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of New Spain, which for ages have remained desert and uncultivated.
It is observed in Mexico that the vezou, or juice expressed from the sugar cane is more or less sugary, according as the plant grows in the plain, or on an elevated table land. The same difference exists in the cane cultivated at Malaga, the Canary Islands, and the Havannah. The elevation of the soil every where produces the same effects on vegetation, as the difference of geographical latitude. The climate has also an influence on the proportion, between the quantities of liquid and crystallizable sugar contained in the juice of the cane; for sometimes the vezou has a very sweet savour, and yet crystallizes with great difficulty. The chemical composition of the vezou is not always the same, and the excellent experiments of M. Proust, have thrown great light on the phenomena discoverable in the American sugar works, many of which are to the sugar refiner the cause of great despondency.
From the most exact calculations that I could make at the island of Cuba, I find that a given hectare of ground yields for mean term 12 cubic metres of vezou, from which is drawn by the processes hitherto in use, in which much sugary matter is decomposed by fire, at most from ten to twelve per cent. or 1500 kilogrammes* of raw sugar. They reckon at
* 3310 lb, avoird. Trans.
the Havannah, and in the warm and fertile parts of New Spain, that a caballeria of ground which contains 18 square cordeles (at 24 varas), or 133,517 square metres*, yields annually 2000 arrobas, or 25,000 kilogrammes.f The mean produce, however, is only 1500 arrobas, which is 1400 kilogrammes of sugar per hectare 1. At St. Domingo, the produce of a carreau of ground containing 3403 toises, or 12,900$ square metres is estimated, at 4000 pounds, which is equal to 1550 kilogrammes per hectare. Such is, in general, the fertility of the soil of equinoctial America, that all the sugar consumed in France, which I estimate at 20 millions of kilogrammes|l, might be produced on a surface of 7 square leagues, an extent which
* 1,437,163 square feet. Trans.
44,140,000 lb. avoird. Trans.
# Sucre léte or sucre de tête is that which is taken from the upper part or head of the conical pot or pan (forme) used in the making of clayed sugar. (Casaur sur l'art de cultivez la canner, p. 453.) Trans.
is not the thirtieth part of the smallest department of France.
In grounds capable of being watered, and in which plants with tuberous roots, for example batates and ignames, have preceded the cultivation of the sugar cane, the annual produce amounts even to three or four thousand arrobas per caballeria, or to 2100 and 2800 kilogrammes of raw sugar per hectare. Now, in estimating an arroba at three piastres, which is the mean price at Vera Cruz, we find from these data, that a hectare of irrigated ground, will yield to the amount of 2500 or 3400 livres tournois in sugar*, while the same hectare would only yield to the value of 260 livres in wheat, supposing a 'decuple return; and estimating 100 kilogrammes of wheat at 1600 livres tournois. In drawing a comparison between these two species of cultivation, we must never forget, that the advantages of the sugar cane cultivation are very much diminished, by the enormous advances required in the establishment of a sugar plantation.
The greatest part of the sugar produced in New Spain, is consumed in the country. The consumption probably amounts to more than 16 millions of kilogrammest; for that of the Island of Cuba, undoubtedly amounts to from 25 to 30,000 chests (caxas) of 16 ar
* From£104 to £141 p. 107,639 square feet. Trans. + Upwards of 35 millions of pounds avoird. Trans.
robas, or 200 kilogrammes. Those who have not seen with their own eyes, the
enormous quantity of sugar consumed in Spanish America, even in the poorest families, will be astonished to hear, that the whole of France demands for its own wants only three or four times as much sugar as the Island of Cuba, of which the free population does not exceed the number of 340,000 inhabitants.
I have endeavoured to bring together in one view, the exportation of sugar from New Spain, and that from the West India Islands. It was impossible for me to reduce all its data, to the same period. ' I could not procure certain information, as to the actual produce of the English Islands, which has prodigiously increased.
The Island of Cuba exported in 1803 from the port of the Havannah, 158,000 caxus, and from the port of the Trinity and Santiago de Cuba, including the contraband 3000 caxas ; Hence:
Total exportation of Sugar from the Island
Kilogr. of Cuba
37,600,000 Exportation of Sugar from New Spain, 500,000 arrobas, in 1803
6,250,000 Exportation from Jamaica, in 1788
42,000,000 Exportation from the English Virgin Islands and Antigua, in 1788
49,610,000 Exportation from St. Domingo, in 1788 82,000,000
20,400,000 I believe we may admit, that the whole of the American Islands actually supply Europe
with more than 200 millions of kilogrammes of raw sugar, of which the value even in the Colonies is 40 millions of piastres, or more than 200 millions of livres tournois*, estimating the caxa at 40 double piastres. Three causes have concurred to prevent the rise of this colonial commodity, since the destruction of the plantations of St. Domingo; namely the introduction of the sugar cane of Otaheite, which on the same extent of ground yields a third more vezou than the common cane; the progress of agriculture on the coast of Mexico, Louisiana, Caracas, Dutch Guyana and Brazil; and lastly the importation of sugar from the East Indies into Europe.
This importation especially ought to fix the attention of those who reflect on the future direction of commerce. Ten years ago, the Bengal sugar
sugar was as little known in the great inarket of Europe, as the sugar of New Spain, and now both of them compete with the sugar
of the West India Islands.. The United States have received sugar from Asia, as follows
In 1802 Kilogr. Kilogr. Kilogr. From Manilla
216,452 403,389 646,461 From China and the
} 310,020 East Indies
387,204 574,939 Total 526,472 790,593 | 1,221,400 * 8 millions Sterling. Trans.