Page images
PDF
EPUB

phia in foreign vessels, are favourable to this contraband trade. According to what information I could obtain from those who deal in gold dust (rescatadores) at Carthagena, Mompox, Buga, and Popayan, it would appear that we may estimate the quantity of gold supplied by Choco, 'Barbacoas, Antioquia, and Popayan, on which the fifth has not been paid, at 2500 marcs.

In Peru, the exportation of silver on which the fifth has not been paid, is not so much carried on by the South Sea coast, which is frequented by the spermaceti whale fishers*, as to the east of the Andes, by the river Amazons. This great river connects two countries, where a great disproportion prevails between the relative value of gold and silver. Brazil is almost as profitable a market for the silver of Peru, as China for the silver of Mexico. A fifth, and perhaps even a fourth of all the silver extracted from the mines of Pasco, (Yauricocha) and Chota (Gualgayoc), is exported in contraband by Lamas and Chachapoyas, in descending the river Amazons. There are persons át Lima, who believe that on quickening the trade on that river, the fraudulent exportation of silver would become still greater. This prejudice has been very pernicious for

* See p. 87 of this Vol.

the fine provinces which extend along the eastern declivity of the Cordilleras, fertilized by the Guallaga, the Ucayale, the Puruz, and the Beni. They forget that the wildness and solitude of these countries, facilitate very much the operations of the smugglers. We shall estimate the unregistered silver of Peru, at 100,000 marcs.

In Chili the gold which pays the fifth is to that which does not, according to Ulloa, in the proportion of 3 to 2. We shall only compute it at a fourth of the total produce. Estimating the fraudulent exportation of silver in the kingdom of Buenos Ayrés, at a sixth, or 67,000 marcs, and adding, with M. Correa de Serra, for the total produce of Brazil, where alluvious mines are only yet wrought, nearly 30,000 marcs of gold, we shall be able to exhibit in the following table, the whole produce of all America in gold and silver.

Annual produce of the mines of the New

Continent, at the beginning of the 19th century.

Gold.

Silver.
Names of Great.
Political Divi.. | Marcs
sions
of Kilogr. Marcs of

Kilogr.
Castille

Castille.

Value of Siler in Pias

tres,

Viceroyalty of

New Spain - 7,000 1,6092,338,220 537,51223,000,000 Viceroyalty of

Peru: : | 3,400 782 611,090140,478 6,240,000 Capitania Gel

neral of Chili 12,212 2,807 29,700 6,827 2,060,000 Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayol res : /2,200 506 481,830110,764 4,850,000 Viceroyalty of New Grenada ... 20,503 4,714 - .. . 2,990,000 Brasil 22.900' 6,873 - .

4,360,000 Total 75,217 17,291 3,460,840795,581 43,500,000

The total produce of the mines of the New World consequently amounts at this day to 17,000 kilogrammes of gold,* and 800,000 kilogrammes of silverf, reckoning the mark of Castille, by which the produce of the mines in the Spanish Colonies is estimated, to the marc of Frances in the proportion of 541 to 576, and the kilogramme at 4

* 45,580lb. troy. Trans.
+ 2,145,003 Ib. troy. Trans.
| Bonneville Traité des Monnoies, 1806. p. 31

ICO

VIII

marcs, 5 gross, 35.15 grains old French weight. The tin furnished by all Europe, weighs only three times as much, as the quantity of silver annually extracted from the mines of America. It may be seen also from the preceding table, that it is erroneous to attribute to Brasil the greatest part of the gold with which the Old Continent is supplied by the New. The Spanish Colonies supply nearly 45,000 marcs of gold, while only 30,000 are extracted from the alluvious grounds of Brasil. If the government of Santa Fe de Bogota begin seriously to turn their attention to the population and agriculture of Choco, the extraction of gold in New Grenada, will in a very few years rival that of Brasil. The author of the immortal work on the Wealth of Nations,* values the quantity of gold and silver annually imported into Cadiz and Lisbon, at only six millions of pounds sterling, including not only the registered gold, but also what may be supposed to be smuggled. This estimate is too small by two fifths.

Bringing together the results which we have just obtained for the New World, with

* According to Meggens (Postscriptum du Negociant Uni. versel, 1756, p. 15) the importation into Spain and Por. tugal was from 1747 to 1753 at an average 5,746,000 pounds Sterling

those which are the fruit of the laborious re. searches of M. Heron- de Villefosse and M. Georgi*, we find the following data :

* Geo. phys. Beschreibung des Russischen Reichs, 1797, Th. 6. p. 368. M. Georgi's valuation is for the year 1796. The produce of the mines of Koliwan has doubled, and that of the mines of Nertschink has diminished more than a third between 1784 and 1794.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »