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14. Intendencia de Oaxaca.
15. Intendencia de Merida. The divisions in this table are founded on the physical state of the country. We see that nearly seven-eighths of the inhabitants live under the torrid zone. The population becomes thinner as we advance towards Durango and Chihuahua. In this respect New Spain bears a striking analogy to Hindostan, which in its north parts is bounded by regions almost uncultivated and uninhabited. Of five millions who inhabit the equinoxial part of Mexico, four-fifths live on the ridge of the Cordillera, or table-lands whose elevation above the level of the sea equals that of the passage of Mount Cenis.
New Spain, considering its provinces according : to their commercial relations, or the situation of the coasts, is divided into three regions. I. PROVINCES OF THE INTERIOR, which
do not extend to the ocean.
coast opposite to Europe:
III. MARITIME PROVINCES of the western
9. Old California.
15. Oaxaca. These divisions will one day possess great political interest, when the cultivation of Mexico shall be less concentrated on the central table-land or ridge of the cordillera, and when the coasts shall become more populous. The maritime provinces of the west will send their vessels to Nootka, to China, and the East Indies. The Sandwich islands, inhabited by a ferocious, but industrious and enterprising people, appear more likely destined to receive Mexican than European colonists. They afford an important stage to the nations who carry on commerce in the Great Ocean. The inhabitants of New Spain and Peru have never yet been able to profit by their advantageous position on a coast opposite Asia and New Holland. They do not even know the productions of the South Sea islands. The bread fruit tree and sugarcane of Otaheite, that precious reed, the cultivation of which has had such a happy influence on West India commerce, will one day be received by them from Jamaica, the Havanah, and Caraccas, and no longer from the more adjoining islands. What efforts have not been made by the United States of North America, within the last ten years, to open a communication with the western coast, with the same coast on which the Mexicans possess the finest ports, but without activity and with. out commerce.
According to the ancient division of the country, the Reyno de Nueva Galicia coitained more than 14,000 square leagues, and nearly a million of inhabitants : it included the intendancies of Zacatecas and Guadalaxara *, as well as a small part of that of San Luis Potosi. The regions now known by the denomination of the seven intendancies of Guanaxuato, Valladolid or Mech vacan, Mexico, Puebla, Vera Cruz, Oaxaca, and Merida, formed, along with a small portion of the intendancy of San Luis Potosit, the Reymo de llcrico, properly so called. This kingdom consequently contained more than 27,000 square leagues, and nearly four millions and a half of inhabitants.
Another division of New Spain, equally ancient and less vague, is that which distinguishes New Spain, properly so called, from the provincias internas. To the latter belongs all to the north, and north-west of the kingdom of Nueva Galicia, with the exception of the two Californias; consequently, 1. the small kingdom of Leon; 2. the colony of New Santander ; 3. Texas; 4. New Biscay; 5. Sonora; 6. Cohahuila ; and 7. New Mexico. The provincias internas del Vireynato, which contain 7814 square leagues, are distin. guished from the provincias internas de la Comandancia (of Chihuahua), erected into a capitania general in 1779, which contain 59,375 square leagues. Of the twelve new intendancies, three are situated in the provincias internas, Durango, Sonora, and San Luis Potosi. We must not, however, forget that the intendant of San Luis is only under the direct authority of the viceroy for Leon, Santander, and the districts near his residence, those of Charcas, Catorce, and Altamira. The governments of Cohahuila and Texas make also part of the intendancy of San Luis Potosi, but they belong directly to the comandancia general de Chihuahua. The following tables will throw some light on these very complicated territorial divisions. Let us divide all New Spain into A. Provincias sujetas al Virey de Nueva Es
* With the exception of the most southern part, which contains the volcana of Colinia and the village of Ayotitan.
+ The niost southern part through which the river of Papuco runs.
puña; 59,103 square leagues, with 547,790* souls: the ten intendancies of Mexico,
* This number ought to be 5,479,095. Trans. VOL. I. .
Puebla, Vera Cruz, Oaxaca, Merida, Val-
The two Californias.
provincius internas, 59,375 square leagues,
Cohahuila and Texas.
leagues, with 5,837,100 inhabitants. These tables exhibit the surface of the provinces calculated in square leagues of 25 to the degree, according to the general map accompanying this work. The first calculations were made at Mexico in the end of 1803, by M. Oteyza and myself. My geographical labours having since that period attained to greater perfection, M. Oltmanns was so good as to recalculate the whole territorial surfaces. He executed this operation with the precision which characterizes whatever he undertakes, having formed squares of which the sides did not contain more than three minutes.
The population indicated in my tables is what may be supposed to have existed in 1803. I have explained in the 4th chapter (page 97. 110) the principles on which the changes were made in the