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This practice has now ceased to be indulged in. But
the swimming of the Kanaka boys, who flock around incoming steamers, and
dive after and catch coins which tourists throw into the water, like so
many ducks diving after corn, shows what a degree of perfection the
natatorial art has attained among the native Hawaiians. Sledging down
the mountain sides, boxing, and tournament riding are other popular
amusements; and, with the exception of boxing, the women compete with
the men in the amusements.


PRODUCTS AND COMMERCE.

Sugar is king in Hawaii as wheat is in the Northwest. In 1890 there were
19,000 laborers--nearly one-fifth of the total population--engaged on
sugar plantations. Ten tons to the acre have been raised on the richest
lands. The average is over four tons per acre, but it requires from
eighteen to twenty months for a crop to mature. Rice growing is also an
important industry. It is raised in marsh lands, and nearly all the
labor is done by Chinese, though they do not own the land. Coffee is
happily well suited to the soil that is unfitted for sugar and rice, and
the Hawaiian coffee is particularly fine, combining the strength of the
Java with a delicate flavor of its own.

Diversified farming is coming more into vogue. Fruit raising will
undoubtedly become one of the most important branches when fast steamers
are provided for its transportation. Sheep and cattle raising must also
prove profitable, since the animals require little feeding and need no
housing.

"Almost all kinds of vegetables and fruits can be raised, many of those
belonging to the temperate zones thriving on the elevated mountain
slopes. Fruit is abundant; the guava grows wild in all the islands, and
were the manufacture of jelly made from it carried on, on a large scale,
the product could doubtless be exported with profit. Both bananas and
pineapples are prolific, and there are many fruits and vegetables, which
as yet have been raised only for local trade, which would, if cultivated
for export, bring in rich returns.

"Of the total exports from the Hawaiian Islands in 1895, the United
States received 99.04 per cent., and in the same year 79.04 per cent. of
the imports to the islands were from the United States. The total value
of the sugar sent to the United States in 1896 was $14,932,010; of rice,
$194,903; of coffee, $45,444; and of bananas, $121,273."


THE CHIEF CITY.

Honolulu, the capital city, is to Hawaii what Havana is to Cuba, or
better, what Manila is to the Philippine Islands. Here are concentrated
the business, political and social forces that control the life and
progress of the entire archipelago. This city of 30,000 inhabitants is
situated on the south coast of Oahu, and extends up the Nuuanu Valley.
It is well provided with street-car lines--which also run to a bathing
resort four miles outside the city--a telephone system, electric lights,
numerous stores, churches and schools, a library of over 10,000 volumes,
and frequent steam communication with San Francisco. There are papers
published in the English, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese
languages, and a railroad is being built, of which thirty miles along
the coast are already completed. Honolulu has also a well-equipped fire
department and public water-works. The residence portions of the city
are well laid out, the houses, many of which are very handsome, being
surrounded by gardens kept green throughout the year. The climate is
mild and even, and the city is a delightful and a beautiful place of
residence. Hawaii is peculiarly an agricultural country, and Honolulu
gains its importance solely as a distributing centre or depot of
supplies. Warehouses, lumber yards, and commercial houses abound, but
there is a singular absence of mills and factories and productive
establishments. There are no metals or minerals, or as yet, textile
plants or food plants, whose manufacture is undertaken in this unique
city.

[Illustration: SUGAR CANE PLANTATION, HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

About one-fifth of the entire population is engaged in sugar culture.
The average product is about three tons per acre.]

The Hawaiian Islands are, without question, on the threshold of a great
industrial era, fraught with most potent results to the prosperity and
development of that land. Its climate is delightful and healthful, and
its soil so fertile that it will easily support 5,000,000 people.

[Illustration: SENOR MONTERO RIOS

President of the Spanish Peace Commission whose painful duty required
him to sign away his country's colonial possessions.]

[Illustration: GENERAL RAMON BLANCO

Who succeeded Weyler as Captain-General of Cuba in 1897. He was formerly
Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.]

[Illustration: ADMIRAL CERVERA

Commander of Spanish Fleet at Santiago.]

[Illustration: SAGASTA

Premier of Spain during the Spanish-American War.]

[Illustration: PROMINENT SPANIARDS IN 1898]


OUR NEW POSSESSIONS (CONTINUED).

CUBA, "THE CHILD OF OUR ADOPTION."

Although Cuba is not a part or a possession of the United States, it has
since the war with Spain, in 1898, come under the protection of this
government, and is, therefore, entitled to a place in this volume. In
the hand of Providence, this island became the doorway to America. It
was here that Columbus landed, October 28, 1492. True, he touched
earlier at one of the smaller islands to the north; but it was merely a
halting before pushing on to Cuba. "Juana" Columbus called the island,
in honor of Isabella's infant son. Afterward it was successively known
as Fernandina, Santiago, and Ave Maria; but the simple natives, who were
there to the number of 350,000, called it _Cooba_, and this name
prevailed over the Spanish titles, as the island has finally prevailed
over Spanish domination, and it has come under the protection of America
with its Indian name, slightly changed to _Cuba_, remaining as the sole
and only heritage we have of the simple aborigines who have utterly
perished from the face of the earth under Spanish cruelty.

[Illustration: TOMB OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS IN THE CATHEDRAL AT HAVANA.

The ashes of the great discoverer were removed from this tomb to Spain
in December, 1898.]

In 1494 Columbus visited Cuba a second time, and once again in 1502. In
1511 Diego Columbus, the son of the great discoverer, with a colony of
between three and four hundred Spaniards, came, and in 1514 he founded
the towns of Santiago and Trinidad. Five years later, in 1519, the
present capital Havana, or _Habana_, was founded. The French reduced the
city in 1538, practically demolishing the whole town. Under the
governor, De Soto, it was rebuilt and fortified, the famous Morro Castle
and the Punta, which are still standing, being built at that early date.


THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS.

The natives, whom Columbus found in Cuba, were agreeable in feature, and
so amiable in disposition that they welcomed the white man with open
arms, and, besides contributing food, readily gave up their treasures to
please the Spaniards. Unlike the warlike cannibal tribes of the Lesser
Antilles, known as the Caribs, they lived in comparative peace with one
another, and had a religion which recognized the Supreme Being. Columbus
held several conferences with these simple natives, who numbered,
according to his estimate, from 350,000 to half a million souls, and his
associations and dealings with them on his first visit were always
friendly and of a mutually pleasing nature. But when he returned to
Spain he left soldiers, who brutally maltreated them, until the natives
rose in revolt and exterminated every white man. Even Columbus himself,
in 1494, had to fight the Indians at the landing-place.

A salubrious climate, a fertile soil, and simple wants rendered it
unnecessary for the native to do hard work; and although it is well
proven that he did mine copper and traded in it with the mound builders
of Florida, yet the native was not accustomed to arduous toil, and
rebelled against it. This, perhaps, was unfortunate, for the perpetuity
of his race at that time depended upon this very quality. The Spanish
"friend" who came to the island was incapable of work. He neither would
nor could, under his ethics of self-respect, abase himself to labor, so
he proceeded to enslave the native to labor for him. The Cuban rebelled,
and fled before the superior Spanish weapons from the coasts to the
mountain fastnesses of the interior.


EXTERMINATION OF THE NATIVES.

Then began that cruel and long-continued war of extermination, of which
history has recorded the most shocking details. The conquest was begun
under Diego Columbus, the son of the great discoverer. The merciless
Velasquez was his general, and the frightful cruelties which he
inaugurated upon the simple natives have been continued for nearly four
hundred years by his successors in the island, though the annihilation
of the aboriginal tribes themselves was a brief and bloody work.
Velasquez rode them down and trampled them--regardless of age or
sex--under the iron hoofs of his war-horses, slashed them with swords,
devastated their villages, and bore them away into slavery. The Cuban
had no weapons; the mountain fastnesses could not hide him from his
relentless pursuer. African slaves, who were brought to the island in
Spanish ships, were armed and forced by their masters to chase the
natives, and not a forest or mountain top was a place of refuge for
these doomed children of the soil. One historian declares: "There is
little doubt that before 1560 the whole of this native population had
disappeared from the island. They were so completely exterminated that
it is doubtful if the blood of their race was even remotely preserved in
the mixed classes who followed African and Chinese introduction."

[Illustration: MAGNIFICENT INDIAN STATUE IN THE PRADO, HAVANA, CUBA.]


A PERIOD OF REST.

For nearly two hundred years after the extermination of the natives,
Cuba rested without a struggle in the arms of Spain. The early settlers
engaged almost wholly in pastoral pursuits.



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