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HURRICANES, CROPS, AND CAPITAL: THE METEOROLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE OF AMERICAN EMPIRE IN THE WEST INDIES 1

  • Jamie L. Pietruska (a1)
Abstract

This article examines the mutually reinforcing imperatives of government science, capitalism, and American empire through a history of the U.S. Weather Bureau's West Indian weather service at the turn of the twentieth century. The original impetus for expanding American meteorological infrastructure into the Caribbean in 1898 was to protect naval vessels from hurricanes, but what began as a measure of military security became, within a year, an instrument of economic expansion that extracted climatological data and produced agricultural reports for American investors. This article argues that the West Indian weather service was a project of imperial meteorology that sought to impose a rational scientific and bureaucratic order on a region that American officials considered racially and culturally inferior, yet relied on the labor of local observers and Cuban meteorological experts in order to do so. Weather reporting networks are examined as a material and symbolic extension of American technoscientific power into the Caribbean and as a knowledge infrastructure that linked the production of agricultural commodities in Cuba and Puerto Rico to the world of commodity exchange in the United States.

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pietrusk@rci.rutgers.edu
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1

For their helpful feedback and critical engagement, I thank James Delbourgo, Toby Jones, participants in the 2013–14 Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis seminar, Harriet Ritvo, Jeffrey Sklansky, Dan Bouk, Will Deringer, and audience members at the 2015 American Historical Association session on “Calculating the Future.” I am grateful to the two anonymous JGAPE reviewers for their incisive comments, questions, and suggestions for improvement. This project was generously supported by a Faculty Fellowship at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis seminar on Networks of Exchange.

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NOTES

2 “Haiti Fears Aggression,” New York Times, Aug. 25, 1898.

3 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1900), 34 ; “Warned of the Storm's Coming,” North American (Philadelphia), Sept. 16, 1898.

4 “Weather Bureau Warning,” New York Times, Sept. 16, 1898; “West Indian Weather News,” New York Times, Sept. 18, 1898.

5 “West Indian Weather Service,” New-York Tribune, July 29, 1898; USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99, 1:9.

6 I rely on Paul Edwards's definition of knowledge infrastructure: “Instead of thinking about knowledge as pure facts, theories, and ideas … an infrastructure perspective views knowledge as an enduring, widely shared sociotechnical system. … Knowledge infrastructures comprise robust networks of people, artifacts, and institutions that generate, share, and maintain specific knowledge about the human and natural worlds.” Edwards, Paul, A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Change, and the Politics of Global Warming (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), 1725, quotation on 17.

7 The literature connecting science, environment, and empire is extensive. See, for example, Cañizares-Esguerra, Jorge, Nature, Empire, and Nation: Explorations of the History of Science in the Iberian World (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006); Tilley, Helen, Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870–1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011); Burnett, D. Graham, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000); Drayton, Richard, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the “Improvement” of the World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000).

8 On the creation of the national weather service in the United States, see Fleming, James Rodger, “Storms, Strikes and Surveillance: The U.S. Army Signal Office, 1861–1891,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 30:2 (2000): 315–32.

9 Pietruska, Jamie L., “U.S. Weather Bureau Chief Willis Moore and the Reimagination of Uncertainty in Long-Range Forecasting,” Environment and History 17 (Feb. 2011): 79105 .

10 Nineteenth-century weather services relied on decentralized networks of reporters who telegraphed local observations that were aggregated and translated into daily forecasts and storm warnings by government forecasters in a central office and then disseminated through telegraph reporting networks. On the “collective science” of the mid-century British Meteorological Department, see Anderson, Katharine, Predicting the Weather: Victorians and the Science of Meteorology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), ch. 3, quotation on 10.

11 On the formation of “the American imperial state,” see McCoy, Alfred W., Scarano, Francisco A., and Johnson, Courtney, “On the Tropic of Cancer: Transitions and Transformations in the U.S. Imperial State” in Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, eds. McCoy, Alfred W. and Scarano, Francisco A. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), 333 , quotation on 5. Historians of science have recognized the strategic value of weather and climate information to military and colonial powers. On military weather forecasting, see Fleming, James Rodger, “Sverre Petterssen and the Contentious (and Momentous) Weather Forecasts for D-Day,” Endeavour 28 (June 2004): 5963 ; Harper, Kristine C., Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), ch. 3. For an account of India as Britain's “ideal natural laboratory” for conducting meteorological research, showcasing the value of government science, and legitimating British rule, see Anderson, Predicting the Weather, 250–63, quotation on 250.

12 Kramer, Paul, “Power and Connection: Imperial Histories of the United States in the World,” American Historical Review 116 (Dec. 2011): 1349 .

13 Kramer, “Power and Connection,” 1350.

14 For a list of nations that controlled telegraph networks in the West Indies, see Cushman, Gregory T., “The Imperial Politics of Hurricane Prediction: From Calcutta and Havana to Manila and Galveston, 1839–1900” in Nation-States and the Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History, eds. Bsumek, Erika Marie, Kinkela, David, and Lawrence, Mark Atwood (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 150–51. Quotation in Prieto, Leida Fernández, “Islands of Knowledge: Science and Agriculture in the History of Latin America and the Caribbean,” Isis 104 (Dec. 2013): 789 .

15 On centers of calculation, see Latour, Bruno, Science in Action (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), ch. 6; quotation in McCook, Stuart, “Introduction” to “Focus: Global Currents in National Histories of Science: The ‘Global Turn’ and the History of Science in Latin America,” Isis 104 (Dec. 2013): 774 .

16 James Francis Warren, “Scientific Superman: Father José Algué, Jesuit Meteorology, and the Philippines under American Rule, 1897–1924” in Colonial Crucible, eds. McCoy and Scarano, 508.

17 Cushman, “The Imperial Politics of Hurricane Prediction,” 137–62, quotation on 157.

18 On the centrality of hurricanes to the history of this region, see Schwartz, Stuart B., Sea of Storms: A History of Hurricanes in the Greater Caribbean from Columbus to Katrina (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015); Johnson, Sherry, Climate and Catastrophe in Cuba and the Atlantic World in the Age of Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011); Mulcahy, Matthew, Hurricanes and Society in the British Greater Caribbean, 1624–1783 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). On meteorological infrastructure, see Edwards, Paul N., “Meteorology as Infrastructural Globalism,” Osiris 21 (2006): 229–50.

19 Edwards, Paul N., “Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time, and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems” in Modernity and Technology, eds. Misa, Thomas J. and Bray, Philip (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 218–24.

20 On the cultural politics of Cuban resistance and accommodation to American imperialism, see Utset, Marial Iglesias, A Cultural History of Cuba during the U.S. Occupation, 1898–1902, trans. Davidson, Russ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011).

21 Moore, Willis, “Topic No. 4—West Indian Hurricane Service” in Berry, James, ed., Proceedings of the Convention of Weather Bureau Officials, Held at Omaha, Nebraska, October 13–14, 1898 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Weather Bureau, 1899), 56 . U.S. Weather Bureau personnel defined hurricane season in the West Indies as lasting from mid-June to November 1, with August as the most active month for hurricanes throughout the region. Alexander, William H., Hurricanes: Especially Those of Porto Rico and St. Kitts (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1902), 8, 11.

22 Quotation in Elsner, James B. and Kara, A. Birol, Hurricanes of the North Atlantic: Climate and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 49 .

23 Pérez, Louis A. Jr., The War of 1998: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 5 ; quotation in Abbe, Cleveland, “The Meteorological Work of the U.S. Signal Service, 1870 to 1891” in Fassig, Oliver L., ed., Report of the International Meteorological Congress, Held at Chicago, Illinois, August 21–24, 1893 (Washington, D.C.: Weather Bureau, 1895), 249 .

24 Abbe, “The Meteorological Work of the U.S. Signal Service, 1870 to 1891,” 249.

25 U.S. Weather Bureau, Records Describing Weather Stations, 1883–1904, vol. 10 (1889–1991), 464–65, 192–93, Administrative and Financial Records, Records of the Weather Bureau, Record Group 27, National Archives, College Park, MD.

26 Harrington, Mark W., Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau for 1892 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1893), 560 .

27 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1895–96 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1896), xviii; Moore, Willis L., Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau for 1895 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1895), 69 .

28 On improved hurricane reporting after 1750, see Pérez, Louis A. Jr., Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 35 .

29 Pérez, Winds of Change, 11.

30 On the persistence of religious explanations for hurricanes alongside scientific accounts in the eighteenth century, see Mulcahy, Matthew, “‘A Tempestuous Spirit Called Hurri Cano,’: Hurricanes and Colonial Society in the British Greater Caribbean” in American Disasters, ed. Biel, Steven (New York: New York University Press, 2001), 21 .

31 F. L. Oswald, “Weather Freaks of the West Indies,” Popular Science Monthly (Oct. 1898): 789–93.

32 Alexander, Hurricanes, 26. On hurricane forecasting, see Emanuel, Kerry, Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); Elsner and Kara, Hurricanes of the North Atlantic; Sheets, Bob and Williams, Jack, Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth (New York: Vintage, 2001).

33 “El Weather Bureau,” La Mariana Cubana, Aug. 26, 1900, newspaper clipping and translation in box 1476, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

34 The Belen College Observatory, which had been making daily weather observations and publishing annual data since 1859, was headed by Viñes from 1870 until his death in July 1893. Phillips, W. F. R., Climate of Cuba, Also a Note on the Weather of Manila (Washington, D.C.: Weather Bureau, 1898), 5 . On Viñes's training in Europe, see Ramos Guadalupe, Luis E., Father Benito Viñes: The 19th-Century Life and Contributions of a Cuban Hurricane Observer and Scientist, trans. García, Oswaldo (Boston: American Meteorological Society, 2014), 5559 .

35 On the distinction between “missionary science” and “imperial science,” see Cushman, “Imperial Politics of Hurricane Prediction,” 142.

36 Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 11, 31; Benito Viñes, Apuntes Relativos a los Huracanes de las Antillas en Septiembre y Octubre de 1875 y ’76 (Havana, 1877), quoted in Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 36.

37 Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 28–29, 66–67, 93, 108–10.

38 Benito Viñes, Apuntes Relativos a los Huracanes de las Antillas en Septembre y Octubre de 1875 y ’76 (Havana, 1877), quoted in Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 110, 116–17, quotation on 110.

39 Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 125.

40 U.S. Weather Bureau, Investigation of the Cyclonic Circulation and the Translatory Movement of West Indian Hurricanes, By the Late Rev. Benito Viñes, S. J. (Washington, D.C.: Weather Bureau, 1898), 3 .

41 Viñes, Benito, Practical Hints in Regard to West Indian Hurricanes, trans. Dyer, George L. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885), 6 .

42 Viñes compared his law to William Redfield's 1831 “law of storms,” which had first described the counterclockwise circular rotation of winds in the northern hemisphere, by emphasizing that his law offered a more comprehensive picture of air currents and focused on higher-altitude air currents, which he maintained had more predictive value than the more irregular winds at sea level. U.S. Weather Bureau, Investigation of the Cyclonic Circulation and the Translatory Movement of West Indian Hurricanes, By the Late Rev. Benito Viñes, S. J., 8.

43 Viñes, Apuntes Relativos, 149, quoted in Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 104.

44 On newspapers’ praise for Viñes's forecasts, see Guadalupe, Benito Viñes, 117.

45 William H. Alexander to Chief of Weather Bureau, Feb. 24, 1902, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, box 1600, RG 27, NA-College Park.

46 E. B. Garriott, memorandum, Mar. 6, 1902, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, box 1600, RG 27, NA-College Park.

47 U.S. Weather Bureau, Investigation of the Cyclonic Circulation and the Translatory Movement of West Indian Hurricanes, By the Late Rev. Benito Viñes, S. J, 19; New York Herald, July 25, 1893.

48 U.S. Weather Bureau, Records Describing Weather Stations, 1883–1904, vol. 10 (1889–1991), 193, RG 27, NA-College Park.

49 Willis Moore to Luis Carbonnell, Sept. 27, 1898; Carbonnell to Moore, Oct.14, 1898; Carbonnell to Moore, Nov. 29, 1898; Carbonnell to Moore, Dec. 20, 1898; all in box 1325, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

50 Moore to Carbonnell, Sept. 27, 1898, box 1325, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

51 Carbonnell to Moore, Oct. 14, 1898, box 1325, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

52 Moore to Carbonnell, Nov. 26, 1898, box 1325, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

53 J. G. Hagen to Moore, Dec. 10, 1898, box 1333; Hagen to Moore, Dec. 10, 1898, box 1333; Lorenzo Gangoiti to Moore, Nov. 30, 1898, box 1325, all in Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

54 Abbe to Moore, Dec. 8, 1898, box 1333, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

55 Garriott to Moore, Dec. 10, 1898, box 1333, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

56 Moore to Gangoiti, Dec. 12, 1898; Moore to Hagen, Dec. 13, 1898; both in box 1333, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

57 Moore to Hagen, Dec. 13, 1898, box 1333, Weather Bureau Correspondence, 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

58 Larson, Erik, Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (New York: Vintage, 2000), 103 .

59 Phillips, Climate of Cuba, 6–7.

60 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1897–98, 11; “To Extend Weather Service,” New York Times, July 14, 1898; USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1900), 8 .

61 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1895–96, 8.

62 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99, 8.

63 Hayes, M. W., “Value of the Climate and Crop and Storm Warning Services of the Weather Bureau to the Industries of Cuba and Other Islands of the West Indies” in Berry, James and Phillips, W. F. R., eds., Proceedings of the Second Convention of Weather Bureau Officials Held at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Aug. 27, 28, 29, 1901 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1902), 58 .

64 Alexander, Hurricanes, 43.

65 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99, 9.

66 R. T. Brown to Moore, Dec. 16, 1898, box 1337, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

67 Moore to W. T. Blythe, July 30, 1900, box 1468, General Correspondence of the Weather Bureau, 1894–1912, Letters Received, 1894–1911, RG 27, NA-College Park.

68 James Wilson to Elihu Root, Mar. 17, 1900, box 1439, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

69 “To Extend Weather Service,” New York Times, July 14, 1898.

70 James Wilson to Elihu Root, Mar. 17, 1900, box 1439, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

71 On the policing of private long-range forecasters, see Pietruska, “U.S. Weather Bureau Chief Willis Moore and the Reimagination of Uncertainty in Long-Range Forecasting.” On the Victorian context, see Anderson, Katharine, “The Weather Prophets: Science and Reputation in Victorian Meteorology,” History of Science 37:2 (1999): 179216 .

72 Alexander, Hurricanes, 79; Montrose W. Hayes, letter to the editor, Diario de la Marina, Sept. 2, 1899, box 1402, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

73 W. T. Blythe to Lorenzo Gangoiti, Aug. 1, 1900, box 1468, General Correspondence of the Weather Bureau, 1894–1912, Letters Received, 1894–1911, RG 27, NA-College Park.

74 Garriott, E. B., “Forecasts and Warnings,” Monthly Weather Review 26:10 (Oct. 1898): 440 .

75 A. J. Mitchell to Chief of Weather Bureau, Oct. 26, 1898, box 1324, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park; Garriott, “Forecasts and Warnings,” 440.

76 W. A. Bessey to Supt. Weather Bureau, Oct. 8, 1898, box 1324, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

77 Cline's own report was reprinted and excerpted in numerous publications, including Isaac M. Cline, “Special Report on the Galveston Hurricane of September 8, 1900,” Scientific American Supplement, vol. 50, Oct. 27, 1900, pp. 20756–57; Garriott, E. B., “West Indian Hurricane of Sept. 1–12, 1900,” Monthly Weather Review 28:9 (Sept. 1900): 371–77, at 372–74; Ousley, Clarence, ed., Galveston in Nineteen Hundred (Atlanta: William C. Chase, 1900), 3946 . Subsequent estimates of the death toll have ranged from 8,000 to 12,000.

78 On Galveston as the culmination of “the imperial politics of hurricane prediction,” see Cushman, “The Imperial Politics of Hurricane Prediction,” 154–56. On the role of the Red Cross in administering disaster relief, as well as the inequities of race and class in disaster response, see Schwartz, Sea of Storms, 212–22. For the best-selling popular account of Cline's life and work in Galveston, see Larson, Isaac's Storm.

79 William B. Stockman to H. H. C. Dunwoody, Sept. 7, 1900, box 1475, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

80 “The Weather and its Prophets,” Houston Daily Post, Sept. 14, 1900.

81 “The Late Hurricane,” Houston Daily Post, Sept. 28, 1900. Larson, Isaac's Storm mentions this exchange in the Houston Post in the context of a dispute between Moore and Cline over whether and when the Weather Bureau formally issued a hurricane warning (pp. 250–51). For the purposes of my argument, the Houston Post articles are not exceptional but rather typical of the public debates over the relative accuracy of short-term government weather forecasting and widely popular long-range forecasting.

82 Jamie L. Pietruska, Looking Forward: Prediction and Uncertainty in Modern America (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), ch. 3.

83 La Discusión, Nov. 14, 1900. Translated newspaper clipping enclosed in Montrose W. Hayes to Moore, Nov. 18, 1900, box 1475, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

84 H. H. C. Dunwoody to W. B. Stockman, Sept. 5, 1900; W. B. Stockman to Moore, Sept. 15, 1900, both in box 1475, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

85 Moore to the Secretary of Agriculture, Sept. 21, 1900, box 1475, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

86 Moore to Thomas T. Eckert, Sept. 20, 1900, box 1468, General Correspondence of the Weather Bureau, 1894–1912, Letters Received, 1894–1911, RG 27, NA-College Park.

87 “Mr. Stockman,” La Discusión, Oct. 27, 1900, newspaper clipping in box 1475, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park. Translation in “Down went Mc Ginty's to the Bottom of the Sea,” Diario de la Marina, Oct. 30, 1900, newspaper clipping in box 1475, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

88 On legibility and the “politics of measurement,” see Scott, James C., Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999), 2733 .

89 Prof. Cleveland Abbe, “The Meteorological Work of the U. S. Signal Service” in Fassig, ed., Report of the International Meteorological Congress Held at Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 21–24, 1893, 249.

90 Ibid., 249–50.

91 On the scientific and symbolic value of the weather map, see Monmonier, Mark, “Telegraphy, Iconography, and the Weather Map: Cartographic Weather Reports by the United States Weather Bureau, 1870–1935,” Imago Mundi 40 (1988): 1531 .

92 The U.S. Army Signal Service, the predecessor to the U.S. Weather Bureau, was embarrassed by an embezzlement scandal in 1881, had its military administration unfavorably assessed by a congressional commission in the mid-1880s, and faced persistent critique of the accuracy and timeliness of its forecasts throughout the late nineteenth century. Whitnah, Donald, A History of the United States Weather Bureau (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1961), 4660 ; Pietruska, “U.S. Weather Bureau Chief Willis Moore and the Reimagination of Uncertainty in Long-Range Forecasting.”

93 Phillips, Climate of Cuba, 3, 5.

94 Ibid., 5–6.

95 Quotation in Pérez, Louis A. Jr., “Incurring a Debt of Gratitude: 1898 and the Moral Sources of United States Hegemony in Cuba,” American Historical Review 104 (Apr. 1999): 373 .

96 Hyatt Verill, Cuba of Today (New York, 1931), 157–58, quoted in Ibid., 385.

97 Pérez, Louis A. Jr., “Insurrection, Intervention, and the Transformation of Land Tenure Systems in Cuba, 1895–1902,” Hispanic American Historical Review 65 (May 1985): 229–36.

98 Perfecto Lacosta, “Report of the Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Industry,” Mar. 15, 1901, United States War Department, Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1900 (Washington, D.C., 1900), I, part 11, section 4, p. 9, quotation in Ibid., 237–38.

99 “West Indian Weather Service,” New York Times, Dec. 29, 1898.

100 “Weather Bureau Work in Cuba,” New-York Tribune, Dec. 29, 1898; M. W. Hayes, “Value of the Climate and Crop and Storm Warning Services of the Weather Bureau to the Industries of Cuba and Other Islands of the West Indies” in Berry and Phillips, eds., Proceedings of the Second Convention of Weather Bureau Officials Held at Milwaukee, 59.

101 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99, 9; USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1901–1902 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1902), xiii.

102 Hayes, “Value of the Climate and Crop and Storm Warning Services of the Weather Bureau to the Industries of Cuba and Other Islands of the West Indies,” 59.

103 Ibid., 60.

104 John R. Brooke to Adjutant General, Oct. 1, 1899, in Brooke, Civil Report of Major-General John R. Brooke, U.S. Army, Military Governor, Island of Cuba, 1899, 13–14, quotation in Pérez, “Insurrection, Intervention, and the Transformation of Land Tenure Systems in Cuba, 1895–1902,” 235.

105 G. Harold Noyes, “Value of the Climate and Crop and Storm-Warning Services of the Weather Bureau to the Industries of Porto Rico” in Berry and Phillips, eds., Proceedings of the Second Convention of Weather Bureau Officials Held at Milwaukee, 61.

106 Ibid.

107 Hayes, “Value of the Climate and Crop and Storm Warning Services of the Weather Bureau to the Industries of Cuba and Other Islands of the West Indies,” 58.

108 Alexander, Hurricanes, 43–44.

109 Hayes, “Value of the Climate and Crop and Storm Warning Services of the Weather Bureau to the Industries of Cuba and Other Islands of the West Indies,” 58.

110 Alexander, Hurricanes, 43.

111 C. G. Talman to Chief of the Weather Bureau, Sept. 4, 1899, box 1395, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA–College Park, Ibid., 44.

112 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1898–99, 8.

113 USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, 1901–1902, xiii.

114 Moore to Wilson, Mar. 25, 1902, box 1616, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

115 James Wilson to The Honorable Secretary of Agriculture, Commerce, and Industry, Havana, June 23, 1902, box 1616, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

116 Moore to Wilson, Sept. 21, 1900, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, box 1475, RG 27, NA-College Park.

117 Julio Jover y Anido to Sr. Director of the Diario de la Marina, July 15, 1902, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, box 1635, RG 27, NA-College Park.

118 Stockman, W. B., Report for April, 1902, Cuba Section of the Climate and Crop Service of the Weather Bureau (Havana: Weather Bureau Office, 1902), 2 .

119 William B. Stockman, circular, May 31, 1902, box 1616, Weather Bureau Correspondence 1870–1912, RG 27, NA-College Park.

120 Moore, Willis L., Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau for 1905 (Washington, D.C.: Weather Bureau, 1905), 34 .

121 See Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau for the years 1906–1918, available at NOAA Central Library: www.lib.noaa.gov/collections/imgdocmaps/reportofthechief.html (accessed Mar. 28, 2014); quotation in USDA, Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau for 1915 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1915), 2 .

122 Pérez, Louis A. Jr., Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 2526 .

123 “International Courtesy,” Monthly Weather Review, Apr. 1899, pp. 160–61. For one of many examples of public justifications of the Weather Bureau's West Indian weather service, see Willis L. Moore, “How Science Under Direction of the Federal Authorities Warns Us on the Freaks and Fancies of the Weather,” San Francisco Call, Apr. 27, 1901.

124 “International Courtesy,” Monthly Weather Review, Apr. 1899, quotations on 160, 161.

1 For their helpful feedback and critical engagement, I thank James Delbourgo, Toby Jones, participants in the 2013–14 Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis seminar, Harriet Ritvo, Jeffrey Sklansky, Dan Bouk, Will Deringer, and audience members at the 2015 American Historical Association session on “Calculating the Future.” I am grateful to the two anonymous JGAPE reviewers for their incisive comments, questions, and suggestions for improvement. This project was generously supported by a Faculty Fellowship at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis seminar on Networks of Exchange.

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