« 이전계속 »
1828, amounting to upwards of three millions of dollars, are almost exclusively the production of the United States; all of these whether it be cattle, hogs, rice or flour, can unquestionably be raised in Cuba. Humboldt himself, and several of the writers in the Anales de Ciencias, are urging this measure on the inhabitants of Cuba. The doctrine of independence of foreign nations, which has been preached up so assiduously in the United States, which the Mexicans, taking their lessons from us, have begun to reduce to practice, is now pressed upon the Cubans. If they should follow this advice, and abandon for imaginary benefit a more for a less profitable pursuit, the farmers of our own country may find themselves deprived of one of the best markets which is now open to their produce; and why may this not be done? If the system is wise in one nation, it must be wise in all, and nation after nation enraptured with this ideal independence, may withdraw themselves from all intercourse with distaut countries, and encircle themselves with as many restrictions, as now serve to separate Japan and China from the rest of the civilized world.*
Of the revenue of Cuba, it is unnecessary for us to treat at large. It will be sufficient merely to show how much the parent state has gained by a liberal treatment of this colony.
We subjoin a sketch from the records of our own Custom-Houses, of some of the articles which between the 1st October, 1827, and the 1st October, 1828, were exported to Cuba. It will be well for our farmers to notice, how valuable a mar. ket this one Island affords for their productions: to recollect that every item can be raised or procured by the inhabitants of Cuba, by their own exertions; and would be raised or procured if they did not consider it more economical, and therefore, more wise to purchase some articles from abroad, and apply their attention and la bour to others, which to them are found more profitable. We have already lost the British West-India trade by our attempts to regulate foreign nations, and if while we are pretending to retaliate on Great-Britain, we instigate and encourage all surrounding nations to retaliate on us, it will be unnecessary to prove, that such measures will injure and distress greatly those that enact them, it will be quite sufficient for us to know, that they will be greatly injurious to ourselves.
Value of articles exported from the United States, to the Island of Cuba, from the 1st October, 1827, to 1st October. 1828.
Hogs in the various forms, of pork, bacon, lard, live stock, $731,799
Leather, boots, shoes, &c.
For this item alone, the inhabitants of Cuba must depend on some foreign nation.
From 1789 to 1797, the duties in the Havana never amounted to $700,000; in proportion as the ports were opened, this sum increased; in 1800, it exceeded $1,900,000; in 1824, it amounted to $3,025,300, and is now supposed, for the whole Island, to be not less than $5,000,000. Of this $1,500,000 are employed in the maintenance of the troops necessary for the protection of the Island, and $600,000 for the support of the squadron stationed at the Havana. At the commencement of this century, about $1,800,000 were annually sent from Mexico for the assistance of Cuba, now the island of Cuba provides for her own safety, and furnishes large supplies for the maintenance of the desultory war which is still carried on by the parent state against her ancient colonies; even now this Island contributes important aid in support of that armament, which, while we write, has been sent against Mexico.
Of the government of the Island we intend not to speak; it may be necessary, however, to apprise our readers, that in Cuba, as formerly in all the Spanish possessions in America, there were ecclesiastical, military, financial and judicial divisions of the territory, which it is always necessary to keep in recollection, and which often confuse, Humboldt informs us, modern geographers. It will be sufficient here to mention, that Cuba forms
1. One judicial district, having an Audiencia or court of high appeal, fixed at Puerto Principe, near the centre of the Island.
2. Two ecclesiastical jurisdictions or dioceses, one of the Archbishop of Cuba, who resides at Santiago de Cuba, and superintends the Eastern part of the Island, the other of the Bishop of the Havana, who governs the Western.
3. Two governments, the Gobierno de la Habana, and the Gobierno de Cuba, dependent, however, on the same Captain General who resides at the Havana.
4. For the financial department, there are three Intendencias or Provincias, those of the Havana, Puerto Principe, and Santiago de Cuba.
5. There was another division, perhaps now laid aside, into four jurisdictions, in which the province of Puerto Principe was divided, the eastern part retaining that name, the western forming the jurisdiction des Quatro Villas; there are, besides, the smaller divisions into partidos and parochias.
In the long discussions into which Baron Humboldt enters on the subject of the Africans, we shall not at present mingle. He speaks much of the misfortunes of the race, and the dangers which may arise from their present position. But he sug
gests no remedies which appear to us to bear the impress of a statesman's mind upon them. To apply a portion of the revenue of the state annually to purchase the most industrious among the slaves, to liberate others after a certain term of servitude, (projects easily attempted where the numbers are few, but utterly impracticable where they constitute a great if not the greatest part of the population,) are all that he recommends; however, as we shall have to consider this question in another part of this number, we shall the more readily pass it over here.
Such are the physical, statistical and political features of this valuable Island. If we have detailed them at some length, and with some minuteness, it is because to the United States, it is, from position, a country of much and increasing importance. In its present state, our commerce and intercourse with it is great and valuable, and a few years back when the Spanish monarchy in America, appeared on all sides to be falling to pieces, there was throughout the Union, from its geographical relation to us, a deep anxiety to know what would be the ultimate fate of Cuba. We have reason to believe, that on the Island itself this question was no less seriously considered. On the extension of its commercial privileges by Spain, and finally by the grant in 1822, of an entire freedom of trade, the wish in Cuba and in the United States, that its political relations should continue unchanged, became almost universal; all other nations have at least acquiesced in this arrangement.
So wonderful have been the changes of the last forty years, that it seems now difficult to recall and realize the transient and fluctuating scenes which have passed almost under our own eyes to recollect that within twenty years, Spain like the ancient mistress of the world in the fourth and fifth centuries, so far from protecting and commanding her distant provinces, was struggling for her own existence, overrun by foreign armies as enemies, auxiliaries or guardians, and leaving her remote colonies to provide for their own safety, and secure themselves, if possible, from internal anarchy and foreign oppression. At such a moment it well became the inhabitants of Cuba, who had not the physical advantages of the continental viceroyalties, to reflect on their situation, and think on what power they should rely for aid, if the hour of danger should approach them more nearly. The policy which had been pursued by Mexico and Colombia, rendered a union with either of those States impracticable, indeed their greatest and most immediate dangers appeared to threaten from those quarters. A few, it is said, principally Frenchmen, wished to throw themselves
into the arms of France, but this party was small, and the remembrance of St. Domingo was always before their own eyes, and the eyes of their neighbours. A great majority of the inhabitants, nearly all in the middle and lower ranks of society, and many of the wealthy looked to the United States as the power with which, under all circumstances, it would be wise to connect their fortunes; but the want of a strong naval force in this country to shield them from aggression, and an apprehension that our Northern African Societies would be permitted to endanger their domestic tranquillity, induced many, perhaps a majority, of the very wealthy inhabitants to turn to GreatBritain, as their most secure dependence-yet even to that alliance, there were many objections. It was not certain that they could or would be placed on a footing of equality with the ancient British colonies, and even then, the policy which GreatBritain was pursuing towards those colonies was likely to render the property of the proprietors unproductive and without value. From this dilemma, from the necessity, in fact, of adopting any measure which would commit them with their own government, or with foreign nations, the inhabitants of Cuba were relieved by the discretion of those to whom the government of the Island had been fortunately committed and by the reviving condition of Spain.
New difficulties, however, may await them. The present military expedition against Mexico, will renew the feelings of bitterness between the mother country and her ancient colonies, which, as in North-America, were subsiding by the operation of time and tranquillity. If not successful, it will in all probability provoke the new governments in Spanish America, to renew their efforts to wrest from Spain the two Islands she still retains, (Cuba and Porto Rico) which will continue to afford in her hands the means and opportunity of threatening them with perpetual aggression and injury. Colombia and Mexico, whatever may have been their feelings, and wishes at one moment, have been induced by the advice or interference of other powers, to suspend their meditated enterprizes against Cuba. They have laid aside their naval armaments which they found expensive and not very efficient. But, under other circumstances with awakened resentments, they may collect the remnants of their squadrons, and engage in one of those adventurous expeditions, for which the early Conquistadores were distinguished; and considering vessels only as the means of transportation, not of naval hostility, may avail themselves of favorable winds and currents, and throw in anger a desperate band of disciplined troops on the shores of Cuba, to injure and destroy
if not to conquer. That if this should be accomplished, a servile war would be excited by one party or the other, no one can doubt. This beautiful Island may be desolated by the storm which injudicious and foreign counsellors have excited on her shores, and an unoffending people be made to atone for offences not their own. From these evils, however, we most cordially hope they may be permitted to escape and enjoy for a long course of years the advantages which a fortunate concurrence has conferred upon them.
The supplement to the Essai Politique of Humbolt, which occupies the greater part of the second volume, and which presents many statistical views of the whole continent of America, may hereafter be separately considered.
ART. III.-Travels in North-America, in the years 1827 and 1828. By Captain BASIL HALL, Royal Navy. 2 vols. 12mo. Philadelphia. Carey, Lea & Carey. 1829.
OUR only motive for reviewing this book is, the general expectation that we shall do so. It is to us, on many accounts, a most unpleasant task. We are by no means sure that the majority of our readers will concur with us in some of our views, and we have too much reason to fear that there are many individuals in every part of the country to whom all of them cannot possibly prove acceptable. But we have learned by experience the truth of Seneca's lines,
Sæpe vel linguâ magis
and since we must needs speak, we shall even speak out.
We will begin by confessing that we have been greatly scandalized at the fuss that has been made about Captain Hall and his book. If there were nothing more in it, this fidgety and prurient anxiety about what he has been saying of us behind our backs, is rather a provoking confirmation of what he reports of our efforts to extort his approbation of us before our faces. But our mortification arises from a more serious view of the matter. For our humble selves, we declare, with great sincerity, that none of the impertinencies which have been published about