RECORD: Nuñez, Ignacio Benito. 1825. An account, historical, political, and statistical, of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata: with an appendix concerning the usurpation of Monte Video by the Portuguese and Brazilian governments. London: R. Ackerman.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 10.2013. RN1

NOTE: This work formed part of the Beagle library. The Beagle Library project has been generously supported by a Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant and Charles Darwin University and the Charles Darwin University Foundation, Northern Territory, Australia.

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By Ygnacio Nunez





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IN America there are now no Spaniards;—and since there are none to combat in that country, the importance of agitating that question in Europe has ceased. The sword and the pen, as offensive and defensive weapons, ought to consign it to rest, in the enjoyment of the fruits of victory. But that termination opens a new career. In America, social organization is undertaken as dependent on civilization: and in Europe, the expediency of coming more in contact with that hemisphere is beginning to be appreciated. Every thing, therefore, that tends to facilitate the means of arriving at both of these objects, is, at the present time, what ought in preference to direct the actions of all who re-

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joice in the improvement of the human species as well in America as in Europe.

Under this idea, the publication of these short historical, political, and statistical observations, concerning the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, is undertaken.

The First Part consists of a letter, which was circulated in London in manuscript, and written for the information of the British Ministry, before it decided on recognising the Independence of that Republic. The attainment of that recognition must be understood to have been the primary object of this letter, although for that purpose it arrived rather late; but it was believed that, besides this object, it might contribute to supply the want of information perceptible in the countries of Europe relative to that part of America. The letter gives a brief but perspicuous idea of the origin of the insurrection against Spain, the political constitution of the country, and its progress in the march of civilization.

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The Second Part, which commences at the period when the letter finishes, comprises the two latter subjects; giving an idea, also concise, but clear, of the state of the country, till within a few months of the publication of this volume. This part comprehends a collection of statistical particulars, and geographical notices of all the towns of the United Provinces in the three districts of Paraguay, Peru, and the Andes, including Monte Video; and a slight explanation is given, by way of conclusion, concerning the disputes with Portugal and Brazil, relative to that place. It also contains a topographical map of the city of Buenos Ayres; and another of the principal rivers which water the eastern and western territory of Rio de la Plata.

This work is published separately in Spanish and in English, and, probably, will likewise be speedily published in French. The primary object is that it may be circulated rapidly, seeing that in Europe there is a great scarcity of practical information about that territory. It is to be hoped that, from these statements, though limited, the Go-

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vernments of Europe will glean sufficient, at least, to satisfy their curiosity; the nations enough to guide their calculations with respect to that country; the friends of its independence—thanks to Mr. de Pradt!—what will tend to justify the interest they have evinced respecting that event—and Spain—Spain ere long, will grow wiser!

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A Political Review of the Causes of the Revolution in the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, of its character and progress, and of the social organization with which it has terminated 2
Representative System 24
Inviolability of Property 25
Publicity 26
Law of Amnesty 26
Toleration 27
General Reform 28
Department of Government 29
Department of War 32
Department of Foreign Affairs 36
Department of Finance 50
Conclusion 55


Document A. Law of Elections 67
—— B. Inviolability of Property 72
—— C. Decree relative to the Publication of the acts of Government. 74
—— D. Law of Amnesty 75
—— E. Negotiation with Brazil 80

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Document F. Preliminary Convention agreed upon between the Government of Buenos Ayres and the Commissioners of his Catholic Majesty. 115
Negotiation for voting in favour of Spain 20,000,000 dollars. 120
Minister Plenipotentiary to Chile, Peru, and Colombia 122
Commissioner by the way of Peru 123
Ditto ditto Paraguay 124
Ditto for the line of occupation 125
—— G. Revenue collected in the Province of Buenos Ayres in the years 1822 and 1823 127
—— H. Instructions for the conduct of the Commissioner of this Government to the other Provinces of the ancient union, Dr. Don Diego Estanislao de Zabaleta, a clergyman of the first dignity, president of the senate of the clergy 129


Political Aspect of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata in the present year 1825 139
Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation between his Britannic Majesty and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata 151
American Statistics 168
General Statistical Account of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata 169
Buenos Ayres 171
The River La Plata 174

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Instructions for sailing from the outer roads of Buenos Ayres to Monte Video, by the north and south of the Chico-bank 176
Extent and Situation of the parts of the Provinces 182
Geographical situation of Buenos Ayres, of the principal places on its frontier, and the rest of the towns in the interior 186
Observations on the Barometer, Thermometer, and Hygrometer, in Buenos Ayres during the year 1822 187
Reflections on the preceding Table, and that for 1805 which is inserted afterwards 188
Meteorological Observations in Buenos Ayres in the year 1805 203
Measures of extension of the Province of Buenos Ayres and their relation with some foreign ones 205
Measures of bulk or capacity 206
Observations on the foregoing measures 207
Explanation of the tables 208
Superficial or land measures ib.
Measures of capacity 210
Measurement for the materials of masonry, carpenter's work, and other similar objects 211
Incidents among the population in 1823 213
Produce of the country for exportation 215
Remarks on the fish and other productions of the Rio Negro, on the Patagonian coast 216
Emigration 221
Monte Video 229
The rivers Paraná and Uruguay 232
Entre Rios 246
Corrientes 247
Paraguay 251
Santa Fé 254
San Luis 255

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San Juan 257
Mendoza 259
Cordova 262
Rioja 265
Santiago del Estero 267
Tucuman 270
Catamarca 273
Salta 275
Jujuy 279
Upper Peru 280
Potosi 282
Cochabamba. 286
Charcas 290
La Paz ib.
General Observations 292


Concerning the occupation of Monte Video by the Portuguese and Brazilian Governments 303

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To Señor Don Ygnacio Nuñez,
&c. &c. &c.


Buenos Ayres, 12th May, 1824.


I ENTREAT you to bear in mind the request which I made to Señor Rivadavia, concerning a slight sketch of the origin, progress, present state, and form of government of this country; together with a summary of its revenues and military strength. It is my wish that it should comprise all those points on which it may seem desirable that my Government (for whose inspection I solicit it) should be informed. No one is better qualified for that purpose than you, Sir; and I shall feel infinitely obliged if you will take the trouble to furnish me with it, as soon as your occupations will permit. On another occa-


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sion, when the Commissioners of North America came to this city, Señor Tagle gave a similar exposition to Mr. Rodney.

I am, dear Sir,

Your obedient servant,




Woodbine Parish, Esq.
&c. &c. &c.

Buenos Ayres, 15th June, 1824.


ON the 12th May this year, you reminded me, in a confidential letter, of the request made by you to Señor Rivadavia, while he yet filled the office of Minister Secretary of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and of the Government, to be furnished with a slight sketch of the origin, progress, present state and form of government of this country, with a summary of its revenues and military strength; adding, that it would be desirable that that sketch, which you charged me to undertake, should also comprise all the points concerning which it may seem desirable that your Government, for whose inspection you solicited it, should be informed.

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Permit me, Sir, to assure you, that I considered such a request, conveyed to me, after having been made to Señor Rivadavia, as conferring on me a distinguished honour, which could not fail to flatter me in the highest degree; inasmuch as it afforded me an opportunity (of which, since your arrival in this country, I had been very desirous,) to prove to you, in a suitable manner, the anxiety with which I waited to receive your orders, and the wish which animated me to render you service.

I shall, however, be extremely sorry, if, after having manifested such good-will and sentiments of regard for you, I should not have the good fortune to please you, by duly fulfilling the objects which gave rise to this communication; but I shall, at least, have the satisfaction to know that your indulgence will attribute whatever defect may be perceptible, not to intention or negligence, but rather to the difficulties with which the subject is enveloped, and to the obstacles which my own political situation must unavoidably throw in my way.

I consider you as informed of the causes which produced the revolution in the provinces of Rio de la Plata in 1810; the period from which may be dated the independence, de facto, in which they now stand with regard to their ancient mother-country. Now, although it must be admitted, that much was done to occasion this

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revolution, as well as to strengthen it afterwards, by the dissensions in the reigning house of Spain, between father, mother, and son; by the imprisonment of them all at Valencay; by the substitution of the Napoleon dynasty; by the anarchy which Spaniards of the first consideration introduced into our States; by the acts of inconsistency and demoralization proceeding from the Junta of Seville, the Central Junta, the Regency of Spain and the Indies, and the Cortes of Cadiz, which were the chief authorities subsequent to the captivity of the King—I say, allowing that each and all of these circumstances had an undeniable influence in the separation which the provinces of Rio de la Plata effected from the ancient mother-country, and maintained in despite of her, it will, nevertheless, not be amiss here to remark, that these events cannot rationally be considered as having been the principal causes of the separation; but should only be viewed as casual circumstances, that took place before and after this revolution, which, in truth, afforded means, or contributed to what was yet wanting, to enable those States to shake off a heavy yoke, and to place themselves in the situation which had become indispensably necessary for them.

The enemies of my country have sometimes found pleasure in asserting that nothing was discernible in that revolution but an act of insubor-

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dination and rebellion, or, more properly speaking, of ingratitude; thinking, perhaps, that it would have been better, if, before we constituted ourselves guardians of our own interests, we had followed the example of our ancestors in the succession war, and awaited the fate of the mother-country, to obey that authority which should possess itself of the sovereign power. Such was the language used to these provinces by way of exhortation, on the arrival at Buenos Ayres of an envoy from Bonaparte, claiming the recognition of Joseph as King of Spanish America, but used without reflecting that the operative cause of the separation was so far from emanating substantially from the dangerous circumstances to which Spain was reduced, (which must have been the case to render the term ungrateful applicable to us,) that, in the two years preceding 1810, during which Spain experienced not a few misfortunes, in every emergency she received pecuniary subsidies from all quarters of America, and considerable donations, given without any other object than to promote her deliverance; although, on the part of the provinces of Rio de la Plata, at the risk of compromising the character of Colonies of Spain, which, at that time, they still retained.

The enemies of my country have indeed often been eminently unjust: they have not chosen to

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concede to us the capacity of understanding either how impossible it was for Spain, situated as she was, to meliorate the condition of our country, or that it was only by our own efforts that we could extricate ourselves from the ignorance and the abject state in which Spain kept us, in conformity with her principles, and her determination to hold us in subjection by force. Permit me, Sir, briefly to remind you of the declaration of the Central Junta of Spain in 1809, by which the States of America were recognised as integral parts of the monarchy, and with the same privileges as the States of the Peninsula; but, in order to show you that, so far from any amendment following this solemn declaration in regard to our government, to our revenues, or to our institutions, we remained in the same state of abandonment as formerly, and as much as ever at the mercy of men who had learned the art of oppressing and vexing the States of the nation in the school of Godoy, it will only be necessary to mention that the first Viceroy sent by the Central Junta to the Provinces of Rio de la Plata, soon after his arrival declared that he had no power to depart, even in a single instance, from the laws of the Indies. Recollect, also, the manner in which this same Viceroy expressed himself on opening a free commerce to the British nation, when he said, that nothing but the most urgent necessity could

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have induced him to adopt a measure which was so greatly discountenanced by the laws in question: and permit me, finally, to draw your attention to another decree, issued by the Regency of Cadiz in 1810, in which, without paying any regard to the dangerous state of the nation, it thought fit to declare as apocryphal a decree in favour of free commerce; assigning as a reason, that in order to make any innovation, as yet, in our favour, it would be necessary to rescind the primitive laws of the Indies; which act might be attended with serious consequences to the State.

I have quoted these occurrences to you, Sir, that you may observe, how certain it was that even Spain herself was perfectly aware that, at least, our mode of government ought to correspond with the altered state of the monarchy; but, supposing us to be, in consequence of the degradation in which she held us, incapable of appreciating the value of such things, it appeared sufficient to her merely to make use of words in order to keep us in subjection. She was, doubtless, confirmed in this idea, when her Government congratulated us, from Cadiz in 1810, on the arrival of the happy epoch in which we should behold ourselves elevated to the dignity of freedom, no more the same people, who were formerly bowed beneath a yoke, the more oppressive, the farther distant we were from the centre of

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power; and no longer holding our destinies dependent, either on Ministers, Viceroys, or Governors, but solely on ourselves. As a sequel to this pompous declaration, it issued another decree in the Isle of Leon, calling on us, in consequence thereof, to send our representatives to the Cortes, but only one Deputy for each capital, chosen by the authorities, and agreeably to the forms which it might please the Viceroys to dictate for the elections; thus augmenting the means of those Chiefs to make our destinies more completely dependent on their will. But the time had arrived, in which nothing sufficed but such acts as were calculated to withdraw us wholly from our dependence on a Government whose political principles formed such a system of restrictions, intolerance, and arbitrary power, that, if solely considered as tending to bring us into that state in which we should have incurred and deserved the stigma of incapacity, want of knowledge and characteristic manners, it evidently called for and justified a movement, tending to civilize and moralize us through our own operation. This was the only method left to be adopted by States which for some time had been habituated not to entrust the melioration of their condition to foreign hands.

Here, then, you perceive, Sir, the principal causes of that revolution which moulded the pro-

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vinces of Rio de la Plata into a State separated from Spain; depriving her of the power farther to degrade us by her laws and customs; rousing those provinces from the general debility originating in their former mal-administration, and substituting in its stead, that activity and enterprising spirit, which exist only where a useful communication and a ready interchange of ideas and interests prevail. That fact being established, I proceed to submit to your notice all the proofs which attest its authenticity; to which I am the more strongly induced, as I conceive that it will assist you to comprehend the details into which I shall enter in order to satisfy your principal desire, which is to obtain a statement of the origin, present state, and form of the government of my country.

The revolution having taken place, the groundwork was laid for the establishment of a Representative body, which might organize an efficient Government, not only capable of withstanding the obstacles by the overthrow of which the new career was to be laid open, but also to re-unite public opinion, and to inform and guide it. At the very commencement of this state of things, that which was naturally to be expected, took place. Those who considered the provinces not in the light of a State capable of following up the revolution without great perils, inasmuch as,

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at the beginning, they were surrounded by difficulties which they had not foreseen, were decidedly of opinion, that, for a long time, it would be necessary to change the persons alone, without so soon loading themselves with the responsibility of substituting a new system for that of the mother-country; but another party, who considered that, besides the revolution having been provoked by the defects in that system, it never could be justified in the eyes of the States or of the world, if its results were to be restricted to the mere act of granting employments or of removing from them, maintained that it was necessary to make a radical innovation, and to give without disguise to the new order of things the soul of liberty and independence.

Another most natural consequence ensued; showing on one hand the force of custom, and on the other the power of enthusiasm. Each party strove to gain the preponderance over the other, solely by proscribing the opposite opinion; and both obtained proselytes. But, as at bottom all were animated with the same sentiments, namely, the desire of meliorating their condition, clashing only on the roads leading to that end, or, more properly, disagreeing about the earlier or later period at which it was necessary to commence the establishment of a new social order, they capitulated on the way, spontaneously or forcibly;

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thus opening a field for the gradual introduction of those alterations which, although, as experience has proved, not so well calculated to advance the true interest of the country, served, at least among other things, to eradicate the influence of the system of the mother-country. This is the effect which has resulted from a multitude of partial regulations, and various statutes, enactments, and constitutions, which originated in the heat of the revolution, accompanied by declarations, which, if they have failed to produce other advantages, organized the opinion of a great majority on some of those general principles which may be denominated the bases of a free system, with especial reference to a country placed in the same circumstances, and having the same interests, as the Provinces of Rio de la Plata.

It is but just to confess that, notwithstanding the check given to the organization of the country, by the discordance of opinions at that early period, it would have been practicable, with some difficulty, to establish in the nation these same bases, the theory of which was universally sanctioned.

The misfortune did not so much consist in the divergence of opinions, but was principally occasioned, first, by the men who headed the revolution; that is to say, by those who were united

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at first under the conviction of the justice of the cause they were espousing, without any qualification except that, and some ideas of the French Revolution, with the records of which alone they were acquainted, having saved them with great care and hazard from the fangs of the ever-active spirit of the Inquisition: and, secondly, because the only complete notions of political economy which they possessed were such as they had acquired from a Government, the reform of which they had been unable to accomplish, although they lived so long in its vicinity; a government which beheld, as a dangerous example, perhaps a sacrilegious one, the felicity which was enjoyed by the United States, under the influence of laws humanely framed, and of concessions accorded with ability: and, thirdly, because, as poison introduced into the human frame debilitates the organic springs, corrupts the vital fluid, and eventually destroys strength and life; so thraldom, which had been the poison of some States, had corrupted and destroyed their moral energies, and plunged them into the most profound ignorance, even so far as to keep them unacquainted with their own proper dignity; of the effects of which it was a work of difficulty, although it had become necessary for them, to disencumber themselves.

Allow me to observe, that, under such cir-

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cumstances, it was difficult to introduce into the country any principle of stability; and to assure you, to my great sorrow I confess it, that these very circumstances have often disposed the men most compromised to renounce a labour, for the completion of which they believed, and with reason, that neither the courage, the constancy, nor the justice, of those who assisted them, was in any way adequate: and the more so when, in the midst of these difficulties, they were assailed by the mortifying idea of the little consideration which they deserved from the other nations of the world. I shall find occasion to recur to this last point in the course of my sketch; but, meanwhile, permit me also to assure you, that, if according to this exposition the revolution of my country does not present in the Cabinet either vast interior wealth, or the means of attracting an extensive foreign credit, this very consideration adds to the merit which she has gained by the sword, in supporting herself amidst so many sudden changes of fortune, though always exposed to continual struggles from within, and constantly compelled to oppose warfare from without. From the time that my country was obliged to put herself at the head of the emancipation of the whole Continent, inasmuch as she was threatened from every quarter of the Continent, men, money, arms, vigilance, all have been employed by

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her for that object; and it will doubtless be pleasing for you to know, that, not only without the least foreign assistance, but also without contracting at home a debt of more than four millions, (which at this date is consolidated, and a gradual sinking fund for it established,) my country, in all parts, presents herself in that natural aspect; although individual sacrifices have not been rare, as you may be able in some respect to calculate from the efforts made during fourteen years, to resist a war relentlessly waged and directed against our lives and properties.

Under this view, the state of the United Provinces cannot be regarded, in the height of the revolution, but as eminently deserving of esteem and admiration; although it is likewise certain, that frequently they withdrew the sword from the breast of the foe to point it at the hearts of their brethren. I must conceal nothing. You have imposed a task on me; and what renders it the more arduous is, precisely the necessity which it imposes on me to bring under review all the operations of my country, and to touch on recollections which afflict and degrade. But, if you carefully weigh the circumstances under which this country commenced the revolution, and all that I have already advanced respecting her capacity and necessities, you will not be surprised at the excitement which the passions

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produced among us; when, among and near yourselves, your history, that of all Europe, and, if you will, that of every nation which has undertaken to act upon the principles of social reform, with greater facilities than ever we possessed, has presented scenes which have retarded the progress of human prosperity. Nay, I leave it to you to decide whether, even in this century, scenes have not occurred in Spain, not inferior in enormity to any of those which her history has transmitted to us since the age of Charles V.

But it will be curious for you to know, that such circumstances were not sufficient to repress the fury of domination, which has been exercised to such an extent over this hemisphere. During the whole revolution, we were molested by pretenders to the establishment of thrones, with the plan of transplanting branches of the families of Europe. The House of Braganza, before the year 1810, was the first to attempt to carry these schemes into effect; alleging the eventual rights of Charlotte of Bourbon; but still laying greater stress on the captive state of the Kings of Spain: and that same House, after the revolution, repeatedly renewed its endeavours for this purpose. France also distinguished herself. The Duke of Orleans and the Duke of Lucca have been successively pointed out by her, since the downfall of the Empire; and it is also certain,

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that Francisco de Paula, brother of Ferdinand VII. made a similar overture: but, in both cases, it was our misfortune that the candidates who presented themselves belonged to the family of the Bourbons; that is, to a family which seems not to appertain to this world, but to the other. However, I conceive myself authorised to assert, that much of the blood which has been spilt in my country, and many of the calamities of the revolution, have been occasioned by that kind of determination to act in contradiction to our spirit, and to force on us a form of Government, opposed, not only by the passion of enthusiasm, but by all that tends to constitute our physical and moral existence.

This point now occupies a considerable share of the attention of Europe, in what is called the American question; and, as this is the case, you will perhaps not object to my dwelling on it a little longer. I confess I cannot imagine how it happens that, with the intelligence which distinguishes the Cabinets of that part of the world, they could possibly have found any thing, either at that time or now, to justify the intention of establishing a throne in my country, even had it been dignified with the epithet Constitutional. I in no way allude here to the merits of the case: that is a topic which my principles would never suffer me to discuss. I refer solely to the means and to the foundation of the scheme; and when

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I consider that the plea of anarchy was the only idea held forth by the promoters of the project from within, and the desire of stifling the revolutionary spirit the only notion brought into sight by its abettors from without, I am astonished to see men thus dazzled by the motives of a plan, without at the same time appearing to pay the least attention to the means of its accomplishment. In one party, methinks, I can trace the imprudence of incapacity; and in the other, a most presumptuous torpor. In no other manner can the authors of so abstract a plan be classified—of a plan, which, I may say, stands forward as a shadow without a substance. They have not taken the trouble to consider if the elementary principles of the country, her constitution, her situation, her necessities, her customs, the genius of her inhabitants, and even her climate, be capable of promoting an undertaking, the realization of which, in every part of the world, has required super-human, not to say divine, appeals to mankind; which have eventually proved successful by reason of their having been practicable and convenient.

Europe knows not my country; and yet this proposition, absolute as it is, is the only one which could justify her in the fastidious endeavour to extend, even into the Provinces of Rio de la Plata, her feudal ramifications. But all


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this does not seem likely to relieve her entirely from the inculpations which history will indubitably prefer against her, when it shall compare the manner in which she commenced the realization of that design With the intelligence she evinces in the promotion of the felicity of her own nations. In my country there is no elementary principle, that could in any way concur towards the establishment and preservation of a monarchical form of government. Her scanty population, her docile manners, her middling fortunes, her equality of conditions, her spirit of independence, her aversion to fanaticism, her occupations principally agricultural and pastoral, and the circumstance of her being moreover a country wherein the only personal privileges which were ever known to her inhabitants, namely, those of the army and of the clergy, have been with very little trouble entirely obliterated—in short, the mirror held up by her own history, and the sentiment which pervades her in opposition to any bias, direct or indirect, towards her ancient relations with the Spanish nation, form an immense mass of resistance to the project of establishing a monarchy in her territory. Royalty, were it even established, would not for centuries become national, as its support would necessarily depend on the maintenance of foreign mercenaries; inasmuch as it is quite certain that neither could

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the country furnish such means, nor the pretender have the courage, at such a distance, to employ the forms of absolute government to obtain them.

This misconception of the Cabinets of the European continent cannot be said to have been influenced by the consideration, that in my country there have not been wanting some, even of the very men most eminently compromised in the revolution, who have coincided in the expediency of their schemes. In them that notion did not originate in an intimate conviction; far otherwise. On the one hand it arose from the want of individual capacity to prosecute the revolution to its close, and after that to present the country with a stable and enlightened organization; and on the other, it was occasioned by the discomfort, or, if you prefer the term, the vexation, which the tardy progress of the revolution brought upon them. But Europe ought to know, that sooner or later those arms, which she might have regarded as her chief support, would become the principal weapons against the influence of royalty, and eject it for ever. This is the most feeble guarantee possible for the establishment of a monarchical system in my country; although I allow, that in consequence of its having been tendered, as I have before said, more scope was given to the unfortunate circumstances

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of which we are accused. On this subject, long observation and experience, acquired by study, enable me to affirm, in accordance with the thinking and reflecting majority of my country, that, if Europe wishes to behold America converted into an ocean of blood, and for ever withheld from a settled existence, she need only persist in persecuting us with her plans of monarchy.

The sketch being brought to this point, a laudable curiosity is excited, and suggests this question. What, then, is the form under which this country ought to be organized, in order to confer on her a political and acknowledged existence, since none of the forms offered from abroad is adapted to this purpose, nor have those prospered which the revolution caused to be established?

The first ten years of the revolution passed in constant struggles with the difficulties to which I have alluded; but in the eleventh, that is, in the year 1820, hope was entirely extinguished. Very early in that year, a revolutionary movement took place against the supreme authority of the country, having been fostered chiefly by resistance to the project of France for the coronation of the Prince of Lucca. This produced a general dislocation; and the nation subdivided itself into as many states as there are provinces; each assuming the form of a sovereign

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independent body. At last each province was severed into fractional parts of as many sections as there were component cities, each adopting the same form; and thus my country, in the eleventh year, was brought to present the appearance, not of a federal state, because no relations were kept up between one state and the other, but of something similar to the Hanseatic Towns. But as yet nothing remarkable occurred, till that state of things was followed by inveterate wars in the interior of each city, and between one city and another, which gave rise to the idea that the cause of the country was lost for ever. From shock to shock, and from abyss to abyss, all the states proceeded in the year 1820; and Buenos Ayres, which, as the capital, possessed greater means, and presented a more expanded field for the exercise of the vehement passions, suffered, in consequence, all the results attendant on such situations, and which completely demolished the credit and directing character which had been conceded to her during the whole of the revolution. Judge, Sir, what could have been the hopes of these states after having arrived, amidst so many difficulties, at a state of entire anarchy; and I beg you not to forget that the origin of these catastrophes I have laid to the charge of France, in consequence of her ultimate proposition to establish a throne in my country.

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A violent revulsion became necessary in Buenos Ayres, to obtain, at least, that calm which ever follows violent tempests. This was obtained at the expense of much blood; and even then there was room for the examination of the practical question—what shall we do?—but that event produced a division in opinion wholly of a new kind. Those who thought that the vicissitudes of the revolution had reduced the country to the verge of total impotency, rendering her incapable of maintaining the rank of a general authority; and that, from the same cause, that authority would no more hold out any guarantee to fix and conciliate respect,—were decidedly of opinion that the state of isolation, in which all the provinces had remained, should continue, as being more likely to be convenient than their reconcentration: while those who perceived, in that very nullity, germs of destruction to the orderly existence of each state, and fancied they saw in the reunion of the whole the only remedy for these defects, were of opinion that the system of isolation should be abandoned, and that recourse should be had to the convocation of a general congress. Thus, Sir, was my country situated in the first months of 1821; but at last the question was resolved by the great weight of this consideration; namely, that the chief interests would be conciliated by the re-establishment and

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consolidation of public order in Buenos Ayres; which, once effected, would be sufficient to render it general afterwards throughout the subdivisions of the territory. The opinion, therefore, which decided for the maintenance of the system of isolation, obtained the preponderance; and after that, the attention was directed to amalgamate elements for the organization of an administrative provincial power, which should take on itself so arduous a responsibility.*

About the middle of 1821 that administration was formed, which commenced its career under two highly favourable circumstances. In the first place the persons who composed it, having been employed for many years out of the country in the public service, were neither connected with nor dependent on any of the factions into which

* This administration was composed of the following persons. General Don Martin Rodriguez, continuing in the situation of Governor; Don Bernardino Rivadavia, who had resided for many years in a public capacity in Europe, in the situation of Minister Secretary of Government and Foreign Affairs; General Don Francisco Cruz, who had remained many years with the armies which operated in the interior of the provinces of Peru, in the situation of Minister Secretary of War and Marine; and Don Manuel Garcia, who had resided about the same term of years at the Court of Portugal in a public character, in the situation of Minister Secretary of Finance.

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the capital was subdivided. In the second place, the same persons having been kept for such a length of time at a distance from the theatre of events, and having, from that circumstance, augmented their qualifications in the school of experience, in which they had studied in other countries, would be easily led to investigate the defects which were prejudicial in their own. That administration having thus been formed, under the propitious auspices I have just mentioned, was very soon in a state to resolve the pending question; and it accordingly decided on the adoption of this principle: That all theory should be proscribed in the organization of a country, and its demonstration left to practice. And now you will permit me, Sir, after having thus developed the ORIGIN, to proceed to inform you of the other circumstances by which this change was accompanied; as I am well aware that it is this which most excites your curiosity. I will therefore begin by presenting some of the general principles which have established themselves.


THE new Administration began by overcoming the difficulties from which so much inconvenience had originated, by reason of not giving to things a fixed meaning, and even of naming them by

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a defective nomenclature; and on that principle was introduced the idea that the country could be governed by the Representative System alone; to which was afterwards added the appellation Republican. A law was immediately passed which put into execution that same principle; (Document A.) to which are owing the direct election, the liberty of suffrage, and, consequently, the establishment of a Hall of Representatives, which, in its new position, found established the utility of giving a practical Constitution to the country.


The new Administration likewise began by establishing that every Government, under such a system, was instituted for the felicity of the nation, and not to proceed with hostility against property and individuals; and that the respect paid to both was to be considered as a fertile germ of civilization and prosperity. A law in consequence was promulgated, which we call "Of the Inviolability of Property," (Document B.) extended afterwards to foreign property, even in a state of war; which, immediately on being put into practice, was of itself sufficient to produce such activity in the pecuniary means of the country, that, besides the increase which ac-

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crued to the capitals from this measure, and to the wealth employed in other places, immense pecuniary transactions were attracted from without, and produced nothing less than the astonishing circumstance, that the want of the immense quantity of circulating medium, which the revolution had taken from us, was not perceptible in the commerce of Buenos Ayres.


The new Administration also began by introducing the principle, that it was indispensable for its advancement to possess on its side the public opinion; considering it as the best guarantee for the stability of its power. On this account a decree was issued, (Document C.) in which it was prescribed as an obligation, that publicity should be given to all its acts; and the execution of this law, being carried so far as officially to insure that in all the departments there should not be a single document kept secret, has put the laws within reach of the nation, as well as the decrees and ordinances which the plan of practical reform has produced; and thus has mainly contributed to introduce that confidence which had been banished by the mystery of the Cabinet.


The new Administration, in like manner, be-

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gan by consecrating the principle, that it had been installed to govern by the ministry of the law, and in no wise by personal influence. All parties had equal rights and duties: it was, therefore, incumbent to place all these on the same footing; and to prevent them from being considered as the exclusive appurtenance of one part of the nation, and not of all. For this end a law was made, (Document D.) to which we gave the name of Law of Amnesty, which effected throughout the country a union of individuals of all classes, who, either proscribed or fugitive, would have shewn in other countries the failings and misfortunes of our own; and from the benefits of this law even those who had made war against the cause of independence were not excepted.


Religious toleration had existed de facto in my country since the first years of the revolution, more effectually than civil toleration, notwithstanding that the last existed de jure. That will, perhaps, appear to you somewhat astonishing; but you will be pleased to permit me here to abandon that spirit of analysis by which I have allowed myself to be carried away in the other points of my sketch, and to content myself with laying before you THE SIMPLE FACT. And now, con-

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fining ourselves to the work which occupies us, I must inform you that, in consequence of the new principles established, with which, and justly too, all things approaching to a spirit of intolerance were deemed incompatible, toleration, civil and political, was carried into effect, and the groundwork laid for legal religious toleration.


The new Administration, protected by the public confidence, which in the first years of its career it had obtained by reason of the bases it had established, resolved, definitively, to commence the general practical reform, which was the grand object of its elevation. It cultivated the best understanding with the representatives of the nation; and having obtained from them the enactment of a law, by which it was solemnly acknowledged that the union of the provinces, made before each had separately effected its internal economical arrangement, should not be allowed to take place, lest it might again endanger the credit of the country at large; attention was devoted to the construction in Buenos Ayres of an edifice at once respectable and permanent. This idea, which at first sight appears limited, was, nevertheless, exceedingly comprehensive. All who know the influence that her

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position, her constituent elements, and her history, give to Buenos Ayres over all the Continent, aware, at the same time, how completely her credit had insinuated itself, will perceive, without trouble, that the efforts made to give her a beneficent existence would operate indirectly in favour of each town, and even without doing violence to each state, much better than if the same work had been undertaken in a direct manner. On the other hand, Buenos Ayres was placed under a great obligation: she had compromised a territory of more than a thousand leagues, and a population of more than six millions of souls, in the cause which we call that of independence; and thus contracted the duty of pointing out the road to liberty. The opportunity, therefore, was thus presented to her, not only to prove practically, that, with judgment and intelligence, that great work might be consummated, but also, that by effecting it in a distinguished manner, it would enable her to regain with advantage the credit of which she had been violently despoiled.


I will not fatigue your attention by a minute recapitulation of all that has been effected in what we call the Department of Government; but perhaps you will permit me to give you a

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general idea of it. Public instruction has been very much increased: in each district of the country, which in general contains from two to three thousand souls, the public treasury has endowed a school for the first rudiments: in the city it has formed more than twenty, for youth of both sexes; without including in either enumeration a multitude of private schools. A university has been erected, and a college of moral sciences established, as well as others for natural sciences and ecclesiastical studies; where, besides the young men of the city, are educated more than a hundred belonging to all the provinces of the territory, whose education is defrayed by Buenos Ayres by spontaneous compromise. Several scientific societies have been formed, and the public library has been enriched with works, and put under good internal arrangement. The administration of justice has been the department with which the hand of reform has least meddled: nevertheless it has remedied, as far as possible, one of the grossest defects of the ancient legislation; inasmuch as the judges have now been made entirely independent in the exercise of their functions. Moreover, in a gradual manner, and always taking advantage of a fit opportunity, the establishment of a correctional code has been attended to; a system not only unknown in the ancient legislation, but even among ourselves, until

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the last three years. As far as my opinion goes, I cannot but consider the appointment, as well in the city as in the country, of a great number of jueces de hecho, or justices of peace, who formerly did not exist, as a great improvement in this department; and the country being subdivided into three departments, these judges reside in the centre of each, attended by a professor of law, who takes cognizance in the first instance. In the city two of this class have been permanently settled. The liberty of the press, which is untrammelled, as in every free country in the world, is another guarantee accorded to individual rights. In the Department of Beneficence, arrangements have been made which have essentially meliorated the state of foundlings; and the two hospitals, one for each sex, which are built in the city, are managed on the same plan as any of the regular establishments of the kind in Europe. Besides this, within these three years, we have organized a Department of Vaccination, placed in correspondence with the Royal Jennerian Society of London, under particular regulations, detailing the service to be done weekly in the city, and, throughout the seasons of the year, in the country. As regards the other branches of the public service, a Department of General Police has been created, with eight subaltern officers in the country; one of Architectural Engineers, and ano-

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ther of Hydraulic Engineers, who direct the public works which you see arising, and which, ere long, will render my country worthy the attention of strangers. In the Department of the Posts important changes have taken place: and I conceive myself authorised to remind you of the progress daily making by the societies of the liberal arts; and, above all, to draw your attention to the happy results promised by the nationalization of the clergy, since they have been regulated on a uniform principle, subsequently to the suppression of the convents; a work which you are better qualified to appreciate than I am; and which, to the honour of my country, I am bound to declare, was every where effected without the slightest inconvenience.


During the three last years, what appertains to this Department has been immediately connected with that of foreign affairs, which will be treated of hereafter; but, not to deviate from my plan, I will now consider it separately. The events of the year 1820, although they did not prevent the arms of the provinces of Rio de la Plata from passing the Andes, and traversing Chile, and thus carrying independence to Peru, that is to say, to the only portion of America which remained wholly in the power of the Spaniards, nevertheless

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occasioned a complete dislocation of the army which remained in that territory. The force which carried on operations in Upper Peru, stationed in Tucuman, three hundred leagues from Buenos Ayres, broke up into fractional parts, and distributed itself in the provinces where its influence was predominant; and that of the capital was completely cashiered, as an unavoidable consequence of the powerful interference which it exercised in the domestic dissensions. Under this aspect the military department presented itself, when the Government which rules over us was first organized. That Government introduced the principle, which was unanimously admitted, that the war had terminated, as far as Buenos Ayres was concerned; not so much on account of the difficulties which such a state of things presented to the re-establishment of military subordination, or of the dangers to which the recovery of that spirit might have exposed public order and the new institutions, but principally by reason of the following considerations:—

1st.—Because Spain had long renounced the war with her own arms and resources, inasmuch as she was in a state of incapability to supply them for that purpose.

2dly.—Because the remains of the armed bodies, which were still kept up in America under the Spanish colours, were principally composed of


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natives, and maintained by the country herself, without any dependence on the mother-country.

3dly.—Because these bodies did not possess a numerical strength sufficient to make it necessary that whole provinces should concur for their destruction.

4thly.—Because Chile, being free, and the revolution introduced into Peru, it was to be hoped that those states, and particularly the second, which had recently been engaged in the contest, would complete a work so long undertaken without aid from the provinces of Rio de la Plata.

5thly.—Because, independently of all that was occurring, as well in the interior as on the part of Spain, in guarantee of the public security, that same guarantee obtained more strength by the re-establishment of the new government in the Peninsula in 1820, and the credit which the cause of independence had universally acquired.

And, 6thly.—Because it appeared, on the whole, so very easy to put a period to the war by a negotiation, which method was evidently the preferable one, in order to spare the residue of the lives and fortunes which had been sacrificed by both parties, without Spain being a loser in any thing.

I repeat, Sir, that newly formed Government, considering all these points, and many more which I omit, to avoid being diffuse, having in-

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troduced that principle, which was unanimously admitted, declared, in consequence, that, if an army were necessary, its character ought to be that of a preserver, solely employed to guard the territory of the nation against the barbarous inhabitants of the frontiers, who have likewise annoyed us greatly. Under this idea a commencement was made, by abolishing maritime privateering, which at the same time went a great way in re-establishing the credit of my country among foreign and neutral nations. Eventually a law was issued, in virtue of which the great body of officers and chiefs, whom the revolution had created, were withdrawn from the service; their services, however, being recompensed by what we denominate Military Reward, on which I shall hereafter dilate, when I come to discuss the Department of Finance. Other laws were afterwards made for the organization of what by us is denominated the Permanent Army; which, although its object is still incomplete, has in a great measure fulfilled its intention, and presented, for the first time in my country, a continued example of respect to the public authorities. You will perceive, that what hitherto had been the exclusive affair of the sword, became the principal business of the Cabinet: a principle which was in fact acted upon, as will be pointed out to you in what follows.

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The principle being once adopted that the war of independence had ceased, and that the ceremony of finally closing it might be the result of a diplomatic negotiation; it was but natural that what really happened should take place, which was this: the administration that had formed this view of the case, and proclaimed the principle, conceived itself bound to proceed, and accordingly it did proceed, in maintaining the rights and privileges of an independent state. This it was, which gave a beginning to the establishment of that general basis towards the end of 1821: That the authority of the country would give no diplomatic or commercial explanations to any negotiator who should present himself at the head of an armed force, or without the formalities required by the law of nations. A writer in Buenos Ayres, at the commencement of 1823, analysing that act, said, what doubtless you will be pleased to hear: "We perceive that the principle which has given rise to that resolution is of so elevated a nature, that its observance is anterior to the principle even of European diplomacy, which produced the agreements that form, at this moment, the conventional law of nations; since, even in the ages in which the ruin of the Roman Empire, and the irruption of the

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Northern tribes, kept Europe in an habitual state of warfare, till that state became natural to her by the establishment of the feudal system, the relations, few and imperfect as they then were between country and country, were always explained and agreed on by commissioners, not only divested of the command of armies, but even themselves unarmed. Thus, then, the infraction of that principle ought so much the more to fix the meditation of the new states of America, as it proceeds from two nations which not only are in the front of European civilization,* but stand pledged already by public acts, which are preparing the way for the recognition of the national independence of the new States. They

* Among the different cases which might be cited, as having occurred in the course of the revolution, I will point out solely, as regards France, the mission in 1822 of Baron Roussin; who appeared, commanding a fleet, in the Rio de la Plata, claiming the admission of certain explanations relative to maritime privateering: and another appeal of the Commandant of the forces of his said Most Christian Majesty stationed in Brazil, in 1823, requiring explanations to be given to him concerning our orders of maritime police on the Patagonian coast. With respect to England, in the same years, 1822 and 1823, the Commander of a ship in our river, and the Commodore stationed in Brazil, demanded to be recognised as being qualified to enter upon subjects of a similar nature; but all of them were informed of the principle acted on, and they withdrew their pretensions.

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ought, therefore, to take into their consideration that, in contradiction to every thing, and even to those same acts, such an exception is made at a moment when, yielding to the natural force of things, to their own interests, and, more than all, impelled by the great change in European politics, they have recognized and respected the existence, de facto, of the new states of America. Such proceedings then, on the part of the before-mentioned nations, ought to be a warning to the new nations, and a convincing proof that it behoves them promptly not only to settle the bases of their international right, (a necessity which is also imposed on them by the situation of Europe,) but, moreover, to determine, in the most precise manner, the principles of American politics, (without excluding any state in the list of those which bear that name,) and to arrange the relations of that policy with Europe herself. Besides, it was necessary to commence by shewing that the Government of the country knew their proper position, that of the whole of America, and even that of Europe herself, including Spain; and it was proper, in the same manner, seasonably to display the power of the mental intelligence on which reliance had been placed for the new direction of affairs.

With these ideas opened the career of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Let us trace its

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history. The United States of North America kept in our capital, from the last months of 1820, a public agent, or chargé d'affaires, with an especial mercantile character; but it appears that the politics of the Cabinets of Europe obliged them to stop short at manifestations, arising from their natural and well-known favourable inclination towards these countries. But, the time had already arrived to free my country from a situation which had tended not a little to produce her domestic misfortunes; that is to say, from a situation in which all that had reference to her political existence, or to her civil constitution, was uncertain; a position very embarrassing for these Governments, and excessively prejudicial to the interests of all the nations of Europe; in which light the matter was viewed this year by the British ministry. In virtue of that principle, long and comprehensive conferences were held with the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States: explanations were made on that basis; and the government of Washington were amply furnished with documents, which afterwards played a conspicuous part in the recognition of the independence of all America, in 1823. A Minister Plenipotentiary from those States arrived in our capital in December of the same year; he was received, with the satisfaction which you

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may easily imagine; and another similar Minister was sent by us especially charged to promote, in addition to the many grand principles which that Government has latterly developed on the basis of an interest purely American, the establishment of the following:—that none of the new governments of this continent should change by violence their limits recognised at the time of their emancipation: a point which it was indispensably requisite to agitate in time, to save the new states from being compromised in the same way as that of Rio de la Plata remains with the government newly established in the state of Brazil; which has thought fit to retain part of our possessions, as a heritage of the house of Braganza, in preference to the securing our good will and friendship.

I will, not dwell on the very lamentable history which this country presents in her ancient relations with the Court of Portugal; as, no doubt, already in the course of this sketch you will sufficiently have perceived it. I will begin solely by informing you that in the end of 1821, a public agent presented himself in this capital, sent by that Court, communicating the recognition of our independence pronounced by the Government of Janeiro; but that measure was accompanied by alarming circumstances. The east side of the Rio de la Plata, which bears the

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name of the Province of Monte Video, had remained since the year 1817 in the military occupation of the troops of Portugal, wherein, at first, they entered with the sole purpose, as was solemnly declared, of saving their possessions in America from the flames of anarchy. But that which, till then, had been looked upon as a provisional occupation, according to official declarations made to the Government of my country by that of Portugal, on its recognition of our independence, assumed the appearance of a manifest usurpation; inasmuch as the Portuguese government commanded that the wishes of the province should be consulted as to its preferring to remain incorporated with their dominions. We will say nothing of the form prescribed for that investigation, nor of the securities for its legality, offered at the point of the foreign bayonets, presented to the breasts of the inhabitants of the eastern bank. And, as by the new principles of the Government of my country, it could not be deemed allowable to admit one act of honourable distinction in lieu of another whose tendency was equally dishonourable and unjust, the result was, that the mission of the Portuguese Government was considered as nugatory as if it had not been sent, and its recognition of our independence consequently remained without acknowledgment. At that time the Court of

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Portugal returned to Europe; and it will appear to you an extraordinary circumstance that, notwithstanding such conduct on the part of the Government of my country, it was afterwards invited by the ministry of Don Joao VI. from Lisbon, to enter into an alliance of Princes!

The change of residence of the house of Braganza produced what had long been anticipated with respect to Brazil. She made herself independent in 1822, thus completing the emancipation of the whole of America; subjecting herself to European forms, but partly adopting the bases of a Representative System. My country then imagined that the time was come when the question respecting Monte Video might be discussed in a pacific manner. We received a Chargé d'Affaires sent from Rio de Janeiro, to announce to us the establishment of her independence, to solicit from us the recognition of it, and to conclude the necessary and natural relations; and when it was to be expected that that new state would have begun by preferring the advantages of security and credit, which are secured to a nascent Government by confining itself to its proper limits, and not infringing on the public right of nations, alarming by a spirit of ambition and a system of conquest, states incipient like herself, we found that Brazil, under her new form, persisted, de facto, in the usurpation of Monte Video, incorpo-

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rating that province with the rest of the Brazilian possessions, emblazoned on the arms of the empire. The consequence of this was natural, considering the principles established in my country; the agent, or chargé, was received, but the recognition solicited was refused. In the meantime a general disgust began to be felt towards the conduct of the neighbouring state; but as the new Administration had found it to be more advisable, for the social welfare of America, not to stimulate by a new example the baneful principle, transplanted to this hemisphere by Brazil in its independent state, of bringing the sword to interfere arbitrarily with international regulations, it adopted the course dictated by civilization and good sense. A public Commissioner was sent to the empire in 1823, to negotiate peacefully for the restoration of Monte Video to the state to which it had belonged since its origin; and to conclude a treaty of durable friendship. Every consideration suggested by the policy and interest of both nations, well understood, was laid before the Brazilian Cabinet, without excluding the offer of pecuniary indemnities, (Document E.); but it rejected them all; and by that act has sown the seeds of a future bad understanding, which must ultimately involve both nations in an acrimonious warfare, unless the principle concerning limits which

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has been recommended by my country to the consideration of the United States, and of the Governments of Chile, Peru, and Colombia, be previously recognised, and put into practice.

The events of 1806 and 1807 in Buenos Ayres, paved the way for the establishment of the good understanding, which has so happily subsisted for more than fifteen years, between Great Britain and the Provinces of Rio de la Plata. With this remark I may couple another, namely, that Great Britain is the only nation in Europe whose principles, on the part of her Government, and whose friendship, on the part of the nation herself, have produced, in my country, an uninterrupted predilection in her favour. The revolution against Spain strengthened the commercial relations, which the last viceroy could not avoid, though he came charged to maintain the laws of the Indies: and, even when no direct political relations existed with the British Government, it is agreeable to recollect the ability with which its Minister in Brazil, Lord Strang-ford, began and kept up an official correspondence with my country, in a manner as frank as it was circumspect. Hence, confidence began to assume something like a consistent form; which was brought to perfection, when the same nobleman officially declared in 1811, on occasion of the armed interference with which

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the Cabinet of Portugal meddled in our questions with Spain, that his government would disapprove of that, or of any other sort of interference, which the House of Braganza should adopt in relation to these matters; from which declaration we inferred without the least doubt, that, with double reason, it would also disapprove of the arbitrary dismemberment which Brazil had made of the most important part of our territory. From these considerations, you will see a justification of the anxiety we have manifested, during all the revolution, to legalize the relations of both countries; considering ourselves as free from any link which could bind us to Spain, and directing all our cares, and the attention of our ministers to a point, of which your nation was the centre. Such principles, and the frankness with which they were unfolded, inspired confidence, which served as an irresistible incitement. I am not, indeed, prepared to say whether the practical conduct of the British ministry at home towards our agents has, or has not, been favourable to our pretensions; but I am convinced, as I believe all my country is likewise, that, especially after the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, when some protests were presented by our Minister in Paris against the interference which the sovereigns of the continent were anxious to introduce in our questions with Spain, your government expressed

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itself, I will not say in accordance with its former conduct, but in a manner altogether more flattering towards these countries. However, in the mean time, as your government did not keep a legal representative in our city, with whom we might come to an understanding in those difficult cases which necessarily occurred, in consequence of the frequent and multifarious dealings with the individuals of your nation, harmony was sometimes for a moment interrupted; as was the case in 1823, with the officers of the navy stationed in our ports for the armed protection of commerce; but I can assure you, that all this originated only from forms. The establishment this year of a British Consulate in Buenos Ayres, and the fortunate selection of you, Sir, to fulfil its duties, at the same time that we hailed it as a token of the noble and solid principles which distinguish your Government, persuaded me that it would, in future, preclude the possibility of any motive unfortunately arising, to alter the relations of commerce, which subsist between both countries.

Almost at the same time that arrangements were made in Buenos Ayres to negotiate a peace with Spain, according to the principles established, it was known that the Constitutional Government of Ferdinand had named public commissioners who were to be conveyed to America with a simi-

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lar intent. This obliged us to suspend the departure of our negotiator; and in 1823 two individuals, with that character, presented themselves in my country, and with pretensions which appeared not to be dissimilar to those which, on our part, had given occasion to a long and expensive war. The commissioners were received with the spirit of good faith, which the new circumstances had engendered. But as it was doubted that the Cabinet of Madrid had been able to rise superior to the prejudices of the Spanish nation and government, for the same reason it was anticipated that no arrangement could finally be made with these commissioners, which might be entirely favourable to the states compromised in America by the cause of independence. However, amidst these cheerless reflections, it was thought necessary to begin, in order to try if it were practicable to terminate a negotiation. Then it became indispensable to moralize previously on every ulterior step, and it was this that occasioned the law made by the representatives of the nation at that very moment, authorizing the Government to conclude treaties with Spain, but on the basis of the recognition of the independence, not only of the state of Rio de la Plata, but also of all the states of the former Spanish America. The results corresponded with the calculation. The commissioners of Spain

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brought instructions only to make treaties of commerce, and to transmit to their court all other claims, but without concluding any thing on the footing of independence. Then was adopted the expedient of signing a Convention, (Document F.) which we call Preliminary to the definitive Treaties of Peace and Friendship with Spain, comprehending therein all the other States, and solely on the basis prescribed; also binding the Government of Buenos Ayres to send a commissioner to Europe, and to negotiate that, in like manner, other commissioners might be ordered by the other independent States to sign simultaneously a definitive arrangement. Without loss of time, Ministers were sent to the Republics of Chile, Peru, and Colombia, and an especial one to the Spanish General, who occupied some provinces of Upper and Lower Peru, to arrange the manner of co-operating for that purpose, according to the terms of the convention. The Spanish General evinced no disinclination to enter on the business; at least his decision was manifest that the convention should take effect as regarded the Provinces of Rio de la Plata, concerning which the commissioners were evidently authorised to act. This was ultimately resisted; because, in the army of the Royalists, there was a very considerable party who wished well to absolute rule, for which so many of their countrymen

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were labouring in Spain; and consequently, from that faction little could be expected on the score of rationality. The General was forced to pay attention to that party; whilst, at the same time, as a Constitutionalist, he could not behold with indifference the decorous measure which Buenos Ayres laid before the Liberals, to endeavour to conquer the prejudices of the Spanish nation, by offering to negotiate, in aid of the salvation of her principles, a vote of twenty millions of dollars among all the American States. But time passed, and a multitude of events concurred to embarrass the whole plan. Peru, and the forces of Colombia, which had come to her assistance, remarked the indecision of the Spanish General, and continued to resist the hostilities which, in the midst of the doubts that perplexed him, he carried on among them. In Spain, absolute power was re-established, and annulled all the acts of the Cortes: and, at last, the Royalists accusing the Constitutionalists of Peru of wishing to establish an independent empire, both parties broke forth in hostility against each other, involving that unfortunate territory in still greater disasters; and adopting, in order reciprocally to give themselves satisfaction, the cruel measure of making war on us in the most atrocious manner. All hopes then were at an end; and nothing was left to the American Governments, but to regulate themselves on


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fixed principles; and thus, for the first time since the revolution, to cement their natural relations.


THIS department, the improvement in which, during the last three years, is so remarkable, ought to constitute an essential portion of this Memoir. It arose on these great pillars; namely, that the representatives of the nation alone had the right to impose contributions, direct or indirect taxes, or pecuniary penalties; and that no authority, without the approbation of the representatives, could order pay, pension, or any outlay of the public funds: that an estimate of expenditure should annually be presented, and a real account of it, in the same period, to the representatives: that the proceeds from every department should be made over to an office of collection, for distribution by another independent office. These bases were established by especial laws: and the practical part ensured by an enactment of no less importance; namely, that the credits of the Treasury should be collected with exactness. Now, as well before the administration which now governs, as in its time, the principal revenues have depended, and depend, on the Custom-house: but then, that is to say in 1821, the duties were ex-

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cessive, and the contraband trade enormous and scandalous: and, at present, the greater part of the merchandise imported into the country pays fifteen per cent.; those goods which it is wished to favour the most, or of which the clandestine introduction is most apprehended, remaining solely at from five to ten per cent.; and those which, on the contrary, are reputed prejudicial, being subject to twenty, twenty-five, or thirty per cent. It is nevertheless necessary to remark, that these highest duties have been relinquished or imposed, not because we are ignorant that it is absurd to imagine that Buenos Ayres can become, through that or any other means, a manufacturing country, but because it is prudent sometimes to yield somewhat to prejudices. It is likely that, in the course of time, all the duties (excepting those which fall on brandies, the consumption of which ought to diminish) will be reduced to fifteen per cent.: it being also important to remark, that the fifteen per cent., which at the present moment is collected, does not probably amount to twelve on the real value, inasmuch as valuation is made with a great degree of moderation, and because the duties are paid by bills of exchange at forty-five or ninety days, and sometimes even at six months, the current credit revenue of the country being very large. It is well known how inconvenient it is to depend on the Custom-house, in the greater

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part of its pecuniary contributions, where there is no navy; and, on that account, it is wished gradually to diminish these duties, and to augment the interior imposts, which at present are reduced. Till the end of 1821, duties were collected on goods sent into the interior by land, (salidas terrestres); but these have now been abolished, and those which are levied on goods sent from the interior by land, (entradas terrestres,) are so impolitic, and produce so little, in consequence of the mild manner of collecting them, that their abolition is very likely soon to take place. The duties on maritime exportation, (salida maritima,) are as little to be justified: but they produce a sum which cannot be despised; and they will therefore be kept in operation, until the carrying into effect of a direct tax which has been established, together with a system of territorial revenues, the foundation of which has already been laid. In the mean time, it is probable that these duties may be restricted to the article of hides alone; and that even thus, if they be collected with accuracy, they will produce double what they do now. The amount of the landed property belonging to the State is not accurately known: in the city it cannot but be considerable; but in the country the lands are so numerous, and the grounds are acquiring so great a value, that those which belong to the State will, no doubt, in time, form

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an important source of emolument for the Treasury, whether they be rented gradually, or let, as is sometimes done, on lease, at quit-rents, at the rate of eighty dollars annually for a square league. The duties, and other very arbitrary taxes, paid formerly by victualling-houses, have been abolished: but as these, united to the net proceeds of the Custom-house, did not suffice for the expenditure of the former administrations, to make up the deficiency, it was usual to have recourse to forced loans, (emprestitos forzosos,) making use, at the same time, of the private funds of many establishments which possessed revenues of their own. Such a system has been entirely abolished: but as it was necessary to establish public credit, the debts of the whole State were taken for a basis, consisting of forced loans, salaries, supplementary disbursements, and, in short, of all kinds of claims against the State before and after 1810; and funds were created from the four and six per cents.; that is to say, two millions from the four, and three from the six; one and a half being only wanting, out of two millions more, completely to satisfy all the demands which have been proved to exist against the Treasury. Among these funds is included the money which has been expended in rewarding the officers and chiefs of the army of Independence, by means of which the State has

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been able not only to recompense a great service in an adequate manner, but also to enable these persons to dedicate themselves to industry, by the payment of regular sums. Notwithstanding this, with the moderate revenues, such as they are set down in the accompanying statement, (Document G.) not only are all the expenses of the army paid monthly, and those of the civil list quarterly, including extraordinary expenses; but also, each quarter, interest is paid on the consolidated debt. At the end of the last month of May, a tenth part of the principal of the five millions already mentioned was applied to form a sinking fund; and it will doubtless give you pleasure to hear, that, when the bills which represent those consolidated funds were issued for the first time, they sold, those of the six at twenty-eight, and those of the four in proportion; and that, at present, the first are at from seventy to seventy-six. A loan has been contracted with merchants of this city for five millions, at seventy per cent.; and they are to negotiate the funds in England: which loan is to be laid out in the establishment of cities in the province on the southern coast, extending to Patagonia, in the formation of a harbour, and in other great objects of that nature; provided the money be not required for the conclusion, by the sword, of the war of Independence. I likewise feel great pleasure in informing you that the Bank of

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Discounts, (Banco de Descuentos,) instituted at Buenos Ayres in the year 1822, and which acts independently of the Government, having already completed the capital of a million of dollars—the sum to countervail the paper in its possession—has been enabled to take on itself the business of negotiating that loan, by reason of the credit it has obtained at home and abroad.


I have now, Sir, completed the work of detail; and it only remains for me to inform you of other circumstances in general, which will not fail materially to assist in the important completion of your objects, and to facilitate the deductions which it will be your business to make from the contents of this exposition.

The plan of practical organization, which has been effected in Buenos Ayres during the three last years, has produced in the interior the two great advantages which were the aim of the intelligent persons placed at the head of it. In Buenos Ayres, at present, all is order, all is prosperity; and the liberty compatible with one and the other is enjoyed, which was our final object in spilling the blood of more than two hundred thousand persons. You, Sir, were present on the first

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legal change of the public administration, which took place in April of this year. I leave you to pass your own judgment on that event; but you will allow me at least to observe, that to say it happened is equivalent to saying that the new institutions have struck deep root, and that we are not, as it is asserted, condemned to live in eternal anarchy. And truly, notwithstanding that in Buenos Ayres all the remains of a long revolution have been concentrated, and the country received in charge after so many changes and shocks; notwithstanding the odious character which is ever attached to all measures of reform, and, above all, to ours, which have not been rendered available but by destroying and again building up; in fine, notwithstanding our arrival at this state of things, without the public authorities having attempted to maintain themselves by force of arms—order has subsisted for a period of three years, and the change has been such as to offer convincing proofs that the blessing will be perpetuated with our institutions.*

* The present administration is composed of the following persons: General Don Juan Gregorio de las Heras, who served in the armies of Independence, from 1813 till 1822, in the provinces of Rio de la Plata, in Chile, and in Peru, in the situation of Governor; Don Manuel J. Garcia, reelected Minister Secretary of Finance, charged with the departments of the Government and Foreign Affairs; General Don Francisco Cruz, re-elected Minister Secretary of War and Marine. But I think it necessary to inform you that Don Bernardino Rivadavia excused himself from continuing in the Ministerial employments which he formerly held, notwithstanding his having been thrice officially invited to fill them again. I will not attempt to discuss the reasons which withheld him: time will, probably, unravel those which will justify the object of this resolution on the part of Don Bernardino Rivadavia; but meanwhile I must take the liberty to copy the last reply which he gave.
"Buenos Ayres, May 11th, 1824.
The undersigned has just received the note dated this day, addressed by the chief officer of the departments of Foreign Affairs and of the Government, charged especially with the Despatch department, in which he is informed of the superior resolution of that date, whereby His Excellency the Governor has had the goodness to honour him, by naming him his Military Secretary in the departments of Foreign Affairs and of the Government.
The undersigned requests the chief officer to be pleased to inform His Excellency, that in the two conferences which he held with the Governor, on the subject of the continuation of his services, he thinks he sufficiently explained the causes and considerations which have irrevocably decided him to decline all public employments, strengthened, moreover, by an invincible conviction that he was thereby preparing for his country seasonable and fertile benefits.
He therefore confines himself, in reply, to the assurance that it is impossible for him to avail himself of the confidential offer with which he has been honoured, and that it is beyond all expression painful to him not to be able to serve His Excellency in the manner which he wishes in his so noble and worthy undertaking; but that he will be at his superior command in all that his strength and his principles permit. Meanwhile he requests him to deign to receive the most ardent wishes which he now makes, and ever will make, for the completion of the objects entrusted to his command, for the prosperity of his government, and for the felicity of his meritorious person.
The chief officer will also be pleased to receive, in return for his salutation, the most grateful acknowledgments of
To the Chief Officer, Don Ygnacio Nuñez."

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This was our first object. The second has likewise been attained. The example of Buenos Ayres has spread among the sister cities and independent States, illuminating like a torch. It is not my place to speak of the latter; but with regard to the former, I will inform you of all circumstances, in their appropriate order.—The cities situated in the quarter of Paraguay, on the banks right and left of the river Paraná, namely,

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Santa Fé, Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Misiones, bordering on the east side of the Rio de la Plata, have fought strenuously against Spain; but they fought more against the public quiet when a spirit of anarchy took possession of them, as you may collect from the exposition which Mr. Rodney, a citizen of the United States, presented to his Government in 1818; but in all this last period not a single shot has been fired there in

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civil war; and now each of these provinces, preserving the strictest relations with Buenos Ayres, governs itself, as much as is possible, on the bases of the representative system, with a governor removable at will, and a representation elected according to the forms of the law. In the quarter of Peru, Cordova, Rioja, Tucuman, Santiago del Estero, Catamarca, Salta, and Tufui, bordering on Potosi, in some more and in others less, some of the new principles have been introduced, and now they remain inaccessible to domestic divisions. In the quarter of the Andes, San Luis, Mendoza, and San Juan, bordering on Chile, incredible progress has been made in reform, with the satisfaction of thinking that not a shot has been discharged there in internal dissensions. If more has not been effected among them, it must be attributed solely to want of direction, inasmuch as the principles have germinated, and will undoubtedly be brought to bear fruit, throughout the whole, when the impulse becomes general and uniform.

Under such auspices, Buenos Ayres occupies herself, in the present day, after having attained her two grand objects, in re-uniting all the provinces, and in effecting what we call the reinstallation of the National Body. This work has been preparing during a twelvemonth, by a deputation sent to each city to smooth the way

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for it: and you already know, Sir, that at present elections are made, in all the territory, of representatives, who must assemble within two months in Buenos Ayres, to constitute the General Government, to the number corresponding with a population of half a million of souls, that is, between thirty and forty members, according to the bases generally admitted; whereas the province of Monte Video, which remains in the usurped possession of Brazil, and that of El Paraguay, which keeps itself aloof, awaiting the issue of the cause of independence, as well as Upper Peru, as far as the Desaguadero, in the military occupation of the enemy, do not concur in sending members. The plan of practically organizing the country, because that system is supported by our own experience, and is likewise the most powerful, after the pattern presented to us by the great nation to which you belong, will, I suppose, be found preferable to constituting ourselves theoretically, like France in other times, and like Portugal and Spain at present; and better also than that of not innovating on what the mother-country has left to us; for it is most certain, as already has been seen, that she leaves us nothing but necessities to be supplied, very different from what England bequeathed to the United States of North America. In this particular you will receive much information from the Document H.

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It is probable that preference will be given to the establishment of the national fund; and to the idea of making the interior rivers navigable, of which that document treats, the contents of which were prepared by the last administration: and also to the idea of erecting a Mint, and forming a society in England for the exploring and working of our rich and ill-managed mines. But, above all, the principal business of the National Body, I imagine, will be the recovery of the province of Monte Video by the first means which offer, without excluding the recourse to war; and the conclusion of peace with Spain; assuming for that purpose a respectable attitude as to force and resources. And the nation, rely on it, Sir, will assume that attitude; for although the military spirit has subsided, on account of the manifold misfortunes which have befallen us, and from the tendency of the institutions of the country, yet there has been no falling off in the feelings of independence and of honour. Even now, when the provinces exist without any social relation, you are aware that, in consequence of the last occurrences in Peru, and the torpid obduracy of Spain, the formation of an army was planned, and has been effected, which has hitherto resisted all the attempts of a new invasion by the enemy; and a similar plan is preparing to be introduced in our provinces of Upper Peru, with a force of from three to four

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thousand men; while, in the mean time, the organization of another force, not less than four thousand, is going rapidly forward in Buenos Ayres. When the nation is re-united, to these regular forces will be added from about a thousand to fifteen hundred men, who are now in Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Santa Fé; a thousand in Cordova; as many more between Santiago and Tucuman; besides those who can be withdrawn from the quarter of the Andes, as that district abounds with men well fitted and available for war. If that be not sufficient, without including the co-operation of Chile, Peru, and Colombia, more men will be collected; because in my country every man is a soldier, when the question between Spain and America comes to be agitated; which opinion is not invalidated by what the Ministry of Madrid have lately been graciously pleased to say with regard to the dispositions entertained in its favour on the part of those whom it calls sensible Americans. All the population, independent of the regular troops, are subject to active military duties, trained to arms, and possessed of a spirit of prowess which on all trying occasions they eminently exhibit, and which never fails to be increased in the field of battle.

I have now finished; and sincerely hope you may find in this sketch all that is requisite to

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satisfy your wishes: that is, indeed, my principal object; but I hope also that your Government, finding some foundation to support the principles which it has now adopted in regard to us, will be persuaded of the accuracy of this Memoir. If Buenos Ayres, after the short lapse of three years of peace, has cancelled the opprobrious epithets of incapacity and disposition to anarchy, which were affixed to her by Spain and the continental powers of Europe, a real peace, which should give to that so considerable portion of the globe a political recognised existence, would very soon cause it to deserve the consideration of the world. It appears to me, Sir, that if Europe would but renounce the idea of thwarting the spirit of the revolution in America, and save us from the expenditure of more time, blood, and treasure in war, I might fearlessly guarantee the security that soon, very soon, the New World would cease to be in a situation embarrassing to herself, or even prejudicial to the interests of the nations of the Old.

I salute you with the same affectionate consideration, and with the same interest, with which I have always felt myself honoured in calling myself,


Your obedient Servant,


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ARTICLE 1. The election of the Representatives, who are to complete the extraordinary and constituent representation, shall be direct.

2. Every free man, a native of the country, or one admitted to the privileges of a denizen thereof, from the age of 20 years, or previously if he shall have been emancipated, shall be qualified to elect.

3. Every citizen above 25 years, who possesses a real estate, or property acquired by industry, may be elected.

4. The city shall elect four deputies.

* The powers which by this law are given to the members of the municipality, or town-council, are similar to those of the Justices of Peace, established latterly in districts where the institution of town-councils has fallen entirely into disuse.

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5. The elections of the city shall take place in eight assemblies.

6. The assemblies shall be held in the parishes Catedral, Colegio, San Nicolas, Socorro, Piedad, Monserrat, Concepcion, and San Telmo.

7. A member of the municipality shall open each assembly.

8. The Alcaldes of Wards, (Alcaldes de Barrio,) and their deputies, are required to assist at the opening of the assemblies, and to invite thereto, each from his respective district, all the individuals qualified to elect.

9. The first act of the assemblies, subsequent to the opening, shall be the nomination, by a plurality of the votes present, of a President and four Scrutineers.

10. The President elect, and the four Scrutineers, shall take an oath to fulfil the duties of their office, in presence of the member of the municipality; who, after installing them in their situations, shall cease from his functions.

11. The President, and the four Scrutineers, shall form the Board of the electoral assembly.

12. The powers of the Board consist in excluding all persons who are not qualified to elect, in conformity with the second article; in declaring the invalidity of the votes given for persons who are not eligible by the enactment of the third article; and in observing the following:—

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13. The votes shall be verbal, and given by the voters themselves.

14. Two of the Scrutineers must keep, each of them separately, a register, in which shall be written the Christian name, surname, and place of abode of the voter, and only the Christian name and surname of the persons for whom he votes.

15. In each assembly of the city, votes shall be given for the twelve representatives.

16. The voting shall commence at ten in the morning, and finish at four in the afternoon.

17. From four till five, the Board of each assembly and the individuals composing that assembly who choose to be present, shall make their respective scrutiny, note it at the bottom of the register, and sign it.

18. The difference which may exist between the two registers shall be adjusted by the President and the other two Scrutineers.

19. From five till six, the Presidents of the assemblies, with a Scrutineer from each of them, shall repair to the principal hall, where they shall form the Central Board, at which the Alcalde, who superintends the first voting, will preside, and the Secretary of the town-council perform the legal acts.

20. The Central Board shall examine the result of the eight scrutinies, and proclaim those to be elected who obtain the plurality of suffrages;

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and, in case of equality, it shall decide, also by a plurality of the individuals who form it: and the minute of these proceedings being signed, the Board shall break up.

21. The Alcalde, who superintends the first voting, shall cause two attestations of the minute of proceedings to be taken: one of which shall be deposited in the archives of the town-council; with the other he shall make his report to the Government: and the registers and original minute of proceedings he shall send to the office of the Junta of Representatives.

22. The Governor, previously concurring with the President of the Representative Junta, shall inform the persons elected of their respective nomination, and indicate to them the day and hour when they are to present themselves to enter on their functions.

23. The Junta of Representatives shall take cognizance of resignations.

24. The substitution for resignations admitted, or other incidental ones, shall be effected by the primary assemblies, in the same manner as is arranged for the general nomination.

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ARTICLE 1. The elections of the country shall be regulated according to the tenor of the articles of the preceding chapter, in all that is not excepted by the following articles:—

2. The country shall elect eleven representatives, for the same jurisdictions for which the actual representatives are nominated.

3. The Presidents of the electoral assemblies of the country shall be the Alcaldes in their respective jurisdictions, who shall in like manner open them, and receive the oath of the Scrutineers.

4. For the election which belongs to two jurisdictions, there shall be an assembly in each of them, and the Central Board shall meet in the most ancient parish; in the election for which three or more jurisdictions concur, the Central Board shall hold its sitting in the one situated nearest to the centre of the whole.

5. The term within which the members of the Central Board are to assemble, for the elections of the country which demand two or more assemblies, shall be fixed by the Governor.

6. The Governor shall give the necessary orders, to the end that the establishment of Patagonia may elect a representative: and let that decree be carried into full effect.

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To His Excellency the Governor and Captain-General of the Provinces.

THE Honourable Junta, in the session of the 4th current, has taken into consideration your Excellency's note of the 14th of last month, together with the minute of the decree accompanying it, relative to establishing the inviolability of property, and has sanctioned the following articles:—

Article 1. No other authority than that of the representatives of the province shall be competent to establish a contribution or impost of any kind, direct or indirect, or any pecuniary penalty.

2. No authority, without the approbation of the representatives, shall be competent to order pay, pension, or any expenditure of the public funds.

3. The Government is under obligation to present, in the last month of each year, an estimate of the expenses and means for the ensuing year; and, in the first month of that year, the account of expenditures during the preceding.

And, by order of the Honourable Junta, this is communicated to your Excellency for your infor-

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mation and subsequent guidance.—God preserve you many years.

Hall of the Sessions in Buenos Ayres, 5th Sept. 1821.



PEDRO MEDRANO, Secretary of Votes.

To His Excellency the Governor and Captain-General of the Provinces.

The Honourable Junta of Representatives of the province of Buenos Ayres, exercising the ordinary and extraordinary sovereignty with which it is invested, has resolved on and decreed, with all the validity and force of law, the article of the following tenor:—

"The inviolability granted to property by the law of the province extends to all kinds of it in the territory, to whatever part thereof it may belong."

And, by order of the Honourable Junta, this is communicated to your Excellency for your information and respective publication.—God preserve you many years.

Hall of the Sessions in Buenos Ayres, 11th June, 1822.

(Signed) RAMON DIAZ, President,


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Buenos Ayres, 24th August, 1824.

THE system of publishing laws, orders, and decrees, by means of proclamation, does not give the necessary publicity. The method of circulars always retards communication, increases the labour of the offices, and is liable to inconveniences more or less serious, as well by reason of incidental occurrences in the management, as on account of involuntary omissions. Some measure, undoubtedly, would be preferable, calculated to remove these inconveniences, by combining the means of presenting every public functionary with a collection, in which not only the general determination should be met with, but wherein also all those should be included, with the tenor of which compliance is recommended to him. The Government anxiously wishes to give to its proceedings the greatest publicity, to the end that all and each of the citizens may be advised of its operations, and enabled to judge of them. For that purpose it decrees what follows:—

Article 1. An Official Register shall be organised and published under the direction of the Ministry of Government.

2. The Register shall be composed of all the

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laws, decrees, and orders, of a general tendency, or which demand a circular communication.

3. In the Register no notices shall be inserted, nor any article which tends to explanation or to discussion.

4. The departments of War and Finance shall transmit, at a proper time, to the departments of Government, authenticated copies of all which belongs to them to publish.

5. Every thing inserted in the Register shall be considered to be officially communicated and published.

6. A copy of the Official Register shall be transmitted to all the corporations and public functionaries.

7. The publication by means of proclamations and circulars is suppressed.






Note of the Government to the Hall of Representatives.

THE three Secretaries will have the satisfaction to present to your Honours, the original official letter received last night from General Don Jose

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de San Martin, dated from the city of los Reyes; and they will also felicitate the honourable representation on such a favourable event.

At last has been accomplished the noble vow made by Buenos Ayres on the 25th of May, 1810, which it has succeeded in maintaining, with so much magnanimity, against all the vicissitudes of fortune during the space of eleven years. The States of the continent are independent. That they may be free and happy is now the heartfelt wish of this province. But meanwhile it appears, that it owes to itself to shut out for ever the recollection of the revolution, on the very day whereon it witnesses the accomplishment of its first object. In order, however, more thoroughly to enjoy the benefit of such painful sacrifices, it is necessary to forget them, and, if possible, not to bear any longer in remembrance either the acts of ingratitude, or the errors, or the infirmities, which have degraded mankind and afflicted the country, in this so great and famous undertaking. On this account, the Government has thought that it would act worthily by proposing, on this occasion, the annexed project of a law, with the discussion of which it charges the said Secretaries.—God preserve your Honours many years.

Buenos Ayres, 27th September, 1821.



To the Honourable Junta of Representatives.

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The Junta of Representatives of the province of Buenos Ayres, exercising the ordinary and extraordinary sovereignty with which it is invested, has resolved on and decreed, with all the value and force of law, the following


Criminal informations, instituted on account of political opinions anterior to this day, shall not preclude any person from the full enjoyment of the security which the law accords, in the province of Buenos Ayres, to persons and property.



The Honourable Junta having taken into consideration, in various sessions, the note of your Excellency, dated 2d of September last, and the project of the law which accompanied it, relative to criminal informations instituted on account of political opinions anterior to that day, not precluding any person from the full enjoyment of the security which the law accords, in the province of Buenos Ayres, to persons and property, has resolved as follows:—

1. The law of amnesty, presented by the Government to the Provincial Representation for

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its approval, shall again be taken into consideration at the expiration of four months, reckoning from the 6th day of October last past.

2. In the mean time, all those shall be restored to the country who have been separated from it without any legal process, by express order of the Government, delivered by virtue of the extraordinary powers granted by the Honourable Junta on the 6th October of the year last past.

3. Those may return to the province who voluntarily absented themselves from it, in order to shelter themselves from the perils of the popular commotions.

4. What is in the two foregoing articles does not apply in favour of those who, during the time of their absence, have adopted measures or formed projects of conspiracy against the government and tranquillity of the province; neither does it benefit officers who have deserted from their colours.

And, by order of the same Honourable Junta, this is communicated to your Excellency for your information and subsequent government.—God preserve your Excellency many years.

Hall of Representatives in Buenos Ayres, 9th November, 1821.

(Signed) VALENTIN GOMEZ, President.


Secretary of Votes pro tempore.

To the Most Excellent the Governor and Captain-general of the Province.

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The Government has received the following communication:—

"In the session of last night the Honourable Junta of Representatives of this province sanctioned the following law:—


Criminal informations, instituted on account of political opinions anterior to this day, shall not preclude any person from the full enjoyment of the security which the law accords, in the province of Buenos Ayres, to persons and property.

By order of the aforesaid Honourable Junta, this is communicated to your Excellency for your information, respective publication, and corresponding measures.—God preserve your Excellency many years.

(Signed) JUAN JOSE PASO, President.



Hall of Representatives in Buenos Ayres, 7th May, 1822.

To the Most Excellent the Governor and Captain-general of the Province."

Buenos Ayres, 8th May, 1822.

By virtue of the preceding communication, the Government has resolved on and decreed:—

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1. Let it be inserted in the Official Register, and let it be complied with.

2. The second article of the decree of the 13th of November, 1821, is revoked.

3. The revocation established by the foregoing article shall be promulgated by especial communication to those whom it concerns.

4. The Minister Secretary of Government is charged with the execution of this decree, which shall be inserted in the Official Register.






Buenos Ayres, 21st April, 1824.

THE Government has resolved on and decreed—

1. With reference to the deliberation of this date, in an additional sheet to No. 4, of the Official Register of this year, let publication be made

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of the principal documents of the correspondence between the Commissioner at the Court of Brazil, and the Minister of the said Court, on the evacuation of the province of Monte Video.

2. Let it be circulated through all the provinces with reference to the beforementioned deliberation, reserving all other points till the time when the new Governor elect shall have entered on his command.



Presented by the Commissioner of the Government of Buenos Ayres, at the Court of Brazil, to the Minister of State in the department of Foreign Affairs of the said Court.

When Buenos Ayres, capital of the ancient viceroyalty of La Plata, raised the shout of insurrection, in the month of May 1810, against the despotic government of Spain—the greater part of which country at that period was occupied by French troops—and when, overthrowing the authorities of the mother-country, she organized a provisional government, and placed herself at the head of the new order of things, the natural, consequence ensued; and other provinces, repeating an


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echo of her voice, and displaying the same sentiments, hastened to strengthen their relations with her, and to obey the authorities which superseded those of his Catholic Majesty and their subaltern functionaries. In proportion as the ties which united them to the ancient mother-country were severed, those were more closely knitted which previously had linked them among themselves. The same complaints which they uttered in that moment, on account of the oppressions of three centuries, combined with the necessity of defending themselves, compromised anew their rights and wishes; and the social compact which already existed between them, far from being subject to alteration, received a still greater degree of legality and solidity. In a word, these provinces became essentially constituted as a nation, at the very moment when they shook off the yoke of the ancient mother-country; in the same manner as those of Brazil entered into that rank, from the hour of the publication of the Act which proclaimed their independence from Portugal.

The province of Monte Video distinguished herself in her sentiments in favour of the cause of the revolution, and in her efforts to second the enterprise of Buenos Ayres. In her capital, the embers of commotion were speedily blown into a flame, which unfortunately was quenched by the Spanish authorities. Nevertheless, the opinion of

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the propriety of a union with the other provinces discovered itself, and was unfolded more and more, amidst the same difficulties, till it became generally diffused among all Americans, or the greater part of them. The towns in the country became convulsed in different points, and, emancipating themselves from the force which oppressed them, hastened forthwith to become obedient to the general Government. For the same purpose, the most distinguished individuals emigrated from that side; and among them the officers of the army, Don Jose de Rondeau, and Don Jose de Artigas, who, after having paid their respects to the authorities, returned decorated and invested with the rank of lieutenant-colonels, and entrusted with the command of the troops which were already on their march for that destination, and whose ranks were to be reinforced by the remains of the army of Paraguay. When those forces had crossed the Uruguay, the divisions of patriot volunteers, who had mustered in the country and placed themselves under the orders of the general-in-chief, were immediately incorporated with them. The army marched without farther opposition, and the victory of Las Piedras, gained by its vanguard under the command of Lieutenantcolonel Artigas, left it master of the whole country, even to the walls of Monte Video.

The authority of the Supreme Government esta-

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blished in Buenos Ayres, was then acknowledged throughout the extent of that country. From all quarters felicitations were addressed to it, accompanied by protestations of union, fidelity, and obedience. All the persons employed, received from it new commissions; and the officers of the army, as well of the veterans as of the militia, were presented with the promotions of which the victory of Las Piedras had made them worthy. The eastern country retained itself, since that period, on the same footing of unity as the provinces of Corrientes, Entre Rios, Cordova, Mendoza, Tucuman, Salta, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, and La Paz; which, already free from the enemy, composed the integral parts of the new State.

The defeat of the patriotic army of Peru at that time obliged the Government to withdraw the troops from the siege of Monte Video, and to conclude an armistice with the Governor of the fortress. This was the moment when Colonel Artigas began to show indications of insubordination towards the supreme authority, by which he had been confirmed in the rank of Major-general of the army; to which he himself had formerly addressed the official despatch communicating the victory of Las Piedras; and from which, as a reward for that victory, he received the rank of Colonel.

That Chief, discontented with the armistice,

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did not follow the army to Buenos Ayres, and kept a position on the Uruguay, at the head of the provincial militia. Nevertheless they continued their relations with that capital; and he was constantly assisted with the necessary succours, until, hostilities breaking out anew with the Government of Monte Video, a respectable army was despatched a second time to that side of the river, commanded by the representative of the Supreme Government, Don Manuel Sarratéa, who ultimately remained under the orders of General Don Jose de Rondeau. The militias under the command of Colonel Artigas co-operated in the new siege of the fortress; and, although the conduct of that chief was always arbitrary and alarming, General Rondeau was acknowledged and obeyed throughout the campaign. The war was carried on with such success, that, immediately on the defeat of the squadron of Monte Video by that of the United Provinces, the fortress was given up to the besieging General; and, his troops having occupied it, authorities, named by the general Government, were established in it.

It is not to be dissembled, that at this time the insubordination of Colonel Don Jose Artigas assumed a more decided appearance, which compelled the General-in-chief to cause him to be pursued, to the satisfaction of all the proprietors of the country, by a part of the same forces

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who had occupied the fortress of Monte Video. Results unfortunately favoured his disobedience; and the Government of Buenos Ayres were necessitated to leave that province at his disposal, in order to turn its forces against the common enemy, whose movements it was necessary to confine to Peru.

Colonel Artigas, then become master of the eastern side of the river, and of the resources which it presented to him, displayed his resentment against the Government of Buenos Ayres; and events were concatenated in such a manner, that hostilities, the operations of which are matter of notoriety, became unavoidable between the two provinces. Nevertheless, the eastern State remained firm to its first resolution—of forming one nation with the provinces of the ancient viceroyalty; and even Artigas did not in the least oppose, by any of his measures, a determination which in part had entered into the scope of his own sacrifices. Opinion, it is true, became divided on an important question—as to the form of government which ought to be adopted by the new State; the preference being given on that side to a federal government like that of the United States. This discrepancy of opinions retarded the organization of the State, and, favouring the private passions of that Chief, gave him an opportunity to tyrannize over that province

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with the excesses of his despotism, till it was taken possession of by the Portuguese troops.

From this plain narrative, arranged according to the reality of the events, it is deduced that the eastern side for some length of time remained entirely under a private government, or, more properly speaking, under the tyrannical despotism of Colonel Artigas; but that at no time was any solemn act put in force to break off the national unity with these provinces, consolidated with new efforts in the first periods of the revolution. Its dissensions with Buenos Ayres can only be considered in the light of domestic and partial differences, such as have subsequently unexpectedly occurred in the other provinces; but which do not involve in their results a complete dissolution of the State, nor the dismemberment of its national territory. Thus it is, that, while they are governed provisionally by particular and independent Governments of their own, they are preparing their political re-organization, acknowledging as a basis the territorial unity which they have preserved. That is the precise situation in which, at this moment, the eastern side ought to be viewed; and in that situation it was when it was taken possession of by the troops of his Most Faithful Majesty inasmuch, as at that period it had not ceased to be an integral part of the territory of the provinces of La Plata. On that account it

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was, that the Supreme Director of Buenos Ayres considered himself at that time called on to request explanations from that Court, and to protest against the military occupation which had been effected in that territory, under the pretext of taking measures for the security of the frontiers of Brazil. His Most Faithful Majesty deigned to reply to these requests of the Supreme Director, in a note addressed to him, by his Royal order, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the most illustrious and excellent Senñor Tomas Antonio de Villanovo, dated 23d July, 1818, wherein, ratifying the armistice of 1812, his Majesty was pleased to declare that the occupation of the eastern side was purely PROVISIONAL.

While mentioning the armistice concluded between the Government of his Most Faithful Majesty and that of the provinces of La Plata, in 1812, it is impossible to refrain from transcribing in this place the third article, wherein the eastern territory is acknowledged as a part of the State of those provinces. It is thus worded:—"As soon as their Excellencies the Generals of the two armies shall have received the notification of this convention, they shall give the necessary orders, as well to avoid all actions of war, as to withdraw, as speedily as possible, the troops under their command, within the limits of the territories of the two respective States, those limits being understood to be the same which were acknow-

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ledged as such before the Portuguese army commenced its march towards the Spanish territory; and in faith of which, both territories shall remain inviolable during the existence of this convention: and, to the end that all things which are stipulated therein may be exactly complied with, we sign this document, in Buenos Ayres, the 26th May, 1812".

It is evident, then, by the wording of that article, that his Most Faithful Majesty, on ratifying anew the armistice concluded with the Government of the provinces of La Plata, through the medium of the aforementioned note of his Minister of State for Foreign Affairs—despatched in the year 1819, when the Spanish authorities had disappeared from the country, and when the private conduct of Colonel Artigas served as a pretext for its military occupation—acknowledges the eastern bank as part of the territory of the provinces of La Plata. To bear in mind this observation will be essentially useful for the examination which it is necessary to institute on the nature of the deliberations of the Cisplatane* Congress, since it appears to overthrow all the right which that Government pretends to possess to authorise its retention of that province.

* For the sake of brevity, it has been thought proper, as the word is of frequent occurrence, to retain the Spanish designation CISPLATANE, according to the analogy of Transpadane and Cispadane, Transrhenane and Cisrhenane.—(Translator.)

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It should suffice to know that that ill-fated Congress was convoked by incompetent authority, and held in the presence of a foreign army, interested moreover in its resolutions; so that its deliberations and acts may be considered as illegal as the famous transactions at Bayonne in the year 1808. But it is not permitted to pass over other occurrences of an equally serious nature, which prove that the country was neither sufficiently consulted, nor were its votes free and spontaneous. The Baron de la Laguna, transgressing the express orders of his Majesty, and the instructions of the Ministry, conducted himself as an avowed agent for the incorporation of that province with the kingdom of Portugal; and, on his own private authority, altered the bases laid down for the nomination of the representatives of the towns; substituting for their voice and vote in the elections that of several town-councils, destitute of the necessary attributes for that purpose, subjected to the influence of power, and many of them ignorant of the important business on which they were to deliberate.

We must here pause to consider the cause alleged by that General in his note of the 10th January, 1818, in which he informs his Most Faithful Majesty of the deliberations of the Cisplatane Congress, since he had taken the liberty to adopt that measure. He excuses his proceeding as

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having been necessary on account of the nature of the population of the country, which he asserts to consist of shepherds, wandering and thinly scattered. This insulting language, by which the Baron de la Laguna so little recommends himself to the inhabitants of the country over which he accidentally presides, cannot be falsely interpreted; and the inaccuracy and falsity of the alleged motive ought to be exhibited in a clear point of view. That country is organized in the same manner as all the rest of the American continent, in which the population is so scarce; and is divided into departments subject to their immediate chiefs, as well political as military, who concert measures to assemble their inhabitants, in all cases where the public service requires it, trusting for the most part to voluntary acts which bring with them no burdensome obligations. Thus it is, that in the country of Buenos Ayres, where a great portion of the inhabitants are shepherds, as is the case on the eastern side, all the population assemble at the points designated, to give their votes in person for the election of the deputies for the legislative body. And what would become of the national representation of Brazil, if, under pretext of the dispersed state of its country-population, that part of the community should be deprived of the right of suffrage, and that right be transferred from them to the chambers of the

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principal cities? And yet it is certain that the ruggedness of the roads does not allow the Brazilians the facilities of transporting themselves, which the country of Monte Video presents in its plains. But General Lecor himself incautiously pointed out the true motive of such an unjust proceeding, in the note referred to; when he assures his Most Faithful Majesty, that public opinion was decidedly against the act of incorporation, and that it was countenanced solely by men whom he permits himself to class as the most enlightened and of the greatest respectability in the country. His Excellency might have added, that the number of those persons was as scanty as of those who followed him on his retreat to the country, in consequence of the dissensions which broke out in the division of Royal volunteers.

And what confidence could be inspired in those States by the deliberations, on so momentous and difficult a matter, of a congress composed in a great part of persons in the employment of his Most Faithful Majesty, possessing scanty incomes, and seduced with the hope of more elevated destinies? Those who were not thus circumstanced, were stunned by the presence of an armed power, which did not conceal its private interest in the affairs on which they were to deliberate;—their discussions sufficiently prove that truth. The town of Monte Video was a cold

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and patient spectator of the tyranny and injustice with which its first rights were disposed of; and which clearly proved that the obligations contracted with the other provinces of the union, which had contributed to its liberty and emancipation with so many and so immense sacrifices, were utterly forgotten.

But, even were it wished to withdraw the sight from this mass of abuses, illegalities, and deeds of violence, it cannot be forgotten that these transactions, at that time null in their origin, have since become inefficient, by a conjunction of circumstances which appear to have been studiously combined, as if to make amends to the rights of that city for having been so atrociously infringed. The Cisplatane Congress, in the different articles of its acts, sanctioned the incorporation of that province with the kingdoms of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves; retaining for itself the character of a particular State, upon condition of being governed by the Constitution which should be sanctioned by the Cortes of Portugal, and of other stipulations which are therein expressed. It does not appear that the incorporation was accepted by the Government of Portugal: far from it; the diplomatic commission charged with the examination of the documents, frankly expressed its opinion as to the nullity of the Congress. Latterly, the Cortes were dissolved, the Constitution remained without

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effect, and Brazil declared, and supports in a distinguished manner, her national independence. The affairs of Monte Video have thus returned to the same situation in which they were found at the epoch preceding the celebration of the Congress. In what point of view can Brazil at present maintain, upon the strength of such titles, any shadow of claim to that province? A deputy, named in Monte Video by the Superior Junta of Royal Finance, to pass over to the Court of Portugal, in order to facilitate the ratification of the acts of the Cisplatane Congress, presented himself there, and laid before that Government claims and matters contrary to what had been sanctioned in that assembly, without bearing any other commission than that of Syndic of the Province; whose functions, very remote from such purposes, are detailed in the 20th article of its public acts. That article is worth reading, in order duly to perceive to what length abuses proceeded in that matter; and by what measures the mind of his Imperial Majesty, unprepared for the question, was attempted to be taken by surprise.

And what can be said of the system of acclamations, resorted to by the Empire of Brazil, in the towns of San Jose and Canelones? Those acclamations, besides being destitute of the formalities prescribed by the principles of public right gene-

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rally recognised, were assuredly very equally balanced by the silence of the rest of the country, and the solemn votes of the city of Monte Video, expressed through the medium of its town-council, popularly and expressly elected for that purpose. It appears that an objection was started against the legality of that respectable declaration, from the circumstance of that city being then in the power of the Portuguese forces. And what would be the guarantee for its liberty and independence, while it deliberated in the presence of the battalions of Brazil? In the mean time the State of Monte Video has declared her sentiments to be as hostile to her incorporation with the Brazilian empire as with the kingdom of Portugal; which clearly proves that that step was taken on her part under the conviction of what was apparently most conducive to her own interests: and the Government of Buenos Ayres, which has laid its remonstrances before the Government of Brazil, is disposed to make them equally effective with that of Portugal, reckoning on the probable results which, from the marked conduct of his Most Faithful Majesty, may be surmised on this subject.

As it has been demonstrated, in so convincing a manner, that the pretended incorporation of the province of Monte Video, whether with Portugal or with Brazil, is in the highest degree unjust,

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and that all and each of the other provinces of La Plata possess a right to demand the recovery of the national territory; it would appear to be out of place, to discuss the line of conduct which, in this case, a wholesome policy ought to suggest to the Cabinet of Janeiro. The new States of America, on constituting themselves, appealed to the impartial judgment of civilized nations against the acts of violence and the usurpations of their ancient mother-country; and they are, consequently, indispensably necessitated not to suffer the force of their reasonings and the justice of their complaints to be weakened by the present proceedings. It behoves them to manifest to the world that they can become great and powerful, solely by the skilful management of the immense resources which each of them possesses within itself, without allowing themselves to be domineered over by that spirit of ambition and avarice, which so materially degrades nations, and which has occasioned so much mischief to humanity. United among themselves by the identity of the principles and of the cause which they uphold, and, above all, by the ideas of justice with which their minds are so strongly imbued, they cannot fail to be powerful, and competent to repel with success whatever aggressions may be attempted against their rights, and the liberties which they have proclaimed.

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Brazil, by persisting in her pretensions to the eastern side, would depart from that line of conduct so honourable to, and moreover so befitting, her own interests. And how would the other states of America regard that spirit of conquest, developed so precociously, in the abandonment of those principles which may, with strict propriety, be said to constitute American policy?

But the Cabinet of Brazil cannot allow itself to be longer dazzled by a plan, which, although from a superficial consideration it might in some shape hold out flattering prospects, comprises, in its consequences, evils fraught with the greatest calamities. It ought to suffice that Cabinet to know, that, by authorizing the incorporation of the eastern province, under pretext of the dissensions prevailing therein, it sanctions a principle which may eventually be of fatal consequences even to Brazil herself. If, in the code of politics followed by her Government, it be sufficient that a small number of individuals raised their voice in favour of domestic dissensions, in order to maintain that that province is capable of separating from the rest of the union, and disposing arbitrarily of its own lot, with what shadow of justice or of moral strength could that Government keep in check any of its provinces which, guided by the same impulse that promoted the revolution, might perhaps choose, some day, to adopt a similar proceeding.


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Brazil is yet in the first stage of her political regeneration: she has manifold difficulties and dangers to overcome: and her treasury is in a state of incumbrance and destitution. Will it suit her to withhold, for a longer time, from their pursuits and private occupations in the interior, the men who compose her army, which now occupies the eastern side, and to keep up the immense expenditure which that army causes, and will ever cause her? That country will never quietly submit to foreign domination; and should it even be reduced, in order to subdue it, to a greater degree of languor, the facilities for supplies and other purposes which might be collected from it, would in no point of view stand on a line of comparison with the beneficial results which would ensue from a free commerce, established with reference to the principles that prevail in all civilized nations.

In the mean time the provinces of La Plata cannot recede from the necessity of supporting their honour and dignity: and, should they be compelled to adopt measures in support of their independence and other national interests, they will, if it be necessary, adventure even their existence to effect the re-incorporation of a place that is the key of the mighty river which laves their coasts, which lays open channels for their commerce, and facilitates the communication with

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an endless number of places situated in their dependencies. As little will they be indifferent to the fate of a population which has been united to them for such a length of time, which is clamorous for the re-establishment of its former political position, and which appertains to them, not only by the social ties that unite them, but also by ancient kindred, and by the bonds of similar interests, customs, and idiom.

The Government of Buenos Ayres felt the force of its duty in this respect, when, under very marked circumstances, its aid was solicited by the inhabitants of Monte Video. It conceived that it was due to its own dignity, and to the respect befitting a neighbouring state, to have recourse previously to the honourable mode of an official remonstrance, by sending a deputy to the court of Brazil for that object; and also, if it could be done, to regulate its political relations with a country in whose emancipation it most cordially rejoices, as sincerely as it respects the form of government which she has chosen for herself as the best suited to her necessities and desires. The Government of La Plata flatters itself that that measure will be appreciated, in its true character, by the Government of Brazil, and that the results which ought reasonably to be expected will ensue from it.

Rio Janeiro, 15th September, 1823.


(A Copy.) ESTEVAN DE LUCA, Secretary.

H 2

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Resolution of the Court of Brazil, communicated by its Ministry to the Commissioner of the Government of Buenos Ayres.

The undersigned, Counsellor, Minister, and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, laid before his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor, the two last notes which Don Jose Valentin Gomez, Commissioner from the Government of Buenos Ayres to this court, lately addressed to him, dated the 27th of January and the 5th of February of this year, urging, by order of his Government, a definitive reply on the subject of the restoration of the Province of Monte video to the Province of Buenos Ayres.

The undersigned, after assuring the Commissioner that the delay which has occurred in giving him the reply solicited, instead of being inconclusive as regards the desires manifested by the Ministry of his Imperial Majesty, and irreconcilable with the rights and interests of the Government of Buenos Ayres—the apprehension of which appears to have imposed on the Commissioner the necessity of demanding, for the last time, the explanations to which the other notes refer—is, on the contrary, a proof of the great desire which animates the Court of Brazil, in the fulfilment of its political transactions, to meet the wishes of the State of Buenos Ayres, by allowing a reasonable

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time to elapse, in order to receive the information necessary to enlighten it, and which might serve as a basis duly to appreciate the alleged rights and interests of that neighbouring government. And, after having also declared that such ought to be the interpretation given to the delay in that reply—as it is manifest that it was the intention of this Government to reply categorically to the Commissioner, since it now does so, having obtained the information which it required, and which it would have done before, immediately on the Commissioner's first overture, if such conclusive information had been within its reach—the undersigned has received the orders of his Imperial Majesty the Emperor, with that frankness and sincerity which invariably influence this Government, to submit to the consideration of the Commissioner in reply to his notes what follows:—That inasmuch as it is the constant desire of his Imperial Majesty to prove to the Government of Buenos Ayres the estimation in which he holds it, and not his wish in consequence that a longer delay in the decision demanded should tend to make such feelings on his part questionable, he must in reply demonstrate how impracticable it was to come to a definitive decision on the affair of the restoration of Monte Video to the Province of Buenos Ayres, by reason of the very same principles on which the Commissioner

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grounds his claim to demand it: since the Commissioner principally founds it on the wish of the Province of Monte Video, which desires and solicits from Buenos Ayres its separation from the empire: and as, on the contrary, there is every juridical presumption that the inhabitants of Monte Video do not desire such a separation, the question amidst such a discrepancy of opinions, could only remain as a moot case; and, even allowing the right of remonstrance on the part of Buenos Ayres, the expedient of consulting publicly should in justice be resorted to.

The general wish of the Cisplatane State—a recourse both unnecessary and fallacious!—Unnecessary—as that general wish has already been ascertained by all the means possible; and as it is presumable that more credit ought to be attached to the Congress of the Representatives of the whole State, who in 1821 determined on its incorporation with Brazil, and also to the acts of all the Town-councils in the country, which subsequently hailed his Imperial Majesty's Government with acclamations, acknowledged it, and nominated electors to choose a deputy who might represent them in the general Brazilian Assembly, than to the simple and illegal Town-council of the city of Monte Video alone, which, in the midst of the factions that a foreign influence excites, demands from Buenos Ayres an incorporation which is not

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called for by the other Town-councils.—Fallacious,—because, even taking for nothing the expressions, already announced, of the general wish of the inhabitants of Monte Video in favour of their incorporation with this empire, and allowing it were desirable to consult them anew, to satisfy the remonstrances of the Government of Buenos Ayres, that could not be effected: 1st. Because the country being garrisoned with Brazilian troops, indispensably required for the security and defence of its inhabitants, and on the other hand the city of Monte Video being still occupied in a military manner by Portuguese troops opposed to those of the empire, all and every popular declaration would be mutually reputed coerced and illegal by both parties, which would be the case even if it should, enter anew into the circle from which the Commissioner says it is now withdrawn. 2dly. Because it is manifest that, although a party may exist in the Cisplatane State in favour of Buenos Ayres—of which no rational doubt can be entertained, since thus the Commissioner asserts it to be—seeing that in more consolidated countries discrepancies will ever exist in political opinions, it is, at the same time, certain, by reason of the pending struggle between the armies which occupy that Province, that other different parties have arisen, fomented by the enemies of the empire, and by the inhabitants of Monte Video themselves; such as those

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that desire a union with Portugal, and with England, and those that aspire to the absolute independence of the Cisplatane State; which parties, though small in number, and disseminated among the grand mass of those who desire and swear to maintain its incorporation with the empire, present on the whole, in consequence of the state of fermentation in which they necessarily place the country, the greatest obstacles in the way of collecting the expression of a general wish freely pronounced.

To these reasons must be added, that the decision exacted ought alone to appertain, constitutionally speaking, to the Legislative power; and, above all, since the affair of the incorporation of the Cisplatane State has become a constitutional object, on which the last General Assembly of Brazil not only legislated, but also did so in opposition to the pretensions of the Commissioner: and since, in the actual state of things, no new Legislative Assembly being yet convened, his Imperial Majesty would not wish, on that account, to take upon himself to decide peremptorily; as it is obvious that in countries with representative Governments, it belongs exclusively to the legislative bodies to alienate or cede any portion of territory in actual possession; and more particularly in a case like the present, in which the cession of Monte Video would amount to an attack against the territorial entireness of the empire.

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Nevertheless, his Imperial Majesty—aware of the importance of an ultimate resolution in affairs of this nature; desirous to evince, in every possible point of view, how much he prefers the principles of a frank and true policy; and, moreover, judging by the last explanations which have been communicated to him, that this government can answer with security, and henceforward for itself, in this matter—has commanded the undersigned to inform the said Commissioner—that, even should the general wish of the Cisplatane Province be consulted anew, by any means which the Commissioner might think fitting to propose, and even should that wish be expressed (an idea scarcely credible!) in favour of incorporation with Buenos Ayres, Portugal, or any other power, the Imperial Government could not but regard such a measure as an attack, aimed not only against the true interests of the Cisplatane State, but also against the rights acquired, at the cost of so many sacrifices by Brazil, to the possession of the State in question; seeing that a convention solemnly concluded between that State and the Empire of Brazil (to which empire the said convention was and is excessively onerous) cannot be dissolved solely by the disinclination of one of the contracting parties, but materially requires for that purpose the consent of both; and on that account the empire would in such case be under the necessity of defending her rights. They are

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as sacred as the origin whence they proceeded: since, even waiving the ancient treaties of limits concluded with the Crown of Spain, it is sufficient to consider—1st. That the inhabitants of Monte Video being exposed to the despotism of Colonel Artigas, and the Province, as it were, almost annihilated by the furies of civil war, they could not find protection from any power excepting Brazil, which delivered them from that ferocious chief, and caused peace and abundance to revive in their country, at a time when neither Buenos Ayres nor Spain made the smallest sacrifice to aid or to protect them. 2dly. That the Brazilian Government has expended since that time immense and constantly increasing sums of money on that Province; for which it possesses so evident a right to be indemnified, in the event of its choosing to abandon the State alluded to, that the Court of Madrid itself formerly recognised its claims to such indemnification, when lately it procured, although ineffectually, the intervention of the principal Courts of Europe for the restitution of Monte Video by his Most Faithful Majesty. 3dly. That, after the Province became quiet and free, his Most Faithful Majesty facilitated to it the means for the choice of its own lot, without any coercion: and the Province—legally represented in Congress, knowing that the same right

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was possessed by it, as was acted upon by the Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, to sever the links of its connexion with the mother-country; and that, moreover, it was gifted with the same privilege as the other provinces of the said Viceroyalty, (such for instance as Cordova, Tucuman, Santa Fé, Entre Rios, &c. &c.) to separate itself from Buenos Ayres, and to dispose of its own destinies — resolved to incorporate itself with Brazil; and that incorporation was successively ratified, as well by the acclamations for his Imperial Majesty, as finally by the elections which despatched a Deputy to the general Brazilian Assembly. Therefore, by reason of these momentous considerations, the Government of his Imperial Majesty cannot enter with Buenos Ayres on a negotiation having for its fundamental basis the cession of the Cisplatane State, the inhabitants of which it cannot abandon: and particularly, since the reciprocal conviction of the interests resulting from the incorporation, the obligations mutually contracted, the fidelity which so eminently distinguishes the Cisplatane inhabitants, and the dignity of the Brazilian Empire, present so many more obstacles to any negotiation by which these things might be exposed to jeopardy.

The undersigned, while laying the contents of his explanations before the Commissioner,

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hopes that the Government of Buenos Ayres, appreciating by its wisdom and impartiality the motives which stand in the way of its claim, will be convinced that the Imperial Government acts as, in a similar situation, the Government of Buenos Ayres itself would act; and that it will greatly rejoice to see the relations of good harmony existing between the two countries cemented henceforth, on every opportunity, with more firmness and greater dignity.

The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to repeat to the Commissioner of the Government of Buenos Ayres the assurances of his great respect and particular esteem.

Palace of Rio Janeiro, 6 February, 1824.



To Senor Don Jose Valentin Gomez, &c. &c. &c.

(Translated from the Original.)

Estevan de Leon.

Letter of the Commissioner of the Government of Buenos Ayres, giving an account of his arrival in that Capital.

AFTER having addressed to your Excellency, on the 9th of February last, from the Court of Janeiro, the note of the 6th of February, from his Excellency Señor Luis Jose Carvallo y Melo,

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Counsellor, Minister and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, containing the final resolution of that Government relative to the negotiation with which I was entrusted, it would have been proper that on my return to this capital I should have had the honour to place in your Excellency's hands the copy of the note I addressed, in reply to his Excellency's, with the view of casting new light on some points of my former communications, of dissipating the mistakes perceivable in his despatch, and of demanding my passports, in conformity with the orders with which your Excellency was pleased to furnish me on my departure. Deprived of that satisfaction, on account of the loss of my baggage in the shipwreck I suffered, I have no other course left me, for the information of your Excellency relative to the contents of the note alluded to, than that of summarily laying before you the observations which I deemed it expedient to submit to the consideration of his Excellency the Brazilian Minister: and they are the following:—

That the Commissioner of the Government of Buenos Ayres, on representing to his Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs that the extraordinary delay which had occurred in the progress of the negotiation was inconclusive, as regarded the desires manifested by the Ministry of his Imperial Majesty, and irreconcilable with the

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right and interests of the Government of Buenos Ayres, and demanding for the last time a categorical resolution, had not meant to interpret that delay, but merely to show, in express terms, its real incoherence with the formal promises which he had received on that subject, from the Most Excellent Señor Jose Joaquim Carnero de Campos, his Excellency's worthy predecessor in the Ministry, in an official note of the 8th of September—promises ratified in the conference of the 19th of the same month, and reproduced by his Excellency in his note of the 1st of December.

That the claim instituted for the restitution of the Province of Monte Video had not been founded PRINCIPALLY, as his Excellency explained it, on the wish which at that time its inhabitants manifested to return to their ancient union with the rest of the provinces of La Plata—although that wish was general and decided—but on the strength of the social compact, which had bound them together since the remote times of their birth, reproduced at the moment of their emancipation from the ancient mother-country, and finally strengthened by a thousand solemn acts, of the same kind as those which unite among themselves the provinces of Brazil; all which had been extensively demonstrated in the MEMORANDUM which the Commissioner had the honour to address to the Ministry on the 15th of Septem-

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ber; from which compact the rights and privileges of the eastern province, with respect to its union with the other Provinces of La Plata, were derived as fundamentally as those of the Brazilian Provinces with Janeiro.

That it was impossible to raise a shadow of doubt as to the right of the Government of Buenos Ayres to personify itself in this matter; whether it did so for itself, and as a member of the general association, under which character, besides the popular measure which it was its duty to adopt, it was particularly instigated to such conduct by the relations of family, friendship, vicinity, and commerce, existing between the two populations; or whether it took the step in the name of the other provinces, concurring uniformly in the sentiment of recovering, at all risks, their national state of entireness.

That the Government of the Provinces of La Plata had exerted the requisite efforts to free the eastern country as well from the despotism of Colonel Artigas as from the disorder in which he had plunged it, until it was obliged to turn its attention towards the common enemy; expecting to obtain from time and the operations of other natural principles the result which it had not then obtained by force;—a policy which could not be censured by the Ministry, without incurring the risk of reciprocity; nor alleged as capable of

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founding any title in favour of the Court of Brazil to that territory, which the troops of his Most Faithful Majesty occupied provisionally, under pretext of re-establishing peace therein, and placing the frontiers of his kingdom in security. But even granting that it had been possible by these means to secure the tranquillity and abundance with the attainment of which his Excellency now flatters himself, still, inasmuch as the province has been exposed to a desolating warfare, carried on between the two foreign armies, which for so long a time have disputed its domination; inasmuch as its workś in the country have been transported to the neighbouring territory; its houses violated by the billeting of the officers and soldiers of Brazil; and its inhabitants torn from their homes, in order to be sent to swell the ranks of the army, the stipulations of the said Cisplatane Congress have been infringed.

That the Commissioner of Buenos Ayres had seen with astonishment that his Excellency, in his note alluded to, brought forward the principle that the Province of Monte Video had the privilege to release itself from its bonds, in the same manner as the other Provinces of La Plata, which it now considers as placed in that predicament among themselves, by reason of the difficulties which they have encountered in their new or-

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ganization, and of the differences which have arisen among them on that account; since he understood that the Government of his Excellency did not consider the province of Pernambuco as disunited from the other provinces of Brazil, notwithstanding the domestic convulsions which it has undergone during such a length of time, and the well-known situation in which it now remains.

That, in the event of its having been wished to ascertain anew the sincere wish of the inhabitants of Monte Video on the subject of their re-incorporation with the provinces of La Plata, or of their union with those of Brazil, to avoid the risk of their determination being looked at suspiciously, as originating in the influence of a foreign power, it would have been preferable to adopt the means of making the Brazilian troops retire within their own frontiers, immediately on the place being abandoned by the troops of his Most Faithful Majesty, thus guaranteeing to the province independence, and freedom of deliberation, and leaving to the municipal authority the care of preserving public order: by which measure the Government of his Imperial Majesty would have risked nothing; if, as his Excellency alleges, there exist in that country small parties only in favour of the union with Buenos Ayres,


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England, or Portugal, or of the establishment of its absolute independence, which are lost in the grand mass of those who desire its incorporation with Brazil, and whose fidelity was so highly lauded by his Excellency.

That, in fine, since, in consequence of the tenor of the communication of his Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to which the Commissioner of Buenos Ayres had the honour to reply, the negotiation is broken off, and the rights of the provinces, as well of Monte Video as of the others of Rio de la Plata, have not been listened to, he hoped that his Excellency would send him passports, to enable him to withdraw himself from that Court in conformity with the orders of his Government; which, in consequence, were transmitted to him the same day.

These are the principal points in the note to which reference has been made in this exposition. Your Excellency may rely on the accuracy with which they were demonstrated; and, in that certainty, may confidently lay them before the Government for its consideration. If the Commissioner has not obtained the success which was desirable in so important an affair, he flattens himself, at least, to have with the greatest possible zeal, and in perfect conformity with the instructions which have guided him.

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Deign, Sir, to receive the assurances of my high consideration and respect.


Buenos Ayres, 12th April, 1824.

To Señor Don Bernardino Rivadavia, Minister Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Government.


Buenos Ayres, 24th July, 1823.


Preliminary Convention agreed upon between the Governments of Buenos Ayres and the Commissioners of His Catholic Majesty.

THE Government of Buenos Ayres having recognised, and caused to be recognised, in virtue of credentials presented and legalised in due form, as Commissioners from the Government of his Catholic Majesty, Don Antonio Luis Pereira, and Don Luis de la Robla; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the said State of Buenos Ayres having proposed to those gentlemen the arrangement of a convention, preliminary to a definitive treaty of peace and amity, which is to be concluded between the Governments of his Catholic Majesty and the United Provinces, on the bases established by the law of the 19th of June of the present year; and having reciprocally discussed

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and laid open whatever they considered to be calculated to conduce to the better adjustment of the relations between the abovementioned States, in exercise of their duties, and of the powers vested in them, have arranged the said preliminary convention in the terms expressed in the following articles:—

1. After sixty days, reckoning from the date of the ratification of this convention by the Governments whom it concerns, hostilities shall cease between them and the Spanish nation, both by land and sea.

2. In consequence thereof, the General of his Catholic Majesty's forces now in Peru will retain the positions occupied by him at the time he becomes acquainted with this convention; with the exception of such particular stipulations as the adjoining Governments may propose or accept for reciprocal convenience, with the object of improving the respective lines of occupation during the suspension of hostilities.

3. Commercial intercourse, with the exception only of contraband articles of war, shall be fully re-established, during the time of the said suspension, between the provinces of the Spanish Monarchy which the arms of his Catholic Majesty occupy in Peru, and the States which ratify this convention.

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4. In consequence thereof, the flags of both States shall be reciprocally respected, and admitted into their ports.

5. The relations of maritime commerce between the Spanish nation and the States which ratify this convention shall be regulated by a special convention, the adjustment of which will be entered into hereafter.

6. Neither the authorities governing in the provinces of Peru, in the name of his Catholic Majesty, nor the adjoining States, shall impose on the commerce of either greater contributions than those existing at the time of the ratification of this convention.

7. The suspension of hostilities shall continue for the term of eighteen months.

8. Within that period the Government of the State of Buenos Ayres will negotiate, by means of a Plenipotentiary of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, and in conformity with the law of the 19th June, the conclusion of the definitive treaty of peace and amity between his Catholic Majesty and the States of the American Continent to which the said law relates.

9. In the event of hostilities being renewed, they shall not take effect, nor shall commercial intercourse cease, until four months after the notification thereof.

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10. The law existing in the Spanish Monarchy, as well as in the State of Buenos Ayres, relative to the inviolability of property, although belonging to an enemy, shall have full effect in the case mentioned in the foregoing article, in the territories of the Governments which ratify this convention, and reciprocally.

11. As soon as the Government of Buenos Ayres shall have been authorised by its Chamber of Representatives to ratify this convention, it will negotiate the accession thereto of the Governments of Chile, of Peru, and of the other United Provinces of Rio de la Plata; and the Commissioners of his Catholic Majesty will, at the same time, take every means for giving to this accession, on the part of the authorities of his Catholic Majesty, the most prompt and complete effect.

12. For the due effect and validity of this convention, the necessary copies are signed and sealed, by the Commissioners on the part of his Catholic Majesty, with their seal; and, on the part of Buenos Ayres, with that, of the Department for Foreign Affairs.

Buenos Ayres, 4th July, 1823.

Seal of Foreign Affairs.




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Buenos Ayres, 23d July, 1823.

By virtue of the law of the 17th current, which authorises the Government, the present convention is ratified.



THE Honourable Junta of Representatives of the Province, exercising the ordinary and extraordinary sovereignty which belongs to them, in the Session of the 17th current has sanctioned, and decrees, with the value and force of law, what follows:—


The Government is authorised to ratify the preliminary convention, concluded on the 4th of the present month, between the Government of the State of Buenos Ayres and the Commissioners of his Catholic Majesty resident there; and also to negotiate the accession thereto of the States and Governments mentioned in article 11th of the said convention; which is trans-

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mitted to your Excellency for your information and subsequent guidance.

God preserve your Excellency many years.

Hall of the Sessions, Buenos Ayres, 21st July, 1823.

(Signed) MANUEL DE ARROYO Y PINEDO, President.


To the Most Excellent the Governor of the Province.


LET acknowledgment be made of the receipt of this, and, let it be inserted in the Official Register; and being ratified, let its enactments be acted upon.



For voting in favour of Spain the sum of 20,000,000 dollars.

THE Honourable Junta of Representatives of the Province, exercising the ordinaty and extraordinary sovereignty which belongs to them, has sanctioned, and decrees, with the value and force of law, what follows:—

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The war which the King Louis XVIII. is preparing to make on the Spanish nation, being directly and principally opposed to the principle recognised in article I. of the law of the 10th of May, 1822, in case that aggression should be realised, the Government is authorised to negotiate, that after the conclusion of the definitive treaty of peace and amity with his Catholic Majesty on the bases of the law of the 19th of June, to which treaty the convention of the 4th of July current is preliminary, there shall be voted by the American States, recognised as independent, in virtue of the said definitive treaty, for maintaining the independence of Spain under the representative system, the same sum of 20,000,000 as, in the month of March last, was supplied for destroying it by the Chambers of Paris, which, by order of the said Honourable Junta, is communicated to your Excellency for the corresponding objects.

God preserve your Excellency many years.

Hall of the Sessions, Buenos Ayres, 22d July, 1823.



To the Most Excellent the Governor of the Province.

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Buenos Ayres, 23d July, 1823.

LET acknowledgment be made of the receipt of this, and let it be inserted in the Official Register; and, being ratified, let its enactments be acted upon.



Buenos Ayres, 23d July, 1823.

BY virtue of the powers confided to the Government by the law of the 17th instant, it decrees as follows:—

1. The accession of the Republics of Chile and Peru to the preliminary convention of the 4th instant shall be negotiated through the medium of a Minister Plenipotentiary, accredited to the Governments of both the aforesaid States, as well as to that of Colombia.

2. Don Felix Alzaga, Citizen of the United Provinces, is hereby nominated Minister Plenipotentiary for the aforesaid purposes.

3. The Minister Plenipotentiary shall receive a monthly allowance equal to eight thousand dollars per annum.

4. Two thousand dollars yearly shall be as-

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signed to the Secretary of the Legation, who shall be nominated by the aforesaid Minister.

5. The salaries assigned by the present decree shall be defrayed from the funds, for the expenditure of which the Government is authorised by the law of the 19th June of this year.

6. Let the title and credentials corresponding be given, and let it be inserted in the Official Register.



Buenos Ayres, 23d July, 1823.

THE Government being authorised, by the law of the 17th instant, to ratify the preliminary convention entered into on the 4th instant between this Government and the Commissioners of his Catholic Majesty accredited to it, as well as to negotiate the accession to the said convention on the part of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, has decreed as follows:—

1. A Commissioner shall be sent by the way of Peru, to the Commander of the Spanish forces occupying part thereof, charged to negotiate on his way, in concert with the Envoy to the provinces of the Union, the accession of each to the aforesaid preliminary convention.

2. The aforesaid Commissioner, jointly with those of Spain, shall endeavour to have the con-

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vention carried into effect in the territory occupied by the Spanish authorities in Peru, as well as to establish the best possible relations of friendship and commerce.

3. Don Juan Gregorio de las Heras, General of the United Provinces, is hereby appointed to carry this commission into effect.

4. The Commissioner shall receive a monthly allowance equal to 8,000 dollars annually, including his pay for his services in the army.

5. The salary assigned by the foregoing article shall be defrayed from the funds, for the expenditure of which the Government is authorised by the 4th article of the law of the 19th June of this year.

6. Let the credentials required by this decree be delivered; let it be transcribed in the Ministries of War and Finance, and let it be inserted in the Official Register.



Buenos Ayres, 28th July, 1823.

IN conformity with the law of the 17th instant, the Government decrees as follows:—

1. A special Commissioner shall go to Paraguay, and negotiate with the provinces on his

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road the accession of each to the preliminary convention entered into between this Government and the Commissioners of his Catholic Majesty.

2. Dr. Don Juan Garcia de Cosio, Member of the Tribunal of Justice, is hereby appointed to that Commission, with the salary of his employment and travelling expenses corresponding.

3. Let the proper credentials be made out, delivered, and inserted in the Official Register.



Buenos Ayres, 23d July, 1823.

WITHOUT prejudice to the power acknowledged, by the 2d article of the preliminary convention of the 4th current, to exist in the authorities of his Catholic Majesty in Peru, and in the provinces bordering on the territory which they occupy, to put in force the particular stipulations which may be proposed for reciprocal convenience, the Government, exercising the power given to it by the law of the 17th of the aforesaid month, decrees the following:—

1. A Commissioner of this Government shall be sent immediately to the territory of the province of Salta, for the better fulfilment of the duties

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which hereinafter are detailed, placing himself previously on a footing of understanding with the authorities which are expressed.

2. The regulation of the line of occupation for that part of Peru, between the Spanish authorities and those of the territories adjacent, belonging to the nation of the United Provinces.

3. The regulation of the relations of peace, amity, and commerce, with the States situated as well without as within the line of occupation.

4. The careful preservation of the line by both parties, and the good ordering of the relations which may be occasioned by the preliminary convention.

5. The General of the United Provinces, Don Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales, is nominated to exercise that commission, with an annual salary equivalent to his pay when in employ with the army.

6. Let the credentials be made out which this decree requires; let it be transcribed for those whom it concerns, and inserted in the Official Register.


The Deputy to the interior provinces, Dr. Don Diego Estanislao Zavaleta, is especially charged with the negotiation to see that the anterior de-

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crees are put in force by the Governments of the district of Cuyo.


Revenue collected in the Province of Buenos Ayres in the years 1822 and 1823.

Class 1. Duties, Contributions, and other Imposts.
Dollars. Reals.
Custom House—Maritime Imports 3,209,574 1 0
Maritime Exports 358,648 5 0
Inland Duties 39,447 1 ¼
Confiscations 8,679 0
3,616,348 7 ¼
Dollars. Reals.
Port Dues 80,012 4 ½
Stamped Paper 189,207 6 0
Direct Taxes 60,668 7 0
Tithes (abolished in 1822) 50,682 4 ¾
Sundries 277,547 5 ¾
658,119 4 0
4,274,468 3 ¼
Class 2. Produce of the public property by sales 148,933 6 ½
Class 3. Rents, Revenues, and Profits, from that not alienated. 158,192 1 0
4,581,594 2 ¾

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Expenditure of the Province in the said years.

Class 1. Interest on the Public Debt consolidated 520,000 0 0
Sinking Fund of the same 112,818 1 0
632,818 1 0
Class 2. Debts, prior to 1822, defrayed in money 301,101 6 ¼
Class 3. Ordinary and Extraordinary expenses. 3,667,154 5 0
4,601,074 4 ¼

Balance at the end of 1823.

Receipts of the year 1822 and 1823 4,581,594 2 ¾
Taken in Credit by means of acquittances and VALES, with some deposits 349,792 1 ¼
Its amount against the Treasury at the end of 1823 4,931,386 4 0
Expenditure in 1822 and 1823 4,601,074 4 ¼
Money and Bills in the Treasury at the end of 1823 330,311 7 ¾
4,931,386 4 0
Acquittances and VALES in circulation, and some deposits 349,792 1 ¼
Funds in the Treasury 330,311 7 ¾
Deficiency at the end of 1823 19,480 1 ½

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It is to be observed concerning this account of 1822 and 1823, that, besides paying all the ordinary and extraordinary expenses, including the public works, there have been paid for Debts anterior to that period 301,101 6 ½
Expenses which need not be enumerated, because the receipts taken for sale of properties, a measure which will never again be repeated, only amounts to 148,933 6 ½
Remainder, an excess paid of 152,167 7 ¾
So that, instead of a deficiency of 19,480 1 ½
The Treasury, if it had not been obliged to satisfy these debts, would have had a surplus of 132,687 6 ¼


Instructions for the conduct of the Commissioner of this Government to the other provinces of the ancient union, Dr. Don Diego Estanislao de Zabaleta,a Clergyman of the first dignity, President of the Senate of the Clergy.

THE object proposed to be attained by this Government, through the medium of the mission entrusted to the zeal of the clergyman of the first dignity aforesaid, is to reunite all the Provinces of the territory, which previously to the emancipation composed the Viceroyalty of Buenos


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Ayres or Rio de la Plata, embodied as one nation, administered under the Representative system by one Government, and a Legislative Body.

The second object which the Government likewise proposes to itself, and which it conceives to be the first means of arriving at its principal aim, is that each of the provinces indicated should enter upon a system of peace, to be maintained by the towns, and by those who govern them; so that, endeavouring to establish public and individual security, and applying themselves to find out with accuracy the resources of their respective treasuries, they may govern wisely, and employ their population and wealth to the best advantage. And the Government likewise wishes, that the towns of the several states might be induced actively to employ themselves in the labours of the most productive industrious callings, to augment their knowledge by means of reading and rational society with each other, and to watch over the education of their children.

The Deputy will understand that no measure which can in any way conduce to the accomplishment of these expressed wishes of the Government, can possibly be reprehensible, inasmuch as, to effect the object, they must be moral and honourable, and consequently admissible. The Deputy, moreover, will perceive that he is in no manner to conceive himself subjected to the cal-

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culations or details in these instructions, as the copious and various channels which may lead to the ultimate beneficial results pointed out are left, in a great measure, for his sagacity and talents to discover: and these are invariably to be exerted for bringing about, and solidly establishing, all things which may contribute to the favourable issue of the commission with which he is entrusted.

Nevertheless, the following articles are laid down as the bases of the powers with which he is invested.

Article 1. The Commissioner shall exert all his means and abilities to inspire all and each of the Governments with which he treats with the fullest confidence, with regard to the moral disinterestedness and national zeal of his Government. For this purpose, what he ought chiefly to avoid, is mystery, and the appearance of reserve; and likewise, showing, or giving cause to suspect, that he himself supports any party.

2. The most especial duty which is confided to the Commissioner is, to convince all the authorities and chiefs of the states, with the Governments of which he is going to treat, that, neither on the part of the Government of Buenos Ayres, nor of the inhabitants of this city, who have, or may in future have, an influence in their administration, there does or shall exist, any ill-will

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on account of past events; and that as little is such feeling to be apprehended as likely to cause the least aversion towards the said chiefs or authorities.

3. The Commissioner will cause it to be understood that it is the decisive opinion of the Government of Buenos Ayres, that the persons who are best calculated to promote the organization of the National Body, are those who now may govern the states: and that on this point it does not, and thinks that it should not, make any exception: and that, in virtue thereof, it accounts it to be one of its primary duties to support all the existing governments, and those which may yet be established; recommending that no alteration or change of persons be made in them, till the installation of the Government and General Legislative Body.

4. The Commissioner, therefore, will endeavour to induce all the Governments with which he treats, to co-operate, in the most active and efficacious manner, in concert with the Government of Buenos Ayres, to establish a Government and a General Legislative Body.

5. The Commissioner will impress on them, that, in order to obtain so desirable and important a result, the most necessary and efficacious method is, that each Government should commence by publishing a detailed account of the

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resources of its treasury; of the expenses called for by each of its departments: making a statement of the improvements that its Government and respective country require; of the evils which it is essential to remedy or to prevent; and of the means which, in its opinion, are most likely to conduce to that object. With this view the Government of Buenos Ayres offers, at its own expense, to print such documents, and all other papers, of the other Governments alluded to, tending to the end proposed.

6. The Commissioner will also endeavour to set forth the importance of this idea, namely, that each of the Provinces which have more than one Government should unite its different towns under one alone. The Government is aware that that point may be subject to many difficulties in its practical execution; and, therefore, knowing this, it again repeats the recommendation of prudence and of consultation on each case, communicating the particular circumstances thereof, so that co-operation may be given by the especial resolution which this Government may advise.

7. The Commissioner will instruct the Governments and towns to which he is deputed concerning the views of the Government of Buenos Ayres, with respect to promoting the prosperity of the whole nation, and of each state, by establishing a national fund for objects of general uti-

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lity. The first of the said objects is to supply a capital for the commerce and industry of each state; and the second, to open a communication by water to the places of the greatest traffic; and especially the three navigable routes to the port of Buenos Ayres, from the Rio Bermejo on the north, secondly from Los Rios, thirdly from El Paranà, and on the south from Diamante and Salado. That the Government of Buenos Ayres is endeavouring to bring to perfection all these plans, and others, as well of general utility as of particular use to each province, town, and village, to demonstrate, in a befitting manner, and in an intelligible and convincing way, that its whole attention has been for some time past directed to take advantage of all occurrences and resources which tend to prepare for the nation the means to put them into execution.

8. The Commissioner on presenting to each of the Governments with which he is to treat, the credentials, given to him for that purpose, shall promote, in the way he shall deem most expedient, the objects of his mission; for which end he will take the necessary time to obtain a knowledge of the place, and of the persons in it, in order to guide him in the fulfilment of his duties; and, by means of frequent communication with his Government, he will report on the dispositions of the Govern-

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ments and Towns, and also on the progress of the important work committed to his charge; and, in conformity with the tenor of his correspondence, he will receive instructions more in detail, and be informed of the resolutions adopted in consequence of his information.

The Government feels convinced that the Commissioner will exhibit ability and zeal in the discharge of his duties, and in the observance of these instructions which are now given to him by his Government.


Buenos Ayres, 30th May, 1823.

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[page 138]

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A YEAR has elapsed since the Confidential Letter, with which this publication commences, was written in Buenos Ayres; and that year furnishes materials wherewith in some shape to complete it. It is important that the beginning and the ending should be thoroughly made known; although, among a certain class of people, it is difficult to induce a belief that any order of progressive improvement can possibly take place in America. It is not known whether this occurs in consequence of the credit attached to the notion that persons who possess any share of reasoning powers are born there in very small number—an assertion which Spain has published to the world, at the same time that she has uniformly insisted on being acknowledged as their legitimate mother. Some of those people, perchance, will affect to entertain that opinion solely in compliment to the right of antiquity; but it would seem

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that there are others, who, considering the Americans as descended from the blood of a nation which now shews itself only as if it were destined to vegetate in obscurity and degradation, persuade themselves that, by reason of that fact alone, similar occurrences ought to take place between America and Spain, as between the sin of Adam and eternal condemnation. It is but right, therefore, to cut the flight of the courtesies of the one, and likewise to tranquillize the other, by unfolding to them the state of that country with which we are best acquainted—namely, the Republic of Rio de la Plata.

The Letter, which is published, leaves affairs in Buenos Ayres under these two points of view:—

1st. That all the institutions, established and erected on the principles of civilisation, had given credit and prosperity to the place; and that the only thing remaining to be done was to preserve them.

2dly. That, after having terminated the practical organization of Buenos Ayres, what remained in the second place to effect was the extension of its influence, in a direct manner, to all the provinces of the Union.

The change of the public administration, made in Buenos Ayres in conformity with the law of April 1824, justly encreased the responsibility which the ministry going out of office had in-

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curred—by closing the war of independence, and opening the career of liberty, as that was the grand and most elevated object proposed by the revolution of that country—while it placed the administration coming into power in another situation of responsibility, namely, that of completing the new institutions, by sometimes retaining and sometimes extending them with prudence and skill. The first work was, moreover, considered extremely difficult; and the second impracticable, as depending on the other; but no other motive for such apprehensions appears to have existed than that derived from the repeated examples which that country has presented, in the course of the revolution, of inconsistency, as well in her political principles, as in the maintenance of her public forms: so certain is it, that when it is considered to be troublesome to go deeply into the merits of events, it is always found convenient to confine observation to the surface of them. It is requisite, then, that we should save ourselves from this reproach. It is necessary to repeat an observation which has already been made, that the weight of it may not be forgotten; namely, that the war in which the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata have been involved, during many years, at one time to conquer the necessary territory, at another to escape from the oppression of the tribunals of the mother-country,

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whose penal codes have for their bases the flames of sacrificial fire, has been the matter to which attention has been mostly directed. On this account the chiefs of the revolution have applied to no other study than to that of the sword, and the population in general have received no instruction but in handling the musket. Nevertheless, the advantages to which, even in this point of view, they have evidently attained, prove clearly, without the necessity of recurring to what is now passing, that the interior conduct of the country would have been essentially different, had the inhabitants but had time to shake from them the effects of the terrors which the most fanatical of mothers bequeathed to them. It is essential—and why should it be otherwise?—to explain all things with frankness. Under many points of view, during two-thirds of that revolution, it was indispensable for my countrymen to pay homage to the civil principles of their ancestors. There always have been several Spaniards in that order of things, preponderating among the whole population, always excepting the innate wish of separating from them—an innate wish which not even the want of civilisation has been able to weaken, and which in the end has given the children the ascendancy over their fathers. There is no doubt of it; we repeat the assertion; and no one assuredly will have the imprudence to deny

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it. During that period, the children have shown themselves, not unfrequently, as to their interior arrangements, more or less as their fathers have shown and continue to show themselves, although with one essential difference, which it is always fit to bear in mind, namely, that no change of government, by any revolutionary movement, and no disorder in the public forms of administration, have ever been able to establish the principle that God commanded, as in his chosen nation, to retrograde to slavery.

Undoubtedly there was reason, at that time, to take note of the defect of inconsistency, although there was certainly none to repeat it to satiety. But is it now a time to dwell on retrospective views? Is it meant to be insinuated, that because these states were what it was compulsory on them to be, they are for ever to be the same? The contrary is clearly proved. Since the exterior war began to cease to be an exclusive affair in that country; since its independence acquired solid guarantees in consequence of the emancipation of the continental republics; and since, by reason of all these things, the first argument might have been conceded to be resolved, namely, the application to devise the means of effecting a real and prosperous existence, which in fact was undertaken, when the people had the good sense enthusiastically to welcome the principles detailed in

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the letter now published, at which moment that country ceased entirely to be a dependency of Spain. With an exemplary rapidity, and with an excessive degree of improvement, it shook from it its old habits; it exalted itself above its hereditary prejudices, throwing open the barriers of civilisation, the influence and advantages of which, once thoroughly experienced, suffice to moralize not only a mild population, like that of the United Provinces, but even tribes the most savage—Civilisation!—that name and that thing which is so much beloved, and yet so much opposed! Nevertheless, to the name and to the thing it is indispensable to render the liveliest homage of the purest gratitude. To those things, to their power, and to their beneficent influence, it is that an independent population could alone subject themselves with hope and without fear.

It appears totally unnecessary to discuss whether, at the present time, civilisation has or has not exercised a powerful influence in that country, since it is perceptible in the published letter; the truth of which, by the very fact of its being given to the world, is to the fullest extent guaranteed. The supposition of falsity was at one time surmised, to augment the conviction, which was pretty generally disseminated, that the new institutions of that country contained a fertile germ of that baseness:—undoubtedly some other infamy

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will be invented to cut off all appeal! It is but right to hope that the simple manner with which these institutions have been planted there, will be borne in recollection; that is, by putting theory aside and adhering strictly to practice. There no constitution exists, as constitution is and has been interpreted; and yet nothing is wanting. Social necessities have been supplied as they appeared to be wanting, without being crushed with the enormous weight of a sudden collection. In this manner, the laws of reform have not been only written—all has been done in regular continuation: the knowledge of the necessity of a law, the formation of it, the approval of it by the representatives of the State, and the execution of it by the Government, have appeared to be one and the same act. But we shall better establish the point on which we are treating, if we reflect that the public administration, on which fell the responsibility of preserving and diffusing the institutions of that country, has acted on it during more than a year of experience; so that now not only the spirit of violent innovations on the part of the States appears to be corrected, but also the germ of dissolution, which usually affects popular governments, seems as if annihilated.

In this year it has been observed that no substantial alteration has been made in the principles of social reform, which began to spring up in


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1821: all the public and individual guarantees subsist in Buenos Ayres: through them, all persons, be they natives or foreigners, passengers in the country, or domiciliated therein, enjoy security and liberty, without restrictions; through them, no one has been molested in the exercise of civil and natural rights, whether he professes the same political or religious faith, or one opposed to the fundamental bases of the republic: through them, property has also been in the strictest manner respected; as the doctrine is always acted upon, that that principle powerfully influences prosperity, and thus materially acts on civilisation: and through them every one, who has thought fit so to do, has entered or left the States freely, with his fortune, or without it, not considering whether it had been acquired in the country, or brought to it. In this manner, in this year, the concourse of foreigners, capitals, and artisans of different kinds, has increased in my country in a two-fold ratio; and her commerce, as well exterior as interior, has become so wonderfully extended, that, without the necessity of augmenting any of the taxes, but on the contrary adopting always a gradual reduction in the dues on importation, the products of the Custom-house in 1824 have exceeded those of 1823 by a fifth. The statement, No. 1, will serve to be placed in comparison with the statement G, which accompanies the

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published Letter; placing between the two the statement, No. 2, shewing the produce of the Custom-house in the days of the Spanish Government. It is but rational to suppose that these documents will perspicuously exhibit the contrast between that former ominous situation and the prosperity which is now enjoyed; and that the contrast will serve as the ground-work for a calculation of the resources which my country may yet possess in times to come.

No. 1.

From the General Statement respecting the amount of the Public Revenue of the Province of Buenos Ayres in the year 1824, was made the following Extract of the Receipts.

Receipts of the 1st class—Dues and taxes 2,350,215
—of the 2d class—Sale of property 78,582
—of the 3d class—Rents, revenues, and profits 159,994


1st. The items of the first class are almost entirely composed of Custom-house dues, inasmuch as the taxes as yet produce little, and every endeavour is used to establish them very gradually, and without any violence.

2d. The loan contracted in London by that Province in 1824, for one million of pounds sterling, negotiated by the Government at 70 per cent., and the shares of which stock are now at 92⅞ in England, is, in fact, untouched, as it is

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employed, in conformity with law of the Representatives of the State, in constructing a port in Buenos Ayres, in cities on the southern coast, and in facilitating the emigration of European families. The ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the Province are defrayed by the ordinary receipts, and, for the most part, an overplus remains in hand.

No. 2.

Statement of the legitimate Receipts, Expenses, and net produce of the Royal Custom-house of Buenos Ayres in the five years from 1791 to 1795, prior to the last war with England, with the amount per cent. of the cost of its administration in each year, and in the whole time; and also the like for the year 1802, comparing it with the average amount of these five years.

Years Receipts. Expenditare. Nett Product. Amount of annnual per cent. Average percent, on the whole 5 years.
1791 336,532 25,866 0 17 310,666 3 17 6-12 dollars at 8¼ at 6⅛
1792 468,850 2 4 3-19 26,018 0 25 6-13 441,822 1 8 9-12
1793 423,623 62 0 26,002 3 11 4-12 397,621 3 8 8-12
1794 407,984 2 15½ 24,129 4 0 383,854 6 4 1-8
1795 310,858 7 3 6-12 21,643 6 8 6-12 289,215 0 25
1,947,849 7 22 2-12 123,669 6 28 4-12 1,823,778 7 10
Average 389,569 7 22 2-12 24,733 7 26 1-12 364,835 7 30 at 6¾
1802 857,702 5 21 25,205 2 13 832,497 3 8 3
Increase in 1802. 468,132 5 32 10-12 471 2 20 11-12 467,661 3 11 11-12

Dated Buenos Ayres, 29th January, 1803.

By such a gradual, but constantly progressive advancement, besides the first interest of that country being fulfilled, which, as has already been said, consisted in the preservation of the institu-

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tions, the second has also been propitiously realized. In December 1824, the national body was installed, forming a Chamber of Representatives of all the Provinces of the nation. That act—eminently important for the country, inasmuch as it was the result of the most intimate conviction spontaneously declared by each state—has given rise to the hope that no violent alteration of the public administration will again return to perplex affairs. But the first measures of the National Body appear to offer a stronger guarantee. On the principle that it is most expedient not to enter on any general regulation of the territory, unless it be upon the same basis by which Buenos Ayres regulated herself, that is to say, practically, the chamber passed a law, whereby it commanded a census to be taken of the population of all the provinces, and a statement of all public property; and, at the same time, the Government charged with the executive authority, notified to each of them the necessity of undertaking forthwith—

"1st. The regulation in each province of its internal administration, on a footing of strict economy; that is to say, that more ought not to be expended in its administration than what was barely necessary for the service being well performed.

2d. The accurate publication of the resources

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and means of each province, and of its expenditure, without fear of a deficiency appearing; inasmuch as credit is less prejudiced by the knowledge of a deficiency than by mystery, uncertainty, and confusion.

3d. The skilful imposition of taxes, regulated on the basis of good principles, so that they may injure as little as possible the productive labours of industry, which is the fountain of public wealth, and the inexhaustible fund of the revenue.

4th. The examination and promulgation of the public property, which can be put to account, and serve as mortgages for the debts contracted by the nation.

5th. To establish as a sacred law the inviolability of property and persons in the interior of each of the provinces."

These are the first measures of the general public administration of that country. They need no comments. But it is now the proper place to add an important document, which also belongs to the same period, namely, the treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation, concluded in Buenos Ayres, between the Governments of his Britannic Majesty and the United Provinces; the tenor of which is as follows:—

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Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, between his Britannic Majesty and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata.

Be it known, that a treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, having been concluded and signed in due form on the 2d day of the present month of February, by Don Manuel Jose Garcia, Plenipotentiary on the part of the Government of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, and Mr. Woodbine Parish, Plenipotentiary on the part of his Britannic Majesty; the following is a literal copy of that treaty:

EXTENSIVE Commercial Intercourse having been established for a series of years between the dominions of his Britannic Majesty, and the territories of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, it seems good for the security as well as the encouragement of such Commercial intercourse, and for the maintenance of good understanding between his said Britannic Majesty and the said United Provinces, that the relations now subsisting between them should be regularly acknowledged and confirmed by the signature of a treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation.

For this purpose they have named their respective Plenipotentaries; that is to say:—

His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; Woodbine Parish, Esquire, his said Majesty's Consul-general in the

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Province of Buenos Ayres and its dependencies; and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, Señor Don Manuel Jose Garcia, Minister Secretary for the Departments of Government, Finance, and Foreign Affairs, of the National Executive Power of the said Provinces; who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found to be in due and proper form, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles:

1. There shall be perpetual amity between the dominions and subjects of his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, and their inhabitants.

2. There shall be, between all the territories of his Britannic Majesty in Europe, and the territories of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, a reciprocal freedom of commerce: the inhabitants of the two countries respectively, shall have liberty freely and securely to come with their ships and cargoes to all such places, ports, and rivers, in the territories aforesaid, to which other foreigners are, or may be permitted to come, to enter into the same, and remain and reside in any part of the said territories respectively; also to hire and occupy houses and warehouses for the purposes of their commerce; and, generally, the merchants and traders of each nation, respectively, shall enjoy the most complete protection and security for their commerce;

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subject always to the laws and statutes of the two countries respectively.

3. His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland engages further, that in all his dominions situated out of Europe, the inhabitants of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata shall have the like liberty of commerce and navigation, stipulated for in the preceding article, to the full: extent in which the same is permitted at present, or shall be permitted hereafter, to any other nation.

4. No higher or other duties shall be imposed on the importation into the territories of his Britannic Majesty of any articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata; and no higher or other duties shall be imposed on the importation into the said United Provinces, of any articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of his Britannic Majesty's dominions, than are or shall be payable on the like articles, being the growth, produce, or manufacture of any other foreign country; nor shall any other or higher duties or charges be imposed in the territories or dominions of either of the contracting parties, on the exportation of any articles, to the territories or dominions, of the other, than such as are or may be payable on the exportation of the like articles to any other foreign country; nor shall any prohibition be imposed upon the expor-

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tation or importation of any articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of his Britannic Majesty's dominions, or of the said United Provinces which shall not equally extend to all other nations.

5. No higher or other duties or charges on account of tonnage, light, or harbour dues, pilotage, salvage in case of damage or shipwreck, or any other local charges, shall be imposed, in any of the ports of the said United Provinces, on British vessels, of the burthen of above one hundred and twenty tons, than those payable in the same ports, by vessels of the said United Provinces of the same burthen; nor in the ports of any of his Britannic Majesty's territories, on the vessels of the United Provinces, of above one hundred and twenty tons, than shall be payable in the same ports, on British vessels of the same burthen.

6. The same duties shall be paid on the importation into the said United Provinces of any article the growth, produce, or manufacture of his Britannic Majesty's dominions, whether such importation shall be in vessels of the said United Provinces, or in British vessels; and the same duties shall be paid on the importation into the dominions of his Britannic Majesty of any article the growth, produce, or manufacture of the said United Provinces, whether such importation shall be in British vessels, or in vessels of the said United Provinces: the same duties shall be

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paid, and the same drawbacks and bounties allowed, on the exportation of any articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of his Britannic Majesty's dominions to the said United Provinces, whether such exportation shall be in vessels of the said United Provinces, or in British vessels; and the same duties shall be paid, and the same bounties and drawbacks allowed, on the exportation of any articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of the said United Provinces to his Britannic Majesty's dominions, whether such exportation shall be in British vessels, or in vessels of the said United Provinces.

7. In order to avoid any misunderstanding with respect to the regulations which may respectively constitute a British vessel, or a vessel of the said United Provinces, it is hereby agreed, that all vessels built in the dominions of his Britannic Majesty, and owned, navigated, and registered according to the laws of Great Britain, shall be considered as British vessels; and that all vessels built in the territories of the said United Provinces, properly registered, and owned by the citizens thereof, or any of them, and whereof the master and three-fourths of the mariners at least are citizens of the said United Provinces, shall be considered as vessels of the said United Provinces.

8. All merchants, commanders of ships, and others, the subjects of his Britannic Majesty,

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shall have the same liberty in all the territories of the said United Provinces, as the natives thereof, to manage their own affairs themselves, or to commit them to the management of whomsoever they please, as broker, factor, agent, or interpreter; nor shall they be obliged to employ any other persons for those purposes, nor to pay them any salary or remuneration, unless they shall choose to employ them; and absolute freedom shall be allowed, in all cases, to the buyer and seller to bargain and fix the price of any goods, wares, or merchandize imported into, or exported from, the said. United Provinces, as they shall see good.

9. In whatever relates to the lading and unlading of ships, the safety of merchandize, goods, and effects, the disposal of property of every sort and denomination, by sale, donation, or exchange, or in any other manner whatsoever, as also the administration of justice, the subjects and citizens of the two contracting parties shall enjoy, in their respective dominions, the same privileges, liberties, and rights, as the most favoured nation, and shall not be charged, in any of these respects, higher duties or imposts than those which are paid, or may be paid, by the native subjects or citizens of the power in whose dominions they may be resident. They shall be exempted from all compulsory military service

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whatsoever, whether by sea or land, and from all forced loans, or military exactions or requisitions; neither shall they be compelled to pay any ordinary taxes, under any pretext whatsoever, greater than those that are paid by native subjects or citizens.

10. It shall be free for each of the two contracting parties to appoint consuls for the protection of trade, to reside in the dominions and territories of the other party; but before any consul shall act as such, he shall, in the usual form, be approved and admitted by the Government to which he is sent; and either of the contracting parties may except from the residence of consuls such particular places as either of them may judge fit to be so excepted.

11. For the better security of commerce between the subjects of his Britannic Majesty, and the inhabitants of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, it is agreed, that if at any time any interruption of friendly commercial intercourse, or any rupture, should unfortunately take place between the two contracting parties, the subjects or citizens of either of the two contracting parties residing in the dominions of the other, shall have the privilege of remaining and continuing their trade therein, without any kind of interruption, so long as they behave peaceably, and commit no offence against the laws; and their

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effects and property, whether entrusted to individuals or to the state, shall not be liable to seizure or sequestration, or to any other demands than those which may be made upon the like effects or property, belonging to the native inhabitants of the State in which such subjects or citizens may reside.

12. The subjects of his Britannic Majesty residing in the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, shall not be disturbed, persecuted, or annoyed on account of their religion, but they shall have perfect liberty of conscience therein, and to celebrate divine service either within their own private houses, or in their own particular churches or chapels, which they shall be at liberty to build and maintain in convenient places, approved of by the Government of the said United Provinces: liberty shall also be granted to bury the subjects of his Britannic Majesty who may die in the territories of the said United Provinces, in their own burial-places, which, in the same manner, they may freely establish and maintain. In the like manner, the citizens of the said United Provinces, shall enjoy, within all the dominions of his Britannic Majesty, a perfect and unrestrained liberty of conscience, and of exercising their religion publicly or privately, within their own dwelling houses, or in the chapels and places of worship appointed for that purpose, agreeably to

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the system of toleration established in the dominions of his said Majesty.*

* This twelfth article was sanctioned by the Congress of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, (in which there were eight individuals belonging to the secular clergy,) with only two dissentient voices; and even these were founded on what is usually termed circumstantial objections, without at all contradicting the principles. This information, be it considered in whatever light it may, as to displaying the enlightened state of intellect in that country, may be important in the present day; when the BISHOP of ROME, uniting himself to FERDINAND VII., that FAC-SIMILE of the GRAND TURK, appears resolved to re-conquer, for his beloved brother and ally, the obedience of the new States of America: to re-conquer them, believing that he can still exercise a despotic authority over the clergy of these States. This information may save his Holiness from the sin of following up a task, the whole burden of which must fall upon himself; since it proves that now he has no proselytes there who advocate the privileges of burning and of enslaving: but if it might be permitted to an humble, but human voice, freely to approach the holy father, this appears a fit opportunity, with all respect to inform him, that the American clergy will receive his Circular of the 24th September, 1824, not as the fruit of a frail and delirious imagination, but as a document descended from Heaven for their felicity. The clergy of that country have kept pace with political independence; by doing which, besides having advanced themselves in intelligence and pure morality, they have also obtained a very high reputation; but HIS HOLINESS not only wishes them to lose that repute, but also to become themselves the destroyers of it; and still His Holiness pretends that he hopes and strives to devise a measure which may tend to exalt the importance of the American clergy, and also that of their church. Few words, Holy Father, suffice for the wise!

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13. It shall be free for the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, residing in the United Provinces of Rio de La Plata, to dispose of their property, of every description, by will or testament, as they may judge fit; and, in the event of any British subject dying without such will or testament in the territories of the said United Provinces, the British Consul-general, or, in his absence, his representative, shall have the right to nominate curators to take charge of the property of the deceased, for the benefit of his lawful heirs and creditors, without interference, giving convenient notice thereof to the authorities of the country, and reciprocally.

14. His Britannic Majesty, being extremely desirous of totally abolishing the Slave trade, the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata engage to cooperate with his Britannic Majesty for the completion of so beneficent a work, and to prohibit all persons inhabiting within the said United Provinces, or subject to their jurisdiction, in the most effectual manner, and by the most solemn laws, from taking any share in such trade.

15. The present treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in London within four months, or sooner if possible.

In witness whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed their seals thereunto.

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Done at Buenos Ayres, the second day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.


H. B. M. Consul General.


We, Juan Gregorio de las Heras, Captain-general and Governor of the Province of Buenos Ayres, charged with the Supreme Executive Power of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, actually united in Congress, having, in conformity with the fundamental law of the 23d January 1825, communicated the said treaty to the Constituent Congress for its approbation, and obtained its full power and consent for the ratification and confirmation of the said treaty, by the present act ratify and confirm it in form, promising, and binding ourselves, in the name of the said United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, that all the stipulations made, and all the obligations contracted therein, shall be sacredly and inviolably complied with.

In faith of which we sign the present deed of ratification, and have caused it to be countersigned by our Minister Secretary of State for the departments of war and marine, sealing it in a solemn manner with the seal of the nation, in Buenos Ayres, this nineteenth day of the month of February, in


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the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.



(L. S.)

This is the first treaty which has been concluded between a government that has existed during centuries, and one that reckons but the completion of fifteen years: between a European and an American Government. The nature of that document, and the very objects for which it is destined, leave no room to insert in it the mass of reflections, and the general observations to which that act gives rise, whether with reference to what is derived from it in respect to the political existence of the rising states of the New World, or as regards its relation with the definitive conquest of that same existence, but principally from the consideration that this act may be beheld as the legal preliminary of that new order of social and commercial relations already anticipated some time ago, and infinitely more important than the state of things which was forced on the world by the discovery of the new hemisphere by the old. Such reflections would be out of place here: what it is befitting to mention, is of subaltern import; and that reduces itself to a mere consideration of the treaty with respect to what is deducible

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from that document in favour of the idea which it is endeavoured to propagate, namely, that in the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, the field of civilization is becoming more expansive, and consequently the security of the institutions which have been there established.

To ascertain that fact, it is requisite to give to this document but a moderate degree of attention. In it are included the fundamental principles of these institutions—the inviolability of property, and the security of persons, whatever be the origin of either, in peace or in war.—That treaty was made with the authority of all the provinces, subsequently to the establishment of the national body—a truth which proves, in the absence of all other facts, that these states, besides having embraced these identical principles, are solemnly pledged to uphold them: and, what is more, to grant the enjoyment of these very rights to any nation whatsoever which is desirous of making such stipulations by means of a treaty, according to all the forms of the public law of nations. The reason is obvious. The said treaty concluded with his Britannic Majesty's Government evinces that these provinces have essentially put into practice the principle proclaimed in Buenos Ayres in 1822, that their commercial relations with all the nations of the world shall possess as a basis a perfect reciprocity, and that, in order not to concede privileges to one more than to ano-

M 2

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ther, what they grant to one they will readily accord to the rest. They do well: but the reason would be irrelevant.

Another observation must be made, not only on account of its utility, but also of its justice. It has been generally said that the treaty was proposed by the Government of his Britannic Majesty, more or less as it is now worded; and that it will be the only one which will be made in these provinces, inasmuch as according to it will be modelled all treaties that may be made between the United Provinces and other nations. It ought certainly to be esteemed as a very honourable circumstance for these republicans, that the most respectable Government of Europe has taken the decided lead in that first treaty; but it is no more than proper, at the same time, to confess that the country of the United Provinces does not owe to that treaty the existence of the principles contained in it. It is true, that by the mere act of having proposed it, such as it stands, confidence is proved to have been placed in the progress of intelligence in these states.—Here a comparison might be made with Spain, were it not otherwise certain that she cannot be compared but with herself. But what is to the purpose, and must not be omitted, is, that, long before that treaty was made, in Buenos Ayres, and in almost all the territory, these

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principles were in most parts well known, and in others rigidly practised. Here then we see the more rational cause which makes it likely that the treaty concluded with his Britannic Majesty will be the model for all others; since the bases of the treaty are no more than a consequence of the social principles of the United Provinces.

But there is still something to be added. All that is known of that part of America concurs in establishing the belief that, in the present day, in a treaty of this or that nature, with whatsoever nation it may be made, the only important circumstance to that country consists in a document being produced which gives complete assurance that possession may there be kept of what it has gained by the sword: and to the nation which contracts, the only important point would be, that the greatest confidence should be inspired throughout its dominions as to the enjoyment of the guarantees which might be secured through a medium which they know, or which is usual—that of Treaties. As to the rest, by such an act that country neither adds to the real stability of its existence, which nobody can now dispute with it, nor do foreigners and their capitals need more guarantees than the interest which is thereby manifest to obtain their presence on the one hand, and on the other, the protection of the interior laws, which have declared, and will in future declare,

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the necessity as well as the convenience of going hand in hand with education and wisdom. Before that treaty, no one was prohibited from entering the country with security of person, of property, and of opinions: even Spaniards have come thither with more guarantees than in their own country. The manufactures imported were the English, French, or German; nay, were they even Turkish or Spanish, none paid a higher rate of duty than the rest. Within the country every foreigner could lay out his money himself, or by an agent at pleasure, in large or in small sums, according to his views or individual interest: no partial taxation was known: no foreigner, under any pretext, was subjected to more than the natives. Thus it is proved, in the present day, that, in Buenos Ayres one of Mr. Canning's countrymen has as great rights as a vassal of Ferdinand's.

From what has been stated, therefore, it may without violence be deduced, that there is not the slightest ground to suspect that, in the Provinces of Rio de la Plata, any retrogression will take place in the march towards civilization which they have undertaken. It is necessary then to abandon all compliment and all scruples. Even the sole resource which appears to be left to those born with hostile feelings towards the advancement of the human species can have now no influence in the social order of that country. They will attempt,

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perchance, to introduce agents there, who may stir the fire of civil discord: they will attempt to put into practice those murderous and immoral machinations with which they are acquainted, and which make them appear in the world somewhat worse than stationary—that is to say, retrograding: they will attempt to seduce those scanty remnants of the fanatical classes, who, being old, cannot now become accessible to the true light: all this they may attempt, in order to bury an example at which they tremble, and to re-establish their abhorred empire—but with what hopes?—I repeat it, with what hopes?—since the advantages which they could promise are already in possession, now that the great majority of the country has begun to enjoy abundantly what it has acquired without the sacrifice of its honour, or of its liberty, and, above all, without contributing to detain the current of the spirit of the age? What occasion is there to deceive ourselves?—that spirit is there predominant; and now nothing is capable of repressing the celerity and force with which it diffuses itself.

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IT is well known with what interest America inspires speculators of all descriptions in Europe: to have obtained this is of more service to that new country than all the consideration which its governments could procure for it. It is nevertheless very certain that many persons are timorous through want of statistical data. This is one of the remnants of those blessings for which America is indebted to Spain; but Spain can no longer make a convenience of that Continent! This is the right place to remark, that among all the different writers on that country, who have appeared in later times, not one has thought proper to give notices of each state in particular; of its climate, of its productions, and of all, in short, that might tend to give an exact idea of each of the parts of which all these important matters, as a whole, are composed. It is to be lamented that such a work has not been undertaken under the protection of the American Governments; but it is to be hoped that it will be begun before long. This would be the method to complete the great

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fabric of the prosperity of these countries, giving them influence by demonstrating what they are intrinsically worth, and what they actually know. Until so great and general a benefit be accomplished, an attempt has been made to commence it, in part, as far as relates to the Provinces of Rio de la Plata, whence some details may be acquired hitherto unknown. It is impossible to say that they are complete; much is wanting to make them so; and also to stimulate to the labour of compiling them, according to the rules of statistical science. Nevertheless, they are of more value than the loose information now possessed, as they have the advantage of having been collected from a practical knowledge of the whole territory.


IN the following statistical statements, nothing will be found to contribute to the advancement of that science, nor any thing worthy of incorporation in the catalogue of the monuments of European magnificence. Let nothing of this kind be expected. They will exhibit merely the peculiarities of a new and naked country, wherein much is wanting, which is superabundant in others—hands and capitals, for instance—and which,

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nevertheless, possesses admirable facilities for the productive employment of these great agents. The accomplishment of this also is all that is desired, in conformity with the most solid interests of the country under consideration. That country cannot as yet aspire to the reputation of being magnificent—a reputation for which, whatever may be her real or artificial advantages, it is indispensable that she should await the arrival of consequences from the natural course of events. There is, therefore, no cause to employ deception; neither is it that system which is intended to be acted upon. The Provinces of Rio de la Plata do not present a very flattering prospect for those who enjoy the world; nor of such persons do they now stand in need. There the things which interest the most are capitals, and that class of people which, in other parts, is considered as the least provided for, and consequently the most needy of society. The artizan, the labourer, the mechanic, the man who works with his hands, are the most valuable acquisitions that can be made by that country, where they are certain of being repaid for their toil by a comfortable livelihood, and by a decent place in society. To such people the short notices now published may be interesting. These, and all that is known besides of the country, establish the idea that any man of that class, possessing sound morals, and a

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good disposition to exercise his calling, will there find employment the moment he arrives, and in a short time the means of enjoying an independent existence. An immense territory, virgin and fertile, with abundant productions of the three kingdoms of nature, and possessing a climate of the mildest kind, is what presents itself to foreigners who are anxious to escape from mendicity among inhabitants free and hospitable.


THIS is the most interesting of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, on account of its maritime and terrestrial position, its extent and population, its civilization and institutions, and also the abundance of its productions. But it is less necessary to give detailed statistical statements of this province than of any of the others; inasmuch as, besides being the city most resorted to by foreigners in all the southern parts of America since the commencement of the present century,* various periodical works are published there, in which every information is given relative

* This opinion is not exaggerated. However, passing by the many facts which might be quoted, for the present, the following extract from a statement presented to the British Parliament by its order by the Minister, in January of the present year, will suffice to prove it. It comprises the amount of English goods imported into America, and of those of America imported into England, during a year, as follows:
English goods imported into America. American goods imported into England.
Mexico 369,776 19 6 221,825 16 9
Colombia 305,621 11 8 45,275 8 10
Peru 408,872 12 6 15,316 12 9
Chile 489,601 17 2 9,719 19 6
£1,573,873 0 10 £292,137 17 10
Buenos Ayres, or, United Provinces of Rio de la Plata. £803,237 19 1 £388,338 6 10
Whence it is deducible, that the importation to England of the produce of the Provinces of Rio de la Plata exceeds by 96,200l. 9s. the amount of that of all the other republics conjoined; and that the importation to that country of English goods amounts to more than half the value of all the importations of such goods to the other republics in aggregate. This cannot be caused by the greater abundance or better quality of the productions, or by the superior number of the population in those provinces; but is solely to be attributed to the greater and more ancient concourse of foreigners, which, in point of numbers, may be computed, as regards England, at an amount of as many as are to be found in all the rest of the nations put together.

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to its productions, to its interior and exterior circulation, to the current price of the articles of provisions of the country and those coming from beyond seas, to that of the funds, &c. &c. and also in one of those periodical publications, entitled, "Statistical Register of the Province of

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Buenos Ayres," published at different periods of the year, since 1822, under the inspection of the first authority in the province, all the information that can possibly be desired is to be obtained. It is compiled under a fixed plan, which comprises seven sections;—namely,

1st. Topography.

2d. Population.

3d. Means of Production.

4th. Arts.

5th. Commerce.

6th. Public Inspection or Authority.

7th. Results of the antecedent violent measures as to the population, or manners and customs, in an economical point of view.

As therefore this periodical work can be consulted on all points of information which are wished to be ascertained, no more shall be done, with respect to Buenos Ayres, than to copy from the Statistical Register, the tables and descriptions which are considered of most importance in the actual state of things; as, for instance, those which point out its locality, temperature, population, and other such matters; to which will be added, a topographical plan of the streets of the city, officially taken in the year 1824.

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THE city of Buenos Ayres is situated on the right bank of the River la Plata, on a hill elevated thirty-four feet above the level of its waters, which penetrate internally to Chile and Peru. The river Parana, which, in the latitude of 27 degrees, is augmented by the waters of the Paraguay, navigable for the distance of 600 leagues, and by those of many rivers and rivulets in its course; and the Uruguay which, at the same latitude, descends from the eastern part, augmenting its volume in the same manner, form a wonderful ramification of navigable streams, which unite into one channel under the said name of the River la Plata. The natives call it Paraná Guazú, which means great, to distinguish it from the Parana before its junction with the Uruguay and other rivers. Hence the mouth by which the Parana goes forth to widen and unite itself with the other, is called the mouth of the Guazú. This is the mother of the river. The other mouths, de las Palmas, Conchas, and so forth, are of little depth. The current of the Guazú, running towards the east, proceeds to meet the coast which comes from the north-west, as far as La Colonia. There it joins the Uruguay, and, doubling its waters, goes along the coast till it enters

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between the island of Martin Garcia and the land. The channel which is there formed is so rapid that it has obtained among mariners the appellation of The Channel of Hell. To the other part of the river, on that side of Martin Garcia, towards San Ysidro, they have given the denomination of The Delight. It has little depth, excepting in the canals formed by the mouths of Las Palmas and Conchas. After this great mass of waters has united, it proceeds majestically; and, until its communication with the sea, its narrowest point may be computed at 10 leagues, which is its breadth from the point of La Colonia to that of the Mountain Santiago, and between the capes of Santa Maria and San Antonio it is 40 leagues wide. These capes are the boundaries north and south which are given to the River la Plata, by the generality of geographers; because in the waters which thence proceed to the interior, the influence of the tide is not perceptible, nor are other characteristics observable which are common to salt waters. Some limit the river to the points of Santa Lucia and de las Piedras, because after that the waters become unfit for drinking.

That spaciousness which gives such magnificence to the River la Plata is counterpoised by its little depth, which throws frequent obstacles, and also many perils in the way of navigation.

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There are, therefore, only two channels which can receive vessels of any burthen as far as the confluence of the rivers: one which runs along the north coast, and the other the south. For this reason it has been deemed advisable to insert, in this place, the following Document, published in Buenos Ayres during the present year.


For sailing from the Outer Roads of Buenos Ayres to Monte Video, by the North and South of the Chico Bank.

By the North or Main Channel.

1st. From three fathoms in the Outer Roads, steer E. by S. by the compass until Point Santiago de la Ensenada de Barragan bears S. W. by the compass. Off this Point is found from 5½ to 6 fathoms water, according to the state of the river.

2d. When the above-mentioned Point bears S. W., steer E. N. E. until you make the Ortiz Bank, which will be when you lessen your water to 3 or 3½ fathoms. This bank may be approached on the South side without danger, as the water diminishes gradually. It is a very good guide to navigate in the night or in thick weather.

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3d. From 3 fathoms on the Ortiz Bank, steer S. E. by the compass until you make Point Indio. In this track you will deepen your water to 5 or 5½ fathoms, crossing the middle channel, according to the state of the river. Passing the middle of the channel the water diminishes gradually according as you near the land.

4th. When you think you are about 7, 8, or 9 miles from the land, which will be in 3¼ or 3½ fethoms of water, steer E. S. E. and coast it along.

5th. When Point Indio bears S. W. by the compass, steer N. E. by E. until you see Monte Video, which may be seen about 30 or 33 miles distant from the top of a common-sized vessel. Keeping your course N. E. by E. you will continue in 3½ fathoms of water until you find yourself 6 or 7 leagues from Monte Video.

6th. When you find 5 fathoms of water you will be 9 or 10 miles from the harbour of Monte Video.

From the said 5 fathoms to the harbour it will lessen to 2½.

By the South of the Chico Bank.

From 3 fathoms in the Outer Roads steer E. by S. as before, until you have 6 fathoms off Ensenada.

Before you lose sight of the town of Quilmes


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you can see Point Lara, which is easily known by a grove on the side of the river.

S. E. of Point Lara there is a large ombu tree on Mr. Wright's Estancia, distant about 2½ miles.

E. S. E. of Point Lara is the Point and Mount of Santiago, easily seen at the distance of 7 miles.

2d. Having passed the Bank of Ensenada, which runs out about 5 miles from Point Lara to the N. E. by N., steer S. E. by compass until you find yourself 5 or 6 miles from land.

3d. When 5 or 6 miles from land, steer E. S. E. by compass to keep along the shore.

Before you lose sight of Point Santiago you will see the ombu tree of the Balandra to the E. S. E. distance about 14 miles, and one of those nearest to the river.

From this ombu the N. W. point of the Chico Bank bears N. 30° E. Keeping an E. S. E. course, after you have run a short distance you will see Point Atalaya resembling two mounts. Keeping still on the same course you will see many ombu trees, and when you have run about 6 miles you will see a large grove of them, where lies the town of Magdalena. The church of Magdalena is easily discovered, having two steeples, the largest at the east.

From this church the S. W. point of the Chico Bank bears N. 15° E. by the compass.

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Between the Chico Bank and the land the least water you find is between the S. E. point and the coast; when the river is low you have, generally, about 17 feet.

Having passed the church you may keep farther from shore than six miles, as you have then passed the Chico Bank, and keeping on your course E. S. E. you will see four ombu trees, being the last you will see.

After passing the last ombu trees the shore is level, with shrubs, grass and reeds until you make Point Indio about 15 miles distant.

Point Indio is low level land with only one tree on it, and to the S. E. you can see two large groves of tallow-wood and espinillos.

These mounts are near Point Piedras and Point Indio.

From Point Indio the S. E. part of the Ortiz Bank bears N. 30° E. by compass, distant about 14 miles.

Situation of the Buoys on the Banks of Ortiz, Chico, Santiago or Ensenada de Barragan, and the Bank of Lara, which buoys may be seenor 5 miles distant in clear weather and smooth water from the deck of a common-sized vessel.

1st. On the S.E. part of the Chico Bank there

N 2

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is a red buoy in 3 fathoms water and muddy bottom.

From this buoy the church of Magdalena bears S. 15° W. by compass.

2d. W. by N. of the first, 4½ miles distant, in 3 fathoms, sand and mud bottom.

3d. N. by W. of the second, in 1½ fathom, 4 miles distant. This buoy is in the middle of the bank, which is less than one mile wide from N. E. to S. W. and serves for both channels N. and S. of the Chico.

4th. This fourth buoy is to the W. N. W. of the third, on the N. W. end of the Chico Bank, in 3 fathoms, muddy bottom, and bears N. 28° E. from the ombu tree of the Balandra or Point Atalaya.

On the Ortiz Bank are four black buoys.

1st. N. 30° E. of Point Indio, in 3 fathoms, muddy bottom, 13 or 14 miles distant, there is a black buoy.

2d. N. N. E. of the buoy on the S. E. side of the Chico Bank, on the edge of the Ortiz, in 3 fathoms, muddy bottom, 8½ or 9 miles distant.

3d. N. N. E. of the third buoy on the Chico Bank, on the edge of the Ortiz, in 3 fathoms, muddy bottom, 7 miles distant.

4th. N. of the fourth buoy on the N. W. side

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of the Chico Bank, in 3 fathoms, sand and mud, distant 7 miles.

On Santiago Bank is a black buoy.

On the N. edge of Santiago Bank of Ensenada, in 3 fathoms, muddy bottom, is a black buoy.

From this buoy, which is 6 miles from the nearest land, Point Santiago bears S. 17° E. and Point Lara S. 60° W. by compass.

On Lara Bank is a black buoy.

N. 40° W. of Point Lara, distant 3¼ miles, on the N. edge of Lara Bank, is a black buoy, in 2½ fathoms, muddy bottom. This bank is very narrow, being hardly half a mile wide and about four miles in length: when the river is low there is not more than from 7 to 9 feet of water on it. On the S. side is very good anchorage in 2½ or 3 fathoms water, according to the state of the river, and is sheltered from the S. E. and E. S. E. winds.

Instructions from Monte Video to Buenos Ayres by the North side of the Chico Bank.

1st. After leaving Monte Video, steer S. W. by compass until you have run 30 miles.

2d. After running 30 miles, shift your course to W. S. W. and run for Point Indio.

3d. After making Point Indio, bring it to bear S. S. W. 8 or 9 miles distant.

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4th. Point Indio bearing S. S. W. at the expressed distance, steer N. W. by compass, and run for the Ortiz Bank.

5th. After making the Ortiz Bank, steer W. by compass until you make the Points of Santiago and Lara.

6th. When within 6 or 7 miles of Point Lara, steer W. by N. and you will soon see the town of Quilmes or trees on the hills; and by continuing the same course you will see the steeples of Buenos Ayres, and afterwards the vessels in the Outer Roads, and you may steer for them without danger.*


THAT part of the province, lying between the rivers Paraná and la Plata on the north and east, and the Salado on the south and west, forms a tract, the greater diameter of which, taking it from the rivulet of the middle, which is between

* In addition to this delineation of the coast, towards the end of last year was formed a Company of Pilots of the Rio de la Plata, with sixty shares at 250 dollars each; whose labours were entirely directed to the establishing of a sufficient number of pilots to supply the demand of that river, from the capes Santa Maria and San Antonio to the outer roads of Buenos Ayres, including the intermediate ports.

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33 and 33½ degrees of south latitude, to the mouth of the Salado in the Ensenada de Sambozombou, which is in the 36th degree, may contain about 66 straight leagues, inclining from northwest to south-east, and cutting the meridians at an angle of about 50 degrees. The less diameter, in the middle, is 23 straight leagues, which give a surface of 1518 square leagues. Beyond that tract settlements have also been extended to 37 degrees south, following the sea coast; and in the same direction the Guard of Kaquelhuincul has latterly been established, 38 maritime miles to the south of the pass de las Piedras on the Salado, some 55 to the west of the south point of Cape San Antonio, and 65 to the north east of the Mountains del Volcan. This is a fine territory, and its farming establishments are at the present time of great consequence, on account of their extent, quality of pasturage, and cattle.

Since the above description was given, however, the country of Buenos Ayres has been extended 50 leagues more to the south, comprising a population which is called The Fountain of Independence, at the foot of the mountain of Tandil. As little is the important territory of Patagonia, included in this description, which is to the south of Buenos Ayres; a country which, besides the valuable productions that it yields, such as wheat, white and red salt, timber, &c. &c. is

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adapted to the culture of vines, and produces the best wines that are known.

The communication between Buenos Ayres and Patagonia is kept up at present by sea, and does not usually exceed six or eight days, notwithstanding it is more distant in that way by about 200 leagues: but all the operations of the government are now tending to establish a direct communication between both these countries by land. The barbarians who interrupt the passage will be speedily subdued by force of arms; and under military protection towns will be formed, which will not only facilitate that plan of intercourse, but also cause Buenos Ayres to extend her territory more than 20,000 square leagues in the quarter of the south in the temperate zone, as far as 52 degrees of south latitude. An attempt has been made to purchase that territory from the Indians; and for that purpose, in April 1822, a Commissioner of the Government of Buenos Ayres held a conference with the principal Caziques of these Indians in the tents of one of them, at which the following, whose names it may be curious to know, were present:—

Names of the Caziques.

Lincon, Ulmen cazique, or chief; Afouné; Aynepan; Pichiloncoy; Ancafilú; Llanqueleú; Chañabillú; Chañapas; Cachul; Castrell; Epuan;

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Huilletruz; Curunaquel; Tucuman; Amenaquel; Neculpichui; Triiu; Pitri; Califian. These are the Caziques of the Acaues and Pampas Indians. The following are those of the Huiliches and Telmelches: Nigiñile; Quinisolo; Pichimandurà Yambilcoi; Canilie; Sebastian; Chalequin; Napalò. The Indians who belong to these chiefs are seven feet in height, naked half way down the body and painted, and wear leather hats with a plume of feathers. Most of them agreed to sell lands, but demanded for them silver to an immense amount. Owing to this, and to the opposition made by the Indians, called Ranqueles, who belong to Chile, and are constantly inimical to peaceful measures, influencing, by their courage, all the other Indians; that congress, or Parlamento as they call it, produced no advantageous result as to the laudable idea of buying those countries, and not taking them away by force. In consequence of this failure, no choice is now left to the Government of the United States but to resort to violence; which Buenos Ayres will the more easily carry into execution, as the number of all these barbarians does not exceed 8000 men, armed with slings and lances, with no other advantage than the rapidity of their evolutions which they derive from their dexterity on horseback.

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Geographical Situation of Buenos Ayres, of the Principal Places on its Frontier, and the rest of the Towns in the Interior.

Places. South Latitude. Longitude from Buenos Ayres.
Deg. Min. Sec. Deg. Min. Sec.
Buenos Ayres 34 36 29 58 23 34
Villa de Lujan 34 38 36 1 1 10
Guardis del Salto 34 40 15 1 25 14
Fortin de Areco 34 23 15 1 49 23
Guardia del Salto 34 18 57 2 14 49
Guardia de Rojas 34 11 48 2 41 39
Fuerte de Mercedes 33 55 18 3 4 14
Fortin de Melinceu 33 42 24 3 30 38
Manantiales de Piñeiro Pampas 34 18 36 3 16 56
Laguna de Rojas 34 19 7 3 2 56
Id. de Carpincho 34 35 31 2 52 44
Id. de Casco 35 7 58 2 12 14
Id. de Palentelen 35 10 15 2 6 34
Id. de los Huecos 35 14 30 1 34 44
Id. del trigo al O. del Salado 35 14 3 1 14 54
Cerrillo de los Manantiales 35 40 56 0 21 0
Laguna de los Porongos 35 54 50 0 1 55 (E.
Altos de Troncoso 36 5 30 0 21 46 (E.
Guardia de Charconero 35 33 5 0 22 20 (E.
Fortin de los Ranchos 35 30 46 0 3 20 (E.
Guardia del Monte 35 26 7 0 31 10
Fortin de Lobos 35 16 7 0 52 10
Fortin de Navarro 35 0 13 1 3 25
San Ysidro 34 28 2 0 8 10
Conchas 34 25 15 0 10 31
Pilar 34 26 4 0 52 54
Cañada de la Cruz 34 20 44 1 1 57
Areco 34 11 57 1 26 47
Arreiste 34 3 8 2 6 13
Pergamino 33 53 16 2 24 25
Baradero 33 45 50 1 25 4
San Pedro 33 40 51 1 32 0
San Nicolas de los Arroyos: Ciudad 33 19 59 1 34 49
Cañada de Moron 34 40 45 0 23 49
San Vicente 34 49 3 0 15 52
Magdalena 35 5 29 0 44 0 (E.
San Fernando
Ensenada 34 46 38 0 24 14

Note.—In this table the longitude of Buenos Ayres is computed from the Meridian of London, the former lying to the West of the latter; and the longitude of all the other places is reckoned from the Meridian of Buenos Ayres. Those to which the letter E., the initial of East is not affixed, are West.

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Observations on the Barometer, Thermometer, and Higrometer, in Buenos Ayres, during the year 1822.

Months of the Year. Barometer, English Inches, in 100 parts. Fahrenheit's Thermomenter. Higrometer.
Greatest elevation. Lowest elevation. Mean elevation. Greatest degree of Heat. Lowest degree of Heat. Mean temperature. Days.
Wet. Dry.
January 91 60 71 82
February 30 4 29 21 29 58 89 58 73 19 9
March 29 88 29 33 29 61 82 53 70 83 20 10
April 29 82 29 46 29 73 78 43 62 4 22 8
May 30 18 29 21 29 76 68 44 58 31 30
June 30 5 29 23 29 77 66 40 54 32 30
July 30 17 29 21 29 65⅓ 68 38 52 55 31
August 30 21 29 51 29 84 66 36 51 83 31
September 30 41 29 32 29 74 72 42 54 64 30
October 30 13 29 24 29 67 81 46 58 91 30 1
November 29 91 29 17 29 61 88 56 68 43 28 2
December 30 29 15 29 45 86 62 70 91 23 8
Greatest elevation on the 11 th of September, at 30 inches 14. Lowest elevation on the 9th December, 29 inches 71. Mean elevation in the 11 months of this year, 29 inches 71. The hottest days, the 11th and 12th of January. The coldest day, the 19th of August. Mean temperature of the year, 62 16¼ 294 38
Greatest degree of heat 91. Greatest degree of cold 36.

Difference between the greatest and lowest elevation of the Barometer, 1 inch 26.

Difference between the greatest and lowest heat 55°.

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Days of Wind. Remarks on the Weather.
Months. 1 Q of N. by E. 2 Q of S. by E. 3 Q of S. by E. 4 Q of N. by E. Clear Days. Foggy. Rainy. Thunder and Lightning Meteors.
January 12 9 6 3 14 4 13 3 Hail on the 22nd September. Hurricane on the night of the 13th of October. The disk of the moon large on the 20th, and luminous meteor on the 27th.
February 12 3 5 8 16 4 8 0
March 12 6 7 6 23 4 4 1
April 7 4 11 8 24 4 9 0
May 13 2 9 7 24 4 3 2
June 14 2 9 5 16 11 3 3
July 13 7 7 4 14 11 6 5
August 18 6 4 3 16 13 2 0
September 13 11 3 3 16 6 8 3
October 17 5 4 5 15 8 8 3
November 23 5 1 1 16 7 9 3
December 16 6 6 3 15 4 12 5

Taken from the Statistical Register of March 1823.

Reflections on the preceding Table, and that for 1805, which is inserted afterwards.

A similar table was published in January 1823, by the Abeja Argentina, a literary periodical work of Buenos Ayres, and the following observations were subjoined:—

The preceding table has been formed from the observations of each month, which have been successively published, three in the Statistical Register, and the rest in the Abeja. The barometer was not put into use until the month of February. We will now offer some observations resulting from the experiments of that year, and which may

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tend to give an idea of the climate; it being our intention, on a future occasion, to resume that particular topic more in detail, and with particular references.

The situation of Buenos Ayres is stated with some slight differences. General Varela in the years 1782 and 1783 made observations on the situation of Buenos Ayres, and gave it 34° 36′ 38″ of south latitude, and 52° 06′ 16″ to the west of Cadiz. These observations were made in an observatory raised on a house near San Miguel. The officers who came in the expedition of Malaspina in 1789 adopted the same results. Their operations took place in the Plaza Mayor. Don Pedro Cerviño gives 34° 36′ 43″ of latitude, and 52° 5′ 22½ of west longitude from the island of Leon. Captain Heywood of the English navy gives for the latitude observed 34° 34′ 30″ and for the longitude by the moon 58° 02′ west of Greenwich. He probably took his observations from on board his own ship. The Statistical Register gives 34° 36′ 29″ of south latitude, and 58° 23′ 34″ to the west of London. The reason for our having stated these trifling variations is in order to reject none of the statements; and to shew, by the way, how necessary it is that this point should be settled, in a national manner, although after all a few minutes, or even a few degrees, more or less, are very immaterial to our present purpose.

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More essential, however, is the difference which exists respecting the elevation of the ground on which the city is situated. Father Fevillé, in the beginning of the last century, in the Diary of physical, mathematical, and botanical Observations," estimated it, in the convent of San Francisco, by the barometer, at about five toises above the level of the river, which are equal to 34.674 feet of Castile. But Cerviño in his meteorological observations for the year 1805," Weekly Record of Industry and Commerce, tom. 4. No. 174," gives it ten toises five feet of elevation, which amount to about 70.000 feet, or to twice as much as the other. Nevertheless, as the last mentioned person does not state in what manner he proceeded to establish his reckoning, or to what quarter he alludes, although we imagine that he took his measurement from the depth of the water in the cisterns or wells,—a circumstance on which no certain results can be founded as a positive rule, since water in its filtration is subject to laws which must make the calculation erroneous — we are bound to adopt the first statement as the more probable elevation of the ground, and as coming nearer to the truth, at least until the point be decided, which it is desirable that it speedily should be, in a competent manner.

Let us take then for the astronomical situation of the city of Buenos Ayres 34° 36′ 29″ of south

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latitude, and 58° 23′ 34 of longitude west of London; and for its elevation 34.974 feet of Castile above the level of the river; and for its distance from the sea, or from Cape Santa Maria, 72 leagues west. On the north and east it is washed by the River la Plata. Towards the south-east, after crossing a considerable tract of country, the sea presents its surface.

At the distance of about twenty-four leagues to the north, takes place the first junction of the rivers Paraná and Uruguay, after they have both traversed an immense space in a southerly direction, forming, as it were, a parallel course. But their second meeting, which constitutes the vast river of La Plata, is effected at about fourteen leagues north of the city. To the west and south its territory is flat, forming a continued plain, which extends to the confines of the provinces of Córdova and Mendoza, or, properly, to the Andes; and which, although almost destitute of large trees, is celebrated for its fertility and perpetual verdure. This flatness of the country, without doubt, has prevented the formation of great rivers, notwithstanding which, after the Riachuelo, which crosses to the south of the city, and deserves no other name than the one it bears*, the river Salado is

* Foreigners have taken this for a proper name, although it is nothing more than a generic one; and thus they have called it Rio Riachuelo, and also Rio Chuelo. In Spanish the diminutive Riachuelo is applied to every narrow arm of water: and the natives consequently know, merely from the name, to what class of rivers the Riachuelo belongs—a narrow river.

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met with, to the south, at the distance of about twenty leagues, which proves that then the country begins to get higher.

The quality of the soil is generally chalk, and productive mould to the depth of three feet. Neither on the surface, nor on excavating, are stones of any kind met with; and it is only at a great depth, about twenty-five varas, that a substance called tosca is found, which is a species of hardened clay containing lime. From this subsoil, it would seem, the waters of the wells derive their brackish taste. The tosca acted upon by oxalic acid yields a sediment of lime. The water which comes from it contains a certain acid that renders it unfit for washing. On the other hand, if the water of the wells is bad, that of the river is eminently sweet and light. A few miles southwest of the city is situated a large stratum of sulphate of lime (gypsum), and lime is also found in small spots in various other points.

If we reflect that, towards the north, the middle country between the Paranaacute; and Uruguay is low, and subject to be overflowed; and that, moreover, it is covered with immense forests, where

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vegetation must suffer a decomposition, as well in consequence of its luxuriance occasioned by the inundations, as by the temperature of a region which is partly situated within the tropic; it will not be matter of astonishment, that the wind which blows from that quarter is sensibly felt in Buenos Ayres, and occasions affections of the head and also of the stomach. This circumstance certainly is well deserving of the attention of medical topography. The north wind always brings with it a great quantity of vapours, and hence probably the human frame is so speedily affected by it. It also excites a great degree of electricity. Sometimes the fall of the temperature during the night is sufficient to bring down the most tempestuous rain; and always when the wind changes such rain is inevitable. Its effects on the human frame may be explained by the laxity it produces in the vessels, particularly of the head; in consequence of which, the equilibrium between their surface and the blood is deranged, so that the person feels a heaviness, or oppression as it is called, which is not occasioned, as the vulgar imagine, by a greater weight being superadded, but by the resistance of the atmosphere being diminished. The effects are the same as those of the Levant winds in Europe.

As the solvent power of the air, as of every fluid, encreases with the temperature, it ensues


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that, with a north wind, a greater solution of water takes place in the atmosphere, and on that account, at no time is an immediate and copious rain more likely—a fact which is always perceptible in Buenos Ayres. But previously to the rain, and when that wind has blown for some constancy, objects become distinguishable at an immense distance, which, in the ordinary circumstances of the air, could in nowise be discerned. La Colonia, for instance, which is situated ten leagues on the opposite side of the east bank, can, during those winds, be seen from Buenos Ayres. A zone of floating vapours is then discernible over the surface of the earth: it is clearly seen at all times, but particularly strongly defined when the sun is near setting. As the sun and moon appear largest at rising, and in the less clear and refulgent atmosphere of other countries the moon always appears larger than in Buenos Ayres, even when vertical, the phenomenon alluded to is easily accounted for. The moon, in the middle part of the United States, appears larger than here.

The north-east also participates in the qualities of the north wind, but not with the degree of violence just mentioned. The first of these two winds prevailed last year, as was the case in 1805, as will be seen by the annexed table. The south-west (Pampero) is by far the most whole-

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some wind in Buenos Ayres. Its elasticity, its purity, and its vigour, make it desirable in all seasons, as it counteracts the humidity too prevalent in the houses. Generated in the highest ridges of mountains, and traversing a dry country, it gives tone to the fibres, dispels the vapours, and causes the hygrometrical waters to disappear. During its continuance, it produces the same effects as winter in other countries; and, if moisture should return, it never gains the ascendancy till that wind has ceased to blow.

When a cloud, which appears at the extremity of the horizon, is seen in a few minutes to spread all over the firmament, covering it completely, what then occurs is not a progress of the cloud, but sololy a precipitation of vapours. On the other hand, when the weather clears, the sky is uncovered with the like rapidity. But neither of these phenomena takes place so suddenly here as within the tropics. In the second case, a real solution evidently takes place; and these two chemical processes are produced with a rapidity very far beyond what could be achieved by any mechanical means.

In summer, the dilatation of the air being more considerable than in winter, a breeze from the river, or else from the east, is periodically produced every evening, with the same regularity, and owing to the same causes, as the winds called trade-winds blow within the equator.

O 2

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In winter there are days when the air in the shut-up houses feels very cold, while in the outer open air an inconvenient heat is experienced. This is very often observed in winter; and in that season of last year it happened very frequently. The circumstance of great humidity accompanies those days; so that, in order to temper the atmosphere of the rooms, it is necessary to open wide the doors and the windows, to admit the external air. The difference of temperature, which is felt in the street and on entering a house, is so perceptible, that it may almost be said to be disagreeable. The explanation of this phenomenon is easily given: it is caused by the evaporation which has taken place suddenly out of doors; whereas it proceeds very gradually in the houses. In winter it is sufficient to keep the doors and the windows shut, to exclude the cold; not so with humidity. The use of fire in the houses, particularly if made in stoves, would be extremely beneficial; and by their means there is no doubt that many, diseases, which medical men acknowledge to proceed from living in low and moist rooms, would be eradicated. But our fathers have handed down to us an absurd prejudice against fire; and the anti-philosophical and hurtful manner in which they made use of it, in open braziers, was sufficient, by its effects, to sanction the prejudice. It is but lately that

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foreigners have overcome that aversion in us to artificial heat; and their example, their good state of health, and their not suffering more than others from the commencement of cold weather, but on the contrary less, have made converts of many of the natives, who already begin to have chimneys in their habitations.

Winter is the season of the greatest hygrometrical humidity, contrary to what is observed in other countries; because here the temperature is rarely so low as to congeal the vapours. On that account there is almost as much electricity then as in summer.

The aspect of the sky is generally very beautiful. The air has a perfect transparency, which animates the senses, and excites the imagination. Venus was seen with the naked eye at mid-day last year, and also in 1819. From the transparency of the atmosphere, it may be supposed that the solution of the vapours is in general very complete, and also on account of the high temperature maintained by the air at all times; and for that reason the rains must always be sudden and copious on the change of wind, particularly in summer. The first quality of the air in this country produces an effect among the inhabitants, which is easily felt, but difficult to express—we call it a confidence of living. Several foreigners have told us that they have enjoyed that exquisite

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sensation; and the writer of the present article has compared it with another feeling diametrically opposite, which he experienced in some of the other unwholesome countries of America, where, on the contrary, was felt a mistrust of living, and an almost incessant notification of the necessity of dying. It would appear that the people of Buenos Ayres, as is the case with young persons, have no practical idea of death.

The figure of the clouds is very often determinate; and, although there are no colours mixed up in a beautiful manner, nor odd figures, as in the tropics, still they are adorned with a lovely whiteness and with the gilding tinges of the setting sun. During storms in summer, a dark bar is often seen to rise in a compact manner from the horizon, at last to occupy the highest part of the vault of heaven, and then to precipitate itself to the earth in torrents.

The hygrometer began to be used in February. Out of 332 days, that instrument indicated only 38 dry, and two at zero. Summer, and autumn, which begins in March, are the driest seasons. In autumn it rained less; and we also find that there were then more clear days than at any other season. It is singular that it rained more rarely during winter, contrary to what happens in other countries, and that such appears to be the established rule for some time past in our climate. The

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state of the air, for some years past, has undergone an entire revolution. The agriculturists, who, in this country, had never as yet taken any precautions against the caprices of the weather, have been lately much injured in their harvest by the frequent rains of January; and the most fruitful land in the world has been, solely on that account, furnished with bread by foreigners.

The barometer has stood at a little more than 30 inches, and was never lower than 29. The officers of the expedition of Malaspina give to Santiago de Chile 27.39 inches of barometrical height, and of mean elevation 25 inches 9 lines of France, which are equal to 821 varas of Castile, above the level of the sea, or 2463 feet. To Mendoza they give 26.91 inches, or 4891 feet of height. In Monte Video they found the mean elevation of the barometer to be 30 inches in the month of September; and as that differs so little from the mean height found by us last year, it is probable that, on comparing the observations made for several years, the mean elevation would be 30 inches. The greatest barometrical height of the year 1805, was 28 inches, 6 or 4 lines; and the lowest 27 inches 5 or 7 lines of France; which give for a mean height 28 inches 1½ lines, or about 30 English inches. That of Philadelphia is also about 30 inches.

The equality of pressure in the atmosphere of

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Chile is wonderful; inasmuch as it is so constant that, as the aforesaid officers assert, its variations are not perceptible on the barometer; so that, within ⅓ of a line, it stood at 23 inches 9 lines of France, from December to March; during which time the cloudy days did not exceed four, not a drop of water fell, nor did any strong wind blow.

During this year the heat rose to 91°; but that was only once in January; afterwards it was sometimes about 80°. By the table of 1805 it appears that the greatest degree of heat that year was 24° of Reaumur, or 86° of Fahrenheit; and the cold was 41°. A series of five years, from 1817 to 1821, which Señor Muñez communicated to us, give for the greatest heat 83°, 85°, 85°, 86°, 81°; and for the greatest cold, in 1817, 28°, or four degrees below the freezing point, which is certainly an uncommon circumstance in our country. The greatest cold of 1822 was 36°, and the mean temperature of the year, 62 16¼.

The Mercantile Telegraph, which was published in Buenos Ayres in 1801, and lasted till 1802, gave some meteorological observations for the month of August 1801. The greatest degree of heat, according to them, in that month, was 14° of Reaumur, which is equal to 63° 5 of Fahrenheit. That isolated observation can be of very little use; and all that we can collect from it is, that the temperature of that month in the

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said year, only differed from that of August in the present by 2° 5.

Out of three days in the year 1805, during which the thermometer stood at 86°. the wind on two was from the north, and on the third from south-east: and the lowest temperature was 77°. As the diurnal observations in that year have not been given, it was impossible to estimate the alterations of heat on the same day, from one day to the other, or from one day to several days, which would have been important for the purposes of medicine. The difference between the greatest and lowest heat in 1822 was 55°.

By the meteorological tables of Lima, published by Doctor Unanue, in his admirable work on the climate of that capital, which were made out for the years 1799 and 1800, it is found that the greatest degree of heat in Lima is 202/3 of Reaumur, or 77° of Fahrenheit, and the lowest 13° of Reaumur, or 61° of Fahrenheit.

The mercury sank in the greatest cold known in Philadelphia 5° below zero, and it is even asserted to have gone as low as 22° below zero. The greatest heat is 95°; and the fixed temperature 52½°, which is the temperature of the deepest wells and of spring water. "We have," says Dr. Rush,* "the moisture of

* Medical Enquiries and Observations, vol. 2,1818.

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England in spring; the heat of Africa, in summer; the temperature of Italy, in June; the sky of Egypt, in autumn; the cold and snows of Norway and the frost of Holland in winter; the tempests of the West Indies, in some shape, the whole year round; and the winds and variable weather of Great Britain, every month of the year." The character of the climate of that country, according to the same authority, is to be uniformly variable, and to have nothing fixed. In 1787, the greatest degree of cold was 5°, the greatest heat 96° 1; that is to say, a difference of 91° 1 between one extreme and the other, or 36° more than in Buenos Ayres.

It is affirmed that the thermometer rarely rises to 86°, in Santiago de Chile, and that only at mid-day, when there is a cessation of the land and sea-breezes, that blow alternately, which never lasts in that state longer than three hours.

We will conclude by observing, that the variations of temperature are not great in Buenos Ayres, although they are very frequent. It is true that a transition from 86° to 60°. is not experienced within twenty-four hours in summer, nor from 37° to 4½°. below zero in winter, as is the case in Philadelphia; and that here a difference of 91° between the highest and the lowest temperature is not known, as it is there;

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nevertheless, variations of six, ten, and even of twenty degrees, are of frequent occurrence, and expose the inhabitants to diseases resulting from irregular and suppressed perspiration, and from a considerable evaporation, which takes place from the skin, without the individual being aware of it.



Months of the Year. Barometer. French Inches. Thermometer of Reaumur in the open air.
Greatest elevation. Lowest Elevation. Greatest heat. Lowest heat. Mean Temperature.
January 28.3.3 27.10.3 22 12 18.—
February 28.3.8 27.10.3 24 14 18.47
March 28.0.7 27.9.0 22 10 6.4
April 22.4.0 27.10.0 19 9 14.47
May 28.5.7 27.7.1 17 6 12.2
June 28.2.9 27.5.7 15 4 10.34
July 28.6.4 27. 1.7 16 4 10.77
August 28.4.9 27.7.5 13 6 9.45
September 28.5.9 27.9.6 15 6 10.98
October 28.3.5 27.7.9 20 10 14.21
November 28.4.1 27.8.1 21 12 17.81
December 28.3.2 27.6.8 24 12 17.12
Greatest elevation on the 19th July of 28 inches 6,4. Lowest elevation, 6th June, at 27 inches, 5, 7. Greatest degree of heat 14th February at 24° Lowest degree of heat 11th June, at 4°. above zero. Mean temperature oil the year, 14°. 21.

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Clear Days. Foggy Days Rainy Days. Days of Thunder and Lightning.
January 8 5 3 2
February 13 5 4 1
March 12 19 10 5
April 9 21 5 2
May 10 21 7 0
13 17 10 3
8 23 10 1
August 12 12 7 0
September 10 20 9 3
October 7 24 13 3
November 2 28 9 2
December 12 19 10 2
116 234

In the foggy days are also included those of rain and of thunder and lightning. Eighteen days are wanting, the observations having been begun on the 18th January.


1st Q. of N. to E 2d Q. of S. to E. 3d Q. of S. to E. 4th Q. of N. to W. Prevailing Wind.
Days of wind.
January 1 S.E.
February 7 17½ E.
March 10 17½ E.
April 14 10 N.
May 14 11½ 1 N.
June 11½ 8 6 4 N.
July 13 11 7 N.
August 11½ 11 3 N. and S.W.
September 12½ 12½ 4 1 N.
October 11 17 3 E.
November 17 1 E.
December 12 7 S.E. and S.W.
121½ 141 71 14 North.

Taken from the Statistical Register.

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Measures of Extension of the Province of Buenos Ayres, and their relation with some Foreign ones, regulated by the Society of Physical Sciences of that province and inserted in the Statistical Register of 1822.

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When these are compared with the Portuguese measures, it must be observed, that the yard (vara) of Buenos Ayres is equal to—0. 7936 of the Portuguese vara; or that 100 varas of Portugal make 126 of ours.

From the table it is deduced, that the league of Buenos Ayres is somewhat less than the marine league, 20 in a degree. The Spanish league exceeds the marine league by 16 varas; so that it is equal to three English miles. The French league is equivalent to 1¼ marine league.

On Superficial or Land Measurements.

10,000 square varas of Buenos Ayres, which is the number composing a square of a hundred yards each side, are equivalent to the following foreign squares:

7528.9 square metres equal to 75 square varas.

10753.7 square varas of Castile.

9063.0 square yards English.

It is also worthy of remark, that a square allotment (manzana) of the city, which is a square of 140 varas on each side, contains nearly 3 arpents of France, 2⅓ fanegas of Spanish land, and 3¾ acres of England.

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Longitudinal or Lineal Measures.

The fundamental measure of length is the vara, which is divided into three thirds, or feet, or into four-fourths, each third into 12 inches, and each fourth into 9.

The square (cuadra) consists of 150 varas, of which 140 are allowed for the frontage of a square allotment (manzana), and 5 for the width of the street. According to the new regulation, the streets must have four varas more of width, and in that case the manzana remains with 136 varas of frontage.

The measure of length of the country is a league, which has 40 squares, or 6,000 varas, and is divided into halves or quarters of a league. The league which is used in the country to mark the distances simply for the sight, is less than the real one. This is undoubtedly occasioned by the only natural term of comparison which exists, being the length of a square (cuadra), of the city, taken in the frontage of a manzana; whence it results that the league marked out in that manner is less by 400 varas than the real one.


The measurements for the areas in the city are the quarter (cuarto) of land, and the manzana;

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which, as has been mentioned before, is a square of 140 varas of frontage: the quarter of land is a rectangle of 17½ varas of frontage, and 70 of depth. If, through the opposite sides of a manzana, a line be conceived which divides it into two equal rectangles, and each of those be divided into 8 equal rectangles by lines perpendicular from the first, the manzana will be thus divided into 16 quarters of land, each of which may be divided into half-quarters.

It is necessary to distinguish the manzana cuadrada from the cuadra cuadrada. The first is a square of 140 varas on each side, and the second one of 150. This difference is material in the valuation of the lands which compose great allotments, which ought to be reckoned as manzanas and not as cuadras, leaving the space which will afterwards be occupied by the streets.

In the towns recently built in the country parts of this province, the cuadras are less. In the district of Quilmes they have 100 varas a-side, and 25 for the street. Henceforward, according to the regulations in the Official Register, N°. 20, vol. 1st, each cuadra must consist of 100 varas, with 16 for the street.

In the country it is customary to divide the grounds into rectangles, which are called farming lots, suertes de chacra, and lots for the breeding


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of cattle, suertes de estancia. Each suerte de chacra, or lot of land destined for farming, contains a certain number of cuadras of frontage on a given depth. The primitive division was 2 cuadras of frontage, and a league of depth. The suertes de chacra of the Quilmes are squares of four varas of frontage, and with reference and conformably to them the areas in the table have been calculated. The suertes de estancia, or lots of land destined for the breeding of cattle, are usually computed by the rectangles of half a league of frontage, and one and a half of depth. Such was the primitive division.


For grain the cuartilla is used, which is a shortened rectangular prism. The cuartilla is made level at the top by running a flat surface over it (rayada), when wheat, barley, salt, &c. are measured; and when maize, coal, &c. &c. are measured, it is heaped up (colmada).

The measures of capacity for liquids are the frasco, half frasco, and when they are sold retail, the fourth and eighth of a frasco; and the barrel, when sold wholesale.

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Measurement for the Materials of Masonry, Carpenter's Work, and other similar objects.

In masons' work, the objects which are valued by measures of extension, and have no determinate measures, are bricks dried in the sun (adobe), and roof-tiles (teja), which are sold by thousands; sand, earth, &c. which are sold by cart-loads. In carpenters' work, the wood for making windows and doors (las alfagias), scantling timber (los tirantes), planks, and boards, (palmas y tablas) are sold by varas of length, taken on the other indeterminate measures.

Amongst the timber, as well what is cut in the province, as that which comes from abroad, pieces are brought prepared in the. rough state for building carts; and their dimensions are determined, although in a rude way, according to the size of the cart, for the construction of which they are destined. The pieces which generally come prepared are wheel naves, fellies, spokes, and axle-trees, the dimensions of which vary according to the resistance of the timber. These are usually made of guava wood, orange wood, willow, fig-tree, &c.; and so are the shafts, the pole, and the yoke.

As little are there determinate measures for the timbers for outbuildings. The essential pieces of such habitations are the main beams, the upper

P 2

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planks, and rafters, &c. Straw and reeds are sold in bundles; those of reeds generally contain 20. Wood is sold by the tree, or in billets. When it is sold by the tree, a certain number to be loaded constitutes a weight, and a certain number of them a cart-load. When it is sold in billets, it is delivered by cart-loads. The wood may come from the mountains, or from the inhabited country. When it comes from the mountains, the number of billets, of a quarter and a span in length, which can be contained in a measure three-quarters in height, and twelve quarters in length, is understood to be a cartload. The cart-load of the inhabited country ought to contain 400 billets; and the smallest in size ought to give at least three hastillas of those sold retail.

A fanega of Buenos Ayres is equivalent to 0m. 141737; that is to say, that a cubic metre contains nearly 7 fanegas; and a cubic vara in the same way 4½ fanegas; therefore, a cubic vara is equal to 0m. 647485.

The fanega of Buenos Ayres contains cubic feet 5.719
That of Spain contains cubic feet of Buenos Ayres 4.561
Ditto Portugal ditto. 4.452
The bushel, or eighth of a quarter, an English measure 2.938

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The septier, 12 boisseaux, a French measure. 6.096

A barrel of 32 frascos contains 0m. 074092; that is, about three decimetres, or litres, more than the quantity which could be contained in half a fanega.

1 barrel of 32 frascos contains cubic feet of Buenos Ayres. 3.050
The Spanish cantara of 8 azumbres, ditto 1.430
The Portuguese almude, ditto. 1.473
The gallon, for wines and liquids, English, ditto 0.35
The beer gallon is larger than the wine gallon in the proportion of 750.916.
The pipe or butt contains 126 gallons.
1 muids of Paris contains, ditto that is, about 36/10 barrels of Buenos Ayres. 1.081


Deaths daily in the city. 8
Ditto in the country 6
Deaths in the city, taking the average of the years 1822 and 1823, at the rate of 100 to 111
In the country, they are at the rate of 100 to 156
The deaths of all the province are to the births at the rate of. 100 to 131

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The births of males in the city are to the births of females about 100 to 95
The deaths of ditto are to the deaths of ditto 100 to 72
The births of males in the country are to the births of females about 100 to 95
The deaths of ditto to deaths of ditto, about 100 to 62
The deaths under 15 years to the deaths above 15 years, in the city, about 100 to 95
The deaths in the country ditto to ditto, about 100 to 98
The calculation of the population by the mortality founded on 1/32, shows us that the city, by the number of deaths, one year with another, contains souls 81,136
And the country, taking the calculation at 1/40, contains. 82,080
Being an entire population of 163,216

Doubtful of the accuracy of the census of the population, the editor of the Statistical Register has preferred having recourse—as he says, in order to find it out as nearly as possible—to the indirect means, which the most celebrated writers on statistics have established: but, as Buenos Ayres

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is not a city of the first rank, the measure of MORTALITY which the aforesaid writers have laid down for such researches, which is more than 1/24, and less than 1/25, will not answer the purpose: as little does that city stand under the same circumstances, as the commercial and maritime ones to which they have assigned a mortality equal to 1/28 of their population; because there the population is very widely spread, the houses in general being only of one story, and well ventilated, and the climate temperate. For these reasons, the editor of the Statistical Register prefers for the measure of mortality 1/32 of the population, which is what these writers fix for other cities, and that of 1/40 for the country.

Produce of the Country for Exportation.

Cows' do.
Bulls' do.
Wild Horses'do.
Vicunna do.
Lambskins with wool
Otter Skins
Chinchilla Skins
Sheep's Wool
Vicunna Wool
Large clean Horse Hair
Mixed Horse Hair, ⅔ parts cut

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Ostrich Feathers, white and long
Do. black, long, and woven
Do. mixed unwoven
Do. small woven
Wolf skins
Lion skins
Tiger skins
Dry tallow
Hung beef

Other articles of less importance are not included, nor those which are produced and exported from the province of Buenos Ayres itself, which are also to be met with in all the other provinces.

Remarks on the Fish and other productions of the Rio Negro, on the Patagonian coast.

The fish which this river produces are salmontrout, prickle fish, (pegerreyes,) and lampreys. They are all good, particularly the first and the last. The trout are sometimes caught with the hook, but they bite rarely. These fish and the pegerreyes are taken in abundance (when nets are used) in the lakes which the river forms in its sudden inundations. The lampreys are found abun-

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dantly in the rivulets near the mouth, in the month of January, and until April. They are in general smaller than those of Europe, but of equal flavour.

The sea abounds in excellent fish. The bagre is one of the best; besides which there are pegerreyes, cod (pescadas), soles, lenguadas, flounders, cazones, and ray, raia. There are probably many other kinds, as frequently lobsters, bonettas (palometas), and more varieties have been caught. Towards San Joseacute; and San Antonio there are numberless small fish as good as the best cod.

In the vicinity of that river there are no shell fish but muscles, megillones, and red crabs, of half a quarter in diameter. In the bay of San Blas, or of Todos los Santos, there are other great shell fish, and megillones. In San Antonio and San José there are peregrinas and lapas.*

The amphibious animals have been hitherto the only production which foreigners have turned to advantage. Among these the sea elephant ought to have the first place. The male of that species, when it has attained its full bulk, is from seven to seven and a half varas in length, and from five to five and a half in circumference. The females never exceed four varas in length, with proportionate thickness. Its formation is like that of the rest of the phoca genus, differing only in the head, which

* These fish, which are peculiar to the South American rivers, have not yet been classed.—TRANSLATOR.

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is smaller in proportion. The large males go out on the beach in August, September, and October, sooner or later, according as the spring has been more or less cold. At their cry the females assemble in a gang around the strongest male; and, if any rival comes, they fight terribly, until the one overcome again betakes himself to the sea. The females produce on land, during these months, one, but rarely two young, which at first are black, and retain that colour three weeks or a month, during which time they suck. Afterwards they change their hair to a dark gray; they are then abandoned by their mothers, who rut, become with cub again, and betake themselves to the sea, as well as the large males. The young ones go in gangs of from fifty to sixty, and always remain two months on the shore. The males and females of a year old quit the sea in November and December, change their hair, and remain a month, or a month and a half, on shore. During the rest of the year some of them quit the sea, but in small numbers, and in general lean. It is worthy of remark, that while these animals remain out of the sea, which sometimes is for the space of from two months and a half to three, they eat nothing.

The killing of these animals commences with the first which leave the sea in September. The fishermen, armed with spears, approach a gang.

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The females, which are sometimes at a distance from the male, draw near to him, in order that he may defend them. He rises on his fins, shews his tusks, and makes a horrible noise, but all in vain; his weight renders his strength useless, and the fishermen pierce him with their spears in the breast. If at first he does not fall, finding himself wounded, he covers the wound with a fin, going backwards till he dies. The females crowd together, and, as they offer no resistance, the business of death is soon over with the whole group. The fat is found between the skin and the flesh, and is sometimes six inches thick; and the blubber is extracted by frying the fat. The skin is of no use whatever. Some elephants have yielded as much as two pipes of blubber.

The sea-lion, or pelucon, is from four to five varas in length, with a head more bulky in proportion than the elephant. The males have a mane; and, as they are infinitely more nimble than the elephants, and it is dangerous to attack them with spears, they are generally killed with fire-arms. In their manner of living they resemble the elephants last-mentioned; only with this difference, that they go more frequently into the sea. As the sea-lions have but very little fat, and their skin is of inconsiderable value, they are not persecuted, and are therefore very numerous. Some of them go from the sea to the smooth head-

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lands on the banks of the North; but their principal rendezvous is on the shores of the South, in the vicinity of San Antonio and San José.

The sea-wolf, with two kinds of hair, is a vara and a half in length; and has a dark gray fur, long and coarse, which covers another that is very fine; and it is this that makes it valuable. Their manner of living is the same as that of the lions. They are killed with sticks; but, having been very much persecuted, they have become extremely fierce; and on the least alarm they plunge into the sea, not rising again for the distance of more than half a league. At present there are some of them in the bay of Buenos Cables, to the north of the river Negro, and in some places between San Antonio and San José.

The sea-wolf, with one kind of hair, is somewhat larger than the former: it has only one sort of fur, very ordinary and dark gray. As they are of no value, they are left unmolested, and are therefore not so fierce as the others. They live like the other kind; and are to be found, at all times, and in abundance, on all the southern coasts to San José.

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In order to regulate the operations of the Committee of Emigration, nominated by the decree of 13th April 1824, and to fix the bases of the contracts and conditions with which they are to be received, as well as the advantages to which the colonists are to be entitled who may come hither for the purpose of settling in this province; and, after having heard the statements of the said Committee, the Government has resolved on the following


Article 1. The Committee shall be composed of citizens, and of foreigners resident in the country, who possess, like the natives, real property in it.

2. A hall shall be selected wherein the Committee shall assemble for the dispatch of the business, ordinary and extraordinary, which falls within its province, at the periods established by the present regulation.

3. The Committee shall name from among its members a President, a Vice-President, and a Teller, whose functions shall exist among the members as long as the said Committee shall have appointed. The method, form, and security of the responsibility shall be prescribed separately.

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4. The Committee shall name, besides, a Secretary, with a salary out of its funds, who shall assist at all the ordinary Juntas and general meetings, carrying on the correspondence, and taking care of the books of agreement and contract.

5. A Junta, consisting of four members of the Commitee, shall be formed, which shall weekly dispatch the ordinary business thereof, in conformity with the regulation; and their functions shall change every three months, each of the others taking their turns.

6. The whole Committee shall meet on the first Monday of each month, in order to be informed of the ordinary business which has been done by the Junta, to deliberate on affairs of the greatest importance, which the said Junta may have reserved for its consideration, and also on the extraordinary matters which may occur.

7. The Committee shall nominate the agents necessary in Europe for the execution of its contracts, paying them, should it be necessary, what is stipulated for their agency.

8. The Committee shall publish at regular periods, as well in the country as out of it, the advantages which are to be met with by persons wishing to emigrate to that part of America, and also, each year the result of their labours.

9. The duties of the Committee shall be the following:—

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1. To give employment and allot work to the foreigners who come to the country without a destination, or who may be there without an establishment or domicile; and to inquire into their origin, and the causes of their situation.

2. To induce artisans, labourers, and workmen of all kinds, to come from Europe.

3. To introduce husbandmen, by contracts of hire with the proprietors and artisans of the country, under a general plan of contract, which shall be settled by the Committee, and freely and spontaneously agreed upon between the workmen and the masters who wish to employ them.

4. To make known to the industrious classes in Europe the advantages which this country holds out to emigrants; and to offer them the good offices of the Committee on their arrival at Buenos Ayres.

10. Emigration shall be promoted by all the means which the Committee may deem most advisable, provided that what is enacted in the present regulation be attended to.

11. The Committee shall have a commodious house, wherein to lodge the emigrants the moment they disembark in this territory, in which they shall be maintained for the space of fifteen days, and which house shall be pointed out to each em-

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igrant, so that he may seek for employ at his convenience.

12. If the emigrant shall not find occupation within the aforesaid period, the Committee shall procure it for him. The expenses occasioned by each of them, during the days of their stay, for lodging and maintenance, out of the funds of the commission, shall be added to the amount of the expenditure of the whole concern in each year.

13. Eight days after the arrival of the emigrants, brought by their own agreement to this country, the captain or supercargo of the ship shall be paid, for passage fees and all expenses, the sum contracted for; which, however, must on no account ever exceed one hundred dollars. From this limitation are excepted the emigrants who come under contracts through the agents of the Committee.

14. The expenses expressed in the three preceding articles shall be made good, six months after the contract, by the masters with whom the emigrants enter on stipulations for service, to whom they shall be again returned by a discount, which shall be taken off the wages that the emigrants may earn. This discount shall be moderate, and in small fractional parts, which shall be agreed upon between the emigrants and their masters.

15. The contracts, which are drawn up between emigrants and masters, shall be authorized by the Committee.

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16. The contracts which are drawn up with emigrants shall be for the term arranged between the masters and the emigrants; and the settlement of wages shall be regulated by a tariff, which the Committee shall cause to be framed by intelligent and impartial persons.

17. These wages must always be understood without the maintenance of the emigrants being included; for which the masters shall provide, independently, to the satisfaction of the Committee.

18. If any emigrant shall fall sick by reasons which are irrelevant to the contract, the master shall be obliged to assist him, charging him in account the expenses he may incur; but the contract may become null and void through want of health, bad treatment, or excessive labour, if acknowledged as such by the Committee.

19. The Committee is especially charged to exercise the right of protection in the civil causes of the emigrants.

20. The emigrants are placed under the protection and guarantee of the laws of the country; they shall be allowed to possess moveable and immoveable property of all kinds whatsoever, and to contract all manner of ties, with this limitation alone, that these possessions do not in aught prejudice their masters' rights during the period of their contracted service.


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21. The emigrants, during their contracts, remain free from all military and civil service: those who wish to enlist, may do so spontaneously, declaring it before the Committee; in which case the master whom they serve shall be reimbursed by the emigrant for the amount of his contracted services.

22. The emigrants, conformably with the custom of the country, shall not be disturbed in the practice of their religious creeds; and shall be also exempted from all dues or taxes not imposed on the community in general.

23. The emigrants who shall honestly have completed the time of their contracted service, shall be under the protection of the Committee, and be preferred in the renting of the lands of the State, which they shall receive at a quit rent, according to the rule which may be established by law.

24. These lands shall be allotted by election to the emigrants, and in proportion to the fitness and means of each; but none of these allotments must be of less size than sixteen square squares (cuadras cuadradas).

25. In the event of a case occurring to which the foregoing article applies, the Committee shall be allowed to give, out of their funds, to each renter, a loan of three hundred dollars, which sum they shall receive again in payments, at convenient periods, and at the interest of six per cent. per ann.

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26. To the emigrants who have thus become proprietors, shall be conceded the right of possession over the legal value of the lands, and that of property over all the improvements that may be made on them; and both rights shall be negotiable and transferable by them and their successors. In case that government should resolve on the alienation of the said lands of the State, the possessor of them shall be considered as having a preferable right to purchase them, to all others who may compete.

27. The Committee is very particularly charged not to admit emigrants who have been punished for crimes committed against the good order of society.

28. The enactments of this regulation shall at no time prevent any other person from introducing the number of emigrants whom he contracts with for his service by means of his agents in Europe; and these emigrants may avail themselves of the advantages offered by the present regulation, if, upon arriving at this port, they place themselves under the care of the Committee, in conformity with its provisions.

29. This regulation shall be revised every year, or oftener, if the Committee, jointly with the Government, shall judge it expedient, without the alterations which may then take place being in any way prejudicial to the contracts already made,

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or which may be making in Europe, within a certain period, which shall be fixed for the purpose.



Buenos Ayres, 19th January, 1825.


This regulation is now put in practice, although it appears that as yet the agents in Europe have not been named. The Committee is composed of more than twenty individuals, among whom are Americans, English, Germans, Spaniards, and Frenchmen; and it is proper to notice that, in conformity with what is prescribed by article 13th of this regulation, even when such agents are not named, any individual may emigrate, in the certainty that the Committee will pay his passage as soon as he arrives. The masters of the merchant ships which trade with that country, would find it very advantageous to carry on that kind of speculation; since, for each man whom they induce to emigrate, they will receive about one hundred dollars.

The operations of this Committee have no connexion with the Society of Emigration for the Rio de la Plata which has been formed in London, and is solely a private speculation, but perhaps an important one, and more effective for these provinces, on account of its capital, and of the vici-

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nity of the shareholders to the individuals with whom they are to people the settlements, which they propose to establish; a project which, no doubt, will prove beneficial to them, and at the same time gain them the esteem and gratitude of the inhabitants of those countries.


THIS province, favoured by Nature, as if it had been selected for the display of fertility and beauty, is not less important on account of its geographical situation, at the mouth of the River la Plata, forty leagues distant from the capital city of Buenos Ayres, but only ten from the coast. It is situated in 34° 54′ 48″ south lat. and 56° 13′ 30″ west long according to observations made in February of this year; and borders on the Rivers la Plata and Uruguay, and on Brazil on the south and west. Its climate, which has sensibly improved during the last forty years, is temperate and humid; but as that quality is moderated by the invariably dry land winds from the northwest—commonly called passageros, because they pass through the open plains of Buenos Ayres—and by its proximity to the ocean, the temperature of its atmosphere is the most healthy possible. In the year 1810, that province numbered a population of from 60 to 70,000 souls, including that of the city, which was not less than 20,000. At present, however, it scarcely contains from 40 to 50,000;

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that is, 10,000 in the city, and the remainder in the country, which is of immense extent; since, even allowing the arbitrary limits assigned to it by Brazil in 1819 to remain unchanged, it would comprise one hundred and thirty Castilian leagues from north to south, and about ninety from east to west. There are many inhabited places in it: as, Maldonado, Colonia, Sta. Lucia, Camelones, Sn. Jose, Sn. Carlos, Soriano, and Cerro Largo; which are all towns: and the villages are Toledo, Pando, Rocha, Peñarol, Piedras, Sn. Salvador, Minas, Florida, Porongos, Colla, Bacas, Vivoras, Espinilla, Mercedes, Paisandù, and Hervidera. The decrease of population was occasioned by the war with Spain, which in that territory was carried on as in no other part of the United Provinces; by the civil war which raged there, and produced that anarchy which the neighbouring foreigners took care to excite during the revolution against Spain; and also by the domination of the Portuguese or Brazilians, which appears to be one and the same thing, from which, being universally detested, the natives have fled in great numbers, emigrating to the other provinces. Monte Video was peopled, less than a century ago, by a colony sent from Buenos Ayres. At that time the country was occupied by a multitude of barbarous Indians, of whom now remain only the very few who live in the remote parts, known by the name of Charrecas. The new colonists found the country abounding with vicun-

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nas. Since that time the soil, fertile in all parts, even in the mountains with which it abounds, appears to have been used particularly for grazing, its cattle having continued all along to be the staple branch of the commerce of Monte Video; not only by reason of the exportation of vicunna and horse-hides, but also of salted meat and tallow. Monte Video at one time possessed thirty-three establishments for curing meat; each of them killing at least one hundred head of cattle daily, without that consumption being felt in regard to the vicunna, the multiplication of which race is assisted there by an infinite variety of natural circumstances. The whole country abounds in excellent pastures, and not a single spot of ground is left waste. The pastures are of excellent quality, and fertilized in an astonishing manner by the irrigation of many rivers, rivulets, and springs. At each step the traveller finds himself agreeably surprised by meeting with streams of pure and salubrious water, which tend to enhance the charms of the surrounding scenery, consisting of a constant succession of hills, eminences, meadows, wilds, rugged defiles, and mountains, with which all the territory abounds. The principal rivers are, the Uruguay, Negro, Ybicui, Cebollati, Yi, Sta. Lucia, Guegisay, Diaman, Arapei, Guarey, Olimar, Pardo, Tacuari, Yguaron, and Tacuarembó. The immense currents of these rivers are formed by more than two hundred

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rivulets, many of them very considerable, which run in all directions, excepting an elevated ridge of land which crosses the whole province, and is called Cuchilla grande, as will be seen by a reference to the annexed map. Almost all these rivers might be made navigable, through the greatest part of their course, with little trouble. Those that are now easily navigated are the Uruguay, Negro, Cebollati, and Sta. Lucia. As the grazing business produces such immense profit to those who possess capitals laid out in estates, agriculture has occupied them but little, as a matter of speculation; nevertheless, the lands are capable of producing abundantly, and without labour, all kinds of grain, fruit, and vegetables.

The province of Monte Video is at present occupied by the troops of Brazil, against the will of its legitimate masters. A particular account of that occupation will be given hereafter.


The river Paraná takes its source in the long range of mountains situated to the north-west of Rio de Janeiro, in 21° South latitude. Its origin, like that of all rivers, is humble, until, uniting, with the Parancubá, the Tiese, the Paranapane, and the Curitabá, it first directs its course to the north-west, to 19° of latitude; where,

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changing its direction, it turns to the south, till it enters the Missiones de las Guarames. From this place it begins to display its peculiar character; forming an archipelago of an infinite number of islands, difficult to describe; and, bearing towards the west, it proceeds to meet the river Paraguay. That river, on account of the greater length of its course, might dispute names with it; but the islands which it forms, and the constant liability of its waters to overflow, all the way to its mouth, have preserved for the Parana the continuation of its name.

Until it reaches the city of Las Siete Corrientes, its body of water is solely formed by the rivers running into it from the mountains of Brazil; but there it begins to receive the streams from the Andes of Peru, by its confluence with the rivers Bermejo and Pilcomayo, which disembogue themselves into the river Paraguay. Here it is that it assumes the grand and majestic appearance which it retains, till, united with the Paraguay, and swoln by the waters from the mountains of the Andes and from the ridges of hills in that neighbourhood, it descends, like a fresh-water sea, towards the ocean, with which it commingles, under the name of Rio de la Plata.

One of the peculiarities of the Paraná, which most interests the curiosity of the observer, is the nature of its periodical inundations, very much

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resembling those of the Nile. In fact, we believe that there are not on the globe two rivers, the qualities of which are more analogous to each other. Both have their sources in the torrid zone; and nearly equidistant from the equator, although in different hemispheres. Both disembogue themselves almost in the same latitude, directing their course to their respective poles. Both are navigable for many leagues, and possess their cataracts. Each of them has its periods of increase in the respective seasons, which cause it to rise in its channel, and to inundate an immense tract of country: and the reason of such rising is the same in each; namely, in our opinion, the abundant rains, which, falling in torrents in the regions of the torrid zone, during the four months in which the sun is nearest to the tropics, tends to swell the body of these rivers. To seek any other origin for the periodical rising of the rivers which have their sources in the torrid zone, is to attempt to encounter with the marvellous; and none but an opinionative philosopher can attribute it to the regular winds which blow constantly during the fulness of their waters. Confining ourselves to the Parana, we can confidently assert that the winds have not the slightest influence on its risings. It is true that the breezes of the south are constant in the four months of summer; but their influence is perceptible, although with

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much variation, on the waters of the Rio de la Plata, without causing a constant and regular rising. Every one knows that the risings of the Rio de la Plata are varied and changeable as the wind which produces them. In the morning the river sinks considerably, and in the evening it rises in proportion to the greater or less violence of the breeze: whence it is evident, that the waters of the Rio de la Plata not having a constant rising by reason of these winds, as little could such an effect be produced in the Paraná from that cause. Besides, it is well known that, in the Rio de la Plata, the elevation of the waters is greater in winter than in summer, on account of the winds from the south-west, which are more frequent, and blow more violently during that season. Notwithstanding this fact, the very contrary occurs in the Paraná. Its rising begins towards the end of December, which is some time after the commencement of the rainy season in the countries situated between the tropic of Capricorn and the Equator; and it continues rising, without interruption, till the month of April; when, decreasing till July, with somewhat more rapidity than it rose, it again returns to its natural bed. In this month it is usual to perceive a slight rising, which the people of the country call El Repunte; and which we attribute to the waters which the river receives from the streams

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pouring down from the temperate zone, where the season of winter is almost always rainy: but the Repunte is of such very trivial moment, that it never overflows even the lands in the lowest situations.

These laws are not invariable. The risings, although periodical, are not equal, any more than the rains are every year. In the year 1812, in which we observed the Paraná for the second time, its risings were the greatest in the memory of the inhabitants; and none but persons of very advanced age remembered any increase of the waters which rose to a greater height. In fact, when, at the beginning of May, the river had sunk about four Paris feet, and the islands began to be discernible, the tops of their high grounds were covered with tigers, foxes, cassowaries, and other animals, which had been drowned, or died of hunger, in such quantities that the air was infected with the stench from their bodies.

Having given this slight idea of the course and risings of the Paraná, we shall now consider it in its most important relations; that is to say, with respect to the advantages of its navigation, and to the benefits which it dispenses to agriculture.

There are three causes which regularly impede the navigation of rivers: the great rapidity of their currents; the shallowness of their waters; and the shoals, rocks, or banks which obstruct

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their passage. None of these inconveniences are met with in the Parana, till reaching the island of Apipé. The rapidity of its course varies with the state of the river and the conformation of its channel. When the rising is at its greatest height, the velocity of its current is greater than when it is on the decrease; and, in both seasons, it is always greatest in those parts where its channel is the narrowest. In the Rosario, in Punta Gorda, and in Hernan de Arias, which are the places where it is the most straitened in width, six observations, made during the time of its rising, gave for its average velocity a foot and a half per second. When the river is in its natural bed, its stream has much less velocity; and that is not alike in all places in its breadth. In the centre of the channel it is greater than on the shore towards the bogs; and there, on account of its being very accessible, it is greater than in the places near the islands, where the velocity is almost null; which is not the case in the Rio de la Plata, in which the currents are invariably in proportion to, and in direction with, the winds which blow. It is, therefore, evident that the rapidity of the current of the Parana is no impediment to its navigation; which, indeed, experience has long since proved,

As regards the depth, no person is ignorant of its capability for the navigation of vessels of all

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burdens as far as the island of Apipé; and it would continue with depth enough for that object for a great, distance further, did not a cataract situated at that place impede progress. In no part has the Paraná less depth than in the two channels of the Rio de la Plata, which communicate with the great arms of the Guazú and Las Palmas; nevertheless, in the mouth of the Guazú it retains always, even in seasons of the greatest drought, more than two fathoms and a half of water; although it is not so deep in that of Las Palmas, on account of the great sand-bank which bears the same name.

Throughout the rest of the river there is a considerable depth, not only in the main channel, but also in the greater part of its sinuosities and arms; all of which are navigable in the rainy season, and even when they are at the lowest. These are El Dorado, Las Caravelas, Las Nueve Vueltas, El Carrapachain, Las Calavares, and the arm going to Gualegay, and from Mantanza to Punta Gorda, with many others, which it would be tedious to enumerate. Suffice it to state, in confirmation of this assertion, that there are now sailing in the European waters vessels of 300 tons, built many leagues higher up the country than La Asuncion del Paraguay.

From Cape Santa Maria, to the island of Apipé, is a distance by water of 500 leagues, navigable

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without any other reef than the English Bank, (Banco Ingles,) which will cease to be dangerous as soon as a vigilant and protecting Government shall watch over the commerce and prosperity of the country. In the whole course of the Paraná there is not a single stone: its bottom is clay and very fine sand; and, although some banks and shallows are here and there met with, a sufficient channel is left at all times for the passage of vessels; and it is worthy of remark, that near the banks there is a greater depth than in the middle of the channel itself. The same thing occurs in the river Paraguay, till you reach the lake of Los Xarayes; so that to the Paraná can in no wise be attributed the third inconvenience which impedes the navigation of rivers in general.

The Pilcomayo and Bermejo, which, by reason of the scanty population of the country, have hitherto made no figure in political and mercantile geography, possess almost the same advantages which we have just described. Both rise in Peru; the first near the city of Potosi, and the second in the vicinity of Tarijà. They run at first with considerable impetuosity from the heights whence they descend; but the moment they arrive at the flat country, they assume a tranquil and majestic course. According to the best information, they possess no inconvenience but their numerous windings, on account of the want of fall in the

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ground, of the Gran Chaco through which they run, and which is the most level tract of all South America. The lakes which intersect this vast country are immense; they also tend to fertilize it, inasmuch as the flatness of the lands facilitates the inundations during the risings of the river Paraguay, into which they disembogue themselves, after watering the lower territory.

The Spaniards of the sixteenth century, more active and enterprising than their descendants, founded a city on the right bank of the Pilcomayo, and called it La Asuncion, to unite, as it is supposed, the population of that part with that of the interior provinces of Peru; and to facilitate, by means of the navigation of the river, the transport of the productions and manufactures of that interior country, which at present are rarely exported, if we except the precious metals; and these are conveyed, at an immense expense, by land-carriage. Hence it is easy to imagine the impediments thrown in the way of the population, industry, and commerce of Peru, by such an interruption of intercourse. That city, as well as another, which they also founded under the tropic on the left shore of the Paraguay, was destroyed by the barbarous Indians, and entirely abandoned by the Spaniards. There has latterly been built in that vicinity a town, known by the name of Villa-Real, which is distant from Potosi, in a right line,

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only little more than 7° of longitude, with an immaterial difference in latitude; and it is now evident how much more easily all the productions and articles of commerce might be transported that short distance, by means of the navigation of the Pilcomayo and Bermejo—rivers as mighty as any of the most famous in Europe—than by the present long and difficult route of 540 leagues by land to Potosi. Those who feel no concern for the felicity of their fellow-creatures, or who from ignorance cannot appreciate the influence of commerce on the prosperity and grandeur of states, can alone remain insensible to these great advantages of nature.

The river Salado, which rises in the province of Salta, and unites itself to the Paraná at Santa Fé, is another mighty stream which possesses the same advantages as the rest. The Uruguay, so well known for the body of its waters, is navigable for the space of 60 leagues only, on account of a slight fall, which might be avoided by a regular canal along one of its sides; a work of the easiest execution, from the little descent of the fall. Finally, the Gualeguay and the Negro are two more rivers, of the third class, navigable for many leagues; and there are still many remaining un-enumerated, which we omit for the sake of brevity, but which are laid down in the geographical maps of that country—a country which may be


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considered as the most favoured of nature in that particular point so essential to the progress of agriculture and commerce.

From what has been said, it is to be inferred, that the Paraná enjoys all the advantages possessed by the principal rivers, not only on account of the nature of its risings, of the extent of its course, and of the cleanness of its channel, but also on account of its receiving so many rivers navigable to an immense distance, and all gifted with the same favourable circumstances as the principal one into which their waters flow.

On beholding the present unpeopled state of the country bordering on the Paraná, after three centuries, some might be led to imagine that the inundations of that river are prejudicial to agriculture. Without entering here into a minute examination of the causes of that phenomenon, since it would only be to repeat all that has been said concerning the method of colonizing adopted by the European nations in these latter times, we shall offer some observations on the nature of the inundations of the Paraná. Although in general the rivers which overflow their banks are a scourge, and consequently an object of disquietude to the cultivator; inasmuch as by their risings they destroy the fruits of his labour, sweeping away the manure and substance of the lands, which remain unproductive for many years; yet,

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in the case of the Paraná, the contrary of this, as if by a miracle, is the case. Its risings being periodical, they cannot surprise the vigilance of the labourer; and, as they come on in a slow and progressive manner, the inundations, rendering the land which they cover of a better quality, are so far from being hurtful, that they improve the soil. Such is the progressive slowness of the rise, that, in order to attain twelve feet, which is the average height to which the waters regularly swell every year, four months are necessary. Thus, the surface of the river is seen to rise as gently as a pond, which might have its own reservoirs in its interior parts, would seem to fill; so that the same plants, which were thriving before the inundation, re-appear when it falls, with greater luxuriance; and all vegetation, even to the humblest grasses, is perceived gently waving to and fro in the midst of the waters, when they are at their greatest height. The water then is always turbid, because it holds in solution a great quantity of vegetable matter, clay and salts, swept along from the high lands wherein the streams take their source, and which the velocity of their descent does not permit them to deposit till they reach the level country; where, remaining almost stationary for some time over the lands and islands subject to be overflowed, they gradually deposit all the substances with which they are impreg-

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nated. This is the more perceptible after the waters have retired, since the lands are then seen covered with a gray and viscous slime; the utility of which for vegetation is inferred from the prodigious increase of the pasturage, and the height and luxuriance of the trees and shrubs which clothe the islands inundated by the river in its risings. It is, therefore, evident that the inundations of the Paraná contribute to fertilize the lands which they cover; and that, were man to apply his hands to improve this treasure of nature, the crops which cultivation might produce there would be immense, nay almost incalculable, especially of those species of grain which delight in moisture and coolness.

Every thing appears to concur to perpetuate that fecundity; because, from the degree of elevation of the waters, they cannot in any sensible manner influence the surface of the territory which they cover. The average rising is about twelve feet; but the islands and lands subject to be overflowed, never have that depth of water over them, owing to their greater height. When the river is at the highest, the lowest of the islands scarcely have more than three or four feet over them, and some for the distance of many leagues are covered by only eight or nine inches. There are also some places which are not inundated except during extraordinary risings, which may not

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occur for a considerable length of time. There are likewise inundations so low that they form lakes, which disappear solely through evaporation and filtration, leaving a great quantity of fish out of their element to perish unprofitably.

Calculating the immense extent of territory inundated by the Paraná, only from its mouth to Cayastá, of which we can speak with accuracy from our own observations, its waters, during the inundation, cover about one thousand one hundred square leagues; and making an approximate calculation of the whole extent of country which enjoys this beneficial circumstance, from near the tropic of Capricorn, (where the river begins to assume this quality,) to its mouth, the space participating in so vast an advantage, without any aid from art, may be reckoned at about four thousand leagues. Were that gift of nature then made use of there, as near the Nile, who could possibly calculate to what degree of perfection, and with what profitable results, cultivation might be carried? When these countries shall enjoy peace, and the influence of a beneficent government, and one interested in the welfare of the nation; when liberality and toleration shall open the gates of the land to all useful men, without distinction of country or religious worship; when, in short, that epoch, so ardently desired by all who can feel and think, shall arrive, then the great Paraná, which

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is capable of producing all that is to be found in the torrid and temperate zones, will gain more celebrity than the Nile; over which, among other advantages, it possesses those of having a greater number of mighty rivers tributary to its waters, and also of being navigable for a greater distance, inasmuch as the Nile can only be navigated to the Isle of Elephants, that is to say, 180 leagues; whereas the Paraná is navigable more than 500, without reckoning the confluent rivers.


This is the first province to the north of the river La Plata; situated, like Corrientes, between the rivers Uruguay and Paraná; and in its space many smaller yet important rivers take their rise, watering and fertilizing the territory, as the name given to the province sufficiently indicates. In the annexed map its situation and extent are found correctly traced. From that map alone it may easily be discovered to what a degree of importance that country may arrive, which, besides possessing a great tract of territory, with excellent pastures and waters, enjoys a wholesome temperature, and has the means of exporting its valuable productions by water, from one extremity of the province to the other. Its population at present may be computed at about twenty or thirty thousand inhabitants; although, during the

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revolution against Spain, it was exposed to every calamity which could cause depopulation; inasmuch as, like Salta, which was placed in the vanguard of the war of independence on the west, the province of Entre Rios occupied the same position on the east, having, at the same time, to serve as a barrier to the ambition of Brazil. Agriculture and grazing are, and will in future become still more, the true mines of this country. It may be confidently asserted that the Agricultural Association of the Rio de la Plata, established in London, with a capital of a million sterling, for the purpose of sending colonies to that country, will obtain in the province of Entre Rios, where its first attempts are to be directed, advantages which will abundantly compensate it for the use of its capital, and repay the labours of the colonists employed in agriculture.


In order duly to appreciate the importance of this province, as well as of all those watered by the Paraná and Uruguay, it is necessary to bear in mind the description already given of both these mighty rivers. They lie in the direction of the road to the north of Buenos Ayres, commonly called Del Paraguay. Corrientes, one of the most ancient cities, although among the least known, is situated on the banks of the Paraná,

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in the temperate zone, participating somewhat in the effects of the torrid. Including the city, it contains a population of about fifty thousand souls, which is not very considerable, because the greater part is distributed throughout the country. Its territory comprises an extent of more than 150 leagues from one extremity to the other, south and north, and with more or less extent east and west, its boundaries being the province of Entre Rios, the river Paraná, the province of Paraguay, and the river Uruguay. The territory of Corrientes is intersected by eleven rivers, of which five are navigable to a certain distance, and may with a little labour be made so to their source. By the greater part of these rivers is formed a celebrated lake, called Ypicú, or Ybera; and they all disembogue themselves into the river Parana. There are, besides, an infinite number of permanent lakes in all directions throughout its territory, which make it one of the most pleasant and fertile situations possible, and particularly well adapted for the breeding of cattle, for which it is famous. The situation of the city is admirable, and recommends itself at first sight: almost in front of it the river Paraguay forms its junction with the Paraná; the first of which receives the waters of the large river Bermejo, before it mixes with those of the Paraná,—a circumstance which is highly advantageous

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to Corrientes. It can easily communicate by water with Buenos Ayres and Paraguay; as it always has done; and also with Upper Peru, when the Bermejo is made navigable; an undertaking projected in Salta, bordering on Potosi, and also already resolved on by the Government of Buenos Ayres, partly on account of the great advantages that will ensue from that measure to the internal trade, and partly because the surveys long since made offer every hope that the attempt will be crowned with success. In this district, steam-boats will answer every purpose for which they are destined. The inhabitants of Corrientes are great horsemen, temperate, well adapted for sea-service, sober, and capable of enduring much fatigue; but they are disinclined to work. The facility of subsisting, and the little stimulus that exists there to induce them to make money, appear to be the causes of an inactivity; which, however, they seem to be shaking off by degrees. The women are affable, and pay great attention to foreigners; they are more industrious than the men; employing much of the time left them, after their domestic occupations, in weaving linen, with which, in general, the poorer class are clothed. Agriculture and grazing are the employments likely to be most advantageous here. Tobacco in leaf is produced here, as in Paraguay. The other productions are sugar, the earth pis-

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tachio (mani), cotton, indigo, and cochineal, all which articles they export but in moderate quantities, for the reason before given,—because the inhabitants have few or no wants. Coffee has likewise been cultivated with good success. But the principal commerce of Corrientes consists in the export of many kinds of fur; because, besides the vicunnas, and the wool which they yield in abundance, there are in the territory stags, deer, carpinchos, &c. &c. It possesses timber also of various kinds, fit not only for building, but likewise for making tasteful furniture, and for the construction of ships of all classes; although, in general, ships built there are on a small scale. Saltpetre pits are found there running for many leagues, of which no use is made, excepting for the necessary interior consumption. Besides this, along the whole extent of the banks of the Paraná which belong to Corrientes, different colours are observable in the earths and clays, which might be of infinite use in pottery, if industrious men were to pursue that business. There are many tanneries for hides in the province, for which operation they use the bark of the tree called curupahî, and also that of the laurel.

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This province, which lies in 25° 16′ 40″ south latitude, and 59° 59′ 58″ west longitude from the meridian of Paris, is situated on the eastern bank of the river Paraguay, which, with the Bermejo, unites itself with the Paraná, as was observed before; being the last in the direction of that road, to the north of Buenos Ayres, which runs through the provinces of Rio de la Plata. It is undoubtedly one of the provinces which has always been held in most estimation, on account of the abundance, the variety, and the value of its productions. For the last fifteen years, however, (which is the time that, after the example, and with the aid of Buenos Ayres, it separated itself from the Spanish domination,) it occupies an obscure place in the politics of that country, and maintains no social or mercantile relation with any part of the world; for which state of seclusion it is favoured by its detached local situation. Without knowing whether this circumstance ought to be attributed to the rustic character of the only person who has governed Paraguay during the greater part of that time, or to the constitutional apathy and ignorance of the persons governed, the fact is, that, notwithstanding it followed the sentiment of the whole territory as regards its separation from Spain, that province has not only taken no part in

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the war of Independence, by which it has incurred a general odium; but also, since that moment, has cut off all communication with the contiguous and United Provinces, and thus continued, till the present time, to prevent the exportation of its interesting productions, and to prohibit the return of all foreigners or natives, with very few exceptions, who came for the purpose of introducing ultramarine merchandize into Paraguay. Hence, nothing is known of that province which is not of an old date; and that information, of course, is liable to all the inaccuracies with which such communications were constantly divulged in those times. For this reason, we cannot take upon ourselves to certify all that has been related of that country. It is generally believed, that the recovery of the province of Monte Video by the provinces of Rio de la Plata would be of the most beneficial consequences to the state of Paraguay, as it would facilitate the means of convincing it how essential it is that it should join the social compact, formed by all the Provinces, to maintain themselves in union as an independent State. When this shall come to pass, Paraguay will fill a much more important station than it did under the Spanish Government; principally on account of its abundant mountain-forests, growing timber of all kinds, well adapted for ship-building; which, in fact, has always been one of its principal

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branches of commerce. Most of the small vessels, employed in the trade of all the internal rivers, have been constructed there; and in Paraguay also some ships have been built, which have navigated the river Paraná, in ballast, as far as Buenos Ayres; that is to say, a distance of 400 leagues. In the year 1824, one of these ships sailed to Lima, after having made several voyages to Europe. The other productions, such as the Paraguay tea, (yerba mate, or the chenopodium ambrosioides of Linnæus), which is greatly superior to that of Brazil, and of which, in that part of America, there is a greater consumption than of tea from China, in the United States—coloured tobacco, which, in some respects, is superior to that of the Havannah, and which will equal it in all, when a better system of gathering and growing is adopted—cotton, of which considerable exports might be made even to Europe—and, in short, many other productions, such as, the earth pistachio (mani, or the Arachis hypogea of Linnæus), sugar, reed-cane, honey, &c. &c. &c. will all give to Paraguay, whenever it ceases to be the Great China of South America, the place of one of the most distinguished provinces, but never that of the chief of them, as some copyist geographers insist on calling it. M. Bonpland who was the companion of Baron Humboldt in his travels, is still living in Paraguay. He was in the towns of Mis-

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siones, situated between Corrientes and Paraguay, pursuing the researches which it was his duty to make, as a naturalist, employed by the Government of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata; which circumstance exciting jealousy in the ruling authority of Paraguay, it would not suffer him or his attendants to leave its territory, or even to send copies of the insects he had collected; but caused him to be forcibly conducted to the capital, where he lives at liberty, following the medical profession, but without hope of escaping from that imprisonment, except through some sudden caprice of that stoical governor, or the natural course of events. It is also believed, that the favourable termination for that country of the war of Independence, will have some influence in putting an end to this interruption of intercourse, and a commencement actually appears to have been made, by that province having permitted the British subjects who were detained there to leave the country.


This is the first city on the road from Buenos Ayres to Paraguay, at the distance of a hundred leagues, situated on the western part of the river Paraná. Its boundaries are the said river, Buenos Ayres, Cordova, and the barbarian frontiers. The population is very scanty; and there are no data

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to proceed upon in computing the proper number of inhabitants in the whole of its territorial jurisdiction, except the simple fact of its sending one representative to the National Body, which is the number allowed to be elected for every fifteen thousand souls. Notwithstanding that this territory, which many rivers, and some of them of note, likewise fertilise, is well calculated for rearing many of the productions of agriculture, it is still very much behind in that science. Its inhabitants seem to devote themselves entirely to the breeding of vicunnas and horses, and that only in small numbers. Its productions are conveyed to Buenos Ayres by land, as well as by water.


This is the first city of inferior importance, which the traveller from the jurisdiction of Buenos Ayres, by the road of Chile, passes through on his way to Mendoza. The city contains a population of only 1500 souls, although it is 260 years since its foundation; and the whole extent of its territory may comprise about 20 or 25,000. It extends, more or less, 50 or 60 leagues from east to west, and 100 from north to south. Its temperature is good; and yet the lack of population in the towns, and culture in the country, greatly diminishes its importance. The inhabit-

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ants appear least inclined to labour of any on the continent, inasmuch as they live satisfied amidst the many privations they endure. The fair sex in this place are the most remarkable of any on that road; not for manners or dress, in which they are inferior to the women of the other towns, but for their fine physiognomy. This province is especially well calculated for breeding cattle; in every district of it there are farms of vicunnas and horses; and its principal trade consists in the export of furs and skins. The women also make woollen stuffs of inferior quality. According to the most accurate accounts, that territory, which is very much broken, chiefly on the side where it borders on the barbarous Indians of the frontiers, has rivers containing gold, which never have been worked to any advantage, nor at present occupy in the least the attention of the natives. This city served, during the revolutionary war, as one of the depôts for Spanish prisoners of all classes, including general officers; and gave a noble instance of patriotism, by putting down, by main force, a mutiny of those prisoners against the local authorities, for the express purpose of endeavouring to effect their escape. In short, this city, which now is a place but of little interest, with an industrious population, might become of considerable importance; particularly as it possesses the advantage, that its territory is a neces-

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sary thoroughfare for travellers to Mendoza, on the jurisdiction of which it borders on the east, and by which it keeps up a spirited commerce with the Republic of Chile.


This city, which is 20 leagues distant from the termination of the jurisdiction of Mendoza, almost to the south, has subsisted 265 or 266 years. It is situated in 32° 33′ south latitude, in front of the mountains of the Andes. The population of the city is about 16 or 20,000 souls; but it is computed at 30 or 35,000, including the inhabitants of the towns called Las Lagunas, Pueblo Viejo, Jacha, Valle Fertil, and also those of the rest of the country, which extends from 100 to 120 leagues north and south, and the same from east to west; terminating, like Mendoza, on the summit of the range of the Andes. The character of the inhabitants of both sexes is very amiable; and they evince the greatest desire to make progress in civilization. This town is now considered as that which most closely follows Buenos Ayres in the march of social reform. Many of the institutions recently established in Buenos Ayres have been adopted there in relative proportion; and the natives of San Juan have made astonishing progress in ecclesiastical reform, incorporating all the regular with the secular clergy, and suppressing the


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convents which they possessed. This town occupies the same rank as Mendoza, as far as agriculture is concerned. The natives dedicate themselves chiefly to the cultivation of innumerable vines, which grow in vast luxuriance, and to the making of wines and brandies, which they export, in great quantities, as far as Potosi, Buenos Ayres, Santa Fé, and a great portion of the eastern side of the Rio de la Plata. These liquors the natives of San Juan themselves transport on troops of mules, which they feed within their own jurisdiction, for which they have great facilities, as their country abounds in excellent pasturage, and the people are tolerably addicted to labour. The fertility of this country is wonderful. Wheat in general produces a hundred-fold; and the trees of various kinds grow to an extraordinary height. There are also olive plantations, the produce of which is much esteemed in Buenos Ayres. This territory is one of the most favoured by nature as regards mines of gold and silver, of which it contains a great many; but principally to the north, and at the distance of 30 or 40 leagues from the city, lies the gold mine, known by the name of Tacha, the richness of which has attracted many persons, who now form a populous town. It may be asserted, that the gold drawn, without much art, from that mine, and which is stamped in the mint of the Republic of Chile, exceeds, on

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an average, 80,000 dollars per annum. The pasturage and breeding of cattle are not such important branches of commerce here as the labours of agriculture: but in the country there are vicunnas and mares in tolerable abundance.


This city, which was founded 265 years ago, is situated in the lower part of the ridge of the Andes, on the road to Chile, between 32? and 33° south latitude, in front of the two only roads, by means of which the provinces as well of Upper Peru as of Rio de la Plata communicate with the Republic of Chile. These roads are called Uspayata and Portillo. The population of the city is about 15 or 20,000 souls; but it may be computed at 35,000, including the inhabitants of a tract extending 130 leagues from north to south, bounded by the river Diamante, which communicates with the river Negro, which disembogues itself into the sea in Patagonia, and somewhat more than 100 from east to west, terminating at the before-mentioned summit of the ridge of the Andes. In the country there are several towns of considerable note, such as San Carlos, towards the south, in the valley of Uco, Coriconto, towards the east, and another in the same direction, 11 leagues from the city, called Los Barriales. Towards the north, at the very extremity of the

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jurisdiction, lies a town, the name of which sufficiently expresses its favourable locality—Las Grandes Lagunas de Guanacache. Towards the south-east, two leagues from Mendoza, there is another town, of more consequence than the preceding, called San Vicente; but as all this territory, a country eminently agricultural, is almost entirely covered with large establishments and farms, accidentally, and without the intervention of the public authorities, a junction of persons have assembled in the said farms, who have taken particular names, as if, in fact, the farms they inhabited were towns or villages; such, for instance, are, La Cienaga, Chimba, Panquegna, San Miguel, Rio Negro, Plumerillo, Cruz de Piedra, Lunlunta, Lujan, Barrancas, Compuerta del Rio, Barriales, Retamo, and many others. In general the character of the inhabitants of both sexes is amiable and hospitable. They are among the most civilized of these countries, as is proved by the facility with which they proceed in exterminating the prejudices which political and religious fanaticism had nourished in their land. This town is remarkable in the annals of the revolutionary war, because in it was organized the army which carried independence to the Republic of Chile, and which also opened the road to that state of freedom now enjoyed by Peru. The province is the most agricultural of that country, and its inhabitants the

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most devoted to labour. Their chief employment consists in the cultivation of vines, clover-grass, and other productions usually met with in a fertile soil abundantly irrigated. They likewise carry on an extensive traffic in wine, brandy, and dry fruits, with the neighbouring provinces, and to a considerably greater degree with Buenos Ayres, Santa Fé, the eastern side, and Paraguay, managing even to export dry fruits as far as Brazil. The country grows wheat and Indian corn sufficient for the internal consumption. One of the branches of commerce most productive for this province, in a pecuniary point of view, is the transport of the Yerba Maté of Paraguay or Brazil, and of all the ultramarine articles which are consumed in the Republic of Chile, which is effected, from Buenos Ayres, by multitudes of carts belonging to the people of Mendoza, which return to the other provinces laden with articles of no less value. The feeding of cattle is also an object of importance in this territory, and a regular quantity of vicunna hides are exported thence. To the westward, at the distance of 25 leagues from the city, on the same road of Chile, lies the valley of Uspayata, where there is a scanty population, with the great mine, which takes its name from the valley; a description of which, sufficiently accurate, is to be found in the Geographical Essay of Father Molina. The natives, and some specu-

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lators from Chile, work this mine with well-known success. It is worthy of remark, that the wines and brandies made in Mendoza, as is the case also with those of San Juan, for exportation, by way of speculation, are, in general, but little prized by people who call themselves good judges of such matters. The consumption of these articles is greater among the poorer classes, because they are sold retail and at low prices, inasmuch as they cannot compete with the same liquors brought from Europe. Nevertheless, the wine or brandy which is produced there for what is termed a present, is in very high estimation; and shows how much these articles will be improved when this territory is cultivated by expert vine-dressers, under the influence of a skilful and beneficent Government.


This is the capital of the province of that name, and the first city to which the traveller comes after leaving Buenos Ayres in following the western road, which is commonly called the road of Peru. It was founded in July 1573, and is situated in 31° 15′ of south latitude. Its situation is picturesque, as it is surrounded by mountains, at so short a distance that you cannot perceive the city till you reach the top of their ridges. The city alone contains a population of

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from 12 to 16,000 souls; but the number of inhabitants throughout the jurisdiction of the whole province, which extends about 110 leagues from north to south, and about the same from east to west, may amount to 70 or 80,000. This city is deficient in public edifices of note; but, with the exception of Buenos Ayres, it is more than usually crowded with churches, some of good architecture, considering the time when they were built. It contains also a University, the plan of which and of its studies is copiously described in the 3rd volume of the Historical Essay on Buenos Ayres, Tucuman, and Paraguay, published in 1818, by Dr. Jemes, a native of Cordova. In this territory there are many towns and places of whites and of Indians; such as, Concepcion, Carlota, (these two are towns,) Ranchos, Tutumba, San Javier, Rio Seco, Frayle Muerto, Soto, Pichano, Quilino, Yschitin, La Toma, San Marcos, Cruz Alta, and several others, with a very scanty population in each, the greater part of the inhabitants being spread about the country in the establishments for grazing, which are called Haciendas, or Estancias: but almost all the places have a chapel, served by an ecclesiastic, who is generally maintained by the fees levied, according to the nature of the service which he performs. The disposition of the natives is, generally speaking, mild; and the character of the

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females stands very high for courtesy to foreigners. Some of the English, made prisoners in Buenos Ayres in 1806, were sent to Cordova, where they received the strongest proofs of hospitality. The natives employ themselves in agricultural pursuits, which are, however, rather in a backward state, notwithstanding the fertility of the soil, which is irrigated by many rivers, some of which are of note. The reason of this perhaps is, that, having had no new models in agriculture to copy, the old method of preparing the land and sowing it is adhered to throughout the province. Wheat is grown with great success: and the same may be said of maize, of which an immense quantity is consumed every year by the poorer classes. There they also make the best lime for the whitening of houses; and, as it is so far superior to any met with elsewhere, it is exported with advantage. Soda is also made there, which article may in time become one of the most productive, although the breeding of cattle is an important object of external commerce. There are several establishments for rearing mules, which are sent expressly to Upper Peru, where they fetch a high price. That trade has been interrupted during the war of Independence, but now it will shortly resume the same or more importance than what it possessed during the Spanish Government. There are many establish-

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ments also for rearing vicunnas and sheep, where they collect great quantities of hides and skins, which they export to Buenos Ayres. The women of the most needy class weave some of the stuffs commonly used in the interior and exterior consumption by persons of the labouring community. On this road the territory of Cordova is the best stocked with important rivers, which are known by the numerical appellations of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, &c. &c.; and of which the 3rd appears to be the principal. In 1804, and in 1810, attempts were made to remove the trifling impediments obstructing its navigation to the river la Plata, inasmuch as it disembogues itself into the Parana, and small vessels had often gone as far as its principal pass, which is distant about 25 leagues from the city of Cordova. But, although neither of these two attempts effected their object, at present it is one of the grand plans which occupy the attention of the Government of Buenos Ayres, and with great prospect of success. That navigation would facilitate the means of export, not only for the productions of Cordova, but also of Mendoza, San Juan, and other towns nearer to the 3rd river than to the Bermejo.


This is one of the least important cities we have yet mentioned. It is situated 290 leagues

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from Buenos Ayres, and 114 from Cordova, on one side of the road leading to Peru; and in 30 degrees of latitude, and 311 of longitude. Its territorial jurisdiction, according to the latest information, extends about 140 or 150 leagues from east to west, as far as the ridge of the Andes which separates it from Chile, and 130 or 140 from north to south. The population of the city is little more than 3000 souls; and the inhabitants of the whole territory may form a total of 20,000. The province is divided into four great departments; named, Los Llanos, Aranco, Famatina, and Guandacol. Hitherto, grazing appears to have been the object most attended to by the inhabitants; and it is affirmed that, with the exception of very few places, the generality of the towns and villages have establishments near them for the breeding of all kinds of cattle, without excluding the vicunna, which they also possess. Nevertheless, they have vines, and make wines and brandies, although in smaller quantities than in Mendoza and San Juan, and also of inferior quality. Wheat is produced in some places abundantly, as is the case with fruits and vegetables, which grow in sufficient quantities for home consumption. But Rioja has now begun to attract an equal attention to that paid for so many years to Potosi, in another part of America, on account of the famous mine called Famatina,

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which lies, according to a description of it lately given, 35 leagues to the west of Rioja, in the department bearing its name. It is believed, and with sufficient reason, that in this mine, the extent of which in length and breadth is very considerable, not only gold and silver are to be met with, but also various other metals, which the inhabitants have not been able to classify on account of their deficiency in scientific knowledge. Those which have been discovered up to the present time, are silver ore, mixed with lead (plomoronco); red gold ore (rosicler); silver ore, consisting of brown oxid of iron, and native silver (paco); sulphurated, and indigo-coloured silver ore.—Accounts received from Rioja state, that in the vicinity of this mine there is wood, pasturage, water, and every requisite for breeding cattle. It is also asserted, that, independent of Famatina, there are other mines in the Llanos, which is one of the four departments into which the territory of Rioja is divided.


This city is met with after leaving Cordova, and travelling by the road which goes to Upper Peru. It has been founded about 274 years, and is situated in 27° 28′, south latitude. The city is thinly peopled, but the number of inhabitants within its territorial jurisdiction may be computed

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at about 50,000. It is one of the most fertile of these provinces, and is of great extent in all directions. In the country, where the language generally spoken is the Guichua, there are nine curacies or parishes, denominated Silipica, Loreto, Guanajasta, Soconcho, Salavina, Mulacorral, Rio Salado, Petacas, and Sumampa, where there is a chapel destined solely for the conversion and subsequent instruction of the Pagan Indians on the frontier, called Abipones; which, although greatly injured by the repeated attacks of these barbarians, is one of the best of those which were built under the influence of the Jesuits. Agriculture is the principal occupation of the inhabitants of this country. Wheat produces eighty fold; although, to raise so prolific a crop, little or no art is employed. All kinds of grain may there be brought to perfection, and to become an advantageous export branch of commerce. At present grain is found in abundance; and yet the inhabitants, although aware of the profit they might derive from the circumstance, turn it to no manner of account. The same is the case with their honey, wax, saltpetre, and other articles of equal importance. They make woollen stuffs, such as are consumed in the interior, and exported to other cities, for the use of the poorer classes. The territory possesses various kinds of timber, and particularly the carob tree (Algarrobo). In

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the country there are, several rivulets and lakes; and in the immediate vicinity of the city runs a river, called The River of Santiago, the origin of which will be found detailed in the description of Tucuman.

It is worthy of remark, that the inhabitants of the country, while they remain in their respective districts, evince the greatest disinclination to labour, although every year 800 or 1000 of the natives of Santiago del Estero go spontaneously to seek employment in the other provinces, two, three, and four hundred leagues distant from their home, principally during the wheat-harvest, as they are allowed to be the best reapers in the United Provinces. In general they all find employment; and, after concluding their tasks, return to their own province with the produce of their labour. In that country, there is also abundance of vicunnas, sheep, and mares. The proximity of Santiago del Estero to the Great Chaco, a territory inhabited by savages, where there is an important mine of native iron, will, in time, afford its inhabitants a very productive employment for their labourers and capitalists; Already, since the revolution, several parcels of the ore have been extracted; and it is worthy of remark, that, in the manufactory of fire-arms at Buenos Ayres, a pair of pistols were made from it in 1815, which were presented to the President of

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the United States by the Government of these provinces, and which were publicly exhibited in 1818 in the office of the Secretary of State in Washington. A description of that mine was read in the Society of Physical Sciences of Buenos Ayres, in October 1822, and is printed in the 7th number of a periodical work, entitled La Abeja Argentina, published by the Literary Society of that capital in the same year.


This province is one of the principal of this country, as will be perceived from the following particulars. It is the third which is met with on the road from Buenos Ayres to Upper Peru, and is situated in 27° south latitude, and 66° west longitude. The population of the city is not numerous, consisting of about 10 or 12,000 souls; the province may, however, contain an aggregate of about 40,000, including the inhabitants of the country, and of the following towns or parishes; viz. Monteros, Suares, Chiquiligasta, Rio Chico, Trancas, and Burroyaco, each of which contain minor parishes. Its territorial extent is no more than from 58 to 60 leagues from south to north, and 50 from east to west. This town was one of the most famous during the war of Independence: in its vicinity a brilliant victory was obtained in 1812 over the Spaniards, and,

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ever since that event, Tucuman is called—The Grave of Tyranny. Generally speaking, in that city the Patriotic armies were organized, which, during the whole revolutionary war, carried on operations in Upper Peru. About five cuadras from the city, in the plain which is called Del Honor, a citadel was constructed, after that victory, with large internal quarters, and rooms for officers. But what principally makes it eminent in the history of the revolution is, that in Tucuman was drawn up by the General Congress, in the year 1816, the declaration of the right of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata to become absolutely independent, as well of Spain as of every other foreign power, which had only been the case, de facto, since the 25th May, 1810. The inhabitants of both sexes are affable, amiable, hospitable, honourable in their dealings, and also addicted to labour. This province possesses means of becoming one of the most flourishing in the two most prolific departments of the wealth of this part of America, namely, by feeding of cattle, and agriculture, but chiefly in the last mentioned. The rice, called de castilla, grows here in abundance, and of a superior quality; the country likewise produces wheat, maize, ground pistachionuts, and tobacco, of which thousands of bales are exported to Cordova, San Luis, San Juan, Mendoza, and other cities. Also oranges, which

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are equal in size and flavour to those of Paraguay and of Brazil; water-melons, melons, onions, &c. which are esteemed, not only on account of their flavour, but their quantity and size. Potatoes, which are there called camotes, grow to such an immense bulk, that one of seven pounds is by no means the heaviest. In the vicinity of a beautiful elevated tract which lies in this province, excellent cheese is made, which is distinguished by the name of Cheese of Tafi, and is exported in great quantities to Buenos Ayres, where it is much esteemed and sold at a high price. There are also tanneries for hides, which are principally consumed in Buenos Ayres; several water-mills to grind wheat, machines for husking rice, and some to grind it by water. The women occupy themselves, besides their domestic avocations, in weaving cotton and woollen stuffs, the materials for which are prepared in the place itself. To the west of the city is a delightful mountain, the summit of which is covered at all seasons of the year with snow, whence sixteen rivers, some of them of note, descend to fertilize and beautify the territory, and all of which united form the river of Santiago del Estero, of which mention has been made in treating of the city of that name. Along all the lower parts of this mountain are immense masses of trees, and among them many of bitter oranges. The city is sur-

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rounded by these woody masses, which occupy a space of fifteen leagues. The trees grow very high, and so thick that seven men, laying hold of each other's hands, with difficulty compassed one of them in 1816. The timber is of the best quality used in America. In the years 1811 and 1812, a native of Tucuman, a professor, enumerated fifty-three kinds of useful timber; and in a private cabinet of natural history, belonging to an individual of Buenos Ayres, there are specimens of sixty-four kinds; and lately, among these woods, has been discovered the red ebony wood, (Granadillo,) so much valued in Europe. In a place known by the name of Yerba Buena, there is a considerable mass, consisting entirely of orange trees, and at the bottom of the hill on which they grow, a quantity of springs and streams of most excellent water. The inhabitants of Tucuman derive great emolument from these woods, principally in the building of carts for transport, which in the country are called Carretas; some of which of the larger size are employed in conveying all articles of commerce from Buenos Ayres, drawn by vicunna; and others, drawn by horses, serve for the interior traffic of the cities.


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This is a city of inferior importance, and is situated about 60 leagues south-east of Tucuman. It was founded 143 or 144 years ago, and is situated in a beautiful valley, which takes the same name as the city—The Valley of Catamarca. Its temperature is of the most genial kind; and its territorial extent somewhat more than 100 leagues, from one extremity to the other, in the two principal directions. The city scarcely contains a population of 4500 souls; but the inhabitants throughout its jurisdiction may be estimated at 35,000, including in that number those of the towns of Piedra Blanca, Sierra del Alto, Sierra de Ancasti, Tinogasta, Santa Maria, Bellen, the population of which is more than 1200 souls, and other inferior places. The feeding of cattle appears till now to have been the principal business of the natives, although, from all accounts, the province possesses every requisite to become an agricultural country. Vicunnas, sheep, and mares, are bred here, and exported in droves on foot to other cities. It also carries on a very regular trade with Upper Peru, by means of mules. But the most valuable production of that territory is cotton; of a quality which, in the opinion of the most intelligent persons, is not surpassed by any in the world. The quantity raised has hitherto

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been but small, and only sufficed for small exports to the other provinces, and for the weaving of the ordinary stuffs, made by the women for the interior consumption of the place: but the facilities of the territory for its production are such, that, before long, great crops of that article may be grown; so that a considerable export might be carried on in that particular trade to foreign ports, with hopes and advantages of no ordinary kind; inasmuch as not only, as has been said before, this cotton is of a quality to compete with the best produced elsewhere; but also because the expenses could not be very heavy in a country where the labourers are maintained at a trifling cost, and where cultivation is never exposed to the slightest severity of weather. The execution of the plan for making the river Bermejo navigable will also afford Catamarca, which borders on one side on the territory of Salta, many advantages, which it now wants, for the commodious transport of its productions to the river La Plata.


This is the last city of the first class on the road from Buenos Ayres to Upper Peru; and its locality is interesting, both on account of the mountain and the river which are in its vicinity, and of the numerous trees which adorn its environs. It was founded in April 1582; and has for its boundaries, Jujuy, Tucuman, Atacama, a place

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pertaining to Potosi, and the Great Chaco, to which the Indians known by that name belong. The population of the city, including the suburbs, may amount to about 8 or 10,000 souls; and of the whole country, to about 40,000, including the inhabitants of the towns of Caldera, Rosario de la Frontera, Rosario de Serrillos, Chicoana, and Auta; and also in Sumalas, Goachipas, Serrillos, Campo Santa, Zorras, Corras, Valle de San Carlos, Valle de Caley, and Rio del Valle, to which may be added Balvuena, Mira Flores, and Macapillo, expressly built for the reduction of the Indians. It may be said to be fifteen years since Salta, including the subordinate cities of Jujuy and Oran, with which it forms a province, has had any opportunities of advancing in public and individual prosperity. Placed by its local position in the vanguard of the war of Independence, which, as as has been elsewhere observed, was carried on more unremittingly by the Spaniards from the territory of Upper Peru, Salta has been subjected to all the horrors of that war, during the repeated invasions which the Spaniards made, at one time, to endeavour to recover their sway in the United Provinces; at another, to provide themselves, by way of pillage, with every thing it contained necessary for the villages and towns of Upper Peru; and also to avenge themselves for the great valour with which the natives of Salta constantly opposed their efforts. During these fifteen years, that

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territory has been a continual field of war; and it may safely be asserted, that nothing but the importance of its natural advantages could have prevented its entire disappearance from the list of these provinces. Salta enjoys a temperate climate for its situation, which is under the tropic. Many branches of mountains, from the great ridge of the Andes, extend themselves into the province, from which proceed pleasant and beautiful valleys, irrigated by rivers, rivulets, and springs of exquisite water, which fertilize the whole territory. Timber of all kinds grows in this country; and other natural productions are in great profusion; such as gold and silver in abundance, copper, iron of various qualities, sulphur, alum, vitriol; and signs exist also of tin and of quicksilver. The country is amazingly prolific in all nutritive productions, and also contains establishments for grazing and rearing all kinds of cattle, including the vicunna. The principal exterior commerce of this province is the export of mules to the villages of Upper and Lower Peru, to which it has sometimes sent in a year from 60 to 80,000 head. Here, too, are halted the droves of mules which are sent for the same traffic from Santa Fé, Cordova, and other towns, not only to rest, but also to regain strength from the excellent pasturage of the country, in order to pursue their journey; in short, Salta possesses the first materials of the three kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral; and

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the good conduct of its inhabitants makes it worthy to become the abode of industrious men. Measures are actually adopting there to carry into effect the plan for rendering the river Bermejo navigable; and a company is forming for that purpose in Buenos Ayres. The best description which can now be given of that river, is to be met with in a periodical work, published, at Salta, in 1824, which says,—" It is twenty-four years since an engineer, a native of Salta, made, at his own expense, a practical survey of the mighty river Bermejo. That river takes its origin in the lofty mountains of Tarija; and, uniting in its descent with the equally important river Lavagen, or Grande de Jujuy, at the spot called Las Juntas, a few leagues to the south of Oran, precipitates its waters more or less in a south-east direction, till it incorporates them with the great Paraná, almost in front of Corrientes; traversing the vast and pleasant plains, known as the Great Chaco, on the north side, and the plains of Manzo on the south bank." The advantages which will ensue from this navigation, not only to Potosi, but also to Salta, and to other circumjacent towns, have been pointed out in the description already given of the river Paraná; and many more benefits will be derived from it, if steam vessels be used, as is projected. Another river, called the Salado, which falls into the Parana, runs from

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that city, and from it proceeds a branch, which runs in the direction of Tucuman.


This city is the last of middling note met with on the road from Buenos Ayres to Upper Peru. It is 234 years old, and situated almost under the tropic. Its territorial jurisdiction is about 70 leagues from north to south; and 35 or 40, from east to west; bordering to the north-west on Potosi, to the south on Salta, and to the north and east, on Oran and the Great Chaco. Its total population may amount to nearly 30,000 souls, including that of the country, and of the villages, and parishes, called Rio Negro, Perico, Tumbaya, Humaguaca, Cochinoca, Cerrillos, Rinconada, and Santa Catelina; in the jurisdictions of which are many inferior places. The inhabitants have greatly distinguished themselves in the war of Independence, as they were the nearest on all occasions to the enemy's troops, on account of their inhabiting a point which may be termed the Throat of Peru! They employ themselves chiefly in breeding vicunnas, mares, and sheep, in which articles they maintain an active commerce with Upper Peru; and they also deal extensively in mules, which they keep during winter amidst their abundant and extensive pastures and waters. These mules they also use for the transport of the

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ultra-marine merchandize, which they send to Peru from Buenos Ayres—a traffic in which a great portion of the population is employed. Wheat, barley, maize, potatoes, and different kinds of pulse, sugar, honey, brandy, &c. &c., are sent from this province with great advantage; and it possesses lands excellently adapted for rearing cotton. It may be safely affirmed that indigo is a natural product of the soil: some of it has been exported on different occasions, but it does not enter much into the speculations of the natives. In this territory there is a place Los Valles de la Puna; which valleys, besides being delicious from their situation, produce grain in plenty, and furnish materials from which the civilized Indians weave some ordinary kinds of stuffs, for interior consumption and also for export. Wool of excellent quality is likewise grown in this province. The territory of Jujuy is particularly favoured by possessing rich mines of gold, which have always been worked—but with Spanish ability! The navigation of the river Bermejo will be of the greatest importance to the inhabitants of this province in communicating with Rio de la Plata.


Under this name is distinguished all that territory, also belonging to the provinces of Rio de

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la Plata, which begins where the jurisdiction of Jujuy finishes, and ends at the river Desaguadero; on the opposite bank of which commences the territory of the republic of Peru. Within this territory, the extent of which is immense, there are four great provinces, which, in the time of the Spanish Government, occupied a distinguished rank among the provinces subject to its rule; principally because the gold and silver were exported thence, which enabled the mother-country to maintain that character. From this cause may have proceeded the great efforts which the Spaniards have made to retain their dominion over that territory; pertinaciously resisting its incorporation with the cause of Independence: but, be that as it may, the fact is, that in the fifteen years, during which the revolution of these countries has been going on, Upper Peru, with the exception of very short intervals, has been under the power of the Spaniards; and it is but lately that hopes have been entertained that the Spaniards and their power will for ever disappear from that territory. On account of the occupation of this province by the Spaniards, it has been impossible to obtain any statistical account posterior to the revolution. All that is known for certainty is prior to that event; and, with the idea of giving preference to what has been published within the country itself, the fol-

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lowing accounts are extracted from a book printed in Buenos Ayres, in the year 1803, under the title of A Guide to Foreigners in the Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, with permission of the Spanish Government.


This city is situated in 19° 28, of latitude, and 313° of longitude, at the lower part of the celebrated mountain of that name, on the northern side, at the distance of 25 leagues from the city of La Plata. All the territory which is contained in the six districts of that province, called Porco, Chayanta, Chichas, Lipes, Atacama, and Tarija, comprises 960 common, and 1440 square leagues. The richness of its mines being what principally gives importance to this city, we shall furnish an idea of the famous mountain which bears the same name as the city, and enjoys throughout the world a well-merited reputation. The word Potosí, which is the primitive name of that mountain, has no certain etymology in the language of the country. By the side of it, in the northern direction, is a smaller hill, which, on account of its resemblance to the other, the Indians call the Son, and which for the same reason has been known, since 1803, by the name of Guayua Potosi, which, in the language of Quichua, means Potosi the Younger. The colour of both

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is between a red and a gray, or a dark red, resembling the colour of wheat. The earth, on its surface, in general is rocky, light, and sandy, and composed principally of a substance like whetstone. Its figure is beautiful; and, viewed from the north, resembles a flag extended by the extremities. According to the different points from which this mighty mountain has been measured, its perpendicular height varies considerably. From the mouth of the ancient excavation called De Polo, the upper point of the summit stands at the height of 621 varas, and a small fraction. From the mouth of Berrio, where another excavation was made in 1803, it measures 767 varas, and a fraction; and from the plane of Santiago, 913 varas and a fraction. In the quebrada colorada, its altitude is 921 varas. So that, according to the difference of the level, which changes the plane of the base of the mountain, forming in its circumference an irregular figure, its height is computed, on an average, as one Castilian league and three quarters; although, in some parts, it exceeds two leagues of the same measure. This famous mine was discovered by an Indian named Diego Gualca, of the Chumbivilca nation, a province bordering on Cuzco: while running after some sheep of the country, up the hill, on the edge of a declivity, to prevent himself from falling, he caught hold of a valueless shrub, called

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Ycho, with which at that time the whole surface of the mountain was covered. Pulling it up by the root, he discovered the silver, which was visible in the ground. He communicated the secret to two Spaniards, who worked the mines of Porco; they immediately proceeded to Potosi, and were the first who established themselves there, and gave a commencement to the population of that bank of the river. In 1545, one of these persons surveyed the vein, giving it the name of the Descubridora, which was afterwards changed to that of Centeno. A few days afterwards followed the discovery of three other veins, called Del Estaño, La Rica, and De Mendieta, which are the four principal passing along the summit of the mountain. Each of them is 12 or 14 varas in breadth. There are besides innumerable smaller veins, on which, in 1803, no fewer than 5000 shafts had been opened, which at that time were almost all out of use and stopped up, with the exception of only 97 in current work. The following statement, published also in the Guide, whence this notice is extracted, drawn up from the official books, being a curious document, is thought worthy of insertion.

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Statement of the total value received by his Majesty from the Royal Duties of Twenty per cent. (QUINTAS) Tenths, and One and a Half per cent. on Ingots collected in the Royal Chest of Potosi, from the 1st of January 1556, to the 31st of December 1800, showing the quantities for which the said Duties were exacted.

Royal Duties. Quantities.
For Royal Quintas during 25 years, reckoning from the year 1556 to 1573 inclusive. 9,802,257 1 49,011,285 0⅞
For Royal Quintas during 158 years, reckoning from 1579 to 1736 129,509,939 0 611,256,349 2
For Royal Tenths during 65 years, reckoning from 1736 to 1800 18,618,927 0 163,682,874 5
157,931,123 1 823,950,508 7⅞

From the above, it is proved that the Royal Duties received into the Treasury during the three periods quoted, amounted to one hundred and fifty-seven millions nine hundred and thirty-one thousand one hundred and twenty-three dollars and one real, as appears from the first column; the quantities for which these duties were levied, amount to eight hundred and twenty-three millions nine hundred and fifty thousand five hundred and eight dollars seven reals and

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seven-eighths, as is demonstrated in the second column; which statement was made out from the Royal books of the aforesaid Royal chest, by Señor Don Lamberto de Sierra, Minister and Treasurer of it, and Honorary Accomptant-General of the Tribunal of Accounts for that Viceroyalty; and causes exist to induce a belief, in conformity with the best authenticated computations, that, besides the 20 per cent. duties in the eleven foregoing years, from 1545 to 1556, and what was extracted after that time without paying 20 per cent., a quantity ought to be reckoned equal to the eight hundred and twenty-three millions, &c., which, in all, is equivalent to one thousand six hundred and forty-seven millions nine hundred and one thousand and seventeen dollars seven reals and three-quarters.


This province was founded in 1572, and is situated in 17° 2′ of south latitude, and in 68° 31′ of west longitude from the meridian of Paris, or 4 hours and 34′ of time. Although in this territory silver and gold are not met with, as in the greater part of the country called Upper Peru, it is, nevertheless, a country of the greatest importance, as will be shown in the following description, taken from a manuscript document, preserved in the public Library of Buenos Ayres,

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which contains all the observations of Don Thadeus Haenke, Fellow of the Academies of Vienna and Prague, entitled, "Introduction to the Natural History of the Province of Cochabamba."

"The territory of the province of Cochabamba," says he, "forms a long and narrow strip of land, which, with but little variation, runs from west to east. Its length is about 130 geographical leagues, more or less, supposing it a straight line; and its diameter, under the same supposition of a straight line, does not exceed the space of 20 or 30 leagues. Its direction is almost from north to south. On the south it is separated from the districts of Chayanta, Yamparaes, and Charcas, by the river Grande; on the north, the interior ridge of mountains forms a respectable barrier, which separates it from the Andes. On the west it is bounded by the immense mountains of the exterior ridge, commonly called De la Costa; and on the east its territory adjoins those vast plains, which lie so low as to be almost on a level with the waters of the sea, and the true extent and position of which future ages alone can determine. Its singular position is the cause of its fertility, and of its variable climate and temperature, of which, in short, it combines in a small space every modification.

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Mineral Substances.

NATURAL. Native alum, or Cochina blanca.
Native alum, another kind, or Millo.
Native alum, mixed with the vitriol of iron, or Colquemillo.
Vitriol of iron, or copperas of stone.
English salt.
Mineral salt.
Pure nitre.
Mineral alcali, or losa nativa.
Native verdigris, or verde montaña.
Orpiment of Peru.
ARTIFICIAL. Vitriolic acid.
Nitrous acid.
Muriatic acid.
Nitro-muriatic acid, or Aqua Regia.
Vitriol of copper.
Tartar of vitriol.
White magnesia.
Materials for the manufacture of crystal.

Animal Substances.

New materials to make Sal Ammoniac.

Wools of the vicunna and of the alpaca, (Cavia paca of Linnæus.)

Cochineal of Peru, or El Magno.

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Vegetable Substances.

MEDICINAL. Gum Arabic.
New shrub impregnated with camphor.
La Hamhama.
La Catacata.
El Tanitani.
La Arnica de los Andes.
La Caryophilata de los Andes.
La Guachanca.
La Agave Vivapara.
La Vegonia.
Quina a Carcarilla.
DOMESTIC. Tara wood, and other astringent substances.
Palo Churinque.
El Melle y la Tola.
El Chapi de los Yugas.
El Achiote.
El Airampo.
La Papa morada.

It may also be added, that this province enjoys the mildest possible atmosphere, with a territory capable of producing all that can contribute to the convenience of life. It abounds with inhabitants, whose number amounts to a hundred thousand souls.


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This is one of the most important of the four provinces of Upper Peru, principally by reason of its climate, which is accounted the mildest of that part of America. This province is known by three names; Charcas, Chuquisica, and La Plata; but the name it is most commonly known by is the first. It has many other incidental advantages to recommend it: for instance, its university; the superior education of its inhabitants; their admirable conduct and manners; the river Pilcomayo, which, in this neighbourhood, runs into the Paraná, &c. &c; but, having no statistical accounts of the province, we omit all conjectural statements. We are in the same predicament with respect to


In which province terminates the territory belonging to the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata. It was founded in 1548 in a ravine in the ridge of the Andes, in 16° 50″ south latitude, and in 313° 30″ of east longitude from Teneriffe.

The four great provinces of Upper Peru above mentioned are now entirely free from the Spanish domination, to which they will never return: and it is very unlikely that they will ever again require

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to be emancipated by the armies of the United Provinces, as was the case three or four times during the war of Independence. It is not now as it was then. Every place which surrounds Upper Peru, by land as well as sea, is at present under the influence of American power. It may perhaps now occur that those provinces may adopt the old plan of establishing an intermediate state, formed by a part of the territory and population of the states of Peru and of Rio de la Plata, in which case it is the intention to fix the capital in Cuzco. Whether these provinces be added to Peru, or compose a part of the United Provinces, to which they have belonged since their origin, the interior and exterior commerce of the United Provinces cannot but be extended; and by the liberty of those provinces, and the complete termination of the war, in all likelihood it will be doubled in three or four years. This consequence will ensue, whatever may be the plan acted upon by the provinces of Upper Peru, even in the event of their separating from their first association. Should that last case take place, there is not the least cause for disquiet. Just motives exist to induce a hope that whatever they definitively resolve with regard to their destiny, will be realized in the most pacific manner without the smallest opposition on the part of the United Provinces, which are now thoroughly convinced

U 2

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that reason attracts more durably than force; and that it is of less moment for them to extend the sphere of an armed and compulsory influence, than to secure the guarantees of order and peace within their own territory, and among the sister states, (from all which reasoning, however, Brazil is entirely excepted!) since by these means they will maintain commercial relations of much more value than they could obtain by extending their territory in America by the addition of four or five hundred leagues of land.


The extent and fertility of the land in each of the provinces of which we have treated, and the system adopted in Buenos Ayres for its distribution among foreigners and natives, which will probably be followed by all the states, have answered the most sanguine expectations. That system is to let the lands belonging to the public, at quit-rent contracts, to any individual offering, be it in one, two, or more lots, for breeding establishments or farming.—(See the table of Measures.) The Conditions of these contracts are confined, on the part of the Government, to giving possession of the land and signing a document for a determinate number of years, which in general is not less than eight or ten; and, on the part of the individual, to the pay-

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ing each year of a rent of eighty dollars for the square league—an amount which in all probability will be speedily diminished, in order to offer the greatest possible advantages to persons emigrating. Agreeably to the laws of the country, two conditions are added to the contract: 1st. That all the improvements which, during that time, are made on the land, belong to the renter, and are transferable to his heirs and successors. 2dly. That, in the event of that estate being sold by the Government, the possessor will be preferred to all other persons, however weighty may be the pretensions of the new claimant. It may not be improper to observe that the system of quit-rents does not preclude the power to grant gratuitous concessions of land, or to pay for them at different periods. Particular cases may occasion these measures, either as regards those lands, the peopling of which is of the greatest importance, or which require greater efforts to make them productive, or because the kind of labour promised to be undertaken deserves a powerful protection.

This system has been adopted for reciprocal convenience.

At a moment when the state is, as it were, newly born to credit, and when it is indispensable for it to make use of that credit, in order to obtain the capital which it is intended to expend in the construction of harbours, canals, bridges, roads,

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cities, and other works, which will facilitate internal and external commerce in all its branches, and expend it to the utmost extent of which, in such a country, it is susceptible—on such a state it is incumbent, as well as on all others which act on the principles of good faith, to keep up a public property, in order to hold out a guarantee to its creditors or loan-holders. But while it secures that advantage, it also behoves the State to possess itself of an internal revenue, which may serve to forward the operations that it has begun to carry into effect, in order to diminish the obstacles and reduce the duties which impede importation, until it can, if such a thing be possible, do away entirely with the system of the Custom-house; and also to lay a ground-work for a stability in revenues and resources which may not be liable to be disturbed by any power possessing a superior marine force. Nor must we overlook another advantage which the nation derives from the adoption of this principle; namely, to favour, in an essential manner, all the foreigners who may ex-pose themselves to the inconveniences of a long voyage, for the purpose of establishing themselves in that country.

Every thing seems to promise that the emigration to the United Provinces will be very considerable; and this cannot but eventually be essentially serviceable to a country where population is

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wanting, and every thing else superabundant. This cannot fail to attract the attention of the speculators on a great scale, of whom, as well without as within the country, there is no scarcity, all calculating, by these and other means, to realize a vast fortune, owing to the importance and the facilities of the country for that object, and also relying on the candour of a new country for great operations in a mercantile point of view. If, then, the State were to put up to sale the lands belonging to the public, besides the necessity of alienating them at a price which, in four or five years more, would be doubled, it would place in the hands of a few speculators the fate of all foreigners, needy or not, who should emigrate with the intention of engaging in any of the different branches of agricultural science, with which they were best acquainted. These few speculators would reap all the advantages instead of the State; and the emigrants would surrender themselves at discretion, as tributaries to them, without any fixed or known plan, or would consume their scanty capitals in the purchase of the lands. Certain it is, that one or all of these things would ensue, or that the land would remain for a much longer time without cultivation.

But the most direct advantage which this territorial system ensures for the emigrants remains to be spoken of; and it is a palpable one. Instead

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of requiring a sum wherewith to purchase lands, and another to expend in their improvement, an amount adequate to the second purpose will alone be required. In this manner, the capital which each emigrant possesses—whether he brings it along with him, or it has been advanced to him by the state on the terms set forth in the regulation concerning emigration — will be put into circulation; and it can be easily proved that the productions of all kinds of labour in that country will yield a sufficiency, not only to pay what may be called the rent of the lands, and to provide for the ordinary maintenance, but also to enable the possessor to proceed gradually in the formation of a capital, in order shortly to become a proprietor himself, by purchasing lands from private persons. Much reasoning is not necessary to demonstrate this; it is only sufficient to reflect that that country, which possesses such an extent of land, and all of it so fertile, is a source of considerable profit to the agriculturists of North America, by the great cargoes of flour, and productions of the first necessity, which they send to it, notwithstanding the costs of the transport, the duties of importation, commission, and other expenses incident to mercantile transactions.

There is, besides, among other circumstances which might be mentioned, one in particular which deserves to be noticed, as it tends materi-

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ally to prove what has just been said. The goods of foreign importation in the United Provinces have diminished in price, having now nearly the same value as in Europe, or at least the difference being very immaterial: whereas, on the contrary, the exports of native production have so much encreased: in price, that what fifteen years ago was worth one, and four years ago three, is at present worth eight. Wages have encreased in the same proportion, so that the ordinary articles of subsistence are, with very few exceptions, as cheap at the present time as they were ten years since. This is a phenomenon, perhaps, of a novel kind in political economy, but which will show what expectations ought to be entertained by husbandmen, in a country which possesses all the primary materials, the production of which is advantageously appreciated, and where what is spent for maintenance must be infinitely less than what is earned. This will also serve to show that the returns from the lands, that is to say, the interest of the capital which the State lends to the emigrants, is compensated, in an excessive manner, by the circumstance of their being allowed to employ all their fortune, be it small or great, in tillage, or in any other agricultural or pastoral pursuit.

It is surely unnecessary to observe that we are not now alluding to those emigrants who go to

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that country with the view of hiring their services to the proprietors of the land. As regards them, the thing is more simple; namely, that if they are reduced to the necessity of treading the soil of the territory, they will meet with a high rate of wages. In the same situation are the artisans of an inferior quality. Any of them who work in metals, timber, skins, sawing, building, &c. &c. will there meet with constant employment as soon as they arrive. Not a single foreign beggar is to be met with in Buenos Ayres; as such persons need not become paupers, unless they choose. On this last point, it is necessary to attend to that part of the regulation on emigration, previously introduced, which entrusts to the commission established in that country for the protection of emigrants, the duty of procuring occupation for all foreigners, provided that after fifteen days they should not have been able to procure it for themselves, owing to the difficulties they have to encounter from not knowing the language, or any other cause. This is a powerful guarantee, which completes the system of security held forth by this country to all classes of the labouring community, inasmuch as it proclaims the spirit which prevails in favour of them; and, above all, the possibility of giving occupation to as many as may present themselves. Foreigners who have capacity to undertake speculations on a larger

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scale, be they physical or moral, or of whatever kind, will probably have no need of further information, when they have taken a survey of the country, incomplete perhaps, yet nevertheless vast, as the preceding expositions have shown. For such persons, all explanations are unnecessary; the facts will speak for themselves. And when to all the other advantages are added those of an effective security in the free exercise of all their individual faculties, of the inviolability of property, whether in peace or war, between the land of their birth and the country of their adoption;—I say, when all these things are considered, there can be no risk of making errors in calculation, if people but know how to reflect.

This is written with the best intentions to all parties who may be interested in these observations. We have not the least interest in misleading; and even could there exist such a supposition, is it not evident that deception would ultimately turn to the disadvantage of the United Provinces? We write with positive knowledge of the circumstances and of the principles of that country. No one ought to doubt this. And we repeat, that, in that country, all the securities are enjoyed, which man cannot abandon, without being the murderer of his own welfare: and a plan is regularly pursued, to establish, on permanent foundations, that blessing, which has produced so

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much prosperity, and is likely to procure still greater advantages, for the British nation—the free exercise of the individual faculties! In the country of Rio de la Plata, it is of no moment whether a person be born a Briton, a Frenchman, or a German; whether he is of the torrid, of the temperate, or of the frigid zone; whether he has been educated under regular governments, or exposed to the misfortunes of absolute power: in that country, it is of no moment whether he is a Protestant, a Papist, or an Israelite; it is sufficient that he is a man—a moral, active and industrious man! The climate of the United Provinces, and the genius of its inhabitants, accommodate themselves perfectly to all human physiognomies and constitutions: as little do its rivers, its lands, and its productions, need the assistance of ancient or fashionable mythology, or any of the quackeries of political machinists to recommend them: and by the fundamental principles of the country every thing is conceded to a foreigner, even to placing him on an equality with the natives as to rights, without the exception of the least privilege, whatever may be the reason alleged for his deserving it. This also proves that the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata know how to be—Independent.

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Letter concerning the Occupation of Monte Video, by the Portuguese and Brazilian Governments.*

Señor Don N. de N.

London, 15th June, 1825.


You impose on me a task of which I hardly know how to acquit myself. You wish to know the origin, the intervening circumstances, and the actual state of the quarrel concerning Monte Video, between the United provinces of Rio de la Plata, and Brazil and Portugal; and also that these observations should be accompanied with my private opinion, which you do not consider to be liable to mistrust, from the circumstances that you have pointed out to me. I will, therefore, proceed to comply with your desire. And first, I take leave to observe, how remarkable it is that, at the very time when the questions between America and Spain are closing in favour of the former country, the questions of a similar nature between Brazil

* The following letter was addressed to a respectable pernon in London, by another residing in the same capital.

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and Portugal are announced to have terminated in a different manner. It is also remarkable that the British Cabinet is mentioned in both cases. But the most extraordinary thing of all is, that, by these means, the provinces of La Plata will continue involved in difficulties with a European power—a power which assuredly possesses resources as ample as Spain! But whether that will or will not happen—of which, by the way, there is no certainty; considering on the one hand, the general spirit of America, and the means of Portugal to retain that conquest; and on the other the European influence, which has extended itself to Brazil; and the mutual explanations on the transactions which have taken place between the Emperor and his father, Don Juan VI.:—it is necessary, at all events, that you and your friends should thoroughly know the merits of this case, which, perhaps, must hereafter be settled by the sword.

Spain and Portugal—these two countries, which have domineered over the new world, without knowing themselves, or any one, knowing for them, how they effected such a prodigy—carried on, for many years, various wars through disputes about the limits of Colombia, Peru; and Rio de la Plata. History is full of details on these matters; and records the conventions which terminated, the quarrels in 1668, 1715, 1763, 1777, and latterly

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in 1804, in which year a treaty was concluded, by virtue of which Portugal pledged herself to restore to Spain the five towns of Missiones, eastward of the river Uruguay, of which she had taken possession during the war—Spain agreeing to restore to Portugal Olivenza in Europe; thus fixing the limits of Brazil on the south, where they were established, more or less, by the Boundary-treaty in 1777. But the bad faith with which both parties settled these questions, proved clearly that neither Spain nor Portugal ever adhered to their agreements. The first, in a short time, became involved in new difficulties with France; and the second, availing herself of that circumstance, attempted to repair the loss of Olivenza by taking possession of Monte Video, not content with the five towns of Missiones, which she had seized and still retains. For that object she used all kinds of intrigues, and even corrupted some of the Spanish commanders in Paraguay, Monte Video, and Buenos Ayres. But she had the misfortune to find in that last mentioned city—thanks to the British invasions of 1806 and 1807!—that the American arms were superior to her efforts, and exercised an influence over the whole country. A strong resistance was opposed to Portugal, the court of which kingdom was then in Janeiro; and, in that state of things, Buenos Ayres commenced her revolution against Spain in 1810.


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That event, or rather that revolution, had nothing flattering in it for the old pretensions of Portugal, which tended to fix the limits of her Brazilian states at the river Uruguay. She saw, and with reason, that the indolence exhibited in that matter had been owing to want of interest on the point in the Cabinet of Madrid; which state of things, in all likelihood, would not long continue with a government newly revived, the first duty of which was to exert itself energetically to maintain the independence and integrity of the territory. Portugal, therefore, declared herself against the revolution. It is true that his Most Faithful Majesty, never failing to employ his characteristic prudence, abstained from opposing the revolution by armed resistance, at a time when the enthusiasm of those states gained victories in all parts; but he exerted, during the first and second year, all the means in his power to foment the war carried on by the Spaniards against the revolution; so much so, that the Infanta Dona Carlota sent to the chiefs of Monte Video some of her own jewels, because she could not send them money. But at last, the Spaniards being placed in a critical position by the American forces, and choosing rather to become Turks than to yield to the revolutionists, laid aside the hatred which it is well known they had professed towards the Portuguese nation; and had the weakness, not to say the baseness, to

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implore the armed interference of his Most Faithful Majesty. The opportunity was a favourable one for his Majesty. In 1812, he caused an army of 4000 men to enter the territory of Monte Video, to dispute possession of it with the United Provinces, under the pretext of being an ally of his Catholic Majesty. The alliance was a mere invention,—but that his Most Faithful Majesty by that act exposed the security of the only remnant of his dominions which he retained, was a reality.

On this event, the United Provinces found themselves implicated in two wars. Nevertheless, they chose to resist with open force rather than to consent that a territory like Monte Video should be torn from the new association—a territory where, besides its local importance, almost every branch of wealth belonged to capitalists of Buenos Ayres; and in consequence also of so much blood having been spilt in conquering it from the Spaniards, its occupation by the Portuguese was a point not to be conceded. Preparations, therefore, were making for hostilities, when suddenly an envoy from the Court of Portugal arrived in Buenos Ayres, for the purpose of negotiating an armistice, which should have for its basis the retreat of all the Portuguese troops from the eastern side. There all was ready for war; although no disinclination was shown to peace, provided it could be obtained with honour. Peace, however,

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was made in 1812; and the troops retired—proving that his Majesty was always prudent. The minister of his Britannic Majesty, resident in Janeiro, guaranteed that treaty in the name of his Government; and the relations between both countries remained in the same state for several years. When any of the articles was deemed to have been infringed, remonstrances were made in a peaceful manner, but always appealing to the intervention of the power which had given the guarantee. Underneath you will see, Sir, an example distinguished, and worthy of record, in the two annexed documents, which have already been published, and are preserved in Buenos Ayres as precious memorials.* Thus matters continued till a new field was opened for the pretensions of Portugal.

* In the following documents you will perceive various things:—1st. That the guarantee was effectively given by Lord Strangford, in the name of his Britannic Majesty.
2dly. That it was employed to obtain from the United Provinces, a measure which was opposed to the policy and the laws of England.
3dly. That the United Provinces gave to that guarantee a circumspect and generous attention.
And you will also perceive, from what I am going to communicate to you, always keeping in view these documents:
1st. That Portugal and Brazil have atrociously violated that guarantee.
2dly. That no British Minister has again reclaimed it in favour of the United Provinces.
3dly. That that might have been done, merely in compliance with a duty, without the sacrifice of peculiar principles, as in the other case.
The Government of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Brazil addressed to me, some time since, the strongest, and in truth well-founded complaints, concerning a decree, published by the General Assembly on the 4th of last February. This decree enacts: "That all the slaves of foreign countries, who in any manner shall reach this territory, from this day forward, shall be free, solely from the circumstance of treading on the soil of the United Provinces." The Government of Brazil sees in that decree a manifest infringement of those principles of reciprocal good understanding, which were so happily renewed by the armistice of the 26th May 1812. It cannot but consider it as a method of allurement adopted to seduce a considerable portion of its subjects to abandon their duties; nor can it be insensible to its baneful consequences in the States of Brazil bordering on those of La Plata.
The Government aforesaid has, in consequence, made an ample communication of its sentiments, in this respect, to the Minister of his Britannic Majesty resident at that court, (inasmuch as that armistice was concluded under the guarantee of that Minister;) and requested him to inform his Government that the Prince Regent of Brazil shall conceive himself warranted in deeming that measure to be obnoxious, (in the event of its continuing to be in effect,) and in considering it an act of hostility sufficiently manifest to compel him to adopt the most energetic means of defence, and to demand, from his constant and faithful ally, that assistance which the treaties between both powers have stipulated.
As I had so recently, and in so fortunate a manner, succeeded in renewing a state of peace and amity between this empire and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, it is peculiarly painful for me to have to notice the existence of any circumstance which may prejudice, however slightly, a system, in all points of view, advantageous to both parties.
Nevertheless, I cannot doubt but your Excellency will act on this occasion with your accustomed frankness, and with your well-known prudence; and consequently I flatter myself that your Excellency will afford me, without the least delay, the unspeakable satisfaction of being able to announce to the Minister of Brazil, that the Government of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata will adopt the necessary measures to put an end to the fatal effect of the above-mentioned decree, and to tranquillize the just apprehensions of that Court.
I am well aware that it may with reason be alleged that the general principles of the decree have already been fully and publicly recognised in Great Britain; and that, in consequence, it but little becomes an English Minister to consider them as being fraught with danger, or with just reasons for civil inquietude. Nevertheless, it cannot certainly escape the penetration of your Excellency, that in Great Britain these principles are only the simple and natural result of the British Constitution, established for ages, not owing their existence to any specific law in that respect.
I cannot conclude this without reiterating my wish, and even the certainty I entertain, that the answer of your Excellency will be such, as entirely to dissipate the inquietude which the Minister of Brazil neither can nor wishes to dissemble; as it will, moreover, afford me the pleasure of assuring my Court, that the Government of Buenos Ayres, proceeding with honour and good faith, and striving, by all means in its power, to maintain peace and harmony with its neighbours, abandoned without difficulty a measure which was deemed of a tendency likely to prove prejudicial to the security and tranquillity of this empire, any attack on which can never be indifferent to the Court of London.
To the Most Excellent the Government of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata.
Rio de Janeiro, 27th Nov. 1813.
The Government of the United Provinces to Lord Strangford.
This Government has considered, with becoming attention, the official letter of your Excellency of the 27th of November last, with reference to the remonstrance of the Minister of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal, concerning the decree of the 4th of February of this year, promulgated by the General Assembly of these provinces, in which it declares the liberty of all slaves coming from foreign countries, solely from the circumstance of their treading the soil of our territory. Although that decree, considered as an interior regulation of the country, cannot, from its nature, give cause of complaint or of offence to any foreign government; nevertheless, this Executive Power, wishing to satisfy, by all possible and honourable means, his Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal, and your Excellency, who have so generously interposed your good offices in the point in question, has consented that the said decree shall be suspended, (notwithstanding that no practical fact has been alleged against its effects in the neighbouring possessions, during the many months which have elapsed since its promulgation;) and it has commanded it to be thus published in its ministerial papers, agreeing on the return of the slaves who may have fled, or may hereafter pass over to its territory, until the repeal of the said decree, as solicited by the Brazilian Government, may be determined by the General Assembly, to the cognizance of which authority such matters exclusively belong.
This Government hopes, with the most unlimited confidence, that your Excellency will perceive in the suspension of the said decree an irrefragable proof, among many others previously given on the part of these United Provinces, of the sincerity with which it desires to preserve and promote the good understanding established between both countries, under the influence of the respectable interposition of your Excellency; and that you will be pleased to make it thus be understood by the Ministers of Brazil, as well as by those of his Britannic Majesty, as you have had the goodness to say you would do in the letter alluded to; moreover, doing justice to the authorities of these provinces, by believing that, in the promulgation of that decree, the evil intention of promoting the desertion of the subjects of the neighbouring power had no part whatever, and that it was neither their intention to prejudice the properties of the said inhabitants, nor to attract a population, of whose presence it is nowise desirous, and which would rather be kept aloof from this soil, than attracted to it by the prohibition of the introduction of slavery.
To the Most Excellent Lord Viscount Strangford, Minister of his Britannic Majesty in Janeiro.
Buenos Ayres, 28th December 1813.
The decree which occasioned these remonstrances was considered anew by the General Assembly of the United Provinces, but was not revoked. Explanations, however, were made by a new decree, which obviated all grounds of uneasiness.

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The Spaniards being overcome in Monte Video in 1814, after two sieges, which lasted for years;

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and that last and most powerful bulwark of the despotism of Ferdinand, on the Rio de la Plata,

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being thus demolished, the country was occupied by masses of natives, who had risen in favour of

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the revolution, under the pernicious guidance of a chieftain who acknowledged no subordination.

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The Government of the United Provinces, which had pursued that chieftain with force, found at last that it would be more in conformity with the public good to desist from doing so, trusting to time for the reparation of these errors, avoiding the effusion of more blood between brethren, and thus enabling its armies to be employed solely in the defence of the national cause; but in this state of things his Most Faithful Majesty, whose agents, as can be proved by documents, had added fuel to the fire of these discords by most dishonourable methods—availing himself of these feuds, caused a considerable army to enter and overrun the territory of Monte Video in the years 1816 and 1817. No doubt could be entertained as to the views of that court: but the silence of the British Embassy in Janeiro was matter of astonishment, inasmuch as the proceeding was a rupture of the existing guarantee. However, strong remonstrances were made to the Court of Brazil,

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before these provinces became involved in the war carried on by the natives of Monte Video against the invading army: even the assistance they implored was delayed; and every thing was done, in fine, to promote the interests of peace, relying on the British guarantee being respected.

At last, the Portuguese General in Monte Video solemnly declared that the Lusitanian troops had entered solely to prevent the flames of anarchy from spreading to the States of his master; and the Portuguese minister answered, in reply to an official letter from the United Provinces, that he had no further object in view than to assist in destroying those masses, which induced an apprehension of the perpetuity of a terrific conflagration in the vicinity of the frontier. Moreover, the entry of the army into Monte Video was signalized by a capitulation, signed by the Portuguese General, in which he pledged himself to deliver the keys of the city to the municipal body, as soon as the necessity for the retaining of his army in that territory should cease, and the fire of anarchy which they so greatly dreaded should be extinguished. That capitulation was ratified by his Most Faithful Majesty, in November 1817.

Such conduct in some degree mitigated the apprehensions of the United Provinces, which were then pledged not only to maintain the war of Independence within their own territory, but also to carry it on in Chile, as they did in 1818:

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but such was not the case with the natives; a remark which it is essential to make in this place, in consequence of what will be afterwards shown. The natives continued to carry on the war in the country of Monte Video, trusting to their own resources, till the year 1819. That great army could effect nothing to promote pacification; and the country was in the mean time entirely desolated, and every where deluged with blood. It became necessary, therefore, for the natives of most importance to form in Monte Video the municipal body of the province, and to take on themselves the accomplishment of that object, which the pretended pacificators could not attain. The municipality interposed its influence with the people of the country; and the war was brought to a conclusion in that province, although in this manner, yet in an honourable way. Each town agreed to sign a document, in which it was stipulated, that its incorporation with the capital of Monte Video should be made under the same stipulation that the King of Portugal had ratified in 1817, with respect to the fortress; that is to say, that, in the supposition of the occupation of the province being only provisional, it should again devolve to the local authorities.

The province remained in peace, and the natives gave themselves up to repose. But not so the Portuguese general.

With the most reprehensible ingratitude, he, in

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an arbitrary manner, dismissed the only members of the municipal body who had especially exerted their influence in tranquillizing the country. Their crime consisted in having claimed from him the observance of the capitulations, which he very speedily began to infringe; attempting, by all means in his power, to get rid of what was a great obstacle in the way of his future projects. These plans were not long in coming to light. Besides the separation of the respectable members alluded to, the general adopted other measures to extort the guarantees, which he could not obtain voluntarily, and which, nevertheless, it was actually necessary for him to obtain as a conquest by desolation and fear. He prostituted, in favour of some chiefs, all the branches of public administration; or, more properly speaking, he delivered up the whole of the province to be pillaged by those who appeared inclined to further his views. He authorised the robbery of the establishments for breeding vicunnas and horses, throughout the country; and considerable parties, officered even by chiefs of the first rank, went forth to execute these depredations; which he allowed, partly to keep his troops content, as they constituted the only force on which he could rely, and money was wanting to defray their arrears of pay: and partly because in these incursions they carried terror through the land; which they never could

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have done, had the natives been allowed to appear with arms in their hands. No one will be long in discovering the baseness of that measure, who only reflects how contrary it was to the intention of fixing their domination permanently in Monte Video.

While these things were passing, it was announced, in the year 1819, that in Europe the ministers of their Most Faithful and Catholic Majesties, through the interference of the ministers of the other powers in Paris, had agreed that Portugal should deliver up the fortress of Monte Video to the forces which Spain should send. A fresh proof of the bad faith of that court was now exhibited. At the same time was announced an expedition, which was to set sail from Cadiz, as in fact it did weigh anchor in 1820, against the United Provinces. That circumstance renewed the alarm of the natives: some of them had a conference with the Portuguese general, and he permitted them to send a deputation to Janeiro, to solicit his Most Faithful Majesty again to ratify the capitulation of 1817, by virtue of which the fortress could not be given up to the Spaniards. All that the general wanted was to gain time; and the object of the Court was to deceive as much as it could, and also to procure as much popularity as possible for itself, and as little as might be for Ferdinand. All, therefore, that was solicited was granted. Here we behold his Most

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Faithful Majesty stipulating in Europe for the restoration of Monte Video to Spain; and the same Monarch stipulating in America for the restoration of Monte Video to the natives. What are we to think of such conduct?

At last the expedition of Spain against the United Provinces was converted in 1820 to the restoration of the constitution of 1812, and the spirit which was there developed in favour of the representative form penetrated to European Portugal. In Lisbon, popular chambers were established, which demanded the return of his Most Faithful Majesty; and his Majesty, in order not wholly to lose that kingdom, had no choice left but to yield to that solicitation, strengthened, as it was said, by British influence.

The part played by his Majesty was a singular one; but at last he resolved to signalise his departure from America by deeds of renown. He sent to Buenos Ayres, without any one having solicited him so to do, a consul-general, in order to acknowledge the independence of the United Provinces, and to reside at their seat of government. His Majesty hoped by these means to obtain what he had not succeeded in doing by intrigues; namely, a compulsory consent from Buenos Ayres; since, at the same moment that he adopted that measure, which appeared to be a flattering one, he gave orders to the Portuguese general to ascertain

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the inclination of the natives of Monte Video, with respect to becoming incorporated with his dominions. This fact is a remarkable one, because it marks the commencement of the open manifestation of the desires of his Majesty.

Let us now see the consequences. Buenos Ayres rejected the recognition, inasmuch as that insulting act came coupled with it: and in Monte Video the General formed a Congress, in 1821, composed for the greater part, as shall hereafter be proved, of civil functionaries in the pay of His Most Faithful Majesty, of persons decorated by him with distinctions of honour, and of others previously placed in the Ayuntamientos, or Town Councils; causing the troops to be quartered and provisioned as if in a state of war; and, under that safeguard, the Congress declared that the province of Monte Video spontaneously incorporated itself with the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarve, as a federate State; in virtue of which it was baptized by the name of The Cisplatane State.

His Most Faithful Majesty had already set sail for Lisbon; and in that place, therefore, were the acts of incorporation ordered to be made out. In the mean time, the United Provinces existed without any general authority: each of them governed itself for itself, and there was no representation for the whole. That circumstance

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tended to give more scope for the completion of the views of the Portuguese general, who had invariably availed himself of the interior disturbances, which alone prevented war from being proclaimed against Portugal, upon the act of the incorporation of Monte Video. That was a great defect, for which the country is indebted to the French Government, whose project of placing in it a branch of the Bourbons had materially influenced the state of general dislocation. Had it not been for this, it would have been seen with what ease the incorporation of Monte Video would have been buried in its cradle; at the same time, that the circumstances of that war would have influenced a disincorporation, Republican and not Royalist, of Brazil. Portugal would then have paid usurious interest for her conduct.

No war, in truth, could have been more just on the part of Buenos Ayres. Let us lay aside the violation of the guarantee, the base ways by which that incorporation was effected, the rights of the natives, and every thing else that could be alleged;—even let it be supposed that these natives consented spontaneously to become Portuguese, and it will presently be shown, that in all probability they would as soon have consented to become Moors. Still the usurpation having extended itself to a great property of capitalists, and even to public establishments belonging to

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Buenos Ayres, his Most Faithful Majesty by that measure placed and places the western bank of the Rio de la Plata on a direct footing of war. And let me now ask, how is it possible that the United Provinces should permit a foreign nation to hold the key of their harbours, and to appropriate to itself the best to be found in that dangerous river, insomuch that no one can enter its channel without being searched by foreigners? Look but at the map of that country, and say if it would not be the height of madness to consent to such an appropriation?—an appropriation we will not merely say highly degrading, but absolutely prejudicial to the interests and to the independence which the United Provinces have conquered for themselves by dint of the sword, of blood, and of treasure! It is said that Portugal has discovered that Nature has marked out the river Uruguay as the most suitable boundary to her Brazilian dominions. Let us put Nature out of the question; because if we have recourse to her, the United Provinces will not only have her award in their favour, but also an ancient right of possession, whereby to extend their limits as far as the Captain-Generalship of Rio Grande: and perhaps it may be well not to put that idea too carelessly into circulation. Moreover, this is a question with which neither art nor nature has any thing to do: justice, the rights of the States,


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and convenience, are what justify, on the part of these provinces, every war which they have hitherto made, and which they may henceforth make.

But let us follow the course of the history, which is replete with extraordinary events. The acts of incorporation of Monte Video were, by the Committee of the Cortes of Lisbon, in 1822, declared null and void. How strong a proof was this of the advantages derived by States and international relations from a representative government, which does not act upon the dictates of caprice, but according to the eternal principles of justice! In the same year, through the mediation of the General who occupied Monte Video, the ministry of Portugal proposed to that of Buenos Ayres to form a defensive alliance, extending it to all the American States, against those despotic powers who might wish to interfere in the interior arrangement of the constitutional states. A short time afterwards, the dutiful son, whom Don John VI. had left as Regent in Janeiro, as inconsistent in his actions as the son of Charles IV. placed himself at the head of the independence of Brazil, and actually declared it. As regarded the United Provinces, that act in its intrinsic value was appreciated as it ought to have been. It closed the independence of the American Continent; and nothing could be more flattering for States which had undertaken that great work

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twelve years ago. It was also believed then that the question concerning Monte Video would, on that account, become more plain, and that Brazil would furnish a great example, contributing to insure her own independence, and to gain the favour of the contemporaneous states, as well as of the world. The example expected was, that she would have disarmed the European army which occupied Monte Video, and restored that fortress to Buenos Ayres. But the contrary of all this occurred.

The General of the army of occupation in Monte Video had already made this a personal question; that is to say, the retaining of his command was not now so much a point which concerned his honour as his private interest. He was in possession of an income of more than twenty thousand dollars a year; he was there an absolute king, who appropriated to himself whatever his caprice incited him to take; he had united himself with a family of the country by the ties of marriage; and he was in the last stage of life. In short, he had resolved to forego a renown which in his military career he had been unable to attain. He forsook the army of Portugal, and embraced the independence of Brazil. In consequence of this step, he was, by a Royal decree, of the 26th September, 1822, declared a traitor in Lisbon—a matter to him of no moment; as he continued

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to feed the ambition of the new court with the idea that the inhabitants of Monte Video were desirous of sharing the lot of the new empire, by becoming incorporated with it; on which assurance, and without farther ceremony, Monte Video was placed in the Imperial armorial bearings as a Brazilian Province; and a new Congress was not then deemed necessary to sanction this farce as in 1821.

The separation of Brazil having been declared, the Emperor despatched an agent to Buenos Ayres to communicate the occurrence to the United Provinces, and to solicit them to acknowledge her as an independent state. It was impossible, inasmuch as it would have been dishonourable, to accede to this solicitation. The recognition was consequently refused by the United Provinces, through the medium of the government of Buenos Ayres, reserving the point for consideration when the government of Brazil should leave the province of Monte Video at perfect liberty; and from that time negotiations for this object were set on foot in a more effective manner. But the question had changed its nature, since it was no longer canvassed with a European nation, but agitated with an American state! It was necessary to avoid as much as possible a war which would be of baneful consequences to countries engaged in the same cause, guided by the same principles, and equally interested in resisting that fatal me-

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thod of solving international questions which prevailed in absolute governments, solely because the interest of such governments was always at variance with the interest of the nation over which they ruled. On these fundamental principles, which the government of Buenos Ayres proclaimed in 1823, it sent a diplomatic commissioner to negotiate for the restoration of Monte Video: and as he was equally authorised by the other provinces, even in the supposition that they had not as yet organized a general authority, his mission could not but be valid.

In the mean time, the army which occupied the fortress of Monte Video appeared suddenly to be divided into two parties. The one favoured the independence of Brazil, and was headed by the Baron de Laguna, declared a traitor in Lisbon, and who had been General in Chief. The other favoured the dependence óf Brazil and Portugal, and was headed by one of the European Generals named Don Alvaro da Costa de Souza de Macedo. They had recourse to arms. The Brazilian party made itself master of the country. The European remained in possession of the fortress; and here it is requisite to make an important disclosure. All this apparently mighty business was no more than an intrigue, most artfully managed and disguised, between both the chiefs. The Baron, whose repute was on the wane in Brazil, on account of his birth, and of other things, the men-

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tion of which would be irrelevant in this place, found himself compelled to conquer that good opinion anew. Don Alvaro wished to retire to Lisbon, and at the same time to carry with him a name of some kind to exalt his merit: besides, he had neither a pretext to go, nor money to take him. This war facilitated the whole business; and it was the more propitious, inasmuch as, even at the time, orders had arrived from his Most Faithful Majesty for the European division to return to Portugal, which had been communicated from Lisbon to the government of Buenos Ayres.

Both armies having been put into motion, and hostilities commenced, nothing was wanting but that the Generals should give to their operations the appearance of a most acrimonious warfare, although in private they both exchanged letters daily. The Brazilian laid siege to Monte Video. The European ordered his divisions to sally out to pay to the others the usual compliments of war. But here a most important circumstance must be called to mind. The natives, who well knew that the European army had already received orders to return to Lisbon, which was all that they wished, resolutely embraced the views of that faction, and opposed themselves to the Brazilian party, which apparently aimed at the perpetual domination of the province. A body of more than a

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thousand men of all arms placed themselves at the disposal of the European General: and those natives whom the Brazilian General had collected, in his sortie in the country, passed over in great numbers to the fortress, while the remainder deserted, and took refuge in the mountains. These were the only victims of that fraudulent war.

It would have been an easy matter to break up in an hour all the Brazilian army, composed of 1800 men, only 500 of whom were in a fit state to fight as soldiers ought to do. The European division exceeded 2000 soldiers, inured to war, besides the cavalry of the natives, whose prowess has been well tried in the war with Spain. These troops wished to fight, but they were not permitted. Time was spent in maturing the intrigue. The Baron detached parties into the country to compel the natives of each town to sign an act of incorporation with Brazil: which was an imitation of the farce of 1821: while Don Alvaro, within the fortress, parleyed with the natives, declaring his resolution to comply with the orders of his Most Faithful Majesty, and retire, giving the place up to them. This afforded the Baron time to send to Janeiro the accounts of the two great proofs of his patriotic conduct; namely, the war which he had carried on against the Europeans, and the acts of the incorporation of the country; and when they imagined that those documents

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had given the Baron the full credit which was necessary completely to influence the determination of the court relative to that business, without awaiting orders, both generals invited each other to conclude a convention.

In fine, the convention was concluded in 1823, the bases being, that the Baron should be put in possession of the fortress, and that Don Alvaro and his army should have their expenses defrayed to Lisbon. Meanwhile the natives saw themselves surrounded by traitors from within and without: but the Baron offering an amnesty for the past, and Don Alvaro replying, to the strong protestations of the local authorities against his conduct, that the Baron would not admit of any convention which did not acknowledge the surrender of the fortress to his troops as a basis, they thought it prudent and important to avoid the effusion of blood. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the operations of that intrigue, Monte Video, and in its name the representatives popularly nominated by the whole city and suburbs, took occasion to draw up a solemn act, on the 20th of October, 1823, wherein they declared

"That the whole province—taking the aggregate voice of the country in the state of oppression in which it now is—and especially this capital, places itself freely and spontaneously under the protection of the Province and Government

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of Buenos Ayres; by which it is its pleasure that the fitting reclamations may be made when and how it shall deem best. In consequence, taking into consideration that the greater part of this neighbourhood urgently requires that protests against the violent acts of the Brazilian forces in the country may be made by that body, which the said city and neighbourhood would itself make, were it not for the unfortunate circumstances in which it is now placed; and with reference to the tyranny and state of nullity with which the Provincial Congress of 1821 was constituted, after an enlightened and mature discussion, by an unanimity of votes, it came to the following decision:—

1st. That it declares null, arbitrary; and criminal, the act of incorporation with the Portuguese Monarchy, sanctioned by the said Congress of 1821, composed for the greater part of persons holding civil employments in the pay of his Most Faithful Majesty, and of individuals decorated by him with honourable distinctions, and of others previously placed in the Ayuntamiento in order to ensure that result.

2dly. That it declares null and void the acts of incorporation of the towns of the country with the Empire of Brazil, in consequence of the tyranny with which the whole of them have been visited by the Baron de Laguna, who sent

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the aforesaid acts for their signatures accompanied by strong detachments of troops, who conducted the inhabitants by force to the capitular houses, and who affixed the signatures of persons who had no existence, and of others who were ignorant of such proceedings by reason of their absence from their homes.

3dly. That it declares that the Eastern Province of the Uruguay does not, ought not, and chooses not, to appertain to any other power, state, or nation, than to that which composes the provinces of the ancient union of Rio de la Plata, of which it has been and is a part, having had a deputy in the sovereign constituent Assembly General since the year 1814, in which it entirely withdrew itself from the European Spanish dominion."

Such are the very words of the act of the representatives of Monte Video. It was officially notified to Don Alvaro, upon which, however, he preserved a complete silence; and, notwithstanding this decision, the convention was approved in Janeiro, as was naturally to be expected—the Baron, now high in favour, recommending it; and in consequence the European army sailed for Lisbon, at the expense of another country; on which occasion Don Alvaro was distinguished with crosses and rank. Alas! how some men trifle with states and their interests! But let us return to the diplomatic Commissioner of Buenos Ayres.

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The Commissioner opened the negotiation in a conclusive manner. He drew up a Memorial; which has been printed,—a document which sufficiently illustrates that business—and strenuously urged a decision. But the Ministry kept him at bay under a thousand pretexts. In the mean time arrived the acts sent by the Baron, decreeing the incorporation of the country of Monte Video with the empire, which were submitted to the Assembly which had been recently installed in Janeiro. It is remarkable that the first, and if I rightly recollect, the only deputy who spoke in that assem-bly concerning these acts, as appears by the newspaper called the Diario, expressed himself in the most conclusive manner against its nullity. But, unfortunately, the Emperor had begun to doubt the influence, and the too great or too little liberality of the Assembly, and in consequence dissolved it, as Ferdinand did the Cortes; and following, moreover, Ferdinand's example, banished, imprisoned, shot, and played off all the abominations of a genuine absolute. What hope was left? Nothing could be expected but what happened. The fortress of Monte Video being already in the power of the Brazilian forces, and no check existing, either to restrain the Emperor or his Ministers, they, after a long delay, replied to the Commissioner, that he must have been under a mistake, inasmuch as the province of Monte Video was inclined, and voluntarily expressed that inclina-

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tion, to remain incorporated with the empire. The Commissioner obtained his passports, and the Government of Buenos Ayres closed the affair, publishing the documents, and referring the decision to the general authority of the United Provinces, which was on the eve of being installed.

You will have observed, that among foreigners this reasoning has had its weight, namely, that the inhabitants of Monte Video were disposed for the incorporation; and it has the more easily gained validity, inasmuch as they did not rise against an army of such very inferior force. But this, when we consider the whole affair, is a mere illusion of imagination. Let us sum up what has been already said, and the conclusion, as regards this argument will be,—

That the inhabitants of the city of Monte Video, weary of enduring the consequences of anarchy, delivered up the fortress to the Portuguese in 1817, but with the stipulation, that that occupation should only be provisional.

That the inhabitants of that country fought even against this provisional occupation until 1819; and that, had it not been for the interposition of the municipal body, they would, to this day, have been fighting against it.

That the incorporation with Portugal in 1821 was brought about by a few individuals employed and decorated by his Most Faithful Majesty, and

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that it was effected after the disarming of the native divisions took place.

That the incorporation with Brazil in 1823 was openly resisted by force of arms, and that it would have been entirely null, had good faith existed in the General commanding, or had the natives in time been aware of his intrigues.

That when the natives found themselves surrounded on all quarters, though they were in a state of blockade in the city, and on the eve of being speedily given up to the hands of their greatest enemies, they declared with the utmost energy, through the medium of their representatives, the nullity of the incorporation, as well with Portugal as with Brazil.

And from this it is also deduced—

That the said natives have acted in this manner, without having had on their territory the least military support from Buenos Ayres or the United Provinces.

That Brazil or Portugal, in order to obtain the acts of incorporation, even in their vitiated state, were compelled to maintain an army in the country more powerful than the native force.

And now, permit me to add to these some other circumstances.

Whence that adhesion of the natives of Monte Video to the Portuguese or their descendants could

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have proceeded, is a thing which can in nowise be explained. Could it have occurred from their inheriting the sentiments of the Spaniards? It would be difficult to find on the face of the earth nations which more cordially detest each other, from time immemorial, than the Spaniards and Portuguese. Could it have arisen from their admiration of the respectability, prosperity, and civilization of Lusitania? To imagine this would be an absolute mockery. Could it have occurred from their being stimulated by the importance and liberality of the institutions of that nation? The idea is preposterous! Could it have occurred from their gratitude for any favours received from Portugal in other times? That was impossible; for none had ever been received—unless the patronizing of the system of robbery which was constantly acted upon in the farms on the frontiers—and the demoralization of the natives of Monte Video, by alluring them at all times to carry on a contraband trade during the time of the Spanish rule, can be called favours shewn by Portugal. Could it have occurred on account of any assistance afforded by that kingdom to the cause of independence? Had it relied for the attainment of so great an object on such insignificant assistance, futile, indeed, would have been its hopes of the success of the cause! To what, then, can this vaunted adhesion of the natives of Monte Video to the Portu-

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guese nation be attributed? Let us see if we can trace it in any other manner.

It is not possible to suppose that this adhesion was a consequence of the rivalry which formerly existed between the inhabitants of the western and eastern sides of the River La Plata: that cannot be; inasmuch as there is no reason for presuming that if people do not like one set of persons, they must of necessity like another set, and particularly because they are Portuguese. But you ought, my friend, to be told, that the rivalry alluded to was never carried to such an extent as the invaders have attempted to assert. Since the time of the Spaniards, there has been rivalry between Monte Video and Buenos Ayres, but merely the rivalry of locality,—a rivalry similar to what has existed and still exists between Janeiro and Bahia, and between one town and another in the same country. It is said, that after the revolution, the rivalry was carried to such a pitch, as to cause hostilities to take place between the parties. That is certain; and the Portuguese know it well, because they fomented it as much as they possibly could. But how is it that these said Portuguese do not exhibit a single document, to prove, in due form, that the natives of Monte Video, harassed by those of Buenos Ayres, called on them to save them, or declared, which they did not, even in the heat and rage of civil war, that they fought

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in order to avoid a union with the States of La Plata? There is neither document nor fact of such a kind brought forward; and none such can possibly exist; because the rivalry so much talked of, after the revolution, originated only in certain questions, inseparable from all States in the progress of revolution, as to forms of government.

But this may be established still more clearly. These questions, respecting the form of government, were not kept up between one town and the other. On one side operated a group of men, headed in the country of Monte Video by an insubordinate officer, who now does not exist in a civil point of view. He brought forward the federate plan, and insisted that such was the system of the government of the United Provinces. On the other side was the aforesaid government, which denied that officer the right of imposing of himself a system, which was also at that time deemed prejudicial to the unity of action that was demanded by the war of Independence. And all the enlightened classes of the province of Monte Video, so far from entering into these questions, always took an active part against that officer, in accordance with the principles of the Government of the United Provinces. And I can state more; namely, that the towns of Santa Fé, Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Missiones, abetted that insubordinate officer in his pretensions to federation, and for

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some years were armed to defend that cause; but their chiefs gradually disappeared, without Buenos Ayres having been necessitated to command a single soldier to attack them; and at this day they are all incorporated with the national body, forming but one family, and one independent and free state.

If, therefore, rivalry cannot be asserted to be the origin of the adherence of Monte Video to Portugal or to Brazil, let us see if it can be attributed to the favours which that nation may have conferred during its domination. It is necessary, previously, to observe, because it does not chime in with the tale of rivalry, that, since the year 1817, when the Portuguese invaded the province, more than eight thousand of its inhabitants have emigrated to Buenos Ayres and the adjacent territories, exclusively of those who have retired to the mountains of that country, preferring a savage state of life to the yoke of the invaders. Misery alone did not cause that emigration, nor the total nullity to which the country has been reduced by the want of trade, by the loss of society, and of all attractive circumstances and motives of pleasure; because, had these motives caused it, and rivalry existed on one hand, and predilection for Brazil on the other, would not the natives have preferred emigrating to the territory of that nation? But not a single individual has passed over to Brazil with that feeling; and


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if the remainder of the inhabitants have not emigrated to Buenos Ayres, it is solely because they entertain a hope of still rescuing themselves from a yoke, which is as degrading as that of Spain was prejudicial to them.

And why should they not hope and attempt such a result? What does Monte Video owe to the invaders?—Let us trace its obligations.

That they have violently pillaged the country, and, under the authority of the General, of more than four million head of vicunnas, which have been sent to the Brazilian territory, as is proved by the estimates made at the collecting houses in the passes of the frontiers. And, with reference to this point, I will state two curious circumstances. Before 1817, in the captain-generalship of Rio Grande, belonging to Brazil, distant 120 leagues from Monte Video, there were no more than thirteen salters, and now there are one hundred and twenty! Before the entrance of the Portuguese, the country of Monte Video was more abundant in cattle than any other in that part of America; and now even the Brazilians, who are settling there, are forced to bring cattle from their own territory, to lay the foundation of their breeding establishments!

That, following the plan of peopling the country with Brazilians, whose numbers now exceed 1500, the General took away the lands from the

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natives, and assigned them to Others, without giving the smallest compensation; but, on the contrary, making them understand that he did so in the course of justice. The persons who have peopled the Uruguay and Tacuarembó are proofs of this, whom the natives distinguish by the nickname of estancieros intrusos, or interlopers.

That the province is not only not indebted for any public work to the invaders, but that, on the contrary, these very persons have ruined almost all the public works which it possessed prior to their entrance. The stone walls which enclosed the city, and were formerly a place of security and of recreation, are now only a haunt for rats, being full of breaches in the whole extent. All the batteries which clothed these same walls are destroyed, excepting one which commands the port. The arsenal, which was a fine building, is now no more than a shell. The barracks, including those of the citadel, and the guard-houses, which were once placed round the walls, are abandoned, and now abound but with filth and all kinds of reptiles. There is not a single establishment for recreation in existence; and thus, in every point of view, is Monte Video a decaying colony, oppressed with poverty, where the inhabitants live in a complete state of isolation, without exhibiting any signs of rationality, excepting by the houses in which they

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shelter themselves from the inclemencies of the weather.*

But what is more, the light-house, placed on the top of the famous mountain which stands in front of Monte Video, and which for many years served as a guide for navigation during the night, is now of no use. I can narrate a singular fact with regard to this topic. In 1819, the Portuguese General pledged himself to construct a light-house in the island of Flores, five leagues distant from Monte Video, situated between the coast and the Banco Ingles: but in order to prove that the Portuguese nation never did, and never would do, any thing beneficial for the natives of that province, which was not executed at the expense of enormous sacrifices on their part, it was required that the municipality in return should declare the right of Portugal to a greater portion of territory, advancing its limits to a straight line drawn from the Yaguaron to the Arepey, which empties itself into the Uruguay, the boundaries of that straight line being on the side of the sea, Santa Teresa, and the lake of Mini. Here we behold, for the first time in the world, territories

* A work was executed in the time of the Portuguese, which in a certain degree forwarded the construction of the quay in the harbour. But that was a labour conceived by the Tribunal of Commerce, and carried on with its own funds.

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exchanged for a light-house, and also a light-house becoming the basis of a treaty of limits between two foreign states. But the result of all this is, that the light-house never was, and never will be made, and the light-house Portuguese Government did nothing but make the treaty.

Finally, it is necessary to inform you that another of the great favours which the Brazilians have conferred on Monte Video is, the obligation they imposed on the proprietors on different occasions to assist in the maintenance of its army by forced loans, under the deplorable alternative of giving money, or of going to a dungeon; and that, after a series of years, during which no one gained any thing, in consequence of the paralized state of interior and exterior commerce, and every person was in a comparative state of pecuniary destitution. This is too well proved by the decrease in the public revenue of the province. Prior to that invasion, the Custom-house of Monte Video produced from 40 to 50,000 dollars annually; subsequently to it, and at this very time, it yields little more than 20,000. From this cause the Bank of Janeiro was obliged to supply funds for the support of the army; or rather for the purse of the General; because the army mutinied several times for the recovery of its pay! and now, since there are no further means of extorting more from the natives, Brazil has again been un-

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der the necessity of coming forward with 25,000 dollars a month, being enabled to do so by the loan which she has negotiated in England. What a fine destiny for such a loan! These and such like objects, in which the whole loan will be expended, will give a prosperity to Brazil, which may serve as a guarantee to her loanholders, as flattering, under all its aspects, as that presented by Spain and by Portugal to their money contractors.

But where shall we stop, if I allow my pen freely to sketch all this history, with its full stops, its points of interrogation, and of admiration? And is it not evident to you that, after having long attempted to find out a motive for the adherence of Monte Video to Brazil or to Portugal, the research has been fruitless? It is impossible to find any motive. — It cannot be discovered either in the repeated confiscations of the property of the emigrants, or in the banishments of some, and in the imprisonment of others in the dungeons of Brazil; as little can it be found in the acts of violence perpetrated by the soldiery, and also countenanced by the officers, of such an arbitrary nature that, in no state, even moderately civilized, would the like have been permitted; or—but enough!—The time has arrived, fortunately for the inhabitants, when the question must ultimately be decided in a definitive manner. The

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United Provinces, now freed from external enemies, without any more engagements to fulfil in Chile and in Peru, and possessing a general government, and a firmly established credit, will, no doubt, speedily take measures for enforcing the integrity of its territory. Then will be seen whether the silence and patience, latterly displayed by the inhabitants of Monte Video, are owing more to their adherence to Brazil than to the respect which they have most properly attached to the ideas of peace and order which Buenos Ayres has invariably recommended for their adoption.* Doubt not,

* This letter was written before the arrival, in England, of the packet which left Buenos Ayres in May last, and probably, on that account, it does not detail the recent intelligence which is current in London concerning the subject of which it treats. A part of the inhabitants of the country of Monte Video had, in April, commenced hostilities against the Brazilian forces; and the character of that event, in which, until then, the Government of the United Provinces had taken no part, had obliged the Baron de Laguna to send a number of unprotected but respectable individuals, whom he had seized within the walls, as prisoners to Janeiro. Notwithstanding that circumstance, the resistance of the natives has continued to spread farther, insomuch that they have obtained some slight and partial advantages over the Brazilians, and imprisoned Frutoso Rivero, the only native chief of the province who had borne arms in behalf of Brazil. Such a fact begins to argue in favour of a portion of the assertions of the foregoing letter. It proves that in the city as well as in the country, an obstinate resistance is offered to the invaders, and that the position of violence in which the natives are placed, does not permit them any longer to delay the recovery of their rights; although indeed the method which they have adopted, is not the most certain to ensure ultimate success, unless the Government of the United Provinces shall take up the question on its own account.

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that the question will very shortly be brought to issue. You will have seen from this letter, on which side justice lies; and the interest which the natives of Monte Video and their brethren of the United Provinces will evince in the decision, cannot have escaped you.

I now take leave of the question. I ask of you no other favour for the present, than to excuse me from discussing the other point which you mentioned to me—relative to the interests of all the American States, in not consenting to allow in their neighbourhood the existence of a government connected with the Holy Alliance, in opposition to the republican system:—and also, in not permitting one state to be formed out of Brazil, which ought, perhaps, rather to be subdivided into different states, after the manner of Spanish America;—or, in preventing the European domination from returning to re-establish itself in the new world!—Allow all these things, my dear friend, to develop themselves gradually and spontaneously,

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for in these events Nature must be permitted to act; and be assured that, whenever this shall be thought insufficient, powerful succours will be afforded to effect what is necessary.

I hope I shall have fulfilled my duty towards you, when I tell you that you are at perfect liberty to make whatever use you please of this letter, well assured of its authenticity, and of the sincere friendship of yours, N.




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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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