Vol 3 Section 0708
Sam’s ship log:
Visited one of the great & famous cigar factories & saw a multitude of black & yellow men & women & boys & girls making a celebrated brand of costly cigars that have no value but a commercial value. Only the rich & insane smoke them. Among these are included the princes, nobilities & kings. When the end of a cigar-wrapper does not fasten properly, the nigger licks it. Some day there will be a new disease among the wealthy
the nobel, & the doctors will not know whence it came. That dingy herd of cigar makers are expensive, over & above their wages: they smoke the best brands of cigars all day. The ignorant among our party bought large stocks of superdamnable cigars at $26 a hundred, although I warned them that if they would only wait they could get better ones in Jamaica at two dollars a barrel. But some people would rather suffer in body & mind & estate than lose a chance to beat the custom-house.
Visited the Moro Castle & foregathered with the American officers & their wives. It was a strong place in the time of the old guns.
Visited the wreck of the Maine, in the midst of the harbor—a gnarled & twisted & squirming tangle of iron-work sticking about the water, & suggestive of a giant spider shriveling on a stove-lid. “Who done it” was still unsettled. We did not settle it.
Sailed. Six p.m. [MTP].
The Kanawha and passengers sailed from Havana around the western tip of Cuba.
March 25 Tuesday – The Kanawha was en route around the western tip of Cuba, then south and east to Kingston, Jamaica. Sam’s notebook gives their progress: “Turned western end of Cuba 8 a.m. Balmy weather. Deep-blue sea. Flying fishes. It is 756 knots from Havana to Kingston. We have permits from H.B.M. Consul” [NB 45 TS 7]. Note: Sam’s ship log gives nearly verbatim the same report.
Livy’s diary: “Mme. Skabo; Mrs. Katherine Willard Baldwin & Mary Forth came to luncheon. Mme Skabo
(a Norwegian composer) & Mary Forth staid on to tea” [MTP: DV161].
March 26 Wednesday – The Kanawha was en route to Kingston, Jamaica, arriving there at 5 p.m, as
indicated by Sam’s notebook: “Cold salt water baths. / At breakfast in 18° N. Pointed for Jamaica. Rased the island 5 p.m.Too Late. Concluded to sail all around it” [NB 45 TS 7]. Note: Sam’s ship log gives nearly verbatim the same report.
March 27 Thursday – The Kanawha made its way to Kingston, Jamaica.
Sam’s notebook: “7 a.m. took pilot. Black, with 3 young blacks. Quite indifferent to their peril. Had to take their boat aboard—it would never have towed—sea too rough. Island densely wooded—can’t insert a knife between the trees. 9—noon. Ashore & drove. Captain of the Galena—$1” [NB 45 TS 7].
Sam’s ship log:
Took a pilot, far at sea, at 7 a.m. Black, with 3 young blacks for crew; their boat rather a canoe than anything else. They had been cruising in rough seas, (out of sight of land, part of the time,) two or three days. It may have been dangerous, but they did not seem to have suspected it. The young fellows get $5 a month apiece; also board (cocoanuts) & lodging (in the canals.) They had a dozen cocoanuts with them, & not a thing else.
Picked up this pilot 40 miles from Kingston, & sailed along the island, at a distance. Densely wooded— can’t insert a knife between the trees.
Ashore, & drove. The town has 60,000 population, 50,000 of them black. In the rest of the island there are 5,000 whites.
Visited the botanical garden. Returned to the ship.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.