Santiago De Cuba (locally called Cuba), a city of Cuba, capital of the Eastern department, and of a province of its own name, at the head of a fine bayou on the S. E. coast, 160 m. S. E. of Puerto Principe; lat. 19° 53' N., lon. 75° 53' W.; pop. about 45,000, of whom not more than 10,000 are whites. It is on the side of a hill 160 ft. above the bay. The streets are bad and many of them very steep, but all lighted with gas and lined with stone houses. The cathedral, completed in 1819, is the largest on the island, and there are several other churches, a theatre, a custom house, barracks, and three hospitals. The city is supplied with bad water through an aqueduct, and as it is shut in from the northern breezes, the suffocating heat and the miasmatic effluvia from adjacent marshes render it the most unhealthful abode in the Antilles. The harbor, although one of the best in America, is difficult of access, owing to the narrowness of the entrance. It is defended by four forts. W. of the city, 12 m. distant, are the extensive copper mines of El Cobre, which export annually more than 25,000 tons.
The other exports are coffee, sugar, and molasses. - Santiago, founded by Diego Velasquez in 1514, is after Baracoa the oldest town in Cuba. In 1522 it was incorporated as a city, and for a time was the capital of the island. In 1553 it was seized by the French, who surrendered it for a ransom of $80,000; and in the same century it suffered much from pirates. In November, 1873, the captain (Fry) and several of the crew and passengers of the ship Virgin-ius were shot by order of the Cuban authorities at Santiago. This vessel, sailing under the United States flag, had been captured by the Spanish steamer Tornado off Jamaica, on the ground that it intended to land men and arms in Cuba for the insurgents. The affair created great excitement in the United States, but was settled by the payment of indemnities by Spain.