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sums are raised by taxation ostensibly and militia. Of the first there are, in for the purpose of improving the public ordinary times, seven regiments of inroads of the island, they are most of the fantry of the line, and five regiments of year impassable, so that communications light infantry; one battalion of eight by mail are tediously slow. Even the companies of artillery, one of which is writer in the Diario de la Marina, whom flying; one company of sappers; also, a we have quoted, complains that the brigade of two companies, and six of Junta de Fomento, or Board of Improve- disciplined militia, and four squadrons of ments, has for many years past done but royal lancers. The disciplined militia little for internal improvements, and includes three battalions of free colored that little chiefly in the jurisdiction of troops, and two regiments of dragoons Havana, notwithstanding that its re- (whites). The city militia is composed sources between 1824 and 1850 have of eight squadrons of three companies, amounted to the enormous sum of each containing seventy men. The vol$9,836,836, or $346,307 annually. With unteer companias sueltas include eight all these means in their hands, says the companies of white infantry and thirteen writer, for the improvement of the pub- of cavalry; also twenty-two of free colorlic roads, "we have seen the public ed infantry, mulattoes and blacks. mail detained from three to four days for These troops are distributed throughthe want of bridges, boats, etc."
out the island; and as the regular army, The writer, who thus exposes the Junta with all its officers, is from old Spain, the de Fomento, which body, since 1824, has Creole finds but little sympathy in those had the handling of more than $9,836,- who are thus sent to enforce his obe836 for internal improvements, without dience to the exactions of his unnatural making any, recommends that the Junta parent. Havana, the key to the whole be suppressed, and its power and duties island, is garrisoned by six regiments of merged in those of the Captain-General. infantry, generally of the regular army, Whether the Captain-General would one regiment of infantry and one of horse, make a better use of the money intend- of the militia, and two battalions of free ed for internal improvements, is very colored troops. doubtful.
RELIGION.—The Catholic religion is There is great obscurity in all the gov- the only religion tolerated by the governernment returns of Cuba, as regards the ment in Cuba. An effort was made, a gross amount of taxation. The official few years ago, by England, to obtain publications which are made, neither permission to erect a Protestant church comprehend the whole range of taxes, at Havana, but without success. No one nor is there generally affixed to each can hold property or engage in any kind head anything more than the balance of business in Cuba, without first acsubject to the control of the general knowledging, in writing, that he is an treasury; that is, after deducting the Apostolical Roman Catholic ; but those enormous rates allowed those by whom who have tender consciences leave out the revenues are collected, the balance the middle term, and it is winked at. is reported as the amount of tax levied The Creoles are said to possess less inimon the people : so that the $12,000,000, ical feeling towards Protestants than the officially reported as being the whole tax, latter, in our northern States, exhibit is only the balance, after all expenses of towards Roman Catholics. The real secollection are deducted. The author of cret of the matter is, that the Cubans “Cuba and the Cubans" estimates that care but little about religion of any kind. the amount of money actually collected The first cathedral in Cuba was erectby the Cuban government annually, for ed in 1518, by Leo X., at Baracoa, which taxes, is about double the amount offi. was for a long time the most important cially reported. He shows this to have place in Cuba. It now contains only been the case for the year 1844, and the 2,600 inhabitants. Adrian VI, removed system is now the same.*
it to Santiago de Cuba, in 1522. It beARMY.—The Captain-General of Cuba ing destroyed by fire, another was built, is commander-in-chief of the army, but in so bad a manner that it threatened which is divided into the regular troops to fall down upon the congregation and
priests. They accordingly abandoned it * "Cuba and the Cubans," pp. 167-181. We should, however, receive the statements of either side,
nd, in 1672. The island remained without in these matters, with some grains of allowance,
Revenues of the Church-State of Morals and Religion.
built by the king of Spain. The early estate; all must be carried to the public Cuban church was extremely poor. Our ground, where their remains are not perCatholic readers will smile at the rela- mitted to remain long undisturbed. From tion of the historian Morell, that the 1806 to 1842, a period of thirty-six years, priests had to dispense with the two mon- there were buried in the Havana cemeacilloes, (boys attendant on the priests,) tery alone-making allowance for the and supply their place with a negro be- cholera in 1833–155,304 bodies. The longing to the cathedral, on whom they average cost of burial is about $10, which put clothes and shoes, that he might would give the churches of Havana make a decent appearance before the alone, in the thirty-six years, the sum of altar. Such was the state of things in $1,553,040. What, then, must have 1716, when Bishop Valdez visited the been the whole church revenues, from island.
burials, for the whole island? At preAt first, there was but one diocese, sent, the amount of the free population which included not only the whole island of Cuba is about 600,000. If the annual of Cuba, but also the whole of Louisiana mortality of the island is 4 per cent., * and the two Floridas, and all under one the number of deaths per annum would bishop. In 1788, the diocese of Cuba be, for the whole island, 24,000, which, was divided into two, each embracing at $10, would give the church a revenue half of the island. The eastern diocese, of $240,000. or that of Santiago de Cuba, was erected The number of marriages in the whole into an archbishopric in 1804; the other, island annually is about 2,400, which, at that of Havana, remaining, as now, un $5 each on an average, for rich and poor, der a bishop. The diocese of Havana would yield the church the sum of $12,embraces forty-four parochial churches, 000. This is probably, quite too low an and seventy-nine auxiliary ones, while estimate. The number of baptisms in the archbishopric contains only twenty- the whole island is about 24,000; which, seven parochial churches and twelve at 75 cents, would be $18,000. auxiliaries; the whole subdivided into The private extra marriage fees, decuracies.
manded for marriages under various preThe revenues of the church are derived tences by the priests, is estimated, by from tithes on the products of the island. Mr. Sagra,t at $15,000 annually. To (sugar estates established since 1805 be all these must be added the burial fees ing alone exempted.) christenings, mar- for negroes, slaves, at $4.50 each. The riages, deaths, &c. "It is true that the number of slaves in Cuba is about 400,possessions of the church were con. 000. A mortality of 4 per cent. would fiscated, some years ago, but the tithes give 16,000, which at $4.50 each would are still collected: and it is generally yield the church $72,000. The total believed that the amount of tithes finds revenue then of the Cuban Church, its way into the public treasury, and is omitting many perquisites, would be: appropriated to other purposes than those For tithes....
................. $267,444 of religion.* The amount of tithes col Burial fees...................240,000
Marriage fees.......... lected in 1847 is estimated at $267,444
Marriage fees, extra..... .... 15,000 82, as the average amount annually.
18,000 The laws require that all who are born
Burial of slaves.....
72,000 and die on the island must be christened Total...................... $624,444 and buried by the church. The charge for the baptism of every negro (and all The state of religion and morals in are required to be baptized) is 75 cents, Cuba is deplorable in the extreme. The and for his burial $1.50, even if he be seeds of infidelity find a most propitious only an infant. The price for the burial soil in all the island, under the influence of a white man is $7, but more is given of its depressing and deteriorating gov. to the priest as a present. The burial ernment. “No where," says the aucharges of the church for a stranger are thor of “Cuba and the Cubans," himgenerally about $34. All the above fees self a Cuban and a Catholic, “is prego to the church. No one without spe- sented a more dark and distressing piccial permission, which is seldom granted, can have a family cemetery on his * The author of "Cuba and the Cubang" fixes it
at 5 per cent.-p. 175.
+ " Cuba and the Cubang," p. 175. * “Notes on Cuba," p. 209.
Ibid. p. 152.
ture of unbelief, corruption and immoral. the vanities of the world, but that they ity.” At the present day, in all the might enjoy them the more freely. The churches in Cuba, a brief mass, scanda- Belenites, especially, were celebrated lously hurried through, and witnessed by for their great wealth, having a revenue a very few, is all that attests the Sab- of about $1,000,000 to be divided bebath of the Lord. The church is attend- tween 22, of which their number coned as a fashionable place for meeting, sisted. They dressed in the finest linen, gayety and flirtation, says the same wri- "and fared sumptuously every day." ter. « The ladies ply the telegraphicW hat estimation is set upon the Sabfan in the house of God with the same bath in Cuba, may be inferred from the airs of coquetry and playfulness as in fact, that the law licensing cock-fighting the theatre and at the opera, the young forbids the exhibitions on all days but gentlemen waiting at the doors for the the Sabbath and other religious holidays. interchange of glances with their fair Formerly the robed priest and all his friends; and all seem intent on showing, parish visited the cock-pit regularly. by their smiles and their undisguised Those, by the modern Cubans, are called disrespect, that they are neither be- the palmy days of cock-fighting.* Evelievers nor ashamed of their unbelief, ry town in Cuba has its cock-pit, the In the church itself are no expounding, amusement being national. Gambling no reading, even of the gospel--no visits is a universal passion. of the pastors-no consolations carried But little regard is paid to the rules of to the dying-none of the charitable the Catholic Church by the priests, rescommunities that abound in other coun- pecting marriage. Padres not only tries, whether Catholic or Protestant.” marry, but laugh at the Pope. They
Everywhere in Cuba, among all clas- declare themselves Catholicos Apostolises, is seen a sneering contempt of reli- cos, but not Romanos, and say that they gion, and the priests are universally des- do not care a medio for the Papa. Even pised. “The gentry, the masters of es- the common people laugh at his holitates, the officers of government, nay, ness, and pay scarcely any regard to the very priests themselves," says the the ceremonies of the Church, having author above cited, exhibit the same too poor an opinion of their spiritual painful picture of an all-pervading, all- leaders in general to place any faith in demoralizing infidelity. The country their doctrines. curates may, in general, and as a class, In our article on Mexico we debe set down as an example of all that lineated a sufficiently lamentable state is corrupt in immorality, all that is dis- of things in the Mexican church; but gusting in low and brutal vice."* that of Cuba throws the former com
The monks of Cuba were once im- pletely in the shade. The Captainmensely wealthy. They owned large General is, in fact, the head of the tracts of the richest soil on the island, Church in Cuba, in whose hands are its and their revenues from their plantations revenues, property and patronage. He were very great. Since the confiscation nominates through his officials, and of their property their power has passed appoints all church officers. The very away. Most of them have left the members of the chapter of the cathedral island, their number in Havana by the at Havana are either named by him or census of 1842 being reduced to 106, at Madrid, in disregard of the canonical and 188 nuns. It is now quite impossi- proposals of the board according to law. ble to say, whether these monks, or the one thing is very singular, that the government, who plundered them of bishopric of Havana has been suffered to their possessions, simply because they remain vacant for thirty years; during were monks, were the more corrupt. which time the sacrament of confirma. Many is the scandalous tale told of the tion has not been administered in the old monks of the island. Their convents several districts of the diocese, which were dens of infamy. The old St. Au. should be regularly visited at least once gustine convent was so notorious for the a year.t joyous life of its inmates, that many FORTRESSES OF CUBA.—The mouth of young men of the first families entered every river in the island of Cuba, says it as monks, not, however, to relinquish
+ " Notes on Cuba," pp. 89-93. "Cuba and the Cubans," p. 155, et passim.
+ Cuba and the Cubans, p. 157
Fortresses-Assaults upon Havana-Letter of Albemarle.
the author of "Notes on Cuba," is a genuine miracle, or the invention of guarded by a fort; he does not, however, some cunning padre, we shall leave it give any detailed account of the fortifi- for our readers to decide. It is related cations of the island, and our knowledge that the English disembarked on the regarding them is very limited. The coast during a dark night, but became most strongly fortified place in the island so alarmed by the noise of the land is Havana-La siempre Fidelisima Ciu- crabs, (of which we have already dad de San Cristobal de la Habana, as spoken,) among the dead leaves of the it is pompously styled in all formal mangroves, and by the lights of the official documents, or when a Spaniard immense numbers of cocullos, (fire-flies, wishes to speak of the capital of Cuba that they believed they had fallen into an with becoming solemnity, as in ad- ambush; and filled with terror, they fled dresses to the throne. Mr. Turnbull to their boats in the greatest disorder. very justly observes, that the names In 1762, however, they were more sucthe Spaniards give to their cities are as cessful. With a fleet of 53 vessels, carhigh sounding as those they bestow on rying 2,268 guns, under Sir George Peatheir children. Havana has been called cock, and a land force of 14,400 men the Gibraltar of America. It is doubtful under the Count of Albemarle, they took whether it deserves the name; but, as the city, and destroyed the Moro. The all know, it is a place of considerable Spanish land force consisted of 27,000 strength. Besides the walls and ditches men and a fleet of 16 vessels. The which surround it, the city is defended booty seized by the English amounted to by six strong fortresses, the Moro Castle, about $3,500,000* After this, when the the Cabanas, * Number 4, the Atares, island was restored to Spain, more exthe Principe, and the Punta. The first tensive fortifications were made from and last serve to protect the entrance of funds drawn from the mines of Mexico.t the harbor; the second is a sort of citadel; The Spanish authorities at Havana and the others are so placed as to cover are extremely jealous of the curiosity of the approaches by land. In the arsenal foreigners, allowing no one to visit the of the Havana there have been built, at inter
interior of the fortifications. different times, 49 ships of the line, 22 The entrance of the harbor of San. frigates, seven packet ships, nine brigs tiago is also strongly defended by a of war, and 14 war schooners. The fortress called Moro, standing on a rocky whole line of fortification embraces a eminence; and also by a fortification, sort of irregular polygon, of an elliptical La Estrella, erected on the same side, form, the greater diameter of which is near the level of the water, just within 2100 yards, and the smaller 1,200 yards the extreme point on which the Moro in extent. The entrance to the harbor standa
The harbor is about four miles of Havana is between the Moro and in length, from north to south, narrow, Punta castles, and is about 1,500 yards
but very deep. long, and 350 yards wide in the nar- No writer, we believe, has attempted to rowest part. It is undoubtedly one of give a detailed account of all the military the safest, best defended, and most capa- works of Cuba; indeed, with the excepcious harbors in the world. The depth of water at the entrance is not less than
* The English plundered the clergy of Havana eight fathoms, at low water. The tide most unmercifully. The following letter from there rises about 22 inches.
Count Albemarle, commander of the land forces, to
the Bishop of Havana, will show how politely the The Moro and Punta fortresses were thing was done : commenced by the first governor of
"Most ILLUSTRIOUS SIR:-I am sorry to be under the necessity of writing to your Lordship
what ought to have been thought of some days ago, take Havana by assault, in 1655, but
viz: a donation from the Church to the Commander-in-Chief of the victorious army. The least that your Lordship can offer will be $100,000. I wish to live in peace with your Lordship and with
the Church, as I have shown in all that has hitherto miracle, the memory of which is still
occurred, and I hope that your Lordship will not perpetuated by the name of los congrejos, give me reason to alter my intentions. I kiss your the crab miracle. It is a Spanish tale
" Your humble servant, told on the English, but whether it was
“ Havana, 19th Oct. 1762.” * This fortress cost $40,000,000.
† Apuntes, para la Historica de la Isla de Cuba.
tion of those of Havana, nothing is shall fully deserve your excellency's known of the other fortifications except confidence." what can be gleaned from the merely 3. The captain-general is also emaccidental notices of travelers. This powered to suspend the execution of arises from the fact that travelers whatever royal orders or general decrees, generally are more intent upon making in all the different branches of the ada book than on giving information. We ministration, or in any part of them, as presume, however, that with the excep- he may think conducive to the royal tion of those of Havana, the fortifications service; his acts only being subject to of Cuba are quite insignificant.
the approval of the sovereign of Spain. GOVERNMENT. — The government of On the death of Ferdinand VII. Cuba Cuba is that of an almost absolute vice- was included in the constitutional reroyalty. The governor of the island, form, published in the Estatuto Real. In who bears the pompous title of Goberna- 1837, the democratic constitution of 1812 dor Superior Civil, Presidente de las Audi. was proclaimed, and General Lorenzo, encias y Capitan General de la Isla, is, in Governor of Santiago, repeated its profact, the Alter Ego of the sovereign of mulgation in Santiago. Captain-General Spain, and dependent upon no other per- Tacon sent an armed expedition to put son. His word is law, his decisions are down the movement. General Lorenzo final, and it is an act of sedition for more took refuge on board of a British man-ofthan two persons to lay at his feet a peti- war, on the invitation of the commander, tion. By the royal order of the Crown whose name is suppressed. Lorenzo was of Spain, dated Madrid, 28th of May, taken to Havana, and delivered to Tacon, 1825, which order has ever since been, who banished him from the island. Thus and is now, in full force, the captain: was suppressed all constitutional governgenerals are clothed with almost un- ment and rights in Cuba. Mr. Turnbull limited powers, to enable them, in the declares that the delivery of Lorenzo to language of the order itself, “ to keep in Tacon was by the agreement of the forquietude H. M. faithful inhabitants, con- mer, and not from any treachery on the fine within the proper limits such as part of the English commander. would deviate from the path of honor, To complete the subjugation of Cuba and punish such as, forgetting their du- and strip it of its rights, the Cuban depties, would dare commit excesses in op- uties legally elected, were, the same position to our wise laws;' and to pre- year, (1837,) refused admittance at the vent the embarrassments which, under Spanish Cortes, all colonial representaextraordinary circumstances, might arise tion being denied. The Cortes, at the from a division in the command, and same time, passed a resolution declaring from the complicated authority and pow. that hereafter Cuba should be governed ers of the different officers of govern- by special laws.* ment, for the important end of maintain. The isle of Cuba is divided into sev. ing in that island his sovereign authority eral distinct jurisdictions-civil, judicial, and the public quiet," the captain-gen- military, and ecclesiastical. The milierals are invested,
tary coinprises the whole island, and is di1. With the whole extent of power, vided into two departments, a western and which, by the Royal Ordinances, is an eastern, each embracing one-half of granted to the governors of besieged the island. There was a department of the towns. That is the isle of Cuba has centre, which was suppressed in August, been, ever since 1825, under martial 1851 ; and the writer of the paper in law,
the Diario de la Marina, which we have 2. The captain-general has 6 most am- so often quoted, intimates that the supple and unrestricted authority" to re- pression also of the eastern department move from the island “such persons is contemplated, and would be an im. holding offices, from the government or provement. Each of the two departnot, whatever their occupation, rank, ments is divided into sections, partidos, class, or situation in life may be, whosé and cuartones. Each department is unresidence there you (the captain-gen- der a commander-general; each section eral) may believe prejudicial, or whose under a commander-of-arms; each parpublic or private conduct may appear tido under a petty judge, with the title suspicious to you; employing in their stead faithful servants of H. M., who Cuba, p. 22.
* Cuba and the Cubans, pp. 181-2. Turnbull's