrigo de Bastidas, the explorer, was found concealed
under a stone, and it was discovered that the epitaph of Bastidas on a
board which from time immemorial had hung on the wall of the chapel
was an incorrect copy of the original graven on the burial slab. From
the words of the archbishop it appears possible that the sepulchre of
Columbus was marked in some way in 1655, although even then there may
have been nothing, since the prelate saw fit to specify the point in
the church where the tomb was situated.

The first document in which tradition appears invoked for designating
the burial place is the record of a synod held in 1683, which contains
the following clause: "this Island having been discovered by
Christopher Columbus, illustrious and very celebrated throughout the
world, whose bones repose in a leaden box in the sanctuary next to the
pedestal of the main altar of this our cathedral, with those of his
brother Louis Columbus which are on the other side, according to the
tradition of the old people of this Island." The synod and tradition
were not strong in Columbus genealogy when they referred to Louis
Columbus as the brother instead of the grandson of the Discoverer, and
it is noticeable that no mention is made of the son Diego Columbus. It
may be remarked, in passing, that the body of Bartholomew Columbus,
brother of the Admiral, was deposited in the convent of San Francisco
in Santo Domingo, upon his death in 1514, and while some writers
suggest it may have been taken to Spain, there is nothing to indicate
that it was ever given sepulture in the cathedral of Santo Domingo.

After the lapse of another century tradition referred to two
sepulchres, one of Christopher Columbus, on the right side of the
altar, the other of his brother or son, on the left side of the altar.
Moreau de Saint-Méry, a French diplomat and statesman, who lived in
the French colony of St. Domingue for some years during the decade of
1780 to 1790, in his book "Description de la partie espagnole de
l'isle Saint-Domingue" states that, being desirous of obtaining
accurate information with reference to the tomb of Columbus, he
addressed himself to José Solano, an ex-governor of the colony, then
in command of a fleet in the insular waters; that this official wrote
a letter to his successor in the governorship, Isidoro Peralta, and
that he received the following answer:

"SANTO DOMINGO, March 29, 1783.

"_My very dear friend and patron:_

"I have received the kind letter of Your Excellency of the 13th of this
month, and did not answer immediately in order to have time to
ascertain the details it requests relative to Christopher Columbus,
and also in order to enjoy the satisfaction of serving Your Excellency
as far as is in my power and to permit Your Excellency to have the
satisfaction of obliging the friend who has asked for those details.

"With respect to Christopher Columbus, although the insects destroy
the papers in this country and have converted whole archives into
lace-work, I hope nevertheless to remit to Your Excellency the proof
that the bones of Columbus are in a leaden box, enclosed in a stone
box which is buried in the sanctuary on the side of the gospels and
that those of Bartholomew Columbus, his brother, repose on the side of
the epistles in the same manner and under the same precautions. Those
of Christopher Columbus were transported from Seville, where they had
been deposited in the pantheon of the dukes of Alcala after having
been taken there from Valladolid, and where they remained until their
transport here.

"About two months ago, in working in the church, a piece of thick wall
was thrown down and immediately reconstructed. This fortuitous event
was the occasion of finding the box of which I have spoken, and which,
although without inscriptions, was known, according to a constant and
invariable tradition, to contain the remains of Columbus. In addition
I am having a search made to see whether in the church archives or
those of the government some document can be found which will furnish
details on this point; and the canons have seen and stated that the
greater part of the bones were reduced to dust and that bones of the
forearm had been distinguished.

"I send Your Excellency also a list of all the archbishops which this
island has had and which is more interesting than that of its
presidents, for I am assured that the first is complete, while in the
second there are voids produced by the insects of which I have spoken
and which attack some papers in preference to others.

"I also refer to the buildings, the temples, the beauty of the ruins
and the motive which determined the transfer of this city to the west
bank of the river which constitutes its port. But with reference to
the plan requested by the note there is a real difficulty, as this is
forbidden me as governor; the superior understanding of Your
Excellency will comprehend the reasons, etc."

The documents sent by Governor Peralta were as follows:

"I, José Nuñez de Caceres, doctor in sacred theology of the pontifical
and royal University of the Angelical St. Thomas d'Acquino, dignitary
dean of this holy metropolitan church, primate of the Indies, do
certify that the sanctuary of this holy cathedral having been torn
down on January 30 last, for reconstruction, there was found, on the
side of the platform where the gospels are chanted, and near the door
where the stairs go up to the capitular room, a stone coffer, hollow,
of cubical form and about a yard high, enclosing a leaden urn, a
little damaged, which contained several human bones. Several years
ago, under the same circumstances and I so certify, there was found on
the side of the epistles, another similar stone box, and according to
the tradition handed down by the old men of the country and a chapter
of the synod of this holy cathedral, that on the side of the gospels
is reputed to enclose the bones of the Admiral Christopher Columbus
and that on the side of the epistles, those of his brother, nor has it
been possible to verify whether they are those of his brother
Bartholomew or of Diego Columbus, son of the admiral. In testimony
whereof I have delivered the present in Santo Domingo, April 20, 1783.

JOSÉ NUÑEZ DE CACERES."

An identical certificate, signed by Manuel Sanchez, was also sent, as
well as a third which reads as follows:

"I, Pedro de Galvez, schoolmaster, dignitary canon of this cathedral,
primate of the Indies, do certify that the sanctuary having been
overthrown in order to be reconstructed there was found on the side of
the platform where the gospels are chanted, a stone coffer with a
leaden urn, a little damaged, which contained human bones; and it is
remembered that there is another of the same kind on the side of the
epistles; and according to the report of the old men of the country
and a chapter of the synod of this holy cathedral that on the side of
the gospels encloses the bones of the Admiral Christopher Columbus,
and that on the side of the epistles those of his brother Bartholomew.
In witness whereof I have delivered the present on April 26, 1783.

PEDRO DE GALVEZ."

The certificates were not carefully drafted, for in speaking of the
rebuilding of the sanctuary only the interior thereof, probably only
the platform, was referred to, and from a notarial document of
December 21, 1795, quoted below, it is evident that by coffer was
meant a vault and that the word urn was used synonymously with box.
The papers give eloquent testimony of the uncertainty in which the
eminent men's remains were involved. Governor Peralta died in 1786 and
was interred under the altar platform near the supposed remains of
Columbus. In 1787, when Moreau de St. Méry endeavored to find the
official record of the find of 1783, it had already disappeared.

In 1795 Spain ceded to France the entire Spanish part of Santo
Domingo, and in evacuating the island the Spanish authorities
determined to carry with them the remains of the great Discoverer. It
is to be assumed that there were still persons connected with the
cathedral who could point out the location of the vault accidentally
discovered twelve years before and that as tradition referred to only
one vault on that side of the altar, the remains contained therein
were extracted without further investigation. The description of the
vault opened tallies with that of the vault found in 1783. The
document attesting the embarking of these remains reads as
follows: "I, the undersigned clerk of the King, our Lord, in charge of
the office of the chamber of this Royal Audiencia, do certify that on
the twentieth day of December of the current year, there being in this
holy cathedral the Commissioner Gregorio Saviñon, perpetual member and
dean of the very illustrious municipal council of this city, and in
the presence of the most illustrious and reverend friar Fernando
Portillo y Torres, most worthy Archbishop of this metropolitan see; of
His Excellency Gabriel de Aristizabal, Lieutenant-General of the royal
navy of His Majesty; of Antonio Cansi, Brigadier in charge of the fort
of this city; of Antonio Barba, Field-marshal and Commander of
Engineers; of Ignacio de la Rocha, Lieutenant-colonel and
Sergeant-major of this city, and of other persons of rank and
distinction, a vault was opened which is in the sanctuary on the side
of the gospel (between) the main wall and the pedestal of the main
altar, which is one cubic yard in size, and in the same there were
found several plates of lead, about one tercio in length, indicating
that there had been a box of the said metal, and pieces of bone as of
the tibia or other parts of some deceased person, and they were
collected in a salver that was filled with the earth, which by the
fragments of small bone it contained and its color could be seen to
belong to that dead body; and everything was placed in an ark of
gilded lead with iron lock, which being closed its key was delivered
to the said illustrious Archbishop, and which box is about half a yard
long and wide and in height something more than a quarter of a yard,
whereupon it was transferred to a small coffin lined with black
velvet, and adorned with gold trimmings, and was placed on a decent
catafalque.

"On the following day with the presence of the same illustrious
Archbishop, His Excellency Aristizabal, the communities of Dominicans,
Franciscans and Mercenarians, military and naval officers, and a
concourse of distinguished persons, and people of the lower classes,
mass was solemnly said and fasting enjoined, whereupon the same
illustrious Archbishop preached.

"On this day, about half past four o'clock in the afternoon there
came to the holy cathedral the gentlemen of the Royal Order, to wit,
Joaquin Garcia, Fieldmarshal, President-Governor and Captain-General
of this Island of Española; José Antonio de Vrisar, knight of the
royal and distinguished order of Charles the Third, Minister of the
royal and supreme council of the Indies and at present Regent of the
Royal Audiencia; Justices Pedro Catani, dean; Manuel Bravo, likewise
knight of the royal and distinguished order of Charles the Third, and
with honors and seniority in the Royal Audiencia of Mexico; Melchor
Joseph de Foncerrada and Andres Alvarez Calderon, state's attorney;
there being in the cathedral the most illustrious and reverend
Archbishop, His Excellency Gabriel de Aristizabal, the municipal
council and religious communities, and a complete picket with draped
banner, and taking the wooden box covered with plush and gold
trimmings, in the interior of which was the box of gilded lead, which
contained the remains exhumed on the preceding day, the President
Joaquin Garcia, the Regent Joseph Antonio de Vrisar and the Justices,
Dean Pedro Catani and Manuel Bravo conducted it to a little before the
exit through the door of the said holy church, where the President and
Regent separated, passed to their respective places and were
substituted by Justice Foncerrada and Calderon, state's attorney, and
upon leaving the church it was saluted by the said picket with a
discharge of musketry, and there followed the Fieldmarshal and
Commander of Engineers Antonio Barba, the Brigadier and Commander of
militia Joaquin Cabrera, the Brigadier and Commander of the fort
Antonio Cansi, and the colonel of the regiment 'Cantabria,' Gaspar de
Casasola, and thereafter the military officers alternated according to
their grade and seniority until reaching the city gate which leads to
the harbor, where their places were taken by the members of the very
illustrious municipal council of this city, dean Gregorio Saviñon,
Miguel Martinez Santalices, Francisco de Tapia and Francisco de
Arredondo, judge of the rural court, and upon emerging from the gate
it was placed upon a table prepared therefor; a response was chanted
and during the same the forts saluted it with fifteen minute guns, as
for an admiral, and one after another took the key of the ark and
through the said illustrious Archbishop placed it in the hands of His
Excellency Aristizabal, stating that they delivered the ark into his
possession subject to the orders of the Governor of Havana as a
deposit until His Majesty should determine what may be his royal
pleasure, to which His Excellency acceded, accepting the ark in the
manner stated and transferring it aboard the brigantine 'Descubridor,'
which, with the other war-vessels waiting with insignia of mourning,
also saluted it with fifteen guns, whereupon this certificate was
concluded and signed by the parties.

"Santo Domingo, December 21, 1795. Joaquin Garcia. Friar Fernando,
Archbishop of Santo Domingo. Gabriel de Aristizabal. Gregorio Saviñon.
José Francisco Hidalgo."

The brief account of the remains when everything else was related with
such detail leads to the logical conclusion that there was no epitaph
on the vault and no inscription on the leaden plates found within. The
Spanish judicial chronicler's habit of minute description would not
have permitted the omission of such important particulars, if they
had existed.

The remains were transferred to Havana where their reception was even
more solemn than their embarkation in Santo Domingo. On January 19,
1796, they were landed amid the booming of guns, conducted in state by
the civil and military authorities and a large concourse to the plaza,
and deposited on a magnificent bier in the shadow of the column
erected where, according to tradition, the first mass was said in
Havana and the first municipal council met. Here the ark was formally
delivered to the Governor of Havana, who had it opened and its
contents inspected, whereupon it was again closed and transferred with
great pomp to the cathedral. The key was there delivered to the bishop
and the remains deposited in a sepulchre with suitable bas-reliefs
and inscriptions. The notarial narrative of the event goes into the
most minute particulars, but the contents of the ark are merely
described as "several leaden plates nearly a tercio in length, several
small pieces of bone as of some deceased person, and some earth which
seemed to be of that body."

For over eighty years it was generally accepted in Santo Domingo, as
throughout the world, that the bones of Columbus rested in the
cathedral of Havana. There were, indeed, persons who handed down a
tradition that the remains taken away by the Spaniards were not those
of the great navigator and that these still remained under the altar
platform in the Santo Domingo cathedral, but such persons were very
few and no attention was paid to their allegations. Some Dominicans
even called on the Spanish government to return the remains and let
them be laid to rest in Dominican soil in accordance with the
Discoverer's dying wish. In the meantime no one thought of the tombs
of Diego Columbus or Louis Columbus, nor was it remembered that they
were buried in the cathedral.

In the year 1877 extensive repairs were undertaken in the cathedral of
Santo Domingo. The worn brick flooring was to be replaced with marble
squares, the old choir was to be torn down and a choir established
elsewhere in the church, and the altar platform was to be extended
into the church proper and reduced in height. Shortly after the work
had begun, a heavy bronze image kept in the vestry--which adjoined the
sanctuary on the side opposite that where the remains were exhumed in
1795--was, on May 14, 1877, placed in a doorway long closed leading to
the sanctuary. In doing so it was noticed that a hollow sound came
from the wall adjoining and in order to ascertain the cause a small
opening was made in the wall about a yard above the floor. It was then
seen that there was a small vault under the altar platform of the
church, and that the vault contained a metal box with human remains.
Canon Billini, in charge of the cathedral, immediately ordered that
the opening be closed until the return of the bishop from a pastoral
visit to the Cibao. The hole was hidden behind a curtain and no
immediate attention given to it. Towards the end of June Mr. Carlos
Nouel, a friend of Canon Billini, obtained permission to look in at
the box and deciphered a rude inscription reading, "El Almirante D.
Luis Colon, Duque de Veragua, Marques de--" "The Admiral Don Louis
Columbus, Duke of Veragua, Marquis of--." The last word was missing
because of a hole in the corroded leaden plate, but was supposed to be
"Jamaica." At this time the box was broken, because several days
before in placing a scaffold in the church one of the posts had been
located over the box and had broken through. The persons who
afterwards sought to draw out the box pulled to overcome the obstacle
and tore the weak plates apart entirely.

The bishop returned on August 18, 1877, and being informed of what had
happened, on September 1 invited the Cabinet officers, the consular
corps and a number of civil and military authorities and private
persons to witness the removal of the remains of Louis Columbus. To
the chagrin of the bishop and canon, it was found that the plate with
the inscription had been stolen. Probably shamed by ever increasing
popular indignation, the grave-robber anonymously returned it on
December 14, 1879, by leaving it in the cathedral door in a package
addressed to the archbishop. The other plates with the earth and
pieces of bone were carefully collected.


[Illustration: SANCTUARY OF CATHEDRAL IN SEPTEMBER, 1877
(Scale; 1 centimeter = 1 meter)

1.  Vault containing remains of Christopher Colombus.
2.  Vault opened by Spaniards in 1795.
3.  Vault containing remains of Louis Columbus.
4.  Pedestal of main altar.
5.  Door leading to vestry.
6.  Door leading to capitular room.
7.  Location of containing wall of old altar platform, as it existed
    in 1540.
8.  Location of stairs which in 1540 led up to altar platform.
9.  Tribune of the Gospels.
10. Tribune of the Epistles.
11. Steps of altar platform.
12. Grave of Juan Sanchez Ramirez. Isidore Peralta had also been
    buried at this spot.]


The unexpected finding of the long forgotten remains of the grandson
of the Admiral recalled the tradition that the Discoverer's body still
remained in Santo Domingo, and several gentlemen, among them the
Italian consul, requested the bishop to take advantage of the
repairing of the church for a thorough investigation of the altar
platform in order to ascertain whether it contained any other notable
graves. The bishop gave his consent, and the investigation commenced
on September 8, under the direction of Canon Billini. Digging was
begun near the door of the capitular room and in a short time an
unmarked grave was found containing human remains and military
insignia. It was proven by witnesses that they were the remains of
Juan Sanchez Ramirez, Captain-General of Santo Domingo, who died on
February 12, 1811, and was buried in the same place where had been the
grave of General Isidore Peralta. A narrow wall was then encountered
which was afterwards found to be the containing wall of the ancient
altar platform. On the ninth, a Sunday, the work went on during the
morning with the permission of the bishop. An excavation was made at
the place where, according to tradition, the remains taken to Havana
had lain and soon a small vault was discovered quite empty. It was
evidently the vault opened by the Spaniards in 1795. The examination
was continued between this vault and the main altar, but nothing new
was encountered, whereupon the work was left to be resumed on the
following day, rather with the hope of finding something of Diego
Columbus, for the empty vault seemed to show that the remains of
Christopher Columbus were really removed in 1795.

The excavations continued on September 10, 1877, between the empty
vault and the wall. A large stone was found, and a piece broken off,
disclosing another vault containing what appeared to be a square box.
The bishop and the Italian consul were sent for immediately and upon
their arrival the orifice was slightly enlarged and a metal box became
clearly visible. It was covered with the dust of centuries, but an
inscription was seen, in which abbreviations of the words "First
Admiral" could faintly be distinguished. The work was stopped at once,
the doors of the cathedral were locked and all the principal persons
of the city invited to attend the further investigation of the vault's
contents. The report of the find rapidly spread through the city,
though distorted in some quarters, for one of the workmen hearing the
bishop's joyful exclamation, "Oh, what a treasure!" conceived the idea
that the box was full of gold pieces and so informed the people that
gathered outside.

The formal opening of the vault on the afternoon of that day and the
examination of its contents are minutely described in the notarial
document drawn up on the occasion:

"In the City of Santo Domingo on the tenth of September of the year
eighteen hundred and seventy-seven. At four o'clock in the afternoon
upon invitation of the most illustrious and reverend Doctor Friar
Roque Cocchia, Bishop of Orope, Vicar and Apostolic Delegate of the
Holy See in the Republics of Santo Domingo, Venezuela and Haiti,
assisted by presbyter Friar Bernardino d'Emilia, secretary of the
bishopric, by the honorary penitentiary canon, presbyter Francisco
Javier Billini, rector and founder of the College of San Luis Gonzaga
and of the charity asylum, apostolic missionary and acting curate of
the holy cathedral, and by presbyter Eliseo J'Andoli, assistant curate
of the same, there met in the holy cathedral General Marcos A. Cabral,
Minister of the Interior and Police; Licentiate Felipe Davila
Fernandez de Castro, Minister of Foreign Relations; Joaquin Montolio,
Minister of Justice and Public Instruction; General Manuel A. Caceres,
Minister of Finance and Commerce; and General Valentin Ramirez Baez,
Minister of War and the Navy; and the citizens General Braulio
Alvarez, Civil and Military Governor of the Province of the Capital,
assisted by his secretary Pedro Maria Gautier; the honorable members
of the illustrious municipal council of this capital, citizen Juan de
la C. Alfonseca, president, and citizens Felix Baez, Juan Bautista
Paradas, Pedro Mota, Manuel Maria Cabral and José Maria Bonetti,
members; General Francisco Ungria Chala, military commandant of this
city; citizens Felix Mariano Lluveres, president of the legislative
chamber and Francisco Javier Machado, deputy to the same chamber; the
members of the consular corps accredited to the Republic, Messrs.
Miguel Pou, Consul of H.M. the Emperor of Germany, Luis Cambiaso,
Consul of H.M. the King of Italy, Jose Manuel Echeverri, Consul of H.
Catholic M. the King of Spain, Aubin Defougerais, Consul of the French
Republic, Paul Jones, Consul of the United States of North America,
José Martin Leyba, Consul of H.M. the King of the Netherlands, and
David Coen, Consul of H.M. the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain; the citizens licentiates in medicine and surgery Marcos
Antonio Gomez and Jose de Jesus Brenes; the civil engineer Jesus Maria
Castillo, director of the work in this cathedral; the chief sexton of
the same, Jesus Maria Troncoso, and the undersigned notaries public,
Pedro Nolasco Polanco, Mariano Montolio and Leonardo Delmonte i
Aponte, the first also being the acting notary of the curacy and the
second the titular notary of the municipal council of this capital.

"The most illustrious Bishop, in the presence of the gentlemen above
designated and of a numerous concourse, declares: that the holy
cathedral being undergoing repairs under the direction of the reverend
Canon Francisco Javier Billini, and it having come to his notice that
according to tradition and notwithstanding what appears from public
documents with reference to the transfer of the remains of the Admiral
Christopher Columbus to the city of Havana in the year seventeen
hundred and ninety-five the said remains might still be in the place
where they had been deposited and as such place the right side of the
sanctuary was designated, under the spot occupied by the archbishop's
chair; with the desire of clearing up the matters which tradition had
carried to him, he authorized the reverend Canon Billini, upon his
request, to make the necessary explorations; and as the latter was
doing so with two workmen on the morning of this day, he discovered at
a depth of two palms, more or less, the beginning of a vault which
permitted part of a metal box to be seen; that immediately the said
Canon Billini ordered the chief sexton, Jesus Maria Troncoso, to go to
the archiepiscopal palace and inform His Grace of the result of the
investigations, also informing the Minister of the Interior,
requesting their presence without loss of time; that immediately His
Grace proceeded to the holy cathedral where he found Jesus Maria
Castillo, civil engineer, in charge of the repairs to this temple and
two workmen who, in company with Canon Billini, guarded the small
excavation which had been made, and at the same time Luis Cambiaso
arrived, called by the said Canon Billini; that having personally made
certain of the existence of the vault as well as that it contained the
box to which Canon Billini made reference and an inscription being
discovered on the upper part of what appeared to be the lid, he
ordered that things be left as they were and that the doors of the
temple be closed, the keys being confided to the reverend Canon
Billini; proposing to invite, as he did invite, His Excellency the
great citizen, President of the Republic, General Buenaventura Baez,
his Cabinet, the consular corps and the other civil and military
authorities named in the beginning of this certificate, in order to
proceed with all due solemnity to the extraction of the box and give
all required authenticity to the result of the investigation; and
having advised the authorities, by their order municipal policemen
were stationed at each one of the closed doors of the temple.

"His Grace, stationed in the sanctuary, near the started excavation
and surrounded by the authorities above mentioned and a very numerous
concourse, all the doors of the temple having been opened, had the
excavation continued, and a slab was removed, permitting the raising
of the box, which was taken and shown by His Grace and found to be of
lead. The said box was exhibited to all the authorities convoked, and
thereupon was carried in procession through the interior of the temple
and shown to the people.

"The pulpit of the left nave of the temple being occupied by His
Grace, by the reverend Canon Billini, who carried the box, the
Minister of the Interior, the president of the municipal council and
two of the notaries public who sign this document: His Grace opened
the box and exhibited to the people a part of the remains it encloses;
he also read the several inscriptions on the box, which prove beyond
controversy that the remains are really and in fact those of the
illustrious Genovese, the great Admiral Christopher Columbus,
Discoverer of America. The truth of the matter being irrefutably
ascertained, a salute of twenty-one guns, fired by the artillery of
the fort, a general ringing of bells and strains of music from the
military band, announced the happy and memorable event to the city.

"Immediately the authorities convoked met in the vestry of the temple
and proceeded in the presence of the undersigned notaries public, who
certify thereto, to an examination and expert investigation of the box
and its contents; the result of the examination being that the said
box is of lead, has hinges and measures forty-two centimeters in
length, twenty-one centimeters in depth and twenty and a half in
width; containing the following inscriptions: on the upper side of the
lid 'D. de la A, Per. Ate.'--On the left headboard 'C.' On the front
side 'C'--On the right headboard 'A.' On raising the lid the following
inscription was found on the inner side of the same carved in German
Gothic characters: 'Illtre. y Esdo. Varon Dn. Cristobal Colon,' and in
the said box human remains which on examination by the licentiate of
equal class Jose de Jesus Brenes are found to be: A femur deteriorated
in the upper part of the neck, between the great trochanter and its
head. A fibula in its natural state. A radius also complete. The os
sacrum in bad condition. The coccyx. Two lumbar vertabrae. One
cervical and two dorsal vertabrae. Two calcanea. One bone of the
metacarpus. Another of the metatarsus. A fragment of the frontal or
coronal bone, containing half of an orbital cavity. A middle third of
the tibia. Two more fragments of tibia. Two astragoli. One upper
portion of shoulder-blade. One fragment of the lower jawbone. One half
of an os humeri, the whole constituting thirteen small and
twenty-eight large fragments, there being others reduced to dust.

"In addition a leaden ball weighing about an ounce, more or less, was
found and two small screws belonging to the box.

"The examination mentioned having been terminated, the ecclesiastical
and civil authorities and the illustrious municipal council resolved
to close and seal the box with their respective seals and deposit it
in the sanctuary of the church of Regina Angelorum, under the
responsibility of the aforesaid penitentiary canon Francisco Javier
Billini, until otherwise determined; His Grace, the Ministers, the
consuls and the undersigned notaries immediately proceeding to affix
their seals; and finally they determined to transfer the box in
triumph to the said church of Regina Angelorum, accompanied by the
veteran troops of the capital, batteries of artillery, music, and
whatever else might give impressiveness and splendor to so solemn an
act, for which the town was prepared as was noted from the great
multitude which filled the temple and the cathedral plaza, to which we
certify, as we do also that the present was signed by the gentlemen
above named and other distinguished persons.

"Friar Roque Cocchia, of the Order of Capuchins, Bishop of Orope,
Apostolic Delegate to Santo Domingo, Haiti and Venezuela, Apostolic
Vicar in Santo Domingo--Friar Bernardino d'Emilia, Capuchin, Secretary
of His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate and Vicar--Francisco X.
Billini--Eliseo J'Andoli, assistant curate of the cathedral--Marcos A.
Cabral, Minister of the Interior and Police--Felipe Davila Fernandez
de Castro, Minister of Foreign Relations--Joaquin Montolio, Minister
of Justice and Public Instruction--M. A. Caceres, Minister of Finance
and Commerce--Valentin Ramirez Baez, Minister of War and the
Navy--Braulio Alvarez, Governor of the Province--Pedro Ma. Gautier,
Secretary--Juan de la C. Alfonseca, President of the Municipal
council--Members, Felix Baez--Juan Bautista Paradas--Manuel Ma. Cabral
B.--P. Mota--Jose M. Bonetti--Francisco Ungria Chala, Commandant of
Arms--Felix Mariano Lluveres, President of the Legislative
Chamber--Francisco Javier Machado, Deputy of the Legislative
Chamber--The Consul of Spain, Jose Manuel Echeverri--Luigi Cambiaso,
R. Consul of H. M. the King of Italy--Miguel Pou, Consul of the German
Empire--Paul Jones, United States Consul--D. Coen, British
Vice-Consul--J. M. Leyba, Consul of the Netherlands--A. Aubin
Defougerais, Vice-Consul of France--Jesus Ma. Castillo, Civil
Engineer--M. A. Gomez, Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery--J. J.
Brenes, Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery--The chief sexton, Jesus
Ma. Troncoso--A. Licairac--M. M. Santamaria--Domingo Rodriguez--Manuel
de Jesus Garcia--Enrique Peinado--Federico Polanco--Lugardis Olivo--P.
Mr. Consuegra--Eujenio de Marchena--Valentin Ramirez, Jr.--F.
Perdomo--Joaquin Ramirez Morales--Amable Damiron--Jaime Ratto--Pedro
N. Polanco, Notary Public--Leonardo Delmonte I Aponte, Notary
Public--Mariano Montolio, Notary Public."

[Illustration: Inscription on lid of lead box. (2/5 actual size)]

[Illustration: Inscription on inner side of lid. (2/5 actual size)]

The vault so opened was a little larger than that opened in 1795, and
separated therefrom by a six-inch wall. The leaden box was of rude
construction, dented and much oxydized, the plates being a little
thicker than those of the casket of Louis Columbus. The inscription on
the outside of the lid "D. de la A. Per, Ate." was taken to mean
"Descubridor de la América, Primer Almirante"--"Discoverer of America,
First Admiral." The inscription on the inner side of the lid, without
contractions, was: "Ilustre y Esclarecido Varon Don Cristobal
Colon"--"Illustrious and noble man, Christopher Columbus." The letters
"C C A" were interpreted as signifying "Cristobal Colón,
Almirante"--"Christopher Columbus, Admiral." On January 3, 1878, a
more minute examination of the remains was made at the request of the
Spanish Academy of History and in the dust at the bottom of the box
was found a small silver plate with two holes by which it had
evidently been screwed with the two screws found at the first
examination to some wooden board or receptacle. All vestige of wood
had disappeared, either through decay or perhaps through destruction
by insects, for on the walls of the vault are faint traces of ancient
tracks made by the comejen or wood-eating ant. On one side of the
plate was engraved in rude letters: "Ua. pte. de los rtos. del pmer.
Alte. D. Cristoval Colon Des.," which is read as meaning "Ultima parte
de los restos del primer Almirante, Don Cristoval Colon,
Descubridor"--"Last part of the remains of the first Admiral, Don
Christopher Columbus, Discoverer." On the reverse side are the words
"Cristoval Colon" and several letters which indicate that the
inscription "Ua. pte." etc., was begun here but was stopped, perhaps
because there was not sufficient room.

[Illustration: Obverse side of silver plate (Enlarged 1/20)]

[Illustration: Reverse side of silver plate. (Enlarged 1/20)]

The small lead ball, similar to a musket-ball, found in the box, has
been the subject of much comment. It is not known that Columbus was
ever wounded, though it is true that of many years of his life we
have little information. Some writers make deductions from an
equivocal sentence contained in a letter written by him to the rulers
of Spain on his fourth voyage, in which he refers to his difficulties
off the coast of Central America and says: "There the wound of my
trouble opened." Others refer to an obscure sentence of Las Casas, but
others believe that the ball was dropped in the box by accident,
either when the box was prepared for the vault or at some time when in
the course of the centuries the vault may have been casually opened as
was the adjoining vault in 1783. At what time the remains were
enclosed in this box and the inscriptions placed on the same it is
impossible to determine; it may have been in Seville, or in the early
days in Santo Domingo, or at a later date, perhaps when the epitaphs
were removed from the vault.

The remainder of the old altar platform was carefully examined but no
other vaults or remains were discovered. With reference to the bones
"of a deceased person" transferred in 1795 a logical conclusion can be
reached: Christopher Columbus, his son Diego, and his grandson Louis
were all buried in the Santo Domingo cathedral; the caskets, with
inscriptions, of the first and third were found in 1877 and there are
no other vaults under the old altar platform; therefore the remains
taken away in 1795 with pieces of a casket without inscription, or the
inscription of which had become illegible, were most probably those of
Diego Columbus.

Santo Domingo went wild with joy over the discovery. It was determined
to erect a suitable monument for the remains with funds raised by
private subscription and by a half per cent, surtax on imports. A
beautiful marble memorial costing $40,000, guarded by bronze lions and
adorned with bronze relief work depicting scenes from the life of
Columbus, was designed by two Spanish sculptors. The first intention
was to place the same in a mausoleum specially built for the purpose,
but it was finally erected in the nave of the cathedral near the main
door. A richly ornamented bronze box placed in the monument contains
the leaden casket and the remains. Once a year on the anniversary of
the find, the box is opened and the public permitted to gaze on
its contents.

The Spanish authorities would never admit the authenticity of the
remains found in 1877, and the Spanish consul in Santo Domingo was
bitterly criticized for affixing his signature to the notarial
document relating the discovery. The Spaniards continue to claim that
the true remains of the Discoverer are those which were transferred to
Havana. Upon the evacuation of Cuba by Spain in 1898 these remains
were solemnly removed and taken to Spain, where they now rest in the
cathedral of Seville. Many investigations have been made from
different sources and the majority of investigators report in favor of
the Dominican contention, especially when they have personally visited
Santo Domingo. The Spanish writers present no proof that the remains
taken to Havana in 1795 were those of Christopher Columbus, but limit
themselves to attacking the find of 1877. The insinuations and
accusations, without corroborating facts, prove nothing but the temper
of their authors. All criticisms have been refuted by showing that
even supposing the box to date from the year 1540, other and
indubitable inscriptions of that year have the same style of letters,
abbreviations, spelling and words as those criticized. Further the
appearance of the box and vault of 1877, the circumstances attending
their discovery, and the irreproachable character of the Apostolic
Delegate, of Canon Billini and of others connected with that event
preclude all suspicion of fraud.

On the whole, the weight of evidence is strongly in favor of the
Dominican contention. It seems that, in spite of the acts of men, fate
has permitted the remains of the Discoverer of America to repose in
the principal cathedral of the island he loved.



CHAPTER XVIII

GOVERNMENT


Form of government.--Constitutions.--Presidents.--Election.--Powers.
--Executive secretaries.--Land and sea forces.--Congress.--Local
subdivisions.--Provincial governors.--Communal governments.


From the date of the declaration of independence, February 27, 1844,
down to the present time, with the exception only of a portion of the
period of Spanish occupation of 1861 to 1865, Santo Domingo has
remained in form at least, a republic. Herein it contrasts with its
neighbor Haiti, which has experienced several monarchies. Thus
Dessalines proclaimed himself emperor in 1804, Christophe assumed the
title of king in 1810 and Soulouque had himself declared emperor in
1849; and the latter two instituted pompous black nobilities. And
though the Cibao of Santo Domingo and the region south of the Central
Cordillera have ever been rivals and often in arms against each other
under competing generals, there has never been any tendency to
separate and form two states--as occurred in Haiti in 1806 when the
northern portion fell under the sway of Christophe for a period of
fourteen years, first as a nominal republic and later as a kingdom,
while the southern portion became a republic under Petion and finally
under Boyer.

But although the country has in form remained a republic and the title
of the chief of state has never been more pretentious than president
or protector, in fact there have been few years when the government
was not autocratic and the president an absolute monarch whose powers
were limited only by his own generous impulses or the fear of
alienating his more influential supporters. Dominican writers have
even referred to the constitution as a conventional lie.

The various Dominican presidents, as soon as securely in power, have
generally been careful to follow constitutional forms, in an effort to
deceive their followers and themselves into the belief that they were
acting in regular course as servants of the people. The successful
revolutionist was almost, always in haste to "legalize" his position
by an election. Most of the presidents, among them Heureaux, have been
great sticklers for form. Instead of moulding their wishes to conform
to the constitution, however, they would mould the constitution to
conform to their wishes, and repeatedly the first act of the
successful revolutionist has been to promulgate a new constitution in
accordance with his ideas. It has thus come to pass that the
constitution, far from being revered as the immutable foundation of
government, has rather been regarded as the convenient means for the
president in office to exercise power. From 1844 to the present time
nineteen constitutions have been promulgated in Santo Domingo, one in
the year 1844, one each in 1858, 1859 and 1865, two in 1866 and one
each in 1868, 1874, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1887, 1896, 1907
and 1908.

This extraordinary number is due in part to the practice of not
enacting amendments to an existing constitution, but of promulgating
the amended instrument as a new constitution. On three of the
occasions here indicated a constitution was abrogated in order to
revive a prior one. No account is taken in the above computation of
the instances where a successful revolutionist in order to announce
his adherence to the then existing constitution promulgated the same
anew. Thus the constitution of 1896 was reestablished in 1903.

The Dominican constitutions have all been modeled on the general lines
of that of the United States, and have differed from each other only
in detail. The term of office of the president has varied from one to
six years and the powers conferred upon him have been more or less
ample. The constitution of 1854, revived in 1859, 1866 and 1868,
practically invested him with dictatorial powers, and the only
legislative assembly it provided for was an "Advisory Senate" of
nine members.

The present constitution was drafted by a constitutional assembly
which sat in Santiago de los Caballeros in the early part of 1908. It
is disappointing both as a literary and political document. The style
bears witness to the haste with which the instrument was compiled.
Provisions quite unsuitable to Dominican conditions are included, such
as that granting the right to vote to all male citizens over eighteen
years of age. Such an extension of the suffrage would be looked upon
askance even in countries where education is general, and in Santo
Domingo would constitute a serious danger if really put into effect.
While the presidential succession is left to be regulated by a law of
Congress, the constitution goes into minute details regarding
citizenship, naturalization and several other matters. Repeated
attempts have been made to secure a new constitution and in 1914
partial elections were held for a constitutional convention, but for
one reason or another the plan has not matured. A new constitution
will probably be provided in connection with the cessation of American
occupation.

According to the present constitution the president must be a native
born Dominican, at least thirty-five years of age and with a
residence of at least twenty years in the Republic. His term of office
is fixed at six years, to be counted from the day of inauguration. The
fact that no specific date is mentioned has repeatedly proved a matter
of convenience to successful revolutionists. The designation of a
presidential term of office in the various constitutions has thus far
been something of an irony, for of the 43 executives who have come to
the fore in the 70 years of national life, but three presidents have
completed terms of office for which they were elected: Baez one term,
Merino one and Heureaux four, nor was the distinction of these three
due to ought but their success in suppressing revolutionary movements.
Five vice-presidents completed presidential terms. Two presidents were
killed and twenty deposed. The other chief magistrates resigned more
or less voluntarily.

Of the 43 presidents 15 were chosen by popular election according to
constitutional forms, 5 were vice-presidents who succeeded to the
presidency, 4 were provisional presidents elected by Congress, 10
began as military presidents and then had themselves elected under
constitutional forms, and 9 were purely and simply military
provisional presidents.

A comparison of the list of presidents with the roster of executives
of Haiti reveals a disproportion, for though the black Republic has
been in existence since 1804, it has had but twenty-nine chiefs of
state, the average duration of whose rule was therefore much longer
than has been the case in Santo Domingo. It is to be observed,
however, that of the Haitian executives only one completed his term of
office and voluntarily retired; of the others, four remained in power
until their death from natural causes, eighteen were deposed by
revolutions, one of them, committing suicide, another being executed
on the steps of his burning palace, and still another being cut to
pieces by the mob; five were assassinated; and one is chief magistrate
at the present time.

The president and members of the Senate and House of Deputies are
elected by indirect vote. Electors whose number and apportionment
among the several provinces and their subdivisions are prescribed by
law, are chosen by general suffrage in what are called primary
assemblies in the several municipalities and constitute electoral
colleges which meet at the chief town of the respective province. The
electors having cast their votes for president the minutes of the
session are sent to the capital. The votes are counted in joint
session of Congress and the successful candidate is proclaimed by
that body.

Though the election procedure designated in the constitution was
gravely followed, yet not once in the history of the country has the
result of an election been in doubt, nor is there an instance when the
candidate of the government was not elected, excepting only the
election of October, 1914, when the American government brought
watchers from Porto Rico to avoid gross frauds and coercion. Usually
everything was prepared beforehand and the primaries and the meetings
of the electoral colleges were little more than ratification meetings.
The votes of the electoral colleges were generally unanimous in favor
of the government's candidate, yet the odd spectacle has repeatedly
presented itself, of a unanimously elected president being driven out
of the country within a few months by a general revolution.

The constitution authorizes the president to conclude treaties with
the consent of Congress, to appoint certain government officials, to
receive foreign diplomatic representatives, and to grant pardons in
certain cases, and makes him commander-in-chief of the army and navy.
Most of the chief magistrates have not felt themselves hampered,
however, whether in peace or war, by any enumeration of powers in the
constitution, for their ascendancy has generally been such that their
wishes would be complied with and their illegal acts ratified or
ignored by a subservient Congress. President Heureaux so controlled
Congress, the courts, and all public functionaries, that the
government was practically identical with his personality.

The constitution provides that in case of the death, resignation or
disability of the president the Congress shall by law designate the
person who is to act as president until the disability ceases or a new
president is elected, and that if Congress is not sitting the Cabinet
officers are immediately to call a session. This is an innovation, as
from 1853 to 1907 the Dominican constitutions provided for a
vice-president. The vice-president was generally a decorative feature.
He was required to possess the same qualifications as the president
and was chosen with the same formalities, but no duties were assigned
to him, not even that of presiding in Congress, so that his only
attribute was the glory of being a president in escrow. The newly
elected vice-president therefore often quietly retired to his farm,
emerging occasionally to act in the president's stead when the latter
left the capital on a trip through the country. Frequently the
vice-president was made delegate of the government in some part of the
country and at times he was invested with a portfolio as one of the
cabinet secretaries. During the administration of a strong president,
as in the time of Heureaux, the vice-president was generally one of
his satellites, whereas, when the president's power was not so firmly
established, as in the administrations of Jimenez and Morales, one of
his rivals would be mollified by the vice-presidency. In such cases
friction frequently developed, and in the two cases specified the
vice-presidents and presidential rivals, Vasquez and Caceres,
overthrew the president and established themselves in power. Evidently
in order to avoid such disturbances and temptations the constitution
of 1908 abolished the office of vice-president. The lack of a definite
successor to the president, however, enabled Victoria to seize the
presidency after the death of Caceres in 1911 and has given rise to
uncertainty and trouble in the cases of presidential succession since
that time.

It has been a custom, sometimes expressly authorized by the
constitution, for the president to delegate executive powers and
prerogatives to persons selected by him in various parts of the
country, especially where revolutionary uprisings threatened. There
has usually been such a delegate of the government in the Cibao and
often one in Azua. They are powerful officials, inasmuch as they are
regarded as the direct representatives of the president and his
administration, command the local military forces, and constitute the
fountain-head of all local executive appointments. Nominations as
delegates of the government have been preferably conferred upon
provincial governors or upon the vice-president. The president is
naturally anxious to repose such powers in one of his confidants, but
political exigencies have sometimes obliged him to soothe one of his
rivals with the distinction and remain on the qui vive thereafter.
More than one governmental delegate has overthrown the president and
established himself in power.

Provisional presidents have been numerous in Dominican history. After
a successful revolution the victorious general usually proclaimed
himself president of a provisional government and until the
constitution was again declared in force he and his ministers united
executive and legislative power. How far the acts of such de facto
governments were legally binding upon the Republic has been questioned
in cases where obligations were imposed upon the country, but foreign
governments in asserting their rights have paid little attention to
such quibbles.

The constitution provides that there shall be such executive
secretaries as may be determined by law. They are currently referred
to as ministers and their number has been fixed at seven, namely, (1)
secretary of the interior and police (interior y policia); (2)
secretary of foreign relations (relaciones exteriores); (3) secretary
of finance and commerce (hacienda y comercio); (4) secretary of war
and the navy (guerra y marina); (5) secretary of justice and public
instruction (justicia e instrucción pública); (6) secretary of
agriculture and immigration (agricultura e inmigración); (7) secretary
of public development and communications (fomento y comunicaciones).
Communication between Congress and the executive departments is
rendered easier than in the United States by the constitutional
provision that the secretaries of state are obliged to attend the
Congressional sessions when called by Congress. This right of
interpellation has frequently been exercised.

The secretary of the interior and police is at the head of an
important department. He is the administrative superior of the
provincial governors and the communal and cantonal chiefs. His
position renders him the sentinel of the government for the detection
of revolutionary movements.

The foreign office of the Republic is directed by the secretary of
foreign affairs. The diplomatic service of Santo Domingo is limited
to the modest needs of the country, the more important posts being
those of minister plenipotentiary in the United States, Haiti and
France and chargé d'affaires in Cuba and Venezuela. The majority of
consuls depend altogether upon consular fees for their remuneration,
only a few of the more important being provided for in the budget. The
consulates of most consequence have been considered to be those in the
surrounding West India Islands and in New York City, for apart from
their commercial relations with the Republic these places have been
the favorite haunts of conspiring political exiles. Almost all the
European countries are represented in the Dominican Republic either by
ministers, chargés d'affaires or consuls. Of the diplomatic
representatives residing in Santo Domingo City the highest in rank is
the American minister. Before 1904 the American minister to Haiti was
accredited to the Dominican Republic as chargé d'affaires. The United
States has consular representatives at all the principal ports, there
being an American consul at Puerto Plata and consular agents
elsewhere. In the past, great respect has been shown to consulates
even to the extent of allowing them privileges of extra-territoriality,
and frequently political refugees have sought asylum under the flag of
a mere consular agent.

The secretary of finance and commerce has charge of the sources of
national income, and the customs and internal revenue services, and
under his authority the disbursements of the Republic are audited. The
office for the compilation of statistics, organized a few years ago,
is also in this department.

The army, rural police, navy and the captaincies of the port are under
the supervision of the secretary of war and the navy. This official is
always a military man and generally takes the field in person in
cases of revolutionary uprisings. During the insurrection of Jimenez
against Morales in 1903-4, two of Morales' ministers of war were
killed in battle.

Upon the American occupation in 1916 the military force of the
Republic was disbanded. There were at that time twelve military posts,
one in the capital of each province. The commanders and their aides
and the chiefs of forts and their assistants were treated as distinct
from the regular army. The army's strength and organization have
varied greatly; at the time of its dissolution the authorized strength
was one infantry regiment of about 470 officers and men, and a band of
33 men. Only a few months before, the preceding budget had authorized
an infantry force of about 800 officers and men and a battery of
mountain artillery of 100 officers and men, in addition to the
all-important band. In reality, however, only the membership of the
band was certain; in time of war the rest of the military
establishment was much larger, and in time of peace it comprised
numerous phantom soldiers, whose salaries were nevertheless regularly
collected from the national treasury. Service was supposed to be
voluntary, but the "volunteers" were generally picked out by communal
chiefs and brought in under guard, sometimes tied with ropes to keep
them from deserting.

There was also an inefficient and overbearing rural police called the
"Guardia Republicana," supposed to consist of seven companies of about
800 officers and men, but here too things were not what they seemed.
The higher officers of the Republican Guard were a brigadier-general,
a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel and 2 majors; those of the army only a
colonel, 2 lieutenant-colonels and 2 majors, which was very modest for
a country teeming with generals and where the budget of 1909 even
appropriated $20,000 for a "corps of generals at the orders of the
president."

The American garrison in the Republic, comprising about 1000 men, took
over the military posts in the Republic and lent strength to the
Guardia Republicana. By an order of the military governor, of April 7,
1917, the sum of $500,000 was set aside for the organization of a
constabulary force to be called the "Guardia Nacional Dominicana," to
take the place of the Dominican army, navy and police. This Dominican
National Guard is to be commanded by a citizen of the United States
and such other officers as the American government may consider
necessary. Its organization is far advanced and it has already
absorbed the Guardia Republicana. In it will be merged the frontier
guard of about 70 men depending on the general receiver's office, and
probably also the small municipal police squads that compel the
observance of municipal ordinances.

The Dominican navy is now composed of a single gunboat, the
"Independencia." At the end of Heureaux's rule the country boasted
three. The best of these was the "Restauración," which went on the
rocks at the entrance to Macoris harbor in one of the first conflicts
between the Jimenistas and Horacistas. The story goes that the steamer
was about to attack Macoris, that the pilot, in sympathy with the
opposition, grounded her with a view to having her captured, but that
a sudden storm drove her to complete destruction. Another gunboat was
the "Presidente," which had figured in history, for it was nothing
less than the yacht "Deerhound," on which the Confederate Admiral
Semmes took refuge after the sinking of the "Alabama" by the
"Kearsarge." In 1906 it was sent to Newport News for overhauling as
old age had made it unseaworthy, but since the repairs would have cost
more than the vessel was worth, it was sold for old iron. The
survivor, the "Independencia" is a trim vessel with a crew of fifty
officers and men. Attached to the general receiver's office are
several gasoline revenue cutters, recently provided.

The secretary of justice and public instruction has administrative
supervision over the courts, jails and schools of the Republic, and
the government subventions to primary and private schools are
disbursed under his direction.

The secretary of agriculture and immigration is the cabinet officer of
most recent creation. Prior to the 1908 constitution agriculture had
been in charge of the department of public development and there had
been no special provision for immigration. The importance of these
subjects for the Republic was felt to be such as to merit the
establishment of a special department. In practice the department has
done nothing, its efforts being hampered by revolutions and
circumscribed by the limited sums at its disposal. Its activities have
been confined to a general supervision of agriculture, the preparatory
work of the establishment of an agricultural experiment station and
the operation of a small meteorological service.

The department of public development and communications has charge of
the postal service of the Republic, of the national telegraph and
telephone, of the lighthouses, and of the public works carried on by
the government.

The size of the national legislature of Santo Domingo has fluctuated
considerably. Under the 1896 constitution the Congress consisted of a
single house of twenty-four members, two from each of the then
existing six provinces and six districts. The increase of the
national income permitting greater expenditures, the constitution of
1908 provided for two houses, one called the Senate, the other the
Chamber of Deputies. The Senate is composed of twelve members, one
from each province, elected by the same electoral colleges that elect
the president and holding office for six years. One-third of the
Senate is renewed every two years. The number of members of the
Chamber of Deputies is supposed to be in proportion to the number of
inhabitants of the various provinces, but as there has been no census
the number is provisionally fixed at twenty-four, two from each
province. The members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected for a
term of four years, also by the electoral colleges, which at the same
time designate alternates for the several members.

Congress meets each year in regular session on the anniversary of
Dominican independence, February 27, and its session is limited to
ninety days, which may, however, be extended sixty days more. Since
there are no provincial legislatures the powers of the Congress, set
forth in the Constitution, are sweeping. They include the right to
legislate in general for every part of the Republic, to approve or
reject treaties and to try the president, cabinet members and supreme
court judges on impeachment charges.

In practice the elections for deputies have been as perfunctory as
those for president, though there were occasional contests. The
character and attitude of Congress has varied with the character and
condition of the presidents. During the incumbency of strong leaders,
such as Santana, Baez and Heureaux, the Congress was little more than
the tool of the executive, but when the personality of the president
was not so overwhelming or when many of the deputies were followers of
a rival chieftain, as in the administrations of Jimenez and Morales,
an independent and sometimes a nagging spirit has been manifested.

Under the American occupation the Congress was by decree of January 2,
1917, declared in abeyance and all executive and legislative powers
are temporarily exercised by the commander of the American forces. The
heads of executive departments are officers of the American navy or
marine corps. Otherwise the general structure of the government
remains as before. The theory that Santo Domingo is an independent,
sovereign country is carefully followed, though at times it leads to
anomalous situations, as when the American military governor issues
exequaturs to American consuls in Santo Domingo "by virtue of the
powers vested in me by the Constitution of the Dominican Republic," or
when the American minister, Hon. W. W. Russell, representing the
United States and receiving his instructions from the United States
State Department, calls on Admiral H. S. Knapp, chief executive of
Santo Domingo, who takes his orders from the United States Navy
Department.

For administrative purposes the Republic is divided into twelve
provinces; Azua, Barahona, Espaillat, La Vega, Macoris, Monte Cristi,
Pacificador, Puerto Plata, Samana, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Seibo.
Formerly six were known as provinces and six as maritime districts,
though there was in practice no distinction between them. The
provinces are subdivided into communes and cantons--a canton being a
commune in embryo--and these in turn are subdivided into sections.
Congress is empowered to create new provinces, communes and cantons.

In the twelve provinces there are now sixty-five communes, several
comprising cantons. The provinces bear the names of their capital
towns, except Espaillat and Pacificador, the former of which is
called after Ulises F. Espaillat who took a prominent part in the War
of Restoration and was president in 1876, and the latter in honor of
President Heureaux, on whom a fawning Congress conferred the title of
Pacificador de la Patria, but these also are sometimes known by the
names of their capitals, Moca and San Francisco de Macoris. The
communes bear the names of their urban centers. Towns with long names
are usually referred to by part of the name only, thus Santa Cruz del
Seibo is known simply as El Seibo, Santa Barbara de Samaná either as
Santa Barbara or as Samana, etc.

At the head of each province is an official who bears the title of
governor. He acts as the direct agent of the president and is chief of
the government police and commander of the military forces of the
district. In civil matter he is dependent upon the department of the
interior and police, in military affairs he is under the department of
war and the navy. The governors are appointed by the president of the
Republic and their salaries are paid from the national treasury. Under
the present American occupation the various provinces still have their
governors, but the real governors are the American officers locally in
command of the occupation forces.

In each commune and canton there is a communal or cantonal chief who
represents the governor of the province. He is paid by the national
government and is charged with the preservation of the peace in his
jurisdiction. Again in each section there is a sectional chief, a
local police officer who depends on the communal chief.

The system of local chieftains of gradually diminishing category has
brought Santo Domingo to resemble in some administrations a feudal
monarchy rather than a constitutional republic. As governor the
president usually chose prominent men of the locality, either friends
whom he wished to reward or opponents or rivals whom he was obliged to
placate. The communal chiefs were also appointed by the president,
though the governor's wishes were respected to a large extent, and
here too men of influence were selected, such influence usually being
reckoned by the possession of a devoted following. The section chiefs
were chosen under similar considerations.

Though the law prescribes the duties of the governors, their local
prestige, their authority as commanders of the military, and their
activities in revolutionary times, have so exalted their position as
to convert them into something like satraps and make them powerful
supporters or dangerous rivals of the president. Many insurrections
have been inaugurated by disaffected governors. At times provinces
have remained practically independent for many months, ruled merely by
the governor and a coterie of his friends, while the president, in the
impossibility of imposing his authority, was obliged to acquiesce. A
conspicuous example of such a peculiar state of affairs was furnished
by the district of Monte Cristi, during the presidency of Morales. In
December, 1903, the formidable insurrection of Jimenez against
Provisional President Morales originated in Monte Cristi and though
the government gradually regained the remainder of the country it was
unable to subjugate this district, where the entire population was
Jimenista and the character of the country rendered campaigning very
difficult. Finally in the spring of 1904 a formal treaty was signed by
which the insurgents agreed to lay down their arms upon the
government's promise not to interfere in their district, where all
executive appointments were thereafter to be made as recommended by
the local authorities. Though constitutional forms were still
observed a few military chiefs thus assumed the direction of affairs.
Whenever any executive appointment was to be made, the name of the
nominee was certified to the capital to be ratified as a matter of
course; when orders came from Santo Domingo City, whether in civil or
military affairs, they were obeyed or ignored as convenience dictated;
the entire amount of the revenues collected in the Monte Cristi
custom-house was retained in the district. In order to stimulate
imports and increase the customs collections the local authorities
even conceded a secret discount from the general tariff. With the
enforcement of the San Domingo Improvement Company's arbitral award
and the inauguration of the receivership for Santo Domingo the control
of the custom-house passed out of the hands of the local chieftains,
who sullenly protested as against an invasion of their treaty rights.
In other matters the autonomy of the district remained unimpaired
until the beginning of 1906 when upon the fall of Morales the
government troops, in suppressing the revolution in the north, overran
Monte Cristi province and restored its dependency upon the central
government.

The healthiest and most important political subdivisions in Santo
Domingo are the communal governments, and whatever progress has been
made in the Republic has been due largely to their initiative. They
correspond to the Spanish "municipios" and the French "communes." In
Santo Domingo the French name was introduced during Haitian
occupation. The various towns constitute the centers of government,
their jurisdiction extends over the surrounding rural districts, and
the affairs of the whole are administered by a municipal council. The
powers of such councils are manifold and far-reaching and their
importance has been accentuated by the chronic impotency of the
central government to foster public improvements. The councils
exercise all the faculties commonly pertaining to city councils
elsewhere and have control of education, sanitation, streets and roads
in their respective districts. They also act as election boards.

When an outlying hamlet of the rural belt has grown to sufficient size
it is erected into a municipal district or canton and accorded a
justice of the peace and a cantonal chief and governing board. It
remains subject, however, to the municipal council of the commune of
which it formed a part until further development warrants its
segregation as an independent commune with its own council. The
cantons, as well as some of the sections, are also provided with a
cemetery and a small church or chapel.

From among their number the municipal councilmen select a president
who is regarded as mayor of the commune, though many of the duties
elsewhere pertaining to mayors are discharged by an official called
the syndic. The councilmen are supposed to be elected for a term of
two years, but the oft repeated revolutions have interfered as
seriously with their terms of office as with everything else. The
average Dominican seems to manifest little interest in his municipal
elections; my question as to when the last local election was held
would generally be answered with uncertainty: "Last January, no, last
April, no, I believe it was in November." After all, the elections
have usually been mere ratifications of slates prepared beforehand. In
the time of Heureaux the lists of new councilmen were often arranged
in the capital and a few days before election remitted to the various
towns, even with a designation of the person whom the council was
later to choose as its president.

The results of such a method of selection of councilmen has not been
as unfavorable as might be expected. The position of councilman pays
no salary and is not of sufficient importance to appeal to the
politician, so that under the present system the principal merchants
and other prominent men are frequently designated. The law does not
prohibit foreigners from forming part of the municipal councils and
they have frequently been chosen, especially in Puerto Plata.



CHAPTER XIX

POLITICS AND REVOLUTIONS


Political parties.--Elections.--Relation between politics and
revolutions.--Conduct of revolutions.--Casualties.--Number of
revolutions.--Effect of revolutions.


The characteristic features of Dominican politics are the violence of
political antagonism and the absence of differences of principle
between the political parties. None of the three parties existing
to-day has a platform, and the distinction between them is entirely a
matter of the personality of the leaders. Each party alleges that it
has the best people and the purest motives and views with alarm the
government of the country by any other party. In practice therefore,
politics follows the rule only too common in the Spanish-American
countries, of resolving itself into a personal struggle between the
"ins" and the "outs."

In the early days of the Republic different policies were occasionally
seriously considered. It was then held by some that independence
should be preserved at any cost while others contended that in view of
the constant, civil wars the country should seek peace and progress
under the protection of some foreign power. Although the
annexationists were at first called conservatives and their opponents
liberals, these divergent views were not the exclusive property of any
designated group of men, but the annexation idea was generally
espoused by the party that happened to be in power, which thus hoped
both to save the country and perpetuate its own rule, while
independence was invariably supported by the opposition, which
bristled with patriotic indignation and the fear that it might be
permanently excluded from the banquet-table. Thus Santana obtained a
return to Spanish rule in 1861 and Cabral a few years later agitated
the question of American annexation and their action was denounced by
Baez; yet shortly after Baez almost succeeded in securing annexation
to the United States and was stigmatized as a traitor by Cabral.

Another issue which existed for a few years after the separation from
Haiti in 1844 was the division between clericals on the one hand and
liberals on the other, a party division that has created havoc in
other parts of Spanish America. The very indefinite claims on each
side and the practical unanimity of the country in its attitude
towards the church caused this issue to disappear.

The real parties that kept see-sawing in and out of power from the
early days of the Republic down to the time of Heureaux were those
founded by General Pedro Santana and General Buenaventura Baez.
Intimate friends in the struggles with Haiti which followed Santo
Domingo's declaration of independence, their ambitious and domineering
natures soon clashed, and each collected a group of friends and
incessantly conspired against the other. The partisans of Baez, or
Baecistas, adopted red for the color of the cockades and ribbons which
distinguished them in the civil wars, and came to be known as the
"Reds," while the followers of Santana, or Santanistas, adopted blue
and were known as the "Blues."

On the death of Santana in 1863, Luperon and Cabral became the leaders
of the Blue party, and for several years after the expulsion of the
Spaniards in 1865 the Reds and Blues took turns in setting up
governments and having them overthrown. In 1873 General Ignacio Maria
Gonzalez, a former adherent of Baez, assembled a following from both
factions and formed a Green party with which he ousted the Reds who
were then in power. In the next six years the Reds and Greens
alternated in control, but in 1879 the Greens were driven out and
definitely scattered by the Blues, who thereby gained a foothold which
they did not lose for years. The death of Baez in 1884 threw the Reds
into confusion and their constant persecution by the "blue" President
Ulises Heureaux effectually crushed them. Ulises Heureaux with Blues,
Reds and Greens built up his own party of "Lilicistas" which remained
in power until his death in 1899. In the later years of Heureaux's
rule the distinguishing color used by his troops was white.

On the death of Heureaux, Juan Isidro Jimenez, as president, and
Horacio Vasquez, as vice-president, came into power. The rivalry
between Jimenez and Vasquez caused a division between their respective
followers, who called themselves Jimenistas and Horacistas, thus
forming the principal parties which continue to the present time. The
old Reds and Blues had disappeared and their survivors aligned
themselves with Jimenez and Vasquez indiscriminately; members of the
Baez family joined old Blues to follow Jimenez, while other old Reds
and Blues as well as the Lilicistas seemed to prefer Vasquez. In 1901
an attempt was made to form a party known as the Republican Party,
which it was intended to endow with a platform, but being composed
largely of Jimenez' friends, it was viewed with suspicion and
fell with him.

In 1902 the Horacistas revolted and obtained the government, only to
be overthrown in 1903 by followers of Jimenez. The new administration
proving odious to both parties they combined to drive it out in the
fall of 1903. The Horacistas gained the upper hand in the succeeding
government and remained in power until 1912, though a serious division
developed in the party, to the extent that the nominal leader, Horacio
Vasquez, himself joined in conspiracies and uprisings against the
administration. His efforts, combined with those of the Jimenistas,
led to the choice of Archbishop Nouel as compromise candidate for
president in 1912. Monsignor Nouel unsuccessfully attempted to govern
with both parties and on his resignation in 1913 another Horacista
became president. Again there was opposition from Horacistas as well
as Jimenistas and in 1914 a Jimenista became provisional president.

At about this time a small third party appeared, led by Federico
Velazquez, a former Horacista. His followers are known as
Velazquistas, though the party has adopted the official name of
Progresista. In the elections of 1914 he joined forces with Jimenez,
who thus secured the presidency. The government, or what remains of it
under the present military occupation, is still constituted largely by
followers of Jimenez and Velazquez.

Though both Jimenistas and Horacistas claim to have the larger
following in the country in general, it is probable that they are
about equally matched, the Velazquistas holding the balance of power.

The Jimenistas are often vulgarly called "bolos" or bob-tailed cocks,
and the Horacistas "rabudos" or "coludos," meaning bushy-tailed or
long-tailed cocks. In the fighting on the Monte Cristi plains the
Jimenistas would often attack, but retire as soon as their opponents
showed fight, and as such tactics reminded the Dominicans of the
habits of bob-tailed fighting cocks, the nicknames were imposed.

The men who attain prominence in politics range all the way from rude
ignorant military chiefs to polished members of the aristocracy. In
looking over the annals of Dominican history the same family names
constantly recur and it may be affirmed that the government of the
country has during the time of independence been in the hands of some
twenty families, the members of which have swayed its councils and led
its revolutions. They have tasted the sweets of power but also the
bitterness of defeat, alternately occupying high positions in the
government and pining in prison or exile. Almost all the chiefs of
state since 1899 would have done honor to any country, but all have
been obliged by the exigencies of politics to give places in their
entourage to men of low standing, whose deeds or misdeeds when in
power and whose unbridled ambition, have been a factor in the civil
wars. At the present moment perhaps the most prominent political
figure is Federico Velazquez, a man of unusual force of character, who
as minister of finance under Caceres, enforced the settlement of the
Dominican debt and gave what was probably the most honest
administration of public revenues in the Republic's history. He is one
of the few men having the moral courage openly to advocate American
cooperation in the government of the country. He is about forty-seven
years old, was born in Tamboril, near Santiago, and advanced through
the stages of schoolmaster, shopkeeper, secretary to Vasquez and
Caceres, and cabinet minister, to the position of a political leader.

The ill-feeling akin to hatred between many members of the political
parties is incredible to one not accustomed to Latin-American
politics. They will have nothing in common, neither will acknowledge
the existence of any good in the other, they endeavor to keep apart in
the clubs, they do not care to buy in each other's stores. Even the
women enter into this bitterness and engagements have been broken
because the bridegroom was discovered to favor one party while the
bride or her family sympathized with the other.

The parties are not unalterably composed of the same individuals. On
the contrary a great number of the leaders and of the rank and file
are continually drifting from one party to another, evincing
particular anxiety to "get on the band-wagon." These changelings,
while they belong to any one party, affect to be its most ardent
supporters in order to avert any suspicion of insincerity. Much of the
disorder which has sapped the life-blood of the Republic has been due
to disappointed office-seekers who suddenly veered about and joined
the opposing party.

Not only to personal ambitions and corruption of the persons in power,
but also to the perfunctory mode in which elections have been
conducted the many revolutions are to be ascribed. The municipal
councils in the communes and the justices of the peace and two
residents in the cantons form the election board before which the
voters of the respective commune or canton are supposed to appear to
deposit their votes. It is evident that if anything more than a small
proportion of the qualified voters appeared, such election boards
would be swamped, yet no difficulty has ever been registered. The
election of the presidential candidate supported by the government was
generally so certain that all other aspirants realized the futility of
launching their candidacy, and their followers either voted for the
official candidate or refrained from voting. In this connection I am
reminded of the convincing political speeches attributed to one of
the foremost men of La Vega during the farcical campaigns preceding
the elections of Heureaux. He is quoted as saying: "My friends, this
Republic is founded on the free and unrestricted suffrage of its
citizens. It is the proud boast of the Dominican that under the
constitution he may vote as he pleases. You are therefore free to cast
your vote for whomsoever you prefer. I would not be your friend,
however, if I did not advise you that whoever does not vote for
Heureaux might as well leave the country." In elections for municipal
councilmen and members of Congress there was occasionally an exception
to the rule of having a cut and dried program and contests sometimes
arose for a seat.

The real campaigns and expressions of the people's will have therefore
been the revolutions, and politics and revolutions have thus come to
be regarded as going hand in hand. In a town of the Cibao an
expression of the garrulous landlady of the inn attracted my
attention. The old lady, after regaling me with the local gossip,
started with her own troubles. "Two revolutions ago," she said--and
her mode of measuring time struck me as peculiar--"my eldest son took
a gun and went into politics." "Cojió un fusil y se metió en la
politica"--"took a gun and went into politics," the phrase is sadly
expressive.

Such campaigns were only too easily begun. When a new president
entered upon office on the crest of a successful revolution,
apparently with the whole country behind him and his adversaries
silenced or scattered, his popularity generally lasted until the
spoils were distributed. ("To the victors belong the spoils" was the
policy of the past; the American military authorities are making an
important innovation by the introduction of civil service principles
for selecting public employees.) The disappointed spirits immediately
entered into the plots which the vanquished opponents were not slow in
fomenting. The leader of the adverse party or one of his trusted
lieutenants raised the standard of revolt and issued manifestoes which
echoed with patriotic sentiments and decried the faults of the
administration. He was joined by a number of disgruntled "generals"
and their followers. The telegraph wires were cut and the revolution
had begun.

Before 1905 the seizure of a custom-house was invariably the next
step, which would at the same time provide the insurgents with the
sinews of war and make it impossible for the government to pay its
employees in that province. The custom-houses were eliminated as pawns
in the revolutionary game by the fiscal treaty with the United States,
according to which the customs receipts were paid over to an American
receiver-general. Revolutions for a short time became more difficult,
but where there's a will there's a way, and under a new routine the
necessary funds were derived from the government's internal revenues
and from levies on private citizens.

The first two or three weeks of a revolt constituted its critical
period, for the government at once poured troops into the district in
order to suppress the insurrection, while the rebels sought to obtain
as many strategical points as possible. Both sides lived on the
country while roaming about in pursuit of each other. If the
government was victorious the leaders of the revolt would usually
scramble across the border into Haitian territory, or leave the
country by boat, or otherwise make themselves inconspicuous until the
time was ripe for another rebellion. When the government was unready
or unsuccessful, the insurrection spread with great rapidity from town
to town until it arrived before the walls of Santo Domingo City.
There was more or less of a siege and when the president capitulated
he was permitted to board a vessel and go into exile. The head of the
new revolution then assumed charge of the government and had himself
elected president and the game began all over again.

The personal property of the fallen adversaries was respected and
there was no confiscation, such as has occasionally been witnessed in
certain other Latin republics. When Baez was overthrown in 1858 there
was an exception to the rule, his properties being seized by the
Santana government on the ground that he was a traitor ready to
deliver the country over to the Haitians and was guilty of other high
crimes and misdemeanors. But when the wheel of fortune again brought
Baez to the top he promptly reentered upon his lands.

During the uprisings there has rarely been wanton destruction of
property, the property of foreigners being especially respected. The
owner of a plantation near Macoris told me that on one occasion the
general of an insurgent force even halted at his gates and sent him a
polite request for permission to cross the property. Such
consideration was not universal, however, and large sums have been
paid to foreigners for damages inflicted during revolutions. A serious
inconvenience was caused farmers by revolutions as many laborers were
enrolled in one army or the other, either voluntarily or by
impressment.

In the course of the insurrection there were numerous encounters
between the rebels and the government troops, most of them being mere
skirmishes. There is hardly a town where there are not houses which
show the marks of bullets. The walls and gates of Santo Domingo City
and the houses in the vicinity are full of such marks, though
generally painted over now. In 1904 and 1905 one of the sights of the
city was a beautiful villa opposite the Puerta del Conde, which had
served as target for the government forces while occupied by the
insurgents and was so peppered by shot and shell as to look like a
sieve. The sieges of Santo Domingo City sometimes lasted for many
months. At such times almost every citizen took part in the
excitement, barricades were erected at every street opening and the
rattle of musketry was heard at all hours.

The proportion of shots fired to casualties inflicted is known to be
enormous in all wars and in Santo Domingo it is almost incredible.
Battles have been fought lasting for hours with thousands of shots
fired, yet with not one man lost. There have been revolutionary
uprisings lasting for months with not a man wounded. In Puerto Plata
it is said that when the government troops attacked the city in 1904 a
fierce battle ensued which continued from morning till the town was
taken by storm in the evening; yet only one man was killed and his
death was due to his own carelessness, for he appeared not far from
where soldiers of the other side were training a cannon and refused to
obey their warning to get out of the way, whereupon the cannon was
discharged and his arm shot off, causing a mortal wound.

At other times, however, the results have been far more serious, as
many a maimed soldier and bereaved family can testify. The graves of
victims of the revolutions are scattered all over the Republic. How
many have fallen in the disturbances of the past fifteen years it is
impossible to determine; I have heard estimates ranging from 1000 up
to 15,000. Nor is revolutionizing a pleasant business when continued
for any length of time. When the men entered a town contributions
could be levied on the merchants, but when they were harassed and
forced to retreat to the mountains they roamed for weeks half nude,
bare-headed, barefooted, exposed to the weather, living on what
bananas and wild fruits they could find or occasional wild hogs they
were able to kill, undermining their constitutions and brutalizing
their natures. The landlady whose son sought political distinction
with a gun told me amid sobs that her boys were dutiful, industrious
lads before being caught in the revolutionary torrent, but that in the
woods they lost all inclination for work and returned home completely
demoralized. From grieving relatives of victims I have heard many
another story of ruined lives and early deaths. It is saddening to
reflect on the tears which have been shed and the misery which has
been caused by this long continued civil strife.

While women have been heavy sufferers from the revolutions they have
not hesitated to take sides and contribute their mite. Many are the
stories current in Santo Domingo of women who smilingly passed through
the enemy's ranks and carried ammunition and supplies concealed
beneath their garments to their friends in the woods.

Excluding the revolution by which the Haitian yoke was thrown off in
1844 and that of 1863-65, which expelled the Spaniards, there have
occurred in the seventy years of Dominican independence no less than
twenty-three successful revolutions. One occurred in each of the years
1848, 1844, 1849, 1857 and 1864, three in 1865, one each in 1866, 1867
and 1873, three in 1876, one each in 1877, 1878, 1879, 1899 and 1902,
two in 1903 and one each in 1912 and 1914. At times hardly had a
revolution proved successful when a counter-revolution broke out and
secured the victory.  The longest intermissions were from 1879 to
1899 when the party of the dictator Heureaux was in power, and from
1903 to 1912, when the indirect protection of the United States was
sufficient to sustain the government.

These were the successful revolutions; the unsuccessful insurrections
are innumerable. It has been unfortunate for the credit of Santo
Domingo that almost every little shooting affray is classed as an
insurrection or revolution. Most of these unsuccessful uprisings have
been unimportant excursions into the country by some disaffected local
chief and a handful of followers, the band being promptly rounded up
or scattered by government forces or induced to come in by promise of
a job or some other consideration.

The circumstance that the provincial governors found it to their
advantage to have disturbances in their district explains many of the
smaller commotions. Upon the outbreak of an insurrection or before the
threat of an outbreak the authorities in the capital would authorize
the provincial governor to recruit troops and draw funds for their
payment. The governor would do so, but if two or three thousand men
had been authorized he would raise only two or three hundred and
forget to account for the balance of the money. The suppression of the
"revolution" would thus benefit both his military reputation and his
pocketbook. Governors were therefore prone to exaggerate rumors of
insurrection and sometimes themselves sent out men to fire a few shots
in the woods and create alarm.

Other insurrections have been fierce and formidable and some
administrations were obliged to engage in constant warfare in order to
maintain themselves. A serious unsuccessful insurrection was that led
by Gen. Casimiro de Moya against Heureaux in 1886, which lasted six
months. The most widespread was that of Jimenez against the Morales
government, lasting from December, 1903, to May, 1904, and during
which the insurgents gained possession of practically the entire
Republic. Other serious outbreaks occurred in 1904, 1905, 1906, 1909,
1911, 1913 and 1916. The fires smouldered constantly, especially in
the Cibao, which raises the largest crops of everything, including
revolutions.

The effect of such continuous commotion has been most disastrous to
the country and the people at large. This is all the more saddening
when it is considered that, less than ten per cent of the people took
part in the disturbances. Revolutions, successful and unsuccessful,
have been fought to a finish with less than a thousand men on either
side. Ninety per cent of the population are law-abiding citizens who
would like nothing better than to be let alone and permitted to pursue
their vocations in peace. The other ten per cent were not entirely to
blame: they have been the victims of their environment.

Not only have the revolutionary disturbances caused enormous indirect
loss to the country through paralyzation of agriculture, arrest of
development and loss of credit, but they have also been a large direct
expense. A considerable portion of every budget was devoted to
appropriations for the purchase of war material and the maintenance of
the military and naval establishment. When uprisings occurred the
additional amounts necessary for their suppression have been taken
from other appropriations, those for public works usually being the
first to be cancelled. If the uprisings became serious the other
appropriations of the budget were reduced by fifty or even
seventy-five per cent until all the available cash was devoted to war
purposes. In 1903 military and naval expenditures absorbed 71.7 per
cent of the Republic's disbursements, and in 1904 72.6 per cent. At
such times the government was reduced to a desperate struggle for
existence; the loss of the custom-houses in power of the insurgents
made its position still more precarious; it contracted loans on
ruinous terms; it neglected its foreign obligations and paid its
employees in promissory notes and even in postage stamps, which they
would then peddle about the streets. Under such conditions it is
natural that nothing was left for public improvements. Even under the
peaceful administration of Heureaux a disproportionate part of the
national funds was expended for military purposes and three gunboats
were acquired and maintained, but not a single mile of improved road
was laid out.

With the American military occupation political conditions in the
Dominican Republic have radically changed. The system of waging
political campaigns by force of arms has stopped abruptly and
absolutely. Revolutions have become a matter of history. Ballots will
hereafter take the place of bullets, and politics will be conducted in
the same manner as in other orderly countries. Evolution, not
revolution, will be the characteristic of the future.



CHAPTER XX

LAW AND JUSTICE


Audiencia of Santo Domingo.--Legal system.--Judicial
organization.--Observance of laws.--Prisons.--Character of offenses.


In the year 1510 the Spanish government established in Santo Domingo
the first of the famous colonial audiencias, or royal high courts, the
list of which appears like a roll call of Spain's former glories.
Others were added later in Mexico, Guatemala, Guadalajara, Panama,
Lima, Santa Fé de Bogotá, Quito, Manila, Santiago de Chile, Charcas
(now Sucré), and Buenos Aires. The audiencia of Santo Domingo at first
had jurisdiction over all the territory under Spanish dominion in the
new world, but upon the establishment, of the audiencia of Mexico and
others its jurisdiction was confined to the West India Islands, and
the north coast of South America. Its functions were both judicial and
administrative, including the power to hear appeals from the judges of
the district and from certain administrative authorities, and to
intervene in certain matters of government, in the finances of the
territory and in behalf of the public peace. The governor and
captain-general of Santo Domingo was president of the royal audiencia,
though not acting when it sat as a law court, and at times the
audiencia alone temporarily carried on the government of one or more
of the territories under its jurisdiction. It applied the law as
expressed in the codification of the "Laws of the Indies," and the
Spanish "Partidas." It sat in the building still called the old palace
of government. During the dark days which fell upon the island in the
seventeenth century, the presence of the audiencia helped to save the
colony from being completely forgotten. It continued in its functions
until the country was ceded to France, whereupon in 1799, it was
removed to the city of Puerto Principe, in Cuba. Could its records but
have been preserved a great many gaps in the history of Santo Domingo,
Cuba, Porto Rico and Venezuela would be filled. It seems that the
first records were destroyed by Drake in 1583, and almost all the
later ones succumbed to the negligence of man and the voracity of the
tropical insects. When the government of Cuba in 1906 honored the
request of the government of the Dominican Republic for the return of
such of the records of the audiencia of Santo Domingo as were still
extant, it could find in its national archives and turn over but a
score of bundles of documents, mostly records of suits regarding land
boundaries in the eighteenth century, of little historic value. These
and several small mahogany bookcases still preserved in the present
audiencia of Havana, are the only tangible remains of this
noted court.

When Santo Domingo again came under Spanish rule in 1809, the colony
was included in the territorial jurisdiction of the audiencia of
Caracas. Upon the beginning of Haitian rule in 1822, when most of the
distinguished citizens, including judges and lawyers, left the
country, they took with them the ancient legal system. The Haitians
imposed their laws, namely, the Code Napoleon and other French codes.
These took such deep root that on the expulsion of the Haitians no
attempt was made to return to the Spanish laws, which also at that
time were still under the disadvantage of not having been revised and
codified in accordance with modern needs.  In 1845 the laws of France
were expressly adopted by the Dominican Republic. During the troublous
times following little attention was given to the legal system, and
there was not even a Spanish translation of the codes. After
annexation to Spain in 1861 the Spanish authorities attempted to
clarify the situation by introducing the Spanish penal code and law of
criminal procedure and by appointing a commission to translate the
civil code, in which they made several changes, but upon the
reestablishment of the Republic in 1865 everything done in this
respect by the Spaniards was annulled. Several efforts were later made
to secure a translation of the codes, though laws were not often
invoked amid so much civil unrest. As late as 1871 the American
commission which visited the island reported that the administration
of justice had practically fallen into disuse. The local military
chiefs and the parish priests decided the questions that arose.

As the country progressed in spite of itself, and there were periods
of peace, the need of an official Spanish text of the laws became more
pressing, and at length in 1882 a commission was appointed to
translate and adapt the French codes. On the report of the commission
a civil code, a code of civil procedure, a code of commerce, a penal
code, a code of criminal procedure and a military code were approved
in the year 1884. They are literal translations of the French codes
with a few modifications to adapt them to local conditions. The penal
codes are such close translations that several paragraphs relating to
juries were retained, although the institution does not exist in Santo
Domingo. It was tried in 1857, but discontinued in the following year.
The Dominican Congress made but few changes in these important laws,
which have therefore been more permanent than the constitution. The
need for a further revision of the Dominican codes became urgent,
however, and such revision has very recently been concluded by a
commission which sat for that purpose; it is now being considered with
a view to an early promulgation of the codes in amended form.

Santo Domingo, the first Spanish colony, thus has no Spanish laws. It
is the only Spanish country which has adopted French legislation so
completely, and which looks so largely to France for its
jurisprudence.

The laws of Congress, and the decrees of the Executive relating to
concessions, naturalization, pardons, and other matters, and, at
present, the "executive orders" and decrees of the military
government, are published in the Official Gazette, a government
newspaper appearing almost daily. In addition to the calendar date,
official papers are dated from the declaration of independence in 1844
and the restoration of the Republic in 1863, somewhat as follows:
"Given in the National Palace of Santo Domingo, Capital of the
Republic, on the 3rd day of March, 1916, the 73rd year of Independence
and the 53rd of the Restoration." In Haiti it was formerly the custom,
after a successful revolution, to count dates not only from the
declaration of independence but also from the proclamation of the
latest revolution, the latter period being denominated the
"regeneration," thus: In the 40th year of independence and the 3rd of
the regeneration. In the Dominican Republic Baez introduced this rule
in his presidency of 1868-1873, during which period decrees were dated
in the following manner: "On the 3rd day of March, 1871, the 28th year
of Independence, the 8th of the Restoration, and the 3rd of the
Regeneration." The revolution of December, 1873, ended this
regeneration, and the official references thereto.

At the present time the judicial power is vested in a supreme court,
sitting in the capital of the Republic, three courts of appeals, one
in Santo Domingo, one in Santiago and one in La Vega; twelve courts of
first instance, one in each province; and 70 alcaldias or justice of
the peace courts, in the several communes and cantons. The supreme
court is constituted by a presiding justice and six associate
justices, who are elected by the Senate for terms of four years. It
exercises original jurisdiction in cases against diplomatic
functionaries and judges of courts of appeals, sits as a court of
cassation in appeals from, the courts of appeals, finally decides
admiralty cases and has certain other functions assigned to it by law.

The three courts of appeals each have a presiding justice and four
associate justices, all elected by the Senate for four year terms.
They exercise appellate jurisdiction over cases adjudged by courts of
first instance and courts-martial, and original jurisdiction in
admiralty cases and in the prosecution of certain judicial and
administrative officials. Prior to 1908 there was one supreme court,
with five members, and no court of appeals. When the income of the
country grew, the new constitution provided that the supreme court
have at least seven members, and that at least two courts of appeals
be established, with their necessary judges and clerks. The system is
now costly and topheavy.

The twelve district courts each have a judge of first instance and a
judge of instruction, elected by the Senate for terms of four years.
The judge of instruction is not, strictly speaking, a part of the
court, his duty being to investigate the more serious criminal
offenses, commit the offenders for the action of the court and report
the result of his investigation to the prosecuting attorney. The
courts of first instance have original jurisdiction in all criminal
matters except the minor police offenses and in all civil matters
except those expressly assigned to the justices of the peace. They
hear appeals from the justices of the peace in civil and
criminal cases.

The local justices of the peace are called "alcaldes." The alcalde, in
Spanish times, was an officer exercising both administrative and
judicial functions, the name being derived from the Arabic "al cadi,"
the judge, and whereas in Spain and most of the former Spanish
colonies the alcalde has now only administrative duties and his office
is equivalent to that of mayor, in Santo Domingo he now exercises
solely judicial authority. (The office of "alcalde pedaneo," which may
be roughly translated as deputy mayor, exists in Santo Domingo,
however, this title being given to the municipal executive's agent in
each section.) The alcalde's jurisdiction comprises the smaller police
offenses and, in civil cases, matters involving less than $100, as
well as certain cases, such as suits between innkeepers and guests,
where the limit of his authority is raised to $300, and other cases,
such as ejectment suits, where his jurisdiction attaches on account of
the subject-matter. The alcaldes are appointed by the president of
the Republic.

In general the system works smoothly. The alcaldes are often ignorant
men, but even in the United States the country magistrates are not
always founts of wisdom. The judges of first instance and district
attorneys are almost without exception respected in the community, and
the present judges of the supreme court and of the courts of appeals
enjoy a good reputation. Not infrequently political considerations
have given rise to poor appointments, such as occurred in Barahona
some years ago when the judge-elect telegraphed an indignant protest
to the capital to the effect that he was unacquainted even with the
rudiments of the law. The administration had not taken the trouble to
ascertain whether he was a lawyer, but knowing he sought a position,
had given him the first one at hand. This was rather an oversight, as
the law requires such appointees to be members of the bar. On another
occasion the legal requisite was filled by first declaring the
aspirant a lawyer and then designating him for the post. These cases
are exceptions, however. The integrity of the judges is not often
questioned, but the alcaldes do not enjoy so good a reputation.

At the present time there are also American provost courts which take
cognizance of "offenses against the military government." This
designation is broad enough to include anything the military
authorities choose to include. Apart from a few cases of regrettable
harshness these courts have done fairly well.

While the various constitutions have expressly declared the
independence of the judicial power, the authority of the courts has
heretofore been rather relative, and they have studiously avoided
conflicts with the other branches of the government. There is no case
on record where they have declared a law unconstitutional. The supreme
court when driven into a corner in 1904 even declared that it had not
the authority to make such a declaration. The constitution of 1908
modified the decision by expressly providing that the supreme court
may decide as to the constitutionality of laws.

This decision of the supreme court made little impression in the
country, due probably in part to the ease with which the various
administrations have disregarded the constitution when it suited their
convenience. The little value of the constitution between friends has
constantly been demonstrated. Certain provisions have been
systematically violated, even by the best of administrations.
Principal among them is the provision that no one be arrested without
a warrant setting forth the offense, unless caught _in flagranti_, and
the provision that every person imprisoned be informed of the cause of
his imprisonment and submitted to examination within forty-eight hours
after arrest, and not be detained for a longer time than permitted by
law. These provisions have been dead letters as far as political
prisoners are concerned. When a person was suspected of being involved
in a conspiracy against the government he was liable at any moment to
be seized and conducted to prison, where he might be detained
indefinitely, until the danger was over, or he was considered
innocuous. The ancient fortress at the river mouth in Santo Domingo,
known as La Torre del Homenaje, bears over its entrance the sign,
"Political Prison," and rarely has it been without tenants, even when
the country was at peace and the constitutional guarantees were
supposed to be in force. On one occasion when I heard a Dominican
lawyer lament that a friend of his had thus been incarcerated for
several months without a hearing, I inquired why he did not apply to a
court and invoke the constitutional provision. The reply was, "The
judge who signed an order to set the prisoner free would probably join
him in jail before many hours had passed."

Such ignoring of the written law was a relic of the days when the will
of the military was the only law respected. Reminders of the old state
of affairs continued to crop out, though the people and government
were rapidly adopting other customs. An instance occurred in Sanchez
during the presidency of Morales. A younger brother of the president
was customs collector at that port and was accused by public rumor of
irregularities in office. A customs employee having been discharged
for spreading the rumor, called on the collector and invited him to a
meeting outside; and the two adjourned to the bush, where shots were
exchanged and young Morales was wounded in the leg. The aggressor was
immediately seized by the general commanding the military forces in
Sanchez and carried to the town cemetery, a grave was dug, and the
general prepared to have him summarily shot. The town authorities
interceded, but in vain, and the execution was about to take place
when the ladies of the town succeeded in moving the commandant by
their pleadings. The prisoner was remanded to the jail in Samana and
was later tried by the court of first instance and acquitted. Much
more recently the leader of the band that assassinated President
Caceres was killed without trial.

Some of the surviving military leaders of the old school find
difficulty in adjusting themselves to the new conditions. Among them
was General Cirilo de los Santos, better known by his nickname
"Guayubin" (the name of the town where he was born) who took an active
part in the political disturbances of the Republic for many years.
When I traveled through the country with Prof. Hollander on his
financial investigation we were guests of this hero of a hundred
revolutions, who was then Governor of La Vega. In the course of
conversation Prof. Hollander expressed gratification at the cessation
of the custom of shooting political prisoners. The governor was at
that time engaged in the persecution of one Perico Lasala, a perpetual
revolutionist who was infesting the nearby hills and who has since
done his country a favor by being killed in an incursion on the coast.
The idea of not shooting this notorious character as soon as he was
apprehended seemed grotesque to Guayubin--and perhaps not without
reason. He cried, "If you were in my place and caught Perico Lasala,
wouldn't you shoot even him?" "Why, no," was the answer. Guayubin's
face fell and he became thoughtful. For the rest of the day he was
strangely silent and he continued so on the morrow, when he
accompanied us for several miles out of town. When bidding goodbye, he
broke out: "I wish to ask your advice. If I should catch Perico
Lasala, what would you advise me to do with him?" Dr. Hollander asked:
"What do you do with persons who steal or commit similar violations of
the law?" "We put them in jail." "Why, then, put Perico Lasala in
jail." A look of inexpressible relief came over the face of the old
warrior. "Of course!" he said, "I never thought of that."

Not long after this incident General Guayubin met a political opponent
against whom he harbored resentment. He immediately drew his revolver
and began to shoot, and the object of his wrath escaped only by
dexterous sprinting. At a session of Congress there was some criticism
of his action and Guayubin resigned his office in disgust. The death
of this fighter was as stern as his life. He attended a christening
party at a house where there was a forgotten powder-cask; a spark fell
into the powder and in the ensuing explosion Guayubin's eyesight was
destroyed. Grimly refusing to take food or drink, he pined away.

Prior to the American occupation, the Dominican penal establishments
were as a rule in very bad condition. There is no penitentiary and
portions of the forts or government houses are used as jails. The
prisoners were herded together with little thought of cleanliness. The
stench in some of the jail yards was at times almost unbearable. In
justice it should be stated that the Dominican authorities frequently
called the attention of their Congress to this condition of affairs.
The prisons at Santo Domingo City and Santiago were exceptions to the
rule; they were improved even to the extent of being endowed with a
prison school.

The political prisoners were generally given better accommodations, if
there were any at hand, and had the privilege of securing their meals
from the outside instead of being limited to the scant and repugnant
prison food. During revolutions, however, when the prisons were
overcrowded, the political prisoners were kept in irons and
supervision was rigid. According to law the functionaries of each
court of first instance were supposed to visit and examine the jails
once a month, but as the date of their visit was known beforehand the
inspection was little more than perfunctory. Not very long ago it was
whispered in the Cibao that a judge in inspecting a jail accidentally
passed through a door to a room he was evidently not expected to
enter, and there to his own embarrassment and that of the warden found
a score of prisoners whose names were not on the prison rolls.

The more serious offenders were kept in irons. The Dominican
authorities, realizing that they had no reason to be proud of their
prisons, were loath to permit foreigners to visit the jails. When I
called at the government building at Sanchez on one occasion, however,
the commandant was absent and an indiscreet sergeant offered to show
me the two rooms used for prison purposes. The building was a wooden
one and one of the rooms, though heavily barred, did not seem unfitted
except in case of overcrowding, which I was told sometimes occurred.
The other room was extremely repulsive. It was dark and a foul odor
rising from a hole in the wooden floor demonstrated the truth of the
guide's remark that there was no outhouse for the use of the
prisoners. Along one side of this room lay two long square-cut beams,
one on the other, scalloped out so as to form a number of round holes
along their juncture. It was evident they were used as stocks and my
guide stated that he had seen a whole row of men sitting along the log
with their feet thus confined. One or two of the holes were a little
larger and it was explained that they were for the purpose of
confining not the feet but the neck of the delinquent, and that this
punishment was much worse, producing especial pain in the case of
short-necked persons. The severest pain was produced, so the guide
stated, when the delinquent was seated on the beam and his feet placed
crosswise through the holes: he could bear the agony of this position
for only a short time.

The American authorities have made great improvements in the prisons
and prison discipline. The jails are now so clean that they are almost
show places.

The revolutionary disturbances have seriously interfered with the
proper execution of the sentences of the courts. It was a usual
procedure for revolutionary forces, upon entering a town, to free the
prisoners--either as a slap at the government or in order thereby to
augment their own strength. In Puerto Plata, a few years ago, a
merchant was convicted of fraudulent bankruptcy and sentenced to three
years in jail; soon afterwards a revolutionary force took possession
of the town and freed the prisoners; and a few hours later the
townspeople were amused to see the lawyer who had been instrumental in
securing the conviction himself led to prison at the instigation of
the culprit.

In March, 1903, when the political prisoners in the Santo Domingo
prison broke out, they released the convicts, some of whom retained
their gyves during the fighting which followed, until the revolution
was successful several days later.

The undeveloped state of the country has offered difficulties to the
apprehension of criminals, and the proper enforcement of the law.
Could a criminal but reach the mountains of the interior, which are
almost entirely uninhabited, he would be safe from pursuit and might
either wait to join the next uprising or proceed to a different part
of the country, where he was unknown and where, owing to the
difficulty of intercourse, detection would be unlikely. Instances have
occurred more than once where an escaped malefactor has become a
"general" of other outlaws and by threatening to raise an insurrection
has induced the government to pardon him and his associates.

In several regions there were up to the time of the American
occupation local caciques who were almost absolute monarchs in their
district. They and their followers considered themselves above the law
and their power and influence were such that the government in the
capital preferred to let them alone so long as they kept within
bounds. Such gentlemen can hardly be expected to favor the American
administration for they have been made to understand that their rights
and remedies are no more than those of other citizens.

In view of such conditions so favorable to wrongdoers, the low
criminal record of Santo Domingo is all the more remarkable and speaks
highly for the character of the population. Crimes evincing malice and
a depraved disposition are exceedingly rare. The Dominican boasts that
it is possible to travel without fear from one end of the Republic to
the other, though unarmed and carrying large sums of money. The few
attacks on travelers which are on record have generally been due to
revenge or some other personal motive. There is petty thievery, but no
more than anywhere else. A friend of mine used to remark that he had
never seen so many chickens in a community where there were so many
negroes. No criminal is so greatly despised as a thief, and to accuse
a person of being "mean enough to steal a pig" is a mortal insult. A
distinction is made, however, between public honesty and private
honesty, and the impression has been only too general that stealing
from the state is not stealing.

The most common serious offenses are homicide and assaults committed
in sudden quarrel or due to jealousy. Not a little mischief was caused
by the unfortunate habit of going armed.

The attractions of the fair sex give rise not only to crimes of
jealous passion, but also to other missteps, such as seduction and
similar offenses. The average of these is not greater, however, than
in other southern countries.



CHAPTER XXI

THE DOMINICAN DEBT AND THE FISCAL TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES


Financial situation in 1905.--Causes of debt.--Amount of debt.--Bonded
debt.--Liquidated debt.--Floating debt.--Declared claims.--Undeclared
claims.--Surrender of Puerto Plata custom-house.--Fiscal convention of
1905.--Modus vivendi.--Negotiations for adjustment of debt.--New bond
issue.--Fiscal treaty of 1907.--Adjustment with creditors.--1912
loan.--Present financial situation.


Rarely have the fiscal affairs of a country experienced so rapid and
radical a change for the better as those of Santo Domingo since 1904,
and rarely has a financial measure so quickly proved its efficacy as
the fiscal convention between the United States and Santo Domingo. In
the beginning of the year 1905 Santo Domingo had fallen to the lowest
depths of bankruptcy and financial discredit. After decades of civil
disturbance, misrule and reckless debt contraction, the deluge had
come. The substance of the country had been wasted in military
expenditures; agriculture and commerce were stagnant; a debt of over
$30,000,000 had been contracted with nothing to show for it but
forty-two miles of narrow-gauge railroad and two small gunboats; the
government obligations were chronically in default and interest
charges were piling up at ruinous rates; every port of the Republic
was pledged to foreign creditors who were clamoring for payment; one
port had already been seized and the occupation of the others by
foreign powers was imminent. At this juncture the Dominican government
applied to the  United States for assistance and the custom-houses of
the Republic were placed in charge of an American general receiver,
with the obligation of reserving a specified portion of the customs
income for the creditors and turning the remainder over to the
Dominican government. The situation immediately changed as if by
magic. The imports and exports, and with them the income of the
government, quickly reached higher figures than the country had ever
seen, the national debt was scaled down by almost one-half and the new
Dominican bonds issued in 1907 to convert the old debt went nearly to
par in the markets of the world.


(a) Periodic accumulation of floating debt, owing to:
     1. Political instability, requiring large outlays for soldiery,
         for bribery of potential revolutionists, and for suppression
         of actual revolutions.
     2. Corruption of officials.
     3. "Asignaciones" or pensions to mollify enemies and to reward
         friends of the existing régime.
(b) Usurious interest computations, on account of:
     1. "Bonus" in principal,
     2. Extravagant interest rates.
(c) Interest default and compounding accumulations.
(d) Recognition and liquidation of excessive or illegal claims as a
      condition of further advances.


In order to obtain more positive information with reference to
outstanding Dominican indebtedness, for use in connection with the
pending fiscal treaty, the American government in the early part of
1905 commissioned a financial expert, Prof. Jacob H. Hollander, of
Johns Hopkins University, to proceed to Santo Domingo and make an
investigation of financial conditions. Prof. Hollander, in an
elaborate report, found the amount of the claims pending against the
Dominican Republic on June I, 1905, to be $40,269,404.38, distributed
as follows:


Bonded debt........................ $17,670,312.75
Liquidated debt...................... 9,595,530.40
Floating debt........................ 1,553,507.79
Declared claims...................... 7,450,053.89
Undeclared claims.................... 4,000,000.00
                                   --------------
Total indebtedness................. $40,269,404.38


The bonded debt, as above designated, comprised the public
indebtedness represented by outstanding bonds; the liquidated debt
consisted of items secured by international protocols or by formal
contracts; the floating debt consisted of admitted indebtedness,
neither funded nor secured, but evidenced by public obligations; the
declared claims were claims presented for reimbursement or indemnity
but not expressly recognized by the government; and the undeclared
claims were claims of the same nature not yet formally presented. A
brief description of each of these items will afford an idea of the
general character, of Dominican financiering and a better
understanding of Dominican history.

_Bonded Debt_. The bonded debt held by Belgians and
French and amounting to $17,670,312.75, was the final
outcome of eight consecutive bond issues floated by the
Republic, as follows:


               Interest
                 per   Term
Date   Amount    cent  years   Name_

1869  £  757,700  6       25   Hartmont loan
1888  £  770,000  6       30   Westendorp loan
1890  £  900,000  6       56   Railway loan
1893  £2,035,000  4       66   4 per cent consolidated gold bonds
1893  $1,250,000  4       66   4 per cent gold debentures
1894  $1,250,000  4       66   French-American reclamation
                                consols
1895  $1,750,000  4       66
1897  £1,736,750  2-3/4  102   Obligations or de Saint Domingue
      £1,500,000  4       83   Dominican unified debt 4 per cent
                                bonds


In making its very first loan, in 1869, the Dominican government fell
into the hands of sharpers and was mercilessly fleeced. The bargain,
even if it had been honestly carried out, was improvident enough.
Reduced to American money the nominal amount of the loan was
$3,788,500; of this amount the Republic was to receive but $1,600,000;
yet it contracted to pay as interest and sinking fund in twenty-five
years a sum amounting to $7,362,500. The contractors for the loan,
Hartmont & Co., of London, were authorized to retain $500,000 as their
commission. In fact, however, no more than $190,455 was ever paid to
the Dominican government. The brokers claimed that they tendered a
further sum of $1,055,500, though after the expiration of the time
limited in their contract, and that the tender was refused because of
negotiations then under way for the annexation of the Republic to the
United States, but such tender is denied on the Dominican side. At all
events, the loan contract was cancelled by the Dominican senate in
1870 on the ground of non-compliance of the brokers with its
conditions and the government made no payments for interest or sinking
fund. The brokers nevertheless continued to sell bonds in London and
pay the current interest with the proceeds. Incidentally in addition
to collecting their commission, they turned a penny for themselves by
taking the bonds with their friends at 50 and selling them to the
public at 70. When the Dominican repudiation of the bond issue was
published in England in 1872 a cash balance of $466,500 still remained
to the credit of the Dominican government, but it was coolly pocketed
by the principal agent, who claimed it as a set-off against alleged
damages in connection with a concession he had near Samana. In the ten
years of anarchy that followed in Santo Domingo no attempt was made to
straighten out the matter. The bonds having gone into default in 1872
dropped lower and lower until they reached 3 per cent in 1878.

The setback received by the credit of the Republic by reason of the
defaulted Hartmont bonds made further bond issues impossible for a
number of years. Finally an Amsterdam banking house, Westendorp & Co.,
was interested and in 1888 and 1890 floated the second and third bond
issues for £770,000 and £900,000 respectively. The object of the
second issue was to retire the Hartmont bonds at 20 per cent, to pay a
number of floating interior debts the owners of which were harassing
the government, and to provide cash for the treasury, principally for
military and naval expenditures, while the third issue was designed to
secure funds for the construction of a railroad between Puerto Plata
and Santiago. For the purpose of providing for the service of the loan
a collection office known as the "caisse de la regie," or simply
"regie," under the management of Westendorp, took charge of the
customhouses with the obligation of paying a certain amount to the
government monthly and devoting the remainder to payment of interest
and sinking fund of the loans. The arrangement was thus similar to the
later receivership plan, but its vulnerable point was that it was
operated by a private concern.

The first instalments of interest and sinking fund on these two bond
issues were paid from the proceeds of the bonds, then for several
months the "regie" supplied funds, and then came the first crash. The
government was ever in need of money and to secure the same violated
its agreements by seizing certain revenues to pledge them to local
merchants for advances, and by conniving at customs irregularities. As
a result, after paying the sums for the budget, the "regie" had
nothing left for the service of the bonds and they went into
default in 1892.

Westendorp was almost ruined by this occurrence and became anxious to
draw out of his Dominican entanglements. He applied to Smith M. Weed
and Brown and Wells, New York attorneys, to negotiate a sale of his
bonds to the United States government, transferring also his right to
collect the Dominican customs. The United States government declined,
whereupon Weed, Wells and Brown organized the famous San Domingo
Improvement Company under the laws of New Jersey, the claim of which
was later the prime factor in bringing about American intervention in
Santo Domingo. Subsequently two other companies, the San Domingo
Finance Company and the Company of the Central Dominican Railway, were
incorporated, also under the laws of New Jersey, as auxiliaries of the
Improvement Company, but they were all managed by the same persons.
The San Domingo Improvement Company took over Westendorp's holdings
and was placed in control of the "regie." A fourth bond issue, of
£2,035,000 was floated through the agency of the Improvement Company
in 1893 for the conversion of the outstanding government bonds. The
Improvement Company also completed the railroad from Puerto Plata to
Santiago, which was the only improvement it ever effected in the
Republic and this it did with Dominican money. It further took from
the Republic at rates very favorable to the Company a fifth, sixth and
seventh bond issue, in 1893, 1894 and 1895 respectively, aggregating
$4,250,000, for the payment of government indebtedness. The
obligations paid by the first two of these issues were in considerable
part inflated claims against the government, capitalized at excessive
interest rates, those satisfied by the 1895 issue arose principally
out of indemnity claims made by France for mistreatment of French
citizens and for debts due them.

The Dominican government took no warning from previous disasters but
continued in its course of reckless debt contraction. In order to
equip warships and arsenals it borrowed money right and left at rates
of interest which ranged anywhere from 18 to 30 per cent per annum.
The loans were guaranteed by customs revenues which the creditors were
authorized to collect direct from the importer. Thus the amount
collected by the "regie" was not sufficient to provide for the service
of the ever increasing bonded debt and in 1897 there was
another default.

The old remedy of a new bond issue was to be tried again. The San
Domingo Improvement Company undertook to float the eighth bond issue
of £2,736,750 in bonds at 2-3/4 per cent and £1,500,000 in bonds at
four per cent. With these bonds it contracted to convert all previous
bonds then outstanding, to pay overdue interest and to secure for the
government over $1,000,000 in cash. President Heureaux issued drafts
on this presumption, but it soon became evident that it would be
impossible for the Improvement Company to carry out the contract. The
company blamed the government and the government the company. The
situation quickly became chaotic. Eventually the conversion of the
older bond issues was completed, though at enormous cost. Bonds to the
value of £600,000 were absorbed during the transaction with at most a
cash payment of $250,000 to the Dominican fiscal agent in Europe. In
the meantime the government tried the experiment of a large emission
of paper money in which the customs dues were partly payable. The
paper depreciated as fast as it was issued, the revenues were again
insufficient and the new bond issue suffered default in April, 1899.

While plans for further action were under consideration, President
Heureaux was shot in July, 1899, and the revolution which followed his
death made Jimenez president. The new administration in 1900 entered
into a contract with the San Domingo Improvement Company for a
different distribution of the customs revenues, but a condition was
introduced that the consent of the majority of bondholders be obtained
for the funding of interest up to 1903. A large number of Belgian and
French bondholders had become dissatisfied with the Improvement
Company, however, and repudiated the contract and all connection with
the Company. In Santo Domingo, too, there was general hostility
towards the Improvement Company which was regarded as an associate of
President Heureaux and an incubus on the development of the country.
The Company claimed it had secured the consent of a majority of
bondholders but the government decided it had not and in January,
1901, President Jimenez issued a decree excluding the Improvement
Company from the custom-houses.

The government now made a new contract with the Franco-Belgian
bondholders, and for the payment of its obligations pledged its
customs revenues, and specifically the income of the ports of Santo
Domingo City and San Pedro de Macoris. But if there had been default
before, in time of peace, with the "regie" in charge of the
custom-houses, there was still less money available for the creditors
now, with no control by creditors over collections and the government
harassed by constant revolutionary uprisings. Small partial payments
were made for two years and then ceased. As the Improvement Company's
bond holdings became the subject of a special arrangement, the bonded
debt of the Republic was considered to be that held by the French and
Belgian creditors. However unsavory the debts which gave origin to the
bond issues, and however imprudent most of the bond issues themselves,
the great majority of bonds had passed into the hands of small
holders, innocent third parties who sustained great loss by the
continued suspension of payments.

_Liquidated Debt_. The liquidated debt, secured by international
protocol or formal contract, Prof. Hollander found to be as follows on
June 1, 1905:


San Domingo Improvement Company
  (American and British)................. $4,403,532.71
Consolidated internal debt
  (chiefly Spanish, German and American).. 1,737.151.35
Internal debt held by Vicini heirs
  (Italian)............................... 1,598,876.04
Old foreign debt
  (chiefly Italian and Dutch)............... 365,183.20
Sala claim (American)....................... 356,314.20
Vicini heirs (Italian)...................... 242,716.32
Italian protocol............................ 186,750.36
Spanish-German protocol..................... 100,034.00
B. Bancalari (Italian)...................... 175,000.00
J. B. Vicini Burgos (Italian)................ 55,500.00
Ros claim (American)......................... 39,967.78
Two cacao contracts
(chiefly Dominican and German)............... 68,296.16
Bancalari, Lample & Co. (Italian)............ 16,733.19
Twenty-eight minor contracts
  (chiefly Spanish, American)............... 249,475.19
                                          ------------
Total.................................... $9,595,530.40


The claim of the San Domingo Improvement Company was secured by a
protocol between the American and Dominican governments. When the San
Domingo Improvement Company was ousted from the custom-houses in 1901,
it immediately appealed to the State Department in Washington. The
State Department counselled a private settlement and negotiations with
the Dominican government dragged on for almost two years. The
Improvement Company claimed no less than $11,000,000 for the bonds it
held or controlled, for its interest in the railroad from Puerto Plata
to Santiago, for its shares of the extinct National Bank of Santo
Domingo which it had purchased at the government's request, and for
the settlement of a long list of minor claims. Arbitration was
suggested by the Company, but the Dominican government finally offered
a round sum of $4,500,000 and the offer was accepted. It is probable
that the Republic fared better under this compromise than if the case
had been submitted to arbitration, for though the Improvement
Company's demands were greatly exaggerated, its position toward the
government was that of a careful creditor who has kept minute account
of all transactions as against a spendthrift debtor who has squandered
his property with little or no record of his expenditures.

By a protocol signed January 31, 1903, the Dominican government
formally agreed to pay the sum of $4,500,000, leaving details to be
settled by a board of arbitrators to be designated by the American and
Dominican governments. The board met in Washington and rendered its
award under date of July 14, 1904. It fixed the interest on the debt
at four per cent per annum and designated the custom-houses of Puerto
Plata, Sanchez, Samana and Monte Cristi as security for the debt. In
the event of failure by the Dominican government to pay any of the
monthly instalments specified, a financial agent, appointed by the
United States, was authorized to enter into possession of the Puerto
Plata custom-house, and if its revenues proved insufficient to take
possession also of the other custom-houses designated. The Dominican
government never made any payments and the financial agent took
possession of the Puerto Plata custom-house in October, 1904.  Most
of the other claims comprised in the liquidated debt had their origin
in advances made to the government--often bearing interest at two or
three per cent a month, or even more--and in indemnity claims for
revolutionary damages. In making the liquidations, musty credits and a
generous amount of compound interest were generally included and it
was usually provided that the sums so agreed upon were themselves to
bear interest. The greater portion of these claims was held by
foreigners, Italian, German, Spanish and American holdings
predominating. Payments, more or less feeble, were made in many cases
on account of principal or interest up to 1903, but in that year, when
the government was reduced to desperate straits in combatting
insurrections, practically every item of the debt went into
permanent default.

The principal Italian claimants were the heirs of an Italian merchant,
J.B. Vicini, and an Italian in business at Samana, Bartolo Bancalari
by name, who with other Italian subjects became loud in their
complaints at the non-payment of their claims. The Italian government
began to do a little sword-clanking, the Italian minister came from
Havana in a warship, and the upshot was the signing in 1904 of three
protocols admitting most of these claims and solemnly promising to pay
them. Payment of the internal debt held by the Vicini heirs and of the
Italian revolutionary claims was guaranteed by five per cent of all
the customs receipts of the Republic, the revenues of Santo Domingo
City, Macoris, Sanchez and Puerto Plata being specifically pledged.
The Bancalari debt was guaranteed by part of the customs revenues of
Samana. Notwithstanding the protocols, no payments were made by the
Dominican government.

_Floating Debt_. The floating debt, consisting of admitted
indebtedness, neither funded nor liquidated, but evidenced by some
kind of public obligation, was found to be as follows:


Registered deferred debt................... $587,710.24
Registered floating debt.................... 140,850.27
Privileged revolutionary debt................ 79,812.12
Certificates of comptroller's office........ 633,124.60
Certificates of treasury offices............. 31,771.07
Open unsecured accounts...................... 80,239.49
                                            ----------
Total.................................... $1,553.507.79


By the year 1902, a large number of small claims--many of them for
supplies furnished and services rendered--had accumulated, the justice
of which the government admitted but of which owing to the
deficiencies in its books it had no record. Notices were accordingly
published calling on holders of such lawful credits to present the
same for registration. This was the origin of the so-called registered
debts. The largest item was constituted by what was very aptly
denominated the "deferred" debt, created in 1888. Prior to that time
the government had covered its military deficits with money obtained
from loan associations known as "credit companies," which flourished
in the larger towns and which did business at an interest rate that
fluctuated between five and ten per cent a month. When a settlement
was finally made, part of the amount due these companies was paid in
certificates of indebtedness, the law directing with subtle humor that
they be paid from the annual surplus in the budget. There never was a
surplus, nothing was ever paid, and the market value of these
certificates fell to three per cent of their nominal value.

The revolutionary debt above referred to, consisting of claims arising
in the revolutions which brought Jimenez into power, was called
"privileged" because it was assigned interest. To some extent it was,
indeed, privileged, for partial payments were made until the middle of
1903. The government certificates forming part of the floating debt,
were acknowledgments of indebtedness issued by the government when it
was pressed for ready money. Many bore no interest, others bore
interest as high as two per cent a month. In view of the great
uncertainty of payment the amount of indebtedness was generally either
frankly or disguisedly inflated before being expressed in the
certificate. Such certificates were sometimes admitted in part payment
of customs dues.

_Declared Claims_ Besides the admitted indebtedness, there were many
claims for indemnity and reimbursement which had not been acknowledged
by the government in contract form. Some had been formally filed with
the government for the payment of specific amounts, while others were
still general demands. The declared claims were as follows:


Internal revolutionary claims................... $ 885,258.10
American revolutionary claims...................    71,000.00
Spanish revolutionary claims....................    40,000.00
French revolutionary claims.....................   190,000.00
Italian revolutionary claims....................    40,000.00
German revolutionary claims.....................    10,000.00
British revolutionary claims....................     5,000.00
Cuban revolutionary claims......................    35,000.00
Font claim (Spanish)............................   186,643.00
Heureaux estate claim (Dominican)............... 3,100,000.00
National bank notes............................. 1,574,647.00
Lluberes contract (Dominican)...................   250,000.00
West India Public Works Company claim (British).   250,000.00
Vicini heirs claim (Italian)....................   812,505.00
                                                ______________
Total...........................................$7,450,053.89


Most of the older claims of indemnity for damages suffered during
revolutions crystallized into bonded indebtedness, were recognized in
government contracts or protocols, drifted into the old foreign debt,
or were represented by certificates of indebtedness. Some remained,
however, and their number was greatly increased by the disturbances
between 1899 and 1905. How exaggerated many such claims were, is
illustrated by a story told by the Danish consul in Santo Domingo. A
Danish subject came to him and complained that government soldiers had
invaded his store and carried off merchandise. He begged the consul to
present a damage claim of $10,000 gold, which was equivalent to
$50,000 silver. The consul listened to his story and said: "You are
asking for a large sum, I cannot get you that. I doubt whether I can
get you more than $40, silver." "Make it gold, consul," was the
immediate reply. Many other claims would not have suffered by a
similar scaling down. Most claims were for houses burned, cattle
killed, horses commandeered and fences and other property destroyed by
government forces or revolutionists.

The other declared claims arose principally out of alleged violations
of concessions or other contractual obligations. The Heureaux estate
claim, advanced by creditors of the Heureaux estate and based on the
practical identity of the accounts of Heureaux and those of the
government was later rejected by the Dominican courts. The outstanding
national bank notes were those issued by the defunct Banque Nationale
de Saint Domingue.

_Undeclared Claims_. The undeclared claims, such as
had not been formally presented, were estimated as
follows:--


American claims......................... £1,000,000
British claims..........................     50,000
Italian claims..........................    200,000
Spanish and German claims...............    200,000
Other foreign claims....................     50,000
Dominican claims........................  2,500,000
                                        ----------
       Total............................ £4,000,000


The foreign claims were principally for damages during revolutions,
violations of contract, failure of justice, false imprisonment, etc.
The principal one was an American claim, that of Wm. P. Clyde & Co.,
of New York, of over $600,000 and was based on the failure of the
Dominican government regularly to enforce certain high port dues
against all vessels, save those of the Clyde line, as agreed in the
Clyde concession. The Dominican claims were mostly old claims for
unpaid salaries, revolutionary losses, merchandise furnished the
government, etc.

The situation towards the latter part of 1904 appeared hopeless. Every
item of the enormous debt had been in default for many months and
interest was accruing at such rate that the whole income of the
country would hardly have been sufficient for the payment of interest
alone. Commerce was handicapped by high wharf and harbor charges
collected by private individuals under their concessions from the
government, and by prohibitive port dues imposed on foreign vessels in
accordance with the concession of the Clyde line. More than
three-fourths of the debt was held by foreigners who were clamoring
for payment. The general revenues of the country and every important
custom-house had been mortgaged to these foreign creditors. In general
terms it may be said that the ports of the northern coast were pledged
primarily to Americans and secondarily to Italians, those of Samana
Bay primarily to Italians and secondarily to Americans, and those of
the southern coast primarily to French and Belgians and secondarily
to Italians.

Only one of the international protocols, however, specified when the
custom-houses to which it referred were to be turned over and the
manner in which the surrender was to be made. The others merely made
the pledge in general terms, further negotiations being necessary to
render it effective. The exception was the arbitral award of the San
Domingo Improvement Company, which determined that in case of the
nonpayment of any of the monthly instalments a financial agent, to be
named by the United States government, was to enter into possession of
the Puerto Plata custom-house. No payments of instalments were made by
the Dominican government and in September, 1904, compliance with the
terms of the award was demanded. On October 20, 1904, the
vice-president of the San Domingo Improvement Company, designated as
American financial agent, was placed in possession of the custom-house
at Puerto Plata.

A cry of dismay ran through the land and the leading newspaper of
Santo Domingo, the "Listin Diario," published an editorial under the
expressive heading "Consummatum est," It was, indeed, the beginning of
the end. The other foreign creditors now pressed their claims with
more vigor than ever, and the preparations for turning over the Monte
Cristi custom-house to the American financial agent, accomplished in
February, 1905, stimulated them to greater exertions. In December,
1904, the French representative in Santo Domingo, acting in behalf of
the French and Belgian interests, threatened to seize the custom-house
of Santo Domingo City, the mainstay of the government. The Italian
creditors also demanded compliance with their agreements. It was
obvious that the foreclosure of these foreign mortgages would mean
indefinite foreign occupation and the absolute destruction of the
Dominican government, as there would be no revenue left to sustain it.

In this difficulty, the Dominican government proposed that all the
ports of the Republic be taken over by the United States. The
negotiations were carried on through the capable American minister in
Santo Domingo, Thomas C. Dawson, and on February 7,1905, culminated in
the signing of a treaty convention which provided that all Dominican
customs duties be collected under the direction of the United States,
that 45 per cent of the collections be turned over to the Dominican
government for its expenses and the remaining 55 per cent be reserved
as a creditors' fund, and that a commission be appointed to ascertain
the true amount of Dominican indebtedness and the sums payable to
each claimant.

The treaty was laid before the United States Senate and met with a
cold reception. In the United States there was even less desire than
in Santo Domingo for American intervention in Dominican matters.
Further the treaty was strongly advocated by President Roosevelt and
the tension then existing between the Senate and the President
endangered many of his measures. The Senate accordingly adjourned in
March, 1905, without action on the Dominican treaty.

It was the darkest hour for Santo Domingo. The creditors, tired of
waiting, were in no mood to admit of further delay and the government,
totally without resources, was in no position to appease them.
Diplomacy was equal to the emergency and a modus vivendi was arranged,
under which the President of the United  States was to designate a
person to receive the revenues of all the custom-houses of the
Republic and distribute the sums collected in a manner similar to that
determined by the pending treaty, namely, to turn over 45 per cent of
the receipts to the Dominican government and to deposit 55 per cent as
a creditors' fund in a New York bank. This temporary arrangement went
into effect on April 1, 1905. The new controller and general receiver
of Dominican customs arrived with several American assistants and soon
had the receivership service admirably organized. The effect was
immediate. The creditors ceased their pressure, confidence returned,
interior trade revived, smuggling was eliminated, the exports and
imports increased and the customs receipts took a leap upwards.

It was believed that the opposition in the United States Senate would
be diminished, if, instead of the United States both adjusting the
debt and collecting the money for its payment, the Dominican Republic
should make a direct settlement with the creditors, and the United
States merely undertake to administer the customs for the service of
the debt as adjusted. Accordingly the Dominican government appointed
the minister of finance, Federico Velazquez, as special commissioner
to adjust the Republic's financial difficulties. After long and
tedious negotiations, Minister Velazquez and his able adviser Dr.
Hollander evolved three conditional agreements:

(1) An agreement with the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. of New
York, for the issue of fifty year 5 per cent bonds of the Dominican
Republic to the amount of $20,000,000.

(2) An agreement with the Morion Trust Company of New York to act as
fiscal agent of the Dominican Republic and as depository in the debt
adjustment.

(3) An offer of settlement to the holders of recognized debts and
claims, to adjust these in cash at rates varying from 10 to 90 per
cent of the nominal values specified in the offer. The nominal
aggregate, as recognized by the Republic, exclusive of accrued
interest, was $31,833,510, for which it was proposed to pay
$15,526,240, together with certain interest allowances.

The proposed scaling down of the debts provoked opposition and
remonstrance, but the creditors wisely reflected on the difference
between a bird in the hand and more in the bush, and by the beginning
of 1907 holders of credits had signified their assent in sufficient
amount to assure the success of the readjustment.

A new convention between the United States and the Dominican Republic
was accordingly prepared, being signed in Santo Domingo on February 8,
1907. It was ratified by the United States Senate on February 25, and
by the Dominican Congress on May 3, 1907. The Dominican Congress added
what it called explanatory articles to the law by which it approved
the convention but made no change therein.

This convention, a copy of which will be found in the appendix,
recited that disturbed political conditions in the Dominican Republic
had created debts and claims amounting to over $30,000,000; and that
such debts and claims were a burden to the country and a barrier to
progress; that the Dominican Republic had effected a conditional
adjustment under which the total sum payable would amount to not more
than $17,000,000; that part of the plan of settlement was the issue
and sale of bonds to the amount of $20,000,000; that the plan was
conditional upon the assistance of the United States in the collection
of custom revenues of the Dominican Republic; and that "the Dominican
Republic has requested the United States to give and the United
States is willing to give such assistance."

The two governments therefore agreed that the President of the United
States shall appoint a general receiver of Dominican customs, who
shall collect all the customs duties in the custom-houses of Santo
Domingo until the payment or redemption of the entire bond issue. From
the sums collected, after paying the expenses of the receivership the
general receiver is on the first of each month to pay $100,000 to the
Fiscal Agent of the loan and the remainder to the Dominican
government. Whenever the customs collections exceed $3,000,000 in any
year, one-half the excess shall be applied to the sinking fund for the
further redemption of bonds.

The Dominican government agrees to give the general receiver and his
assistants all needful aid and full protection to the extent of its
powers. The United States also undertakes to give the general receiver
and his assistants such protection as it, may find to be required for
the performance of their duties.

The convention further stipulates that until the payment of the full
amount of the bonds the Dominican Republic is not to increase its
public debt except by previous agreement with the United States, and
that a like agreement shall be necessary to modify the import duties.

Even with the approval of the convention difficulties lay in the way
of the debt adjustment. In Santo Domingo there was opposition to the
plan by interested parties and by persons not sufficiently mindful of
past errors and present dangers. The Dominican Congress mutilated the
contracts with the bankers, who not only refused to accept the
modifications, but declined to treat further with Minister Velazquez
unless he were first invested with plenary powers. The Dominican
Congress then extended the necessary authority, but it came late, for
the fall of 1907 witnessed a money panic in the United States and the
floating of a bond issue was impossible.

After months of negotiations and struggle with recalcitrant creditors
Minister Velazquez and Prof. Hollander finally perfected an
arrangement under which the creditors were paid the amounts specified
in the plan of adjustment, twenty per cent in cash and eighty per cent
in bonds guaranteed by the fiscal convention. For the purpose of the
cash payments the creditors' fund accumulated under the modus vivendi
was utilized. The bonds were delivered to the creditors at the rate of
98-1/2 per cent of their face value.

Under the plan of settlement the outstanding Franco-Belgian bonds and
most of the other debt items were redeemed at fifty per cent of their
face value, the Improvement Company's claim at ninety per cent, the
deferred debts and comptroller's certificates at ten per cent, and the
remaining claims at rates varying from ten to forty per cent.
Accumulated interest was remitted entirely by the creditors, except in
three cases, in which it was greatly reduced. These terms were much
better than the Republic could have expected from any commission of
investigation. The arbitral award of the San Domingo Improvement
Company was scaled down by only ten per cent, because the bonds
comprised in the award had been included therein at only one-half
their face value and the other credits had also been largely reduced;
even this small discount brought howls of protest from British
interests that had remained discreetly silent while the State
Department was pressing the claim thinking it completely American.
Payment under the plan of settlement was soon practically completed.
Only one important group of creditors, the Vicini heirs, still refuses
to assent to the plan and accept the amount set aside for them.

Upon payment to the San Domingo Improvement Company, the Company
turned over the Central Dominican Railway, from Puerto Plata to
Santiago, to the Dominican government. The right of the
Samana-Santiago Railroad to receive a percentage of the import duties
collected at the port of Sanchez was redeemed by the delivery of
$195,000 in bonds at par, an excellent bargain, made all the better by
the circumstance that the railroad invested the proceeds of these
bonds in the extension of its line in the interior. The restrictive
concession and heavy damage claim of the Clyde Steamship Line were
also cancelled, and the onerous wharf and harbor concessions at the
various ports of the Republic were among the other important
concessions acquired by the government by means of the bond issue.

Thus debts and claims aggregating nearly $40,000,000 have been and
will be discharged for about $17,000,000. The surplus remaining from
the bond issue and the modus vivendi collections must, under the
agreements made, be devoted to public improvements approved by the
United States government: a portion has been so expended, and a fund
of over $3,000,000 still remains available. In addition the Republic's
credit was established on a high plane; burdensome concessions were
redeemed and adequate revenues for the maintenance of the government
and the progress of the country were assured. As time goes on proper
appreciation will be given to the men who were the principal agents in
securing this financial and economic regeneration, especially to the
Minister of Finance, Federico Velazquez, and to Prof. Jacob H.
Hollander.  While the fiscal convention largely increased the customs
revenues, the Dominican government made no attempt to accumulate a
reserve fund, but spent more even than authorized by its ever
increasing budgets. During the period of civil strife following the
assassination of President Caceres in 1911 the government, in order to
carry on its military campaigns, neglected to pay the salaries of its
civil employees, pledged its internal revenues, diverted and
misapplied amounts of the trust fund set aside for public works, and
incurred indebtedness for supplies and materials purchased and money
borrowed. It thus violated the spirit and letter of the convention in
which the Dominican Republic expressly agreed not to increase its
public debt except by previous agreement with the United States.

The American government, in its unwillingness to interfere in the
internal affairs of the Dominican Republic, had suffered the Victoria
administration to seize the government in Santo Domingo after the
death of Caceres, and it now also condoned the violation of the fiscal
convention. The American commission which went to Santo Domingo in
1912 to reconcile the warring factions, found that an essential
condition of the restoration of peace and the rehabilitation of the
government was the payment of pending salaries and certain other
debts. Accordingly the United States consented to an increase of the
Dominican public debt by $1,500,000, and the Dominican government
contracted a loan to that amount with the National City Bank of New
York, which took the bonds at 97-1/2 Per cent. The bonds bore 6 per
cent interest, and for the service of interest and sinking fund, it
was agreed that the general receiver of customs pay over to the Bank,
beginning in January, 1913, a monthly sum of $30,000. This bond issue
was finally liquidated in 1917. The amount so borrowed was not
sufficient to pay all the indebtedness of the Dominican government.
The manner of circumventing the debt increase prohibition of the
convention having been discovered, the interior debt was further
augmented after that time by failure to pay salaries, by hypothecating
stamps and stamped paper, and by contracting other obligations, either
to combat insurrections or because of less worthy motives. In
addition, claims for revolutionary damages were filed against the
government.

The foreign debt thus consists merely of the $20,000,000 customs
administration loan of 1907. The sums paid into the sinking fund of
this loan have been used to purchase bonds of this issue at their
market price, somewhat less than par, and the interest falling due on
such purchased bonds has also gone to swell the sinking fund. The
value of the assets in the sinking fund on December 31, 1917,
estimating the purchased customs administration bonds at par, was
$6,019,161.50, exclusive of interest accruals in 1917.

The interior debt, as a result of revolutionary confusion and
defective accounting, became as problematic as in days of yore and was
estimated at widely different figures. With a view to ascertaining the
exact amount and making provision therefor, the military government,
in July, 1917, constituted a commission consisting of three American
and two Dominican citizens, who were charged with the duty of
investigating and liquidating all claims against the government
arising since the settlement of 1907. The American members appointed
were J. H. Edwards, acting comptroller-general of Santo Domingo,
chairman, Lt.-Col. J. T. Bootes, of the United States Marine Corps,
and Martin Travieso, Jr., of the Porto Rican bar; the Dominicans were
two attorneys, M. de J. Troncoso de la Concha and Emilio Joubert.
Claimants were called upon to file their claims before January 1,
1918, or be deemed to have relinquished their rights. The nominal
amount of the claims so filed--comprising all outstanding internal
debts--is a little more than $14,000,000, some of the claims being for
indefinite sums. This figure is probably greatly exaggerated and will
doubtless be subjected to drastic revision by the claims commission.

The customs receivership has continued to render invaluable service.
In peace and war its officials have distinguished themselves by a
highly efficient, tactful and fearless discharge of their duties. Up
to 1913 appointments to the service were determined by the fitness and
experience of the appointee rather than by his political antecedents,
and the officials appointed possessed unusual qualifications: the
first general receiver, Col. George R. Colton, who held until 1907,
his successor W. E. Pulliam, who continued until 1913, their deputy J.
H. Edwards, and others, were experts trained in the Philippine
customs service.



CHAPTER XXII

FINANCES


Financial system.--National revenues.--Customs tariff.--National
budget.--Legal tender.--Municipal income.--Municipal budgets.

The financial system of Santo Domingo is characterized by an
inequitable mode of obtaining public revenue, whereby the burden of
supporting the state is thrown upon the poorest classes in the form of
indirect taxes upon articles of necessary consumption, and wherein
taxation of property or contribution according to economic capacity
plays little part. This is especially true with regard to
municipal taxation.



NATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM

The revenues of the general government are derived chiefly from
customs duties and secondarily from miscellaneous minor sources. There
is no direct tax on land. Prior to 1904 the revenues fluctuated
according to the state of tranquillity of the country, being usually
something less than $2,000,000 per annum, but immediately upon the
establishment of the American receivership in April, 1905, they went
up rapidly. The increase has continued steadily and the government's
annual income now amounts to over $4,500,000.

The proportion of revenue calculated from the various sources has
fluctuated but little in the different budgets. The proportions
appearing from the budget of 1916 are here shown, as well as those of
the budget of 1910, at which period the interior revenues were
administered with less leakage.


                                   Per cent of total
                                       1910  1916
Customs duties........................ 77.2  81.7
Impost on alcohol.....................  6.8   4.4
State railroad........................  6.4   ...
Revenue stamps........................  3.    3.6
State wharves.........................  2.1   4.4
Port dues.............................  1.5   1.8
Stamped paper.........................  1.4   2.
Post offices..........................   .7    .8
Consular fees.........................   .4    .9
National telegraph and telephones.....   .3    .2
Miscellaneous.........................   .2    .2
                                      -----------
     Total........................... 100.  100.


Almost 95 per cent of the customs receipts are obtained from import
duties. The present customs tariff, which took effect on January 1,
1910, made a radical change in the Dominican tariff system and was a
step in the country's financial regeneration. Theretofore the
Dominican tariff system was about as unscientific as could be
imagined. It had been a tariff for revenue only, in the sense that
the object was to obtain all the revenue possible and more;
accordingly the common necessities of life were most heavily taxed.
Originally, it appears, the tariff provided for the payment of an ad
valorem duty on goods imported; later the discretionary power involved
in the appraisement was taken away and a fixed, arbitrary value was
assigned by law to each article, and on this value, known as the
"aforo," a specified percentage was payable as customs duty.
Successive governments, in their efforts to raise money, gradually
increased this percentage until it reached 73.8 per cent. As the
"aforo" valuation was as a general rule higher than the real value the
imposition of so elevated a tax made all imported articles
inordinately expensive. With respect to many items the lawmakers
overreached themselves, for the duties were raised far beyond the
point of maximum return.

For years a desire prevailed to adjust the tariff on a rational and
equitable basis, but as there were no statistics and the government
feared its income might be reduced, nothing was accomplished. After
the establishment of the receivership, full statistics of imports and
exports became available. The general receiver's office and the
Dominican government accordingly drafted a new tariff, to which the
American government agreed under the terms of the fiscal convention.

The new tariff is based almost entirely on specific schedules; only in
exceptional instances, such as in the case of drugs, are ad valorem
duties imposed. There were many reductions from the former tariff,
especially on articles of prime necessity, but in some cases the rate
remained substantially the same, while in a few it was slightly
increased, a tendency being observed to protect home industries. On
the whole the revision made an average reduction of about 15 per cent
as compared with the former tariff, but the new duties are
scientifically distributed and after a year of commercial readjustment
the revenue reached higher figures than ever before.

Less than 6 per cent of the customs receipts are derived from export
duties. Such duties are imposed on cacao and a number of other
articles, but not on sugar or tobacco. The tax is not a large one, but
the imposition of any export tax is deplored.

Wars and crop conditions have had their influence on the customs
receipts, but the figures continue satisfactory, as appears from the
following table of collections since the establishment of the
receivership:


GROSS CUSTOMS COLLECTIONS

First Modus Vivendi year, April 1, 1905, to March 31, 1906
....................................................     $2,502,154.31
Second Modus Vivendi year, April 1,1906, to March 31, 1907
....................................................     $3,181,763.48
Four months' period, April 1, 1907, to July 31, 1907
(termination of Modus Vivendi)......................     $1,161,426.61
First convention year, Aug. 1, 1907 to July 31, 1908
....................................................     $3,469,110.69
Second convention year, Aug. 1, 1908 to July 1909
....................................................     $3,359,389.71
Third convention year, Aug. 1, 1909 to July 1910
....................................................     $2,876,976.17
Fourth convention year, Aug. 1, 1910 to July 1911
....................................................     $3,433,738.92
Fifth convention year, Aug. 1, 1911 to July 1912
....................................................     $3,645,974.79
Sixth convention year, Aug. 1, 1912 to July 1913
....................................................     $4,109,294.12
Seventh convention year, Aug. 1, 1913 to July 1914
....................................................     $3,462,163.66
Five months' period, Aug. 1, 1914 to Dec. 31, 1914
....................................................     $1,209,555.54
Ninth fiscal period, Jan. 1, 1915 to Dec. 31, 1915
....................................................     $3,882,048.40
Tenth fiscal period, Jan. 1, 1916 to Dec. 31, 1916
...................................................      $4,035,355.43
Eleventh fiscal period, Jan. 1, 1917 to Dec. 31, 1917
...................................................      $5,329,574.20


With regard to port dues, the Dominican government was long bound by a
concession made to the Clyde line in 1878. Upon the redemption of this
concession the port dues were in 1908 reduced to their present figure.

An impost on alcohols was established in 1905, and ought to become an
important source of revenue. The law is crude in that it taxes the
distillation rather than the sale of alcohol and does not sufficiently
guard against fraud. The receipts, which in the beginning were quite
promising, fell off strangely in late years.

The most recent sources of revenue are the Central Dominican Railway,
from Puerto Plata to Santiago, acquired from the San Domingo
Improvement Company under the debt settlement in 1908; the Moca
extension of the railroad, finished by the government in 1910; and the
wharves acquired by the redemption of the various port concessions.
These properties at first gave the government a handsome revenue,
which later diminished in a suspicious manner.

The budget of the Republic kept pace with the growth of income, but
the appropriations were practically all for personnel, while public
works continued to be neglected and no provision was made for future
contingencies or the establishment of a reserve fund. The annual
budget enacted to become effective July 1, 1916, may be summarized
as follows;


ESTIMATED RECEIPTS

Custom-houses:

Import duties              $3,500,000
Port dues                      80,000
Export duties                 220,000

Subtotal:                               $3,800,000

Imposts:
Alcohol                       200,000
Stamps                        165,000

Subtotal:                     365,000

Communications:

Postage stamps                 36,000
Telegraph and telephone         5,000
Wireless telegraph              5,000

Subtotal:                                   46,000

Consular fees                  40,000
Stamped paper                  90,000

State properties:

Ozama lighting plant             4,500
State wharves                  200,000
Rentals and post-office boxes    1,000

Subtotal:                                  205,500

Miscellaneous                    6,200

Total estimated receipts                $4,552,700


ESTIMATED DISBURSEMENTS

Service of public debt                              $1,966,746.86

Legislative power                                      132,400.00
  Including salaries of 12 senators and
  24 deputies at $200 per month.

Executive power...................................... $ 25,460.00
  Expenses of president's office, including salary of
  president at $800 per month.

Judicial power........................................ 316,160.00
  Including salaries of supreme court (with a chief
  justice at $250 per month, six associate justices at
  $160, and a state's attorney at $200); 3 courts of
  appeals (each having a chief justice at $180 per
  month, 4 associate justices at $140 and a state's
  attorney at $180); 12 courts of first instance (each
  having a judge at $150 per month, a state's attorney
  at $130-$150, and one or two judges of instruction
  at $130); 3 courts-martial costing $2,916 each; 70
  justices of the peace with salaries ranging from $25
  to $55 per month; and jails in each province, the
  jailers receiving from $35 to $69 per month.

Department of Interior and Police...................... 329,638.00
  Including office of secretary of interior, who
  receives $320 per month; 12 provincial governors with
  salaries from $160 to $180 per month; 53 communal
  chiefs, at $30 to $60; church salaries amounting to
  $3,600; public celebrations $5,100; expenses of
  sanitation service $15,000; and a long pension list
  amounting to $188,240. Most of these pensions are of
  $10, $12 or $15 per month, but 7 widows of former
  presidents and other distinguished men receive $100
  per month.

Department of Foreign Affairs.......................... 122,572.00
  Including office of secretary, whose salary is $320
  per month; ministers to the United States, France and
  Haiti at $500 per month; charge's in Cuba and
  Venezuela at $250; and 23 consuls in the United
  States, Porto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, St. Thomas, Panama,
  Turks Island, Jamaica, England, France, Italy,
  Holland, Spain and Belgium.

Department of Finance and Commerce...................... 356,678.04
  Including office of secretary, who receives $320 per
  month; general comptroller's office; 10 treasury
  agents with salaries from $80 to $112 monthly;
  custom-houses (the collectors of the port receiving
  from $80 to $200 per month); receiver-general's office
  $43,152 (the salary of the general receiver is given
  as $9,848.04 per annum and that of his deputy as $5,988);
  coast guard service $6,000; wharf repairs $20,000.

Department of War and the Navy.........................   593,815.26
  Including office of secretary; 12 military posts (the
  commanders receiving from $60 to $150 per month); 10
  armories $4,980; military instructors $4,380;
  president's staff $12,380; one infantry regiment of
  about 470 officers and men (the colonel receiving $95
  monthly, the men $l5); a band of 33 men; a police
  force, called "republican guard" of about 800 officers
  and men (salaries ranging from $200 for the brigadier
  general and $140 for the colonel, to $18 for the
  private); 2 military hospitals $31,867; a machine shop
  $4,440; port captains at $50-$90 per month, and
  doctors at $25-$50; and the gunboat $26,444.

Department of Justice and Public Instruction...........    318,208.00
  Including office of secretary; University of Santo
  Domingo $23,700; Santiago professional institute $8,820;
  2 jail schools; subventions to many municipal schools,
  private and special schools, about $180,000;
  33 scholarships, $23,870; pensions $23,988.

Department of Agriculture and Immigration..............     18,740.00
  Including office of secretary; experiment fields in
  Santiago $3,000; weather bureau $3,980.

Department of Development and Public Works.............    332,596.00
  Including office of secretary; lighthouses $13,282;
  postal service; telegraph, telephone and wireless
  service; upkeep of dredge "Ozama."

Chamber of Accounts....................................      7,980.00

Miscellaneous..........................................     61,872.00

Contingent expenses....................................     25,000.00

Constitutional assembly................................     10,000.00

Total estimated disbursements, besides debt service ... $2,651,119.30


The figures in the budgets were not, absolute but were subject to
modification by transfer of appropriation through presidential decree.
The contingent expense fund and the military appropriations were thus
frequently swelled at the expense of other services.

The budget above shown was the last one enacted under the old
conditions. It was never applied, but is given as a sample, because,
while differing only slightly from the old budget which continued in
force, it better illustrates conditions at the beginning of American
occupation. The military government made numerous changes in the
budget and rendered the appropriations for salaries of the president
and cabinet secretaries available for other purposes, as the American
naval and marine officers now performing the duties of these positions
receive no compensation from the Dominican treasury. A comprehensive
new budget, the first one of the period of transition and providing
for some of the innovations recently introduced, was expected to
become effective early in 1918.

For the purpose of bringing order and efficiency into the collection
and disbursement of the public revenues of Santo Domingo, the American
government in 1913 urged that it be permitted to designate an American
comptroller and financial adviser and the Bordas administration at
length consented, but as there was no legal authority for such action
and as the appointee was not characterized by unusual ability, the
Jimenez administration declined to continue the arrangement. During
the present military government and under the efficient direction of
the acting comptroller-general, J. H. Edwards, valuable work is being
done in revising the accounting system and generally placing the
country's finances in order.

All the accounts of the Republic are carried on in American money,
which is legal tender and is current in all parts of the country. For
about fifty years after the declaration of independence, coins of many
countries, principally Mexican silver and Spanish gold, were in
circulation, with the rate of exchange constantly fluctuating. In 1890
the Republic joined the Latin convention and in the following year
through the then existing Banque Nationale de Saint Domingue issued
silver and copper coin to the value of about $200,000. The fall in the
value of silver caused depreciation and a few of the silver coins of
this issue which are still in circulation are valued at forty cents
gold for five francs; the copper coins at a little less. In 1894 the
gold standard was adopted and though no actual coinage took place all
official financial transactions were thereafter based upon gold
values. In 1895 and 1897 President Heureaux issued more silver coins
or, rather, coins washed over with silver, to the nominal amount of
$2,250,000, but the seigniorage was so enormous that the issue was a
case of a government counterfeiting its own money. The rate of
exchange fell to five pesos for one dollar gold and this is the rate
legalized by the law of June 19, 1905, which made the American gold
dollar the standard of the Dominican Republic.

For a while the ordinary smaller business transactions continued to be
based on silver values. On a trip to Santo Domingo in 1904 a friend
and myself were driven from the wharf to the hotel and the coachman
asked for two dollars. It seemed an outrageous charge, but we
considered ourselves in the hands of the Philistines, and handed over
an American two-dollar bill. "Excuse me until I can get change," said
the coachman to our surprise, and ran into the hotel; in a moment he
reappeared with a double handful of coins: "Here is your change," he
said, "eight dollars." The charge had been only forty cents in gold.
At the present time American money is the basis and Dominican silver
and copper is regarded merely as fractional currency, one peso
Dominican being equivalent to twenty cents American.

At various times the Dominican Republic has had disastrous experiences
with paper money issued without sufficient guarantees. One service
rendered by the Spaniards during their occupation in the sixties was
the retirement of large amounts of such paper. The troubles
accompanying unsecured paper money had been forgotten when Heureaux in
his attempts to raise funds floated an issue of a nominal amount of
$3,600,000 in notes, of the Banque Nationale, in addition to a small
amount already emitted by the bank. Such demoralization resulted that
at one time it took twenty dollars in paper money to purchase one
dollar in gold. The national bank notes having been demonetized,
various amounts were purchased at auction by the administrations
succeeding Heureaux and destroyed, and almost all the remainder has
been redeemed at five to one under the 1907 debt settlement. The only
paper now seen is American paper money, which circulates at a par with
American silver and gold.



MUNICIPAL FINANCES

Like the national government, the municipalities or communes depend
almost entirely upon indirect taxation for their revenues. One of the
principal sources of income is the tax on the slaughter of cattle and
sale of meat. The communes may further, with the authority of
Congress, levy a "consumo" tax, a small duty on the imports and
exports of merchants within their jurisdiction, which tax has given
rise to much confusion and controversy. Business licenses also form an
important fount of revenue. By a law of Congress (soon to be
superseded by a decree of the military government) the municipalities
are divided into several classes, according to their importance, and
the licenses payable by the various kinds of business in the several
classes are designated. The national government turns over to the
various municipalities a portion of the impost on spirits and grants
educational subventions to several municipalities for their primary
schools. Minor sources of revenue are taxes on lotteries and raffles,
vehicle licenses, amusement permits, cockpits, etc. Two towns, Santo
Domingo and Santiago, have municipal lotteries. Under all these taxes
a man might own scores of houses and great expanses of land without
paying towards the maintenance of the state and municipality more than
the poorest peon on his property.

The sums collected for municipal purposes in all the communes of the
Republic may be calculated at about $600,000 per annum, derived from
the following sources:

MUNICIPAL RECEIPTS


                                          Approximate percentage
                                             of entire income

Municipal charges on imports and exports.............. 17.7
Business licenses..................................... 15.3
Markets............................................... 10.8
Lottery tax........................................... 10.5
Slaughter houses and meat transportation..............  9.2
Alcohols..............................................  7.3
Excises (alcabala)....................................  5.
Amusement permits.....................................  3.5
Public register.......................................  3.5
Lotteries.............................................  2.5
Lighting in private houses............................  2.3
Ferryboats and bridges................................  3.1
Municipal property and rentals........................  1.8
Miscellaneous.........................................  8.5
                                                      -----
                                                      100.


The largest budget is that of the capital city, with Santiago second.
According to the latest figures available, in round numbers the
income of the thirteen more important cities and towns is annually
about as follows:


Santo Domingo........................ $160,000
Santiago de los Caballeros............. 90,000
San Pedro de Macoris................... 50,000
Puerto Plata........................... 40,000
La Vega................................ 30,000
Moca................................... 21,000
Azua................................... 20,000
San Francisco de Macoris............... 19,000
Samana................................. 10,000
Monte Cristi........................... 10,000
Sanchez................................ 10,000
Bani...................................  9,000
San Cristobal..........................  8,000


In almost every town the largest item of expenditure is for education,
the maintenance of public primary schools. The more important cities,
especially the capital, make fair appropriations for street repair and
other municipal public works, but in the lesser communes such
appropriations are negligible. Very little, practically nothing, is
appropriated for roads. Some communes pay a small subvention to the
church and assist in the repair of church buildings. On the whole,
municipal services are only scantily looked after, but the fault is
due more to lack of revenue than to improper distribution.
Occasionally the national government renders assistance in the
construction of some work pertaining to a municipality.

The average distribution of municipal disbursements may be estimated
about as follows:

MUNICIPAL EXPENDITURES


                                 Approximate percentage
                                    of whole expenditure
Education.......................................... 27.1
Public works, street cleaning, etc................. 27.
Police.............................................  8.4
Administrative expenses (salaries of municipal
officials and cost of tax collection)..............  7.5
Public lighting....................................  7.
Sanitation.........................................  4.
Charity............................................  2.2
Municipal debts....................................  1.9
Miscellaneous...................................... 14.2
                                                  ------
                                                   100.


In view of the lack of resources or interest on the part of
municipalities and the central government, services of a public nature
have frequently been assumed by private initiative. Many clubs and
lodges maintain schools. Firemen's corps, where there are any, are
volunteer organizations. For charity work, hospitals, educational
work, etc., local committees are formed which raise funds by private
subscription or by lottery, and in a number of towns the embellishment
of the plazas is in charge of a "junta de ornato."



CHAPTER XXIII

THE FUTURE OF SANTO DOMINGO


Attraction by the United States.--Political future of Santo
Domingo.--Economic future of Santo Domingo.

The history of the Dominican Republic affords a striking illustration
of the rule that large bodies attract nearby smaller or weaker bodies
whether in the world of physics or in international politics. The
United States of America had scarcely become a nation when it began to
absorb contiguous territory and exert a strong attraction on Cuba.
With respect to Santo Domingo also, there was such attraction, as
became evident in proposals for annexation or the establishment of a
naval station. At times it appeared that the process was definitely
checked, as when Spain annexed Santo Domingo in 1861, and when the
United States Senate refused to annex the country in 1871, and when
the Dominican Government cancelled the Samana Bay Concession in 1874,
but these acts merely set back the clock of time which they could
not stop.

When Porto Rico and Cuba were occupied by the United States the
attraction exerted on Santo Domingo was powerfully increased. From
that time on the Dominican Republic was in fact a protectorate of the
United States, though neither American nor Dominican statesmen would
have admitted it. The modus vivendi of 1905 and the fiscal convention
of 1907 gave expression, in part, to relations actually existing.

A peculiar feature of the matter is that, except for a few very brief
intervals, neither the United States nor the Dominican Republic has
desired closer political relations and each country has done
everything in its power to avoid them. The 1907 convention was
approved in the United States Senate with only one vote to spare, and
many of its supporters favored it principally because it was expected
to obviate the necessity of further American intervention in Dominican
affairs. It was believed that with the custom-houses removed from the
political game the receipts and prosperity of the country would grow,
revolutionists would no longer be able to finance uprisings, and civil
wars would cease. The convention did indeed augment the country's
revenues and prosperity, but it could not prevent uprisings entirely
nor remove their causes. On the other hand it strengthened the bonds
between the United States and Santo Domingo and led to the military
occupation of 1916.

What will the future bring? There is every reason to believe that the
same attraction of Santo Domingo by the United States will continue
with greater strength than ever, despite all that may be said or done,
on either side, to oppose it. It is a force which cannot be overcome,
and had best, be recognized and reckoned with. It is unnecessary to
consider the sentimental objections to closer political relations
between the two countries. Conditions in Santo Domingo, in the United
States, and in the world at large are the causes of this force of
attraction, for which the government of neither country is
responsible.

What then will the future relations between Santo Domingo and the
United States be? It appears that at the present moment a plan similar
to that tried in Haiti is under advisement, namely, to restore the
Dominican government, but to leave the custom-houses under American
administration, place the finances under American control, appoint an
American supervisor of public works, and secure the peace by a police
force under American officers. The real relations between the two
countries would thus find further expression in the creation of a
disguised protectorate.

As a permanent solution it is not probable that this plan will prove
satisfactory. It tends to create two independent governments in the
same country; on the one side the Dominican government which will
consider itself supreme and sooner or later resent dictation or lack
of sympathy on the part of the American officials, and on the other
hand the police heads and other American officers who will brook no
interference with what they deem their duty. Friction is bound to
develop; it is impossible for two independent governments to work side
by side in the same territory; one authority must be paramount. At
first the plan may appear to operate successfully because the desires
of the American officials will be respected, but later when the new
Dominican government has outgrown the novelty of the situation there
are certain to be reciprocal demands which may lead to opposition.
Another possible source of difficulty is that even among the proposed
American officials there is no recognized superior and that here also
differences may arise. Rather than go so far and no further, it were
better to attempt less.

The ultimate expression, more or less deferred, of the relations
between the two countries, will most probably be a clearly defined
protectorate with an amply authorized resident, or outright
annexation. Which of these two courses is preferable? From a
standpoint of the interests of the Dominican people annexation would
appear better. A protected state has many obligations and few rights.
It must defer to the wishes of the protector, but the protector is
under no absolute duty to further its development or the happiness of
its inhabitants. On the other hand, when annexed to the stronger
state, it may expect and demand that interest be shown in its progress
and well-being. While annexation would probably entail a temporary
government by officials foreign to the country, American traditions
would not permit such a condition to continue for any length of time
and autonomy would eventually come.

From an American standpoint a protectorate would seem preferable. It
would carry the advantages of annexation without its responsibilities,
without the undesirable feature of bringing into our body politic a
people foreign in race, language and customs, and with less danger of
stirring up South American susceptibilities. It would, however, permit
of less latitude for the improvement of conditions in Santo Domingo.

For some time to come it is probable that some form of protectorate
will be the choice of both parties. Many American statesmen are
opposed to annexation, and the Dominicans as a rule would prefer the
phantom of sovereignty in a mediatized republic to the real advantages
of annexation.

It is only natural that Dominicans should feel sad at passing under
the government of a foreign power. But those of clearer vision
recognize that there is no alternative, that the independence of the
Republic has long been a fiction, that real freedom is only now
beginning to dawn, and that American assistance will give the greatest
impetus to prosperity. For several years the number of persons taking
such a broader view has been rapidly increasing. It was not long ago
when friends of mine in Santo Domingo would lead me to the middle of
the plazza, out of hearing of any eavesdropper, and then with bated
breath confide their conviction that the only salvation of the
country lay in the United States. Ruin and sorrow brought by the civil
wars have caused such ideas to spread and be openly expressed. At
present it may be said that many Dominicans welcome American
assistance, that the great majority accept it, and that only a small
minority are bitterly opposed to it, and these objectors are
principally former politicians and revolutionists whose opinion counts
for least. The number of those favoring American intervention is being
increased by the splendid administrative work of the present American
authorities and would doubtless be still further augmented by valuable
constructive legislation and by a more uniform display of tact and
kindliness on the part of all American officials.

These relations between the two countries impose at least a moral duty
upon the United States. They make it incumbent upon the United States,
as far as is in its power, to foster the development of Santo Domingo
and promote the happiness of the Dominican people. One measure it
should adopt is the granting of suitable tariff concessions. Another
measure is the creation, for the administration of the countries
dependent on the United States, of a corps of trained men, selected
and retained without regard to political considerations, thoroughly
qualified for the duties they are to assume, speaking the language of
the country where they are sent, and capable of a sympathetic
understanding with the inhabitants. By showing an interest of this
kind the United States will properly fulfill its proud mission of
spreading liberty and prosperity in the new world.

The closer relations between the United States and Santo Domingo will
bring that country one boon of inestimable value, namely, peace. It is
obvious that all the troubles which have befallen the Dominican
Republic are due directly or indirectly to the state of civil
disorder which has so long been the bane of the country. Another
advantage which these relations will bring is a proper administration
of the country's finances. Peace and efficient administration will
mean the multiplication of roads, railroads and other public
improvements, the extension of education and a rapid advance of the
people and development of the country. When we think of the vast
resources of Santo Domingo, the mineral treasures hidden within Its
forest covered mountains, the unlimited agricultural wealth concealed
beneath its fertile soil, the enchanting beauty of its scenery, the
courtesy and hospitality of its people, its glorious early days and
distressing later history, we must be glad that the clouds which have
so long shrouded the land in darkness are definitely dissipated at
last and that the sun of peace and prosperity has begun to shine.


With peace assured and with means of communication provided, it is
easy to make predictions as to the economic future of Santo Domingo.
There will probably never be much manufacturing but agriculture will
increase with enormous strides assisted by streams of foreign capital
which will not be slow to realize the exceptional opportunities
offered. Sugar growing will probably be preferred and the southern
plains as well as a great portion of the rich Cibao Valley will soon
be covered with waving canefields. Tobacco will also receive attention
and perhaps fruit growing. Cacao and coffee will spread more slowly.
Prospecting for mineral wealth will be undertaken. The extension of
agriculture will stimulate commerce and augment, the wealth of the
people. Within a few years the country will become one of the richest
gardens of the West Indies.

The curtain has gone down upon the epoch of revolutions, conspiracies,
civil wars and destruction. That period belongs to the past as
definitely as the era of freebooters and pirates. A new era has begun
for beautiful Quisqueya, in which, under the protection of the Stars
and Stripes, it is destined to enjoy a greater measure of freedom,
progress and prosperity than its inhabitants have ever dreamed.


APPENDIX A


CHIEFS OF STATE OF SANTO DOMINGO

1492-1918

FIRST SPANISH COLONY

_Governors_

Admiral Cristopher Columbus, viceroy                     1492-1500
Adelantado Bartholomew Columbus                          1496-1498
Comendador Francisco de Bobadilla                        1500-1502
Comendador Nicolás de Ovando                             1502-1509
Diego Columbus, Second Admiral                           1509-1515
Licentiate Cristábal Lebrán, in connection with Royal
  Audiencia                                              1515-1516
Luis de Figueroa, Bernardino de Manzanedo, and
  Ildefonso de Santo Domingo, friars of the order of
  San Jeránimo                                           1516-1519
Licentiate Rodrigo de Figueroa                           1519-1520
Diego Columbus, Second Admiral                           1520-1524
Royal Audiencia, in connection with judges Caspar de
  Espinosa and Alonso de Zuazo                           1524-1528


_Governors and Captains-General _

(Note. Owing to the incompleteness of the records
the following list probably contains inaccuracies.)


Sebastián Ramirez de Fuenleal, Bishop of Santo Domingo
  and Concepcián de la Vega                              1528-1531
Royal Audiencia                                          1531-1533
Licentiate Alonso de Fuenmayor, Bishop of Santo Domingo
  and Concepcián de la Vega                              1533-1540
Louis Columbus, Third Admiral                            1540-1543
Licentiate Alonso Lápez de Cerrato                       1543-1549
Licentiate Alonso de Fuenmayor, Archbishop of Santo
  Domingo                                                1549-1556
Licentiate Alonso de Maldonado                           1556-1560
Licentiate Cepeda                                        1560
Licentiate Veras                                         1560-1561
Licentiate Alonso Arias de Herrera                       1561-1564
Antonio de Osorio                                        1564-1583
Licentiate Cristábal de Ovalles                          1583-1590
Lope de Vega Portocarrero                                1590-1597
Domingo de Osorio                                        1597-1608
Diego Gámez de Sandoval                                  1608-1624
Diego de Acuña                                           1624-1634
Maestre de Campo Juan Bitrián de Viamonte                1634-1646
Nicolás Velazco Altamirano                               1646-1649
Maestre de Campo Gabriel de Chaves Osorio                1649-1652
Bernardino de Menesets y Bracamonte, Count of Peñalva    1652-1657
Felix de Zuñiga                                          1657-1658
Andrés Pérez Franco                                      1658-1660
Juan Francisco de Montemayor Cárdova y Cuenca            1660-1662
Juan de Balboa y Mogrovejo                               1662-1670
Pedro de Carvajal y Lobos                                1670-1671
Maestre de Campo Ignacio de Zayas Bazán                  1671-1677
Dr. Juan de Padilla Guardiola y Guzmán                   1677-1679
Maestre de Campo Francisco de Segura Sandoval y
  Castilla                                               1679-1684
Maestre de Campo Andrés de Robles                        1684-1689
Admiral Ignacio Pérez Caro                               1689-1698
Maestre de Campo Gil Correoso Catalan                    1698-1699
Severino de Manzaneda                                    1699-1702
Admiral Ignacio Pérez Caro                               1702-1706
Licentiate Sebastián de Cerezada y Girán                 1706-1707
Guillermo Morfi                                          1707-1713
Brigadier Pedro de Niela y Torres                        1713-1714
Colonel Antonio Landeche                                 1714-1715
Brigadier Fernando Constanzo y Ramárez, Knight of
  Santiago                                               1715-1723
Colonel Francisco de la Rocha y Ferrer                   1723-1732
Brigadier Alfonso de Castro y Mazo                       1732-1739
Brigadier Pedro Zorrilla y de San Martin, Marquis of la
  Gándara Real                                           1739-1750
Brigadier Juan José Colomo                               1750
Teniente rey José de Zunnier de Basteros                 1750-1751
Brigadier Francisco Rubio y Peñaranda                    1751-1759
Field-Marshal Manuel de Azlor y Urries                   1759-1771
Brigadier José Solano y Bote                             1771-1779
Brigadier Isidore de Peralta y Rojas                     1779-1785
Colonel Joaquán García y Moreno                          1785-1786
Brigadier Manuel González de Torres                      1786-1788
Brigadier Joaquán García y Moreno                        1788-1801


FRENCH COLONY

_Governors_


General Toussaint l'Ouverture                            1801-1802
General Antoine Nicolas Kerverseau                       1802-1803
General Marie Louis Ferrand                              1803-1808
General L. Barquier                                      1808-1809


SECOND SPANISH COLONY

_Governors and Captains-General_


Brigadier Juan Sánchez Ramárez                           1809-1811
Colonel Manuel Caballero y Masot                         1811-1813
Brigadier Carlos de Urrutia y Matos                      1813-1818
Brigadier Sebastian Kindelan y Oregán                    1818-1821
Brigadier Pascual Real                                   1821


STATE OF COLOMBIAN REPUBLIC

_Governor and President_


Licentiate José Nuñez de Cáceres                         1821-1822


HAITIAN RULE

_Presidents_


Jean Pierre Boyer                                        1822-1843
Charles Riviáre Hérardi ainé                             1843-1844


FIRST REPUBLIC

_Presidents_

Central Council of Government (Provisional government)   1844
Pedro Santana, Provisional and Constitutional President  1844-1848
Manuel Jiménez, Constitutional President                 1848-1849
Buenaventura Baez, Constitutional President              1849-1853
Pedro Santana, Constitutional President                  1853-1856
Manuel de Regla Mota, Vice-President                     1856
Buenaventura Baez, Vice-President                        1856-1858
José Desiderio Valverde, Constitutional President        1858
Pedro Santana, Provisional and Constitutional President  1858-1861

THIRD SPANISH COLONY

_Governors and Captains-General_

Lieutenant-General Pedro Santana                         1861-1862
Lieutenant-General Felipe Ribero y Lemoine               1862-1863
Brigadier Carlos de Vargas                               1863-1864
Lieutenant-General José de la Gándara                    1864-1865

SECOND REPUBLIC
_Presidents_

José Salcedo, Provisional President                      1863-1864
Gaspar Polanco, Provisional President                    1864-1865
Benigno Filorneno de Rojas, Provisional President        1865
Pedro Antonio Pimentel, Constitutional President         1865
José Maria Cabral, Provisional President                 1865
Buenaventura Baez, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1865-1866
José Maria Cabral, Constitutional President              1866-1868
Buenaventura Baez, Constitutional President              1868-1873
Ignacio Maria Gonzalez, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1874-1876
Uliees F. Espaillat, Constitutional President            1876
Ignacio María González, Provisional President            1876
Buenaventura Baez, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1876-1878
Cesareo Guillermo, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1878
Ignacio Marña González, Constitutional President         1878
Jacinto de Castro, President Supreme Court               1878
Cesareo Guillermo, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1878-1879
Gregorio Luperán, Provisional President                  1879-1880
Fernando A. de Meriño, Constitutional President          1880-1882
Ulises Heureaux, Constitutional President                1882-1884
Francisco Gregorio Billini, Constitutional President     1884-1885
Alejandro Woss y Gil, Vice-President and Provisional
  President                                              1885-1887
Ulises Heureaux, Constitutional President (4 terms)      1887-1899
Juan Wenceslao Figuereo, Vice-President                  1899
Horacio Vásquez, Provisional President                   1899
Juan Isidro Jimánez, Constitutional President            1899-1902
Horacio Vásquez, Provisional President                   1902-1903
Alejandro Woss y Gil, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1903
Carlos E. Morales, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1903-1906
Ramán Cáceres, Vice-President and Constitutional
  President                                              1906-1911
Eladio Victoria, Provisional and Constitutional
  President                                              1911-1912
Adolfo A. Nouel, Provisional President                   1912-1913
José Bordas Valdez, Provisional President                1913-1914
Ramán Baez, Provisional President                        1914
Juan Isidro Jimánez, Constitutional President            1914-1916
Francisco Henriquez Carvajal, Provisional President      1916



AMERICAN INTERVENTION

_Military Governor_


Rear-Admiral H. S. Knapp                                 1916-



APPENDIX B

OLD WEIGHTS AND MEASURES IN USE IN SANTO DOMINGO


The equivalents between old weights and measures still in use in Santo
Domingo with the legal or metric system, are as follows, the
equivalents with American measures being also given:



Dominican              American              Metric

Measures of length:
1 league                 3.46 miles                5.5727 kilometers
1 ona                       3 feet, 10.79 inches   1.1884 meters
1 yard                 35.996 inches               0.9143 meter
1 vara                  32.91 inches                0.836 meter
1 foot                 10.945 inches                0.278 meter
1 inch                 0.9055 inch                  0.023 meter
1 line [1]             0.0787 inch                  0.002 meter

Surface measures:
1 tarea [2]            0.1554 acre                 628.86 sq. meters
1 caballeria           186.50 acres               75.4636 hectares

Liquid measures:
1 bottle               0.7392 quart                   720 grams
1 gallon               3.3265 quarts                 3.34 liters

Dry measures:
1 fanega                1.575 bushels                55.5 liters
1 almud                0.1596 bushel                5.625 liters
1 cuartillo            0.0328 bushel                1.156 liter

Weights:
1 ton               2,028.232 pounds                  920 kilograms
1 quintal             101.412 pounds                   46 kilograms
1 arroba               25.353 pounds                 11.5 kilograms
1 pound                 1.014 pounds                  460 grams
1 ounce               0.06338 pound, or             28.75 grams
                        1.014 ounces avoirdupois
1 adarme                27.78 grains                  1.8 grams
1 grain[3]             0.7706 grain                     5 centigrams

The following measures are cited for comparison:

                        American                        Metric
Porto Rican cuerda     0.9701 acre              3930.4037 sq. meters
Porto Rican caballeria 194.02 acres                78.608 hectares
Cuban caballeria        33.16 acres               13.4202 hectares
Haitian carreau         3.194 acres                12,928 sq. meters


[Footnote 1: 12 lines = 1 inch; 12 inches = 1 foot; 3 feet = 1 vara; 3
varas = 1 vara conuquera; 20,000 feet = 1 league]

[Footnote 2: A tarea is a parcel of land measuring 100 square varas
conuqueras. It is the usual measure of land. 300 tareas = 1 peonia; 4
peonias = 1 caballeria.]

[Footnote 3: 36 grains = 1 adarme; 16 adarmes = 1 ounce; 16 ounces = 1
pound; 25 pounds = 1 arroba; 4 arrobas = 1 quintal; 20 quintals =
1 ton.]



APPENDIX C

AMERICAN-DOMINICAN FISCAL CONVENTION OF 1907

CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC PROVIDING FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE
COLLECTION AND APPLICATION OF THE CUSTOMS REVENUES OF THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC



_Concluded February 8, 1907

Ratification advised by Senate February 25, 1907

Ratified by President June 2, 1907

Ratified by President of the Dominican Republic June 18, 1907

Ratifications exchanged at Washington July 8, 1907

Proclaimed July 25, 1907_

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Whereas a convention between the United States of America and the
Dominican Republic providing for the assistance of the United States
in the collection and application of the customs revenues of the
Dominican Republic, was concluded and signed by their respective
Plenipotentiaries at the City of Santo Domingo, on the eighth day of
February, one thousand nine hundred and seven, the original of which
convention, being in the English and Spanish languages, is word for
word as follows:

Whereas during disturbed political conditions in the Dominican
Republic debts and claims have been created, some by regular and some
by revolutionary governments, many of doubtful validity in whole or
in part, and amounting in all to over $30,000,000, nominal or
face value;

And whereas the same conditions have prevented the peaceable and
continuous collection and application of National revenues for payment
of interest or principal of such debts or for liquidation and
settlement of such claims; and the said debts and claims continually
increase by accretion of interest and are a grievous burden upon the
people of the Dominican Republic and a barrier to their improvement
and prosperity;

And whereas the Dominican Government has now effected a conditional
adjustment and settlement of said debts and claims under which all its
foreign creditors have agreed to accept about $12,407,000 for debts
and claims amounting to about $21,184,000 of nominal or face value,
and the holders of internal debts or claims of about $2,028,258
nominal or face value have agreed to accept about $645,827 therefor,
and the remaining holders of internal debts or claims on the same
basis as the assents already given will receive about $2,400,000
therefor, which sum the Dominican Government has fixed and determined
as the amount which it will pay to such remaining internal debt
holders; making the total payments under such adjustment and
settlement, including interest as adjusted and claims not yet
liquidated, amount to not more than about $17,000,000.

And whereas a part of such plan of settlement is the issue and sale of
bonds of the Dominican Republic to the amount of $20,000,000 bearing
five per cent interest payable in fifty years and redeemable after ten
years at 102-1/2 and requiring payment of at least one per cent per
annum for amortization, the proceeds of said bonds, together with such
funds as are now deposited for the benefit of creditors from customs
revenues of the Dominican Republic heretofore received, after payment
of the expenses of such adjustment, to be applied first to the payment
of said debts and claims as adjusted and second out of the balance
remaining to the retirement and extinction of certain concessions and
harbor monopolies which are a burden and hindrance to the commerce of
the country and third the entire balance still remaining to the
construction of certain railroads and bridges and other public
improvements necessary to the industrial development of the country;
And whereas the whole of said plan is conditioned and dependent upon
the assistance of the United States in the collection of customs
revenues of the Dominican Republic and the application thereof so far
as necessary to the interest upon and the amortization and redemption
of said bonds, and the Dominican Republic has requested the United
States to give and the United States is willing to give such
assistance:

The Dominican Government, represented by its Minister of State for
Foreign Relations, Emiliano Tejera, and its Minister of State for
Finance and Commerce, Federico Velasquez H., and the United States
Government, represented by Thomas C. Dawson, Minister Resident and
Consul General of the United States to the Dominican Republic,
have agreed:

I. That the President of the United States shall appoint, a General
Receiver of Dominican Customs, who, with such Assistant Receivers and
other employees of the Receivership as shall be appointed by the
President of the United States in his discretion, shall collect all
the customs duties accruing at the several customs houses of the
Dominican Republic until the payment or retirement of any and all
bonds issued by the Dominican Government in accordance with the plan
and under the limitations as to terms and amounts hereinbefore
recited; and said General Receiver shall apply the sums so collected,
as follows:

First, to paying the expenses of the receivership; second, to the
payment of interest upon said bonds; third, to the payment of the
annual sums provided for amortization of said bonds including interest
upon all bonds held in sinking fund; fourth, to the purchase and
cancellation or the retirement and cancellation pursuant to the terms
thereof of any of said bonds as may be directed by the Dominican
Government; fifth, the remainder to be paid to the Dominican
Government. The method of distributing the current collections of
revenue in order to accomplish the application thereof as hereinbefore
provided shall be as follows:

The expenses of the receivership shall be paid by the Receiver as they
arise. The allowances to the General Receiver and his assistants for
the expenses of collecting the revenues shall not exceed five per cent
unless by agreement between the two Governments.

On the first day of each calendar month the sum of $100,000 shall be
paid over by the Receiver to the Fiscal Agent of the loan, and the
remaining collection of the last preceding month shall be paid over to
the Dominican Government, or applied to the sinking fund for the
purchase or redemption of bonds, as the Dominican Government
shall direct.

_Provided_, that in case the customs revenues collected by the General
Receiver shall in any year exceed the sum of $3,000,000, one half of
the surplus above such sum of $3,000,000 shall be applied to the
sinking fund for the redemption of bonds.

II. The Dominican Government will provide by law for the payment of
all customs duties to the General Receiver and his assistants, and
will give to them all needful aid and assistance and full protection
to the extent of its powers. The Government of the United States will
give to the General Receiver and his assistants such protection as it
may find to be requisite for the performance of their duties.

III. Until the Dominican Republic has paid the whole amount of the
bonds of the debt its public debt shall not be increased except by
previous agreement between the Dominican Government and the United
States. A like agreement shall be necessary to modify the import
duties, it being an indispensable condition for the modification of
such duties that the Dominican Executive demonstrate and that the
President of the United States recognize that, on the basis of
exportations and importations to the like amount and the like
character during the two years preceding that in which it is desired
to make such modification, the total net customs receipts would at
such altered rates of duties have been for each of such two years in
excess of the sum of $2,000,000 United States gold.

IV. The accounts of the General Receiver shall be rendered monthly to
the Contaduria General of the Dominican Republic and to the State
Department of the United States and shall be subject to examination
and verification by the appropriate officers of the Dominican and the
United States Governments.

V. This agreement shall take effect after its approval by the Senate
of the United States and the Congress of the Dominican Republic.

Done in four originals, two being in the English language, and two in
the Spanish, and the representatives of the high contracting parties
signing them in the City of Santo Domingo this 8th day of February, in
the year of our Lord 1907.

THOMAS C. DAWSON,

EMILIANO TEJERA,

FEDERICO VELAZQUEZ H.


And whereas the said convention has been duly ratified on both parts,
and the ratifications of the two governments were exchanged in the
City of Washington, on the eighth day of July, one thousand nine
hundred seven;

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of
the United States of America, have caused the said convention to be
made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause
thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United
States and the citizens thereof.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this 25th day of July in the year of
our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the one hundred and thirty-second.

[SEAL.] THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

By the President:

ROBERT BACON

_Acting Secretary of State._





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