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For the Library Committee, for the purchase of
magazines and newspapers, binding of books,
and incidental expenses of the Committee
For the same Committee, to continue the Card
Catalogue of Plates
For the Committee on Publication and Discus-

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For the Committee of Arrangements,-this sum
to cover all extraordinary expenses of said

For the same Committee, to cover the deficiency
in the appropriations for the years 1884 and

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The Secretary read a letter from Mrs. Mary E. Whitmore, acknowledging the receipt of the resolutions passed by the Society in memory of her husband, the late Charles O. Whitmore, and expressing the gratification of the family therewith.

The Secretary also announced that the Schedule of Prizes for 1886 was ready for distribution.

The Chairman of the Committee on Publication and Discussion announced that the series of meetings for discussion would commence on the next Saturday with a discussion of "New Fruits of Promise;" to be opened by E. W. Wood, Chairman of the Fruit Committee.

Adjourned to Saturday, January 9.


SATURDAY, January 9, 1886.

An adjourned meeting of the Society was holden at 11 o'clock, President WALCOTT in the chair.

On motion of Edward L. Beard it was Voted, That the Committee charged with procuring a portrait of the Hon. Francis B. Hayes, late President of the Society, be requested to perform the same duty with respect to ex-President Moore.

Adjourned to Saturday, January 16.


Owing to a severe snow-storm, but a small number of persons were present, and the meeting was adjourned for one week.


SATURDAY, January 16, 1886.

An adjourned meeting of the Society was holden at 11 o'clock, President WALCOTT in the chair.

The Annual Report of the Committee on Publication and Discussion was read by O. B. Hadwen, Chairman, accepted, and ordered to be placed on file.

Adjourned to Saturday, January 23.




Our Committee on Discussions having learned that I lately returned from a voyage to Central America, and being desirous that others should know more about this wonderful country than can readily be got from books, have prevailed upon me to relate my experience while engaged in this trip; and this I will now proceed to do in as brief a manner as possible.

The voyage commenced on the 3d day of October of last year, with a thick fog and a head wind. We were compelled to put out to sea immediately to escape the fog, and then laid our course in a straight line for the Bahamas, considering that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. It may be so in most cases, but one "can't 'most always tell" if this is the case on a voyage; particularly if the ship is having sea mountains to climb all the way, and finding the steepest ones at the end of the straight line, in the roaring forties." Lady Brassey's descriptions of the seas around the Bahamas are very interesting and truthful, and I

refer you to her account of her trips in the "Sunbeam" for particulars of very interesting voyages in those waters.

While on the voyage, at times when the weather is pleasant, one often recalls the words of the old song,—

"A life on the ocean wave,

A home on the rolling deep,"

and under auspicious circumstances it seems beautiful, and one can see a vast deal of comfort and enjoyment in it, but when we get on shore and away from the haunts of men we recall the other good old song which says

"Some love to roam

O'er the dark sea foam,

But a life in the woods for me,"

a life which seems to me, as compared with a life on the ocean wave, much more suggestive of the acme of human enjoyment in this world of ours.

As we approach the coast of the tropics, we are pleased to notice the great difference in the forests from those we are accustomed to see. All along the coast the cocoanut palm rears its beautiful head, and on nearer approach we notice an abundance of its fruit in all stages of ripening. The forests are unlike any we are familiar with in our own country, presenting a different foliage, and a more dense appearance down to the water's edge.

Our first landing was at Balize, in British Honduras, the most important city on the coast, and probably the most enterprising. The principal portion of the inhabitants are Spaniards, negroes, Hindoos, and the native Indians, which, with all sorts of intermediate strains, make up a motley population peculiar to this country, and not such as we are accustomed to see at home. Our stay at Balize at this time was limited, and we therefore had no chance to study the people, but learned afterwards that they are in general lazy, indolent, and very fond of intoxicating drinks. The hire of an able-bodied man is $1.25 per day; but it is worth more than that to get a day's work from some of them.

The next port we made was Livingston, in Guatemala. The town consists principally of a considerable number of mud huts; all thatched with palm leaves. As it sits on quite an eminence, it presents the appearance of a thrifty little town, and this idea is not dispelled on landing. Livingston is situated at the mouth of the

Rio Dulce, a watercourse which extends from a large lake in the interior of Guatemala to the Caribbean Sea. There are several small steamboats plying on this river and lake, making regular trips up and down, and I have to regret that I was unable to make a round trip in one of them.

The river after we get over the bar at the mouth is very deep; and as it comes down through a lofty range of mountains, densely wooded to the water's edge with tropical forests, it presents to the lover of inland navigation a most beautiful and enchanting scene. Just back of Livingston and on the Rio Chocon, Mr. William T. Brigham, who read a paper before this Society in 1884, has established a Tropical Products Company, and is very largely engaged in growing sugar cane, coffee, India rubber, and in fact all the best productions of a tropical country, and as Mr. Brigham is present he will tell us of his success.

The great drawback to the navigation of all the rivers in Central America is the presence of sand bars accumulated at their mouths, so that ships must lie out in the bays, from a half-mile to one and a half miles from shore, while loading. This is rather awkward in a rough sea, and often detains ships beyond their time and at serious expense.

While walking through one of the streets of Livingston I came upon a man and woman who were building a house. The frame consisted of some poles set in the ground, and to each side of these were tied strips of the midribs of leaves of palm, and these were also tied together, at regular intervals, with some very tough vine from the woods. I did not see a nail used in the whole structure. Alongside of this house an excavation had been made about two feet deep, and in this the soil which had been taken out was being kneaded into mortar by the feet of the man and woman. After the mud had become adhesive and was of the proper consistency for handling, a small tray full of it would be taken out, and the process of building up the sides of the house by filling in between the posts would go on till the house was complete. The roof is always finished before the sides, so that the mud is protected from the rains, and in due course of time it dries and makes a durable house. I was told that from ten to fifteen years would pass before the house would require rebuilding. The roof is a thatch, generally of the fronds of the Cohune palm; this is preferred, because it does not readily take fire. The fronds are split the whole length through

the midribs and then tied to the rafter poles. They are laid on quite thick, sufficiently so to make the roof proof against leakage, and to protect the inmates from the fervent heat of the sun. I was told by one of the English merchants, who was having his thatch relaid, that it was better than any other kind of roof, as it kept the bungalow cool and dry. About seven feet of rain is the annual fall in that country, and you will readily see that the roof is a very important factor in the sum total of one's happiness.

From Livingston we proceeded to Omoa, a picturesque little village situated in a beautiful indentation of the coast, and at the foot of the Omoa Mountains; which rise immediately back of the village to the height of 9,000 feet, and are wooded with beautiful shrubs and trees to their very summits. Nothing can be prettier than the view of this village and the surrounding scenery, from the deck of a steamship; but as I did not land at this point I cannot speak of the inhabitants from personal observation.

Our next stop was at Puerto Cortez, one of the most important points on the coast, being the terminus of the only railway in Spanish Honduras. The bay makes a good harbor, and at one time while our steamship was there five others lay at anchor alongside. Some were loading mahogany and cedar for Europe, while the others were taking bananas, cocoanuts, and any other produce procurable, for the United States.

Puerto Cortez is situated on a tongue of land running out into the sea, and forming one side of the bay; and on the centre of this tongue of land is the railway track. There is no other street in the village, and the houses and stores are set on posts on either side of this street or track. The land is very low, and in the rainy season is all submerged except the railway track. Vegetation is of very quick growth and decays as easily as it grows; therefore this place is very unhealthy, everybody being subject to malarial fever. We had not been there more than a week before half our crew were under the doctor's care, although our ship was a halfmile from shore. I did not get the fever, as I was careful not to drink the water of the country.

The other terminus of this railway is San Pedro, a snug inland village, thirty-seven miles from Puerto Cortez. It was proposed when this railway was begun to extend it across Honduras through the capital city, Tegucigalpa, to the Bay of Fonseca on the Pacific Ocean side; but after the work was under way, and bonds to the

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