Zone Policeman 88; a close range study of the Panama canal and its workers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about Zone Policeman 88; a close range study of the Panama canal and its workers.

Rumor has it that there are seventy-two separate states and dependencies represented on the Isthmus.  My own cards showed a few less.  Most conspicuous absences, besides American negroes, were natives of Honduras, of four countries of South America, of most of Africa, and of entire Australia.  That this was largely due to chance was shown by the fact that my fellow-enumerators found persons from all these countries.

I had enrolled persons born in the following places:  All the
United States except three or four states in the far northwest;
Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica,
Panama, Canal Zone, Colombia, Venezuela, British Guiana
(Demarara), French and Dutch Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and
Chile, Cuba, Hayti and Santo Domingo, Jamaica, Barbados, St.
Vincent, Trinidad, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Dominica, Nevis,
Nassau, Eleuthera and Inagua, Martinique, Guadalupe, Saint Thomas
(Danish West Indies), Curacao and Tobago, England, Ireland,
Scotland, Holland, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway,
Russia, France, Spain, Andorra, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany,
Italy, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Servia, Turkey, Canary Islands,
Syria, Palestine, Arabia, India (from Tuticorin to Lahore), China,
Japan, Egypt, Sierra Leone, South Africa and—­the High Seas.

“Where you born, boy?” I had run across a wrinkled old negro who had worked more than thirty years for the P.R.R.

“‘Deed ah don’ know, boss,”

“Oh, come!  Don’t know where you were born?” “Fo’ Gawd, boss, ah’s tellin’ yo de truff.  Ah don know, ’cause ah born to sea.”

“Well, what country are you a subject of?”

“Truly ah cahn’t say, boss.”

“Well what nationality was your father?”

“Ah neveh see him, sah.”  “Well then where the devil did you first land after you were born?”

“‘Deed ah cahn’t say, boss.  T’ink it were one o’ dem islands.  Reckon ah’s a subjec’ o’ de’ worl’, boss.”

Weeks afterward the population of Uncle Sam’s ten by fifty-mile strip of tropics was found to have been on February first, 1912, 62,810.  No, anxious reader, I am not giving away inside information; the source of my remarks is the public prints.  Of these about 25,000 were British subjects (West Indian negroes with very few exceptions).  Of the entire population 37,428 were employed by the U. S. government.  Of white Americans, of the Brahmin caste of the “gold” roll, there were employed on the Zone but 5,228,


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Zone Policeman 88; a close range study of the Panama canal and its workers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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