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Our extracts from the first vo- following April, what a contrast was prelume having been rather copious, sented to my view, and how shall I dewe must restrain ourselves in the scribe the melancholy dejection that was two which succeed, but the descrip- people, who seemed to have taken leave
painted upon the countenances of the tion of the effect of the embargo at of all their former gayety and cheerful. New York, as detailed in the second, ness. The coffeehouse slip, the wharfs, is too interesting to be omitted. and quays along South street, presented
no longer the bustle and activity that had "When I arrived at New York, in No. prevailed there five months before The vember, the port was filled with shipping, port, indeed, was full of shipping, but and the wharfs were crowded with com- they were dismantled, and laid up. Their modities of every description. Bales of decks were cleared, their hatches fasten. cotton, wools, and merchandise; barrels of ed down, and scarcely a sailor was to be potash, rice, flower, and salt provisions;
seen on board. Not a box, bale, cask, hogsheads of sugar, cheres of tea, pun. barrel, or package, was to be seen upon cheons of rum, and pipes of wine; boxes, the wharfs. Many of the counting houses cases, packs and packages of all sizes were shut up, or advertised to be let; and and denominations, were strowed upon
the few solitary merchants, clerks, por. the wharfs and landing places, or upon
ters and labourers, that were to be seen, the decks of the shipping. All was noise
were walking about with their hands in and bustle. The carters were driving in their pockets. Instead of sixty or one every direction; and the sailors and la. hundred carts that used to stand in the bourers upon the wharfs, and on board street for hire, scarcely a dozen appeared, the vessels, were moving their ponderous and they were unemployed; a few coast. burthens from place to place. The mer. ing sloops and schooners, which were chants and their clerks were busily en
clearing out for some of the ports in the gaged in their counting housesor upon the United States, were all that remained of piers. The Tontine coffeehouse was filled that immense business which was carried with underwriters, brokers, merchants,
on a few months before. The coffeehouse traders and politicians;selling, purchasing, was almost en.pty; or if there happened trafficking, or ensuring; some reading,
to be a few people in it, it was merely to others eagerly inquiring the news. The pass away the time which hung heavy on steps and balcony of the coffeehouse were their hands, or to inquire anxiously after crowded with people bidding, or listening news from Europe, and from Washingto the several auctioneers, who had ele. ton; or perhaps to purchase a few bills, vated themselves upon a hogshead of stie
that were selling at ten or twelve per gar, a puncheon of rum, or a bale of cot.
cent. above par. In fact, every thing pre. ton; and with Stentorian voices were ex.
sented a melancholy appearance. The claiming: Once, twice,' Once, twice'
streets near the water side were almost • Another cent.' Thank ye, gentlemen,'
deserted, the grass had begun to grow or were knocking down the goods which upon the wharfs, and the minds of the took up one side of the street, to the best people were tortured by the vague and purchaser. The coffeehouse slip, and the idle rumours that were set afloat upon the corners of Wall and Pearl streets, were
arrival of every letter from England, or jammed up with carts, drays, and wheel. from the seat of government. In short, the barrows: horses and men were huddled scene was so gloomy and forlorn, that had promiscuously together, leaving little or
it been the month of September instead no room for passengers to pass. Such was
of April, I should verily bave thought the appearance of this part of the town that a malignant fever was raging in the when I arrived. Every thing was in mo. place. So desolating were the effects of tion; all was life, bustle, and activity. the embargo, which in the short space The people were scampering in all direc. of five months, had deprived the first tions to trade with each other, and to
commercial city in the states, of all its ship off their purchases for the European, life, bustle, and activity. Caused above Asian, African, and West-Indian markets. one hundred and twenty bankruptcies; Every thought, word, look, and action of and completely annihilated its foreign the multitude, seemed to be absorbed by
commerce.” p. 152. commerce; the welkin rang with its busy hum, and all were eager in the pursuit
The Essays from the Salmagundi, of its riches.
a periodical work in extensive cir. “But on my return to New York the culation at New York, are well
enough, and amusing in themselves, ed prints, introduced by way of embut are out of place here, and seem bellishment, are very trilling and unintroduced to eke out the volumes. satisfactory, but the map which is The same object seems to have been prefixed to the first volume is of neat had in view in the third volume execution. We are altogether pleaalso, and indeed if the work had sed with the performance, and labeen comprised in two, instead of ment the disappointment of the three volumes, it would have been author in a commercial view. His more entitled to respect, and better description of the difficulties which qualified to have asserted its claim he and his relative had to encounter to a distinguished place in geogra- on their arrival at Quebeck; his rephical collections.
marks on the causes which here In this volume, however, it is but prevented the successful culture of justice to allow that the description hemp in Canada, are related with of Charleston is written with parti- much temper and great good sense, cular vivacity; and is altogether the and appear to merit the considerabest account of this place we re tion of government. member to have seen. The colour
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA.
Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain. By Alexander de Humboldt. With
Physical Sections and Maps. Translated from the original French. By John Black. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 455, 531. Price 11. 18s. London. 1811.
SPANISH America is an object who foresaw that the result would which, of late, has come forward be destructive to that politick powrapidly on the liorizon of European er; though none, we believe, anticipoliticks. Before the voyage of An- pated the extent to which that deson, little known, even geographic struction has proceeded. M. de cally, beyond the confines of its Vergennes, who had perfected what parent state, and almost every docu- the duc de Choiseul begun, was, on ment relating to it, classed in the his death-bed, fully convinced of the archives of old Spain, among the distresses advancing with rapid Arcana Imperii, the literary world strides, eventually to overwhelm his equally with the political, was country. Neckar, who, equally with obliged to remain satisfied with De Vergennes, had been deceived shreds and patches of information; in his estimate of British power and or with gleanings, obtained by acci- spirit, lived to see, what he deemed dent or by stealth. Suspicion or con- a triumph, end in despair. When jecture, was the extent to which the Spain was over-persuaded against beldest speculator ventured; and her conviction, to become a party to what were the capabilities of the the war in favour of the now United country, was rather inferred than States, all who had obtained that inaffirmed, by the best informed stu formation, limited as it was, which dent in statisticks.
was then extant, inferred that the When France, in direct opposition example of North America would to her own interest, interfered to soon be followed in the south; and give liberty to North America, that Spain might prepare herself to there were some among us (we bid an everlasting farewell to her speak from personal knowledge) transatlantick possessions. The spi
rit of independence has been active, habitants; and, generally, to whatever more or less openly, in South Ame- interests the geographer, the naturica from that day to this: and the ralist, the philosopher, the moralist, propositions made to British officers or the statesman. from Buenos Ayres and other places, Nothing could be better timed to are so many vouchers for the truth answer the demands of the inquisiof what we affirm. As the disposition tive, than this publication of the toward independence was fomented baron de Humboldt. Many a long in North America, by French agents year has he travelled in the Spanish under the direction of Choiseul; and colonies; many a hazardous journey so far had they proceeded, that has he taken; many a laborious opeLouis XVI. though anticipating evil ration has he performed. With spefrom the machination, yet could not cimens of his acquisitions, the world stop it; so, it may be, that French hạs already been favoured in various agents were also employed in en- shapes; and the present work adds lightening the Spanish Americans, to our obligations received from this and that Buonaparte, like Louis, adventurous disciple of science. wishes the progress of these enlight New Spain is more commonly enings to be stayed. That he really known among us as the government did desire to hold the Spanish colo- of Mexico; because the chief city, nies in dependence on Spain, and to from various causes, has been more render them tributary to France, familiar in our general course of admits of no doubt; that his scheme reading. All the world has heard of has failed, and that they will esta the coixquest of Mexico by Cortez; blish their independence, we consi- and - the wealth of the Mexican der as certain; and this new charac- mines has become proverbial. Lit. ter under which they are about to tle care has been taken, generally appear, increases greatly that im- speaking, to distinguish the proportance, which attaches to the vinces in which these mines are siknowledge of their actual state and tuated; they have been uniformly condition. In proportion as South attributed to Mexico; and that has America rises in importance, North been sufficient. It will be our own America declines. It was not for fault if this, or any other incorrectthemselves only, that the Americans ness, be longer continued among us. took off so great a quantity of Bri- M. de Humboldt, gives a particular tish goods, as they did some time account of the divisions of this ex. ago: it was to export them to their tensive viceroyalty, and takes pains southern neighbours of the same to obtain a precision, which, while continent. During the American it may possibly be superseded by embargo, those goods went direct recent events, nevertheless , bears from Britain; and thus Britain ob- testimony to his industry, and retained an immediate intercourse searches. with her real customers, which she The order adopted by the baron, will do well to cultivate, and extend after a geographical introduction, is, to the utmost of her power. Seeing that ofi-general considerations on .then, that we are now opening an the extent and physical aspect of avowed and authorized commerce New Spain. On the climate, agri. with the Spanish Americans, instead culture, commerce, and military of a clandestine and almost furtive defence of the country. To these, traslick, we cannot but desire to ob- succeed-the population, the distain all possible intelligence relative tinctions among the inhabitants, their to the country; 10 the bounties of numbers, maladies, languages, &c. nature distributed therein; to the The provinces into which New disposition and character of the in- Spain is divided, the state of culti
vation, and of the mines, form the from which it appears that the concluding articles. The whole is mines, though a considerable source divided into four books, and these of wealth, are not the only, or even into nine chapters. A small appen- the chief wealth of the province of dix of maps is annexed to this edi. Mexico. tion; in the original, they are much more dignified and instructive. “ The Indian cultivator is poor, but he
Those who read for entertainment, is free. His state is even greatly preferable will find the baron not uniformly to the north of Europe. There are neither
to that of the peasantry in a great part of their taste; he advances too far into corvées nor villanage in New Spain; and detail to please them, and his style the number of slaves is next to nothing. is not sufficiently lively to impart Sugar is chiefly the produce of free hands. delight. He narrates what he saw; There the principal objects of agriculture and his remarks convey information
are not the productions to which Euroon a variety of subjects at once new
pean luxury has assigned a variable and and interesting. Our author enjoyed tive roots, and the agave, the vine of the
arbitrary value, but cereal gramina, nutrithe invaluable advantage of liberal Indians. The appearance of the country communication with the best in- proclaims to the traveller, that the soil formed officers of New Spain; and nourishes him who cultivates it, and that by their assistance, he has not only the true prosperity of the Mexican people corrected a multiplicity of errours
neither depends on the accidents of fo. extant in maps, and descriptions, ticks of Europe.
reign commerce, nor on the unruly poli. but has introduced to our acquaint “ Those who only know the interiour ance, various cities and towns, some of the Spanish colonies, from the vague of them containing not less than and uncertain notions hitherto published, 70,000 inhabitants, of which we had will have some difficulty in believing, that
the principal sources of the Mexican no previous knowledge. By means
riches are by no means the mines, but an also, of his barometrical observations, agriculture which has been gradually he has been enabled to convey an ameliorating since the end of the last cen. idea of the relative heights of differ- tury. Without reflecting on the immense ent mountains and other elevations; extent of the country, and especially the and for the first time, we have it in great number of provinces which appear our power, to form adequate con- totally destitute of precious metals, we ceptions of the nature and elevation the Mexican population is directed to the
generally imagine that all the activity of of the table-land of Mexico and its working of mines. Because agriculture has lakes. Not less interesting to the made a very considerable progress in the geologist, is the sudden and stupen- capitania general of Caraccas, in the king; dous descent towards Vera Cruz, dom of Guatimala, the island of Cuba, and which amply explains the obstacles poor in mineral productions, it has been
wherever the mountains are accounted to a postchaise intercourse between inferred that it is to the working of the the capital and its eastern ports. mines that we are to attribute the small The road to Acapulco, the principal care bestowed on the cultivation of the western port, is less striking, but soil in other parts of the Spanish colonies. not less practically difficult.
This reasoning is just, when applied to The condition of man is the most the provinces of Choco and Antioquia,
small portions of territory. No doubt, in interesting object in every country; and the coast of Barbacoas, the inhabitant and we confess ourselves gratified are fonder of seeking for the gold washed by finding that in New Spain the down in the brooks and ravines, than of number of slaves (negroes) is como cultivating a virgin and fertile soil; and in paratively few, and the state of the the beginning of the conquest, the SpaIndians is less unhappy than we bad Canary Islands, to settle in Peru and Mex
niards who abandoned the peninsula or been accustomed to suppose. We ico, had no other view but the discovery extract with pleasure a passage, of the precious metals. Adri rabida sitis
a cultura Hispanos divertit, says a writer nues; and much of the population of those times, Pedro Martyr, in his remains to enjoy the advantages it work on the discovery of Yucatan, and the offers. Our author adds, that, al. colonization of the Antilles.
" In Mexico, the best cultivated fields, though some of the Mexican famithose which recall to the mind of the tra lies possess immense wealth, obtainveller the beautiful plains of France, are ed from the mines, yet there are those which extend from Salamanca to. but few; while a greater number wards Siloe, Guanaxuato, and the Villa de derived from cultivation much supeLeon, and which surround the richest
The difference of altitude, and most uncultivated parts of the Cordille. consequently of temperature, has ras, on the insulated and desert table. been more destructive to the Inlands, the working of mines, far from im- dians, when obliged to change of peding the cultivation of the soil, has dwelling, than excessive labour in ling along the ridge of the Andes, or the the mines. Indeed the elevation of mountainous part of Mexico, we every
the table-land, and situations among where see the most striking examples of the mountains, generally chosen for the beneficial influence of the mines on residence by the original natives, agriculture. Were it not for the establish- and by the Spaniards, forms a strong ments formed for the working of the mines, how many places would have re.
contrast to the suffocating and demained desert ? how many districts uncul. Structive heats of the coast. The diftivated in the four intendancies of Guan. ference of level between Vera Cruz axuato, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and and Mexico, gives occasion to seveDurango, between the parallels of 21° and ral striking particularities. 259 where the most considerable metal. lick wealth of New Spain is to be found ? If the town is placed on the arid side, or
“In the space of a day, the inhabitants
descend from the regions of eternal snow, the crest of the Cordilleras, the new colonists can only draw from a distance the to the plains in the vicinity of the sea, means of their subsistence, and the main- where the most suffocating heat prevails. tenance of the great number of cattle em. The admirable order with which different ployed in drawing off the water, and rais.
tribes of vegetables rise above one anoing and amalgamating the mineral pro. ther, by strata, as it were, is no where duce. Want soon awakens industry. The
more perceptible, than in ascending from soil begins to be cultivated in the ravines the port of Vera Cruz, to the table land of and declivities of the neighbouring moun
Perote. We see there the physiognomy of tains, wherever the rock is covered with form of plants, the figures of animals, the
the country, the aspect of the sky, trie earth. Farms are established in the neighbourhood of the mine. The high price of manners of the inhabitants, and the kind provision, from the competition of the pulo different appearance at every step of our
of cultivation followed by them, assume a chasers, indemnifies the cultivator for the privations to which he is exposed, from progress. the hard life of the mountains. Thus, from
“As we ascend, nature appears graduthe hope of gain alone, and the motives of ally less animated, the beauty of the vege. mutual interest, which are the most pow. less succulent, and the flowers less colour
table forms diminishes, the shoots become erful bonds of society, and without any interference on the part of the govern. the alarms of travellers newly landed at
ed. The aspect of the Mexican oak quiets ment in colonization, a mine, which, at first, appeared insulated in the midst of him that he has left behind him the zone,
Vera Cruz. Its presence demonstrates to wild and desert mountains, becomes, in a short time, connected with the lands
so justly dreaded by the people of the which have long been under cultivation." north, under which the yellow fever exer
cises its ravages in New Spain. This infe
riour limit of oaks warns the colonist who To this may be added, that when
inhabits the central table-land, how far the seam of metal is exhausted, the he may descend towards the coast, withfertility created on the spot, conti-' out dread of the mortal disease of the
• De insulis nuper reportis et de moribus incolarum earum. Grynai Novus Orbis, 1555, p. 511.