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the territory of New Mexico, towards Tex-vicinity of Buenos Ayres. These things, as on the one side, and the head of the Cal- and much more of the like sort, might have ifornian Gulf on the other, the general level been borne, but the bitterest fruits of tyof the ground rapidly sinks, the Sierra Ma- ranny are not always political grievances, dre or mother-ridge, known further north-To be a native of American soil stamped ward as the Rocky Mountains, stretching the brand of social degradation, even on a away in solitary grandeur.
man who traced his descent from the con
querors; the Creoles were regarded by the "Conformably to the law of nature, which Europeans much as the free-colored popumakes the climatic effect of an elevation of lation of the United States now are by their 3000 feet, equal to a difference in latitude of
Even ties of blood ten degrees, we find in Mexico all imaginable
white countrymen. variations and shades of climate, piled above could not overcome this insensate prejuone another, as it were, in stories; and may in dice, which led often to the disinheritance a few hours, often several times in the course of a son by a father, in favor of some adof a day's journey, descend from the world of venturer from Europe. For the Indians hyacinths, mosses, and lichens, from the region again were reserved the dregs of the cup of of ever-benumbing cold, of perpetual snow and ice, into that ever-dissolving heat, where the oppression! In the continental provinces inhabitant goes naked, his brown skin anointed they were too numerous to be extirpated, with grease, to make it less sensitive to the as in the Spanish West Indian Islands; sun's burning rays, and dwells in bird-cage- there they continued to form the bulk of the shaped huts, open to the air. . . . . Situations population. In Mexico, it is calculated, more or less sheltered from the wind, especial-ihat four-sevenths are Indians, two-sevenths ly the north-west wind, more or less exposed persons of mixed blood or mestizoes, and to the influence of the sunbeams; greater ap- only one-seventh whites. They were reproximation to the west coast, where the air is perceptibly milder than on the east; want or
duced by the system of repartition among abundance of wood and water; are all circum- the landed proprietors to a bondage, of stances which modify the temperature in the which the negro slavery of the present day most surprising manner, at the same height exhibits no inexact parallel ;* but they above the sea and in the same parallel.” cherished the memory of the greatness of
their race, and a vengeful sense of the sur The colonial system of Spain was one of ferings they had so long endured. At this the most curious engines of oppression ever source, too, it was fated that the Erinnys of devised by human avarice and rapacity; retribution was to light her torch ! its only palliation, perhaps, is to be found It was the crafty policy of the Spanish in the ignorance and folly of the Spanish court to retain the Mexicans in a state of rulers, from the days of Philip II., who intellectual childhood, teaching them to squandered the resources and ruined the prosperity of Spain herself. The nine- * “ All the property of the Indians, moveable teenih century found the same maxims and and immoveable, was considered as belonging to principles in vigor, which had prevailed ment, of 600 yards in diameter, was conceded to
the conquerors, and only a very liinited allorunder the most cruel and imbecile of the them for a residence in the neighborhood of the successors of Charles V. Not only were newly-built churches. At a uime when it was the interests of the colonists sacrificed in gravely disputed whether the Indians were to be every point, by a political exclusiveness, that a benefit was conferred opon them by placing
counted among reasonable beings, it was believed which practically interdicted to every Amer-them under the guardianship of the whites. Duican the exercise of any but the most infe- ring a succession of years the Indians, whose rior offices in the public service,-a spiritual freedom the king bad fruitlessly promised, were tyranny, which threatened with the penal. indiscriminately, and frequently quarrelled about
the slaves of the whites, who appropriated them ties of the Inquisition all freedom of thought their right. To avert this, and, as it imagined, to or speculation-and a commercial monopoly give the Indians protectors, the court of Madrid enforced with such unrelenting rigor, that introduced the encomiendus, by which the Indians, the punishment of death was denounced in divisions of several hundred families, were against all who were detected in trafficking descendants, or to the jurists sent from court to
assigned to the soldiers of the conquest and their with foreigners, whilst the vines and olives administer the provinces, or counterpoise the enof Mexico were rooted out, that its inhabit- croaching powers of the viceroys, and other favorants might be compelled to draw their sup-ites. A great number of the best commanderies plies from Spain ; and the wheat which the were given to the convents. This system did not colonists of La Plata were forbidden to ex- them to the soil, and their labor was the property
improve the condition of the Indians; it feitered port, was applied to fill up marshes in the of their master.” (Muhleppfordt, i. 233.)
look upon Spain as the sovereign power of which were in some instances favorably lisEurope, and keeping them studiously in ig- tened to by the viceroys. The old Spannorance of the very existence of other na-iards beheld with alarm the awakening tions. Yet they had long entertained the sense of popular rights and the national design of throwing off the Spanish yoke, spirit which these proceedings evinced; the and waited but the opportunity of effecting Audiencias, or suprenie courts, charged their design. We have the testimony of among their other functions to watch over Humboldt in his · Essay on New Spain,' as the interests of the crown, became the orto the existence of discontent among the gans of the Europeans, and strenuously higher classes, and the American General resisted the efforts of the colonists to assert Pike, who travelled through the northern their right of sharing actively in the vindiprovinces in 1807, speaks still more strongly cation of Spanish independence against of its diffusion and intensity among the in- French invasion. Had Spain at this time ferior clergy and the officers of the provin- possessed public servants with heads and cial army, who were debarred by the acci- hearts competent to appreciate the justice dent of birth from all chance of promotion and expediency of a conciliatory policy, the to the higher grades. Insurrections and enthusiasm of the Creoles might have been isolated revolts had not been wanting in the diverted to her own service; and the latent course of the two centuries and a half desire of independence, to which, undoubtwhich bad elapsed since the conquest. edly, the movement above mentioned was Such was the revolt of the Indians in the in part to be ascribed, might possibly have north-western provinces during the latter been extinguished by judicious concessions. half of the last century; and the insurrec- But this was not to be looked for, save in a tions of Mexico in 1624, 1692, and in few isolated instances, among men hard1797, under the vice-royalty of Count Gal- ened in the traditions of a depraved despotvez, whose conduct in several particulars, ism, and practised in all the mysteries of notwithstanding his apparent zeal in its fraud and corruption under the flagitious suppression, gave the greatest umbrage to administration of Godoy. A striking obthe Spanish court, and is said to have re- servation of the Duke of Wellington's is on sulted, after his recall, in his death by poi- record, to the effect, that in all his extenson. In such a state of society as we have sive experience of Spanish official men, acdescribed, the materials of explosion were quired during the Peninsular war, he met rife, and a concurrence of extraordinary with hardly a single man, whose abilities events which had their spring in the ambi- rose above the meanest order of mind, or tion of Napoleon, at length souuded the who possessed a respectable share of politi. knell of Spanish domination in America. cal knowledge. If such men there were, The renunciation of the crown of Spain by their influence was neutralized by the Charles IV., and his son Ferdinand VII., swarm of court-drones and noodles by into the hands of the French emperor-whom they were surrounded. The prevathat basest of treasons, unparalleled even in lent feeling of the Spaniards towards their the annals of royal jofamy-and the subse- American dependencies may be gathered quent invasion of the Peninsula by his from the fact, that in the Cortes of 1812 armies, were the signal of a general fer- there were many orators who denied the mentation throughout all the transatlantic colonists to be superior in any respect to dominions of that country. Spain being brutes, or entitled to any better treatment, now left without a regular government, and found not only patient hearing, but fapropositions were inade by the Creoles for vor and applause in that assembly. Whatthe formation of executive juntas, and the ever administrative talent the Spaniards assembly of provincial congresses, to act in possessed, indeed, seems to have been emthe name of the absent sovereign, and to ployed in the colonies. Iturrigaray, Venestrengthen the hands of the mother-country gas, and Calleja, were men far abler than in its struggle against foreign aggression, any of those who composed the government
of the mother-country at the same time.
Many of their measures were conceived In 1823, Bullock found it difficult to persuade with a skill, and executed with a vigor unthe natives that England, France, Germany, Hol. known in the contemporary annals of Spain; land, and Italy, were any thing else than so
and such state-papers of the colonial govmany paltry provinces, with governors set over them by the King of Spain. Travels in Mexico, ernment as we have seen (for instance, p. 53.)
Calleja's Report on the State of Mexico in
1814,') are far superior to those which em- itary men. Dr. Hidalgo, curate of the
| anated from the Central Junta and the Re- small town of Dolores, was the leader of gency.
the conspiracy in the province of GuanaIturrigaray, the vice-king of Mexico, juato, which with that of Mechoacan or had gained great popularity among the na- Valladolid, continued throughout to be the tives by his conciliatory demeanor through main support of the insurgent cause. Hiout the pending crisis; and was disposed, dalgo was an intelligent, and, for his counfrom whatever motives, to accede to the try and profession, well-informed inan; endemand of the Creoles for the convocation terprising, and of an austere turn of mind; of a Mexican Cortes. He is said to have of engaging conversation and manners, suspected the fidelity of some of the Span- some of his chroniclers tell us, yet showing ish officials around him, and looking to the himself both cruel and vindictive in the shameful desertion of the national cause, of sequel. He had private as well as public which so many examples had been wit- injuries to avenge, for having, among other nessed in the Peninsula, and the intrigues projects for encouraging the industry of his of French emissaries in America, it is prob- parishioners, formed large plantations of able he might have good reason for suspi- vines, he had the mortification of seeing cion. His claim to be regarded as the sole them rooted out by order of the governdepository of the royal power and authority ment. The viceroy obtained information gave deep offence to the Audiencia, and the of the plot, and issued orders for the arrest European faction pretended that he favored of Hidalgo, with his associates Allende and the natives from a desire to make himself other Creole officers in garrison at Guanaan independent sovereign. However this juato.. Hereupon, the daring priest remay have been, the Audiencia determined solved instantly to raise the standard of reto have him arrested and deposed; and, on volt. On the 16th of September, 1810, he the night of the 15th of September, 1808, commenced the struggle by the seizure of accordingly, a band of Europeans, chiefly seven Europeans resident in the town of merchants, entered his palace, and seized Dolores, whose inhabitants, mostly of Inhis person as he lay in bed. After a short dian descent, immediately joined his bancon inement in a neighboring convent, he ner,
The news of the outbreak spread like was removed to Spain, and the Audiencia wildfire, and was hailed by the Indians of invested with the vice-regal functions Liza- the neighboring territory as the dawning of na, Archbishop of Mexico, whose vacilla- their deliverance from their ancient opting and feeble policy tended only to exas-pressors. For them, it seemed, the day of perate the eagerness of the Mexicans for retribution was come, and they obeyed with the contest which it was now evident had eagerness the call which their leader ad. become inevitable.
dressed to them for a sanguinary vengeance. Two years elapsed from the date of Itur- In less than a fortnight 20,000 joined him rigaray's arrest, during which the absence -a proof of the intolerable nature of the of any concessions on the part of the gov- sufferings under which they had so long ernment, and the insolence of the Europe- groaned, and of the tenacious memory of ans, aggravated the irritation produced by wrong which distinguishes their race, imthat event among the natives † An exten- passive and resigned in outward seeming. sive conspiracy against the Spanish domi- To the incitement of patriotism and the nation was organized, composed chiefly of prospect of revenge were added the figecclesiastics and lawyers, with some milments of superstition; and the Virgin of
Guadalupe, under whose standard they * It was at least not from any natural aversion
marched, was invoked as the patroness of to arbitrary measures, for in his former post, of their cause, and the guide of their arms. Administrador des Obras Pias, or steward of pious Hidalgo was soon joined by two Creole donations in Mexico, the severity of his exactions regiments, and found himself strong enough gave rise to loud complaints. Iturrigaray was released by the Central Jun
to march upon Guanajuato. This city, the ta, afterwards arrested by the kegency, and again second in the kingdom of Mexico, and the set at liberty by a decree of the Cortes. This dia depository of immense treasures, the pronot save him, however, from being condemned by duce of the neighboring mines, fell an easy the council of the Indies, in a residentia, to a ruinous fine of 234,241 dollars, which absorbed ali prey into his hands; the Europeans, with his capital. His wife, who was afflicted with not a few of the Creoles, who made compalsy, and family, were reduced to absolute desti. mon cause with them, were put to the tution in the town of Jaen, where they resided.
sword, and their property giren up to plunder. So eager were the Indians in the steel or the club, the use of fire-arms being work of destruction that, in less than forbidden for the sake of secresy. But twenty-four hours, not one stone of their cruelty is always as impolitic as it is inhuhouses was left standing. An enormous man, and Hidalgo soon found that he had booty, to the amount of five millions of dol- committed a fatal and irremediable error. lars, rewarded the zeal of the insurgents, The Creoles of wealth and influence, conwho committed many excesses which their nected, many of them, by ties of affinity leader made no atteinpt to restrain. Like with the old Spaniards, were alarmed and the Jacquerie of France, the Indians were disgusted by proceedings which outraged infuriated by the thirst of vengeance, and humanity, and seemed to menace with ruin Hidalgo was but too well inclined to give all the possessors of property; the old loose to their passions.
Spaniards were reduced to despair, and seeVarious reasons have been assigned for ing war to the knife was proclaimed against the conduct of the rebel leader in encour them, were not slow in resorting to retaliaaging the outrages which an ignorant and tory measures, which equalled or surpassed undisciplined rabble, such as that which those of the insurgents in atrocity. followed his banner, is always prone to In Felix Maria Calleja, the military comcommit. Resentment for his personal mandant of San Luis Potosi, to whom the grievances may have had its share; a pow- new viceroy, Venegas, committed the erful motive was supplied in the first in charge of suppressing the rebellion, they stance by the wish to commit his followers found a hand ready to execute whatever irrevocably in the struggle with the Euro- their direst malevolence could prompt. He peans. To these we may add the sangui- was a soldier of fortune, who had passed nary instinct which the Spaniard has al- his life in the military service of the crown ways betrayed in civil dissensions; more in America, where, by the vigor of his operemarkable with that nation since the rations, and the relentless spirit in which times of Ferdinand and Isabella than he crushed disaffection, he approved himin days more ancient, and, perhaps, derived self a worthy disciple of the school of Corfrom the Arabs, so long the denizens of tes and Pizarro. He knew and cared little their soil.* Hidalgo's war cry was ' Death for any other rule of government than the to the Gachupins,'t and he scrupled not to sword; the 'extermination of the disaffectact up to its fearful import. One of the ed,' and the reduction of the country to ordarkest tragedies of the revolution, was the der by the establishment of martial law, massacre shortly afterwards perpetrated by was the 'heroic remedy' which he unceashis orders at Guadalaxara ; here the Euro- ingly urged on the adoption of the Spanish peans, to the number of 800, were shut up government. Hidalgo, with an arıny of in the convents, and conducted at the dead more than 50,000 men, Indians, with the of night, in parties of twenty and thirty, exception of the Creole regiments already to lonely places amidst the hills lying mentioned, armed principally with bows, round, where they were despatched by the clubs, slings, and such other weapons as
are used at times when 'furor arma minis* The Audiencia of Mexico, in their memorial trat,' had advanced upon the capital, but to the Cortes (paragraphs 40 and 41), attributed shrank from attack, defended as it was by 'the ferocious spirit that characterized Hidalgo's 7000 regular troops and numerous batteries. rebellion, exemplified in the massacres of Guanajuato, Valladolid,' &c., to the motive of getting on a disorderly and ill-conducted retreat, into his hands the resources of the Europeans; as he fell in with Calleja's force, composed if he could not have obtained them but by whole. almost entirely of Creoles. The fidelity of sale shedding of blood • Without the riches of these to the royalist standards, in a contest Europeans, he could not pay his own debts, much less undertake an expensive war; without these with their countrymen, was doubtful, and, same riches as a bait, he could not gratify that but for the imprudence and mismanagethirst for plunder which possessed the immense ment of the insurgents in precipitating hoslegions by which he was followed. But the tilities, the resuli of the ensuing battle, Spaniards have generally shown themselves incompetent to conceive the attainment of a politi- fought on the 7th of November, in the cal object without the most violent and extreme plains of Aculco, inight have been very
difmeans. So far they have not even yet shaken off ferent. The royalist troops are said to barbarism. Gachupin, a nickname for a European Span, would probably have refused to open their
have wavered in coming into action, and jard, from the Aztec word, gatzopin, a being, half man, half horse, applied by the Indians 10° their fire on the opposite ranks. But the unconquerors.
wieldy array of the rebels, struck with ter
ror at the spectacle of a regular army, ar-pletely routed. Their army broke up. ranged in five columns, performing its evo- Hidalgo, Allende, and other leaders, enlutions with silent and orderly celerity, fell deavored to gain the frontiers of the Uniinto confusion on their approach, and fired ted States, but being betrayed by one of upon them at random. This insult pro- their adherents, were taken and shot at voded the Creole troops to take a bloody Chihuahua. revenge, and from the day of this battle Morelos, also a Creole ecclesiastic, was their line of action was decided against the the next leader of the revolutionary troops, rebels throughout the whole of the first pe- whose movements he conducted with greatriod of the revolution. The latter fought er forecast, skill, and success, than his prewith desperation, the Indians rushing with decessor. He disciplined his troops, and their clubs upon the bayonets of the regu- showed more of forbearance and humanity lars, and, so ignorant were they of the na-than belonged to Hidalgo. Fortune smiled ture of artillery, trying to stop the mouths for a considerable time on the patriot of the guns with their straw hats. They cause. Collecting a considerable force in fell in heaps; in the battle and pursuit, not the south-west territory, he advanced to less than 10,000 perished. Calleja re- Cuautla, within thirty miles of Mexico. It entered Guanajuato after an ineffectual re- is an open town, but by availing himself of sistance from a part of the rebel army un- the advantages of the ground, and constructder Allende. His stay there was signaliz- ing trenches, and barricades, he rendered ed by a tragedy equalling in horror any it defensible against attack, and was enabled that can be found even in the blood-stained for more than two months to resist all the annals of Spanish warfare. The populace efforts of Calleja to dislodge him. After a of the town, furious at their desertion by resistance signalized by many brilliant acts Hidalgo's troops, had wreaked their rage of heroism, want of provisions forced him to on a body of 239 Europeans, the survivors evacuate the place. In Puebla, Oaxaca, of the first assault and capture of the place, and the south and west, however, he rewho were put to death to a man. Calleja tained the ascendency for some time, deexacted a terrible retribution by the deci- feating several Spanish divisions, and redumation of the inhabitants of this unfortu- cing Acapulco after a six months' siege. nate town. Without believing the incred. A congress of representatives of the Mexiible tale of Robinson, that 14,000 of the can people met at Chilpanzingo, in Sepinhabitants had their throats cut in the tember, 1813, under his protection, and isgreat square, while its fountains ran with sued the declaration of Mexican independblood, -though Mayer and other recent ence. With 7000 men and 100 pieces of writers have been incautious enough to re-artillery he arrived before Valladolid, inpeat the statement, -we may conclude that tending to besiege it.
His lieutenant, the amount of carnage was sufficiently great Matamoros, imprudently ordered a review to glut even the wolfish appetite of the of the troops within half a mile of the town. Spaniard, and almost to rival the atrocities The gallantry of Iturbide, then a colonel in o Cortes at Cholula.
the royalist army, improved the opportunity Hidalgo, after his defeat, had occupied by a sally which threw the insurgents into Guadalaxara in the western country, in de confusion. A party of confederates arrived fence of which he resolved to make another at the moment to the assistance of Morelos, stand against Calleja. With this view he whom his troops unfortunately mistook for fortified the bridge of Calderon, about four- enemies. Iturbide immediately charged teen leagues north-east of the city, on the them in flank, and put them to the rout road by which the royalist general was ap- with great slaughter. Another defeat by proaching from Guanajuato. It is thrown the same officer completed their disorganiacross a branch of the Rio Lerma, a swift. zation. Matamoros was taken prisoner ly-flowing stream with precipitous banks and shot, and after a year of ineffectual and hills rising upon the side of Guadalaxa- struggles against the tide of adverse fortune, ra.
Here Calleja attacked the insurgents which every where overwhelmed the arms on the 16th of January, 1811. They fought of the patriots, Morelos shared the same gallantly and repulsed several assaults, but, fate. A Mexican historian relates a curious being thrown into confusion by the explo- anecdote of Calleja, who had now replaced sion of an ammunition waggon in their Venegas in the vice-royalty. He visited ranks, and having their fanks turned by Morelos in disguise, while a prisoner in the the royalist cavalry, were in the end com-cells of the Inquisition, and being entreated