No. 89.
Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.

No. 81.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose you a translated copy of decree issued by the President of this state on the 15th instant in regard to the construction of certain high-roads, among them the important one to Yzabal on the Gulf of Dulce. I have had repeated conversations with the President and his cabinet in regard to this road, and they have reiterated their determination to build it. If this is done and proper [Page 134] facilities at a competing rate are furnished from Yzabal to our ports, I believe a large portion of the trade of Guatemala, some from Salvador, and a great deal from the departments of Gracias and Santa Barbara, in Honduras, will seek markets in the United States instead of, as now, in Europe.

I have, &c.,


Decree of the President of Guatemala.

  • Article 1. The opening of a high road which, beginning at Guatemala, shall terminate at Yzabal, and the opening of branch roads which shall unite with it the departments of Chiquimula, Jalapo, and Verapaz, adopting for this purpose the design made by the engineer, Mr. Wray, with the modifications proposed in the plans and designs last made.
  • Art. 2. The opening of another high road which, leaving Hubuetenango, or rather the mines of Chiantla, shall terminate in Champerico, passing through and uniting the principal populations of the departments of the west.
  • Art. 3. The continuation of the high road, already far advanced, which leads to the frontier of Salvador, thereby giving foil effect to the Arbizu-Samayoa treaty.
  • Art. 4. The imposition of a tax, which shall be called the “territorial tax” of a cuartillo real, (6¼ cents;) a manzana, (100 yards by 100 yards;) or it may be two dollars a caballeria (33⅓ acres) of land.
  • Art. 5. That said tax shall go into effect on the first of January of the coming year, shall be paid within the space of the three succeeding months, and by all owners or holders of lands, with the exception of such lands as may hold the rights and immunities of cities; this exception not to be enjoyed by the owners of municipal lands from whom the direct or profitable ownership should have been withdrawn.
  • Art. 6. That the chancellor of the exchequer shall frame and present the law which shall fix the manner and requisite conditions for the making of registrations and the collection of taxes, and also the fixing of penalties in order to render effective the present decree.
  • Art. 7. That the minister of improvements, for his part, charge himself with the execution of that which was ordained in the 1st, 2d and 3d articles, preparing the tools and necessary materials, so as to commence the opening of the roads as soon as the funds destined for them shall begin to be collected.

    El Ministro de Fomento,
  • J. M. SAMAYOA.