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In the suburb of Guadalupe the increase of conduct of meteorological researches, and on all classes is much greater than that of the the geography of plants—a subject in which whole district, but there is by no means the he always delights to revel. same disproportion between the different castes. Cuba, like all the other Spanish settlements There must of course be a commensurate dis in America, has ecclesiastical, politico-military, proportion elsewhere.
and financial divisions. Our author does not From these materials and various statements detail the first of these, as there might be conof the proportionate increase of population in sequent confusion; and, in truth, there is less other American cities, as well as a comparison need for it, for since the year 1797, there has of the births and deaths, and the numbers only been one Audiencia, established at Puerto cured, in the two principal hospitals, there are Principe, which has jurisdiction from Baracoa some curious topics for consideration with re to Cape San Antonio. This island, together gard to population.
with Louisiana and Florida, formerly depend. The supplies of provisions are good; but the ed on the archbishopric of St. Domingo, and police is said to be bad, and it has been stated contained only one see, which was founded by ihat on an average there are two murders com. Leo X. In 1788, Pius VI. divided the island mitted daily; bui this is not sufficiently proved, into two sees, adding that of Havana to the and it is, indeed, admitted, by one of the most original one of St. Jago de Cuba. In 1804, inveterate writers against the Haraneros, that St. Jago de Cuba was erected into an archbe resided seventy days in the city, and passed bishopric. The boundary of the two dioceses every night after nine o'clock ihree of the passes from the Cayo Romano, between the most notorious spots, without ever having been lown of Santo Espiritu and the city of Puerto interrupted. We always suspect exaggeration Principe. in reports to which such a fact may be op In its politico-military distribution, the cap. posed.
tain-generalship is divided into two governThe extent of Cuba, owing to the shallows ments, that of Havana, (of which the captainwhich surround it, has only been fully deve general is always the governor,) and of Cuba. loped lately. By documents published by the The actual limits of these do not correspond hydrographic depôt of Madrid up to the year with the ecclesiastical bounds. 1:07, This has been completed, so that its area The financial administration extends over has been calculated with more precision than three intendencies or provinces, the Havana, formerly. There is a remarkable resemblance Puerto Principe, and St. Jago de Cuba. The in the form of Cuba to that of Java. Notwith intendant of ihe first named district is also instanding the increase of good data, there are tendant.general of the whole Island. still considerable differences in the estimates There are forty parishes in the diocese of made by M. Ferrer, M. Lindenau, and M. Havana, and twenty-two in that of Cuba. In Bauza : although they approach more nearly the former eighty-six cities and towns; in the to each other than to the older estimates, some latter five cities. We must not, however, at. of which were absurdly exaggerated. M. Lin-tach too much importance to the word city, denau has computed the area of Cuba and its which rather bespeaks privileges than gran. dependencies at 4102 square maritime leagues deur or extent. The importance of the pre(20 to a degree). M. Ferrer's result is 3848 ceding dry statements can only be understood maritime leagues for the entire group; but by a knowledge of the population. Unluckily, that of M. Bauza (which is probably the most the actual facts are few; but scanty as they correct) makes Cuba alone to contain 3520 | are, they lead to valuable results. maritiine leagues, and with the isle of Pines 3615; from which it appears that it is one
In 1775 the total population was estiseventh less than it had previously been con
170,862 sidered; that it is fifty-five hundredths larger
1817 than Haiti: that its surface equals that of Por
630,980 lugal, is within one-eighth of that of England, exclusive of Wales, and equals all the rest of
This last was composed of the three colothe islands in the West Indian Archipelago.
nial castes, in the following proportions:Little is known of its geogpostic relations; Whites
290,021 but it would appear that four-fifths of its ex Free coloured
115,691 tent, consisting of lowland, is composed of se Slaves
225,263 condary and tertiary formations, which are sometimes pierced by granite, gneiss, syenile,
630,980 and serpentine; and it is probable that the auriferous sand that attracted so much atten.
Allowing for the omissions of the census of tion at its first discovery was derived from the 1817, the number of slaves imported, and aslatter rocks. Vegetation is extremely active. suming the increase of the white and free co
The rivers are few—there not being above loured population to be in the same ratio with ten that are any thing more than streamlets. that which took place between 1810 and 1817, The climate is precisely what might be ex
Humboldt supposes that the population at the pected on the verge of the two zones, and
end of 1825 would stand thus:-
455,000 fifty ports and anchorages.
Coloured 130,000 With the details, of which we have endea Slaves
260,000 voured to extract the substance, M. Humboldt intersperses some interesting remarks on the
And on similar principles the number at ter island, or, to speak better, if the density of present would be about 750,000—but we ap- the population were the same, Cuba would prehend it would be more: we know that the have 3615 (area in square leagues) x 874 (the late intendant general three years ago be- population of Jamaica to the square league), lieved the number considerably greater. or 3,159,000 inhabitants; that is to say, more
This total population differs but little from than is calculated at present in the republic of that of the whole of our own colonies, and is Colombia, or the whole archipelago of the Annearly double that of Jamaica alone; but the tilles."- vol. i. p. 127. most remarkable point of comparison is the One melancholy fact is developed by the proportion of the different castes. In Cuba very laborious comparisons instituted by our the free population composes sixty-four-hunc author, of the various censuses that have suc. dredths of the whole; in the English islands it cessively been made, that a most frightful deforms scarcely nineteen-hundredths; in the struction of life among the slaves must have whole Archipelago the slaves and free coloured taken place ; for although in six years (from amount to eighty-three-hundredths.
1811 to 1817), more than 67,700 slaves were M. Humboldt therefore considers that Cuba, imported, the actual excess of the slave popofrom the peculiar constitution of its popula: lation, in the last of these years over that of tion, is more likely to be exempt from servile the first, was only 13,300. We hope that there insurrection than its neighbours. But as that is some error in the estimate, otherwise the is a question that will be more suitably exa- sufferings of these unbappy people must be mined hereafter, we shall reserve our observa unparalleled, and the boasted humanity of tions for the close of this article.
Spaniards to their slaves must have altogether The remarkable disparity of the sexes is no disappeared from Cuba. ticed by Humboldt, the number of males being The general results of all that has been most among the slaves on the sugar estates to that laboriously collected are: that the whites inof females as 4 to 1; throughout the island as crease more in the country than in towns; 1.7 to 1; in the towns or small farms as 1.4 to that the free coloured race, who generally pre1; and the city of Havana as 1.2 to 1. This fer mechanical trades to agriculture, augment disproportion is owing to religious scrupees, with greater rapidity than the other castes; which, however ridiculous they may appear to and that the negro slaves, among whom there us, prevailed until the latter part of the last is pot one-third of the number of females recentury. "The slaves," says our author, quisite for that of the males, diminish at the
were forced to celibacy under the pretext of rate of 8 per cent. annum. preventing disorder in their morals! The Je The commonly received opinion of the es. suits and Bethlemite monks alone renounced tent of the ancient population is, we have no this fatal prejudice; they themselves allowed doubt with our author, exceedingly exaggenegresses on their plantations."- vol. i. p. 165. rated; for the statements are nearly as con
One of the most interesting points connect. tradictory as they are numerous. He bas ed with the present population is, the local fallen into an error when be asserts that tbe distribution of the free coloured and black por: aboriginal race has entirely disappeared from tions of it; for on the facilities of concert and the Antilles; for we have ascertained that combination much would depend, in the event there are now in the island of St. Vincent at either of combined or merely servile insurrec- least 200 red and black Charibs, the former tion. In the year 1811, the tribunal of com- being the pure race, and the latter a mixed merce of the Havana formed an estimate, by breed with the negroes; and that in the intewhich it would appear, that at that time, in rior of Dominica there are several families of the western part of the island—that is, in the the pure Charibs. We have seen miniature government of Havana- there was in the
canoes, bows and arrows, made by the latter, towns 11 per cent. of the whole of the free co and presented by their chiefs to the Earl of loured people in the island; in the country, Huntingdon, when governor of that island: 14 per cent.: while of slaves there were in the and a most intelligent officer, well known for towns 114 per cent., and in the country 34 per his arduous services during the Peninsular cent.; making altogether 58 per cent. of the war, and since in Burma, has assured us that entire black and coloured races in that pro- he resided some time with these people; whose vince. In the eastern province, that of Cuba, habits he describes as most simple, probably there were in the towns 11 per cent. of the free differing in no degree from those of their coloured people, and the same number in the earliest ancestors. It would be inconsistent country; of slaves there were 9} per cent. in with our limits to enter into a detail of all the the former, and 104 in the latter; making alto-facts and reasonings connected with the dif gether 42 per cent. But this proportion must ferent castes of the population; but it is with have varied very much since 1811; for there is satisfaction that we find from M. Humboldt, doubt that between this period and 1825, that that many proprietors employ themselves in is, in 14 years, 185,000 African slaves were im the most praise-worthy manner, with the ameported into Cuba, of whom 116,000 were enter lioration of the condition of their slaves. ed at the custom-house of Havana between the The state of intellectual improvement is years 1811 and 1820.
said to be principally confined to the whites, It is a very curious fact, that the population and society is equal to that of Cadiz, and the of Cuba, notwithstanding its absolute extent, most flourishing commercial cities of Europe; should be, relatively to its area, four times less but in the small towns and country districts than that of Jamaica; or, as M. Humboldt ex. there is less refinement. Custom too may uppresses it,
hold the natural, or rather the obvious distinc"If Cuba were as well cultivated as this lat Lions between the different races, but they are
not insurmountable ; for we know that very year 1760 to 1824, by which it appears that the lately nobility was conferred by Ferdinand on minimum was, as might have been supposed, a man of colour at the Havana, and that he on the first of these years, being only 13,000 was received by the municipality, although chests, and that the increase has been since some little demur took place among some of going on, though at no regular rate, until 1823, its members.
when it amounted to 300,211 chests. In 1824 Too much praise cannot be bestowed on the it fell off to 243,329, but that was considered a principal inhabitants for their zeal in promoting very unproductive year. This table is derived every useful object. A patriotic society has from official records, but it may be calculated been founded not only in the capital, but in the that at least 1-4th more was fraudulently exprincipal lowns: there is a university, with ported, which is an enormous addition to the chairs of theology, jurisprudence, medicine, known quantities. Besides the exports, it is and mathematics-one of political economy, supposed by M. de Humboldt, that the internal another of agricultural botany-a museum, consumption in 1825 was not less than 88,000 and school of descriptive anatomy; a public chests." He also estimates the production of library; a gratuitous school of painting and Cuba to be 1-7th less than that of Jamaica, and design; a naval academy; Lancasterian institutes some other curious comparisons with schools, and a botanical garden. In short, im the produce of the remainder of the West In. provement has its foundations very extensively dian Islands, together with their areas and polaid.
pulation.--He gives a similar comparison with Connected with the population is the nation. Equinoxial North America and Brazil. al force or militia. We have already seen that The sugars of Cuba are divided into three the white population in both the provinces al classes, according to their purity, which is efways exceeds in a very large proportion, that fected by means of claying. This is done by of the slaves; and when united with the free putting the raw sugar into cones of porous coloured people, whose interests are, we consi earthenware, with a small opening at the apex; der, identified with their own, they stand in these are then inverted, and a coating of clay the eastern province in the ratio of 195 to 65; (whence the name of the process) spread over and in the district of Havana, where there is a the base; this is moistened with a small quangreater number of slaves, in that of 203 to 147; tity of water, and the successive filtrations consequently, a considerable number of thé through the loaf of sugar carry off the various small proprietors must cultivate their respec impurities. The purest is that immediately tive properties without the aid of slaves. We below the clay, and is, in fact, white sugar, re. have seen examples of this kind, even in the sembling the lumps of the refiners;—the next, province of Havana. Men thus habituated to about the middle, less fair, is called azucar que. the climate, many of them natives, form an ad brado;-the apex of the loaf is the least pure, mirable supply of militia ; and accordingly we and is disti guished the name of cucurucho. find that they are organized throughout the As the forins vary in size, the weight of the Island into mounted militia, there called mon loaves is equally various. Generally each of teros : in the towns they form, as well as the them weighs about an aroba, or 25lbs. · The free coloured people, regiments of foot militia. proportions in each loaf of the different qua. The former are described as very daring, well lities are 5-9ths of white, 3-9ths of the semounted, inured to fatigue, thoroughly accus cond quality, and 1-9th of the worst. The lomed to the climate, completely armed, per prices, of course, depend on the quality, and fectly acquainted with the country, and so are subject to all the variations that must occur dreaded from these qualities, that the presence in articles so dependent on accidental circumof one of them is sufficient to overawe a consi. stances, as all tropical produce must ever be. derable body of negroes.
Scarcely any Muscovado sugar is manufacThe first settlers of Cuba devoted their ear. tured. liest agricultural labours to the growth of arti At the actual price 24 dollars the chest, cles necessary for their subsistence. Although sugar is still profitable, although more than that object is easily attainable within the tro two-thirds less so than it was twelve years pics, yet their exertions do not appear to have ago. been directed to the production of other objects M. Humboldt details some results of his inat a very early period. Two centuries and a quiries in 1804, which are valuable to those half are said to have elapsed before any consi curious in West Indian statistics. He found derable plantations of coffee, cotton, indigo, that on an estate of 50 caballerias, or 1610 and sugar-canes were established. Enormous
English acres (each caballeria being equal to berds
of cattle, rapidly augmenting, furnished 32 2-10ths statute measure) there was prothe only article of commerce until the last cen duced from 32,000 to 40,000 arrobas (about tury;-10 this was afterwards added tobacco, 800,000 lbs.). But only one-half of the land was and becs-wax, which had been introduced from appropriated to the cane, the other half being the Floridas. These very soon became more employed in raising vegetable food, or in pasimportant than the hides, to which were in turage. There is considerable difference in their turn superadded sugar and coffee; and al the value of land, according to its local advanthough the value of the former is by far the tages. Such an extent of cultivation requires greatest, the plantations of the latter largely 300 negroes, each of whom may be valued at predominate, owing, no doubt, to the greater from 370 to 500 dollars, and whose maintefacility of cultivation, and to having no manu nance costs 45 to 50 dollars each annually: facture connected with it, as in sugar.
Three mills, worked either by cattle or In a table published by Humboldt, we have water, are necessary; eighteen boilers with the progress of the sugar exports
, from the twelve clarifiers and trachos. It is commonly
said that three arrobas of sugar yield a barrel certained. The variations of price are as arbiof molasses, and that the molasses meet the trary as those of sugar. plantation charges. This is true, where rum The tobacco of Cuba ranks first in European is extensively distilled. Thirty two thousand estimation. The internal consumption esarrobas of sugar produce 15,000 casks of mo ceeds 200,000 arrobas, chiefly in cigars; the lasses, which are converted into five hundred quantities exported cannot be well determined, puncheons of rum, at 25 dollars each. The owing to the activity with which smuggling is results are stated by our author,
carried on in this material.
Although indigo, cotton and wheat either Price of 32,000 arrobas of mixed sugar
are, or may be, produced in Cuba, we have no at 24 dollars.
43,000 details respecting them, as the first is driven 500 Puncheons of rum
out by the competition of Guatemala, and the
last are too scantily cultivated, owing to the 60,500
greater returns of coffee and sugar. Bat it is The expenses are estimated at 30,000
worth recording that the flour is excellent, and The capital employ
the period may be not very remote, when it ed in land 125,000
may be made available to the adjacent islands. Cost of Slaves 135,000
Difficulties of a similar kind oppose the culti. Buildings 80,000
vation of flax, hemp, and vides. Wax has beCattle, &c. 130,000
come an object of moment ever since 1772.
The quantities exported since 1915, have vaInterest at 61-6th
ried from 24,158 arrobas to 14,450.-Humboldt per cent. on $470,000 . 28,983
remarks that this produce declines in propor58,983 tion to the increase of cultivation.
The commerce of Cuba is sustained, not only Clear profit
1,517 | by the richness of its
productions, but by its We calculate the interest to be allowed for
admirable position. These advantages bare
been used with much judgment by the Spanish the outlay according to the old Spanish rule, 61-6th per cent., which must be admitted to
government, compared with many of its other be very moderate. As the large establishments
acts. The island exports, regularly, and irrecannot consecutively produce 32,000 arrobas,
gularly, produce to the estimated value of
fourteen millions of dollars each year. From it is not surprising that the cultivation of rice is occasionally preferred, especially in times of 1,000 to 1,200 merchant vessels annually enter low prices. Formerly the profits were larger,
the port of Havana, amounting from 150,000 to owing, first, to the smallness of the expenses-- from this estimate. In time of peace, from 120
170,000 tons: the coasting trade is escluded and secondly, to the higher price of sugar. It is remarkable that all the improvements
to 150 ships of war touch there for refresh.
ment. in Cuba were immediately consequent on the evacuation of the English in 1764. An impulse
It is probable that the importations, on an was then given, which maintained its influence
average, amount to fifteen or sixteen millions
of dollars, of which about three or four millions long after the first cause had ceased to operate. Progressive improvements have taken place,
are re-exported; for the Havana receives much and in 1825, on M. Humboldt's authority, we
more foreign manufactures than are necessary state that there were about 25 steam engines in
for home consumption, being destined for other the island. The progress of sugar cultivation
markets. Humboldt distrusts the reports pubmay be best known by the following statement.
lished by the Consulado, and we deem his rea.
sons satisfactory; so much so, that they ought In 1763 there were 70 Sugar Estates. only to be regarded as approximations to be used 1796
in the absence of more authentic materials. 1806
480 do. When the Essay was published, there was no 1817
625 do. " balanza.general;" but last year one was
printed, and at first distributed among the pubIn addition to the export of sugar, there is a lic officers of the local government; it was nevery considerable quantity of rum and molas- cessarily more complete than the partial state
ments that had preceded it, and we regret very The dependence of the Cuban proprietors on much that we have not at present access to a usurious merchants, who enable them to carry copy of it, as we might then have brought dows on their works, is as dreadful as in other colo- our details to the most recent period. nies. Money is so scarce at Havana, that the Humboldt states a remarkable fact, as to the government borrows at 10 per cent., and Hum- extraordinary consumption in the island of foboldt says private persons do so at 12 and 16; reign merchandise, which he determines by the we have it on respectable authority, that 18 excess of the quantity imported over that which per cent. is common on good security.
is re-exported: the quantity of provisions, Next to sugar stands coffee, the perfect culti- wines, and brandies, is large, and marks the vation of which may be referred to the years neglect of the production of the articles of first 1796 and 1798, when the ravages of St. Domin necessity, instead of which the cultivation of go drove many industrious French planters to objects of export is sedalously attended to. seek an asylum in Cuba. The quantity pro. Oùr author considers this want of subsistence duced in 1804 was only 50,000 arrobas; in 1823 to characterize a part of the tropical regions. it amounted to 895,924 arrobas, but declined in which he says, the " imprudent activity of n 1824 to 651,674. The real amount would be Europeans has inverted the order of nature." probably much larger, were the smuggling as He adds, that it will be diminished, as they be
come more enlightened to their true interests, I the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa,) and its pracand discouraged by the low price of colonial | ticability determined; but like many other produce: and in a strain of prophecy, predicts great projects of Spain, the work was never ihe future grandeur of Cuba, as well as its ex carried further. The benefits which such a emption from the present “ narrow and pitiful canal would confer on the island are immense, system," as he calls it. This appears to be a and it would not be the least to set an example inisapplication of terms. The present state of of establishing easy communications. cultivation in Cuba is the necessary result of M. Humboldt observes, in speaking of the its population, and its relations to the rest of rapidly advancing improvements that are going the world. At present, its sugar and coffee on in Cuba, that “at the Havana, as every give better returns than any other objects of where else, when trade and the riches it procultivation to the proprietor, who can buy his duces have a speedy augmentation, complaints other supplies more advantageously from fo are made of the evil influence which that in. reigners, owing to the scantiness of population. crease produces on old customs. This is not In all societies similarly constituted the same the place,” he adds,“ to compare the first conthing must happen, not from design, but from dition of the Island of Cuba, covered with pas. expediency; nor can it be obviated, until the tures, before the capture of the capital by the growth of the population be equal to meet all English, and its actual condition since it has The demands for labour. The destruction of become the metropolis of the Antilles; this is the sugar culture will never increase that of not the place to compare the candour and simother articles; however certain it is to take plicity of the manners of an infant society, place, whenever the planter loses the power of with ihose that belong to the development of coercing labour.
advanced civilization. The spirit of conSo far we have spoken of the actual state of merce, bringing the admiration of wealth, no trade; we find that its increase has been pro- doubl leads mankind to depreciate that which portionate to other improvements. So long ago is not to be procured for money. But the as 1800 the description was flattering, as may state of human affairs is happily such, that be seen in an extract which M. Humboldt whatever is most desirable, whatever most nogives from an unpublished manuscript: "At ble, and most free in man, depends solely on the Havana," says the intelligent author, “all the inspirations of the soul, and the extent and the effects of accumulated wealth begin to be amelioration of the intellectual faculties. The felt. Provisions have doubled their prices in a adoration of wealth, if it could possess an absovery few years. Labour is so dear, that a negro lute influence over all classes of society, would newly inported from the coast of Africa, by infallibly produce the evil of which those commere bodily labour, (without having learned plain, who see with regret that which they call any trade,) can earn from four to five rials a the preponderance of the industrious systein; day. Negroes who exercise any mechanical but the increase of commerce by multiplying trade, however rude, earn five io six francs. the relations among different people, in opening The patrician families remain in the country; an immense sphere to mental activity, in dithe individual who has been enriched by his recting capital to agriculture, in creating, by own exertions does not return with his capital the refinements of luxury, new wants, presents to Europe: some families are so wealthy, that the best remedy against the dangers which Don Matèo de Pedroso, recently dead, has left are supposed to be impending. In this exlanded property worth above two millions of treme complication of causes and effects, time dollars. Many houses of trade in Havana buy is necessary to establish the equilibrium beevery year ten to twelve thousand chests of su tween the different classes of society. Must it gar, for which they pay from 350,000 to 420,000 not be admitted as undoubted, that at every dollars. The transactions which take place an. given epoch, civilization, the progress of infornually in this city amount to more than twenty mation, the development of public reason, may millions of dollars." " Such," adds M. Hum- be estimated by the tonnage, by the value of boldt, “
was the state of the country in 1800. the exports, or by the perfection of the arts of The prosperity of the succeeding years has industry? But nations, like individuals, must much transcended that which has been de not be judged of by one solitary portion of scribed; for, whenever the Mother Country, their lives: they only complete their destinies disregarding her best interests, has attempted by going over the entire scale of a civilization, to retrograde, courageous voices have been suited to their national character and their raised, not only among the Havaneros, but physical situation."-vol. i. p. 292-3. There is even among the Spanish administrators, to much truth in these observations, and they vindicate the cause of American commerce.” | ought to be seriously considered by all those, Havana enjoys the rights of an entrepôt on the who, adopting but one measure of propriety, most advantageous terms.
either among individuals or nations, and forThe internal trade is rendered costly by the getting the infinite diversities of temperament, want of easy communications. To obviate moral and physical relations, regard all deviathis inconvenience, in 1796, the Conde de Ja. tions from their imaginary standard as violaruco and Mopox conceived the plan of the ca tions of an absolute rule of right. nal of Guines, which would have connected The increase of agriculture and commerce the city of Havana and Batabano, a distance of has been productive of a proportional increase eight and a half maritime leagues. The pre- of revenue: this M. Humboldt states as high liminary survey was effected with considerable as four and a half or five millions of doilars, or, talent by two able engineers, the brothers Le taking the exchange at four shillings to the maur, (one of whom lately distinguished him. dollar, at one million sterling. The customself by his gallant and protracted defence of house of the Havana alone yields in one year