Cuba, Old and New
Albert Gardner Robinson

Part 3 out of 4

one or the other party. I speak not of forcible annexation, for that
cannot be thought of. That, by our code of morality, would be criminal

[Illustration: COUNTRY ROAD _Havana Province_]

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

[Illustration: STREET IN CAMAGUEY]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Kimball, R.B. 32


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


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


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


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


PALACE, Governor's, 64
Palma, Tomas Estrada y, 162, 174, 192
Palms, 5, 7, 48, 49
Panama Congress (1826), 126


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