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[57] some negro villages, occupied by the descendants and survivors of a colony of free colored persons who went from New Jersey under Boyer's administration.1

1 Part of the information in the text is taken from a memoir on the peninsula and bay of Samana in the “Journal of the London geographical society” for 1853, by Sir R. H. Schomburgk, H. B. M. Consul at the Dominican Republic. The concluding paragraphs are as follows:--

I have purposely dwelt long and in detail upon this narrow strip of land, called the Peninsula of Samana, and upon its adjacent magnificent bay. In its geographical position its greatest importance is centred. The fertile soil is fit for the cultivation of all tropical productions; its spacious bays and anchoring-places offer a shelter to the navies of the world; and its creeks afford facilities for the erection of arsenals and docks, while the adjacent forests yield the requisite woods for naval architecture: still, its chief importance does not consist in these advantages alone, but in its geographical position, forming, as it does, one of the principal keys to the isthmus of Central America and to the adjacent Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Lepelletier de Saint-Remy says, “Samana is one of those maritime positions not often met with in a survey of the map of the world. Samana is to the Gulf of Mexico what Mayotta is to the Indian Ocean. It is not only the military, but also the commercial, key of the Gulf; but the latter is of infinitely greater importance, under the pacific tendencies of European politics.”

The Bay of Samana being placed to the windward of Jamaica, Cuba, and the Gulf of Mexico, and lying, moreover, almost due northeast of the great isthmus which now so powerfully attracts the attention of the world, the French author just quoted may well call it “la tete-du-pont” to the highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Captain McClellan had never seen or heard of this memoir at the date of his visit to the West Indies; and it is creditable to his sagacity to have selected, as the result of his own unaided observation, a site which so competent an authority as Sir Robert II. Schomburgk speaks of in such terms as the above.

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