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tral uplands, or sugar zone, the mountains, the beautiful valleys, and the caves. The agricultural industries of sugar, tobacco, fruit cultivation, and stock raising are presented in some of their more interesting details, while the groups of supervisors, and enumerators, and the family groups are fair types of native Cubans, whose tragic and heroic struggle for liberty has excited the interest of the whole civilized world. Very respectfully,
J. P. Sanger, Ins. Genl.,
Director of the Census. Hon. Elihu Root,
Secretary of War.
CENSUS OF CUBA, 1899.
The government of Cuba has jurisdiction not only over the island of that name, but also over the Isle of Pines, lying directly to the south of it, and more than a thousand islets and reefs scattered along its northern and southern coasts.
For administrative purposes Cuba is divided into six provinces which, named from the west eastward, are Pinar del Rio, Habana, Matanzas, Santa Clara, Puerto Principe, and Santiago de Cuba. These provinces are divided into municipal districts, of which Pinar del Rio contains 20, Habana 36, Matanzas 24, Santa Clara 28, Puerto Principe 5, and Santiago 19, making a total of 132 municipal districts.
The municipal districts are in turn divided into barrios or wards, which correspond in extent and organization somewhat with our election districts. The number of these in the entire island is between 1,100 and 1,200. Both municipal districts and wards differ widely in area and population. The five districts of Puerto Principe are large in area, while several in Habana and one or two in Santiago are in area little more than cities. In population, on the other hand, the districts range from Habana, with nearly a quarter of a million people, down to districts containing little more than 1,000 inhabitants. In popular language, the island is divided into the Vuelta Abajo, or the portion from the meridian of Habana to Cape San Antonio; the Vuelta Arriba, from the meridian of Habana to that of Cienfuegos; Las Cinca Villas, from the meridian of Cienfuegos to that of Sancti Spiritus, and Sierra Adentro, from the latter to Holguin and Cape Maysi.
Cuba, the most populous of the West India islands, lies directly south of Florida. Habana is a trifle west of south of Key West and is distant from it, as the crow flies, about 100 miles, being separated from it by the Strait of Florida. East of Cuba lies Haiti, the second in size of the West India islands, and south of it lies Jamaica. The first of these islands is only 54 miles distant from Cape Maysi the easternmost point of Cuba. The latter is 85 miles distant from its southern coast. On the west, Cuba is separated by Yucatan Channel, 130 miles wide, from the Peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico.
Thus from a military point of view Cuba occupies a strong strategic position, controlling the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico by the Strait of Florida, the Windward Passage to the Caribbean Sea between Cuba and Haiti, and Yucatan Channel, connecting the Gulf of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea. The first and last of these are the only entrances to the Gulf of Mexico, which is thus controlled completely by the island of Cuba.
Cuba is included between the meridians of 74° and 85° west of Greenwich and between the parallels of 19° 40' and 23° 33'. Its length from Cape Maysi on the east to Cape San Antonio on the west is 730 miles. Its breadth differs greatly in different parts, ranging from 100 miles in the east, in the province of Santiago, to 25 miles in the neighborhood of Habana. Its area, which is more fully discussed elsewhere, may be set down as 43,000 square miles, including the Isle of Pines and the keys. It is, therefore, a little larger than the State of Virginia and somewhat smaller than Pennsylvania.
The north coast is for the most part bluff and rocky, and in the provinces of Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Puerto Principe bordered by lines of islands and reefs of coral formation, the passages through which are extremely intricate and difficult. These islands are low, are in the main covered with mangrove forests, and contain few inhabitants.
The coast is low in the western part of the island, the bluffs ranging about 100 feet in height in Pinar del Rio and rising gradually eastward. About Matanzas they reach 500 feet in altitude. In Santa Clara and Puerto Principe they are lower, but in Santiago the coast is abrupt and rugged, almost mountainous, rising in a succession of terraces.
The south coast from Cape Maysi to Cape Cruz is mountainous. Indeed, from Santiago westward to Cape Cruz the Sierra Maestra rises abruptly from the water to altitudes of several thousands of feet. The shores of the gulf of Buena Esperanza, into which flows the Rio Cauto, are low, and from this place westward, excepting a short stretch between Trinidad and Cienfuegos, the coast is low and marshy as far as Cape San Antonio, the westernmost point of the island. This coast strip of marsh is in the main narrow, but west of Cienfuegos it broadens into a great expanse, forming the Zapata Swamp, an almost impenetrable region, 75 miles in length with a maximum breadth of fully 30 miles, clothed with the densest vegetation and teeming with tropical life. It was within the protecting limits of this marsh that the Cubans during the recent revolution maintained a hospital for their sick and wounded
Off the south coast are hundreds of low, marshy, mangrove-covered islands and islets.
Most of the harbors on both coasts are of peculiar shape, resembling nothing so much as pouches with narrow, often sinuous, entrances, opening within into broad expanses completely sheltered. This is the