Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 3, 1889
Mr. Bragg to Mr. Blaine.
Mexico , March 23, 1889. (Received April 1.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose a synopsis of what would appear to be a very valuable work on Mexico and Mexican affairs.
As soon as the publication is complete a copy will be forwarded to the Department.
I am, etc.,
The “Cuadro Geografico, Estadistico e Historico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos” having been scrupulously revised by Antonio Garcia Cubas and the latest data obtainable added, it will now, at the wish, of the secretary of public works, be printed in French, to be sent to the Paris Exposition. The new book will show the progress made in all branches of the administration, besides giving valuable data in regard to the republic. The various branches which will be included within the book will be the geography of Mexico, its statistics and its history. The first part will treat of the situation of Mexico, its limits, progress, institutions, political divisions, income, and public expenses, real estate, ethnographic and ecclesiastical divisions, principal cities and towns, configuration and physical aspect of the country, mountains, dominant geological formation, hydrographics, climate, and productions, a description of the valley of Mexico, the federal district, and the city of Mexico (ancient and modern).
The second part will comprehend the following material: Towns in general and the States in particular, colonies, industries of the inhabitants, highways, railroads, telegraphs, mails, international steam-ship lines, ports, light-houses, foreign commerce, movement of vessels, public instruction, libraries, museums, associations, observatories, newspapers, agriculture, mining, and coinage.
The third part, or that which is to be a historical review, will embrace in divisions: (1) Archaeology, (2) Immigration, (3) The Conquest, (4) Spanish rule, (5) Independent Mexico. Historical points and the organization of the army and marine will be from the pen of General Sostenes Rocha.
The comparison of statistical data is based on the analogous data found in volume fifth of the “Anales of 1880.” The new book will show that the population of the country from 1880 to 1888 has increased 1,487,701, or 185,926 for each year, which corresponds nearly to a 2 per cent, increase.
The federal income as well as the income of the States has greatly increased. In 1880 the federal income was $21,936,135; in 1888 $32,126,508, or $10,190,343 more than in 1880.
In respect to real estate it has been impossible to procure exact data, and the following data is based upon the amount of taxes collected. Above all, the increase noted between the years 1880 and 1888, taking into consideration the numerous new buildings constructed, especially in the city of Mexico, the assessor’s books show in 1880 the sum to be $366,055,052, and in 1888 $473,519,871, or more than $107,000,000 increase.
There are no old data on which to base a comparison of the manufacture of fabrics. However, the new factories established in the country, of which two belong to the City of Mexico, show that there has been a notable increase in this branch of industry.
The establishment of railroad lines in Mexico has been a matter of interest to the inhabitants, and since 1837 the idea was entertained of uniting Mexico and Vera Cruz by railroad, but owing to many obstacles it was not until 1842 that a concession was granted and the road commenced. The work of construction, however, went along slowly, and in 1851 the road had only been completed between. Vera Cruz and San Juan, and in 1857 from Mexico to Guadalupe. New concessions gave impetus to the work, and on December 31, 1872, the road was inaugurated and on the following day opened for traffic.
The great railroad movement in Mexico dates from the year 1877. In that year companies, stimulated by concessions of $8,000 a kilometer, multiplied, and in the following year fifteen lines were in exploitation, and at the termination of the year 1888 forty-seven. In 1880 there were 1,055 kilometers of railroad constructed, and in 1888 the number of kilometers of railways in operation amounted to 8,153, showing the increase in eight years to be 7,098 kilometers.
There has been an equal increase in the construction of telegraph lines. In 1850 the first wires in the Republic were put up in the City of Mexico between the National Palace and the School of Mines, by Mr. Juan de la Granja. This line measured 3,000 meters. In 1880 there were 18,910 kilometers in operation, and in 1888, 44,612 kilometers, showing the increase to be between the last dates mentioned 27,702 kilometers. In this data the coast cables are included. The messages sent over the wires in 1880 were 281,697, and in 1888, 671,444, showing an increase in business to be 389,747 messages.
The mail service has also had its increase, both in the pieces of correspondence as well as in the increase of its revenues. This increase is due to the reforms in the tariff and the increase of post-offices. The number of pieces of mail matter transmitted in the Republic in 1880 was 5,788,182; in 1888 it was 27,390,288. The movement in [Page 561] mail matter for foreign countries in 1880 was 1,266,608 pieces; in 1888 it was 1,627,146. The products of the post-offices in 1880 amounted to $605,652; in 1888 to $805,784; showing an increase of $200,132. There are in operation in the Republic over 1,000 offices.
Mining, one of the principal branches of national riches, has been on the increase since 1880, and promises great future results.
The coinage effected in the Republic since the establishment of mints up to 1888 reaches the respectable sum of $3,312,723,266, divided in this form:
According to the last report of the secretary of the treasury, for the fiscal year 1886—’87 goods to the value of $52,252,275 were important into Mexico on which duties were collected amounting to $19,845,015. The exports for a corresponding period amounted to $43,647,717.39. Both the imports and exports show a large increase over the previous fiscal year.
Public instruction is undergoing rapid changes for the better, as is demonstrated in the following figures:
|Difference in favor of 1888||2,190||108,024|
In all the principal schools of the Republic improvements in the system of teaching are being made, and those schools have all the necessary apparatus for explanation.
The new book promises to be very valuable from the fact that it will have collected within its covers data useful in all branches of business.