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-- |Reduced distances (in Mexican varas,
M. Velasquez measured two bases, the one of 3702, Mexican varas in the plain, frequently inundated, which separates the village of San Christobal, and the hill of Chiconautla; and the other of 4474 varas on the causeway which leads from the capital to the sanctuary of S. Miguel de Guadalupe. The second base was even measured twice. In resolving successively the series of triangles according to these values, we shall find the direct distance from the cross of the mountain of San Christobal to the crest (Creston) of the Loma de Chiconautla. One of the bases gives for this distance 14099 varas, another gives 14101. The third triangle and the three last have cach an obtuse angle, but in these same triangles an error of a minute in the sharpest angle would but produce a difference of three or four varas on the length of the sides. Hence this operation is very valuable for the topography of Tenochtitlan.
Particular signs indicate on my map the positions which are founded on the triangulation of M. Velasquez, and those which I determined astronomically. We have added the results of my measurements with the barometer, calculated according to the co-efficient of M. Ramond. To facilitate the use of the map to those who study the history of the conquest, I have placed the ancient Mexican names, beside the names at present in use. I have endeavoured to be very exact in the Aztegue orthography, following only Mexican authors, and not the works of Solis, Robertson, Raynal and Pauw, who disfigure the names
of cities and provinces, like those of the kings of Anahuac.
IV. MAP, EXHIBITING THE POINTs where COMMUNICATIONS HAVE BEEN PROJECTED BETWEEN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AND SOUTH-SEA.
This map was drawn up for the sake of offering to the eye of the reader in one view the nine points which present means of communication between the two oceans. It will serve to explain what I have said in the second chapter of the first book. I have represented in nine assembled sketches the points of separation between the Ounigigah and the Tacoutche-Tesse, and those between the Rio Colorado and the Rio del Norte; the isthmuses of Tehuantepec, Nicaragua, Panama, and Cupica; the river of Guallaga, and the gulf of S. George; and lastly, the ravin from the Raspadura to the Choco, by which, since 1788, boats have passed from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. The most interesting sketches are those of the small canal of derivation from the Raspadura and the isthmus of Tehuantepec. I have traced the course of the rivers Huasacualco (Guasacualco) and Chimalapa from materials which I found in the archives of the viceroyalty of Mexico, and particularly from the plans of the engineers Don Miguel del Coral and Don Augustin Cramer, whom the viceroy Revillagigedo sent to the spot. The distances were rectified by itineraries very recently drawn up since the indigo of Guatimala came to pass through the forest of Tarifa, which is a new road opened to the commerce of Vera Cruz.
v. PLAN OF THE PORT OF VERA CRUZ.
This work would undoubtedly appear incomplete, if it did not contain the plan of the port from which all the Mexican wealth flows into Europe. To this day Vera Cruz is the only port which can receive European vessels of war. The plan which I publish is an exact copy of the one drawn up in 1798 by M. Orta, captain of the port of Vera Cruz. I have diminished the scale by one half, and added a few notes on the longitude, winds, atmospheric tides, and on the quantity of rain which falls annually. The mere sight of this plan proves the difficulty of every military attack against a country, which on its eastern coast offers no other shelter to vessels than a dangerous anchorage among shallows.
The double lines drawn on the plan of the port indicate the direction which vessels intending to anchor ought to follow. Whenever the pilot discovers the edifices of Vera Cruz, he should take care that the tower of the church of St. Francis