Sivut kuvina

Statement showing the exports from Vera Cruz to the United States, fo.-Continued.

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MERIDA, November 6, 1877. (Received November 23.) Report upon the physical geography, resources, and agriculture of Yucatan.


The peninsula of Yucatan is a vast tract of level land, which only commences to rise in mountain ranges in the extreme southern part of the State. These ranges obtain a height of 300 feet above the level of the sea, and constitute the base whence the large chains of Central American mountains commence to rise, and continue as far as the cele. brated ridges of the Andes.

The State of Yucatan is situated between latitude 180 and 21° north and longitute 800 21' and 85° 25' west of Cadiz. It is bounded south by the Republic of Guatemala and the Mexican States of Chiapas and Tabasco, east by the Great Antilles and Gulf of Honduras, and west and north by the Gulf of Mexico.

Owing to the slight elevation it has over the torrid zone it necessarily renders the climate somewhat warm. Notwithstanding this circumstance, it is healthy and free from all malignant or malarious diseases.

Though Yucatan is apparently one of the most barren States in Mex. ico, by judging from its seaboard, it is, nevertheless, one of the most fertile in reality. After leaving the coast, and going due south, the land commences to rise gently and form mountainous ranges, as aforesaid, which are covered with a stratum of rich vegetable soil, which is capable of producing all the varied productions common tó tropical climates, such as sugar, coffee, tobacco, rice, &c., and a numberless variety of delicious fruits.

The State of Yucatan incloses within its limits all the natural resources, which tend to secure for its inhabitants an unlimited field for the production of all the bounties which a kind Providence has placed within their reach ; but these can only be effectively developed and utilized by industry and good government, whereby the natives would reap the benefits of plentiful harvests and the inestimable boons of peace and prosperity.


Present productions. This important branch of industry still remains in a very unfavorable condition, although the State possesses an abun. dance of good lands to supply all the wants of the population. However, owing to the apathy and indolence of the natives, agriculture is limited to the production of a few of the most necessary staples, such as corn, beans, rice, and small quantities of inferior sugar.

In the southern part of the State the soil is extremely fertile, and would produce very satisfactory results under the management of competent and experienced persons, who would be amply repaid for any outlay they might make. But there is not much probability that any new movement will soon be initiated in this matter, as the natives appear to be satisfied with what they now produce, and, according to their mode of thinking, they cannot afford to lose their time in looking after details, when all their leisure is absorbed in the continual agitations which constantly distract the State. It is, therefore, evident that, unless the natives greatly improve on the present agricultural system, it must unavoidably remain in a very backward condition.


It may be reasonably said that hemp is the main and only product which Yucatan now produces. Although there are a few sugar plantations and other enterprises of minor importance, still they are of such trifling consequence in comparison with the cast area now covered with hemp beds that they dwindle into insignificance when compared with hemp.

This fiber, which was almost unknown a few years ago, has steadily been increasing in quantity and price until it has now become a prime ne. cessity in numerous foreign markets, where it is daily gaining acceptance as a fiber which satisfactorily competes with other fibers which bad up to the present controlled the markets where they had been introduced.

Although the present crisis has greatly interfered with the plans of the hemp.growers, still the capacity of production is now such that with due care and proper management they can successfully face the consequences of a long stagnation without being compelled to sacrifice their interests in such a manner as to seriously cripple their resources.

The principal market for hemp is the United States. Large quantities of this fiber are constantly shipped. The yearly increase in production and consumption indicates that it will eventually create a revolution in the hemp market, where it is bound to supersede the other fibers as soon as some of the evil influences which now interfere with its complete success have been entirely eradicated.

I herewith annex a table which will give an accurate idea of the ex. tension of the hemp industry in Yucatan, which is still in its infancy.

48 OR

Statement of hemp exported from Yucatan in its rough and manufactured state during the

year ending June 30, 1876.

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Number of hemp estates, 160; number of steam-engines for hemp estates, 229; horse-power, 1,792.


Since the year 1871 the former port of entry of this State, which was Sisal, has been abolished, in pursuance of an act of Congress, and the new port has been established at Progreso. The reasons for this transfer appear to have been owing to the fact that by so doing the port would be 16 miles nearer Merida (the capital), thereby increasing the facilities for the merchants in delivering and receiving their goods to and from Progreso in one day, instead of two or three as formerly employed in accomplishing the trip to Sisal, on account of greater dis. tance and the condition of the roads.

A fine edifice has been constructed for the use of the custom-house at Progreso; also several large and substantial warehouses, which belong to private individuals, for the storage of merchandise which remains at Progreso in transit.

The port is 24 miles from Merida. The means of access to and from the latter place is part of the way by and remainder by rail. It is hoped that the railroad will soon reach the port, and that the old system of coaches will be completely abandoned.

As the port is an open roadstead, vessels are exposed to the severity of the storms which prevail along the coast during the equinoctial gales and winter season; and, as they can find no sbelter in a storm, they are compelled to anchór from three to four miles off shore in order to secure ample sea-room in case they are obliged to go to sea in a gale, and anchor in a suficient depth of water, as the beach runs very shallow for some distance out at sea.

If the improvements which are under consideration by the govern. ment to remedy some of the obstructions wbich now exist are carried out in good faith, they will be of material benefit to coinmerce, and will greatly improve the appearance of the port.


The steamship service of this port (Progreso) is carried on by the American and Mexican Mail Steamship Company, which calls every ten days from and to New York and New Orleans after stopping at the other intermediate ports along the Gulf, at which they are compelled to stop according to agreement made with the Mexican Government, which subsidizes the said company for the above purpose. Two English lines of steamers also call at Progreso every 25 days.

The coasting trade is accomplished by a number of small crafts, wbich are constantly arriving and departing with merchandise and sengers, thereby increasing the facilities of reaching any point along the Gulf at which the steamers do not stop.

The shipping interests of the port of Progreso are insignificant, the same only consisting of a few lighters, which are altogether employed in lightering the cargoes of vessels.


The number of persons who have presented themselves at this consulate, and who claim to be American citizens, is twenty-two. They are engaged in the following pursuits of life: Merchants, agriculturists, doctors, clerks, and mechanics. Their capital in real estate and com. mercial goods probably amounts to $400,000.

Owing to the prejudices entertained by the natives of this State against all foreigners, it has been impossible for immigration to flow in this direction, notwithstanding the fact that the uatives admit it would be their social salvation and of vital importance to the interests of this State. Still, they do not refrain from throwing all the obstacles they can in the way of all foreigners who come here. It is no doubt owing to tbis circumstance that so few Americans have immigrated to this State.


Four are published in the State of Yucatan. The Razon del Pueblo, which is the State official organ, appears twice a week; the Revista de Merida is exclusively dedicated to commercial interests, and is edited three times a week. The other two, the Mensajero and Pensamiento, are small weekly sheets which have no special mission, but principally treat religious, literary, and a variety of miscellaneous topics.

The foregoing publications are all published at Merida, and are sold at the price of 8 cents each, if subscribed to, or 12 cents by single numbers.


Tonnage-dues for sail vessels, (Mexican tonnage), $1; tonnage-dues for steamers, none; tonnage-dues for vessels with coal, uone; tonnagedues for vessels with coal and merchandise, for space occupied by merchandise (per ton), $1; vessels in ballast, none; pilot-duus per foot draught (when requested), $1.75; pilot-dues for vessels of war (wben requested), $1.75; light-house dues for sail.vessels, none; light-house dues, steamers, none; fees of the captain of the port, $7.50; captain of the port, fees for vessels of war, none.



TANGIER, May 18, 1877. (Received June 25.)

A report upon the Empire of Morocco, its resources and commerce.


The Empire of Morocco forms the northwest portion of the continent of Africa, known in ancient times by the Greeks as Africa Minor or Carthaginia, by the Romans as Tinjitana Mauritania, and by the Moors as Mogk rebel-aska.

It lies between latitude 280 and 360 north, longitude 0.380 and 11.380 west. It is bounded on the east by the Desert of Libya, on the northeast by Algeria, on the southeast by the Desert of Sabara, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the north by the Straits of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea.


Its area covers a space of over 250,000 square miles. The surface of the country is partly mountainous, covered with ramifications of the Atlas Range, comprising many a fine plain yielding in some places three crops of corn in one year; many of the fields, as in California, without manuring, multiply the seed from thirty to sixty fold, a very primitive plow being used.

Some of the rivers are of considerable extent, and all of them flow into the Atlantic. The chief of them, placed in order from north to south, are the Lucus, the Sebou, the Ummer-rebieh, the Tensift, the Mulria, the Sus, the Nun, and the Draa. None of the rivers are pavigable to much extent. Morocco presents to the coast about 840 miles, of which 565 resist the surfs of the Atlantic, while 275 are wasbed by the Mediterranean.

The cbief maritime towns are Tetuan, Tangier, Larache, Salee, Rabat, Azmour, Casablanca, Mazagan, Saffi, Mogador, and Santa Cruz.

In the absence of all official aid, it is very difficult to arrive at eren an approximate calculation of the number of inhabitants so unequally dispersed over so large an area as Morocco. The population is to a large extent nomad, but, taking everything into account, it appears to me that six millions will cover the number of inhabitants, including about three hundred thousand Jews.


Although Morocco is a country of great resources, and might take an important place among commercial nations, the policy of the Moorish Government has always been to cramp and hinder commerce as much as possible.

Morocco is a magnificent grain-growing country, and from its great fertility might be made to produce grain enough to supply nearly all

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