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Title: Cuba and Her People of To-day
 - An account of the history and progress of the island previous to its independence; a description of its physical features; a study of its people; and, in particular, an examination of its present political conditions, its industries, natural resources, and prospects; together with information and suggestions designed to aid the prospective investor or settler
Author: Forbes-Lindsay, C. H.
Language: English
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 - An account of the history and progress of the island previous to its independence; a description of its physical features; a study of its people; and, in particular, an examination of its present political conditions, its industries, natural resources, and prospects; together with information and suggestions designed to aid the prospective investor or settler" ***

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                     CUBA AND HER PEOPLE OF TO-DAY

                       Uniform with This Volume

            Panama and the Canal                   $3.00

            Cuba and Her People of To-day           3.00

            Brazil and Her People of To-day         3.00
            BY NEVIN O. WINTER

            Guatemala and Her People of To-day      3.00
            BY NEVIN O. WINTER

            Mexico and Her People of To-day         3.00
            BY NEVIN O. WINTER

            Argentina and Her People of To-day      3.00
            BY NEVIN O. WINTER

            Bohemia and the Čechs                   3.00
            BY WILL S. MONROE

            In Viking Land. Norway: Its Peoples,
                Its Fjords and Its Fjelds           3.00
            BY WILL S. MONROE

            Turkey and the Turks                    3.00
            BY WILL S. MONROE

            Sicily, the Garden of the Mediterranean 3.00
            BY WILL S. MONROE

            In Wildest Africa                       3.00

                         L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
                    53 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.

[Illustration: A CUBAN COURTSHIP.

(_See page 92._)

                             CUBA AND HER
                               PEOPLE OF

                           AN ACCOUNT OF THE
                       OF ITS PHYSICAL FEATURES;
                     AN EXAMINATION OF ITS PRESENT
                       TOGETHER WITH INFORMATION

                            FORBES LINDSAY
                Author of “Panama and the Canal,” etc.

                       PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE AUTHOR


                  BOSTON                  L. C. PAGE
                    AND COMPANY            MDCCCCXI

                           _Copyright, 1911_
                        BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY

                         _All rights reserved_

                   First Impression, November, 1911

                     _Electrotyped and Printed by
                          THE COLONIAL PRESS
                 C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, U.S.A._


                      Henry M. Flagler, Esquire,

                     RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED, AS A
                          SLIGHT TOKEN OF THE
                           ADMIRATION OF THE


So many volumes have been devoted to accounts of the history and
descriptions of the physical features of Cuba, that an adequate excuse
could hardly be found for an addition to them. On the other hand, the
more important considerations of the Island’s natural resources,
industrial development and present condition of its people, have had but
scanty attention at the hands of writers.

During the past decade there has been a great increase in American
emigration to Cuba and in the investment of American money there, with
the result that the interest of our people in the country, which was
formerly of an abstract character, has become practical and specific.
There exists in the United States a wide-spread desire for information
regarding the progress, prospects and present-day conditions of Cuba,
which it has been my chief design to supply.

In the following pages the history and geography of the country have
been sketched with special reference to their essential influence upon
its development. Aside from this necessary introduction to an
understanding of Cuban affairs, I have given my attention mainly to the
established and prospective industries of the Island and to the fields
offered by them to American capital and American settlers.

                                                        FORBES LINDSAY.

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, _August, 1911_.


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

       PREFACE                                                       vii

    I. THE ISLAND OF CUBA                                              1

   II. THE HISTORY OF CUBA                                            22

  III. THE HISTORY OF CUBA (_Continued_)                              43

   IV. CUBA IN TRANSITION                                             63

    V. THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY                                      83

   VI. THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY (_Continued_)                       102

  VII. THE CONDITION OF CUBA                                         120

 VIII. THE FUTURE OF CUBA                                            147

   IX. CUBA’S SUGAR INDUSTRY                                         166

    X. CUBA’S TOBACCO INDUSTRY                                       185

   XI. CUBA’S MINERAL RESOURCES                                      200

  XII. LATENT AGRICULTURAL WEALTH                                    216

 XIII. FUTURE FARMING IN CUBA                                        231

  XIV. THE CAPITAL OF CUBA                                           249

   XV. THE PROVINCES OF CUBA                                         263

       APPENDICES                                                    279

       INDEX                                                         325



A CUBAN COURTSHIP (_See page 92_)                          _Frontispiece_

MAP OF CUBA                                                            1

RIVER SCENE, ISLE OF PINES                                             2

THE FAMOUS PALMS OF CAMAGUEY                                           7

A STREET IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA                                          10

ISLAND”                                                               12

PRESIDENT’S PALACE, HABANA                                            18

BAYAMO                                                                28

THE PRADO, HABANA                                                     36

THE WATER-FRONT, HABANA                                               46

MOUNTAIN ROAD IN THE PROVINCE OF ORIENTE                              52

TRENCHES                                                              66

STREET SCENE, SANTIAGO DE CUBA                                        75

MORRO CASTLE FROM CENTRAL PARK, HABANA                                83

COUNTRY HOMES OF WEALTHY CUBANS                                       89

IS RESIDENT”                                                          96


A NARROW STREET, HABANA                                              109

A CUBAN MILKMAN                                                      114

SUGAR-CANE READY FOR CUTTING                                         122

AN IDEAL ROAD FOR THE MOTORIST                                       124

AN AVENUE OF PALMS                                                   128

STREET SCENE, HABANA                                                 143

A GUAJIRO’S SHACK                                                    150

GENERAL VIEW OF JIGUANI                                              158

HARVESTING THE CANE                                                  166

CENTRAL PROVIDENCIA                                                  170


GRINDING SUGAR-CANE                                                  183

WELL-DEVELOPED TOBACCO PLANTS                                        186

HUNDREDS OF ACRES OF TOBACCO UNDER COVER                             194

A TOBACCO FIELD AFTER HARVESTING                                     198

SANTIAGO DE CUBA                                                     208

A STREET IN JIGUANI                                                  214

GATHERING COCOANUTS                                                  224

PINEAPPLE FIELD                                                      226

BREADFRUIT                                                           229

HEMP FIELD ABOVE MATANZAS                                            230

ORANGE TREE                                                          234

NEED ABOUT THREE HUNDRED OXEN”                                       237

HOTEL CAMAGUEY                                                       240

A ROAD IN THE PROVINCE OF ORIENTE                                    246

MAP OF THE CITY OF HABANA                                            249

LA FUERZA, HABANA                                                    250

OBISPO STREET, HABANA                                                255

THE CATHEDRAL, HABANA                                                259

FORT SAN SEVERINO, MATANZAS                                          268

PARLOR, HOTEL CAMAGUEY                                               271

MANZANILLO                                                           273

THE DOCKS AND WAREHOUSES OF ANTILLA                                  275





If a line were drawn directly south from Pittsburg it would almost pass
through the middle of Cuba. The Island, which is the largest of the
Antillean group, lies about fifty miles distant from Santo Domingo and
somewhat more than eighty miles from Jamaica. Its western end nuzzles
into the opening between the peninsulas of Florida and Yucatan, Key West
being ninety miles from, and the nearest point of Campeche within one
hundred and thirty miles of Cape San Antonio. This situation gives to
Cuba a commanding position in relation to the Gulf of Mexico, the only
passages to that body of water lying on either side of the Island. The
strategic advantage of the location is highly important, but of less
consideration than the commercial advantage. Cuba lies directly in the
line of the trade routes converging upon the Tehuantepec Railroad and
the Panama Canal.

The Island is a narrow strip of land, little more than one hundred miles
across in its broadest portion and only about twenty miles at its
narrowest. From Cape Maisi to Cape San Antonio the length of the outer
coast line is seven hundred and thirty miles. In the absence of a
precise survey, figures are uncertain, and estimates vary, but it is
probable that the territory of the Republic, which includes the Isle of
Pines and a number of outlying _cayos_, is somewhat less than forty-five
thousand square miles in extent; an area slightly greater than that of
the State of Pennsylvania.

The upper side of the Island forms a broad converse curve, with a
northerly trend. It is broken by few marked irregularities. The southern
coast takes a corresponding curve and in general parallels the other
shore. It differs, however, in having several pronounced indentations,
the largest of which are the Golfo de Buena Esperanza and the Golfo de
la Broa. Along this periphery are found four or five of those peculiar
pouch-like harbors which,


together with numerous coral reefs and islands of varying dimensions
that fringe the shore line, are the most notable features of the Cuban
coast. These _cayos_, or keys, fall into four distinct groups and number
about one thousand three hundred. The principal line of these low lying
islands extends from the Ensenado de Cardenas to the vicinity of
Nuevitas, and includes Cayo Romano, seventy-four miles in length. The
second line runs from Bahia Honda to Cape San Antonio. The third, which
is the most numerous, forms a scattered group between the Isle of Pines
and the mainland. The fourth, known as Cayos de las Doce Leguas, lies
off the coast of Camaguey.

The Isle of Pines is distant sixty miles from Batabano, which is the
point of communication with the mainland. Its area is about twelve
hundred square miles. The northern shores of Cuba are generally
characterized by rocky bluffs, which frequently rise to a height of
several hundred feet. The littoral of the western bend is low, and this
feature prevails along the south to Cape Cruz, with the exception of a
rugged stretch of about fifty miles to the east of Cienfuegos. Save for
this strip, the shore from Cape San Antonio to the mouth of the Cauto
is lined with marsh of varying depth. The protuberant piece of land
between the bight of the Broa and Bahia de Cochinos is entirely occupied
by the great Zapata swamp, which has an area of more than two hundred
square miles. It is an almost impenetrable tropical jungle of the
densest vegetation, teeming with animal life. This wilderness has often
afforded a safe refuge to defeated and harassed bands of insurrectos.
Along the eastern butt of the island the coast is mountainous.

Topographically, the territory of Cuba comprises five distinct
divisions, three of them distinctly mountainous, and two in which the
surface is low, or of moderate relief. The easternmost of these
divisions coincides closely to the boundaries of the Province of Oriente
and is for the greater part mountainous. The second, corresponding
approximately with the Province of Camaguey, is made up of plains or
open rolling country, relieved by occasional hills. The third division
includes the mountainous and hilly sections of Santa Clara. The fourth
consists of a long stretch of flat or undulating country, accentuated
here and there by elevations of several hundred feet; it includes the
western portion of Santa Clara Province and the whole of the Provinces
of Matanzas and Habana, as well as about one-fourth of the Province of
Pinar del Rio at its eastern end. The fifth division takes in the
greater part of the last-named Province, and is characterized by a well
defined mountain range, with numerous detached hills and mesas. A
clearer conception of the surface conformation of Cuba may be gained by
a more detailed survey of its mountains and plains, without regard to
the natural topographic divisions described.

The Province of Oriente contains a greater mountainous area than is to
be found in all the rest of the Island. The system consists of several
groups having diverse constructures, but more or less closely connected
with one another. Here many peaks exceed five thousand feet and one,
Pico Turquino, rises to an altitude of over eight thousand feet. The
principal range is the Sierra Maestra, extending from Cape Cruz to
Guantanamo Bay. Along its western end, this chain rises abruptly out of
the seas, but as it approaches Santiago, recedes somewhat from the
shore, leaving a narrow coastal plain. East of Guantanamo there is a
range, much less unbroken and uniform than the Sierra Madre, which
continues to Cape Maisi and thence along the north coast until it meets
the rugged Cuchillas at Baracoa. Extending westward from this mountain
mass are strings of high plateaus and mesas, forming the northern wall
of the great amphitheatre which drains into Guantanamo Bay. In this
northern section the most prominent feature of the system is the range
comprising the Sierras Cristal and Nipe, whose general trend is east and
west. To the south is a country having the character of a deeply
dissected plateau. The broad, flat topped summits of so many elevations
in the eastern part of Cuba lead to the belief that all the mountains in
this section have been carved from a huge lofty plateau. Considered as a
whole, therefore, the mountains of Oriente form two marginal ranges
which merge at the east end of the Province and diverge toward the west.
Between these divergent ranges lies the broad, undulating expanse famous
as the valley of the Cauto, which widens as it stretches westward and
ultimately merges with the more extensive plains of Camaguey.

The central mountainous region of Cuba is situated in the Province of
Santa Clara. This system consists of four groups having a general
direction toward north and south and at


points reaching both coasts. In the area between Cienfuegos, Trinidad
and Sancti Spiritus is an extensive cluster of rounded hills, dominated
by Potrerillo, nearly three thousand feet high, and interspersed with
the most beautiful and fertile valleys.

The Cordillera de los Organos, or Organ Mountains, run almost along the
middle line of the Province of Pinar del Rio, paralleling the northern
coast. The range commences about twenty miles to the west of the
boundary of Habana Province and extends to the estuary of the Colorado,
thus traversing three-fourths of Pinar del Rio.

The greater part of the Province of Camaguey is free from hills. The
principal elevations are found in the north-eastern portion, where the
Sierra de Cubitas is situated.

Aside from the mountains and hills described, the general surface of
Cuba is a low, gently undulating plain. The elevations of some of the
principal interior cities are as follows: Pinar del Rio, one hundred and
three feet above sea level; Cuevitas, ninety-eight feet; Camaguey, three
hundred and twenty-four feet; Santa Clara, three hundred and forty

Except in the southeast corner of Oriente, the streams of Cuba all
follow a normal course to the coast. Owing to the shape of the Island,
therefore, none of them has any considerable length or volume, nor are
any navigable with the exception of the Cauto, which permits of the
passage of light draft boats to a distance of fifty miles from its

Cuba is noted for its spacious land-locked harbors. Their extraordinary
lake-like formation has been the subject of many more or less fanciful
explanations. The following statement of Dr. C. W. Hayes, of the U. S.
Geological Survey, seems to fully account for the phenomenon:

“The depressions occupied by the water forming these harbors appear to
be due to erosion by streams flowing into the sea during a recent
geologic period when the land stood somewhat higher than now. In other
words, drowned drainage basins. Their peculiar shape, a narrow seaward
channel and a broad landward expansion, is due to the relation of hard
and soft rocks which generally prevail along the coast. Wherever the
conditions are favorable for the growth of corals, a fringing reef is
built upon whatever rocks happen to be at sea level, and as the land
rises or sinks this rock reef forms a veneer of varying thickness upon
the seaward land surface. The rocks on which this veneer rests are
generally limestones and marls, much softer and more easily eroded than
coral rock. Hence several small streams, instead of each flowing
directly to the sea by its own channel, are diverted to a single narrow
channel through the hard coral rock, while they excavate a basin of
greater or less extent in the softer rocks back from the coast.

“The fact that the land has recently stood at a sufficiently higher
level to enable the streams to excavate such basins is proven by the
sandfilled channel in the Habana harbor entrance and by borings made
near the mouth of the Rio San Juan at Santiago, showing that the present
rock floor lies below the level of the sea. Doubtless similar filled
channels would be discovered in the other harbors of this class if they
were properly sounded.

“It is interesting to note that along the Cuban coast precisely similar
basins are now being excavated which would form pouch-shaped harbors if
the land should be slightly depressed. Several such basins were observed
eastward from Santiago. If the coast at Matanzas were to sink thirty
feet or more, a portion of the Yumuri valley would be flooded, forming a
broad basin connected with the sea by a narrow entrance, the present
Yumuri Gorge.”

The chief harbors of the type in question are those of Habana,
Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. Other important harbors, more or less
of the same formation, are Bahia Honda, Nuevitas, Gibara, Nipe Bay and
Baracoa. Matanzas and Cardenas are exceptions. By far the greater number
of good harbors are on the north coast. On the south, aside from those
which have already been mentioned, Guantanamo Bay is the only one of
consequence. Other harbors on this side of the Island, such as
Manzanillo and Batabano are merely open roadsteads, generally lacking in
depth, and securing more or less shelter from outlying keys and reefs.

Cuba was reclaimed from the sea by a great mountain-making movement in
late tertiary time. During the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs the
Island underwent a series of subsidences and elevations which affected
the coastal borders, and the margin of elevated rock-reef which borders
the coast in parts, as


in the vicinities of Habana and Baracoa. So far as its geologic history
is known, the Island was never connected with the American mainland,
although the contrary assertion has frequently been made.

No thorough geological survey of Cuba has ever been made, but there is
every evidence of its containing rich deposits of minerals, including
gold, silver, copper, iron, manganese, and asphalt. Traces of minerals
are found extensively throughout the Island. Oriente Province is the
first in mineral wealth, followed by Camaguey. In Santa Clara,
indications of copper are seen on every hand. The ore is commonly turned
up by the plow upon the hillsides. Asphalt is found in widely scattered
localities all over the Island. The northern coast of the Province of
Matanzas appears to be entirely underlaid with it, and the Bay of
Cardenas is bottomed by a deposit which used to be worked by vessels
anchored over it. The Cuban asphalt is of a high grade, a considerable
proportion of it containing as much as seventy per cent. bitumen.
Grahamite, a mineral of the same species as asphalt, but classed as pure
bitumen, is found in Habana Province and other parts of the Island. The
only mineral resource that is at all adequately exploited is iron. The
mines of Oriente, which are famous, will be referred to more extensively
in a later portion of the book.

Vegetation is superlatively abundant in Cuba. The flora includes three
thousand three hundred and fifty native plants, not to mention the
considerable number that have been naturalized. The trees embrace a
variety of hardwoods. Over thirty species of palm are found in the
Island, and the pine of the temperate zone grows in proximity to the
mahogany of the tropics. The forest has been recklessly exploited or
destroyed, but it is estimated that thirteen million acres of it remain.

Practically all the fruits and vegetables of the tropics flourish in the
Island and many of those characteristic of the temperate regions.
Various kinds of fodder grasses grow throughout the valley lands.

The only distinctive animal of Cuba is the _jutia_, a black animal
having the appearance of a large rat. It grows to a length of eighteen
inches, including the tail. The country people eat this creature, as
they do all other animals and reptiles that come in their way.

Deer and rabbits are abundant wherever


cover exists. Swine, dogs and cats have become wild and are numerous in
that condition. There is a variety of game birds, some migratory, but
most permanent denizens of the Island. The principal kinds are wild fowl
of different species, pheasants, quail, snipe, turkey, _perdiz_,
_tijasas_, _rabiches_, and _quanaros_. The native birds include many of
the most beautiful plumage, but songsters are rare among them.

In swampy localities crocodiles and alligators are found. Diminutive
silurians, such as chameleons and small lizards, swarm everywhere, and
occasionally iguanas and the larger lizards are seen. It is frequently
claimed that no poisonous reptiles or insects exist in Cuba, but this
statement admits of some qualifications. There is no doubt that certain
scorpions and spiders, as well probably as a few other insects, are
venomous. The snakes, of which there are but few varieties, appear to be
harmless to mankind. One of these, the _maja_, which grows to about
twelve feet, is almost tame and frequents small villages and farmhouses,
its favorite dwelling place being the palm-thatch roofs of abandoned
buildings. The climate of Cuba is chiefly characterized by great
humidity, abundant rainfall, and comparative uniformity of temperature.
The range between the mean of the hottest month and that of the coolest
is from 82 degrees to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. While this statement
applies precisely to Habana it is approximately true of other parts of
the Island. It is a little warmer along the south coast than upon the
north, which is swept by the trade winds throughout the year. The mean
humidity is 75 degrees and is nearly uniform throughout the year. This
makes the climate enervating, especially to foreigners. There is no
great difference between the “summer” and the “winter” seasons, but
during the latter, which embraces the six months following the first of
November, the weather is delightful and the heat seldom oppressive. The
mean annual rainfall upon the northern coast is fifty-two inches. Inland
and through the southern portion of the Island it is somewhat less.
About two-thirds of the precipitation occurs between May and October.
During this season intermittent showers fall from about ten o’clock
until sunset. The nights are usually cool and clear at all times of the

In strict meteorological sense Cuba is not within the hurricane zone,
which lies somewhat to the east of it. Nevertheless, the Island has been
not infrequently visited by such storms and some of them have occasioned
great damage. The worst visitation of this sort happened in 1846, when
more than one-fourth of the city of Habana was destroyed and upwards of
one thousand persons killed or severely injured. Although in a region
subject to severe earthquakes, and itself not infrequently visited by
shocks of alarming violence, the Island has never been seriously damaged
by seismic disturbances. In winter, when the trades take a southerly
sweep, “northers,” bred in the great storms of the United States, are
apt to strike the Island, sometimes lowering the temperature suddenly to
50 degrees, or thereabouts. The result is keen, if brief, suffering, for
the people make little provision in their clothing or surroundings for
such low temperature.

Immense improvement has been made in the health of the cities since the
beginning of the American occupation. Yellow fever, at one time endemic,
has been eradicated and can never occur again, except in the form of a
sporadic outbreak due to importation of the virus. Malaria has been
measurably reduced, but much more might be done toward stamping it out,
or minimizing it.

The mortality in Habana is 18.80 per thousand, and that of the Island in
general, 12.69. The former is considerably lower than the prevalent
rates of the large cities of the United States. Of all the countries of
the world, Australia is the only one whose death rate (12.60) is lower
than that of Cuba. It may be of interest to add the figures of some of
the other leading nations; Uruguay 13.40; United States 15.00; Belgium
15.20; Norway and Sweden 15.85; Denmark 16.40; England 17.70; Germany
17.80; Switzerland 18.20; France 20.60; Austria 24.40; Japan 28.80;
Italy 29.20; Spain 29.70.

The population of Cuba is a trifle in excess of two millions, giving
about forty-five inhabitants to the square mile, a density much greater
than that enjoyed by any other Latin-American country. Even though the
population should remain chiefly agrarian, as at present, the extent and
resources of the country are ample to support three times the existing
number of inhabitants in comfort and prosperity. If manufacturing
centres of magnitude should grow up in response to conditions favorable
to their development, Cuba will easily afford homes and occupation to
ten millions of people.

Seventy per cent. of the population live in the country or in centres of
fewer than eight thousand inhabitants. The sexes are almost equally
divided and, according to the census, the colored race represents no
more than one-third of the whole. The national government of the
Republic of Cuba is patterned on that of the United States, as is the
case in most countries of Latin-America. It is divided into three
coördinate branches, the legislative, the executive and judicial. The
legislative power is vested in the Congress, consisting of two branches,
the House of Representatives and the Senate. The former consists of
sixty-four members--one for every twenty-five thousand inhabitants, or
fractions thereof--who are elected for four years. The latter is
composed of four senators from each province, elected for a period of
four years by a board of electors, chosen by popular vote. The Congress
has two regular sessions annually, one convening on the first Monday of
April and the other on the first Monday of November.

The executive power is vested in the President, who is elected by
electors and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The Chief
Executive is assisted by a cabinet, consisting of six members, who are
known as the secretaries of the following departments: State; Justice;
Public Instruction; Agriculture; Industry and Commerce; and Public
Works. These positions are subject to appointment by the President.
There is also a Vice-President elected in the same manner and for a like
period as the President.

The judicial power is exercised by a supreme court; six superior courts,
one for each province; seven courts of the first instance, devoted to
civil cases; six courts of instruction, presided over by criminal
judges; twenty-six judges of the first instance and instruction; who
have a combined jurisdiction; six correctional courts, in which minor
civil suits and misdemeanors are tried. There is in each province a
governor and a provisional council, elected by direct suffrage. The
provinces are divided into municipal districts, each presided over by a
mayor, assisted by a council.

The commercial code in force is that of Spain, with some modifications
that were effected by the provisional government during the intervention
of the United States. The


laws concerning contracts, debts, and other matters of general business,
are full and explicit, and give all necessary protection to foreigners
dealing with natives of the country. Those relating to land, titles, and
taxes, will be more fully noticed elsewhere in this volume.

The regular army of Cuba, known as the “Ejercito Permanente,” consists
of three thousand two hundred enlisted men and one hundred and
seventy-two commissioned officers. This force comprises infantry, coast
artillery, field artillery, and a machine gun corps. Its general
headquarters is at Camp Columbia, near Habana.

The maintenance of law and order in the country districts, and safety on
the public highways, is entrusted to an exceptionally fine body of
mounted police, called the “Rural Guard,” numbering five thousand two
hundred and ninety-five men and officers. These men constantly patrol
their respective districts and render excellent service.

The so-called Cuban “Navy” consists of a few vessels of revenue cutter
type. It must be many years before the Republic can afford even the
smallest fleet of war-ships. Without such protection it is difficult to
see the value of her army, unless it be in the suppression of
revolution and, perhaps, the repression of popular will.

The mail system of the Island is fairly good, the distribution being
effected by railroad, coastwise steamers, automobiles and, in remote
districts, by horses. In Habana, motor cars are employed in making
collections. Deliveries are made by carriers in the same manner as in
the cities of the United States. Cuba has postal conventions with the
United States, Mexico, the Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii, and the
Philippines. The letter rate between Cuba and any one of these countries
is two cents and package postage the same as in the States. The Republic
has parcel-post treaties with France and Germany only, but it extends to
the United States the privileges enjoyed by those countries under their
formal agreements.

The Government maintains and operates the telegraph system, which
extends throughout its territory. The rates are twenty cents for all
messages of ten words or less which traverse no more than three
provinces, and two cents for each additional word, the address and
signature being charged for. If four provinces are touched in the
transmission, the rate is thirty cents, and three cents for each
additional word; if five provinces, it is forty cents, and four cents
for excess words; and if the telegram is sent from one end of the Island
to the other, or enters the limits of the six provinces, the rate is
fifty cents, and five cents for each additional word.



Strangely enough, in view of the number of books that have been written
about Cuba, there is no adequate history of the Island in the English
language--none that may be justly deemed comprehensive and trustworthy.
Many important events in the life of the country have never been
properly recorded and much that is of great interest still reposes
undisturbed in scattered documents. A candid account could hardly be
expected of a Spaniard or a Cuban, but it might be supposed that an
American would treat the subject with impartial fairness. None however
has done so, thus far. A recent effort by a prominent educator is
typical of the books on Cuba which are designed for the use of students
in our schools and elsewhere. By the author in question the Spaniards
are unstintingly condemned and the Americans unqualifiedly praised. The
Cubans are portrayed as heroic embodiments of all the virtues. Our
successes in the Spanish American War are described as brilliant
victories. In short, the most distorted impression of the facts is

This condition is regrettable because a true understanding of any people
and their country must be based upon intelligent knowledge of their
history, and this is peculiarly so in the case of Cuba and the Cubans.

Even though he had the ability to remedy the defect, the limits and
design of the present volume would preclude the writer from making the
attempt in its pages. The brief historical sketch given here, must be
made entirely secondary to the main purpose of presenting a picture of
the Island and its inhabitants as they are to-day, and of taking a
survey of the economic conditions affecting them. The following account
is restricted mainly to such phases of the country’s history as have had
permanent influence on the character, customs and welfare of the people.

Upon discovering the Island of Cuba, Columbus named it Juana, in honor
of Prince Juan, the son of Ferdinand and Isabella. On the death of
Ferdinand, Velasquez substituted the name Ferdinandina. The Island was
subsequently called Santiago, after the patron saint of Spain, and
still later, Ave Maria. Through all these changes of official style the
natives retained the name Cuba, by which their country had been known
before the advent of white men, and the Indian appellation was soon
adopted by the aliens.

The Indians whom Columbus found upon the Island were of gentle
disposition and peaceful by inclination and practice. The nine divisions
of the country were governed without friction by as many _caciques_,
independent of one another and equal in rank. The people rendered them
unquestioned obedience and were accustomed to an autocratic rule.
Hospitality was an universal trait and the invaders were made free of
the land without the slightest opposition. Furthermore, these Indians
accepted baptism and the doctrines of Christianity more readily than any
others with whom the Spaniards came into contact.

But for one condition, the factors were present for the peaceful
subjugation and government of the aborigines. The obstructive element
was found in the constitutional aversion of the natives to physical
exertion in any unnecessary degree. Their soil responded generously to
the slightest appeal in the form of casual cultivation, and the
materials for their scanty clothing might be gathered without trouble.
They had never experienced any need to work and their climate was
conducive to careless indolence. No doubt their habit of life had
produced weakness and lack of stamina. Thus disinclination grew into
disability. Flaccid muscles and unused limbs caused apparently strong
and robust men to faint and fall under tasks which we would consider an
ordinary day’s labor.

The Spanish adventurers, who found the natives in possession of nuggets
of gold and rude ornaments fashioned from the precious metal, set them
the onerous task of mining. They perceived the aversion of the Indians
to labor, but could not comprehend their inability. _El execrable sed
d’ore_ prompted them to the commission of pitiless barbarities in the
effort to force the slaves to increased exertion.

Under this treatment the natives died in great numbers. A few feeble
attempts at armed resistance hastened the end. In an incredibly short
time, if we are to accept the most reliable estimates of the number of
the aboriginal population, the male Indians were completely

It is impossible to say with any degree of precision how many
inhabitants the Island of Cuba contained at the time of its discovery.
Las Casas and Peter Martyr are led into exaggeration by their righteous
indignation at the cruelties of their countrymen. Their figures are
highly improbable. If the native population at the time the Spaniards
first settled in the country is estimated at half a million there is
little likelihood of undershooting the mark.

Oviado declares that in 1535--less than fifty years after the
discovery--there were fewer than five hundred Indians left within the
borders of the Island. Among this remnant females were largely in
predominence. They had not been subjected to the same extremes of
hardships and cruelty as had the males, and many of the Spaniards had
taken native women under their protection as concubines. This condition
led to the perpetuation of the Indian blood after the last of the pure
bred aborigines had disappeared. To-day, one meets, on rare occasions, a
Cuban peasant whose appearance suggests Indian ancestry, but the strain
practically died out long ago, and has left no impression on the Cuban
character or customs.

Cases in which the aboriginal stock is suggested are more frequently
encountered at the eastern end of the Island than elsewhere, and a
plausible explanation might be found in the fact that its wild
mountainous recesses would have afforded safe retreat to such of the
Indians who may have fled there from the persecutions of the whites. In
this way it is possible that a small number of the natives may have
survived for a considerable period after official knowledge of their
existence had ceased.

Some years ago, at Holguin, a youth was pointed out to me, who exhibited
in features, skull formation, and complexion, marked resemblance to an
Indian type. The _padre_, who had drawn my attention to the young man,
scoffed at my suggestion of accident, and declared his conviction that
it was a pronounced case of atavism.

The first permanent settlement of the Spaniards upon the Island of Cuba
was made at Baracoa, in 1512. At its head was Captain Diego Velasquez,
who, until his death in 1524, continued to rule Cuba, as _Adelantado_,
under direct responsibility to the Governor and _Andencia_ of
Hispaniola, or Santo Domingo. He had five successors in this office. The
first governor, appointed by and immediately answerable to the Crown,
was Hernando de Soto. The line of captains-general began with Don
Gabriel de Lujan, who assumed the post in 1581.

In 1514, Velasquez founded the towns of Trinidad and Santiago, for the
purpose of facilitating communication with Jamaica, and established
settlements at Remedios, Bayamo, Puerto Principe, Sancti-Spiritus, and
San Cristobal de la Habana, the last named being located where the town
of Batabano now stands. Five years later, the name of Habana was
transferred to a small settlement on the spot where the capital now

Baracoa was the first bishopric and seat of government. In 1522 Santiago
became the centre of both civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and in
1552 the capital was established at Habana.

The settlement of Cuba proceeded slowly. During the hundred years
following its discovery, only two towns were founded in addition to
those which have been mentioned, namely, Guanabacoa and El Cobre. In the
seventeenth century but two more of any importance came

[Illustration: BAYAMO.]

into existence, these being Matanzas and Santa Clara. Nine more were
created in the course of the next century. At the close of this period
the Island contained about two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants,
while the development of its natural resources can scarcely be said to
have begun.

The backwardness of the colony was not due to lack of energy on the part
of the Spaniards, who in the days of the _conquistadores_ displayed that
quality in a remarkable degree. A combination of conditions, some of
them entirely beyond the control of the settlers, retarded the
development of the Island. A large proportion of the first comers were
transients, staying for a while, but responding ultimately to the
greater allurements of the mainland. Their object was gold, and in this
respect Cuba proved disappointing. After a while the large landed
proprietors, who had received royal grants, began to raise cattle and to
breed horses. For some time large quantities of meat and mounts for the
troops were shipped to Terra Firma. But this source of profit expired
toward the close of the sixteenth century, when the continental
settlements became able to supply their own needs in these respects. At
this period the cultivation of tobacco and sugar-cane was introduced. At
the outset these industries suffered from a paucity of labor, and a
royal license was obtained for the importation of negroes from Africa.
The shipment of the blacks in large numbers to the Island continued
until, toward the middle of the nineteenth century, their proportional
place in the population became a source of grave anxiety to the
authorities. The successful revolt of their race in Haiti and the
abolitionary agitation throughout the civilized world created unrest
among the slaves in Cuba. Although there was no organized uprising,
frequent mutinies occurred in different parts of the Island. The most
cruel measures of repression were put into force, with the result of
cowing the negroes for a while. It is probable however, that only the
growth of the revolutionary movement prevented a general uprising of the
blacks in Cuba before their emancipation, which was officially decreed
in 1887.

The population of the Island in 1846 was about nine hundred thousand.
More than half of the number were negroes, three-fourths of them slaves.
According to the latest official figures, less than thirty per cent. of
the present population are colored. How has the proportion sunk so
greatly in sixty-five years? Where have the negroes gone? What has
become of their children?

A writer in a volume on “Cuba,” issued by the United States Bureau of
the Census, states: “The diminution of the proportion of colored
inhabitants during the last half century is doubtless but another
illustration of the inability of the colored race to hold its own in
competition with the whites, a truth which is being demonstrated on a
much larger scale in the United States.”

This is not at all convincing. The negroes have not been to any
appreciable degree subjected to competition in Cuba. The climate and
latter-day conditions are altogether favorable to their survival and
increase. Two official reports indicate that they held their own under
the more arduous life of slavery.

We must look for an explanation elsewhere, and the most plausible seems
to be that there is a much greater distribution of negro blood in Cuba
than the statistics indicate. The enumerators who took the census under
our military occupation acknowledged the difficulty of distinguishing
among a people whose prevailing physical characteristics are dark skin
and black hair, and expressed their suspicion that a large number of
those who returned themselves as “whites” had negro blood in their
veins. Those who have lived long and travelled extensively in Cuba,
generally entertain the opinion that the proportion of pure whites in
population is considerably less than seventy per cent.

The unqualified terms of condemnation in which most of our writers refer
to the Spanish rule of Cuba, can only be accounted for on the assumption
of ignorance of the history of the Island and the general conditions of
the times. Spain had an admirable code of laws for the government of her
colonies. This code, called _Las Leyes de Indias_, was formulated during
the reign of Philip the second. It was designed to insure the humane and
equitable treatment of the native subjects and, considering the times,
was a highly enlightened measure. The laws were frequently violated by
colonial governors, but it was hardly in the power of the home
government to prevent such abuses. In those days of long distances and
slow communication, it was necessary that viceroys should be invested
with practically unlimited powers and undivided authority. The only
alternative would have been the adoption of some form of popular
government, which no nation had at that period dreamed of applying to
its distant possessions. As a matter of fact, a liberal policy prevailed
in Cuba during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Public
assemblies of citizens were held to elect the members of municipal
corporations; no taxation was permitted without the sanction of these
bodies;[1] charges were freely lodged and sustained against governors.
During the same period, the British colonies in the West Indies were not
so well governed as was Cuba and some of their governors were more
flagrantly tyrannical and dishonest than the worst of Cuba’s
captains-general. Spain’s chief fault and the cause of her downfall as a
colonial power, lay in failure to respond to the growth of sentiment in
favor of popular rights. She became more autocratic as other nations
became more liberal. In truth, she had ineptitude for colonial
government, but her sovereigns generally evinced a sincere concern for
the welfare of their foreign subjects.

Cuba entered upon an era of development and prosperity following the
restoration of the Island to Spain by the British in 1763. For eighty
years following the event it was governed by a line of captains-general,
almost all of whom were able and well-intentioned. The first of these,
Count O’Reilly, devoted his five-year term of office to the organization
of a militia force and the execution of other much needed military
measures. Don Antonio Bucarely paid special attention to the
administration of justice throughout the Island and redressed many
popular grievances. Of him was recorded the unparalleled fact that
during his administration not a single complaint against him had reached
the Court of Madrid. His successor, the Marques de la Torre, gained the
affection and esteem of all classes. The benign and talented Las Casas
arrived in 1790, and the period of his governorship is recognized by all
Spanish writers as one of the most brilliant in the history of the
Island. He effected many public improvements and introduced means for
the increase of the industrial and commercial prosperity of Cuba. He it
was, who founded the institution of _Sociedad Patriotica_, which became
so important an agency in the promotion of agriculture, trade,
education, literature, and the fine arts. The recognition of the popular
principle in this institution, and the promotion of liberal ideas by it,
have been highly influential factors in the development of the people
and their country.

To Las Casas, also, the Island is indebted for the establishment of the
_Casa de Beneficencia_, for its first public library, and its first

It is frequently stated that under the rule of Spain education among the
natives was discouraged. Such was not the case. The facilities of the
masses in the country districts for acquiring such education as their
classes usually enjoyed at the same period in Europe was, at least,
equally as great. The priests maintained parish schools throughout the
Island, and received pupils free without the distinction of classes or
color. In the capital the opportunities for learning were unusually
good. The Jesuits, Dominicans, and other orders, provided thorough
classical education and instruction in foreign languages. Almost every
religious institution had some sort of college or attached to it. The
University of Habana was established in 1721. It became the object of
special favor by Las Casas. He increased the endowment and extended the
scope of its utility by creating several new professorial chairs,
notably one of medicine. He also lent aid and encouragement to the
Jesuits, in improving their colleges.

Following Las Casas came several other benevolent governors, of whom the
Conde de Santa Clara, the Marques de Someruelos, and the Espeletas,
especially left records of wise and useful administration.

The chief features of the history of the Island previous to the opening
of the eighteenth century, were the settlements created by the first
governor, the usual _repartimientos_, or distribution of the territory
and its inhabitants among the Spanish adventurers who led the early
expeditions of the Indians, the introduction of negro slaves, the
attacks by buccaneers, and the capture of Habana by the English. The
century closed with a notable advance in commerce and industry, and a
period of excellent government. This, though essentially despotic, was
benevolent and well adapted to the conditions of the time. Under it the

[Illustration: THE PRADO, HABANA.]

enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity, despite the short-sighted
commercial policy to which they were subjected. That they were generally
contented, and well affected towards the mother country can not be
questioned. The French and American revolutions impressed them greatly,
but did not shake their loyalty. When the news of the abduction of the
royal family of Spain by Napoleon reached Habana, the colonial
government declared war against France, and the populace approved the
act with enthusiasm. The revolt of the colonies on the mainland, and
their disseverance from Spain, left Cuba still attached to the Crown
with a constancy that gained for her the sobriquet, “ever faithful.”

The political changes which took place in Spain in the first quarter of
the nineteenth century were productive of similar changes in Cuba. What
was called a constitutional government was given to the Island. The
sudden introduction of a democratic system of rule to a population
composed of the most discordant elements, and accustomed to autocracy,
could not fail of producing something like the disquieting conditions
that followed the premature establishment of ultra-free institutions in
the countries which had formerly been dependencies of Spain in America.
The masonic societies came into vogue in Cuba, as they did in the
peninsula. From the discussion of religious and political matters, these
associations soon proceeded to the advocacy of revolution. The radical
doctrines which were thus disseminated, readily took root in the minds
of the educated, among whom translations of the works of Voltaire,
Rousseau, and their Italian disciples, were widely distributed at this
time. In 1823 a conspiracy, which extended throughout the Island, was
set on foot by a secret society named “the Sotes de Bolivar.” The
drastic measures that were adopted for its suppression created deep and
widespread resentment against the government.

Upon the restoration of Ferdinand the Seventh, another sudden swing of
the pendulum brought the Cubans again under autocratic rule. Extreme
means were resorted to with a view to stamping out the growing
revolutionary spirit and reducing the people to their former state of
ready submission to authority. None of these measures was so ill-judged,
or so lasting in its evil effects, as the Royal Order of 1825. This
conferred on the captains-general “the whole extent of power which by
the royal ordinance is granted to the governors of besieged towns ...
most amply and unrestrictedly authorizes Your Excellency not only to
remove from the Island such persons, holding offices from government or
not, whatever their rank, class, occupation, or situation in life may
be, whose residence there you may deem prejudicial, or whose private or
public conduct may appear suspicious to you, employing in their stead
faithful servants of His Majesty, who shall fully deserve Your
Excellency’s confidence; but also to suspend the execution of whatever
royal orders or general decrees in all the different branches of the
administration, or in any part of them, as Your Excellency may think
conducive to the royal service; it being in any case required that these
measures be temporary, and that Your Excellency make report of them for
His Majesty’s sovereign approval.”

This order was intended to be observed under the most strict
responsibility, “_le mas estrecta responsibilidad_,” and to be only
temporarily in effect. It remained in force, however, and its terrible
powers later became the scourge of the land, although they were not
immediately felt. The Captain-General upon whom they were first
conferred, General Vives, refrained from exercising them, and under the
judicious administration of Count Villanueva, as Intendant, the people
had no cause to remember the fearful instrument for oppression which
their rulers had at command.

The term of General Tacon (1834-1838) ushered in the era of tyranny,
spoliation and incapacity that marked the government of Cuba in the
remaining period of Spanish domination, during which the revolutionary
spark that was ignited earlier in the century grew into an
inextinguishable flame.

Long before this period the Spaniards and Cubans had drifted apart.
There was nothing essential in common between the latter and the
official class or the soldiers, unless we allow for some degree of
common origin. The natives had gradually learned to entertain hatred for
the Spaniards, who, in their turn, felt the greatest contempt for the
Cubans. Neither side took the least pain to dissemble their feelings,
except that in Habana friendly relations were, as a rule, maintained
between the two classes, and this even during revolutionary periods. The
relations and sentiments of the governing class and the people to one
another were much like those which existed between Norman and Saxon in
the century following the Conquest.

The first Spanish immigration to Cuba commenced early in the sixteenth
century, and consisted mainly of adventurers who accompanied the early
expeditions, and who settled permanently in the country, after returning
to Spain and transplanting their families. These first settlers were
mostly of Castilian or Andalusian origin and their descendants furnished
the best native blood of the Island. Shortly after, emigrants from the
Basque Provinces and from Catalonia began to come in. These belonged to
the peasant class, and from them the _guajiro_, or poor white, of the
country districts has sprung. After the abolition of slavery a number of
Galegos came over to seek employment in the houses of the wealthy.

Aside from a handful of French refugees, the white population of the
Island was almost exclusively composed of Spaniards or people of Spanish
descent until a late day. Under such circumstances of racial, religious
and political affinity, a practical government might have maintained
peace continuously but for conditions which gradually moulded the Cubans
into absolute antagonism to the Spaniards.



From the outset the two chief conditions that militated against the
development of Cuba and the prosperity of her people were trade
restriction and the appropriation of land.

In the early days of the colony large tracts of land were granted by the
Crown to Castilians of noble family. These never made permanent
residence on the Island, but entrusted their affairs to an agent. The
wealthy land owner often had a palace on the Cerro, and occasionally
paid a brief winter visit to the capital, and made a still briefer
excursion to his _hacienda_, where his appearance in all the dignity and
state of aristocratic wealth had an irritating effect upon his poor
neighbors. The money produced by his sugar plantation or his cattle
ranch he dissipated in the fashionable pleasures of Madrid and Paris.

This system of absentee landlordism acted like a blight upon the country
until the abolition of slavery necessitated the cutting up of large
estates, or their transfer to corporations, possessed of the means of
paying for the labor necessary to work them.

Not a few of the large properties were in the hands of Cubans, but in
these cases the tenure was not so harmful to the country, nor as odious
to the common people. The Cuban planters, most of whom were ruined
during the protracted period of insurrection, invariably made their
homes on the _haciendas_, where one generation followed another in
possession. The sons usually remained with the father, each taking some
particular share in the management of the estate. Thus several families
were often found living under one roof and generally in perfect amity,
for the Cubans are distinctly domestic people, affectionate in
disposition and clannish in habit.

There were comparatively few holdings in the hands of peasant
proprietors, or small farmers, and this absence of a home and land
owning population was an obviously weak element in the foundation of the

The greater part of the productive soil was in the hands of a few
grandees, and the wealth extracted from it was withheld from general
circulation, which had, among other harmful consequences, that of
retarding the extension of agriculture and general industrial

Judged by our present conceptions of justice and policy, the commercial
regulations imposed upon Cuba by Spain appear to have been extremely
foolish and iniquitous, but we must bear in mind that they were quite
consistent with the prevailing idea at that time that the interests of
colonies should be made subservient to those of the parent country. In
other words, the commercial and industrial restrictions which were
imposed on Cuba, while they had the effect of exploiting the Island for
the benefit of Spain, originated not so much from disregard of the
colony’s welfare as from the peculiar views of political economy
generally entertained in that age. Great Britain’s American possessions
were subjected to similar treatment. Spain’s fatal error lay in the
tenacity with which she clung to her misguided policy. A little
judicious reform at the beginning of the last century, when other powers
were granting to their colonies a measurable degree of freedom in trade
and self-government, would probably have sufficed to keep Cuba under
the flag of Spain.

The restrictions on the commerce of the Island began with the royal
decree of 1497, which granted to the port of Seville the conclusive
privilege of trade with the colonies, these being prohibited from any
commercial intercourse with any foreign countries. In 1707 this monopoly
was transferred from Seville to the port of Cadiz. While it was the
capital of the Island, Santiago was the sole port of entry, and after
Habana became the capital, all shipments passed through it. This
restricted traffic between Spain and its insular colony was jealously
guarded. Trading vessels were required to assemble in _flotas_, or
fleets, and to make the double voyage under the escort of war-ships.
This arrangement was designed hardly as much for protection as for the
prevention of illicit dealings with the intermediate countries. During
certain periods trade with foreigners was prohibited under the most
severe penalties, and it was never permissible except by special
authorization. Commercial intercourse between the colonies was even
forbidden. With the exception of a brief term, during which the English
occupied the Island, these hampering

[Illustration: THE WATER-FRONT, HABANA.]

conditions obtained until 1778, when Habana was opened to free trade.
The decree authorized traffic between several ports of Cuba. Others were
included in this privilege, from time to time, until, in 1803,
practically all the ports of the Island enjoyed it.

For two hundred years or more, such action upon the part of the
sovereign government was looked upon by all nations as good policy. In
1714 Spain and the Dutch Confederation effected a convention by the
terms of which each party was bound to refrain from every form of trade
with the American possessions of the other. A similar agreement was
reached between England and Spain about fifty years later. Towards the
close of the eighteenth century, however, these treaties were abrogated
and a royal _cedula_ set forth that no foreign ship should be allowed to
enter a Cuban port under any conditions.

The peninsular war reduced the trade of Cuba to such an extent that the
Ayuntamiento and the Consulado of Habana seriously debated the
expediency of throwing the port entirely open and admitting foreign
goods on a parity with those of the home country. In consideration of
the emergency the restraints on trade were substantially released
during the first decade of the nineteenth century. Shortly afterwards,
the Government sought to reëstablish them, but was induced to refrain by
the protestations of Captain-General Marques de Someruelos, who made a
forcible representation of the economic necessities of the colony and
the impossibility of their being met under the restricting policy.

The least concession was wrung from the Council of the Indies with the
utmost difficulty. They remained convinced that the limitations of the
commerce of the colonies to the mother country was the best course for
the latter, at least, and secured a virtual resumption of the condition
by indirect means. By excessive duties, discriminating tariffs, and the
heavy port dues, foreign trade was placed at such a great disadvantage
that the Cubans, although ostensibly free in the matter, found
themselves again restricted for the most part to commerce with Spain.

The first tariff of Cuba, enforced in 1818, imposed a duty of
forty-three per cent. _ad valorem_ on all foreign merchandise, except
agricultural implements and machinery, which were taxed twenty-six and
one-half per cent. These rates were somewhat reduced a few years later.
Similar importations from Spain were granted a preferential reduction of
one-third from these rates. But, as Spain produced a very small
proportion of the articles that comprised Cuba’s imports, her merchants
secured them from various foreign sources, and, of course, the consumers
were compelled to pay higher prices than if they had been allowed to
deal directly with the producers under an impartial system of duties.

In 1828 an export tariff was imposed on sugar and coffee, which, by this
time, had become important products. Four-fifths of a cent per pound was
levied on the former, and two-fifths on the latter. A form of shipping
bounty added to the weight of these exactions. In case the exports were
carried in foreign bottoms the duty on sugar was doubled and that on
coffee increased to one cent a pound.

This tariff was maintained without material change until a reciprocal
commercial agreement was effected by the United States and Spain in
1891. For the first time in its history, Cuba found itself in a position
to trade on favorable terms with its nearest and best market. As a
result the trade of the Island was soon transferred, almost in its
entirety, to the United States, and its people enjoyed a term of
prosperity transcending anything in their former experience. The change
was, however, short lived. In 1894 the termination of the agreement and
the reëstablishment of the old regulations forced compulsory traffic
with Spain upon the Cubans.

But the burdens entailed upon the people by trade restrictions were by
no means all that they were called on to bear. A system of heavy and
vexatious taxation prevailed during the entire period of Spain’s
dominance over the Island. Taxes were levied on all kinds of property
and on every form of industry. Every profession and occupation was
taxed. Legal papers, petitions and business documents were required to
be stamped.

There was a “consumption tax” on the killing of cattle which, of course,
increased the price of meat to the consumer. There was an impost of
twenty ducats, called the _derecho de averia_, collected upon every
person who arrived on the Island. This was established in the earliest
years of the colony and maintained until near the close of the
eighteenth century. During the last hundred years of its enforcement,
the amount was increased from sixteen dollars to twenty-two dollars. It
is needless to say that this tax seriously impeded immigration of the
peasant class most needed by the country.

There was a lottery tax, and a “_cedula_,” or head tax. The latter
proved very burdensome to the poorest of the people who, when in arrears
of it, were debarred from the exercise of most rights and privileges
involving civil and ecclesiastical authorization. Thus, they could not
make contracts, enter into marriages, or secure baptism for their
children until the overdue tax had been paid.

Obviously such a system of taxation worked the utmost discouragement to
the acquisition of property and the pursuit of industries. Had the
design of the Peninsular Government been to ruin the Island and to
suppress all development, no more effective measures for the purpose
could have been devised. None but a country superlatively rich in
natural resources could have carried such a burden. Like the other
American colonies of Spain, Cuba received contributions, or _situados_,
from Mexico. During the forty years following 1766, these amounted to
108,150,504 pesos fuertes. The worst of it was that the large revenue
derived from these heavy impositions upon the people and the trade of
Cuba was either absorbed in the excessive cost of administering the
Island, or diverted to the royal treasury. Comparatively little of it
was spent on local public improvements, unless we should include works
of a military nature. Aside from the _calzada_, or military highway,
road-making was neglected. Harbors lacked improvements and cities were
deficient in water supply, sewers and paving. In the country districts,
public buildings and schoolhouses were far short of the necessities of
the population. Even in late years the annual appropriation for
educational purposes was no more than two hundred and fifty thousand

Aside from the riots resulting from the enforcement of the tobacco
monopoly, during the term of Captain-General Roja, there was no active
opposition to the Government previous to 1823. In that year an abortive
insurrection followed the attempt to abrogate the liberal constitution
of 1812, and reëstablish the old-time absolutism. Political agitation
and revolutionary outbreaks continued from that time, stimulated by the
secret societies, whose


branches were scattered all over the country. Under these circumstances
the veiled antipathy, which had been growing between the Cubans and
Spaniards, rapidly assumed the nature of a wide breach. On the one side
were ranged the official class, the clerics, the beneficiaries of
monopolies, and persons who derived profit in various ways from
connection with the administration. On the other, were the native whites
who sought independence, or at least autonomy. The latter had the
sympathy and support of practically all the blacks, and of a large
proportion of the colored population.

In 1836 the constitution of 1812 was reëstablished in Spain, but Cuba
was deprived of the most important privileges that should have been
secured to her by the change. The deputies who were sent to the
constitutional convention at Madrid from Cuba were arbitrarily excluded.
It was announced that the Island should be governed by special laws, but
these were never published and, if definitely framed at all, must have
been communicated to the officials in a semi-confidential manner.

This totally unjust and fatally unwise action on the part of the Crown
stirred the existing discontent to boiling point and thereafter the
revolutionary movement assumed a much more menacing aspect. During the
succeeding decade a number of uprisings occurred in such widely
separated parts of the country as to clearly indicate that the entire
Island was disaffected. The lack of connection between these outbreaks
and their quick subsidence also showed an absence of organization or
concerted plan. In 1847, however, a more serious revolutionary
conspiracy, and one which was destined to have far-reaching effect, was
set on foot by Narcisco Lopez. The movement was intelligently planned
and contemplated the annexation of Cuba to the United States.

The conspiracy was betrayed to the Spanish authorities--no uncommon
occurrence in the early revolutionary period--and Lopez, with the chief
figures in the affair, fled to America. In 1850 Lopez with six hundred
men landed at Cardenas and captured the fortress. Failing, however, to
receive expected support, he immediately sailed to Key West. The
following year Lopez landed another expedition in Cuba near Bahia Honda.
This occasion was memorable on account of the fact that the force
included one hundred and fifty men under Colonel Crittenden of
Kentucky. Disaster quickly overtook this attempt. The mistake was made
of immediately dividing the force after landing. Lopez with one body of
men advanced on Las Pozas, leaving Colonel Crittenden, with the
remainder, in El Morilla. A detachment of Spanish troops overtook and
defeated Lopez, after a gallant fight. The leader was captured, carried
to Habana, and promptly garroted. Crittenden and his men attempted to
escape by sea but were surrounded and forced to surrender. All were
subsequently shot at the Castle of Atares.

This incident aroused among the people of the United States an interest
in Cuban affairs, out of which there grew a sympathy for the insurgents
that never abated.

Several futile efforts followed the Lopez affair, and then came the
revolution of 1868, which had its inception at Yara, in the Province of
Camaguey. It is generally referred to by the Cubans as the “Ten Years
War,” although no battles were fought. There were, however, many deaths
from disease, especially among the Spanish troops, and the cost of the
contest was three hundred million dollars, which amount was charged to
the Cuban debt.

In February, 1878, the treaty of Zanjon was entered into by the
representatives of Spain and those of the independent government which
the insurgents had created on paper and had affected to maintain in the
field. Under this convention the Crown agreed to substantial civil and
political concessions in favor of the people of Cuba. These
undertakings, the Cubans declare, were never fulfilled. Spanish
officials, on the other hand, maintain that the mother country actually
granted more than her obligation demanded of her. The truth will be
found in the fact that while laws were promulgated in accordance with
the promises given at Zanjon, they were not carried out. Thus although
documentary evidence might be adduced to show that the Cubans enjoyed a
liberal government after 1878, their condition, in reality, remained
virtually unchanged.

The hopes that had been inspired by the treaty of Zanjon quickly waned
and the spirit of discontent revived. This was greatly increased by the
economic troubles resulting from the depression of the sugar trade,
which began in 1884, and the total abolition of slavery in 1887.

Meanwhile Spain continued to regulate the financial affairs of the
Island with the old-time reckless mismanagement. From 1893 to 1898 the
revenues of Cuba derived from excessive taxation, heavy duties and the
Habana lottery, averaged about $25,000,000 per annum. Of this amount,
$10,500,000 was appropriated to the payment of the Cuban debt, which by
1897 had swelled to the enormous aggregate of $400,000,000, or $283.54
per capita, a ratio more than three times as great as the per capita
debt of Spain. For the support of the army, navy, administration and
church in Cuba, $12,000,000 was allotted. The remaining $2,500,000 was
allowed for public works, education and general improvements in Cuba,
independent of municipal expenditures. It may be added that when, as in
better times, the revenues had been very much larger, the demands of the
home Government were proportionally increased.

At the close of the eighties, the price of sugar rose to an abnormal
height and Cuba entered upon a brief period of prosperity. Political
agitation abated and the Island sank into a more peaceful condition than
it had known for many years. It was, however, but the lull before the
storm. The repeal of the Blaine reciprocity agreement dealt a deadly
blow to the Cuban sugar industry. At once conditions changed.
Quiescence gave place to agitation. The revolutionary spirit awoke with
greater determination than ever, fanned by the thought that Cuba,
independent or annexed to the United States could always rely upon a
favorable market for her principal product.

Plot and conspiracy soon became rife and received the support of a
number of influential men, who had hitherto held aloof, but who now
despaired of permanent prosperity for the Island under Spanish rule. Men
who had taken part in the Ten Years War began to organize in secret, and
several of their former leaders, Gomez, Garcia, Maceo, and others,
returned to Cuba from their voluntary exile.

In 1895 was launched the insurrection which culminated in the freedom of
Cuba. The leaders of the movement entered upon it with the deliberate
design of involving the United States and their success in doing so
brought about a result which they could not have attained otherwise.

A friendly feeling for Cuba not unmixed with interest considerations,
had existed in the United States for many years. Annexation had been
discussed during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, and President Polk
made a proposition to the Spanish Government for the purchase of the
Island. In 1854, the search of several American merchant ships by
Spanish cruisers led to the issuance of the “Ostend Manifesto,” a
protest on the part of the United States. In this document it was
declared that “the possession of Cuba by a foreign power was a menace to
the peace of the United States, and that Spain be offered the
alternative of accepting $200,000,000 for her sovereignty over the
Island, or having it taken from her by force.” During the Ten Years War
President Grant expressed to the Spanish Government his belief that only
independence and emancipation could settle the Cuban question, and that
intervention might be necessary to end the war. He repeatedly proffered
the good offices of the United States in reëstablishing peace. Meanwhile
the capture of the _Virginius_, in 1873, and the summary execution of
fifty-three of her passengers and crew, by order of the Spanish
authorities, came very near to involving the countries in war.

From the outbreak of the rebellion of 1895, the people of the United
States evinced a strong sympathy for the Cubans. This was reflected by
the action of Congress in directing President Cleveland to proffer the
good offices of the United States to Spain with a view to ending the war
and securing the independence of the Island. In 1896 both Republican and
Democratic national conventions passed resolutions of sympathy for the
Cubans and demanded that the Government should take action.

At the close of the same year, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
reported a resolution recognizing the republic of Cuba, but it was never
taken from the calendar. Meanwhile reports of outrages and indignities
to American citizens in Cuba led to official protest and the appointment
of Judge William R. Day to investigate conditions. Popular indignation
in the United States was further aroused by the press reports of the
dreadful effects of General Weyler’s plan of reconcentration.

In May, 1897, Congress voted $50,000 for the purchase of supplies to
relieve the needs of the _reconcentrados_, on the ground that many of
them were reported to be American citizens. Shortly afterwards, the
United States requested the Spanish Government to put an end to the
reconcentration system and to recall Captain General Weyler. Spain
received the requests with professed favor, but, after months had
elapsed, without any action being taken, the battleship _Maine_ was sent
to Habana for the protection of American citizens.

On the night of February 15th, the _Maine_ was blown up and two hundred
and sixty-six of her complement lost their lives. President McKinley
appointed a board of naval officers to investigate the circumstances.
The resultant report, which was submitted to Congress, declared that the
ship had been destroyed by an external explosion.

The condition of affairs aroused serious apprehensions on the part of
the Spanish Government and at the same time exhilarated the insurgent
leaders. Both parties realized that the intervention of the United
States was imminent. The former proposed a suspension of hostilities,
pending an agreement upon terms of peace, and offered to appropriate
$600,000 for the benefit of the _reconcentrados_. These overtures were
promptly rejected by the insurgent leaders.

Early in April, the President sent a message to Congress requesting
authority to end the war and to secure in Cuba the establishment of a
stable government, capable of fulfilling its international obligations
and maintaining peace. This was, in effect, a request to enter upon war
with Spain.

A few days later, Congress passed joint resolutions demanding the
withdrawal of Spain from Cuba and empowering the President to use the
naval and military forces of the United States to carry the resolutions
into effect. This was virtually a declaration of war.



A circumstantial account of the war of liberation would make anything
but pleasant reading. Aside from the fact that on one side was a
down-trodden people struggling to throw off the yoke of the oppressor,
there was little in the conflict to excite admiration, or even interest.
Barbarities of the worst kind were practised by the insurgents as well
as by the Spaniards, and it would be profitless to enquire where the
balance of blame lay when both were so deeply guilty. From the technical
point of view the protracted hostilities hardly deserved to be termed
war. Until the participation of the United States there was not an
engagement which might be justly described as a battle. Neither side
displayed any extraordinary military capacity, but the plans and
movements of the rebels were characterized by greater intelligence and
purpose than those of their opponents. During the entire war one
manœuvre alone was of a high order of strategy. That was the brilliant
operation in which Antonio Maceo, the mulatto, swept from end to end of
the Island, and lighted the flame of rebellion throughout its length.
One of the most important features of the war was the prominent part
taken in it by the black and colored elements of the population. They
formed the backbone of the insurgent army, and furnished several of its
most able leaders. As a result the “race of color” has secured a
standing and influence in Cuba which it does not enjoy in any other
country where the Caucasian is dominant.

On one of the closing days of 1895, the constitutional guarantees were
suspended in Cuba by proclamation. The Government had suddenly awakened
to the fact that a mine had been quietly laid beneath its feet. For
months a wide-spread conspiracy, having its fountainhead in the United
States, had been in existence. The Cuban Junta in New York had, during
this time, energetically collected money and arms for the purpose of
promoting a rebellion with greater determination and upon better
organized lines than ever before. With some of the leaders the object
entertained was autonomy; with others, complete independence; and with
a third element, annexation to the United States. All were united,
however, in a burning desire to terminate the rule of Spain over their
native land.

For some time previous to the proclamation of the Governor-General, arms
and ammunition had been shipped to Cuba from various American ports and
were secreted in different parts of the Island. Several local outbreaks
had presaged the approaching storm, which burst in March. Before the
close of April, the brothers Maceo, Jose Marti, and Maximo Gomez had
returned to Cuba and resumed their respective places at the head of the
rebel ranks. Close upon their heels arrived Martinez Campos, who had
effected the peace at Zanjon, to take the part of Governor-General.

Without delay, the insurgent generals set about carrying out the shrewd
design of spreading the rebellion over every part of the Island. Their
object was not only to increase the difficulties of the Spaniards, but
also to give the uprising as formidable an aspect as possible, in the
hope of securing the recognition, if not the intervention, of the United

General Campos entered upon his task with the hope of bringing about a
cessation of the insurrection by means of conciliatory measures. One of
his first acts was to issue a manifesto to the rebels, offering pardon
to all such as should lay down their arms and resume their allegiance to
the Crown of Spain. In his proclamation of martial law he enjoined upon
his troops the observance of the recognized principles of humane

Within a week of his arrival, General Campos took command of the troops
in the field. A period of desultory fighting ensued and, at length, in
the middle of July, the first serious action of the war took place. The
Spaniards in force met a body of insurgents near Bayamo. Probably there
were about three thousand on either side. The insurgents had the better
of the engagement, which was hotly contested, and General Campos
narrowly escaped the loss of his life.

Followed months of skirmishing, in which the rebels attacked isolated
garrisons with considerable success, but avoided encounters with large
bodies of troops. Meanwhile, numerous filibustering expeditions
disembarked with recruits and munitions of war, greatly strengthening
the revolutionary movement. By the end


of the summer, eighty thousand Spanish regulars, besides a number of
volunteers and _guerrillas_, were in the field. The insurgent forces did
not exceed twenty thousand men, a considerable proportion of whom were
armed only with _machetes_. But the Spaniards shortly learned to dread
this weapon more than the rifle.

Before the close of the year dynamite and the torch were brought into
play. The revolutionists began, at first with discrimination, to burn
plantations and to blow up bridges. On the other side the Spaniards
commenced to execute insurgent chiefs who were captured.

In December the march to the west was vigorously pushed by Gomez and
Maceo, whilst Campos employed all his resources in the effort to
intercept it. The result was a series of technical movements in which
the Spanish troops, although led by generals of experience, were usually
worsted. Detached bodies of insurgents harassed the royalist commands,
and diverted their attention, while Maceo steadily pushed westward,
gathering recruits in his progress and leaving a train of active
rebellion in his wake. The _trochas_, or trenches, strung with fortlets,
to which the Spaniards resorted as a means of stemming the tide, proved
of little efficacy. The insurgents, in large bodies, crossed them time
and again. With one hundred thousand troops at his command, Campos found
it impossible to check or circumscribe the rebel movements.

As time went on the insurgents became more and more unrestrained in the
destruction of property. Cane-fields, sugar mills, residences, were
given to the flames wherever they could be reached. This was done in
pursuance of a definite policy which Gomez had repeatedly announced in
his proclamations. He declared that the readiest means of inducing the
Spaniards to leave the Island was to make it worthless to them. If this
theory was somewhat farfetched, there could be no question of the
practical effect of the destruction of the sugar crop in curtailing the
resources of the administration.

Early in 1896, the insurgents had penetrated within a few miles of
Habana and the proclamation of martial law was extended to embrace the
whole Island. The Governor-General returned to the capital, which was in
a state of turmoil and panic.

Gomez, however, did not for an instant entertain the idea of so rash an
enterprise as an attack upon the City. His purpose was to make a
spectacular demonstration for the sake of its moral effect and to
concentrate the attention of the Spanish commanders upon himself in
order that Maceo might push on to Pinar del Rio with less opposition. In
both respects he was eminently successful.

Maceo traversed the entire length of Pinar del Rio, and that Province,
in which rebellion had never before reared its head, was soon in open
revolt from end to end. During January and February, Maceo ranged
through Pinar del Rio and the southern portion of Habana, constantly
engaged with one or another of the many detachments that were sent
against him. For a brief space he transferred his operations to
Matanzas, but returned to Pinar del Rio and for eight months withstood
the numerous strong bodies of troops which General Weyler threw against
him. Toward the close of the year 1896, Maceo began a march eastward and
was killed in a chance encounter with a small force of Spanish soldiers.

In the execution of the plan for the invasion of the western portion of
Cuba, which was conceived by Gomez, Antonio Maceo performed a splendid
service for the insurgent cause. Although inferior in intellect to his
chief and some other rebel leaders, Maceo was the most capable captain
of them all, and his prestige among friends and foes was greater than
that of any of his associates.

When General Campos returned to Habana, at the close of the year 1895,
it was to find popular discontent and political conspiracy directed
against him. Already discouraged by the failure of his military
campaign, and of his effort to break up the insurrection by
conciliation, the disaffection at the capital completely disheartened
the old soldier, who had conscientiously endeavored to do his duty
according to his lights. He tendered his resignation, and the home
Government appointed General Weyler, Marquis of Tenerife, to succeed

This man, who amply earned his sobriquet of “Butcher,” was the unwitting
instrument of Cuba’s freedom. His atrocious barbarities, rather than the
destruction of the _Maine_, were the cause of the United States
declaring war against Spain. Although, at the outset, it appeared as
though his succession to Campos was a dire blow to the insurgents, the
event proved it to be a blessing in disguise. The retiring General
believed that Spain should grant to the Cubans the most liberal
administrative and political reforms, even to the extent of autonomy. It
is possible that he might have brought the authorities at Madrid to his
way of thinking and, in that case, quite probable that the rebellion
would have been brought to a peaceful termination.

Weyler lost no time in instituting his concentration system. It was a
measure in which he and Canovas, the premier of Spain, had great faith
as a means of subduing the insurrection, but it utterly failed in its
object and had a result of which its originators little dreamed. They
excused it on the ground of military necessity, but it contravened the
principles of civilized warfare in important particulars. It involved
making prisoners of peaceful noncombatants, and went farther in
neglecting to afford them the treatment which the least humane nation
concedes to military captives. Indeed its brutality was such as savages
would rarely be guilty of.

The people of the country districts, men, women, and children, were
segregated within certain restricted bounds, sometimes defined by
stockades, or trenches, and always guarded by troops. Sometimes they
were permitted to enter neighboring towns, but, even in such cases,
their movements were limited by military circumspection.

If this measure had gone no farther it might have been condoned. The
British, in the Boer War, resorted to such an expedient, but they made
their detention camps as comfortable as possible, they fed and clothed
the inmates sufficiently, and afforded them medical attention. Weyler’s
wretched _reconcentrados_ were simply herded together and left to their
own resources. They were reduced to begging of a people only one degree
less impoverished than themselves. The townsman who gave a _tortilla_ to
a starving _pacifico_ was usually depriving his own family. Disease,
unchecked, ran riot in the concentration camps.

The mortality was fearful and those who survived were unfitted for
years, the men to work, the women to bear healthy children. Cuba has not
yet passed from the effects of Weyler’s barbaric measure.

After General Weyler’s arrival, Spain continued to send steady
reënforcements to Cuba to fill the ranks thinned by disease. He never
had fewer than one hundred thousand men under his command. With these
he entered upon vigorous military operations, at first concentrating his
forces upon Pinar del Rio with the object of crushing Maceo. He
endeavored to isolate the leader at the western end of the Island by
constructing a _trocha_, from coast to coast, across its narrowest part.
The measure failed in its purpose. Maceo crossed the barrier and met his
death near Habana in an otherwise trivial skirmish.

Weyler now directed his efforts against Gomez and Garcia, but his task
was even a more difficult one than that of Campos had been. After
spreading the rebellion over the entire Island, Gomez changed his
tactics. It now became the practice of the insurgents to move stealthily
about in the _manigua_, burning and destroying wherever they could find
anything upon which to lay their hands, but avoiding contact with the
Spanish troops. Thus Weyler’s soldiers were kept constantly chasing back
and forth in endless and futile pursuit of an intangible enemy. By his
orders such property as had escaped destruction by the rebels was ruined
by the royalists.

By the middle of 1897, the Island was a mass of blackened ruins, an
expanse of homeless waste. And the flood of insurrection had not been
stayed in the slightest degree. Weyler had failed more utterly than
Campos. But he had done more; he had aroused in the public mind of
America a realization of the stubborn opposition of the Cubans to
Spanish rule and the hopelessness of Spain’s effort to reassert it,
combined with indignation at her methods. At length, but all too late,
Spain awoke to the futility of longer attempting repression, and the
necessity of conceding to the Cubans a liberal measure of justice and
independence. Weyler was recalled, and General Blanco came to Cuba,
bearing in his hand the olive branch of autonomy. He arrived in November
and immediately set about reversing the policy of his predecessor.
Amnesty was offered to all revolutionists; harsh decrees were annulled
or suspended; political prisoners were released; the rigors of
reconcentration were relaxed; the officials appointed by Weyler
throughout the Island were removed and Cubans invited to take their
places; a cabinet was actually installed at Habana and the machinery of
home rule put in motion.

It was all of no avail. The insurgent leaders in the field positively
refused to accept any


terms short of independence. In this attitude they were encouraged by
the _Junta_ in New York who, by the beginning of 1898, felt confident of
the early active interposition of the United States. Such a consummation
was rendered more probable by the movement, started at the close of the
previous year on the part of the Cuban sugar planters, to secretly
apprise the United States of their desire for its intervention.

The first overt act in the war with Spain was the President’s call for
volunteers, issued April 23rd, 1898. Four days later, Admiral Dewey left
Hongkong for Manila, where, on the first day of May, he captured or
destroyed the Spanish fleet stationed there. June 14th, the first
detachment of American troops left for Cuba under General Shafter, and
landed in the vicinity of Santiago de Cuba. On the first and second days
of July the Spaniards were defeated in the engagement of San Juan, and
on the third, Admiral Cervera’s ships were totally destroyed by the
American fleet under the command of Captain Sampson.

August 12th, a protocol provided for a cessation of hostilities, and on
December 10th, a treaty of peace between the United States and Spain
was signed at Paris, securing to Cuba absolute freedom on the single
condition of establishing “a stable government capable of maintaining
order and observing international obligations.”

Thus closed the final war of independence, which cost Cuba at least
twelve per cent. of her population and two-thirds of her wealth. She
emerged from it weak and impoverished, with political and economic
structures shaken to their bases, and helpless but for the supporting
hand of the United States.

Under the military government instituted by the United States pending
the creation of such conditions as would be favorable to the assumption
of full civil rights by the Cubans, many beneficial works were carried
out aside from the laying of a political foundation for the future
administration of the country. The most extensive reformative measures
were vigorously applied to the affairs of the Island. The most thorough
sanitation was planned and, to a great extent, carried out; a public
school system was instituted; many miles of highway were improved or
constructed; agriculture and commerce were resuscitated. A period of
prosperity resulted, which was proof alike of the effectiveness of the
American administration and of the wonderful recuperative power of the

In its relation to the United States, Cuba was in a position different
from that of any other Latin-American republic. This unique condition
was due to the fact that the Cubans had adopted as a part of their
constitution a law enacted by the Congress of the United States and
known as the Platt Amendment, which had later been incorporated in a
permanent treaty between the countries. This constitution requirement
and treaty obligation bound the Republic of Cuba not to enter into any
compact with any foreign power which might tend to impair the
independence of the Republic: nor to contract any public debt to the
service of which it could not properly attend; to lease coaling stations
to the United States; and to execute and extend plans for the sanitation
of the cities of the Island. It expressed the consent of Cuba to the
exercise by the United States of the right to intervene for the
preservation of Cuban independence and maintenance of a government
capable of protecting life, property and individual liberty, and of
discharging such obligations imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the
United States as were now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government
of Cuba.

Under its first President, Dr. Estrada Palma, the young republic
progressed in a manner gratifying to its sponsors, but as the
presidential term grew to a close political dissensions arose and, in
the middle of 1906, an open revolt against the Government broke out, and
uprisings occurred all over the country. The ostensible cause of the
disaffection was undue interference with the national elections by
administrative officials, but there is no doubt that the majority of the
_insurrectos_ were moved by no higher sentiment than a love of
disturbance and the hope of loot.

The Government was quite unprepared to cope with the situation. It had
no army, very little artillery, and an entirely inadequate force of
rural constabulary. Efforts to organize militia met with such poor
success that they were soon abandoned.

President Palma appealed to the United States to exercise its right and
obligation of intervention, and announced his intention of resigning in
order to save the country from anarchy. President Roosevelt desired,
and hoped, that the difficulty might be overcome without a resort to
extreme measures. He begged the Cuban Chief Executive to retain his
post, and despatched Mr. Taft, Secretary of War, and Mr. Bacon,
Assistant Secretary of State, to Habana in the capacity of special
envoys to render all possible aid in securing an amicable _entente_
between the administrative party and the insurgents.

The commissioners entered upon this extremely difficult task in the
middle of September, 1906. They decided that the use of force or even a
show of it, would be calculated to precipitate _guerrilla_ warfare, and
wisely determined to rely upon diplomacy. Prominent citizens,
irrespective of party affiliations, were invited to meet the Commission
and to express their views of the situation freely. Many conferences
were held with the leaders of the different political parties, and their
suggestions for a settlement of the differences were given careful and
impartial consideration.

A compromise arrangement, which contemplated the resignation of all the
administrative officials, except the President, and the holding of a
fresh election, was formulated and presented to the leaders of the three
parties, but it failed to meet with the necessary unanimous acceptance.
The Liberal party assented to the proposition without reserve. The
Independent Nationalists approved of the general plan, but stipulated
for certain modifications. The party in power, the Moderates, were
irreconcilably opposed to the conditions.

President Palma called a special session of Congress, in order to tender
to it his resignation, which was accompanied by that of the Vice
President. The Congress accepted the resignations and immediately
adjourned without taking further action in the matter, so that the
principal executive offices of the Republic were left vacant, and the
country was without a government.

At this juncture Secretary Taft issued the following proclamation,
establishing the Provisional Government in Cuba:

     “To the people of Cuba:

     “The failure of Congress to act on the irrevocable resignation of
     the President of Cuba, or to elect a successor, leaves this country
     without a government at a time when great disorder prevails, and
     requires that, pursuant to a request of President Palma, the
     necessary steps be taken in the name and by the authority of the
     President of the United States, to restore order, protect life and
     property in the Island of Cuba and Islands and Keys adjacent
     thereto, and for this purpose to establish therein a provisional

     “The provisional government hereby established by direction and in
     the name of the President of the United States will be retained
     only long enough to restore order and peace and public confidence,
     and then to hold such elections as may be necessary to determine
     those persons upon whom the permanent government of the Republic
     should be devolved.

     “In so far as is consistent with the nature of a provisional
     government established under the authority of the United States,
     this will be a Cuban government conforming as far as possible to
     the Constitution of Cuba.

            *       *       *       *       *

     “I ask all citizens and residents of Cuba to assist in the work of
     restoring order, tranquillity and public confidence.”

The attitude of the Peace Commission met with general public approval.
Although the insurgents had thousands of men under arms, and the only
American force landed was a squad of marines to protect the Treasury,
the Provisional Government was installed without the faintest show of
opposition. A general amnesty was proclaimed, and the disarmament of the
insurgents and newly raised militia was carried through without

Hon. Charles E. Magoon was appointed Provisional Governor, and officers
of the United States army were detailed as advisers to the acting
secretaries of the Cuban executive departments.

A new electoral law, recommended by the Provisional Governor, was
adopted, and under it a general election was held in November, 1908,
without the least disturbance, although it had been preceded by a
vigorous political campaign. The Liberal candidates, General Jose Miguel
Gomez, for President, and Senor Alfredo Zayas, for Vice-President, were
returned by a substantial majority and inaugurated January 28th, 1909.




Notwithstanding the intimacy of our relations with the Cubans for many
years past, our people entertain the most hazy and confused ideas about
them. It is difficult to make an American understand that there is any
essential difference between a Cuban and a Spaniard. He generally
imagines that the distinction is nominal, or, if actual, that it rests
entirely upon political status. Of the Americans who go to Cuba only a
small proportion travel farther from Habana than the caves of Bellamar,
and they imagine that they see the typical native in the men and women
of the city. In this conclusion they fall very short of the mark. The
Habanero is not the best and truest representative of his country. He
must be sought in the rural districts and will most readily be found in
Camaguey, where the percentage of pure whites is even greater than in
the capital. The Cuban is fond of calling himself a Camagueyeno, and
this because the purest native blood of the Island has been found in
that Province since the old days when it was a famous cattle-raising

The Cuban is a Spaniard to the same extent as the American is English,
and no more. Although the compositive mixture is greater in one type
than in the other, they exhibit equal divergence from the parent stock,
both in the matter of physical and mental characteristics. This, without
reference to the native who is tinged with negro blood--the mulatto. He
may conform closely to the traits and appearance of the creole, but
then, again, he may differ from him in the widest degree.

The Spaniard, and especially the peasant of the provinces, from whom the
Cuban is most often descended, is usually round-headed, broad-chested,
and stocky. The Cuban is lanky, lean and slack limbed. His drooping
shoulders, languid air, and listless gait, give the impression of weak
physique and lack of energy, an impression which is confirmed by a study
of his habits. It might be supposed that, with the advantage of
acclimatization, he would be able to hold his own against the foreign
settler, but such is very far from being the case.

Immigrants of any race, but particularly those from Spain, appear to
have no difficulty in competing successfully with the Cuban upon his
native heath. This can not be altogether due to physical weakness and
want of energy, and certainly not to deficiency of intelligence. Perhaps
the chief reason of the Cuban’s backwardness is to be found in a
constitutional absence of ambition. For generations he has had no
incentive to effort and the _laissez faire_ state of mind has gradually
become ingrained. Whether, with improved opportunity, his character will
undergo a change in this respect is beyond the range of safe prediction.
The opportunity has not yet been extended to him, despite superficial

Critics of the Cubans are prone to speak of them contemptuously for the
lack of certain qualities which we prize and the possession of certain
defects which we despise. The charges are generally true, but the
condemnation unjust, nevertheless. No people were ever more handicapped
in their formative development. Numerous conditions, over which they had
little, if any, control, have affected the Cubans physically, morally,
politically, and economically,--and the influences have, in the
majority of instances and in the most respects, been maleficent. Only
since yesterday have the Cubans been free agents, and even to-day their
freedom is qualified, the conduct of their Government subject to a
critical supervision, and their independence liable to sudden
interruption. They have had no more control of their making than a child
has of its. They have always been treated as irresponsible and incapable
beings. They have never had fair scope for initiative, nor a free field
for endeavor. There has always been a pressure from above, crushing
growth, independence, enterprise, and hope.

Under the circumstances is it to be wondered at that the Cuban is
deficient in backbone; that he is vacillating and morally wobbly; that
his somewhat effeminate, often handsome, and never coarse features bear
a stamp of weakness which the most fiery pair of eyes will not suffice
to counteract? Would it not be surprising if he displayed any marked
capacity for hard work, or facility for business?

Pleasure loving, inclined to frivolity, cheery, and apparently
philosophical, the Cuban yields to difficulties and sinks under
reverses. It is his habit, fostered by temperament and environment, to
follow the lines of least resistance, and the way leads him ultimately
into a _cul de sac_,--a slough of stagnation. He has a quick
intelligence and a lively imagination. He can plan shrewdly and with
nice calculation, but he has neither the force nor the executive ability
to carry out his designs. For a full century he has conspired to throw
off the galling yoke of Spain, and he would never have done it but for
the intervention of the United States.

As a young man he is apt to be foppish, libidinous and indolent, in
striking contrast to the sturdy little Spanish apprentice, of Habana.
Cuban children are too often spoilt by fond and over indulgent parents.
The effect upon the girls is modified by the restricted home life to
which they are subjected. In the boys it shows in selfwilfulness, lack
of principle and utter absence of respect for things that the Anglo
Saxon is apt to reverence.

The Cuban usually marries early, and he makes a good father, if, often,
a questionable husband. Despite the fact that he can depend upon the
continence of his wife, or, perhaps because of it, he is frequently
guilty of infidelity to her. This, if she discovers it, she is likely to
treat with a complacency that an American woman could not understand.
It is a common boast of Cubans that no Cuban woman ever became a public
prostitute. Whether or not this is true, there is a marked difference in
the standard of marital virtue maintained by the sexes among them. In
this, and other respects, the less said about the Cuban of Habana, the

It is not on short acquaintance that a true gauge of the Cuban’s
character may be made. His surface air is one of self-respect and
geniality, that hides the underlying egotistic selfishness and
flaccidity. If educated, he has a courteous manner and polished address,
while the poorest peasant displays a certain refinement and decided
intelligence. I never remember to have seen a dull or stupid looking
Cuban, but, perhaps, that is due less to mental quality than to the
universal endowment of remarkably fine eyes.

At first sight, you will like the Cuban, and you may continue to do so
after you have learned to know him for a weak-minded brother, without
any stable qualities in his composition. He has a subtle attractiveness
which you will find it difficult to analyze. Perhaps it is his natural
_bonhomie_ and genuine affectionateness


that draws you, and the undercurrent of naïve childishness that blinds
you to his faults. Unlike his arrogant cousin, the Spaniard, he is
pathetically conscious of his shortcomings. Often a comic assertiveness
will thinly cloak an uneasy realization of inferiority.

And withal you will conclude that he is not a bad fellow at the bottom;
that with half a chance he might have developed into a very different
man. This idea will be strengthened when you come to know the _guajiro_.
Meanwhile you can not fail to speculate with misgiving on the future of
the country if its Government is to remain in the hands of the white and
parti-colored Cubans. You may base some hope on the recollection that
the soil of this Island has bred not a few men of noble character and
great talent,--but we will consider the subject more fully later on.

The younger generation of the present upper class of Cubans is a source
of hope and may perhaps prove to be the seed-bed of a different race.
Their fathers were born to riches and enjoyed lives of ease and
pleasure. Reckless extravagance and loss due to war, and the consequent
commercial depressions, have reduced most of the wealthy families to
ruin, or comparative poverty. It is as much as they can do to afford
their sons good educations. After leaving college they are compelled to
earn their livelihood. The result of this changed condition is already
apparent in the display of more manly qualities and better principles.
Of the many Cuban youths in our educational institutions, a large
proportion give promise of leading useful lives.

What the Cuban seems to need more than anything else is to develop
virility and hard common sense. If he should do this in combination with
the better application of some of his natural talents, he will present
himself to the world as a very admirable man. Meanwhile, it is always to
be remembered that he was freed from his swaddling clothes but
yesterday. He never before had a fair chance to grow, to stretch his
limbs, to think and act for himself. We do not know what he can do or
what he may become until he has been tested through two generations, at

The foregoing is written, in the main, with the Cubans of the cities and
towns in mind--the men of what are commonly called the “better class.”
The _guajiro_, the white Cuban peasant of the rural districts, is in
several respects a different fellow. But, before we proceed to a
description of him, let us take a view of _la hija del pais_, the
daughter of the country.

From the time that she first begins to walk, until she is handed over,
too often against her inclination, to a husband, the Cuban girl is under
surveillance. Whether this close guardianship is prompted by fear of the
evil designs of the young men of her acquaintance, by anxiety about her
own tendencies to go astray, or both, is not clear. Perhaps the old
Spanish custom is unnecessary and is maintained merely because it is an
established practice. Be that as it may, the Cuban girl is not allowed
any kind of intercourse with the other sex, except for the members of
her own family, until she leaves her father’s house for that of her
husband, unless it be under supervision. Occasionally lovers contrive to
exchange a few words privately through the bars of a ground floor
window, but the proceeding is not countenanced by the maiden’s mother,
and may entail a penance in expiation of the bold defiance of the laws
of etiquette and modesty.

The little _Cubana_ is escorted to school and thence home again. Her
little brother goes to a separate institution. It would not be at all
proper for boys and girls to read their primers upon the same benches,
or even in the same room. Later on, when she has grown to be a big girl
and of an age at which an American miss is supposed to take care of
herself, the Cuban is still treated as if it were not safe to leave her
alone for a moment. She goes to the theatre or plaza with her mother,
and young men of her acquaintance cast languishing glances at her from
the _foyer_, or the benches along the walk. One of them may be
particularly favored by her parents and he may be permitted to call upon
her, but he will never be permitted to see her, except in the presence
of a sister, or a less sympathetic _dueña_. Their courtship is carried
on without any of the sweet _tête-à-têtes_ that are as essential to
Anglo Saxon love-making as mustard is to ham. I presume, although I have
made no precise enquiry on the subject, that most Cuban girls of good
families do not kiss the men to whom they are married until after the
priestly benediction has been pronounced upon the union.

No nation can boast women more comely than the daughters of Cuba. Often
their features are strikingly attractive and sometimes extremely
beautiful, despite the disfiguring _cascarilla_, or powdered egg-shell,
which is plastered on the face with ghastly effect. If the _Cubana_ had
vivacity, or even expression, she would be irresistibly charming. But
her countenance, though not lacking in intelligence, is apt to be placid
to the point of dulness. This is the more remarkable because her Spanish
grandmother was probably a woman of _verve_ and sparkle, with flashing,
big black eyes, which in her descendant are just as big and black, but
languid and unresponsive. Though blondes are not extremely rare among
the Cuban women, the prevailing type is dark, with blue-black hair in
abundant quantity. The cubana matures early and fades correspondingly
soon. A fully developed woman at thirteen, she is often married at that
age, or shortly after, and is probably the mother of several children
before she has passed out of her teens. Her good looks wane and her
figure becomes _embonpoint_, if not corpulent, at an age when the
Anglo-Saxon woman still presents the appearance of youth.

One who had only known _la senorita_ might be disposed to think that
Cuban women have little character or individuality. It is as mothers
that they display their best traits. From the day of her marriage, _La
Cubana_ devotes her life to her home and family. She is a willing slave
to her husband and children, often with bad effect upon him and them. A
little more independence, a little less self-sacrifice, on her part,
would be better for all parties concerned. But every Cuban girl is
taught that her sole mission in life is to fulfill her duty as wife and
mother to the best of her ability. She has been schooled to consider
herself the absolute property of her husband and to render him
unquestioned obedience.

She is prone to jealousy but slow to resent neglect and unfaithfulness.
Sad to say, this devoted creature too often loses the love of her
husband with the decline of her beauty. She seldom has the strength of
character or the intellectual attractions necessary to hold him when the
physical charm has lost its force.

Religion is the only other interest of the Cuban lady, and she has a
monopoly of it, for the men of her class are almost universally
irreligious. During the revolutionary period, when free-thought
doctrines were rife in Europe and America, the Cubans of the cities
became addicted to reading the works of Voltaire, Rousseau, and their
Italian disciples. The result was a deterioration of religious belief,
from which the Cubans have never recovered. Although they are sometimes
apparently zealous in the observance of the rites and ceremonies of the
Church, it is probably more from a love of music and of pageantry than
from devotional motives. The most regular attendant of mass is apt to
speak lightly of his faith and its representatives and to laugh at the
scurrilous cartoons, caricaturing the Church and its ministers, which
frequently appear in the newspapers and the shop-windows. No doubt the
conduct of some of the clergy in Cuba, as in other Latin-American
countries, has done much toward destroying respect for the cloth and
devotion to the faith. Then again the fact that the Church was allied
with the official oppressors, although many priests sympathized with the
natives, had its effect for alienation. Were it not for its female
adherents, the Church in Cuba would cease to be a national institution
to-morrow. _La cubana_, however, is a fervent _devotée_, constant in her
attendance at mass and confession.

The Cuban woman is the most conservative of beings and a stickler for
the proprieties. She is very matter of fact, very serious, and utterly
destitute of humor. Her life is passed in a narrow groove, with little
but birth, marriage, and death, to vary it. Her world is contained in
the town of which she is resident, and perhaps within a few squares of
it. What happens outside these boundaries is nothing to her. She seldom
cares for reading, her sole accomplishments are embroidering and
piano-playing, her chief diversion, gossiping with her neighbors. She is
never taught to take an interest in household work and knows nothing
about cooking.

But withal she is womanly, warm-hearted, hospitable, and often extremely

The Cubans are the most democratic of people. The ragged peasant
maintains a dignified attitude toward all men, which conveys the
impression of a nicely balanced respect for himself and for his fellow.
His landlord, or his employer, meets him upon his own ground and the
relations between them are frequently characterized by friendly
familiarity. The revolutionary period, with its levelling processes and
its common interests, tended to make this condition more pronounced. It
also had the effect of almost obliterating the color-line, which had
previously been but faint. The right of the


black and mulatto to call themselves “_cubanos_” could hardly be
disputed in a country which owes its freedom in so great a degree to
their efforts.

The lowest Cuban of the country will welcome you with dignified
self-possession to the hut in which his naked children are tumbling
about among the pigs and the chickens. You will have no difficulty in
realizing that you may not pity nor patronize him, however miserable his
condition may appear to be. He will be glad to do you a service for pay,
and will overcharge you if you permit, but you can not offer him a
gratuity without risk of offence. His air of independence is not without
a basis of fact for its justification. His simple needs are supplied
with little labor. He works when he wants to, and loafs when he pleases.

The _guajiro_, or white peasant of Cuba, is first cousin to the _gibaro_
of Puerto Rico, whom I have described in a former volume.[2] They are
much alike in character and in manner of living, but the former is the
better man. He has not had to contend against the hookworm, which has
played havoc with the Puerto Rican _campesino_, and he has gained
something in fibre and backbone from his hard experience as combatant or
_reconcentrado_ in the rebellions of late years.

The ancestors of the _guajiro_ came mainly from Catalonia and Andalusia,
and were a good, hardy stock. Time was when he occasionally owned slaves
and a fair extent of land, but nowadays he is more often than not a
squatter in a little corner of that no-man’s-land which seems to be so
extensive in the central and eastern portions of the Island. In
comparatively few instances he has title to a few acres, lives in a
passably comfortable _cabana_, possesses a yoke of oxen, a good horse,
half a dozen pigs, and plenty of poultry. Much more often he lives in a
ramshackle _bohio_, the one apartment of which affords indifferent
shelter to a large family and is fairly shared by a lean hog and a few
scrawny chickens. There is nothing deserving the name of furniture in
the house, and the clothing of the family is of the scantiest. A nag of
some sort, usually a sorry specimen of its kind, is almost always owned
by the _guajiro_, who loves a horse and rides like the _gaucho_ of the
Argentine pampas.

The _guajiros_ are handsome, manly fellows. While they have frequently
become tinged with African blood, a majority probably have maintained
the purity of their origin, and this is conspicuously the case with the
peasantry about Cienfuegos. They speak a _patois_ which is a mixture of
Spanish and negro dialect, picked up from the blacks, with whom their
intercourse has always been more or less close, and with whom they live
on the best of terms.

The _guajiro_ is totally lacking ambition and his chief desire is to be
left alone to live his life in his own way. If he is frugal, it is from
necessity. Of thrift he has no understanding. What he earns to-day he
carelessly spends to-morrow. Indeed he knows no reason for earning
except to spend. It would be strange if his characteristics were
otherwise. He has never had any opportunity to improve his condition,
nor any incentive to accumulate property. He has become accustomed to
living from hand to mouth with indifferent regard to the future. He
works when he must and ceases as soon as he may. In that respect he is
merely giving full play to an inclination that is strong in all of us.

The _guajiro_ lives chiefly on bananas and other fruit. Aside from an
occasional _iguana_, or _jutea_, pork is the only meat he eats. This,
contrary to our idea of the fitness of things in the tropics, is a
frequent and favorite dish with all classes of Cubans. He sometimes
varies his bill of fare with a fish or a bull-frog.

The one trait of his Spanish forefathers which the _guajiro_ retains in
undiminished strength, is love of gambling. He is supported through a
week of loathsome labor by the prospect of wagering his wages at the
cock-pit or bull-ring on Sunday. He enjoys music and dancing with the
whole-hearted delight of a child. As most of the observances of the
Church have something of a gala character they attract him, and he finds
a pious excuse for attending them. Weddings, christenings, funerals, are
so many holidays in which it is a religious duty to take part. Of course
all the _fiestas_ are holy days and if he worked on all the days which
are in no manner signalized by the Church, he would hardly labor half
the time.

The _guajira_ does all the chores about the place, except for looking
after the cattle. If these and the cooking leave any surplus time it is
occupied in attending to the numerous brood of _guajiritos_, who are to
be seen tumbling


about every cabin of the Island in a state of unhampered nature. The
_guajira_ is the working member of the family, but she gets her full
share of the holidays, for her husband usually takes all his dependents
with him when he goes to town to attend mass and patronize the
cockfight. Females are debarred from that delectable entertainment and
while it is in progress the _guajira_ will foregather with others of her
kind outside the village _fonda_ and gossip over a glass of tamarind

There used to be more saints’ days than Sundays in the calendar, but the
number is not so generally observed as formerly. In fact, the country
population seems to be beginning to take a more serious view of life and
to regard work as a somewhat essential part of it, rather than a
necessary evil of intermittent character. As he has come into closer
touch with civilization in latter days, the _guajiro_ has become
sensibly discontented with his simple lot and desirous of many things of
which he formerly knew nothing or toward which he was indifferent.



Among those best acquainted with Cuba and the Cubans, opinion differs
widely as to the negroes. There are those who go so far as to believe
that they will be a retarding factor in the development of the country,
while others consider them the most promising element of the laboring
population. Both these views are extreme, and, as a matter of fact, any
prediction as to the future of the Cuban negro must include a great
degree of pure surmise. What he has been is not a safe basis for
inference of what he will be under entirely different conditions.

Mr. Charles M. Pepper, who has had exceptional opportunities for
judging, declares that “the negro of Cuba is not an idler, nor a clog on
the industrial progress. He will do his part toward rebuilding the
industries of the Island, and no capitalist need fear to engage in
enterprises because of an indefinite fear regarding negro labor. In the
country, for a time, the black laborers may be in a majority. On its
political side the black population of Cuba has its definite status.
Social equality does not exist, but there is no color line. Social
tolerance prevails.... The part taken in the insurrection by the blacks
has undoubtedly strengthened their future influence.... The race has far
more than its proportion of criminals. Some tendencies toward
retrogression have to be watched.... With common-school education the
negro will do better. At present he is doing very well.”

As to this dictum, the Cuban negro may eventually do his fair share
toward the industrial development of the Island, but it can only be as a
result of a considerable change in his habits and a greatly increased
degree of efficiency. At present, extensive employers of labor pronounce
him inefficient, unreliable, and difficult of control. It is not to his
credit that they should import labor at great trouble and expense in
preference to employing him. If capitalists have ceased to be
apprehensive regarding the negro of Cuba, which is by no means
certain,--it is not because he has suddenly ceased to have a desire for
disturbance, with its attendant opportunities for loot, but because they
have greater confidence in the ability and inclination of the
authorities to suppress outbreaks with promptness, born of the
ever-present fear of American intervention, or a demand on the part of
foreign property interests for some share in the administration of

Though individuality is not one of the negro characteristics, the
perpetuation of racial traits and temperament are pronouncedly
characteristic wherever they may be found and under whatever conditions.
The negro may be three centuries removed from his transplanted ancestor,
he may have more than one strain of white blood in his composition, he
may have adopted the most approved customs of the country in which he
lives, and may be to all outward appearances the most highly civilized
of beings, but for all that African nature is strong in him. Moreover
its promptings are not repressed from principle, but from motives of
self-interest. Given the opportunity to indulge them without fear of
consequences, and he will follow his inclinations unrestrainedly. For
that reason one-third of Cuba’s population must be as great a source of
anxiety as is the colored element of our southern States. This is not to
say that there are any good grounds for the sometimes expressed fear
that Cuba may become a second Haiti, controlled by the blacks, but is
intended to convey the belief, that in the negroes of the Island there
is a constantly present source of possible trouble.

The majority of Cuban negroes are descendants of slaves imported during
the past century, but a large number, like the maroons of Jamaica, come
from a stock which accompanied the earliest Spanish adventurers and
shared their hardships and dangers in a companionship that often
approached a condition of friendship and equality. Such a one was
Estavan, the negro who, with Cabeza de Vaca, crossed the continent of
North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to California, in the years
between 1528 and 1536. From this stock sprang the free mulattoes of the
Antonio Maceo type, a class superior to any that our colored population

Although emancipated at a later date, the Cuban negroes are in general
more manly and independent than those of the United States. This is due
to the social and the political recognition accorded them, but also to
the previous conditions of their servitude. Before the abolition of
slavery they were granted freedom of marriage, the right of acquiring
property, the privilege of purchasing their release by labor, and
license to seek a new master at their option.

The negro of Cuba is much more happy and content than his brother in
America. The burdens of life do not press so heavily on him. He has
greater opportunity of enjoyment of the three conditions most desirable
to the man of African descent, warmth, indolence, and a full stomach.
The climate and the physical nature of the country are entirely to his
liking. He thrives in Cuba and is more robust than the white native, as
well as more prolific, which is saying a great deal. He and his women
and children withstood the stress and strain of the reconcentration
better than did the _guajiro_ class.

I am fully aware that these statements seem to be contradicted by the
census returns, which show a marked diminution of the colored population
during the past half century. In the last United States report this is
accounted for by “the inability of the colored race to hold its own in
competition with the whites.” This does not seem to be sufficient
explanation, especially as there has been no competition to speak of
between the whites and the blacks in Cuba. Without pretending to any
precise knowledge on the subject, I will hazard the suggestion that the
apparent discrepancy may be due to the defects in the censuses under
Spain, which were notoriously inaccurate, to the latter day tendency of
mulattoes to return themselves as “whites,” and to the fact that the
colored portion of the population has borne more than its proportional
share of the brunt of the later revolutions. Be that as it may, it will
be difficult for any one who is familiar with the lives and conditions
of the natives of Cuba to believe that “the man of color” is in any but
a favorable and congenial environment.

The dance is the favorite amusement of the rural population. As the
whites practise it, it is a monotonous movement to monotonous music,
entirely lacking the grace and variety of the Spanish dances. The
negroes merely writhe and wriggle to the slow beat of a drum. There is
always a suggestion of obscenity present, and sometimes religious frenzy
transforms the performance from the ludicrous to the weird. On such
occasions the dancers and the onlookers chant invocations to the saints
in an African dialect.

Certain religio-social societies, called _cabildos_, appear to have no
other purpose than the conduct of these ceremonies. The _cabildos_ are
supposed to be the only survival of the _nañigo_ clans, which the
authorities claim to have suppressed, although it is very doubtful
whether the organizations have been broken up. The _nañigos_ practised
all manner of sinister mysteries, witchcraft, voodooism, and the rest,
besides active participation in underground politics. No longer ago than
the time of the Provisional Administration some of their members were
convicted of killing and cutting up two white children in the
performance of their secret rites. Roman Catholicism and African
demon-worship have become grotesquely mixed in the ceremonies of the
negro secret societies. Goats and fowls are sacrificed to the saints of
the Church; the Holy Mother is invoked in barbaric terms, accompanied by
a symbolism that originated in the wilds of Africa.

Until comparatively recently the sixth of January was observed as “All
King’s Day,” when the negroes held high carnival all over the Island.
They took possession of Habana

[Illustration: A NARROW STREET, HABANA.]

and thronged the streets, dancing, gesticulating, shouting, and beating
drums, dressed in fantastic costumes made up of the gaudiest colors, and
carrying a variety of transparencies on long poles. The shops were
closed, and the whites remained within doors, for not infrequently rival
clans came to blows and serious conflicts occurred in the public

After the War most of the Spaniards left Cuba, filled with resentment
against Americans. When order and liberal government had been
established they began to come back, still filled with resentment
against the people who had interfered with their ruinous exploitation of
the Island. This feeling has rapidly died down. The Spaniard, who has as
keen and critical appreciation as any man of commercial conditions, soon
realized that he and his government were distinct gainers by the loss of
the Philippines and Cuba. He was no longer called upon to support costly
armies in those countries, nor to do his share of service in them. But
what impressed him most was that Cuba had become a much more desirable
place, on every account, in which to do business than it had ever been
before. As a consequence, natives of Spain have been immigrating to the
Island in constantly increasing numbers during recent years, and making
more money, whether as merchants, shop-keepers or laborers, than they
possibly could make at home in the same employments. They are good
citizens and capable in their several callings, but most of them are
what the Cubans call _intransigentes_--transients. The _bodeguero_ and
the field-hand alike view the country as a field for money-making solely
and have no thought of permanently settling in it, much less of becoming
naturalized. The shop-keeper looks forward to retiring as soon as he
shall have accumulated enough to enable him to live comfortably in some
rural district in Spain, and the laborer often goes back between
harvests, with his season’s earnings, to his native province, where he
has left his family. Of course the proper remedy for this condition is
the occupation by Cubans of the positions filled by the Spaniards, but
so far the former have displayed neither inclination nor capacity to
compete with the foreigners. Under such circumstances the Spanish
immigration may be looked upon as a desirable factor in the development
of the Island.

The commercial instinct and the qualities that make for success in
business are unusually strong in the Spaniard. This fact is not
generally realized in America. There must be two hundred thousand
Spaniards in Cuba, practically all of whom are steadily engaged in
profitable pursuits. It is doubtful if an equal number of native whites
are earning money day in and day out through the year, or any definite
period of it. Spaniards own large interests in the sugar and tobacco
businesses. Throughout the country they control the mercantile lines,
wholesale and retail. They are money-lenders in the small districts and
furnish the farmers, at exorbitant rates of interest, with the means of
raising and marketing their crops.

It is not at all surprising that the Cuban can not compete with his
cousin from the mother-country. I am very doubtful whether Americans
would be successful in the attempt. The Spanish business man is as keen
and shrewd a trader as you may find anywhere, and, moreover, he is as
precise in discharging his obligations as a Chinaman. He possesses
tremendous energy and pertinacity of purpose. Americans cherish a
threadbare and somewhat senseless joke which hinges on the word
_mañana_. It is entirely misapplied when aimed at the Spaniard in Cuba.
If he leaves anything of importance until to-morrow it is because to-day
is too full of performance to admit of addition. He is the first to rise
and the last to close his shutters in the community. Meanwhile he keeps
as closely on the trail of the elusive dollar as any New Yorker. But
there is this difference; he does his business without needless fuss and

In the city stores, the old-time system of apprenticeship is maintained.
The proprietors probably started in the position of the little office
boy, with the bloom of Catalonia fresh upon his cheeks, who sweeps out
the place when most folks are turning over for a final nap, and spends
an hour or more in straightening up after every one else has knocked off
for the day. He is a strong, cheerful little chap, content with his lot,
and doubtless encouraged by dreams of directing the establishment at
some future day. And this is no idle fantasy but a matter well within
the bounds of calculable attainment. The system is one of regular
advancement. When a partner retires, which he is apt to do at a
comparatively early age, the senior clerk takes his place and each of
the others moves up a step. As soon as an employe is in a position to
save something from his salary, he is permitted to invest it in the

A sort of family relationship is maintained in the establishment. The
heads of it take the greatest interest in the business education and
general welfare of their employes, who are generally sons of friends at
home. All eat at the same table and all sleep under the same roof. The
juniors have to account for their time even after closing hours. Only
with permission may they leave the premises. Then they will probably
spend their evenings at one or other of the numerous societies which
have their headquarters in Habana and branches in other large cities.

These societies are social and beneficial in their functions. They
maintain night-schools, pay sick benefits, and provide burial expenses.
Some of them have a very large membership and extremely handsome
clubhouses. Every Spaniard on landing at Habana joins the society which
is composed of natives of his province.

At every cross-roads in Cuba and on every corner in the country towns
there is a _bodega_. It is always a grocery, often a general store.
Nine times in ten the proprietor is a Spaniard. His place may be a
dingy, dilapidated shack. His stock may consist of little more than a
barrel of the inevitable _bacalao_,--salt cod,--a few strings of onions,
and a dozen bottles of _aguadiente_. But it is safe to wager that he is
making money at a handsome rate of interest on his little investment.

Why is the Chinaman, who is the most inoffensive of beings, disliked
more universally than any other? It may be because he is such an
unsociable, self-contained, enigmatical fellow. In Cuba, as in the
States, he lives in the midst of the community and far apart from it,
restricting his intercourse with the natives to the necessities of
business. He may have been born in the country, and intend to die in it,
but, unless his mother was a native, he will never be anything else than
a Chinaman, even though he adopt a frock coat and a silk hat. He works
hard, lives frugally, and accumulates money by fair and square methods.
His sole indulgences are _fan tan_ and the opium pipe. He figures but
seldom in the police records, and then, as likely as not, through the
fault of someone else.

In the early part of the last century a number of Chinese were imported
under contract as

[Illustration: A CUBAN MILKMAN.]

laborers in the cane-fields. Each one had a metal tag strung round his
neck, with a number and the expiry date of the contract on it. Once
received on the sugar-estate, the coolie was reduced to a state of
slavery, measurably worse than that in which the negroes were held. He
had no privileges whatever, was miserably housed, insufficiently fed,
and received less consideration than the cattle and horses. When the
legal date of his release approached, his identification check was
frequently changed to make him appear to be another man with a
considerable period of service in prospect.

This condition of things went on for many years, until at length
knowledge of it reached the Chinese Government. A commission was sent
from China to investigate the matter, with the result that exportation
of laborers from the Celestial Kingdom to Cuba was stopped. Nowadays,
there is an insular statute against the importation, but they come in,
nevertheless, and find their way to the sugar-houses of the interior,
apparently without enquiry or interference.

There are more than ten thousand Chinamen in Cuba at present. A
considerable number are engaged as merchants and shop-keepers in
Habana, and many work truck-farms in the suburbs with much profit.

Perhaps the most remarkable of the many remarkable things about a
Chinaman is his adaptability. Any one seeing him ironing shirts in the
States might suppose that he was exercising an inherited talent. But he
never saw an iron before coming to America and took to the calling
because there was an evident unfilled demand for the work. He is not a
laundryman in Cuba, because when he arrived the field was already
occupied by the negroes. On the other hand, there was a distinctly felt
want of market gardeners, and John jumped into the opening without
hesitation. He would have acted with the same prompt decision had the
need been for burglars or balloonists. He takes up one line of work as
readily as another and whatever he attempts he does well. It matters not
whether the hole be round or square, his plastic personality will fit in
it snugly. When he went to Calcutta, he found that there was no one to
make shoes and paint portraits in manner satisfactory to the Englishman.
He calmly and confidently undertook to do both. It is quite unnecessary
to state that he succeeded. But when you consider the essential
differences between European and Chinese art, both in conception and
execution, as well as the fact that the Chinese emigrant is not usually
deeply versed in either, the result was simply miraculous.

Three favorite occupations of John Chinaman in Cuba are cooking,
peddling sweetmeats, and keeping a fruit-stand. In each of these fields
he has had to meet native competition, and in his quiet, forceful way he
soon overcame it, although in the second he had serious difficulties to
master. In short time he had learned to make better _dulces_ than the
Cubans had been accustomed to, but when it came to advertising his
wares, he found himself hopelessly handicapped by a naturally weak voice
when pitted against the Cuban hawker, who has no superior in the world
as a street crier. However, with the Chinaman, the next thing to being
confronted with an obstacle is to overcome it. John mounted a long red
box upon his head and on this drummed continuously with a hardwood
stick. In the course of time the Cuban women and children forsook the
man who bawled frantically for the silent man who beat a box.

The acclimated, it would be altogether incorrect to say the
naturalized, Chinaman in Cuba has been shorn of his pigtail, wears the
same free shirt, and pantaloons as the native, and is called José, or
Miguel, but if you should go into the back room of his store, you would
find a vase of joss sticks burning before the shrine of his repulsive
looking deity.

There are very few Chinese women in the country and John is usually a
celibate, but occasionally he marries a negress or mulatto. The children
are generally bright, and often good-looking. The Chinaman is an
excellent husband and father in such cases.

Probably all these sallow-skinned taciturn Celestials yearn for their
mother-country while they patiently plod through life in an uncongenial
environment. At least they have the satisfaction of knowing that when
they die their bones will be shipped back to be buried in the land of
their fathers. Meanwhile their numbers are increasing in Cuba and it is
easily conceivable that the country may have a Chinese problem to
grapple with some day.

Numerically the Americans are not an important element in the foreign
population but they represent more wealth and greater business than any
other. There are about seven thousand white citizens of the United
States, more or less permanently resident on the Island. A large
proportion of the sugar and tobacco estates, as well as extensive
railroad and mining properties, are in American hands. A few Americans
are engaged in wholesale business and a considerable number in fruit
culture. I shall have more to say about these in a later portion of the

The first American occupation was the signal for a number of swindlers,
loafers, and topers from the United States to take up residence in
Habana. They caused endless trouble to the American officials and
created a bad impression among the natives. By degrees this class has
been almost entirely eradicated and the Cubans long since learned that
they were in no sense representative of their countrymen. The American
in Cuba to-day is either a responsible business man, or an industrious
farmer, whom the people of the country look upon with respect, and with
whom they are generally upon the most friendly footing.



Here is a country, small in extent, it is true, but as rich
proportionally in natural resources as any in the world. It exports over
$100,000,000 worth of the products of its soil annually. Yet less than
half of its productive area is turned to account, and of its cultivated
tracts only a small proportion is subjected to intensive treatment. Bad
government and ill-judged commercial policy have retarded the
development of the country which, under favorable conditions, might
to-day be producing five times its output and supporting a population
five times as great as that which it has. It is importing large
quantities of foodstuff that ought to be raised upon its lands and
paying substantial sums for foreign labor that should be supplied by its
own people.

The economic condition of Cuba is as unfavorable as possible to the
welfare of its population. Foreigners own practically everything in the
country. The Island is exploited for the benefit of everyone but the

Additional capital is constantly coming in. New enterprises are
continually being floated. In a way these are beneficial to the
community at large, but, with the exception of the official class, they
work little good to the natives. In fact, they decrease the Cuban’s
chances of ever doing anything for himself. Capital and corporations
create wealth, but precious little of it finds its way into the pockets
of the _guajiro_, or the negro. What the country needs, if ever its
people are to become prosperous, is a greater diversity of industries
with opportunities for the little man, and an increase in the small
land-owners. There is a bare possibility of the former condition coming
about; the latter is beyond the bounds of hope. There is no public
domain for disposal to homesteaders. Practically all the land in the
Island is occupied or held for sale at high figures. A very small
proportion of the peasant class own their holdings. Many of them are
merely squatters and others maintain possession on defective titles.

The country that produces one great staple by the agency of slave labor
lays itself under a curse that will be felt long after the conditions
are changed. For well-nigh a century sugar-cane has been the one chief
source of Cuba’s wealth and it has cast a blight upon everything else.
The sugar industry has exercised a detrimental influence upon the
material welfare, morals, and health, and the independence of the people
in general. But for it, blacks would never have been introduced into the
Island in numbers sufficient to affect seriously the general population.
But for it, the larger estates, growing out of the system of
_repartimiento_, would long since have been carved into small holdings,
the homesteads of peasant proprietors with some ambition and some
opportunity to lead a life of manly self-support. The Island might not
have been so wealthy, it might not have afforded such rich pasture for
the professional politician to browse in, nor have yielded such
comfortable profits to American and British stock-holders, but its
people would have been happier and in the way of enjoying greater and
more stable prosperity than the present prospect holds for them.

But this is an idle speculation. Foreigners own ninety per cent. of all
the land in Cuba


that is worth working, and, since this is the case, the more foreign
capital that comes in, the better for the country. In other words, the
only outlook for the Cuban is to serve as a hired man. If he had any
bent toward the mechanical industries and could command a little
capital, he might make innumerable openings in new directions for
independent enterprises on a small scale.

Cuba should support a variety of manufacturing industries. It has the
necessary materials,--wood, fibres, metal, hides, etc. It imports many
commodities that are made from raw material exported by it. In many of
these cases it would be more profitable for the country to produce the
finished article. Before long, no doubt, the many opportunities long
latent will attract enterprise, and industrial development along this
line will take place. But even so, the Cuban can not hope to play a very
prominent or profitable part in the movement. The extension of education
and manual training may better fit him for mechanical pursuits but lack
of capital will prevent his aspiring to any higher position than that of

There is little doubt about the future prosperity of the Island along
the present lines of exploitation. There is good reason for believing
that cane sugar will come into its own again, and that before long.
Germany is likely to tire soon of coddling the beet cultivators in the
face of foreign discrimination against them. Improvements in the
cultivation of cane and in the selection of the plant are to be looked
for. Labor-saving devices will be introduced into the fields. The
invention of a satisfactory cane harvester would revolutionize that
branch of industry.

The great future development of the Island will take place at the
eastern end. Oriente is the most promising, and probably the richest,
section of Cuba. Several large corporations have heavy investments in
the Province. Its mineral wealth has hardly been touched. It is an
especially favorable region for the cultivation of citrus fruits and
coffee. These industries will be extensively prosecuted by Americans, of
whom there are already a number located in colonies and individual

Cuba is growing constantly in favor with Americans as a health resort
and, with the extension of roads fit for motoring, pleasure


seekers from the United States will travel on the Island in increasing
numbers. There is a tendency among well-to-do Americans to make winter
homes in Cuba and to build residences in the capital and suburbs. All
this will lead to a better knowledge of the country and a great interest
in its industries with consequent additional investment of capital.
There appears to be little room for doubting that ultimately American
money and American management will dominate the industrial and
commercial affairs of the Island.

Only one retarding factor mars the prospect of progress--that is the
deficiency of labor supply. Doubtless a large part will be for years to
come imported from southern Europe, and this of necessity. If these, or
a considerable proportion of them, could be induced to settle in the
country they would form a desirable addition to the population. At
present, few of them display an inclination to remain, but, on the
contrary, make Cuba the means of furnishing them with sufficient money
to set up in a small way of business at home.

The most easily available source of supply is the Jamaican negro, but he
is not a valuable acquisition. His efficiency is calculated by
employers as less than half that of the Spaniard, or native of the
Canary Islands. Negroes from the United States might seek employment in
the Island, but the kind who would be of the most use can always fold
work at home at as good a rate of wages as they would receive in Cuba.

It is not to be assumed that the native will never supply the greatest
part of the labor employed in his country. He would be available to-day
to a greater extent and with greater efficiency if American managers
understood him better and accorded him more judicious treatment.

Dr. V. S. Clark, in a government report, makes such an excellent and
comprehensive statement regarding the Cuban laborer, that an extensive
quotation is justified.

Some of the opinions of Cuban workingmen are given in the following
quotations from the remarks by American and English employers of broad
experience. It is not possible to have perfect agreement in judgments of
this sort, and naturally no attempt has been made to do so. But those
sweeping denunciations of Cuba and everything Cuban that come from
tactless adventurers and from men who have left their own country
because they are chronically out of sorts with the world have been

A railway manager: “A Cuban seldom has a real conception of what is
meant by special qualifications. On railways a man might occupy in
succession a dozen different posts, each requiring a special kind of
training. We have an instance where the same man has been station agent,
telegraph superintendent, and superintendent of locomotive power within
a few months’ time.”

A contracting foreman: “In the mechanic trades men are constantly
presenting themselves as applicants for any positions to be had,
assuring us with the greatest apparent candor that they unite all the
qualifications of expert masons, carpenters, painters, plumbers, and
gas-fitters. We don’t employ such men any more. A modest range of
acquirements is one of the best credentials a mechanic can offer us.”

A government engineer: “The labor cost of all kinds of construction is
half as much again as in the United States. But with time and patience
intelligent Cuban mechanics can be trained to keep pretty well up with
Americans on the same job. They will not do this, however, unless they
are paid for it.”

An English railway manager: “After many years of experience in railway
managing in Brazil and other South American countries, I must say that
the Cuban labor is the dearest labor I have ever had under my charge.”

A factory superintendent: “We employ only Spaniards. They equal in
industry and endurance the American workingman and are more steady and
regular in their habits. I have had more than twenty years’ experience
in Cuba as factory and plantation manager, and have seldom found Cubans
efficient in occupations requiring physical endurance or manual skill.
But they make neat and fairly accurate clerks.”

An army officer in charge of twelve hundred men in road construction:
“The Cuban laborer is not as strong physically nor as intelligent as the
unskilled laborer in the United States. He accomplishes about half as
much work in a day as the latter. We bought a number of the iron
wheelbarrows commonly used by American contractors for our work here,
but the men were not strong enough to handle them successfully, and I
had to substitute wooden ones in their stead.”

An electric railway manager: “You can not manage the Cubans with a club.
The amount

[Illustration: AN AVENUE OF PALMS.]

of work you get out of them depends upon the way in which you handle
them. We find our men unusually distrustful because they have been so
often cheated by their past employers. If their paymaster is a little
late they jump at the conclusion that their money is not coming to them.
It has taken time to win their confidence in the company. They do not
understand how to take care of their own interests. Our unclaimed wage
book shows that during the last two years many hundred men have not
applied for all the pay due to them. Probably ten per cent. of the whole
number of common laborers employed thus fail to collect their full
wages. On our fortnightly pay-days fifty or sixty men fail to claim
amounts ranging from one or two days’ pay to as high as $20 or $30
silver ($14 or $21 American). Of course such men are often imposed on,
and a man who knows or thinks he is being cheated by his employer isn’t
going to overexert himself in his service. An intelligent Cuban makes a
good mechanic. He learns more rapidly than an American. It has taken me
less time here to break in motormen than in the United States. In the
last year or two we have trained most of our force of mechanics, repair
men, and our armature winders. They are about as efficient as

The head of an electrical supply house: “Labor conditions in Cuba have
not changed materially since 1890. Cubans make efficient mechanics in
our line of business. We also employ them in contracting work, such as
bridge construction, so that our monthly pay roll is sometimes over
$6,000. They are slower than Americans, but are less independent and
work longer hours. In electric fitting we get about as much service for
the same wages as in New York. A man who has had long experience with
the working people here, and who knows their language and how to treat
them, will not have much trouble with his employees, and will find them
fairly efficient.”

A railway superintendent: “Spaniards are the future laborers of Cuba.
But they will work mostly under the direction of Cubans. The amount you
get out of men depends upon how well you pay and feed them. It is worth
the money it costs an employer to provide and compel his common laborers
to eat a substantial meal before going to work in the morning.”

The variety of opinions here expressed illustrates the fact that the man
in practical touch with the labor question in Cuba usually has some
aspect of the situation in mind which appeals to him from his own
experience. As to labor efficiency, all agree that for manual labor the
Spaniard excels the native Cuban. This is true of factory as well as
field occupations. Cane-cutting must be excepted from the latter, for
here the negro is the best workman; and in the machine shops, and some
mechanic trades, where a certain dexterity of mind as well as hand is
required, the more nervous and intellectual Cuban is at an advantage.
There is practical unanimity in the opinion that the cost of labor is
high, the only exceptions being in some trades requiring much skill and
intelligence and where the men work under the direct control of their

The emphasis laid upon the fact that the amount to be obtained from
employes depends largely upon the way they are treated and the wages
they are paid is significant, and it accords fully with the other
testimony and with observation in different parts of the Island. At one
place a gang of laborers was just completing what appeared even to the
casual observer a rather scanty day’s work. The foreman looked up with a
half-vexed smile and said:

“Their wages have been lowered 30 per cent., and no driving will get
more than two-thirds of the former amount of work out of them. They
simply shrug their shoulders and say: ‘_Poco dinero, poco trabajo._’
Little money, little work.”

Beneath a most unimposing exterior a Cuban laborer generally manages to
cherish a considerable sense of personal dignity and he resents deeply,
however unperturbed he may appear, the rough way of handling that has
come to mean so little to his fellow-laborer in the United States.
Perhaps the unexpressed contempt with which he is tolerated by some
Americans is resented still more deeply. In any case, the very efforts
put forth by employers and representatives to increase the amount of
work done by employes often have the reverse effect to that intended.
Tactful management is often one of the most expensive assets a foreign
enterprise has to acquire in Cuba. Cuba is one of the most democratic
countries in the world. Nowhere else does the least considered member of
a community aspire to social equality with its most exalted personage.
The language, with its conventional phrases of courtesy shared by all
classes, the familiar family life of proprietor and servant, master and
apprentice, a certain simplicity and universality of manners inherited
from pioneer days, and a gentleness of temperament that may be both
racial and climatic, which shrinks from giving offence by assuming
superiority of rank with others, have all contributed to render class
assumptions externally less obvious in Cuba than in other countries
where equal differences of race, culture, and fortune exist. The Cuban
is naturally self-possessed. It is difficult to fancy him having stage
fright. He is so imaginative and Tarasconese that he frequently
confounds ideals with realities, and as his ideal of himself is usually
an exalted one this disposition does not incline him to diffidence or
humility. He is therefore apt to assume an artlessly familiar air with
his employer, and to try to put their business relations, so far as
their social aspect is concerned, as nearly upon a partnership basis as
possible. With his manual services he bestows the gifts of his own
discretion and judgment as gratuity, and he is thus enabled to amplify
or modify any instructions he may receive to guide him in his work.
These personal advances and well intended departures from what are
called orders, principally as a matter of courtesy in Cuba, are
received quite differently by an American and Cuban employer. The former
resents them brusquely, often profanely, and thus sows the first seeds
of misunderstanding that result in much concealed resentment and
hostility, and unless he master the situation by great force of will and
character, may occasion more serious damage to his interests. The Cuban
or Spanish employer, understanding his man, contrives to secure his ends
more diplomatically; but he never has a really disciplined force of
employes. Organization and discipline are two of the most seriously
lacking things in Cuban life; and they are lacking because of a certain
timidity, a lack of self-assertiveness on the part of the officers of
industry toward their men. The Cuban is capable of discipline; but so
long as nothing else is required, he naturally prefers discussing
politics and local news or comparing notes about their children with his
foreman to performing more commonplace duties. His friendliness toward
his employer is usually well-meaning, even if unwisely manifested. It is
something akin to the easy, inquisitive, but sympathetic familiarity one
finds in a New England village. Occasionally it can be turned to good
account in securing the loyalty of the men. Two American retail
merchants were interviewed in Habana. One was evidently reserved toward
his working people. He reported that among several employed he had never
had a Cuban he was not obliged to discharge for stealing. Another, who
was conducting a larger business, and who had many Cubans in his employ,
but who stood on terms of greater intimacy with them, reported that he
had no difficulty whatever of this kind. Whether the difference in the
experience of the two merchants was due to the reason suggested or not,
it is certain that the Cuban is peculiarly susceptible to appeals to
ideal motives, whether made directly or only by implication, and that
success or failure in dealing with the workmen of the Island often
hinges upon an understanding of this trait of character.

One desirable outcome of the aspiration toward social equality on the
part of Cubans is their aversion to tips. Employes, who had made some
money sacrifice by leaving piece-work to act as guides about a factory,
refused, evidently with considerable embarrassment, the offer of
gratuity. A poor countryman who had left his field labor for several
hours to show a trail through a tract of forest would only accept
compensation under protest--and when it was turned into a gift for the
children. These same men would have made as shrewd a bargain as possible
and would have haggled for hours over centavos in a matter of trade, but
for a service of courtesy money was no compensation for their sense of
wounded dignity in accepting a gratuity.

With reference to the personal honesty of the Cuban, no unqualified
statement is likely to be just. All people possessing great love of
approbation and an excessive desire to please are apt to be more or less
insincere in social intercourse. Extend the ethics of an afternoon tea
to all statements of fact in business relations, and one has an
atmosphere of reliability or the reverse about equivalent to that in
Cuba. Men tell you things they think you will like to hear. It appears
to strike a Cuban as something akin to discourtesy to bring a painful
fact to your attention, even though a knowledge of it be quite essential
to your business welfare. To save himself the embarrassment of refusing
a request, he will often make a promise that he can not keep, and to
save you from being disquieted by uncertainty he will give you an
assurance as unqualified that ought to be decidedly conditional. His
business statements are like his currency, subject to fluctuating
discount. As in case of money, this is undoubtedly an inconvenience in
conducting a transaction. But, as there is sound money in Cuba, so there
are men to be found whose word in business is as good as their bond.

The upper commercial classes of the Island preserve a conservative
integrity in their dealings and their methods of conducting business as
high as prevails in any country. There are few failures. The
representatives of large American houses report that their losses from
bad debts are less in Cuba in proportion to the amount of business done
than in the United States. In purchasing at retail one has to guard
against overcharging. But this is simply a feature of a very ancient and
still very common way of doing business. There are no settled prices,
and each individual sale is a separate transaction to be settled by
independent agreement, and is not prejudiced in the least by the
precedent of previous transactions of a similar character. Americans,
with little experience outside their own country, frequently bring up
this practice as a main argument to prove the universal dishonesty of
the Cuban. But it is like many other ingenuous arguments of the same
sort--“It is not our way, ergo, it is wrong”--that would result in
making virtue a decidedly local thing in this world if they were
universally applied.

It is sometimes stated that while the Cuban, especially of the middle or
lower class, is often lax about keeping his word, he shows quite the
opposite disposition with regard to trifles belonging to other persons.
The experience of foreigners on the Island doubtless varies in this
respect. It is hardly probable that the Cuban has abnormally high regard
for the rights of property. But here is the result of a single personal
experience covering nearly two years, and divided between Cuba and Porto
Rico, where the general moral standards may be assumed to be about the
same. Though the person in question travelled most of this time,
stopping at boarding-houses and hotels, and a guest in native families
where only native servants were employed, though he allowed small
articles of personal property to lie about uncared for, with the same
freedom as in the United States, and habitually left satchels and other
hand-bags unlocked, during these two years not a single thing was
stolen. In Cuba umbrellas and unlocked baggage were frequently left
unchecked in baggage and waiting rooms at railway stations, wharves, at
warehouses, and at hotel offices, and nothing was ever lost in this way.
Articles accidentally left behind in travelling, or when making
purchases, were returned when opportunity offered. At no time during the
two years was any attempt made to pass bad money or incorrect change. He
travelled sometimes all night over rough trails and in the remotest
parts of the Island, with only native companions, with considerable sums
of money upon his person and unarmed, and was never molested.

Large contractors in Cuba report no unusual loss of tools through the
peculations of their workingmen. The owners of retail stores, where
there is such a multitude of petty sales that no record of such
transactions can be kept, entrust practically their whole business to
their clerks. Judging from actual experience with people and their way
of doing business, there is nothing to indicate but that a fair degree
of private and commercial honesty prevails. As a rule, the Cuban has not
a passion for acquisition for its own sake. The question of money is an
ever present and insistent one with the middle and working classes in
Cuba as elsewhere; but when current demands are met, and they are not
excessive, the Cuban is usually satisfied. He is not ambitious to
accumulate. Men in political life, with uncertain tenure of office,
expensive ambitions, and the worst kind of precedents to influence them,
are said not to be trustworthy, but Cuba should not be judged by its
politicians. Considering only the industrial classes, there is no reason
to reproach Cuba with a particularly low standard of commercial and
personal integrity. One will not find there conditions equalling those
in countries where greater intelligence and social discipline have long
prevailed, and where reasonably good government has been habitual; but
the moral standards of the people in the respects mentioned are not such
as to present a serious bar to the industrial development of the

One of the most common and perhaps the most popular charge made against
Cuban workmen by Americans is that they are indolent. Disinclination to
hard physical labor is a widely disseminated peculiarity of the human
race. That is perhaps the reason why it is so confidently brought up as
a defect of one’s neighbors. Foreign immigrants to the United States say
that the American likes to do all the bossing and none of the hard work.
German and Swiss peasants along the Rhine consider the Frenchman’s great
weakness his desire to have clean hands and fine clothes, and that the
Italian is a “lazy beggar.” And the Italian borderer will assure you
that the Germans and Swiss want to “eat and sleep all the time.”
Therefore, in forming a judgment about the working people in Cuba, one
has to allow for this national equation. The climate of the Island does
not encourage long-continued physical labor apart from all question of
race. The American, the Spaniard, the native, and the negro are all
subjected to this influence. But a moderate amount of any kind of work
can be done by any of these under the right conditions. The immigrant
from the North brings with him a fund of physical stamina superior to
that of the native, which runs for life and is not bequeathed to his
successors born on the Island. No statement that can be made is less
likely to be controverted than the oft repeated one that the Spaniard is
superior to the Cuban, even of the first generation as a laborer. But
the climate which withdraws physical vigor frequently compensates by
giving mental alertness. The man of the second and third generation on
the Island is often quicker to comprehend any complex matter than his
Spanish ancestor. This gives him a penchant toward the professions or
the higher mechanic arts. It is not indolence so much as a combination
of qualities of temperament that turns him away from manual occupations.
He does not lack industry in his new career.

This charge of indolence against the Cuban workman is sometimes
justified by the slowness with which they perform their tasks. They are
not nearly so expeditious as Americans. But this is due in part to the
system of industrial administration. The Cuban bricklayer lays as many
bricks as the Englishman in the same trade. Recently in building the new
Westinghouse electric plant at Manchester, American supervision raised
the average number of brick laid a day by the British bricklayers from
less than 400 to 1,800, with a maximum of 2,500 for the plainest work.
This illustrates how large a part organization and supervision play in
creating industrial efficiency. Employing the same men, the English

[Illustration: STREET SCENE, HABANA.]

contractor got only about twenty per cent. as much work out of them as
did the American superintendents. In Cuba a change to American methods
and implements, and from oxen to mules as draft animals, has reduced the
cost of plowing from $97.50 and $76.50 a caballeria (33 1-3 acres), in
two specific instances, to $39.16 and $24 respectively. There is reason
to believe that in all industries this factor of supervision and
administration counts for as much in Cuba as it does elsewhere. If so, a
large part of the relative inefficiency of the Cuban must be charged off
to poor management and a wasteful industrial system.

When regularly employed the Cuban works long hours. A chart of the
street-railway traffic of Habana shows that during the shorter days of
the year the registered number of passengers carried per hour in the
whole city is nearly one-half the maximum by 6 A.M., and that it reaches
its maximum at just 6 P.M. Considering only those lines running into the
city from suburbs occupied by the working classes, the traffic before 6
A.M. is nearly or quite two-thirds the maximum. For most of these men,
therefore, twelve hours, with the noon rest deducted, is the usual term
of daily labor. On the plantations the eleven-hour day is still the
rule. In riding through the country at earliest dawn one sees workers
already in the fields. The independent country laborer usually protracts
his noon-day rest until the heat of the day is over, and some of the
apparent idleness of Cuba is due to the fact that the hours of work are
divided by this interval of repose.

In some trades the men work slowly or short hours in order to limit
production. Where payment is by piece-work, as in the cigar factories,
they do so at their own expense. But this is usually during the slack
season, and the motive is to keep as many men as possible employed.

One weakness of the working people of Cuba may be charged in part to
indolence, but it is equally due to their love of pleasure and
excitement, and to a feeling of irresponsibility as to the future so
characteristic of tropical nations. Unless pressed by necessity, the
Cuban takes frequent vacations. This is his form of dissipation, his way
of going on a spree. The excitement of strong drink does not appeal to
him as much as the gentler attractions of more protracted recreations.
He is often a gambler, he delights in music and dances and in the
little festivals of his neighborhood; he regards scrupulously all the
observances of the Church that give promises of sufficient
entertainment, especially those of a gala-day character. Weddings and
christenings and funerals are important events in his calendar. By dint
of a close and constant study of the situation he can usually find a
valid excuse for indulging in the relaxations of leisure whenever it is
not absolutely necessary for him to labor for his support.

The Cuban is therefore neither thrifty nor frugal. As a workman he
responds only to the incentive of necessity. The Spanish laborer in Cuba
usually works with the aim of accumulating a competency; not so the
Cuban. The one produces and consumes little; the other produces only
what he may consume. The Spanish laborer has few and simple ideals, but
they are fixed and permanent; the Cuban stores a new fancy in his head
every few days, and forgets it. He becomes impassioned over a carnival
mask or a polka-dot tie; a month later it has passed out of his

This is one principal reason why employers so greatly prefer the
Spaniards in their service; they are not necessarily more honest, more
active, or more intelligent, but they can be depended upon.

The Cubans are not criminally inclined. Under Spanish rule there were
four times as many Spaniards as native whites in the prisons of Cuba in
proportion to the total number of inhabitants of each nation in the
Island. The Chinese and Spaniards both showed a larger percentage of
criminals than the native Cubans of either race. Among the higher class
Cubans, especially in the remoter towns, there are many evidences of
physical degeneracy due to close intermarriage. Little scrawny men with
big bony hands and almost no head at all, are characteristic of this
class. But this type is not usually found among the rural or laboring



If the economic development of Cuba holds little promise for the people
of the country, they have even less to look for in the political
prospect. The period of self-government following freedom from the
Spanish yoke has been marked by utter failure to meet the demands and
the responsibilities of the situation. The Palma administration, ushered
in with the highest hopes and the utmost encouragement, was tainted with
corruption and cut short by revolution. The present regime can not boast
even that weak element of honesty and ability that its predecessor
possessed. To quote _La Lucha_, of Habana, which was the official organ
of the Gomez party, the present condition is characterized by
“intranquillity in the country, uneasiness in the towns and cities,
hatreds, fears, and absolute lack of confidence in the future.... Our
rulers refuse to be convinced that they are not the owners, but simply
the administrators of the public wealth.” Insurrection has been staved
off on several occasions by means of the strong arm or the greased palm.
As the year 1911 approaches its close, the rumblings of revolution are
heard in many different parts of the Island at the same time. These are
not to be taken as popular indications of resentment against bad
government,--the Cubans are used to that. They are the organized
preparations of the “outs” to unseat the “ins.” Such disturbances are
natural incidents of a situation which is controlled by professional
politicians. There are in Cuba no political parties based on principle.
Instead there are a number of cliques, each headed by a leader who holds
his followers by promises of patronage in case of success. Experience
has taught that the bullet is more effective than the ballot in Cuban
politics. A few shots fired at the moon displaced the Palma government.
To quote again from _La Lucha_: “In Cuba nothing can resist the
slightest armed movement, because the first subversive cry raised in our
fields is, and ever will be, the death knell of our political state.”
The Administration can not place dependence upon the military forces.
The keenest rivalry and the bitterest feeling exist between the rural
guard and the regular army. In case of a civil war, these bodies would
surely take opposite sides, and neither has any sentiment of loyalty to
the flag, or allegiance to the government. The chief influence to which
they would be amenable is the will of their respective commanders, who
are politicians and aim to employ the forces under them as political
instruments. The most effective defence of the President is found in
placating his enemies by substantial concessions, but this method has
naturally created fresh opponents with an appetite for sops, and the
Chief Executive finds himself well-nigh at the end of his resources.

A country may be greatly prosperous and the mass of its people be
miserable in the extreme. Mexico is an example in point. Cuba is

Throughout the hardships and hazards of the war of independence the
_insurrectos_ were supported by the belief that American enlistment in
their cause, upon which they counted for success, would be followed by
an era of permanent prosperity for the masses. The man who bore the
brunt of the fighting, buoyed by these high hopes, realizes now that he
was exploited by a handful of his own countrymen and deserted by his
expected saviour. The desertion was repeated after the need for
protection had been emphasized and the exploitation continues in an
aggravated form.

On the _guajiro_ falls most heavily the burden of supporting the most
expensive and extravagant government in the world. This because that
government dare not bear too hardly with taxation upon the great
corporations and wealthy property owners. An important part of the game
of finesse which is necessary to the life of any administration in Cuba
consists in keeping in the good graces of the money interests, for it is
in the power of these to stop the fat grazing in the political pastures
by forcing American reoccupation, and even perhaps annexation.

So we have one of the most striking of the many anomalies in the Cuban
system of administration,--the customs duties. Here, in a country with
no industries to protect, the tariff exaction is at the rate of $12 per
head. In the United States it is no more than $3.50, while in other
countries it is considerably less. At first hand the importer pays this
tax, but, of course, it ultimately falls upon the consumer. And, as

[Illustration: A GUAJIRO’S SHACK.]

more than half the importations of the Island are foodstuffs or articles
of clothing, it necessarily follows that the masses discharge the great
bulk of the customs duties. At the same time large tracts of land that
are held by their wealthy owners at high figures are exempted from
taxation entirely.

Is it any wonder that the peasant groans under the load? It is true that
he works intermittently and loafs unnecessarily, but that is no good
reason why his last dollar should be squeezed out of him, and, if he
earned more, he would probably invite heavier taxation. He has no
encouragement to exert himself beyond the needs of the present hour. He
is probably occupying land that he may be required to vacate to-morrow.
He can find no better market for his produce than the precarious one of
the adjacent village. Enterprise is an invitation to the spoilers of the
capital and the petty officials of his locality. If you should ask his
candid opinion, it would be that conditions are no better than they were
under Spain, and perhaps not quite as good. You may attempt to relieve
his depression by a reminder of his splendid independence. He will not
understand what you are talking about, although he is far from being a
dullard. He fought in the wars of independence because he was assured
that success would mean a full stomach and perchance the ownership of a
scrap of land. It resulted in neither and, unless restrained by
scepticism, he would fight again, under any banner, for the same
promise. Independence _per se_ is of no more value to him than a
cocoanut husk. He can not eat it and it will not buy calico for his

The only class of Cubans that is waxing fat and living in contentment is
that composed of the office-holders,--the professional politicians. They
toil not, but they reap with prodigious assiduity. They fill easy jobs
on extravagant salaries and try to persuade the country that they are
performing extremely difficult and important tasks. Their sole interest
and concern is to fill their pockets with as little exertion as need be.
The welfare of the people is a matter of no consideration to them. The
only fly in their ointment is the fact that they can not all be in
office at the same time, and so the “ins” are disturbed by the
uncomfortable knowledge that the “outs” are constantly scheming to oust

The peasant has entirely lost whatever faith he may have had in the
politician. The man who pulled the chestnuts out of the fire is growing
impatient of supporting a lot of unnecessary office-holders. The peasant
is supine to a shameful degree, but there is a limit to his forbearance,
and it has almost been reached. He is ripe to serve the purposes of any
agitators--any one who will offer a fair prospect of changed conditions.

But, be it well understood, this unrest and dissatisfaction are the
outcome of basic causes. They can only be remedied by radical
reformation of the economic and political state of the country. And such
reformation is not to be expected from any native source. Cuba’s
salvation depends upon guidance and aid from without, or, if not that,
from the foreign element within her borders. This fact has become so
obvious that even the organs of the politicians admit it. All classes,
save the numerically smallest, are weary and disgusted with the
condition of things. They can find no remedy at the polls. If the
present administration is ejected, it is sure to be followed by another
as bad, or worse.

When it comes to a consideration of the best means to relieve Cuba’s
distress, the factors in the matter are found to be so complex, and the
opinions on the subject so diverse, that it is extremely difficult to
arrive at any definite conclusion. One point, at least, almost all
students of the situation are agreed upon, and that is that the United
States fell very short of affording the Cubans the assistance in
rehabilitating themselves that they had a right to expect, and that the
hasty manner in which they were left to their own resources is mainly
responsible for the confusion that has existed ever since.

If the Cuban has not an actual ineptitude for exercising the functions
of government, he must be disqualified by utter inexperience. The brief
period of autonomy is hardly worth considering in this respect. Before
the present century only a very small proportion of the population had
ever exercised the elementary political function of voting. Under Spain
the affairs of the country were regulated to the smallest detail by the
national authority, which extended its paternal supervision to matters
affecting the private life of the individual. For instance, regulations
for the conduct of the bull-ring and the cock-pit emanated from the
captain-general, and under his instructions the petty officers were
constituted censors of the morals of private citizens, with power to
punish offenders.

Another equally serious disqualification is to be found in the large
proportion of illiterates in Cuba. These comprise more than half the
total population. The great majority of them are _campesinos_, rustics.
Nevertheless, it is to the country districts that we must look for the
best thought and the greatest influence in future political movements.
City dwellers are prone to act and think in mass, to be led by the crowd
and to be unduly influenced by the press. The _guajiro_, who owns a
little patch of ground, but is utterly lacking in education, is a safer
and more valuable political unit than the average citizen of Habana.

Order was established and a workable form of government framed in Cuba
by the United States, but its action in leaving this machinery entirely
under the control of an inexperienced and immature people was like
placing a razor in the hands of a child. The needs of the Island were
sacrificed to the political exigencies of its protector. This is a fact
that will hardly admit of dispute. The leading Cuban papers and the most
representative citizens of the country declared unequivocally that the
people were not prepared nor qualified to assume the responsibility of
self-government. Governor Magoon, in a report which was suppressed, made
similar representations to his superiors in Washington. Nevertheless,
thirteen months after the transfer of the Island from Spain to the
United States, President Roosevelt ordered that withdrawal should take
place one year later and “under no circumstances and for no reason”
should our occupancy be extended beyond the date set, which happened to
be just before the assembling of the presidential conventions. We
committed our first injustice to the country and made our first mistake
in the treatment of it by that hasty and premature abandonment. We have
already paid a heavy price for the blunder and Cuba has suffered
severely from the effects of it. But our responsibility still exists and
the task remains to be performed. There is no possibility of avoidance.
Sooner or later we must take the work of Cuba’s regeneration in hand
seriously and carry it out thoroughly. How this shall be done is
difficult of conjecture.

A small number of men in this country, whose opinions on any subject
command respect, believe that the best course will be found in leaving
Cuba to work out her own difficulties without interference. The
advocates of this _laissez faire_ policy point to Mexico, the Argentine,
and other Latin-American republics as shining examples of peoples who
have independently worked out similar problems and have brought their
countries through long periods of misery and disturbance to peaceful
prosperity. But there are two strong objections to this policy. In the
first place, the United States is pledged to the Cubans and the world at
large to maintain order in the Island. No one who is familiar with
conditions can believe that the Cubans are capable of carrying on a
government for a period of five years without revolutionary eruptions.
Is it conceivable that the people of the United States would allow their
government to step in periodically to suppress disturbances and to step
out promptly as soon as peace should be restored? It is safe to say,
that the next occupation of Cuba by the United States, which can not be
delayed many years, will last for a considerably longer period than did
either of the preceding occupations. Then again, the situation in Cuba
contains a very important element which destroys the applicability to it
of the examples cited. During their formative stages Mexico, Argentina,
and the other Latin-American countries contemplated were undeveloped and
comparatively little foreign capital was invested in them. Cuba, on the
contrary, is the scene of an advanced economic development. Almost the
entire country belongs to aliens, who have billions of their money sunk
in it. Is it at all probable that these persons and corporations would
submit to the loss or deterioration of their property that would
assuredly be involved in an independent government of Cuba by the
Cubans? The monied interests form at present the most determined of the
classes that look for a radical change in conditions. They know that
trouble is constantly in the air and may take definite form at any

What is the prospect of the Cubans working out an orderly and efficient
government unaided? Up to the present, notwithstanding ample
opportunity, there is not even the nucleus of a stable and rational
political party in the country. The best men stand aloof, or find
themselves hopelessly excluded from participation in public affairs.
They complain, but their plaints are vague and indeterminate. All
classes of Cubans, but one, are clamoring for a


change, but no class has put its hopes and wishes into definite
utterance. The press is hardly more explicit in its demands and
denunciations. The following quotation from the _Unión Española_, of
Habana, affords a typical illustration:

“Political anarchy, by which the country is at present confronted, is
daily growing greater. It would seem as though all the political
elements had made an agreement to perturb, or rather to dissolve, the
nation, for the tendency on all sides is to dissolution. It is time the
true patriots sounded the alarm, and that politicians pause in their
work of destruction, curbing bits, that the Cuban people may continue
the ministering of its destinies and in the possession of
self-government. It would be shameful, worse than shameful, criminal,
that Cubans, drunk with sordid ambition and in petty strife for
self-aggrandisement, should again wreck the republic, turning over this
island to the covetous stranger to exploit it and lord over it.”

It is hardly possible to avoid the conviction that Cuba’s ultimate fate
will be annexation to the United States, or some very similar state. The
United States has on five different occasions emphatically and
distinctly declared its intention to preserve the independence of Cuba.
These formal and public announcements would make it difficult for any
administration to countenance, and much more to take the initiative in,
any movement tending to annexation. But several contingencies are
conceivable which might make it possible for the United States to take
Cuba into the federation with a good grace.

The result may be brought about by one of several causes, or by
combination of them.

It is highly probable that abuse of political power, or revolution, will
make American intervention again necessary before long. If the next
occupation is not permanent, the one succeeding it is likely to be so.
The people of America will tire of the trouble and expense of periodical
correction of conditions in Cuba.

The property owning class in Cuba, native as well as foreign, is almost
unanimously in favor of the annexation of the Island to the United
States, and a majority of the resident Spaniards entertain the same
sentiment. If this class should unite in action it would be
irresistible. Should it form a political party, with annexation as its
chief platform, it could overcome the professional politicians and
control Congress. A majority of the peasantry would undoubtedly support
such a party. The Island might thus pass in a legal manner by vote of
the people.

The same result might be brought about by the monied interests deciding
to buy the Congressional vote without going to the trouble and expense
of creating a genuine majority in the Legislature.

If none of the suggested contingencies should come about, it is highly
probable that Cuba will eventually come into the Union by a process
somewhat similar to that which brought Hawaii under the flag. American
interests and American citizens are constantly increasing in the Island.
It is not difficult to imagine a _coup d’état_, resulting in a
government in the hands of Americans.

If the desire of a majority of the Cubans were all that was necessary to
bring about annexation, the matter might be accomplished without serious
difficulty. There are, however, many obstacles in the way when the
question is viewed from the standpoint of the other party to the
transaction. The United States would derive important advantages from
the possession of Cuba, but in several respects the American people
would suffer by the arrangement.

At the outset a difficulty would arise as to the terms of admission. The
most enthusiastic advocates of annexation among intelligent Cubans would
not be willing to come under the American flag with anything less than
the status and rights of a state. This attitude is easy to appreciate.
Cuba’s population, wealth, resources, commerce, industries, and
strategic position would fully justify her aspirations to the highest
rank among America’s possessions. She would not be content with a
territorial position, and the proposition, which has been advanced, that
she should accept the indefinite status of Puerto Rico and the
Philippines, is not worth a moment’s consideration.

Despite official figures to the contrary, it is the conviction of many
who have had the best possible opportunities for judging, that a large
majority of the native population of Cuba have negro blood in their
veins. Practically one hundred per cent. of the people profess the Roman
Catholic faith and Spanish is the mother tongue of the same proportion.
Would the American nation agree to the construction of a sister state
out of such material?

The admission to the United States of Cuba’s products free of duty would
constitute a serious menace to Louisiana’s chief industry and to the
growing beet sugar industry of our northwestern territory. The fruit
growers of California and Florida would suffer from competition with
products raised by cheaper labor, and to a less extent the tobacco
growers of Virginia and Kentucky would feel the same pressure.

As to the advantages that Cuba would enjoy from annexation, there can be
no question. The most obvious and pronounced would be the assurance of
good government, perpetual peace within her borders, an incalculably
better administration than the present at one-third of its cost, free
trade with the United States, and a market there for all her products
and purchases.

Perhaps Cuba might approximate closely to the enjoyment of these
benefits under an arrangement which could be effected with much less
difficulty than annexation. A permanent protectorate, if introduced with
the usual methods of soothing and placating the protected, would
probably solve Cuba’s difficulties more effectually than any other plan
at present practicable. Out of such a state, Cuba might at some future
date become a member of the Union by a gradual process of evolution.
There is, of course, the objection to such an arrangement that it would
impair the independence which we have promised to maintain, but when
both parties to an agreement are willing to waive its terms there should
be no obstruction to cancelling it. Furthermore, if such a protectorate
should be established it will no doubt grow out of a presumptively
temporary occupation. The process would be something like that which has
resulted in England’s established control over Egypt. When the British
occupation of that country occurred the administration under Gladstone
declared positively that Great Britain would retire as soon as her work
should be done. She has now, however, no thought of ever doing so. Her
control of the country is undoubtedly a great benefit to the people, and
the world at large would regret her relinquishment of it. Our Government
is acting in a similar manner in its treatment of the Filipinos. No
statesman in the country now contemplates the independence of those
people as within the bounds of probability.

Under a protectorate it would be possible for the United States to
insure to the Cubans a considerable measure of the benefits that would
accrue to them from annexation, without entailing upon this country the
disadvantages which would follow the latter measure.



The one and a half billion inhabitants of the earth consume
32,000,000,000 pounds of sugar yearly. The distribution of this enormous
quantity is, however, far from even, some countries accounting for next
to none of it, while in several others the average consumption exceeds
fifty pounds for every inhabitant. Strangely enough, some of the oldest
peoples, to whom the knowledge of manufactured sugar is a matter of
immemorial possession, are only now beginning to develop a sweet tooth.
This may be said of the Chinese and the various races of the Philippine

The rapid growth in the world’s population naturally accounts for a
constant increase in consumption, but it is also greatly enhanced by the
increase in individual use. In the United States, for example, the per
capita consumption has risen eight pounds in the past few

[Illustration: HARVESTING THE CANE.]

years. We now dispose of eighty pounds of sugar annually for every soul
in our population, while twenty years ago the average was little more
than fifty pounds. This consumption takes no account of the large
quantity of confections, especially chocolate, imported into the country
in a manufactured condition. Only in Great Britain are the figures
higher than with us. There they rise to one hundred pounds. Denmark
comes next with seventy-five pounds, then Switzerland, with sixty.
Thrifty Germany, which produces the largest beet crop in the world, and
in fact controls the world’s sugar market, uses very little of the
commodity itself. Its per capita consumption is only forty-two pounds,
being about the same as that of Holland. Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, and
Servia, each consumes less than ten pounds of sugar per head of its
population, the poverty of their peoples doubtless accounting in the
main for the small figures.

Sugar in some form has been used by the inhabitants of the globe from
the earliest times. Until the fifteenth century before Christ, the chief
source of supply was honey. It was at about that time that the value of
cultivating the wild sugar cane was discovered in India, and it is
probable that the first manufacture of sugar in any manner should be
credited to that country. For many centuries, only the raw juice was
expressed, until about 700 B.C. the employment of fire in concentrating
it came into use. From India the art spread rapidly among the ancient
nations, but did not reach Western Europe until several centuries later.
Columbus carried sugar cane from the Canary Islands to the West Indies,
whence it extended to the mainland, and thus, in a progress of three
thousand years, encircled the earth.

The production of sugar in the New World became so great within a
century after its introduction, that the importers of Europe turned to
it for the supply which they had formerly received from the Orient.
Spain, Italy, and Egypt, large producers of sugar at that time, could
not meet the competition with the American output, and soon ceased to
cultivate cane commercially. Free land and slave labor enabled the
planters of the West Indies to sell sugar at lower figures, with larger
profit, than could the growers of any other part of the world.

To-day sugar is produced under the most diversified conditions and in
the most scattered regions. In many countries, such as India, Malaysia,
and the Philippines, cane is raised and sugar manufactured by the
crudest processes, with the cheapest labor. The product is low grade and
the extraction small. In other countries, such as Hawaii and Cuba, the
most improved methods are employed, and skilled labor engaged at high

The competition between cane-producing countries is so great that a
moderate advantage gained by one will sometimes destroy the industry of
another. Such was the case when our reciprocal tariff arrangement with
Cuba resulted in closing the mills of Jamaica. In recent years the
keenest rivalry has existed between cane and beet sugar. At first the
latter had great difficulty in forcing a place for itself in the world’s
markets, but with government subsidies, improvement in cultivation, and
economies in manufacture, it gradually became an irresistible competitor
of cane. During the past fifteen years beet sugar has come to the front
with great strides, and now it divides the world’s consumption with the
cane product.

Cuba produces considerably more than one-fourth of the entire cane sugar
of the world, devoting two million acres to the crop. More than
four-fifths of this area is in the provinces of Santa Clara, Matanzas
and Oriente. The Island’s output in recent years has been about
11,500,000 tons a year, yielding somewhat more than 1,000,000 tons of
refined sugar. Enormous as is this production, it falls far short of the
quantity that could be produced if larger areas of the available
suitable land were put under cultivation and if such scientific and
intensive methods as prevail in some other countries were employed.

Sugar cane was probably first grown in Cuba some time about the middle
of the sixteenth century, under the encouragement of a royal bounty. The
industry made but slow progress during the next two and a half
centuries. In 1850, the sugar production of the Island had reached
approximately 300,000 tons. Since then it has steadily increased, the
million mark having been attained in 1894. During the latter half of the
nineteenth century a tendency to centralization set in. Previous to that
period the crop had been raised on a large number of small plantations,
each working entirely independently. In 1880 began the movement toward
the establishment of “centrals” for


the performance of the extractive operations. There are now nearly two
hundred of these buildings in the Island. At the same time the
combination of small plantations resulted in a decrease in numbers with
an increase in average size.

The million ton mark gained in 1894 was upheld in the following year,
but in 1896 the war was in full blast, and the year’s output was barely
more than 225,000 tons.

During the last war of independence the sugar plantations throughout
Cuba were either utterly ruined, or severely damaged. Since the war, the
industry has been resuscitated by the investment of vast amounts of
money, the erection of modern buildings, and the installation of the
latest types of machinery. As a considerable proportion of this
investment was American money, American methods have been extensively
introduced. The result of all this is a complete reformation of the
industry in all its branches. There is, nevertheless, room for further
improvement, especially in the field. A better quality of cane might be
secured by intelligent selection, and the invention of a harvester would
result in a great economy.

The latter-day sugar plantation is a very extensive establishment and
costs from five hundred thousand dollars to several millions. One of the
largest and most complete in Cuba is that called the Central Preston,
belonging to the Nipe Bay Company, and situated on Nipe Bay. The
factory, according to the latest method, is erected close to the wharves
at Punta Tabaco. Thence the cane lands extend inland and along the shore
for twenty-five miles.

The present grinding capacity of three thousand eight hundred tons of
cane a day is shortly to be increased to five thousand tons, when the
factory will be the largest in the world.

The main building, entirely of steel construction, has a frontage of 312
feet and a depth of 234 feet on one side and 330 feet on the other.
Separate buildings are devoted to carpenter shops, machine shops,
foundry, refrigerating and ice plants.

Besides the usual full equipment of pumps, juice heaters, clarifiers,
filter presses, etc., the factory installation includes ten 600
horsepower vertical water tube boilers with bagasse burning furnaces,
automatically fed by bagasse carriers and the latest improved type of
furnace feeders; two tandems of 36 inch × 84 inch nine-roll mills, with
crushers, each tandem of mills being driven by one 32 inch × 60 inch
Corliss engine and each crusher by one 20 inch × 42 inch Corliss engine.
Two Lillie Quadruple Effects, each of a capacity to evaporate 600,000
gallons, reversible both as to vapor and liquor. Four 14 inch steel
vacuum pans, each equipped with its own vacuum pump and condenser. For
the injection water, three-stage direct connected centrifugal pumps are
used, one of which is a reserve, throwing 3,500 gallons of water per
minute. Twenty-two crystallizers, with an aggregate capacity of 37,400
cubic feet; thirty 40 inch Weston centrifugal machines and the most
improved installation of conveyors, and other auxiliary and automatic
machinery of practical design for the handling of the finished product.
Three molasses storage tanks, of 425,000 gallons capacity each,
accommodate the final molasses thrown off by the factory. These are
situated near the wharf, and from them shipment in bulk is made directly
into deep draught tank steamers.

The company’s railroad is thirty-five miles in length, of standard
gauge, laid in 60-pound rails, and furnished with cars completely made
of steel and having each a capacity of twenty tons.

When it is considered that the entire tonnage of many thousand acres
must be transported within a certain period to a central point, and that
the supply of cane to the factory must be equal and continuous to avoid
the losses that result from retardation or stoppage of the mill, the
great importance of the transportation system on a plantation may be

The modern method of the large central with its immense sphere of
influence, necessitates that the railroad be thoroughly equipped and
efficiently managed. The old practice of carrying the cane from field to
factory in an ox cart has passed into disuse along with the small mill,
and has been superseded by the present railroad, with standard gauge
roadbeds, heavy rails, steel cars, powerful locomotives, and schedule
running, the whole being under the direction of a practical railroad
man, as train despatcher. Although the standard gauge is often used, the
narrow gauge is generally employed. On estates which are a considerable
distance from any trunk line or public road, the latter is preferable on
account of the lower cost with correspondingly smaller car capacity;
while on large estates, where the cars have a capacity of twenty tons or
over, it is necessary to lay the standard gauge road for the greater
efficiency and smaller cost of maintenance.

Opinions vary as to the most convenient and economical size of car to be
used on small and large plantations. It is, however, beginning to be
generally admitted that the larger the car, having in mind the weight of
the rail, the better the results. Experienced constructors are now
recommending a steel frame car, mounted on strong trucks, with automatic
couplers and air brake attachments. A steel car has been found by
carefully observed experience to have a longer life than a wooden one,
since it is in the field the year round, and if it is well painted the
deterioration is much less than with the other style.

Recently, plantation operators have learned that it is a mistake to use
light locomotives with heavy loads. The result is an abnormal
deterioration, while when a locomotive of sufficient power and weight is
used, less trouble is experienced in hauling the train and the wear and
tear is minimized. Up-to-date plantations are furnished with an adequate
round-house, where the engines can be under the eye of an experienced
mechanic, and where repairs can conveniently be made.

Closely connected with the railroad is the telephone system, which is of
great service to the train despatcher, in many instances avoiding
serious delays at the mill. The telephone is also, of course, in
constant use by all branches of the operation.

The method of discharging cane from the cars is very different from the
old slow process, which was akin to that of unloading a hay wagon with
pitchforks. Nowadays an electric overhead travelling crane lifts the
cane from the car, weighs it automatically in suspension, and then drops
it into the cane hopper and elevator.

The tendency of late years has been towards the construction of large
centrals, either by the consolidation of a number of the smaller and
older ones, or by the erection of new sugar houses, thus effecting vast
economies in field transportation and factory labor, and bringing the
cost of maintenance and manufacture to a minimum.

Large centrals necessarily employ a large number of laborers during the
crop season, as well as in the dead season, and in order to make


them contented and break their former habit of moving from one locality
to another at the prompting of a whim, it has been found advantageous to
provide them with comfortable homes and sanitary surroundings. This
latter-day development is well exemplified in the village of Preston,
attached to the plantation under consideration. The streets are wide and
regular, and each is lined with model dwelling-houses. The sanitary
arrangements are in charge of a specially organized corps of experienced
men. A large and well-equipped school is maintained; there are two
churches of different denominations, besides a well-stocked store, where
goods are sold at cost. The company operates a modern hotel in the
village, where meals are dispensed at small cost to those who prefer not
to cook in their houses.

As each succeeding generation receives educational advantages, it
follows that there is a constantly increasing desire to live on a better
plane and under improved conditions. Therefore the provision of proper
accommodations becomes an economic necessity upon large centrals, where
the supply of labor must be dependable, and can be best made so by
encouraging it to become permanently resident. This system will go a
long way toward tending to solve the labor problem for large
corporations, and deserves the serious attention of all employers of
labor in considerable numbers.

The present method of sugar production distinctly separates the
operations of cane growing and sugar manufacture. The latter involves by
far the greater expense and yields proportionally greater profit. Much
the greater proportion of the skill called into play by the industry is
also applied to the factory operations. It is still the case that some
large estates control and work entire plantations, but there are more
centrals that have nothing to do with the cane until it is cut and
delivered to their cars. In such cases, a number of plantations, large
and small, the average size being about 1500 acres, lie in the vicinity
of the central and furnish its material under contract. The usual
arrangement is to give the cane planter five per cent. of the sugar
produced from his supply.

The workings, costs, and returns, of a moderate-sized mill are shown in
the following statement which was recently formulated by a thoroughly
practical and experienced sugar manufacturer of Cuba.

A mill designed to handle 100,000 bags of sugar in a crop season will
require about $1,000,000 investment, including $150,000 for running
expenses. The area of cane necessary to supply such a mill is 6,000
acres. This, if owned and worked by the mill, would call for an
additional $500,000 investment. As has been said, however, the tendency
is to secure the supply from independent growers, under contract, in the
same way as the beet-sugar mills of our western country deal with the
neighboring farmers. In this case, the planters receive five per cent.
of the cane in sugar, or its equivalent in money. Sugar cane in Cuba
contains from ten to twelve per cent. of sugar, of which the mill
retains five or seven per cent. Plantation and mill management are
generally separated, in few cases combined.

    Price of sugar at mill   per 325-pound bag $10.27
    Railroad freight          “       “     “     .56
    Wharf expense             “       “     “     .025
    Ocean freight             “       “     “     .39
    Landing                   “       “     “     .055
    Duty per pound 1.36 cents “       “     “    4.42
               Expense per bag                 $15.72

The calculation of returns is based on the very conservative rates of
ten per cent. extraction and a price of 2.75 cents per pound. The price
of sugar is subject to great and frequent fluctuations, but there are
mills in Cuba that produce a twelve per cent. average constantly.

The 6,000 acres (180 caballerias) presupposed will produce 325,000,000
pounds of cane, and from this will be extracted 32,500,000 pounds of
sugar, or the equivalent of 100,000 bags of 325 pounds each.

    32,500,000 pounds of sugar at 2.75 cents   $893,750
    Due the planters, 5% of total               446,875


    Expenses per year about                    $110,000
    5% interest on $500,000                      25,000
    Cutting and hauling                         185,000
    Loss on transportation, etc.                  6,375
    Profit for plantation                       120,000


    20% expense of yield                       $180,000
    5% interest on $1,000,000                    50,000
    Net profit                                  216,875

The beet-sugar competition of late years, and particularly that of the
German product which is supported by a bounty, has had a very depressing
effect upon the Cuban industry. This was considerably relieved by the
countervailing duty placed upon bounty sugar by the Dingley Bill of
1894. The effect of this was to place the latter products on exactly
the same footing, so far as the United States market is concerned, as
though they did not enjoy the advantage of a bounty. The competition is
still severe, however, on account of the vast quantity of Germany’s
production and the lower cost of it. This is due, not to cheaper labor,
but to more scientific and intensive methods. In fact, the future value
of Cuban sugar is dependent not upon the cost of producing it so much,
as upon the cost of production in Germany, and the extent to which the
commodity may be admitted duty free into the United States from Hawaii,
the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

On this subject, Mr. E. F. Atkins is quoted as follows in _Industrial

“With new capital and skill the average cost of production in Cuba can
be reduced, and with either free sugars or a uniform rate of duty in the
United States, assessed upon all sugar (a countervailing duty to offset
foreign bounties being always maintained), she can hold her own and
recover her prestige as a sugar-producing country, but the margin of
profit in sugar manufacture is so small, and the world’s capacity for
production so great, that Cuba cannot recover her prosperity in the
face of any advantage to be given to sugars from other countries
entering the United States. At current prices in Cuba, cane is worth to
the planter the equivalent of $2 to $2.50 per ton net, out of which
price he must pay for his planting and cultivation, cutting and delivery
to the nearest factory or railroad point. As the cost of cane production
consists almost entirely of labor, and wages in Cuba, for some years
previous to the insurrection, ranged about the same in Spanish gold as
similar work commanded in the United States, the profits in this branch
of the business have not been great, and have been dependent upon skill
in management, quality of lands, and proximity to the factories.

“The supply of labor and rates of wages in the future are now most
serious questions to the sugar producer in Cuba, and present the
greatest obstacle to reduction of cost. For supplies of cane the
manufacturer must depend either upon his own resources, or upon large
planters. Factories to be operated at a profit must be kept running day
and night, and cane, owing to its nature, must be ground immediately it
is cut. The grinding season in Cuba

[Illustration: GRINDING SUGAR-CANE.]

is limited to about one hundred and twenty working days, and small
farmers, while they can generally find a market for their cane, cannot
be depended on for a constant regular supply. Had Cuba the power to
dictate her own prices, she could maintain sufficient margin to overcome
local difficulties, but that power has long since passed and future
profits must be dependent upon her economies. The price of cane to her
planters is dependent upon the price at which her manufacturers can sell
their sugar, and this price in turn is dependent upon the price at which
other sugar-producing countries, especially Germany, the great factor in
the world’s sugar trade, can place her goods, duty paid, in New York. If
Cuba in the future should have to compete to any extent, in the United
States, with free sugar from other countries, while a duty was exacted
from Cuban sugar, her case would seem to be hopeless.”

So great is Cuba’s reliance upon her sugar industry that a rise or
falling off in it means depression or elation in every part of the
Island. In 1906, the United States paid to Cuba $72,650,000 for
1,092,180 tons of sugar, and the prices ranged from 3-1/2 cents to
5-1/4 cents per pound. The result was general prosperity and
contentment. Since then the prices have risen and fallen through
frequent changes and a wide range, and they are once more high enough to
make the planter and manufacturer happy. But the average price and
profit for any series of recent years have not been such as to encourage
investment in the industry, and those engaged in it are only too
conscious of the fact that their prosperity rests upon a very unstable
basis. There are those who look for relief of Cuba’s difficulties in the
cessation of the European bounties, and a complete solution of them in
annexation to the United States, but either contingency is a slender



Cuba’s tobacco has a great advantage over her sugar in the facts that it
can always command a good price and is beyond the reach of competition
in the matter of quality. Every likely soil and climate in the world has
been tried in the effort to produce a leaf similar to that grown in the
fields of the celebrated Vuelta Abajo. Even though seeds from the best
Cuban plants have been used, the results have never approached the
object sought. What is commonly known as “Havana” tobacco stands alone
without a rival or any satisfactory substitute.

One of the peculiarities of the tobacco plant is that a very slight
change in the conditions under which it is grown will effect a
considerable change in the character of the leaf produced. Plants raised
in soils composed of precisely the same chemical ingredients will yield
quite different tobacco when those ingredients happen to be present in
varying proportions. In Cuba, as elsewhere, it is no uncommon thing to
find tobacco of the highest grade upon a piece of land within a stone’s
throw of another field where only the poorest quality of leaf can be
produced. This is a fact that should be remembered by prospective
purchasers of advertised Cuban lands. Promotion companies and agents
frequently offer tobacco acreage at high prices, which they justify by
statements of the production of adjacent _vegas_. Often the purchaser
finds himself in possession of a worthless tract lying alongside of one
which is yielding handsome profits to its owner. There is very little
land in the tobacco districts of Pinar del Rio which has not been tried
out and it is not safe to buy anything unless it is actually in
cultivation. In Oriente there is plenty of good tobacco land available,
but up to the present it has not been made to produce a grade of leaf
equal to what is termed _partidos_.

Tobacco is raised in the most widely separated parts of the earth and in
the most diversified climates. The world’s annual crop of the leaf
approximates 2,000,000,000 pounds with a value in the raw state of about
$225,000,000. Of this volume, Cuba produces no


more than 60,000,000 pounds in a good year, but receives for it about
$20,000,000. These figures clearly indicate the comparatively high price
which the Cuban leaf commands. Fully three-fourths of the total crop
comes from Pinar del Rio, the remainder mainly from Habana and Santa
Clara. Oriente is fast coming to the fore as a tobacco producing

A very small proportion of the product of Pinar del Rio, and probably
none of the output of other parts of the Island, is true “Cuban
tobacco.” After the Ten Years’ War, foreign seeds, chiefly that of
Mexican tobacco, were used extensively to revive the ruined _vegas_.
These exotic varieties throve and almost entirely usurped the place of
the original plant. Greatly improved by the Cuban environment, the
greater part of the Island’s output is, nevertheless, Mexican tobacco.

It is often claimed that the Cuban tobacco grower possesses some
peculiar or mystical skill, but the truth doubtless is that his success
is mainly due to the combination of soil, water, and air, that his
plants enjoy. If it were otherwise the superiority in product which the
Vuelta Abajo has maintained for three centuries would have been
contested by other sections. The famous “Lower Valley” lies in the
shadow of the Organ Mountains, to the southwest of Habana. The district
is about one hundred miles in length by ten in width. The earliest
plantations of the Spaniards were set out in the Vuelta Abajo at the
close of the sixteenth century. It is the flavor only of the leaf from
this district that creates the extraordinary demand for it. The
_partidos_ varieties, as the best leaf from other parts of the Island is
called, is larger and has a better texture.

An average year’s output of Vuelta Abajo leaf will be about 260,000
bales, or 28,600,000 pounds. Somewhat more than half of this is
converted into first-class cigars and cigarettes by the manufacturers of
Habana, and the remainder is exported to the United States and Europe.
The Province of Habana produces about one-fourth as much as Pinar del
Rio, say 65,000 bales. This is called _partido_ leaf. About 15,000 bales
of it are consumed in the Cuban factories and the rest shipped to Key
West, New York, and Europe. Of the 125,000 bales of what is called
Remedios leaf, which Santa Clara produces annually, one-fifth is used
locally and the balance sent to the United States. Oriente has a
production somewhat less than that of Santa Clara, and consumes about
the same proportion locally. This tobacco is generally termed Mayari. It
is a coarse leaf, too low-grade for the American market, but acceptable
at a low price to the smokers of Spain, Italy, and Austria, whither it
is shipped. The Provinces of Matanzas and Puerto Principe do not produce
enough tobacco to make an effect upon the market.

Tobacco factories are operated in most of the cities and large towns of
Cuba. They give employment to a large number of men and women. A
considerable proportion of this labor is skilled and high-priced. Many
workmen receive five dollars or more as the daily wage. The best paid
employes are those called “selectors,” who have the faculty of correctly
grading tobacco leaves by a quick touch and rapid glance. In other
branches of the manufacture, such as wrapping and sorting, experts will
earn as much by piece work. The finished product of the factories
amounts to upwards of 200,000,000 cigars and nearly 15,000,000 packages
of cigarettes yearly.

Some of the finest buildings in Habana are devoted to the manufacture of
tobacco. The factories are numerous and include many in which no more
than twenty hands are engaged, but the bulk of the business is centred
in a few companies that each employ thousands of workmen. There has been
considerable reorganization among the large manufacturing concerns in
recent years, involving the introduction of a large amount of additional
capital and the extension of American interests. More than 25,000
persons gain a livelihood in the tobacco business in Habana alone. Not
less than ninety-five per cent. of the exports of manufactured tobacco
are from Habana. A large proportion of the factory output of interior
towns is accounted for by domestic consumption.

The Cuban _veguero_ possesses a skill in tobacco growing which is the
result of the accumulated experience and practice of generations. In his
hands the cultivation of the narcotic plant is a highly developed art,
but it has not been reduced to a science. The most successful Cuban
planter can not tell you definitely how he produces his results, nor why
certain processes insure desired consequences. He has no fixed formulas,
and some of his most cherished practices are based on sheer
superstition. As a rule, he is working ground that his father and
grandfather worked before him. Through their experience and his own he
has gained an intimate knowledge of its needs, capacity, and
peculiarities. He can produce results from it that Europeans and
Americans have never succeeded in equalling without his aid.
Nevertheless, it is doubtful if the Cuban is securing from his tobacco
land the utmost yield in quality or quantity of which it is capable. In
the cultivation he clings to many crudities; his irrigation is haphazard
and often misjudged; he does not avail himself of the mechanical
appliances at his command. Where the best leaf is grown, traditional
methods are most firmly entrenched. There have, however, been introduced
great improvements in the treatment of lands controlled by large
corporations. The chief and most effective of these is the cultivation
of the leaf under cover. In order to encourage this development of the
industry, the duty on cheese cloth, which ranged from fifteen to fifty
cents per kilogram, was repealed in 1902. Since then the area under
cover has steadily increased and the results achieved justify the belief
that Cuba will soon rival Sumatra in the production of fine wrappers.

Tobacco seed is sown in carefully prepared beds during the month of
September. About sixty days later the young plants are set out in the
field with eighteen inches of space between each. Constant pruning and
weeding are necessary in order to insure a healthy and vigorous growth.
At the same time the tobacco worm and leaf slug must be picked off as
fast as they appear on the plant.

In January the plants are cut and the leaves hung to dry. When
thoroughly dried, the leaves are petuned, or sprinkled with a solution
of tobacco water until fermentation has taken place. The leaves are then
roughly sorted with regard to size and quality, assembled in bunches, or
hands, and packed in bales, each weighing about 125 pounds.

It is estimated that over one hundred thousand persons in Cuba are
engaged in the tobacco industry, and that eighty thousand of these are
employed in the commercial cultivation of the leaf. One man is generally
able to properly look after two acres, which will contain 15,000 plants.

The cost of cultivation varies considerably in different parts of the
Island and under different conditions. In the Province of Pinar del Rio
the cost of preparing the ground, fertilizing, planting, care, rent, and
general services, will approximate $8,000 for one _caballeria_, or
33-1/2 acres. The yield from such a tract will average 211 _tercios_, or
bales, with a value of $50 each; 54 _arrobas_ (1,350 pounds) of seed,
worth $216; and about $20 worth of stems. So that the output would fetch
approximately $10,800, leaving $2,800 profit to the grower.

Mr. Gustavo Bock, an owner and manufacturer of the greatest experience,
puts the matter in a different form. His statement, as quoted in
_Industrial Cuba_, follows:

“To produce 100 bales of tobacco, of 50 kilos each, a farmer would rent
one _caballeria_ of land, one half of which he would employ for tobacco
cultivation and the remainder for vegetables.

    Rent of land per year                                  $ 300
    250,000 plants at $1.50 per thousand                     375
    6,250 pounds of Peruvian fertilizer                      250
    Hiring of oxen                                           102
    Wages and maintenance of 12 men at $25 per
        month each                                         3,000
    _Yaguas_, _Majaguas_, and expenses                       300
    Taxes, physician’s bills and medicines, and
        living expenses of the planter and his family        400
              Total                                       $4,727

“So that a planter would have to sell each 50 kilos of tobacco at $47.27
to cover the cost of production. The foregoing figures show clearly that
the production of tobacco in the Island of Cuba is more expensive than
that in any other part of the world, especial attention being necessary
to its raising from the day it is planted to the cutting of the leaf,
besides the subsequent treatment necessary in order to obtain good leaf;
which goes on day and night if a good quality is desired.”

The use of cover, of course, entails additional expenses, but it also
produces greater results and larger profits. The cloth awning, which is
stretched over the field at a height of six or eight feet, has the
effect of tempering the strength of the sun’s rays, moderating the force
of the wind and diminishing its detrimental action on the leaves,
keeping the soil moist, and excluding the insects that prey upon the
plant. Thus, aside from the improvement in the product produced by the
use of cover, there is a substantial saving in labor secured.

According to an official statement relating to cultivation under cover
in Pinar del Rio, 212 hectares (a hectare is 2.47 acres), in which


6,776,000 seedlings were set, gave plants, according as they were budded
or not, varying in height from 1.78 to 2.10 meters, with 14 to 18 leaves
on each plant, with a yield of 14 per cent. for plants weighing 40
pounds and 60 per cent. of first-class wrapper leaves. The average cost
per hectare in the Province was $736.44.

On the other hand, two well-known and experienced planters of that
Province state that tobacco grown under cover will yield 330 bales to
the _caballeria_, instead of 150 produced by the ordinary method, giving
leaves from 28 to 32 inches long by 14 to 16 inches wide in the
proportion of 7 per cent. This is an enormous increase in yield over
that ordinarily obtained, but it may not be accepted as representative
of the results generally secured.

The average annual exports of Cuban tobacco are valued at about
$27,000,000. This sum is less than half the value of the average sugar
output. The relative importance of the two industries must not be gauged
by these figures. Although tobacco culture and manufacture are mainly
carried on in a comparatively small section of the Island, their
beneficial influence upon the community is widespread and greater than
the Cubans in general suspect it to be. The prospects for the
development of the tobacco industry and the possibilities of its
economic improvement are much better than in the case of sugar. The
former entails fewer hazards and larger profits than the latter. There
is greatly less possibility of concentrated control in the production of
tobacco than there is in the growing of sugar-cane. More than in all
this, however, the beneficial character of the tobacco industry lies in
its especial availability to the small capitalist and the individual
planter; its demand for skilled and intelligent labor; and its extensive
employment of artisans. The _vegueros_ of Cuba and the employes of the
Habana cigar factories are the most intelligent and best paid classes
among the working people of the Island.

At the close of the last war of independence the Cuban tobacco industry
was practically destroyed. In this insurrection fighting was carried on,
for the first time, in the Province of Pinar del Rio. Most of the
plantations were wiped out and the cattle, upon which they depended for
draft animals, were either killed or carried off. Worse still, the
population of the Province was reduced from thirty-six thousand to
barely one-sixth of that number. The first crop after the restoration of
peace yielded no more than one-tenth of the former average production.
The outlook of the industry was extremely black when an American
syndicate supplied the capital necessary to give it a fresh start. Since
then the process of resuscitation has progressed steadily. There is,
however, room for a much greater development. Increase in the labor
supply will permit of extension of the area of cultivation, and
improvement in methods will result in greater yield and better quality.
It is certain that under the stimulus of foreign capital and foreign
management tobacco cultivation in Cuba will soon far surpass the
production of its palmiest days.

The prospect for the manufacturing branch of the industry, which has
never been conducted to its best advantage, is equally good. The
introduction of extensive American interests has put new life into the
business, and the amalgamation of several large independent factories
has been followed by excellent results to the corporations immediately
concerned, as well as to the business at large.

The import tariff imposed on Cuban cigars by the McKinley Act was a
great blow to the manufacturers of Cuba. Many of them moved their
factories to the United States, where, being able to import the raw
material on favorable terms, they found themselves in a position to make
and sell cigars of Cuban tobacco at a profit. The effect of this
movement was to greatly decrease the exportation of manufactured tobacco
from Cuba and to increase proportionally the shipment of leaf. At the
same time the production of cigars in the United States expanded greatly
and reached the enormous quantity of 5,000,000,000 per annum.

As a remedy to this condition of affairs, the Cuban Government removed
the export duty on cigars and cigarettes, whilst maintaining that on
leaf tobacco and increasing it on the higher grades. The justice and
wisdom of this step are illustrated by the following statement by Mr.

“To manufacture in the United States 1,000 cigars, weighing 12 pounds,
sold in Habana, unstemmed, 25 pounds of filler, and 5 pounds of wrapper,
we should arrive at the following results:


    For export duty on the leaf in Cuba, 30 pounds
        of leaf at $12 per 100 kilos                 $3.60
    Import duty in the United States on 25 pounds
        of filler at 35 cents each                    8.75
    Import duty in the United States on 5 pounds
        of wrapper at $2 each                        10.00
              Total                                 $22.35

    The same 1,000 cigars imported from Cuba,
        weighing 12 pounds at $4.50 per pound       $54.00
    Export duty, 25%, ad valorem, valued at $60
        per thousand                                 15.00
              Total                                 $69.00

making a difference of $46.65 against the Cuban product.”

The tobacco interests, like the sugar planters and manufacturers, are
hoping for a turn of the political wheel that will bring about free
trade or complete reciprocity between the United States and Cuba. The
need of relief is not so great, however, with the former as with the
latter. Cuba’s tobacco industry is in a fair way, with every likelihood
of improvement in its favor.



The possession of gold ornaments by the natives of Cuba at the time of
Columbus’ discovery of the Island gave it a reputation for mineral
wealth which was maintained for centuries on a somewhat slender basis.
The precious metals have never been found in considerable quantities,
and it was only in comparatively recent years that any serious mining
enterprises were established. The Spanish Government, for some
incomprehensible reason, discouraged the exploitation and even the
investigation of the mineral resources of Cuba, and practically nothing
was definitely known about them until the United States Geological
Survey made a geological reconnaissance shortly after the
Spanish-American War.

With the exception of asphalt, which is produced on a commercial scale
in the provinces of Habana, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Puerto Principe,
the mineral development, and perhaps the mineral resources of Cuba are
restricted to the mountainous region at the eastern end of the Island,
occupied mainly by the Province of Oriente. There is no doubt but that
this region is extremely rich in many valuable minerals. The present
development is insignificant as compared with the future possibilities.
Lack of labor is a bar to the extension of mining, and several deposits
of ascertained value are not worked on account of the absence of
transportation facilities. With improvement in these conditions it is
certain that the mineral output of the Island will take an important
place in its commerce.

To the east and west of Santiago de Cuba are many deposits of iron ore,
most of them denounced, but none of them developed. Among these is a
group of mines, chief of which is the Camaroncids, fifty-six miles from
Santiago de Cuba, the ore of which is said to average sixty-eight per
cent. iron.

In part, it is widely believed that iron ore of the finest quality
abounds throughout the Sierra Maestra region. A mining engineer of
experience is responsible for the statement that, in the vicinity of
Mayari, near Nipe Bay, deposits of high grade ore have been discovered
“of sufficient extent to supply the demands of the whole world for the
next century.”

Iron is the chief mineral product of Cuba. The first “denouncement” of
an iron mine in the Island was made in the year 1861, but it was not
until 1883 that the investment of capital made the exploitation of the
deposits of the Sierra Maestra possible. In the following year, the
Juragua Iron Company, an American concern, made the first shipment of
iron ore from the Island. At this time the Spanish authorities granted a
number of concessions favorable to foreign corporations engaged in
mining. Under this encouragement the pioneer company extended its
operations and a few years later the Spanish-American Iron Company,
organized in the United States, entered the field. The Sigua Iron
Company and the Cuban Steel Ore Company followed. The operations of all
these concerns were carried on in the vicinity of Santiago de Cuba until
a few years ago, when the Spanish-American Iron Company established a
large plant at Felton, in the Nipe Bay district.

The most important recent development in the industry is the acquisition
by the Bethlehem Steel Company of an iron ore deposit occupying an area
of about 900 acres, lying twelve miles to the east of Santiago. This is
regarded by experts as one of the most important mineral discoveries
ever made in Cuba. Measurements by mining engineers give the contents of
the ore-beds as 75,000,000 tons.

The ore obtained from the Sierra Maestra is both hematite and magnetite,
rich in iron and low in phosphorus and sulphur. It is especially adapted
to the Bessemer process of manufacture. An average analysis shows more
than sixty-two per cent. metallic iron.

These properties are not mines in the strict sense of the word. The ore
is found in small irregular bodies, near the tops of the hills, and it
is extracted by quarrying, so that the workings are entirely exposed to
view. Explosives and steam shovels are used in taking out the ore, which
is unusually hard. As it does not lie in seams, with definite walls, one
of the chief difficulties of operation consists in sorting it from the
ordinary rock.

The first shipment of iron ore from Cuba, made by the Juragua Iron
Company in 1884, amounted to somewhat more than 25,000 tons. Since that
time there has been an almost steady increase in the output of Oriente.
The annual production is now in excess of a million tons, approximating
$5,000,000 in value. It is probable that the American investments in
iron mines in Cuba amount to at least $20,000,000. The large operating
companies, with one exception, originated in Philadelphia, and have now
affiliated interests.

The labor problem has been a constant difficulty with the mining
companies. They find the native whites quite unequal to the arduous work
of the mines, and the blacks are not satisfactory on account of their
irregularity and difficulty of control. Despite the cost, the greater
part of the labor employed is imported from the provinces of Spain.
These men are strong, steady workers, and orderly. The companies take
great pains to secure their comfort and health, with the result that
there are practically no desertions and little difficulty in recruiting
the force.

In this connection it will be of interest to describe the measures by
which the Spanish-American Mining Company has almost banished malaria
from its settlement at Daiquiri, especially as their experience should
be significant and suggestive to every corporation largely employing
labor in Cuba.

An outbreak of yellow fever in 1908 led to the thorough sanitation of
Daiquiri by the United States Army Medical Corps. The Company fully
appreciated the condition in which the camps were left, and decided to
maintain it. A sanitary department was organized and has been since kept
up at a monthly expense of a thousand or more dollars. A corps of
experienced men make frequent inspections of the dwellings, see that
they are kept clean and that all water barrels are covered with netting.
A determined and systematic campaign has been waged against the
anopheles, or malaria mosquito. As a result, malaria, which Cubans look
upon as a necessary evil, has been reduced to a negligible quantity, and
the general efficiency of the force has been greatly increased.

The total number of malaria cases in the year 1909 were 234. For the
last five months of the year the number was only 48, and on December 31,
there was not a single case in the hospital. The improvement has been
maintained. The following table shows how the present condition compares
with that of former years:

    Year  Average number  Total cases of  Percentage of labor force sick with
            on pay roll      malaria       malaria at some time of the year

    1901        920           1,131                       123
    1902      1,312           1,362                       104
    1903      1,348           1,116                        83
    1904        858             394                        46
    1905        941             436                        46
    1906      1,309             746                        57
    1907      1,315             689                        52
    1908      1,292             632                        49
    1909      1,391             234                        17

In 1909, with 1,391 men on the pay roll, the average number of patients
in the hospital daily was fourteen. In other words, there was only one
per cent. of the force on the sick list.

The men themselves, who at first looked upon the sanitary campaign as a
combination of joke and nuisance, now fully appreciate the effects of
it, and lend their hearty aid to the sanitary corps in their efforts.

The work of the sanitary force consists of the daily collection and
burning of all household rubbish, the care and cleaning of the barracks,
a house to house inspection of sanitary conditions, care of water tanks
and water barrels in the mine cuts, petrolization of standing water,
general cleaning of the villages and camps, and constant war on the
mosquitoes. The villages, camps, and settlements under the Company’s
control are free from mosquitoes, and the diseases which they transmit
have no chance of propagation. Care is taken to inspect all newcomers
and any found to be malarial are sent away.

The cost of the sanitary work for a year is about $12,000, but the full
value of it can not be estimated in figures. Its chief benefits are
contingent, and appear in general cleanliness, health, cheerfulness, and
efficiency. Whilst these results would warrant the expenditure, if there
were no financial return for it whatever, the fact is that the outlay is
fully justified if measured solely on the basis of dollars and cents.
Under present conditions there are at least ten men fewer in hospital
each day than there were formerly. Instead of being a charge on the
work, these ten men produce during the year 8,000 to 9,000 tons of ore,
which far more than repay the expense of sanitation.

Manganese, a material essential to the manufacture of Bessemer steel, is
found in large quantities in the mountain range running between Santiago
de Cuba and Manzanillo. Attention was first called to the deposits
shortly before the Spanish-American War, and several companies were
formed to exploit them. One of these, the Ponupo Mining and
Transportation Company, is responsible for by far the greater part of
the operations in this mineral. It has its headquarters in Santiago de
Cuba, but is controlled by American capital. The equipment of this
company includes a sixteen-mile railroad, enabling it to ship its
product to Santiago. The output of the Ponupo Company’s mines averages
forty-seven per cent. metallic manganese.

Several other companies are in possession of good yielding properties
and are well equipped for operation, but the development of the business
seems to have been checked. The reason for this is not apparent.
Conditions appear to be favorable to profitable operation. The demand in
the United States is constant at prices that should be satisfactory to
the miners. To quote Mr. Robert P. Porter: “Whatever conditions of
taxation, duties, and other expenses on the production of manganese
existed previously have been changed by the war, and entirely new
conditions are presented now for the continuance of the work. It is
believed that the mines are practically inexhaustible, and that the
metal, while varying considerably in quantity, is in the main high grade
and can be mined and shipped at prices that will extend the industry
until the United States steel

[Illustration: SANTIAGO DE CUBA.]

manufacturers will get their entire manganese supply from this nearest
known manganese district.”

On the other hand, the report of the geological survey, referred to
above, presents an entirely different view of the matter. From this
report it is gathered that the manganese deposits of Cuba usually occur
in limestone and sandstone, associated with a secondary silica, called
jasper. The ore is not in large bodies, but in small pockets,
irregularly scattered, deposits varying in size from a pebble to masses
that weigh several hundred tons. Manganese is also found in the form of
wash dirt, which is the result of decomposition of the original
ore-bearing rock. Most of the Cuban ore is in this form.

“The concensus of opinion of various experts who have looked into the
matter seems to be that the Cuban deposits of manganese ore are not
likely to be very valuable, as they are too scattered, too irregular,
too small, and too inaccessible to be profitably worked. The fact that
there is undoubtedly a considerable quantity of manganese in the
Province of Santiago de Cuba seems to be more than offset by the
peculiarities of its occurrence. If, however, the world’s supply of
manganese should run short, these deposits would undoubtedly be thought
considerable and important. With the new facilities for concentration
that have recently been installed in the plants already in operation,
some of the deposits may, indeed, be very profitably worked.”

The first mines worked in the Island of Cuba were at the place now
called El Cobre, situated about twelve miles west of the City of
Santiago de Cuba, and celebrated for its shrine and miracle-working
image of the Virgin. These mines were opened in the year 1530, and were
worked as Crown property for more than two centuries, and then
abandoned. Following a century of disuse, the mines were re-opened by a
British corporation, exactly five hundred years after work was first
started in them. The venture proved highly successful. The official
records show that between fifty and sixty million dollars’ worth of ore
was taken from El Cobre between the years 1830 and 1868. About the close
of this period the mine-owners encountered various difficulties. They
became involved in a long and costly lawsuit, which they lost, with the
railroad upon which they were dependent for the transportation of their
product. This was followed by a fall in the price of copper, and
unsettled political conditions. As a result, the mines were shut down,
and in the succeeding wars the plant was destroyed and the workings
flooded to such an extent that it was not even possible to inspect them.

After the last war, an American company, styled the San José Copper
Mining Company, took over the property and revived it. This concern and
a few others are now actively at work in the El Cobre district, with
good prospects of success.

Previous to the year 1830, the only copper properties in Cuba that were
developed were those at El Cobre. But about that time, deposits were
discovered in numerous parts of the Provinces of Puerto Principe, Santa
Clara, and Matanzas. The most notable of these that were worked in days
past are near the town of Las Minas, which is about twenty-seven miles
east of the City of Puerto Principe, on the Puerto Principe and Nuevitas
Railroad. Some of the many old shafts at this place show signs of
considerable productiveness at one time. About ten years ago these
properties were taken in hand by an American corporation, called the
Cuban Copper Company, which in 1909 exported 59,430 tons of copper.

It seems to be the general opinion of experts, who have investigated the
conditions, that Cuba will never produce gold in large quantities,
although her silver mines may be profitably developed to a considerable
extent. Nevertheless, gold mining enterprises are started every few
years in the Island. The sole basis for these appears to be the
traditions and questionable records of the past production of the old
mine at Holguin, in the Province of Oriente. The group of workings at
this point are said to have been known since the discovery of the
Island. They were operated by a native in 1856, and it is claimed that
one shaft produced ore bearing sixty-seven ounces of gold and
twenty-three ounces of silver per ton of 2,000 pounds, making a value of
$1,407 a ton at the time. In the same district, a native is said to have
discovered a pocket that yielded $15,000 in fifteen days, the ore being
worth one thousand dollars for every hundred pounds of mineral. Samples
taken from the same place, and expertly assayed, showed a maximum of
thirty-two ounces of gold to the ton of 2,240 pounds, and four ounces of

Frequent rumors of rich finds in Cuba reach New York and London, but at
present there is not a gold or silver mine in profitable operation in
the Island.

Bituminous deposits are found in every province of Cuba. They vary from
a clear translucent oil resembling petroleum to hard grahamite and
substances that closely resemble lignite coal. The report of the
Geological Survey’s reconnaissance says: “Every sugar planter claims to
have an asphalt property on his estate, and every other man knows where
there is one in which is a fortune for his friend. Many of these
deposits have been worked, more or less extensively, in past years. Oil
has been found in Cuba which has been successfully refined in the island
and used as a luminant, also as a fuel; asphalt is mined there which is
being employed as an enricher in the manufacture of gas, and is also
doing duty as a material for roofing and street paving; grahamite and
pitch are found there, which sell in this country and abroad to
manufacturers of varnish and paint; and on at least one plantation a
substance is being mined which performs the functions of coal in the
kitchen _brasero_, although experts have frequently declared that there
is no coal in Cuba. Whatever the exact and proper titles for these
various forms of bitumen, their uses would seem to be sufficiently
varied and the deposits extensive enough to be of some commercial
interest. There is, however, only a limited demand for the kind of
bitumens most frequently found in Cuba, the class which is most suitable
for varnishes; and, on the other hand, no convincing evidence has been
offered that great supplies exist of the asphalt suitable for roofing
and paving, the uses to which the largest quantities of asphalt are
applied. By large supplies we mean supplies similar to those of the
asphalt lake in Trinidad. It should be remembered, however, that the
asphalt deposits of Cuba have not yet been scientifically exploited, and
it is impossible for anyone to say definitely that the supply is not
sufficient to be commercially important.”

One of the greatest needs of Cuba’s industrial development is a domestic
fuel supply. The discovery of a coal mine might be more profitable than
that of a gold mine. This fact has led to extensive prospecting and to
frequent declarations of the presence of coal, which turned out to be
lignite or grahamite.

[Illustration: A STREET IN JIGUANI.]

The British Consul at Santiago de Cuba, in 1895, reported the discovery
of a coal deposit within fifty miles of that City. The analyses claimed
for samples seemed to indicate commercial possibilities, but no
operation of the deposit has followed.

The extent and richness of the deposits of iron ore in Cuba are beyond
question, and, although their operation has become an important
industry, development in that direction has hardly more than commenced.
As to other mineral resources, there is a decided probability of their
proving great in the future. At present little is definitely known about
the matter. With the exception of the geological reconnaissance to which
reference has been made, and which was necessarily somewhat cursory, no
scientific investigation of the Island’s mineral wealth has ever been
made. The Government might profitably devote some of the money which it
is wasting on needless consulates abroad to such a useful purpose.



Cuba is, first and last, an agricultural country. The climate, soil, and
proximity to favorable markets, create unusually favorable conditions.
The recent extensions of the railroad system, and the additions to the
_calsadas_, or government highways, of which one thousand miles were
built in the last year, have greatly improved the facilities for
interior transportation. The Government has established experiment
stations, and in other ways encouraged farming and stock raising;
railroad and development companies have extended generous aid in the
same direction. Millions have been sunk, during late years, in organized
efforts to promote agricultural industries in different parts of the
Island, aside from the investments in sugar and tobacco. But,
notwithstanding, agriculture has not advanced in Cuba at anything like
the rate that should have been experienced.

Before the last war there were upwards of one hundred thousand
plantations, ranches, and farms in the country, of which the value was
not less than $200,000,000. Very few of these properties were made to
yield adequately. Among the sugar and tobacco estates, good management
was the exception, rather than the rule. Despite the natural advantages
that he enjoyed, or perhaps because of them, the Cuban farmer hardly
ever made the most of his opportunities, nor displayed a respectable
degree of enterprise. It is true that he labored under heavy handicaps
in the political and economic conditions, but since these drawbacks have
been removed he has not shown any marked improvement. Nor has any great
advance in agricultural development followed the introduction of
American capital and American settlers, save in the sugar and tobacco
industries. The former has often been misapplied, and the latter do not
appear to have gained a grasp of the situation.

That something is radically wrong in the state of Cuban agriculture is
made glaringly apparent by the fact that the country imports annually
$25,000,000 worth of foodstuffs that it might produce. Not only that,
but several of the items that make up this aggregate represent products
that might be raised in Cuba to an extent sufficient to supply the
domestic demand and leave a considerable surplus for exportation. It is
not to be supposed, however, that under present conditions any such
results are possible. The Cubans might do much more than they are doing
to make their country productive, but until the population is greatly
increased no approximation to the utmost agricultural possibilities can
be attained. Estimates differ widely as to the extent of the area under
cultivation, but it is certainly a very small proportion of that adapted
to agriculture.

Although the soil is distinctly suitable to such treatment, intensive
cultivation and scientific methods are practised only in a few places,
and by foreigners, the usual proceeding is to plant over an extended
tract, burning the fields in the dry season and leaving the ashes on the
ground. When the rains have sufficiently moistened the earth, holes are
made in it with a pointed stick, called a _jan_, and into the holes are
dropped the seed or root from which the crop is to be derived. This
method continuously robs the soil of the elements in which its
fertility consists and at length it becomes “tired,” as the natives say.
It is then necessary to fertilize the ground, or to abandon its
cultivation. The farmer usually adopts the latter alternative and,
moving into the forest, clears another tract and starts a fresh _finca_,
to be treated by the same process. This is what the scientific
agriculturalist Liebeg termed “a system of cultivation by expoliation.”

The great difficulty in Cuba is that, in proportion to the land
available, there is little labor, and less capital. The most complete
and effective remedy will, of course, be found in an increase of the
population, but in the meanwhile conditions would be greatly improved if
the Cubans could be taught to handle their lands more intelligently and
with greater energy. There is no man on earth more susceptible to an
object lesson than the Cuban. Abstruse theories are slow to penetrate
his mind, but he readily grasps the significance of a visible
exposition. For this reason it is believed that the experiment stations,
of which there are now half a dozen or more in the Island, will not be
without effect in promoting better farming.

Nearly all the crops of northern latitudes may be raised satisfactorily
upon the uplands of Cuba. It is questionable, however, whether wheat,
barley, and oats, would be as profitable crops as some others to which
the ground might be devoted. Corn of an indifferent quality is widely
grown and fed to stock. There seems to be no reason why the very best
varieties of this grain should not be produced on Cuban soil, and
efforts are being made to induce farmers to use selected seed and better
methods in the cultivation. Two crops a year are secured and,
unfortunately, the ground is often sown continuously in corn for long
periods. Rotation is something that the Cuban farmer has yet to
appreciate. On the lands about the coast, a great deal of rice is
raised, but the domestic consumption of this cereal is very large and
there is no surplus for export. This is, however, one of the crops which
might be increased without any extraordinary effort, and the United
States market would be open to the importation of all the excess

Another instance of neglected opportunity is found in the potato. The
Cuban tuber, which has only recently been introduced to the United
States, is of excellent quality and might be made a serious rival of
the famous Bermuda potato. Two crops a year, with an enormous yield to
the acre, are harvested, but the output is far from reaching the
quantity that could be profitably marketed. At the present time the
United States is sending yearly to Cuba potatoes to more than twice the
value of all the vegetables received from the Island, and the quality of
the imported article is far from as good as that of the domestic
product. Cuba also buys beans annually to the value of more than two
hundred thousand dollars, despite the fact that every variety of this
vegetable grows abundantly in almost any part of the Island, and with
little cultivation. The natives consume large quantities of beans, and
should not only grow all that they eat, but also ship considerable
amounts to the ready markets which are open for them. An excellent
quality of sweet potato will grow almost anywhere in the Island, with a
large yield to the acre. The yam, a large variety of sweet potato,
abounds everywhere, and with a little cultivation the quality could be
improved to the point of creating an export demand.

There is very little cultivation of beets, but where they are raised the
quality is so unusually good and the yield so great, that it is
believed beet culture might with ordinary effort be made one of the
leading agricultural industries of the Island. In fact, the question of
beet-sugar production has been raised more than once, but naturally
enough it has not met with encouragement in a country where the beet is

It has been demonstrated that two crops a year of the highest grade of
peanuts can be raised in Cuba. It is claimed that the largest recorded
production to the acre of the nut has been secured by a Cuban planter.
There are great possibilities in this industry, but it does not appear
to be systematically carried on anywhere in the Island, and the peanut
has no place in the statistics of exports. Mention has been made
elsewhere of Cuba’s great need of comparatively small manufacturing
enterprises and the benefits that might be expected to accrue from them.
The peanut affords an opportunity in this direction. It is practically
certain that several factories for the extraction of the oil and the
manufacture of the butter could be run in the Island with profit,
especially if the factories maintained their own plantations for the
supply of the raw material.

None of the vegetables are cultivated to the extent which they might be
with profit. Cuba should export fresh vegetables in large quantities to
the New York market, where the winter and spring demands are insatiable.
Cucumbers, radishes, onions, lettuce, and other table delicacies grow
all the year round in the Island. And instead of producing and shipping
them, as she should, Cuba is even importing cabbage. The Chinese
truck-gardeners are the only people in the Island who appear to have any
understanding of intensive and careful cultivation, if we except a few
foreigners who have not yet had sufficient experience to produce the
results which they are aiming at, and which they will doubtless achieve
in time.

All classes of Cubans eat quantities of plantain. The vegetable is
rarely absent from the table, where it appears in all manner of
forms,--dried and fried, baked and boiled. The banana is also consumed
in large quantities and in various forms. There are a great number of
varieties of the fruit, the best known being the “Manzano” and the
“Johnson.” The latter is the variety that is cultivated most extensively
for export. The banana industry is an important factor in Cuba’s
commerce, but its development is due entirely to the fact of the
cultivation having been taken in hand by foreign capital and conducted
under foreign direction. The demand for bananas might have continued
until Doomsday without the Cubans having taken advantage of the obvious
opportunity afforded by it. The United States takes one million dollars’
worth or more of bananas from Cuba every year.

Commercial fruit culture in Cuba was only commenced in late years and,
if the banana business be left out of consideration, is still in a
backward state of development. The several colony enterprises of
American and Canadian land companies have had for their principal
objects the sale and cultivation of fruit lands. On the whole these
projects have been unsuccessful viewed from the standpoint of the
settler. This has been due to a variety of causes which will be
considered in the following chapter. Although various marketable fruits
have grown wild in Cuba for centuries the natives made little or no
effort to turn them to commercial account.

In the past few years pineapples have been systematically raised with
profit. The Cuban product is particularly hardy and of an excellent


quality. The _piña blanca_ is the sweetest variety, but it does not keep
well and is therefore not adapted to exportation. The _piña morada_ is
smaller, more scaly, and less juicy than the former. It has, however,
greater resisting qualities and represents almost the entire export of
this fruit, whilst the _piña blanca_ meets the domestic demand. The
United States market takes several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of
pineapples annually from Cuba.

When the industry was first started, the fruit fetched one dollar per
dozen in Habana, for export. The price has now fallen to about
one-fourth of that figure on account of the increase in production of
several countries, but even at present rates the pineapple can be raised
in Cuba at a very fair profit. Little labor is involved in the
cultivation, preparation for shipment is simple, and the yield is very
great. One _caballeria_ of land devoted to pineapples will cost about
$4,000 to keep up during the five years that the plant bears. In that
period it will give five crops of 18,000 dozen pineapples each. The last
crop, however, will be too small for use except in the manufacture of
preserves, and the full market price can only be counted on for the
yield of the first three years. But, even at that, if 54,000 dozens of
the fruit are marketed at twenty-five cents per dozen, there is a
balance of $9,800, after paying expenses, in addition to the profit to
be secured from the last two crops.

From this it would seem that pineapple culture is well worth while to
the man of comparatively small capital, especially as the necessary
ground can be bought in hundreds of places at less than ten dollars an

It must be admitted, however, that practical growers scout these
statements of profits, which are derived from official sources. The
owners of pineapple plantations, Americans and Spaniards for the most
part, declare that they are actually shipping at a loss. But for some
inscrutable reason they continue to raise the fruit with a constantly
increasing output.

One of the chief difficulties experienced by the investigator in Cuba
lies in the proneness of all classes of planters to deny that there is
any money in their business. They declare that the transportation
companies and commission merchants are absorbing all the profits. On the
other hand, a railroad manager will take paper and pencil and
demonstrate convincingly that

[Illustration: PINEAPPLE FIELD.]

the pineapple grower or the citrus fruit shipper is earning a very fair

It is probable that the Cuban growers may find the canning business
profitable, as those of Hawaii have done. If the Government would lend
its encouragement to such an enterprise by reducing or removing the high
duty on sheet tin and cans, there is no doubt but that a cannery could
be successfully conducted in western Cuba, where the greater part of the
pineapple cultivation is carried on.

Although, for lack of proper cultivation, Cuba has long produced an
orange of second rate quality, it has been demonstrated by actual
accomplishment in several instances that the fruit can be grown in the
Island to equal any in the world. But this result can only be attained
by the expenditure of considerable money, the application of
considerable knowledge, and the exercise of considerable patience.
Without either of these necessary factors, hundreds of Americans have
entered upon orange growing, and thousands have invested in orange lands
during the past ten years or so. The citrus fruit boom was launched on a
very unstable basis and its decline was as rapid as its growth.

There is as little ground for the statement frequently made nowadays
that there is nothing in orange culture in Cuba, as there was for the
former claim that a fortune was easily to be made out of it in ten
years. The simple fact is that the man who has the means to buy suitable
ground, to plant and tend and fertilize it properly, and maintain
himself until the grove yields, may depend upon a satisfactory return
from his investment. At present the margin is small, owing mainly to the
expenses incurred in marketing the product, but there is every reason to
believe that this burden will be considerably lightened in the next few

Many growers have abandoned their orange groves in Cuba. Others have
turned to grape-fruit, which appears to promise a greater prospect of
profit, although there is some danger of over-production injuring the
business. In Cuba the grape fruit grows to perfection. The cost of its
production and shipment is no greater than that of the orange, and it
stands carriage a great deal better. The prices at present obtained for
it leave a considerably higher margin than can be secured from oranges.

Though by no means great as yet, the market

[Illustration: BREADFRUIT.]

for what may be called fancy fruits, such as the mango, guava, and
alligator pear,--which perhaps would more properly be classed as a
vegetable,--is constantly expanding in the United States. Cuba produces
a number of delicious fruits which are quite unknown to Americans at
home, but which they soon learn to enjoy when resident in the Island. It
is altogether probable that a persistent effort to introduce some of
these to the United States market would result in a permanent demand at
profitable prices. There is a large class of New York consumers of
delicacies who are ever ready to pay for the pleasure of having their
palates tickled.

In the middle of the nineteenth century there were upwards of two
thousand coffee plantations in Cuba, and the annual output amounted to
more than two million _arrobas_ of the berry. During the latter half of
the century the industry rapidly declined under the severe competition
of South America, until it became almost extinct before the war. There
is little doubt, however, but that the product of the Island might have
withstood the competition in question had a more rational system of
cultivation and preparation been in vogue.

In the past few years there have been signs of a revival of the coffee
industry, especially in Oriente, where the tree can be cultivated to the
best advantage. All classes of Cubans drink the beverage freely and
about two million dollars’ worth of the berries are imported yearly. It
will probably not be long before native plantations are taking care of
the entire domestic demand, after which they may be able to make an
entrance to some of the foreign markets.

Efforts are being made in several directions to revive the old-time
cotton industry in Cuba, whence upwards of one million _arrobas_ of the
fibre were shipped in the year 1842. The Upland and Sea Island varieties
grow well in many parts of the Island and recently several small
plantations have been set out under the direction of Americans of

Ramie and henequen grow well in Cuba and seem to deserve greater
attention than is at present being paid to their cultivation. As these
plants thrive in what is generally classed as barren land, there is a
distinct economy involved in their culture.




The possibilities latent in Cuba’s splendid agricultural resources are
incalculably great. It is practically certain that at some day, not
distant as the lives of nations go, this Island will be completely
covered with plantations and farms, scientifically worked by intensive
methods, and sustained by the capital of many large corporations. There
is hardly room to doubt this conclusion. The demands of America and the
great manufacturing countries of Europe for food supplies are constantly
on the increase and must grow ever greater with the increase of their
populations and the further development of their mechanical industries.
There are few agricultural regions better situated and conditioned to
take advantage of this demand. But before this can be done a complete
reformation in the agricultural methods of Cuba must be brought about.
Capital must be attracted, not in independent driblets, scattered the
country, but in large sums, concentrated upon particular districts and
devoted to definite developments. In a word, the arable lands of Cuba,
now lying idle, or being wasted by a ruinous method of cultivation, must
be subjected to a process of exploitation similar to that which has
brought the sugar and tobacco industries to their present conditions of
high development. Such a movement must necessarily tend to the uplift
and prosperity of the individual farmer. It must influence his methods
and his product for the better. It must open new markets to him and
afford him increased facilities for transportation. Organized
enterprise, with ample capital, could make Cuba a great exporter of food
stuffs. Under good management the investments in such enterprises would
undoubtedly be safe and profitable. Coincident with a movement of this
kind a national agricultural bank should be established, and conducted
somewhat after the manner of the Egyptian Agricultural Bank, which has a
counterpart in the Philippines. In Cuba, almost more than anywhere else,
the small farmer needs loans and credit on moderate terms. At present,
if he can borrow at all, he must pay an exorbitant rate of interest.

Cuba is now importing annually forty millions of dollars’ worth of food
supplies. More than half of the commodities making up this purchase,
enormous for an agricultural population of two millions, might be raised
in the country, at lower cost and of better quality.

There is here an excellent opportunity for foreign capital. One or two
such companies as have successfully developed new tracts in our Western
States would find a profitable enterprise in the business of supplying
Cuba’s food demands from the product of Cuban soil. This statement is
made on the assumption that such concerns would avoid the errors into
which several colonization companies, which otherwise had good
prospects, have fallen. No such project should be started, except with
well defined plans, plenty of capital to carry them through, and, above
all, a management familiar with Cuban soils and conditions.

To begin with, the acquisition of one thousand acres of the best arable
land, well situated for the transportation of produce, will require the
investment of one hundred thousand dollars, which would, however, cover
the cost of buildings, water supply, and other necessary permanent
accessories. Each acre would then call for the further investment of
one hundred dollars, which would include all expenses until the first
crop should be secured. The expense of cultivation would average about
fifty dollars an acre, and an average return of one hundred dollars
could be looked for. This estimate of fifty dollars gross profit per
acre will appear excessive, and doubtless most Cuban farmers would call
it ridiculous. Nevertheless, there are directors of experimental
stations in Cuba, who are prepared to demonstrate the feasibility of
accomplishing it with ordinary staple crops, and several experts,
familiar with local conditions, who endorse it. If it is possible to
produce thirty, or even fifteen per cent. net profit from the
cultivation of Cuban farm lands, then the fact is the most striking
evidence of the shortcomings of the present methods of agriculture. Of
course, a large proportion of the estimated results would accrue from
the economies in production which a well-capitalized corporation could
effect by the employment of labor-saving mechanical devices, and the
economies which would naturally arise from shipping in great bulk.

In Hawaii, Mexico, and other tropical countries, the agricultural
development has been

[Illustration: ORANGE TREE.]

effected mainly by large corporations, and in the majority of cases the
enterprises have enjoyed financial success. All things considered, the
prospect for such a project would be unusually good in Cuba. One such
undertaking would be a revelation to the Cubans, and to the world at
large. It would attract additional capital to the same field and
otherwise work such benefit to the country that the Government and the
railroad which would be immediately affected by it might reasonably be
expected to lend substantial aid in its establishment and operation.

It is to be feared that capitalists who have considered such an
enterprise, have been deterred from entering upon it by knowledge of the
failures of some of the ill-judged colony projects. Several of these
were doomed to failure from the outset. In some cases the promoters had
bought poor land at low figures, which they sold to inexperienced
settlers at high prices. Not infrequently these were invalids, or men
looking for a life of ease, to whom it was represented that anyone might
make a comfortable livelihood, if not a fortune, from Cuban land, with
little effort and the investment of a trifling amount. The principal
object of such companies is to dispose of their property as quickly as
possible. They do little, or nothing, for the community which they
create. The natural result of such a combination of unfavorable
conditions is failure in its worst form. Cuba has suffered incalculable
harm from the effects of dishonest and ignorant exploitation by American
and Canadian land companies. But the fact remains that there are few
more inviting fields for effort in agriculture, if intelligently
undertaken with sufficient means.

The future development of Cuba must be along agricultural lines and it
must depend mainly upon foreigners, of whom the greater proportion will
unquestionably be Americans. The colony, or community system, is the
best means of promoting this development, and there are a number of
large companies engaged in it under admirable methods. These
corporations are affording every possible aid to the settlements for
which they are responsible, and are encouraging none to take up their
lands without the means of profitably working them.

One of the greatest present requirements of Cuba is a revival of its
old-time stock industry. The annual imports of cattle, horses, and


are large, and would be much larger if the peasants had the means of
buying the animals that they sorely need. There is probably a shortage
of not less than half a million head of various kinds of stock in the
Island. The demand is constant and great. Horses and mules are
everywhere employed as beasts of burden, and the ox is the universal
draft animal. A sugar plantation of fifteen hundred acres will need
about three hundred oxen, besides perhaps fifty horses and mules, and
will slaughter twenty-five or more head of cattle monthly for meat.

There is no doubt but that several large cattle ranches and
establishments for breeding horses and mules might be run on American
lines with profit to the owners. As in the case of farm products, the
first object to be aimed at should be the supply of the domestic demand.
After that has been accomplished, there should be no difficulty in
finding markets for all the surplus cattle that Cuba can raise. Europe
is in need of constantly increasing meat supplies, and the United States
will soon be a heavy importer of animal foods. Provided that the
industry is conducted upon modern methods and the breed improved, as it
may be without difficulty, Cuba should be able to compete with any of
the foremost cattle raising countries.

In this connection attention may be called to the neglect of alfalfa in
Cuba. It has been ascertained that the plant can be grown in the Island
with the best results. It is well known to be a powerful soil fertilizer
and an excellent crop with which to rotate. The abundance of fattening
grasses and the quantity of refuse from the sugar mills available, make
it improbable that alfalfa could be profitably used as fodder on Cuban
farms. There is no doubt however, about its ready sale in the place of
the hay which is now imported to the extent of several hundred thousand
dollars annually, and at a cost of forty dollars a ton. The market for
alfalfa hay could be greatly enlarged by supplying the small towns to
which the Cuban farmers carry pack-horse loads of grass, to be sold in
the streets at five cents for two armfuls.

One of the first steps in the improvement of Cuban farming must be the
attainment of greater yield and better crops from the land. Let us take
corn as an illustration of present conditions and future possibilities.
For long past, Cuba has been importing this grain in constantly
increasing quantities and at present is paying two million dollars a
year for it. This is one of the most glaring instances of neglect. The
Island should produce every ear of corn that is consumed in it and much
more. As it is, a comparatively small area is devoted to this crop,
which is deficient in both yield and quality. This is fully accounted
for by the haphazard method of cultivation. In very rare cases is any
other cause responsible for the poor results.

Tests, made at one of the experiment stations, of several parcels of the
seeds usually bought for planting, showed that from forty to sixty per
cent. were sterile, whilst the remainder were far from uniform in size
and vitality. By using such seeds the farmer is wasting half the ground
planted and paying six dollars per hundred pounds for the half that
germinates. Under such circumstances he can hardly raise a crop from
rented ground that will sell at a profit. Instead of attempting to do
so, he grows enough to feed his few head of stock and takes no note of
the cost.

The use of good seed is one of the urgent needs in Cuban farming, but so
long as dependence is had upon imported seeds, which invariably
degenerate in the new environment, no appreciable improvement can be
looked for. Nor would a campaign of education in seed selection, such as
has been carried on in various parts of the United States, be
economically feasible. The most direct and effective remedy will be
found in the establishment of one or more seed farms, run on modern
methods, with modern machinery. Such enterprises would not fail to
return large profits on the money invested in them.

The national and other experiment stations have not been established
long enough to permit of wide effect from their efforts. In their
immediate vicinities the improvement in farming due to their influence
is marked and there is every reason to count upon its extension. The
most interesting of these stations is that maintained by the Cuba
Railroad, under the direction of Dr. Paul Karutz. It covers about six
acres of land, immediately contiguous to the Hotel Camaguey.

Here may be seen an acre of cotton, all the plants healthy and vigorous,
and most of them bearing more than one hundred and twenty pounds each. A
model citrus fruit grove, with

[Illustration: HOTEL CAMAGUEY.]

mulched trees, and velvet beans growing between, will encourage those
who still have faith in the citrus fruit industry of Cuba. An acre of
peanuts, in remarkably good condition, yields a crop of fourteen hundred
pounds. Broomcorn, cassava, arrowroot, jute, and many other commercial
plants, may be seen in different stages of growth and development.

Experiments with corn are constantly in progress, with the object of
producing a serviceable seed by crossing Cuban, United States, and
Argentine varieties. Three new varieties have been secured, each having
long ears, large kernels, and thin cobs. The station is distributing
small parcels of this seed-corn to such farmers as show an inclination
to improve their crops.

Failure has fallen upon the efforts of a large proportion of the
thousands of Americans who have taken up farming in Cuba. This has been
due to a variety of causes. The chief of these has been insufficient
money to make a fair start. Too often the settler comes out with little
more than enough to pay for his land, build a modest dwelling, and buy a
few pounds of seed. He is forced to depend upon his own labor solely,
with inadequate mechanical equipment, and the land must support him
from the first crop, or he is faced by starvation. In other cases, where
the immigrant has money enough to buy good land and proper farm
equipment, he approaches the task in complete ignorance of the peculiar
conditions of agriculture in Cuba, and often with the additional
handicap of preconceived ideas that are entirely wrong. He plunges into
the cultivation of certain crops without any previous study or
experience, and regardless of shipping and market conditions. Sooner or
later he awakes to his mistake, but seldom before the loss of time and
money has seriously crippled his resources. Many failures are to be
attributed to the widespread tendency among American settlers in Cuba to
take to fancy farming. They are fired with the desire to do something
out of the ordinary and to produce something that no one else is
growing. It is usually the pure amateur who is afflicted with this
mania, which always costs him dearly. He generally ends as a man whose
sole possession is a theory.

There is no question about the assured success of the man who may
undertake farming in Cuba with the proper equipment. He must have ample
capital,--that is to say, enough for all calculable requirements and a
little over. He must defer serious work until he has made a thorough
study of the conditions. He should then devote his efforts to the
production of the surest crops, those entailing the least hazard in
cultivation, and for which there is a permanent market with a steady
demand. If, furthermore, he uses intelligent methods in the cultivation
of his land, he can not fail of success.

After all, so much depends upon the character of the individual. One man
will force success under conditions which completely crush another. Here
you will find a flourishing farm, due to the natural aptitude of the
owner for his work. On the other side of the fence, a misguided
individual, with better opportunities than his neighbor, is making a
miserable mess of it, because he is entirely unsuited to the job. The
literature of certain land companies is responsible for the presence of
many amateur farmers in Cuba. One of these pamphlets assures the reader
that he may safely embark in farming in Cuba without experience or
knowledge, and after the first year the land may be depended upon to
yield him a handsome income. This statement is supported by figures
showing profits realized from the cultivation of certain staples, but
no mention is made of the fact that these results were produced by
corporations operating with advantages from which the individual farmer
is precluded.

It is difficult to hold the publicity man down to a consistently honest
story. He must be an enthusiast to serve his employers well and, with
perhaps the best intentions in the world, he shuts his eyes to the
disadvantages which pertain to farming in Cuba as well as to farming in
any part of the world, and expends his eloquence solely on the roseate
aspects of the situation. The literature of the best of the land
companies is deceptive inasmuch as it draws a picture of the results
attainable under the most favorable conditions, and not those which the
average settler will experience. On the other hand, if the officials of
such companies are approached, or even the publicity man himself, a fair
and honest statement can usually be obtained.

It is not intended that anything in the foregoing should convey the
impression that all, or even a majority, of the land companies in Cuba
are untrustworthy. Many of them are fulfilling their obligations to the
utmost and several are exceeding them, with a generosity that must meet
with deserved reward in time. No matter how reliable the company,
however, the prospective settler will do well not to purchase land until
after he has seen it and had a chance to compare its situation and other
conditions with property offering elsewhere. The man who can not spare
the time and money to look round before making his investment has not
sufficient means to justify his embarking in the contemplated
enterprise. The information to be gained on the spot, although it must
be accepted with discrimination, is worth more than a cart-load of

Unless the intending settler has the capital and experience to justify
his “going it alone,” he had better attach himself to a colony. This
will give him social and economic advantages which he might not be able
to secure otherwise. There is a string of colonies from one end of the
Island to the other. A leisurely tour through these could not but
largely repay an observant man, and would qualify him to make
intelligent selection of a location for his own venture. He would gain
much useful information regarding crops and methods of cultivation. He
would learn from instances of failure what to avoid, and from instances
of success would get examples to be followed. Too much stress can not be
laid upon the advantage of this plan of “projecking around,” as Uncle
Remus calls it, before settling down. Several American farmers, whom the
writer has met, attribute their prosperity largely to having proceeded
in this manner.

Without assuming the responsibility of giving advice, it may be said
that the opinion is quite widespread, and apparently well-grounded, that
Oriente will be the seat of the greatest agricultural development in
Cuba. There are in this Province a number of flourishing colonies, under
the direction of well-capitalized and well-managed companies. Whether or
not a settler takes up land in one of these developments, he will be
wise to look them over before making a decision as to his ultimate

The prices of land in Cuba vary according to the character of the soil,
the location, the size of the tract, its situation, and the terms of
purchase. Thus, land may be had at from three to one hundred dollars an

There is room for a great deal of deception in selling land to persons
at a distance and


some agents and colony promoters take the fullest advantage of this
fact. A prospective purchaser should, unless he is dealing with a
corporation whose reliability is beyond question, have the titles to the
land offered examined by a capable attorney, and should get a
certificate from the registrar of property in the district in which the
property is situated as to the encumbrances that may exist against it.
This precaution should always be taken before making a payment. The cost
will be but a few dollars, but the outlay may save a great deal of
subsequent worry and trouble. Verbal assurances on these points can only
be accepted with hazard. A promise made to remove a cloud upon a title
is often avoided after payment has been made. Trouble may be obviated by
depositing the required sum in a bank to be paid over to the seller when
the purchaser’s lawyer has declared his satisfaction with the
transaction. On no account should quit-claim deeds be accepted, nor
payments made on lands in Cuba, without the execution of the proper
legal documents. At least as much care should be exercised in buying
Cuban property as would be considered necessary to a similar transaction
at home.

It is extremely hazardous to make deposits and undertake obligations on
the strength of a simple paper promising to convey property after the
completion of a certain number of instalment payments. There are
concerns offering Cuban lands for sale which have defective titles, only
an equity interest, or perhaps no more than an option.

Land titles in Cuba are generally good and no money need be lost on
account of them if proper care is taken in the preliminaries of
purchase. A transfer costs more than it does in the States, but there is
absolute security in it when properly executed. No real estate agent
whose intentions are honest will object to a full investigation of the
title he offers. There are many reputable agents in Habana and other
cities, who have spent years in the study of Cuban properties. It will
generally be better for the inexperienced purchaser to deal with one of
these, and pay him his legitimate commission, than to do business
directly with the owner. The real estate agent can often give valuable
information and advice. In this matter, as in that of location, the
important point is to investigate first and be sure of connecting with a
desirable man.




The full name of the capital of Cuba is San Cristobal de la Habana. In
1634 a royal decree conferred upon the City the sounding title: “_Llave
del Nuevo Mundo y Antemural de las Indias Occidentales_,” which
signifies: Key of the New World and Bulwark of the West Indies. In
emphasis, the coat of arms of the municipality bears a symbolic key and
representations of the fortresses of Morro, Punta and Fuerza.

Habana is one of the several towns founded by the governor Diego
Velasquez. He placed it upon the south coast, where the town of Batabano
now stands. It was shortly removed to its present position and rapidly
grew to be the chief centre of the Island and one of the most important
places in the New World. The first century of its history was
uneventful, save for the attacks of buccaneers, who twice sacked it
during that period. To guard against the danger from this source, La
Fuerza, the oldest fortification in the City, was erected, near the
close of the sixteenth century. Shortly afterwards, Philip the Second of
Spain ordered the construction of the Punta and Morro forts, for the
protection of the harbor, and at about the same time the official
residence of the governor of the Island was transferred from Santiago de
Cuba to Habana.

In 1650, the population of Habana was hardly more than three thousand,
but in the following two or three decades it doubled, owing to a large
immigration of Spaniards from Jamaica. During this period, the City rose
to be the commercial centre of the Spanish-American possessions and the
principal rendezvous of the royal fleets that carried on the trade
monopoly between Spain and America. The walls enclosing the City were
commenced in 1671 and finished thirty years later. The City was
frequently threatened by English squadrons, and actually captured in
1762. At the close of the Seven Years’ War Habana was restored to Spain
in exchange for the Floridas. The short period of the British
occupation, during which the port was thrown open, greatly

[Illustration: LA FUERZA, HABANA.]

stimulated the trade of the City and the general commerce of the Island.
The modern history of Habana dates from this event.

A map of the City at the beginning of the nineteenth century strikingly
illustrates its rapid growth. Then the residences were almost all
_intramuras_, or within the walls. Large _estancias_ and _huertas_
occupied ground which is now intersected by paved streets and covered
with substantial buildings. Even in the past decade a marked change has
taken place, amounting to complete transformation in certain sections.
The improvements have in many instances been at the expense of
picturesqueness and have entailed the loss of several historic
landmarks. But the gain in sanitation and convenience has been great.
Habana, which under Spanish rule had a death rate exceeding thirty to
the thousand, now boasts a lower mortality than that of New York.

The first impression made upon the visitor is by the massive character
of the architecture. This characteristic is more pronounced than in any
other Latin-American city. The building material generally used is a
conglomerate of marine material, which hardens on exposure to the air.
It is hewn into great blocks and so used in construction. Walls are
usually covered with stucco, or plaster, and colored in a variety of
tints. Roofs are either flat, or built of the old Spanish red tiles. The
effect, which is enhanced by the presence almost everywhere of trees and
shrubs, is pleasing in the extreme.

In the city proper the houses are mostly two stories in height. A plain
front is the fashion nowadays, but in former times the dwellings of the
wealthy presented ornate facades and elaborate balconies. Large
windows,--they are doors in appearance,--heavily grated and closed with
lattices, give light and air. Large double doorways open upon the
central _patio_. The houses are built close together and on a level with
the narrow pavement. The thick walls and the narrow streets tend to
mitigate the heat. In former times, when all but the lowest classes went
about in carriages, the two-foot sidewalks, which receive the drippings
of balconies, met the requirements of the population, but now the
inconvenience of walking in Habana is severely felt.

People in Habana live in the public view to an extent that surprises the
stranger from the North. Passing along the street one may plainly see
the family at meals in the diningroom, or resting in the cool of the
evening among the plants of the _patio_. From one flat roof may be
witnessed the doings on the neighboring _azoteas_. From this it might be
inferred that the domestic circle of the Habanero may be easily invaded.
Such is not, however, the case. He is hospitable, and a genial host, but
the stranger is not admitted to his home as readily as is the case with

The people of Habana are fond of the outdoor life of the parks and the
cafés. In the evening thousands gather about the bandstand in Central
Park, or sit at the tables of the hotels and restaurants upon its edge,
eating ice cream or drinking harmless liquids. They are a
pleasure-loving people, and this characteristic has earned for Habana
the name of the “Paris of the West.” There is little about the City,
however, to remind one of the capital of France. The theatres are
numerous and well patronized. The best travelling companies have always
found it profitable to include Habana in their itinerary.

The most interesting portion of Habana is that which formerly lay within
the walls. The houses here have for the most part been converted to
business purposes, but a few persons still cling to their old homes.
The old wall, of which very little remains, followed the line of what is
now Montserrat Avenue. The seaward end of it commenced at the Puerta de
la Punta and ended at the narrowest part of the harbor, just east of the
Arsenal. This refers to the interior section of the wall, which was
continued completely round the shore from the points mentioned.

To-day the neighborhood of Central Park is the heart of the City.
Formerly, social and official life of the capital revolved about the
Plaza de Armas, which is close to the waterfront. The old-time palace of
the governors, now the residence of the presidents, is a long, low
building, occupying the entire west face of the square. The oldest
church of the City was torn down to make room for the palace, which was
erected in 1834, during the administration of Tacon.

On the opposite side of the Plaza stands El Templete, a little edifice
venerated by all good citizens of Habana. It marks the site of the mass
which was celebrated in connection with the founding of the City. The
building has the appearance of a chapel and perhaps was at first
intended to serve the purpose of one. Its

[Illustration: OBISPO STREET, HABANA.]

sole contents are three historical paintings by Escobar. El Templete is
opened only on the 16th day of November, which is the anniversary of the
City’s birth. On that day all Habana walks solemnly down to the little
building and gazes upon the pictures, one of which depicts the event
that the temple is designed to commemorate.

“Each and every street south of the Plaza de Armas is interesting, in
itself as it is now, and for details of its previous history. Here, at
Oficios 94, lived the bishop of the diocese, D. Pedro Agustin Morel de
Santa Cruz, who used to take his daily promenade up Obispo, and thereby
gave that avenue its name (Bishop Street); it has since been
rechristened Pi y Margall, for a Cuban patriot, but nobody heeds the
change. On the corner of Mercaderes and Obrapia (Pious Act Street) is
the house (its handsome high entrance with coat of arms above it, its
stairways, its corridors, its quiet patio, retaining in decay the
aristocratic bearing of better days), income from which the owner, D.
Martin Calvo de Arrieta, willed, in 1679, to be divided into dowries for
five orphan girls yearly; the city is executor and in this capacity
still launches five brides per annum so dowered by Don Martin.
Lamparilla is the ‘Little Lamp Street’ (in commemoration of a light a
devotee of All Souls’ kept burning in the corner of this and Habana in
years when there was no public illumination). Here, too, on the corner
of Mercaderes and Amagura, is ‘The Corner of the Green Cross.’ The cross
is there, and it is green; no painter, furbishing up the house it marks,
would venture to give it any other color, though why it should be green
nobody knows. It was one of the stations when, before religious
processions were prohibited in the streets, good Catholics used to
travel the _Via Crucis_ along Amargua (Bitterness) Street from Cristo
Plaza at its head to San Francisco Convent at the other end. In the
house walls along the way one can distinguish yet where other stations
were. Damas is Ladies Street, because of the number of pretty women who
at one time made its balconies attractive. Inquisidor was so called
because a Commissary of the Inquisition once resided in a house facing
upon it, which now the Spanish legation owns and occupies. Refugio
(Refuge) got its name because once General Rocafort was caught in a
storm and found refuge in the house of a widow named Mendez, who lived
there. Here, and in other districts throughout town, not only the
streets had names--Empedrado, because it was the first paved; Tejadillo
(Little Tile), because a house upon it was the first to have a tiled
roof; Blanco (Target), because the artillery school practised there when
it was well outside the walled city,--but many corners and crossings had
their own particular titles. The corner of Habana and Empedrado was
called ‘the Corner of the Little Lamp,’ because in a tobacco shop there
shone steadily the only street light of the district. The corner of
Compostela and Jesus Maria was ‘Snake Corner,’ because of the picture of
a serpent painted on a house wall there. Sol and Aguacate was ‘Sun
Corner,’ for a similar reason, and the facade decoration there probably
named the whole of Sol (Sun) Street. The block on Amargura between
Compostela and Villegas was known as the ‘Square of Pious Women,’
because two very religious ladies lived near, and because, too, of the
particular station of the cross located on Amargura at this point.”[3]

Just off the Plaza de Armas is la Fuerza, that quaint fortress
constructed by the order of De Soto in 1538. This, which is probably
the oldest building of any kind in the City, attracts the greatest
amount of attention from visitors. For a long period the fort was the
official residence of the governors of the Island, who embellished its
interior with handsome furniture, statuary and paintings. As the City
grew and more formidable works usurped the protective office which La
Fuerza had so capably filled in earlier days, the building was utilized
as barracks, storehouse and even jail. The moat was filled in and a high
wall raised in its place. During the American occupation the fortress
was restored to something like its original form by the replacement of
the moat and drawbridge and the restoration of the bastions. At present
the building is used as a depository for the national archives.

An excellent view of the harbor may be had from the tower of La Fuerza.
The bell in this old tower bears the date 1706. Formerly it sounded the
hours throughout the day and night, and was used to give the alarm in
time of danger. The guns of the fort have repelled more than one attack,
and so highly was the importance of La Fuerza held in the infant period
of the colony, that a royal decree

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, HABANA.]

required all war vessels entering the harbor to salute the
fortification. La Fuerza failed, however, to stop the French pirate De
Sores, who captured and partially destroyed it, before firing and
sacking the City.

The Cathedral, a short stone’s throw from La Fuerza, is not the largest,
nor the most beautiful, nor even the oldest church in Habana, but it has
a special interest for the tourist because the bones of Christopher
Columbus reposed there until the Spaniards evacuated Cuba, when they
carried the relic with them and deposited it in the Cathedral of

The Cathedral was erected close to the waterfront, in what was then the
centre of the City. Originally a Jesuit convent, the building was
remodelled and devoted to its present purpose in 1789.

In an official map of Habana published in 1800, there are thirty-two
notations referring to the most important points and buildings of the
City. Of these references, seventeen apply to religious institutions.
Whilst far from maintaining the same proportion, the ecclesiastical
structures are very numerous. The oldest of these is the Convent of San
Francisco, which stands upon the waterfront, adjoining the plaza of the
same name. The Dominican Convent, near by, is almost as aged; both were
completed before the close of the sixteenth century. The latter has for
some years past been occupied by business offices and storerooms. These
are but a few of the most interesting among at least a score of churches
and convents within the limits of the walled portion of the City.

The fortifications of Habana have perhaps been more extensively
described than any other buildings of the City. They are not, however,
very remarkable, nor, with a few exceptions, are there historic
incidents of unusual interest associated with them. La Punta is, of
course, the most prominent object on the Malecon and constantly within
the view of the guest at the Miramar Hotel. With the exception of the
heroic defence against the attack of the British, Morro Castle can not
boast of any romantic episode in its history. Atares Castle, at the
extreme southern end of the City, was the scene of the confinement and
death of Colonel Crittenden and his companions. It has a chamber of
horrors, containing an assortment of instruments of torture, from which
visitors derive novel entertainment.

The two busiest, and perhaps best known, streets of Habana are O’Reilly
and Obispo, running from the sea wall, through the Plaza de Armas, to
Central Park, where they meet the Prado at right angles. The two streets
in question might be compared to the shopping section of Broadway, and
the Prado to Fifth Avenue. This splendid boulevard was shorn of much of
its glory by the cyclone which a few years ago wrecked the magnificent
laurels that lined its central promenade. The finest residences of
Habana are upon the Prado, but boarding houses, and even business
establishments, are beginning to invade the street. It is still a
fashionable promenade and drive, although it no longer has the exclusive
attraction that it once enjoyed.

Habana is famous for its parks, chief of which is the Parque Central.
The surrounding blocks are occupied by hotels, clubs, cafés, theatres,
and restaurants. When, on a concert night, the lights of these are added
to the electric illumination of the park, the scene is a striking one.

The installation of a good electric car system has made suburban life
popular, and a large proportion of the population of Habana now enjoy
breathing space and elbow room such as the former inhabitants never
dreamed of. The newest and most attractive of the residence suburbs is
Vedado by the sea. Here are handsome homes facing broad avenues and
standing in gardens of beautiful plants and flowers. The greater number
of resident Americans live out at Vedado.

The modern streets beyond the old walls are laid out on liberal lines
and with regularity. Habana, which used to be one of the most filthy
cities on the earth, can now boast with justice of being among the
cleanest centres in the Americas. It has a good water supply and is
efficiently policed. One of the effects of this improvement has been to
attract American tourists in constantly increasing numbers, until Habana
has taken a prominent place among our winter resorts.



The extensive railroad system of Cuba makes it possible to reach almost
any part of the Island with little trouble. The Provinces of Habana and
Matanzas, in particular, are completely covered by the ramifications of
the United Railways of Habana. The majority of tourists confine their
excursions from Habana to points which may be reached by this line.
There are, however, on the Cuba railroad many cities and districts that
will well repay a visit, whether the object be merely sightseeing, or a
study of the resources and development of the country.

It is a short run from the capital to Hoyo Colorado, the route
traversing a rich tobacco district and the centre of the pineapple
culture. Ten miles out, the line reaches the Playa of Marianao, Habana’s
fashionable bathing resort and the headquarters of the yacht club.
Marianao is to Habana what Waikiki Beach is to Honolulu.

The trip to Guines is beginning to rival in popularity with tourists the
excursion to the famous caves of Bellamar. The railroad is one of the
oldest in the world, having been opened to traffic in 1837. The
picturesque little town occupies a beautiful situation in an extensive
valley, almost entirely surrounded by mountains. It is in the centre of
a rich sugar district, but the lands in the immediate vicinity are
devoted to truck farming, in which a number of Americans are engaged
with marked success. Near by is the village of Madruga, famed long ago
for the curative quality of its sulphur baths and mineral waters.
Centuries ago, solitary invalids performed the tedious journey to the
spot and sojourned in the peasants’ huts, whilst undergoing the cure.
Nowadays Madruga is much frequented and has comfortable hotels, as well
as several well-appointed bathing establishments.

The most recent railroad to be opened in Cuba is the Habana Central,
running from the capital to the great Providencia Sugar Mill, situated
thirty-five miles to the southwest. This line has the distinction of
being operated entirely by electricity. Thousands of tourists last year
visited the plantation and factory at the terminus of the road. As the
crop season is from the beginning of December to the first or second
week of May it coincides with the tourist season, and thus visitors have
an exceptionally good opportunity to see one of the most up-to-date
mills of Cuba in full operation, with little trouble and in a few hours’

Batabano, situated on the coast almost directly to the south of Habana,
is an unattractive place, but a port of considerable importance. An
extensive sponge industry is carried on in the neighboring waters and
great numbers of turtles are shipped from here to the United States.

Batabano is the port from which the traveller takes steamer to the Isle
of Pines. The value and importance of the Isle of Pines have only been
realized in recent years. It was at one time a rendezvous of pirates and
Henry Morgan once planned to assemble his men there and make a raid upon
Habana by way of Batabano. In the hands of Spain the Isle was turned to
account only to the extent of working its marble quarries. After the
last war of independence an American colony settled there and has since
become numerous and prosperous. The Island is now practically owned by
citizens of the United States, who represent a majority of the
population. Several land companies have been in operation for the past
ten years, and have established many thriving towns and settlements. The
soil of the island is adapted to all kinds of farming and the climate
has been famous for its salubrity during the past hundred years.

Pinar del Rio is best known for the possession of the finest tobacco
lands in the world. Tobacco is, however, by no means the only industry
of the Province. Along its north coast are extensive sugar lands and a
number of large mills; also numerous plantations owned by Americans and
Canadians. The Province is singularly deficient in harbors. The best of
the few which it has is Bahia Honda. A coaling station in this bay was
ceded to the United States by Cuba, but it has not been used as yet.

The most pronounced physical feature of the Province is the group,
rather than range, of mountains called the Organo. Their verdant sides
form the background of the view from almost every point. The soil in the
valleys between the numerous spurs is exceedingly fertile. These lands
were peaceably tilled through all the disturbances previous to the last
war, but then Maceo carried the conflict into the far west, and Pinar
del Rio will not recover from its effects for many a year to come. On
the north and on the south the Organo Mountains slope down to undulating
plains. That on the southern side is the more extensive and in it the
celebrated Vuelta Abajo tobacco district lies.

For two centuries the Spaniards looked upon the Province of Matanzas as
a hotbed of rebellion. The Cubans style it “_El Suelo natal de
Independencia_,” meaning the birthplace of independence. Though, after
Habana, the smallest of the provinces of Cuba, it is one of the richest
sections of the country. In the beginning it was a great cattle grazing
region, but long since its fertile plains were extensively planted with
sugar-cane. Before the War there were five hundred stock farms in the
Province, nearly as many sugar estates, and at least three thousand
plantations of various other kinds. During the rebellion all this
industrial wealth was practically destroyed. Its rich lands insured a
revival, however, and the Province has again taken its place in the
forefront of sugar-producing sections of Cuba.

The favorite excursion of visitors to Habana is to the Valley of the
Yumuri, which Humboldt characterized as the “loveliest valley in the
world.” It has been described by many pens, as have the caverns of
Bellamar, with their numerous chambers filled with stalactite and
stalagmite crystals.

The City of Matanzas is one of the most attractive in Cuba. It contains
several beautiful parks and boulevards and, in the newest portion, some
of the finest residences in the Island.

Not far from Matanzas is Cardenas, a centre of about twenty-five
thousand inhabitants. It ranks third among the sugar shipping ports of
Cuba, handling most of the output of the Province. Cardenas is
beautifully situated and enjoys a delightful climate. It is sometimes
spoken of as an “American city,” on account of the number of persons of
that nationality resident there. Cardenas appears to be justified in its
boast that it is the most progressive city in Cuba. No more than seventy
years old, it is far in advance of every other city of its size in the
matter of public utilities, whilst its


buildings are as handsome and substantial as any to be found outside of
Habana. The harbor of Cardenas will be remembered as the scene of the
tragedy in which the little torpedo boat “Winslow” and Ensign Bagley

Although sugar-cane is by far the chief product of Santa Clara Province,
its tobacco and cattle industries are of considerable importance. There
is some ground for the belief that it possesses latent mineral resources
of great value. Gold and silver have been found in the Province, and the
output of asphalt has reached as much as ten thousand tons in a year.

The City of Santa Clara is situated at a considerable elevation above
sea level. It is well laid out, with unusually wide streets, considering
the age of the town, which was founded in the seventeenth century. Santa
Clara has long been noted for its healthfulness and its exceptionally
beautiful women. Although the capital of the Province, its population of
somewhat less than seventeen thousand is only about half that of

Cienfuegos, on the south coast, has one of the peculiar pouch-like
harbors found on several points of the Cuban shore. Centuries ago Las
Casas pronounced this harbor to be the most magnificent in the world,
an opinion which many naval experts of to-day support. The City, which
is comparatively modern, occupies a beautiful site in the lap of a group
of hills, backed by rugged mountains. It is one of the most progressive
centres of Cuba, with an extensive and constantly growing business.

Trinidad is, after Baracoa, the oldest city of Cuba. It was founded by
Velasquez in 1514. It is situated upon the side of a mountain, at an
elevation of nearly one thousand feet. Trinidad was at one time a port
of considerably more importance than it is at present. The locality
seems to possess some peculiar health-giving properties, for the town
has long held the reputation of being the most healthful in the Island
and is resorted to by sufferers from nervous and pulmonary complaints.

The Province of Camaguey, or Puerto Principe, as it was called under
Spanish dominion, is very rich in natural resources, but far less
developed than the divisions to the west of it. This, because cattle
raising was almost its sole industry until recent years, and because it
has only lately enjoyed the advantage of railroad communication. Its
area is broken by mountains, between which lie deep valleys and broad


mesas. Extensive forests occupy the former, whilst the latter are
covered with nutritious grasses, upon which cattle thrive. Before the
War at least half a million steers grazed upon these table-lands, and
fifty thousand head a year were shipped to the Habana market. There is
every promise of a great revival for this industry. Only a small
proportion of the lands of this Province are cultivated, and those are
devoted mainly to the production of tobacco and sugar.

The City of Camaguey is a picturesque old place, laid out on a very
irregular plan, or rather on no plan at all. Its buildings are quaint
and suggestive of their great age, many of them having stood for two or
more centuries. The City is the outgrowth of one of the earliest
settlements in the Island. Previous to the inception of the railroad era
it ranked next to Habana in population, but gradually fell into fifth
place, thereafter. In late years it has had a revival, due to the
extension eastward of the railway system. The Hotel Camaguey, converted
from a barrack into a delightful hostelry of a unique character, has
become famous under the management of the railroad. There is probably no
other place in Cuba affording such restful conditions and charming

In the vicinity are a number of cattle ranches conducted by Americans.
The lands adjacent to the railroad are, however, becoming too valuable
to be used as grazing grounds. Their soil is extremely rich and they
will soon be devoted to the cultivation of fruit, tobacco, and other
high-priced crops. There are already several colonies in the Province,
including “La Gloria,” one of the oldest and most prosperous American

The Province of Oriente, formerly called Santiago de Cuba, is the
section of Cuba in which the greatest future development is to be looked
for. This development will be fortunately along greatly diversified
lines. Its mountain regions are extremely rich in minerals and virgin
forests of hardwoods. Its elevated valleys contain the best soil and
have the most suitable climate for the culture of coffee. On its lower
levels fruits of various kinds grow in abundance and of good quality,
whilst its coast lands are admirably adapted to the production of
sugar-cane. The Valley of Guantanamo contains some of the largest and
most prosperous sugar plantations in the

[Illustration: MANZANILLO.]

Island. A busy mining district lies to the west, from which a large
output of iron ore is produced annually.

The City of Santiago de Cuba, situated among hills at the head of one of
the most remarkable harbors in the world, has a population of about
fifty thousand. Behind the City lies the great plateau of Oriente,
composed of stretches of the richest agricultural land, with here and
there a range of hills, or a belt of forest. This section must in time
become the seat of an extensive agricultural development.

Manzanillo is situated on the coast and at the edge of a great level
plain of extraordinary fertility. Years ago a railroad was started from
this point to Bayamo, but after a few miles had been laid, construction
was stopped, for some reason which is not easy to surmise. There is the
greatest need for such means of communication, and few railroad projects
in Cuba could be as promising. The region between Manzanillo and Bayamo
contains soil as rich as any to be found in Cuba, and there is no doubt
but that the construction of a railroad would be followed by a thorough
development of the section through which it would pass.

The Nipe Bay district is the seat of the greatest progress being made
to-day in Cuba, a progress typical of the development that has in
different parts of the Island followed the introduction of American
capital and the application of American business methods. The Bay itself
is equalled by few in the world. It is completely sheltered, with a
narrow entrance, a depth of fifteen miles, and a width of about ten. The
mountains sweep southward at Nipe Bay, and thence far to the west
extends a broad plain of fertile land. On the northwest side of the Bay
is the model town of Antilla, a creation of the Cuba Railroad, with
which it is connected by a branch line. Antilla has a rapidly growing
trade and regular steamship connections with the United States and
Jamaica. All the country round about is in cultivation. Along the banks
of the Mayari River tobacco is grown, and has been for centuries. Its
quality is indifferent, but efforts are being made, with every promise
of success, to improve it.

The development of this section is due to five great corporations,
operating with American money, except for the last named, which is
mainly supported by British capital. These


corporations are the United Fruit Company, the Nipe Bay Company, the
Spanish-American Iron Company, the Dumois-Nipe Company, and the Cuba
Railroad Company.

The United Fruit Company’s property extends for more than twenty miles
between Dumois and Banes, its shipping point. The plantation, which was
formerly devoted to bananas, is now occupied by sugar-cane to the extent
of 25,000 acres. The product is consumed by the Central Boston, one of
the largest mills in Cuba. The extent of the Fruit Company’s property
here is probably nearly 100,000 acres. Five thousand head of stock and
the numerous buildings require a large proportion of it.

The Cuba Railroad’s interest is in the port of Antilla, where it has
established a flourishing little town, and built extensive docks and
warehouses. These are much in excess of present needs, but the railroad
management is confident that this will become the principal shipping
point of the eastern end of the Island, a conclusion that seems to be
founded on logical grounds.

At Preston, the Nipe Bay Company, a corporation controlled by the United
Fruit Company, operates a sugar plantation considerably more than one
hundred thousand acres in area, and what is claimed to be the most
complete and up-to-date mill in existence. This factory is in course of
enlargement, so that it will consume five thousand tons of cane daily.
The plantation, mill, and village of Preston are more fully described in
the chapter on “Cuba’s Sugar Industry.”

The Dumois-Nipe Company owns about fifty thousand acres of land in the
vicinity of Saetia. This is devoted to various products. The largest
area, about one thousand acres, is planted in sugar-cane, somewhat more
than half as much land in bananas, and a considerable acreage in
pineapples. Oranges and grape-fruit occupy several hundred acres.

The Spanish-American Iron Company, which controls extensive mining
properties at Daiquiri and elsewhere in the Province, has its latest and
most extensive operation at Felton in the Nipe Bay district. The ore
deposit here is more than twenty miles in length and from ten to sixteen
in breadth. In depth the workings average about twenty feet. Steam
shovels are employed in taking the material out. In its ultimate form
the ore is shipped in small pellets upon the Company’s steamers, which
dock in immediate contact with the plant.

Nothing could be surer than the future great development of Oriente,
with a continuance of the present trend. American capital is constantly
looking for new investments in the Province. Its mineral deposits and
its fertile valleys will be exploited by Americans. The American
influence is already prominent in every part of it. American methods
prevail in all its industries and American money is the universal
currency. Oriente will advance by leaps and bounds into the position of
the most productive province in Cuba.





_Signed at Havana, December 11, 1902._

_Ratification with amendments advised by the Senate March 19, 1903._

_Ratified by the President, March 30, 1903._

_Ratified by Cuba, March 30, 1903._

_Ratifications exchanged at Washington, March 31, 1903._

_Proclaimed, December 17, 1903._



Whereas a Convention between the United States of America and the
Republic of Cuba to facilitate their commercial intercourse by improving
the conditions of trade between the two countries, was concluded and
signed by their respective plenipotentiaries at the City of Havana on
the eleventh day of December, 1902, the original of which Convention,
being in the English and Spanish languages, is, as amended by the Senate
of the United States, word for word as follows:

The President of the United States of America and the President of the
Republic of Cuba, animated by the desire to strengthen the bonds of
friendship between the two countries, and to facilitate their commercial
intercourse by improving the conditions of trade between them, have
resolved to enter into a convention for that purpose, and have appointed
their respective Plenipotentiaries, to wit:--

The President of the United States of America, the Honorable General
Tasker H. Bliss;

The President of the Republic of Cuba, the Honorable Carlos de Zaldo y
Beurmann, Secretary of State and Justice, and the Honorable José M.
Garcia y Montes, Secretary of the Treasury;

who, after an exchange of their full powers found to be in good and due
form, have, in consideration of and in compensation for the respective
concessions and engagements made by each to the other as hereinafter
recited, agreed and do hereby agree upon the following Articles for the
regulation and government of their reciprocal trade, namely:--


During the term of this convention, all articles of merchandise being
the product of the soil or industry of the United States which are now
imported into the Republic of Cuba free of duty, and all articles of
merchandise being the product of the soil or industry of the Republic of
Cuba which are now imported into the United States free of duty, shall
continue to be so admitted by the respective countries free of duty.


During the term of this convention, all articles of merchandise not
included in the foregoing Article I and being the product of the soil or
industry of the Republic of Cuba imported into the United States shall
be admitted at a reduction of twenty per centum of the rates of duty
thereon as provided by the Tariff Act of the United States approved July
24, 1897, or as may be provided by any tariff law of the United States
subsequently enacted.


During the term of this convention, all articles of merchandise not
included in the foregoing Article I and not hereinafter enumerated,
being the product of the soil or industry of the United States, imported
into the Republic of Cuba shall be admitted at a reduction of twenty per
centum of the rates of duty thereon as now provided or as may hereafter
be provided in the Customs Tariff of said Republic of Cuba.


During the term of this convention, the following articles of
merchandise as enumerated and described in the existing Customs Tariff
of the Republic of Cuba, being the product of the soil or industry of
the United States imported into Cuba shall be admitted at the following
respective reductions of the rates of duty thereon as now provided or as
may hereafter be provided in the Customs Tariff of the Republic of

_Schedule A_

To be admitted at a reduction of twenty five (25) per centum:

Machinery and apparatus of copper or its alloys or machines and
apparatus in which copper or its alloys enter as the component of chief
value; cast iron, wrought iron and steel, and manufactures thereof;
articles of crystal and glass, except window glass; ships and water
borne vessels of all kinds, of iron or steel; whiskies and brandies;
fish, salted, pickled, smoked or marinated; fish or shell-fish,
preserved in oil or otherwise in tins; articles of pottery or
earthenware now classified under Paragraphs 21 and 22 of the Customs
Tariff of the Republic of Cuba.

_Schedule B_

To be admitted at a reduction of thirty (30) per centum:

Butter; flour of wheat; corn; flour of corn or corn meal; chemical and
pharmaceutical products and simple drugs; malt liquors in bottles;
non-alcoholic beverages; cider; mineral waters; colors and dyes; window
glass; complete or partly made up articles of hemp, flax, pita, jute,
henequen, ramie, and other vegetable fibres now classified under the
paragraphs of Group 2, Class V, of the Customs Tariff of the Republic of
Cuba; musical instruments; writing and printing paper, except for
newspapers; cotton and manufactures thereof, except knitted goods (see
Schedule C); all articles of cutlery; boots, shoes and slippers, now
classified under Paragraphs 197 and 198 of the Customs Tariff of the
Republic of Cuba; gold and silver plated ware; drawings, photographs,
engravings, lithographs, cromolithographs, oleographs, etc., printed
from stone, zinc, aluminium, or other material, used as labels, flaps,
bands and wrappers for tobacco or other purposes, and all the other
papers (except paper for cigarettes, and excepting maps and charts),
pasteboard and manufactures thereof, now classified under Paragraphs 157
to 164 inclusive of the Customs Tariff of the Republic of Cuba; common
or ordinary soaps, now classified under Paragraph 105, letters “A” and
“B,” of the Customs Tariff of the Republic of Cuba; vegetables, pickled
or preserved in any manner; all wines, except those now classified under
Paragraph 279 (a) of the Customs Tariff of the Republic of Cuba.

_Schedule C_

To be admitted at a reduction of forty (40) per centum:

Manufactures of cotton, knitted, and all manufactures of cotton not
included in the preceding schedules; cheese; fruits, preserved; paper
pulp; perfumery and essences; articles of pottery and earthenware now
classified under Paragraph 20 of the Customs Tariff of the Republic of
Cuba; porcelain; soaps, other than common, now classified under
Paragraph 105 of the Customs Tariff of the Republic of Cuba; umbrellas
and parasols; dextrine and glucose; watches; wool and manufactures
thereof; silk and manufactures thereof; rice, cattle.


It is understood and agreed that the laws and regulations adopted, or
that may be adopted, by the United States and by the Republic of Cuba,
to protect their revenues and prevent fraud in the declarations and
proofs that the articles of merchandise to which this convention may
apply are the product or manufacture of the United States and the
Republic of Cuba, respectively, shall not impose any additional charge
or fees therefor on the articles imported, excepting the consular fees
established, or which may be established, by either of the two countries
for issuing shipping documents, which fees shall not be higher than
those charged on the shipments of similar merchandise from any other
nation whatsoever.


It is agreed that the tobacco, in any form, of the United States or of
any of its insular possessions, shall not enjoy the benefit of any
concession or rebate of duty when imported into the Republic of Cuba.


It is agreed that similar articles of both countries shall receive equal
treatment on their importation into the ports of the United States and
of the Republic of Cuba, respectively.


The rates of duty herein granted by the United States to the Republic of
Cuba are and shall continue during the term of this convention
preferential in respect to all like imports from other countries, and,
in return for said preferential rates of duty granted to the Republic
of Cuba by the United States, it is agreed that the concession herein
granted on the part of the said Republic of Cuba to the products of the
United States shall likewise be, and shall continue, during the term of
this convention, preferential in respect to all like imports from other
countries. Provided, That while this convention is in force, no sugar
imported from the Republic of Cuba, and being the product of the soil or
industry of the Republic of Cuba, shall be admitted into the United
States at a reduction of duty greater than twenty per centum of the
rates of duty thereon as provided by the tariff act of the United States
approved July 24, 1897, and no sugar, the product of any other foreign
country, shall be admitted by treaty or convention into the United
States, while this convention is in force, at a lower rate of duty than
that provided by the tariff act of the United States approved July 24,


In order to maintain the mutual advantages granted in the present
convention by the United States to the Republic of Cuba and by the
Republic of Cuba to the United States, it is understood and agreed that
any tax or charge that may be imposed by the national or local
authorities of either of the two countries upon the articles of
merchandise embraced in the provisions of this convention, subsequent to
importation and prior to their entering into consumption in the
respective countries, shall be imposed and collected without
discrimination upon like articles whencesoever imported.


It is hereby understood and agreed that in case of changes in the tariff
of either country which deprive the other of the advantage which is
represented by the percentages herein agreed upon, on the actual rates
of the tariffs now in force, the country so deprived of this protection
reserves the right to terminate its obligations under this convention
after six months’ notice to the other of its intention to arrest the
operations thereof.

       *       *       *       *       *

And it is further understood and agreed that if, at any time during the
term of this convention, after the expiration of the first year, the
protection herein granted to the products and manufactures of the
United States on the basis of the actual rates of the tariff of the
Republic of Cuba now in force, should appear to the government of the
said Republic to be excessive in view of a new tariff law that may be
adopted by it after this convention becomes operative, then the said
Republic of Cuba may reopen negotiations with a view to securing
modifications as may appear proper to both contracting parties.


The present convention shall be ratified by the appropriate authorities
of the respective countries, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at
Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, as soon as
may be before the thirty-first day of January, 1903, and the convention
shall go into effect on the tenth day after the exchange of
ratifications, and shall continue in force for the term of five (5)
years from date of going into effect, and from year to year thereafter
until the expiration of one year from the day when either of the
contracting parties shall give notice to the other of its intention to
terminate the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

This convention shall not take effect until the same shall have been
approved by the Congress.

In witness whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed the
same in duplicate, in English and Spanish, and have affixed our
respective seals, at Havana, Cuba, this eleventh day of December, in the
year one thousand nine hundred and two.

          TASKER H. BLISS            [SEAL.]
          CARLOS DE ZALDO            [SEAL.]
          JOSÉ M. GARCIA MONTES      [SEAL.]

And whereas by the terms of the said Convention it is provided that the
ratifications thereof should be exchanged at the City of Washington as
soon as may be before the thirty-first day of January, 1903, which
period was by a Supplementary Convention signed by the respective
plenipotentiaries of the two countries on January 26, 1903, extended to
the thirty-first day of March, 1903;

And whereas the said Convention of December 11, 1902, as amended by the
Senate of the United States, and the said Supplementary Convention of
January 26, 1903, have been duly ratified on both parts and the
ratifications of the two Governments were exchanged in the City of
Washington on the thirty-first day of March, 1903;

And whereas by its resolution of March 19, 1903, the Senate of the
United States added at the end of Article XI of the said Convention of
December 11, 1902, the following amendment:

“This Convention shall not take effect until the same shall have been
approved by the Congress”;

And whereas the Congress gave its approval to the said Convention by an
Act approved December 17, 1903, entitled “An Act To carry into effect a
convention between the United States and the Republic of Cuba, signed on
the eleventh day of December, in the year nineteen hundred and two,”
which Act is word for word as follows:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever the President of
the United States shall receive satisfactory evidence that the Republic
of Cuba has made provision to give full effect to the Articles of the
convention between the United States and the Republic of Cuba, signed on
the eleventh day of December, in the year nineteen hundred and two, he
is hereby authorized to issue his proclamation declaring that he has
received such evidence, and thereupon on the tenth day after exchange of
ratifications of such convention between the United States and the
Republic of Cuba, and so long as the said convention shall remain in
force, all articles of merchandise being the product of the soil or
industry of the Republic of Cuba, which are now imported into the United
States free of duty, shall continue to be so admitted free of duty, and
all other articles of merchandise being the product of the soil or
industry of the Republic of Cuba imported into the United States shall
be admitted at a reduction of twenty per centum of the rates of duty
thereon, as provided by the tariff Act of the United States, approved
July twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, or as may be
provided by any tariff law of the United States subsequently enacted.
The rates of duty herein granted by the United States to the Republic of
Cuba are and shall continue during the term of said convention
preferential in respect to all like imports from other countries:
_Provided_, That while said convention is in force no sugar imported
from the Republic of Cuba, and being the product of the soil or
industry of the Republic of Cuba, shall be admitted into the United
States at a reduction of duty greater than twenty per centum of the
rates of duty thereon, as provided by the tariff Act of the United
States, approved July twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven,
and no sugar the product of any other foreign country shall be admitted
by treaty or convention into the United States while this convention is
in force at a lower rate of duty than that provided by the tariff Act of
the United States approved July twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and
ninety-seven: _And provided further_, That nothing herein contained
shall be held or construed as an admission on the part of the House of
Representatives that customs duties can be charged otherwise than by an
Act of Congress, originating in said House.

“SEC. 2. That so long as said convention shall remain in force, the laws
and regulations adopted, or that may be adopted by the United States to
protect the revenues and prevent fraud in the declarations and proofs,
that the articles of merchandise to which said convention may apply are
the product or manufacture of the Republic of Cuba, shall not impose
any additional charge or fees therefor on the articles imported,
excepting the consular fees established, or which may be established, by
the United States for issuing shipping documents, which fees shall not
be higher than those charged on the shipments of similar merchandise
from any other nation whatsoever; that articles of the Republic of Cuba
shall receive, on their importation into the ports of the United States,
treatment equal to that which similar articles of the United States
shall receive on their importation into the ports of the Republic of
Cuba; that any tax or charge that may be imposed by the national or
local authorities of the United States upon the articles of merchandise
of the Republic of Cuba, embraced in the provisions of said convention,
subsequent to importation and prior to their entering into consumption
into the United States, shall be imposed and collected without
discrimination upon like articles whencesoever imported.”

And whereas satisfactory evidence has been received by the President of
the United States that the Republic of Cuba has made provision to give
full effect to the articles of the said convention; Now, therefore, be
it known that I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of
America, in conformity with the said Act of Congress, do hereby declare
and proclaim the said Convention, as amended by the Senate of the United
States, to be in effect on the tenth day from the date of this my

Wherefore I have caused the said Convention, as amended by the Senate of
the United States, to be made public to the end that the same and every
clause thereof, as amended, 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.

[Sidenote: [SEAL]]

Done at the City of Washington, this 17th day of December in the year of
our Lord one thousand nine hundred and three and of the Independence of
the United States the one hundred and twenty-eighth.

                                                    THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

By the President:


     _Secretary of State_.

The Secretary of State is officially advised by a note from the Minister
of Cuba at Washington, dated December 18, 1903, that by proclamation of
the President of Cuba on December 17, 1903, the reciprocal commercial
convention between the United States and Cuba, signed December 11, 1902,
is to go into effect in Cuba on the same day as in the United States.


    _Washington, December 23, 1903_.



Embodying the provisions defining the future relations of the United
States with Cuba contained in the Act of Congress, approved March 2,
1901, making appropriations for the Army.

     _Signed at Habana, May 22, 1903._

     _Ratification advised by the Senate, March 22, 1904._

     _Ratified by the President, June 25, 1904._

     _Ratified by Cuba, June 20, 1904._

     _Ratifications exchanged at Washington, July 1, 1904._

     _Proclaimed, July 2, 1904._



Whereas a Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic
of Cuba embodying the provisions defining the future relations of the
United States with Cuba contained in the Act of Congress approved March
2, 1901, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotentiaries
at Habana on the twenty-second day of May, one thousand nine hundred and
four, the original of which Treaty, being in the English and Spanish
languages is word for word as follows:

Whereas the Congress of the United States of America, by an Act approved
March 2, 1901, provided as follows:

_Provided further_, That in fulfillment of the declaration contained in
the joint resolution approved April twentieth, eighteen hundred and
ninety-eight, entitled, “For the recognition of the independence of the
people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its
authority and government in the island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land
and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President
of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United
States to carry these resolutions into effect,” the President is hereby
authorized to “leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to
its people” so soon as a government shall have been established in said
island under a constitution which, either as a part thereof or in an
ordinance appended thereto, shall define the future relations of the
United States with Cuba, substantially as follows:

“I. That the government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or
other compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend
to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or
permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for
military or naval purposes or otherwise, lodgment in or control over any
portion of said island.”

“II. That said government shall not assume or contract any public debt,
to pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking fund
provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of
the island, after defraying the current expenses of government shall be

“III. That the government of Cuba consents that the United States may
exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban
independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the
protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for
discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the treaty
of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the
government of Cuba.”

“IV. That all Acts of the United States in Cuba during its military
occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights
acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.”

“V. That the government of Cuba will execute, and as far as necessary
extend, the plans already devised or other plans to be mutually agreed
upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a
recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented thereby
assuring protection to the people and commerce of Cuba, as well as to
the commerce of the southern ports of the United States and the people
residing therein.”

“VI. That the Isle of Pines shall be omitted from the proposed
constitutional boundaries of Cuba, the title thereto being left to
future adjustment by treaty.”

“VII. That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of
Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own
defense, the government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States
lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified
points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.”

“VIII. That by way of further assurance the government of Cuba will
embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United

Whereas the Constitutional Convention of Cuba, on June twelfth, 1901,
adopted a Resolution adding to the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba
which was adopted on the twenty-first of February, 1901, an appendix in
the words and letters of the eight enumerated articles of the above
cited act of the Congress of the United States;

And whereas, by the establishment of the independent and sovereign
government of the Republic of Cuba, under the constitution promulgated
on the 20th of May, 1902, which embraced the foregoing conditions, and
by the withdrawal of the Government of the United States as an
intervening power, on the same date, it becomes necessary to embody the
above cited provisions in a permanent treaty between the United States
of America and the Republic of Cuba;

The United States of America and the Republic of Cuba, being desirous to
carry out the foregoing conditions, have for that purpose appointed as
their plenipotentiaries to conclude a treaty to that end,

The President of the United States of America, Herbert G. Squiers, Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Havana,

And the President of the Republic of Cuba, Carlos de Zaldo y Beurmann,
Secretary of State and Justice,--who after communicating to each other
their full powers found in good and due form, have agreed upon the
following articles:


The Government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other
compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend to
impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit
any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or
naval purposes, or otherwise, lodgment in or control over any portion of
said island.


The Government of Cuba shall not assume or contract any public debt to
pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking-fund
provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of
the Island of Cuba, after defraying the current expenses of the
Government, shall be inadequate.


The Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the
right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the
maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life,
property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations
with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United
States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba.


All acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy
thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired
thereunder shall be maintained and protected.


The Government of Cuba will execute, and, as far as necessary, extend
the plans already devised, or other plans to be mutually agreed upon,
for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a
recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented, thereby
assuring protection to the people and commerce of Cuba, as well as to
the commerce of the Southern ports of the United States and the people
residing therein.


The Island of Pines shall be omitted from the boundaries of Cuba
specified in the Constitution, the title thereto being left to future
adjustment by treaty.


To enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to
protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the
Government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands
necessary for coaling or naval stations, at certain specified points,
to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.


The present Convention shall be ratified by each party in conformity
with the respective Constitutions of the two countries, and the
ratifications shall be exchanged in the City of Washington within eight
months from this date.

In witness whereof, we the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed the
same in duplicate, in English and Spanish, and have affixed our
respective seals at Havana, Cuba, this twenty-second day of May, in the
year nineteen hundred and three.

            H. G. SQUIERS.        [SEAL.]
            CARLOS DE ZALDO.      [SEAL.]

And whereas the said Treaty has been duly ratified on both parts, and
the ratifications of the two governments were exchanged in the City of
Washington, on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the
United States of America, have caused the said Treaty 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.

[Sidenote: [SEAL.]]

Done at the City of Washington, this second day of July, in the year of
our Lord one thousand nine hundred and four, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the one hundred and twenty-eighth.

                                                    THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

By the President:


     _Acting Secretary of State_.




The total government revenues for the year 1910 amounted to
$41,614,694.10, and the expenditures to $40,593,392.21. These figures
show a surplus of $1,021,301.89.

The principal sources of revenue were:--

    Custom-house receipts      $24,838,030.27
    Loan taxes                   3,570,176.50
    Internal revenues            1,020,196.15
    Communications                 990,440.69
    Consular fees                  424,152.45
    National lottery             3,652,400.51

The principal expenditures were:--

    Legislative Branch                              840,170.32
    Judicial Branch                                 156,629.76
    Executive Branch                              1,766,228.33
    Department of State                             714,515.26
    Department of Justice                           202,620.85
    Department of Government                     10,168,201.85
    Department of Treasury                        2,724,987.98
    Department of Public Instruction              4,319,998.83
    Department of Public Works                    3,572,155.20
    Department of Agriculture, Labor, and Commerce  659,188.88
    Department of Health and Charities            4,137,469.89
    On account of interior debt                     737,172.50
    Interest and expenses on account of loan      2,933,732.56


According to the message of the President, Sr. Don José Miguel Gomez,
presented to the National Congress on April 3, 1911, the public debt of
Cuba amounted to $62,083,100, as follows:--

    Bonds of the revolution, 1896, 6 per cent  $2,196,585
    Redeemed                                    1,464,585
    Interior debt, 5 per cent.                $10,871,100
    Interior debt, 1906, 4-1/2 per cent.       16,500,000

    Loan of 1904, 5 per cent                  $35,000,000
    Amortization                                1,020,000
    Total debt                                           $62,083,100


The total foreign commerce of Cuba for the year 1910, according to the
Bulletin of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Navigation of Habana,
amounted to $254,584,601. The imports were $103,675,581, and the exports
$150,909,020. In 1909 the imports were $91,447,581, and the exports
$124,711,069. There was therefore an increase for the year 1910, as
compared with the preceding year, of $12,228,000 in imports and
$26,197,951 in exports, or a total increase of $38,425,951. The imports
and exports of specie, which are not included in above totals, were for
the year 1910: imports, $4,283,617; and exports, $361,538.

Imports by countries of origin for the past three years were:--

    Countries               |    1908   |    1909   |     1910
    United States           |$41,576,980|$46,339,198| $54,569,393
    United Kingdom          | 11,724,029| 12,260,414|  12,292,219
    Spain                   |  7,454,933|  8,019,893|   8,680,256
    Germany                 |  7,172,358|  6,587,538|   6,542,760
    France                  |  5,029,492|  5,303,478|   5,514,939
    Other American countries|  7,287,368|  7,127,168|   8,319,929
    Other European countries|  3,486,142|  3,892,876|   5,532,357
    All other countries     |  1,487,293|  1,917,016|   2,223,728
    Total                   |$85,218,593|$91,447,581|$103,675,581


The following table gives the imports, by articles or classes of
articles, for the years 1908, 1909, 1910:--

                                |   1908   |   1909   |   1910
    Earths, stones, and         |          |          |
    manufactures of:            |          |          |
      Stones and earth          |$1,001,981|  $737,563|  $989,249
      Shale, bitumen, etc.      | 1,010,110| 1,069,502| 1,088,759
      Glass and crystal ware    | 1,426,799| 1,115,089| 1,138,711
      Earthen ware and porcelain|   665,355|   768,106|   695,051
    Metals and manufactures of: |          |          |
      Gold, silver, and platinum|   902,197|   450,533|   338,053
      Iron and steel            | 4,767,384| 5,284,761| 6,163,754
      Copper                    |   566,473|   626,279|   809,127
      All other metals          |   252,003|   245,077|   289,294
    Chemicals, drugs, dyes, and |          |          |
    perfumeries:                |          |          |
      Natural products          |   434,885|   395,830|   468,350
      Colors, paints, etc.      |   474,234|   593,676|   672,781
      Chemical products         | 1,635,905| 2,146,797| 2,780,939
      Essences, oils, etc.      | 1,770,468| 1,886,200| 1,896,900
    Fibres and manufactures of: |          |          |
      Cotton                    | 8,993,815| 9,815,695| 8,527,821
      Other vegetable fibre     | 2,930,809| 3,579,710| 3,562,301
      Wool, hair, etc.          | 1,022,319| 1,041,286| 1,088,225
      Silk                      |   780,947|   771,376|   619,704
    Paper and manufacture of:   |          |          |
      Paper and pasteboard      | 1,329,790| 1,467,069| 1,498,369
      Books and prints          |   300,902|   304,360|   314,904
    Wood and other vegetable    |          |          |
    substances:                 |          |          |
      Wood                      | 2,060,134| 2,287,655| 2,506,090
      All other                 |   141,681|   141,683|   190,026
    Animals and animal products:|          |          |
      Animals                   |   690,508|   360,314|   341,112
      Hides and skins           |   371,890|   483,934|   573,059
      Manufactures              | 3,429,361| 4,249,507| 4,453,299
                                |           |            |
    Instruments, machinery,     |           |            |
          and apparatus:        |           |            |
        Instruments             |   $217,150|    $218,013|    $263,271
        Machinery               |  3,959,624|   5,601,387|   8,381,763
        Apparatus               |  1,612,699|   1,677,992|   2,821,968
    Foods and drinks:           |           |            |
        Meats                   |  8,318,094|   9,892,104|  11,476,815
        Fish                    |  1,194,282|   1,137,024|   1,310,144
        Breadstuff              | 11,566,465|  12,063,000|  13,358,362
        Fruits                  |    580,958|     549,866|     672,674
        Vegetables              |  3,500,787|   3,664,230|   4,522,049
        Beverages and oils      |  2,766,074|   3,048,265|   3,296,467
        Dairy products          |  1,976,544|   1,840,170|   2,524,057
        All other               |  3,681,584|   3,762,569|   3,699,134
    Miscellaneous               |  2,927,282|   2,663,737|   2,567,032
    Articles free of duty (coal,|           |            |
          paper, pulp)          |  5,956,916|   5,507,222|   7,775,967
                                |           |            |
                                |           |            |
         Total                  |$85,218,593| $91,447,581|$103,675,581
                                |           |            |


The exports by countries the last three years were:--

                                 |           |            |
                                 |    1908   |     1909   |     1910
                                 |           |            |
                                 |           |            |
     United States               |$78,868,490|$109,407,613|$129,328,517
     United Kingdom              |  4,775,966|   5,013,676|  10,696,289
     Germany                     |  4,711,164|   4,053,960|   3,646,398
     Spain                       |    958,207|     865,519|     727,297
     France                      |  1,401,997|   1,216,275|   1,549,080
     Other American countries    |  2,257,077|   2,660,971|   3,391,216
     Other European countries    |    978,084|   1,081,241|     915,175
     All other countries         |    652,339|     411,814|     655,058
                                 |           |            |
                                 |           |            |
         Total                   |$94,603,324|$124,745,304|$150,909,020
                                 |           |            |

The following table shows the value of the principal articles exported
from Cuba during the last three years:--

                                    |    1908     |      1909    |      1910
    Animals and animal products:    |             |              |
        Live animals                |     $21,149 |      $38,580 |       $14,623
        Hides and skins             |     906,980 |    1,482,108 |     1,894,738
        Products                    |      94,873 |       72,757 |       108,280
                                    |             |              |
    Sugar and molasses:             |             |              |
        Sugar                       |  52,166,812 |   79,130,181 |   108,762,632
        Molasses                    |     870,836 |    1,556,695 |     1,477,756
        Confectionery               |      42,721 |       47,194 |        44,007
                                    |             |              |
    Fruits, grains, and vegetables: |             |              |
        Fruits                      |   2,085,771 |    2,359,397 |     2,098,089
        Grains and vegetables       |     493,125 |      674,850 |       453,083
                                    |             |              |
    Fishery products:               |             |              |
        Tortoise shells             |      51,009 |       64,843 |        36,828
        Sponges                     |     280,537 |      271,596 |       354,855
                                    |             |              |
    Mineral products:               |             |              |
        Asphaltum                   |      31,144 |       47,586 |        13,499
        Iron and copper ores        |   2,098,460 |    3,362,289 |     4,330,476
        Old metals                  |     121,324 |       82,751 |         2,299
                                    |             |              |
    Forest products:                |             |              |
        Vegetable fibres            |      79,773 |       74,891 |        37,431
        Wood                        |   1,356,282 |    1,516,356 |     1,663,398
        Dyes and tanning            |             |              |
         material                   |             |            5 |            40
                                    |             |              |
    Tobacco:                        |             |              |
      Unmanufactured                |  19,557,107 |   19,084,704 |    15,450,943
      Manufactures of               |  12,771,915 |   12,900,490 |    12,423,007
                                    |             |              |
    Miscellaneous:                  |             |              |
      Bee products                  |     743,386 |      985,952 |       703,680
      Distilled products            |     339,205 |      359,655 |       356,037
      Other articles                |     429,011 |      326,718 |       216,668
                                    |             |              |
    Re-exportation                  |      61,904 |      271,471 |      436,651
                                    |             |              |
        Total                       | $94,603,324 | $124,711,069 | $150,909,020
                                    |             |              |



At the end of 1910 the extent of railways in the Republic was 3,416
kilometers (2,123 miles). This makes Cuba, in proportion to its size,
one of the best served countries in America in respect to railroad

Cuba was one of the very first countries to build a railway, for there
was a line put into operation in 1837, twelve years in advance of Spain,
the mother country. There are four great systems, which have stretched
their lines almost from one extremity of the Island to the other.
Through trains run daily between Habana and Santiago, but over tracks
belonging to three different systems, and many branch lines from this
main trunk connect the principal ports on both the north and south
coasts with the interior.

The four systems in Cuba are: The United Railways of Habana, the Cuba
Railway, the Cuban Central Railway, and the Western Railway of Habana.
The first and last named have terminal stations in Habana.

The United Railways of Habana offer the first section of this through
route, which extends as far as Santa Clara. It has also branch lines
north and south, one of which runs to Batabano, where it connects with
regular steamship service to the Isle of Pines. Other ports reached by
this system are Matanzas and Cardenas on the north, and the road is
extended to within a few miles of Encarnacion, on the Bay of Cienfuegos.

The Cuba Railroad is the eastern system of the Habana-Santiago route
running between the last named point and Santa Clara. It serves an
immense and relatively new territory in the Island, among the principal
ports being Antilla, on Nipe Bay, which is becoming the centre for
American activity of all kinds.

The Cuban Central Railroad runs from the ports of Concha and Caibarien
on the north coast, and connects these two ports with Cienfuegos on the
south coast. A portion of this system is used to form part of the
through line from Habana to Santiago.

The main line of the Western Railway of Habana serves the famous tobacco
district of Vuelta Abajo and extends through the Province of Pinar del

The Habana Central is an electric suburban line extending from Habana
to Guines and Guanajay, each about thirty miles from the capital.

All the railroads of the Republic are owned and operated by private
companies, but the first railway above mentioned was originally
projected by the Government. Although all the lines try to establish
direct connections with Habana, the capital, yet that is not the centre
of railway activity, because the tendency is becoming more pronounced to
connect the main trunk line and distributing areas of the interior of
the Island with the nearest seaport. In this way the increasing
production of Cuba can reach the consuming markets in the quickest
possible manner, and passengers as well as importations can be brought
with the least inconvenience from foreign shores.

There was much active construction work on the railroads during the past
year, and a number of new concessions were granted. The branch lines of
the Cuba Railroad from Marti to Bayamo and Manzanillo, and from San Luis
to Bayamo, a total of one hundred and thirty-six miles, were opened to
traffic, thus putting the port of Manzanillo into railroad communication
with the rest of the Island and opening up a large section of the
country in the extreme southwestern part. By the decree signed by the
President in August, 1910, Casilda, on the south coast, and Trinidad,
further inland, will also be placed in touch with the other cities in
Cuba, as a new corporation is to take over the old Trinidad Railway and
improve it, making a connection at Placetas del Sur with the main line
of the Cuba Railroad. Decrees were also signed for the construction of
lines from Sagua la Grande to Coralillo, by way of Rancho Veloz, and
from Cifuentes to La Esperanza via San Diego del Valle.

Preliminary steps were taken during the year, and the plans have since
been approved, for the construction of a great railway station in the
City of Habana to cost about $3,000,000. This is to be built at the
upper end of the bay, and three new wharves, to cost $1,000,000, will be
constructed. The building, which is to be constructed of American terra
cotta, will be two hundred and forty feet long. The main waiting-room
will be seventy-two by one hundred and twenty-eight feet and will be
finished in Italian marble with mosaic floor. When completed, it will be
one of the finest structures in the Republic.

Electricity is used as the motive power for the street railways in
Habana, Santiago, and Camaguey, and an electric line is under
construction in the City of Cienfuegos. The Habana Central lines and a
section of the United Railways are also operated by the same power. The
Cienfuegos, Palmira and Cruces Railway and Power Co. has commenced work
on an electric railroad and power enterprise which is to connect a
number of the cities in the Province of Santa Clara and furnish power
for electric light and other purposes, using the water power of a number
of mountain streams. It is building the street railway in Cienfuegos,
and will construct about three hundred and fifty miles of railroad



NOTE. The following references are confined to publications printed
since 1905. The student of Cuban history will find several books of
earlier date valuable and interesting.


BAEDEKER, KARL, _firm, publishers, Leipzig_. The United States, with
excursions to Mexico, Cuba, Porto Rico, and Alaska.

4th rev. ed.

New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1909. 724 pp.

BERCHON, CHARLES: A travers Cuba, récit de voyage descriptive et

Sceaux: Imprimerie Charaire, 1910. 203 pp.

COLLAZO, ENRIQUE: Los americanos en Cuba.

Habana: Impr. C. Martinez y comp., 1905. 2 v.

PHILBRICK, FRANCIS S.: Cuba. (In Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., v.
7. New York, 1910. pp. 594-606.)

WEYLER, _General_: Mi mando en Cuba (10 Febrero de 1896 a 31 de Octubre
de 1897). Tomo 1.

Madrid: Felipe Gonzalez Rojas, 1910.

WEYLER, JAMES H.: Free Trade with Cuba.

WOOD, LEONARD: Cuba. (In Browne, G. Waldo, ed. The New America and the
Far East, v. 6. Boston, 1907. pp. 1217-1253.)


New York: The Macmillan Co., 1910. 512 pp.


Guide to the Material for American History in Cuban Archives
(Publication No. 83, Papers of the Dept. of Historical Research [The
Administration of Cuba, pp. 32-33]).

Washington: Carnegie Institute, 1907. 142 pp.

The Organic Municipal Law of Cuba May 29, 1908.

Havana: Rambla and Bouza, printers. 1908. 130 pp.

Customs Tariff of the Republic of Cuba. (From the monthly summary of
commerce and finance for May, 1905.)

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905. 3995-4020 pp.

_Oficina del censo._ Censo de la Republica de Cuba bajo la
administracion provisional de los Estados Unidos, 1907.

Washington: Oficina del censo de los Estados Unidos, 1908. 707 pp.

Cuba: Population, History and Resources, 1907.

Washington: United States Bureau of Census, 1909. 275 pp.

_Provisional Governor_, 1906-1909 (_C. E. Magoon_): Report of
Provisional Administration from Oct. 13, 1906, to Dec. 1, 1908.

Havana: Rambla and Bouza, 1908-09. 2 v.

Government of Cuba. Supplemental report, with accompanying papers, for
the period from Dec. 1, 1908, to Jan. 28, 1909.

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. 32 pp. (U. S. 61st Cong.
1st sess. Senate. Doc. 80.)

Cuba: _Secretaria de agricultura, industria y comercio_. Boletin

Habana, 1906-date. Monthly.

_Secretaria de hacienda._ Estadistica general. Comercio exterior.
Habana, 1902-1907. 6 v.

International Bureau of American Republics, Washington, D.C. Cuba.
General descriptive data.

Washington Government Printing Office, 1909. 16 pp.

International Bureau of the American Republics, Washington, D.C.
Municipal organizations in Latin America. Havana, Cuba. (Reprint from
the Monthly Bulletin of the International Bureau of American Republics,
April, 1909.)

ORTIZ, FERNANDO: Hampa afro-cubana. Los negros brujos (apuntes para un
estudio de etnologia criminal).

Madrid: Libraria de F. Fe, 1906. 432 pp.


Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905. 541 pp. “Books Relating to
Cuba.” 315-512 pp.

Los derechos de Cuba, a la Isla de Pinos.

Habana: Impr. de Rambla y Bouza, 1909. 31 pp.

ROGALLA VON BIEBERSTEIN: Die Intervention der Vereinigten Staaten auf
Kuba. (In _Historische politische Blaetter_, v. 139, 1907, pp. 614-627.)
This vol. not in L. C.

_United States Army. Army of Cuban Pacification._ Annual Report.

Havana, 1907-1909.

_Bureau of Insular Affairs._ Acts of Congress, treaties, proclamations,
decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, and opinions of the
attorney-general relating to noncontiguous territory, Cuba and Santa
Domingo and to military affairs. 59th Congress--March 4, 1905, to March
3, 1907. Supreme Court cases--Jan. 1, 1907, to June 1, 1909. Opinions of
attorney-general--Jan. 1, 1898, to June 17, 1908.

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. 442 pp.

_Bureau of Statistics_ (_Department of Commerce and Labor_). Commercial
Cuba in 1905. (From the monthly summary of commerce and finance for May,

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905. 3899-4095 pp.

_Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations._ Adjustment of title
to Isle of Pines. Report (to accompany Executive J, 58th Cong. 2d

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906. 277 pp. (59th Cong. 1st
sess. Senate. Doc. 205.)

_Department of Commerce and Labor._ Report on Trade Conditions in Cuba.

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. 45 pp. (Issued in 1906 as
Senate Doc. 439, 59th Cong. 1st sess., and also in a “Bureau Edition.”)

_United States. General Staff. Second section._ Road Notes, Cuba. 1909.

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. 610 pp. (Its publication
No. 16.)

WILSON, JAMES H.: Free Trade with Cuba.

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. 19 pp. (U. S. 61st Cong.
1st sess. Senate. Doc. 17.)


1906. ROBINSON, ALBERT G.: The Causes of Unrest in Cuba and Porto Rico.
_Independent_, March 15, 1906, v. 60: 612-615.

ALDAMA, M. CARILLO: The Cuban Government’s Side. _Independent_, Sept.
20, 1906, v. 61: 663.

1906. HALE, HENRY: The Cuban Sugar Situation. _Moody’s Magazine_, Sept.,
1906, v. 2: 380-386.

1906. PUENTE, FAUSTINO G.: Causes of the Cuban Insurrection. _North
American Review_, Sept. 21, 1906, v. 183: 538-540.

1906. HERRICK, E. P.: Cuban Marriage Customs. _Southern Workman_, Sept.,
1906, v. 147: 292-297.

1906. FOSTER, JOHN W.: The Annexation of Cuba. _Independent_, Oct. 25,
1906, v. 61: 965-968.

HOWLAND, HAROLD J.: Saving a People from Themselves: Impressions of
Cuba under American Intervention. _Outlook_, Oct. 27, 1906, v. 84:

1906. DENNISON, EDGAR W.: Transportation in Cuba. _World To-day_, Oct.,
1906, v. 11: 1071-1076.

1906. INGLIS, WILLIAM: The Future in Cuba. _North American Review_, Nov.
16, 1906, v. 183: 1037-1040.

1906. WILLEY, DAY ALLEN: Sugar Making in Cuba. _Scientific American_,
Nov. 3, 1906, v. 95: 321-322.

1906. EARLE, F. S.: Agricultural Cuba. _World To-day_, Nov., 1906, v.
11: 1175-1184.

1906. SHEPARDSON, FRANCIS W.: American Guardianship of Cuba. 2.
ROCKWOOD, JOHN G.: Rescuing Cuba from the Cubans. _World To-day_, Nov.,
1906, v. 11: 1197-1203.

1906. ADAMS, FREDERICK U.: Cuba, its Condition and Outlook. _World’s
Work_, Nov., 1906, v. 13: 8237-8242.

1906. ADAMS, FREDERICK U.: Cuba, its Condition and Outlook. _World’s
Work and Play_, Nov., 1906, v. 8: 531-543.

1906. FERNOW, B. E., _and_ NORMAN TAYLOR: The High Sierra Maestra (of
Cuba). _Forestry Quarterly_, Dec., 1906, v. 4: 239-273.

1907. CESPEDES, JOSÉ M.: Problemas de la politica cubana. _Nuestro
Tiempo_, Jan., 1907, v. 7: 139-144.

1907. BELLET, DANIEL: Les Richesses forestières de Cuba. _Société de
géographie commerciale de Paris_, April, 1907, v. 29: 229-238.

1907. CONANT, CHARLES A.: Our Duty in Cuba. _North American Review_, May
17, 1907, v. 185: 141-146.

1907. BUCHANAN, LLOYD: The Sure Eventual Fate of Cuba. _Lippincott’s
Monthly Magazine_, June, 1907, v. 79: 813-815.

1907. LEDEGANCK, H. F.: Bilder aus Cuba. _Deutsche Monatsschrift_,
Sept., 1907, v. 12: 762-771.

1907. BULLARD, R. L.: How Cubans Differ from Us. _North American
Review_, Nov., 1907, v. 186: 416-421.

1908. FORBES-LINDSAY, C. H.: Our Colonial Empire: Cuba: The Land of
Promise. _World To-day_, Feb., 1908, v. 14: 141-150.

1908. Iron Mining in Cuba. _Iron Age_, April 9, 1908, v. 81: 1149-1157.

1908. FIGUERAS, FRANCISCO: Patriot’s Appeal for his Country. _Journal of
American History_, July-Sept., 1908, v. 2: 409-440.

1908. ATKINS, EDWIN F.: Tariff Relations with Cuba. _American Academy
of Political and Social Science._ _Annals_, Sept., 1908, v. 32: 57-65.

1909. GANNETT, H.: Conditions in Cuba as Revealed by the Census.
_National Geographic Magazine_, Feb., 1909, v. 20: 200-202.

DU PAY, WILLIAM A.: Road Building by the United States in Cuba.
_Scientific American_, Feb. 13, 1909, v. 100: 136-138.

1909. JOHNSTON, H.: Scenery of Cuba. _Geographical Journal_, June, 1909,
v. 33: 629-668.

1909. AUSTIN, H. A.: Cuba’s Future. _North American Review_, June, 1909,
v. 189: 857-863.

1909. BARRETT, JOHN: Cuba, Hayti, and the Dominican Republic.
_Independent_, Aug. 26, 1909, v. 67: 464-470.

1909. DENNISON, EDGAR W.: Cuban Development. _International Bureau of
American Republics._ _Bulletin_, Aug., 1909, v. 29: 365-371.

1909. JOHNSTON, _Sir_ HARRY: The Scenery of Cuba, Hayti, and Dominican
Republic. _International Bureau of American Republics._ _Bulletin_,
Sept., 1909, v. 29: 582-599.

1909. JOHNSTON, _Sir_ HARRY: An Englishman’s Impression of American Rule
in Cuba. _McClure’s Magazine_, Sept., 1909, v. 33: 496-504.

1909. QUESADA, G. DE: Cuba’s Claim to the Isle of Pines. _North American
Review_, Nov., 1909, v. 190: 594-604.

1910. WELLIVER, JUDSON C.: The Annexation of Cuba by the Sugar Trust.
_Hampton’s Magazine_, March, 1910, v. 24: 375-388.

1910. BULLARD, R. L.: Education in Cuba. _Educational Review_, April,
1910, v. 39: 378-384.

1910. WRIGHT, I. A.: Citrus Fruit Culture in Cuba. _International Bureau
of American Republics._ _Bulletin_, June, 1910, v. 30: 961-975.

1910. Cuba. _International Bureau of American Republics._ _Bulletin_,
July, 1910, v. 31: 135-151.

1910. BROOKS, SYDNEY: Cuba. _Fortnightly Review_, Nov., 1910, v. 94:
798-806. Reprinted in _Living Age_, Dec. 10, 1910, v. 267: 653-661.


Aborigines, 24-27.

Adams, President John Quincy, 58.

Agricultural industries, 216-248;
  native method of cultivation, 218-219;
  neglected opportunities, 220 _et seq._;
  fruit culture, 224-229;
  coffee, 229, 230;
  future farming, 231 _et seq._;
  stock, 236-238;
  corn, 238-240;
  American farmers, 241-242;
  hints to settlers, 241, 248.

Americans in Cuba, 118, 119, 241, 242.

Annexation, 156-165.

Antilla, 274, 275, 315.

Arrieta, D. Martin Calvo de, 255-256.

Atkins, E. F., 181-183.

Bacon, Assistant Secretary, 79.

Bagley, Ensign, 269.

Bahia de Cochinos, 4.

Bahia Honda, 3, 10, 54, 266.

Banes, 275.

Baracoa, 6, 10, 11, 27, 28, 270.

Batabano, 3, 10, 29, 249, 265, 315.

Bayamo, 28, 66, 273, 316.

Bellamar, Caves of, 83, 264, 268.

Bituminous deposits, 213-215.

Blaine, James G., 57.

Blanco, General, 74.

Bliss, General Tasker H., 282.

Bock, Gustavo, 193-194, 198.

Bucarely, Don Antonio, 34.

Caibarien, 315.

Camaguey, 7, 271-272, 318;
  Hotel, 240, 271-272.

Camaguey, Province of, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 55, 82-83, 189, 200, 211, 270-272.

Camaroncids Mine, 201.

Camp Columbia, 19.

Campos, Martinez, 65-71, 73, 74.

Canovas, 71.

Cape Cruz, 3, 5.

Cape Maisi, 2, 5.

Cape San Antonio, 2, 3.

Cardenas, 3, 10, 11, 54, 268-269, 315.

Casilda, 317.

Cauto River, 4, 6, 8.

Central Boston, 275.

Central Preston, 172-174, 177, 276.

Cerro, The, 43.

Cervera, Admiral, 75.

Chinamen, 114-118.

Cienfuegos, 3, 7, 10, 99, 269-270, 318.

Cienfuegos, Bay of, 315.

Cifuentes, 317.

Clark, Dr. V. S., 126.

Cleveland, President, 60.

Climate, 13-15.

Colorado River, 7.

Columbus, Christopher, 23, 24, 168, 200, 259.

Concha, 315.

Commerce, 34, 46-50, 310-313.

Commercial Code, 18, 19.

Commercial Convention between United States and Cuba, 281-298.

Conditions of to-day, 120 _et seq._

Copper, 210-212.

Coralillo, 317.

Cordillera de los Organos. _See_ Organ Mountains.

Crittenden, Colonel, 54-55, 260.

Cuban laborer, various opinions of the, 126-146.

Cubans, 80-101;
  whites of the cities, 83-90;
  Cuban women, 91-96;
  peasantry, 96-101;
  negroes, 102-109.

Cuchillas Mountains, 6.

Cuevitas, 7.

Daiquiri, 204-206, 276.

Day, William R., 60.

Dewey, Admiral, 75.

Dumois, 275.

El Cobre, 28, 210-211.

El Morilla, 55.

Encarnacion, 315.

Espeletas, The, 36.

Estavan, 105.

Exports and imports, 310-313.

Fauna, 12, 13.

Felton, 202, 276.

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, 23.

Ferdinand VII, 38.

Finances, 57 and Appendix.

Flora, 12.

Fruit Culture, 224-229.

Garcia, 58, 73.

Garcia y Montes, José M., 282.

Gibara, 10.

Gold, 212, 213.

Golfo de Buena Esperanza, 2.

Golfo de la Broa, 2, 4.

Gomez, Jose Miguel, 82, 147, 309.

Gomez, Maximo, 58, 65, 67-70, 73.

Government, 17, 18.

Grant, President, 59.

Guajiro, 97-101.

Guanabacoa, 29.

Guanajay, 316.

Guantanamo, 5.

Guantanamo Bay, 5, 6, 10.

Guantanamo, Valley of, 272-273.

Guines, 264, 316.

Habana, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 20, 28, 36,
    37, 40, 43, 46, 47, 55, 68-69, 70, 73, 74
    79, 83, 87, 88, 108-109, 113, 116, 119, 135,
    143, 147, 155, 159, 188, 189-190, 248, 249-262,
    263, 264, 265, 268, 269, 271, 281, 282, 314,
    315, 316, 317, 318;
  Arsenal, 254;
  Atares Castle, 55, 260;
  Cathedral, 259;
  Central Park, 253, 254, 261;
  Convent of San Francisco, 259;
  Dominican Convent, 260;
  El Templete, 254-255;
  La Fuerza, 249, 250, 257-259;
  La Punta, 249, 250, 260;
  Malecon, 260;
  Miramar Hotel, 260;
  Morro Castle, 249, 250, 260;
  New Railway Station, 317;
de Armas, 254-255, 257-261;
  Puerta de la Punta, 254;
  Streets and Avenues, 254-257, 261-262.

Habana, Province of, 5, 7, 11, 69, 187, 188, 200, 263, 267.

Hay, John, 287.

Hayes, Dr. C. W., 8-10.

History, 22-62;
  discovery of the Island, 22-26;
  extermination of aborigines, 24-27;
  Conquistadores, 27, 28;
  early settlements, 27, 28;
  introduction of slavery, 30;
  colonial laws, 32, 33;
  beginnings of prosperity, 34-37;
  education, 35-36;
  good government, 34-36, 40-42;
  revolutionary beginnings, 37-39;
  Spanish immigration, 41-42;
  land tenure, 43-45;
  commercial conditions, 34, 46-50;
  taxation, 50-52;
  growth of revolutionary spirit, 52-56;
  Lopez conspiracy, 54, 55;
  Treaty of Zanjon, 55, 56;
  War of Independence, 57-76;
  interest of United States in Cuban affairs, 58-62, 64, 65, 75, 76;
  occupation of the Island by the United States, 76-82;
  Palma administration, 78-80.

Holguin, 27, 212.

Hoyo Colorado, 263.

Humboldt, 268.

Iron ore, 201-204, 215.

Isle of Pines, 2, 3, 265-266, 302, 315.

Judiciary, 18.

Karutz, Dr. Paul, 240.

Labor in Cuba, 125-146.

La Esperanza, 317.

La Gloria, 272.

Las Casas, 26, 34-36, 269.

Las Doce Leguas Islands, 3.

Las Minas, 211.

Las Pozas, 55.

La Torre, Marques de, 34.

Liebeg, 219.

Lopez, Narcisco, 54-55.

Lujan, Gabriel de, 28.

Maceo, Antonio, 58, 64, 65, 67, 69-70, 73, 105, 267.

Madruga, 264.

Magoon, Charles E., 82, 156.

_Maine_, The, 61, 70.

Manganese, 207-210.

Manila Bay, Battle of, 75.

Manzanillo, 10, 207, 273, 316.

Marianao, 263-264.

Marti, 316.

Marti, Jose, 65.

Matanzas, 10, 29, 268, 315.

Matanzas, Province of, 5, 11, 69, 170, 189, 200, 211, 262, 267-269.

Mayari, 201.

Mayari River, 274.

McKinley, President, 61-62, 75.

Mechanical industries,  123, 124.

Military, 19, 20.

Minerals, 11, 12, 200-215.

Morgan, Henry, 265.

Napoleon I, 37.

Negroes, 30-32, 102-109.

Nipe Bay, 10, 172, 201, 202, 274-277, 315.

Nuevitas, 3, 10.

O’Reilly, Count, 34.

Organ Mountains, 7, 188, 266-267.

Oriente, Province of, 4, 5, 6, 8,
    11, 12, 124, 170, 186, 187, 188-189,
    201, 204, 209, 212, 230, 246, 272-278.

Oviado, 26.

Palma, Dr. Estrada, 78-80, 147, 148, 282.

Pepper, Charles M., 102.

Peter Martyr, 26.

Philip II, 32.

Physical features, 1-10;
  geographical and strategical position, 1-2;
  dimensions and formation, 2, 3;
  political divisions, 4-6;
  mountain system, 4-7;
  harbors, 8-10.

Pinar del Rio, 7.

Pinar del Rio, Province of, 5, 7, 69,
    73, 186, 187, 188, 192, 194-196, 266-267, 315.

Placentas del Sur, 317.

Platt Amendment, 77, 78 and Appendix.

Polk, President, 58.

Population, 16, 17;
  negroes, 30-32, 102-109;
  Cubans, 80-101;
  Spaniards, 109-114;
  Chinamen, 114-118;
  Americans, 118, 119.

Porter, Robert P., 208-209.

Postal Service, 20.

Potrerillo, Mount, 7.

Preston, 177, 275-276.

Providencia Sugar Mill, 264.

Provinces, 4-6, 263-277;
  Habana, 263-265;
  Pinar del Rio, 266, 267;
  Matanzas, 267-269;
  Santa Clara, 269, 270;
  Camaguey, 270-272;
  Oriente, 272-277.

Puerto Principe, 28, 211.

Puerto Principe, Province of.  _See_ Camaguey, Province of.

Punta Tabaco, 172.

Railways, 314-318.

Rancho Veloz, 317.

Remedios, 28.

Reptilia, 13.

Roja, Captain-General, 52.

Romano, Isle of, 3.

Roosevelt, President, 78-79, 156, 297.

Rousseau, 38, 94.

Saetia, 276.

Sagua la Grande, 317.

Sampson, Captain, 75.

Sancti Spiritus, 7, 28.

San Diego del Valle, 317.

Sanitation, 15, 16, 204-207.

San Juan, Battle of, 75.

San Juan River, 9.

San Luis, 316.

Santa Clara, 7, 29, 269, 315.

Santa Clara, Conde de, 36.

Santa Clara, Province of, 4, 6, 11,
    170, 187, 188, 189, 200, 211, 269-270, 318.

Santa Cruz, 255.

Santiago de Cuba, 5, 9, 10, 28, 46,
    75, 201, 202, 203, 207, 208, 210,
    215, 250, 273, 314, 315, 318.

Santiago de Cuba, Province of. _See_ Oriente, Province of.

Shafter, General, 75.

Settlers, Hints to intending, 241-248.

Sierra Cristal, 6.

Sierra de Cubitas, 7.

Sierra Madre, 5.

Sierra Maestra, 5, 201, 202, 203.

Sierra Nipe, 6.

Someruelos, Marques de, 36, 48.

Sores, De, 259.

“Sotes de Boliver,” 38.

Soto, Hernando de, 28, 258.

Spanish Residents, 109-114.

Squiers, Herbert G., 304.

Sugar, 57, 166-184;
  growth of the industry, 169-171;
  description of a sugar estate, 171-177;
  costs and returns in sugar operation, 178-180;
  prospects of the industry, 181-184.

Tacon, General, 40, 254.

Taft, William H., 79-82.

Taxation, 50-52, 150, 151.

Telegraph, 20, 21.

Tobacco industry, 185-199;
  tobacco districts, 187-189;
  manufacture, 189-190;
  methods of culture, 190-192;
  costs and returns of cultivation, 192-195;
  prospects of the industry, 195-197, 199.

Trinidad, 7, 28, 270, 317.

Treaty between United States and Cuba, 299-308.

Turquino, Mount, 5.

Vaca, Cabeza de, 105.

Vedado, 262.

Velasquez, Diego, 23, 27, 28, 249, 270.

Villanueva, Count, 33, 40.

Vives, General, 40.

Voltaire, 38, 94.

Vuelta Abajo, 185, 187-188, 267, 315.

Weyler, General, 60, 65, 69, 70-74.

Yara, 55.

Yumuri Gorge, 10, 268.

Zaldo y Beurmann, Carlos de, 282, 304.

Zanjon, Treaty of, 55-56, 65.

Zapata Swamp, 4.

Zayas, Alfredo, 82.


[1] It was not until the administration of Villanueva (’18)
as _intendant_, an office which at that time eclipsed that of
captain-general and dominated all public bodies, that taxes were for
the first time imposed without the consent of those to be affected by

[2] America’s Insular Possessions, Philadelphia, 1906, vol. 1, pp.

[3] Cuba, by I. A. Wright, New York, 1910.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cuba and Her People of To-day
 - An account of the history and progress of the island previous to its independence; a description of its physical features; a study of its people; and, in particular, an examination of its present political conditions, its industries, natural resources, and prospects; together with information and suggestions designed to aid the prospective investor or settler" ***

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