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CRAP. 11.] KINGDOM OF NEW SPAIN. 3
grammes , w 1 is equal to seven millions and 5'" "b‘f‘¥l‘ancs.
\* 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.) . _
4 POLITICAL ESSAY ON THE [BOOK xv.
and cost from 1'0 to 12 thousand ducats in
In 1553 the abundance‘ of sugar was already
* “ 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 . . '
for its own consumption. As the population of
Toluca, and to the south of Cuernavacca, in the
cessfully cultivated in places where the mean"
* From 75° to 77° of Fahrenheit. Trans.
1" From 66° to 6%“ of Trans.
I 200 metres = 0 ngisi eet. Tram.
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
leras, and so warm that its inhabitants fre-
* “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