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cold climate, in shaded valleys, and on the slope of mountains. I was‘. so ‘~ much the more surprized, therefore, on learning after my return -"to Europe, that an intelligent traveller who has dispiayed the greatestlzeal for the’ good of his country, Thiery de Ménonville °, had asserted that he-found the jalap-in-great abundance in the arid and sandy tracts 1 in the neighbourhood of the port of Vera Cruz, and consequently under a climate excessively warm, and at the levelz of the ocean. - .

"Raynal asserts 1-, that Europe consumes annually 17500 quintals of jalap. This estimate appears too much by one half; for from ‘the most accurate information which I was able to procure at Vera Cruz, there was only exported from that port in 1802, "2921, and in 1808, 2281 quintals of jalap.-" The ~pri'ce*at'Xal'apa, is from 120 to 150'francs the quintah \ 0 »

- -We Ydidr not isee, duringmrr stay in New Spain, the plant which, it- is pretended, yields the root. of Mechoacan, (the '“Tacuaclw-"of the Tarasck Indians, and, the lTlalantlar:uitlapil'li . of the Aztecs.) ‘We never, even during the course

* Thiery, p. 59. This jalap of Vera Cruz, appears to be the same ‘with that found by Mr. Michaux, in Florida. See the Meinoir of Mr. Desfontaines, on they Convolvulus Jalalpa, in the 24nnales du Museuén d'Histoire Naturelle. t. ii. p. 120.

+ Hi.st.Philos. t.ii.p.68. _ , ' '

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40 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [soon IV.

of the produce; but the cultivation is even limited solely to the environs of the towns of Orizaba and Cordoba, and the partidos of Huatusco and Songolica, situated in the intendancy of Vera Cruz. Oflicers with the title of guardas de tabaco, travel the country fbr the purpose of pulling up whatever tobacco they find planted beyond those districts which-we have named, and fining those farmers who think proper to cultivate what is necessary for their own consumption. It was believed the contraband trade would be diminished, by limiting the cultivation. to an extent of four or five square leagues. Before the establishment of the fizrm, the intendancy of Guadalaxara,' and especially the particles of Autlan, Ezatlan, and Ahuzcatlan, Tepid, Santixpac, and Acaponeta, were celebrated for the abundance and excellent quality of the tobacco which they produced. These formerly happy .and flourishing countries, have been decreasing in population" since the plantations were transferred to the {eastern slope of the Cordillera... ' i =

The Spaniards first obtained their knowledge of tobacco in the West India Islands. The word, adopted by all the " nations of Europe, belongs to the language of Hayti or St. Domingo: for the ,M_exicans called the plant yell, and the Peruvians sa_yri."' The Indians,

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in Mexico and Peru, smoked tobacco, and
used it ground into snufil The great lords
at the court of Montezuma used to smoke
tobacco ‘as a narcotic, not only for the after-
noon siesto, but to procure sleep in the morn-
ing immediately after breakfast, as is still the
practice in many parts of equinoctial America.
The ‘dried leaves of the yell were rolled -up
into cigares, and put into tubes of silver, wood,
or reed; and frequently they mixed with it
the resin of the liquidambar styraciflua, and other
aromatic matters. The tube was held in one
hand, and with the other the nose was stopt
up, so that the smoke of the tobacco might
be the more easily swallowed. Several per-
sons were even contented with drawing in
the smoke by the nose. -Although the picietl
(nicoliana 1-ustica)' was much cultivated in the
antient Anahuac, it appears, however, that'per-
. fl lu s _ ._ , V

Gar;-iZ_a:|o, lib._.ii. c.-25. flfhe/.ancient Mexicans used
to recommend tobacco as an excellent remedy for the
tooth-ache, colds, and colicsl L The Caraibs used mashed
tobacco-leaves, as -a counter-poison. In our ‘journey on
the‘ Orinoco, we saw mashed tobacco successfully applied
to the bite of venemous serpents. After the famous
Btfjuco del Guaco, the knowledge of which we owe to’VM.
Mutis, tobacco is, undoubtedly, the most active counter-
poison of America. The cultivation of tobacc0,has been
propagated with so great rapidity, that in 1559, it began £0 be
sown in Portugal, and in the beginning of the 17th century

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~12 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [soon rv.

sons in easy circumstances used tobacco alone; for we see at this day, that the use is entirely unknown to the Indians of pure extraction, because they almost all descend from the lowest class of the Aztec nation?‘

At Vera Cruz, the quantity of tobacco produced in the districts of Orizaba and Cor

dova, is estimated at eight or ten thousandr

tereios, (at 8 arrobas) equal to 1,600,000, or 2,000,000 of pounds; butrthis estimate appears to be a great deal too low. The king pays for the pound of tobacco to the cultivator 2§- reals, that is to say, 21 sous for the kilogramme. We shall see in the sequel of this work, and from data which I extracted from Iofiicial papers, that the farm of Mexico of tobacco and snuff, is annually sold in the country even for more than 38 millions of francs 1', and that it yields to the king a net profit of more than 20 millions of livres tournois.i This consumption of tobacco in New Spain, must appear enormous, especially when we consider, that from a population of 5,800,000 souls, we must deduct two millions and ai half of Indians who never smoke. In Mexico, the farm is an object of much greater importance to the public revenue than in

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