I saw the strongest and the very ugliest negroes in Havana that I met in my whole walk. The stevedores of the Havana wharves are muscled in true giant style, tumbling about ponderous casks and boxes of sugar as if they were empty. I heard out own brawny sailors after watching them for a few minutes at their work express unbounded admiration of their strength and wish that their hard bylged muscles were for sale. The countenances of some of the orange-selling dames express a devout good-natured ugliness that I never could have conceived any arrangement of flesh and blood to be capable of. Besides oranges they sold pineapples, bananas and lottery tickets. After passing a mouth in the plant world of this magnificent isle, and finding that my health was not improving, I made up my mind to push on to South America, while my stock of strength such as it was lasted, but fortunately could not find passage for any South American port. I noticed advertisement in N.Y. paper of cheap passage to Cal. When I was resting in a garden, and so made up a plan to go North to the longed for frosts of New York and thence to the plants of Pacific. There, thought I, I shall find health and new plants and mountains. I t seemed hard to leave Cuba thus unseen, unwalked, but sickness forbade my stay and I had to comfort myself with hopes of returning to its waiting treasures in full health at some other time, and immediately prepared for departure. I consulted Capt. Parsons con-
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist