These considerations prompted me to indite the following pages in
which I have essayed to give a bird's-eye view of the history and
present condition of Santo Domingo. The task has been complicated by
two circumstances. One is the extraordinary difficulty of obtaining
accurate data. The other is the fact that the country has arrived at a
turning point in its history. Any description of political financial
and economic conditions can refer only or almost only to the past;
the American occupation has already introduced fundamental innovations
which will shortly be further developed and a rapid and radical
transformation is in progress. Santo Domingo at this moment is a
country which has no present only a past and a future.
My personal acquaintance with Santo Domingo and Dominican affairs is
derived from observations on several trips to the Dominican Republic
and Haiti from friendships formed with prominent Dominican families
during a residence of many years in Latin America and from experience
as secretary to the special United States commissioner to investigate
the financial condition of Santo Domingo in 1905 and as secretary to
the Dominican minister of finance during the 1906 loan negotiations.
In compiling this work I have endeavored to read all books of any
consequence which have been published with reference to Santo Domingo
and Haiti and have especially consulted the following:
Jose Ramon Abad
"La Republica Dominicana";
Santo Domingo 1886.
"Amerika die Geschichte seiner Entdeckung";
"La Republica Dominicana Directorio y Guia General";
Jose Gabriel Garcia
"Compendio de la Historia de Santo Domingo";
Santo Domingo 1896.
"Santo Domingo Past and Present with a Glance at Haiti";
New York 1873.
Jacob H. Hollander
"Report on the Debt of Santo Domingo";
59th Congress 1st Session Senate Executive Document;
Antonio Lopez Prieto
"Informe sobre los Restos de Colon";
Fernando A. de Merino
"Elementos de Geografia Fisica Politica e Historica
de la Republica Dominicana";
Santo Domingo 1898.
Mederic Louis Elie Moreau de Saint-Mery
de la partie espagnole de l'isle Saint-Domingue";
Casimiro N. de Moya
"Bosquejo Historico del Descubrimiento y Conquista
de la Isla de Santo Domingo";
Santo Domingo 1913.
"A Guide to the West Indies and Panama";
New York 1914.
Publications of the Dominican Government.
Publications of the Bureau of American Republics
and the Pan-American Union.
Annual Reports of the General Receiver of Customs of the
Dominican Republic to the Bureau of Insular Affairs
War Department Washington 1907 to 1917.
"Report of the United States Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo";
42d Congress 1st Session Senate Document
"Los Restos de Colon";
Santo Domingo 1878;
"Los dos Restos de Colon";
Santo Domingo 1879.
L. Gentil Tippenhauer
"Die Insel Haiti";
A. Hyatt Verrill
"Porto Rico Past and Present and San Domingo of To-Day";
New York 1914.
William Walton Jr.
"Present State of the Spanish Colonies including a particular
report of Hispanola";
New York _January_ 1918.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I. Historical Sketch-Days of the Conquest--1492 to 1533
Aborigines--Discovery--Founding of Isabela--Disaffection of the
colonists--Indian wars--Oppression of the Indians--Founding of
Santo Domingo City--Roldan's insurrection--Humiliation of
Columbus--Ovando's administration--Extermination of the
natives--Administrations of Diego Columbus--Treaty with Indian
CHAPTER II. Historical Sketch--Colonial Vicissitudes--1533 to 1801
Decline of the colony--English attacks on Santo Domingo
City--Settlement of Tortuga by freebooters--French settlements in
western Santo Domingo--Border wars--Cession of western coast to
France--Return of prosperity--Effect of French Revolution--Negro
uprising in French Santo Domingo--Rise of Toussaint
l'Ouverture--Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France--Evacuation
CHAPTER III. Historical Sketch--Changes of Government--1801 TO 1844
Rule of Toussaint l'Ouverture--Exodus of whites--Capture of Santo
Domingo by French--War with negroes--Government of
Ferrand--Incursion of Dessalines--Insurrection of Sanchez
Ramirez--Reestablishment of Spanish rule--Proclamation of Colombian
State of Spanish Haiti--Conquest by Haiti--Haitian rule--Duarte's
conspiracy--Declaration of Independence.
CHAPTER IV. Historical Sketch--First Republic and Spanish
Annexation--1844 TO 1865.
Constitution of the government--Santana's first administration--Wars
with the Haitians--Administration of Jimenez--Victory of Las
Carreras--Baez' first administration--Santana's second
administration--_Repulse of Soulouque_--Baez' second
administration--Period of the two governments--Santana's third
administration--Annexation negotiations--Annexation to Spain--War of
Chapter V. Historical Sketch--Second Republic-Revolutions and
Dictatorships--1863 TO 1904.
Restoration of the Republic--Military presidents--Cabral's
administration--Baez' fourth administration--Annexation negotiations
with the United States--Civil wars--Heureaux's rule--Administrations
of Jimenez Vasquez and Woss y Gil--Election of Morales.
Chapter VI. Historical Sketch--American Influence-1904 to date (1918)
Financial difficulties--Fiscal convention with the United
States--Caceres' administration--Provisional presidents--Civil
disturbances--Jimenez' second administration--American intervention.
Chapter VII. Area and Boundaries
Area of Republics of Haiti and Santo Domingo--Boundary
disputes--Harbors on north coast--Character of shore--Samana
Bay--Character of east and south coast--Harbors of Macoris and Santo
Domingo--Ocoa Bay--Islands--Haitian frontier.
Chapter VIII. Topography and Climate
Mountains--Valleys and plains--Rivers--Lakes--Temperature and
Chapter IX. Geology and Minerals
Chapter X. Flora and Fauna
Agricultural conditions--Land titles and measures--Wet and arid
Chapter XI. The People
Population--Distribution--Race--Descendants of American
traits--Amusements--Dances theatres clubs
CHAPTER XII. Religion
Catholic religion--Concordat--Ownership of church
buildings--Clergy--Religious sentiment--Shrines--Religious customs
and holidays--Religious toleration--Protestant sects.
CHAPTER XIII. Education and Literature
Education in Spanish times--Work of Hostos--School
organization--Professional institute--Primary and secondary
CHAPTER XIV. Means of Transportation and Communication
Railroads-Samana--Santiago Railroad--Central Dominican
Railway--Roads--Mode of traveling--Inns--Principal highways--Steamer
lines--Postal facilities--Telegraph and telephone lines.
CHAPTER XV. Commerce
Exports and imports--Foreign trade--Trade with the United
States--Ports of entry--Wharf concessions--Domestic
CHAPTER XVI. Cities and Towns
General condition of municipalities--Santo Domingo City; ruins
churches streets popular legends--Other towns of Santo Domingo
Province--San Pedro de Macoris--Seibo--Samana and
Sanchez--Pacificador Province--Conception de la Vega--Moca--Santiago
de los Caballeros--Puerto Plata--Monte Cristi--Azua--Barahona.
CHAPTER XVII. The Remains of Columbus
Burial of Columbus--Disappearance of epitaph--Removal of remains in
1795--Discovery of remains in 1877--Resting-place of Discoverer
CHAPTER XVIII. Government
Secretaries--Land and sea forces--Congress--Local
subdivisions--Provincial governors--Communal governments.
CHAPTER XIX. Politics and Revolutions
Political parties--Elections--Relation between politics and
revolutions--Conduct of revolutions--Casualties--Number of
revolutions--Effect of revolutions.
CHAPTER XX. Law and Justice
Audiencia of Santo Domingo--Legal system--Judicial
organization-Observance of law--Prisons--Character of offenses.
CHAPTER XXI. The dominican debt and the fiscal treaty with the United
Financial situation in 1905--Causes of debt--Amount of debt--Bonded
debt--Liquidated debt--Floating debt--Declared claims--Undeclared
claims--Surrender of Puerto Plata custom-house--Fiscal convention of
1905--Modus vivendi--Negotiations for adjustment of debt--New bond
issue--Fiscal treaty of 1907--Adjustment with creditors--19l2
loan--Present financial situation.
CHAPTER XXII. Finances
Financial system--National revenues--Customs tariff--National
budget--Legal tender--Municipal income--Municipal budgets.
CHAPTER XXIII. The Future of Santo Domingo
Attraction by the United States--Political future of Santo
Domingo-Economic future of Santo Domingo.
APPENDIX A. Chiefs of State of Santo Domingo 1492-1918
APPENDIX B. Old Weights and Measures in Use in Santo Domingo
APPENDIX C. American-Dominican Fiscal Convention of 1907
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Columbus Monument on Cathedral Plaza Santo Domingo City.
Map of Santo Domingo
Historic Gateway "La Puerta del Conde" where
the independence of the Dominican Republic
View from within the city
View from without during a revolution
The Strongest Presidents of Santo Domingo:
President Pedro Santana
President Buenaventura Baez
President Ulises Heureaux
President Ramon Caceres
Four Prominent Dominicans:
President Juan Isidro Jimenez
President Horacio Vasquez
Minister of Finance Federico Velazquez
Archbishop Adolfo A. Nouel
One of the Many Beautiful Spots on the Shores
of Samana Bay
Partaking of Cocoanut-water
Street in Bani
Street in Puerto Plata
A Roadside Store
Building a House with the Products of the Palm-tree
Room in "Casino de la Juventud" Santo Domingo City
A Holiday Gathering Santo Domingo City
Ruins of San Francisco Church Santo Domingo City
A "Calvario" in the Road
Road Scene: A Mudhole
Wharf and Harbor of San Pedro de Macoris
Entrance to Cathedral of Santo Domingo
"House of Columbus" Ruins of Diego Columbus' Palace
The "Tower of Homage" the oldest fortification erected by white men
View from mouth of Ozama River
View from within fort
Puerto Plata Scene: Milkmen
Puerto Plata Scene: The Ox as a Riding Animal
Sanctuary of Santo Domingo Cathedral
Diagram of Sanctuary of Cathedral
Lead Box found in 1877 with Remains of Columbus
Inscription on Lid of Lead Box
Obverse Side of Silver Plate
Reverse Side of Silver Plate
The Bane of Santo Domingo: Intrenchment at Puerta del Conde during a
Independence Plaza Santo Domingo City
Cathedral Plaza Santo Domingo City
HISTORICAL SKETCH.--DAYS OF THE CONQUEST.--1492 to 1533
Aborigines.--Discovery.--Founding of Isabela.--Disaffection of the
colonists.--Indian wars.--Oppression of the Indians.--Founding of
Santo Domingo City.--Roldan's insurrection.--Humiliation of
Columbus--Ovando's administration.--Extermination of the
natives.--Administrations of Diego Columbus.--Treaty with Indian
When Columbus in December 1492 sailed along the northern coast of
the island of Haiti or Santo Domingo he was more enchanted with what
he saw than he had been with any of his previous discoveries. Giant
mountains covered with verdant forests seemed to rise precipitately
from the blue waters and lift their heads to the very clouds.
Beautiful rivers watered fertile valleys luscious fruits hung from
the trees fragrant flowers carpeted the ground and the air was
filled with the songs of birds of gay plumage. There were scenes of
nature's magnificence such as are found only in the tropics. Columbus
as he gazed upon them in admiration little thought that this
beautiful island was to witness his greatest sorrows that it was to
be his final resting place and that it was in later generations to
become the theater of long years of war and carnage.
At the time of its discovery the island of Santo Domingo was thickly
inhabited. The native Indians were Arawaks belonging to the same race
as those who occupied the other larger West India Islands. Unlike the
fierce Caribs who inhabited some of the smaller Antilles the Arawaks
were of a gentle and meek disposition. They were inclined to idleness
and sensuality. Columbus lauded their kindliness and generosity; the
possession of these traits however did not prevent them from
fighting bravely when exasperated.
Living in the stone age they knew none of the useful metals but gold
ornaments were used for adornment. Older men and married women wore
short aprons of cotton or feathers; all other persons went entirely
nude. Their favorite amusements were ball games and savage dances with
weird monotonous music; their religion was the worship of a great
spirit and of subordinate deities represented by idols called
"zemis" carved of wood and stone in grotesque form and of which some
are still occasionally found in caverns or tombs. They dwelt in rude
palm-thatched huts the principal article of furniture being the
hammock. Simple agriculture hunting and fishing provided their means