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CRAP. 11.] KINGDOM OF NEW SPAIN. 3
half a million of arrobas, or 6,250,000 kilo-
* h'ch ' ' e~

grammes , w 1 is equal to seven millions and 5'" "b‘f‘¥l‘ancs.
We have already observed that the ancient
Mexicans were only acquainted with the sirop
of i honey, that of the metl (agave) and the
sugar of maize cane. The sugar-cane, culti-
vated from the remotest antiquity in the East
Indies, in Chinai, and in the South Sea Islands,
was imported by the Spaniards, from the Ca-
nary lslands into the Island of St. Domingo,
from whence it was successively introduced into
the -Isl-and of Cuba and. New Spain. Peter
D’Atienza planted the first sugar-canes about
the year 1520§ in the environs of the town of
Conception C de la Vega. Gonzalo de Velosa
constructed the first cylinders; and in 1535,
more than 30 sugar works were already esta-
blished in the island of St. Domingo, of which
many were served by a hundred Negro slaves,

\* 13,7-93,750 lb. avoird. T111/ns. ’

1' 3l2;525.l. sterling. Trans.

1 I am even tempted to believe that the process used by us in the making ~of sugar, has ‘been brought from Oriental Asia. I recognized at Lima, in Chinese paintings representing the arts and trades, cylinders placed horizontally, and put in motion by :a m‘ill_, cauldrons and purifying apparatus such as are now to be seen in the West Indies.

§_Not‘ in 1506, as is generally said.—Oviedo, who came to America, in ~13, says exparessly, that he saw the first sugar works, é§'tab'lished at S't."Domingo. (Hzstoria natural de Indias, lib. iv. c. 8.) . _

B Q

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4 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [BOOK xv.

and cost from 1'0 to 12 thousand ducats in
expense of erection. It is remarkable enough
that among the first "sugar mills tra-
piches) constructed by the Spaniards in". the
beginning of the 16th century, some of them
were already put in motion not by horses, but by
hydraulical wheels, although these same water
mills (trapiches) or molinos de agua, have been
introduced in our days into the Island of Cuba,
as a foreign invention, by refugees from Cape
Francois.

In 1553 the abundance‘ of sugar was already
so great in Mexico, that it was exported from
Vera Cruz and Acapulco into Spain and Peru.‘
This last exportation has long ceased, as Peru
produces now more sugar than is necessary

* “ Besides gold and silver, Mexico fumishes also much lugar and cochineal, two very precious commodities, feathers and cott0n.—-Few Spanish vessels return without a cargo, which is not the case in Peru, that has however falsely the reputation of being richer than Mexico. This last country has also preserved a much greater number of its inhabitants. '—It is a very fine and very populous country, to which nothing is wanting but more frequent rains.—New Spain exports to Peru, horses, beef, and sugar."--This remarkable passage of Lopez de Gornara, who describes so well the state of the Spanish Colonies towards" the middle of the 16th

nl t b found in the edition d l

century, is o y 0 e e~ (W published at Medina. del Campo, 1553, 0 . . '

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for its own consumption. As the population of
New Spain is concentrated in the interior of
the country, we find fewer sugar works along
the coast, where the great heats and abundant
rains are favourable to the cultivation of the
sugar, than on the ascent of the Cordilleras, and
in the more elevated paits of the central table
land. The principal plantations are in the in-
tendancy of Vera Cruz, near the towns of Ori-
zaba and Cordova; in the intendancy of Puebla,
near Guautla de las Amilpas, at the foot of
the Volcan de Popocatepetl ; in the intendancy
of Mexico, to the westward of the Nevado de

Toluca, and to the south of Cuernavacca, in the
plains of San Gabriel; in the intendancy of
Guanaxuato, near Celaya, Salvatierra, and Pen-
jamo, and in the valley of Santiago; in the
intendancies of Valladolid and Guadalaxara, to
the south-west of Pazcuaro and Tecolotlan.
Although the mean temperature most suitable
to the sugar-cane is Q49 or 25° of the centigrade
thermometer "", this plant may however be suc-

cessfully cultivated in places where the mean"
annual heat does not exceed 1?’ or agflt Now
the decrease of the caloric e1ng' nearly a de-
gree of the centigrade thermometer for every
200 metresi of elevation, we find in general,

* From 75° to 77° of Fahrenheit. Trans.

1" From 66° to 6%“ of Trans.

I 200 metres = 0 ngisi eet. Tram.

B 8

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6 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [BOOK xv.

under the tropics, on the rapid declivity of mountains, this mean temperature ofQ0° at 1000 metres of elevation‘ above the level of the ocean. On table land of a great extent, the heat is increased to such a degree by the reverberation of the earth, that the mean temperature of the city of Mexico is 17° instead of 18'. 71'; that of Quito, is 15°. 8 instead of 11'. 5.i The result of these data is, that, on the central table land of Mexico, the maximum of heat at which the sugar-cane vegetates vigorously without suffering from frost in winter, is not 1000 but from M00 to 1500 metres.§ In favourable exposures, especially in valleys sheltered by mountains from the north winds, the highest limit of sugar cultivation reaches as high as 2000 metres. In fact, if the height of the plains of San Gabriel, which contain many fine sugar plantations, is only 980 metres; on the other hand the environs of Celaya, Salvatierra, Irapuato and Santiago, are beyond 1800 metres of absolute elevation. I have been assured that the sugar-cane plantations of Rio Verde, situated to the north of Guanaxuato under 22° 30’ of latitude, are at an elevation of 2200 metres H, in a narrow valley surrounded by high Cordil

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leras, and so warm that its inhabitants fre-
quently suffer from intermittent fevers. I dis-
covered, on examining the testament of Cortez"‘,
that in the time of this great man there were
sugar works near Cuyoacan in the valley of
Mexico. This curious fact proves what t is
indicated by several other phenomena, that
this valley is colder in our days than it was at
the commencement of the conquest, because a
great number of trees then diminished the
ei‘I'ect of the north winds which now blow with
impetuosity. Those accustomed to ‘see sugar-
cane plantations in the West India Islands,
will learn with the same astonishment, that in
the kingdom of New Granada the greatest
quantity of sugar is not yielded in the plains, on
the banks of the river de la Madalena, but on
the ascent of the Cordilleras, in the valley of
G-uaduas», on the road from Honda to Santa Fe,
in a district, which, according -to my barome-
trical measurement, is from IQOO to 1700 metres?
above the level ofthe sea.

* “I order an examination to be made whether in my estados - lands have been taken from the hatives to be planted with vines; I wish also an examination to be made as to the ground given by me in these last years to my domestic Bernardino del Castillo for the establishment of a sugar plantation near Cuyoacan." (Manuscript Testament of

Hernan Cortez, executed at Seville, the 18th August, I548
art. 4

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