National Geographic : 1931 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Viewed as a big farm develop ment, this island is prosperous. But the plain truth is, its 1,544, ooo people, who mostly work for wages, cannot subsist now on the kinds of things the land pro " duces, and to live on imported " foods is costly. Migration has - wo been tried, but so far with little S success. Too often it is the edu cated youths who leave-an ele a ment the island needs. So Porto J. Rico becomes a problem. Under S its ancient social order, mortality from disease kept the balance be o tween population and food sup ply, but now all that is upset. We flew over San Juan again • o the day we left. I looked down - into the yard of the penitentiary. One wall is formed by the base of an old stone fort-one of those whose cost worried the "o King of Spain. Yet San Juan .) in its palmy days was the best . -' fortified Spanish post in the 1cC Western World. Pirates, bucca SE neers, English, French, and even 8 Americans pointed their guns at > it in vain. And that valiant war rior who helped build it and ruled o over it, Juan Ponce de Le6n, sleeps S= his last, long sleep now in the shadow of the ancient forts. . SKY GLIMPSES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS o Cleaving the morning clouds, - =we rounded the east end of Porto = Rico. A glorious ride across . sparkling blue water and we were above St. Thomas, seat of gov ernment in the American-owned part of the Virgin Islands. We looked down on Bluebeard's ", Castle, where tradition says a pi E rate slew his many wives, then - E hung their heads on its grim walls. From 5,000 feet above you can see all three of these islands-St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. The last is the largest and richest. It was the boyhood home of Alex ander Hamilton, and the old store still stands where he clerked as a : youth.