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than the 2' 54" given by my chronometer, worn out with five years travelling, and passing rapidly in so mountainous a region from the extreme heats of the coast, to the frosts of Guchilaque; that is to say, from a temperature of 36° to another of 5° of the centigrade thermometer. Formerly Acapulco was placed four degrees further to the west in the South sea. Jean Covens and Corneille Mortier, in their map of the Mexican archipelago, make the longitude of Acapulco 100° 10' 0". The old maps of the depot of the marine make it 104° 0'. This longitude became gradually more eastern. Bonne, in the geographical memoir annexed to the work of Raynal, gives 103° O': Arrowsmith in 180.3 makes it 102° 44'. The Knowledge of the Times (Connoissance des Temps) for the year 1808, fixes Acapulco very well in point of longitude (102° 19 30”), but assigns it a latitude too southern by 10. This error is so much the more striking, as, before the expedition of Malaspina, this port was placed at 17° 20', or 17° 30', as is proved by the maps of d'Anville and those of the marine depot. However, Covens makes the latitude 16° 7', while in 1540 the pilot Domingo de Castillo gives it at 17° 25'. In the time of Herman Cortez, the capital of Mexico was believed to be three degrees to the west of Acapulco, almost north to south with the port de los Angeles. Probably the maps which the Mexicans themselves had constructed of their coasts, and which the emperor Montezuma presented to the Spaniards, had an influence on this position. I have myself remarked among the hie. roglyphic manuscripts in the collection of Boturini, preserved in the palace of the viceroy of Mexico, a very curious plan of the environs of the capital. I

should add, that long before the observations of

the expedition of Malaspina at Acapulco, those who were employed in astronomy at Mexico admitted, as certain, that the capital and port were in the same meridian,


Having fixed the position of the three principal places of the kingdom, let us examine the two roads which lead from the capital to the South Sea, and to the Atlantic ocean. The first may be named the Asiatic road, and the other the European; as these denominations designate the direction of the maritime commerce of New Spain. I determined, on these highly frequented roads, seventeen points either in latitude or longitude.

Village of Mescala.-I found its latitude, by the culmination of Antares, 17° 56'4", and the longitude, by the chronometer, 6' 47' 16", supposing Acapulco 6' 48' 24. The city of Chilpanzingo, from angles taken at Mescala, appears to be 17° 36 of latitude, and 6" 46 53" of longitude,

Wenta de Estola, a solitary house in the midst of a wood near a fine spring. I took several altitudes of the sun there: the chronometer gave 6" 46 56" of longitude. The village of Tepecuacuilco.—Latitude found by the method of Douwes, uncertain to the extent of nearly 3, 18 20° 0". Village of Tehuilotepec.—Longitude, 6' 47" 12. Double altitudes of the sun gave me 18°35'0"; but this latitude, determined under unfavourable circumstances, is uncertain from six to seven minutes. The position of this place is interesting, on account of the proximity of the great mines of Tasco. Pont d'Istla, in the great plains of S. Gabriel. I found it 18° 37'41" of latitude, and 6" 46' 19" of longitude. Village of San Augustin de las Cuesas.-Longitude, 6° 45'46". Latitude, 19° 18' 37". This village terminates on the west the great valley of Mexico. It will be useful, for a minute acquaintance with the country, to add the distances which the natives, particularly the muleteers, who travel as it were in caravans to the great fair of Acapulco, reckon from one village to another. The true distance from the capital to the port being known, and supposing a third more for windings in a road both strait and of easy access, we shall find the value of the leagues in use in these countries. This datum is interesting for geographers, who in reImote regions must avail themselves of simple itineraries. It is evident that the people shorten the leagues as the road becomes more difficult. However, under equal circumstances we may have some confidence in the judgments formed by the muleteers of comparative distances; they may not know whether their beasts of burden go two or three thousand metres * in the space of an hour, but they learn from long habit if one distance be the third or fourth or the double of another. The Mexican muleteers estimate the road from Acapulco to Mexico at 110 leagues. They reckon from Acapulco to the Passo d'Aguacatillo, four leagues; el Limon, three leagues; los dos Aroyos, five; Alto de Camaron, four; la Guarita de los dos Caminos, three; la Moxonera, one-half; Quaxiniquilapa, two and a half; Acaguisotla, four ; Masatlan, four; Chilpansingo, four; Sampango,

three; Sapilote, four ; Venta Vieja, four; Mescala,

four; Estola, five; Palula, one and a half; la

tranca del Conexo, one and a half; Cuagolotal,

one; Tuspa, or Pueblo nuevo, four ; los Amates, three; Tepetlalapa, five; Puente de Istla, four; Alpuyeco, six ; Xuchitepeque, two ; Cuernavaca, two ; S. Maria, three-fourths; Guchilaque, two and a half; Sacapisca, two; la Cruz del Marques, two; el Guarda, two ; Axusco, two ; San Augustin de las Cuevas, three; Mea ico, four. In

* 6561 or 9842 feet English. Trans.

this itinerary the numbers indicate how many leagues one place is distant from the one which immediately precedes it. Other itineraries, which are distributed to travellers who come by the South sea, estimate the total distance at 104 or 106 leagues. Now, according to my observations it is in a straight line 151,766 toises. Adding a quarter for windings, we shall have 189,708 toises, or 1725 toises” for the league of the country.


I determined on this road thirteen points, either by purely astronomical means, or by geodesical operations, particularly by azimuths and angles of altitudes. M. Oltmanns deduced from my observations the position of the Venta de Chalco, on the eastern bank of the great valley of Tenochtitlan, 19° 16'8"; that of la Puebla de los Angeles (near the cathedral) 19° 0' lo” of latitude, and 6" 41' 31"= 100° 22'45" of longitude; of the Venta de Sotto, 19° 26' 30”; of the village of Perote, near the fortress of the same name, 19° 33' 37" of latitude, and 6° 38' 15" of longitude; of the village de las Vigas, 19° 37' 10"; and finally, the position of the city of Xalapa, 29, 30' 8" of latitude, and 6' 37' 0"-09 || > 0" of longitude. Don Jose Joacquin Ferrer, who, long before me, deter

* 11040 feet. Trans.

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