Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/141

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127
PORTO TORRES—PORT PIRIE

Casado, had ordered the forces under his command in the southern part of the island to fall back towards the ridge of mountains intersecting it from east to west, just north of the town of Coamo. Reinforcements were also brought up from San ]uan and preparations made to resist an attack by the Americans, despite the current rumours of approaching peace. On their part the American forces, now numbering about 10,000 men, prepared to advance by separate routes across the island in four columns. Guayama, Mayagüez and Coamo were occupied; one portion of the army was within 20 m. of the northern coast and another had advanced along the main military road nearly to Aibonito, when the signing of the peace protocol on the 12th of August caused an immediate suspension of hostilities. The advance of the Americans had been rapid and decisive, with a small loss of life—three killed and forty wounded—due to the skill with which the military manœuvres were planned and executed and the cordial welcome given the invaders by the inhabitants. By November the Spaniards had evacuated the greater part of the island, after Captain General Macias embarked for Spain, General Ricardo Ortega was governor from the 16th to the 18th of October, when the island was turned over to the American forces. In the work of policing the island, in the accompanying tasks of sanitation, construction of highways and other public works, accounting for the expenditure of public funds, and in establishing a system of public education, the military control, which under the successive direction of Generals John R. Brooke, Guy V. Henry and George W. Davis, lasted until the first of May 1900, proved most effective in bridging over the period of transfer from the repressive control of Spain to the semi-paternal system under the American civil government. But it was hardly adapted to teach a people utterly without political experience the essential elements of self-government. To meet this problem the Congress of the United States passed the “Foraker Act,” under which civil government was instituted, and which, with certain modifications is still in force (see Administration). Under this act the American element has exercised the controlling power, and this has proved distasteful to certain Porto Rican politicians.

On the 8th of August 1899 the island was visited by the most destructive cyclone in its history, causing a loss of about 3500 lives and a property damage amounting to 36,000,000 pesos, the coffee industry suffering most. This calamity afforded the American people an opportunity to display their generosity toward their new colony. Charles H. Allen became the first civil governor in May 1900; he was succeeded in August 1901 by William H. Hunt, who served until July 1904; Beekman Winthrop was governor in 1904-1907 and Régis H. Post from April 1907 until November 1909, when he was succeeded by George R. Colton. The island now has free trade with the United States, and receives into its general revenue fund all customs duties and internal taxes collected in the island. Its political leaders in the House of Delegates are restive under the control exercised by the Executive Council, but an attempt to hold up necessary appropriations resulted in the passage in July 1909 of an act continuing the appropriations of the previous year, whenever for any cause the lower house fails to pass the necessary financial legislation. In 1910 the coffee industry had not yet recovered from the effect of the cyclone of 1899 and the unfortunate mortgage system that prevailed under the Spanish régime. The fact that its product is shut out of its natural markets, without gaining that of the United States, is also a great handicap. The civic status of the people is still unsettled, but there has been under American rule a notable advance in the well-being of the island.

Bibliography.—The main source for the history under the Spanish is Fray Inigo Abbad, Historia geografica civil y natural de San Juan Bautista de Puerta Rico (Madrid, 1788; a new edition with notes by Jose J. Acosta was published in Porto Rico in 1866). Abbad makes extensive quotations from early historians of Spanish America. The best modern critical account in Spanish is Salvador Brau, Puerto Rico y su historia (Valencia, 1894). Probably the best account in English, although one leaving much to be desired, is R. A. Van Middeldyk, The History of Puerto Rico (New York, 1903). R. H. Davis, The Cuban and Porto Rican Campaigns (New York, 1898), is a sketch of the invasion of the island in 1898. L. S. Rowe, The United States and Porto Rico (ibid., 1900) treats clearly and briefly of the problems arising from American control, and a like characterization may be made of W. F. Willoughby, Territories and Dependencies of the United States (New York, 1905). Van Middeldyk gives a brief bibliography of historical works, and a more extensive list is given in General George W. Davis's Report on the Military Government of Porto Rico. See also Annual Reports of the Governor of Porto Rico (Washington, 1901 sqq.); H. M. Wilson, “Porto Rico: Its Topography and Aspects,” in the Bulletin Amer. Geogr. Soc. New York, Vol. xxxii. (New York, 1900); W. A. Alexander, “Porto Rico: Its Climate and Resources,” in the same, vol. xxxiv. (ibid., 1902); Report on the Census of Porto Rico (Washington, 1900); W. F. Willoughby, Insular and Municipal Finances in Porto Rico for the Fiscal Year 1902-1903, issued by the Bureau of the United States Census (ibid., 1905); R. T. Hill, Cuba and Porto Rico (New York, 1898).

PORTO TORRES (anc. Turris Libisonis, q.v.), a seaport on the north coast of Sardinia, 12½ m. N.W. of Sassari by rail. Pop. (1901), 3762 (town); 4225 (commune). It is only 10 ft. above sea-level, and is malarious, but is a seaport of some importance, having regular steam communication with Ajaccio, Leghorn and Cagliari, and with the north and west coasts of Sardinia. The church of S. Gavino, formerly the cathedral, probably dates from the 11th century. It is a Romanesque basilica with a nave and two aisles, divided by ancient columns; at each end of the nave is an apse. It has a 14th-century portal and two smaller doors at the sides added later in the Aragonese style. See D. Scano, Storia dell' arte in Sardegna dal XI. al XIV. secolo (Cagliari-Sassari, 1907), 91 sqq. To the N.N.W. is the island of Asniara, the principal quarantine station of Italy. Porto Torres was the seat of the giudici of the north-west portion of the island (the district was called Torres or Logudoro); it was plundered by the Genoese in 1166, but remained the seat of the giudici until 1272, when it was divided between various Genoese families, the Doria, Malaspina, &c., and the giudici of Arborea. It was also the seat of a bishopric until 1441, when the see was transferred to Sassari, Porto Torres being practically deserted, owing to its unhealthiness. It did not become an independent commune again until 1842.

PORTOVENERE (anc. Portus Veneris), a town and summer resort of Liguria, Italy, in the province of Genoa, at the southern extremity of the peninsula which protects the Gulf of Spezia on the west, 7 m. S. of Spezia by road. Pop. (1901), 1553 (town); 5754 (commune). The fortress and walls with which it was provided by the Genoese in the 9th or 10th century have been destroyed for military reasons. The restored church of St Peter, of black and white marble (1118, destroyed by the Aragonese in 1494), is reputed to occupy the site of a temple of Venus. The parish church dates from 1098. Yellow-veined black marble, known as Portoro, and building-stone are quarried here and in the fortified island of Palmaria to the east of Portovenere. In the Grotta dei Colombi objects of the Palaeolithic age have been found.

PORT PHILLIP, the harbour of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. An almost circular, landlocked sheet of water, it is 31 m. long, 20 m. at its widest, with an area of 800 sq. m. A narrow channel flanked by bold cliffs forms its entrance, and when the tide recedes through it a strong current is encountered outside. The broken and somewhat dangerous sea thus caused is called “the Rip.” Within the port on the eastern side are suburbs of Melbourne, such as Sorrento, Mornington, Frankston, Carrum, Mordialloc, Redcliff, Brighton and St Kilda. The wharves of Port Melbourne and Williamstown stand at the head of the port on an arm known as Hobson's Bay. On the western side the port of Geelong and the port and watering-place of Queenscliff are the only towns of importance. Port Phillip is well fortified with strong batteries at its entrance. The harbour was discovered in 1802 by Lieut. Murray, who named it in honour of Captain Phillip, first governor of New South Wales. The colony of Victoria was originally called the district of Port Phillip.

PORT PIRIE, a town of Victoria county, South Australia, on Germein Bay, an arm of Spencer Gulf, 168¾ m. by rail N. by W.