Слике страница

their neighbors, the inhabitants of the city and district of Corrientes, are the offspring of the intermarriage of their forefathers with the Indian women,

, and, in consequence, speak Guarany; and it is only those who receive an education, or the men of the city Curruguaty, who understand Spanish.” At Assumption, there is also a proportion, not small, who are of Portuguese descent. This mixed race, like the Paulistas, have shewn themselves greater oppressors of the uncivilized Indians, than the Europeans.* The cities of Cordova, Tucuman, Salta, Mendoza, Santa

* May not the revolutionary decrees of Buenos Ayres, giving equal rights and liberty to the poor Indian, as well as to the Spaniard, have produced an unfavorable effect with the wealthy and influential inhabitants of Paraguay? Indian slavery has been abolished in that province, I believe; but there is still Indian sercitude! The difference in the language of this province from the others, may, also, be a reason for their not joining with them. Mr. Bland, in his Report, page 42, labors under the common error, when he speaks of “the Paraguay agriculturist, with his smattering of letters and his Jesuit habits.” The Jesuits had no influence in Paraguay, on the contrary, the influential clergy, the Franciscans and Dominicans, were their deadly enemies; and had the Spaniards on their side. The bishop Cardenas, succeeded in procuring their expulsion, and it required the greatest exertions on the part of the civil authorities, to protect them. The Jesuits were extremely unpopular, excepting among their Indian converts in one corner of the province, separated by deserts from the Spanish inhabitants, with whom they wished to avoid all intercourse. I refer the reader to the 2d vol. Southey's Brazil, Azara, and Wilcock's Buenos Ayres. What I have said of the Jesuits, proceeds from no partiality to their society, but from a desire to give every one his due. The Jesuits could not have acted otherwise, in the circumstances in which they were placed. Whether they would have pursued a different course if it had been in their power, is another question.


Fee, and some others, have a population similar tó
that of Buenos Ayres.

The uncivilized Indians are not taken into the es

timate. Several subordinate districts of the union, I x was informed by the gentleman' from whom I procured

my estimate, were not included, from his being unable
to obtain information on which he could rely. The
statement agrees tolerably well with that given by
Mr. Graham.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The provinces of upper Peru, or the audiencia of Los Charcas, it will be recollected, is the sixth natural division of the territory of the viceroyalty of La Plata. What a train of thought is inspired by the name of Peru! The seats of civilization in the new world-an innocent and industrious people, living






Argentine republic, I have just described, and the once mighty, but now decaying strength of Spain, are contending! Can the civilized world remain indifferent spectators of the issue? I propose, in this chapter, to take a rapid survey of these important provinces.

In order to convey a more clear idea of their situation, it is necessary to bestow some remarks on the disposition or arrangement of the two principal ranges of mountains. The two great ridges which run along almost the whole longitude of South America, and very nearly in parallel lines, give a character to the country which lies between them, scarcely resembling any other in the world. The spowy summits of these parallel ranges of mountains, from the seventeenth to the twenty-fourth degrees, south, (that is, from the Disaguadero to Jujuy,) are, generally, distant from each other about one hundred and fifty miles; the ground between them is greatly elevated above the level of the sea, and above the tract which lies between the base of the western ridge, and the Pacific; hence, it is called alto Peru, (high Peru,) to distinguish it from lower Peru, or the provinces whose elevation above the level of the sea, is not so great. The general elevation of this zone, or tract, between the snowy Andes, is, at least, twice as great as the highest summits of our Alleghanies; but varies considerably, as the mountains within have a more gradual slope than on the eastern side, where they rise like a vast wall, to be descried from

-"Many a league at sea.” The description of a celebrated French philosopher*

- * Buguer, figure de la terre, p. 31.

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »