Works of Annie Fields


Diary of a West Indian Island Tour
Annie Fields

Part 3 -- January 24 - 30


[ Friday 24 through Monday 27 January ]*

 ^Friday^ Sunday ^Saturday 25 24th found us at Cape Nicholas Mole, on the Island of Haiti* ^we ran down here Friday night it was a road stead back in harbor.  The shores were covered with the ruins of fortifications built by the French* garlanded with the lovely tropical growths of this region.  Pelicans* were fishing all about the cliffs.  And The Captain shot one and brought it ashore. I had no idea before of the size or beauty of these dove colored creatures -- Seven feet I believe this one measured from tip to tip; and it was pleasure enough to lie the long afternoon watching them fish in the clear lovely water.  In the night again we steamed away for Port au Prince, Haiti.*  Here we passed Saturday morning -- a more strangely barbarian place probably does not exist on the face of the earth!  Strangely barbarian -- because it is not exactly the wild and native barbarian ^one sees just^ as he may be found in the wilds of Africa, but after years of occupation by Spanish, English and

Page 43*

I have entirely omitted in this brief account of Inagua to describe our drive.  We started in the carriage at about eleven o'clock to visit the old disused salt works.*  After driving in the hot sun a long distance we came upon level stretches of salt marsh ^sand separated by low dikes^ where the water had been shut in and left to evaporate in the scorching heat.  The whole scheme was a failure, but the wild wide stretches of beach ^sand^ and marsh ^shallow water^ were very sad and impressive.  As we gazed far out over these dazzling sands we saw a cloud of ^rose red^ pink flamingoes, ^looking^  probably as tall as men standing still ^in long rows^ reflected like pink sunset clouds in the wet surface beneath.*  The scene has left an ineffaceable memory.  The intolerable heat, the wild shore, the endless sands and these birds, glowing, innumerable untameable, -- have furnished a new chamber of memory for the imagination to wander in.

Page 44  [Resumes the narrative from p. 42]

French* -- here it is ^the place^* at last abandoned to the colored people who have multiplied like the ant, and without government or schools or churches to influence them outside of themselves they ^continue to^ multiply with the fertility of unchecked animal creation, while drink and unthrift coupled with their love of music and color and the shows of things produces a [deleted letter] condition of things happily not to be seen elsewhere --  They tried to get certain dues from the Captain but were unsuccessful, while Mr. Pierce invited a Mr. Keitel of the banking house,* a German who seemed an intelligent man to dine with us.  Mr. Keitel accepted, we made ready -- the table prettily garnished and all of us dressed -- but no Keitel appeared -- and no excuse.  The whole thing's seemed in keeping -- therefore as soon as dinner was over and we had passed a lovely hour on the captain's deck in the moonlight and soft air, we steamed away from Haiti towards Jamaica.  The sea was smooth all night because we were embayed and it was a half formed scheme to rest over Sunday (27th) off the Cape Dame Marie* but the Captain saw no reason for such delay  Therefore we kept on across the open sea to Jamaica.  All day Sunday

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the good ship kept steadily on, but some of us were very sea-sick.  It was warm, and blowing, and rainy, -- towards night -- but there was no pleasure for some of us while ^the ship^ we rolled.  The sea between the islands seems to be forever rolling heavily; a bad kind of rolling too for those who are not very steady at sea.  However before bed time we came into the safe and pretty harbor of Port Antonio.*  A call was given for a pilot because the Captain had never been here before but he was scarcely needed -- the light-house with its rays of two colors and the secure harbor, deep enough to allow us to anchor at the wharf on Monday morning, were beautiful to look upon.

The rain of yesterday washed the air as well as the streets and a cool breeze was blowing as we drove along the shore before noon.  Here at last were the tropics indeed.  We kept close to the sea, but as we drove through the little town, which is really much larger than one would suppose looking at it from the ship -- we found well paved streets white and clean with no sidewalks and little shops like booths open, chiefly towards the street.  There are comparatively no white people, a small society of a dozen families, but there are colored men & women of every nationality 

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It is a strange contrast to the African race that of the Coolies!*  The East Indian has been found the better workman{;} therefore he is invited to come here, with his family, on certain wages indentured for five years, at the end of this time he is allowed to return and his passage paid, or he may remain under certain conditions.  Seventy five per cent return to their native land when the time is up; but it is interesting to consider what effect the remainder will eventually have ^upon this land^.  They wear a noble resolved self-respecting air, and one passes them in the road with a new sense of importance.  Few things have impressed me more than the aspect of these men.  With the opportunity which will by and by ^be^ theirs in a land which is pretty sure to be an independent republic, I fancy before many years; with the increase of shipping, bringing opportunity ^also^ for education nearer we are likely to see -- I should say -- the world may see -- not ourselves -- a strong noble race, with the African people  -- as their servants and allies.  They seem to have in them the spirit of dominance, they certainly have the power of self control and the result may be foreseen if not experienced by us.

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The Africans do not fraternize with them; indeed they are said to be inimical but there is no outward expression of ill-feeling except [that written over their ?] living  ^they prefer to live^ apart.  How indeed can they live together with such varying [deleted word] ^views^  of religion and life if the African can be said to possess any independent views save those he has borrowed or inherited from his white masters.  Port au Prince discouraged one from believing in any reserved self-motive power in the race so far as he has one.  It is however too early to be definite upon this subject. Toussaint L'Ouverture* seems to have possessed original power, but he stands almost "a sport" among the black races as we know them. 

How sunny and yet cool was our morning drive!  The sun itself was excessively hot, but the ^we^ were sheltered and the breeze was delicious.  We saw the Bread-fruit Tree in its perfect beauty also the Mango with its bronze-lined leaves and a fine sort of water-laurel or rhododendron which we did not know, and flowers flowers everywhere.*  O how beautiful it was.  A white heron rose near the shore as we drove and a native was wading in the crystal water regardless of the sun upon his head, which would probably have slain us.  The brilliant red of the Hisbiscus [Hibiscus ?] and the Pointsettia [deleted word] ^among^ their dark leaves was always a pleasure to make us cry out, much to the amusement of 

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our colored driver who was a serious faced intelligent boy who know [intended knows or knew ?] the names of a good many plants and could answer some of the questions we put to him.  We returned to the beautiful Hermione to luncheon, laden with roses and "false hops" a lovely shrub, ^with^ spotted leaves which remind me of "the spotted Japonica" and Coleus (to the latter family I think the plant belongs) but which are called Croton here.*  The red varieties are especially beautiful.  The ship is decorated with palms tied to the posts of the upper deck and looks exceedingly festal. 

In the [afternoon corrected] we again went ashore.  By the kindness of the gentlemen who have the charge of the American Fruit Packing Company here we have carriages, and every friendly attention.  One of them is the Consul, Mr. Davis, who is sending Boston beans over to the ship, and offering us every kindness.  A Captain Baker seems to be at the head of the company, and a Mr. Jones one of the chief administrators and owners.* Mr. Pierce kindly invited them all to dinner in the evening.  The latter came with his wife and Captain Baker.

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The afternoon drive was not a repetition of the morning.  We were carried back among the hills where we had wonderful views. (T. B. said like the pictures in ^the back of^ Mitchell's Geography come true!)* of the mountains and where the vast forests of bananas, as one may call these orchards, were spread out before us.  Words fail of course to give a hint of the tropical beauty spread before our eyes, but the bamboos waving their gemlike plumes against the sky were utterly new and surprising.*  They are as delicate in form as any plume and yet they must possess wonderful strength to stand high against the sky waving in every breeze.  The climate here is different from any we have ever seen.  There is rain all the time, no rainy season, and this afternoon all the green loveliness was softened and deepened by a gray sky with dashes of soft rain and the sun sending occasional shafts of light only down the valleys.  We drove as far as the borders of a great stream called Rio Grande;* a wild spot running the water was running swift and deep as a man's armpits, nevertheless the people were crossing and re-crossing with

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heavy loads of goods and bananas upon their heads and backs.  I have never seen a wilder sight.  A group of women were sitting upon one side, breaking stones for the roads which were under the British government are kept in wonderful order.  The British government and the American trade together seem to produce a^n^ [deleted word] effect ^for good^  when we contrast this place with any other we have yet seen.

But to return to our riverside!  The great scene will never fade out of remembrance.  The rush of waters, the green hills beyond, the gray sky, the [deleted letters] figures struggling across the stream -- are not to be forgotten.  One was a woman with a heavy basket on her head; she had deftly wound her skirts up to her breast, but as she swayed with the stream she held them sometimes higher sometimes lowers -- always so she should preserve her modesty if the waves did not cover her completely.  The dignity of her movement was beautiful -- There was one man whom I could distinguish on the opposite shore by his movement only -- He was like some insects we know -- except by the colors of the surrounding landscape.  His skin was like the earth -- his green bananas like other growing

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things -- and there were bananas in a net at his back and others on his head -- How nature repeats herself through all her forms!  There is the grand scheme & the infinite variety.

We came "home" ^to the^ Hermione in the dark to dinner without invited guests.  The refinement of an elegant dinner-table and pleasant friendly talk were like fountains of water to the poor American lady stranded here -


Friday 24 January:  Fields does not begin a new paragraph for this date.  This journal entry continues in the same paragraph and line from the previous.

Cape Nicholas Mole, on the Island of HaitiMôle-Saint-Nicolas is in the harbor, west of Jean-Rabel on the map of Haiti below.  It is about 80 miles from Matthew Town on Inagua.  Wikipedia says: "Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the Americas landed at the site of what is now Môle-Saint-Nicolas on December 6, 1492. The town received its present name after France gained control of the western part of Hispaniola in 1697."  Wikipedia notes that the French began to occupy the area beginning in 1625.  In her letter of 25 January, Jewett offers a circumstantial account of the Hermione's arrival.

the ruins of fortifications built by the French: After the French gained control of Haiti, they undertook to fortify this area, beginning in 1767.  See Barry Proctor, Môle Saint-Nicolas: The French Fortifications.

pelicansWikipedia says: "Modern pelicans are found on all continents except Antarctica. They primarily inhabit warm regions, although breeding ranges extend to latitudes of 45° South (Australian pelicans in Tasmania) and 60° North (American white pelicans in western Canada)."


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Port au Prince ... years of occupation:  The straight line distance from Môle-Saint-Nicolas to Port-au-Prince is about 110 miles.  Wikipedia says: "Port-au-Prince ... is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean country of Haiti.... It was first incorporated under the colonial rule of the French, in 1749. The city's layout is similar to that of an amphitheater; commercial districts are near the water, while residential neighborhoods are located on the hills above.  Its population is difficult to ascertain due to the rapid growth of slums in the hillsides above the city; however, recent estimates place the metropolitan area's population at around 3.7 million, nearly half of the country's national population." See map below.
     Spanish occupation of Haiti (then Hispanola) stretched from 1492, when Columbus landed at Môle Saint-Nicolas on 5 December 1492, until 1625.  The French obtained what is now Haiti in 1625, ruling until the slave revolt that ended with independence in 1804.  Fields, then, refers to more than 300 years of colonial domination.  The French imported Africans as slaves to work sugar cane plantations.  By the time of the slave revolt, slaves outnumbered white colonists by about 10 to 1.
    The strongly negative impression Fields takes in Port-au-Prince becomes a repeated theme through the journal, the town becoming a standard for the loss of civilized culture against which she measures other island cultures.  Jewett wrote to Louisa Dresel on January 30, 1896: "Then we went to Hayti, which was oh, so funny with its pomp of darkeys. Port au Prince was quite an awful scene of thriftlessness and silly pretense -- but one or two little Haytian harbours and the high green coast were most lovely" (See full text below).

Port au Prince

The harbor of Port-au-Prince
Santo Domingo, past and present, with a glance at Hayti.
Samuel Hazard (1834-1876)
New York: Harper Brothers, 1873

Page 43:  This page seems to have been inserted here, breaking the continuity between 42 and 44.

disused salt works:  Though the production of sea salt on Inagua had failed by 1896, the Morton Salt Company now provides Inagua's main industry, with a large solar salt operation.

flamingoes:  Wikipedia says of Inagua: "There is a large bird sanctuary in the centre of the island with a population of more than 80,000 West Indian flamingoes and many other bird species...."


American flamingo
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

In Fields, Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, is a letter to Louisa Dresel dated 30 January 1896 from the Hermione, but apparently not mailed until much later.

     Steam Yacht Hermione, Kingston, Jamaica, January 30, 1899.

     Dear Loulie, -- I was so glad to get your letter today, and so was Mrs. Fields. We are having a very much better time as we go on, for A. F. is better and I, too, and I find Jamaica a most enchantingly beautiful country. My fellow travellers say that Ceylon is not a bit more beautiful. We have been a week in Nassau, where I wrote you, and then came down through the Bahamas, stopping only at Inagua, a strange lonely island which I must tell you about some day, with its wild marshes and a huge flock of flamingos, like all your best red paints spilt on the shining mud. There had once been square miles of salt works which were ruined by a tornado, and now the flamingos blow about there like flames. Then we went to Hayti, which was oh, so funny with its pomp of darkeys. Port au Prince was quite an awful scene of thriftlessness and silly pretense -- but one or two little Haytian harbours and the high green coast were most lovely. And then Jamaica, with all its new trees and flowers, and its coolies, Loulie! with their bangles and turbans and strange eyes. You would like Jamaica immensely.
     Your news of the bicycle is very entertaining. you will be cutting by a slow-footed friend any day after I get back. I think it is so good for you, -- one needs a serious reason for getting out of doors sometimes, and a bicycle is a very serious reason indeed. The roads are so fine here, winding and looping along the sides of the hills as they do in Switzerland, -- fine English-made roads, -- and you look up to the great mountains, and down to the blue sea.

the place:  This insertion is in pencil.  Though a number of changes in pencil appear in the manuscript after those parts that were revised into Fields's post-1898 document, I have decided not to mark them here.  It seems unlikely that future scholars will be interested in this manuscript at that level of detail.  Should that belief prove mistaken, a future scholar would need to return to the manuscript to examine the revisions.

Mr. Keitel of the banking house:   G. Keitel & Company, a banking firm established in Hamburg, Germany, opened business in Port-au-Prince in 1867.  The company also was involved in import and export, transatlantic shipping, and in Haitian railroads.  Information about this particular Mr. Keitel is welcome.


Map of Haiti
Courtesy of Google Maps

off the Cape Dame Marie: Cape Dame Marie is at the west end of the southern peninsula of Haiti.  Straight line distance from Port-au-Prince to Cape Dame Marie is about 110 miles.  Fields several times has difficulty keeping days and dates straight.  January 27th actually was a Monday.

Port Antonia lighthouse

Port Antonio, Jamaica, Lighthouse
Image courtesy of Port Antonio Jamaica

harbor of Port Antonio:  From Cape Dame Marie, Haiti, to Port Antonio, Jamaica is about 135 miles.  From Port Antonio to Kingston is about 60 miles, though clearly this is much longer by sea.   See the northeast coast on the map below.

East Jamaica

Eastern Jamaica
Map courtesy of Google Maps.

Port Antonio

Harbor of Port Antonio
from Stark, p. 148

the Coolies:  While Americans easily assume the term "coolie" to apply to Chinese immigrant workers, Fields specifies that the "coolies" she observes are East Indians.  There were Chinese immigrant workers in Jamaica.  Wikipedia offers a summary account of Chinese Jamaicans:  "The two earliest ships of Chinese migrant workers to Jamaica arrived in 1854, the first directly from China, the second composed of onward migrants from Panama; they were contracted for plantation work. A further 200 would arrive in the years up until 1870, mostly from other Caribbean islands. Later, in 1884, a third wave of 680 Chinese migrants would arrive...."   The National Library of Jamaica provides a more detailed account of 19th-century Chinese migrant workers. 
    Fields describes the imported workers of Port Antonio as East Indian, which seems ambiguous, but her physical descriptions of clothing seem to fit better the second illustration below, showing workers likely to have come from southern Asia.

Chinese workers

Chinese workers in Jamaica
Courtesy of The National Library of Jamaica


Foreign workers identified as "Newly Arrived Coolies"
Stark, p. 191.

Toussaint L'OuvertureWikipedia says: François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture ...(20 May 1743 – 7 April 1803), .. nicknamed the "Napoléon Noir" (Black Napoleon), was the leader of the Haitian Revolution. His military genius and political acumen transformed an entire society of slaves into the independent state of Haiti. The success of the Haitian Revolution shook the institution of slavery throughout the New World."  Fields returns several later times in her diary to her reflections about whether and when Africans in the colonial islands will be capable of self-rule, taking note of the seeming contrast between such leading figures as Louverture and what she sees as the degraded masses of the Black populations.

Bread-fruit Tree ... the Mango ... water-[laurel ?] rhododendron: According to Wikipedia: "Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family (Moraceae) originating in the South Pacific and that was eventually spread to the rest of Oceania. British and French navigators introduced a few Polynesian seedless varieties to Caribbean islands during the late 18th century and today it is grown in some 90 countries throughout South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, Central America and Africa."  It is valuable as a source of food as well as of latex.
    Wikipedia says that the Mango tree originated in South Asia, but is now cultivated everywhere that frost does not occur for its sweet red and golden fruit. 
    What Fields refers to apparently as a sort of "water-laurel rhododendron" is quite uncertain.  I have found no other reference to such a plant.  David G. Leach in the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society (1957) indicates that tree Rhododendrons are not native to Jamaica.  He reports his surprise at finding on a Jamaican mountain a scarlet blooming "R. arboreum, native to the great arc of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan, and with an outlying representative in Ceylon."

Bread fruit

Bread fruit tree in Hawaii


Blossom of Rhododendron arboreum
From India


Aucuba japonica by Feen


Garden Croton


Mango tree in Kerala, Inda

False hops

False Hops
by Hedwig Storch



All images above courtesy of Wikipedia.

"false hops" a lovely shrub, ^with^ spotted leaves which remind me of "the spotted Japonica" and Coleus (to the latter family I think the plant belongs) but which are called Croton:  Unpacking this description seems very complicated.  Wikipedia's description of Justicia brandegeeana, commonly called "false hops," seems to fit Fields's image.  Exactly how she relates the other plants except by similar appearance seems obscure. 
    Wikipedia says: "Aucuba japonica, commonly called spotted laurel, Japanese laurel, Japanese aucuba or gold dust plant (U.S.), is a shrub (1 - 5 m, 3.3 - 16.4 ft) native to rich forest soils of moist valleys, thickets, by streams and near shaded moist rocks in China, Korea, and Japan. This is the species of Aucuba commonly seen in gardens -- often in variegated form."
    "Plectranthus scutellarioides (coleus) is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to south east Asia and Malaysia. Growing to 60–75 cm (24–30 in) tall and wide, it is a bushy, woody-based evergreen perennial, widely grown for its highly decorative variegated leaves"
    If she is using "Croton" as the name of a family of plants, it is not clear that any of the other three plants belongs to this family.  On the other hand garden croton, Codiaeum variegatum, does resemble the other plants, with its colorful leaves.

American Fruit Packing Company ... A Captain Baker seems to be at the head of the company, and a Mr. Jones one of the chief administrators:   Fields refers to the Boston Fruit Company (1887), of which Wikipedia says: "Lorenzo Dow Baker served as president of the company and manager of the tropical division. By 1895, 'the corporation own[ed] nearly 40,000 acres, included in 35 plantations, and deep-water frontage [in Jamaica] in the harbors of Port Antonio and Port Morant. They owned their own lines of steamships, which they operated between those ports and Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Besides carrying their own fruits, they carried some outside freight, and afforded passenger accommodations for many tourists visiting the West-India Islands.'"
    Stark's Jamaica Guide: Containing a Description of Everything Relating to Jamaica (1902), p. 146, by James Henry Stark, notes that Mr. J. A. Jones was an assistant manager of the United Fruit Company, formed in 1899, when Boston Fruit merged with another company.  The Manual of Statistics: Stock Exchange Hand-book (1905), Volumes 26-30; Volume 38, Charles M. Goodsell, Henry E. Wallace, p. 744, reports on the United Fruit Company, listing James A. Jones as one of the directors.  This description is especially useful in indicating the power of the company, which in 1904 had massive assets, $15 million in issued stock and annual net earnings in excess of $2 million.

the Consul, Mr. Davis, ... Boston beans:   The American Consul at Port Antonio in 1896 has not been identified.  Assistance is welcome.
    Presumably, Mr. Davis sends the Hermione some Boston baked beans, or perhaps dried beans to be used in making this dish.

pictures in ^the back of^ Mitchell's Geography come true:  Wikipedia says: "Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1790-1868) was an American geographer.... He became involved in geography after teaching and realizing that there were so many poor quality geographical resources available to teachers."  Which of Mitchell's several geographies Aldrich refers to is not clear.  Those currently available as Google Books do not collect illustrations "at the back," but several contain drawings related to the West Indies.  See for example: Mitchell's School Geography (1860), p. 188.

tree-bamboos waving their gemlike plumes against the sky:  Probably, Fields was viewing Bambusa vulgaris, which grows on the Caribbean islands.


Tree bamboo
Image courtesy of Guadua Bamboo, Bamboo Species

Rio Grande
:  Stark's Guide to Jamaica says the Rio Grande is the second largest river in Jamaica, and it flows through the Golden Vale, a rich banana growing area owned by the Boston Fruit Company (pp. 149-50).  On the map above, it is seen emptying into St. Margaret's Bay, west of Port Antonio.


"1894 banana transport Jamaica" by New England Magazine - David Buffum.
"A New England Farmer in Jamaica." New England Magazine, Dec. 1894.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Golden vale

"Golden Vale Plantation ca 1894 bananas Boston Fruit Co Jamaica" by Popular Science Monthly, 
Humphrey. "Where Bananas Grow." Popular Science Monthly, Feb. 1894.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Banana women

Women carrying bananas at Port Morant
From Stark, p. 98

[ Tuesday 28 January ]

January 28th  ^Rainy^ everywhere ^Today^ we steamed away from Port Antonio to Port Morant *-- four hours only ^in the afternoon^ -- but the sea was pretty rough the wind high and warm and I kept as still as possible but nobody was really sick.  We came into harbor just at sunset, a quiet beautiful bay, with lovely mountain sides clothed with cocoa-palms and bamboo.  What a lovely sunset it was! but short as sunsets must be at in winter on Jamaica; by half past six, if the moon were not in the sky it would be dark.  But now it is never dark with us; save [unless / when ?] it was raining at Port Antonio.  We have now left the clouds on the northern side of the island, behind the mountains where they lie troubled with soft pink  by the setting sun and the moon [coming ?]

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up above them.  The colors are all soft and pallid but tender --; This is winter in the tropics!


 from Port Antonio to Port Morant:  By sea, the distance between these ports in Jamaica would be something in excess of 70 miles.

Morant Map

Area of Port Morant, Jamaica
From 1896 Map Jamaica, eastern portion
Courtesy of Digital Library of the Caribbean

[ Wednesday 29 January ]

Wednesday 29th at Port Morant.*   [deleted word] ^A^ place [deleted word] to remind [deleted word] ^one^ of [deleted letters] the Garden of Eden.*  Horses were waiting for us early by the kindness again of Captain Baker of the Fruit Company.  We drove nearly all day taking luncheon at Miss Duffy's lodgings  in a little hamlet called Bath.* The valleys through which we travelled, over smooth roads were thickly inhabited by colored people and coolies -- The latter deeply interesting and picturesque as usual.  [Deleted word] The whole way seemed to be decorated by the hand of taste!  How the red Hibiscus shown!  and the dark [Deleted word] !  How splendid the star apple tree with its bronze foliage!  But the splendor soon outshone the power of taste!  We suddenly saw a tree ^as large as a [Deleted word] fine oak^ making a glory in the sky with a sea of red -- almost vermilion blossoms.  Later we found it is called Spathodia.

            Returning to our boat we steamed on through a smooth sea to Kingston.  It was beautiful sailing the whole distance.  At sundown we anchored off Port Royal.


Port Morant:  On the southeastern coast of Jamaica, Port Morant has a history as a main port in the banana and rum trades.

the Garden of Eden: In Genesis, the original home of Adam and Eve, is a paradise that meets all human material needs.


Bath Botanical Gardens
Courtesy of Jamaica Travel and Culture

Miss Duffy's lodgings  in a little hamlet called Bath:  Stark reports that Bath was at one time the main spa in Jamaica, with its Bath of St. Thomas the Apostle.  Stark's description of the road from Port Morant closely parallels that of Fields (pp. 99-100). 
    In A Glimpse of the Tropics; Or, Four Months Cruising in the West Indies (1900), Edward Aubrey Hastings Jay describes staying at Miss Duffy's: 

From Morant Bay we drove by the coast road to Fisherman's Bay, and then turned inland, following the course of a lovely valley to Bath. This last bit of road is indeed scarcely rivalled in Jamaica for its exquisite beauty. We followed the course of a deep ravine, the vegetation becoming richer at every turn of the road, masses and masses of feathery bamboos covering the mountain sides, and ferns, mosses, and creepers growing in a wild tangle along the banks.
    We drove at length into the little sylvan town of Bath, nestling in a garden of strange tropical trees, amongst which were specimens imported from every quarter of the globe. Miss Duffy's lodging, with its picturesque balcony overlooking this vision of beauty, and its shady little yard overshadowed by the spreading leaves of a magnificent bread-fruit tree, tempted us to spend the rest of our days in Bath. We found that the inside of her charming little house in no way belied its cosy appearance.
    Tired and stiff after driving nearly forty  miles cramped up in a buggy, we were glad to stretch our limbs on the shady balcony.   Close to the wall was a calabash tree, with its huge green fruit hanging like cannon-balls from the branches....    In  a  meadow opposite were big forest trees with  gorgeous blossoms, some red and some orange. The names of all the varieties here it would  be impossible  for any one  but an expert to grasp, still less to remember.  Among the most striking was the Otaheite Apple, a tall, majestic tree, with luxuriant foliage and bright scarlet blossoms. Another was the  Guango (Pithecolobium saman), a near relation of the wild tamarind.  This tree is often as much as six feet in diameter, with spreading branches, and covered with blossoms of a mauve tint and delicate texture.  There were also several specimens of the akce, naturalised from West Africa -- a  bushy tree with  leaves like those of an ash, and bearing on its branches a beautiful scarlet fruit, which splits open when ripe, and displays a row of black seeds enclosed in a white pulp. The akee has a delicious scent and flavour, and is not unlike a nectarine.  Here, too, we saw a gigantic silk-cotton tree, with its  trunk  covered to a height of about forty or fifty feet with the aerial roots of a wild fig, which was slowly crushing the life out of it.
    Miss Duffy gave us an excellent little dinner, well cooked and nicely served, and we strolled out afterwards to explore and to enjoy the cool night air. (249-51)

For another contemporary description of Lucretia Duffy's lodgings and the baths, see Side Trips in Jamaica (1900), by Mary F. Bradford  (p. 38).  Bradford also notes the good Jamaican cooking at Duffy's.

star apple tree: Wikipedia says that Chrysophyllum cainito, also known as Star Apple, "is a tropical tree of the family Sapotaceae. It is native to the Greater Antilles and the West Indies. It has spread to the lowlands of Central America and is now is grown throughout the tropics, including Southeast Asia.  It grows rapidly and reaches 20 m in height."

Star apple

Star Apple

Image Courtesy of Zoom's Edible Plants


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

red -- almost vermilion blossoms.  Later we found it is called Spathodia:  Spathodea, says Wikipedia, is: "The ... Spathodea campanulata ... commonly known as the fountain tree, African tulip tree, pichkari or Nandi flame. The tree grows between 7–25 m (23–82 ft) tall and is native to tropical dry forests of Africa. It has been nominated as among 100 of the 'World's Worst' invaders."

Kingston… Port Royal:  Port Morant to Kingston is about 70 miles.  As the map below indicates, Port Royal is at the entrance to Kingston Harbor.


Google Map of Kingston, Jamaica

[ Thursday 30 January ]

Thursday 30th  We awakened as if we were still continuing the dream of beauty in which we floated the night before, when the moon rose full at sunset and there was no darkness.

Page 53

English men of war* are in Kingston harbor and their 'music' filled the evening air.  We lay on deck and drank in the lovely scene as we rested.  Thursday morning the moon was still shining brilliantly when we arose because the sun sets early and rises late [one and one half lines and insertions deleted.  Readable deleted words seem to be: we are cheating ^us^ with the idea that it is summer.]  The hours remain as they are at home, but the heat is that of summer.  The cook* passed up ^the gangway^ today with a basket of fresh fish which he stopped to show us.  Bonita, hard and yellow -- [Deleted word] red snapper* and little [lilac ?] bodies veined with yellow.  They are brilliant and beautiful as the flowers.   This city of Kingston was white and dusty and hot; we were amused as usual by the colored people but it was too scorching to stay long from the boat especially as there is little to attract one in the town itself.  The five thousand white people ^persons^ who live here with about 50,000 ^of the^ colored people, have made homes for themselves on the mountain sides above the town and some of these places we hope to see.*

It is lovely to watch the light from ^looking from our boat in^ the harbor glowing upon the mountain sides.  High up we can just discover like a rift [intended drift ?] of

Page 54

snow in an upland valley the home of all the white soldiers of Jamaica.  The place is called Newcastle and is delightfully cool.  Blankets are always needed there by ^at^ night.


p 53

   Image from Page 53 of the manuscript, showing complex deletions and insertions.
Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society

English men of war
:  In The Royal Navy: a History from the Earliest Times to the Death of Queen Victoria (1903), the authors include an image of  the "Spithead review 1897 Chevalier de Martino" (p. 400).  This photo of a naval review celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee should give some impression of how British warships may have appeared in the Kingston harbor in 1896.  It is not clear that Fields means the term "men of war" technically; she seems rather to apply it to navy vessels generally.
    On some Royal Navy ships, there were bands, and in 1896, the Royal Navy was beginning the process of setting up the Royal Marines Bands, which came into being in 1903.

Spithead review

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Navy Band

Image of a Royal Marine Band on the HMS Commonwealth (1909)
  from Henry Eaves
which offers this citation: RM Museum in Southsea, UK.

the cook:  Information about the crew on this voyage would be welcome.

Bonita … red snapper:  Wikipedia says: "The Atlantic bonito, Sarda sarda, is a large mackerel-like fish of the family Scombridae. It is common in shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea, where it is an important commercial and game fish."  "The northern red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico, where it inhabits environments associated with reefs. This species is commercially important and is also sought-after as a game fish.


"Sarda sarda" by Sherman Foote Denton
'State of New York Annual Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries, Game, and Forests (1895-1906).'
Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Red Snapper
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

A mature Bonito may be 30 inches; a Red Snapper,. 15 inches.

mountain sides above the town


Kingston view, showing northeastern mountains in background.
Courtesy of Hotels of Kingston

Newcastle: In his description of the Newcastle area in Chapter 9 (pp. 77-80), Stark indicates that the camp was northeast of Kingston, beyond Gordon Town, several miles up the Hope River, which flows into the sea at Harbor View (see Kingston map above).

  Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.

The original of this diary is in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  My copy is from a microfilm, available courtesy of the University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, Kansas:  Annie Adams Fields Papers 1852-1912. Folio PS 1669.F5 Z462 1986, Reel 2.

Works of Annie Fields