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Market Street is the main thoroughfare of Georgetown, the capital, port, and only large city of British Guiana. This town of about 60,000 inhabitants is relatively modern, except for its open sewerage system, and supports a good electric street railway and telephone service. The harbor (to be seen on the extreme right in the background) is the most important shipping point of northern South America, exporting large quantities of sugar, rum, rice, and some gold and diamonds. This picture was taken Sunday morning, which accounts for the deserted appearance of the street


Surface mining and lumbering are the sole industries of the forest region.

The whole interior is aurifer


Diamonds are washed from the gravels of river beds by means of the "long tom" of the placer mine. Both the gold and diamond industries of Guiana are still in the prospector stage and carried on to a great extent by nomadic bands of Negroes (a description of the methods used in diamond mining in British Guiana appeared in the AMERICAN MUSEUM JOURNAL (now NATURAL HISTORY) for October, 1918, pp. 499-502)


Photograph by A. H. Verrill

The interior can be reached at present only by the rivers. They have many rapids in them which prevent large boats from making the ascent. Thus it is impossible to convey the necessary material for mining into the interior, but some day these rapids will be utilized as an enormous source of power for the development of the colony, and especially its mining industries

from civilization. Near here is the penal settlement from which a person may easily escape if he prefer to face the jungle rather than the rock pit. Kalacoon, the biological station, is also within a few miles of the town. Here Colonel Roosevelt spent several sleepless nights while shooting vampire bats with a twenty-two caliber rifle.

Situated as it is on the northernmost angle of South America, this country offers an immense economic opportunity to the United States. Its capital city has one of the best harbors on the continent save for the one fact that it has become clogged

somewhat by a bar of mud brought down by the Demerara and Essequibo rivers. The authorities have made no attempt to dredge it or keep it free; they have, instead, been content with letting ship captains try to evade it, or wait until high tide to permít their ships to pass safely over the obstruction. Every once in a while a ship becomes entangled in the slimy ooze, and its exit or entrance from or to the country is thereby delayed. This harbor presents the difficulty of the Mississippi delta, only in a lesser degree; that has been overcome by up-to-date methods, even more easily could the harbor


A wayside Hindu market, featuring cassavas and lemons.-Cassavas are parsnip-like roots, though somewhat larger than the parsnip and with much thicker skin. Boiled whole or ground into a meal which is baked, to remove the poisonous hydrocyanic acid contained in the juice, they provide the vegetable mainstay of the natives of Guiana. Salt fish, rice, and bananas are the other staples of the colony, supplemented by sweet potatoes and a good supply of fresh meat

of Georgetown be kept navigable for the larger vessels.

It is true that matters have been going from year to year with little advance. There seems to be a care-free languor about the country. Anything for the betterment of the colony is all right so long as it does not require much money or effort. Nothing like enterprise is to be found. Some have attributed this condition to the effects of the climate, but I do not believe that climatic conditions are wholly to blame, for England takes care of her African colonies with admirable success, and climatic conditions there are worse by far than in British Guiana.

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turers and promoters to her shores. Americans too, have gone there. They have taken with them American capital and American genius for opening up new lands, and have attempted whole-heartedly to place the colony at the head of its South American neighbors. But most of them were soon discouraged from further endeavors by the lack of friendly coöperation from the British Guiana officials. The governor in 1917 even went so far as to declare that he wanted no American capital in the colony. It is interesting to realize that at that time the American flag was flying over the Houses of Parliament in London as an appreciation of the aid that American dollars had given in the


American capital is certain to be encouraged in British Guiana, just as British capital enjoys the right of investing in American enterprises in the United States and in Alaska. When such conditions come to exist, the opening up of the interior will follow quickly. Besides containing much wealth in itself this country will provide highways over which intercourse of considerable commercial value may be established with northern Brazil, and by which Europe and the United States will gain access to large quantities of timber and valuable minerals, to say nothing of the possibilities of agriculture and cattle raising.

The first step toward this accession would be the building of a 250-mile railroad from Georgetown to the Brazilian frontier. This would mean, for one thing, that the Brazilian cattle, which by necessity are now shipped through the Takutu and Branco rivers to Manaos, and thence down the Amazon, could be brought to Georgetown less expensively and more quickly, where they could be killed and their hides tanned on the spot, or they could be shipped on the hoof to the United States and Europe.

On account of the nature of the country such a railroad would not be very difficult to build. An American company once offered to build it provided the government would give the company a franchise of every alternate mile along opposite sides of its course. The governor in reply said that the land would then be too valuable, apparently overlooking the fact that at present it is useless and always will be useless until such a railroad is built. Good railroads should also be built along the coasts, con



necting the agricultural district with the central city and seaport.

Once the railroad to the Brazilian frontier is built, the development of the mining industry will come in quick succession. Because of the lack of facilities for transportation, the necessary machinery for working a mine is most difficult to convey into the interior, and so no real mining has been done. Gold has been profitably worked by both placer and hydraulic mining, but the only attempt at getting beneath the surface, accomplished in the Le Desire Diamond Mine, owned by Mr. Dudley P. Lewis and myself, was worked on a very primitive basis because it was located nearly 250 miles in the interior and could be reached only by paddling up a river the course of which was filled with treacherous rapids and whirlpools.

Bauxite has been discovered in large quantities; tin also has been located as plentiful in the interior, but for lack of transportation facilities nothing has been done with either of these ores. Gold and diamonds are the only minerals that have been prospected for extensively, usually by nomadic bands of Negroes termed "pork-knockers" because they go out supplied with only a little salt pork for food, and knock about the bush, hoping to stumble upon wealth. Even in the crude, meager way in which this sort of prospecting has been done, it has been a very profitable occupation and has yielded the government many thousands of dollars in royalties. The gold and diamonds may be mined with the roughest of tools, and when once acquired offer no great problem of transportation. An ounce bottle of diamonds would be a small fortune to a dusky pork-knocker. The gold that occurs SO plenti


fully in quartz is usually passed by because of the impossibility of getting into the bush the crushing machinery necessary to extract it. The richness of the alluvial gold fields in this country is supposed to be due to the solubility of gold in the soil water. Mr. Harrison, geologist and general scientist of the colony, told me that to his mind, that vast interior of forest, mountains, and savannahs represents one of the richest storehouses on the South American continent.

Its great forest, containing such valuable woods as greenheart, wallaba, crabwood, and mora, would in itself be a valuable asset. Greenheart makes very durable submerged works such as wharves, piles and docks; wallaba can be very easily split and is chiefly used for shingles; crabwood, some


These four "religious" members of the Mohammedan contingent were photographed while attending a Hindu ceremony. In Guiana the Hindus visit the Mohammedan ceremonies and vice versa, and both elements mutually participate in each other's feasts. The East Indian immigrants keep not only their religions but also their languages and costumes, in this way lending a very oriental touch to the population at Georgetown. (Photograph used through the courtesy of Travel Magazine)

times called "British Guiana mahogany," can be worked into very beautiful and exceptionally durable furniture; mora, a hardwood, is chiefly used for flooring and firewood. These woods are of exceeding consequence.

On the Potaro River (a branch of the Essequibo), about eighty miles inland, there is the magnificent waterfall, the Kaieteur, with a sheer drop of about 740 feet and a breadth of 350 feet. At some seasons of the year the water flowing over its brink attains a depth of twenty feet. This is the highest waterfall of any consequence that has as yet been discovered, and is more than four times as high as our Niagara. At present it is inaccessible to most people, but a railroad could quite easily be built to it; this would mean the possibility of developing a tremendous water-power station, surpassing the one that is at present located on the brink of Niagara, and power generated at this place could be utilized all over the colony, even running the railroads and the mines. A resort could also be established here, where people worn out by living on the coastal lowlands, might come and recuper

ate in the scenic highlands where the air is cool and the water pure and clear.

Many of these things seem visionary perhaps, until we realize that the building of a transcontinental railroad in the United States was considered impossible before it was accomplished, and to talk about reindeer being bred in Alaska was a subject for mirth ten or fifteen years ago. Today there are five transcontinental railroads in the United States, and reindeer are being bred so profitably in Alaska that reindeer meat can be sold throughout the northwestern states at a considerably cheaper rate than beef. All things are visionary until they are accomplished, it seems.

The late Colonel Roosevelt said in a lecture before the Royal Agricultural Society, on his last visit to British Guiana: "You have here a wonderful country! I can see it now, with homes stretching out over the savannahs and among the hinterlands. Set your minds to thinking and your hands to working and develop it!" Surely such a man as he did not speak idly but because he was far-seeing enough to realize the possibilities of Guiana.


Photograph by H. E. Crampton

Kaieteur Falls, set among the forested hills of the interior, make one of the chief scenic features of the province and the highest waterfall of any consequence as yet discovered. The Potaro River makes at this point a perpendicular drop of 740 feet, or about four times the height of Niagara, and continues by a series of cataracts with a farther fall of 81 feet. During the rainy season the stream is nearly 400 feet wide and carries a torrent twenty feet deep over the brink of the falls

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