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Island of Cuba to twenty-four thousand*. This
* I shall state in this note what information I could procure, respecting the number of troops in the Spanish Colonies. When I was last at the Havanah in spring 1804, there were under arms in the Island of Cuba ;
1. Disciplined Militia : infantry
Men. At the Havanah
1,442 At the Villa de Puerto del Principe
721 II. Disciplined Militia: cavalry
At the Havanah, and in its jurisdiction - 517 III. Country Militia : undisciplined (milicias rurales)
To the east of the Havanah, and at Matanzas 7,995
2,640 In that of the Puerto del Principe - . 1,728 In that of Santiago de Cuba - - 2,412 Total force - ... - - - 24,511
It appears certain that the Island of Cuba could possess for its defence, a body bf 36,000 whites, from the age of 16 to 4-5 (See above Vol. i. Chap. vii. p. 208). The armed force of the Island of Cuba is much superior to that of the capitania general de Caracas, which only amounts in the provinces of Venezuela, Nueva Andalusia, or Cumana, Maracaybo, Guayana, and Varinas, to 11,900 men, among whom there are not 2500 Europeans. In Peru there were in 1794:
increase of armed force points out more clearly the increasing distrust of the Mother Country, as on the Caracas coast, there were no regular troops previous to the year 1768, and in the kingdom of Santa Fe, for more than two centuries and a half, the government never found any occasion for militia, which were first levied in 1781, when the introduction of the tobacco farm, and the duties on brandy gave rise to popular commotions.
In the present state of things, the external defence of New Spain can have no other aim than to preserve the country from any invasion which a maritime power might attempt. Arid savannahs resembling the deserts of Tartary, separate the provincias internas from the territory of the United States. It is but lately
This list is taken from the court calendar, or Guia politica de Lima, published by order of the Viceroy. We have already observed that a part of these militia, armed with wooden muskets, is not very formidable. In the kingdom of New Grenada, there were in 1796, according to official papers in my possession, 3600 regular troops, stationed at Santa Fe de Bogota, Carthagena, Santa Martha, in the isthmus of Panama, at Popayan and Quito, and 8400 militia. In the Philippine Islands according to M. de Sainte Croix, there are 5500 regular troops, and 12,200 militia. Resuming all that I have procured respecting the Spanish Colonies of America, it appears that in a total population of fourteen or fifteen millions of inhabitants, they contain 3,000,000 of whites, 300,000 Europeans, and at most 26,000 European troops.
that the inhabitants of Louisiana, have been .. able to penetrate by the Missouri, and the river Plata, to the town of Santa Fe of New Mexico. The Arkansas and the red river of Natchitoches, which flow into the Mississippi, rise it is true in the mountains in the neighbourhood of Taos; but the difficulty of ascending these rivers is so great, on account of the rapidity of the current, that the northern provinces of Mexico are as secure against attack from this quarter, as the United States and New Grenada are from the Ohio, and the river Magdalen.
Beyond the 32° of north latitude, the nature of the soil, and the extent of the deserts in the neighbourhood of New Mexico, afford the inhabitants a constant security from the attack of a foreign enemy. Farther south, between the Rio del Norte, and the Mississippi, several lines of rivers appear on the same frontier; and it is in this part of the country, that the colonists of Louisiana approach the nearest to the Mexican colonists ; for the distance is only sixty leagues from fort Clayborn, in the county of Natchitoches, to the Mexican presidio of Nacogdoch. In this part of the intendancy of Potosi the ground along the coast is marshy; the surface only rises towards the north and north east; and in the midst of the plains which join the basin of the north river, to that
of the Mississippi, the Rio Colorado de Texas appears to afford the most advantageous military position. This point is the more remarkable, as between the mouth of the Colorado, and the small port of Galveston, M. de Salle founded towards the end of the 17th century, the first French colony of Louisiana. It would be useless to enlarge here on the defence of the frontiers in the provincias internas; for the principles of wisdom and moderation by which the government of the United States is animated, lead us to hope that a friendly arrangement will soon fix the limits between two nations, who both possess more ground than they can possibly cultivate,
The petty warfare carried on incessantly by the troops stationed in the presidios*, with the
* The following are the military posts (presidios) of Mexico. 1. Intendancy of Durango:
Conchos, Yanos, Gallo, S. Buenaventura, Carizal, S. Eleazario, Norte, or las Juntas, Principe, S. Carlos, Cerro Gordo, Pasage, Namiquipa, Coyame, Mapimis, Huejo. quilla, Julimes, S, Geronimo, S. Eulalia, Batopilas, Loreto, Guainopa, Cosiquiriachi, Topago, S. Juaquin, Higuera, S. Juan, Tababueto, Reyes, Coneto, Texame, Sianuri,
Ynde, Oro, Tablas, Caneza, Panuco, Avino. 2. Intendancy of Sonora:
Bavispe, Buenavista, Pitic, Bacyachi, Tubson, Fronteras,
wandering Indians, is equally burdensome to the public treasury, and inimical to the progress of civilization among the Indians. Not having ever travelled in the provincias internas, I cannot take upon me to say whether or not a general pacification is practicable. We frequently hear at Mexico, that for the security of the colonists, the tribes of savages who wander about in the Bolson de Mapimi, and to the north of New Biscay, ought not to be repulsed, but exterminated. Fortunately however, this barbarous counsel has never yet been listened to by the government, and we learn from history, that such measures are not necessary. In the 17th century, the Apaches, and the Cicimeques, carried their incursions. beyond Zacatecas, towards Guanaxuato, and the Villa de Leon, but since the increase of cividization in these countries, the tribes of Indians
3. New Mexico: · Santa Fe, Passo del Norte. 4. Californias:
San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco. 5. Intendancy of San Luis Potosi:
Nacogdoch, Espiritu Santo, Bejar, Cohahiula, San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande, Aquaverde, Bavia.
The presidios which have the strongest garrisons, are in italics. None of these posts contain more than 140 soldiers.