Newspaper Page Text
THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF CUBA.
fflH "i jaaMJBaBBBB''V f -!) " 2fc. vflfet c. "y Ittjlh. 4eaBBBBBFw4aBBRi"iJ? jjHBjl y Baaa?4 BB" TOMAS ESTRADA PALMA, It In loth surprising and slcnltlrant that Tomas Katrada I'alma should havs been chosen the Drst president of the Cuban republic by the Cuban people. It Is urprlntiiif. because othor people lime at all tlmos favored their nolUlHrn. er rather the soldiers have favored themselves, with olllce, nnd It was hardly to have been oxpected that Cubm with so ninny revolutionary heroes to choose from, would havo departed from this custom. It Is significant, because It pot it l to a new method of government In what has for so many jtars been a tiottHMl of revolution I'resldiutt I'hIiiiii stands for a Kovernmcut of peace rather thnn tlmt of the military dictator, and his selection fives promise of a strict com pllancn with tun expectations of the United States In the government of Cuba. I1U announrod policy Is the of the fchoolhouse rathor than the soldier in hi native country It muM le unfair to President I'alma not to give him credit for playing an Important twrt In the achievement of Cuban lndpndonee During the long of the trn years' war he fought In thu ranks of the revolutionists, rising to tin rank of general In the I'utmn army, and atttrwards lining selected as prosldenl of the provWonsI government He was later captured by the Spaniards nnd In KMln until after the close of the war When he was tlnally released his entitle were confiscated and he was forever banished from his native Island lie settled finally In Honduras, where he married tho daughter of the president of that republic nnd became the iKwttnaster general In tho cabinet of his father-in-law. Afterwards he removed to the Unjted States and for IS years conducted nckoel for loys nt Central Valley. N V. At tho breaking out of the tost war Hi Culm he became the head of the Junta in New York city, and rendered efficient service In that rapacity. His selection as president whs favored by pnn 1 1 tally every Cuban general of note, prominent among his supporters being Clen Oomex. The Dli e tame to him entirely unsought, ami he will taku his scat ui the first chWf txccutUe of the Cuban republic with no political ties to bind him. FIGHT FOR FBEEDOI The Long, Desperate Struggle That Brought Cuban Independence. t llruwii Almost vlth the Art tlriuriit of the Mpnnlnrd in thr Island home .Me ii Whose .Vnmes nil Heeds "Will Mir In Cubnii lll(or. UNA'S fight for freedom from .-. i$)5f. P00"" ru'c may ')e tAi& to have begun almost before the uuni became mniters of the island. When, in 1511, the son of determined to take of Cuba in fie name of Spain he selected Diego Velasquez to command an advance guard, as it were, of some 300 men. This force met with vir tually no resistance from the natives mvc from one chief, Hatucy, a refugee from His paniobi, or Ilayti as now called, where he had witnessed the barbarities of the newcomers and relented their invasion of his new home, as he, unlike the other, knew frorn terrible experience what such a the native people. Hut ll&tucy lake many others who came after him in later years, was unsuccessful in opposing the wUl of the Dons, and paid for his desire for freedom with hia life, being burned at the take as a fugitive slave. Spanish oppression and Spanish cruelty reigned in Cuba from that day until in the QEN. QALIXTO QARCIA. etimmcr of 1808, when, with the assistance of the United States, the patriots banished their oppressors from the ialuml forever. Almost from the day of tho Spaniards firnt landing in Cuba until tho signing of the peace protocol that put a stop to the war of 1S08 tho Dons had found it necessary to moot opposition to their reign by the use of armed force. This opposition was not at all times of sufficient vigor to be dignified by tho name of revolution, but it was For many years it was inoro of a eca fight than a land fight and was carried on by the buccaneers whoso object was to drive Spain from the western teas, not because they were friendly to the native Cubans, but frorn motives of revenge ngninst tho mother country, and aa allies of other European nations at war with Spain, Nor were their operations directed against the Spaniards in Cuba alone, but in every part of the western world where the Spaniih flag floated. It was not until late in the eighteenth and early in the nineteenth centuries that the people of Cuba began to think seriously of freedom, or rather of righting existing wrongs, and forcing from the mother country a more liberal form of government. Kngland's colonics had thrown off the yoke of oppression, and the seed of freedom that had sprouted on tho mainland had bcon carried to the island. A grievance that brought with it armed resistance came in 1790 when b'pain withdrew the ship building yards QEN MAXIMO QOMEZ. from Havana to reestablish them at her home ports. The industry had existed in the island from 1720, and tlie closing of thcin was bitterly relented. Hut Cuba at that time demanded only her rights as a loyal colony, and not the absolute freedom for which the has since fought. During her earlier history the development of Cuba's great agricultural resources progressed but slowly. Her ports were cloned to the commerce of all the world tavc Spain, and it was not until after circum stances which Spam had opposed for years but which finally overcame her, that the Cuban planters began to really realize the narrowness of Spanish rule. The change that began to be apparent in the colonial policies of other European nations early in the last century was not shared by Spam, who but attempted to draw the lines tighter. This fact is evidenced by the issuance of the royal decree of May 25, 1825, defining the functions of thu captain generals of Cuba, a decree which invested them with practically the powers of oriental despots, and this decree remained in force until Spain had been driven from the island. Even before the issuing of this decree had come the first attempt to break the rule of Spain. Secret political societies had begun organizing as early as 1820 under the name of "Soles dc Bolivar," and in 1823 these fcocictica made an attempt at open revolt. Hut the attempt was fruitless of results other than the arrest and punishment of the leaders. The next icvolution came in 1820, nnd was planned by Cuban refugees in Mexico and Colombin. Tho scheme included the leadership of the great liberator, Simon Bolivar, but it resulted in nothing tangible through lack of adequate support. The same leaders attempted to organize another campaign for the freeing of Cuba during the years 1827-20, this time including among their supporters many persons in the United States, but this plan was frustrated through the influence of the slave interests in both this country and Mexico. Another revolution ramo in 1884 in n'hich tho principals were the si on thr sugat plantations about Mantanza. With some 70- difficulty Spain supprcsicd this revolt, and punished in various ways 1,310 of those convicted of participating in it, but the seed of liberty then planted icsulted in later years in the patriots who fought the long ten years' war, and again thone who led to ultimate victory the forces of Cuba in the last war. The next Cuban revolution, started a year later, was led by an ex officer in the Spanish army, Xatcio Lopez. He was unsuccessful nt the tune, but his efforts led finally to the attempt of this government to purchase Cuba from Spain in 1818. The overbite made to the Spanish government by President l'olk were of no avail, howevor, and Lopez continued his efforts at liberation until he was filially captured by the Spanish authorities on ( uban soil and executed in 1851. In 1851 came both the attempt of Gen. Quitman, of Mississippi, for the invasion of Cuba, which resulted disasterously to the leaders, they being captuicd anil executed, ami the Ostcnd Manifesto which recommended the purchase of Cuba for $120,000,-000. Hut this, like the previous attempt nt purchase, came to naught, and the island was left to drag along in comparative peace until the bicakmg out of the "ten years' war" in 1808. It was this long struggle that brought to the fore such men as Gomez, Garcia, Palma and many others destined to live in the history of tho new republic as the names of Washington, Lee, Putnam and a score of others live in our own history. They arc the grandest names Cubans will ever know; true patriots, who yet live to guide the young republic through its first troubled waters with the Mine courageous hands that taught the Culwm soldiers to match Cuban strategy and daring against the hoavier forces of Spam. To this list must be added that of Macco and the others who sacrificed their lives in the last struggle for Cuban freedom, but demanded of Spain a dear price for the sacrifice. The story of the "ten years' war" is n story of ten jears of hardships and sacrifice. It brought with it the first declaration of Cuban independence, signed on October 10, 1803, and also the first election of Cuban officers including a president ond vice president and the appointment of cabinet officers. It was Carlos M de Cespcdcs, at the head of 128 ill-armed men, who started this conflict, and who issued the proclamation of Cuban independence at Yara. Ccspcdes was a lawyer of Bayamo at the beginning of the war, but he was a natural leader of men, and soon had 15,000 men with which to oppose Spain. It was he who virtually wrote the first Cuban constitution which was promulgated at Guaimaro on April 10, 1809. For the first two years of the war succes attended almost every effort of the Cuban QEN. ANTONIO MACEO. army, which increased rapidly until it had reached the numbers of 50,000 men, but the abilfty of Spain to furnish war materials and fresh troops was greater than that of the insurgents, and the rank and file of the Cuban army began finally to tire of the struggle. Froml873until February, 1878, the war dragged along in a desultory way, and finally ended with the peace of San Antonio which guaranteed pardon to all who had taken part in the conflict, and representation for Culw in the Spanish cortes. It was during this war, in 1873, that there occurred the incident of the steamer which came so near resulting in wat between Spain and the United States, and which did result in some pointed correspondence between officials of the two countries and the execution as pirates at Santiago of 53 persons. The incidents of the last revolution that started in 1891 atid led to American intervention for the pacification and liberation of the island arc too well known to need any recounting here. The leaders who flocked to the Cuban standard were men who had fought for Cuban freedom from 1608-78. Jose Marti started from New York in February, 1895, Gomez, Antonio and Joie Macco, Crombet, Ccbrcco, Borrero, Angel Guerra and a score of others gathered again on Cuban soil from different points to again begin the fight for Cuban freedom In tunc Garcia, Jtobi, Rivera and others joined QCN. RIVERA. them, and what Spam at first believed to be but the beginning of a negro riot that could be suppressed within a short time proved to be tho final conflict for Cuban freedom, a conflict that has waged on sea and land for more than a century. WUiailT A. PATTEItSON. llnvnnn Twice Humeri. The city of Havana Iiob twice been destroyed by fire set by French privateers. The first destruction occurred in lr8, soon after the city was founded, and to prevent a repetition of the disaster Fernando dcSoto, then governor of the island, built the firat of the fortresses intended for the defense of the city, the Castillo dc la Fucrza, but this rnoved ineffective, for the city was again by the French tn 1551. After this the Punt a and Morro fortresses were built. AMERICA'S MGHT FOR CUBA. Wi Iluve Done IliiMIc Jiut Only lvltli tin- Siriiril Hut it Itli (lie lilnir llruHli n Well, So fresh in the mindw of the American people arc the events of the historic rummer of 1898 that they really need no recalling at this lime when the complete fruition of the objects of the struggle between the United States and Spain arc now to be realized in the establishment of that independent gov eminent in Cuba which this government guaranteed when it declared the wielding of the sword for the island's independence to be a part of our duty. The destruction of our good ship Maine; the declarations and appropriations voted by congress; the mobilizing of armies and fleets; the victory of Admiral Dewey at Manila; the dispatch of troops to Santiago; our naval victory nlf that harbor: the fall of the city; the capture of Porto Htco, and Spain's cry for peace at olmost any price, all thci.e incidents need but a mention to recall them to the minds of the people of this country. History was never made more rapidly than it was made during that summer, and it was history of which the country and the world may well be proud in after years. With the sword wc drove Spain out ol Cuba, our soldiers and sailors reaped won- JfWr fir LEONAnO WOOD. derful victories in rapid succession, but Spam left behind her a harder struggle than her armies or her fleets had given us it was with dirt and ditreasc. How well Gov. Gen. Wood has conquered this foe is evidenced from the health reports from Cuba. First at Santiago, and later throughout all the island he has persistently fought the battle for clean cities and good sanitation until to-day Havana, instead of being the breeding ground of all the various type of malignant fever, is considered as healthful as almost any city in the United States. He has taught to the Cubans the necessity of cleanliness, a lesson they are not likely to soon forget. He has done more than this. He has opened the public schools, and has so extended the system that practically all the children of tchool age have now offered them thcadvantagesofaneducation,andhas instilled in the hearts of the people a desire for learning, a desire which their own government will now be in a position to fulfill. Gen. Wood, as the representativ of the American people, has buildrd a government of the people, for the people and by the people of Cuba into whose hands our country ci now safely placa the reigns of control, and Gen. Wood's name must be added to the hat of Cuban heroes whose memories will long live in the hearts of the people of "the ever faithful isle." FACTS ABOUT CUBA. Cuba contained at the time of the breaking out of the last revolution 100,000 farms, ranches and plantations, valued at $200,000,-000. No less than five minor revolt occurred in Cuba between 1878, the date of closing the "ten years' war," and 1894 when the last war began. From 1827 to Cuba contributed directly to the Spanish treasury the sum of Since 1807 the island has contributed but little directly to the Madrid treasury, but indirectly much of the entire revenue of the island has reached Spain. From the eastern end of Cuba to Ilayti is 54 miles, and to Jamaica 85 miles; from the northern shore on the western end it is 90 miles to Florida, and from Cape San Antonio, the western extremity of the island, to Yucatan is 130 miles. Cuba is nearly seven timesas long as Long Island. It stretches from a point about even with New York City on tho east to Cincinnati on the west, a di&tancc of 750 miles. In width it is nowhere greater than 100 miles, while at places it is as narrow as 20 miles. There are 1,300 small islands and keys adjacent to and belonging to Cuba, and these, with the main island, comprise an area of about 45,000 square miles. Cuba had at the close of the war with Spain about 1,000 miles of railway divided into a number of small lines. Since the evacuation of the islond by Spain Sir William Van Van Home, the builder of the Pacific railway, has been building a new trunk line that, when completed, will traverse the island from one end to the other, and, with its various branches, will comprise more than another thousand miles of railway line. The main line of this road from Santiago to Nipc, in Santa Clara province, is now nearing completion, and will be opened to traffic in the early summer, and the remainder of the system will be pushed to completion as rapidly as possible. The older lines of railway arc practically all in the western portion of tho island, and several of them center at Havana, or connect with Havana. "The Cver Faithful Isle." Cuba has been known the world over as "The Ever Faithful Isle," a name it received at the time tho Spanish Bourbons weic deposed by Napoleon in 1808. At that time each member of the provincial Cuban council took an oath to preserve the island for its legitimate sovereign, The island voluntarily $5,000,000 to the treasury during the Napoleonic wars, and declared war ogainst France for deposing tho Spanish sovereign. For such fidelity the Cuban people were rewarded by having taken away from them the rights of their provincial council, and imposing upon them u line of captain generals whose despotic rule continued down to the day this country wrested tho colony from the hands of the Dons. Captured by Mortfnn. The buccaneer Morgan captured and plundered Havana in 1009, just previous to his exploits at Panama and-along the Pacific coast of Central and South America. A Oreut Cuban Disaster. One of the greatest disasters in Cuban his tory was the hurricane of October 14, 1870, in which some 2,0C0 lives were lost. THE CUBAN FLAG. It waa under this banner, which Is now to represent tho youngest or the world's) nations, that tho Cuban patriots fought and died for many years In tho lonff struggle for freedom. It has led thorn on to victory In many a hard-fought battle, nnd It will be a proud day for those patriotic veterans when thoy bco that emblem floating from tho llngstafrs of the government buildings, nnd hear the roar of the cannon of foreign warships In tho harbor as they pay tribute to the glory of that new nation, of which tho Cuban people havo so long dreamed. It Is this emblem that will replace the stars and stripes over all the government buildings In Cuba on May 20, and as It Is set floating from tho flagstaffs it will be greeted with a national solute from tho batteries of American artillery on shore, and from tho American and other national warships in the harbor. "Long may It wave o'er a land of tho free and a homo of tho bravo," Is the wish of ovcry American. OF Her Greatest Wealth Lies in a Fertile and Productive Soil. ronlblllties of Snstnr nnil Tobncco Caltlvntlon JnilKeil by flic Records of the l'nHt Valuable "VVoodn, Fruits nnd Minerals. UltING years of peace in the past Cuba has produced more cane sugar than anyothercountryinthe world. She produces more than twice the cane sugar manufactured in Java, her nearest competitor, and more than five times as much as is produced in any other country. In exceptional years her production of sugar has passed the one million tons mark. The beet and cane product both consideicd, Cuba is surpassed by but one country, Germany, with one and one-half million tons, as a'sugar producer, and is equaled by but one other, Austria. Cuba has exported-in one year more than 0,000,000 pounds of leaf tobacco and more than 134,000,000 cigars in addition to heavy exports of baled tobacco of less valuable varieties. The shipping of nine Cuban ports, which Includes Havana, for the year 1894 amounted to 3,538,539 tons, carried by 3,184 vessels. The above three paragraphs give a general idea of industrial Cuba of the past; they can scarcely be classed as even prophetic of the future. Cuba and the adjacent small islands belonging to it occupy an area of 45,000 square-miles a little le9 in size than the state of New York. Of this total area less than 10 per cent, has ever been under cultivation; four per cent, is classed as forest land, and large quantities of the remainder b virgin soil awaiting development by a progressive people under a progressive government. When such a people under such a government have turned this unclaimed area into productive territory we shall have the Cuba of the future. But to go back again to the Cuba of the past. Cane sugar development has been confined to the vast central plain lying to a great extent in Matanza province. In the season of 189203 this great plain yielded 1,054,212 tons of sugar, valued at $80,000,000. The sugar plantations of this territory vary in extent from 100 to 1,000 acres, and employ an average of one man to each two acres under cultivation. For several years the sugar industry in all the West Indian islands has been in a deplorable condition, but different causes must be assigned for the condition in Cuba than for the other islands. In Cuba it has been the series of rebellions and insurrections that have caused the decline of the industry. During the periods of comparative peace the industry has prospered, and the reason may be found in the fact that the Cuban planters have gone about the production of sugar on a large scale, and equipped with the most modern machinery. While sugar is the staple crop of first importance in Cuba tobacco ha an important place in the island's industries, and is even more valuable than sugar when the acreage under cultivation is considered. As is the center of the sugar industry so is Pinar del Rio the center of the tobacco in 5 &. I terests, though the tobacco fields may bs found in all sections of the island, and the crop is exported from every port from Havana to Santiago. The average size of the Cuban tobacco plantations, or vegas, as they, are called, ia only about 33 acres, and the average annual production from a farm or vega of this siza is something like 9,000 pounds of tobacco of varying qualities. Of this amount, however, there will seldom be more than from 450 to 500 pounds of the finest quality from which the higher priced cigars are made; 1,800 pounds of the second quality, and so oa down to the cheapest grade, which is, of course, the greatest in quantity. In the wars of Cuba the tobacco interest of the western portion of the island, ia which is grown the better qualities and the greatest quantities, have been but little affected until the last one. During the years of 1890-'97, however, these interests, like the sugar interests of Matanzas, suffered hear ily from the conflicts waged over the tobacco territory, and the planters are but now fulljj recovering from the effects of the devastation which the revolution left in its path. Among other agricultural products whicS the island is capable of producing, and from which much may be expected in the future, are coffees and fruits. The former is especially adapted to the mountain-sides and hill-lands of the eastern portion. There was a time when a considerable quantity of coffee was exported from the island, but the political conditions rendered its cultivation unprofitable, as there was always an uncertainty of getting the crop to market. Ia point of quality Cuba can produce as good coffee as is grown anywhere in the world, and there is but little doubt that it-will soon become a leading industry. Though the present value of the fruit crop of Cuba has greatly diminished in comparison with what it was a few years ago it ia stilt of considerable importance, and may be expected to assume even greater importance in the industrial development of the island under the new regime. In the eastern end of the island there are now a large number of beautiful banana plantations high up the mountains that supply to the American markets the best of this class of fruit that is sold in this country. Oranges and pineapples of unusual size and flavor are also grown throughout the island. ButCuba possesses more than agricultural wealth. Her forests supply mahoganj , logwood and fustic in some quantities, though the supply is limited, and a great source of wealth is in her, as yet, almost undeveloped mines. Iron, manganese, copper and salt are all mined in paying quantities, though on a comparatively small scale. Of them all iron is the chief of the mineral product. The iron mines are located a few milej cast of Santiago, and, while they have not aB yet been worked to any large extent, the American company which controls them have expended large sums in preparatory development. That these iron mines mil become of considerable importance in the development of the island cannot be doubted. With such resources to draw upon Cuba, under a progressive and enlightened government that will encourage rather than antagonize development, should soon take a leading place among the smaller commercial nations of the world. A Year of Cuban Prosperity. The year 1892 was the most prosperous in Cuban history for almost half a century. During that year the value of the island's exports amounted to $89,500,000, and the imports to $50,250,000. Of the exports $85,000,-000 were classed as vegetable, $3,500,000 aa mineral and $750,000 as animal. OiLJTr t ' 1 ' r9wW3Qmt' '" ' 3i fitoXVmBB Wt&K&ttf' fftHRr '''SbBaaBssssssaessfljV A 1 . A mmmumtmatgtmmmmmmtmMmmaBtamtm ManHHSSMBH BtfaaMBSSQSXHMBSUSSSBSnHaBSMMMMBIMSSSHBSl GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S PALACE AT HAVANA. This Is the white house of Cuba. In It have resided a long list of Spanlsa governors, nnd for nearly four years It has been tho olllclal homo of den. Leonard Wood. When ho surrenders tho reins of Government Into tho hnnd of President Palma ho will also step out of this famous olllclal rcsldenco nnd turn It over ! tho family of tho first president of tho Cuban republic The pnlaco Is a substantial bulldlmr of mnsonry thoroughly In keeplni; with tho Spanish tendency toward extravagance, and will make an elaborate residence for Cuba's executives. ri I