Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, by Murat Halstead

Part 9 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

martyr at Hongkong. The niece spoke excellent English, and there was
at once surprise and gratification in the family that an American
should be interested in the Doctor who sacrificed himself to the
freedom of his pen, so much as to ascend the steep places of the city
to seek his writings for the sake of the people for whose redemption
he died. On the page showing the face of the Doctor and the scene of
his execution, there are two men in black, the victim standing firm
as a rock to be shot down, and the priest retiring after holding the
crucifix to the lips of the dying; and the portrait of the beautiful
woman to whom the poet was married a few hours before he was killed. It
is said that Rizal wanted to go to Cuba, but Captain-General Weyler
answered a request from him that he might live there, that he would
be shot on sight if he set foot on Cuban soil. Rizal, hunted hard,
attempted to escape in disguise on a Spanish troop ship carrying
discharged soldiers to Spain, but was detected while on the Red Sea,
returned to Manila and shot to death. I stood on the curbstone that
borders the Luneta along the principal pleasure drive, between the
whispering trees and the murmuring surf of the bay, just where the
martyred poet and patriot waited and looked over the waters his eyes
beheld, the last moment before the crash of the rifles that destroyed
him, and in the distance there was streaming in the sunshine the flag
of our country--the star spangled banner, and long, long may it wave,
over a land of the free and home of the brave!

The picture of the cathedral shows a tower that was shattered from
the foundation to the cross by the earthquake of 1863. Ambitious
architecture must conform to the conditions imposed by such disasters,
and the great edifice is greatly changed.

In our gallery we treat Admirals Sampson and Schley as the President
set the example. As there was glory for all at Santiago, there
was advancement for both. We present them together. The wholesome,
manly face of General Lee is in the gallery. His country knows him
and thinks of him well.

The bombarded church of Cavite shows that shells spare nothing sacred
in their flights and concussions. The Bridge of Spain is the one
most crossed in passing between the old walled city and the newer
town that was not walled, but was formidably intrenched where rice
swamps were close to the bay. The public buildings are commodious
and would be higher, but the earth is uncertain, and sky-scrapers
are forbidden by common prudence. Our picture of the principal gate
of the walled city is taken truly, but does not give the appearance
of extreme antiquity, of the reality. The wall looks old as one that
has stood in Europe a thousand years.

Naturally the gallery has many works of art representative of
Manila. The shipping in the harbor is an advertisement of a commerce
once extensive. Each picture that shows a woman, a man, or tree;
a wood-cutter, a fisherman, or a house, opens for the spectator a
vista that may be interpreted by the intelligent. A veritable picture
is a window that reveals a landscape. That which is most valuable in
a gallery like this is the perfect truth not everywhere found, for
the eyes that see a picture that is really representative, setting
forth the colors, the light, and the substance of things find that
which does not fade when the story is told.

There is one most hideous thing in our gallery--that of the head of
a Spaniard, bleeding, just severed from the body--the weapon used,
a naked dagger in a clenched hand--around the ghastly symbol a deep
black border. This is one of the ways of the Katapuna society--the
League of Blood--have of saying what they would have us understand
are their awful purposes. There are terrible stories about this Blood
League--that they bleed themselves in the course of their proceedings,
and each member signs his name with his own blood--that they establish
brotherhood by mingling their blood and tasting it. They are the
sworn enemies of the Spaniards, and particularly of the priests. I
inquired of Senor Agoncillo, the Philippine commissioner to Paris,
whether those bloody stories were true. He scoffed at the notion
that they might be so, and laughed and shouted "No, no!" as if he was
having much fun. But Agoncillo is a lawyer and a diplomat, and I had
heard so much, of this horrid society I did not feel positive it was
certain that its alleged blood rites were fictitious. Of one thing
I am sure--that the dreadful picture is no joke, and was not meant
for a burlesque, though it might possibly be expected to perform the
office of a scarecrow. It cannot be doubted that there are oath-bound
secret societies that are regarded by the Spaniards as fanatical,
superstitious, murderous and deserving death.

There is a good deal of feeble-minded credulity among the Filipinos,
that is exhibited in the stories told by Aguinaldo. He has many
followers who believe that he has a mighty magic, a charm, that
deflects bullets and is an antidote for poison. Intelligent people
believe this imbecility is one of the great elements of his power--that
his leadership would be lost if the supernaturalism attached to him
should go the way of all phantoms. Aguinaldo is said not to have
faith in the charm, for he takes very good care of himself.

We give several views of executions at Manila. As a rule, these
pictures are not fine productions of art. They are taken under
such conditions of light and background that they are somewhat
shadowy. This sinister addition to our gallery seems to be the first
time the photographs of executions have been reproduced. The photos
were not furtively taken. There is no secrecy about the process, no
attempts to hide it from the Spaniards. Executions in the Philippines
were in the nature of dramatic entertainments. There were often many
persons present, and ladies as conspicuous as at bull fights. There
is no more objections offered to photographing an execution than a
cock fight, which is the sport about which the Filipinos are crazily
absorbed. It is the festal character to the Spaniard of the rebel
shooting that permits the actualities to be reproduced, and hence
these strange contributions to our gallery.

Many of our pictures are self-explanatory. They were selected
to show things characteristic, and hence instructive, peasants'
customs--women riding buffaloes through palm groves--native houses,
quaint costumes. "The insurgent outlook" reveals a native house--a
structure of grasses. This is a perfect picture. The southern
islanders, and the group of Moors, the dressing of the girls, work
in the fields, the wealth of vegetation, the dining room of the
Governor-General prepared for company, General Merritt's palatial
headquarters before he had taken the public property into his care
and suited it to his convenience; the Spanish dude officer, showing
a young man contented in his uniform, and a pony pretty in his harness.

We reproduce the war department map of the Philippine islands. It will
be closely studied for each island has become a subject of American
interest. The imprint of the war department is an assurance of the
closest attainable accuracy. The map of the Hawaiian islands clearly
gives them in their relative positions and proportions as they are
scattered broadcast in the Pacific. The Philippine and Hawaiian groups
as they thus appear will be found more extensive than the general
fancy has painted them. The Philippine Archipelago has been held to
resemble a fan, with Luzon for the handle. The shape is something
fantastic. It is worth while to note that the distance between the
north coast of Luzon and the Sulu Archipelago is equal to that from
England to Southern Italy.

There are pictures in our gallery that could only be found at the end
of a journey of ten thousand miles, and they go far to show the life
of the people of a country that is in such relations with ourselves
the whole world is interested. There is truthtelling that should be
prized in photography, and our picture gallery is one of the most
remarkable that has been assembled.


Cuba and Porto Rico.

Conditions In and Around Havana--Fortifications and Water Supply of the
Capital City--Other Sections of the Pearl of the Antilles--Porto Rico,
Our New Possession, Described--Size and Population--Natural Resources
and Products--Climatic Conditions--Towns and Cities--Railroads and
Other Improvements--Future Possibilities.

There was the fortune of good judgment in attacking the Spaniards in
Cuba at Santiago and Porto Rico, the points of Spanish possession in
the West Indies farthest south and east, instead of striking at the
west, landing at Pinar del Rio, the western province, and moving upon
the fortifications of Havana, where the difficulties and dangers that
proved so formidable at Santiago would have been quadrupled, and our
losses in the field and hospital excessive. The unpreparedness of this
country for war has not even up to this time been appreciated except
by military experts and the most intelligent and intent students of
current history. The military notes prepared in the War Department
of the United States at the beginning of the war with Spain, contain
the following of Santiago de Cuba:

This city was founded in 1514, and the famous Hernando was its first
mayor. It is the most southern place of any note on the island,
being on the twentieth degree of latitude, while Havana, the most
northern point of note, is 23 degrees 9 minutes 26 seconds north
latitude. The surrounding country is very mountainous, and the city
is built upon a steep slope; the public square, or Campo de Marte, is
140 to 160 feet above the sea, and some of the houses are located 200
feet high. The character of the soil is reported to be more volcanic
than calcareous; it has suffered repeatedly from earthquakes. It is
the second city in the island with regard to population, slightly
exceeding that of Matanzas and Puerto Principe. So far as American
commerce is concerned, it ranks only ninth among the fifteen Cuban
ports of entry. It is located on the extreme northern bank of the
harbor of Santiago de Cuba, a harbor of the first class and one of the
smallest; hence, as is believed, the great liability of its shipping
to infection. According to the chart of the Madrid hydrographic
bureau, 1863, this harbor is, from its sea entrance to its extreme
northern limit, 5 miles long, the city being located 4 miles from
its entrance, on the northeastern side of the harbor. The entrance
is for some little distance very narrow--not more than 220 yards
wide--and may be considered about 2 miles long, with a width varying
from one-eighth to five-eighths of a mile. For the remaining 3 miles
the harbor gradually widens, until at its northern extremity it is
about 2 miles wide. The city is so situated in a cove of the harbor
that the opposite shore is only about one-half mile distant. At the
wharves from 10 to 15 feet of water is found, and within 300 to 500
yards of the shore from 20 to 30 feet. This, therefore, is probably
the anchorage ground. Three or more so-called rivers, besides other
streams, empty into this harbor, and one of these, the Caney River,
empties into the harbor at the northern limit of the city, so that
its water flows from one island extremity through the whole harbor
into the sea. The difference here, as elsewhere in Cuba, between
low and high tide is about 2 feet. Population in 1877 was 40,835,
and 5,100 houses. This city is one of the most noted yellow-fever
districts in the island. The population in 1896 was 42,000.

The following has been reported:

Preparations for mounting new and heavy ordnance is now going on at
the entrance of the bay (March 5, 1898).

New and heavier guns are also ordered for Punta Blanca, on the right
of the bay near Santiago City.

Plans have been made for constructing two batteries in the city of
Santiago, one about 25 yards in front of the American consulate and
the other about two blocks in rear.

Cayo Rolones, or Rat Island, located near the middle of the bay, is
the Government depository for powder, dynamite, and other explosives.

The elevation on the right of the entrance, where stands Castle
Morro, is 40 yards above the sea level, while the hill on the left
is 20 yards.

"La Bateria Nueva de la Estrella" is mounted with four revolving

The fortifications of Havana were carefully covered in the military
notes, and thus enumerated:

There are fifteen fortifications in and about the city of Havana,
more or less armed and garrisoned, besides a work partly constructed
and not armed, called Las Animas, and the old bastions along the sea
wall of the harbor. These works are as follows:

Nos. 1 and 2 are earthen redans on the sea coast, east of Havana.

Velazo Battery, just east of, and a part of, El Morro.

El Morro, a sea coast fort, with flanking barbette batteries, east
of harbor entrance.

The Twelve Apostles, a water battery lying at the foot of Morro,
with a field of fire across the harbor's mouth. It is a part of Morro.

La Cabana, a stone-bastioned work with both land and water front,
in rear of El Morro, and directly opposite the city of Havana.

San Diego, a stone-bastioned work with only land fronts, east of

Atares, a stone-bastioned work on hill at southwestern extremity of
Havana Bay, near the old shipyard called the arsenal.

San Salvador de la Punta, a stone-bastioned work west of harbor
entrance, with small advanced and detached work, built on a rock near
harbor mouth.

La Reina, a stone work, in shape the segment of a circle, placed on the
seacoast, at western limits of city, on an inlet called San Lazardo.

Santa Clara, a small but powerful seacoast battery of stone and earth,
placed about 1 1/2 miles west of harbor.

El Principe, a stone-bastioned redoubt west of Havana.

Nos. 3 A, 3 B, and 4 are earthen redans on the seacoast west of Havana.

There are, in addition, several works built for defense, but now used
for other purposes or abandoned. These are:

The Torreon de Vigia, a martello tower placed on the inlet of San
Lazaro opposite La Reina.

The old fort called La Fuerza, built three hundred and fifty years
ago, near the present Plaza de Armas, and now used for barracks and
public offices.

The work called San Nazario, situated north of El Principe, but now
used in connection with the present cartridge factory, abandoned for
defensive purposes.

The partially constructed fort called Las Animas, southeast of
Principe, lying on a low hill, partly built but useless and unarmed.

The old sea wall extending from near La Punta to the Plaza de Armas,
unarmed, and useless except as a parapet for musketry.

The old arsenal, on the west of the inner bay, now used as repair
works for ships, useless for defense.

The old artillery and engineer storehouses near La Punta, probably
once used as strongholds, now mere storehouses for munitions of war.

There are, besides, in the vicinity of Havana, three old and now
useless stone works--one at Chorrera, the mouth of the Almendarez
River, about 4 miles from Havana harbor; another at Cojimar, on the
coast, about 3 miles eastward of Cabana, and the third at the inlet
called La Playa de Mariano, about 7 miles west of Havana.

Batteries Nos. 1 and 2 were equipped with, No. 1, four Hontoria
6-inch guns; two Nordenfeldt 6-pounders; No. 2, two Krupp 12-inch
guns; four Hontoria 3-inch mortars. The 12-inch Krupps were to stand
off battleships attempting to force the harbor, or to bombard the
Morro. The Valago battery, a part of the Morro, an out-work on the
edge of the cliff, mounting four 11-inch Krupp guns separated by
earth traverses.

The Morro, commenced in 1589 and finished in 1597, is important for
historical associations. It is a most picturesque structure, and is
useful as a lighthouse and prison, and is mounted with twelve old
10-inch, eight old 8-inch, and fourteen old 4-inch guns.

Cabana, finished in 1774 at a cost of $14,000,000, lies some 500
yards southeast of El Morro, on the east side of Havana Bay. Toward
the city it exposes a vertical stone wall of irregular trace, with
salients at intervals. Toward the Morro is a bastioned face protected
by a deep ditch, sally port, and drawbridge. Eastward and southward a
beautifully constructed land front incloses the work. This front is
protected by ditches 40 or more feet deep, well constructed glacis,
stone scarp, and counterscarp. Cabana is a magnificent example of the
permanent fortifications constructed a century ago. Probably 10,000
men could be quartered in it.

The entrance to Cabana is by the sally port that opens upon the bridge
across the moat lying between Cabana and El Morro. Upon entering, the
enormous extent of the work begins to be perceived, parapet within
parapet, galleries, casemates, and terrepleins almost innumerable,
all of stone and useless. There are no earth covers or traverses,
and no protection against modern artillery.

Cabana is the prison for offenders against the State, and the scene
of innumerable executions. From an exterior or salient corner of the
secretary's office of the headquarters there leads a subterranean
passage 326 meters long, 2.5 meters wide, and 1.86 high, excavated in
the rock. It conducts to the sea, debouching at the mouth of a sewer,
87 meters from the Morro wharf. At exactly 132 meters along the
road rising from the Morro pier or wharf to the Cabana, there will
be found by excavating the rock on the left of the road, at a depth
of 3 meters, a grating, on opening which passage will be made into
a road 107 meters long, 1.6 high, and 1.42 wide, leading to the same
exit as the Cabana secret way. These passages are most secret, as all
believe that the grating of the sewer, seen from the sea, is a drain.

The battery of Santa Clara is the most interesting of the
fortifications of Havana, and one of the most important. It lies about
100 yards from the shore of the gulf, at a point where the line of
hills to the westward runs back (either naturally or artificially)
into quarries, thus occupying a low salient backed by a hill. Here
are three new Krupp 11-inch guns, designed to protect El Principe,
the land side of Havana. It is 187 feet above sea level and completely
dominates Havana, the bay, Morro, Cabana, the coast northward, Atares,
and from east around to south, the approaches of the Marianao Road,
Cristina, and the Western Railroad for about 3 kilometers, i.e.,
between Cristina and a cut at that distance from the station. Principe
gives fire upon Tulipan, the Cerro, the Hill of the Jesuits, and the
valley through which passes the Havana Railroad, sweeping completely
with its guns the railroad as far as the cut at Cienaga, 2-1/2 to
3 miles away. It dominates also the hills southward and westward
toward Puentes Grandes and the Almendarez River, and country extending
toward Marianao, also the Calzada leading to the cemetery and toward
Chorrera; thence the entire sea line (the railroad to Chorrera is
partly sheltered by the slope leading to Principe. This is by all
means the strongest position about Havana which is occupied. Lying
between it and the hill of the Cerro is the hill of the Catalan Club,
right under the guns of the work and about one-half mile away. The
Marianao Road is more sheltered than the Havana, as it runs near the
trees and hill near the Cerro. The only points which dominate the
hill of the Principe lie to the south and southeast in the direction
of Jesus del Monte and beyond Regla. On its southern, southeastern,
and southwestern faces the hill of Principe is a steep descent to the
calzada and streets below. The slope is gradual westward and around
by the north. From this hill is one of the best views of Havana and
the valley south. El Principe lies about one-half mile from the north
coast, from which hills rise in gradual slopes toward the work. It is
Havana gossip that El Principe is always held by the Spanish regiment
in which the Captain-General has most confidence. The military notes
pronounce El Principe undoubtedly the strongest natural position about
Havana now occupied by defensive works. Its guns sweep the heights
of the Almendares, extending from the north coast southward by the
hills of Puentes Grandes to the valley of Cienaga, thence eastward
across the Hill of the Jesuits and the long line of trees and houses
leading to the Cerro. The country beyond the Cerro is partly sheltered
by trees and hills, but eastward El Principe commands in places the
country and the bay shore, and gives fire across Havana seaward.

The most vulnerable spot in the defenses of Havana is the aqueduct
of Isabella II, or the Vento. The water is from the Vento Springs,
pure and inexhaustable, nine miles out of Havana.

All three of the water supplies to Havana, the Zanja and the
two aqueducts of Ferdinand VII and of the Vento, proceed from the
Almendares and run their course near to each other, the farthest to
the west being the Zanja and to the east the Vento.

At Vento Springs is constructed a large stone basin, open at the
bottom, through which springs bubble. From this reservoir the new
aqueduct leads. It is an elliptical tunnel of brick, placed under
ground, and marked by turrets of brick and stone placed along its

From the Vento Reservoir the new aqueduct crosses the low valley
south of Havana, following generally the Calzada de Vento, which
becomes, near the Cerro, the Calzada de Palatino, to a point on the
Western Railway marked 5 kilometers (about); hence the calzada and
the aqueduct closely follow the railway for about a mile, terminating
at a new reservoir.

The Vento water is the best thing Havana has, and indispensable. The
old sources of supply are intolerable. The main water supply is the
Zanja. Throughout the most of its course this river flows through
unprotected mud banks; the fluids of many houses, especially in the
Cerro ward which it skirts, drain into them; men, horses, and dogs
bathe in it; dead bodies have been seen floating in it, and in the
rainy season the water becomes very muddy. In fine, the Zanja in its
course receives all which a little brook traversing a village and
having houses and back yards on its banks would receive. The water can
not be pure, and to those who know the facts the idea of drinking it is
repulsive. This supply had long been insufficient to the growing city,
and in 1835 the well-protected and excellent aqueduct of Ferdinand
VII was completed. It taps the Almendares River a few hundred yards
above filters mentioned, hence carried by arches to the east El Cerro,
and for some distance nearly parallel to the Calzada del Cerro, but
finally intersecting this. These works are succeeded by the Famous
Vento. When Havana is fought for hereafter the fight will be at the
Vento Springs. This remark is not made in the military notes, but the
military men know it well. When General Miles expected to attack Havana
he procured all the accessible surveys and detail of information,
official and through special observation and personal knowledge
obtainable of the water works. Life could not be sustained many days
in the city of Havana without the water of the adorable Vento.

A special interest attaches to Havana, as it is to be a city under
the control of the United States. The surface soil consists for the
most part of a thin layer of red, yellow, or black earths. At varying
depths beneath this, often not exceeding 1 or 2 feet, lie the solid
rocks. These foundation rocks are, especially in the northern and more
modern parts of the city toward the coast of the sea and not of the
harbor, Quarternary, and especially Tertiary, formations, so permeable
that liquids emptied into excavations are absorbed and disappear.

In other parts of the city the rocks are not permeable, and pools are
formed. In proportion as the towns of Cuba are old, the streets are
narrow. In Havana this peculiarity is so positive that pedestrians
cannot pass on the sidewalks, nor vehicles on the streets. Less than
one-third of the population live on paved streets, and these are as
well paved and kept as clean, it is believed cleaner, than is usual
in the United States. The remainder live on unpaved streets, which,
for the most part, are very filthy. Many of these, even in old and
densely populated parts of the city, are no better than rough country
roads, full of rocks, crevices, mud holes, and other irregularities,
so that vehicles traverse them with difficulty at all times, and in
the rainy season they are sometimes impassible for two months. Rough,
muddy, or both, these streets serve admirably as permanent receptacles
for much decomposing animal and vegetable matter. Finally, not less,
probably more, than one-half the population of Havana live on streets
which are constantly in an extremely insanitary condition, but these
streets, though so numerous, are not in the beaten track of the
pleasure tourist.

In the old intramural city, in which live about 40,000 people, the
streets vary in width, but generally they are 6.8 meters (about 22
feet) wide, of which the sidewalks occupy about 7.5 feet. In many
streets the sidewalk at each side is not even 18 inches wide. In the
new, extramural town, the streets are generally 10 meters (32.8 feet)
wide, with 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) for the sidewalks, and 7 meters
(23 feet) for the wagonway. There are few sidewalks in any except in
the first four of the nine city districts.

More than two-thirds of the population live in densely inhabited
portions of the city, where the houses are crowded in contact with
each other. The average house lot does not exceed 27 by 112 feet
in size. There are 17,259 houses, of which 15,494 are one-story,
1,552 are two stories, 186 are three stories, and only 27 are four
stories, with none higher. At least 12 in every 13 inhabitants live
in one-story houses; and as the total civil, military, and transient
population exceeds 200,000 there are more than 12 inhabitants to every
house. Tenement houses may have many small rooms, but each room is
occupied by a family. Generally the one-story houses have four or
five rooms; but house rent, as also food and clothing, is rendered
so expensive by taxation, by export as well as import duties, that it
is rare for workmen, even when paid $50 to $100 a month, to enjoy the
exclusive use of one of these mean little houses; reserving one or two
rooms for his family, he rents the balance. This condition of affairs
is readily understood when it is known that so great a necessity as
flour cost in Havana $15.50 when its price in the United States was
$6.50 per barrel.

In the densely populated portions of the city the houses generally
have no back yard, properly so called, but a flagged court, or narrow
vacant space into which sleeping rooms open at the side, and in close
proximity with these, at the rear of this contracted court are located
the kitchen, the privy, and often a stall for animals. In the houses of
the poor, that is, of the vast majority of the population, there are
no storerooms, pantries, closets, or other conveniences for household
supplies. These are furnished from day to day, even from meal to meal,
by the corner groceries; and it is rare, in large sections of Havana,
to find any one of the four corners of a square without a grocery.

The walls of most of the houses in Havana are built of "mamposteria"
or rubble masonry, a porous material which freely absorbs atmospheric
as well as ground moisture. The mark of this can often be seen high on
the walls, which varies from 2 to 7 feet in the houses generally. The
roofs are excellent, usually flat, and constructed of brick tiles. The
windows are, like the doors, unusually high, nearly reaching the
ceiling, which, in the best houses only, is also unusually high. The
windows are never glazed, but protected by strong iron bars on the
outside and on the inside by solid wooden shutters, which are secured,
like the doors, with heavy bars or bolts, and in inclement weather
greatly interfere with proper ventilation. Fireplaces with chimneys
are extremely rare, so that ventilation depends entirely on the doors
and windows, which, it should be stated, are by no means unusually
large in most of the sleeping rooms of the poor. Generally in Havana,
less generally in other cities, the entrances and courtyards are
flagged with stone, while the rooms are usually floored with tile
or marble. With rare exceptions the lowest floor is in contact with
the earth. Ventilation between the earth and floor is rarely seen in
Cuba. In Havana the average height of the ground floor is from 7 to
11 inches above the pavement, but in Havana, and more frequently in
other Cuban towns, one often encounters houses which are entered by
stepping down from the sidewalk, and some floors are even below the
level of the street. In Havana some of the floors, in Matanzas more,
in Cardenas and Cienfuegos many are of the bare earth itself, or of
planks raised only a few inches above the damp ground.

The narrow entrance about 400 yards in width and 1,200 in length,
opens into the irregular harbor, which has three chief coves or
indentations, termed "ensenadas." The extreme length of the harbor
from its sea entrance to the limit of the most distant ensenada is 3
miles, and its extreme breadth 1-1/2 miles; but within the entrance
the average length is only about 1, and the average breadth about
two-thirds of a mile. However, because of the irregularly projecting
points of land which form the ensenadas, there is no locality in the
harbor where a vessel can possibly anchor farther than 500 yards from
the shore. Its greatest depth is about 40 feet, but the anchorage
ground for vessels drawing 18 feet of water is very contracted, not
exceeding one-half the size of the harbor. The rise and fall of the
tide does not exceed 2 feet.

The Cuban city next in celebrity to Havana is Matanzas, and it is
one likely to become a favorite of Americans, as the country in
the vicinity is distinguished by beauty as well as remarkable for
fertility. Matanzas was first regularly settled in 1693. It is in the
province of Matanzas, 54 miles west of Havana, by the most direct
of the two railroads which unite these two cities, and is situated
on the western inland extremity of the bay of Matanzas, a harbor of
the first class. Matanzas is divided into three districts, viz, the
central district of Matanzas, which, about half a mile in width across
the center of population, lies between the two little rivers, San Juan
to the south, and the Yumuri to the north; the Pueblo Nuevo district,
south of the San Juan, and around the inland extremity of the harbor;
and the district of Versalles, north of the Yumuri, nearest to the
open sea, as also to the anchorage ground, and, sanitarily, the best
situated district in the city. About two-thirds of the population are
in the district of Matanzas, and the Pueblo Nuevo district has about
double the population of Versalles. Pueblo Nuevo stands on ground
originally a swamp, and is low, flat, and only 3 or 4 feet above the
sea. The Matanzas district has many houses on equally low ground,
on the harbor front, and on the banks of the two rivers which inclose
this district; but from the front and between these rivers the ground
ascends, so that its houses are from 2 to even 100 feet above the sea;
however, the center of population, the public square, is only about
20 feet above sea level. Versalles is on a bluff of the harbor, and
its houses are situated, for the most part, from 15 to 40 feet above
the sea. The district of Matanzas has ill constructed and useless
sewers in only two streets, and no houses connected therewith. So
much of this district and of Versalles as is built on the hill slope
is naturally well drained, but the Pueblo Nuevo district, and those
parts of Matanzas built in immediate proximity to the banks of the
river, are very ill drained.

Since 1872 Matanzas has had an aqueduct from the Bello spring, 7 miles
distant. The supply is alleged to be both abundant and excellent. But
of the 4,710 houses in the city 840 stand on the hills outside
the zone supplied by the waterworks, while of the remaining 3,870
houses within this zone only about 2,000 get their water from the
waterworks company. Hence more than half of the houses of Matanzas
(2,710) do for the most part get their supply in kegs by purchase in
the streets. There are a few public fountains, as also some dangerous
wells. The streets are 30 feet wide, with 24 feet wagon way. Few of
them are paved, some are very poor roads, but, for the most part,
these roads are in good condition. In the Matanzas district some
of the streets are of solid stone, and natural foundation rock of
the place, for the superficial soil is so thin that the foundation
rocks often crop out. Of this very porous rock most of the houses
are built. The houses have wider fronts, larger air spaces in rear,
are not so crowded, and are better ventilated than the houses of
Havana. As is usual in Cuba, the ground floors are generally on a
level with the sidewalk, and some are even below the level of the
streets. A heavy rain floods many of the streets of Matanzas, the
water running back into and beneath the houses. The porous limestone
of which the houses are built greatly favors absorption.

The population of Matanzas and suburbs was about 50,000 at the
beginning of the war.

Porto Rico is not quite as large as Connecticut, but larger than
the States of Delaware and Rhode Island. The climate of the island
is delightful, and its soil exceedingly rich. In natural resources
it is of surpassing opulence. The length of the island is about one
hundred miles, and its breadth thirty-five, the general figure of it
being like the head of a sperm whale. The range of mountains is from
east to west, and nearly central. The prevalent winds are from the
northwest, and the rainfall is much heavier on the northern shores and
mountain slopes than on the southern. The height of the ridge is on
the average close to 1,500 feet, one bold peak, the Anvil being 3,600
feet high. The rainy north and the droughty south, with the lift of the
land from the low shores to the central slopes and rugged elevations,
under the tropical sun, with the influence of the great oceans east,
south and north, and the multitude of western and southern islands,
give unusual and charming variety in temperature. Porto Rico is, by
the American people, even more than the Spaniards, associated with
Cuba. But it is less than a tenth of Cuban proportions. Porto Rico
has 3,600 square miles to Cuba's 42,000, but a much greater proportion
of Porto Rico than of Cuba is cultivated. Less than one-sixteenth of
the area of Cuba has been improved, and while her population is but
1,600,000, according to the latest census, and is not so much now,
Porto Rico, with less than a tenth of the land of Cuba, has half the
number of inhabitants. Largely Porto Rico is peopled by a better class
than the mass of the Cubans. Cuba is wretchedly provided with roads,
one of the reasons why the Spaniards were incapable of putting down
insurrections. If they had expended a fair proportion of the revenues
derived from the flourishing plantations and the monopolies of Spanish
favoritisms that built up Barcelona and enriched Captain-Generals, and
in less degree other public servants, the rebellions would have been
put down. The Spanish armies in Cuba, however, were rather managed
for official speculation and peculation, were more promenaders than
in military enterprise and the stern business of war. With Weyler for
an opponent, Gomez, as a guerilla, could have dragged on a series of
skirmishes indefinitely. The story of the alleged war in Cuba between
the Spaniards and the Cubans was on both sides falsified, and the
American people deceived. Porto Rico does not seem to have appealed so
strongly to the cupidity of the Spaniards as Cuba did, and to have been
governed with less brutality. The consequence is there has not been a
serious insurrection in the smaller island for seventy years, and it
falls into our possession without the impoverishment and demoralization
of the devastation of war--one of the fairest gems of the ocean.

It was October 18th that the American flag was raised over San
Juan. The following dispatch is the official record:

"San Juan, Porto Rico, Oct. 18.--Secretary of War, Washington, D.C.:
Flags have been raised on public buildings and forts in this city
and saluted with national salutes. The occupation of the island is
now complete.

"_Brooke_, Chairman."

On the morning of the 18th, the 11th regular infantry with two
batteries of the 5th artillery landed. The latter proceeded to the
forts, while the infantry lined up on the docks. It was a holiday
for San Juan and there were many people in the streets. Rear-Admiral
Schley and General Gordon, accompanied by their staffs, proceeded to
the palace in carriages. The 11th infantry regiment and band with
Troop H, of the 6th United States cavalry then marched through the
streets and formed in the square opposite the palace.

At 11:40 a. m., General Brooke, Admiral Schley and General Gordon, the
United States evacuation commissioners, came out of the palace with
many naval officers and formed on the right side of the square. The
streets behind the soldiers were thronged with townspeople, who stood
waiting in dead silence.

At last the city clock struck 12, and the crowds, almost breathless
and with eyes fixed upon the flagpole, watched for developments. At
the sound of the first gun from Fort Morro, Major Dean and Lieutenant
Castle, of General Brooke's staff, hoisted the stars and stripes,
while the band played "The Star Spangled Banner." All heads were bared
and the crowds cheered. Fort Morro, Fort San Cristobal and the United
States revenue cutter Manning, lying in the harbor, fired twenty-one
guns each.

Senor Munoz Rivera, who was president of the recent autonomist council
of secretaries, and other officials of the late insular government
were present at the proceedings. Many American flags were displayed.

Acknowledgment has been made of the better condition of Porto Rico than
of Cuba, but the trail of the serpent of colonial Spanish government
appears. Mr. Alfred Somamon writes in the Independent:

"The internal administration of the island disposes of a budget of
about $3,300,000, and is a woeful example of corrupt officialism. Of
this sum only about $650,000 is expended in the island, the
remainder being applied to payment of interest on public debt,
salaries of Spanish officials, army, navy, and other extra-insular
expenditures. But the whole of the revenue is collected in the island."

An article of great value by Eugene Deland, appeared in the Chatauquan
of September, on the characteristics of Porto Rico, and we present
an extract, showing its admirable distinction of accurate information
well set forth:

"The mountain slopes are covered with valuable timbers, cabinet
and dye-woods, including mahogany, walnut, lignum vitae, ebony, and
logwood, and various medicinal plants. Here, too, is the favorite
zone of the coffee tree, which thrives best one thousand feet above
sea level. The valleys and plains produce rich harvests of sugar-cane
and tobacco. The amount of sugar yielded by a given area is said to
be greater than in any other West Indian island. Rice, of the mountain
variety and grown without flooding, nourishes almost any place and is
a staple food of the laboring classes. In addition to these products
cotton and maize are commonly cultivated, and yams, plantains, oranges,
bananas, cocoanuts, pineapples, and almost every other tropical fruit
are grown in abundance. Among indigenous plants are several noted for
their beautiful blossoms. Among these are the coccoloba, which grows
mainly along the coasts and is distinguished by its large, yard-long
purple spikes, and a talauma, with magnificent, ororous, white flowers.

"Of wild animal life Porto Rico has little. No poisonous serpents
are found, but pestiferous insects, such as tarantulas, centipedes,
scorpions, ticks, fleas, and mosquitos, supply this deficiency in a
measure. All sorts of domestic animals are raised, and the excellent
pasture-lands support large herds of cattle for export and home
consumption, and ponies, whose superiority is recognized throughout
the West Indies.

"The mineral wealth of the island is undeveloped, but traces of
gold, copper, iron, lead, and coal are found. Salt is procured in
considerable quantities from the lakes.

"Porto Rico carries on an extensive commerce, chiefly with Spain,
the United States, Cuba, Germany, Great Britain, and France. In
1895 the volume of its trade was one-half greater than that of the
larger British colony--Jamaica. The United States ranks second in
amount of trade with the island. During the four years from 1893-96
Spain's trade with the colony averaged $11,402,888 annually, and the
United States, $5,028,544. The total value of Porto Rican exports for
1896 was $18,341,430, and of imports, $18,282,690, making a total of
$36,624,120, which was an excess over any previous year. The exports
consist almost entirely of agricultural products. In 1895 coffee
comprised about sixty per cent, and sugar about twenty-eight per cent,
of their value; leaf tobacco, molasses, and honey came next. Maize,
hides, fruits, nuts, and distilled spirits are also sent out in
considerable quantities. Over one-half of the coffee exported goes to
Spain and Cuba, as does most of the tobacco, which is said to be used
in making the finest Havana cigars; the sugar and molasses are, for
the most part, sent to the United States. Among imports, manufactured
articles do not greatly exceed agricultural. Rice, fish, meat and lard,
flour, and manufactured tobacco are the principal ones. Customs duties
furnish about two-thirds of the Porto Rican revenue, which has for
several years yielded greater returns to Spain than that of Cuba.

"The climate of Porto Rico is considered the healthiest in the
Antilles. The heat is considerably less than at Santiago de Cuba, a
degree and a half farther north. The thermometer seldom goes above 90
degrees. Pure water is readily obtained in most of the island. Yellow
fever seldom occurs, and never away from the coast. The rainy season
begins the first of June and ends the last of December, but the heavy
downpours do not come on until about August 1st.

"In density of population also this island ranks first among the
West Indies, having half as many inhabitants as Cuba, more than
eleven times as large. Of its 807,000 people, 326,000 are colored
and many of the others of mixed blood. They differ little from other
Spanish-Americans, being fond of ease, courteous, and hospitable,
and, as in other Spanish countries, the common people are illiterate,
public education having been grievously neglected. The natives are the
agriculturists of the country, and are a majority in the interior,
while the Spaniards, who control business and commerce, are found
mainly in the towns and cities.

"The numerous good harbors have naturally dotted the seaboard with
cities and towns of greater or less commercial importance. San Juan,
Ponce, Mayaguez, Aguadilla, Arecibo and Fajardo all carry on extensive
trade. Intercourse between coast towns is readily had by water, but is
to be facilitated by a railroad around the island, of which 137 miles
have been built and 170 miles more projected. The public highways of
the island are in better condition than one might expect. According to
a recent report of United States Consul Stewart, of San Juan, there
are about one hundred and fifty miles of good road. The best of this
is the military highway connecting Ponce on the southern coast with
San Juan on the northern. This is a macadamized road, so excellently
built and so well kept up that a recent traveler in the island says a
bicycle corps could go over it without dismounting. Whether it is solid
enough to stand the transportation of artillery and heavy army trains
we shall soon know. Of telegraph lines Porto Rico has four hundred
and seventy miles, and two cables connect it with the outside world,
one running from Ponce and the other from San Juan."

Mr. Alfred Solomon, already quoted as an instructive contributor to
the Independent, writes:

"The population of Porto Rico, some 800,000, is essentially
agricultural. A varied climate, sultry in the lowlands, refreshing and
invigorating in the mountain ranges, makes possible the cultivation of
almost every variety of known crop--sugar, tobacco, coffee, annatto,
maze, cotton and ginger are extensively grown; but there are still
thousands of acres of virgin lands awaiting the capitalist. Tropical
fruits flourish in abundance, and the sugar-pine is well known
in our market, where it brings a higher price than any other pine
imported. Hardwood and fancy cabinet wood trees fill the forests, and
await the woodman's ax. Among these are some specimens of unexampled
beauty, notably a tree, the wood of which, when polished, resembles
veined marble, and another, rivaling in beauty the feathers in a
peacock's tail. Precious metals abound, although systematic effort
has never been directed to the locating of paying veins. Rivers and
rivulets are plenty, and water-power is abundant; and the regime
should see the installation of power plants and electric lighting
all over the island, within a short time after occupation. On the
lowlands, large tracts of pasturage under guinea grass and malojilla
feed thousands of sleek cattle, but, as an article of food, mutton
is almost unknown. The native pony, small, wiry and untirable,
has a world-wide reputation, and for long journeys is unequaled,
possessing a gait, as they say in the island, like an arm-chair.

"Perhaps a third of the population of the island is of African
descent; but, strangely enough, the colored people are only to be
found on the coast, and are the fishermen, boatmen and laborers of
the seaports. The cultivation of the crops is entirely in the hands
of the jibaro, or peasant, who is seldom of direct Spanish descent,
while the financiering and exportation is conducted almost entirely by
peninsulares, or Spanish-born colonists, who monopolize every branch
of commerce to the exclusion of the colonian-born subject.

"Coffee planting is largely engaged in, returning from ten to fifteen
per cent. on capital. Improved transportation facilities, abolition of
export dues and the consolidation of small estates would, doubtless,
help toward better results. This crop is marketed in Europe--London,
Havre and Barcelona--where better prices are obtainable than in New
York. With the exception of a few plantations in strong hands, most
of this property could be purchased at a fair valuation, and would
prove to be a very profitable investment.

"Cocoa grows wild on the lowlands, but has not been cultivated to
any appreciable extent. Small consignments sent to Europe have been
pronounced superior to the Caracas bean. The tree takes a longer
period than coffee to come to maturity and bear fruit; but once in
bearing the current expenses are less and the yield far greater. The
same remarks apply to the cultivation of rubber, which, although a
most profitable staple with an ever-increasing market, has received
no attention whatever.

"Corn is raised in quantities insufficient for home consumption. Of
this cereal three crops can be obtained in two years; sometimes two
a year. The demand is constant, and the price always remunerative.

"In Porto Rico, as in most other West Indian islands, sugar is
king. In the treatment of this product the lack of capital has been
sadly felt. Planters possess only the most primitive machinery, and in
the extraction of the juice from the cane the proportion of saccharine
matter has been exceedingly small. Great outlay is necessary for the
installation of a complete modern crushing and centrifugal plant."

A flattering picture of our new possessions is drawn in McClure's
Magazine, by Mr. George B. Waldron.

"Here, then, are Cuba and Porto Rico in the Atlantic, and the
Hawaiian and Philippine groups in the Pacific, whose destiny has
become intertwined with our own. Their combined area is 168,000
square miles, equaling New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and New
Jersey. Their population is about 10,000,000, or perhaps one-half of
that of these nine home States. The Philippines, with three-quarters
of the entire population, and Porto Rico, with 800,000 people, alone
approach our own Eastern States in density. Cuba, prior to the war,
was about as well populated as Virginia, and the Hawaiian group is
as well peopled as Kansas. What, then, can these islands do for us?

"Americans use more sugar in proportion to population than any other
nation of the world. The total consumption last year was not less than
2,500,000 tons. This is enough to make a pyramid that would overtop the
tallest pyramid of Egyptian fame. Of this total, 2,200,000 tons came
from foreign countries, the Spanish possessions and Hawaii sending
about twenty-five per cent. Five years earlier, when our imports
were less by half a million tons, these islands supplied double
this quantity, or nearly two-thirds of the nation's entire sugar
import. But that was before Cuba had been devastated by war and when
she was exporting 1,100,000 tons of sugar to other countries. Restore
Cuba to her former fertility, and the total sugar crop of these islands
will reach 1,500,000 tons, or two-thirds our present foreign demand."

There is much more in Mr. Waldron's summary of the vast addition that
has been made to our resources, by the occupation and possession of the
islands that have recently been gathered under our wings by the force
of our arms. It is enough to know that with the tropical islands we
have gained, we have in our hands the potentialities, the luxuries,
the boundless resources including, as we may, and must, Alaska, of
all the zones of the great globe that we inhabit in such ample measure.

The following notes were compiled for the information of the army,
and embody all reliable information available.

The notes were intended to supplement the military map of Porto
Rico. The following books and works were consulted and matter from them
freely used in the preparation of the notes: Guia Geografico Militar
de Espana y Provincias Ultramarinas, 1879; Espana, sus Monumentos
y Artes, su Naturaleza e Historia, 1887; Compendio de Geografia
Militar de Espana y Portugal, 1882; Anuario de Comercio de Espana,
1896; Anuario Militar de Espana, 1898; Reclus, Nouvelle Geographic
Universelle, 1891; Advance Sheets American Consular Reports, 1898;
An Account of the Present State of the Island of Porto Rico, 1834;
The Statesman's Year Book, 1898.

Situation.--Porto Rico is situated in the Torrid Zone, in the
easternmost part of the Antilles, between latitude 17 deg. 54 min. and
18 deg. 30 min. 40 sec. N. and longitude 61 deg. 54 min. 26 sec. and
63 deg. 32 min. 32 sec. W. of Madrid. It is bounded on the north
by the Atlantic, on the east and south by the sea of the Antilles,
and on the west by the Mona Channel.

Size.--The island of Porto Rico, the fourth in size of the Antilles,
has, according to a recent report of the British consul (1897),
an extent of about 3,668 square miles--35 miles broad and 95 miles
long. It is of an oblong form., extending from east to west.

Population.--Porto Rico is the first among the Antilles in density of
population and in prosperity. The Statesman's Year Book, 1898, gives
the population (1887) at 813,937, of which over 300,000 are negroes,
this being one of the few countries of tropical America where the
number of whites exceeds that of other races. The whites and colored,
however, are all striving in the same movement of civilization, and
are gradually becoming more alike in ideas and manners. Among the
white population the number of males exceeds the number of females,
which is the contrary of all European countries. This is partly
explained by the fact that the immigrants are mostly males. On an
average the births exceed the deaths by double. The eastern portion
of the island is less populous than the western.

Soil.--The ground is very fertile, being suitable for the cultivation
of cane, coffee, rice, and other products raised in Cuba, which island
Porto Rico resembles in richness and fertility.

Climate.--The climate is hot and moist, the medium temperature reaching
104 degs. F. Constant rains and winds from the east cool the heavy
atmosphere of the low regions. On the heights of the Central Cordillera
the temperature is healthy and agreeable.

Iron rusts and becomes consumed, so that nothing can be constructed
of this metal. Even bronze artillery has to be covered with a strong
varnish to protect it from the damp winds.

Although one would suppose that all the large islands in the Tropics
enjoyed the same climate, yet from the greater mortality observed in
Jamaica, St. Domingo, and Cuba, as compared with Porto Rico, one is
inclined to believe that this latter island is much more congenial
than any of the former to the health of Europeans. The heat, the
rains, and the seasons are, with very trifling variations, the same
in all. But the number of mountains and running streams, which are
everywhere in view in Porto Rico, and the general cultivation of the
land, may powerfully contribute to purify the atmosphere and render it
salubrious to man. The only difference of temperature to be observed
throughout the island is due to altitude, a change which is common
to every country under the influence of the Tropics.

In the mountains the inhabitants enjoy the coolness of spring, while
the valleys would be uninhabitable were it not for the daily breeze
which blows generally from the northeast and east. For example, in
Ponce the noonday sun is felt in all its rigor, while at the village
of Adjuntas, 4 leagues distant in the interior of the mountains, the
traveler feels invigorated by the refreshing breezes of a temperate
clime. At one place the thermometers is as high as 90 deg., while in
another it is sometimes under 60 deg. Although the seasons are not so
distinctly marked in this climate as they are in Europe (the trees
being always green), yet there is a distinction to be made between
them. The division into wet and dry seasons (winter and summer)
does not give a proper idea of the seasons in this island; for on
the north coast it sometimes rains almost the whole year, while
sometimes for twelve or fourteen months not a drop of rain falls on
the south coast. However, in the mountains at the south there are
daily showers. Last year, for example, in the months of November,
December, and January the north winds blew with violence, accompanied
by heavy showers of rain, while this year (1832) in the same months,
it has scarcely blown a whole day from that point of the compass, nor
has it rained for a whole month. Therefore, the climate of the north
and south coasts of this island, although under the same tropical
influence, are essentially different.

As in all tropical countries, the year is divided into two seasons--the
dry and the rainy. In general, the rainy season commences in August
and ends the last of December, southerly and westerly winds prevailing
during this period. The rainfall is excessive, often inundating fields
and forming extensive lagoons. The exhalations from these lagoons
give rise to a number of diseases, but, nevertheless, Porto Rico is
one of the healthiest islands of the archipelago.

In the month of May the rains commence, not with the fury of a deluge,
as in the months of August and September, but heavier than any rain
experienced in Europe. Peals of thunder reverberating through the
mountains give a warning of their approach, and the sun breaking
through the clouds promotes the prolific vegetation of the fields with
its vivifying heat. The heat at this season is equal to the summer of
Europe, and the nights are cool and pleasant; but the dews are heavy
and pernicious to health. The following meteorological observations,
carefully made by Don Jose Ma. Vertez, a Captain of the Spanish navy,
will exhibit the average range of temperature:

Ds of heat observed in the capital of Porto Rico, taking a medium of
five years.

Degrees of Heat Observed in the Capital of Porto Rico, Taking a Medium
of Five Years.

Hours of the Day. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. June. July. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Seven in the morning 72 72 1/2 74 78 78 82 85 86 80 1/2 77 75 75
Noon 82 81 82 83 85 86 90 92 88 85 84 80
Five in the evening 78 74 78 80 81 84 87 90 83 82 80 79

The weather, after a fifteen or twenty days' rain, clears up and the
sun, whose heat has been hitherto moderated by partial clouds and
showers of rain, seems, as it were, set in a cloudless sky. The cattle
in the pastures look for the shade of the trees, and a perfect calm
pervades the whole face of nature from sunrise till between 10 and 11
o'clock in the morning, when the sea breeze sets in. The leaves of the
trees seem as if afraid to move, and the sea, without a wave or ruffle
on its vast expanse, appears like an immense mirror. Man partakes in
the general languor as well as the vegetable and brute creation.

The nights, although warm, are delightfully clear and serene at
this season. Objects may be clearly distinguished at the distance of
several hundred yards, so that one may even shoot by moonlight. The
months of June and July offer very little variation in the weather or
temperature. In August a suffocating heat reigns throughout the day,
and at night it is useless to seek for coolness; a faint zephyr is
succeeded by a calm of several hours. The atmosphere is heavy and
oppressive, and the body, weakened by perspiration, becomes languid;
the appetite fails, and the mosquitos, buzzing about the ears by day
and night, perplex and annoy by their stings, while the fevers of the
tropics attack Europeans with sudden and irresistible violence. This
is the most sickly season for the European. The thermometer frequently
exceeds 90 deg. The clouds exhibit a menacing appearance, portending
the approach of the heavy autumnal rains, which pour down like
a deluge. About the middle of September it appears as if all the
vapors of the ocean had accumulated in one point of the heavens. The
rain comes down like an immense quantity of water poured through a
sieve; it excludes from the view every surrounding object, and in
half an hour the whole surface of the earth becomes an immense sheet
of water. The rivers are swollen and overflow their banks, the low
lands are completely inundated, and the smallest brooks become deep
and rapid torrents.

In the month of October the weather becomes sensibly cooler than
during the preceding months, and in November the north and northeast
winds generally set in, diffusing an agreeable coolness through the
surrounding atmosphere. The body becomes braced and active, and the
convalescent feels its genial influence. The north wind is accompanied
(with few exceptions) by heavy showers of rain on the north coast;
and the sea rolls on that coast with tempestuous violence, while the
south coast remains perfectly calm.

When the fury of the north wind abates, it is succeeded by fine
weather and a clear sky. Nothing can exceed the climate of Porto
Rico at this season; one can only compare it to the month of May in
the delightful Province of Andalusia, where the cold of winter and
the burning heat of summer are tempered by the cool freshness of
spring. This is considered to be the healthiest season of the year,
when a European may visit the tropics without fear.

The small islands, destitute of wood and high mountains, which have a
powerful effect in attracting the clouds, suffer much from drought. It
sometimes happens that in Curacao, St. Bartholomews, and other islands
there are whole years without a drop of rain, and after exhausting
their cisterns the inhabitants are compelled to import water from
the rivers of other islands.

"The land breeze" is an advantage which the large islands derive
from the inequality of their surface; for as soon as the sea breeze
dies away, the hot air of the valleys being rarified, ascends toward
the tops of the mountains, and is there condensed by cold, which
makes it specifically heavier than it was before; it then descends
back to the valleys on both sides of the ridge. Hence a night wind
(blowing on all sides from the land toward the shore) is felt in all
the mountainous countries under the torrid zone. On the north shore
the wind comes from the south, and on the south shore from the north.

Storms.--The hurricanes which visit the island, and which obey the
general laws of tropical cyclones, are one of the worst scourges of the
country. For hours before the appearance of this terrible phenomenon
the sea appears calm; the waves come from a long distance very gently
until near the shore, when they suddenly rise as if impelled by a
superior force, dashing against the land with extraordinary violence
and fearful noise. Together with this sign, the air is noticed to be
disturbed, the sun red, and the stars obscured by vapor which seems
to magnify them. A strong odor is perceived in the sea, which is
sulphureous in the waters of rivers, and there are sudden changes in
the wind. These omens, together with the signs of uneasiness manifested
by various animals, foretell the proximity of a hurricane.

This is a sort of whirlwind, accompanied by rain, thunder and
lightning, sometimes by earthquake shocks, and always by the most
terrible and devastating circumstances that can possibly combine to
ruin a country in a few hours. A clear, serene day is followed by the
darkest night; the delightful view offered by woods and prairies is
diverted into the deary waste of a cruel winter; the tallest and most
robust cedar trees are uprooted, broken off bodily, and hurled into
a heap; roofs, balconies, and windows of houses are carried through
the air like dry leaves, and in all directions are seen houses and
estates laid waste and thrown into confusion.

The fierce roar of the water and of the trees being destroyed by the
winds, the cries and moans of persons, the bellowing of cattle and
neighing of horses, which are being carried from place to place by
the whirlwinds, the torrents of water inundating the fields, and a
deluge of fire being let loose in flashes and streaks of lightning,
seem to announce the last convulsions of the universe and the death
agonies of nature itself.

Sometimes these hurricanes are felt only on the north coast, at
others on the south coast, although generally their influence extends
throughout the island.

In 1825 a hurricane destroyed the towns of Patillas, Maunabo, Yabucoa,
Humacao, Gurabo, and Caguas, causing much damage in other towns in
the east, north, and center of the island. The island was also visited
by a terrible hurricane in 1772.

Earthquakes.--Earthquakes are somewhat frequent, but not violent or
of great consequence. The natives foretell them by noticing clouds
settle near the ground for some time in the open places among the
mountains. The water of the springs emits a sulphurous odor or leaves
a strange taste in the mouth; birds gather in large flocks and fly
about uttering shriller cries than usual; cattle bellow and horses
neigh, etc. A few hours beforehand the air becomes calm and dimmed by
vapors which arise from the ground, and a few moments before there is a
slight breeze, followed at intervals of two or three minutes by a deep
rumbling noise, accompanied by a sudden gust of wind, which are the
forerunners of the vibration, the latter following immediately. These
shocks are sometimes violent and are usually repeated, but owing to
the special construction of the houses, they cause no damage.

Tides.--For seven hours the tide runs rapidly in a northwest direction,
returning in the opposite direction with equal rapidity for five hours.

Orography.--The general relief of Porto Rico is much inferior in
altitude to that of the rest of the Great Antilles, and even some of
the Lesser Antilles have mountain summits which rival it.

A great chain of mountains divides the islands into two parts, northern
and southern, which are called by the natives Banda del Norte and
Banda del Sur. This chain sends out long ramifications toward the
coasts, the interstices of which form beautiful and fertile valleys,
composed in the high parts of white and red earths, on the spurs of
black and weaker earths, and near the coasts of sand.

To the northwest and following a direction almost parallel with the
northern coast, the Sierra of Lares extends from Aguadilla to the
town of Lares, where it divides into two branches, one going north
nearly to the coast, near Arecibo harbor, and the other extending
to the spurs of the Sierra Grande de Banos; this latter starting
from Point Guaniquilla, crosses the island in its entire length,
its last third forming the Sierra of Cayey.

The whole island may be said to form a continuous network of sierras,
hills, and heights. Of these the Sierra del Loquillo is distinguished
for its great altitude (the highest peak being Yunque, in the northeast
corner of the island and visible from the sea, a distance of 120
kilometers), as is also Laivonito Mountain, near the south coast.

The following are the four highest mountains, with their heights above
the sea level: Yunque, in Luquillo, 1,290 yards; Guilarte, in Adjuntas,
1,180 yards; La Somanta, in Aybonito, 1,077 yards; Las Teras de Cerro
Gordo, in San German, 860 yards. All are easily ascended on foot or
horseback, and there are coffee plantations near all of them.

Approximate Height of Towns Above the Sea Level.--Aybonito, with its
acclimatization station, 970 yards; Adjuntas, an almost exclusively
Spanish town, 810 yards; Cayey, with a very agreeable climate,
750 yards; Lares, with a very agreeable climate, 510 yards; Utuado,
with a very agreeable climate, 480 yards; Muricao, an exclusively
Spanish town, 480 yards. To ascend to all these towns there are very
good wagon roads. There are no fortifications of any kind in them,
but they are surrounded on all sides by mountains.

Hydrography.--Few countries of the extent of Porto Rico are watered by
so many streams. Seventeen rivers, taking their rise in the mountains,
cross the valleys of the north coast and empty into the sea. Some of
these are navigable 2 or 3 leagues from their mouths for schooners and
small coasting vessels. Those of Manati, Loisa, Trabajo, and Arecibo
are very deep and broad, and it is difficult to imagine how such large
bodies of water can be collected in so short a course. Owing to the
heavy surf which continually breaks on the north coast, these rivers
have bars across their embouchures which do not allow large vessels
to enter. The rivers of Bayamo and Rio Piedras flow into the harbor
of the capital, and are also navigable for boats. At high water small
brigs may enter the river of Arecibo with perfect safety and discharge
their cargoes, notwithstanding the bar which crosses its mouth.

The rivers of the north coast have a decided advantage over those
of the south coast, where the climate is drier and the rains less
frequent. Nevertheless, the south, west, and east coasts are well
supplied with water; and, although in some seasons it does not rain
for ten, and sometimes twelve months on the south coast, the rivers
are never entirely dried up.

From the Cabeza de San Juan, which is the northeast extremity of
the island, to the cape of Mala Pascua, which lies to the southeast,
9 rivers fall into the sea.

From Cape Mala Pascua to Point Aguila, which forms the southwest angle
of the island, 16 rivers discharge their waters on the south coast.

On the west coast 3 rivers, 5 rivulets, and several fresh-water
lakes communicate with the sea. In the small extent of 330 leagues
of area there are 46 rivers, besides a countless number of rivulets
and branches of navigable water.

The rivers of the north coast are stocked with delicious fish, some
of them large enough to weigh two quintals.

From the river of Arecibo to that of Manati, a distance of 5 leagues,
a fresh-water lagoon, perfectly navigable for small vessels through
the whole of its extent, runs parallel to the sea at about a mile
from the shore.

In the fertile valley of Anasco, on the western coast, there is a
canal formed by nature, deep and navigable. None of the rivers are
of real military importance; for, though considering the shortness of
their course, they attain quite a volume, still it is not sufficient
for good-sized vessels.

The rivers emptying on the north coast are Loisa, Aguas Prietas,
Arecibo, Bayamon, Camuy, Cedros, Grande, Guajaraca de la Tuna,
Lesayas, Loquillo, Manati, Rio Piedras, Sabana, San Martin, Sibuco,
Toa, and Vega.

Those emptying on the east coast are Candelero, Dagua, Fajardo,
Guayanes, Majogua, and Maonabo.

On the south coast: Aquamanil, Caballon, Cana, Coamo, Descalabrado,
Guanica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Jacagua, Manglar, Penuela, Ponce
and Vigia.

On the west coast: Aguada, Boqueron, Cajas, Culebrina, Chico,
Guanajibo, Mayaguez, and Rincon.

The limits of the Loisa river are: On the east, the sierra of
Luquillo (situated near the northeast corner of the island); on the
south, the sierra of Cayey, and on the west, ramifications of the
latter. It rises in the northern slopes of the sierra of Cayey, and,
running in a northwest direction for the first half of its course
and turning to northeast in the second half, it arrives at Loisa,
a port on the northern coast, where it discharges its waters into the
Atlantic. During the first part of its course it is known by the name
of Cayagua.

The Sabana river has, to the east and south, the western and southern
limits of the preceding river, and on the west the Sierra Grande,
or De Barros, which is situated in the center of the general divide,
or watershed. It rises in the sierra of Cayey, and, with the name of
Pinones river, it flows northwest, passing through Aibonito, Toa Alta,
Toa Baja, and Dorado, where it discharges into the Atlantic to the
west of the preceding river.

The Manati river is bounded on the cast and south by the Sierra Grande
and on the west by the Siales ridge. It rises in the Sierra Grande,
and parallel with the preceding river, it flows through Siales and
Manati, to the north of which latter town it empties into the Atlantic.

The Arecibo river is bounded on the east by the Siales mountain
ridge, on the south by the western extremity of the Sierra Grande,
and on the west by the Lares ridge. It rises in the general divide,
near Adjuntas, and flows north through the town of Arecibo to the
Atlantic, shortly before emptying into which it receives the Tanama
river from the left, which proceeds from the Lares Mountains.

The Culebrina river is bounded on the south and east by the
Lares mountain ridge, and on the north by small hills of little
interest. From the Lares Mountains it flows from east to west and
empties on the west coast north of San Francisco de la Aguada, in
the center of the bay formed between Point Penas Blancas and Point
San Francisco.

The Anasco river is formed by the Lares mountain ridge. It rises in
the eastern extremity of the mountains called Tetas de Cerro Gordo,
flowing first northwest and then west, through the town of its name
and thence to the sea.

The Guanajivo river has to its north the ramifications of the Lares
ridge, to the east the Tetas de Cerro Gordo Mountains, and on the
south Torre Hill. In the interior of its basin is the mountain called
Cerro Montuoso, which separates its waters from those of its affluent
from the right, the Rosaria river. It rises in the general divide,
flowing from east to west to Nuestra Senora de Montserrat, where it
receives the affluent mentioned, the two together then emptying south
of Port Mayaguez.

The Coamo river is bounded on the west and north by the Sierra Grande,
and on the west by the Coamo ridge. It rises in the former of these
sierras, and flowing from north to south it empties east of Coamo
Point, after having watered the town of its name.

The Salinas river is bounded on the west by the Coamo ridge, on the
north by the general divide, and on the east by the Cayey ridge. It
rises in the southern slopes of the Sierra Grande and flowing from
north to south through Salinas de Coamo, empties into the sea.

Coasts, Harbors, Bays, and Coves.--The northern coast extends in an
almost straight line from east to west, and is high and rugged. The
only harbors it has are the following: San Juan de Porto Rico,
surrounded by mangrove swamps and protected by the Cabras and
the Cabritas islands and some very dangerous banks; the anchoring
ground of Arecibo, somewhat unprotected; and the coves of Cangrejos
and Condado. During the months of November, December, and January,
when the wind blows with violence from the east and northeast, the
anchorage is dangerous in all the bays and harbors of this coast,
except in the port of San Juan. Vessels are often obliged to put to
sea on the menacing aspect of the heavens at this season, to avoid
being driven on shore by the heavy squalls and the rolling waves
of a boisterous sea, which propel them to destruction. During the
remaining months the ports on this coast are safe and commodious,
unless when visited by a hurricane, against whose fury no port can
offer a shelter, nor any vessel be secure. The excellent port of San
Juan is perfectly sheltered from the effects of the north wind. The
hill, upon which the town of that name and the fortifications which
defend it are built, protects the vessels anchored in the harbor. The
entrance of this port is narrow, and requires a pilot; for the canal
which leads to the anchorage, although deep enough for vessels of any
dimensions, is very narrow, which exposes them to run aground. This
port is several miles in extent, and has the advantage of having deep
canals to the east, among a wood of mangrove trees, where vessels
are perfectly secure during the hurricane months. Vessels of 250 tons
can at present unload and take in their cargoes at the wharf. Harbor
improvements have been recently made here.

On the northwest and west are the coves of Aguadilla, the town of
this name being some 4 kilometers inland. There are the small coves
of Rincon, Anasco, and Mayaguez, the latter being protected and of
sufficient depth to anchor vessels of moderate draft; the harbor of
Real de Cabo Rojo, nearly round, and entered by a narrow channel;
and the cove of Boqueron. The spacious bay of Aguadilla is formed by
Cape Borrigua and Cape San Francisco. When the north-northwest and
southwest winds prevail it is not a safe anchorage for ships. A heavy
surf rolling on the shore obliges vessels to seek safety by putting
to sea on the appearance of a north wind. Mayaguez is also an open
roadstead formed by two projecting capes. It has good anchorage
for vessels of a large size and is well sheltered from the north
winds. The port of Cabo Rojo has also good anchorage. It is situated
S. one-fourth N. of the point of Guanajico, at a distance of 5 1/2
miles. Its shape is nearly circular, and it extends from east to west
3 to 4 miles. At the entrance it has 3 fathoms of water, and 16 feet
in the middle of the harbor. The entrance is a narrow canal.

The south coast abounds in bays and harbors, but is covered with
mangroves and reefs, the only harbor where vessels of regular draft can
enter being Guanica and Ponce. The former of these is the westernmost
harbor on the southern coast, being at the same time the best, though
the least visited, owing to the swamps and low tracts difficult to
cross leading from it to the interior. The nearest towns, San German,
Sabana Grande, and Yauco, carry on a small trade through this port.

In the port of Guanica, vessels drawing 21 feet of water may enter with
perfect safety. Its entrance is about 100 yards wide, and it forms a
spacious basin, completely landlocked. The vessels may anchor close to
the shore. It has, in the whole extent, from 6 1/2 to 3 fathoms, the
latter depth being formed in the exterior of the port. The entrance is
commanded by two small hills on either side, which if mounted with a
few pieces of artillery would defy a squadron to force it. This port
would be of immense advantage in time of war. The national vessels
and coasters would thus have a secure retreat from an enemy's cruiser
on the south coast. There are no wharves, but vessels could disembark
troops by running alongside the land and running out a plank. Coamo
Cove and Aguirre and Guayama are also harbors. The port of Jovos,
near Guayama, is a haven of considerable importance. It is a large
and healthy place, and the most Spanish of any city on the island
after San Juan. There are good roads to the capital. Vessels of the
largest kind may anchor and ride in safety from the winds, and the
whole British navy would find room in its spacious bosom. It has 4
fathoms of water in the shallowest part of the entrance. However,
it is difficult to enter this port from June to November, as the sea
breaks with violence at the entrance, on account of the southerly winds
which reign at that season. It has every convenience of situation and
locality for forming docks for the repair of shipping. The large bay
of Anasco, on the south coast, affords anchorage to vessels of all
sizes. It is also safe from the north winds. Although on the eastern
coast there are many places for vessels to anchor, yet none of them
are exempt from danger during the north winds except Fajardo, where a
safe anchorage is to be found to leeward of two little islands close
to the bay, where vessels are completely sheltered.

The island of Vieques has also several commodious ports and harbors,
where vessels of the largest size may ride at anchor.

On the east coast is Cape Cabeza de San Juan, Points Lima, Candeleros,
and Naranjo, and Cape Mala Pascua; on the south coast, Point Viento,
Tigueras, Corchones, Arenas, Fama or Maria, Cucharas, Guayanilla,
Guanica, and Morillos de Cabo Rojo; on the west coast, points San
Francisco, Cadena, Guanijito, Guaniquilla, and Palo Seco.

Highways.--There are few roads or ways of communication which
are worthy of mention, with the exception of the broad pike which
starts from the capital and runs along the coast, passing through the
following towns: Aguadilla, Bayamon, Cabo Rojo, Ilumacao, Juana Diaz,
Mayaguez, Ponce, and San German. It has no bridges; is good in dry
weather, but in the rainy season is impassible for wagons and even
at times for horsemen.

For interior communication there are only a few local roads or
paths. They are usually 2 yards in width, made by the various owners,
and can not be well traveled in rainy weather. They are more properly
horse and mule trails, and oblige people to go in single file. In
late years much has been attempted to improve the highways connecting
the principal cities, and more has been accomplished than in Spanish
colonies. There is a good made road connecting Ponce on the southern
coast with San Juan the capital. Other good roads also extend for a
short distance along the north coast and along the south coast. The
road from Guayama is also said to be a passably good one.

There are in the island about 150 miles of excellent road, and this
is all that receives any attention, transportation being effected
elsewhere on horse back. In the construction of a road level foundation
is sought, and on this is put a heavy layer of crushed rock and brick,
which, after having been well packed and rounded, is covered with
a layer of earth. This is well packed also, and upon the whole is
spread a layer of ground limestone, which is pressed and rolled until
it forms almost a glossy surface. This makes an excellent road here
where the climate is such that it does not affect it, and when there
is no heavy traffic, hut these conditions being changed, the road,
it is thought, would not stand so well.

From Palo Seco, situated about a mile and a half from the capital,
on the opposite side of the bay, a carriage road, perfectly level,
has been constructed for a distance of 22 leagues to the town of
Aguadilla on the west coast, passing through the towns of Vegabaja,
Manati, Arecibo, Hatillo, Camuy, and Isabella. This road has been
carried for several leagues over swampy lands, which are intersected
by deep drains to carry off the water.

The road from Aguadilla to Mayaguez is in some parts very good,
in other parts only fair. From Aguadilla to Aguada, a distance of a
league, the road is excellent and level. From thence to Mayaguez,
through the village of Rincon and the town of Anasco, the road is
generally good, but on the seashore it is sometimes interrupted by
shelving rocks. Across the valley of Anasco the road is carried
through a boggy tract, with bridges over several deep creeks of
fresh water. From thence to the large commercial town of Mayaguez
the road is uneven and requires some improvement. But the roads from
Mayaguez and Ponce to their respective ports on the seashore can not
be surpassed by any in Europe. They are made in a most substantial
manner, and their convex form is well adapted to preserve them from
the destruction caused by the heavy rains of the climate. These
roads have been made over tracts of swampy ground to the seacoast,
but with little and timely repair they will last forever.

A road, which may be called a carriage road, has been made from Ponce
to the village of Adjuntas, situated 5 leagues in the interior of the
mountains. The road along the coast, from Ponce to Guayama, is fairly
good; from thence to Patillas there is an excellent carriage road for
a distance of 3 leagues; from the latter place to the coast is a high
road well constructed. From Patillas to Fajardo, on the eastern coast,
passing through the towns of Maimavo, Yubacao, Ilumacao, and Naguabo,
the roads are not calculated for wheel vehicles, in consequence of
being obliged to ascend and descend several steep hills. That which
crosses the mountain of Mala Pascua, dividing the north and east
coasts, is a good and solid road, upon which a person on horseback
may travel with great ease and safety. The road crossing the valley
of Yubacao, which consists of a soft and humid soil, requires more
attention than that crossing the mountain of Mala Pascua, which has
a fine, sandy soil.

From Fajardo to the capital, through the towns of Luquillo, Loisa, and
Rio Piedras, the road is tolerably good for persons on horseback as far
as Rio Piedras, and from thence to the city of San Juan, a distance of
2 leagues, is an excellent carriage road, made by the order and under
the inspection of the Captain-General, part of it through a mangrove
swamp. Over the river Loisa is a handsome wooden bridge, and on the
road near Rio Piedras is a handsome stone one over a deep rivulet.

One of the best roads in the island extends from the town of Papino,
situated in the mountains, to the town of Aguadilla on the coast,
distant 5 1/2 leagues, through the village of La Moca; in the distance
of 3 leagues from the latter place, it is crossed by 10 deep mountain
rivulets, formerly impassable, but over which solid bridges have now
been built, with side railings. In the mountainous district within
the circumference of a few leagues no less than 47 bridges have been
built to facilitate the communication between one place and the other.

The following are the roads of 6 meters width, 4 1/2 in center of
pounded stone. They have iron bridges and are in good shape for travel
all the year.

(1) San Juan to the Shore near Ponce.--From San Juan to Ponce the
central road is exactly 134 kilometers. Distances along the line are:
Rio Piedras, 11 Caguas, 25; to Cayei, 21; Aybonito, 20; Coamo, 18;
Juana Diaz, 20; to Ponce, 13; and to the shore, 3. Exact.

(2) San Juan to Bayamon.--By ferry fifteen minutes to Catano, and
from there by road to Bayamon 10 kilometers. This passes alongside
the railway.

(3) Rio Piedras to Mameyes, 36 kilometers; from Rio Piedras to
Carolina, 12; to Rio Grande, 19; to Mameyes, 5.

(4) Cayei to Arroyo, 35 kilometers; from Cayei to Guayama, 25; to
Arroyo, 8; from San Juan to Arroyo, via Cayei, is 95 kilometers.

(5 Ponce to Adjuntas, 32 kilometers.

(6) San German to Anasco, 33 kilometers; from San German to Mayaguez,
21 kilometers; Mayaguez to Anasco, 12; Mayaguez to Mormigueros, 11;
Mayaguez to Cabo Eojo, 18; Mayaguez to Las Marias, 23; Mayaguez to
Maricao, 35; Hor- migueras to San German, 14. Near Mayaguez the roads
are best. There are good roads in all directions.

(7) Aguadilla to San Sebastian, 18.

(8) Arecibo to Utuado, 33.

Highways of first class in the island, 335 kilometers.

Along these roads are, at a distance of 8 to 10 kilometers, a fort,
stone, and brick barracks, or large buildings, where the Spanish
troops stop and rest when on the march.

Railroads.--In 1878 a report was presented to the minister of the
colonies on a study made by the engineer and head of public works of
the island in view of constructing a railroad which should start from
the capital and, passing through all the chief towns and through the
whole island, return to the point of departure.

Of this railroad the following parts have been completed: San Juan,
along the coast through Rio Piedras, Bayamon, Dorado, Arecibo, and
Hatillo, to Camuy; Aguadilla, through Aguado, Rincon, Anasco, and
Mayaguez, to Hornigueros. A branch of this railroad from Anasco,
through San Sebastian, to Lares. Ponce, through Guayanilla, to
Yauco. This latter railroad follows the southern coast line and
is followed by a wagon road throughout its course. In one place
the railroad and road run within a few hundred yards of the coast
line. According to the Statesman's Year Book for 1898 there are
in operation 137 miles of railroad, besides over 170 miles under

All the railroads are single track, and the gauge is 1 meter 20
centimeters, or 3 feet 11 1/4 inches.

The following are the railways of 1-meter gauge:

(1) San Juan to Rio Piedras, 11 kilometers. (2) Catano to Bayamon,
10 kilometers. (3) Anasco to San Sebastian and Lares, 35 kilometers.

Total of three lines, 56 kilometers.

The lines are all in good shape; have plenty of engines and cars;
speed, 20 kilometers per hour; use coal for fuel imported from the
United States; supply usually large, may be small now; hard coal;
fine stations; plenty of water, and everything in shape for business.

Telegraphs.--The capital communicates with the principal towns of the
coast and interior by means of a well-connected telegraph system. There
are in all some 470 miles of telegraph.

Telephones.--The British Consular Report says that the telephone system
of San Juan, Ponce, and Mayaguez have recently been contracted for
by local syndicates. In Ponce a United States company obtained the
contract for the material. There are 100 stations already connected,
and it is expected that 200 more will be in operation shortly.

Administration.--From an administrative standpoint, Porto Rico is
not considered as a colony, but as a province of Spain, assimilated
to the remaining provinces. The Governor-General, representing the
monarchy, is at the same time Captain-General of the armed forces. In
each chief town resides a military commander, and each town has its
alcalde, or mayor, appointed by the central power. The provincial
deputation is elected by popular suffrage under the same conditions as
in Spain. The regular peace garrison is composed of about 3,000 men,
and the annual budget amounts to some 20,000,000 pesos.

Education.--In 1887 only one-seventh of the population could read and
write, but of late years progress in public instruction has been rapid.

Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce.--In 1878 there arrived in the
harbors of the island 1,591 vessels of different nationalities and
1,534 departed. The value of products imported was 14,787,551 pesos,
and that of articles exported was 13,070,020 pesos. The following
are the relative percentages of values:

Flags. Relation.
Per Cent.
Spanish 49.91
American 13.47
English 21.43
Various Nations 15.19
Total 100.00

Navigation is very active, but the part the inhabitants take in
the commercial fleet is small. The Porto Ricans are not seagoing
people. The eastern part of the island offers less advantage to
commerce than the western, being to the windward and affording less
shelter to vessels.

Porto Rico has more than seventy towns and cities, of which Ponce is
the most important. Ponce has 22,000 inhabitants, with a jurisdiction
numbering 47,000. It is situated on the south coast of the island,
on a plain, about 2 miles from the seaboard. It is the chief town of
the judicial district of its name, and is 70 miles from San Juan. It is
regularly built, the central part almost exclusively of brick houses,
and the suburbs of wood. It is the residence of the military commander,
and the seat of an official chamber of commerce. There is an appellate
criminal court, besides other courts; 2 churches, one Protestant,
said to be the only one in the Spanish West, Indies; 2 hospitals
besides the military hospital, a home of refuge for old and poor,
2 cemeteries, 3 asylums, several casinos, 3 theaters, a market, a
municipal public library, 3 first-class hotels, 3 barracks, a park,
gas works, a perfectly equipped fire department, a bank, thermal
and natural baths, etc. Commercially, Ponce is the second city of
importance on the island. A fine road leads to the port (Playa),
where all the import and export trade is transacted. Playa has about
5,000 inhabitants, and here are situated the custom house, the office
of the captain of the port, and all the consular offices. The port
is spacious and will hold vessels of 25 feet draft. The climate,
on account of the sea breezes during the day and land breezes at
night, is not oppressive, but very hot and dry; and, as water for
all purposes, including the fire department, is amply supplied by
an aqueduct 4,442 yards long, it is said that the city of Ponce is
perhaps the healthiest place in the whole island. There is a stage
coach to San Juan, Mayaguez, Guayama, etc. There is a railroad to
Yauco, a post office, and a telegraph station.

It is believed that Ponce was founded in 1600; it was given the title
of villa in 1848, and in 1877 that of city. Of its 34 streets the best
are Mayor, Salud, Villa, Vives, Marina, and Comercio. The best squares
are Principal and Las Delicias, which are separated by the church of
Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. The church, as old as the town itself,
began to be reconstructed in 1838 and was finished in 1847. It is
86 yards long by 43 broad, and has two steeples, rich altars, and
fine ornaments.

The theater is called the Pearl, and it deserves this name, for it is
the finest on the island. It has a sculptured porch, on the Byzantine
order, with very graceful columns. It is mostly built of iron and
marble and cost over 70,000 pesos. It is 52 yards deep by 29 wide. The
inside is beautiful, the boxes and seats roomy and nicely decorated. It
may, by a mechanical arrangement, be converted into a dancing hall.

About 1 1/8 miles northeast of the town are the Quintana thermal
baths, in a building surrounded by pretty gardens. They are visited
by sufferers from rheumatism and various other diseases.

San Juan is a perfect specimen of a walled town, with portcullis, moat,
gates, and battlements. The wall surrounding this town is defended
by several batteries. Facing the harbor are those of San Fernando,
Santa Catalina, and Santa Toribio. Looking toward the land side is
Fort Abanico, and toward the ocean the batteries of San Antonio,
San Jose, and Santa Teresa, and Fort Princesa. The land part has two
ditches, or cuts, which are easy to inundate. The fort and bridge of
San Antonio that of San Geronimo, and the Escambron battery situated
on a tongue of land which enters the sea. Built over two hundred and
fifty years ago, the city is still in good condition and repair. The
walls are picturesque, and represent a stupendous work and cost in
themselves. Inside the walls the city is laid off in regular squares,
six parallel streets running in the direction of the length of the
island and seven at right angles.

The peninsula on which San Juan is situated is connected with the
mainland by three bridges. The oldest, that of San Antonio, carries the
highway across the shallow San Antonio Channel. It is a stone-arched
bridge about 350 yards long including the approaches. By the side
of this bridge is one for the railroad and one for the tramway which
follows the main military highway to Rio Piedras.

Among the buildings the following are notable: The palace of the
Captain-General, the palace of the intendencia, the town hall,
military hospital, jail, Ballaja barracks, theater, custom house,
cathedral, Episcopal palace, and seminary. There is no university
or provincial institute of second grade instruction, and only one
college, which is under the direction of Jesuit priests. The houses
are closely and compactly built of brick, usually of two stories,
stuccoed on the outside and painted in a variety of colors. The upper
floors are occupied by the more respectable people, while the ground
floors, almost without exception, are given up to the negroes and the
poorer class, who crowd one upon another in the most appalling manner.

The population within the walls is estimated at 20,000 and most of it
lives on the ground floor. In one small room, with a flimsy partition,
a whole family will reside. The ground floor of the whole town reeks
with filth, and conditions are most unsanitary. In a tropical country,
where disease readily prevails, the consequences of such herding may
be easily inferred. There is no running water in the town. The entire
population depend upon rain water, caught upon the flat roofs of the
buildings and conducted to the cistern, which occupies the greater part
of the inner court-yard that is an essential part of Spanish houses
the world over, but that here, on account of the crowded conditions,
is very small. There is no sewerage, except for surface water and
sinks, while vaults are in every house and occupy whatever remaining
space there may be in the patios not taken up by the cisterns. The
risk of contaminating the water is very great, and in dry seasons
the supply is entirely exhausted. Epidemics are frequent, and the
town is alive with vermin, fleas, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and dogs.

The streets are wider than in the older part of Havana, and will
admit two carriages abreast. The sidewalks are narrow, and in places
will accommodate but one person. The pavements are of a composition
manufactured in England from slag, pleasant and even, and durable
when no heavy strain is brought to bear upon them, but easily broken,
and unfit for heavy traffic. The streets are swept once a day by hand,
and, strange to say, are kept very clean.

From its topographical situation the town should be healthy, but it
is not. The soil under the city is clay mixed with lime, so hard as
to be almost like rock. It is consequently impervious to water and
furnishes a good natural drainage.

The trade wind blows strong and fresh, and through the harbor runs
a stream of sea water at a speed of not less than three miles an
hour. With these conditions no contagious diseases, if properly taken
care of, could exist; without them the place would be a veritable
plague spot.

Besides the town within the walls there are small portions just
outside, called the Marina and Puerta de Tierra, containing two or
three thousand inhabitants each. There are also two suburbs, one,
San Turce, approached by the only road leading out of the city, and
the other, Catano, across the bay, reached by ferry. The Marina and
the two suburbs are situated on sandy points or spits, and the latter
are surrounded by mangrove swamps.

The entire population of the city and suburbs, according to the census
of 1887, was 27,000. It is now (1896) estimated at 30,000. One-half
of the population consists of negroes and mixed races.

There is but little manufacturing, and it is of small importance. The
Standard Oil Company has a small refinery across the bay, in which
crude petroleum brought from the United States is refined. Matches are
made, some brooms, a little soap, and a cheap class of trunks. There
are also ice, gas, and electric light works.


The Ladrones.

The Island of Guam a Coaling Station of the United States--Discovery,
Size and Products of the Islands.

When the Philippine expedition on its way to Manila incidentally ran
up the Stars and Stripes over the Island of Guam, there was perhaps no
thought of the island becoming a permanent part of our domain. However,
the fortunes of war are such that the island is likely to become ours
permanently as a coaling station in the Pacific.

Magellan named these islands the Ladrones from the Latin word
"latro," meaning a robber, because of the thievish propensities of
the natives. According to Magellan's reports, the native people of
these islands had reduced stealing to a science of such exactness that
the utmost vigilance could not prevail against their operations. The
group was named the Mariana Islands by the Jesuits, who settled in
them in 1667.

The Ladrone group consists of twenty islands, of which five are
inhabited. The group extends forty-five miles from north to south,
and is located between 13 deg. and 21 deg. north latitude, and between
144 deg. and 146 deg. east longitude. The principal islands are Guam,
Rota and Linian. They were discovered by Magellan in 1521, and have
belonged to Spain ever since. Their population is 11,000. The soil
is fertile and densely wooded. The climate is temperate.

Guam, the southernly and principal island, is 100 miles in
circumference, and has a population of 8,100, of which 1,400 are
Europeans. Its central part is mountainous, and it has a small
volcano. The products are guacas, bananas, cocoa, oranges and
limes. The natives are noted as builders of the most rapidly sailing
canoes in the world.

With Guam as a part of the territory of the United States, we have a
direct line of possessions across the Pacific, in the order of Hawaii,
Guam and the Philippines; while in a northwesterly direction from
our Pacific coast we have the islands forming a part of Alaska. By
holding all these islands we will be prepared to control practically
the commerce of the Pacific, the future great commercial highway of
the world.


The Official Title to Our New Possessions in the Indies.

Full Text of the Treaty of Peace with Spain Handed the President of
the United States as a Christmas Gift for the People, at the White
House, 1898--The Gathered Fruit of a Glorious and Wonderful Victory.

On an August midnight the good ship Peru, Major-General Otis with
his staff and General Hughes, and a thousand regular cavalry and "the
historian of the Philippines" aboard, approached within a few miles,
an immense mass of darkness. About where the mouth of Manila Bay
should be there was, deep in the east and at a considerable elevation,
a spark of white, and in a few seconds a red light, keener than stars,
and in half a minute there were the sharp flashes again, and we knew
that there were friends watching and waiting--that "our flag was still
there," that Admiral Dewey and General Merritt of the Navy and Army
of the United States had upheld the symbol of the sovereignty of the
Great Republic of North America, that the lights glowed down from the
massive rock of Corregidor, that through the shadows that fell on these
darksome waters the American squadron had entered into immortality
less than four months before, and that with the morning light we
should look upon the famous scene of triumphant Americanism. We had
been fifteen days out of the world, for there were only the southern
constellations to tell us, the southern cross so high and the north
star so low, and the dazzling scorpion with diamond claws touching the
central blue dome, to say how far down into the tropics we were, while
the clouds of flame rested on the serenities of the matchless sea; and
what had the great deep in its mysterious resplendence been whispering
along the enchanting shores of the islands of Asia--the true Indies,
Oriental or Occidental as might be--what had the wild waves that beat
against the volcanic coasts made known in the boats wafted by the
welcoming winds? We knew of the bloody days on the hills of Santiago,
and the fate of the fleet of Admiral Cervera, and there must be news of
other victories! Our ship turned away from the looming rock that sent
forth flashes as if to say all is well, in the universe that we in our
vast adventure had almost abandoned. And when the day dawned and the
green hills and blue mountains and the silvery waters were revealed
we turned to the left, where Dewey led his squadron to the right, and
there was the bay hundred and twenty knots in circumference. Yonder
were the white walls of Cavite, and further along domes and steeples,
masts and heavy lines of buildings, a wide spread city crouching on
a plain rising a few feet above the tides. It was Manila. Presently
a boat swept near, and what was that, a dozen words repeated here
and there--Merritt in possession of the city--of course, that was
what he was there for,--but who said "there was a declaration of
peace?" The strange statement was made. What--could it be that
Spain had surrendered? Surely the President would not stop pushing
things until he had gathered the fruits of victory? No, there was a
protocol, and that was a treaty in fact! France had been the medium of
negotiation. Spain had sued for peace, and terms were granted. Cuba
was surrendered. Porto Rico was ceded to us. The Spaniards claimed
that they had given up Manila after peace was settled, and they
must repossess it. But Merritt was ashore was he not, and going to
stay? Dewey had not given up anything, had he? Surely not! But there
was to be a conference, a meeting of joint commissioners held at Paris
to provide a treaty, that was to say the details--all the important
points were fixed irrevocably except the fate of the Philippines! At
this point the news of the morning gave out, all except the particulars
of the seige, the high claims of the Spaniards, the dissatisfaction
of the insurgents. It was some days before the realization of the
situation was perfected. The full terms of the protocol were not made
known at once. Spain gave up the West Indies and a Ladrone island,
and the United States was to hold the city, bay and harbor of Manila
pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace which should determine the
control, disposition and government of the Philippines. Certainly this
was the conclusive surrender of Spain! General Merritt was ordered to
Paris, and there represented the army of the United States, and its
faith and honor and glory. Our Peace Commissioners were Wm. R. Day,
Cushman K. Davis, William P. Frye, George Gray and Whitelaw Reid,
who started for Paris September 18. The Spanish Commissioners made a
long struggle, and protracted their unhappy task for more than two
months, using all arts of procrastination and persuasion, claiming
that the United States should pay the Cuban debt, and striving for
allowances of indemnity, yielding at last to the inevitable. The text
of the treaty is in seventeen articles as follows:

Article I.--Spain renounces all right of sovereignty over Cuba. Whereas
said isle when evacuated by Spain is to be occupied by the United
States, the United States, while the occupation continues, shall
take upon themselves and fulfill the obligations which, by the fact
of occupation, international law imposes on them for the protection
of life and property.

Article II.--Spain cedes to the United States the Island of Porto Rico
and the other islands now under her sovereignty in the West Indies
and the Isle of Guam in the archipelago of the Marianas or Ladrones.

Article III.--Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known
as the Philippine Islands, which comprise the islands situated between
the following lines: A line which runs west to east near the twentieth
parallel of north latitude across the center of the navigable canal
of Bachi, from the 118th to the 127th degrees of longitude east of
Greenwich, from here to the width of the 127th degree of longitude
east to parallel 4 degrees 45 minutes of north latitude. From here
following the parallel of north latitude 4 degrees 45 minutes to its
intersection with the meridian of longitude 119 degrees 35 minutes
east from Greenwich. From here following the meridian of 119 degrees
35 minutes east to the parallel of latitude 7 degrees 40 minutes
north. From here following the parallel of 7 degrees 40 minutes north
to its intersection with 116 degrees longitude east. From here along
a straight line to the intersection of the tenth parallel of latitude
north with the 118th meridian east, and from here following the 118th
meridian to the point whence began this demarcation. The United States
shall pay to Spain the sum of $20,000,000 within three months after
the interchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.

Article IV.--The United States shall, during the term of ten years,
counting from the interchange of the ratifications of the treaty,
admit to the ports of the Philippine Islands Spanish ships and
merchandise under the same conditions as the ships and merchandise
of the United States.

Article V.--The United States, on the signing of the present treaty,
shall transport to Spain at their cost the Spanish soldiers whom the
American forces made prisoners of war when Manila was captured. The
arms of these soldiers shall be returned to them. Spain, on the
interchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, shall proceed
to evacuate the Philippine Islands, as also Guam, on conditions
similar to those agreed to by the commissions named to concert the
evacuation of Porto Rico and the other islands in the Western Antilles
according to the protocol of Aug. 12, 1898, which shall continue in
force until its terms have been completely complied with. The term
within which the evacuation of the Philippine Islands and Guam shall be
completed shall be fixed by both Governments. Spain shall retain the
flags and stands of colors of the warships not captured, small arms,
cannon of all calibers, with their carriages and accessories, powders,
munitions, cattle, material and effects of all kinds belonging to the
armies of the sea and land of Spain in the Philippines and Guam. The
pieces of heavy caliber which are not field artillery mounted in
fortifications and on the coasts shall remain in their places for
a period of six months from the interchange of the ratifications of
the present treaty, and the United States may during that period buy
from Spain said material if both Governments arrive at a satisfactory
agreement thereon.

Article VI.--Spain, on signing the present treaty, shall place at
liberty all prisoners of war and all those detained or imprisoned for
political offences in consequence of the insurrections in Cuba and
the Philippines and of the war with the United States. Reciprocally
the United States shall place at liberty all prisoners of war made
by the American forces, and shall negotiate for the liberty of all
Spanish prisoners in the power of the insurgents in Cuba and the
Philippines. The Government of the United States shall transport, at
their cost, to Spain, and the Government of Spain shall transport, at
its cost, to the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico and the Philippines,
conformably to the situation of their respective dwellings, the
prisoners placed or to be placed at liberty in virtue of this article.

Article VII.--Spain and the United States mutually renounce by the
present treaty all claim to national or private indemnity, of whatever
kind, of one Government against the other, or of their subjects or
citizens against the other Government, which may have arisen from the
beginning of the last insurrection in Cuba, anterior to the interchange
of the ratifications of the present treaty, as also to all indemnity
as regards costs occasioned by the war. The United States shall judge
and settle the claims of its citizens against Spain which she renounces
in this article.

Article VIII.--In fulfilment of Articles I., II. and III. of this
treaty Spain renounces in Cuba and cedes in Porto Rico and the
other West Indian isles, in Guam and the Philippine archipelago,
all buildings, moles, barracks, fortresses, establishments, public
roads and other real property which by custom or right are of the
public domain, and as such belong to the crown of Spain. Nevertheless,
it is declared that this renouncement or cession, as the case may be,
referred to in the previous paragraph, in no way lessens the property
or rights which belong by custom or law to the peaceful possessor of
goods of all kinds in the provinces and cities, public or private
establishments, civil or ecclesiastical corporations or whatever
bodies have judicial personality to acquire and possess goods in the
above-mentioned, renounced or ceded territories, and those of private
individuals, whatever be their nationality.

The said renouncement or cession includes all those documents which
exclusively refer to said renounced or ceded sovereignty which exist
in the archives of the peninsula. When these documents existing in
said archives only in part refer to said sovereignty, copies of
said part shall be supplied, provided they be requested. Similar
rules are to be reciprocally observed in favor of Spain with respect
to the documents existing in the archives of the before-mentioned
islands. In the above-mentioned renunciation or cession are comprised
those rights of the crown of Spain and of its authorities over the
archives and official registers, as well administrative as judicial,
of said islands which refer to them and to the rights and properties
of their inhabitants. Said archives and registers must be carefully
preserved, and all individuals, without exception, shall have the
right to obtain, conformably to law, authorized copies of contracts,
wills and other documents which form part of notarial protocols or
which are kept in administrative and judicial archives, whether the
same be in Spain or in the islands above mentioned.

Article IX.--Spanish subjects, natives of the peninsula, dwelling
in the territory whose sovereignty Spain renounces or cedes in the
present treaty, may remain in said territory or leave it, maintaining
in one or the other case all their rights of property, including the
right to sell and dispose of said property or its produces; and,
moreover, they shall retain the right to exercise their industry,
business or profession, submitting themselves in this respect to the
laws which are applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain
in the territory they may preserve their Spanish nationality by
making in a registry office, within a year after the interchange of
the ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their intention
to preserve said nationality. Failing this declaration they will be
considered as having renounced said nationality and as having adopted
that of the territory in which they may reside. The civil rights and
political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby
ceded to the United States shall be determined by Congress.

Article X.--The inhabitants of the territories whose sovereignty Spain
renounces or cedes shall have assured to them the free exercise of
their religion.

Article XI.--Spaniards residing in the territories whose sovereignty
Spain cedes or renounces shall be subject in civil and criminal
matters to the tribunals of the country in which they reside,
conformably with the common laws which regulate their competence,
being enabled to appear before them in the same manner and to employ
the same proceedings as the citizens of the country to which the
tribunal belongs must observe.

Article XII.--Judicial proceedings pending on the interchange of
the ratifications of this treaty in the territories over which Spain
renounces or cedes sovereignty shall be determined conformably with
the following rules: First, sentences pronounced in civil cases
between individuals or in criminal cases before the above-mentioned
date, and against which there is no appeal or annulment conformably
with the Spanish law, shall be considered as lasting, and shall be
executed in due form by competent authority in the territory within
which said sentences should be carried out. Second, civil actions
between individuals which on the aforementioned date have not been
decided shall continue their course before the tribunal in which the
lawsuit is proceeding or before that which shall replace it. Third,
criminal actions pending on the aforementioned date before the supreme
tribunal of Spain against citizens of territory which, according
to this treaty, will cease to be Spanish, shall continue under its
jurisdiction until definite sentence is pronounced, but once sentence
is decreed its execution shall be intrusted to competent authority
of the place where the action arose.

Article XIII.--Literary, artistic and industrial rights of property
acquired by Spaniards in Cuba, Porto Rico, the Philippines and other
territories ceded on the interchange of ratifications of this treaty

Book of the day: