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Coffee Plantations-Tobacco and other Agricultural Products. 111

The coffee tree, if left to nature, grows trees are often seen. One tree yields to the height of from 12 to 18 feet. giv- from a half to three-fourths of a pound ing off horizontal branches, knotted at of coffee. The trees are in rows, at every joint, which, like the trunk, are right angles, about four yards apart. covered with a gray bark. The blos- Between the rows are planted plantains, soms look like the white jasmine, and corn, and other vegetables. form thick circular clusters around the To bring a coffee plantation into full branches. They appear from December operation requires about four years. Mr. to June, and last only two or three days. Turnbull estimates that a coffee plantThe berries at first are green, but be- ation of 200,000 trees would require, for come white as they enlarge and ripen, the first seven years, an outlay of then yellow, and finally bright red, $40,000; and that the net annual reclosely resembling the cherry in size turns, after that time, from the sales of and appearance. The trees are of- coffee, corn, and the other products, after ten loaded with them in closely-wedged deducting all expenses, would be about circles around each joint of the branches. $5,300; which would be 13 per cent. On a single branch two feet long there on the capital invested. The author of are often seen as many as ninety of the “Notes on Cuba," who, we believe, was berries, each containing two grains of a physician of Charleston, now dead, esticoffee, with their flat sides together, im- mates that a coffee plantation of 350,000 bedded in a soft mucilaginous pulp. trees will yield annually a net balance The berries ripen from August to De- of $10,000, after the payment of all excember, and are gathered by the hand; penses'; but the cultivation of sugar is and as three or four different crops are found to be immensely more profitable. often ripening at the same time on each The coffee tree bears well when it is tree, as many separate pickings are re- forty years old, quired. The berries, when perfectly The wax of Cuba, now so extensively dried, are passed through a mill, consist

exported, is not the product of native ing of a large circular wooden trough, i

rough, bees,* but of bees brought from Europe. two feet deep, and in width, tapering

perm The exportation of wax began in 1772. from two feet at the top to one at the

The wax of Cuba was formerly sent bottom. A heavy solid wooden wheel,

i mostly to Mexico for consumption in about six feet in diameter, and eight 11

n the churches. The honey of Cuba is inches thick at the circumference, plays

justly celebrated for its fine rich flavor. in the trough, crushing the berries which

There is a native bee in Cuba, said to pass between it and the bottom of the trough. The husks are then separated

be stingless, which produces a black by means of a fanning mill, which also was, and noney as nmpid as water.f separates the larger grains from the The next agricultural product which smaller. The broken grains are picked we shall mention is tobacco, of which out by the negroes for plantation use, we have the complete statistics since while the whole ones are packed for 1826, as furnished by the Diario de la market. The whole crop is generally in Marina, for Jan. 1, 1852. They are as market by the first of February.

follows: The coffee tree, like the cotton plant,


Arrobae. has a deadly enemy in the shape of a

1826 ..

79,581. ..197,194 small worm, which often destroys it by 1827.

79,106.. .167,362 1828


.210,335 girdling it beneath the bark. Another


243,443 species of worm bores into the trunk,



.407,153 traversing it in every direction, causing 1831

117,454.. 331,438 1832

76,430. 448,123 it to fall by the first high wind. There

92,476.. .617.713 are also two species of moths which


.616,020 1835


.346,675 prey on the leaves; but the most de


.228,519.. .518,443 structive of all is a small fly which de 1837



1838 posits its eggs on the leaf, from which

.. 194,799. ...916,466 .204,947..

874,258 spring caterpillars that speedily consume


169,671..........649,824 the entire leaves of the tree.


.230,303..........850,856 The coffee trees on a plantation are


...237,713..........751,445 often several hundred thousand in num.

• Humboldt : Essai, p. 220. ber. As many as 350,000 and 400,000

+ Notes on Cuba, p. 347.

Leaf Tobacco.






Last Tobacco.

Manufactured. 250,000 arrobas. From 1794 to 1803, Arroban.

Arrobes. 1843 ....

the amount produced fell, owing to the ...230,303..... 1,289,985 1844 237,713.....

government monopoly and other causes,

792,525 1845 .288,329 . 1,022,525

to less than half that quantity. The to1846

.353041.. 766,782

.372,780 1847

tal production of tobacco, however, in

1,224,060 1848. .251,025

807,400 the island, is believed to have been, 1849 160,765.


from 1822 to 1825, a gain from 300,000 ...319,125.... .. 1,063,200

to 400,000 arrobas.* ... 75,791........Quintals. 1851

During the gov

ernment monopoly from 10 to 12,000,000 The tobacco of Cuba is celebrated lbs. of tobacco were sometimes accuthroughout the world. The custom of mulated at Seville, where all the tosmoking was borrowed from the natives bacco of Cuba was deposited, and the of Hayti, and was introduced into Eu- revenue arising from it, in good years, rope towards the end of the 16th cen- was about 6,000,000 piastres. tury. The plant is indigenous to Amer. The best quality of tobacco comes ica, and the term tobacco is probably from the Vuelta Abajo, the southeastern derived from Tabaco, a province of Yu- part of the island, and the seed from that catan, where it is said to have been first place is sent over the northern and westfound by the Spaniards. The honor of ern parts. The tobacco lands of Cuba introducing it into England, about 300 yield about 135 lbs. to the acre. vears ago, is ascribed to Sir Francis During the government monopoly of Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. The tobacco, factories were established in the name Tobacum Nicotiana is, of course, not island, the officers of which were reclassic Latin, the word Tobacum having quired to buy up the crop at prices fixed been invented since the discovery of by themselves. These officers, called America; and Nicotiana is obviously de- Visitadores des Vegas, had the inquisirived from Nicot, (John) who first intro- torial duty confided to them of superinduced tobacco into France, in 1559. tending the cultivation of tobacco, and Some have derived the term tobacum in doing this they committed all sorts of and tobacco, from tabac, the name of the abuses. They reduced the buying price instrument used by the natives of Amer- so low that the unfortunate planters ica in smoking the herb; others from were brought to the very verge of ruin. Tobasco in Mexico.

To enhance the value of tobacco, by Humboldt says that the tobacco plant rendering it scarce, at one time they has been cultivated from time immemo- actually obtained an order from the rial by the natives of Oronoko. It is crown of Spain to burn, or otherwise not improbable that the Asiatics were destroy, large quantities of tobacco on acquainted with it long before the dis- hand.''When by this operation they covery of America, as is supposed by had succeeded in raising enormously Pallas, Rumphius, and Louveiro, though the price of tobacco in Spain, they filled it does not appear that it was known in the market with large quantities which Europe before that time. Ulloa, how they had secretly withheld from desever, has endeavored to show that the truction, and thus the governinent Europeans learned the use of it from swindled its subjects out of immense the Asiatics. Columbus, on his arrival sums of money. This system, however, at Cuba, in 1492, beheld, for the first could not last long. In 1804 the raising time, the custom of smoking tobacco of tobacco in Cuba had become so much among the natives. *

reduced that 40,000 arrobas were imThe most ancient statements we pos

ported that year from the United States, sess, on the quantity of tobacco which

to supply the retail demand in Hava. the isle of Cuba has produced, extend

na; and a still greater quantity also back as far as 1748. The Abbé Raynal,

my went from the United States to Spain.f whom Humboldt considers "a muchThe immense fertility of the soil of more exact writer than is generally be- Cuba is well known; and it would be a lieved," states that, between 1748 and

gross error to infer its agricultural capa1753, the mean annual amount produced

bilities from the amount of its products. by the island was 75,000 arrobas. From 1789 to 1794 the annual amount was

* Humboldt : Cuba, p. 215.

+ Turnbull's Cuba, p. 317._See also De Bow's * Irving's Life of Columbus, vol. 1. p. 287. Industrial Resources, art.“ Tobacco."

Importations from the United StatesTariff of Cuba.




Under a good government Cuba would

Imported. Exported. produce five times as much as it now

1826 to 1830...


1831 to 1835..... .....16,756.348......12,887,339 does. With an area of about 34,560,- 1636 to 1840 .....21,662,766......18,503,648 000 acres, the greater part of which is 1841 to 1845. ......22,472,355...... 24.099.646

1846 to 1850. of the first quality for cultivation, we

..27,150,754......28,828,988 find that a great portion of the island is entirely uncultivated :* so that its im. From 1846 to 1850 the exportations of mense agricultural resources are as vet domestic products were as follows: far from being developed.

1846.......................$21,587,564 Having thus far spoken only of sugar, 1847.....

.27,296,954 molasses, coffee and tobacco, it remains


.....25,312,553 1849....

.....21.896,526 for us briefly to enumerate the other ag 1850...

.. 25,043,154 ricultural products. Indian corn, which is indigenous, yields two crops a year. The foreign trade of Cuba is chiefly There are two sorts in the island : the with this country. Our exports to, and maiz de frio, and the maiz de agua. imports from Cuba, during the last eight Rice is also produced in considerable years, have been as follows: quantities, in many parts, particularly in the low lands on the coast. Beans of

Exports. Imports. various kinds are raised. Wheat 'was 1844...................$5,238,595......$9,930,121


6,564,754.... formerly raised, but its cultivation is now

6.804,414 1848.

5,487,136... . 8,159.632 abandoned.


6.977,706... .12,394,867 1848....

......6,896,713...... 12,853,472 Plantains and bananas thrive aston

.....5,309,213......10,659,956 ishingly. So productive is the plantain 1850....

.4,990,297... ...10,292,398 that 600 plants will maintain a family

.6,523,763......17,046,931 of ten persons. One acre of ground will produce enough to feed five persons a

This table is compiled from the offiwhole year. Vast quantities, as is well cial returns of our government. Withknown, are exported to this country.

**out enumerating the different articles

which we export to and from Cuba, it is Cotton thrives in many parts of the

sufficient to say that nearly all our proisland, and is raised at much less cost.

cost ducts go to Cuba in exchange for those than any other product. It will grow of the

row of the island. well on the barren and stony grounds near the coast. Its cultivation has been

Without undertaking to give in full neglected from the supposition that su- the pre

su. the present existing Cuban tariff, we gar and coffee were more profitable will here present so much of it as relates crops. In 1837, 26,987 arrobas were ex

to those articles of commerce most conported. Cacao thrives well in the island. sumed in Cuba, which are imported The fruits of the island are the pine,

from this country. The table shows the

heenormous duties on each article, and the or anana, oranges of different kinds,

was, mode of valuation, so exaggerated as to lemons, limes, figs, strawberries, the double and triple the amount of the dunispero, melons of different kinds, the ties red and yellow mamey apple, and other" fruits. Among the roots are the yuca of Summary of the importation of certain articles different kinds, and various species of that have a large consumption in Cuba, prothe sweet potato.

duced by the United States, to which is added TRADE.—Havana, Santiago de Cuba,

a classification of the prices on which they

.) are valued by the tariff of Cuba, and the Puerto Principe, Matanzas, Trinidad, duties charged on them. Baracoa, Gibara, Cienfuegos and Man

Per cent. zanilla are the ports of the island li- Joists or scantling, per thousand ft. $20 00....27 censed for foreign trade. The amount of Tar, per bbl ......... .......... 3 00....16

.. 6 00.... " the imports and exports of Cuba, since

Rice, per qq...

6 00....33% 1826, is given in the following table. Morocco, per doz........

7 50. The figures under each head being the

Codfish, qg. Ibs..........

....27% Plaids, Scotch, per yard..

25....33 average annual amount.

Trunks, leather, each......

8 00 Hide trunks...............

4 00.. Flannels, coarse, per yard..

0 31...." * McCulloch estimates that only one-seventh of

.... "

I Flannels, 58 in., per yard. Cuba is under cultivation.

Hogsheads, each.........

200....27% + This table does not include slaves from Africa. Hogshead shooks......

1 00.... "

0 50....

3 00.... "


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Per cont. the duty is 6 per cent. There is also Half boots, pair.....

00:-**** added, in every case, a balance duty of Boots Brass manuf., 99...

37 50... 33 one per cent., determined by the amount Mackerel, per bbl..

4 50....27

of the export duties. Tobacco exported Geldings, each..

..150 00....33% Copper boilers, 99......

37 50....27%

in foreign vessels, with a foreign destiSettees, wood, each.......

10 00....33% nation, pays a duty of 121 per cent. * Negro cloths, per yard...

The articles admitted free of duty, Preserved meats, per lb..

0 50.... Salt beef, per bbl....

are iron sugar kettles, steam engines Pork "

and machinery for sugar works, rice Willow wagons, each. Carts, each......

DO 00

mills, horses and mares. Straw wagons, each.....

The articles exported free of duty, are Hogs, live....

10 00...

green fruits of all sorts, lime juice and Baskets, each..........

1 00....2 Copper nails, per qq......

00.... syrup; also gold and silver in bullion, Copper, manul., per 99...

and specie. Russia sheeting, per yd.. Cabs, gigs, etc..


A foreign vessel of 300 tons entering Bureaus, each..

one of the ports of Cuba, has to pay, beSmall do

12 50..

fore it can get out of it, the following Cotton rope and cord, per piece 0 064 .. Staves, per 1000.....

25 00.... enormous charges : Floor matting, per yard.

0 25..... Oakum, per 99 .........

4 00....33 For tonnage duties, at 12 reals per ton, and Fringe, cotton, per piece.

1 00....

1 per cent. of balance duty............. $454 50 " silk yard..

0 25.... For dredging machine, at 1% reals per ton, 47 37% Flannels

0 21.... Wharf duties, at 10 reals per 100 tons per Blankets, each..

1 25....
day, say for 8 days......

.......... 30 00 Corn meal, per bbl ...

500.... Custom-house charges, on visit of entry.. 5 50 Flour, per bbl., duty...

Assistance in discharging, at $5 50 per
Sugar moulds, per doz
Soap, per bbl ..........

For an extract of the manifest...
Cordage, per qq .....

12 00...." Custom-house clearance visit.... Piano Fortes, each...

For cocket of outward cargo. Bricks, per 1000...........

6 00 ...33% For the cocket stamp............ Valises, leather, each......

6 00...."

For a translation of the manifest .. “ for horsemen, each....

Custom-house officers' fees..
Cotton shawls, per doz......

...." For the captain of the port.
ordinary, each
For lighthouse dues...

4 00 Stockings, cotton, per doz. ....33% For government dues.....

4 00 wool " 6. 4 00.... " For bill of health ..........

800 Merino, 1 yard wide..

For visit of health officer.....

2 00 Tables, card, 1 leaf... 10 00...

$645 12% Candlewick, per arr....

6 25.... Cotton hdkfs , per doz...

1 75.... "

REVENUES.—The crown revenues of Potatoes, per bbl.

2 50....27% Ruled paper, 26 inch ..

600....33% the island may be divided into six white, 26 inch

500...." classes : " " 30 “6


1st. Rentas Maritimas, which include " letter ..........

2 50...." Shot, per 99 .....


27% the duties on imports, exports and tonPowder

18 00.....

nage, and the local or municipal duties, Oars, per 100 feet..

6 25..... Bags, per doz.....

2 25....

which are levied at some of the custom Silk sewing thread, per lb.

3 00.... houses of the island. Napkins, per doz....

075....33% Mahogany chairs, per doz.

50 00...."

2d. Impuestos Interiores, such as the Maple chairs,

31 00...." tax on home manufactures, the consumpOrdinary chairs

tion duty on butchers' meat, the compoSaddles....

17 00.... Hats, each.....

3 00...."

sition levied from hucksters and hawk. Boards, pine, per 1000..


27% ers, the sale of papal bulls and of stamp" maple,

00...." Shingles

the 3 75....

ed paper, the profits derived from Sperm candles per 99..

32 00....

lottery, and the impost on cock-fights.f Tallow "4

12 00....

3d. Deductions from the Rentas Eccleshoes, men's or boys', per doz.


siasticus, particularly from those called

the royal ninths, and the consolidated The Cuban planter, before he can ex. fund, the sinking fund, the media annata, port his products, must also pay an ad and 'the annual and monthly revenues valorem duty of. 24 per cent., if their

ir of the clergy.. destination be a Spanish port, and if the

4th. Deducciones Personales, such as the vessel bear a Spanish register. If the

contribution for exemption from military destination be foreign, and the vessel Spanish, the duty is 444 per cent.; and

* Turnbull, p. 102. if both vessel and destination be foreign,

+ Gambling is also licensed.



Port Charges-Crown RevenuesTotal Income

Taxation. 115


service, called the lanzas, the medias The following exhibits the total annatas seculares, the deduction for the annual revenue of the island from all pay of invalids, and the tax on pawn- sources, to wit: importation and exportabrokers.

tion duties, and the rentas terrestres, on 5th. Miscellaneous receipts, such as the authority of the Diario: the product of the sales of royal lands,

Total Revenue. the returns of the old poll tax, the rents 1826

$7,107,935 6 of vacant livings and of unclaimed 1827.

8,469,974 24 1828.

9,086,406 7% estates, the produce of vendible offices,


9,142,612 3% the hospitalidades, and the peñas de ca 1830.

8,972,547 5 mera.


7,297,205 0% 1832.

8,437,407 5% 6th. Casual receipts, such as deposits, 1833.

8,895,457 confiscations, donations, the recovery of


8,945,734 74 1835.

9.297.182 7% arrears.


9,269,266 2 Of the Rentas Maritimas we have the 1637.

... 8,837,165 0% most complete official accounts from


9,672,713 6% 1839....

.11.204,433 5 1826 to 1850, giving the totals of each


....11,606,203 year, but not the details, as these are 1841.

...11,115,341 1 1842.

11,661,973 never given by the Cuban government.


10,394,057 3 The following tables, as given in the 1844.

....10,480,252 7 Diario de la Marina for January 1, 1852,


.... 9,192,078 4% 1846...

..11,140,778 7% and which may be considered official,


.12.808,712 7% since every thing published in Cuba 1848..

12,922,573 574 1849.

.12,664,329 must first pass under the eye of the go


.12,248,712 6% vernment, are the most complete connected account, we believe, of the reve

In the elaborate official document in nues of Cuba that has ever been pub

th the Diario de la Marina, from which we lished. The returns are in dollars and derive the figures of the above tables, reals. The writer in the Diario divides the writer labors to show that Cuba is all the revenues of Cuba into two one of the most prosperous and happy classes : the Rentas maritimas, or those count

ne or the countries in the world, even more so derived from the onstom houses and the than the United States. He endeavors Rentas terrestres, which include'all other to show that we are lamentably oprevenues whatsoever, enumerated above pressed by taxation, and drops a tear under the heads 2d, 3d. 4th, 5th and 6th. over the heavy burthens of imposts that

weigh down our people "los impuestos Revenues of Cuba, derived from dulies on Im- que sobre sus habitantes pesan.!

ports and Exports, from 1826 to 1850 inche. From the last table above it will be sive:

seen that the people of Cuba have to Importation

Total Importation and sustain a taxation of about $12,500,000 duties.

Exportation du:ies annually, which is for the free popula1826. ... $3,782,409 5 reals..... $4,683,753 4% 1827 ... 4,412,963 2% .... 5,659,879 7%

tion of the island (600,000) upwards of 1828 ...... 4,194,495 1%

.... 5,309,136 1% $20 per head, rich and poor. Now let 1829 3,938,596 5* " ... 5,193,967 7%

us look at the “OPPRESSED' states of 1830. 3,636,716 2

.. 5,027.095 3% 1831... 3,932,505 7%

4.795,465 24 Ohio, New York, Maryland, and Penn1832 3.880,103 6%

4,792,178 6 sylvania, and see how much the people 1833. 4,208,706 1

3.235,371 6 1834. ... 4,405.314 1

.. 5,098,288 6

of those states are taxed per head. The 1835 4,791,777 3

5,426,033 6% following table, which we compile, will 1836 5,017,217 4%

.. 5,743,793 5 4,997,780 4% 1837.

5,809,775 3

show the oppression ::
5,246,008 0%
6,098,254 5%

Amount of state Amount
6,113,508 3%
7,363,078 4%

Population. tax in 1849. per bead. 5,951,801 74

7,487,398 3

Ohio...........1.980,408....$1,296,347 56.... $0 65 1841 5,943,819 6

7,266,464 5% New York .....3.097.394.... 5,548,981 28.... 1 80 1842 6,005,632 5%

Maryland. ..... 583,035.... 714.987 60..., 1 40 1813...... 5,396,339 4%

.. 6,987,017 1

Pennsylvania.. 2,311,786 ... 4,433,688 65.

Pennsyly 1644 6,020,403 1%

7,160.631 6% 5,396,416 5%

. 5,970,748 5

That little or nothing of the $12,000,1846 ... ... 5,413,422 3

6,152,802 2% 1847 6,601,233 7

7,494,331 3 000 goes to educate the people, we have 1646.. 6,174,533 4

6,883,858 5% shown; and as to internal improvements 1649. 5,844,763 2

6,429,260 3“ 1850... 5,964,147 5% 4

6,721,250 6%

by the government they do not amount

to much. It is even a matter of open • Turnbull's Cuba, p. 105.

complaint in Cuba, that although vast

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1838. .. 1839, 1840.

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