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temperature is more moderate, and in a place exposed to the north, water has been found frozen. The most productive mines of Cuba are those of copper. An iron mine of excellent quality has been explored near Havana, and beds of loadstone are found on the island. The rock crystals of Cuba are very brilliant, and salt is produced in abundance. Mineral waters have also been discovered in several places.
During the last 50 years a concurrence of circumstances has rendered Cuba the richest of the European colonies in any part of the globe ; a more liberal and protecting policy has been adopted by the mother country ; the ports of the island have been thrown open ; strangers and emigrants have been encouraged to settle there ; and amid the political agitations of Spain, the expulsion of the Spanish and French residents from Hispaniola, the cession of Louisiana and Florida to a foreign power, and the disasters of those who in the continental States of America adhered to the old country, Cuba has become a place of general refuge. In 1778, the revenue of the island amounted to SS5,358 dollars ; in 1794, it was 1,136,918 dollars, and in 1830 no less than 8,972,548 dollars, a sum superior to the revenue of most of the secondary kingdoms of Europe, and sufficient not only to provide for its own wants, but to afford important aid to the mother country in the contest with her revolted colonies. In 1775 the population consisted of only 172,620 souls ; in 1832 it amounted to $30,000, of which nearly three fifths were free. In isoo, there were only so coffee plantations on the island ; in 1827, there were 2,067. Between 1760 and 1767 the exports of sugar amounted to 5,570,000 lbs. annually; in 1932, they are estimated to have exceeded 250,000,000 lbs. A railroad has been comstructed by the government, from Havana to Guines, a distance of 45 miles, and an extension of the work, from Guines across the chain of highlands, which extends through the island, to the southern coast, is now in progress. The portion to Guines was completed in 3 years, by engineers from the United States.
The following statement of the divisions and towns, with their respective populations, affords a general view of the island. Divisions.
Towns. Western Department. Havana, 112,000. Matanzas, 14,000. Jaruco, 1,000. Guanabacoa, 5,000. Batavano, 300.
Guines, 3,000. Santiago, 200. Mariel, 800. Central Department. Puerto Principe, 49,000. Santa Clara, 9,000. Nuevitas, 800. Santi Espiritus, 11,000.
Trinidad, 13,000. Remedios, 5,000. Xagua, 800. Eastern Department. Santiago de Cuba, 27,000. Baracoa, 3,000. Gibara, 300. Higuany, 2,000. Holguin, 8,000.
Bayamo or San Salvador, 7,000. Manzanillo, 3,000. Havana, the capital and principal city of the island, situated on the northern coast, is one
of the largest and richest cities in America, and has one of the best harbors in the world. The public buildings are less remarkable for beauty than for solidity, and the streets are in general narrow, dirty, and unpaved. There are, however, fine public walks, and the palace of the governor, the theatre, and some of the private houses, are handsome edifices. The entrance of the port is defended by 2 forts, and there are several other military works, which render Havana one of the strongest places in the world. Its commerce is extensive ;
population, 112,023, of which 22,830 Havana.
are slaves. Here are 11 churches,
1 of which is a cathedral, 11 convents, 3 hospitals, a university, &c. Owing to the heat of the climate, and the filth of the town, strangers are exposed to the fatal attacks of the yellow fever or black vomit
, particularly in August and September. The environs are healthy. Sixty miles east of Havana is Matanzas, a flourishing place, with a fine harbor, a healthy situation, and an extensive and increasing commerce. Population, 14,340.
Puerto Principe, lying in the interior, a place of 49,000 inhabitants, is remarkable only for
Its narrow, winding, and filthy streets. On the southern coast is Santiago, a flourishing place with an extensive commerce ; its harbor is excellent, but the town is unhealthy. Population, 26,738. Trinidad is a well-built place, on the southern coast, with 13,000 inhabitants. Bayamo or St. Salvador, about 20 miles from the coast, is a thriving town, with 7,486 inhabi
The annual value of the imports amounts to 20,000,000 dollars, of exports to 18,000,000 dollars. The principal quantity of the articles of export for several years was as below:
Sugar. Coffee. Molasses. Rum. Wax. Leaf Tobacco. Cigars.
Cuba was discovered by Columbus in his first voyage, who did not ascertain whether it was an island or part of the continent; nor was this question determined till 1508, when it was circumnavigated by Ocampo. It was conquered by the Spaniards under Velasquez, in 1511.
2. Porto Rico. This island is 120 miles in length and 40 in breadth, and contains 4,500 square miles. The surface is greatly diversified, rising in some places to mountains, and in others sinking into valleys, watered by beautiful streams, which descend from the higher parts. The climate differs little from that of the adjacent islands ; and the productions are similar. The woods are said to contain a breed of wild dogs, which the Spaniards imported to hunt the defenceless natives. The northern parts are supposed to contain gold and silver, but no mines are worked.
St. Juan, a town of 30,000 inhabitants, with a convenient harbor on the north coast, is the capital. The other principal towns are Aguadilla, Guayama, Faxardo, and Ponce.
Porto Rico has 350,000 inhabitants, of whom 32,000 are slaves. This island was discovered by Columbus in 1493, and conquered by the Spaniards under Ponce de Leon, about 1509.' It was taken by the English under the Earl of Cumberland, towards the close of the 17th century, but they found the climate so unhealthy, that they soon abandoned the conquest. It is now, with Cuba, under the government of a Captain General, who resides at Havana, and is in a very flourishing condition.
REPUBLIC OF HAYTI. Hayti, Hispaniola, or St. Domingo, is the second in size of the West India Islands.* Its extreme length is about 400 miles, and its utmost breadth 150, and it has an area of about 30,000 square miles. The mountains chiefly form 2 chains, running from east to west, with several collateral branches, that pour their accumulated streams upon the plains. Most of the principal rivers originate in the mountains of Cibao, and pursue different directions towards the sea. One of the largest of these is the Neybe, which enters the Carribean sea. The Ozana bathes the western part of Hayti. The Artibonite is a still larger stream, and flows from the centre of the island to the sea on the west. Alligators abound in most of the larger rivers, and turtles are very common in their estuaries. Besides the tropical fruits and vegetables, which this region affords, St. Domingo abounds with many valuable kinds of wood. Mahogany grows to a great size, and is of an excellent quality. A species of oak affords planks 60 or 70 feet long. The pine is also abundant on the mountains. Few native quadrupeds are found in St. Domingo, and all the domestic kinds were introduced from Europe. Birds are
Noxious reptiles and insects infest the island. * Columbus named the island Hispaniola, or Little olution. The European powers, however, applied the Spain, but learned that the native name was Hayti, which, name of the chief city to the whole of the island, and after a lapse of 300 years, has been revived since the rev: universally called it St Domingo
The annual value of the exports is about 4,000,000 dollars, the principal article being coffee, with mahogany, campeachy wood, cotton, tobacco, hides, cacao, tortoise-shell, wax, ginger, &c. In 1789, there were exported 141,000,000 pounds of sugar ; at present there is scarcely any made in the island, and it is even smuggled in, in small quantities; the export of coffee at the former date was 76,835,219 pounds, of cotton 7,004,274 pounds, and of indigo 758,628 pounds; at present a little more than one half that quantity of coffee, and about one tenth of the quantity of cotton are exported, and no indigo is sent out of the island.
Port au Prince is the seat of government. It has a good harbor, and is a place of considerable trade. The houses are small
, principally built of wood, and are mostly one story high, with piazzas in front. The situation of the town is somewhat unhealthy. Population, 20,000.
St. Domingo is the oldest city built by Europeans in the New World. It was founded in 1493, by Bartholomew Columbus, and iis site is near the mouth of the Ozama, on the south
The city is enclosed by a wall, and some of the houses are of stone, and others of a kind of earth, mixed with lime, which becomes hard and durable. The public buildings resemble those of other Spanish towns. Population, 12,000. Cape Haytien is a large town with a safe and convenient harbor, and a population of 15,000.
Its former name was Cape François. The other principal towns are the Mole, Jacmel, Aux Cayes, Leogane, and St. Mark's.
This island formerly consisted of 2 colonies, a French one, which occupied the western part of the island, and a Spanish one, which occupied the eastern part. In 1792, the slaves of the French colony who constituted eleven twelfths of the population, revolted against their masters, and some years afterwards declared themselves an independent nation. In 1804, Dessalines, one of the black chiefs was appointed governor for life, and he soon after took the title of Emperor, under the name of James the First. He was assassinated in 1806, and succeeded by Christophe, who took the name and title of King Henry the First. The seat of his government was at Cape Haytien, to which he gave the name of Cape Henry. In the mean time the people of the southern part of the island, who refused to submit to this government, formed a liile republic, and made Petion, a colored chief, President. He was elected twice, for perio:ls of 4 years, and afterwards for life. He died in 1818, and was succeeded by Boyer, as President for life. Two years afterwards, the subjects of Christophe, disgusted with his tyranny, revolted, and being deserted by his troops, he shot himself. Boyer immedately marched with an army to the north, and after a feeble resistance from a portion of the royalist chiefs,
a was received as deliverer by the people, and these two States were united under one republic. In 1822, Boyer took advantage of another event to unite the Spanish part of the island to the republic. The people, who were principally colored, revolted against the Spanish authorities, and Boyer, hastily marching to the city of St. Domingo with 12,000 men, was received without opposition. The Spanish soldiers were sent away from the island, the repub
, lican flag was hoisted, and the slaves were emancipated. From that period, the Republic of Hayti has been co-extensive with the island of St. Domingo.
The government of Hayti is prosessedly republican, but practically a military monarchy. The President holds the place for life, and has the right of naming his successor with the consent of the Senate. He has also the sole right of proposing laws, the action of the legislature being confined to subjects laid before them by the President. The Senate consists of 24 members, appointed for life by the House of Representatives, on the nomination of the President. The representatives are chosen for the term of 6 years. The revenue of the State is about 1,500,000 dollars ; the expenditure is considerably more, and the treasury is burdened with a heavy debt. The army, badly armed and disciplined, comprises 45,000 men, and there is a national guard. About four fifths of the population are comprised in the part of the island which belonged to the French, and speak a patois of mixed French and African languages, without much resemblance to the dialect of Paris. The remainder employ a similarly corrupted Spanish. The people are in general ignorant, superstitious, and lazy, but good-natured and honest. The Roman Catholic is the established religion ; it is, however, mixed with notions of African origin, and the priests are few.
The British are now distinguished from the other islands, belonging to European powers, by the absence of slavery. In 1833, Parliament passed an act prospectively abolishing slavery in all the British colonies, and appropriating 100,000,000 dollars for the payment of an indemnity to their owners. The whole number, now completely free, was found to be 780,000, and of these about 590,000 were in the West Indies. The annual charge of these islands to Great Britain is 3,000,000 dollars. The following table shows the annual value of the produce and exports of these islands.
The islands are governed by an executive appointed by the crown, styled a Governor, and a council also appointed by the crown. With the exception of Trinidad and St. Lucia, there are also legislatures styled Assemblies, chosen by the inhabitants. The population is about 760,000, of whom 70,000 are whites.
1. JAMAICA. Jamaica is, without doubt, the most important and valuable of the British West India Islands. It is of an oval form, 150 miles in extreme length, and 60 in breadth ; and its area exceeds 5,500 square miles. A lofty range of mountains, called the Blue Mountains, runs through the whole island from east to west, dividing it into 2 parts, and rising in some places to 7,431 feet above the level of the sea. On the north and south sides of these mountains, the aspect of the country is extremely different. On the north side of the island, the land rises from the shore into hills, which are of gentle acclivity, and commonly separated from each other by spacious vales, abounding in clear and delicious streams. On the southern side of the island, the scenery is of a different nature, consisting of the stupendous ridges of the Blue Mountains, of abrupt precipices and inaccessible cliffs, approaching the shore. The island is well watered. There are about 100 rivers, which take their rise in the mountains, and
run, commonly with great rapidity, to the sea, on both sides of the island. None of them are navigable, except for boats. Black River is the deepest, and has the greatest current.
The climate of Jamaica, on the plains, is hot; but the cool sea-breezes, which set in every morning at 10 o'clock, render the heat more tolerable ; and upon the high grounds, the air is temperate, pure, and cooling. The year, as in all tropical countries, may be divided between the wet and dry seasons.
The soil of Jamaica is in some places deep and fertile ; but, on the whole, it is an unfruitful country, compared with those which have been generally regarded as fertile. There are springs, both sulphureous and chalybeate, in different parts of the island. Sugar, indigo, cotton, and coffee, are the most important natural productions. Maize and rice are also cultivated. Fruits abound in great perfection and variety. The indigenous quadrupeds of the island were the agouti, the pecary, the armadillo, the opossum, the raccoon, the muskrat, the alco, and the monkey. The woods and marshes abound in wild fowl, some of exquisite flavor. Parrots are still found in the groves ; but the flamingo is nowhere to be seen. Jamaica is situated near the limits of the great volcanic region of South America, and it is, in consequence, liable to carthquakes. A succession of hurricanes completely desolated the island, towards the close of the 15th century. Jamaica is divided into 3 counties, Middlesex, Surry, and Cornwall
. It contains 6 towns, and more than 20 villages. The capital of the island is Spanish Town, or St. Jago de la Vega, situated on the banks of the river Cobre, about 6 miles from the south coast. It is the residence of the governor, and the seat of the national legislature, and contains about 5,000 inhabitants.
Kingston is the principal town in the island, with regard to commerce and population. It
stands at the head of an inlet of the sea, in the southeast part; and the bay admits the largest vessels to anchor safely in all weathers. The streets of the city are straight and spacious, but rendered hot and disagreeable by being covered with a deep, loose sand. Kingston contains many handsome houses, and has 2 churches, a free school, a public hospital, and a theatre. The city is well supplied with all kinds of provisions, particularly the finest fruits and vegetables. Population, 33,000.
Port Royal stands a few miles southwest of Kingston. It contained 2,000 handsome houses, when, in 1692, a tremendous earthquake buried the greatest part of it eight fathoms under water. Its advantages as a commercial port caused it to be rebuilt ; but ten years afterwards a fire reduced most of it to ashes. A second time it rose from its ruins, and in 1772, a dreadful hurricane reduced it once more to a heap of rubbish. It now consists only of three streets, with about 15,000 inhabitants. Besides these towns, there are three other ports towards the western extremity of the island, which participate in its commerce. Savanna-la-mar stands on the south coast, and Montego Bay and Falmouth are on the north.
The population of Jamaica is 348,000, of whom 36,000 are of European origin. It has a Governor, and a Council of 12 members, appointed by the king, and a House of Assembly of 43 members, elected by the freeholders. The principal exports are sugar, rum, and coffee.
Jamaica was discovered by Columbus, during his second voyage, in 1494. In 1509, a Spanish colony was established; but, when the fleet which Cromwell had sent to seize Hispaniola, in 1655, were unable to effect their object, they found but little difficulty in taking Jamaica. It was soon afterwards colonized by 3,000 soldiers disbanded from the parliamentary army, who were followed by about 1,500 royalists. When it was captured by the English, many of the slaves belonging to the Spanish settlers fled to the mountains, where they long lived in a kind of savage independence, and frequently annoyed the British colonists. They were called Maroons ; the last of their incursions was in 1795, when they were obliged to surrender, and about 600 of them were sent to Nova Scotia, and had lands assigned then. Since that period, the internal peace of the island has been preserved, with the exception of a few speedilysubdued insurrections of the slaves.
2. TRINIDAD. Trinidad is about 80 miles from E. to W., and 50 from N. to S. It is unhealthy but fruitful, producing cotton, sugar, fine tobacco, indigo, ginger, various fruits, and maize. The asphaltum lake in this island is considered a remarkable curiosity. It is about 3 miles in circumference. The substance which is here found has the consistence and aspect of pit-coal ; it breaks into glossy fragments of a cellular appearance ; a gentle heat renders it ductile, and, mixed with grease or common pitch, it is used for smearing the bottoms of ships. Trinidad has several good harbors, particularly on the west coast. Port Spain is the chief place of the island. Population, 10,000. This island was taken by Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1595, and by the French in 1676 ; captured from the Spaniards in 1797, and ceded to England by the treaty of Amiens.
3. Tobago. Tobago, situated a few leagues north of Trinidad, is about 24 miles long and 12 broad. The eastern part of the island is elevated, and the western consists of beautiful sa
The soil is rich, and the figs and grapes are of the best quality. Scarborough is the chief town.
4. GRENADA. Grenada is about 80 miles W. of Tobago, and is 24 miles long, and 12 at its greatest breadth. The face of the country is rugged and mountainous ; and there are numerous springs and rivulets.
St. George is the capital, and has a commodious harbor, with considerable trade, and 8,000 inhabitants.
5. BARBADOES. This is the most eastern of the British West India Islands. It is 21 miles in length, and 14 in breadth. The climate is very hot, but the air is pure, and moderated by the constant trade winds, which render it more salubrious than that of any of these sultry islands. The soil in the low lands is black, and towards the sea sandy. The exports are sugar, rum, ginger, cotton, aloes, &c. Barbadoes contains 4 towns, viz. Bridgetown, the capital, Speight's Town, Austin's Town, and Jamestown. Barbadoes is supposed to have been discovered by the Portuguese, but was settled by the English, in 1605. It has suffered much by tempests, fires, and the plague. In 1790, a hurricane occasioned great devastation ; and in
; 1831, another still more violent, destroyed nearly 3,000 lives.
6. ST. VINCENT. St. Vincent, about 70 miles west of Barbadoes, is a rugged and elevated island, 17 or 18 miles long, and 10 broad. It is extremely fertile, and well adapted to the
, raising of sugar and indigo. It was obtained by the British at the peace of 1763, and though