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M. Garcia Conde an active and intelligent engineer. - - - - a The old road from Mexico to Xalapa and
Vera Cruz, passed along the elevated plains of Apa, without touching the great town of Puebla de los Angeles; and this is the road described
by the Abbe Chappe in his journey to Califor.
nia, in which that philosopher determined' several points by barometrical measurements." The indigenous merchandizes and productions, were then conveyed from Mexico to Perote and Xalapa, by the dike which separates the lakes of Tezcuco and San Christobal; by Totolcingo and Teotihuacan; and by the old field of battle of Otumba, the Inn of Irolo, Apa, Piedras Negras, S. Diego, Hongito, Vireyes and Tepeya
cualco. They reckoned by this road, 43 leagues
from Mexico to Perote, and 74 from Mexico to
Vera Cruz. At that period, and even till 1795, two days were taken to go from the capital to
Puebla, making a large circuit towards the
north west by Otumba and Irolo, and inclining from thence to the south east by Pozuelos,
Tumbacaretas, and San Martin. At last, under the viceroyship of the Marquis de Branciforte,
a new and very short road was opened by the
Venta de Chalco, the small chain of porphyritic
mountains of Cordova, Tesmelucos, and Ocot.
* Voyage de Chappe, publié par M. de Cassini, p. 107. - B 4
lan. The advantages of these more direct communications between the capital, the city of Puebla, and the fortress of Perote will be easily discovered by examining my atlas of New Spain. The new road from Mexico to Puebla possesses still the inconsiderable difficulty of the passage of the mountains, which separate the
basin of Tenochtitlan from that of Cholula.
The table land which extends from the foot of the volcanoes of Mexico to the mountains of Orizaba and the Coffre, is a level plain, and covered with sand, fragments of pearled rock, and saline efflorescences. The road from Puebla to Vera Cruz, passes through Cocosingo, Acaxete and Perote. We imagine we are travelling over a surface levelled from being long covered with water. When these plains are heated by the solar rays, they exhibit, at the height of the passage of Saint Bernard, the same phenomena of suspension and extraordinary refraction, which which we generally observe only in the neighbourhood of the ocean. The magnificent road constructing by order of the consulado of Vera Cruz, from Perote to that city, will rival those of the Simplon and Mount Cenis. It is broad, solid, and of a very gentle fall. They have not followed the tract of the old road, which was narrow and paved with basaltic porphyry, and which apIrear to navī heen constructed towards the made m if eigion:h century. The rapid ascens namo ion carefox avoided : and the charge vision is trought against the engineer, mi Henriëning too much the road, will be dropt when wheel carriages shall be substituted to the carriage of goods on the backs of mules, The construction of this road will probably cost more than 15 millions of francs"; but we hope that so beautiful and useful a work will not suffer any interruption. It is an object of the highest importance, for those parts of Mexico, The most remote from the capital, and the port of Vera Cruz; for when the road shall he corn. Peted, the price of iron, mercury, spirionos liquors, paper, and all the other contro. As of Europe, will experience a sensif.se fao o, ...a, the Mexican flour, which has for aroz, &aan dearer at the Havannah than the floor of oa. delphia, will be naturally preferred to as awa, the exportation of the sugars and hoas goa country will be more considerable; woo Aa. zonesotation of goods on waggons wis) ****
a muzi smaller number of mules and los.
= are now employed. These chown
produce adole effection subsistence, **
arries which have almost - -
will be - *
ravin, and to the progressive fall of the table land from 2500 to 800 metres * of absolute height. Carriages may run from Mexico to Santa Fe, in an extent which exceeds the length which the chain of the Alps would have if it was prolonged without interruption from Geneva to the shores of the Black Sea. In fact, the central table land is travelled in four wheel carriages in all directions, from the capital to Guanaxuato, Durango, Chihuahua, Valladolid, Guadalaxara, and Perote; but in the present bad state of the roads, waggons are not established for the conveyance of goods. They give the preference to the employment of beasts of burden; and thousands of horses and mules cover in long files (requas) the roads of Mexico. A considerable number of Mestizoes and Indians are employed to conduct these caravans. Preferring a wandering life to every sort of sedentary occupation, they pass the night in the open air, or in sheds, (tambos, or casas de communidad) which are constructed in the middle of the villages for the convenience of travellers. The mules feed at liberty in the Savannahs; but when the great droughts have parched up the grass, they feed them on maize either in herb, (zacate) or in grain. - The roads which lead from the interior table
* From 8201 to 2624 feet. Trans.
land to the coasts, and which I call transversal, are the most difficult, and chiefly deserve the attention of government. The roads from Mexico to Vera Cruz and Acapulco, from Zacatecas to New Santander, from Guadalaxara to San Blas, from Valladolid to the Port of Colima, and from Durango to Mazatlan passing by the western branch of the Sierra Madre, belong all to this class. The roads by which the capital carries on a communication with the ports of Acapulco and Vera Cruz, are naturally the most frequented. The value of the precious metals, of the agricultural productions, and of the goods of Europe and Asia which flow through these two channels, amounts to the total sum of $20 millions of francs per annum." These treasures pass along a road which resembles that of Airolo at the hospital of Saint Gothard. From the village of Vigas to L'Encero, the road to Vera Cruz is frequently nothing but a narrow and crooked path, and the most difficult, perhaps, in all America, with the exception of that, by which the goods of Europe are transported from Honda to Santa Fe de Bogota, and from Guayaquil to Quito. . . * The productions from the Philippine Islands and Peru, arrive by the road from Mexico to Acapulco. It is carried along a less rapid slope
to * * 13,334,400l. sterling. Trans.