Albert Gardner Robinson

A hundred years ago, the Cubans travelled from place to place about the island, just as our ancestors did in this country, by water and over rough trails few of which could, with any approach to correctness, be described as roads. It was not until about a hundred years ago that we, in this country, began to build anything even remotely resembling a modern highway. Our towns and cities were on the seaboard or on the banks of rivers navigable for vessels of size sufficient for their purposes.

The next city, eastward, is Camaguey, in many ways doubtless the best worth a visit, next to Havana, of any city on the island. It is a place of interesting history and, for me personally, a place of somewhat mixed recollections. The history may wait until I have told my story. I think it must have been on my third visit to the island, early in 1902. On my arrival in Havana, I met my friend Charles M. Pepper, a fellow laborer in the newspaper field. He at once informed me that he and I were to start the next morning for a three or four weeks' journey around the island.

IN his message to Congress, on December 5, 1898, President McKinley declared that "the new Cuba yet to arise from the ashes of the past must needs be bound to us by ties of singular intimacy and strength if its enduring welfare is to be assured."

Only by magnifying protests into revolts, and riots into revolutions, is it possible to show Cuba as the "land of revolutions" that many have declared it to be. The truth is that from the settlement of the island in 1512 until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, there were only two experiences that can, by any proper use of the term, be called revolutions. This statement, of course, disputes a widely accepted notion, but many notions become widely accepted because of assertions that are not contradicted.

Cuba's final movement for independence began on February 24, 1895. Under the treaty of Zanjon, executed in 1878, Spain agreed to grant to the Cubans such reforms as would remove their grounds of complaint, long continued. The Cubans denied that the terms of the agreement had been kept. Those terms are indicated in a statement submitted by Tomas Estrada y Palma to Richard Olney, then Secretary of State of the United States. It bore the date of December 7, 1895. The communication sets forth, from the Cuban point of view, of course, the causes of the revolution of 1895. It says:

The term "filibuster" affords an interesting example of the way in which words and their uses become twisted into something altogether different from their original meaning. It comes from a Dutch word, several centuries old, vrijbuiter, or free vessel or boat. It got somehow into English as "freebooter," and into Spanish as filibustero. The original referred to piracy.

Chemically, sugar is a compound belonging to the group of carbohydrates, or organic compounds of carbon with oxygen and hydrogen. The group includes sugars, starches, gums, and celluloses. Sugar is a product of the vegetable kingdom, of plants, trees, root crops, etc. It is found in and is producible from many growths. As a laboratory process, it is obtainable from many sources, but, commercially, it is derived from only two, the sugar cane and the beet root.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that "although the fact has been controverted, there cannot be a doubt that the knowledge of tobacco and its uses came to the rest of the world from America.

The British colonists in America were in large measure self-governing. This is notably true in their local affairs. The Spanish colonists were governed almost absolutely by the mother-country. A United States official publication reports that "all government control centred in the Council of the Indies and the King, and local self government, which was developed at an early stage in the English colonies, became practically impossible in the Spanish colonies, no matter to what extent it may have existed in theory.

1915

by Albert Gardner Robinson

 

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