Cuba for invalids

Material Information

Cuba for invalids
Gibbes, Robert Wilson, 1809-1866
Place of Publication:
New York
W.A. Townsend and company
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xii, 214 p. : ; 20 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Health resorts -- Cuba ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Cuba ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
By R.W. Gibbes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
023016547 ( ALEPH )
22529784 ( OCLC )
ADB6961 ( NOTIS )

Full Text






"Beautiful island! where the green
Which Nature wears was never seen
'Neath zone of Europe; where the hue
Of sea and heaven is such a blue
As England dreams not; where the night
Is all irradiate with the light
6 Of star-like moons, which hung on high,
Breathe and quiver in the sky."





Vice Consul of Her Britannic Majesty at Trinidad
de Cuba.

My Dear Sir:
Accept my feeble acknowledgment of many obligations to
you while enjoying an agreeable residence in your city. The
restorative influences of her delightful climate I am sure were
much assisted by the pleasure I received from your social
Very sincerely, yours,
COLUMBIA, S. C., Sept. 1, 1860.


A severe illness from extensive pleurisy, terminating
in effusion, having confined me to the house for four
months, with very slow improvement of symptoms, I
determined in January last to seek the reparative in-
fluence of a more equable climate. I left home feeble,
out of breath upon the slightest exertion, and nervous.
suffering at every change, and doubtful of more than
temporary improvement. Upon reaching Havana, the
uncomfortable feelings were greatly increased by the
harshness of cold northers, and the variable climate of
that city, too damp and depressing for northern consti-
tutions. I was in the situation of an eminent states-
man, who found he was obliged to ask himself the
question, "where shall I go?" and had as much doubt
in the reply. Whenever I, on enquiry, suggested any
place, there was either total ignorance of it, or I was told
of some objection-that there was no hotel, a very bad
one, or exorbitant charges, or insalubrity and privations,
rendering the locality uncomfortable or injurious-some
difficulty existed in every case, and this I found in-
fluencing many to remain in Havana to secure present
comfortable quarters without the risk of losing them by
a change. In my embarrassment, I was relieved by the


advice of Mr. Crawford, the British Consul, who very
kindly informed me of the value of the climate of
Trinidad de Cuba, and urged my giving it a trial.
I went there intending to stay a week or two, and
found it so agreeable to my respiration and comfort
that I remained nearly five weeks, steadily improving
from the day of my arrival, and feeling at the end of
that time, that I was well enough to travel in other
parts of the island. I left Trinidad too early, and
subsequent experience satisfied me that it would have
been greatly to my advantage to have remained there
longer. 1 found pleasure in visiting other places, and
enjoyed beauty of scenery and sea air, but nowhere did
I find the softness and dryness and equability of
temperature of Trinidad.
During the few weeks I was there, the effusion in my
chest was removed as I gained strength and vital force,
and my gratitude to that sweet climate induces me to
recommend it to others. While absent I wrote light
sketches for the DAILY SOUTH CAROLINIAN, current
ralamo, which appear to have given pleasure and
interest to many friends, on whose urgency I have been
induced to put them in book form. Whatever I saw
was described under momentary impulse, and had 1
re-written the letters, it would have no doubt been with
a labored and less attractive style. I therefore have
simply republished them, with some additional matter,
not because I consider them as deserving of more than
the ephemeral notice belonging to such composition,
but being desirous of giving my impressions of that


beautiful country, which I know I will be charged
with seeing couleur de rose, I risk the republication
as a means of communicating to a numerous class of
invalids my experience, which may be of service. If
a single invalid, induced to visit Cuba by my advice, is
relieved, I shall be fully reimbursed with the satis-
faction of knowing that I have contributed to it. Life
is not to be valued by money, and health procura-:
ble at any sacrifice is important. A visit to Cuba
costs money, but, as in my case, the interests of a
large family often depend upon such a change, and
a restoration to health fully repays the outlay. The
difficulty of finding a locality suitable to the case is the
chief source of anxiety in measures for relief. Be-
lieving that the south side of the island of Cuba
presents the strongest claims for consideration to the
invalid, whose nervous power is shattered and vital
forces diminished, I feel it a professional and social
duty to give my views of its value, based on personal
inmrovement. Patients requiring a change should
avoid the variable cold weather of the United States,
by an early retreat to Cuba about the' first of No-
vember, and should remain upon the south side of the
island until the first of April. The chilliness of north-
ers being then over, they may safely visit the northern
side, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the trip from
Sagua to Matanzas, and revel in the enchanting view of
the Yumuri so exquisitely charming. A return to
Havana at that time will allow their visit to be more
appreciated, with improved strength, and I am sure


they will leave the island with greater satisfaction.
For the temperature of Trinidad I refer to the registry
of the thermometer, furnished by Dr. Urquiola, on p.
57. A comparison of its details will give to invalids
suffering from affections injuriously influenced by the
cold of winter; much to encourage them in the hope of
amelioration of symptoms, if not full restoration to
health. There is, probably, no climate presenting such
attractive interest to them as that which 1 have
recently enjoyed. He who seeks only pleasure in
traveling, I hope will find my notes of service, in show-
ing that there is much to interest him. The scientific
man will collect abundant material for study, in the
geology and natural history of the country, which will
fully repay him for a visit. R. W. G.



Leave Charleston-Carysfort Reef-Iron Light-House-
Key West-Tropical Fruits-King-fish-Campbell Min-
strels -Cuba -Entrance to Havana -Hotels -Cuban
Ladieo-Rides on the Paseo..................................... 1

Monkey Show-Volantes and Caleseros-Bull Fight-Cock
Fights-Amusements -Raw Norther -Batabano-Palm
Trees Steamer Rapido Breakfast Catalan Wine -
Southern Coast-Playing Monte-Cienfuegos................. 12

Cienfuegos-A Lady's Trunk-Trinidad-Hotel de la Grande
Antilla Music Bells- Cathedral- Situation of the
City-Climate-Baker's Residence-Frederick's Photo-
graphs-Victory at Tetuan-Keller Troupe-Subscrip-
tions for the War -Proclamation -Fiestas--Colored
Virgin..................................... ........................ 28

Cantero's Quinta-Milking Cows-Narcotic effect of Atmos-
phere-Occupation of Visitors-Cemetery-Frequency of
Blindness ................................ ............................ 46


Cost of Board-Trip to Trinidad-Temperature-Hotel-
City-Music-Country Seats-Summary of Meteorological
Observations-Thermometer-Raiin-Winds-Mean Tem-
perature ...................... .. ....................... ... 53

Temperature-Procession of the Host-The Oleo-Confes-
sion of a Cuban Robber......................................... 64

Negroes at a Funeral-Cost of Burial-How they Bury-
High Mass-Dignity Balls-Fiesta of the River Ay-
Fiacion Tnhrira-Steamer Water Witch .................... 7:

Valley of Trinidad-Estate of M. Cantero-Sulphur Spring-
Hospitable Breakfast- Refinery of Guinea--Yankee
Cooper-Sugar Produced-Sulphur Spring Analysed....... 81

The Coolies-Privileges of Slaves-Slave Trade............... 90

Railroad to Sagua-Grand Dejeuner-Ride on a Locomo-
tive-Consecration of a Cathedral-Hotel on the Water-
Green Turtle-Italian Opera-Sail to the Keys-Beautiful
Trip among the Keys-Cardenas-Life on a Steamer-A
Fat Priest and a Snoring Commissary-Gambling........ .7


Cardenas--Matanzas--Rides on the Paseo-Campbell Min-
strels, and Arthur Napoleon-La Ariadne-Fine Sugar
Estate-Sugar Making-Slaves-Valley of Yumuri-
Coffee Plantation................................................... 107

Victory at Tetuan-Grand Fiesta-Letter from Matanzas-
Great Rejoicings-Burning Gunpowder-Visitors Return-
ing to the States................................. .......... 120

Plaza de Armas-Dominica-Teatro de Tacon-Paseo
Tacon-Campo Santo-The Presidio-Bafios Publicos-
University-Colleges-Education-Public Charities-The
Fortresses of the Moro and Cabanos-Regla................ 127

Cathedral of San Ignacio-Columbus-The Bier-Proces-
sion-The Pantheon-Epitaph-Funeral Banners-Por-
trai-Interment of Cort6s-The Coffin-Los Puritanos-
Tobacco .............................................................. 138

Coolie and White Labor-Overseers-Reforms of Govern-
ment-Cuban Progress-Departure from Cuba-The
Mississippi-Sugar Plantations-Arrival at New Orleans... 156

The Bahamas-Nassau-Translucence of the Water-
Hotel-Excellent Fare-Colonial Debate-Black Troops-
Salubrious Climate--Eminent Physicians........................... 164


Consumption-Tubercular Disease-Vital Functions-The
Lungs-Renewal of Carbon--utritive Organs-Nervous
Power Digestion Morbid Elements Pulmonary
Disease-Curability of Consumption-Temperature-Ex-
ercise in the Open Air-Injudicious Treatment-Nutri-
tion- Inflammation......................... ........................ 174

Importance of Exercise-Personal Experience-Spontaneous
Cure of Phthisis-Proper Food-Fruits-Stimulants-
Winter Residence for Consumptives-West India Islands-
Jamaica- Florida................................................ 191

Directions fbr Travelers-Different Routes-Passports-
Colored Servants-Clothing-Medicines-Articles for
Comfort and Convenience-Hotel Agents-Baggage-
Permit-Principal Hotels-Charges-Silver Coin-Public
Institutions-Volantes-Overcharges-Financial Calcula-
tions-Letters to Planters ..................................... 204



"Swiftly through the foamy sea
Shoots our vessel gallantly;
Still approaching as she flies
Warmer suns and brighter skies."

HAVANA, January 23, 1860.
As time and tide wait for no man," the pas-
sengers by the good steamer Isabel at Charleston,
were required to be "all aboard" on Wednesday
night, so as to leave before day, and when they
turned out, after the sun had risen next morning,
they found themselves thirty miles at sea, and
steaming along with a steady motion. The sea
was calm, consequently the breakfast table full.
About 12 m., we ran into the bay at Savannah,
to receive a few passengers from a tug, and then
our ship's course was resumed, keeping between
the coast and the Gulf Stream. The weather


became cold and disagreeable, and confined inva-
lids to the cabin, but twenty-four hours brought
a change of temperature, and overcoats even
were laid aside, and a'delightful atmosphere en-
joyed on deck. No special incident occurred
during the voyage, our estimable captain know-
ing the reefs as well as the wreckers, and we
enjoyed the sight of green and blue and purple
water, approaching sometimes within pistol shot
of the reefs. We passed quite near the iron
light-house on Carysfort reef, where four young
ladies, daughters of the keeper, reside with him,
where beaux rarely visit, their acquaintance
being limited to a few wreckers, who occasion-
ally give them a call. Robinson Crusoe's situa-
tion on his isle, we think, must have been far
more desirable than the isolation of these young
ladies in their solitary abode on the ocean. This
residence is built of iron frame work, and is
firmly pinned into the coral rock. The posts are
slender but strong, and the action of the waves
makes no impression on the small surface pre-
sented to their fury in a storm.
On Saturday, about 3 p. m., we entered the
harbor of Key West, where our captain very


kindly remained until 9 p. m., to give the citizens
the opportunity of enjoying the Campbell Min-
strels, led by the gentlemanly and accomplished
Rumsey-his troupe being a portion of our ship's
company. The detention was no loss to us, as we
could not enter the port of Havana before the
morning gun from the Moro, and the arrangement
enabled us to arrive just in due season. Upon
passing the new fort, the minstrel band struck up
their fine music, and blew their own trumpets to
an anxious people. The island, Cayo hueso-the
rock of bone (coral ?)-is about seven miles long
and half a mile wide, while the settlement does
not extend much beyond a mile. Here we saw
the beautiful cocoa-nut tree laden with fruit, some
of which regaled our company with its pleasant
milk and rich pulp,-also the tamarind and other
tropical fruits. In the unripe state the cocoa-nut
contains about a pint of agreeable fluid, and the
pulp is then so soft, that like cream, it is scraped
out and eaten with sugar. Most of our ladies
took a walk on shore, and saw the comfortable
and spacious houses of the citizens, who number
now about three thousand. On their return to
the boat, they brought a profusion of beautiful


flowers, among which were some magnificent
roses. The absence of any public vehicle pre-
vented our invalids enjoying the visit. The Gov-
ernment fortifications now in progress are very
extensive, though we learn not so much so as
those being built at the Tortugas, about sixty
miles distant. While here our caterer procured
some of the King-fish, which is called the salmon
of the South,-resembling, as we think, our fresh
water trout, and very fine indeed.
Invalids find good accommodation at a board-
ing house here, where, however, there is no great
variety of fare, but those who enjoy fish and
turtle will find good entertainment. The latter
diet is very suitable for dyspeptics, though not
formerly allowed. Nowadays rich animal diet is
more appreciated than soup maigre.
We left the island at 9 p. m., the minstrels
having put the folks all in good humor. We in-
quired what success was had, and were answered,
"by the fall of some of the benches, a woman
had a leg broke, and the people were delighted
with the evening's performance." In our voyage
to Key West, we coasted within the Gulf Stream,
but now had to cross it, and during the night


the vessel rolled very considerably. At 7 next
morning, the heights of Cuba appeared, and at
8 o'clock we saw our signals on the Moro, as
we entered the beautiful bay. At the distance of
a few miles, the numerous white houses look like
patches of snow, but as you near them, you find
many of varied colors, of which yellow, blue and
green seem to be favorites.
The scene as you enter the bay is enchanting;
you can scarcely believe the exquisite picture is
a reality. At the entrance, the rocky Moro lifts
its craggy crest of brown stone high above you,
with its guns ready to blow you out of the water,
or rather into it, if you come with hostile intent;
while the Punta stands on the left, with the fort
of Principe to assist in exterminating the daring
invader, On the summit of the rock, the light-
house is placed, with a revolving light which can
be seen at the distance of twenty-five miles. The
entrance between the Moro and Punta castles is
about 1500 yards wide,--its narrowest part about
850 yards. The depth of water is about eight
fathoms. From the Moro, the fortifications of the
Cabanos extend around the semicircle of the bay
to the city, and present a most formidable appear-


ance. Looking into the harbor, the tall shipping
at the wharves, with their slender masts, contrast
with the solid stone buildings, each one of which
presents the appearance of a fortification. In the
beautiful harbor, crowded with ships and steam-
ers, prominent are the Spanish men-of-war, sev-
eral of which we noticed as sixty and eighty
gun ships. They present a handsome appear-
ance, and show their hundreds of guns, poking
their iron mouths out of the port-holes, ready for
Poco d poco we neared the city, and our
steamer steadily pressed on through the crowd of
ships and boats to her usual anchorage, and there
stopped to receive the visits of the Government
officers. The favorite Isabel is always welcome
to the harbor. First, a small steamer brought a
stern-visaged man, in blue frock and gold lace,
who received from the captain a bundle of papers,
after examining which he nodded to him, and
ordered his little steamer back to the shore. Then
an individual in citizen's dress, with the most po-
lite gesticulations, sat under the awning of his
boat and received another bundle of papers, with
the passports; he then took his departure, and a


third official now approached and received the
mails, after which the steps were opened to the
friends of parties on board, runners of hotels, &c,
Quite a difficulty existed in procuring rooms at
the principal hotels, but finally we succeeded at
the Hotel Cubano, kept by Mrs. Brewer, a lady
well known to visitors from the States. Some of
us who had a slight pretension to the Spanish
language, were quite mystified at the distribution
of a card in English:

Num. 80 San Ignacio Street
"In this establishment set as the European
style receives lodgers which will find an splendid
assistance so in eating as in habitation, therefore
the master count with the elements necessary."

We regretted having engaged lodgings, as
being without appetite, we needed an splendid
assistance in eating," which would have been
quite an agreeable acquisition to an invalid.
We were soon surrounded by a crowd of small
boats (guadaios) with awnings, to accommodate
folks to go ashore, but t small steamer came


alongside, to take passengers and trunks, which,
after the transshipment, landed us on the Custom
House wharf, where we came into custody of sol-
diers in seer-suckers, with muskets and sombre-
ros. Our baggage was taken into a long room,
and every trunk and carpet-bag was opened.
The inspection by the officers was not very rigid,
but enough to disarrange their contents, and dis-
turb their smooth packing, if it did not ruffle the
feelings of the ladies. Having passed the ordeal,
each surrendered his passport, and paid $2 for a
permit for thirty days to remain in "the ever
faithful isle."
Our hotel agent took charge of baggage, and
placed us by twos in the queer-looking volante,
which carried us safely to the hotel. Although
often described before, I venture to give you a
description of it. Fancy two shafts fifteen feet
long, with a pair of wheels six feet in diameter,
and a sort of chaise-body capable of holding
three persons at one end, and a pony mounted by
a grown negro in gold or silver livery and long
jack-boots at the other. The ends of the shafts
reach the saddle, and the pony is kept in by long
traces, and two straps over the back. The pos-


million or calesero has huge silver spurs and a long
whip, which, as soon as you are seated, he plies
freely, and away you go on a canter, soon drop-
ping into a pace or trot. The wheels being high
and the body low, with the horse six feet from it,
it seems impossible to turn over, and the motion
is easy and pleasant. You pay twenty cents to
ride to any part of the city, the same for two as
for one. The sight of these long lumbering
vehicles, with the queerly-dressed negro postil-
lion, is very odd, and their name is legion. The
quitrin is a variety of volante, having a movable
instead of a fixed top. The cost of these vehicles
varies from $400 to $800, and even higher, ac-
cording to the mountings, which are often of
silver, and not mere plate. Occasionally you
meet a buggy or carriage-some very handsome-
but they are not numerous.
We were very agreeably surprised to find our
hotel fitted up in handsome style, well carpeted,
and with every accommodation of bedsteads and
mattresses, while many have only cots and sacking
to sleep upon; and we take pleasure in commend-
ing the Hotel Cubano as affording every accom-
modation to the invalid, by the kind and attentive


hostess. The houses are built of stone, Mexican
fashion, with an enclosed area at the entrance
containing a fountain of water. Within the gate-
way or porte cochere, the only entrance you find,
the volante is always kept. As you walk along
the streets, you see the volantes in every large
gate-way; and it is kept with more care, and cer-
tainly much cleaner, than the children of the
family. Most of the houses, especially those in
which shops are kept, are of one story, and the
windows, extending to the ground, are without
glass, and enclosed with long iron rods and bars,
slightly projecting, forming a protection, as well
as giving the opportunity to look out into the
street. Being low to the ground, as you pass you
can see the families within, usually sitting on
rocking-chairs in lines on each side of the win-
dow, facing each other. In the evening the
young ladies, dressed up finely, often take station
at the grating, and receive the compliments of
their friends in passing, many of whom they ar-
rest and bring up to the bar to give an account
of themselves. The ladies seldom go into the
streets, and never alone, it being considered very
indelicate to be without a gentleman-a party of


four or five, however, may walk on the Paseo
without attracting special notice. The American
ladies, though, do as they please, and wear hats,
while the Cuban ladies use only a veil or mantilla
over their heads. Five of the afternoon is the
fashionable hour for the senoras and senoritas to
turn out in their stylish volantes on the Paseo, and
at eight they go to the Plaza de Armas to hear
music. They mostly remain .lolling in their
vehicles, but sometimes they deign to promenade
in the Plaza. The ladies, also, do all their shop-
ping in their volantes, requiring the clerks to
bring out their goods to them.
Our impressions of the people and city will be
contained in our next, current calamo, as an in-
valid has no time to digest descriptions and sen-
tences-he has enough to do to try to digest a diet
which is new to him,



"There's beauty in the deep.-
The wave is bluer than the sky:
And though the light shine bright on high,
More softly do the sea'gems glow,
That sparkle in the depths below;
The rainbow's tints are only made
When on the waters they are laid,
And sun and moon most sweetly shine
Upon the ocean's level brine.
There's beauty in the deep.''

TRnmxDD, (CUBA,) January 27, 1860k
On the arrival of the Isabel, among the visitors
who came aboard, was Col. Wood, the Manager
and Business Director of Donetti's Trained Mon-
keys. He told us that they were doing an im-
mense business, the receipts being about $1,800
per day. He is said to have cleared upwards of
$20,000 by this monkey-show. As we rode up in
the volante from the Custom House, and met
numbers of these queer vehicles, with the huge
negro postillions in fantastic livery, gold and silver


lace, blue and red jackets, with hat-bands of the
same, and large boots with long, huge, silver
spurs on, the latter sometimes on bare heels, we
could not avoid the idea that Donetti might get
large recruits for his show at any turn in the
street. The calesero is a machine-his motions
are mechanical-and you call to him to give di-
rections at starting or in motion, he goes ahead
heeding the notice, but turning his head neither
to the right or left to give any sign of hearing
you. We met numbers of negroes in long blue
coats, trimmed with red and other colored facings
and cuffs, with cocked hats and broad bands upon
their heads, and these, we were told, were dressed
to attend a funeral! In every direction some
ludicrous object presents itself, and really when
the bells for church struck up their tin-panning,
it seemed as if the whole city was a burlesque
affair. Had we arrived three weeks earlier we
would have witnessed the amusing and grotesque
exhibition of el dia de los Reyes, which would
have increased the ludicrous idea. On that day
(6th of January) the several tribes of negroes
have holiday, and choose their kings-they dress
up in every variety of queer and singular cos-


tume and character, and parade the streets in
the enjoyment of their carnival. However, first
impressions are not always the most correct.
The houses, all of stone, with iron bars to the
tall windows, and jail-like looking doors, seem
impregnable fortresses, and impress one in a des-
potic government with the idea of prisons being
a large part of its polity, even in domestic and
social life. These, with the espionage of crowds
of soldiers with swords and muskets, at every
corner, passports for coming or going, and posts
with cannon all around, and the morning and
evening guns of the military rule, give a fair spe-
cimen of a military despotism. No native of the
island holds the most trivial office, or has any
voice in public affairs-judges and magistrates
and officers of all kinds, or their families, and
even the troops, must be from the old country.*
Learning that the national sport of a bull fight
is now only occasional, and that the citizens were
to be entertained this afternoon, in company with
a friend, we determined to attend at the Plaza de

Since this was written, the new Captain General, in a liberal
spirit, has given some minor offices to Cubans.


Toros. There were about a thousand persons
present, though the seats of the circus open above,
could have accommodated ten thousand. There
were not over half a dozen ladies, and a few little
girls in the crowd. At the sound of a trumpet in
the upper gallery, the gates of the arena are
thrown open, and a bull plunges in and runs
around the circle, to all appearance excited by
some means employed before he enters. Now
come a few men in circus rider's costume, with
colored flags, which they shake at him and run
off, the bull sometimes pursuing the flag, and
occasionally the man-who then runs to the side
of the ring and jumps behind a sort of sentry-box,
of which there are a dozen, and he is safe. Two
piqueros (pike men) on miserable tackles with
blinded eyes, follow the bull around, and with
their long pikes endeavor to make him strike at
the horses; but of five bulls which we saw, only
one could be induced to gore the poor wretched
animal before him-two or three times he struck
at the rider, and came near unhorsing him. The
banderilleros (banner men) failing to excite the
bull, then stick into his neck a parcel of barbed
arrows charged with crackers, the explosion of


which is calculated to enrage the worried animal;
and when they stir him up to run after the men
and the flags, great applause arises from the
audience. If the bull cannot be induced to show
fight, as was the case with several, the crowd jeers
at him and calls loudly for him to be driven out.
But when he has been sufficiently chased by the
men with flags, or they have burnt out all their
crackers, the matador comes in with his long
sword, and holding a red flag before his face and
horns, as the bull attempts to pitch at him, he
dexterously thrusts his weapon into his neck, and,
when striking the spinal marrow, the poor beast
falls dead. Out of four that we saw despatched,
the first lunge only killed one, and in several
cases there were four or five attempts before the
bull fell. As soon as he falls, a sort of butcher
comes in with a knife, and gives him the coup de
grace in the spinal marrow, and be dies instantly.
The sport is shockingly cruel, and one in which
the sympathy of the audience ought to be with
the wretched animals. The excitement of the bull
is purely artificial, effected by goading, &c., there
being no savage wildness or native ferocity about
him, and he seems always watching to get out,


until goaded by the pikes or arrows. As soon
as the bull is killed, two men come in, with three
mules covered with ornaments and bells, and they
hitch them to his horns and drag him off at full
speed, to make way for another. They usually kill
six bulls before the cruel entertainment is closed.
A gentleman at our hotel informed us that he
once saw two men and seven horses killed at
one funcion-they were hauled out and the en-
tertainment continued! The show is becoming
less attended, and it is to be hoped will fall into
such disrepute as to be abandoned soon. For-
merly they had them once a week, now only
SThe Valla de Gallos, or public cockpits, are
situated in a large enclosure outside the walls.
They consist of two amphitheatres, with benches
around, a roof overhead, and a circular area in
the middle. We however did not attend a cock-
fight, but for the benefit of our readers copy a
graphic description from Dr. Wurdeman, p. 89.
"To see the cock-pit, one must devote to it the
Sabbath, the chief day for the exhibition. As I
passed along the road to it, I met many mounted
monteros. Each had his long sword hanging


from his side, and a palm-basket under his arm,
from which the head and neck of a game-cock
protruded; the sides being gently pressed to his
body, kept his wings closed, and secured him from
being jolted by the horse's motion. It was al-
ready past twelve, the hour at which the sport
commences, and as I passed through the gate,
where stood a man collecting the entrance-money,
I saw his table covered by the swords of those
who had entered, the carrying any weapon into
the pit being prohibited.
"Surrounding this, standing or seated on the
amphitheatre of benches, a crowd of whites, mu-
lattoes and blacks were assembled; all dressed in
clean attire, and intermingled without distinction
of color. In a box sat three judges, as dignified
as if about to try one of their own species for life
or death; while on the faces of the rest, each
passing emotion of the mind was freely shown.
Indeed, although I had visited all the hells of
Paris-the gilded and licensed, as well as the
obscure cellar in which the lowest did con-
gregate-I had nowhere seen the inmost workings
of the gambler's soul more fully exposed, than in
the features of these spectators. Here, the warm


sons of the South conceal none of the excitement
the game produces; it is only modified by the
temperament and education of each individual.
The native of old Spain, his heart filled with the
most perfect contempt of his creole neighbors,
amid his dignified demeanor, shows by his ges-
tures the interest he feels in the scene before him.
The latter, with no such restraint, expresses his
feelings as they rise, in varied gesticulations and
vociferations; while Afric's dusky son, perhaps
but recently brought out of his native forests,
with all his untamed passions rife within, under
the terrible feelings of the gambler, enacts the
perfect maniac.
"Two birds were brought in, and having been
weighed, their owners carried them around, ban-
tering the spectators for bets, and occasionally
permitting them to peck at each other. The
sight of them, with the suddenness of an electric
shock, seemed to rouse the latent passion in each
bosom, and the place was immediately filled with
tumultuous voices. Cries of offered bets re-
sounded on all sides; una once on the black, una
once;' a shake of the finger from one opposite,
and the bet was accepted, without a word having


been exchanged. Tres onces por la plata;'
'no! dos onces,' answers one, who had only two
doubloons; Tres onces, make it up among your
friends;' and some adding eighths, some quarters,
the sum was completed, and a nod informed the
better that his offer was accepted. Cinco pesos,
cinco pesos por la plata,' 'five dollars on the
silver feathers,' cries a stout black, his body bent
over the railing, his eyes protruded, and arm ex-
tended, shaking his forefinger at each person, to
find one to accept his offer; 'cinco pesos, cinco
pesos,' he vociferates, in gestures and motion a
perfect madman. Close by his side, another
negro, intent on the same object, and anxious lest
his rival should monopolize all the bets, with both
arms extended, strives for the market by the
force of his voice. Opposing banters from the
backers of the other bird, in loud cries, are also
heard, and the mingled voices in a continued din
strike on the pained ear. One is surprised how
accounts are kept, for no money is ever staked,
and no witnesses called. A nod, or a shake of
the finger, is the only pledge given, yet disputes
never arise about it.
"The bets are now taken, the two birds are


pitted, and all but their owners retire without the
enclosure. They commence fighting as soon as
placed on the ground, and the now silent crowd,
with outstretched necks, gaze intently on them.
Not a sound is heard, but the blows given by the
wings of the birds; but a lucky gash from the
spur of one sets all voices again going, and odds
are freely asked and taken. This was repeated
several times, whenever one seemed to gain a
decided advantage, until no doubt remained of
the victor. The betters then looked on listlessly,
as the triumphant bird followed closely his de-
feated adversary, which, now retreating, now
attempting to ward off the blows, faintly and
more faintly returned them, until completely
exhausted he sank down, and unresistingly re-
ceived the continued attacks of the other until
life was extinct. The victor now exulted in loud
crowings over the dead bird, but he was not per-
mitted long to enjoy his triumph; for the owner,
with his mouth filled with aguardiente, squirted
the smarting fluid into his eyes and throat, and
on all his wounds, sucking the whole bleeding
head repeatedly. The combat lasted nearly a
half hour, for gaffs are not used; but no signs of


impatience were exhibited, and but little interest
was taken in the fate of the birds themselves,
independent of that of the bets connected with
At present the Rumsey Troupe of Minstrels,
and the Monkey Show, are dividing with the
Grand Opera and Theatre the attention of the
Havaneros. There is also a large Circus Com-
pany here, for whom were brought over in the
Isabel some thirteen horses, the remains of
Yankee Robinson, who was sold out at Charleston.
The cost of bringing a horse from Charleston to
Havana is $40, and the duty $50, though for
breeding purposes they are passed free.
For two days the raw and disagreeable norther
has made us very uncomfortable, and, accompa-
nied by showers, has confined us to the hotel.
Upon inquiry as to a pleasant retreat in the
country, we find that the hotel of San Antonio
has been abandoned, and that at Guines is a mis-
erable affair, kept by a mulatto, and totally unfit
for invalids. Unless provided with letters to
private gentlemen in the country, the invalid has
no chance of any comfort, or even to find a place
to stop at. By the advice of a friend we deter-


mined to try the climate of the south side of the
island-a longer way off than usually is visited-
that of Trinidad, where there is said to be a
soft, pure air, and pleasant temperature, and
where northers are never felt, and a good hotel
is kept.
At 6 next morning, we found the rail cars
ready to start, a long train, and very much
crowded. Our road branched off at San Felipe,
and at 10 a. m., we arrived at Batabano, a ship-
ping port, on the bay of Broa, some fifty miles
from Havana. The country we passed through
seemed mostly of vegetable gardens, though we
saw groves of cocoa nuts, and fields of pine apples,
with quantities of a species of palmetto. The
stately palm towered above all, and seemed to
shew an aristocratic influence of protection, scat-
tered as it was over the fields.
"Its feathery tufts like plumage rare;
Its stem so high, so strange, so fair."
In some places there were groves of them,
which are much valued, both on account of
the wood for building, and the bark below the
leaves for thatching-most of the farm houses
being covered by it. The fruit, or nuts, called


palmiche, is used for feeding hogs, and is quite
an important article in that relation; a kind of
cabbage is found at the top of the tree, which is
boiled and much relished.
At Batabano we entered a fine large steamer
called Rapido, which goes to Cienfvegos and
Trinidad, arriving at the former at midnight, and
the latter next day to dinner. We had a cool
stateroom, the bottom of the berths being of open
straw, and a blanket the adjunct. A large com-
pany of Spaniards and Creoles occupied the upper
saloon deck with us, and a considerable sprinkling
of Los Yanghees, who are found everywhere.
Breakfast was served at 10- a. m., and consisted
of a very great variety of meats-beef, mutton,
veal, ham, chickens, and fish of various sorts,
cooked in many disguises-and vegetables too
numerous to mention. You could get along very
well if you could find out what you were eating.
Breaded mutton chops made of pork-a very suc-
cessful imitation-were very good, and rice was
properly cooked. Decanters of Catalan wine, or
Spanish claret, were abundant, and Bar8ac, or
Sauterne, at your call without extra charge, and
cafe-fuerte was handed round after the cloth was


removed. The Catalan wine has more body, is a
stronger wine than French claret, and is usually
drank diluted with an equal part of water. It is
less liable to become acid, and agrees better with
dyspeptics. It is universally drank in the island,
and you meet with it every where. While at
table, gentlemen lighted their segars, and were
polite in offering them to strangers. Two of our
ladies got into conversation with a Spanish youth
who spoke English, and asking him some ques-
tions about cigarettes, he presented a paper of
them to one, and refused to receive it again-such
being a custom here, and it is considered ill man-
ners to refuse any thing offered.
We steamed along the southern coast in sight
of land during the whole voyage, and enjoyed a
delightful gentle breeze, very soft and refreshing,
after the ugly norther at Havana. The light pea-
green of the water was very beautiful, and the
loose, distinct clouds floating in the transparent
sky, gave us pleasant ideas of a tropical region.

"It is a goodly sight to see
What Heaven has done for this delicious land!
What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree!
What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand!"


There was a company of soldiers on board-
yellow fellows, with seer-suckers and sombreros,
and marked by red cloth epaulets. They were
lying at ease in the forward part cf the lower
deck, among negroes and fighting cocks and
horses. At along table some were playing monte,
for small sums, with women, imitating the com-
pany in the upper saloon, where publicly the dons
were putting down doubloons on the cards, and
looking as cool and imperturbable when losing as
when winning. Among the employes on board
were several coolies, who seem to be used for
every purpose, and are active and intelligent.
There being no stewardess, the ladies had a coolie
boy as fille de chambre, who seemed to know his
duties. Dinner was similar to breakfast, only
more so-mucho-fuerte-large dishes of meat and
fish, and vegetables in abundance. After dinner,
the dessert consisted of preserves, guava, &c.,
cheese, a sort of pudding, and a variety of nuts;
after which cups were placed at each plate, and
waiters-one with hot cafefuerte, the other with
hot milk-followed each other, to give you the
proportion as you preferred it. Tea is carried up
to the saloon at 9 p. m., but it is a miserable


attempt. During the morning, pitchers of orange-
ade, from sweet oranges, and bora, a sort of beer
and water mixture, sweetened, are placed on the
table for general use.
Our steamer landed at Cienfuegos, at 1 a. m.,
on Thursday, but we remained on board. On
Friday, after a pleasant run alongside the moun-
tains of Trinidad, from Cienfuegos to Trinidad,
we reached the latter place at 31 p. m., having
found a car at Casilda, its port, ready to receive
us, from whence a ride of three miles brought us
to the city, the cleanest we have seen in Cuba.
It is built on the side of the mountain, and beau-
tifully situated.


"To regions where, in spite of sin and woe,
Traces of Eden are still seen below;
Where mountain, river, forest, field and grove,
Remind him of his Maker's power and love."

TREIDAD, January 28, 1860.
Cienfuegos is the most regularly built city in
Cuba, being laid out at right angles. It is situ-
ated on the bay of Jagua, "the finest port in the
world," as the Cubans say, having an area of
fifty-six miles, and a very narrow but deep en-
trance, of course protected by a fort, Los Angeles.
The city has about six thousand inhabitants, a
school, a theatre, and a newspaper. It has wide
streets, and about one thousand houses. The
climate is very salubrious, and there is what is
called a good hotel. It is quite a trading place,
and here we met several more Los Yanghees,
looking after sugar and molasses. It is about two
hundred and twenty miles from Havana. Our
steamer remained several hours, enabling pas-
sengers to visit the city.


A young lady from Philadelphia came in our
steamer, to become a governess at an ingenio, or
sugar plantation, of Mr. H., about sixteen miles
off. He was quite delighted to meet her, but his
countenance fell when he saw her huge trunk.
He said, if there were two smaller ones, he could
carry them on a horse, like panniers, as they do
everything here; but one large heavy trunk could
not be disposed of, as it would require a barrel of
sugar to balance it, and this would be too heavy
a load for a horse. After some difficulty, how-
ever, he found a schooner going within a short
distance of his ingenio, and soon we noticed the
trunk on a pile of sugar hogsheads en route.
Travelers in Cuba, who expect to leave the rail-
road routes, should have such packages as can be
disposed of on horseback, as that is the common
mode of traveling. Mr. H., with true Spanish
politeness, invited us to visit him, but his estate
was too much out of the way, and we returned
to the. apido, for Trinidad, where we arrived to
dinner at 5 p. m.
We have a fine hotel, in usual style, with
quadrangular open area, and marble floors-the
chambers have similar floors, and the cots have


sacking and no mattresses. The house is ad-
mirably situated, overlooking the grand plaza de
armas, which is smoothly paved, and filled with
enclosures of iron railing, containing the most
beautiful flowers. Roses are abundant and in
full bloom, and the banana tree loaded with fruit.
Cocoa-nuts and palms, and a large variety of
beautiful tropical plants, are to us novel and
attractive. On Thursday and Sunday evenings,
the Regimental Band, of seventy performers, dis-
courses delightful music to the senoras and
senoritas, who favor the plaza with 'their pres-
ence. They play several pieces from some fine
opera-last night, from Traviata-then a waltz
and a country dance, the latter grandly stirring,
with the full band, and close with a grand
march, and retire. In all the principal cities and
towns of Cuba, this musical soiree is a public
institution; at Havana, they are held every
evening, amuse the people, and stimulate the
bands to perfect themselves in difficult pieces.
Nothing is more refreshing than to sit in the cool
plaza and enjoy
"Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not."


Invalids bear exposure to the soft night breeze
with little risk of taking cold. We saw no one
with a cold while at Trinidad.
Quite near us is the cathedral, whence the
everlasting bells are constantly pealing forth.
Day-dawn is ushered in with a sort of Fourth of
July rapidity of chime, which awakens all new
comers in the neighborhood, and every now and
then they burst out with vehemence and beat
furiously. This morning they poured forth so
long and rapidly, that at 6 o'clock we walked out
into our piazza, and found a constant succession
of females, white and black, going to matins.
They all wear shawls and veils, or mantillas,
with which the bonnetless head is covered-the
ladies every variety of lace, and the blacks what-
ever they can get. Among the passers were the
young girls of a convent school, in white, hoop-
less, with white mantillas, and those of an
ordinary school, in every variety of costume,
some very rich, and most of them with fashion-
able crinoline. On their return they passed
through the plaza, and the sight of the little
girls, with richly variegated shawls, among the
flowers, was very striking. At eight we went to


the Cathedral, and there found a large crowd of
ladies, with few men, but many black females, at
mass. The devout behavior of the congre-
gation, the rich tones of the organ, with the
occasional intermission for the priest, and the
chant following, were very impressive. When
the service was concluded, the ladies came out,
most of them followed by a, boy or girl, with
their mat and chair, which are always carried to
the church, there being no seats on the marble
floor. In this Cathedral is a picture of Christ
bearing the cross-which is truly fine.
Trinidad is a beautiful city, built on the side
near the base of Mount Vijia-forming quite
an amphitheatre. It contains sixteen thousand
inhabitants, and two thousand five hundred
houses-built in the same style as those of
Havana-of stone, with bow windows, protected
by iron rods and bars, though we observed many
with the grating of wood. Glass windows are
scarcely known even in the cities. The rooms
are 16 to 20 feet high, and full of large doors
and windows, while the floors are of marble or
In 1852, the number of deaths was only


354, while there were 834 births, and 79 mar-
riages. It is a very healthy place, no doubt
owing much to its great cleanliness, though
seldom swept but by rains, and its slope prevent-
ing any accumulation of water. Upon inquiry,
we learn that the yellow fever in Summer is rare
and slight. The atmosphere is soft and balmy,
and very grateful to lungs that have been op-
pressed by the cold air of the North. The air is
so genial and pleasant, and the temperature
moderate, that we are surprised at there being so
few invalids here. The hotel keepers in Havana
are interested in preventing it, by informing
visitors that Havana is a fair specimen of the
climate of Cuba, which is a mistake. About
three years ago, there were many from our
Northern States.
The only house kept here is capable of being
made a fine one, but at present there is no female
chamber-maid in it, and the fare is not as well
cooked as we would desire, but considered very
fine for Cuba. To-day we dined well on lamb
and green peas. One, however, can get eggs
and rice, bread and potatoes, and will find green
peas, corn, fried plantains, salsify and many


other eatable vegetables-the meats are usually
too highly seasoned, and cooked with Spanish
oil; and when you rise you have cafe sin leche,
pure; but at breakfast you have cafe au lait,
which is always good; after dinner it is
given without milk. Fried plantains are very
nice, and one may breakfast on them freely-
they are very like our sweet potato when so
cooked. Fruit is delightful, and oranges, ba-
nanas, guanavana, mamelles and cocoa-nuts
abundant; as yet we have seen no others. The
city is badly supplied with water, though they
have it raised by an engine, but most of it is
brought in jugs from the country, four of two
gallons each on horseback, at about a cent a
gallon; while fine springs of cool water are abun-
dant in the mountains within a mile, needing
only pipes and a reservoir to supply it abun-
dantly. The people of Cuba, however, are inert
and destitute of enterprise-caring for nothing
but making money and spending it. The water
however (limestone) is very good.
We see here, as in Havana, immense moving
masses of green corn fodder, stalk and blades, in
the street, looking like a stack in motion; upon


nearing them, however, you discover a pony's
head sticking out in front, and find him loaded
with some 250 or 300 pounds, of what supplies
daily food to all the horses and mules in the
city-Maloja-which is dealt out in bundles by
the Malojero. Vegetables and country produce,
fruit and sugar-cane, and even beef and meats
and coal, are brought on horses in panniers-so
heavily loading the poor creatures that they
walk as if foundered in the fore-legs; in addition
to the heavy load, a big negro surmounting it.
By the kind aid of Wm. Sidney Smith, Esq.,
British Vice Consul, so well known from his
sympathy with the ill-fated Lopez party, we
visited the magnificent residence of old Mr.
Baker, who, a native of Philadelphia,* has lived
sixty years here. It is a most elegant establish-
ment, built in the usual style of Spanish houses,
marble and mahogany being the chief materials

Sir John Becker, excellentissimo, has since died. In
consequence of constant infringement on his estates by his
neighbors, he purchased a title from the Spanish Government,
which gave him the privilege of transferring to Spain any litiga-
tion which he had, where his chances of redress were better
than in his location. He leaves some $4,000,000 worth of
property to be contested for by two sets of children.


in its construction. The apartments are nume-
rous and elegantly finished, many of the best
workmen from Europe and the United States
having been employed on it. The drawing-room
and ante-room are paved in mosaic, of pieces the
size of a ten cent piece, which occupied six years
in polishing down to the proper level. Even
the open area is paved with marble, as well as
the piazza around it, in the second story. The
house is elegantly furnished, and cost $400,000,
but like the buildings generally, is filthy in the
extreme, and looks as if it had not been cleaned
in many years. It is mournful to see such
neglect-but these people have great ideas of
building fine houses, and when built, they are
left to take care of themselves. They are as
inert as they can be, and the servants are much
worse. As we entered the port cochere, or
vestibule, we met some of the small children,
in their usual costume, a pair of red shoes, and
nothing else. One of them, about three years
old, came up and shook hands with my friend,
and walked up stairs and took the hand of a
grown sister, conversing with us, who seemed to
consider him all right, and this in a magnificent


establishment of one of the richest men in the
island! In the streets, at every turn, you meet
nurses with children in similar costume. Water
is considered dangerous in this climate, hence
children are seldom washed, and ladies use a
towel with aguardiente to rub their faces and
necks with. If you ask in the country for a
basin of water to wash your hands, they bring it
warm, and with it a bottle of aguardiente, which
is very cheap, costing about five cents.
We have in our hotel a distinguished photo-
graphist from New York, who has an elegant
establishment in Broadway. He says the diffi-
culties between the North and South have
affected every branch of business so much, that
he has been forced to come to Cuba for some-
thing to do. He made a lucky hit in taking the
Captain General and his beautiful lady, and he
is "going ahead" furiously. He has a room in
Havana, another here, and has just sent two of
his men to open one at Cienfuegos. He has five
artists finishing up his pictures at this place, and
subjects are coming in rapidly. Colored photo-
graphs have never been taken here before, and
the population being a rich one, our friend will


draw a crowd, and while drawing them out, will
draw in the once, which are abundant among
the wealthy creoles. We dropped in to-day at
his room and found him taking the newly arrived
Governor of this department, who was in full
rig. The pictures of life size are very fine, but
would be to us dolorously dear at ten ounces.
The officials have been "considerably exer-
cised," in the last few days, at a reported victory
of the Spanish army over the Moors, at Tetuan,
and as they take every opportunity of magnify-
ing the prowess of their great and invincible
Government, the Governor authorized a brilliant
demonstration at the theatre, last evening, in
honor of the victory. Everybody had to go to
show loyalty, hence the house was crowded.
The Keller Troupe entertained the company with
their superb tableaux vivants, and being close
by, we ventured to look in upon Columbus
Landing in Cuba, but the crowded house and
densely suffocating smoke of segars gave us but
little time to do more than notice the magnifi-
cent dresses of the senoras and senoritas, beyond
anything we have seen elsewhere. The lustrous
eyes, exquisitely penciled eye-brows in the


beautiful foreheads, and the well formed busts,
are very marked in the Spanish ladies. Their
complexions are olive without any tinge of red-
their stature fine models, and their hair jet black
and exquisitely luxuriant, but we saw no really
beautiful women among them. In the last act,
when the attack upon the Moors was signalized,
there were fifty soldiers on the stage, besides the
acting troupe, and we learn that the cheering
was immense, in proportion to the greatness of
the achievement of Spanish valor. It is well
the celebration took place before the full ac-
counts of the battle are received, as it is proba-
ble the success of the Spanish army is only in
the Government paper.
A subscription has just been started in sup-
port of the war, headed by the Captain General
with $4,000, of his salary of $50,000. His
pickings, however, will soon make it up. If
rumor be true that Concha received an ounce
($17) for each negro landed last year, that alone
yielded $680,000.
Everybody is required to subscribe, as appears
by the following circular issued by the Governor


of Matanzas, a copy of which we accidentally

"Political Administration and Presidency of
the Council and Committee for Subscriptions
and Means for the War in Africa.
"The illustrious Council of this city, and Com-
mittee for Subscriptions and Means for the War
in Africa, established in this city by decree of
the Supreme Government of the Island, have
directed themselves to you, through me, with
the sweet confidence that is inspired by a loyal
and enlightened people, who has never failed to
show its patriotic ardor and its enthusiasm for
all that is noble and worthy.
"The Spanish Nation, to whom you belong,
descended of the same race of men who twice,
by their resistance to the advance of the Moslem,
have proved the bulwark of civilization and of
christianity in Europe, embraced with the sacred
desire of maintaining that honor, which animated
it amidst the smoking ruins of Zaragossa and
those of Saguntus two thousand years before-'


and of which the love burns brightly in the
bosom of its sons-has embraced fervently the
occasion to offer to her Majesty's Government
resources to prosecute the war waged against
the empire of Morocco to obtain the redress of
repeated insults to the national honor.
"Inhabitants of Matanzas, the citizens of the
capital of this rich and fertile Antilla, have
emulously come forward with funds to second
the noble impulse, the generous and ardent
patriotism of our brethren in the Peninsula, and
certainly you will not be the last to follow this
glorious example, thus giving positive proof of
your spirit of nationality and of the ardent
desire you have, of contributing your share of
the expenses of the bloody struggle already
commenced by our valiant army, which, under
the guidance of experienced and renowned
chiefs, must obtain the triumph inseparable of
all great and just causes.
"The Governor, President of the Council.
"MATAIzAs, 23d of January, 1860."


This address, with an accompanying printed
circular, is forwarded to every inhabitant per-
sonally; fixing the amount of subscription equal
to the yearly tax paid by each one, with as much
more added as the ardent patriotism of each
may suggest. The amount of thepositive proof,
in gold and silver, with any remarks one wishes
to make, is written in the margin of the circular,
which is to be returned, thus preventing mistakes
which otherwise might occur. Mostly do we
admire the forethought with which, fearing the
Cubanos might possibly, in their ardor for their
mother-land, be tempted to ruin themselves, the
sagacious Council has kindly fixed the amount
of their subscription. Please, gentlemen, walk
up to the Captain's office and settle!
Fiestas are frequent; three days of the last
week having been celebrated in honor of some
saint. We attended one at a neat little chapel,
on a hill, approached by a hundred feet of ter-
races. On each side of the way were seats of
masonry, filled with the crowd of ladies mostly.
Two priests passed, with long segars in their
mouths, and we followed to the door of the


church, as it was filled. The altar was beauti-
fully illuminated with hundreds of candles, and
soon the priests commenced a chant; .after
every few sentences, the fine orchestral band
struck up, and played long pieces of exquisite
music, occasionally assisted by the voices of
many boys. The chief service was this fine
music, excepting that whenever it ceased, the
three bells were rung with great vehemence.
As the service was closed, the band struck up
a lively tune, very like a country dance, and
the people retired, amidst the firing of crackers
and fire-works. Next day was another holiday,
and the tongues of the bells were in motion all
In reply to an enquiry of a Cuban friend, as
to the name of this chapel, he writes:
"The name of the 'church' is Nuestra Senora
de la Candelaria de la Popa! 'Popa' signifies
stern, and as Nuestra Senora, &c., is located on
such a commanding position in the rear of the
town, you will perceive that it is by no means
inappropriately named. Of course you are
aware that we have a Saint for every day in the


calendar, and sometimes half-a-dozen; at Havana,
they have instituted two new ones, which are
unknown elsewhere. In the church of St.
Augustine there are two Virgin Marys, one is
white, the other is of a mulatto color. At
Regla, the Madonna is black-once a year the
latter is carried in state through the town,
attended by the Admiral and all the officers of
the fleet, which is placed under her especial
protection. Her last appearance was extremely
grand; she wore a tunic of very rich silver
brocade, trimmed with white ostrich feathers,
her train was of crimson velvet, edged with gold
lace, whilst her brow was enriched by a magni-
ficent tiara of pearls and diamonds, which pro-
duced a very brilliant effect as they glistened in
the sun; the tout ensemble would have been
really elegant, but for her crinoline, which had
been so carelessly put on as to cause people to
make remarks! Amidst the roar of cannon from
the Spanish ships-of-war, at anchor in the harbor,
the enlivening strains of military music, and
attended by the elite of the city, with an escort
of half a regiment of soldiers, her black Saint-


ship was promenaded through the streets of the
city, which were strewn with branches of palm
leaves, of flowers, and filled with thousands of
kneeling devotees, dressed in their gayest ap-
Cock-fights are here as popular as in Havana,
and as frequent.



"The breath of ocean wanders thro' their vales,
In morning breezes and in evening gales.
Earth from her lap perennial verdure pours,
Ambrosial fruits and amarynthine flowers.
Over wild mountains and luxuriant plains,
Nature in all the pomp of beauty reigns."

TRNmDAD DE CUBA, February 4, 1860.
The country around Trinidad presents as beau-
tiful scenery as can be found on the island.
Less than a mile from the city, is the country-
seat, or quinta, or Senor Justo Cantero, one
of the wealthiest citizens, who owns sugar
estates, ingenious, and much property in the city.
His excellent lady is widely known for her
extensive charities to the poor. We procured a
volante for a ride before breakfast, and visited
this picturesque residence. The entrance is
through an immense iron gate, and the avenue
is lined with the stately palm and alame, alter-
nating. The house is a modification of a city


house-a sort of cottage ornee, with a large
veranda 'in front. At the back, the whole
extent to the river, some sixty or seventy yards,
is covered by immense bamboos, planted at the
sides and meeting above, which, with their
leaves, shade the surface, where a table remains,
at which 380 persons recently dined with the
Captain General. The house is handsomely fur-
nished, and one of the rooms-fitted up for the
Condesa Serrano, the beautiful wife of the Cap-
tain General-has the ornamental artificial roses
still all over its walls. Several well-executed oil
paintings, of the proprietor's ingenious, are hang-
ing in the parlor, with a number of beautiful
colored engravings in other rooms and out in
the veranda. The garden is filled with every
variety of tree of the island-the immense
ceyba, the beautiful mango, filled with small
fruit, the almond tree, lignum vitae, with quanti-
ties of cocoa-nuts, palms and oranges. The rich
banana and the fragrant pine apple attract your
notice, with flowers of every description in full
bloom. At a short distance from the house, a
small river runs, of water as clear as crystal,


about four feet deep, and you descend to it by
stone steps from the bathing-house on the bank-
the whole shaded by the immense bamboos,
previously noticed. So cool and delightful a
retreat from the sun has advantages and attrac-
tions in this climate that render it a most grate-
ful refuge. The garden is in bad order, and
seems not to be as properly cared for as it should
be, and the roses and plants are destroyed most
extensively by a large red ant, (bibe agua,) which
we saw in myriads. The orange trees are also
suffering seriously from the ravages of an insect
which is ruining them. Among the trees, we
were shown that which produces the forbidden
fruit, Toronja, and had fine specimens of the
fruit, which is not much valued, though when
fresh it is juicy and pleasant. Beautiful walks
among the various groves, are ornamented with
jets d'eaux and fountains, handsomely arranged,
and shell grottoes are met in the densely shaded
"Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,
Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind,
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste."


Having amused ourselves sufficiently in this
fine retreat, we entered the volante and drove
about two miles to the quinta of a brother
of Senor Cantero. Here we found another
pretty place, with bathing-house and stream,
and groves of fine trees and flowers in bloom.
The Senora very kindly showed us around, and
when about to leave, she sent her son with two
large goblets to a cow tied not far off, and he
filled them in our presence with fresh milk,
which he promptly presented, smoking and foam-
ing. Having bid adios and mil garcias, we
resumed our vehicle and returned to the city, in
time for breakfast at the usual hour of 10J a. m.
We did not mention the custom in Havana
and other cities of driving the cow around to
serve customers with pure milk taken from her
at their doors. It strikes strangers very oddly
to see it in the streets.
We walk usually before breakfast and after
dinner, and lie about the marble halls during the
day, reading, writing, and enjoying bananas and
oranges, with the sweet breeze, which is seldom
absent. The climate disposes to 8iesta8, which


come in generally about 1 o'clock, as dinner is
not ready until 5 o'clock.
Ballou, in a Cuban reverie, says:
"There seems to be, at times, a strange nar-
cotic influence in the atmosphere of the island,
more especially inland, where the visitor is par-
tially or wholly removed from the winds that
usually blow from the Gulf in the after part of
the day. So potent has the writer felt this
influence, that at first it was supposed to be the
effect of some powerful plant that might abound
upon the plantations; but careful enquiry satis-
fied him that this dreamy somnolence, this
delightful sense of ease and indolent luxuriance
of feeling, was solely attributable to the natural
effect of the soft climate of Cuba. By gently
yielding to this influence, one seems to dream
while waking; and while the sense of hearing
is diminished, that of the olfactories appears to
be increased, and pleasurable odors float upon
every passing zephyr. One feels at peace with
all nature, and a sense of voluptuous ease over-
spreads the body."
This afternoon, we walked to the cemetery,


which is now a neat grave yard, within brick
and plastered walls, with quite a pretty little
chapel for religious services. The enclosure is
partly occupied with vaults, about seven feet by
five, ten feet deep, and covered by a heavy
marble slab, with rings, with the name of the
owner upon it. They are very close together,
and in them coffins are placed, one upon another.
The remainder of the yard is used for graves of
those who cannot afford a vault. Bodies are
buried about three feet deep, and usually without
a coffin. They are allowed to remain nine
months, when the bones are taken up to make
way for others, and are thrown into an enclosure
in a corner-a sort of Golgotha-which we saw
filled with skulls and bones. The cemetery was
much neglected, and a miserable place, until the
worthy English Consul, W. Sidney Smith, Esq.,
took up the work of reformation, and by his
influence induced some attention to the care of
the dead, and to him is due the chapel and the
enclosing brick wall. The space being neces-
sarily limited, however, and no burials allowed
elsewhere, the disgusting practice of removing
the bones is constantly required.


We have been much struck with the number
of blind persons we meet in the street, and find
that inflammation of the eyes runs its course very
rapidly in this climate. The practice of painting
the houses yellow, blue and green is said to
have arisen from the unpleasant effect of the
glare from white, which is now always avoided.
The curious variety of colors often seen on a
house, makes a very odd appearance, while it is,
however, very picturesque. Some of the streets
have fine trees along the side-walks, but it is not
general, as it should be in such a climate.



"Hast thou e'er seen a garden clad
In all the robes that Eden had,
Or vale o'erspread with streams and trees,
A Paradise of mysteries ;
Plains with green hills adorning them,
Like jewels in a diadem?"

TREIDmAD DE CUBA, February 6, 1860.
The climate of Havana is not suitable for
invalids from the North. In addition to the
numerous causes of excitement in that gay city,
the northers are very distressing to the lungs,
and the charge of $4 per day to the pocket.
Persons in ill health should seek the country air,
and on the south side of the island, where
northers are not felt. The difficulty of procuring
accommodation is very great; at San Antonio,
the hotel is closed; at Guines, it is a miserable
affair; at Cardenas, tolerable; at Sagua la
Grande, there is no house of entertainment.
Trinidad is somewhat distant from Havana,
but you go in less than two days, being one night


in a first-rate steamer, with good state-rooms, and
a very fair table. You leave by the railroad on
Wednesday morning, at six o'clock, and reach
Batabano at ten, where you embark in the fine
steamer Rapido, formerly an East River packet.
Next day at 3 p. m. you reach Trinidad. The
city is beautifully situated on the side of a
mountain, and seldom without a delightful
breeze. The temperature is equable, and varies
from '73 to 800. An engineer on the railroad
here gave me the following record: December 3,
73; December 4, 73; December 10, 73; De-
cember 11, 700; December 18, 670-the coldest
day this winter. The sea is in front and the
mountains in the rear of the city-the slope
being nearly 400 feet to the sea; hence you have
either a mountain air or the sea breeze, which is
soft and genial, bearing on its bosom a delicious
languor, which we suppose is the dolcefar niente
of the poet. Its soothing influence upon an
irritable system does more than medicine, be-
cause its medication is combined with lightness
of atmosphere, containing a reduced amount of
oxygen for the combustion which wears out life
in such cases.


The Hotel de la Grande Antilla, the only one
here, is now, since the 1st inst., in the hands of
NMons. Bernard, who had the reputation of
keeping one of the finest houses in Havana. He
has a cook of great celebrity, and the table is
excellently served and attended. There are some
privations in the house to Northern habits, but
the host seems very desirous to have everything
arranged to the satisfaction of his guests.
Trinidad is the cleanest city we have seen,
being paved, and washed by every rain. It is
entirely free from dust, and is remarkably quiet,
except that the bells of the cathedral and
churches remind one constantly of their services.
On two evenings of the week, the military band
plays, in the plazas, delightful music from the
best operas; and there is always some amuse-
ment or other at the theatre for those who can
enjoy them. Country seats or sugar plantations
in the neighborhood may be visited, and the
beautiful vegetation of the island seen to great
advantage. To those who prefer the entire quiet
of the country, an opportunity exists for accom-
modation at a quinta, two miles from town,
which has just been rented to Mr. Cascelles for


a house for visitors. It is in a beautiful neigh-
borhood, and has the luxury of a fine bath-house.
On the whole, we know no more desirable a
place for invalids to pass the cold months; and
finding great benefit and pleasure in its gentle
breezes and agreeable temperature, we cordially
recommend it to our friends who may visit
Having been deeply impressed with the equa-
bility and mild temperature of Trinidad, we
sought anxiously for recorded information of its
thermometrical character, and were fortunate in
meeting an old class-mate who pursued his
medical studies in Philadelphia, and has for
thirty years been a resident practitioner in Trini-
dad. He very kindly has furnished the follow-
ing most valuable memorandum, supplying the

Of the Meteorological observations made at Trinidad
of Cuba, lat. n. 210 42' 30"; long. w. of Greenwich,
800 2' 30"; about three miles from the coast, at a
height, over the level of the sea, between 180 and 360
Thermomctrical observations, two daily, at about sun-


rise, and at half-past two o'clock, p. m. A series of 13
Barometrical observations, two daily, at about sunrise,
and at ten o'clock, a. m. A series of 7 years.
The observations of the fall of rain are of a series of
11 years.
The observations of windy, rainy days, and days of
thunder, a series of 13 years.

Thermometer, Fahrenheit.

Mean heat of the 13 years...............................80.1
Maximum .................................................92
Minimum, only once... ....................................56
Mean at sunrise.........................................77.1
Mean at half-past 2 o'clock, p. mi............. .......83.2

Mean, Maximum and Minimum, per month.
Months Mean. Maximum. Minimum.
January............... ... 75.1 ...... 87 ...... 56
February........... ....... 75.7 ...... 86 ...... 58
March...................... 78.1 ...... 86 ..... 62
April ...................... 80.0 ...... 90 ...... 64
May ........................ 82.2 ...... 91 ...... 72
June...................... 83.1 ...... 91 ...... 74
July........ ............... 83.7 ...... 92 ...... 75
August.................... 83.9 ...... 92 ...... 78
September ................ 83.2 ...... 90 ..... 74
October..................... 81.2 ...... 91 ...... 68
November................. 78.7 ...... 88 ...... 66
December.................. 76.2 ...... 87 ...... 60


The greatest fall of temperature that I have observed
was on the 16th August, 1844, between 2 and 3 o'clock,
p. m., during a hail-storm. The thermometer from
88, Fahrenheit, fell to 76, but rose again immediately.

Mean of 7 years............. ........................ 29.683
Maximum .............................................29.993
Minimum ............... ...............................29.409
Mean at sunrise.......................................29.662
Mean at 10 o'clock, a. m..............................29.704

Mean, Maximum and Minimum, per month.
Months. Mean. Maximum. Minimum
January.................... 29.759 ... 29.953 ... 29.617
February.................. 29.764 ... 29.985 ... 29.512
March...... ............ 29.732 ... 29.945 ... 29.522
April....................... 29.704 ... 29.914 ... 29.546
May.. ...................... 29.668 ... 29.783 ... 29.515
June........................ 29.683 ... 29.833 ... 29.569
July........................ 29.708 ... 29.869 ... 29.567
August..................... 29.693 ... 29.859 ... 29.409
September.................. 29.651 ... 29.865 ... 29.480
October................... 29.630 ... 29.843 ... 29.506
November ................ 29.675 ... 29.890 ... 29.452
December .............. 29.749 ... 29.993 ... 29.594

Mean of a year in 11 years.................48.06 inches.
Maximum of a year...........................70.40 "
Minimum of a year...........................37.08 "


Mean, Maximum and Minimum, per month.
Months. Mean. Maximum. Minimum.
January ........... ........ 0.951 ... 3.696 ... 0.043
February..................... 1.197 ... 4.005 ... 0.002
March......................... 1.738 ... 7.826 ... 0.012
April......................... 2.033 ... 4.059 ... 0.007
May......................... 4.846 ... 11.295 ... 1.942
June ........................ 7.382 ... 13.593 ... 1.829
July.......................... 4.969 ... 7.175 ... 2.040
August...... ................. 7.787 ... 20.067 ... 3.231
September.. .................. 7.261 ... 16.766 ... 3.030
October ...................... 6.905 ... 14.915 ... 3.019
November.................... 2.397 ... 8.817 ... 0.190
December.................. 0.602 ... 2.015 ... 0.000

The greatest fall of rain I ever saw, was on the 15th
July, 1850. In 45 minutes it fell 3.295 inches.
The other falls of consideration were:

June 29th, 1849, in 45 minutes.............1.953 inches.
August 21st, 1850, in 18 hours ............4.658 "
June 20th, 1851, in 24 hours................5.399 "
August 20th, 1851, in 24 hours...........8.391 "
October 5th, 1851, in 9 hours................4.590 "
November 18th, 1852, in 24 hours..........5.741 -'
August 30th, 1853, in 24 hours...........5.908 "
January 1st, 1854, in 6 hours...............2.749 "


In the 13 years it rained 1,575 days, and it thun-
dered 1,183 days-of these numbers correspond to-

Days of Rain.

February... ....55

January......... 7
February....... 6
April. .........44


Days of Thunder.

May ........107

October .....188
November... 78
December... 53

November... 14
December.... 6

The maximum number of days of rain in one month,
23; of thunder, 25.
During 13 years the following winds blew fixedly for
24 or more hours:


Months. N.
January........ 29
February...... 19
March.......... 12
April........... 0
May........... 0
June.......... 0
July........... 2
August......... 0
September.... 3

N. E. .
163 ...... 0
111 ...... 4

. E. W.

...... 1
..... 0
...... 0
...... 2
...... 2
...... 2
...... 1
...... 2
...... 2



Months. N. N.E. S. E. W.
October........ 20 ...... 78 ...... 11 ...... 7 ...... 8
November..... 40 ...... 123 ...... 3 ...... 2 ...... 3
December..... 57 ...... 169 ...... 1 ...... 0 ...... 1

The 13 years contain 4,748 days. Out of this num-
ber 45 were not observed.
1,150 is the sum of days of fixed winds.
3,553, the wind has made a round in every 24 hours,
approximately in the following proportions:
Between the north and east, 14 hours; east and
south, 3 hours; south and west, 5 hours; dead calm, 2
During the same period'of 13 years I have been able
to observe the upper currents the following times:

North above, south below.................. 1

North-east south-west "



............... ...... 4
..................... 9
..................... 2
..................... 14
..................... 5

............ ......... 10
..................... 5
......... ............. 6
..................... 20
......... ............ 6
...................... 9
..................... 3
............ ......... 3


West above, north below.................... 3
West north-east ................... 18
W est south .................... 3

TRINIDAD, April 19th, 1860.

This record is particularly valuable for inva-
lids, showing both equability of temperature and
uniformity of atmosphere in dryness during the
months most adapted for their residence here.
The salubrity of Trinidad, as a winter residence,
is comparable with that of any climate in the
Dr. Finlay, of Havana, gives the mean tem-
perature of the hottest months, July and August,
as 800 to 830.
As a contrast to the summary of the tempera-
ture of Trinidad, we give the following from the
last (seventeenth) Registration Report of Massa-
chusetts as the temperature of Boston, as a
Northern climate.
Medical men and invalids can make their own
deductions from the data here given, as to the
importance of change of residence in many
diseases from a Northern climate, so cold and


inhospitable to feeble lungs and shattered ner-
vous systems.

Table exhibiting the Mean Temperature of the Air
in Boston, in periods of ten years, during the last
thirty-five years; by Robert Treat Paine, Esq., of

March .......
July .........
October .....

1825-34 1835-44
27.32 .. 27.39
29.32 .. 26.73
37.16 .. 35.16
46.87 .. 46.07
57.34 .. 56.12
66.31 .. 65.79
71.52 .. 71.60
69.43 .. 69.15
62.13 .. 61.86
52.28 .. 50.32
41.06 .. 38.90
31.86 .. 29.52

Mean temperature of the whole year, in thirty-five
years, 49.06.


.. 27.28
.. 28.32
.. 35.00
.. 44.99
.. 54.33
.. 65.32
.. 71.01
.. 67.87
.. 62.52
.. 52.42
.. 42.19
.. 31.51

35 years



"I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul! "

TRINIDAD DE CUBA, February11, 1860.
We have said much of the delightful air and
temperature of this place-the pure, soft, fresh air
from the sea, which we have almost constantly-
the thermometer varying from 730 to 80.
Dr. Urquiola, a physician of high character,
whose registry of the thermometer is given,
informed us that the coldest day, in thirty years'
experience, was in 1842, when once the ther-
mometer stood at 560. The nights now are cool,
and thick coats are needed in early morning for
comfort. The invalid who comes here will be
repaid in breath, if the fare is not so agreeable.
There are, however, all our vegetables, and many
others, and they are present at all times. It is a
great fish market; yet, strange to say, no one but
licensed fishermen are allowed to fish-the poor,


who could live upon fish, are not allowed to
catch them, and a single individual bought from
Government the monopoly of the market at Ha-
vana-he requiring all licensed fishermen to
bring every thing they catch to him. This is
a protective tariff, the most odious we ever
heard of.
The incessant tolling and ringing of bells re-
mind us of the constant occupation of the priests.
Night before last, we heard the sound of music
approaching from a distance, and learning that it
was the procession of the Host, we went to see it.
It being for a wealthy colored person, some hun-
dred negroes, each with a glass lantern, in double
file and open order, marched along the street, and
at the rear of the procession was a volante, con-
taining the padre, followed by a band of music.
He had been to administer the last sacred rite of
the Oleo," to a dying man, and was returning to
the church. As the procession passes, every one
in the street kneels, and every house-keeper at
night puts a lighted candle at her door. Just as
we are writing, six strokes of the cathedral bell,
twice repeated, announce the departure of the


dead flom this life-for a female five is the
allotted number.
We have heard many stories of robberies and
murders on the island, which are less frequent
than formerly, though in Havana and its neigh-
borhood there is danger in being out late at
night and alone. A friend has favored us with
the translation of the confession of a robber, a
few years since, which was given to him by the
priest who attended him. It has never been
published before, and is so fearful a record of
crime that we think it worth recording:

-, Francis Xavier Lazo, aged 23, was consigned
to the criminal ward of the Hospital San Juan
de Dios, in Havana, to receive surgical aid for a
severe musket shot wound in the shoulder. A
few nights after his arrival in the hospital, he was
supposed to be dying, and a priest was hastily
summoned, to administer the Oleo,' according
to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church; but
on feeling the prisoner's pulse, the priest declared
that the man was under the influence of some
narcotic, and proper remedies being used by a


physician, the priest's opinion was fully con-
firmed. On removing Lazo to another bed, a
letter, addressed to the Captain General, was
found under his pillow, written just previous to
his taking the dose of laudanum, with which he
had intended to kill himself. It may be doubted
if the annals of crime bear record of greater
atrocities having been committed by any single
individual than those confessed by Lazo in the
following paper:
" To His Excellency the Captain General.
"SIR: Being on the point of death, I desire to
make known to your Excellency the guilty acts
which I have committed in this island, in order
that the individuals now in prison, under sus-
picion of being the authors of these crimes
perpetrated by myself, may not suffer unjustly,
and also that by making a full confession of my
misdeeds, I may be somewhat relieved of the
load of sin which oppresses my soul:
"1st. I was imprisoned in the city of Cuba for
a robbery committed in the town of Buaymo,
where I stole some articles of great value, for
which I was confined in a cell, from whence I
made my escape to Puerto Principe, where, in


company with a colored man named Joaquin, I
broke into a jeweler's store, and carried away an
entire case of jewelry. It was taken from me,
on the road to las Funas, by a Commissary of
Police, from whom I made my escape, but soon
afterwards returned and robbed the same police
officer. In Sancti Espiritu, I committed a similar
robbery of jewelry, and the same night broke
into two other stores.
"I then went to Trinidad, and broke into the
house of an Englishman, and took about $4,000
worth of jewelry and property. I was arrested
upon suspicion, but made my escape, leaving in
the hands of the authorities a trunk of clothes
and a pass, which I obtained from the alcalde of
Sancti Espiritu, under the assumed name of
Prudencio Belet. In Matanzas, I robbed several
houses, from one of which I took an immense
amount of jewelry, but being pursued, I threw
the greater part away, behind the jail. I suc-
ceeded in escaping, but soon returned to that
city, where I perpetrated many atrocities. In
the village of Guanagos, I broke into the house
of a Viscaino, from whom I took a large sum of
money and other effects.


"In the village of Guanabacoa, I committed
great excesses, and first among the number I
killed a man on the hill called 'Joaquin.' I
also killed a Commissary of Police named Mar-
tinez, and a Lieut. de Taraco. In the city of
Havana, in Andrade street, I murdered a police
officer named Maranto and his wife. I had been
sometime contemplating this crime, inasmuch as
that Maranto was the most energetic police officer
in the service of the Government, and the one
who had been most active in his pursuit of me;
but as he lived in an upper story, it was difficult
to get at him; however, I availed myself of a
frightful thunder-storm, with wind and rain, and
with a ladder and instruments for forcing the
windows, at midnight, I proceeded to the resi-
dence of Maranto and soon accomplished my
purpose. I killed him and his wife as they lay
in bed. The same night and in the same street,
I killed an old man; and the next morning, I
went to look at the body, as it lay stretched out
at the gate of the jail for recognition. A day or
two after, early in the morning, I killed a
Frenchman in Campanilla street, outside the
walls of the city. Near to the factory, (now the


Hospital Militar,) and also in the vicinity of the
Barracoons, I have perpetrated great atrocities of
the above nature.
"Near Matanzas, towards dark, at a place
called Ojo de Aqua, I met a man, from whom I
took a watch and a large sum of money, and
then murdered him. On the road to La Mocha,
I met a gentleman and lady, whom I ordered to
stop; the gentleman made a move as if about to
draw a pistol; but before he had time to use it, I
shot him dead with my musket. I dragged the
body into the bush; and after forcing the lady, I
killed her also, to prevent discovery. I then fled
from Matanzas, as a large reward was offered by
the authorities, to take me dead or alive.
"I then went to San Antonio, where I perpe-
trated various excesses. Returning again to
Havana, I broke into the house of the Captain of
Artillery, Don Jose Solear, and carried off a
large sum of money. I remained sometime in
Havana, robbing, among others, the house of the
merchant Vias. Compelled again to fly from
Havana, I proceeded to Guanajas, where I was
captured by the officer of the district, who
caused me to be tightly bound with cords, and


with an escort of fourteen men sent me to
Havana; but at a stopping place on the way, I
managed to get my hands loose, and seizing a
machete, belonging to the chief of my guards,
made an attempt to escape. I was hotly pursued
by several of my captors, one of whom had
severely wounded me by a musket shot in the
shoulder, and finding myself about to fall from
loss of blood, I turned round to meet my pur-
suers, killing the first one that came up, the chief,
with his own sword. I was, however, soon over-
powered and conveyed to this city; where I am
now lying at the point of death, having swal-
lowed a dose of laudanum.
"My strength is rapidly failing, and I have
given your Excellency but an incomplete state-
ment of the dreadful crimes which now so
heavily weigh upon my soul. As well as I can
remember, I have murdered, during my shameful
career of sin and wickedness, upwards of twenty-
three innocent people, whose blood cries out to
Heaven against me.
"Hospital of San Juan de Dios."


This miserable wretch recovered from the
effects of the poison he had taken, and was
publicly executed in front of the Punta Castle,
acknowledging, in his last moments, that his
death was but a poor atonement for the lives of
the unfortunate victims who had fallen into his
murderous hands.



"And there she lay without e'en a shroud,-
And strangers were around the coffinless;
Not a kinsman was seen among the crowd,-
Not an eye to weep, nor a lip to bless."

TRINDAD DE CUBA, February 13, 1860.
In our last letter from Havana, we mentioned
seeing a large number of negroes, dressed in
fancy coats, cocked hats, &c., for a funeral. We
have since found that they were the hired
mourners, furnished by the undertaker, who has
on hand constantly a large stock of such livery,
to supply any amount of demand. In proportion
to the wealth, dignity and standing of citizens, is
the number of such attendants, the expenses of a
burial being enormous. Here in Trinidad an old
gentleman, in moderate circumstances, recently
lost his wife-the expenses of the funeral were
$700. We saw a burial of an old lady, who had
once owned a sugar estate, and was connected
with some of the best families, but was now


poor; she was taken to the cemetery by four
negroes, and from the coffin was thrown into the
grave, three feet deep, and the earth piled upon
her. No service was held, and no persons at-
tended, because she was poor! Such is life!
On yesterday, was High Mass in the Cathe-
dral; after which was a solemn Te Deum, in
honor of the Queen's accouchement. Two priests
received the Governor and suite at the door,
sprinkling the way with holy water. The Go-
vernor was attended by his staff, all the officers
of the regiment in uniform, the corporation,
custom house officials, postmaster and other
Government officers. Upon their entering, the
ladies moved their mats and chairs, to make way
for them, and they arranged themselves in line
at the sides of the church. Each was then
furnished with a wax candle, three or four feet
long, which they held lighted during the whole
service. Five priests, in rich vestments, ap-
proached the altar and commenced the service,
alternating their chants with the music of the
band. The organ was not used, but a large band
of fine performers on many instruments played a
number of the choicest pieces from the best


operas. The music was very grand, and lasted
about an hour.
In business matters, there seems to be no dif-
ference between Sundays and other days-the
stores are all open, and things are hawked about
the streets as during the week. Sunday is the
great day for amusement-bull-fights and cock-
fights, and balls being given on that day. Pass-
ing by the Theatre, last evening, on returning
from a walk, an immense crowd induced an in-
quiry as to the cause of it, when we found that
there was a "dignity ball" of colored folks going
on. A man standing at the door had just com-
municated the information that the house, was
full, and no more could be admitted. At these
balls, the colored ladies vie with their betters,
though not recognizing them as such, and dress
in the extreme of fashion. The colored gents
have equal pretensions, and their style of dress
is a prominent feature in the picture.
It appears that the Government, which is alive
to taxes in every form, issued an order to the
"cullud pussons" to have two balls and a grand
masquerade, the profits to be applied to the fund
for the war against the Moors. One dollar is the


entrance fee, and as there is no supper provided-
only the cost of the Theatre and music-the
balance, from such an immense crowd, must be
something considerable. The acting Governor
and suite attended, and remained until 1 a. m.,
promenading and enjoying the scene, while the
dark ladies and gentlemen went through the
various dances. We met, to-day, a friend who
was present, and he reports that the affair was
well conducted, with proper behavior on all sides.
Quite a commotion has been excited by the
new Governor having ordered the annual Fiesta
of the river Ay to be suppressed this year. It is
a great occasion, and is a sort of carnival on the
banks of the river, a few miles off. Everybody
goes, and the preparations and expenditures are
on a grand scale. It lasts four days, and dancing,
card playing and all sorts of amusements prevail;
they then move off to another river, and the
same gayety is repeated all through the district.
A new Governor, who has only been two months
here, was induced to believe, by some old lady
whose son had just lost heavily by gambling,
that it would do much to put down that vice, so
he recommended to the new Captain General the


suppression of the festival, and he approved it,
and there has been great dissatisfaction; but in
this Government there is no redress. A few days
since an order came transferring the Governor to
Puerto Principe, and the Governor of that city
is to come here; meanwhile, the Colonel of the
regiment, who is locum teens, gives dignity
balls, that he may strut his brief official existence
as conspicuously as possible.
To keep the ball in motion, the Government
paper at Havana gives notice of a grand "fun-
cion taurica," or "bull-fight entertainment,"
ordered for Sunday, the 19th, at which the
Condesa San Antonio, the lady of the Captain
General, and other senoras and senoritas, will be
present. Their boxes will be splendidly lined
with magnificent silks and satins, and adorned
with artificial flowers, &c. The bulls have been
named Tangier, Bullones, Tetuan, Serrallo,
Renegado, Monte Yegros and Marruecos, and
will be elegantly adorned. The death of these
poor animals, with such names, by the sword, is
to be a prefiguring of what the Moorish towns
will receive from the attacks of Spanish valor.
Before the acts of slaying the bulls, there will be


a grand bayonet fencing match by soldiers, and
no doubt there will be an immense concourse of
the fashionables to enjoy these gentle sports.
The steamer Water Witch, one of our Gov-
ernment vessels cruising after slavers, is here.
By invitation of her courteous Captain, Sartori,
we went on board to visit the officers. She is
the smallest craft in our navy, and her comple-
ment of men, including officers, is sixty-six. She
carries three Dahlgren brass pieces, which no
doubt will prove good speaking-trumpets to the
slavers, if ever they can see them-but, like the
pulgas, or fleas, you know they are there, but it
is hard to put your finger on them. The vessel
is very neat and clean, and everything in fine
order, and the officers a capital set of gentlemen.
They await the arrival of the Wyandotte to be
relieved, and will then go to Pensacola to refit.*

*The activity of our cruisers in these waters is cause of great
uneasiness to the slave traders, who have been completely deceived
in their calculations. They were led to believe that the arrival
of American cruisers to replace the "British" was the most
favorable thing that could happen to them; that the captain of
an American man-of-war would on no account capture a vessel
hoisting the American flag, and in fact that the arrival of the
United States ships was altogether a farce! This explains


The ladies of our party were delighted with
the visit; and enjoyed a most satisfactory lunch
of good things in American style. The neat little
cabin was a merry place on the occasion. We
enjoyed the fine cool breeze of the harbor, the
beautiful transparency of the waters allowing us
to see shoals of fishes at a depth of fifteen feet-
and the various styles of shipping, among which
was a Spanish war steamer, with the broad pen-
nant of a Vice Admiral, on a tour of inspection.
At 2 p. m., came in sight the good steamer
Rapido, which to-morrow makes us bid adieu to
Trinidad. She comes but once a week from
Havana, and a good opportunity occurs, with a
pleasant party, of crossing the island, which we
propose to embrace.

"why" such an unusual number of expeditions have lately been
fitted out for the coast. The capture of three vessels filled with
slaves, within something less than six weeks, has produced the
greatest excitement in Havana, where some of the most influ-
ential of the dealers have ventured to demand under what treaty
and with what right have American cruisers been permitted to
take upon themselves the duties of a marine police in Spanish
waters! The number of slaves lately captured and taken to Key
West by the United States war steamers "Mohawk," "Crusa-
der" and "Wyandotte," amount to about 1,800, averaging 600
for each vessel.


The salubrious air, mild and equable tempera-
ture and quiet of Trinidad, with refreshing music,
have done much to restore breath and vital forces
to our enfeebled body, and we shall ever remeln-
ber it with gratitude to the All-wise Creator, who
has blessed us with returning health. We feel
strong enough to bear the journey, and the
change to the north side of the island, and to-
morrow we go to Cienfuegos, to take the railroad
for Sagua la Grande. Until we reach that port,



"Oh! vale of bliss! Oh! softly swelling hills!
On which the power of cultivation lies,
And joys to see the wonders of his toil."

TRINIDAD DE CUBA, February 16, 1860.
The valley of the Trinidad Mountains extends
from this city about thirty miles, with a breadth
of four to six miles, and its rich and fertile
bosom is thickly dotted with the numerous settle-
ments of ingenious or sugar estates, owned by
wealthy planters, whose possessions are estimated
often by millions, and annual incomes by hun-
dreds of thousands. We took the car of 6 a. m.,
and rode some 12 miles to Mlanaca, a noble
estate of Senor Isnaga, where we saw the whole
process of sugar making, from the crushing of
the cane to the packing of the sugar in hogs-
heads. The road passes through many other
estates, where the negroes were cutting cane, and
hundreds of ox-carts hauling it to the mills. The
ride is through a most picturesque and lovely


valley, and the scenery varied and romantic.
You pass through oceans of cane, with the grand
palms scattered through the fields, looking like
great sentinels guarding the rich possessions
below them.
By special invitation, through the kindness of
a friend, we started with him to make a visit to
the estate of Don Miguel Cantero, about twelve
miles off, in the valley. Three horses in our
volante, under the guidance of an experienced
calesero, whose short jacket and long sword gave
him quite the appearance of preparation for busi-
ness in cutting down any robbers who might
attempt to stop his horses, formed our equipage.
We were accompanied, also, by two horsemen;
one from Philadelphia, the other from St. John's,
K. B., who found that it required the constant
aid of their spurs to keep their ponies up with
ours, although with the heavy volante. We went
at full tilt, jerking over rough roads and hills, as
if we were endeavoring to escape pursuit, and in
an hour and a half were received at the quinta
by the senor with the affability and ease which
characterizes the Cuban gentleman. Fortu-
nately, he spoke our language fluently, and we


were able the better to enjoy his hospitality,
which was dispensed gracefully. A prime object
of our visit was to see and examine a mineral
spring on the estate, which we found on the bank
of the charming river, mingling its sulphuretted
stream with the limpid current of the latter-one
identified with the sports of the people, which a
new Governor, ignorant of their importance, has
despotically invaded and set aside. The water of
the spring is abundant, and strongly impregnated
with sulphuretted hydrogen and carbonic acid,
resembling much the water of the White Sulphur
Spring, in Virginia. At some future day its
medicinal virtues will make it a popular resort,
and the beautiful estate on which it is will be an
attractive and desirable place for invalids. Its
occasional use in chronic skin diseases has caused
its virtues to be appreciated in its immediate
neighborhood, but it deserves a wider celebrity.*
At 10 a. m., after visiting the grounds, we en-
joyed a most luxurious breakfast, combining
American and Spanish cookery in its various
dishes, whose profusion was enough for five times

*See note at the end of this chapter.


the number of our small party. Our agreeable
host then suggested a visit to a large estate or
Ingenio, three leagues (or nine miles) off, and
ordered fresh horses. Our vehicle being properly
appointed, and our out-riders also accommo-
dated, with the addition of our kind entertainer
on a rapid pacer, we started for the new desti-
nation. After coursing the hills and valleys, for
such was the speed, we arrived in an hour and
ten minutes, with no farther adventure than that
one of the horsemnen, in crossing a river, got into
a hole, where his horse stuck fast, until he
jumped off, when the animal managed to get out.
He got off without further damage, except to his
suit of white linen, which suffered most exten-
sively from the amount of mud necessarily dis-
turbed on the occasion.
The ing nio of Gainea is the property of
Senor Don Justo Cantero, a gentleman whose
name is identified with progress among a slow
and inert race of people, who are afraid of enter-
prise and exertion, as if they were principles of
destruction. Senor Cantero has imported from
France, at an expense of at least $100,000, the
machinery necessary for refining sugar, and has


introduced into this part of the island the only
refinery here. We went through the various
rooms, and saw the complicated and elaborate
means of attaining the desired end, and followed
the process through its details to the fine sugar
in boxes, ready for export. Upon entering one
of the rooms, we began to fix our tongue to
muster up the little Spanish we possessed, to con-
verse with a dark Spanish-looking, black-bearded
individual, who seemed to have charge. Upon
bowing to the senor, we were quite astonished at
his "How are ye, doctor?" Upon enquiring
how he had attained the knowledge of our digni-
fied profession in that out-of-the-way region, he
said, "I saw you in company with the officers of
the Water Witch, going to Casilda, and heard
them call you doctor, so I enquired about you;
please to give my respects to Mr. R., when you
return home to Columbia."
Let a Yankee alone for making discoveries
wherever he is. Here was a New Bedford
cooper, who with his wife were residing on an
ingenio, twenty miles from Trinidad, yet picking
up quickly the knowledge of visitors to the latter
place on an occasional visit. Our party called on


his lady, who was delighted to see folks that
could speak her language, having only her
parrot to do so in a limited way, during the
absence of her companion in his daily work.
She had resided here two years without leaving
the estate, and regretted our not staying the
night to have a long talk.
During the last week 3,600 pots of sugar
were turned out, and the yield of the season
is estimated at 5,000 boxes, worth $40 each,
or $200,000. Molasses and Muscovado sugar
made from it, pay the expenses of the estate.
On this estate are 340 negroes, of which number
about 200 go into the field. The amount of land
in sugar cultivation is about eight acres to the
hand, and the produce is as above stated. New
negroes are selling readily at $900 to $1,000
apiece, and the demand very great, which keeps
up the arrival constantly of cargoes, notwith-
standing the cruisers. When we visit the north
side of the island, we will describe the course of
proceedings on a sugar plantation more in


At the Quinta of Miguel Cantero. Trinidad
Valley, Banks of the Ay.
Having no conveniences for the analysis of this
water, we could only decide from our familiarity
with the Springs of Virginia that the supply of
sulphuretted hydrogen and carbonic acid was
very large-of the former almost as much, and
of the latter fully as much as in the water of
White Sulphur Springs, Greenbriar County,
Virginia. A bottle of the water was submitted
to Messrs. Booth, Garrett & Reese, Analytical
Chemists, Philadelphia, from whom the following
letter was received:

PHILADELPHIA, June 29, 1860.
Dear Sir: We have made a careful qualitative
analysis of the bottle of water which you left
with us on the 22d inst.
The total solid matter per gallon is equal to
59.73 grains, and consists of muriates, carbonates
and sulphates of lime and magnesia, with a small
quantity of silex. We also examined closely for
iodine, but were unable to prove its presence-


the water still retained a slight odor of sulphuret-
ted hydrogen. The principal ingredient is mu-
riate of lime, which constitutes perhaps one-third
of the whole solid matter. Carbonate of lime
was also present in large proportion, kept in
solution by free carbonic acid.
Yours respectfully,
Dr. R. W. GIBBES, Columbia, S. C.

The Sulphur Spring alluded to, is situated on
the western bank of the Ay, at Sr. M. Cantero's
quinta, about 12 miles from Trinidad. The water
springs out from the side of the bank, and during
freshets is covered by the river's stream. It
.could very easily be dammed, though most likely
other springs more favorably situated can be
found on the estate.
The presence of muriate of lime in much
larger proportion than in any of the Virginia
mineral springs, increases the value of this water
in scrofulous and glandular affections, as well as
in skin diseases and those of the liver, and we
believe it will be found highly therapeutic.