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keep more than sixty or seventy leagues from shore. A Portugueze pilot lately showed that this method may even be followed during winter" if the vessel sufficiently obey the helm, and it possesses besides the great advantage of shortening the road. By following it, the tempests which prevail in the months of August, September, and October, between the 28° and 33° of south latitude, are avoided. I have thought it proper to mention these details respecting the navigation of the eastern part of the great ocean in this place, not only because they are interesting to the commerce of the New Continent, but because they prove a principle which ought powerfully to influence all political calculations; namely, that nature has thrown enormous obstacles in the way of maritime communication, between the people of Peru and Mexico. In fact, these two colonies, which from their position are not far removed from one another, consider themselves as much in the light of strangers, as they would the people of the United States, or the inhabitants of Europe. The oldest and most important branch of commerce of Acapulco, is the exchange of the merchandize of the East Indies and China, for the precious metals of Mexico. The commerce, limited to a single galleon, is extremely simple; and though I have been on the spot where the most renowned fair of the world is held, I can add little information to that which has been already given before by others *. The galleon, which is generally from twelve to 1500 tons, and commanded by an officer of the royal navy, sails from Manilla in the middle of July, or beginning of August, when the southwest monsoon is already completely established. Its cargo consists in muslins, printed calicoes, coarse cotton shirts, raw silks, China silk stockings, jewelleries from Canton or Manilla by Chinese artists, spices, and aromatics. The voyage is carried on either by the straits of Saint Bernardin or Cape Bajadoz, which is the most northern point of the island of Luccon. It formerly lasted from five to six months; but since the art of navigation has been improved, the passage from Manilla to Acapulco is only three or four months. Winds from the north-west and south-west prevail in the great ocean, as well as generally in all seas beyond the natural limits of the trade winds, to the north and south of the parallel of 28° and 30'. Opposite in their direction to the trade winds, they may be considered as atmospherical counter currents. By
* Moraleda Derotero de la mer del Sur, (a very valuable manuscript).
* Anson's Voyage, vol. ii. chap. x. p. 63, 73; Le Gentil, ii. p. 216; Raynal, ii. p. 90; De Guignes, iii. p. 407; Renouard de Saint Croix, ii. p. 357,
means of the south-west winds, during my stay in Peru, English vessels, excellent sailors it must be owned, came from the Cape of Good Hope to Val Paraiso in Chili, in ninety days, although they had to run from west to east, nearly two thirds of the circumference of the globe. In the northern hemisphere, the north-west wind facilitates the passage from the coast of Canada to Europe, as well as that from the east of Asia to the western coast of America. Formerly the galleon ascended as high as the 35° of north latitude to work for the high mountains of Santa Lucia in New California which rise to the east of the channel of Santa Barbara; but within the last twenty years they have kept much farther to the south; for after falling in with the island of Guadaloupe (lat. 28° 58',) the pilots steer south-east, avoiding the dangers of the shoal called Abreqjos, and the two jarallons de los Alisos. It is a very convenient circumstance, that in all this long passage, the galleon finds not a single point of shelter from Manilla to the island of Guadaloupe and the coast of California. It is a pity that to the north of the Sandwich Islands no other archipelago has been discovered, which, situated between the Old and New Continent, might have afforded refreshments and a good anchorage. The value of the goods of the galleon ought not by law to exceed the sum of half a million of piastres ", but it generally amounts to a million and a half, or two millions of piastres.t Next to the merchants of Lima, the ecclesiastical corporations have the greatest share in this lucrative commerce, in which the corporations employ nearly two thirds of their capitals, which employment of their money is designated by the improper phrase of dar a corresponder. Whenever the news arrive at Mexico, that the galleon has been seen off the coast, the roads of Chilpansingo and Acapulco are covered with travellers; and every merchant hastens to be the first to treat with the supercargoes who arrive from Manilla. In general, a few powerful houses of Mexico join together for the purpose of purchasing goods; and it has happened that the cargo has been sold before the news of the arrival of the galleon were known at Vera Cruz. This purchase is often made without opening the bales; and although at Acapulco the merchants of Manilla are accused of what is called Trampas de la China, or Chinese fraud, it must be allowed that the commerce between two countries at the distance of three thousand leagues from one another, is carried on perhaps with more honesty than the trade between some nations of civilized Europe, who have
never had any connection with Chinese merchants. While the merchandizes of the East Indies are transported from Acapulco to the capital of Mexico to be distributed throughout the kingdom of New Spain, the bars of iron and pias. tres, intended for the return cargo, descend from the interior to the coast. The galleon generally departs in the month of February or March; and it goes then nearly with ballast; for the lading in the journey from Acapulco to Manilla in general only consists of silver, a very small quantity of cochineal of Oaxaca, cocoa of Guayaquil, and Caraccas wine, oil, and Spanish wool. The quantity of precious metals exported to the Philippine Islands, including what is not registered, amounts in general to a million, and frequently to one million three hundred thousand piastres. The number of passengers is in general very considerable, and augmented from time to time by colonies of monks sent by Spain and Mexico to the Philippine Islands. The galleon of 1804 carried out seventy-five monks, which gave occasion to the Mexicans for saying that the Nao de China was loaded in return with plata y frayles. The navigation from Acapulco to Manilla is carried on by means of the trade winds. It is the longest that can be made in the equinoctial region of the seas, being almost triple the