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Canadian Illustrated News:
Images in the news: 1869-1883

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October 30, 1869
Vol. I, No. 1

[page] 12

Gen. Carlos Manuel Cespedes

The President of the Cuban Republic, or more properly said, the chosen leader of the Cuban revolutionists, is now in the 51st year of his age, having been born at Bayamo, on the 18th of April, 1819. In 1838 he graduated at the Havana University. After visiting Spain he returned to Cuba, and commenced the practice of the law in his native city. From early manhood he has been an ardent advocate of Cuban independence, and his zeal in the cause has led to his arrest and imprisonment on more than one occasion. In the early part of 1868, when the rebellion was being organized against the perpetuation of Spanish rule, Cespedes took an earnest part in the proceedings of the revolutionary Juntas, and when the rebellion did break out in October of last year, he was found at the head of the five hundred revolutionists who, on the 10th of that month, swore allegiance to the flag of liberty. He achieved several substantial advantages over the Government forces within the next few days, and his army having swelled to three thousand strong, he laid siege to his native city of Bayamo, the small garrison of which capitulated, after holding out for three days. He continued at the head of the Revolutionary party from the commencement of the outbreak, and since the formal organization of the machinery of a government, has been styled President of the Republic of Cuba. As an [i.e. "in" — Ed.] earnest of his devotion to the cause of liberty, Cespedes granted all his slaves unconditional freedom, on the occasion of his capture of Bayamo.

The Provincial Building, Halifax, N.S.

We present our readers this week with a view of the Provincial Building at Halifax, the ownership of which has been matter of dispute between the Provincial and the Canadian Governments. By the arrangement for "better terms" to Nova Scotia, effected last November, between Messrs. Howe and McLellan on the one side, and the Hon. Mr. Rose, then Finance Minister, on the other, and subsequently confirmed by Parliament, so long as this building may be retained by the Provincial authorities of Nova Scotia, interest at the rate of five per cent per annum on the cost of its construction will be deducted by the Dominion Government, from the provincial subsidy. This building was intended for a Custom House and Post Office. It was commenced in the spring of 1864 and finished about a year ago. The site, a central position in Halifax, was acquired by the government, during the Hon. Mr. Howe's term of office, and when the Tupper administration came into power, the building was commenced under the direction of five Commissioners, viz: Messrs. Duffus, Jones, Doull, Kenny and Stairs. The total cost, including site, is about $189,000. The building is four stories high; length, 125 feet; breadth, 54 feet; central projection, 62.5 feet; height to the apex of the gables, 75 feet; to summit of cupola, 120 feet. It is constructed of Pictou freestone, except the basement, which is built of Halifax granite. The interior arrangements are in perfect keeping with its handsome exterior, the center hall being 24 feet wide, at the end of which is a spacious freestone staircase. Mr. David Sterling was the architect appointed by the Commissioners, and he has succeeded admirably in making the new building an ornament to the city. No doubt the government will devote this building to the purposes for which it was originally designed.

The Byron Controversy

— The Newcastle Chronicle has sent one of its own staff to visit Mrs. Minns, once maid to Lady Byron, and residing at Jarrow-on-Tyne. Mrs. Minns, (says the Chronicle) is a widow, in her eighty-fifth year. She is in full possession of her faculties, discourses freely, hears well, and her sight is good. During the period of ten years she was Miss Milbanke's lady's maid, and in that capacity became the close confidante of her mistress. Some months before Miss Milbanke was married to Lord Byron, Mrs. Minns had quitted her service on the occasion of her own marriage with Mr. Minns, but she continued on the most friendly terms with her former mistress; and when the wedding day was fixed, Miss Milbanke begged her to fulfill the duties of lady's maid during the honeymoon. Mrs. Minns remained with Lord and Lady Byron during the three weeks they spent at Halnaby Hall, and then she accompanied them to Seaham, where they spent the next six weeks. It was during the latter period that she finally quitted Lady Byron's service, but she remained in the most friendly communication with her Ladyship till the death of the latter. We cannot express the unmitigated disgust with which the venerable old lady repudiates the odious charge against Lord Byron, while the supposition that Lady Byron ever harboured an unworthy thought of Mrs. Leigh is quite shocking to her. That Lady Byron should have done so, as Mrs. Stowe affirms, during the honeymoon, she declares as absurd as it is horrible. Lady Byron often spoke to Mrs. Minns of Mrs. Leigh, but always in the terms of the deepest affection, often designating her as her "best friend." Mrs. Minns preceded Lord and Lady Byron to prepare for their reception at Halnaby Hall. She was present when they arrived at the mansion later on in the day, and saw them alight from the carriage. Mrs. Minns says Lady Byron, when married, was buoyant and cheerful as a bride should be, and kindly and gaily responded to the greetings of welcome which poured upon her. The old lady declares that Lady Byron was by no means of a cold temperament, but that the affectionate impulses of her nature were checked by the unkind treatment she experienced from her husband.

The Royal Dairy

"Burleigh" furnishes the Boston Journal with the following account of Queen Victoria's Dairy:—

"The building occupies a lodge at the gate of the palace. The interior is exquisitely fitted up. The walls and the floor are of the finest china. The royal arms and medallion likenesses of the entire royal family surround the room. Fountains play, and ingenious arrangements have been made for ventilation and to keep the temperature even, at all times of day and all seasons of the year. The presiding genius of this establishment is a Welch woman, scrupulously neat, in the peculiar garb of her country, the conspicuous part of which was a low-crowned, peculiar-shaped hat. The milk used on the royal table at the castle and in London is obtained from this dairy. The pans, about fifty in number, are of china and of a peculiar shape, made from models furnished by Prince Albert. The milk from twelve Alderney cows is kept by itself for the Queen's special use. From this the butter is made that is placed on the royal table. It follows the Queen wherever she goes. Daily the couriers start from Downing-street with their box of dispatches for Osborne, Balmoral, London, or wherever Her Majesty may be. Just as regular [sic] starts the messenger with the royal butter to find the Queen. At Osborne and Balmoral the Queen has her own dairy for milk, but the butter she must have from Frogmore. I saw rolls of golden butter ready to be sent off. It was very tempting to the eye and sweet to the tooth. The churn used at Frogmore is a metallic one, in shape like a barrel, and rotary. Pans, pails, and cans all bore the royal monogram— 'V.R.' The dairy is called the modern dairy. But no one without a royal revenue could afford such an arrangement. Conspicuous in the room in golden letters is the announcement that the dairy was constructed by Prince Albert 'in the 21st year of Her Majesty's reign.'"