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it is sufficient to state, that in its present condition it requires annually, For workmen of various sorts employed in the mine, $680,000 For powder, tallow, wood, copper, steel, and other requisite supplies, - - - 900,000
$1,580,000 The consumption of powder amounts to $80,000 a year, and that of steel for instruments of mining to $30,000. The number of laborers in the interior of the mine is 1800; and adding 1300 men, women, and children, who are employed in labors directly connected with the mine, the number amounts to 3100. The direction of the mine is entrusted to an administrator, who has $12,000 salary a year, and through whose hands $1,200,000 pass. This administrator, who is under no check whatever, has below him one miner, three sub-miners, and nine master-miners. These officers visit the works daily, carried by men, who have a sort of saddle attached to the back, and are called little horses, cavallitos.’ Such is the most productive of the American mines. M. de Humboldt's chapter contains a number of very curious and instructive researches on every point of interest connected with them, particularly on the whole amount of the precious metals, which have passed from America to Europe and the east, since 1492 up to 1803, and which he estimates from the best data at 5445 millions of dollars. We will only add a fact, perhaps not generally known, that of all the mines in America, the government possesses but one, that of Huancavelica in Peru, which has been long abandoned, and which formerly yielded a large quantity of mercury. The mines are all the property of individuals, who receive from government the concession, as it is called, of a certain extent on a vein or stratum, on the condition of paying a percentage on the produce of the mine. This percentage amounts on an average to 113 per cent. on the silver, and 3 per cent. on the gold. Had the boundary of the United States been established to be the Rio bravo del Norte, as it was claimed to be till the late Florida treaty, our territory would have been brought within a short distance of the capital of Mexico, and would have included some of the richest silver mines, in the government of San Luis Potosi. We cannot forbear to make an extract from M. de Humboldt's work, for the sake of showing the progress of refinement in the capital of Mexico. We quote from the translation of Mr Black, the value of which is diminished by the ineffectual attempts of its author to illustrate, confirm, and correct M. de Humboldt's statements, in his own notes.*
* No city of the new continent, without even excepting those of the United States of America, can display such great and solid scientific establishments as the capital of Mexico. I shall content myself here with naming the school of mines, directed by the learned Elhuyar, the botanic garden, and the academy of painting and sculpture. This academy bears the title of Jlcademia de los nobles artes de Mexico. It owes its existence to the patriotism of several Mexican individuals, and to the protection of the minister Galvez. The government assigned it a spacious building, in which there is a much finer and more complete collection of casts, than is to be found in any part of Germany. We are astonished on seeing that the Apollo Belvedere, the group of the Laocoonand still more colessal statues have been conveyed through mountainous roads at least as narrow as those of St Gothard; and we are surprised to find these masterpieces of antiquity collected together under the torrid zone, in table land, higlier than the convent of the great St Bernard. The collection of casts brought to Mexico cost the king 840,000. The revenues of the academy of fine arts at Mexico amount to 825,000 a year, toward which the government gives 812,000, the body of the Mexican miners near 85,000, the consulado, or body of merchants in the capital, more than 83000 a year. It is impossible not to perceive the influence of this establishment on the tastes of the nation. This influence is particularly visible in the symmetry of the buildings, in the perfection with which the hewing of stone is conducted, and in the ornaments of the capitals and stucco relievos. What a number of beautiful edifices are to be seen at Mexico, nay even in the provincial towns like Guanaxuato and Queretaro! 1 hese monuments, which frequently cost a million or half a million francs, would appear to advantage in the finest streets of Paris, Berlin, and St Petersburg. M. Tolsa, professor of sculpture at Mexico, was even able to cast an equestrian statue of Charles IV, a work which, with the exception of the Marcus Aurelius at Rome, surpasses in beauty and purity of style every thing which remains in this way in Europe. Instruction is communicated gratis at the academy of fine arts. It is not confined alone to the drawing of landscapes and figures; they have had the good sense to employ other means for the excitement of national industry. The academy labors successfully to introduce among the artisans a taste for elegance and beautiful forms. Large rooms, well lighted by Argand lamps, contain every evening some hundreds of young people, of whom some draw from relievo or living models, while others copy drawings of furniture, chandeliers, or other ornaments in bronze. In this assemblage (and this is very remarkable in the midst of a country, where the prejudices of the nobility against the casts are so inveterate) rank, color, and race are confounded; we see the Indian and the JMestizo sitting beside the white, and the son of a poor artisan, in emulation with the children of the great lords of the country.”
* M. de Humboldt having had occasion to make use of the distinction of the race of Caucasus, so familiar to the continental physiologists of the present day, his translator appends the following judicious note to the expression, ' Who are individuals of the race of Caucasus? The Europeans. So at least we learn from the context, where they are opposed to the Mexican Indians. This involves the theory of the mountains of Asia being the nursery of the old continent. Every one, however, will not so easily be able to understand Europeans, by this denomination. Such attempts to elevate the style, at the expense of perspicuity, can never enough be reprobated!' It is with some reason, therefore, that the translator has observed, ' that he does Mt suppose his notes to be of any great importance.'
Many other facts produced by M. de Humboldt, prove the progress which has been made in Mexico in those refinements thought peculiar to old countries; but we must haste to close this sketch, with one or two additional statistical statements. We have already stated the annual produce of the mines, before the confused state of things now existing, at $23,000,000 annually. The disorder of the government, and the difficulties attending the importation of mercury for the amalgamation process, have reduced this to $4,000,000 or $5,000,000. Of the amount in value of other natural productions, we have but partial information. M. de Humboldt gives the annual amount of the Mexican sugar at $1,300,000. The amount of all sorts of manufactures is estimated by him at seven or eight millions of dollars. The importations of articles of foreign growth or manufacture, amounted, in 1804, to $20,000,000; and the exportation, exclusive of the produce of the mines, to $6,000,000. The gross revenue amounted to $20,000,000, of which 5,000,000 were from the gold and silver mines, 4,000,000 from the monopoly of tobacco, 3,000,000 impost, 1,300,000 capitation tax of indians, and 800,000 excise on the fermented juice of the agave.
We shall close this article, by a brief narrative of the late revolution in Mexico, taken principally from the letter of Mr Wilcocks to the Secretary .PState, which is published among the documents accompanying the president's message. This gentleman was well qualified by a long residence in the country, and an intimate acquaintance with it acquired by visiting various parts of it and conversing intimately with all classes of people, to give an intelligible and authentic history of this important event.
The Mexican viceroyalty was at the height of its prosperity at the time of the breaking out of the revolution in 1810. The population, now, it is said, reduced to four millionsj then amounted to six. The royal revenue exceeded twenty millions of dollars, and the money coined annually at the mint, was, according to Mr Wilcocks, upwards of twenty eight millions. The revenue is now reduced to half what it was, and the money coined yearly to from five to eight millions, and the present year will not exceed four. Such were the consequences of a bloody and devastating war, which was carried on between the Americans and Spaniards. Among the most active officers, who supported the royal cause, was Don Augustin Iturbide, then a colonel of the regiment of Celaya, a native of Valladolid, in the province of Mechoacan, but born of European parents. The contest was maintained for four or five years with great animation, and an exterminating spirit on both sides, until the capture and death of Morelos, the republican leader, in the latter part of the year 1815. From that time the royal cause obtained an entire ascendency. The people, however, were not subdued. Many leaders kept the field at the head of small bodies of men, from three hundred to a thousand strong, and the whole country was infested with bands of robbers. This state of things continued until the arrival of the viceroy Apodaca, in September 1816.
'To this disinterested, good, and virtuous man,' says Mr Wilcocks, ' is due the pacification of the kingdom; his penetration, skill, and humanity having suggested to him the propriety of laying aside the arms that had hitherto been in use, and of winning the affections of the people by means of persuasion, pardons, and premiums, who without general officers, money, or any immediate expectation of establishing the liberty of their country, and weary of the wandering and wretched life they had so long endured, embraced readily the opportunity that presented of returning to the bosom of their families. No sooner was the plan adopted, than its wisdom became palpable. Entire towns and districts yielded to the solicitations of the agents appointed by the government for carrying it into execution, so that at the end of two years, all wjs tranquillity, and you could travel in every dirge' tion without escort of arms, except that of Acapulco, between which, and this city, [Mexico] the chieftains Guerrero, Asenio, and a colonel Bradburn of Virginia, that came with general Mina with about fifteen hundred men, had taken refuge and fortified an almost inaccessible mountain, from whence they made predatory excursions.”
For the purpose of reducing this party of insurgents, Iturbide was appointed to the command of the department of the south, and placed at the head of three thousand veteran troops, whose head quarters were at Yguala. This took place a few months after news had been received in Mexico of the revolution in Spain, by which the constitution was restored. This event created great alarm among the clergy and some other classes of people, who apprehended from it the destruction of their forms of religion. The constitution was not cordially acknowledged by the viceroy, and the reluctance, with which he submitted to it, disaffected many of his friends, and emboldened the Americans to renew their demand for independence. Iturbide had the penetration and the boldness to seize upon this crisis for securing the independence of the country, by a scheme that should unite in support of it the zealous defenders of the Catholic religion, the adherents of royalty, and the friends of liberty. He concerted his measures with the clergy, and secured their cooperation by assurance of of protection to their privileges and immunities. He secured also the cooperation of several of the governors of provinces, and on his arrival at Yguala, persuaded a great part of the troops under his command to join him in the undertaking, in the belief that the members of the government who were known to be opposed to the constitution, secretly favored it. He then communicated his design to Guerrero, Asenio, and Bradburn, who pledged themselves to support him.
Thus prepared, he made a public declaration of the independence of the kingdom, and swore it in a solemn manner at the head of his army at Yguala, Feb. 24, 1821, and at the same time, he seized and appropriated ‘to the use of the nation a convoy of about a million of dollars, which fortunately for him, was proceeding to Acapulco, to be embarked on board a ship bound to Manilla. He published at the same time what is called the Plan of Yguala, consisting of twenty four articles, announced as the basis of the constitution to be established by the Cortes, when it should be assembled. The leading