The History of Puerto Rico: From the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation
Van Middledyk's work was the first major historical study of Puerto Rico in English. Van Middledyk advanced Puerto Rican historiography by building on the works of Brau, Coll y Toste, and Acosta, and by consulting early Spanish chronicles. A librarian at the Free Public Library of San Juan, Van Middledyk possessed knowledge of and access to considerable primary source material. His history is sympathetic to the Indians and highly critical of Spanish colonial administration. Coming in the wake of American military occupation, the book sought to explain and justify control of the island by the United States.
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Page 288 - The following is a condensed summary of his observations. 1 . The severest hurricanes originate in tropical latitudes to the North or East of the West India Islands. 2. They cover simultaneously an extent of surface from 100 to 500 miles in diameter, acting with diminished violence towards the exterior, and increased energy towards the interior of that space.
Page viii - President McKinley declared to the writer that it was his desire " to put the conscience of the American people into the islands of the sea.
Page 8 - Villacorta, the mechanical engineer. Luis de Ariega, afterward famous as the defender of the fort at Magdalena; Diego Velazques, the future conqueror of Cuba; Vega, Abarca, Gil Garcia, Marguez, Maldonado, Beltran and many other doughty warriors, whose names had been the terror of the Moors during the war in Granada. Finally, there were Diego Columbus, the Admiral's brother; and among the menat-arms, one, destined to play the principal role in the conquest of Puerto Rico. His name was Juan Ponce,...
Page 289 - The most terrible cyclone of modern times is probably that which occurred on October 10, 1780, which has been specially called the Great Hurricane, and which seems to have embodied all the horrible scenes that attend a phenomenon of this kind. Starting from Barbados, where trees and houses were all blown down, it ingulfed an English fleet anchored before St.
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Page 292 - ... rain falls, and the winds are gusty and dangerous as the vortex core comes on. Here is the indescribable tempest, dealing destruction, impressing the imagination with its wild exhibition of the forces of nature, the flashes of lightning, the torrents of rain, the cooler air, all the elements in an uproar, which indicate the close approach of the center.
Page 225 - ... degrading, proper only for slaves, and so they prefer poverty to doing honest work. To this must be added their ambition to make rapid fortunes, as some of them do, by contraband trading, which makes good sailors of them but bad agriculturists. " These are the reasons why they prefer the cultivation of produce that requires little labor.
Page 199 - ... sure to deceive a person who is not very guarded. Although they would scorn to commit a robbery, yet they think it only fair to deceive or overreach in a bargain. Like the peasantry of Ireland, they are proverbial for their hospitality, and, like them, they are ever ready to fight on the slightest provocation. They swing themselves to and fro in their hammocks all day long, smoking their cigars or scraping a guitar. The plan1 An Account of the Present State of the Island of Puerto Kico.