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the Spanish treasury. In the mean time Captain-General, who appoints their memthe slave-trade is carried on as extensively bers, and dictates at will their resolutions, as ever, and with greater cruelty. Spain The Board of Improvement has become a will not abolish it. She is determined, in mere arm of the government, to sanction spite of treaties, to pour annually into despotic acts, to support additional taxes, Cuba a fierce black population which shall and to introduce mixed races into the pointimidate the Creoles from any attempt at pulation. All who have dared to oppose freedom. This, and this only, is the secret these measures are forced into obscurity, of the unflinching prosecution of the slave or persecuted, or expatriated. trade in the face of treaties, and contrary T'he Creoles are excluded from the army, to the wishes of the Creole population. the judiciary, the treasury, and the cusIt has been said that the continuance toms, and from all influential or lucrative of the traffic is owing to the enormous positions; private speculations and monobribes to the Captain-General, of thirty- polies are favored and established with a two dollars for each slave, and that this view of taking from them their means of is the only reason it is not abolished. It wealth; the poor in the country are comis ridiculous even to suppose that Spain, pelled to serve in the precarious police, if she had no other object but to enrich which is thus sustained ; and fines are an unscrupulous official, would run the imposed, and forced aid for the repairing risk of continually breaking her treaty of the roads, according to the will of the with so powerful a nation as England, officer in command, or the pliancy of the always on the alert if possible to enforce it. individual.
But that no one may have a doubt of The twenty-five millions of taxes, after the ultimate object of Spain in constantly deducting what is embezzled by the offiflooding Cuba with Africans, we translate cials, are employed in supporting an army the following from the Heraldo of Ma of twenty thousand men, and likewise the drid:—"It is well for all to know, whether entire navy of Spain, in the paying of native or foreign, that the Island of Cuba a vast number of officers residing either can only be Spanish or African. When on the island or at home; and in remitthe day comes when the Spaniards should tances for general purposes. In spite of the be found to abandon her, they will do so enormous tithe collected, it is only by subby bequeathing their sway to the blacks, scriptions that the inhabitants can secure just as a commander abandons a battery to themselves temples for their worship, to the enemy after defending it as long or cemeteries for their dead; and for å as possible, but taking care, above every baptism or a burial, or to obtain any of thing, to spike the cannon, that the adver the consolations of religion, the care of sary shall not make use of them.” While which is indirectly under the all-absorbthe Spanish organ in New-York, the Cro ing military authority, a large additional nica, holds the following language :-" If, sum must be paid. The military govin consequence of the war, signs should ernment has taken from the other political be manifested that the hostile elements, and administrative branches the control now subdued by the interests of our of education, in order to restrict, to limit, common race, were to be let loose, and to embarrass it. The tributary sysSpain would arm her Africans, and tem has drained many sources of wealth. would guide them as auxiliaries as long The flour monopoly has put down the as it were in her power to do so, and cultivation of colfee; and the grazing of would grant them full liberty as a re cattle has become a ruinous business from ward for their aid, when she should per the tax on slaughtered animals. ceive that these means were not suffi Every inhabitant is compelled to ask ciently powerful to enable her longer to for a license, and pay for the same, when resist!
he wants to go from the place of his resiIt will be seen that Spain has not only dence. No citizen, however peaceful and deprived Cuba of all means of redress, respectable he may be, is allowed to walk but also that she openly avows a deter through the city after ten o'clock in the mination to hold her in chains by the evening, unless he carry with him a lanmost terrible of all menaces, that of en terrr
, and obtains leave successively of all couraging a servile insurrection.
the watchmen on his way, the infraction But to proceed: The press, under the of which law is punished with immediate most infamous and servile censorship, is a arrest, and a fine of eight dollars. He is not weapon wielded only against her rights. permitted to lodge any person in his house A petition, signed by more than two, is for a single night, be the same either nacondemned as a seditious act. The cor tive or foreigner, his friend or a memporations, as we have stated, have no ber of his family, without giving informalonger a representative character, and they tion of the fact, under the penalty of a are under the immediate control of the like punishment. He cannot remove his
residence from one house into another, by a French author, the reader is referred without giving notice, previously, of his to an article entitled, L'Ile de Cuba, par F. intention, to the authorities, under the Clavé, Revue des Deux Mondes, Juin, penalty of a heavy fine. An order has 1847. been made which in effect prohibits pa If a true statement has been given of rents from sending their children to the the situation of Cuban affairs, Cuba has United States for purposes of education, a right to attempt her freedom. Taking and such as wish to do so are driven to what has been said for truth, a case is the expedient of proving or feigning ill made out which would justify Cuba by the health in their children, in order to ob
unanimous voice of mankind for the act tain passports for them.
of revolution. For it is a safe proposition This view of Cuban affairs is not derived to submit to the civilized world, that no from Cubans alone, nor from our own nation shall oppress by any arbitrary or countrymen. English and French writers tyrannical despotism a dependent country on the subject sustain it fully. A work or colony. Although the means of reon Cuba was published in London in dress may not always be hand, no one 1849, by Mr. R. R. Madden (author of disputes the right of the oppressed to the well-known book on the Infirmities seek for or to use them. of Genius), who held, by appointment
But how do the inhabitants of Cuba from the British government, the office regard their situation ? Are they content of Acting Commissioner of Arbitration, to bear their chains? Have they no idea under the treaty relative to the slave that they are oppressed and trampled on? trade with Spain, during the years 1836, If they are alive to all these grievances, '7, '8 and '9, and who claimed to have why do they not raise the standard of closely investigated the condition of the independence, proclaim themselves a free island. Mr. Madden remarks: "The po- people, and do as our thirteen colonies licy of Spain was renewed of considering
did in 1776 ? There is no doubt-it canevery species of Cuban produce as a com not, indeed, be questioned-that since modity of a distant region, that it was 1836–7, a general feeling of disaffection, legitimate to burthen with oppressive we may say of hatred, toward her optaxes;" and then very forcibly depicts pressors, has pervaded the whole Crethrough several pages the violence and ole population of Cuba. Mr. Madden, rapacity of the governors of Cuba," and whom we have before quoted, remarks, sums up the case very concisely as fol “ All the intelligence, education, worth, lows: "The Spanish government regards and influence of the white natives of the this colony as its property. It thinks island (Creoles), have been enlisted against the smaller quantity of liberty it can the government of Spain, and an intense give to Cuba, the greater quantity of desire for independence excited." He money it can take from it.” Mr. Robert adds further, “It is needless for recent Baird, an eminent Scotch barrister, who political writers of Cuba to deny the expublished two volumes in Edinburgh and istence of a strong feeling of animosity London in 1850, on the West Indies and to the mother country, and a longing deNorth America, records his testimony as sire for separation. From my own intifollows: “ The Governor or Captain mate knowledge of these facts I speak General of Cuba, may be said to enjoy of their existence." Let it be borne in despotic power. The present Governor, mind that this language is from an EngRoncali, Count of Alcoy, since his arrival lish official, who was four years a resident in in the island, has constituted himself a Cuba, and who manifests strong jealousy supreme tribunal, having a complete ju of the United States. That the Creoles risdiction of all cases! I had no oppor do not attempt revolution, is not so much tunity of witnessing his Excellency's from dread of the powerful army which is freaks in this so-called summary court maintained in the island, as from their of justice; but if half that I heard of apprehensions of the colored population, it were true, it must have been a strange
and that Spain uld make good her sight, in a civilized country, to see a com threat to arm the slaves against their paratively illiterate soldier professing to masters. We doubt if such tremendous decide of his own knowledge and judg odds as the unfortunate Creole has to ment, and after a few minutes, questions contemplate, in view of a revolutionary involving intricate facts, disputed rights movement, would deter the Saxon from and important principles. Indeed, it is asserting and battling for his liberty, said that the plaintiff, the person who But the Cuban character is puerile and first applies for Count Roncali's aid, has submissive compared with the hardy braalways the best chance.
very which nerves the other race. So For a confirmation of Mr. Baird's re that while they might risk life, promarks, and the justice of his impressions, perty, everything, on a fair venture for In
dependence, they shrink from encountering rejected), to guarantee the island from the what seems to them an irresistible force. intervention of any foreign power; and And perhaps, as they are situated, it is he adds, “ if England could have been inirresistible. Our ancestors had an im duced to do so, the white inhabitants were mense country to fall back upon; they prepared to throw off the Spanish yoke.” could retreat into impenetrable forests, He remarks very naively, in a foot-note apor fill mountain passes, or take advantage pended to this assertion, that he “pestered of the enemy's ignorance of their geogra his superiors with his opinions on the subphical resources. They had no fears of ject in 1836–7–8–9, and he could say conthe rising of a fierce black population, scientiously that he had freed his mind in nearly double their own, in numbers, regard to it, if the star-spangled banner and incited to hostility by the mother coun were floating to-morrow on the Moro Castry ready to furnish them with all the tle, or flaunting in the breeze at St. Jago means of war. On the contrary, the de Cuba.” Mr. Madden proceeds to obCuban inhabits an island which, al serve that “the leading men of the Crethough considerable in extent, is but ole, or white Cuban people, had then little over fifty miles in mean breadth. (1837) little anxiety or fear as to the reHemmed in by the sea, a terrible enemy sult of an effort for independence. A within his gates, scores of soldiers ready liberal allotment of land in the island for to overrun his territory, to pillage, to the soldiers who might be disposed to ravage, and destroy, his situation is cal join the independent party, it was exculated to challenge our commiseration pected, was a prospect which would sufmore than that of any other subject of op fice to gain over the army, nominally pression in the world. The very apparent consisting of 20,000 men (Spaniards), in hopelessness of his condition adds to his the island; but the actual number of naclaims upon our sympathy.
tive Spaniards did not exceed 16,000 men. We have given a brief abstract of the The chief apprehension that was enterpolitical history of Cuba, and presented tained was of the slaves, of their taking the actual condition of the Creole popu advantage of the revolution to get rid of lation, without even a reference to any ex all the whites, both Spanish and Creole. tráneous question. We have stated the But the hope of obtaining any guarantee case between Spain and Cuba just as we from England was not likely to be realwould one between Austria and Hungary. ized, and the terrible fear of a rising of Thus far, a stranger unacquainted with the slave population, gaining ground the geographical divisions, would not know more as time was spent in deliberation, at but the island was situated in the Medi length all thoughts of independence, were terranean instead of the Caribbean Sea, merged in consideration of interests that or lay at the entrance of St. George's were thought of more immediate importChannel, instead of the mouth of the ance-those, namely, of life and property. Mississippi.
Spain is indebted to these considerations, We have seen that the position of and to these alone, for the retention of the the Creoles of Cuba is that of an oppress island of Cuba, ever since the period I have ed and degraded race, fully sensible of referred to." Mr. Madden continues, “It is their wrongs; that they now regard the not to England, now, that the white napower which oppresses them with detes tives of Cuba look for aid or countenance tation ; that, notwithstanding their ear in any future effort for independence. It nest desire to be free, they are kept under is to America they now turn their eyes, by the terrors of a servile insurrection, and America takes good care to respond and the fear of relentless persecution. to the wishes that are secretly expressed But do the Cubans despair altogether of in these regards.” The writer, after parliberty? Have they no hope from any tially exonerating the Government of the quarter? or, if from any, from what quar United States from any agency in the ter? There is no doubt that they look matter, goes on: “ This feeling, I am to the United States, and to the United sorry to say, had already begun to gain States only, as their ultimate hope and ground among the intelligent and educated salvation from the cruelties of Spain. class of Creole Cubans, in 1839, before I American authority on this point may left the island. All the communications not be disinterested; it is more satisfac I have had with natives of Cuba, of the tory to quote again from Mr. Madden, class I refer to, of late years in other who strongly opposes the annexation of countries, and in the present year parCuba to the United States, while, at the ticularly, would lead me to imagine that same time, he avows very candidly that the desire to link the fortunes of Cuba he did his utmost to prevail on England, and the United States is now very genein 1837 (the particular period before re rally and strongly felt.” Mr. Madden ferred to, when the Cuban deputies were then proceeds to deprecate such an event
at considerable length, which makes his testimony on the point before us unquestionable. He next shows the reason why Cuba looks with hope if not with confidence to the United States; “the property of the island," he says, “has derived no small advantage from the numerous American establishments in it. Improved modes of agriculture, of fabrication, of conveyance, were introduced by the Americans. I was present at the opening of the first railway, from Havana to Guines, in 1837. To American enterprise and energy, solely, I have reason to know, this great undertaking was indebted.” And further on: 6. The substitution, in Cuba, of the old grinding-mill, rudely constructed of wood, by steam-engine machinery, is also chiefly due to the Americans. To them, therefore, Cuba is indebted for the various improvements in the fabrication of sugar, and the modes of conveying the produce of its plantations, which enable the proprietors to compete successfully with those of the English colonies. Cuba, ever since I knew it, has been slowly but steadily becoming Americanized." That we may present further evidence from a similarly independent foreign source, we quote from a work published in London, in 1851, entitled "The United States and Cuba," by the late John Glanville Taylor, written with remarkable candor and correctness. “Every step of progression,” says this author, “which Cuba has made, every undertaking which has been projected and accomplished, every opposition to and breaking through of the mists of Spanish prejudice, has been carried out by Anglo-Saxon enterprise. Her mines, her railroads, her improvements in machinery and agriculture, are all due to it, and it is only by continually pushing and driving on their part, that the Spanish authorities can be coerced, as it were, into abating a jot of their old fashions and policies. They see, or ought to see by this time, that it was a continuance in them which lost them all their other possessions, and would also lose them Cuba; they are letting in light now, it is true, but it is not of their own kindling, and I have reason to know that even the mighty engine of the press is carried on and worked by American enterprise, and that the very types are cast in the United States. Ominous sign! If these improvements in Cuba were due to the exertions of a regenerated race of Spaniards alone, we might yet hope; but, with such facts before us, unless something extremely unlikely should occur, I can see but one end."
Considerable sensation has lately been excited by the publication of the official papers relative to the policy of our gov
ernment in regard to the island of Cuba for the last thirty years. A great many have condemned this publication as exceedingly unwise and injudicious at the present juncture. On the contrary, we are glad that the whole story is out. We do not believe in any secret policy whatever. Honesty and straightforwardness require no concealment.
Only rogues should dread the publicity of their actions. We hold in contempt the hackneyed doctrine of diplomacy which, in its tortuous and detestable course, winds snake-like towards its object. The diplomatist fears everything which seems to be honest and outspoken, as if the intercourse between governments should be marked step by step by cunning intrigue. Fair, open, and direct dealing between individuals is everywhere commended. Even the sensible knave learns to exclaim that honesty is the best policy. This is quite as true of intercourse between nations-a fact which we commend to diplomatists generally, while we avow our conviction that the sooner the present system, known by the name diplomacy, is abolished, the better. A word about these official documents. They do not present any new facts. They only exhibit the course of diplomatic transactions. Everybody knew that the United States had regarded Cuba for many years with eager interest ; that for thirty years she has declared that from reasons of self-preservation she would not permit Spain to part with Cuba to any other European power; that she was con tent, so long as it remained subject to Spain; that England has intrigued more or less to achieve the independence of Cuba, and that President Polk offered one hundred inillions of dollars for the island These facts, we say, were all known before the publication of the official papers, but the dates and attending circumstances we get more particularly from them. We cannot however overlook the clear and elaborate correspondence on this subject of John Quincy Adams while Secretary of State. We commend the whole to the perusal of the reader as indicating a manly avowal of opinions and a forcible defence of them. We quote from his letters to Mr. Forsyth, as follows, under date of April 28, 1823:
"In the war between France and Spain, now commencing, other interests, peculiarly ours, will, in all probability, be deeply involved. Whatever may be the issue of this war, as between those two European powers, it may be taken for granted that the dominion of Spain upon the American continents, North and South, is irrevocably gone. But the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico still re
main nominally, and so far really, depen- position that in the war opening upon dent upon her, that she yet possesses the Europe the United States have deep and power of transferring her own dominion important interests involved peculiarly over them, together with the possession of their own-the condition of Cuba cannot them, to others. These islands, from but depend upon the issue of this war. their local position and natural appenda As an integral part of the Spanish terriges to the North American continent, and tories, Cuba has been formally and solone of them, Cuba, almost in sight of our emnly invested with the liberties of the shores, from a multitude of considerations Spanish constitution. To destroy those has become an object of transcendent im liberties, and to restore in the stead of portance to the commercial and political that constitution the dominion of the interests of our Union. Its commanding Bourbon race, is the avowed object of this position, with reference to the Gulf of new invasion of the Peninsula. There Mexico and the West India seas; the is too much reason to apprehend that, in character of its population, its situation Spain itself, this unhallowed purpose will midway between our Southern coast and be attended with immediate, or at least the Island of St. Domingo, its safe and temporary, success. The constitution of capacious harbor of the Havana, fronting Spain will be demolished by the armies of a long line of our shores destitute of the the Holy Alliance, and the Spanish nation same advantage; the nature of its pro will again bow the neck to the yoke of bigductions and of its wants furnishing the otry and despotic sway. Whether the pursupplies and needing the returns of a com pose of France or of her continental allies merce immensely profitable and mutually extend to the subjugation of the remaining beneficial, give it an importance in the Ultra Marine possessions of Spain or not, sum of our national interests with which has not yet been sufficiently disclosed. that of no other foreign territory can be “But to confine ourselves to that which compared, and little inferior to that which immediately concerns us—the condition of binds the different members of this Union the island of Cuba-we know that the together. Such indeed, are, between the republican spirit of freedom prevails among interests of that island and of this coun its inhabitants. The liberties of the contry, the geographical, commercial, moral stitution are to them rights in possession; and political relations formed by nature, nor is it to be presumed that they will be gathering, in the process of time, and even willing to surrender them because they now verging to maturity, that, in looking may be extinguished by foreign violence forward to the probable course of events in the parent country. As Spanish terrifor the short period of half a century, it tory, the island will be liable to invasion is scarcely possible to resist the conviction from France during the war; and the only that the annexation of Cuba to our feder reasons for doubting whether the attempt al republic will be indispensable to the will be made, are the probable incompecontinuance and integrity of the Union tency of the French maritime force to itself. It is obvious, however, that for effect the conquest, and the probability this event we are not yet prepared. Nu that its accomplishment would be resisted merous and formidable objections to the by Great Britain. In the meantime, and extension of our territorial dominions be
at all events, the condition of the island, yond sea present themselves to the first in regard to that of its inhabitants, is a contemplation of the subject; obstacles to condition of great, imminent and complithe system of policy by which alone that cated danger; and without resorting to result can be compassed and maintained speculation upon what such a state of are to be foreseen and surmounted, both things must produce upon a people so sitfrom at home and abroad; but there are uated, we know that its approach has allaws of political as well as of physical ready had a powerful effect upon them, and gravitation; and if an apple, severed by that the question, what are they to do the tempest from its native tree, cannot upon contingencies daily pressing upon choose but fall to the ground, Cuba, for them and ripening into reality, has for the cibly disjointed from its own unnatural last twelve months constantly excited connection with Spain, and incapable of their attention and stimulated them to acself-support, can gravitate only towards tion. Were the population of the island the North American Union, which, by the of one blood and color, there could be no same law of nature, cannot cast her off doubt or hesitation with regard to the from its bosom.
course which they would pursue, as dic"In any other state of things than that tated by their interests and their rights; which springs from this incipient war be the invasion of Spain by France would be tween France and Spain, these considera the signal for their declaration of indetions would be premature. They are pendence. That even in their present now merely touched upon to illustrate the state it will be imposed upon them as a