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Shortly will be. published.


of the great Towns of Zacatecas, Sombrerete, Catokce,
Tlalpujahua, Guadalajara and Valladoliu, not
included in the present Work. Drawn upon the spot,
and engraved by Mr. Pye.


Dorset Street, Fleet Street.

lup dte-lttl \


Fiom the A/iotea ol tfie House ol 11 M s Milaion ban Cosme




DURING THE YEARS 1825, 1826, AND PART OF 1827-







It is difficult for a person who is desirous to
lay before the Public an impartial view of the

N. present state and capabilities of Mexico, to deter-
^ mine exactly at what point to commence his un-

Three years ago, nothing was questioned that
^ could tend to enhance the opinion entertained of
its resources. Now, the most cautious assertions
are received with a smile, and facts, however well
demonstrated, are hardly admitted to be such, if
they militate against a preconceived opinion.

This state of things is, perhaps, the natural con-
sequence of the advantage that was taken of the
first removal of those barriers, which so long sepa-
rated the Old World from the New, by men, some
of whom were themselves enthusiasts, while many


had no better object than to turn the enthusiasm
of others to account. Both, unfortunately, con-
curred in exciting the imagination of the ignorant
by pictures of a state of things, that could have
no foundation in nature or truth.

Viewed through the medium of delusive hope,
Spanish America presented nothing but prospects
of unalloyed advantage. Great and instantaneous
success was to attend every enterprise there, with-
out the employment of those means, upon which
the experience of the world has hitherto proved
success to depend. Time, industry, perseverance,
a knowledge of the scene upon which operations
were to commence, — of the men by whom they
were to be conducted, — of the language and pecu-
liarities of the country, in which they were to be
carried on ; all these were stated to be considera-
tions of minor importance ; capital alone was
represented as wanting ; and facts, important in
themselves, were so warped and distorted, in order
to favour this theory, that when its fallacy was
demonstrated, the facts fell to the ground with the
superstructure which had been raised upon them.

Unexampled credulity amongst the disappointed,
was succeeded by obstinate unbelief. Transatlantic


States and adventures were involved in one indis-
criminate condemnation ; and, even at the present
day, enterprises of the greatest public utility are
stigmatised as bubbles, because, during a period
of unbridled speculation, bubbles may have been
recommended by a similarity of form to the notice
of the public.

It is possible, that on a closer examination of the
subject, we may find that the expectations of 1824,
and the despondency of 1828, originate in the same
cause, — namely, a want of proper data for the regu-
lation of our opinions ; and it is the hope of being
able to supply these data, with regard to one very
interesting portion of the former dominions of Spain,
that has induced me to undertake my present task.

If I have exceeded, in the execution of it, those
bounds, within which works of an ephemeral nature,
(and such all accounts of a new and rising country
must be,) are usually confined, I must allege, as
my excuse, the impossibility of assuming, amongst
the generality of my readers, an acquaintance with
any part of my subject, without rendering unin-
telligible what I have to communicate with regard
to the rest.

So little attention has been hitherto paid to Ame-


rican affairs, that I generally find the vast terri-
tories now distributed amongst the New States,
classed as provinces, or counties, belonging to one
kingdom, and not as empires occupying half a
world. I have been asked repeatedly, since my
return to England, whether Captain Head's descrip-
tion of the Pampas is correct, although Mexico
is nineteen degrees North, and Buenos Ayres thirty-
four degrees South of the line ; while men well
read, and well informed upon every other subject,
have expressed surprise that, after a residence of
three years in the Capital of New Spain, I should
not be intimately acquainted with the state of
parties in Lima and Santiago, Bolivia and Bogota.

Under these circumstances, I have conceived that
it ought to be my object to combine as much
information as possible in my present work, and
thus to render it independent of those which
have preceded it, by entering into details, a know-
ledge of which could not have been derived from
other sources, without a perpetual and harassing
reference to authorities, many of which are not
within the reach of the public in general.

For instance, in addition to the Essai Politique
of Baron Humboldt, to which I have expressed


my obligations in another place, I have drawn
largely from the Espanol ; whose eloquent author,
Mr. Blanco White, has embodied not only the most
curious collection of State-papers now extant, with
regard to the period at which the tendency to-
wards Independence first began to appear in the
Spanish Colonies, but a mass of reflections upon
American affairs, so moderate, so judicious, and so
admirably adapted to the circumstances of the times,
that, had his counsels been listened to by the con-
tending parties, no small portion of the calamities
\^hich have since befallen them might have been

I have likewise made free use, in my sketch of the
Revolution, of the Cuadro Historico of Don Carlos
Bustamante, as well as of Robinson, Brackenbridge,
and a number of other works published in the
United States, and but little read in England, from
each of which I have taken whatever my own ob-
servations pointed out as correct.

The whole will, I think, be found to indicate with
sufficient clearness the causes of the American Re-
volution ; and these, again, are the best guarantee
for its stability.

The subject is one of deep and universal interest ;


for it is upon the duration of the new order of things
that the prospects of the rising States depend. The
Revolution has affected not only their political, but
their commercial relations with the rest of the
world ; its influence has extended to their agri-
culture and mines, to both of which, after threat-
ening them with total annihilation, it has given a
fresh impulse, and opened a new and more exten-
sive field. But liberty can alone repair the evils
which the struggle for liberty has caused ; and to
ascertain the probability of its permanency is con-
sequently a first step towards the consideration of
its effects.

I have endeavoured to trace their operation in
Mexico upon each branch of the great interests of
the State, but more particularly upon the Mines ;
the importance of which, both to New Spain and
to Europe, it has been one of my principal objects
to develope.

As my views ujjon this subject differ materially
from those generally entertained, I think it right
to state, most distinctly and unreservedly, that the
situation which I had the honour of filling in Mex-
ico, rendered it impossible for me to take any other
interest in the issue of the enterprises, by which


I was surrounded, than that which I could not hut
feel, in operations in which British capital to so
large an amount is invested.

I never have possessed a single Mining share ;
yet, from circumstances stated in the body of my
work, I have, perhaps, seen more of the mines of
New Spain, and am in possession of more data,
with regard to their former produce, than the ma-
jority of those, whose fortunes depend upon the re-
sult of the present attempt to work them by foreign

With regard to my opinion of their present pro-
spects, the public is now in possession of the data
upon which it is formed, and may rectify any
errors in which I may inadvertently have been
betrayed.* Convinced that publicity ought to be

* Amongst these errors I should mention that, in the First
Section of the Fourth Book, I niay be thought to have chal-
lenged a principle of political economy, by alleging an increase
in the rate of interest in Mexico as a proof of the diminution of
the circulating medium ; whereas it might be an indication only
of the possibility of employing capital to greater advantage.
The fact, however, is correct ; for the chasm in the circulation,
created by the remittance of the property of the Old Spaniards
to Europe, was not filled up by the investments of foreigners, or
by the produce of the mines ; the two together not having fur-
nished any thing like an equivalent for the amount of the specie


desired by all the Mining* Companies, as the only
security against those suspicions, by which their
credit has been so frequently shaken, I have laid
before the world, without reserve, the whole of
the information now in my possession respecting
them, together with my own observations upon the
mode in which their affairs have been directed.
The result will, I trust, be to produce an impres-
sion that these great undertakings have been, in
many instances ably, in all, honestly conducted ;
that if errors have been committed, they are errors
which it was extremely difficult to avoid ; and
that although the investments are large, the mag-
nitude of the object, (demonstrated by records of a
very recent date,) bears a fair proportion to the
magnitude of the stake.

It now only remains for me to add, that the
map annexed to the First Volume, though com-
piled from very incorrect data, (there being few
even of the principal places in New Spain, the
latitude and longitude of which have as yet been
exactly fixed,) will be found to be of use in many
essential points.

It gives the new territorial division of the coun-
try into States, with the names of the " Partidos,"


or districts, into which those States are divided ;
and it likewise rectifies many local errors, both in
the Central and Northern Provinces ; Colonel Bourne,
a gentleman recently returned from Sonora and
Cinaloa, having been so obliging as to furnish me
with a great deal of valuable statistical informa-
tion respecting those States.

In the Map of Routes, attached to the Second
Volume, I have to express my obligations to Mr.
Beaufoy, for the assistance, which he has afforded
me, by furnishing me with a copy of his routes
in the vicinity of the Capital, and from thence to
Tampico and Veracruz. With the exception of the
expedition to the South of Valladolid, we both
passed over the same ground ; but it will be seen*
that in my journey North, where I had nothing
but my own remarks to guide me, I have been
unable to enter into as many details as in my
visits to the Central districts of Tlalpujahua, Tem-
ascaltepec, and Real del Monte, where I had the
benefit of Mr. Beaufoy 's observations in addition
to my own. '

The distances are estimated in general by the
reputed number of leagues, and time, combined.

The rivers are merely laid down where they in-


tersect the road, the course of most being little

The mountains are traced in a similar manner,
nor is it attempted to connect the two great
branches of the Sierra Madre, by filling up the
intervening space, although their direction may be
easily perceived.

The heights are taken from Humboldt, wherever
he has given them, with the toises reduced to Eng-
lish feet ; to which are added those of Real del
Monte, the Doctor, Catorce, Zacatecas, and Bolanos,
as measured by General Wavel, Captain Wilde, Mr.
Glennie, and Dr. Coulter.

The drawings were all taken upon the spot ;
many of them under circumstances which would
have discouraged most persons from making the
attempt, as fatigue and a burning sun often com-
bined to render it unpleasant. I mention this in
justice to Mrs. Ward, whose name, in conformity
to custom, appears upon the plates, for all of which
I am indebted to her pencil.

With regard to the general tone of my work,
which will be found to differ materially from that
adopted in some recent publications, I shall make


no apology for this want of coincidence between
my views and those of my predecessors. I have
met with much kindness in Mexico, and should be
sorry to think that this kindness emanated en-
tirely from my public situation, which was an ad-
vantage only in as far as it brought me into more
general and immediate contact with the natives.
Upon this my opinions of their character are
founded. To write either a satire upon human
nature in general, or a criticism upon those pe-
culiarities of manner, in which foreigners differ
from ourselves, was not my object. The first I
might have accomplished withovit leaving home ;
and had my happiness depended upon the second,
I should have been a very miserable man during
fourteen years of my life, nearly the whole of
which I have passed abroad. I confess, therefore,
that it has been my pleasure to dwell rather upon
the good than the bad, and to separate the valu-
able parts of the national character from the scum
and dross, which a long period of misrule, followed
by the total dissolution of all social ties, could
hardly fail to bring to the surface. If I have suc-
ceeded in this attempt, my reward will consist in


the gratification of thinking that the labours of the
last six months may have some tendency to con-
firm that good understanding between Great Bri-
tain and Mexico, which, during the two preceding
years, it was my anxious wish to promote.

C O N T E N 1^ S




Boundaries, Geological Structure, Climate . . 3

Population . . . . .26

Productions : Those necessary for the support of the Inha-
bitants, and those calculated for Exportation . . 40


Spanish Colonial System . . . .91



Effects produced by the Events of the year 1808 in the
Peninsula ..... 123

Commencement of the Revolution in Mexico, from 1810 to
the Death of Morelos . . . .150

Revolution from the Death of Morelos to 1820 . .211

VOL. I. b



Revolution from 1820 to 1S24, including Iturbide's Rise

and Fall • . . . . 260


Present Form of Government : how composed . . 287

The Navy and Army of Mexico in 1827 . . 307


Religion : State of the Ecclesiastical Establishments in
Mexico : Number of Bishoprics — of Secular and Regular
Clergy — Revenues — Influence — Effects produced by the
Revolution — Foreigners, how situated . . 320


Revenue of Mexico: Its Sources and Amount before the
Revolution. Present State and Prospects . . 360

Reflections on the Trade of Mexico. Its former and pro-
bable future importance. How affected hitherto by
Revolution ..... 408


A. — Extracts from a Representation addressed to the Vice-
roy of Buenos Ayres, by the Apoderado (Agent) of the
Landholders of the Province, (referred to in p. 114.) . 479

B. (1.) — Representation of the American Deputies to die
Cortes of Spain, 1st August 1811. (p. 134.) . . 483

B. (2.) — Representation addressed to the Cortes by the
Audiencia of Mexico. Dated 1st Nov. 1813. (p. 217.) . 489


C. (1 .) — Confidential Letter of theViceroy Calleja, addressed

to the Minister of War, but containing a private Report

upon the Mexican Revolution, for the information of His

Majesty Ferdinand VII. (p. 217.) . .509

C. (2.)— Plan of Iguala. (p. 268.) . . 525


A. — Particulars of a Journey from Altamira to Catorce, by
Mr. Robert Phillips, (referred to in Vol. II. p. 503) . 528

B.— Account of the Province of Texas, by General Wavel
(Vol. II. p. 585.) . . . .547

C. — Notes on the State of Sonera and Cinaloa, by Colonel
Bourne. (Vol. II. p. 590.) . , . .559



View of Mexico from the Azotea of the House of His Ma-
jesty's Mission at San Cosnie . . Frontispiece.
>^ Agave Americana, or Maguey . . Page 60
The Caiiada de Marfil, or Entrance to Guanajuato l6l

Puente del Rey ....
Church of N. S. de Guadalupe
Map of Mexico, to be inserted at the end of the
First Volume, after the Appendix.


VOL. n.

View of Jalapa

Galera of the Hacienda of Salgado
Patio of the Hacienda of Salgado
Ascent to Catorce
Interior of Indian Hut at the Bozal
Map of Routes to the principal Mining Districts, to
be inserted at the end of the Second Volume.



A Litter .... 264

Boat ..... 372

A Mexican Coach .... 404
Entrance to the Socabon (Adit) of La Purisima, at

Catorce .... 492

Indian Hut . . . 518








The Republic of Mexico, which comprises the
whole of the vast territory formerly subject to the
Vice-royalty of New Spain, is bovmded to the East
and South-east by the Gulph of Mexico and the
Caribbean Sea ; to the West by the Pacific ; to the
South by Guatemala, which occupies a part of the
Isthmus of Darien ; and to the North by the
United States.

The exact line which separates the provinces of
Las Chiapas and Tabasco from the territory of
Guatemala, has not yet been fixed, but is at present
the subject of amicable discussion between the two
governments. To the North, the frontier is defined,
with sufficient exactness, by the treaty of Washing-

B 2

4 MEXICO IN 1827.

ton,* the validity of which, since the declaration
of Independence, has been tacitly acknowledged
both by Mexico, and the United States.

According to the third article of this treaty, the
boundary line between Mexico and Louisiana (then
ceded by Spain to the United States) commences
with the River SabinS, which runs into the Gulph
of Mexico, about lat. 29, West long. 94, and follows
its course as far as its junction with the Red River
of Natchitoches, which then serves to mark the
frontier up to the 100th degree of West longitude,
where the line runs directly North to the River
Arkansas, which it follows to its source, in the
42d degree of North latitude, from whence another
direct line is drawn (immediately upon the forty-
second parallel) to the coast of the Pacific ; thus
dividing between the two rival republics the whole
Northern continent of America, with the exception
of the British Colonies.

A reference to the accompanying map will ex-
plain this seemingly complicated arrangement,
which at present is of but little importance, except
with regard to the Eastern coast ; as between the
frontier established, and the last settlements of the
Americans and Mexicans to the North and West, a
vast space intervenes, tenanted only by Indian tribes,
who have never yet been subdued, and over whom

* This treaty was si_c;ned on tlie 22d February, 1819, by Mr.
Adams and the Chevalier Onis, then Spanish Minister at Wash-

MEXICO IN 1827. 5

neither of the two governments possesses the slightest
authority. With the exception of a narrow belt of
missions in New California, on the Western coast,
which terminates with the port of San Francisco
in lat. 36, and the isolated province of New
Mexico, the capital of which (Santa Fe) is situated
in the same parallel as San Francisco, the wliole
country contained between 28" and 42° of North
latitude, is unappropriated by any white popula-
tion, and almost unknown ; and centuries must
elapse before the civilization of America can in-
crease sufficiently to give it any value. It will,
probably, be one of the last strong holds of man
in a semibarbarous state ; for it is in this dii'ec-
tion that the Indians, who have been driven from
the valley of the Missisippi by the rapid emi-
grations, which have taken place, during the last
twenty years, from the old Atlantic Anglo-Ame-
rican states, are now retiring.*

On the North-eastern frontier the case is diffe-
rent, for there the rich and beautiful province of
Texas might prove a source of contention, did not
tlie two governments wisely determine to remove
all motives of difference, by abiding by that arrange-

* Should any of my readers wish for information respecting
the mode in which these Western settlements have been con-
ducted, and the extraordinary manner in which they have
thriven, I can refer them to Flint's " Journal of a Ten Years'
Residence in the Valley of the IMissisippi ;" which, although
written in a most uncouth style, is both an interesting and
instructive work.

6 MEXICO IN 1827.

ment, to which (directly or indirectly) each has
ah*eady given its consent.

It will be perceived, by this sketch of the Mex-
ican territory, that, at the two most distant points of
S.S.E. and N.N.W. (the southern extremity of
Yucatan, and the boundary line, where it runs into
the Pacific,) it extends over twenty-seven degrees
of latitude, or 1S76^ English statute miles. Its
greatest breadth is in the parallel of 30 N. lat. where,
from the Red River (Rio Colorado) of Texas, to
the coast of Sonora, Humboldt gives the distance
at 364 leagues, of twenty-five to the degree.

Nothing can be more imperfect as yet, than
our acquaintance with this vast country. Few even
of the principal towns and rivers are correctly laid
down, and consequently not even the elements of
a good map exist. Humboldt has done much to-
wards correcting the errors which prevailed before
his time, but his personal observations were con-
fined to a comparatively small circle, and upon those
of others he could not rely. A little time, however,
will now add considerably to our stock of informa-
tion ; for amongst the foreigners who are at present
exploring the Mexican territory, there are some
scientific men, who employ their leisure hours in
taking observations, and tracing their route through
the various parts of the country, which their avoca-
tions oblige them to visit.*

* I allude particularly to Captain Vetch, Director of the Real
del IVIonte Company, and INIr. Glennie, one of the Commissioners

MEXICO IN 1827. 7

The result of their inqiuries, when combmed with
the statistical information which the governments
of the different States are labouring to collect, and
the military surveys of the Estado Alayor, will
be extremely valuable ; and many years will, pro-
bably, not elapse, before the interior of Mexico will
be as well known as that of most countries in the
Old World.

The territory of Mexico presents, according to
Humboldt, a surface of 118,478 square leagues, of
twenty-five to the degree ; but this estimate does
not include the space between the Northern extre-
mity of New Mexico and Sonora, and the boundary
line, as fixed more recently by the treaty of Wash-
ington, the extent of which is not yet well ascer-
tained. Thirty-six thousand five hundred square
leagues, comprising the states of Zacatecas, Gua-
dalajara, Guanajuato, Valladolid, Mexico, La
Piiebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Merida, are within
the Tropics, or, what is usually denominated, the
torrid zone; while New Mexico, Dtirango, New
and Old California, Sonora, and a great part of the
old Intendancy of San Luis Potosi, containing, in all,

of the United Mexican Association, both of whom have been
indefatig il)le in their researches. Captain Vetch has nearly
completed a very valuable map of the interior of the country ;
and Mr. Glennie possesses a series of observations, taken by
himself, which extend from Oaxaca, (100 leagues to the S.W.
of Mexico,) to Chihuahua, and Guaymas, a port on the northern
extremity of the Gulph of California.

8 MEXICO IN 1827.

82,000 square leagues, are without the Tropics, or
under the temperate zone. The whole extent of
the Republic is equal to one-fourth of Europe, or
to France, Austria, Spain, Portugal, and Great Bri-
tain, put together; and the difference of latitude
alone, on so enormous a surface, would naturally
have the effect of causing considerable changes in
the temperature of the more distant points.

It is not, however, to this circumstance, so much
as to the peculiarity of its geological structure, that

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