100 Years Ago: June 1919
This is my fifty-third installment in my series of brief reviews of National Geographic Magazines as the reach the centennial of their publication.
The first article in this month’s issue is entitled “The Millennial City” and was written by Ralph A. Graves, the author of such past articles as “Fearful Famines of the Past” and “Ships of the Seven Seas”. The article contains thirteen black-and-white photographs. Nine of these pictures are full-page in size.
The article is about the Swiss city of Geneva, the future home of the League of Nations. Regardless of whether the League of Nations succeeds or fails, its capital, Geneva, will forever be known as the Millennial City. If the League succeeds, Geneva will become the center of man’s moral universe. The Swiss municipality will become a city that belongs to all men, joining Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, and Constantinople.
Jerusalem gave western civilization its religion. Athens gave us the idea of democracy, as well as much art and literature. Rome was the mother who gave us our laws and to most of us our language. After the sack of Rome, Constantinople became the preserver of civilization. It was the birthplace of the Justinian Code and the seat of an empire for fifteen centuries. Geneva now becomes the fountainhead of what may be either the most noble triumph or the most colossal failure in the history of human endeavor.
Located on the banks of Lake Geneva and the River Rhone, Geneva is not the metropolis of Switzerland, that title goes to Zurich. Nor is it the Swiss capital, that ranking belongs to Bern. Geneva, however, received more visitors before the war than any other city of its size. It was the main gateway into the world famous “playground of Europe”.
During the war many hotels, now vacant of tourists, were used as temporary housing for refugees fleeing the carnage. Also interned soldiers were fed and housed by the government at a contract price. Geneva was also a bed of spies during the war. With propagandists of every creed and complexion assembled in the city, and in fact the nation, Switzerland writhed in a sea of plots and counterplots, as agents and spies trafficked in military secrets. Here the new nations of middle Europe organized their bureaus of publicity to plea for recognition. The Republic became a busy halfway house between the belligerent forces.
Geneva’s recorded history dates back to the time of Julius Caesar who in his commentaries on his first expedition into Gaul, mentions it as a stronghold of the Allobroges. Its growth has been exceedingly slow. Today, after twenty centuries, it has a population of less than one-third the population of the century-old capital of the United States.
Geneva won its independence in a heroic struggle against the Dukes of Savoy. The city is known for its long history of humanitarianism. Geneva accorded shelter to the fugitives of the St. Bartholomew massacres in France, and the persecutions in England around the same time. The city is the birthplace of the International Red Cross. Geneva’s past also has a dark side during the Reformation, when the persecuted became the persecutors.
The French revolutionary, Rousseau, and the patriot, Bonivard, whose trials Byron immortalized as the Prisoner of Chillon, both are native sons of Geneva. The evangelist, Farel, made the lake city his headquarters, as did John Calvin. Voltaire came here in exile from the court of Frederick the Great. John Knox, the Scottish reformer called Geneva as his city of refuge. Madame de Stael was banished here from Paris.
Here in Geneva we find the beautiful Jardin Anglais; along quays can be glimpsed the radiant Mont Blanc; and we can stand beneath the magnificent monument erected to the memory of Duke Charles of Brunswick, who bequeathed 20,000,000 francs to the city he loved so well. A walk up narrow, step-like streets of the old town takes one to the eleventh century cathedral, and to the portals of the famous Hotel de Ville.
Beyond written history, Geneva can trace its origins to the age of myth and mythology. According to legend, the Eternal City, Rome, was founded by Aeneas and his followers who escaped the Greeks after the fall of Troy. Geneva, which under Calvin’s Regime was called the “Protestant Rome”, likewise turns to Troy for its original founder – Lemanus, son of Paris, whose abduction of Helen brought on the Trojan War. Leman was the old Latin name for Lake Geneva.
Leaving the realm of myth, Geneva remained under Roman rule until the breakup of the empire. During that period of five centuries, the city was razed twice, once by the Ostrogoths and once by Attila and his Huns. In 800, along with the rest of Switzerland, it was an integral part of Charlemagne’s dominions. Over the next six centuries there were a succession of struggles between the prince-bishops and the counts of Genevois and Savoy for ascendancy.
Geneva probably would have been absorbed by the Italian House of Savoy if it were not for the assistance of the Swiss Confederacy. In the fifteenth century Geneva formed an alliance with Fribourg, a prosperous cloth manufacturer. This angered the reigning Duke of Savoy, who used his influence with his son-in-law, Louis XI of France, who agreed to forbid attendance of Geneva’s renowned fairs by French merchants. The Duke also changed the time of the rival Lyons fairs so they’d conflict with those of the lake city. This nearly ruined Geneva commercially.
Early in the sixteenth century, at the height of the Reformation, Geneva patriot, Philibert Berthelier, concluded a defensive alliance with Fribourg against Savoy. This caused internal strife in the city with the partisans of the Swiss Confederacy opposing those loyal to the Duke. One colorful figure of the time was Berthelier’s associate, Francois de Bonivard. When his victorious friends rushed into his dungeon at Chillon crying “Bonivard, you are free!” he replied “And Geneva?”. After being assured his city was also saved, he went home rejoicing.
Beyond his exploits in battle and his six years’ imprisonment, Bonivard led a checkered life. He once defended himself against the charge of beating one of his four successive wives by proving that “she needed it”, thus shifting the burden of proof from his shoulders to hers. He was also involved in a tragic incident at the age of seventy. While writing his “Chroniques de Geneva”, Bonivard took into his house a young woman who had fled to him for protection. The kindly act scandalized the proprieties of the religious community and he was forced to marry the girl despite his arguments that their relationship was purely platonic. It did not take long before the wife became involved in a love affair. Bonivard, who had not lodged the complaint, loyally testified for his wife’s behalf. It was to no avail. Her lover was decapitated and she was sewn in a sack and thrown into the Rhone.
Mention has been made of Guillaume Farel, the zealot whose missionary work over nine years was responsible for Geneva adopting the Protestant faith in 1535. But his influence did not end there. The young French philosopher, John Calvin, was passing through Geneva one evening on his way to Strassburg. He intended to stay one night; but Farel, hearing he was in town, went to him and convinced him to stay and assist in the organization of a theocratic state. This government, with its rigorous supervision of the private lives of the people, has seldom if ever been equaled. Geneva became known as the City of Calvin, as well as the Protestant Rome.
To the reader now, some of the austerity of the Calvin code can be amusing. For example, a hairdresser was imprisoned because he made one of his clients too beautiful. Any man who swore “without necessity” was required to take off his hat, “kneel down in the place of the offense, clasp his hands, and kiss the earth”. The wearing of silk or embroidered hose was prohibited. Likewise adorning oneself with chains of silver or gold was banned.
Some of the offenses are amusing, but the penalties were harsh. The French poet, Clement Marot was whipped about the streets of the city upon complaint from an innkeeper stating that he made love to the accuser’s wife. But the worst was saved for the heretics. The two most notable martyrs were Jacques Gruet and Michael Servetus. Gruet was convicted of having a heretical document in his possession. He was tortured for three weeks until he confessed. Upon admitting his heresy, he was put to death. Dr. Servetus, an eminent Spanish physician, was burned at the stake following a doctrinal disagreement with Calvin.
These zealous excesses are mitigated to some degree by the generosity of the Genevese for the persecuted of their faith. On August 30, 1572, news arrived of the massacre of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew’s Day. More than 2,300 refugees were housed and fed by a community that boasted only 1,200 households.
For twenty-five years starting in 1578, Geneva resisted revived attacks by the House of Savoy. The council finally resolved to declare war. With a citizen army of around 2,000 she opposed Savoy’s 18,000 men. On December 11, 1602 Savoy attacked with a storming party of 200 and a main army of 4,000 troops waiting in reserve. The party succeeded in gaining the ramparts unobserved, slaying a sentry in silence. Unfortunately for the assailants they tried to wait for sunrise to start the attack.
Guards discovered the party, a shot was fired, and one of the guards escaped and sounded the alarm. Unable to wait, the storming party started their attack expecting the main force to follow immediately; but defenders at Porte Neuve loaded a canon with chains and scrap metal, trained it along the ramparts, and fired. The shot destroyed the ladders of the scaling party and the city was saved. The Duke of Savoy was given premature word of success and dispatched couriers to various courts of Europe. Upon learning of the failure, he shouted at his general, “You blockhead, you have made a pretty mess of things”. Every anniversary of the Escalade, the name the battle is called, the Genevese gather at their cathedral and sing the 124th Psalm, the song they sang the morning after the battle.
The story of Jean Jacques Rousseau is paradoxical. McCrackan has summed up his contradictions thus: “Although by temperament gross and sensual, he described the utmost delicacy and refinement of love in his ‘Nouvelle Heloise’; he who abandoned his illegitimate children to the Foundlings’ Hospital was a radical reformer in the education of the young; a mediocre musician, playwright, and poet, but an original and courageous philosopher; incapable as a political leader, but unrivaled as an advocate of popular rights”.
Voltaire spent his declining years in Geneva. Both he and Rousseau took up residence there in the same year, 1754. In death they rest side by side in the Pantheon in Paris. “Deo erexit Voltaire” is inscribed in the chapel at Ferney. The elder Dumas explained, “It was erected to prove to the whole world, which had become very anxious about the disputes of the creature with his Creator, that Voltaire and God had finally become reconciled; the world heard the news with satisfaction, but it always suspected that Voltaire made the first advances”.
Madame de Stael unhappily lived out her exile from Paris a few miles from Geneva, along the northern shore. Even though her exile had material comforts and scenic charm, she held that a day in Paris was better than a decade of exile.
The world recognizes Geneva as the maternal city of the International Red Cross. Her citizen philanthropist, Henri Dunant, in his book “Un Souvenir de Solferino”, describes the suffering of those left on the field after that terrible battle in 1859. It was in Geneva that the two great conventions were held in 1864 and 1906. During the latter, 35 nations met and agreed upon the articles under which the Red Cross now operates throughout the world.
Of the 25 Swiss cantons, German is spoke by the majority in 19; five speak French (including Geneva); and in one Italian is the dominant tongue. Geneva’s canton is not naturally productive, but by the people being frugal in their cultivation, it yields a respectable harvest of fruits, grains, wine, and vegetables. Its area is only 108 square miles, not much larger that the District of Columbia, but for-fifths of that land is cultivated. Its industrial activities are considerable. Charles Cusin introduced watch manufacturing in 1587. It is also home to the music box. With 500 factories, really mom and pop shops, chocolates, preserved fruits, perfumes, cigars and cigarettes, watch parts, and jewelry are made. Switzerland is handicapped by a dearth of coal. To make up for it in part, the country has a wealth of water power. It is likely that the country’s 3,700 miles of railroads will by electrified soon.
One practice in Switzerland that may seem strange is its use of the 24-hour clock. With the exception of astronomers and a few other European countries, the use of a 24-hour clock is unique. One in the afternoon is the thirteenth hour, etc.
Geneva has set aside a site for the permanent home of the League of Nations. It is a beautiful wooded park bordering on the lake some five miles from the center of the city. Behind the park tower the snow-clad Jura Mountains. While there are many villages in the vicinity of the park which are suitable offices and housing for the delegates, the capitol building itself must be built.
The second article in this month’s magazine is entitled “Devil-fishing in the Gulf Stream” and was written by John Oliver La Gorce, who also wrote “Pennsylvania, The Industrial Titan of America” and “Warfare on Our Eastern Coast”. The article contains seven black-and-white photographs, all of which are full-page in size.
The author describes the Gulf Stream, specifically the part off the coast of Florida. This mighty warm river parallels the east coast. Nearly 600 varieties of fish are found in the Atlantic Ocean offshore between Miami and Key West. Among these species are several worthy of sports fishing: the fearless tarpon, the dashing sailfish, and the powerful bonefish to name a few. Also, the barracuda, the amberjack, and the grouper are formidable adversaries. Even the 500-pound jewfish, the size of a pony, would challenge any line.
On the author’s excursion was intended to catch a devil-fish. This is not the octopus, which is also called devil-fish by some people. The octopus is an invertebrate of the genus Cephalopods, the highest class of Mollusca. This group also includes the squid and the cuttlefish. The devil fish on the other hand is the giant Manta ray, a huge, bat-like creature which uses its body fins as a bird does its wings. With a waving, undulating motion, it glides through the water at remarkable speed.
Mr. La Gorce and his party set out from Miami on the motorized yacht L’Apache, with a 25-foot motor-driven fishing boat in tow. They traveled 65 miles to Bimini, the westernmost island of the Lower Bahama group. The ocean bottom spreads 20 to 30 feet below the surface and is carpeted by snow-white sand. There is no difficulty in studying the vast marine garden.
The Bahamas are colonies of Great Britain and, as such, even Bimini boasts a port officer. He is English gentlemen who also serves as the Crown Commissioner, Police Magistrate, Customs Collector, and Consular Official. On the side, he is physician and school teacher to the island’s inhabitants. After the official call of the Crown’s Representative, they were visited by several boats manned by merchants selling sponges, conch shells, sea-beans, and turtle shells from the hawk-bill turtle, which is quite plentiful in these waters.
The next day they took the fishing boat out armed with rods and harpoons. Soon they were scanning the bottom for big game. After a while the captain called their attention to a long, dark shadow not far below the surface a couple of boat-lengths away. It turned out to be their quarry, an adult about eight feet long and weighing around four hundred pounds.
Coming within striking distance, the captain let fly with his heaviest harpoon, and “the fun began”. As soon as it was hit, the devil-fish rose, splintering the harpoon pole against the side of the boat. For a moment the monster seemed bewildered. This cost him dearly for it enabled them to throw another harpoon, which struck deep near the spine. Away it started to sea at a fast pace, taking the harpoon line with it. Gradually all hands put their weight against the line, and with the boat now on an even keel, they wrapped the line around the boat cleat and allowed the beast to pull them further to sea.
Every once in a while, the devil-fish would hurl itself several feet out of the water. All of the sudden the line slackened. They frantically hauled in the line as the monster dashed toward the boat. It passed almost under the boat, and the captain drove another harpoon into the devil-fish’s head. The beast took off again but with two lines they could now steer it like a runaway horse. They swerved it toward Bimini and shallower waters. By this time the devil-fish had towed them for about ten miles. It was losing much blood but still going strong.
They tried throwing out and let drag the anchor to little effect. After an hour or so the fight was out of the monster. They were able to arrange the lines so they were able to get within 20 or 30 feet of their captive. Realizing they were unable to give a death blow and sharks now being attracted to the struggling prey, they signaled to the yacht for a rifle, which they unfortunately forgot to bring that morning.
A fast-sailing little island sponge boat approached and the fisherman was willing to retrieve the rifle for them. After another half hour of skirmishing, the rifle arrived, and they were able to give their giant its coup de grace. It had been nearly five hours since they first tackled this Jumbo of the deep.
They had considerable difficulty towing it into the harbor, some miles away. It took 15 locals to help them get the carcass ashore. The devil-fish was weighed on a scale that had a capacity of 3,000 pounds. It tipped the scale, and they estimated the fish’s weight at 4,000 pounds, or possibly 5,000 pounds. Later the hide and bony structure were removed for mounting. They were sent to an expert taxidermist. It was decided to display the beast at the Cocolobo Club, a fish club near Miami, where a special room is being built to receive it.
The third article is entitled “Sight-seeing in School” and was written by Jessie L. Burrall, Chief of School Service of the National Geographic Society. It has the subtitle “Taking Twenty Million Children on a Picture Tour of the World”. The article contains fourteen black-and-white photographs. Five of those photos are full-page in size.
The article is a promotion for the Pictorial Geography series now available from the National Geographic Society. Designed for the geography classroom, the pictures are arranged in sets of 24 and 48 photos on special topics. They illustrate definite parts of the curriculum, with about two hundred words of text accompany each picture.
The author begins by stressing the importance of public schools and the education they provide. The twenty million school children now enrolled in this country would fill New York four times over, or Chicago eight. They could stretch four abreast clear across the country. The importance of teaching geography is especially true since the war started. The world has gotten smaller and America is no longer in isolation.
The problems with the old way of teaching geography are that it is by rote, and it is all in the abstract. Examples of this way of teaching include the memorization on statements like “An island is a body of land completely surrounded by water”, “A mountain is a high elevation of land composed mainly of rock”, and “Ponds and lakes are bodies of water that occupy depressions in the land”. This way was sterile and unimaginative, and horrifying to many students.
Now children have pictures of snowy peaks, with timber lines and flowery meadows below. With pictures, they can see the lofty Rockies, the wonders of Yellowstone, and the power of Niagara Falls. Pictures allow school children to travel to exotic places. Even maps become more meaningful when used in conjunction with pictures. Cities become more than dots on a map, but places where real people live and work and play.
With the use of pictures, no child needs to learn to read before he can know of the world beyond his horizon. And through them, he learns about the children of other cultures and how they are just like him. This early exposure to geography through pictures will help children later, when they learn the more traditional material.
But it is with older boys and girls that the picture comes into its own. It is then that the picture takes on a deeper meaning. It adds beauty to the practical. The picture gives one definite, interesting idea, and shuts out all the distracting details thereby showing the student exactly the best.
The introduction of pictures to the classroom has meant the removal of horror from the definitions, the bringing of maps to life, and the cultivating of a friendly feeling toward all mankind which the children can get no other way. It instills them with the desire to taste “the curious things to eat” and a yearning to explore.
Such a feeling of friendliness is necessary among our children if we are to lay the foundation for future world unity. Permanent world peace can only be promoted through a sympathetic understanding of world peoples. The National Geographic Society has been given the opportunity of leading our schools in the sane, happy, efficient picture way of teaching. Literally hundreds of thousands of school children look eagerly for the National Geographic Magazine each month.
A recent example of how National Geographic pictures have become a part of varied educational endeavors is its use in teaching English to our foreign-born soldiers during the war. This example was covered in detail in the August 1918 article “Bringing the World to Our Foreign-Language Soldiers” by Christina Kyrsto. That effort involved the cutting of photos out of the magazines and posting them on boards. Teachers have neither the desire or the time to be mutilating their issues, and they want accompanying text especially crafted to the needs of the classroom. To this end, the Society has created its Pictorial Geography series.
A footnote at the end of this article states: “For details of the Pictorial Geography series, see announcement elsewhere in this issue of The Geographic. Sure enough, there is a full-page advertisement, with order form, for this series near the end of the ads in the back of the issue.
The fourth article this month is entitled “Who Shall Inherit Long Life?” and was written by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, author of such articles as “Aerial Locomotion” and “A Few Thoughts Concerning Eugenics”. It has the subtitle “On the Existence of a Natural Process at Work Among Human Beings Tending to Improve the Vigor and Vitality of Succeeding Generations”. The article contains thirteen black-and-white photographs with one of those being full-page in size.
While this topic is not as controversial as Dr. Bells treatise on eugenics, his approach to the subject is just as clinical. He starts by stating that most people die before reaching middle life, and comparatively few live to be old. This is still true today in spite of modern sanitation and advances in medical science. Only a small portion of each generation reaches the Biblical age of threescore years and ten.
He then examines the paradox in the data from the “Genealogy of the Hyde Family” by Reuben H. Walworth, LL.D. (1864), an investigation of 1,594 cases where the ages at death of the person and of their parents are known. While 18.7% of these people lived to be seventy or older, a full 81.7% had fathers or mothers who lived beyond seventy. The trend holds at eighty, with only 8.7% reaching that age but 48.1%, nearly half, having a parent live to eighty.
His conclusion is that “a very large proportion of each generation has sprung from a very small proportion of the preceding generation, namely, from people who lived to be old. A footnote advertises Dr. Bells study entitled “The Duration of Life and Conditions Associated with Longevity, A Study of the Hyde Genealogy”.
A mother’s age at death shows a correlation to the number of children she had during life. Mothers who died before forty had, on average, only 3.4 children. This can be partially due to them dying before the conclusion of their reproductive period. Mothers who died between forty and sixty had 6.2 children apiece. Again, this is to be expected. You would expect this number would hold for mothers who live longer since, at sixty, they are no longer fertile, but women who died between sixty and eighty had average families of 7.2 children. It was obvious to Dr. Bell that women who reach old age were inherently more fertile than the other. The parents who lived the longest had the most children, on average.
In an attempt to show that longevity is an inheritable characteristic, the author breaks the dataset down into grids: the mothers age at death by the fathers age at death. One grid shows the number of cases in each box while the other shows the average age at death for those in each box. This analysis shows that a person whose parents both died before sixty lived 32.8 years on average while one whose parents both reached eighty lived an average of 52.7 years or almost 20 years longer.
To further his studies, Dr. Bell is requesting people submit authentic cases of individuals living more than ninety years of age. The data should include the ages at which his or her parents died and the number and age of his or her children and direct descendants. The information should be sent to the Genealogical Record Office, Alexander Graham Bell, Director, 1601 35th Street, Washington, D.C.
The fifth article is entitled The Azores: Transatlantic Aviators Half-way House” and was written by Arminius T Haeberle, Formerly American Consul at St. Michaels. It has a shorter title of “The Azores” at the top of the article along with the subtitle “Picturesque and Historic Half-way House of American Transatlantic Aviators”. The article contains twenty-six black-and-white photographs. Eleven of these pictures are full-page in size. The article also contains a full-page sketch map on page 515 showing the islands with a large inset showing their location in the Atlantic along with several flight paths.
Map courtesy of Philip Riviere
The Azores are strategically located between New York and the Mediterranean and between the Panama Canal and the ports of northern Europe. This archipelago is not a colonial possession, but an integral part of Portugal. Owing to their location, these islands have played an important part in the history of sea navigation. They now have played a major role in aerial navigation as the halfway house in the epic transatlantic flight by American naval officers in their seaplane NC-4, and as ports of safety to the crews of the less successful NC-1 and NC-3 flights.
The Portuguese explorer, Goncalo Velho Cabral discovered Santa Maria in 1432. In the course of the next decade, the other islands were discovered. In 1493, after being tossed about in a tempest, Columbus landed on Santa Maria on his return from America. After the discovery of Brazil, the Azores were visited by ships plying between Portugal and South America. Here is where Drake, Granville and Frobisher fought the Spanish Armada of Philip II. It is also in the harbor of Fayal that the U.S. privateer, General Armstrong, was sunk in the war of 1812.
The Azores are a volcanic chain with frequent eruptions and earthquakes. Some believe that they are the remains of the ancient lost continent of Atlantis. One theory has them as the tops of a mountain range that was once part of that continent. Whether these theories are true or not, the Azores are the result of tremendous volcanic eruptions. They might have been discovered more than 200 years earlier had it not been for one of those eruptions.
According to a Moorish account, an Arabian caravel started from Portugal to discover new lands. Sailing westward for eleven days, they found themselves in a sea of “fetid gases” and dangerous rocks and shoals. The were so frightened that they turned southward.
When St. Michaels was discovered, a sketch was made of the island showing two towering peaks, one on the eastern end of the island and the other on the western extremity. Soon afterwards, they returned from Portugal to establish a settlement and discovered the western mountain was gone, a crater in its place. Today the crater is the site of the town, Sete Cidades.
The violet earthquakes recorded in the succeeding centuries are too numerous to count; but the Azores vie with Italy in graphic accounts of the terrible volcanic phenomena. Pico, 7,613 feet high, on the island bearing the same name, is the central and highest volcano on the island. St. Michaels has suffered more from volcanic disturbances than any of the other islands; but Santa Maria, only 53 miles to the south, has always been free of eruptions and strong earthquakes.
No other country has as high a percentage of emigrants in proportion to its total population. Some of them emigrate to Brazil, but a vast majority move to the United States. It is estimated that there are 35,000 Azoreans in California and over 60,000 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, and other parts of New England. This means there are almost 100,000 Azoreans are in the U.S. while the total population of the Azores is scarcely 300,000. Most of these emigrants sail from Ponta Delgada, the capital of St. Michaels, where they gather from the other islands.
Ponta Delgada, the largest city of the Azores, has 17,600 inhabitants. It has preserved some of its old features of past centuries. This gives the town an atmosphere of quaintness and makes it delightfully attractive. There are modern buildings as well, a hospital, a quarantine station, the governor’s palace, and many private residences. There are still a number of houses handed down to the oldest son according to the law of morgado.
The architecture of these houses is the same as used in olden times by the morgados of northern Portugal. Here they are built of massive lava rock. The interiors are divided into spacious rooms, with many windows and doors connecting with long rows of balconies, and large chimneys. The date when the house was built and a coat of arms are sometimes found above the entrance. Back of the houses are flower gardens surrounded by high walls. These walls are sometimes 15 feet high and can be found everywhere on the island, often enclosing roads for long distances.
There are several historic churches and convents in Ponta Delgada, including the Church of the “Colegio” and the church and Convent of “Esperanca”. The former was built by Jesuits in 1625. They were expelled by Portugal in 1760 and the church was sold at public auction. Although a private church it is open to public worship. The architecture is that of the Jesuit churches of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The most revered church is “Esperanca” or Church of Hope. It contains the image, “Santo Christo”, which dates back to the founding of the adjoining convent in the sixteenth century. Rome sent the image Ecce Homo, or Santo Cristo, which was placed in the convent upon its completion in 1541. Many years ago Portugal abolished all convents, but Esperanca was allowed to stay open in the hands of a religious society.
There are two festivals held in Ponta Delgada. The first, the procession of Santo Cristo takes place on the fifth Sunday after Easter. The day before the image is carried from the convent to the adjoining church. It stays there overnight for the 15,000 people who come to see it. The second great religious festival is the Imperio do Espirito Santo, or Holy Spirit. This festival lasts ten or more weeks. It is marked by a series of processions. It is a season of charity.
Ponta Delgada has some impressive botanical gardens. Only Brazil boasts better ones. There are tree ferns from Australia, many species of palms, myrtle, a variety of aloe, roses and camellias, rubber trees, banyan trees, acacias, magnolias, dracaenas, brilliant red flame trees, screw-pines, and cedars from Lebanon. The dragon trees (Dracaena draco) grow well here, and at Praia there is a long avenue of them. In fact, the island is covered with flowers of all kind.
While the older women wear handkerchiefs as headwear, the younger wear fancy scarfs. Wooden shoes are common, and tasseled caps are worn by some men. In the cities many women wear a garb known as the “capote and capello”, a long blue cloak and a large bonnet-shaped hood.
In agriculture their land measure, or “alqueire” is less than our acre. Much of the land is controlled by wealthy landowners. They, in turn, rent the land out to the peasants at an annual rate of $5 to $15 per alqueire. Most often the rent is paid in money and only occasionally in produce. One man would often lease 20 or 30 alqueires.
Land not cultivated is used for grazing. It too is rented out by the land barons. In summer, the herdsmen often sleep in caves so they can quickly round up the cows for milking in the morning. The milk is taken to town in large tin cans packed on burros.
In the past, oranges were the main export, but now it is the pineapple. Grown in hothouses and transplanted multiple times, pineapples are then smoked, a process discovered to mature the pineapples more quickly and more evenly. The average cost of producing and packing for export one pineapple is about 24 cents. These sell for four to five shillings apiece in London.
The second great industry is wine making. St. Michaels is a great wine country and several varieties are produced. The most widely used locally is a red wine (vinho de cheiro). It contains very little alcohol and a rich grape flavor. As a result, drunkenness is rare.
St. Michaels is mountainous, but not as precipitous as most of the other islands. There are three craters, Furnas in the east, Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake) in the center, and Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) in the west. It is 27 miles from Ponta Delgada to Furnas Lake, the home of many thermal baths and a Gothic chapel on its southern shore. At Sete Cidades, which is located within the crater, there are two lakes, Lagoa Grande, and Lagoa Azul. Although they touch, one is green and the other blue. The cliffs surrounding the crater are 1,700 to 2,000 feet in height.
With the rich volcanic soil, the Azoreans grow everything they need; beets for sugar, tobacco for cigars, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. The sea furnishes a livelihood to many inhabitants. Thousands of lobsters are exported.
A quick tour of the other islands shows Santa Maria, the other island of the southern group, is much smaller than St. Michaels. In the central group, Fayal is most important because Horta, its capital, is a great cable station. Nine undersea cables connect Horta to all parts of the world. Pico, Terceira, Sao Jorge, and Graciosa lie close to Fayal. On Terceira there are traces of Spanish architecture and clothing from a time of Spanish domination over Portugal. Corvo, the smallest of the Azores, is one of the two islands in the northern group. The Corvo cow has developed in proportion to the size of its home. Flores, the second island of the northern group has coasts full of treacherous shoals.
Now that the war is over, the future is bright for the Azores. Strategically located, the people are preparing for new trade opportunities, like those when the Panama Canal first opened. There are efforts to open large hotels in Ponta Delgada and Furnas and connect the principal points of St. Michaels with electric Railway. With a semitropical climate, St. Michaels is both a summer and a winter resort.
The last article is Entitled “A Map of New Germany” and has a note “As Provided in the Peace Conference”. It has no byline or photographs, but has a full-page sketch map of Germany on page 546.
Map courtesy of Philip Riviere
The article is a short, half-page, description of the map highlighting the territory lost to the German Empire in Europe. Germany has forfeited its colonial empire of 1,270,000 square miles. Germany has also surrendered 5,600 square miles to France, 382 to Belgium, and 27,726 to Poland. In addition, the Saar basin (738 sq. mi.) and the city of Danzig (729 sq. mi.) have been internationalized.
In addition, Germany may lose up to 5,785 square miles to Poland by plebiscite, as well as three strips of land, the aggregated size of Delaware, to Denmark if the voters so choose. This leaves 910 square miles of East Prussia whose status has yet to be determined.