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Santo Domingo by Otto Schoenrich

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negotiations were opened with General William L. Cazneau, special
agent of President Pierce, for the lease of the Samana peninsula to
the United States, and in the following year Captain (later
Major-General) George B. McClellan, of the United States Army, made an
examination of Samana Bay. Nothing came of this matter owing to
opposition by foreign powers and the fall of the Santana government.
Most annexation negotiations were secret, as the opponents of the
party that happened to be in power never failed to stigmatize them as
treasonable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER V

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER VI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER VII

AREA AND BOUNDARIES

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

Of the great chain of islands which extends in a vast semi-circle from
the southern coast of Florida to the northeastern coast of Venezuela,
the second largest is the Island of Haiti or Santo Domingo, situated
midway between Cuba and Porto Rico, and lying between latitude
1736'40" and 1958'20" north and longitude 6818' and 7451' west of
Greenwich. The island is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north,
the Mona Channel on the east, the Caribbean Sea on the south, and the
Windward Passage on the west. The nearest point of Porto Rico is 54
miles distant, of Cuba 50 miles, of Jamaica 90 miles and of Venezuela,
the nearest country on the South American continent, 480 miles. The
distance from Puerto Plata, on the north coast of the island, to New
York is 1255 miles, to Havana 710 miles, and to Southampton 3925
miles. The distance from Santo Domingo City to San Juan, Porto Rico,
is 230 miles, to La Guayra 500 miles, and to Colon 810 miles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER VIII

TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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