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piastres*, and in the second to 85,434,849 piastrest, which on an annual average of gold and silver is
The produce of gold has diminished, while that of silver has increased. In 1790, the produce of the mines of Perul amounted to 534,000 marcs of silver and 6,380 marcs of gold. Between 1797 and 1801 there was coined at Lima gold and silver to the amount of 26,032,653 piastres. The following table points out the produce of the mines year after year**
* $14,478,349 Sterling. Trans.
|| Mercurio peruano. Vol. i. p. 59.. . q £5,466,000 Sterling. Trans
** Razon de lo que se ha acuñado en la real casa de moneda de Lima. (MS.) . .
Coinage of the Mint at Lima.
Value of Value of s Value of 7 Years. | gold in silver in gold and silver
piastres. piastres. 1 in piastres..
1797 1798 1799 1800 1801
583,724 4,516,206 • 5,099,930 535,810 4,758,094 5,293,904
496,486 5,512,345 1,6,008,831 | 378,596| 4,399,409 - 4,778,005
328,051 4,523,932 - 4,851,983
In the five preceding years the produce amounted to 30 millions; so that we may consider six millions of piastrés as the mean, term for one year, the produce of gold and silver having declined in 1800 and 1801 on account of the maritime war which impeded the importation of mercury as well as iron and steel from Europe. We shall adopt however a smaller sum, viz. 3,450 marcs of gold, and 570,000 marcs of silver, the value of which amounts altogether to 5,300,000 piastres*. . ..,
The places in Peru most celebrated for their metallic wealth, or the magnitude of the works are in following the chain of the Andes from north to south: in the province of Caxamarca, the Cerro de Gualgayoc, near Micuipampa, Fuentestiana, and Pilancones; in the province
of Chachapoyas, S. Thomas, Las Playas de Balzas, and the Pampas del Sacramento, between the Rio Guallaga and l’Ucajale; in the Province of Guamachuco, the town of Guamachuco (with the Reales de San Francisco, d’Angasmarca, and de la Mina Hedionda), Sogon, Sanagoran, San Jose, and San tiago de Chucu ; in the province of Pataz, the town of Partaz, Vuldivuyo, Tayabamba, Soledad, and Chilia; in the province of Conchucos, the town of Conchucos, Siguas, Tambillo, Pomapamba, Chacas, Guari, Chavin, Guanta, and Ruriquinchay; in the province of Huamalies, Guallanca ; in the province of Caxatambo, Chanca, and the town of Caxatambo; in the province of Tarma, the Cerro de Yauricocha (two leagues to the north of Pasco) Chaupimarca, Arenillapata, Santa Cathalina, Caya grande, Yanacanche, Santa Rosa, and the Cerro de Colquisirca ; in the province of Huarochiri*, Conchapata ; in the province of Huancavelica, San Juan de Lucanas; and lastly in the confines of the desert of Atacama, Huantajaya. .
I have followed in this long enumeration the old division of Peru into provinces ; but since
* The mountains of Huarochiri and Canta contain excellent coal; but on account of the high price of cara riage, they cannot be used at Lima. Cobalt and Antimony have also been discovered at Huarochiri.
the frontier of the kingdom of Buenos-Ayres has been made to pass to the west of the lake of Chucuito, between the lake and the city of Cuzco, and since on the one hand the kingdom of Quito and the provinces of Jaen de Bracamoros and Maynas, and on the other the governments of Paz, Oruro, Plata, and Potosi have been separated from Peru, this last kingdom is divided into seven intendancies, Truxillo, Tarma, Huancavelica, Lima, Guamanga, Arequissa, and Cuzco, of which each comprehends several departments or partidos*. We can only arrive at false results when, as has been done in works of the greatest estimation, we compare the produce of the mines of old Peru, with that of the present Peru, which since the year 1778, includes within its limits neither the Cerro del Potosi nor the mines of Oruro and Paz. The Peruvian gold partly comes from the provinces of Patazt and Huailas, where it
* The old provinces of Pataz, Guamachuco, and Chachapoyas are now considered as partidos of the intendancy of Truxillo ; and those of Caxatambo, Huailas, Conchucos, and Huamalies, belong to the intendancy of Tarma. The capitals of the seven intendancies are: Lima with 52,600 inhabitants ; Guamanga with 26,000; Arequipa with 24,000; Truxillo with 5800; Huancavelica with 5200 ; Tarma with 5600; and Cuzco with 32,000. (Guia politica, ecclesiastica y militar del Vireynato del Peru, para el año 1793, por Don Jose Hipolito Unanue).
† Among the five districts of mines of the partido of
is extracted from veins of quartz which traverse primitive rocks, and partly from Lavaderos established on the banks of the Alto Marañon, in the partido of Chachapoyas.
As in Mexico, almost the whole produce is derived from the mines of Guanaxuato, Catorce, Zacatecas, Real del Monte, and New Biscay, so in Peru nearly the whole silver is extracted from the great mines of Yauricocha or Lauri. cocha (commonly called mines of Pasco and the Cerro de Bombon*) and those of Gualgayoc or Chota, and Huantajaya (pronounced Guanta-ha-ya). :
The mines of Pasco, which are the worst wrought in all Spanish America, were discovered by Huari Capca an Indian in 1630 ; and they annually furnish nearly two millions of piastres. To form a just idea of the enormous mass of silver which nature has deposited in the bowels of these calcareous mountains, at an elevation of more than four thousand metres (13 thousand feet) above the level of the ocean,
Pataz which we named above, only that of Chilia furnishes silver.
* The high table land of the Cordilleras on which we find the small lake de los Reyes, to the south of the Cerro de Yauricocha, is called the Pamba de Bombon. We must not seek the position of Pasco on the map of La Cruz, but on the map of the Rio Huallaga, drawn up by Father Sobreviela, and published in 1791 by the Sociedad de los Amantes del pais de Lima.