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river ofSantiago separated the agricultural nations of Mexico and Mechoacan from the barbarous and pastoral hordes called Olomitcs and Cicirnecs. These savages frequently carried their incursions as far as Tula, a town situated near the northern bank of the valley of Tenochtitlan. They occupied the plains of Zelaya and Salamanca, now admired for their fine cultivation, and the multitude of farms scattered over their surface.

Neither should the denomination of Anahuac be confounded with that of New Spain. Before the conquest all the country between the 14tli and 21st degrees of latitude was included under the name of Anahuac. Besides the Aztec empire of Montezuma, the small republics of Tiaxcallan and Cholollan, the kingdoms of Tezcuco (or Acolhoacan) and Mechuacan, which comprised part of the intendancy of Valladolid, belonged to the ancient Anahuac*

Even the name Mexico is of Indian origin. It signifies in the Aztec language the habitation of the God of war, called Mexitli or Huitzilo* pochtli. It appears, however, that before the year 1530 the city was more commonly called Tenochtitlan than Mexico. Cortez *, who had made very little progress in the language of the country, called the capital, through corruption, Temixtitan. These etymological observations will not be found too minute in a work which treats exclusively of the kingdom of Mexico. The audacious man who overturned t hf Aztec monarchy considered this kingdom sufficiently extensive to advise * Charles V. to unite the title of emperor of New Spa in to that of Roman emperor.

* Historia de Nueva Espana, por Lorenzana (Mexico, J770, p. l.) . ._ ti1 0

We are tempted to compare together the extent and population of Mexico, and that of two empires with which this fine colony is in relations of union and rivalry. Spain is five times smaller than Mexico. Should no unforeseen misfortunes occur, we may reckon that in less than a century the population of New Spain will equal that of the mother country. The United States of North America since the cession of Louisiana, and since they recognize no other boundary than the RioBravo del Norte, contain 240,000 square leagues. Their population is not much greater than that .of Mexico, as we shall afterwards see on examining carefully the population and the area of New Spain.

If the political force of two states depended solely on the space which they occupy on the globe,

• Cortez says, in his first letter, dated from Villa Segura de la Frontera, the 30th October, 1520: "Las eosas de esta terra son tantas y tales que Vuestra Alteza se puede entitular de nuevo Emperador de ella, y con titulo y non menos merito, que el de Alemana, que por la gracia de Dios, Vuestra Sacra Magestad possee." (Lorenzana, p. 38.)

and on the number of their inhabitants; if the nature of the soil, the configuration of the coast; and if the climate, the energy of the nation, and above all the degreeof perfection of its social institutions, were not the principal elements of this grand dynamical calculation, the kingdom of New Spain might, at present, be placed in opposition to the confederation of the American republics. Both labour under the inconvenience of an unequally distributed population; but that of the United States, though in a soil and climate less favoured by nature, augments with an infinitely greater rapidity. Neither does it comprehend, like the Mexican population, nearly two millions and a half of aborigines. These Indians, degraded by the despotism of the ancient Aztec sovereigns, and by the vexations of the first conquerors, though protected by the Spanish laws, wise and humane in general, enjoy very little, however, of this protection, from the great distance of the supreme authority. The kingdom of New Spain has one decided advantage over the United States. The number of slaves there, either Africans or of mixed race, is almost nothing; an advantage which the European colonists have only begun rightly to appretiate since the tragical events of the revolution of St. Domingo. So true it is, that the fear of physical evils acts more powerfully than moral considerations on the true interests of society, or the principles of philanthropy and of justice, so

i

often the theme of the parliament, the constituent assembly, and the works of the philosophers.

The number of African slaves in the United States amounts to more than a million, and constitutes a sixth part of the whole population. The southern states, whose influence is increased since the acquisition of Louisiana, very inconsiderately increase the annual importation of these negroes. It is not yet in the power of Congress, nor the chief of the confederation (a magistrate* whose name is dear to the true friends of humanity), to oppose this augmentation, and to spare by that means much distress to the generations to come.

• The present president, Mr. Thomas Jefferson, author of the excellent Essay on Virginia.

toL. I.

CHAPTER U.

Configuration qfthe coast.Points inhere the two seas are least distant from one another.General considerations on the possibility of uniting the South Sea and At/antic Ocean.Rivers of Peace and Tacoutche-Tesse.—Sources of the Rio

Bravo and Rio Colorado Isthmus ofTehuantepec.Lake

of Nicaragua.Isthmus of Panama.Bay of Cupica.^ Canal of Chocu.—'Rio Guallaga.Gulf of St. George.

The kingdom of New Spain, the most northern partof all Spanish America,extends from the 16th to the 38th degree of latitude. The length of this vast region, in the direction of S.S.E. to N.N. "W. is nearly 270 myriametres (or 610 common leagues); its greatest breadth is underthe parallel of the 30th degree. From the Red River of the province of Texas (Rio-Colorado) to the isle of Tiburon, on the coast of the intendancy of Sonora, the breadth from east to west is 160 myriametres (or 364 leagues).

The part of Mexico in which the two oceans, the Atlantic and the South Sea, approach the nearest to one another, is unfortunately not that part which contains the two ports of Acapulco and Vera Cruz, and the capital of Mexico. There are, according to my astronomical observations, from Acapulco to Mexico an oblique distance of

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