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To Cuba and Back

Richard Henry Dana

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Franciscan monastery, then a barrack, and now has been given by the government to the Jesuits. The company of Jesus here is composed of a rector and about forty clerical and twenty lay brethren. These perform every office, from the highest scientific investigations and instruction, down to the lowest menial offices, in the care of the children; some serving in costly vestments at the high altar, and others in coarse black garb at the gates. It is only three years since they established themselves in Havana, but in that time they have formed a school of two hundred boarders and one hundred day scholars, built dormitories for the boarders, and a common hall, restored the church and made it the most fully attended in the city; established a missionary work in all parts of the town, recalled a great number to the discipline of the Church, and not only created something like an enthusiasm of devotion among the women, who are said to have monopolized the religion of Cuba in tim. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Some good information on the Cuban scene in 1859 but otherwise not the great work of journalistic literature that Dana's Two Years Before the Mast is. It's very good reporting about a short trip to a tropical colony of the Spanish Empire mid 19th century but otherwise not a significant work of art.

Once you get past the author's views about certain issues, it's a very interesting book that tells about a Cuba long past. I found it very informative, if a bit of a short read compared to some of his other writings.