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unfavourable to every agricultural establishment. New Spain supplies Europe annually with only 25,000 arrobas, or 312,000 kilogrammes of cotton. This quantity though in itself very inconsiderable, is however six times greater than that exported by the United States, of their own growth in 1791, according to the information which I owe to the kindness of M. Gallatin, Finance Minister at Washington. But the rapidity of the increase of industry, among a free people wisely governed, is so great, that according to a note furnished me by the same statesman, the United States ex, ported,
Home Cotton. Foreign Cotton. In 1797 2,500,000 lib.
- , 1,200,000 lib. 3,660,000
- 14,120,000 3,400,000
- 24,100,000 1803 3,493,544
- 37,712,079. From these data of M. Gallatin, it follows that the produce of cotton has become 877 times greater in twelve years. When we consider the physical positions of the United States and Mexico, we can hardly entertain a doubt that these two countries will one day be enabled to produce all the cotton employed in the manufactures of Europe. The enlightened merchants who compose the chamber of coinmerce of Paris, have asserted in a memoir
a few years ago, that the total importation of cotton into Europe, amounts to 30 millions of kilogrammes.* I am inclined to believe that this estimate is much below the truth; for the United States alone have exported annually, more than 22 millions of kilogrammes of cotton t, amounting in value to 7,920,000 dollars, or nearly 40 millions of livres
Flax and hemp may be advantageously cultivated wherever the climate does not admit of the cultivation of cotton, as in the provincias internas, and even in the equinoctial region or table land, where the mean temperature is under 14 degrees of the centigrade thermometer. I The Abbe Clavigero advances that flax is to be found wild in the intendancy of Valladolid and in New Mexico, but I very much question whether the assertion is founded on the accurate observation of any botanical traveller. However it is certain that neither flax nor hemp have to this day been cultivated in Mexico. Spain has had a few enlightened ministers who wished to favour these two branches of colonial industry; but their favour was nothing more than temporary. The council of the Indies, whose influence is durable like that of every body in which
* 62,100,000 lb, avoird. Trans.
the same principles are perpetuated, have ever wished the mother country to oppose the cultivation of flax, the vine, the olive, and the mulberry. Unenlightened as to its true interests, the government has always preferred seeing the Mexican people clothed with cotton purchased at Manilla and Canton, or imported at Cadiz by English vessels, to the production of the manufactures of New Spain. It is to be hoped that the mountainous part of Sonora, the intendancy of Durango and New Mexico, will one day rival Galicia and the Asturias in the production of flax. As to hemp, it would be of importance not to introduce into Mexico the European species, but that which is cultivated in China (cannabis indica), of which the stalk grows to the height of five or six metres.* We have every reason to presume, however, that the cultivation of Alax and hemp will spread with great difficulty in that region of Mexico abound." ing with cotton. The steeping requires more care and labour than the separation of cotton from the seed; and in a country where there are few hands, and much laziness, the preference is naturally given to a cultivation of which the produce is much more promptly and easily managed.
The cultivation of coffee in the Island of Cuba,
* 16 or 19 feet. Trans.
and the Spanish colonies on the continent, com-
* The French part of St. Domingo produced in 1783 only 445,734 quintals of coffee ; but five years afterwards it produced 762,865. And yet the price in 1783 was 50 francs the quintal, and 94 francs in 1788; which proves how much the use of coffee has been spreading in Europe notwithstanding the advanced price, Yemen furnishes annually according to Raynal 130,000, and according to Mr. Page 150,000 quintals, which are almost all exported to Turkey, Persia, and India. The Isles of France and Bourbon yield 45,000 quintals. It appears to me, from what inforination I have been able to procure, that all Europe actually consumes annually, nearly 53 millions of kilogrammes of coffee (116,971,000 lbs. avoird. Trans.) The coffee-tree yields in a good soil one kilogramme of coffee, and 960 of them may be planted on a hectare of ground.
greater than that of New Spain, amounts to nearly 230,000 quintals.
The cultivation of the cocoa-tree (cacari or cacava quahuill) had already made considerable progress in Mexico in the time of Montezuma
; and it was there where the Spaniards obtained a knowledge of that precious tree, which they afterwards transplanted into the Canary and Philippine Islands. The Mexicans prepared a beverage called by them chocolatl, in which a little maize flour, vanilla (tlilxochitl) and the fruit of a species of spice (mecazochitl) were mixed with the cocoa (cacahuatl).* They could even reduce the chocolate to cakes, and this art, the instruments used in grinding the cocoa, as well as the word chocolatl, have been transferred from Mexico to Europe. This is so much the more astonishing, as the cultivation of the cocoa is now almost totally
*. Hernandez, lib. ii. c. 15; lib. iii. c. 46; lib. V. c. 13. In the time of Hernandez, they distinguished four varieties of cocoa, called quauhcahuatl, mecacahuatl, xochi cucahuatl, and tlalcacahuatl. This last variety had a very small seed: the tree which produced it bore an analogy undoubtedly to the cocoa, which we found growing wild on the banks of the Orinoco, to the east of the mouth of the Yao. The cocoa tree cultivated for centuries, has a larger, sweeter, and more oily seed. We must not confound with the Theobroma Cacao the T. bicolor, of which I have given a drawing in our Plantes equinoxiales (t. i. pl. xxx. q. et b. p. 104.) and which is peculiar to the Province of Choco.