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United States. The Sabine is the eastern boundary. The Rio Bravo del Norte rises in the Rocky mountains, ncar the source of the Arkansasy, in about lat 10° N. and running in a southeasterly direction falls into the gulf of Mexico, after a course of nearly 2,000 miles. It cannot in any part be termed a navigable stream. The Colorado de Texas, the Nucccs, and several smaller streams fall into the gulf of Mexico between the Sabine and the Rio Brayo. The Colorado of Californic rises on the west side of the great mountain range, near the sources of the Rio Bravo, and running in a southwesterly direction falls into the head of the rulf of California, after a course of about 900 miles, of which it is navigable for the last 300. The Gila is an eastern branch of the Col- orado, and joins it near its mouth, after a course of about 600 miles. All these rivers flow through thinly settled and uncivilized regions.
In the equinoxial part of Mexico there are no large rivers. The narrow form of the continent prevents the collection of a great mass of water. The rapid declivity of the Cordillera abounds more properly with torrents than rivers. Among these small streains, the only ones probably which will ever be interesting for interior commerce are, 1. The Rio Guasacualco, which falls into the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast of Vera Cruz. 2 Rio de Moctezuma, which rises from the small lakes near the city of Mexico, and flowing north falls into the Tampico. 3. The Rio de Zacatula, which also rises near the city of Mexico and runs west to the Pacific Ocean. 4., The Santiago, which rises about 20 miles west of the city of Mexico, and running in a northwesterly direction, passes through the great lake Chapala, and enters the Pacific Ocean by a broad mouth, after a course of more than 600 miles.
Lakes. Lake Chapala is by far the largest lake. It lies just above the latitude of 20° about 120 miles west of the city of Mexico, and is 90 miles long and 20 broad, covering an area of 1225 square miles.
There are four small lakes in the spacious valley in which the city of Mexico is situated. The waters in these lakes used formerly to rise above their banks and inundate the city and the valley. In 1629 there was a great inundation, which lasted for five years; and during the whole oi that time, the streets of Mexico could be passed only in boats. To prevent the recurrence of this evil various means were employed without effect. At first, a huge dike or mound of stones and ciay was erected, 70 miles long and 65 feet broad; but the waters burst through it and tore it away. A subterranean pasage was then dug through the moun'tains which surround the valley, to let off the waters; but the earth caved in and filled up the passage. At length a drain, 12 miles long and in some places 200 feet deep, has been cut through a gap in the mountains, and this proves to be an effec. tual remedy.
Chief Towns.) Mexico, the capital of New Spain, and the most populous city in America, is situated below the parallel of 20° N. lat. midway between the gulf of Mexico and the Pacific
ocean, in a delightful valley, which is 230 miles in circumference, and elevaied more than 7,000 feet above the level of the ocean. The ancient city was built by the Mexicans in 1325, on a groupe of islands in lake Tezcuco, and yas connected with the main land by three principal dikes or causeways, from a mile and an half to six miles long. The modern Mexico was built by the Spaniards on the ruins of the ancient city; but though it occupies exactly the same situation, yet owing to the retreat of the waters, it is now on dry land, about a league distant from the banks of the lake. The city is regularly built in the form of a square, of four miles on each side. The streets are broad, clean, generaily paved and well lighted, and intersect each other at right angles. The public bundings are magnificent, and some of their of the most lieautiful architecture. The mint is the most extensive establishment of the kilid in the world, and employs about 400 workmen. Services of plate of ihe value of j 7.000 have lately been manufactured in Mexico, and the working of gold and silver in all its branches is caried to great perfection. This beau. tiful city is supplied with water by two aqueducts, and its vegetables are raised on the elegant floating gardens of the lake of Tezcuco. It contains upwards of 100 churches, and 137,000 inhabitants, of whom one half are whites, and the rest Indians, mulattoes and mestizoes. Owing to its exiraordinary elevation above the level of the ocean, the city, notwithstanding its position in ihe torrid zone, enjoys a mild and temperate climate. The surrounding country is occupied by gardens and orchards in a high state of cultivation, and during the whole of the year, both fruits and flowers are produced in abundance.
Guanazuato, about 150 miles N. W. of Mexico, is a large and flourishing city, famous for its gold and silver niines. The population within the city amounts to 41,000, and in the neighbouring mines to 29,600; in all, 70,600. The ground on which the city is built is nearly 7,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Puebla, famous for its manufactures of earthen warc, iron and steel, is 70 miles E. S. E, of Mexico. it is one of the most populous cities in Spanish America, containing 67,800 inhabitants. The ground on which the town is built is more than 7,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Zacatecus, one of the most celebrated mining places of New Spain, is more than 300 miles N. N. W. of Mexico, and contains 33,000 inhabitants.
Vera Cruz, on the Gulf of Mexico, 180 miles E. S. E. of Mexico, is one of the most considerable places for trade in Spanish America, being the port through which the commerce of New Spain is carried on with Europe and the West Indies. The city is regularly and beautifully built, and inhabited by well informed merchants, but is unbealthy, owing in part to the bad quality of the water. The port is hardly worthy of the name, being rather a dangerous anchorage among shallows. It is defended by the fortress of St. Joan d' Ulua, erected at great espence on an island near the town. Populatica 16,000.
Acapulco; on the coast of the Pacific ocean, is the port through which the commerce of New Spain is carried on with Asia and the islands of the South Sea, particularly with the Philippine islands. Its port is one of the finest in the world, being an inmense basin 'cut out of the granitic rocks, and capable of containing any number of vessels in perfect safety. The shore is 50 steep, that a vessel of the line may almost tonch it without running the smallest danger, there being every where, close to the rocks, from 10 to 12 fathoms vater. But notwithstanding its excellent port and extensive trade, Acapulco is a miserable town, with only 4000 inhabitants, mostly people of color, wbo are increased to 9,000 by the resort of strangers to the annual fair, held at the time of the arrival of the Manilla galleon. The position of the town is extremely unhealthy, being surrounded by a chain of mountains, which hy reverberating the sun's rays and excluding' the air, add greatly to the suffocating heat of the climate. To give admission to the sea breeze a passage has actually been cut ihrough the mountains, but though this affords partial relief, the place is still far from being healthy.
Santa Fe, in New Mexico, is remarkable as the most northera town of any note in the country. It is in lat. 36° 30', on the E. bank of the Rio bravo del Norte, and contains 4,500 inhabitants.
Population. In 1793 the population according to the official returns was 4,483, 529. Humboldt supposes this number too small by about one sixth, and allowing for the increase in ten ỳears, estimates the population in 1803 at 5,840,000 and in 1808 at 6,500,000. In 1822 it may be estimated at 8,500,000.
This population is composed of the following classes. 1. Eu ropean Spaniards. 2 Creoles, or whites of European extraction born in America. 3. Negroes. 4. Indians. 5. Mestizos, or descendants of whites and Indians. 6. Mulattos, or descendants of whites and negroes. 7. Zamhos, or descendants of negroes and Indians. The number of European Spaniards is only about 80,000, and that of the negroes only 6 or 8,000. The Creoles form about one fifth of the whole population, the Indians two tifths, and the mestizos, mulattoes and zambos nearly two fifths.
Indians.) The Indians and the races of mixed blood were formerly slaves and treated with great cruelty, but within the last century their condition has been much improved. They are no longer compelled to work in the mines, nor are they dragged from their hoines to carry without sufficient nourishment or repose, through mountainous woods, burdens which exceed their strength; but they are still in a state of extreme huniliation. All the wealth of the kingdom is in the hands of the whites, and the Indians are virtually incapable of acquiring properly. They are kept in a state of extreme ignorance, and are employed by the Spaniards to cultivate the soil. They live in villages by themselves, and are governed by magistrates of their own color.
Diseases.] The small pox was unknown till it was introduced by the Spaniards in 1520. Since that time several millions of ?ndians have perished by this disease, which usually rarages the
country once in seventeen or eighteen years; but the introduction of inoculation has rendered it much less destructive. The matlazuhuatl, a disease peculiar to the indian race, seldom appears more than once in a century. It raged in 1545, 1576 and 1736, and is called a plaguc by the Spanish authors. It bears some resemblance to the yellow fever, but it never attacks white people. The yellow fever on the other hand seldom attacks Indians. The principal seat of the yellow fever is the hot and moist coun try on the coast, but the matlazahuatl carries terror and destruction into the very interior of the country, to the central table land, and the coldest and most arıd regions of the kingdom. It has been estimated, without sufficient data however, that in the epidemics of 1545, and 1576, 300,000 Indians died in the former, and 2,000,000 in the latter. Famine sometimes commits awful ravages in this country. It is estimated that in 1784, 300,000 persons perished by famine and the diseases to which it gave birth.
Religion,] The religion is the Roman Catholic. The Mexịcan church is placed under the care of an archbishop and 8 bishops, several of whom possess revenues of more than 100,000 dollars. The number of clergy is about 10,000.
Education.] Very little attention is paid to classical literature, but the mathematics, chemistry, natural history and the fine arts are very diligently studied. According to Humboldt no city in America, not even excepting those of the United States, can display such great and solid establishments for the promotion of sci; ence as the city of Mexico. Of these, the most remarkable are the school of mines, the botanic garden, and the academy of painting and sculpture.
Political condition. Mexico is a colony of Old Spain and is governed by a viceroy. All the principal places under the goverment have always been bestowed exclusively on European Spaniards, and for some years past the Creoles have not been appointed even to the most trilling employments in the administration of the customs and tobacco revenue. The result has been a jealousy and perpetual batred between the Europeans and the Creoles. A mutual and bitter hatred has also always existed between the whites and the Indians; so that the seeds of discord seem to be deeply planted in this heterogeneous population. In the insurrection which broke ont in 1810, the mutual hatred of the Europeans and creoles was awfully exemplified in their cruel 1rcatment of each other. The insurrection commenced in the province of Guanaxuato, in the centre of the mining country, and spread with inconceivable velocity in every direction, and was finally suppressed only by the extraordinary activity and firmness of the viceroy.
Roads.] Owing to the extraordinary configuration of this country, there is no difficulty in travelling from north to south, the level of the table land being almost uninterrupted from Mexico 10 Santa l'e; but the declivities of the Cordillera present great pbstacles to the commerce between Mexico and the cities on the
coast. The road from Mexico to Acapulco is furrowed by four very deep and remarkable longitudinal vallies, so that the trav. eller is continually ascending and descending,exchanging alternately a cold climate for one excessively hot. On the conírary in tray. elling from Mexico to Vera Cruz, a distance of 180 miles, there is on the whole po descent till you approach wiibin 80 miles of the coast; it then becomes rapid and continued, being 6, 800 feet in the space of 45 miles, and 1000 m-re in a further distance of 24 miles. It is the difficulty of this descent, which makes the transportation of flour from the table land to Vera Cruz so expensive, that it cannot be sent to Europe in competition with that of the United States. A superb causeway, however, was commenced several years since, along this eastern declivity of the Cordillera, by the merchants of Vera Cruz, and when it is completed will have the most happy influence on the prosperity of the whole kingdom of New Spain.
Mines. More than njne tenths of all the silver in the known world is derived from the mines of Spanish America, which produce according to the estimate of Humboldt, 43,500,000 dollars annually; and of this sum New Spain yields about two thirds. Yet notwithstanding this immense produce the theory of mining is very imperfectly understood, and all the operations are conducted in the most unskilful and extravagaut manner. The richest mines are those of Guanaxuato, in the intendancy of the same name ; Ca. torce, in the intendancy of San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, in the intendancy of the same name ; Real del Monte, in the intendancy of Mexico; and Bolanos, in the intendancy of Guadalaxara. The silver mines are a source of immense wealth to their proprietors. In one instance, a single seam yielded to its owner in six months a nett profit of more than 3,000,000 dollars But money thus rapidly gained is as rapidly spent. T'he working of mines becomes a game which is pursued with unbounded passion. The rich proprietors lavish immense sums on quacks, who engage them in new undertakings, and the money sunk in a rash project, frequently absorbs in a few years all that was gained in working the richest seams. The quantity of gold annually delivered into the mint of Mexico is about 5,000 pounds. There are also mines of copper, lead, iron, tin, antimony, arsenic &c; but they are not diligently worked, the great pursuit being after gold and silver.
Commerce. The commerce of New Spain with the mother country is carried on almost enzirely through the port of Vera Cruz. In time of peace, Humboldt estimates the annual valne of the exports from that place, at 21 millions of dollars, and the imports at 15 millions. The principal exports are gold and silver in coin, bullion and plate, to the value of 17 million dollars; cochineal, 2,400,000 ; sugar 1,300,000, &r. The inports are bale goods, including woollens, cottons, linens and silks, to the value of $9,200,000; paper, 4,000,000; cacao, 1,000,000; quicksilver, 650,000.