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From The Bahamas

From The Bahamas image
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Corresponden ce of The Courier. Nassau, N. r., Bahamas, I Febrnury 23, 1880. f Editor Courier! Having plenty of spare time (hought I woulil use a little of it in writing to yon, thinking that I niight perhaps eay a word that would interest soine of your readers. When we reached Jacksonville, Florida, the weather, although very pleasant, was cooler than we expectcd to find, and Katic and I concluded to come to this Island where wc find the weather very warm. White suits, straw hats, and sun umbrellas are to be seen in every direction, the thermometer stands about 72 at 7 A. M., about 76 at 2 P. M., and about 72 at 12 M., running this way about seven days out of ten, and never more than two or three degrees different from December to May. There is not perhaps a more eren climate in tlie world, and a splendid place for delicate people during the winter moriWip, but I would advine coming here not later than January lst, December would be better. Katie and I will start for America on next ship. Katiê is pronounced by all " a good sailor," she basn't becn sick yet. Whcn we were on the ship she didn't miss a meal, while most of the ladies were sick, (d faet she hasn't missed one since we left home. ) A neating í-tove or fireplace is not used in Nassau, only three houses in the whole place have cliiiiiiicy.-. Tlie cooking isdone out doors and in detaehed buildings. The ouly draw back to this place for visitors is want of communication. There is no telegraph and one can only get letters once a week, and soinetiines not in two weeks. This may be the reason Gen. Grant nevur visited this place, he would be too long in hearing from the boom, and besides he owes it a grudfic as it eost us so nmch lioing the war. We liaven't had a letter as yet, recoived two Couriers, our letters must have becn held in Jacksonville. Perlmpsa little history of this place would interest soine of the people of Washtenaw. The Bahamas are a rango of islands and bays lying bctween 19 50' and 27 50' north latitude, and 72 40' and TJ 10' west i-,;t..J. tri..., i:„ :„ . ,i t __j southeast direction, and extend a distsnce of about five hundred and fifty miles. They comprise twenty-nine island?, and mx hundred and sixtyone bays - twenty-one of the islands being inhabited. They wcre first settled by the British in 1673. From thia time uotil 1718 they were considered of but little importance on account of there being a rendczvous for piratcs who were constantly committing depredations upon the iuhabitants. NEW FROVIDENCE. The Island of New Providence, upon the north side of which is situated the city of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, has an area of' eighty-five square miles, and a population of about fourteen thousand. New Providence was visited by Columbus on (he 17th of October in the ycar 1492. CLIMATE. For invalide, und persons who want rest, the climate of the Bahamas isdoultless far preferable to that of any othcr country. The temperature here during the winter months, say from the first of October to the first of May, averages about 75. The mercury seldom rites above 80 and as scldom falla below 70. THE ROYAL VICTORIA HOTEL is the most sightly of all the public buildings, it was erected in 1802 by tne Bahaina Government at a cost of $125,000. FISII. To give you a full description of the fish and their pcculiarities would occupy too much space. Suffiee it to say they have about twenty different different kinds, froin sliarc down. Tbree of us caught sixty in threc or four hours. The fish are highly prized by strangers. FLOWERS. The flowers are ncarly all pcrennial they are to be had íd great abundance the year round. Among tho most attractive to the eye of the stranger are the oleandor, white, red, pink, scarlet, and variegated. They grow to the hcight of thirty foet, and are always in bloom. The fearlet Prineette, the sholl flower (sometimes callcd cardamon), tube rose, stiphanotis, English violets, jasmine of every varicty, hybisous, crapo myrtle, and roses oí' almost every kind which are grown, here grow to great perfection. Tho night blooming cereus, one of tho most beautiful flowers is the off-shoot of a craggy looking cactus which grows wild about the walls of old ruins. The flowers open about sun down and continue open through the night. They have alüo a great variety of geraniums, and almost every kind of cactus may be found here growing wild. The life-leaf is one of the botanical curiosities, a single leaf pinned to the wall will grow for monthi'. If Mrs. Jacobs were here she would want a " s!ii " af all the different kinds of plante. FRUITS. The principal fruits are the orange, limón, grapc fruit, shaddock, lime, banana, plantain, mango, sappadillo, cocoanut, pine ipple, etc. It is the general impression that the latter grow on trees, but they do iot, they grow on a low plant with bayonet ihaped leavcs, etc. Sponge i.s one of the principal exporta. The first thing thatattracts the attention )f the stranger is the tran.sparency of the aters ; grains of sand, shells, fish, coral, ind sub-marino plants can bc scen on the xttom at the depth of ten or twelve fathms (60 to 72 feet. ) With the aid of a war-glass (a long, narrow, wooden box with iglass in one end) you can see the bottom n thirty or forty fathoms of water. Fish ire caught here in great abundance, both vit h hook and net. Frost has never visited Nassau ! The colde6t day known during the past twentyone years of careful registration (with one cxcoption, not verified) beiog 64, and tbe warmcst, from Nov. to May 82. I havo pcrhaps already written more than you will publish and must soon stop. We were all nvitcd by the American Consul to cali at his residence on Washington' birthday. I must add a poetry on thi.s delightful climate and quit : " The Queen of the spring iis glie pussml In full sull. Lelt her rnlo ou the trees and her breath on the püe." tlopin nll are woll. Yours, etc..