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The Archipelago of the Huaytecas and Chonos islands, which extend from the 440 20 to the 45° 46' of south latitude, present only a mass of granite rocks covered with thick forests. The Indians of Chiloe, known by the name of Guayhuenes and Payos, periodically visit these shoals. They have put cows in the islands of Tequehuen, Ayaupa, Menchuan, and Yguilao. On the opposite continent, the coast which stretches out to the south of the Fort Maullin, is inhabited by the Juncos Indians, who form an independent tribe.
Note B." (vol. i. p. 44.)
The island of Cuba, draws for the maintenance of the free inhabitants and slaves, a great quantity of provisions, and especially salt meat (tasajo) from the coast of Caracas. When Spain is at war with England, the navigation from Cumana, Nueva Barcelona, and Guayra, to the Havanah, is very dangerous, on account of the necessity of doubling cape Saint Antony. The enemies’ cruizers are stationed near the Cayman Islands, between cape Catoche and cape Saint Antony, and particularly among the Tortugas. This group of shoals is situated to the west of the ex
* No reference appears in vol. i. corresponding with this note. Trans.
tremity of Eastern Florida, and the vessels destitute of chronometers, or other means for determining the longitude, are obliged to reconnoitre the Tortugas, for the sake of directing their course from thence to the Havannah, through a sea, constantly agitated by currents. To avoid a great part of these dangers, it has been projected, to establish in the island of Cuba, an interior communication between the southern and northern coast: or, to avail myself of an improper expression in use among the natives, to join the south and north seas. A navigable canal, for flat boats, will be opened for an extent of eighteen leagues, from the gulf of Batabano, to the bay of the Havannah, crossing the beautiful plains of the district de los Guines. This canal, which requires only a small number of locks, will at the same time serve to, fertilise the country by irrigations; and the salt provisions, cocoa, indigo, and other productions of Terra Firma, will arrive by this way to the Havannah. The passage from Nueva Barcelona to Batabano, is not only very short, and secure enough in time of war, but it possesses also the advantage of exposing the vessels less to the dangers of shoals and tempests, than the ordinary navigations round cape Saint Antony, and the old Bahama channel.
Note C.” (vol. i. p. 100.)
To give an example of the method employed by the parish priests of Mexico, in drawing up the extracts, from which I have been enabled to judge of the excess of births, I shall here insert the detail of the tables of Singuilucan and Dolores, two villages inhabited only by Indians, and which enjoy, under the torrid zone, a climate extremely favourable to the health of man. The great increase of population, resulting from these tables, is surprising enough.
* By mistake this note was referred to vol. i. p. 100, under the letter B. - - i
Military defence. — It consumes the fourth of the total revenue. The Mexican army is 30,000 strong, whereof scarcely a third are regular troops, and more than two thirds militia. The petty warfare continually carried on with the wandering Indians in the provincias internas, and the maintenance of the presidios or military posts, require a very considerable expence. The state of the eastern coast and the configuration of the surface of the country facilitate its defence against any invasion attempted by a maritime power.
Such are the principal results to which I have been led. May this labour, begun in the capital of New Spain, be of utility to those called to watch over public prosperity! and may it in an especial manner impress upon them this important truth, that the prosperity of the whites is intimately connected with that of the copper coloured race, and that there can be no durable prosperity for the two Americas till this unfortunate race, humiliated but not degraded by long oppression, shall participate in all the advantages resulting from the progress of civilization and the improvement of social order!