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black oxid of mercury, and small globules of native mercury and amalgamation of silver. This metallic mixture gradually precipitates, and the water becomes limpid. It can neither dissolve the oxid of mercury nor the muriate of mercury, which is one of the most insoluble salts which we know. The mules are very fond of this water, because it contains a little muriate of soda in dissolution.
In speaking of the progress of the Mexican population, and of the causes which retard that progress, I have neither mentioned the arrival of new Furopean colonists, nor the mortality occasioned by the black romiting. We shall discuss these subjects in the sequel. It is sufficient to observe here, that the voinito prieto is a scourge which is never felt but on the coast, and which does not, throughout the whole kingdom, carry off annually more than from two to three thousand individuals. As to Europe, it does not send more than 800 to Mexico. Political writers have always exaggerated what they call the depopulation of the old continent by the new. M. Page*, for example, asserts in his work on the commerce of St. Domingo that the emigrations from Europe supply annually. more than 100,000 individuals to the United States. This estimate is twenty times higher than the truth; for, in 1784 and 1792, when the United
States received the greatest number of European colonists, their number did not exceed 5000 *. The progress of population in Mexico and North America is solely derived from an increase of internal prosperity.
f Samuel Blodget's Economica, 1806, p. 58.
Diversity of casts.--Indians or indigenous Americans.--Their
number and their migrations.--Diversity of languages.-Degree of civilization of the Indians.
The Mexican population is composed of the same elements as the other Spanish colonies. They reckon seven races: 1. The individuals born in Europe, vulgarly called Gachupines ; 2. the Spanish Creoles, or whites of European extraction born in America; 3. the Mestizos, descendants of whites and Indians ; 4. the Mulattos, descendants of whites and negros; 5. the Zambos, descendants of negros and Indians ; 6. the Indians, or copper-coloured indigenous race; and 7. the African negros. Abstracting the subdivisions there are four casts : the whites, comprehended under the general name of Spaniards, the negros, the Indians, and the men of mixed extraction, from Europeans, Africans, American Indians, and Malays; for from the frequent communication between Acapulco and the Philippine islands, many individuals of Asiatic origin, both Chinese and Malays, have settled in New Spain.
A very general prejudice exists in Europe that an exceeding small number of the copper-coloured race, or descendants of the ancient Mexicans, remain at this day. The cruelty of the Europeans has entirely extirpated the old inhabitants of the West Indies. The continent of America, however, has witnessed no such horrible result. The number of Indians in New Spain exceeds two millions' and a half, including only those who have no mixture of European or African blood. What is still more consolatory, and we repeat it, is, that the indigenous population, far from declining, has been considerably on the increase for the last fifty years, as is proved by the registers of capitation or tribute.
In general the Indians appear to form two-fifths of the whole population of Mexico. In the four intendancies of Guanaxuato, Valladolid, Oaxaca, and la Puebla, this population amounts even to three-fifths. The enumeration of 1793 gave the following result.
Names of intendancies. Total population. Number of Indians.
Valladolid - 290,000 - 119,000
From this table it appears that in the intendancy of Oaxaca, of 100 individuals 88 were Indians.
So great a number of indigenous inhabitants undoubtedly proves the antiquity of the cultivation of this country. Accordingly, we find near Oaxaca remaining monuments of Mexican architecture, which prove a singularly advanced state of civilization.
The Indians, or copper-coloured race, are rarely to be found in the north of New Spain, and are hardly to be met with in the provincias internas. History gives us several causes for this phenomenon. When the Spaniards made the conquest of Mexico, they found very few inhabitants in the countries situated beyond the parallel of 200. These provinces were the abode of the Chichimecks and Otomites, two pastoral nations, of whom thin hordes were scattered over a vast territory. 'Agriculture and civilization, as we have already observed, were concentrated in the plains south of the river of Santiago, especially between the valley of Mexico and the province of Oaxaca.
From the 7th to the 13th century, population seems in general to have continually flowed towards the south. From the regions situated to the north of the Rio Gila issued forth those warlike nations who successively inundated the country of Anahuac. We are ignorant whether that was their primitive country, or whether they came originally from Asia or the north-west coast of America, and traversed the savannas of Nabajoa and Moqui, to arrive at the Rio Gila. The hieroglyphical.