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ANALYSIS } ^* Intendancy of San Luis PotosL
Saltillo, Charcas, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro, to the capital of New Spain. Two months and a half are required to travel over this vast extent of country, in which, from the left bank of the Rio grande del Norte to Natchitoches we continually sleep sub dio.
The most remarkable places of the intendancy of San Luis are:
San Luis Potosi, the residence of the intendant, situated on the eastern declivity of the table-land of Anahuac, to the west of the sources of the Rio de Panuca. The habitual population of this town is 12,000.
Nuevo Santander, capital of the province of the same name, does not admit the entry of vessels drawing more than from eight to ten palmas* of water. The village of Sot to la Marina, to the east of Santander, might become of great consequence to the trade of this coast could the port be remedied. At present the province of Santander is so desert, that fertile districts of ten or twelve square leagues were sold there in 1802 for ten or twelve francs.
Charcas, or Santa Maria de las Charcas, a ANALYSIS. } X* Intendancy of San Luis Potosi.
* From 5^ to 6.878 fe€t. Trans.
very considerable small town, the seat of a diputacion de Minas.
Catorce,or la PurissimaConcepcionde Alamos de Catorce, one of the richest mines of New Spain. The Real de Catorce, however, has only been in existence since 1773, when Don Sebastian Coronado and Don Bernabe Antonio de Zepeda discovered these celebrated seams, which yield annually the value of more than from 18 to 20 millions of francs #.
Monterey, the seat of a bishop, in the small kingdom of Leon.
Linares, in the same kingdom, between the Rio Tigre and the great Rio Bravo del Norte.
Monclova, a military post (presidio), capital of the province of Cohahuila, and residence of a governor.
San Antonio de Bejar, capital of the province of Texas, between the Rio de los Nogales and the Rio de San Antonio.
* From 730,4602. to 833,500^. sterling. Trant.
This intendancy,better known under the name of New Biscay, belongs, as well as Sonora and Nuevo Mexico (which remain to be described), to the Provincias interims Occidentales. It occupies a greater extent of ground than the three' united kingdoms of Great Britain; and yet its total population scarcely exceeds that of the two towns of Birmingham and Manchester united. Its length from south to north, from the celebrated mines of Guarisamey to the mountains of Carcay, situated to the north-west of the Presidio de Yanos, is 232 leagues. Its breadth is very unequal, and near Parral is scarcely 58 leagues.
The province of Durango, or Nueva Biscaya, is bounded on the south by la Nueva Gah'cia, that is to. say, by the two intendaricies of Zacatecas and Guadalaxara; on the south-east by a small part of the intendancy of San Luis Potosi; and on the west by the intendancy of Sonora. But towards the north, and especially the east, for more than 200 leagues, it is bounded by an uncultivated country, inhabited by warlike and STANAL?SISL} XI, Intendancy of Durango.
independent Indians. The Acoclames, the Cocoyames, and the Apaches Mescaleros and Fardones possess the Bolson de Mapimi, the mountains of Chanate and the Organos on the left bank of the Rio Grande del Norte. The Apaches Mimbrenos are farther to the west, in the wild ravines of the Sierra de Acha. The Cumanches and the numerous tribes of Chichimecs, comprehended by the Spaniards under the vague name of Mecos, disturb the inhabitants of New Biscay, and force them to travel always well armed or in great bodies. The military posts (presidios) with which the vast frontiers of the provincias internas are provided, are too distant from one another to prevent the incursions of these savages, who, like the Bedouins of the desert, are well acquainted with all the stratagems of petty warfare. The Cumanches Indians, mortal enemies of the Apaches, of whom several hordes live at peace with the Spanish colonists, are the most formidable to the inhabitants of New Biscay and New Mexico. Like the Patagonians of the Straits of Magellan, they have learned to tame the horses which run wild in these regions since the arrival of the Europeans. I have been assured by well-informed travellers, that more agile and smart horsemen do not exist than the Cumanches Indians, and that for centuries they have been
"analysis?-} XL I^ndancy of Durango.
scouring these plains, which are intersected by mountains that enable them to lie in ambuscade to surprise passengers. The Cumanches, like almost all the savages wandering among savannas, are ignorant of their primitive country. They have tents of buffalo hides, with which they do not load their horses, but great dogs, which accompany the wandering tribe. This circumstance, already taken notice of in the manuscript journal of the journey of Bishop Tamaron *, is very remarkable, and brings to mind analogous habits among the tribes of northern Asia. The Cumanches are so much the more to be dreaded by the Spaniards, as they kill all the adult prisoners, and merely preserve children, whom they carefully bring up to make slaves of.
The number of warlike and savage Indians (Indios bravos) who infest the frontiers of New Biscay has been somewhat on the decline since the end of the last century, and they make fewer attempts to penetrate into the interior of the inhabited country for the sake of pillaging and destroying the Spanish villages. However, their hatred to the whites is constantly the same, and the consequence of a war of extermination entered upon from a barbarous policy, and con
* Diario de la visita diocesana del Illustrissimo Senor Tamaron, obispo de Durango hecha en 1759 y 176o.-(MS.)