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Title: Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, Part 1 (of 2)
Author: Herndon, William Lewis
Language: English
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AMAZON, PART 1 (OF 2)***


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  [Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF LIMA.

     Pl 1.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]



     33D CONGRESS,}       HO. OF REPS.      { EXECUTIVE,
      1st Session.}                         { No. 53.

     EXPLORATION
     OF THE
     VALLEY OF THE AMAZON,

     MADE UNDER DIRECTION OF
     THE NAVY DEPARTMENT,
     BY
     WM. LEWIS HERNDON AND LARDNER GIBBON,
     LIEUTENANTS UNITED STATES NAVY.

     PART I.

     BY LIEUT. HERNDON.

     WASHINGTON:
     ROBERT ARMSTRONG, PUBLIC PRINTER
     1854.



     LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY,
     COMMUNICATING
     A REPORT OF AN EXPLORATION OF THE VALLEY OF THE AMAZON AND ITS
     TRIBUTARIES, MADE BY LIEUT. HERNDON, IN CONNECTION WITH LIEUT.
     GIBBON.

     JANUARY 6, 1854.—Resolved, That there be printed, for the use
     of the members of the House, ten thousand extra copies of the
     report of the Secretary of the Navy communicating the reports
     of the exploration of the river Amazon and its tributaries,
     made by Lieutenants Herndon and Gibbon, with the accompanying
     maps and plates.

     APRIL 13, 1854.—Resolved, That there be printed twenty
     thousand additional copies of the reports of the surveys and
     explorations of the river Amazon, with the plates and maps
     accompanying, by Lieutenants Herndon and Gibbon—two hundred
     and fifty copies for distribution by Lieutenant Herndon, and
     two hundred and fifty copies by Lieutenant Gibbon, and the
     remainder for the use of the members of the House.

       *       *       *       *       *

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy,
accompanied by the first part of Lieut. Herndon's Report of the
Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon and its tributaries, made by
him, in connexion with Lieut. Lardner Gibbon, under instructions from
the Navy Department.

                                                        MILLARD FILLMORE.

     WASHINGTON, February 9, 1853.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                       NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 7, 1853.

     To the PRESIDENT.

SIR: In compliance with the notice given in the annual report of this
department to the President, and communicated to Congress at the opening
of its present session, I have the honor herewith to submit the first
part of the Report of Lieut. Herndon, of the Exploration of the Valley
of the Amazon and its tributaries, made by him, in connection with
Lieut. Lardner Gibbon, under instructions from this department, dated
the 15th of February, 1851.

I am happy to be able to inform you that Lieut. Gibbon reached Pará on
his homeward journey some weeks ago, and may very soon be expected to
arrive in the United States. When he returns, Lieut. Herndon will have
all the materials necessary to complete his report, and will devote
himself to that labor with the same assiduity which has characterized
his present work.

I would respectfully beg leave to suggest that, in submitting this
report to the House of Representatives, it be accompanied with a request
to that body, if it should think proper to direct the printing of this
valuable document, that the order for that purpose may include all the
remaining portions of the report which may hereafter be furnished; and
that the order for printing shall include a suitable direction for the
engraving and publication of the maps, charts, and sketches, which will
be furnished as necessary illustrations of the subjects treated of in
the report.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, your obedient
servant,

                                                         JOHN P. KENNEDY.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                       WASHINGTON CITY, January 26, 1853.

     To the Hon. JOHN P. KENNEDY,
     Secretary of the Navy.

SIR: I have the honor to submit part first of the Report of an
Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, made by me, with the assistance
of Lieut. Lardner Gibbon, under instructions of the Navy Department,
bearing date February 15, 1851.

The desire expressed by the department for an early report of my
exploration of the Amazon, and the general interest manifested in the
public mind with regard to the same, have induced me to lay before you
at once as full an account of our proceedings as can be made before the
return of my companion.

The general map which accompanies the report is based upon maps
published by the Society for the diffusion of Useful Knowledge, but
corrected and improved according to my own personal observations, and
on information obtained by me whilst in that country.

The final report of the expedition will be submitted as soon after
Lieut. Gibbon's return as practicable. I am in daily expectation of
intelligence from him. At the latest accounts (26th of July, 1852) he
was at Trinidad de Moxos, on the Mamoré, in the republic of Bolivia,
making his preparations for the descent of the Madeira.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                       WM. LEWIS HERNDON,
                                                       Lieut. U. S. Navy.



CONTENTS.


     CHAPTER I.
     INTRODUCTORY.

                                                                  Page.

     United States ship Vandalia—Valparaiso—Santiago—Vicente
               Pazos—Preparatory orders—Lima—Means of
               information—Conquests of the Incas in the
               Montaña—First exploration of the Spaniards—Madame
               Godin.                                                1


     CHAPTER II.
     INTRODUCTORY.

     Orders—Investigation of routes—Lake Rogoaguado—River
               Beni—Chanchamayo—Cuzco route—River
               Madre-de-Dios—Gold mines of Carabaya—Route through
               the cities of Truxillo, Caxamarca, Chachapoyas,
               Moyobamba, &c.—Preparations for the journey—The
               start.                                               20


     CHAPTER III.

     Passports—Means of defence—The road—Pacayar—Chaclacayo—Narrow
               pass—Yanacoto—Bridge—Cocachacra—Tribute
               money—Dividing line between the coast and the
               Sierra—Moyoc—Varieties of the potato—Matucana—San
               Mateo—Mines of Párac—Narrow valley—Summit of the
               Cordillera—Reflections.                              39


     CHAPTER IV.

     Mines of Morococha—A Yankee's house—Mountain of
               Puypuy—Splendid view—Pachachaca—Lava
               stream—Chain bridge at Oroya—Descent
               into the valley of Tarma—Tarma—American
               physician—Customs—Dress—Religious
               observances—Muleteers and mules—General
               Otero—Farming in the Sierra—Road to
               Chanchamayo—Perils of travel—Gold mines
               of Matichacra—View of the Montaña—Fort San
               Ramon—Indians of Chanchamayo—Cultivation.            61


     CHAPTER V.

     Division of the party—Acobaraba—Plain of Junin—Lake
               Chinchaycocha—Preservation of potatoes—Cerro
               Pasco—Drainage of the mines—Boliches.                90


     CHAPTER VI.

     Departure from Cerro Pasco—Mint at Quinua—San
               Rafael—Ambo—Quicacan—Huanuco—Cerro de
               Carpis—Chinchao valley—Huallaga river.              111


     CHAPTER VII.

     Itinerary—Tingo Maria—Vampires—Blow guns—Canoe
               navigation—Shooting monkeys—Tocache—Sion—Salt hills
               of Pilluana.                                        132


     CHAPTER VIII.

     Tarapoto—Pongo of Chasuta—Chasuta—Yurimaguas—Sta.
               Cruz—Antonio, the Paraguá—Laguna—Mouth of the
               Huallaga.                                           156


     CHAPTER IX.

     Entrance into the Amazon—Nauta—Upper and lower missions
               of Mainas—Conversions of the Ucayali—Trade in
               Sarsaparilla—Advantages of trade with this
               country.                                            176


     CHAPTER X.

     Nauta—River Ucayali—Sarayacu—The missionaries—The Indians of
               the Ucayali.                                        190


     CHAPTER XI.


     Upper Ucayali—M. Castelnau—Length of navigation—Loss of the
               priest—Departure from Sarayacu—Omaguas—Iquitos—Mouth
               of the Napo—Pebas—San José de los Yaguas—State of
               Indians of Peru.                                    208


     CHAPTER XII.

     Chochiquinas—Caballo Cocha—Alligators—Indian
               incantations—Loreto—Tabatinga—River Yavari—San
               Paulo—River Iça—Tunantins—Making Manteiga—River
               Jutay—Fonteboa—River Juruá—River Japurá.            229


     CHAPTER XIII.

     Egas—Trade—Lake Coari—Mouth of the Rio
               Negro—Barra—Trade—Productions.                      250


     CHAPTER XIV.

     Town of Barra—Foreign residents—Population—Rio Negro—Connexion
               with the Oronoco—River Purus—Rio Branco—Vegetable
               productions of the Amazon country.                  269


     CHAPTER XV.

     Departure from Barra—River Madeira—Serpa—Villa
               Nova—Maués—River Trombetas—Cocoa
               plantations—Obidos—Santarem.                        285


     CHAPTER XVI.

     Santarem—Population—Trade—River Tapajos—Cuiaba—Diamond
               region—Account of the Indians of the Tapajos.       299


     CHAPTER XVII.

     Departure from Santarem—Monte
               Alegre—Prainha—Almeirim—Gurupá—River Xingu—Great
               estuary of the Amazon—India-rubber country—Method
               of collecting and preparing the India-rubber—Bay of
               Limoeiro—Arrival at Pará.                           319


     CHAPTER XVIII.

     Pará.                                                         334


     CHAPTER XIX.

     Resumé.                                                       352


     APPENDIX.

     Notes—Table of approximate heights and distances from Callao
               to the Atlantic—Meteorological journal.             369


     ADDENDUM                                                      397



LIST OF PLATES.


                                                                  Page.

     Plate  1.—Cathedral of Lima,                 (to face title page.)

     Plate  2.—Yanacoto.                                            44

     Plate  3.—Hacienda de Moyoc.                                   60

     Plate  4.—San Mateo.                                           60

     Plate  5.—Summit of the Cordillera.                            60

     Plate  6.—Mountain of Puypuy.                                  60

     Plate  7.—Oroya.                                               76

     Plate  8.—Tarma.                                               76

     Plate  9.—Fort San Ramon.                                      92

     Plate 10.—Cerro Pasco.                                        108

     Plate 11.—Miner.                                              108

     Plate 12.—Ore carrier.                                        108

     Plate 13.—Givaro.                                             172

     Plate 14.—Givara.                                             188

     Plate 15.—Zaparo, (Hunter).                                   204

     Plate 16.—Zaparo, (Fisher).                                   204



CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY.

     U. S. ship Vandalia—Valparaiso—Santiago—Vicente
     Pazos—Preparatory orders—Lima—Means of information—Conquests
     of the Incas in the Montaña—First explorations of the
     Spaniards—Madame Godin.


Attached to the U. S. ship Vandalia, of the Pacific squadron, lying
at anchor in the harbor of Valparaiso, in the month of August, 1850,
I received a communication from the Superintendent of the National
Observatory, informing me that orders to explore the Valley of the
Amazon would be sent me by the next mail steamer.

The ship was then bound for the Sandwich Islands, but Captain Gardner,
with that kindness which ever characterized his intercourse with his
officers, did not hesitate to detach me from the ship, and to give me
permission to await, at Valparaiso, the arrival of my instructions.

The officers expressed much flattering regret at my leaving the ship,
and loaded me with little personal mementos—things that might be of use
to me on my proposed journey.

On the 6th of August I unexpectedly saw, from the windows of the
club-house at Valparaiso, the topsails of the ship mounting to the
mastheads; I saw that she must needs make a stretch in-shore to clear
the rocks that lie off the western point of the bay; and desirous to say
farewell to my friends, I leaped into a shore-boat, and shoved off, with
the hope of reaching her before she went about. The oarsmen, influenced
by the promise of a pair of dollars if they put me on board, bent to
their oars with a will, and the light whale-boat seemed to fly; but just
as I was clearing the outer line of merchantmen, the ship came sweeping
up to the wind; and as she gracefully fell off on the other tack, her
royals and courses were set; and bending to the steady northeast breeze,
she darted out of the harbor at a rate that set pursuit at defiance.
God's blessing go with the beautiful ship, and the gallant gentlemen,
her officers, who had been to me as brothers.

Owing to the death of President Taylor, and the consequent change
in the Cabinet, my orders were delayed, and I spent several weeks in
Valparaiso, and Santiago, the capital of Chili. This time, however, was
not thrown away: my residence in these cities improved my knowledge of
the Spanish language, and gave me information regarding the Bolivian
tributaries of the Amazon which I probably could have got nowhere else.

The commander of the English naval forces in the Pacific, Admiral
Hornby, was much interested in my mission, and searched for me, through
his valuable library, for all that had been written upon the subject.
I am indebted to him, and the officers of his fleet, for much personal
kindness.

I must also return thanks to Messrs. George Hobson, H. V. Ward, George
Cood, and Commodore Simpson, of the Chilian navy, for the loan of books
and maps which assisted me in forming my plans, and deciding as to
route.

Mr. Bridges, an English florist and botanist, who had descended the
Chaparé and Mamoré, tributaries of the Madeira, as far as the mouth
of the Beni, and who sent the first specimen of the Victoria Regia
to England from this country, gave me such a description of it as
enabled me to point out to Mr. Gibbon the most practicable route to the
headwaters of those streams.

I also had long conversations with General Ballivian, ex-President of
Bolivia, then an exile to Chili. He lent me a map of Bolivia, executed
under his orders whilst President of that republic, of which I took a
tracing, but which I had afterwards the misfortune to lose.

At Santiago I received information regarding the river Beni, and the
interior of Bolivia and Peru, from a French gentleman named Pissis, an
engineer in the employment of the Chilian government; and also from a
gentleman named Smith, an employé in the large mercantile house of Huth,
Gruning & Co., who had travelled much in those countries.

To Don José Pardo, chargé d'affaires of Peru to the republic of Chili,
I owe much for information and advice. He gave me copies of letters from
Vicente Pazos, a citizen of Buenos Ayres, who has always manifested much
interest in the improvement and advancement of South America, and who,
in 1819, published a series of papers on the affairs of that country,
directed to Henry Clay. These letters I deem of sufficient interest to
give a translation of.

                                             BUENOS AYRES, July 14, 1850.

     To Don JOSE PARDO,
     Minister of the Peruvian Republic, near the Government of Chili.

SIR: In a journal of this capital of the 2d inst., I have seen a
transcript of a letter from you to the editor of a periodical of this
place, in which you say, under date of the 25th of April last, that
you have received special notice of the discovery, in the province
of "Carabaya," of the ore and washings of gold. In consequence, the
government of Peru invites all who desire it to take advantage, and make
use of the natural productions of these regions, where emigrants of all
nations shall have all the political and religious guarantees necessary
in the exercise of their industry.

This announcement fills me with pleasure, because it is an evidence of
the elevation of ideas which obtains in the government, and which will
carry this part of Upper Peru to the height of prosperity to which it is
called by its topographical and territorial position; and particularly
because it has in its midst navigable rivers which connect it with the
Atlantic. I allude to the navigation of the Amazon.

I have been now engaged some ten years in the thought and study of the
political, social, and commercial relations concerning this matter, as
is shown in my many publications which have circulated in Europe and
America. These show the pains I have taken with the government of Louis
Philippe, King of France, in order to open a new line of commercial
communication between Cayenne and French Guyana and the republics of
Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

But I have always thought that our America, by the intelligence of
its people, was to make a great social and commercial change; and I
have always thought that this change would operate by means of its
gigantic and navigable rivers. This conception is corroborated by
the announcement of the discovery of the gold regions of _Carabaya_.
Its upper parts, which belong to the Andes, feed sheep of the most
exquisite wool; and as it goes on descending, vegetation springs up with
a fecundity and ease unknown in the Old World. The land is cut up with
mountain torrents, whose banks contain gold, and which unite to form
the river "Purus," one of the greatest tributaries of the Amazon.

Of this river, our celebrated botanist, D. Tadeo Há-enke, in a special
report, says: "Purus, or Cachivara, is a river of the first order.
It arises in the cordillera of Vilcanota, a little to the east of the
mountains of Carabaya, from which descend many considerable streams,
rich in gold." To the testimony of this wise naturalist I add that of
Condamine, and of the English naval officer, Smyth, and lastly the works
of the Count of Castelnau, who descended the Amazon from Cuzco.

The scientific and hydrographical works of these travellers persuade me
that the "Purus" will be the best channel of interior commerce, and will
put the centre of Peru in communication with the industrial, commercial,
and manufacturing nations of Europe and North America.

For this effect it is proper not only to speak of and familiarize people
with this easy line of communication, but also to stimulate foreign
emigration, and the civilization of the inhabitants of our forests—a
people of a gentle disposition and an active intelligence.

The first sight I had of steam in the United States of America, in
1818, gave me the idea that our rivers were equally susceptible with
theirs of this motive power, so that, in a work which I published in New
York in 1819, I said that the day would arrive in which vessels moved
by steam would navigate upon the gold-bearing rivers of Peru, as upon
the fabulous Pactolus. This prediction is not now to me a fable, and,
therefore, my conviction is unshaken, as will be seen by a letter which
I have written to the President of the republic, Prince Louis Napoleon
Bonaparte. The note to which I refer in it is very long, which prevents
me from copying it, but some day it will be published.

In the mean time, I congratulate you, and your government, that in its
administration should have taken place a measure so necessary for the
common good.

Permit me, also, to offer you my respects, and to subscribe myself,

                                      Your obedient servant,
                                                           VICENTE PAZOS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                          BUENOS AYRES, February 2, 1850.

     To His Excellency Prince Louis NAPOLEON BONAPARTE,
     President of the French Republic.

PRINCE: In bringing to the notice of your excellency the adjoined copy,
which is a duplicate of my note, laid before the executive power which
governed republican France in June, 1848, my object is to call the
attention of your excellency to the same project which Napoleon, your
august uncle, conceived for the aggrandizement of the most important
colony which France possesses in the New World—French Guyana. Before
the application of steam to navigation, this tutelar genius of France
comprehended that Cayenne would some day be the key to a vast commerce
in all those regions, where might be created great empires.

This sublime conception infused into my spirit the idea that the time
had arrived to realize the views of the Emperor; and, with this object,
I addressed myself to the French government, in April, 1840, when the
Chambers decreed trans-atlantic steam navigation, to the end that there
should also be established a river line between French Guyana and the
republics of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. All the ministers
who governed until February, 1848, including also the monarchy, approved
my project, and took the preliminary measures necessary for beginning a
system of navigation without equal since the days of Columbus and Vasco
de Gama.

Officers of the French navy, stimulated by the example of those of
the English, who had preceded them in the exploration of the Amazon,
made also important hydrographical observations of the course of that
river, which show that its principal outlet is along the shores of
French Guyana, whence France may command the fluvial navigation and the
commerce of those vast regions.

I thought that this advantage, which a glance at the geographical
position of French Guyana shows, would work effectually in the judgment
of M. Arago, then Minister of Marine and member of the provincial
government of the French republic.

The reply of this wise astronomer, of April 14th, to my note of the
22d April preceding, smothered, not only my hopes, but closed the doors
to the prosperity of the French colonies, and to that of those nations
whose streams form the Amazon, and whose people desire with eagerness
this new and short way of communication between Europe and meridional
America.

The grandeur of this plan, which is found set forth in my notes,
memorials, and writings, which may be found in the different ministerial
bureaus of France, together with the opinions of many French writers
and travellers, among whom the most distinguished is M. Castelnau,
demonstrate the utility of encouraging the growth of Guyana.

To all the information furnished by these ought to be added the
verbal communications which I have received from the commander of
the "Astrolabe," M. Montravel, who is now on the station of the river
Plate, under the order of Vice Admiral Le Predour. M. De Montravel, in
the corvette Boulognaise, is the officer who made the exploration of
the Amazon, and whose most valuable information, which exists in the
department of the French marine, corroborates all that I have expressed
to the French government for these ten years, and now animates me to
address myself to your excellency directly, renewing the same project
which I had the honor of presenting to the French nation, &c.

                                                           VICENTE PAZOS.

       *       *       *       *       *

The city of Santiago is situated in a lovely plain at the very foot of
the cordillera. The snowy summits of this chain, painted in bold relief
against the hard, gray sky of the morning, have a very singular and
beautiful appearance; they seem cut from white marble, and within reach
of the hand. It is almost impossible to give an idea of the transparency
of the atmosphere at this place. I was never tired of watching,
from Lieut. Gillis's little observatory, the stars rising over these
mountains. There was nothing of the faint and indistinct glimmer which
stars generally present when rising from the ocean; but they burst forth
in an instant of time, in the full blaze of their beauty, and seemed as
if just created. Gillis told me that his small telescope, of American
manufacture, of 6½ inches of aperture, was there fully equal in power
to the German glass at Washington of 9 inches.

Chili, in arts and civilization, is far ahead of any other South
American republic. There are many young men of native families, educated
in the best manner in Europe, who would be ornaments to any society;
and the manners of the ladies are marked by a simple, open, engaging
cordiality, that seems peculiar to Creoles. I do not know a more
pleasant place of residence than Santiago, except for two causes: one,
earthquakes, to the terrors of which no familiarity breeds indifference;
the other, the readiness of the people to appeal to the bayonet for the
settlement of political differences, or in the struggle for political
power. These two causes shook the city and society to their foundations
a few months after I left it.

On the 20th of January, 1851, I received the following instructions from
the Hon. William A. Graham, Secretary of the Navy:

                                       NAVY DEPARTMENT, October 30, 1850.

SIR: Proceed to Lima, for the purpose of collecting from the
monasteries, and other authentic sources that may be accessible to you,
information concerning the headwaters of the Amazon and the regions
of country drained by its Peruvian tributaries. You will then visit
the monasteries of Bolivia for a like purpose, touching the Bolivian
tributaries of that river, should it in your judgment be desirable.

The object of the department in assigning you to this service is with
the view of directing you to explore the Valley of the Amazon, should
the consent of Brazil therefor be obtained; and the information you are
directed to obtain is such as would tend to assist and guide you in such
exploration, should you be directed to make it.

As this service to which you are now assigned may probably involve the
necessity of the occasional expenditure of a small amount on government
account, you are furnished with a bill of credit for one thousand
dollars, for which you will account to the proper office.

Also, enclosed you will find a letter of introduction to Messrs.
Clay and McClung, chargés d'affaires near the governments of Peru and
Bolivia.

                                        Respectfully, &c.,
                                                       WILLIAM A. GRAHAM.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I had obtained from my Santiago and Valparaiso friends—particularly
from General Ballivian—all the information that I would be likely to
get in the cities of Bolivia, I determined to proceed to Lima, and
accordingly embarked on board the mail boat of the 26th.

My residence in Valparaiso had made new friends and established new
ties, that I found painful to break; but this is the lot of the navy
officer: separated from his family for years, he is brought into the
closest and most intimate association with his messmates, and forms ties
which are made but to be broken, generally by many years of separation.
Taken from these, he is thrown among strangers, and becomes dependent
upon their kindness and hospitality for the only enjoyments that make
his life endurable. Receiving these, his heart yearns towards the
donors; and my Valparaiso friends will readily believe that I was sad
enough when compelled to leave them.

I arrived in Lima on the 6th of February. This city has changed greatly
since I was here, twenty years ago. Though we had bull-fights on the
accession of the new President, General Echenique, (which accession,
strange to say, took place without popular tumult, except a small
outbreak at Arequipa, resulting in the immediate imprisonment at Lima
of the opposing candidate, General Vivanco,) yet the noble amphitheatre
was not crowded as in old times with the _élite_ and fashion of Lima,
but seemed abandoned to the vulgar. The ladies have given up their
peculiar and most graceful national costume, the "Saya y Manto," and it
is now the mark of a ragged reputation. They dress in the French style,
frequent the opera, and, instead of the "Yerba de Paraguay," called
Matté, of which they used a great quantity formerly, they now take tea.
These are causes for regret, for one likes to see nationality preserved;
but there is one cause for congratulation, (especially on the part of
sea-going men, who have sometimes suffered,) the railroad between Lima
and Callao has broken up the robbers.

But with these matters I have nothing to do. My first business at
Lima was to establish relations with Don Francisco Paula y Vigil, the
accomplished and learned superintendent of the public library. This
gentleman, who is an ecclesiastic and a member of the Senate, has so
high a character for learning and honesty, that, though a partisan
politician, and a member of the opposition to the new government, he
preserves (a rare thing in Peru) the respect and confidence of all. He
placed the books of the library at my disposal, and kindly selected for
me those that would be of service.

The sources of information, however, were small and unsatisfactory.
The military expeditions into the country to the eastward of the Andes
left little or no reliable traces of their labors. The records of the
explorations of the Jesuits were out of my reach, in the archives of
Quito—at that time the head of the diocese, and the starting-point of
the missions into the interior—and nearly all that I could get at were
some meagre accounts of the operations of the Franciscans, collected by
Father Manuel Sobreviela, guardian of the missionary college of Ocopa,
and published, in 1790, in a periodical called "Mercurio Peruano,"
edited by an association styling itself "Amantes del Pais," or lovers
of their country.

Though the information obtained in Lima was not great, I still
think that a slight historical sketch of the attempts to explore
the Montaña,[1] of Peru, made since the conquest of that country by
Pizarro, will not be uninteresting. Before commencing it, however, I
desire to express my acknowledgments to the many gentlemen, both native
and foreign, who have assisted me in my researches with information
and advice, particularly to Don Nicholas Pierola, the Director of
the National Museum, whose name is associated with that of Mariano de
Rivero, as "_par excellence_" the scientific men of Peru; to the Hon.
John Randolph Clay, chargé d'affaires of the United States; to Dr.
Archibald Smith, an eminent physician, and author of a very clever book
called "Peru as it is;" and to the courteous and hospitable partners of
the mercantile house of Alsop & Co., Messrs. Prevost, Foster & McCall.

Modern books upon the subject—such as Prescott's Peru; Humboldt's
Narrative; Von Tschude's Travels; Smith's "Peru as it is;" Condamine's
Voyage on the Amazon; Prince Adalbert's Travels; the Journals of the
English Lieutenants, Smyth and Maw; "Travels in Maynas" of Don Manuel
Ijurra, who afterwards accompanied me as interpreter to the Indians;
Southey's Brazil, and a Chorographic Essay on the Province of Pará,
by a Brazilian named Baena—were all consulted, and, together with oral
communications from persons who had visited various parts of the Valley
of the Amazon, gave me all the information within my reach, and prepared
me to start upon my journey at least with open eyes.

According to Garcilasso de la Vega, himself a descendant of the Incas,
the attention of the Peruvian government was directed to the country
east of the Andes even before the time of the Spanish conquest. The
sixth Inca, _Rocca_, sent his son, _Yahuar Huaccac_, at the head of
15,000 men, with three generals as companions and advisers, to the
conquest of the country to the northward and eastward of Cuzco, called
_Antisuyo_, inhabited by Indians called _Antis_. The young prince added
a space of thirty leagues in that direction to the dominions of his
father, but could reach no further on account of the roughness of the
country and the difficulties of the march. The tenth and great Inca,
_Yupanqui_, sent an expedition of 10,000 men to pursue the conquests
of Yahuar Huaccac. These reached the Montaña, and, embarking on rafts
upon the great river _Amarumayo_,[2] fought their way through tribes
called _Chunchos_, till they arrived, with only 1,000 men, into the
territory of tribes called _Musus_. Finding their numbers now too small
for conquest, they persuaded these Indians that they were friends, and,
by their superior civilization, obtained such an ascendency among them,
that the Musus agreed to send ambassadors to render homage and worship
to the "Child of the Sun," and gave these men of the Inca race their
daughters in marriage, and a place in their tribe.

Years afterwards, during the reign of _Huaynal Capac_, the Incas and
their descendants desired to return to Cuzco; but in the midst of their
preparations they received intelligence of the downfall of their nation,
and settled finally among the Musus, who adopted many of the laws,
customs, usages, and worship of the Incas.

I have little doubt of the truth of this account, for even at the
present day may be found amongst the savages who dwell about the
headwaters of the _Ucayali_, the _Purus_, and in the country between
the Purus and _Beni_, traces of the warlike character of the mountain
race, and that invincible hatred of the white man which the descendants
of the Incas may well be supposed to feel. This determined hostility and
warlike character prevented me from embarking upon the _Chanchamayo_ to
descend the Ucayali, was the cause why I could not get men to ascend the
Ucayali from _Sarayacu_, and I have no doubt hindered Mr. Gibbon from
penetrating to the eastward of Cuzco, and seeking in that direction the
sources of the Purus.

This character is entirely distinct from that of the Indians of the
plains everywhere in South America, who are, in general, gentle, docile,
and obedient, and who fear the white man with an abject and craven fear.

Love of dominion and power had induced the Indian princes of Peru to
waste their treasures and the lives of their subjects in the subjugation
of the Montaña. A stronger passion was now to urge a stronger people
in the same direction. Stories of great empires, which had obtained the
names of _Beni_, or _Gran Pará_, _Gran Pairiri_, or _Paititi_, and _El
Dorado_, filled with large and populous cities, whose streets were paved
with gold; of a lake of golden sand, called _Parima_; of a gilded king,
who, when he rose in the morning, was smeared with oil, and covered with
gold dust blown upon him by his courtiers through long reeds, and of
immense mineral and vegetable treasures, had for some time filled the
ears and occupied the minds of the avaricious conquerors; and, after the
partial settlement of affairs by the defeat of the _Almagro_ faction at
the battle of _Salinas_, near Cuzco, on the 26th April, 1538, various
leaders sought opportunities of obtaining wealth and distinction by
incursions into these unknown lands.

_Hernando Pizarro_ fitted out two expeditions, giving to _Pedro de
Candia_ the command of the first, and to _Pedro Anzulo_ that of the
second. These men, led on by the report of the Indians, who constantly
asserted that the rich countries they sought lay yet farther to the
eastward, penetrated, it is supposed, as far as the Beni; but, overcome
by danger, privation, and suffering, they returned with no results, save
marvellous stories of what they had seen and learned, which inflamed
the curiosity and cupidity of others. These parties were generally
accompanied by an ecclesiastic, who was the historian of the expedition.
Some idea may be formed of the worthlessness of their records by
examining a few of the stories related by them. Here is one:

"Juan Alvarez Maldonado made an expedition from Cuzco in the year 1561.
He descended the eastern range of the Andes, and had scarcely cleared
the rough and rocky ground of the slope when his party encountered
two pigmies. They shot the female, and the male died of grief six days
afterwards.

"Following the course of the great river Mano downwards, at the
distance of two hundred leagues they landed upon a beach, and a piquet
of soldiers penetrated into the woods. They found the trees so tall
as to exceed an arrow-shot in height, and so large that six men, with
joined hands, could scarcely circle them. Here they found lying upon
the ground a man, five yards in height, members in proportion, long
snout, projecting teeth, vesture of beautiful leopard skin, short and
shrivelled, and, for a walking-stick, a tree, which he played with
as with a cane. On his attempting to rise, they shot him dead, and
returned to the boat to give notice to their companions. These went to
the spot, and found traces of his having been carried off. Following
the track towards a neighboring hill, they heard thence such shouts and
vociferations that they were astounded, and, horror-stricken, fled."
One more:

"Between the years 1639 and 1648, Padre _Tomas de Chaves_, a Dominican,
entered among the Chunchos, from Cochabamba, in Bolivia. He took twelve
of them to Lima, where they were baptized. He then went back and lived
among them fourteen years, making many expeditions. His last was in
1654 among the _Moxos_ Indians of the Mamoré. He there cured a cacique
of some infirmity, and the Emperor of the Musus (this is the great
Paititi or gilded King of the Spaniards) sent six hundred armed men to
the cacique of the Moxos, demanding that the reverend father should be
sent to cure his Queen. The Moxos were very unwilling to part with their
physician; but threats of extermination delivered by the ambassadors of
the Emperor induced compliance; and the padre was carried off on the
shoulders of the Indians. After a travel of thirty days, he came to
the banks of a stream so wide that it could scarcely be seen across;
(supposed to be the Beni.) Here the Indian ambassadors had left their
canoes; loosing them from the banks, they launched, went down the
stream twelve days, and then landed. Here the father found a large town
inhabited by an incredible number of savages, all soldiers, guarding
this great port of the river, and entrance into the empire of the Musus.
No women were to be seen; they lived in another town, a league off,
and only came in by day to bring food and drink to the warriors, and
returned at night.

"He observed that the river at this place divided into many arms, all
appearing navigable, and formed large islands, on which were great
towns. He travelled hence twenty-seven days, when he arrived at court.
The King came out to meet him, dressed in the finest and most delicate
feathers, of different colors. He treated his guest with great courtesy,
had a sumptuous feast prepared for him, and told him that, hearing of
his wonderful powers as a physician, he had sent for him to cure the
Queen of a disease which had baffled the skill of all his doctors.
The good father remarked that he was no physician, and had not been
bred to that art; but observing that the Queen was beset with devils,
('obsesa,') he exorcised her according to the formulary, whereby she
was thankfully made a Christian. He was eleven months in the court
of the Paititi; at the end of which time, seeing that the wine and
flour for the sacred elements were giving out, and having baptized an
infinite number of infants in 'Articulo Mortis,' he took leave of their
majesties, recommending to the Queen that she hold fast the faith she
had received, abstaining from all offence towards God. He refused from
the King a great present of gold, silver, pearls, and rich feathers;
whereat (says Father Tomas) the King and courtiers wondered greatly."

These are of the number of stories which, inflaming the cupidity of the
Spaniards, led them to brave the perils of the wilderness in search of
El Dorado. They serve to show at this day the little confidence which
is to be placed in the relations of the friars concerning this country;
I do not imagine, however, that they are broad lies. The soldiers of
Maldonado evidently mistook monkeys for pigmies, and some beast of the
forest, probably the tapir, for a giant; and there is doubtless some
truth in the account of Padre Tomas, though one cannot credit the six
hundred ambassadors; the river that could scarcely be seen across;
the garrisoned port; and the gold, silver, and pearls of an alluvial
country.

But the defeated followers of Almagro, flying from before the face of
the still victorious Pizarros, _did_ find to the eastward of Cuzco a
country answering, in some degree, to the description of the fabulous
El Dorado. They penetrated into the valleys of _Carabaya_, and found
there washings of gold of great value. They subjugated the Indians;
built the towns of _San Juan del Oro_, _San Gaban_, _Sandia_, &c.; and
sent large quantities of gold to Spain. On one occasion they sent a mass
of gold in the shape of an ox's head, and of the weight of two hundred
pounds, as a present to Charles V. The Emperor, in acknowledgment, gave
the title of "Royal City" to the town of San Juan del Oro, and ennobled
its inhabitants. The Indians, however, in the course of time, revolted,
murdered their oppressors, and destroyed their towns. Up to the last
three years this has been a sealed country to the white man. I shall
have occasion to refer to it again.

While these efforts to penetrate the Montaña to the eastward of Cuzco
were being made, Gonzalo Pizarro fitted out at Quito an expedition
consisting of 350 Spaniards and 4,000 Indians, with large supplies of
provisions and live stock. All who have read the brilliant pages of
Prescott know the history of this expedition: the discovery of cinnamon;
the treachery of Orellana; and the origin of the present name of the
great river. I shall not tread upon such ground; but shall content
myself with observing that, if Pizarro built a brig, or anything that
carried a mast, he either embarked low down upon the Napo, or, what I
rather suspect, the Napo was a much larger stream then than now.

The failure of this expedition, and the almost incredible sufferings
of the party who composed it, could not deter the Spaniards from
their search for El Dorado. In 1560 the Marquis of _Cañete_, Viceroy
of Peru, sent _Pedro de Ursoa_ with a large company on this mission.
This officer marched northward from Cuzco, and embarked upon the
_Huallaga_. At _Lamas_, a small town near that river, he was murdered
by his lieutenant, _Lope de Aguirre_, who determined to prosecute
the enterprise. Aguirre descended the Huallaga—and the Amazon to
its mouth—coasted along the shores of Guyana and Venezuela, and took
possession of the small island of Marguerita. There raising a party, he
landed at Cumaná, with the purpose of conquering an empire on the main
land. He was, however, defeated by some Spanish troops who had already
possession of the country, taken prisoner, carried to Trinidad and hung.

Aguirre appears to have been a bold and violent man. His letter to
Philip II, published in Humboldt's narrative, is indicative of his
character. He says: "On going out of the river Amazon we landed at an
island called La Margaretta. We there received news from Spain of the
great faction of the Lutherans. This news frightened us exceedingly.
We found among us one of that faction; his name was _Monteverde_. I had
him cut in pieces, as was just; for, believe me, signor, wherever I am,
people live according to the law.

"In the year 1559 the Marquis of Cañete sent to the Amazon Pedro de
Ursoa, a Navarrese, or rather a Frenchman. We sailed on the largest
rivers of Peru till we came to a gulf of fresh water. We had already
gone 300 leagues, when we killed that bad and ambitious captain. We
chose a Cavallero of Seville, _Fernando de Guzman_, for king; and we
swore fealty to him, as is done to thyself. I was named quartermaster
general; and, because I did not consent to all his will, he wanted to
kill me. But I killed this new king, the captain of his guards, his
lieutenant general, his chaplain, a woman, a knight of the order of
Rhodes, two ensigns, and five or six domestics of the pretended king. I
then resolved to punish thy ministers and thy auditors. I named captains
and sergeants. These again wanted to kill me; but I had them all hanged.
In the midst of these adventures we navigated eleven months, till we
reached the mouth of the river. We sailed more than 1,500 leagues. God
knows how we got through that great mass of water. I advise thee, O
great king, never to send Spanish fleets into that cursed river."

The following story, from the "Viagero Universal" of Ulloa, shows his
barbarity in yet more revolting colors. It appears that in all his
marches he carried with him a favorite daughter. When defeated and
surrounded, so that escape was impossible, he called this lady, and
addressing her, said: "I had hoped to make thee a queen. This now is
impossible. I cannot bear that you should live to be pointed at as
the child of a traitor and a felon. Thou must prepare for death at
my hands." She requested a few minutes for prayer, which was granted;
but her father, thinking she was too long at her devotions, fired upon
her whilst on her knees. The unfortunate lady staggered towards him;
but taking her by the hand as she approached, the villain plunged his
knife into her bosom, and she sank at his feet, murmuring "_Basta Padre
Mio_,"—It is enough, my father.

It is not to be expected that information of an exact and scientific
character could be had from the voyages of adventurers like these. They
were mere soldiers, and too much occupied in difficulties of travel,
conflicts with Indians, ambitious designs, and internal dissentions, to
make any notes of the topography or productions of the countries they
passed through.

But a task that had baffled the ambition and power of the Incas and
love of gold, backed by the indomitable spirit and courage of the hardy
Spanish soldier, was now to be undertaken by men who were urged on by
a yet more absorbing passion than either of these. I mean missionary
zeal—the love of propagating the faith.

The first missionary stations established in the Montaña were founded
by the Fathers Cuxia and Cueva, of the holy company of the Jesuits, in
1737.

They commenced operations at the village of _St. Francis de Borja_,
founded by _Don Pedro de Vaca_, in 1634, when he conquered and settled
the province of _Mainas_, under the direction of the Viceroy _Don
Francisco de Borja_, prince of _Esquilache_. This village is situated
on the left bank of the Marañon, not far below where it breaks its
way through the last chain of hills that obstructs its course, at the
_Pongo[3] de Manseriché_.

In the same year (1637,) according to Ulloa, (whose statements, I think,
are always to be received "cum grano salis") Pedro Texeira, a Portuguese
captain, ascended the Amazon with a fleet mounting forty-seven large
guns. After an eight months' voyage from _Pará_, he arrived at the port
of _Payamino_, or _Frayamixa_, in the province of _Quixos_, on the river
Napo. I am unable to find out how far up the Napo this is; but Texeira,
leaving his fleet there, went with some of his officers by land to
Quito. The Royal Audience of that city determined to send explorers with
him on his return, and the Jesuit Fathers, _Acuña_ and _Artieda_, were
selected for that purpose, and directed to report to the King of Spain.
Passing through the town of _Archidona_, on the headwaters of the Napo,
with much suffering they joined the fleet in the port of Payamino, and
after a voyage of ten months, by land and water, arrived at Pará, whence
they sailed for Spain.

The Spanish government, then occupied with the rebellion of Portugal,
could lend no aid to the missionaries, and Father _Artieda_ returned to
Quito in 1643. He appealed to the Royal Audience, and to the college
of the Jesuits at that city, for help to the missions, and the latter
institution furnished him with five or six missionaries. These were well
received by the Indians, and prosecuted their labors with such success,
that in the year 1666 they had formed thirteen large and populous
settlements in the country, bordering on the upper Marañon, and near
the mouths of the Pastaza, Ucayali, and Huallaga.

About this time the Franciscans commenced pushing their explorations and
missionary operations from Lima, by the way of Tarma and Jauxa, into the
Montaña, drained by the headwaters of the Ucayali; and here (thanks to
Father Sobreviela) we begin to get a little topographical information;
and the map may now be consulted in elucidation of the text.

In 1673 the Franciscan Father _Manuel Biedma_ penetrated into the
Montaña from _Jauxa_, by the way of _Comas_ and _Andamarca_, and
established the missionary station of _Santa Cruz de Sonomora_, on the
river _Pangoa_, a tributary of the Ucayali.

In 1681 he opened a mule road from Andamarca to Sonomora, and in 1684
one from Sonomora to the junction of the Pangoa with the Perene. In
1686 he embarked at this place with _Antonio Vital_, and descended the
Ucayali to near the junction of the _Pachitea_. Here he established
a station called "_San Miguel de los Conibos_," and, leaving Vital in
charge, he attempted to ascend the river again, but was killed by the
savages. Vital, hearing of his death, and seeing himself abandoned,
without hope of succor, determined to commit himself to the downward
current; and, embarking in a canoe with six Indians, he soon reached
the Jesuit missionary stations near the mouth of the Ucayali. Directed
by these missionaries, he ascended the Marañon, the Huallaga, and the
river Mayo as far as it is navigable. He then disembarked, travelled
by land through _Moyobamba_ and _Chachapoyas_, and passing through Lima
arrived at Jauxa, whence he had set out with Father Biedma.

About this time the Franciscans, also penetrating from _Tarma_ by the
valleys of _Chanchamayo_ and _Vitoc_, established the missions of the
_Cerro de la Sal_ and the _Pajonal_. The Cerro de la Sal is described as
a mountain of rock and red earth, with veins of salt of thirty yards in
breadth, to which the Indians, for many miles round, were in the habit
of repairing for their supply. The Pajonal is a great grassy plain,
enclosed between the river Pachitea and a great bend of the Ucayali. It
is about one hundred and twenty miles in length from north to south, and
ninety from east to west; and I judge from its name, and some imperfect
descriptions of it, that it is a very fine grazing country.

In the year 1712 _Padre Francisco de San José_ established a college,
"de propaganda fide," at the village of _Ocopa_, in the Andes, a few
leagues from Jauxa. By his zeal and abilities he induced many European
monks, of the order of St. Francis, to come over and join him in his
missionary labors. These men labored so successfully, that up to 1742
they had established ten towns in the Pajonal and Cerro de la Sal,
and had under their spiritual direction ten thousand converts. But in
this year an Indian of Cuzco, who had been converted and baptized as
_Juan Santos_, apostatized from the faith; and, taking upon himself
the style and title of Inca, and the name of _Atahuallpa_, excited to
rebellion all the Indians of the plain, and swept away every trace of
the missionary rule; some seventy or eighty of the priests perishing in
the wreck.

It is quite evident that no distaste for the Catholic religion induced
this rebellion; for in the year 1750, eight years afterward, the Marquis
of _Minahermosa_, marching into this country for the punishment of the
rebels, found the church at _Quimiri_, on the river Perene, in perfect
order, with candles burning before the images. He burned the town
and church. And six years after this, when another entrance into this
country was made by _Gen. Bustamente_, he found the town rebuilt, and
a large cross erected in the middle of the plaza, or public square. I
have had occasion myself to notice the respect and reverence of these
Indians for their pastors, and their delight in participating in the
ceremonial, and sense-striking worship of the Roman Church.

It remains but to speak of the conversions of the Ucayali, in the _Pampa
del Sacramento_, made by the Franciscans of Ocopa, and which are the
only trophies that now remain of the zeal, patience, and suffering of
these devoted men.

The missions established on the Ucayali by Fathers Biedma and Caballero,
in the years 1673 to 1686, were lost by insurrections of the Indians in
1704. In 1726, the converted Indians about the head of canoe navigation
on the Huallaga, (the tidings of the gospel were first carried to these
from _Huanuco_, by _Felipe Luyendo_, in 1631,) crossing the hills that
border that river on its eastern bank, discovered a wooded plain, which
was named Pampa del Sacramento, from the day of its discovery being the
festival of _Corpus Cristi_. This was a new field for the missionary;
and by 1760, the Fathers of the college at Ocopa had penetrated
across this plain to the Ucayali, and re-established the missions of
_Manoa_, the former spiritual conquests of Biedma. To get at these
missions with less difficulty, expeditions were made from Huanuco by
the way of Pozuzu, Mayro, and the Pachitea, in the years 1763 to 1767.
Several missionaries lost their lives by the _Cashibos_ Indians of the
Pachitea; and in this last year the Indians of the Ucayali rose upon the
missionaries, killed nine of them, and broke up their settlements. But
not for this were they to be deterred. In 1790 Father _Narciso Girbal_,
with two others, under the direction of Sobreviela, then guardian of
the college at Ocopa, went down the Pachitea and again established
these missions, of which there remain three at this time, called,
respectively, Sarayacu, _Tierra Blanca_, and _Sta. Catalina_.

The difficulties of penetrating into these countries, where the path is
to be broken for the first time, can only be conceived by one who has
travelled over the roads already trodden. The broken and precipitous
mountain track—the deep morass—the thick and tangled forest—the danger
from Indians, wild beasts, and reptiles—the scarcity of provisions—the
exposure to the almost appalling rains—and the navigation of the
impetuous and rock-obstructed river, threatening at every moment
shipwreck to the frail canoe—form obstacles that might daunt any heart
but that of the gold-hunter or the missionary.

The most remarkable voyage down the Amazon was made by a woman. Madame
Godin des Odonnais, wife of one of the French commissioners who was sent
with _Condamine_ to measure an arc of the meridian near Quito, started
in 1769, from _Rio Bamba_, in Ecuador, to join her husband in Cayenne by
the route of the Amazon. She embarked at _Canelos_, on the _Borbonaza_,
with a company of eight persons, two, besides herself, being females. On
the third day the Indians who conducted their canoe deserted: another
Indian, whom they found sick in a hovel near the bank, and employed as
pilot, fell from the canoe in endeavoring to pick up the hat of one of
the party, and was drowned.

The canoe, under their own management, soon capsized, and they lost
all their clothing and provisions. Three men of the party now started
for _Andoas_, on the Pastaza, which they supposed themselves to be
within five or six days of, and never returned. The party left behind,
now consisting of the three females and two brothers of Madame Godin,
lashed a few logs together and attempted again to navigate; but their
frail vessel soon went to pieces by striking against the fallen trees
in the river. They then attempted to journey on foot along the banks of
the river, but finding the growth here too thick and tangled for them
to make any way, they struck off into the forest in hopes of finding a
less obstructed path.

They were soon lost: despair took possession of them, and they perished
miserably of hunger and exhaustion. Madame Godin, recovering from a
swoon, which she supposes to have been of many hours' duration, took
the shoes from her dead brother's feet and started to walk, she knew
not whither. Her clothes were soon torn to rags, her body lacerated
by her exertions in forcing her way through the tangled and thorny
undergrowth, and she was kept constantly in a state of deadly terror
by the howl of the tiger and the hiss of the serpent. It is wonderful
that she preserved her reason. Eight terrible days and nights did she
wander alone in the howling wilderness, supported by a few berries and
birds' eggs. Providentially (one cannot say accidentally) she struck
the river at a point where two Indians (a man and a woman) were just
launching a canoe. They received her with kindness, furnished her with
food, gave her a coarse cotton petticoat, which she preserved for years
afterwards as a memorial of their goodness, and carried her in their
canoe to Andoas, whence she found a passage down the river, and finally
joined her husband. Her hair turned gray from suffering, and she could
never hear the incidents of her voyage alluded to without a feeling of
horror that bordered on insanity.



CHAPTER II.

INTRODUCTORY.

     Orders—Investigation of routes—Lake Rogoaguado—River
     Beni—Chanchamayo—Cuzco route—River Madre de Dios—Gold mines
     of Carabaya—Route through the cities of Truxillo, Caxamarca,
     Chachapoyas, Moyobamba, &c.—Preparations for the journey—The
     start.


On the 4th of April, 1851, Lieutenant Lardner Gibbon, of the navy,
arrived at Lima, and delivered me orders from the Navy Department, of
which the following is a copy:

                                      NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 15, 1851.

SIR: The department is about to confide to you a most important and
delicate duty, which will call for the exercise of all those high
qualities and attainments, on account of which you have been selected.

The government desires to be put in possession of certain information
relating to the valley of the river Amazon, in which term is included
the entire basin, or water-shed, drained by that river and its
tributaries.

This desire extends not only to the present condition of that valley,
with regard to the navigability of its streams; to the number and
condition, both industrial and social, of its inhabitants, their trade
and products; its climate, soil, and productions; but also to its
capacities for cultivation, and to the character and extent of its
undeveloped commercial resources, whether of the field, the forest, the
river, or the mine.

You will, for the purpose of obtaining such information, proceed across
the Cordillera, and explore the Amazon from its source to its mouth.

Passed Midshipman Lardner Gibbon, a prudent and intelligent officer,
has been selected to accompany you on this service, and is instructed
to report accordingly.

This, together with a few instruments, necessary for such an expedition,
will be delivered to you by him.

Being joined by him, you will commence to make such arrangements as
may be necessary for crossing the Andes and descending the Amazon; and
having completed them, you will then proceed on your journey without
further orders.

The route by which you may reach the Amazon river is left to your
discretion. Whether you will descend the Ucayali, or the Huallaga, or
any other of the Peruvian tributaries, or whether you will cross over
into Bolivia, and, passing through the province of Yongas, embark on the
Mamoré or Ytenes, or whether you will try the Beni or any other route
to the Madeira, and thence to the Amazon, the state of the information
which you have collected, under a former order, will enable you to
decide more judiciously than it is possible for the department, with
the meagre state of its information upon the subject, to do.

It is not desired that you should select any route by which you and your
party would be exposed to savage hostility, beyond your means of defence
and protection.

Neither is it desirable that your party should be so large, on the one
hand, as to excite the suspicion of the people, or give offence to the
authorities, of the country through which you may pass, nor so small,
on the other, as to endanger its success.

You are, therefore, authorized to employ a cook, servant, guide, and
interpreter, and to provide them with such arms as it is customary only
for travellers generally, in that part of the world, to carry for their
own protection. And these arms you will have returned to you at Pará.

The Navy Agent at Lima has been instructed to furnish, upon your
requisition, the necessary articles for the outfit of yourself and
party, and to honor your draft for a sum not exceeding five thousand
dollars, to cover your expenses by the way. As these expenses will be
mostly for mules and arrieros, boats and boats' crews, it is supposed
that the sum named will be much more than sufficient. You will use of
it only for the _necessary_ expenses of the party.

The geographical situation and the commercial position of the Amazon
indicate the future importance, to this country, of the free navigation
of that river.

To enable the government to form a proper estimate as to the degree of
that importance, present and prospective, is the object of your mission.

You will, therefore, avail yourself of the best sources of information
that can be had in answer to any or all of the following questions:

What is the present condition of the silver mines of Peru, and
Bolivia—their yield; how and by whom are they principally wrought?

What is the machinery used, whence obtained, and how transported?

Are mines of this metal, which are not worked, known to exist? What
impulse would the free navigation of the Amazon give to the working of
those mines? What are their capacities; and if the navigation of that
river and its tributaries were open to commerce, what effect would it
have in turning the stream of silver from those mines down these rivers?
With what description of craft can they be navigated respectively?

What inducements are offered by the laws of Peru and Bolivia for
emigrants to settle in the eastern provinces of those two republics, and
what is the amount and character of the population already there? What
the productions? the value of the trade with them—of what articles does
it consist, where manufactured, how introduced, and at what charges upon
prime cost?

What are the staple productions for which the climate and soil of the
valley of the Amazon, in different parts, are adapted? What the state
of tillage; of what class are the laborers; the value of a day's work;
the yield per acre and per hand of the various staples, such as matté,
coca and cocoa, sugar, rice, chinchona, hemp, cotton, India-rubber,
coffee, balsams, drugs, spices, dyes, and ornamental woods; the season
for planting and gathering; the price at the place of production, and
at the principal commercial mart; the mode and means of transportation?
with every other item of information that is calculated to interest a
nautical and commercial people.

You will make such geographical and scientific observations by the way
as may be consistent with the main object of the expedition, always
bearing in mind that these are merely incidental, and that no part of
the main objects of the expedition is to be interfered with by them.

It is desirable that you should bring home with you specimens or samples
of the various articles of produce from the Amazon river, together with
such seeds or plants as might probably be introduced into this country
with advantage.

Arriving at Pará, you will embark by the first opportunity for the
United States, and report in person to this department.

Wishing you a pleasant journey and a safe return to your country and
friends,

                              I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                                         WILL. A. GRAHAM.

     Lieut. WILLIAM L. HERNDON, U. S. NAVY, Peru, or Bolivia.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the choice of route was thus left to my discretion, this, in
connexion with the best and most efficient mode of carrying out my
instructions, became an object of much consideration with me.

As I had some time previously received intimation of the intention of
the department to issue such orders, whilst in Valparaiso and Santiago
I had sought what information was to be had there, and conversed with
many persons regarding the routes through Bolivia and the navigability
of the Bolivian tributaries of the Amazon. Two interesting routes
presented themselves through this country: one from Cochabamba, by the
river Mamoré, a sketch of which had been given me by Mr. Bridges; and
the other by the Beni, (also a confluent of the Madeira,) which seems
nearly a "terra incognita."

_Palacios_, an officer of the Bolivian government, who had made some
explorations in the country between the Mamoré and Beni, and who visited
and navigated on the Lake Rogoaguado, (the existence of which has been
a subject of dispute among geographers,) describes the Beni, between
its sources and Los Reyes, (about half the course of the river,) as
being much obstructed by shoals, with very narrow channels, and broken
up into rapids, of which he enumerates twenty-two. He thinks, however,
that flat-bottomed iron boats would overcome many of the difficulties,
and navigate an immense distance up. He says that in some parts of the
course of the river are found veins of silver and gold, salt springs,
coal, lime, and (in Tequije) diamonds. I think that his description of
the Lake Rogoaguado would be a valuable contribution to geography; for
though it is evident that his account is not exact, or even correct,
yet it settles the point that there is such a lake, and that it does
not give rise to many of the large rivers that empty into the Amazon,
as was long supposed, and as is so represented in many maps. I give a
translation:

"The supreme government, being desirous of ascertaining if the great
Lake Rogoaguado had communication with the Beni or proceeded from it,
directed me to explore it for the purpose of facilitating communication
between that river and the Mamoré. For this purpose I directed the
construction of a boat and commenced my journey. I set out from the
town of _Exaltacion_, (a village on the Mamoré, some distance above its
junction with the Madeira,) the nearest point, and directed my course
W. N. W. 15 miles, to the estate (_estancia_) of Santa Cruz, passing
(a mile and a half from this point) the river Iruyani, which runs to
the N. E., and appears navigable. Its sources are unknown; but it is
supposed that it rises in some swamps situated in the flat country
about Reyes, or that it runs from the Beni. At this estate of Santa
Cruz there is a somewhat flat hill of 300 yards in height, and composed
of white 'soroché,' the generator (criadero) of gold. It is constantly
covered with grass and trees, among which are found those producing the
India-rubber.

"Hence I directed my march W. ¼ N., to the estate denominated San
Carlos, which is distant twenty-four miles from the first, and is
situated among morasses, with some eminences, the good pastures of which
maintain large flocks of cattle. The course from here was N. W., and at
the distance of nine miles I encountered the Lake Ibachuna, or, of the
winds, which is twelve miles broad and twenty-four long from north to
south, and whose outlet runs among swamps into Lake Rogoaguado, known
likewise by the name of Domú, on whose banks yet exist traces of the
ancient tribe of the Cayubabos, who now form the population of the town
of Exaltacion.

"Not finding the boat which I had ordered finished, I embarked in a
small canoe, and directed my course towards two islands in the lake,
about three miles from the shore. These are elevated a little above the
surface of the lake, which has not more than a fathom (braza, 66 inches)
of depth in this part, and are covered with an impenetrable thicket. On
the following day I launched the boat; it was 33 feet (12 varas) long,
3⅔ feet wide, and 2¾ feet deep. It rocked much, and I directed two small
canoes to be lashed, one on each side, to serve as counterpoises.

"I weighed from my port with a course N. W. ¼ N. At the distance of
fifteen miles I encountered a stream which served as an outlet, and was
connected with another small lake, called Yapacha, towards the N. E. I
changed the course, coasting along W. N. W. for nine miles, continuing
on other nine S. W. ¼ S.; thence I changed to S. twenty-four miles; to
S. W. four and a half; to S. ¼ E. thirteen and a half. So that I sailed
upon a bow-line" (much he knew about a bow-line) "with a depth of 2½
fathoms, (brazadas,) running six miles the hour. (!!)

"At the capes, or prominent points, I landed, and observed that the belt
of woods surrounding the lake was narrow; and that outside of this the
pasturages were so great that they formed a horizon, or could not be
seen across. On one occasion I set fire to them, and saw towards the N.
W. the answering smoke of the fires of the Chacobos savages. The country
of this people was afterwards explored. The tribe was found to consist
of three hundred souls; and among them were people white and ruddy.

"I continued on E. ¼ N., and having navigated twelve miles, the north
wind came on so strong, and raised such a sea, that I was in danger of
shipwreck. I therefore landed, and remained twenty-four hours, employing
the time in examining the mouth of the rivulet called Ibachuna, where
there were large morasses.

"I travelled the next day with oars against the wind, bailing the water
from the boat continually. The course was N. N. E.; and eighteen miles
brought me to the point whence I originally sailed.

"The lake is of good and clear water. It has a bottom of oxide of iron,
with 2½ fathoms (brazadas) of water. There are many fish and rays,
crocodiles and porpoises.

"In the woods there are almonds of various kinds and superior quality.
Towards the east there is another small lake called Puaja, whose waters
(united with those of Rogoaguado and Yapacha) form the river Yatachico,
or Black river, which is a confluent of the Mamoré. I presume the Yata
Grande is only an arm of the Beni from the clearness of its waters, from
the declivity of the land towards the Mamoré, and because its sources
are not found in the Steppes, (Llanos) there only arising from these
the Black river of the Lake Rogagua of Reyes, which is a confluent of
the Beni.

"The navigation of the Yata Grande is a matter of interest; and I
would have attempted it when I descended the Mamoré had I had at my
disposal an armed party, which is absolutely necessary on account of
the multitude of savages which dwell upon its banks; nevertheless, I
did ascend to its first rapids, where there is an abundance of pitch.
The Iruyani should be explored for the same reasons as the Yata Grande."

It was suggested by Mr. Pissis that I should take the route of the Beni
on account of the honor of discovery, and the addition I should make to
geographical knowledge; and General Ballivian, ex-President of Bolivia,
who was then in Valparaiso forming plans for revolution in that country,
which he afterwards endeavored to execute, but without success, strongly
urged me to take one of the Bolivian rivers; but an unanswerable
objection to this in my mind was, that such a route would bring me into
the Amazon very low down, and make the necessity of ascending that river
to its sources; a work which would occupy years in its execution, and
probably break down a much stronger man than I am.

Upon my arrival in Lima, I immediately set to work to investigate
routes. The best informed people of Peru are wide awake to the
importance of opening an inland communication between their territories
to the east of the Andes and the Atlantic, and many attempts have
been made to secure the aid of government in the opening of such a
communication. From time immemorial a jealousy has existed upon this
subject between the people inhabiting points on the three most feasible
routes; that is, that of the valley of Huanuco, that of Chanchamayo, and
that of Paucartambo, to the eastward of Cuzco. This jealousy originated
in the fact that the valley of Huanuco, the first settled, at one time
supplied all the coca that was used in Peru. The people of that valley
saw in the opening of the Montaña of Chanchamayo a rival interest that
would decrease their gains, and at one time they had such interest at
Court as to get an order dismantling the fort that had been built in
Chanchamayo, and breaking up the roads. The Tarma people never forgave
this, and in 1808 _Urrutia_, the Intendente of that province, addressed
a pamphlet to _Abascal_, the Viceroy, setting forth the advantages of
the Chanchamayo, and depreciating the Mayro or Huanuco route to the
Montaña.

"Surely, surely," says he, (and I entirely agree with him,) "nothing
but the especial concitation of the devil (thus interfering with
the conversion of the heathen) could have induced the government
to so suicidal a step as to break up so thriving a colony as that
at Chanchamayo." He says that he can scarcely refrain from tears at
thinking to what it would have grown in the twenty-five years that have
been lost between then and now. He writes with earnestness; and probably
would have succeeded in obtaining the aid of the government, but that
the cloud of the revolution was then above the horizon, and Viceroy and
Intendente soon had other matters to think of.

In 1827 _General La Mar_ again ordered the opening of the Chanchamayo
country. The direction of the work was given to my acquaintance and very
good friend _General Otero_, then prefect of the department. He pushed
the matter of opening the roads with success for some time; but the
roughness of the country, the difficulty of obtaining supplies, and the
steady hostility of the Indians, interposed so many obstacles, that the
work languished and was finally abandoned; the Indians taking possession
of the few plantations that had been made.

In 1847, however, the people of Tarma resolved to take advantage of so
fine a country so near them. They republished the pamphlet of Urrutia;
made an appeal to the government, and themselves broke into the country
under the lead of _Colonel Pablo Salaverry_. They drove the Indians
over the rivers of Chanchamayo and Tulumayo; and _Don Ramon Castilla_,
the President, (ever alive to the interests of his country,) sent a
company of eighty soldiers, under a captain in the navy named _Noel_,
with engineers, artificers, tools and supplies, and constructed the
little stockade fort of _San Ramon_, at the junction of these rivers.
Under the protection of this fort the Tarma people have begun to clear
and cultivate, and the former desert is now beautiful with the waving
cane, the yellow blossom of the cotton, and the red berry of the coffee.

_Juan Centeno_, deputy in Congress from Cuzco, in strong and earnest
terms advocated the propriety of taking the Cuzco route, telling me that
ten thousand dollars, appropriated by the government for the survey
of the river Amarumayo, now lay in the treasury, waiting the proper
time and man to take it up; and that he had no doubt but that I might
organize a surveying party and employ this money for that purpose.
It was a tempting proposition, but I feared the proverbially dilatory
action of the Peruvian government; and what I had seen in the journals
of Smyth and Castelnau regarding the efficiency of the co-operation of
Peruvian officials, revived school-boy recollections and brought to my
mind Virgil's

               "Non tali auxilio; nec defensoribus istis."

This route had, moreover, the same objections as that by the Bolivian
tributaries; that is, that it would bring me into the Amazon too low
down. It is, however, a route of great importance, and well worth
investigation. Señor Centeno placed in my hands a pamphlet ("_El
brillante porvenir de Cuzco_") written by the confessor of his family,
an Italian Franciscan, Father _Julian Bobo de Revello_, in which
the advantages of this route are strongly and ably argued; and which
argument induced the above-mentioned appropriation by the Peruvian
government. The Father declares that he himself, in visiting the valleys
of Paucartambo, in company with Don José Miguel Medina, prefect of the
province, saw from the heights of Acobamba an interminable horizon of
woods towards the N. E.; and in the midst of this immense plain, the
winding course of the great navigable river "_Madre de Dios_." He labors
to prove that this Madre de Dios is the same river which, under the name
of Purus, enters the Amazon a few days' journey above the Barra do Rio
Negro.

There is no doubt that there is a great unknown river in these parts.
Every expedition made into this country brought back accounts of it,
and represented it under various names—such as Amarumayu; Tono; Mano;
Inambiri; Guariguari; and Madre de Dios, according to the nomenclature
of the various tribes that live upon its banks—as great and containing
much water—(Grande y Caudaloso.) It is impossible to say whether this
river turns to the N. W. and joins the Ucayali, flows straight N. E.,
and, as either the Yavari, the Jutay, the Jurua, the Teffe, the Coari,
or the Purus, empties into the Amazon; or, flowing east, is tributary
to the Beni. It is, of course, likewise impossible to say whether or
not it is free from obstructions to navigation; but it is reasonable
to suppose, from the fact that the country through which it flows
(supposing it to take the general direction of the rivers there and
run N. E.) is very far from the Andes on one side, and the _Cordillera
Geral_ of Brazil, which form the obstructions to the Madeira, on the
other, that it is free from impediments for an immense distance up. This
route, however, takes its importance, in a commercial point of view,
from the following facts:

It will be recollected that I stated, in the preceding chapter, that
the defeated followers of Almagro, hiding themselves in the valleys and
dens of the broken country to the eastward of Cuzco, called Carabaya,
discovered, in the small streams that dashed down from the neighboring
Cordillera, washings of gold of great value—that they built villages,
and sent immense treasures to Spain.

In the month of June, 1849, two brothers named Poblete, seeking Peruvian
bark in the valleys of Carabaya, discovered grains or pits (pepitas)
of gold in the "Gulch" of Challuhuma. They were soon joined by other
hunters of bark; the news spread in the province; companies were formed,
and petitions made to the board of miners for titles; quarrels arose
about priority of discovery and rights, and the paths were broken up,
and bridges and rafts for crossing the rivers destroyed, so that, up to
the time of my information, little had been done in gathering the gold.

It appears from an official letter of Pablo Pimentel, sub-prefect of the
province of Carabaya, in answer to certain questions propounded to him
by the Treasury Department, that the mining district is situated in the
valleys to the N. and E. of _Crucero_, the capital of the province, and
is reached from that place by the following routes and distances. (It
will be as well to premise that Crucero is situated in about latitude
14° south, and longitude 74° west from Greenwich; and that to reach it
by the nearest route from the Pacific coast, one should land at Islay;
and travelling on horseback through the cities of Arequipa and Puno,
he will arrive at Crucero, by easy stages of fifteen miles a day, in
about twenty days.) From Crucero the route, running to the eastward, and
crossing the Cordillera at probably its highest and most difficult pass,
conducts the traveller to the small and abandoned village of Phara,
forty-two miles from Crucero.

Here he puts foot to ground, and travels seventy-two miles (four
days' journey) to the banks of the great river Guariguari; although
his provisions and implements may be carried to this point on mules
or asses. He crosses this river on a perilous swinging bridge, called
Oroya, and makes his way thirty miles further towards the north without
any broken track, save an occasional one made by the bark hunters.

This brings him to Challuhuma.

The valley, or gulch, is from thirty to thirty-six miles long from the
top of the mountains, whence descend the three small torrents which
form the auriferous stream called Challuhuma, to its entrance into the
Guariguari; but it is calculated that only about a fifth part of this
can be worked, as the other four parts are hemmed in by precipitous
rocks on each side; and "to turn the course of the river at these parts,
so as to get at its bed, would be about as easy a task as to remove the
Andes."

Pimentel supposes that from the time of the discovery, in June, to the
date of his letter, in November, about one hundred thousand dollars
had been collected; but that the best parts had been worked, and such
success was no longer to be looked for. He says, moreover, that the
difficulty of obtaining provisions and supplies is very great, from the
small number of persons engaged in agriculture, the general laziness of
the people, and the difficulty of transportation.

It is quite evident that Pimentel is disposed to throw difficulties in
the way, and to distract attention from Challuhuma by dwelling upon the
undiscovered riches in other valleys, and the great vegetable wealth of
the country a little to the eastward of it. Other accounts from this
district give a different version, and represent Pimentel as a party
in one of the mining companies, and interested in keeping secret the
true state of affairs. The quarrel on this subject ran very high in the
department of Puno, and even the motives and conduct of General Deustua,
then prefect of the department, and now governor of the "Provincia
Littoral" of Callao—a man of the very highest standing and character
in his country—were impugned. He vindicated his reputation in a very
spirited letter to the Secretary of State for the Treasury Department,
demanding to be relieved, and receiving an apologetic reply from the
government.

It appears from some notices of this country, written by Manuel Hurtado,
a citizen of Puno, "that the province of Carabaya has an extent of
one hundred and eighty miles, from north to south, rendered more to
the traveller, who wishes to pass over its whole length, on account of
his having to cross the spurs of the mountains, which divide the whole
country into valleys, having auriferous streams; for, from Cuia to
Quica, there are eighteen miles; to Sandia, forty-two; to Cuyo-Cuyo,
twelve; to Patambuco, eighteen; to Phara, thirty-six; to Uricayas,
forty-five; to Coasa, eighteen; to Thiata, thirty; to Ayapata, eighteen;
to Ollachea, forty-two; and to Corani, eighteen; making three hundred
and seven miles. All these villages, except the last, are in the line
of the edge of the Montaña. The villages of Macusani and Crucero are
on this other side of the Cordillera. The population of the province
is thirty thousand souls, over and above strangers, who come to collect
the gold and cascarilla.

"The exportation of the products of the province for the last year were
about three hundred thousand pounds of cascarilla, twenty-five thousand
baskets of coca, (of twenty-one pounds each,) and one thousand pounds of
coffee. The small crops of maize, &c., are only for the consumption of
the country. The only two plantations that have been opened in the last
two years, by D. Augustin Aragon and D. Lorenzo Requelme, will begin to
render their crops in the coming year.

"According to the notices acquired from different persons, and
particularly from Pimentel and the Pobletes, we know that the gold
taken from Challuhuma, from the middle of June to September, amounts
to seven hundred pounds, of which the Pobletes hold three, and the
balance has been sold by various individuals in the fairs and markets
of Azangaro, Tangazuca, and Crucero, over and above the many pounds
that have been sent for sale to Puno and Arequipa, and that which the
Indians indubitably hold, seeing that they only sell enough to purchase
themselves necessaries; although one has been known to sell the value
of six hundred dollars. About the end of September the associates
of the company styled 'Descubridora' destroyed the hanging bridges,
(oroyas,) the rafts, and even some parts of the road, saying that in
Challuhuma there is nothing, and advising all to return to their houses.
This rather encouraged them to proceed. They plunged into the woods
where human foot had never trodden, and, crossing the great river on
temporary oroyas, many persons settled themselves in Challuhuma; whence
they have been taking gold without its being known how much has been
collected in the month and a half which has intervened. It is worthy of
note that these people and the Pobletes have very imperfect means of
extracting the gold: being reduced to what they call '_chichiquear_,'
which is, to place earth in a trough, wash it a little while in the
stream, and collect the gold that has settled; which may be one, two,
or more ounces, according to the fortune of the washer. They repeat
this operation as many times a day as their strength will permit. On
one occasion the sub-prefect Pimentel obtained from one trough-full
twenty-odd ounces of gold, as he himself related to us; and no
trough-full yields less than one ounce."

There seems exaggeration in this account; but an anonymous publication
from Puno on this subject of Carabaya goes beyond this. It says:

"In the year 1713, a mine of silver was discovered in a hill called
Uncuntayo, among the heights (Altos) of Ollachea, which gave more than
four thousand marks to the caxon. (Six marks to the caxon is a paying
yield in Cerro Pasco.) These riches gave rise to such disturbances,
violences, and murders, that the Viceroy had to march to suppress the
disorders; but after a few years the hill fell in and closed the mines.

"It has been always known that much gold existed in all the ravines of
the district of Phara, and the proof is the discovery of it, in the
present year, at the points called Beinisamayo, Rio Challuhuma, and
Acomayo, from which '_placeres_' it is certain that even in this short
time many arrobas (twenty-five pounds) of fine gold, in the shape of
melon seeds, have been taken and seen in Puno Arequipa, &c. The sight
of this gold, and the conviction which is entertained of the existence
of abundance of this metal, have awakened the avarice of all, and are
attracting to Carabaya a concurrence of the people of the departments
of La Paz, Puno, Arequipa, and Cuzco. The work must cease, on account
of the rains, towards the end of October; but from May onwards, we shall
have growing up there a society, heterogeneous, avaricious, and needing
authorities and judges, that the 'placeres' may be appointed among
the workers according to law; that property may be secured; and that
those disorders which may be expected to grow out of such a state of
affairs may be checked: for the sub-prefect, besides being a principal
associate in the companies for collecting gold and cascarilla, has not
the weight of character necessary in these cases. Moreover, the person
who directs in mining matters (Diputado de Mineria) resides in Puno,
two hundred miles from the point whence the gold is extracted. The
companies endeavor, by every means in their power, to hide the riches
which exist in the already discovered mines, and to throw difficulties
in the way of getting there; but we know that every trough-full of the
earth which is washed gives six ounces and upwards, and that there are
only three days on horseback from Phara to the banks of the great river,
though the road is somewhat rough; and from the other side of the river,
(which may be crossed by an oroya or on rafts) to the mines is only one
day on foot. The climate of the greater part of the Montaña of Carabaya
is entirely healthy, and of an endurable heat. Its lands are so rich
that they give three crops a year, and produce fine coca, coffee that
rivals that of Mocha, superior cacao, potatoes, maize, fruits, raisins
of every kind, the vanilla, superior and most abundant woods, and the
cascarilla, called calisaya, with all the other classes. Added to this
there are rivers with immense fisheries, so that people would do well
to colonize there even if there were no gold. The savages, in tribes of
more than two hundred souls, live scattered about sixty or ninety miles
to the eastward of the placeres. It is necessary to adopt some measures
of precaution to anticipate attacks which they would be likely to make
on small parties."

Pimentel says that the Indians on some of the beaches of the great river
"Inambari," which flows through this Montaña, make a sort of scaly
pavement (_empedrado, en forma de escama_) just before the increase
of the river, caused by the rains, so that the gold borne down by its
current may be deposited. They call these their _chacras_, or farms of
gold, and collect their crop at the falling of the river.

It will be perceived, from the above accounts, that, if the river
"Madre de Dios" of Father Bobo should be identical with the Purus,
and there should be a navigable communication between this country
and the Atlantic, the advantages to commerce would be enormous, and
the "Brillante Porvenir," or dazzling future of Cuzco, would be no
dream. I judge, from the description of the country through which
this "great river" (as it is called in all the accounts of people who
have visited these parts) flows, that it is not navigable; and it is
certain that neither the cascarilla nor the gold can be collected for
six months in the year. Yet I judge that there is a much nearer and
easier communication with the Atlantic, by this route, than that by the
passage of the Cordillera, and the voyage around Cape Horn; and that the
opening to trade of a country which produces, in abundance, gold, and
the best quality of cinchona, would soon repay the courage, enterprise,
and outlay of money which would be necessary to open, at most, but a
short road, and to remove a few obstructions from a river.

Since writing the above I have received from Mr. Clay, our distinguished
chargé at Lima, a slip from the _Comercio_, a Lima journal, containing
an account of the fitting out of an expedition for the exploration of
this river by the people of the town of Paucartambo. These, tired of
waiting the tardy action of the government, met in council on the 10th
of June, 1852, and subscribed one hundred and fifteen dollars to pay the
expenses of the exploring party. Twenty Indians were hired, for twenty
days, at five dollars a head, and ten dollars given as gratification
to their overseer; the remaining five were expended in repairing the
axes and other tools supplied by the farmers. The party, consisting of
young volunteers, having their expeditionary flag blessed by the Curate,
being exhorted by their governors and elders, and placed under the
especial protection of our blessed Lady of Carmen, marched out, under
the guidance of Don Manuel Ugaldi, amid the strains of music and the
"vivas" blessings and tears of their relatives and friends. We have yet
to see the result of so enthusiastic an outburst.

I was so much impressed with the importance of this route, that I left
Lima undecided whether I should take it or not; and at Tarma, after long
and anxious deliberation, (the measure being supported by Mr. Gibbon's
advice and earnest personal solicitation,) I determined to take the
responsibility of dividing the party, and did so, furnishing Mr. Gibbon
with the following instructions, and verbally calling his attention to
the river Beni:

                                               TARMA, June 30, 1851.

     SIR: From a careful perusal of my instructions from the Navy
     Department, it appears to be a matter of importance that as
     much of the great South American basin, drained by the Amazon
     and its tributaries, should be explored as the means placed
     at my disposal will allow; and having now arrived at a point
     where, if the party is kept together, some objects of much
     interest will have to be abandoned to secure others, I have
     determined to divide the party, and confide a portion of it
     to your direction.

     You will, therefore, with "Mr. Richards" and a guide, proceed
     to "Cuzco," and examine the country to the eastward of that
     place. It is said that a large and navigable river, called the
     Madre de Dios, has its source in the mountains of Carabaya,
     and may be approached at a navigable point by descending the
     Andes from "Cuzco." Many arguments have been adduced to show
     that this river is the "Purus," which is known to empty into
     the Amazon.

     It is desirable that this should be determined; and you
     will make such inquiries in Cuzco as will enable you to
     decide whether it is practicable to descend this river. I am
     under the impression that its shores, near where you would
     be likely to embark, are inhabited by tribes of savage and
     warlike Indians, who have committed frequent depredations
     upon the "haciendas" established in the neighborhood. You
     will constantly bear in mind that your loss will deprive
     the government of the after-services expected of you in the
     prosecution of our important and interesting enterprise. You
     will therefore run no unnecessary risk, nor expose yourself
     or party to unreasonable danger from the attacks of these
     savages. The inhabitants of Cuzco are said to be so much
     interested in this discovery, that they may furnish you an
     escort past the point of danger.

     Should you find this route impracticable, you will proceed
     south, to Puno, on the banks of the "Lake Titicaca;" thence
     around the southern shores of this "lake" to La Paz, in
     Bolivia; thence to Cochabamba; and, descending the mountains
     in that neighborhood, embark upon the "Mamoré," and descend
     that river and the "Madeira" to the Amazon. You will then
     ascend the Amazon to the "Barra do Rio Negro," and, making
     that your headquarters, make excursions for the exploration
     of the main stream and adjacent tributaries, until my arrival,
     or you hear from me.

     You are already possessed of the views of the department
     regarding the objects of this expedition. A copy of its
     instructions is herewith furnished you. You will follow them
     as closely as possible.

     Should you go into "Bolivia," I would call your attention
     to the "cascarilla," or Peruvian bark, which is of a better
     quality in that country than elsewhere. Make yourself
     acquainted with its history and present condition.

     Wishing you success, I remain your obedient servant,

                                                  WM. LEWIS HERNDON,
                                              Lieutenant U. S. Navy.

     Passed Midshipman LARDNER GIBBON,
               U. S. Navy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Other reasons that induced me to take this step were, that I might carry
out the instructions of the department as fully as lay in my power; and
while I gave my own personal attention to the countries drained by the
upper Marañon and its tributaries, Mr. Gibbon might explore some, and
gather all the information he could respecting others, of the Bolivian
tributaries of the Amazon. The objections were, that the department had
not sanctioned the step, and that by separating we were deprived of the
comfort and assistance to be derived from companionship—no small item in
so long and lonely a journey. But I did not conceive that these should
weigh against the consideration that we could cover more ground apart
than together.

I felt that, under my instructions requiring me to explore the Amazon
from its source to its mouth, I could not neglect the route I finally
determined to take. This route would enable me to form a judgment
respecting the practicability of a transitable connexion between Lima
and the navigable headwaters of the tributaries of the Amazon—would
lead me through the richest and most productive mineral district
of Peru—would put under my observation nearly all the course of the
Amazon—and would enable me to gather information regarding the Pampa
del Sacramento, or great plain, shut in between four great rivers, and
concerning which the "Viagero Universal" says "that the two continents
of America do not contain another country so favorably situated, or so
fertile."

The last and most commonly-used route to the Montaña is through the
cities of Truxillo, Caxamarca, Chachapoyas, Moyobamba, &c. The Andes
here break into many chains, sending off spurs in all directions,
but none of any great height, so that there is a tolerably good mule
road all the way to Moyobamba; and almost all articles of foreign
manufacture—such as cloths and the necessary household articles used in
the small towns that border the Huallaga and the Marañon—are supplied by
this route. The climate and productions of this country are, on account
of its precipitous elevations, and, consequently, deep valleys, very
various; and here the sugar-cane and the pine-apple may be seen growing
by a spectator standing in the barley field and the potato patch.

This route crosses the Amazon, or rather the Marañon, where, according
to Lieut. Maw, it is sixty yards wide, and rushes between mountains
whose summits are hid in the clouds. This point is about three degrees
north of its source, in Lake _Lauricocha_; but the river is nowhere
navigable until _Tomependa_, in the province of _Jaen de Braca Moros_,
is reached; whence it may be descended, but with great peril and
difficulty, on rafts. There are twenty-seven "pongos," or rapids, to
pass, and the water rushes over these with frightful velocity. Four days
of such navigation passes the last, called the _Pongo de "Manseriché_,"
near the village of San Borja, and I am satisfied that an unbroken
channel, of at least eighteen feet in depth, may be found thence to the
Atlantic Ocean.

That the rains might be entirely over, and the roads on the mend in
the Cordillera, I fixed upon the 20th of May as the day of departure,
and Mr. Gibbon and I set about making the necessary preparations. I
engaged the services of Don Manuel Ijurra, a young Peruvian, who had
made the voyage down the Amazon a few years before, as interpreter to
the Indians; and Capt. Gauntt, of the frigate Raritan, then lying in the
harbor of Callao, was kind enough to give me a young master's mate from
his ship, named Richards; besides supplying me with carbines, pistols,
ammunition, and a tent. Capt. Magruder, of the St. Mary's, also offered
me anything that the ship could supply, and furnished me with more arms,
and fifteen hundred fathoms of the fishing-line now put on board ships
for deep-sea soundings.

Our purchases were four saddle-mules, which, through the agency of Dr.
Smith, we were fortunate enough to get young, sound, and well bitted,
(indispensable requisites,) out of a drove just in from the mountains.
We consulted the learned in such matters on the propriety of having them
shod, and found the doctors disagreeing upon this subject very much.
As they were from the mountains, and their hoofs were round, sound, and
apparently as hard as iron, we decided not to shoe; and, I believe, did
better than if we had followed a contrary course. We also purchased
about a thousand yards of coarse cotton cloth, made in the mills at
Lima, and put up for mountain travel in bales of half a mule-load;
hatchets, knives, tinder-boxes, fish-hooks, beads, looking-glasses,
cotton handkerchiefs, ribbons, and cheap trinkets, which we thought
might take the fancy of the Indians, and purchase us services and food
when money would not. These things were also put up in boxes of the
same size and shape, and each equal to half a mule-load. Our trunks
were arranged in the same way, so that they might be lashed one on each
side of the mule's back, with an India-rubber bag, (also obtained from
the Raritan,) which carried our bedclothes, put on top in the space
between them. This makes a compact and easily-handled load; and every
traveller in the Cordillera should take care to arrange his baggage in
this way, and have, as far as possible, everything under lock and key,
and in water-tight chests. Such small, incongruous articles as our pots
and pans for cooking, our tent, and particularly the tent-pole, which
was carried _fore and aft_ above a cargo, and which, from its length,
was poking into everything, and constantly getting awry, gave us more
trouble than anything else.

Our bedding consisted of the saddle-cloths, a stout blanket, and
anything else that could be packed in the India-rubber bag. An
Englishman, from New Holland, whom I met in Lima, gave me a coverlet
made of the skins of a kind of racoon, which served me many a good turn;
and often, when in the cold of the Cordillera I wrapped myself in its
warm folds, I felt a thrill of gratitude for the thoughtful kindness
which had provided me with such a comfort. We purchased thick flannel
shirts, _ponchos_, of India-rubber, wool, and cotton, and had straw
hats, covered with oil-cloth, and fitted with green veils, to protect
our eyes from the painful affections which often occur by the sudden
bursting out of the sunlight upon the masses of snow that lie forever
upon the mountain tops.

We carried two small kegs—one containing brandy, for drinking, and
the other the common rum of the country, called _Ron de Quemar_, for
burning; also, some coarse knives, forks, spoons, tin cups, and plates.
I did not carry, as I should have done, a few cases of preserved meat,
sardines, cheese, &c., which would have given us a much more agreeable
meal than we often got on the road; but I did carry, in the India-rubber
bags, quite a large quantity of biscuit, which I had baked in Lima,
which served a very good purpose, and lasted us to Tarma.

We had the mules fitted with the heavy, deep-seated box saddles of
Peru. I believe the English saddle would be much more comfortable, and
probably as safe to the rider accustomed to it; but it would be almost
impossible with these to preserve the skin of the mule from chafe. The
Peruvian saddles rest entirely upon the ribs of the animal, which are
protected by at least six yards of a coarse woollen fabric manufactured
in the country, called _jerga_, and touch the back-bone nowhere. These
saddles are a wooden box frame, stuffed thickly on the inside, and
covered outwardly with buckskin. They are fitted with heavy, square,
wooden stirrups, which are thought to preserve the legs from contact
with projecting rocks, and, being lined with fur, to keep the feet warm.
There is also a heavy breast-strap and crupper for steep ascents and
descents; and a thick _pillon_, or mat, made of thrums of cotton, silk,
or hair, is thrown over the saddle, to make the seat soft. The reins and
head-stall of the bridle should be broad and strong, and the bit the
coarse and powerful one of the country. Our guns, in leathern cases,
were slung to the crupper, and the pistols carried in holsters, made
with large pockets, to carry powder-flasks, percussion caps, specimens
that we might pick up on the road, &c. A small box of instruments for
skinning birds and dissecting animals; a medicine chest, containing,
among other things, some arsenical soap, for preserving skins; a few
reams of coarse paper, for drying leaves and plants; chart paper, in a
tin case; passports and other papers, also in a tin case; note-books,
pencils, &c., completed our outfit. A chest was made, with compartments
for the sextant, artificial horizon, boiling-point apparatus, camera
lucida, and spy-glass. The chronometer was carried in the pocket, and
the barometer, slung in a leathern case made for it, at the saddle-bow
of Mr. Gibbon's mule.

On the 15th of May I engaged the services of an _arriero_, or muleteer.
He engaged to furnish beasts to carry the party and its baggage from
Lima to Tarma at ten dollars the head, stopping on the road wherever
I pleased, and as long as I pleased, for that sum. An ordinary train
of baggage mules may be had on the same route for about seven dollars
the head. The arrieros of Peru, as a class, have a very indifferent
reputation for faithfulness and honesty, and those on the route, (that
from Lima to Cerro Pasco,) to which my friend particularly belonged,
are said to be the worst of their class. He was a thin, spare, dark
Indian, of the _Sierra_ or mountain land, about forty-five years of
age, with keen, black eye, thin moustache, and deliberate in his speech
and gesture. I thought I had seldom seen a worse face; but Mr. McCall
said that he was rather better looking than the generality of them. He
managed to cheat me very soon after our acquaintance.

Arrieros, when they supply as many mules as I had engaged, always
furnish a _peon_, or assistant, to help load and unload, and take care
of the mules. Mine, taking advantage of my ignorance in these matters,
said to me that his _peon_ was "_desanimado_," (disheartened,) was
afraid of the "_Piedra Parada_," or upright rock, where we were to
cross the Cordillera, and had backed out; but that he himself could very
well attend to the mules if I would be good enough to let him have the
occasional assistance of my Indian servant. I unwarily promised, which
was the cause of a good deal of difficulty; but when the old rascal
complained of over-work and sickness on the road, I had an answer for
him which always silenced him—that is, that it was his own cupidity
and dishonesty which caused it, and that if he did not work and behave
himself, I would discharge him without pay, and send back to Lima for
another.

I directed him to bring the mules to the hotel door on the 20th; but,
upon his finding that this was Tuesday, he demurred, saying that it was
an unlucky day, and that no arriero was willing to start on that day,
but that Monday was lucky, and begged that I would be ready by then.
This I could not do; so that on Wednesday, the 21st of May, we loaded
up, though I had to cajole, and finally to bribe the old fellow, to take
on all the baggage, which he represented to be too much for his beasts.

I did wrong to start, for the party was short of a servant allowed by
my instructions. (I had not been able to get one in Lima, except at
an unreasonable price, and depended upon getting one in some of the
towns of the Sierra.) The arriero needed a peon, and the mules were
overloaded. I would strongly advise all travellers in these parts to
imitate the conduct of the Jesuits, whose first day's journey is to
load their burden mules, saddle and mount their riding-mules; go twice
round the patio or square, on the inside of their dwelling, to see that
everything is prepared and fits properly; and then unload and wait for
the morning. However, I foresaw a longer delay by unloading again than I
was willing to make; and after a hard morning's work in drumming up the
Peruvian part of the expedition, (these people have not the slightest
idea that a man will start on a journey on the day he proposes,) the
party, consisting of myself, Mr. Gibbon, Mr. Richards, Mr. Ijurra,
Mauricio, an Indian of _Chamicuros_, (a village on the Huallaga,) and
the arriero, Pablo Luis Arredondo, with seven burden-mules, defiled out
by the Gate of Marvels, (_Puerta de Maravillas_,) and took the broad
and beaten road that ascends the left bank of the Rimac.



CHAPTER III.

     Passports—Means of defence—The road—Pacayar—Chaclacayo—Narrow
     pass—Yanacoto—Bridge—Cocachacra—Tribute money—Dividing line
     between the coast and the Sierra—Moyoc—Varieties of the
     potato—Matucana—San Mateo—Mines of Párac—Narrow valley—Summit
     of the Cordillera—Reflections.


Before leaving Lima I had had several interviews with the President,
General Castilla, who exhibited much interest in my mission; and the
Hon. J. R. Clay, U. S. chargé d'affaires, had presented me to General
Torrico, who at that time was sole Minister of Peru, under the newly
elected President, General Echenique, who yet had not had time to
appoint his Cabinet. General Torrico caused to be issued to me the
following passport and letter:


                             [Translation.]

     JUAN CRISOSTOMO TORRICO,

          Minister of War and Marine, and charged with the conduct of
            Foreign Relations.

     In that Wm. Lewis Herndon, lieutenant of the navy of the
     United States, and Lardner Gibbon, passed midshipman of the
     same, commissioned by their government to make a scientific
     expedition in the Territory of Peru, direct themselves towards
     the interior of the republic for the discharge of their
     commission, accompanied by Henry Richards, Manuel Ijurra,
     Mauricio N., attached to said commission, and by two servants:

     Therefore, I direct that the authorities of the districts they
     may pass through shall place no obstacle in the way of the
     above-mentioned gentlemen and servants; but, rather, shall
     afford them all the assistance and facilities that may be
     necessary for the fulfilment of their object, preserving to
     them the considerations which are their due—(_guardandole las
     consideraciones que les son debidas_.)

     Given in Lima, the 13th of May, 1851.

                                                   J. C'MO. TORRICO.

       *       *       *       *       *

                             [Translation.]

               TO THE PREFECT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AMAZONAS.

     SIR: Wm. Lewis Herndon, lieutenant of the navy of the
     United States, and Lardner Gibbon, passed midshipman of
     the same, commissioned by the government of that nation to
     make a scientific expedition in the eastern parts of Peru,
     accompanied by Henry Richards, Mauricio N., and Manuel
     Ijurra, as adjuncts to the expedition, direct themselves
     towards the department under your command in the discharge
     of their commission. As the expedition deserves, on account
     of its important object, the particular protection of the
     government, his Excellency the President commands me to advise
     you to afford them whatever resources and facilities they may
     need for the better discharge of their commission, taking
     care, likewise, that there shall be preserved to them the
     considerations that are their due.

     The which I communicate to you for its punctual fulfilment.

                                       God preserve you.
                                                   J. C'MO. TORRICO.

This passport was made out at a time when I expected to procure two
servants. Mauricio, the Chamicuros Indian, was the only servant who
accompanied us.

We were accompanied for a mile or two on the road by our kind friends
and countrymen, Messrs. Prevost, Foster, and McCall, who drew up at
the Cemetery to bid us good-bye; Mr. Prevost advising us to halt at the
first place we could find pasturage for the mules. The road we were to
travel had reputation for robbers, and Mr. McCall desired to know how
we were to defend ourselves in case of attack, as we carried our guns
in leather cases, strapped to the crupper, and entirely out of reach
for a sudden emergency. Gibbon replied by showing his six-barrelled
_Colt_, and observed that Ijurra, Richards, and myself had each a
pair of pistols at hand. As for Mauricio, he kept his pistols in his
saddle-bags; and I was satisfied, from some attempts that I had made
to teach Luis to shoot, (though he was very ambitious and desirous to
learn,) that it was dangerous to trust him with a pair, as he might
as readily fire into his friends as his enemies. With the comfortable
observation from Mr. McCall that he never expected to see us again, we
shook hands and parted.

Our course lay about E. N. E. over an apparently level and very stony
road. To the right were the green cane and alfalfa[4] fields, about
_Miraflores_ and _Chorillos_; and on the left and behind, the vegetation
afforded by the valley of the Rimac; but ahead all was barren, grim,
and forbidding.

Just before sunset we stopped at the hacienda (estate, or farm, or
settlement) of Santa Clara, and applied for pasturage. We were told
by an old negro woman sitting on the ground at the door of the house,
that there was none; which was confirmed by two men who just then rode
up, and who expressed their regret at not being able to accommodate us.
It was remarkable to see such poverty and squalid wretchedness at nine
miles from the great city of Lima; it was like passing in a moment from
the most luxurious civilization into savage barbarity—from the garden
to the desert. We rode on, about three miles further, to the hacienda
of _Pacayar_, where we arrived at half past six o'clock, p. m.

Before the mules could be unloaded it became very dark; so that the
arriero and Mauricio had considerable trouble in driving them to the
pasturage. Indeed some of them got away; I could hear them galloping
furiously up and down the road, and I went to bed on a table in the only
room in the house, with the comfortable reflection that I had balked
at starting, and should have to return or send back to Lima to buy more
mules.

Tormented with these reflections, and oppressed with the excitement and
fatigue of the day, I could not sleep; but tossed "in restless ecstacy"
for many a long hour, until just before daylight, when, as I was
dropping to sleep, a couple of game cocks, tied by the leg in the room,
commenced "their salutation to the morn," and screamed out their clarion
notes within a yard of my ear. This was too much for me. I rushed out—to
meet a heavenly morning, and old Luis, with the intelligence that the
mules were "all right." I took off my upper clothes, and plunged head,
neck, and shoulders, into the water of a little mountain stream that
rushed clear and cold as ice by the roadside in front of the house. Thus
refreshed and invigorated, the appearance of affairs took a new aspect,
and light-heartedness and hope came back as strong and fresh as in the
days of boyhood.

The mayordomo, or steward of the estate, was a _Chino_, (descendant
of Indian and negro,) and seemed an amiable and intelligent fellow, He
gave us a supper of a thin soup (caldo) and chupe;[5] and whilst we were
eating it, he was engaged in teaching the children of a neighbor the
multiplication table and the catechism.

From the appearance of things, I judge this estate paid little enough
to its owner; for I saw small signs of cultivation about it, though I
should think that the valley of the Rimac, which is a full mile in width
in front of the house, would produce good and (considering the short
distance to Lima) valuable crops of grass and vegetables. The land is
ploughed with a rude, heavy, wooden plough of one handle, which is shod
with iron. It is generally worked by a yoke of oxen.

The house was built of _adobe_, or sun-dried bricks, and roofed with
tiles. It had but one room, which was the general receptacle for all
comers. A mud projection, of two feet high and three wide, stood out
from the walls of the room all round, and served as a standing bed
place for numbers. Others laid their blankets and ponchos and stretched
themselves upon the floor; so that, with whites, Indians, negroes,
trunks, packages, horse furniture, game cocks, and Guinea pigs, we had
quite a caravansera appearance. The supper and bed that the steward
had given us were gratuitous; he would accept no remuneration; and we
got our breakfast of chupe and eggs at a _tambo_ or roadside inn nearly
opposite.

Though we commenced loading up soon after daylight, we did not get off
until half-past nine. Such delays were invariable; and this was owing
to the want of a peon and another servant.

The height of Pacayar above the level of the sea is one thousand three
hundred and forty-six feet.

_May 22._—Roads still good; valley gradually narrowing, and hills
becoming higher, and more barren and rocky. We passed several squads of
asses and _llamas_ carrying potatoes and eggs, some of them as far as
from Jauja, to Lima. Six miles from Pacayar is the village (_pueblo_)
of Chaclacayo, consisting of four or five houses, constructed of cane
and mud. A mile further is the _Juzgado_ of Sta. Ines, quite a large,
good-looking house, with a small chapel near it. This was the residence,
in the Spanish times, of a justice of the peace, who administered law
and judgment to his neighbors; hence called Juzgado. Soon after leaving
this the stream approached the hills so close that there was no longer
room between them for the road; and this had to be cut out of the side
of the hill. It was very narrow, and seemed in some places to overhang
the stream fifty feet below it. Just as we were turning an angle of
the road we met a man driving two horses before him, which immediately
mingled in with our burden mules, and endangered their going over the
precipice. Our arriero shouted to the man, and, spurring his horse
through the mules, commenced driving back the horses of the other, who
flourished his whip, and insisted upon passing. I expected to see a
fight, and mischief happen, which would probably have fallen upon us,
as the other had nothing to lose, when Ijurra called out to him, and
represented that our cargoes were very valuable, and that if one were
lost he should be held responsible; whereupon he desisted, drove his
horses back, and suffered us to pass. This caused us to be more careful
in our march; and I sent Gibbon, with Richards, ahead, to warn persons,
or give us warning, in time to prevent a collision. The burden mules
were driven by the arriero and the servant, in the middle; while Ijurra
and I brought up the rear.

At 2 p. m. we stopped at the Tambo of Yanacoto. I determined to stay
here a day or two to get things shaken into their places, and obtain
a new error and rate for the chronometer, which had stopped the day
before, a few hours out of Lima, though we had not discovered it
till this morning. I cared, however, very little for this, as I was
satisfied that it would either stop again or so vary in its rate as
to be worthless. No chronometer will stand the jar of mule travel over
these roads, especially if carried in the pocket, where the momentum of
the jar is parallel to the movement of the balance-wheel of the watch.
Were I to carry a chronometer on such a journey again, I would have it
placed in its box on a cushion on the saddle-bow; and when I travelled
in a canoe, where the motion is the other way, I would hang it up. We
pitched the tent in the valley before the road, and proceeded to make
ourselves as comfortable as possible; got an observation for time, and
found the latitude of Yanacoto, by Mer. alt. of γ Crucis, to be 11° 51´
20´´.

_May 23._—Bathing before breakfast is, on this part of the route,
both healthful and pleasant. There seemed to be no cultivation in this
valley, which here is about half a mile wide. It is covered with bushes,
except close to the water's edge, where grow reeds and flags. The bushes
are dwarf willow, and a kind of locust called _Sangre de Christo_,
which bears a broad bean, containing four or five seeds, and a pretty
red flower, something like our crape myrtle. There is also a bush, of
some ten or twelve feet in height, called _Molle_. This is the most
common shrub of the country, and has a wider climatic range than any
other of this slope of the Andes. It has long, delicate leaves, like the
acacia, and produces an immense quantity of small red berries in large
bunches. The leaves, when crushed, have a strong aromatic smell; and
many persons believe that it is certain death to sleep under its shade.
Dr. Smith, in his book, called "Peru as it is," says that "this tree is
much prized for fuel. The sugar refiners of the interior use the ashes
from it in preference to those from any other wood, on account of their
higher alkaline properties, and consequent efficiency in purifying the
cane-juice when being boiled down to a proper consistence to be cast
into moulds. The Inca tribe, as we learn from Garcilasso de la Vega,
made a highly valuable and medicinal beer, which some of the Indians
of the interior still occasionally prepare, from the clusters of small
grained fruit that hang gracefully and abundantly from this pretty
tree."

We saw several cases of _tertiana_, or chills and fever, at Yanacoto.
The people seem to have no remedy, except drinking spirits just before
the chill comes on, and using as a drink, during the fever, the juice of
the bitter orange, with sugar and water. When the case is bad, those who
can afford it—such as the mayordomos and _tamberos_ (the keepers of the
road-side inns, called tambos)—send to Lima and get medical advice and
physic. Our tambero killed a mutton for us, and (leaving out the lard,
which is always abominable) made a good chupe. The roast was a failure;
but we got poultry and eggs, and had a very good time.

The elevation of Yanacoto is two thousand three hundred and thirty-seven
feet, a little more than one thousand feet above Pacayar. The distance
between them is about ten miles; showing a rise to the mile of about one
hundred feet, which is very little greater than that between Callao and
Lima.

_May 24._—Had observation for time; breakfasted, and started at ten.
Valley still narrowing; the hills becoming mountains, mostly of granite;
rock piled upon rock for hundreds of feet, and in every variety of
shape; no vegetation, except where the hardy cactus finds aliment in
the crevices of the rock.

About four and a half miles above Yanacoto we passed the hacienda of
Lachosita, and soon after the little village of San Pedro Mama, where
the first bridge is thrown over the Rimac. Heavy, rough stone-work is
built on each side of the river, into which are inserted massive pieces
of timber, standing out a few feet from the face of the masonry, and
hewn flat on top. On their ends are laid trunks of trees, crossing the
river, and securely lashed. Athwart these are laid sticks of wood, of
some two or three inches diameter, lashed down, and covered over with
bundles of reeds, mud, and stones.

After San Pedro, at about three miles of distance, comes the hacienda
of Santa Ana, belonging to Señor Ximenes, an old gentleman of Lima, who
had made a large fortune by mining. Just before reaching there we met a
drove of one hundred and fifty mules belonging to him, in fine condition
and well appointed, going to Lima, laden with small sticks of the willow
and _molle_ for fuel.

There is very little cultivation till near Cocachacra, where we saw
well-tilled fields, green with alfalfa and Indian corn. We arrived at
this place at half-past five, and pitched the tent in a meadow near the
river, and without the town, for the purpose of avoiding company and
disagreeable curiosity.

Although we had seen fields of lucern before entering the village, we
could get none for our mules after we got there; and to every inquiry
for hay, fodder, or grain, the constant reply was "_No hay_," (there
is none.) Gibbon, however, persevered until some one told him, in an
undertone, as if imparting a great secret, where a little corn was to
be purchased, and he got a peck or two shelled. We were continually
annoyed and put to inconvenience by the refusal of the people to sell
to us. I think it arose from one of two causes, or probably both—either
that money was of less value to them than the things we wanted, or they
feared to have it known that they had possessions, lest the hand of
authority should be laid upon them, and they be compelled to give up
their property without payment.

Cocachacra is a village of about one hundred inhabitants, and at
present the residence of the sub-prefect or governor of the province,
which is that of Huarochiri. This province, according to the "Guia de
Forasteros," (a sort of official almanac published yearly at Lima,) is
conterminous with that of Lima, and commences at eighteen miles from the
city. It has ninety miles of length from N. W. to S. E., and seventy-two
of breadth. There are fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty-eight
native inhabitants; and its fiscal income is fourteen thousand two
hundred and fifty-eight dollars and two reals; its municipal, one
thousand one hundred and eighty-seven dollars. The inhabitants are
generally engaged in mining, cultivating potatoes, and raising cattle,
or as muleteers. The houses, like all those of the Sierra, are built
either of stone or adobe, and thatched with wheat or barley straw.

We called on the sub-prefect and exhibited our Peruvian passports,
asking, at the same time, that he would give us some assistance in
obtaining food for our beasts. This he seemed lukewarm about, and I did
not press him, for I had made up my mind that as far as it was possible
I would avoid appealing to authority for the purpose of obtaining
supplies, and go without what I could not buy or beg. He had in the
house the semi-yearly contribution of his province towards the support
of the government, which he was to send to Lima next day. A gentleman
suggested that he might be robbed that night; but he said that his guns
were loaded, (pointing to some muskets standing around the room,) and
that he might count upon assistance from our party, which seemed well
armed.

Very little help he would have had from us. He had shown no disposition
to oblige us, and moreover I had no notion of interfering in other
people's quarrels, or preventing the people from taking back their
money if they wanted it. This contribution is a capitation tax of seven
dollars a year, collected half-yearly from the Indian population between
the ages of sixteen and sixty. It is collected by the governors of the
districts into which a province is divided, who receive two per centum
on their collections, and pay over to the sub-prefect, who receives
four per cent. on the whole amount collected from the districts of his
province. The prefects of the departments, which are made up of a number
of provinces, receive a regular salary, according to the size and wealth
of their departments, varying from three to five thousand dollars. We
slept comfortably in the tent. Nights getting cool.

_May 25._—Started at 10 a. m. Valley getting so narrow as not to allow
room for the road, which is in many places cut from the rock on the side
of the hill, very narrow, rough and precipitous, rising and falling
as it crosses the spurs of the hills. The general character of the
rock is a feldspar porphyry, succeeded, as the road ascends, by a very
coarse-grained trachyte porphyry, reaching as far as Surco. Vegetation,
willow, molle, and many varieties of the cactus. We passed on the road
the ruins of an ancient Indian town; the houses had been small, and
built of stone on terraces cut from the mountain side.

At two we passed through the village of Surco, the largest we have seen
on the road. It appears capable of holding five or six hundred people,
but seemed deserted—nearly every house closed, and many falling into
decay. We were told that the inhabitants were away over the hills,
looking after their plantations and flocks, and that they returned at
night. But if this is so, judging from the height of the mountains on
each side of the village, I should say that half their time is lost in
going and returning from their work.

Here we leave the district called the Coast, and enter upon that called
the Sierra. There is tertiana below, but none above this. Dr. Smith,
speaking of the climate of this district, says, "that it is neither
winter nor summer, but one perpetual spring. It is out of the sphere
of frosts, and exempted from the raw fogs and sultry heats of the
coast. The atmospherical currents of mountain and coast meet here and
neutralize each other; the extremes of both disappear; and the result is
a delicious climate for the convalescent, whose tender organs require
a gentle, uniform temperature, alike removed from the extremes of heat
and cold, dryness and moisture. With this important fact the delicate
inhabitants of Lima are perfectly acquainted; and they are accustomed to
resort to the 'Cabezadas,' or headlands of valleys, where these verge
on the joint air of mountain and coast, as, for example, Matucana, the
favorite resting-place of phthisical and hæmoptic individuals, who find
themselves obliged to retire from the capital in order to recover health
by visiting those celebrated sites of convalescence, Tarma and Juaxa."
We certainly had delicious weather, but did not stay long enough, of
course, to pronounce authoritatively upon its general climate.

At 5 p. m., we arrived at the Chacra of Moyoc, belonging to Ximenes.
Here we pitched for the night, having travelled about fifteen miles,
which is our usual day's journey, between ten and five. This is a most
beautiful little dell, entirely and closely surrounded by mountains.
The valley has widened out so as to give room for some narrow patches of
corn and alfalfa. The Rimac, here a "babbling brook," rushes musically
between its willow-fringed banks; and the lingering of the sunlight upon
the snowy summits of the now not distant Cordillera, long after night
had settled upon the valley, gave an effect to the scenery that was at
once magical and enchanting.

The nights in the Cordillera at this season are very beautiful. The
traveller feels that he is lifted above the impurities of the lower
strata of the atmosphere, and is breathing air entirely free from taint.
I was never tired of gazing into the glorious sky, which, less blue,
I think, than ours, yet seemed palpable—a dome of steel lit up by the
stars. The stars themselves sparkled with intense brilliancy. A small
pocket spy-glass showed the satellites of Jupiter with distinctness; and
Gibbon even declared on one occasion that he could see them with the
naked eye. I could not, but my sight is bad at night. The temperature
is now getting cool, and I slept cold last night, though with all my
clothes on, and covered with two parts of a heavy blanket and a woollen
poncho. The rays of the sun are very powerful in the day, until tempered
by the S. W. wind, which usually sets in about eleven o'clock in the
morning.

The steward of Ximenes, a nice old fellow, with a pretty young
wife, gave us, at a reasonable price, pasturage for the beasts and a
capital chupe. The productions of the country are maize, alfalfa, and
potatoes—the maize very indifferent; but the potatoes, though generally
small, are very fine, particularly the yellow ones. We saw here, for the
first time, a vegetable of the potato kind called _Oca_. It resembles
in appearance the Jerusalem artichoke, though longer and slimmer; and
boiled or roasted it is very agreeable to the taste. Richards compared
its flavor to that of green corn; I suggested pumpkin, and he allowed
that it was between the two. We also saw another vegetable of the same
species, called _Ulluca_. This was more glutinous, and not so pleasant
to the taste. Gibbon shot a pair of beautiful small wild ducks that were
gambolling in the stream and shooting the rapids with the speed of an
arrow.

_May 26._—Started at eleven, and passed the village of Matucana, a
mile from Moyoc. This appears about the size of Surco, and is the
capital of the province, (still Huarochiri.) The Guia de Forasteros
states the number of its inhabitants at one thousand three hundred and
thirty-seven; but this is manifestly too great, and I believe that the
statements of this book concerning populations are made with regard
to the district in which a village is situated, or the _doctrina_, or
ecclesiastical division, of which the _Cura_ has charge. Service was
going on in the church; and Gibbon and Richards, who were far ahead,
had time to go in and say their prayers.

The river is now reduced to a mountain torrent, raging in foam over the
_debris_ of the porphyritic cliffs, which overhang its bed for hundreds
of feet in height. The valley still occasionally widens out and gives
room for a little cultivation. Where this is the case it is generally
bounded on one side or the other by cliffs of sandstone, in which
innumerable parrots have perforated holes for nests; and the road at
these places lies broad and level at their base. We crossed the river
frequently on such bridges as I have described at San Pedro Mama, and
arrived at San Mateo at half-past 5 p. m., having travelled only twelve
miles. The barometer shows a much greater ascent than we have yet made
in one day's travel. We pitched in an old and abandoned alfalfa field
above the town, and got supper from the postmaster.

  [Illustration: YANACOTO.

     Pl. 2.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

_May 27._—San Mateo, a village about the size of Surco and Matucana, is
situated on both sides of the Rimac, and at an elevation of ten thousand
two hundred feet above the level of the sea. The men work the chacras
of maize, potatoes, and beans; and the women do all the household work,
besides carrying their meals to the workmen on the farms, over hills
that would make a lazy man shudder even to look at. They live in poverty
and filth, but seem happy enough. We saw the women winnowing the beans
(which were gathered dry from the plant) by collecting them in pans made
of large gourds, and flinging them into the air; and also sifting flour,
which comes from the other side of the Cordillera, about Jauxa. The
costume of the Serrana women is different from that of the women of the
coast. It consists of a very narrow skirt, and a body of coarse woollen
cloth, generally blue, which comes from Lima, and is belted around the
waist with a broad-figured woollen belt, woven by themselves. A woollen
apron, with a figured border, is worn on the left side, hanging from the
right shoulder by a strap; and in the cold of the morning and evening
the shoulders are covered with a thick, colored blanket, reaching to
the hips. A high, broad-brimmed straw-hat, with shoes of raw-hide, drawn
with a string around the ancle, and no stockings, complete the costume.
These people seem contented with what they have, and don't want money.
It was with great difficulty we could persuade them to sell us anything,
always denying that they had it. On our return from the mines at Párac,
(where Mr. Gibbon had been sick with chills and fever,) he could not
eat the chupe, which had, at first, been made with _charqui_, or jerked
beef, but which had now dwindled down to cheese and potatoes. I made
a speech to some curious loafers about the tent, in which I appealed
to their pride and patriotism, telling them that I thought it strange
that so large a town as San Mateo, belonging to so famous a country as
Peru, could not furnish a sick stranger, who could eat nothing else,
with a few eggs. Whereupon, a fellow went off and brought us a dozen,
though he had just sworn by the Pope that there were no such things in
the village.

_May 28._—Mr. Gibbon and I, guided by a boy, rode over to the hacienda
of _San Jose de Párac_, leaving Richards and Ijurra in charge of
the camp. The ride occupied about three hours, over the worst roads,
bordered by the highest cliffs and deepest ravines we had yet seen. The
earth here shows her giant skeleton bare: mountains, rather than rocks,
of granite, rear their gray heads to the skies; and our proximity made
these things more striking and sublime. We found, on the sides of the
hills, short grass and small clover, with some fine cattle feeding;
and, wherever the mountain afforded a level shelf, abundance of fine
potatoes, which the people were then gathering.

I brought letters from Mr. Prevost to Don Torribio Malarin, the
superintendent of the mines, who received us kindly, and entertained us
with much hospitality. His house was comfortably heated with a stove,
and the chamber furnished with a large four-post bedstead, and the
biggest and heaviest bureau I had ever seen. I was somewhat surprised
at the sight of these—

     "Not that the things were very rich or rare,
     I wonder'd how the devil they got there."

They must have come up in pieces, for nothing so large could have been
fastened on a mule's back, or passed entire in the narrow parts of the
road.

The Hacienda is situated near the head of a small valley, which
debouches upon the road just below San Mateo; the stream which drains
it emptying into the Rimac there. It is a square, enclosed with
one-story buildings, consisting of the mill for grinding the ore, the
ovens for toasting it when ground, the workshops, store-houses, and
dwelling-houses. It is managed by a superintendent and three mayordomos,
and employs about forty working hands. These are Indians of the Sierra,
strong, hardy-looking fellows, though generally low in stature, and
stupid in expression. They are silent and patient, and, having coca
enough to chew, will do an extraordinary quantity of work. They have
their breakfast of caldo and _cancha_, (toasted maize,) and get to work
by eight o'clock. At eleven they have a recess of half an hour, when
they sit down near their place of work, chat lazily with each other,
and chew coca, mixed with a little lime, which each one carries in a
small gourd, putting it on the mass of coca leaves in his mouth with
a wire pin attached to the stopper of the gourd that carries the lime.
Some dexterity is necessary to do this properly without cauterizing the
lips or tongue. They then go to work again until five, when they finish
for the day, and dine off chupe. It has made me, with my tropical habit
of life, shiver to see these fellows puddling with their naked legs a
mass of mud and quicksilver in water at the temperature of thirty-eight
Fahrenheit.

These Indians generally live in huts near the hacienda, and are supplied
from its store-houses. They are kept in debt by the supplies; and
by custom, though not by law, no one will employ an Indian who is in
debt to his patron; so that he is compelled to work on with no hope of
getting free of the debt, except by running away to a distant part of
the country where he is not known, which some do.

The diseases incident to this occupation are indigestion, called
_empacho_, pleurisy, and sometimes the lungs seem affected with the
fumes and dust of the ore; but, on the whole, it does not seem an
unhealthy occupation.

The principal articles furnished from the store-house are maize, coca,
mutton, charqui, rum, sugar, coffee, tea, chocolate, chancaca, (cakes
of brown sugar,) soap, baize, cotton, and coarse linen cloths, woollen
cloths, silk handkerchiefs, foreign ponchos, ribbons, silk sashes, &c.,
&c., which are supplied to the Indian at about one hundred per cent.
advance on their cost at Lima, and charged against his wages, which
amount to half a dollar a day, with half a dollar more if he work at
night.

The manner of getting the silver from the ore, or beneficiating it, as
it is called in Peru, is this: The ore, after it is dug from the mine
and brought to the surface, is broken into pieces about the size of a
Madeira nut or English walnut, and sent to the hacienda, in hide-bags,
on the backs of llamas or mules. (The hacienda is always situated on
the nearest stream to the mine, for the advantages of the water-power
in turning the mill.) There it is reduced, by several grindings and
siftings, to an impalpable powder. The mill consists of a horizontal
water-wheel, carrying a vertical axis, which comes up through the floor
of the mill, the wheel being below. To the top of this axis is bolted
a large cross-beam, and to the ends of the beam are slung, by chains,
heavy, rough stones, each about a ton weight. These stones, by the
turning of the axis, are carried around nearly in contact with a concave
bed of smoother and harder rock, built upon the floor of the mill, and
through which the axis comes up. The ore is poured by the basket-full
upon the bed, and the large hanging rocks grind it to powder, which
pours out of holes made in the periphery of the bed. This is shifted
through fine wire sieves, and the coarser parts are put in the mill
again for re-grinding. The ground ore, or _harina_, is then mixed with
salt (at the rate of fifty pounds of salt to every six hundred pounds of
harina) and taken to the ovens (which are of earth) and toasted. I could
not learn the quantity of heat necessary to be applied; it is judged of
by experiment.

The fuel used in these ovens is the dung of cattle, called _taquia_;
it costs three cents for twenty-five pounds. The ovens here burn
one million five hundred thousand pounds yearly. After the harina
is toasted, it is carried in hide-bags to the square enclosed in the
buildings of the hacienda, and laid in piles of about six hundred pounds
each upon the floor. This floor is of flat stones, but should be of
flags cemented together; because the stones have often to be taken up
to collect the quicksilver, many pounds of which run down between the
interstices. Ten of these piles are laid in a row, making a _caxon_ of
six thousand two hundred and fifty pounds. The piles are then moistened
with water, and quicksilver is sprinkled on them through a woollen
cloth. (The quantity of mercury, which depends upon the quantity of
silver in the ore, is judged of beforehand by experiments on a small
scale.) The mass is well mixed by treading with the feet and working
with hoes. A little calcined iron pyrites, called _magistral_, is also
added—about four pounds to the caxon. The pile is often examined to see
that the amalgamation is going on well. In some conditions the mass
is called hot; in others, cold. The state of heat is cured by adding
a little lime and rotten dung; that of cold, by a little magistral or
oxide of iron. Practice and experience alone will enable one to judge
of these states. It is then left to stand for eight or nine days,
(occasionally re-trodden and re-worked,) until the amalgamation is
complete, which is also judged of by experiment. It is then carried
to an elevated platform of stone, and thrown, in small quantities at a
time, into a well sunk in the middle of the platform; a stream of water
is turned on, and four or five men trample and wash it with their feet.
The amalgam sinks to the bottom, and the mud and water are let off, by
an aperture in the lower part of the well, into a smaller well below,
lined with a raw-hide, where one man carries on the washing with his
feet. More amalgam sinks to the bottom of this well, and the mud and
water again flow off through a long wooden trough, lined with green
baize, into a pit prepared for it, where the water percolates through
the soil, leaving the mud to be again re-washed. When the washing is
finished for the day, the green baize lining of the trough, with many
particles of the amalgam clinging to it, is washed in the larger well.
The water, which by this time is clear, is let off, and all the amalgam,
called "_pella_," is collected, put in hide-bags, and weighed. Two
caxons are washed in a day. The _pella_ is then put into conical bags
of coarse linen, which are hung up, and the weight of the mass presses
out a quantity of the quicksilver, which oozes through the interstices
of the linen, and is caught in vessels below. The mass, now dry, and
somewhat harder than putty, is carried to the ovens, where the remainder
of the quicksilver is driven off by heat, and the residue is the _plata
piña_, or pure silver. This is melted, run into bars, stamped according
to the _ley_ or quality of the silver, and sent to Lima, either for the
mint or for exportation.

In the refining process the fumes of the mercury are condensed, and it
is used again. Two pounds, however, are lost to every pound of silver.
The proportion of pure silver in the _pella seca_, or amalgam, after the
draining off of the mercury through the bag, is about twenty-two per
cent. A careful experiment made by Mr. Galt, a jeweller of this city,
on a bit of the pella which I brought home from Cerro Pasco, gave but
eighteen and thirty-three per cent. of pure silver.

Salt is worth at this place three reals (37½ cents) the arroba, and
mercury costs one dollar the pound in Lima. The superintendent is paid
twelve hundred dollars yearly; three mayordomos, thirty dollars each,
monthly; the corporals, or heads of the working gangs in the mines,
twenty dollars; the miners, sixty-two and a half cents per day, (as
much more if they work at night;) and the laborers at the hacienda,
fifty cents. This, however, is nominal, being more than swallowed up by
the supplies. The estimated yearly expenses of these mines are thirty
thousand dollars, and the annual yield, seventy thousand dollars.
A caxon, of six thousand two hundred and fifty pounds of the ground
ore, yields, by the assay on the small scale, fifty marks, though only
twenty-five or thirty are obtained by this process, showing a loss of
nearly one-half. The quantity of silver obtained from the _relabes_, or
re-washings, is about twenty per cent. of the whole: that is, if a caxon
yield twenty-five marks at the first washing, the re-washing will give
five.

An idea may be formed of the value of these mines when I state that
at Cerro Pasco, which is seventy-five miles further from Lima, and on
the other side of the Cordillera, ore, which yields only six marks to
the caxon, will give a profit to the miner, though it is saddled with
some duties—such as those for drainage and for public works, from which
the ore of Párac is exempt. Malarin, the superintendent, said that the
caxon must yield fifteen marks here to pay. But granting this, I do not
wonder at his expression, that these mines would in a few years render
my countryman, Mr. Prevost, the richest man in the country, ("_El hombre
mas poderoso, que hay en el Peru_,") he owning a third of them.

_May 29._—Visited the mines. These are situated down the valley with
regard to the hacienda, and are two leagues W. S. W. of it. They are
much nearer San Mateo than is the hacienda, but there is no road to them
from that village. The road, or rather path, lay along the side of the
mountain, and zigzagged up and down to turn precipices, now running near
the banks of the little stream, and now many hundreds of feet above it.
The ride was bad enough at this time—it must be frightful in the rainy
season; though Malarin says he sometimes travels it on horseback. This
I am sure I should not do; and when these paths are slippery I would
much prefer trusting to my own legs than to those of any other animal.
Many persons suffer much in riding amongst these precipices and ravines.
Dr. Smith knew a gentleman, who, "familiar with downs and lawns, was
affected at the steeps of the _Paxaron_ with a giddiness that for some
time after disordered his imagination;" and one of a party of English
officers, who crossed the Cordillera at Valparaiso whilst I was there,
had to return without crossing, because he could not bear the sight of
the sheer descents.

The valley of Párac lies about east and west, and the veins of silver
on the sides of the mountains E. N. E. and W. S. W., thus crossing the
valley diagonally. There are four mines belonging to the establishment,
which employ about sixty workmen, though more could be employed to
advantage. These men are directed by a mayordomo and four corporals.
They are divided into two gangs for each mine: one party will go on
duty at 7 p. m. and work till 5 a. m., when they come out, rest two
hours, and go on again till 7 p. m. They are then relieved by the other
party. This is very hard work, for the mines are very wet and cold. The
getter-out of the ore wields, with one hand, a hammer of thirty pounds,
and the carriers of the ore bear a burden of one hundred and fifty
pounds from the bottom of the shaft to the surface—a distance in this
case of about a quarter of a mile, of a very steep and rough ascent.
When I first met one of these men toiling up in the dark, I thought,
from the dreadful groans I heard before I saw him, that some one was
dying near me; but he does this "a purpose," for when we met he had
breath enough to give me a courteous salutation, and beg a paper cigar.
Boys commence this work at eight years of age, and spend probably the
greater part of their lives in the mine.

The mine called Sta. Rosa, which we visited, has a perpendicular depth
of five hundred and twenty feet—that is, the bottom of the shaft, which
penetrates the mountain at an angle from the horizon of about 25°, is
five hundred and twenty feet below the mouth of it. By the mining laws
the shaft (_cañon_) of the mine must be three feet eight inches high,
three feet five inches wide, and arched for security. The superincumbent
earth frequently requires to be supported by beams of wood laid against
each other in form of Gothic arch. I could not learn how much ore a man
could get out in a day, for it is a very uncertain quantity, depending
upon the hardness of the rock that encloses the vein. Malarin told us
that he had instructed the workmen not to blast whilst we were in the
mine, because the dreadful reverberation of sound often had an unhappy
effect upon people not accustomed to it, which, as we were men who
sometimes dealt in heavy artillery, we did not thank him for.

Returning from the mine we met a drove of llamas on their way from the
hacienda. This is quite an imposing sight, especially when the drove is
encountered suddenly at a turn of the road. The leader, which is always
elected on account of his superior height, has his head decorated with
tufts of colored woollen fringe, hung with little bells; and his extreme
height, (often six feet,) gallant and graceful carriage, pointed ear,
restless eye, and quivering lip, as he faces you for a moment, make him
as striking an object as one can well conceive. Upon pressing on him he
bounds aside, either up or down the cliff, and is followed by the herd
scrambling over places that would be impassable for the mule or the ass.

They travel immense distances, but by short stages—not more than nine
or ten miles per day. It is necessary, in long journeys, to have double
the number required to carry the cargo, so as to give them relays. The
burden of the llama is about one hundred and thirty pounds; he will
not carry more, and will be beat to death rather than move when he is
overloaded or tired. The males only are worked; the females are kept for
the breed. They appear gentle and docile, but when irritated they have
a very savage look, and spit at the object of their anger with great
venom. The spittle is said to be very acrid, and will raise blisters
where it touches the skin. We saw none in the wild state. They are bred
on the haciendas in great numbers. We had no opportunity of seeing the
_guanaco_ or _alpacca_, (other varieties of the Peruvian sheep,) though
we now and then, in crossing the mountains, caught a glimpse of the
wild and shy _vicuña_. These go in herds of ten or fifteen females,
accompanied by one male, who is ever on the alert. On the approach of
danger he gives warning by a shrill whistle, and his charge makes off
with the speed of the wind. The wool of the vicuña is much finer and
more valuable than that of the other species—it is maroon-colored.

A good and learned Presbyter, Dr. _Cabrera_, whose portrait hangs in the
library at Lima, by patience and gentleness, succeeded in obtaining a
cross between the alpacca and vicuña, which he called _paco vicuña_, the
wool of which is said to combine the fineness of that of the vicuña and
the length of staple of that of the alpacca. The value of vicuña wool,
at the port of shipment, was, in 1838, one hundred dollars the hundred
weight; that of the alpacca, twenty-five dollars; and that of the sheep,
from twelve to fifteen. Peru shipped from the ports of Arica, Callao,
and Islay, during the four years between 1837 and 1840, inclusive, wool
of the sheep, alpacca, and vicuña, to the value of two million two
hundred and forty-nine thousand and thirty-nine dollars. (Castelnau,
vol. 4, page 120.)

Were any care taken in the rearing of these wild sheep of Peru, the
country might draw a great revenue from the sale of their wool.

_May 30._—Dull, rainy day. Gibbon laid up with chills and fever, which
he either brought from Lima, or took yesterday in the damp, cold mine.
He _would_ drink as much cold water as he wanted, though our friends
held up their hands in astonishment, and said he would kill himself.
Fire in a stove is very comfortable; the thermometer, during the day,
standing at 50° Fah.

_May 31._—Beautiful day. Ther., at 5 a. m., 36°. The general character
of the rock is red porphyry. There is grass for pasturage; and the hill
sides are covered with a bush of some eight or ten feet high, bearing
bunches of blue flowers, resembling our lilac. There are several kinds
of stinging nettle, one of which, that bears a small yellow flower,
Malarin says, will cause gangrene and death. I had no disposition to
try it; but I doubt the statement. So dangerous a thing would scarcely
be so plentiful where the bare-legged herdsman and miner are exposed to
it. Returned with Gibbon to San Mateo.

_June 1._—Found Richards sick and the muleteer growling at the delay;
loaded up, and got off at eleven. At twelve the valley narrowed to
a dell of about fifty feet in width; the stream occupying its whole
breadth, with the exception of a narrow, but smooth and level mule-path
on its right bank. This is a very remarkable place. On each side the
rock of red porphyry rises perpendicularly for full five hundred feet.
In places it overhangs the stream and road. The traveller feels as
if he were passing through some tunnel of the Titans. The upper exit
from the dell is so steep that steps have been cut in the rock for the
mule's feet; and the stream rushes down the rock-obstructed declivity
in foaming fury, flinging clouds of white spray over the traveller, and
rendering the path slippery and dangerous.

Passed _Chiglla_ and _Bella Vista_, mining haciendas. The country is
quite thickly settled, there being houses in sight all the way between
these two places. The barley here does not give grain, but is cut for
fodder. The alfalfa has given way to short, thin grass; and we begin
to find difficulty in getting food for the beasts. We saw cabbages
growing in the gardens of Chiglla, which is a straggling village of
some three or four hundred inhabitants. Just after passing Chiglla the
mountains looked low, giving the appearance of a rolling country, and
were clothed with verdure to the top. Upon turning a corner of the road
the snow-covered summits of the Cordillera were close before us, also
looking low; and when the snow or verdure suffered the earth to be seen,
this was of a deep pink color. The general character of the rock is
conglomerate. We stopped at four at the tambo of _Acchahuarcu_, where
we pitched and bought barley straw (_alcaser_) at the rate of twelve
and a half cents the armful, called "tercio," which is just enough for
one mule. The mercury in the barometer being below the scale, we had to
cut away the brass casing in front, and mark the height of the column
on the inside of the case with a pen-knife.

_June 2._—Got off at half-past ten. Road tolerably good, and not very
precipitous. At twelve we arrived on a level with the lowest line
of snow. We were marking the barometer, when a traveller rode up,
who proved to be an old schoolmate of mine, whom I had not seen or
even heard of since we were boys. The meeting at this place was an
extraordinary and very agreeable occurrence. It was also fortunate
for me, for my friend was head machinist at the mines of _Morococha_,
and gave us a note to the administrator, which secured us a hospitable
reception and an interesting day or two. Without this we should have
been compelled to pass on, for pasturage here is very scant, and
the people of the mines have to pay a high price for their barley
straw, and are not willing to give it to every stray traveller. At
2 p. m. we arrived at the highest point of the road, called the pass
of _Antarangra_, or copper rock. (The pass of the Piedra Parada, or
standing rock, which passes by the mines of Yauli, crosses a few miles
to our right.) Some scattering mosses lay on a hill-side above us; but
Gibbon and I spurred our panting and trembling mules to the summit of
the hill, and had nothing around us but snow, granite, and dark gray
porphyry.

I was disappointed in the view from this place. The peaks of the
Cordillera that were above us looked low, and presented the appearance
of a hilly country, at home, on a winter-day; while the contrast between
the snowy hills and the bright green of lower ranges, together with the
view of the placid little lakes which lie so snug and still in their
midst, gave an air of quiet beauty to the scene very distinct from the
savage and desolate grandeur I had expected.

Gibbon, with the camera lucida, sketched the Cordillera. I expended a
box of matches in boiling the snow for the atmospheric pressure; and
poor Richards lay shivering on the ground, enveloped in our _pillons_,
a martyr to the _veta_.

Veta is the sickness caused by the rarity of the atmosphere at these
great elevations. The Indians call it veta, or vein, because they
believe it is caused by veins of metal diffusing around a poisonous
infection. It is a remarkable thing, that, although this affection must
be caused by absence of atmospheric pressure, yet in no case except
this, (and Richards was ill before,) that I have known or read of, has
it been felt at the greatest elevation, but always at a point below
this—sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other. The affection
displays itself in a violent headache, with the veins of the head
swollen and turgid a difficulty of respiration, and cold extremities.
The smell of garlic is said to alleviate the symptoms; and the arrieros
generally anoint their cattle over the eyes, and on the forehead, with
an unguent made of tallow, garlic, and wild marjoram, as a preventive,
before attempting the ascent. I did not observe that our animals were
affected, though they trembled and breathed hard, which, I think,
was attributable to the steepness of the hill up which we rode. The
barometer stood at 16.730, indicating an elevation of sixteen thousand
and forty-four feet. Water boiled at 182°.5; temperature of the air,
43°.

The road hence is cut along the flank of the mountain, at whose base
lies a pretty little lake. The hacienda of _Morococha_ is situated on
the banks of a second, which communicates with it; and this again pours
its waters, by a small and gentle stream, into a third, below. These
are, respectively, _Huacracocha_, or Horn lake; _Morococha_, or Painted
lake, (from the variety of colors which its placid surface reflects
from the red, green, and yellow of the surrounding mountains;) and
_Huascacocha_, or Rope lake.

Though not yet sixty miles from the sea, we had crossed the great
"divide" which separates the waters of the Atlantic from those of the
Pacific. The last steps of our mules had made a striking change in
our geographical relations; so suddenly and so quickly had we been cut
off from all connexion with the Pacific, and placed upon waters that
rippled and sparkled joyously as they danced by our feet to join the
glad waves of the ocean that wash the shores of our own dear land. They
whispered to me of home, and my heart went along with them. I thought
of Maury, with his researches concerning the currents of the sea; and,
recollecting the close physical connexion pointed out by him as existing
between these—the waters of the Amazon and those of our own majestic
Mississippi—I musingly dropped a bit of green moss, plucked from the
hill-side, upon the bosom of the placid lake of Morococha; and as it
floated along I followed it, in imagination, down through the luxurious
climes, the beautiful skies, and enchanting scenery of the tropics, to
the mouth of the great river; thence across the Carribbean sea, through
the Yucatan pass, into the Gulf of Mexico; thence along the Gulf-stream;
and so out upon the ocean, off the shores of the "Land of Flowers." Here
I fancied it might meet with silent little messengers cast by the hands
of sympathizing friends and countrymen high up on the head-waters of
the Mississippi, or away in the "Far West," upon the distant fountains
of the Missouri.

It was, indeed, but a bit of moss floating on the water; but as I mused,
fancy, awakened and stimulated by surrounding circumstances, had already
converted it into a skiff manned by fairies, and bound upon a mission
of high import, bearing messages of peace and good-will, telling of
commerce and navigation, of settlement and civilization, of religious
and political liberty, from the "King of Rivers" to the "Father of
Waters;" and, possibly, meeting in the Florida pass, and "speaking,"
through a trumpet louder than the tempest, spirits sent down by the
Naiads of Lake Itaska, with greetings to Morococha.

I was now, for the first time, fairly in the field of my operations. I
had been sent to explore the Valley of the Amazon, to sound its streams,
and to report as to their navigability. I was commanded to examine
its fields, its forests, and its rivers, that I might gauge their
capabilities, active and dormant, for trade and commerce with the States
of Christendom, and make known to the spirit and enterprise of the age
the resources which lie in concealment there, waiting for the touch of
civilization and the breath of the steam-engine to give them animation,
life, and palpable existence.

Before us lay this immense field, dressed in the robes of everlasting
summer, and embracing an area of thousands upon thousands of square
miles on which the footfall of civilized man had never been heard.
Behind us towered, in forbidding grandeur, the crests and peaked summits
of the Andes, clad in the garb of eternal winter. The contrast was
striking, and the field inviting. But who were the laborers? Gibbon and
I. We were all. The rest were not even gleaners. But it was well. The
expedition had been planned and arranged at home with admirable judgment
and consummate sagacity; for, had it been on a grand scale, commensurate
with its importance, or even larger than it was, it would have broken
down with its own weight.

Though the waters where I stood were bound on their way to meet the
streams of our Northern Hemisphere, and to bring, for all the practical
purposes of commerce and navigation, the mouth of the Amazon and the
mouth of the Mississippi into one, and place it before our own doors;
yet, from the head of navigation on one stream to the head of navigation
on the other, the distance to be sailed could not be less than ten
thousand miles. Vast, many, and great, doubtless, are the varieties of
climates, soils, and productions within such a range. The importance
to the world of settlement, cultivation, and commerce in the Valley of
the Amazon cannot be over-estimated. With the climates of India, and
of all the habitable portions of the earth, piled one above the other
in quick succession, tillage and good husbandry here would transfer the
productions of the East to this magnificent river basin, and place them
within a few days' easy sail of Europe and the United States.

Only a few miles back we had first entered the famous mining district of
Peru. A large portion of the silver which constitutes the circulation
of the world was dug from the range of mountains upon which we are
standing; and most of it came from that slope of them which is drained
off into the Amazon. Is it possible for commerce and navigation up and
down this majestic water-course and its beautiful tributaries to turn
the flow of this silver stream from its western course to the Pacific,
and conduct it with steamers down the Amazon to the United States, there
to balance the stream of gold with which we are likely to be flooded
from California and Australia?

Questions which I could not answer, and reflections which I could
not keep back, crowded upon me. Oppressed with their weight, and
the magnitude of the task before me, I turned slowly and sadly away,
secretly lamenting my own want of ability, and sincerely regretting that
the duty before me had not been assigned to abler and better hands.



CHAPTER IV.

     Mines of Morococha—A Yankee's house—Mountain of
     Puy-puy—Splendid view—Pachachaca—Lava stream—Chain bridge
     at Oroya—Descent into the valley of Tarma—Tarma—American
     physician—Customs—Dress—Religious observances—Muleteers
     and mules—General Otero—Farming in the Sierra—Road to
     Chanchamayo—Perils of travel—Gold mines of Matichacra—View of
     the Montaña—Fort San Ramon—Indians of Chanchamayo—Cultivation.


We arrived at Morococha at 5 p.m. This is a copper mining hacienda,
belonging to some German brothers named Pflücker, of Lima, who own,
also, several silver mines of the neighborhood. The copper and silver
of these mountains are intimately mixed; they are both got out by
smelting, though this operation, as far as regarded the silver, had been
abandoned, and they were now beginning the process of extracting the
silver, by the mode of grinding and washing—such as I have described
at Párac—after having tried the _via humida_ (or method of washing in
barrels, used in Saxony) and failed.

The copper ore is calcined in the open air, in piles consisting of
alternate layers of ore and coal, which burn for a month. The ore thus
calcined is taken to ovens, built of brick imported from the United
States, and sufficient heat is employed to melt the copper, which runs
off into moulds below; the scoria being continually drawn off with long
iron hoes. The copper in this state is called _exe_; it has about fifty
per cent. of pure copper, the residue being silver, iron, &c., &c. It is
worth fifteen cents the pound in England, where it is refined. There is
a mine of fine coal eighteen miles from the hacienda, which yields an
abundant supply. It is bituminous, but hard, and of great brilliancy.
The hacienda employs about one hundred hands; more are desired, but
they cannot be had at this time, because it is harvest, and the Indians
are gathering the corn, barley, and beans of the valleys below. A man
will get out about one thousand pounds of copper ore in a day. I do not
think the mines were at work during our stay; at least, I saw or heard
nothing of them. I could not either get statistics concerning the yield
of these mines or the cost of working them, and I thought that I noticed
some reserve upon this subject. The director told me that the silver
ore of this region was very rich, and spoke of specimens that yielded
one thousand, and even fifteen hundred, marks to the caxon.

The mining business of the hacienda is conducted by a director, an
intelligent and gentlemanly young German, named Richard Von Durfeldt;
and its fiscal affairs and general business, by an administrator,
a fine-looking young Spaniard, Don Jose Fco. de Lizarralde, whose
kindly courtesy we shall long remember. The engineer, or machinist,
is my friend and schoolmate Shepherd, who seemed to be a "Jack of all
trades"—blacksmith, carpenter, watch-maker, and doctor. His room was
quite a curiosity, and bespoke plainly enough the American. I never saw
so many different things gathered together in so small a place: shelves
of fine standard books; a dispensary for physic; all manner of tools,
from the sledge-hammer and the whip-saw to the delicate instruments of
the watch-maker; parts of watches lying under bell-glasses; engravings
hanging around the walls, with a great chart, setting forth directions
for the treatment of all manner of diseases and accidents; horse
furniture, saddle-bags, boots, shoes, and every variety of garment,
from the heavy woollen poncho of the man to the more delicate cotton
petticoat of the woman; for my friend has a pretty young Sierra wife,
who took great pleasure in talking to me about the home and relations
of my "_paisano_." Shepherd's warm room and bed, with plenty of
covering, was a princely luxury in that cold climate. These things are
comparative, and I had not slept under a roof but twice since I left
Lima. An old Englishman from the Isle of Guernsey, named Grant, who
seemed to be a sort of factotum, and knew and did everything, and who
was unwearied in his kindness and attention to us, made up the sum of
our pleasant acquaintances at Morococha. We had beef and mutton for
dinner, with good butter and cheese; vegetables scarce; Gibbon not well;
Richards very sick, and under treatment from Shepherd.

_June 3._—We all went to see the Mountain of _Puy-puy_, said to be
higher than Chimborazo. The place of view is about three miles from
Morococha. We passed the openings of a copper and silver mine, and rode
along a boggy country, where turf is cut for fuel. We saw many snipes,
ducks, and other aquatic birds. This upset all my preconceived notions;
I had no idea that I should see, at fifteen thousand feet above the
level of the sea, anything that would remind me of duck-shooting in the
marshes of the Rappahannock. To see the mountain, it was necessary to
cross a range of hills, about seven or eight hundred feet in height.
The road went up diagonally, but the ascent was the most toilsome
operation I had ever undertaken. We were obliged to dismount, when about
three-fourths of the way up, and lead the mules; the path was muddy and
slippery, and we had to stop to blow at every half-dozen steps. Gibbon
declared that this was the only occasion in which he had ever found the
big spurs of the country of any service; for when he slipped and fell,
as we all frequently did, he said that he should inevitably have gone
to the bottom had he not dug his spurs into the soil, and so held on.
I think that I suffered more than any of the party. On arriving at the
top, I was fairly exhausted; I thought my heart would break from my
breast with its violent agitation, and I felt, for the first time, how
painful it was

                                     "To breathe
     The difficult air of the iced mountain's top."

I soon recovered, however, and was amply repaid by the splendor of
the view. The lofty cone-shaped mountain, clad in its brilliant mantle
from the top even to the cylindrical base upon which it rested, rose
in solitary majesty from the plain beneath us; and when the sunlight,
bursting from the clouds, rested upon its summit, it was beautiful,
indeed. Gibbon almost froze taking a sketch of it; and the rest of us
tired ourselves nearly to death endeavoring to get a shot at a herd of
shy vicuñas that were seen feeding among the distant rocks. We had a
fatiguing ride, and enjoyed a late dinner and a good night's rest.

_June 4._—We took leave of our hospitable friends, (whom I could no
longer intrude our large party upon,) and started at meridian, leaving
Richards too sick to travel. We rode down the "Valley of the Lakes" in
about an E. N. E. direction, visiting the silver mining hacienda of
Tuctu as we passed, which belongs to the establishment of Morococha.
We travelled over a heavy rolling country; the southern sides of
the hills clothed with verdure, and affording tolerable pasture; the
northern sides bare and rocky—no trees or bushes. About nine miles from
Morococha, we crossed a range of hills to the right, and entered the
village of _Pachachaca_.

This is situated in a valley that comes down from Yauli. The stream
of the Valley of the Lakes at this place joins with the larger and
very serpentine stream of the Yauli valley. This valley has a flat
and apparently level floor of half a mile in width, affording a
carriage-road of two or three miles in length. There is a hacienda for
smelting silver here; but having no letters, and but little time, (for
the arriero begins very justly to complain that we are delaying him an
unreasonable time upon the road,) I did not visit it.

Pachachaca is a small village of two hundred inhabitants. The people
seem more industrious than those of the villages on the other side.
There are fine crops of barley here, and we saw cabbages, onions,
peaches, and eggs, in the shops. We were greater objects of curiosity
in this place than we had been before. The people, I believe, took us
for peddlers, and the woman from whom we got our supper and breakfast
seemed offended because we would not sell her some candles, and
importuned Gibbon for the sale of his straw hat. The men wore short
woollen trousers, buttoned at the knee, together with, generally, two
pair of long woollen stockings. The woollen articles of clothing are
woven in this neighborhood, except the ponchos, which come from Tarma.
Printed cottons from Lima sell for eighteen and three-quarter cents the
vara, (33 inches;) a cup and saucer of the commonest ware are held at
thirty-seven and a half cents, but purchasers are few; sewing-cotton,
a dollar the pound. Shoes come from Jauxa; also candles and potatoes.
Fuel is the "taquia," or dried cattle manure. Gibbon and I had occasion
afterwards to laugh at our fastidiousness in objecting to a mutton-chop
broiled upon a coal of cow-dung.

_June 5._—We travelled down the valley about east. At about one and a
half mile we passed a very curious-looking place, where a small stream
came out of a valley to the northward and westward, and spread itself
over a flat table-rock, soft and calcareous. It poured over this rock
in a sort of horse-shoe cataract, and then spread over an apparently
convex surface of this same soft rock, about two hundred and fifty
yards wide, crossing the valley down which we were travelling. This rock
sounded hollow under the feet of the mules, and I feared we should break
through at every instant. I am confident it was but a thin crust; and,
indeed, after crossing it, we observed a clear stream of water issuing
from beneath it, and flowing into the road on the farther side. We saw
another such place a little lower down, only the stream tumbled, in
a variety of colored streaks, principally white, like salt, over the
metallic-looking rock, into the rivulet below. I presume there must have
been some volcano near here, and that this rock is lava, for it had all
the appearance of having once been liquid.

  [Illustration: HACIENDA DE MAYOC.

     Pl. 3.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: SAN MATEO.

     Pl. 4.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: CORDILLERA FROM THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE ROUTE.

     Pl. 5.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: MOUNT PUYPUY.

     Pl. 6.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

The valley about two miles from Pachachaca is cut across by rocky hills.
Here we turned to the northward and eastward. The country at first
offered some pasturage, but became more barren as we advanced, only
showing, now and then, some patches of barley. We travelled till noon
on the left bank of the Yauli stream, when we crossed it by a natural
bridge, at a little village of a few huts, called Saco. At half-past
two, after a ride over a stony and dusty plain, bordered on each side
by rocky mountains, we arrived at the bridge of Oroya. This is a chain
suspension bridge, of about fifty yards in length, and two and a half
in breadth, flung over the river of Jauxa, which is a tributary of the
Ucayali. The Yauli stream, into which emptied the stream from the lakes
at Morococha, joins this river here, and this is the connexion that I
spoke of between those lakes, near the very summit of the Andes and the
Atlantic ocean.

The bridge consisted of four chains, of about a quarter of an inch
diameter, stretched horizontally across the river from strong stone-work
on each side. These are interlaced with thongs of hide; sticks of about
one and a half inch in diameter are laid across them and lashed down,
forming a floor. Two other chains are stretched across about four feet
above these, and connected with them by thongs of hide; these serve for
balustrades, and would prevent a mule from jumping off. The bridge was
about fifty feet above the water when we passed. It seemed very light,
and rocked and swayed under the motion of the mules in crossing it. The
heavy cargoes are taken off and carried over on the shoulders of the
bridge-keeper and his assistants. The toll is twelve and a half cents
the mule; and the same, the cargo. The bridge-ward seemed astonished,
and somewhat annoyed, when I told him that one of the cargoes, which he
left on the mule, was the heaviest I had, being a box filled with bags
of shot, balls, and powder, together with the specimens of ore and rocks
we had collected.

The river at this place turns from its southern course and runs to
the eastward, by the village of Oroya, where we camped. This village
contains about one hundred inhabitants, though we saw only five or
six men; most of the male inhabitants being away to the harvest on the
plains above. The women seemed nearly all to be employed in spinning
wool; holding the bundle of wool in the left hand and spinning it out
by a hanging broach. Very few of them spoke Spanish, but a corrupt
_Quichua_, or language of the Incas. We bought barley straw for the
mules, and got a beef chupe, with eggs and roasted potatoes, for
ourselves. We saw some small trees within the deserted enclosures where
houses had been, bearing a very fragrant flower, something resembling
the heliotrope, but much larger, and tinged with a reddish color. We
also saw flocks of sheep, but got no mutton for dinner.

_June 6._—Got under way at 9 a. m., steering N. N. E., and making a
considerable ascent for about two miles. We then rode over a plain,
with rolling hills on each side, covered with a short grass, giving
pasturage to large flocks of sheep and some cows. The road then rose
again, taking our column of mercury in the barometer out of sight, till
half-past eleven, when we stood at the head of a ravine leading down
to the valley of Tarma. The height of this spot above the level of the
sea was eleven thousand two hundred and seventy feet. We rode down this
ravine, north, for three-quarters of an hour, and at an angle to the
horizon of full thirty degrees. The road was filled with fragments of
white calcareous rock, and the rocky hills on each side were pierced
with many a cavern. When nearly at the foot, the plants and flowers
familiar to us on the other side began to make their appearance, and
in such quick succession, that it seemed that an hour's ride carried us
over many a mile of the tedious ascent to the westward of the mountains.
First appeared the hardy little flowers of the heights above San Mateo;
then, the barley; the alfalfa; the Indian corn; beans; turnips; shrubs,
becoming bushes; bushes, trees; flowers growing larger and gayer in
their colors, (yellow predominating,) till the pretty little city of
Tarma, embosomed among the hills, and enveloped in its covering of
willows and fruit trees, with its long lawns of alfalfa (the greenest
of grasses) stretching out in front, broke upon our view. The ride of
to-day was a long and tiresome one, being mostly a bone-shaking descent;
and we hailed with pleasure the sight of the little town as a resting
place, after the tedious passage of the Cordillera, and felt that one of
the inconveniences and perils of the expedition was safely and happily
passed.

We arrived at 4 p. m., and rode straight to the house of a gentleman,
Don Lorenzo Burgos, to whom I brought a letter of introduction from
friend Shepherd, of Morococha; which letter contained the modest
request that Don Lorenzo should place his house at my disposal. This
he acceded to without hesitation, removing his sick wife, in spite of
remonstrance, into another room, and giving us his hall for our baggage,
and his chamber for our sleeping room. This I would not have acceded
to, except that this is not Don Lorenzo's place of residence, but a new
house which he is constructing here, and which he is only staying at
for a few days till his wife is able to travel to their regular place
of residence. There is no public house in the town, and it is customary
to take travellers in. When I (next morning) presented a letter of
introduction from the Bishop of Eretria to the Cura of Tarma, his first
question was, "Where are you lodged?" And when I told him, he seemed
annoyed, and said that I had not treated him properly in not coming to
his house. Don Lorenzo gave us some dinner, and we slept well after the
fatigues of the day.

Tarma, a town of some seven thousand inhabitants, belonging to the
province of _Pasco_ and department of _Junin_, is beautifully situated
in an amphitheatre of mountains, which are clothed nearly to the top
with waving fields of barley. The valley in front, about half a mile
wide, and two miles long, appears level, and is covered with the
greenest and richest pasturage. Its borders are fringed with fruit
trees; and the stream which waters it plunges, in a beautiful little
cataract, of some thirty feet in height, over a ledge of rocks at the
farther end. Its climate is delicious; and it is the resort of sickly
people from Lima, and the cold and inclement mining districts, who find
comfort and restoration in its pure atmosphere and mild and equable
temperature. I was told, although the district contains nearly twenty
thousand inhabitants, and its villages are close together, and easily
accessible, that it could not, of itself, support a physician, and that
the government had to appropriate the tax on spirits, and the surplus
revenue of the bridge at Oroya, to this purpose. A young American
physician, recently established in Tarma, gave me this account; but said
that not even this had been sufficient to keep one here; that the custom
had, therefore, fallen into desuetude, and that he was then engaged,
with hope of success, in endeavoring to have this appropriation renewed
and paid over to him.

I cannot vouch for this story. It has an apocryphal sound to me. I only
know that it is a very healthy place, and that my medical friend is a
person of repute there. When I proposed to carry him off with me, the
ladies of my acquaintance raised a great outcry, and declared that they
could not part with their _Medico_. I think there is no apothecary's
shop in Tarma, for I supplied the Doctor with some medicines, those
which he had brought from Lima being nearly exhausted. I am satisfied,
though there are so few diseases, that a good-looking young graduate
of medicine, who would go there with money enough to buy him a horse,
might readily marry a pretty girl of influential family, and soon get a
practice that would enrich him in ten years. I afterwards knew a young
American at Cerro Pasco, who, though not a graduate, and I believe
scarcely a student of medicine, was in high repute as a doctor, and had
as much practice as he could attend to; but who, like several of our
countrymen whom I met abroad, was dissipated and reckless, and, as he
himself expressed it, "slept with the pump."

The houses of Tarma are built of adobe; and the better sort are
whitewashed within and without; floored with gypsum and tiled. The
wood and iron work is of the rudest possible description, although the
former, from the Montaña of Chanchamayo, is pretty and good. The doors
of the house we are living in very much resemble "birds-eye maple." Some
of the houses are partially papered, and carpeted with common Scotch
carpeting. Most of them have _patios_, or enclosed squares, within, and
some of them flat roofs, with a parapet around them, where maize, peas,
beans, and such things, are placed in the sun to dry.

Sunday is the great market-day, and the market-place is filled with
country people, who come in to sell their manufactures of ponchos,
blankets, shoes, hats, (made of the vicuña wool,) &c., and to buy coca,
cotton goods, and _agua diente_, as well as to attend mass and get
drunk. It is quite a busy and animated scene. The men are generally
dressed in tall straw hats, ponchos, breeches, buttoned at the knee,
and long woollen stockings; the women, in a blue woollen skirt, tied
around the waist, and open in front, to show a white cotton petticoat,
the shoulders covered with a mantle consisting of two or three yards
of gay-colored plush, called "_Bayeta de Castilla_," or Spanish baize.
Everything foreign in this country is called "_de Castilla_," (of
Castile;) as in Brazil, it is called "_da Rainha_," (of the Queen.)
The skirt of a lady of higher quality consists of a colored print, or
mousseline. She rarely, unless dressed for company, takes the trouble
to put on the body of her dress, which hangs down behind, and is covered
with a gay shawl, passed around the bust, with the end thrown gracefully
over the left shoulder. The hair, particularly on Sundays, is in perfect
order; parted in the middle, and hanging down in two plaits behind. It
is surmounted by a very neat, low-crowned straw-hat, the crown being
nearly covered with a broad ribbon; and she is always "_bien calzada_,"
(well shod.) The women are generally large and well developed; not
very pretty, but with amiable, frank, and agreeable manners; they
have, almost invariably, a pleasant smile, with an open and engaging
expression of countenance.

Religion flourishes in Tarma; and the Cura seems to have a busy time
of it; though it is said he is cheated of half his rights in the way
of marriage fees. I think that no day passed while we were here that
there was not a "_fiesta_" of the church; for, although there are not
more than twenty-five or thirty feast days in the year insisted upon by
the church and the government, yet any piously-disposed person may get
up one when he pleases. The manner seems to be this: A person, either
from religious motives or ostentation, during or after Divine service in
the church, approaches the altar, and, kissing one of its appendages,
(I forget which,) proclaims his intention of becoming mayordomo or
superintendent of such and such a _fiesta_—generally that of the Saint
after whom he is named, and thereupon receives the benediction of
the priest. This binds him and his heirs to all the expenses of the
celebration, which, in the great functions in Lima, may be set down
at no small matter—the heaviest item being the lighting of one of
those large churches from floor to dome with wax. The jewels and other
adornments of the images borne in procession are generally borrowed from
the devout Señoras of the higher and richer class; but I am told that
many a person impoverishes his family for years by paying the expenses
of one of these festivals.

The _fiestas_ in Tarma are generally celebrated with music, ringing of
bells, firing of rockets, and dances of Indians. A dozen vagabonds are
dressed in what is supposed to be the costume of the ancient Indians.
This consists of a red blanket hanging from one shoulder, and a white
one from the other, reaching nearly to the knee, and girded around the
waist; the usual short blue breeches, with a white fringe at the knee;
stockings of an indifferent color, and shoes or sandals of raw-hide,
gathered over the toes with a draw-string, and tied around the ankles.
The head-dress is a low crowned, broad-brimmed round hat, made of wool,
and surrounded with a circlet of dyed feathers of the ostrich. Thus
costumed, the party march through the streets, and stop every now and
then to execute a sort of dance to the melancholy and monotonous music
of a reed pipe, accompanied by a rude flat drum—both in the hands of the
same performer. Each man has a stick or club, of hard wood, and a very
small wooden or hide shield, which he strikes with the club at certain
periods of the dance, making a low clattering in time with the music.
They have also small bells, called "cascabeles," attached to the knees
and feet, which jingle in the dance. They and their company of Indians
and Mestizos smell very badly on a near approach. Connected with this
there is a great deal of riot and drunkenness; and I felt annoyed that
the church should patronize and encourage so demoralizing a procedure.
The secular clergy of Peru, with a few honorable exceptions, have not
a high character, if one is to believe the stories told of them by
their own countrymen; and I had occasion to observe that the educated
young men, as well of Chili as of Peru, generally spoke of them in
terms of great contempt. I judge that the case is different with the
clergy of the monastic orders, particularly the missionaries. Those
I met with were evidently men of high character; and to their zeal,
energy, and ability, Peru owes the conquest of by far the largest and
richest part of the republic. It happens, unfortunately for the Peruvian
character, that nearly all of these are foreigners—generally Spaniards
and Italians.

_June 7._—I suffered all day with violent pain in the head and limbs,
from the ride of yesterday. These Peruvian saddles, though good for the
beasts, and for riding up and down hill, stretch the legs so far apart
as for a long time to give the unaccustomed rider severe pains in the
muscles of the thighs; and I had to ride a large portion of the distance
with my leg over the pommel, like a lady.

We paid off and parted with the arriero, Pablo Luis Arredondo. I did not
find him so great a rascal as I expected; for, except the disposition
to get all out of me he could, (which was very natural,) and an
occasional growl, (which was also to be expected,) I had no reason to
be dissatisfied with Luis. Ijurra was always quarrelling with him; but
I think Ijurra has the fault of his countrymen generally, and wants the
temper and patience necessary to manage ignorant people. By soft words
and some bribery, I got along well enough with the old fellow; and he
loaded his mules beyond their usual cargoes, and drove them along very
well. I was frequently astonished at the difficulties they surmounted,
loaded as they were. The usual load is two hundred and sixty pounds;
and these animals of ours, with, I am sure, in some instances, a heavier
load, and of a most incongruous and heterogeneous description, ascended
hills and descended valleys which one would scarcely think an unloaded
mule could travel over. Our riding mules were perfect treasures.
Sure-footed, steady, strong, and patient, they bore us along easily and
with comfort; and Gibbon says that he will part with his with tears,
when we are compelled to give them up and take to the boats.

The market at Tarma is tolerably good, though the meat is badly
butchered. Beef costs six cents a pound; a small leg of mutton, eighteen
and three-quarter cents; good potatoes, nearly a dollar a bushel;
cauliflowers, three small heads for twelve and a half cents; oranges,
pineapples, and peaches are abundant and cheap, but not good; bread,
very good, is baked in small loaves, by a Frenchman, four for twelve
and a half cents; flour comes from Jauxa; eggs are ten cents a dozen.

We had a visit from the Cura, and went to see the sub prefect of the
province, a gentleman named Mier, who promised me such assistance as
I needed in my visit to Chanchamayo. Both of these gentlemen earnestly
deprecated the idea of trusting myself and party among the "_Chunchos_"
Indians on the other side of the river Chanchamayo, saying that they
were very hostile to the whites, and dangerous. The Cura promised
to look out for a servant for us. We had visits, also, from several
gentlemen of the town; among them a Señor Cardenas, who gave me a copy
of the memorial of Urrutia. All seemed much interested in my expedition
to Chanchamayo, and hoped a favorable report.

_June 11._—We rode about a league down the valley which leads to
Chanchamayo, to the farm of General Otero, to whom we brought letters
from Mr. Prevost, and Pasquel, bishop of Eretrea. We found this farm a
different sort of affair from anything we had hitherto seen in this way
in our travels. This is in a high state of cultivation, well enclosed
with mud walls, and in beautiful order. The General—a good looking,
farmer-like old gentleman—met us with great cordiality, and showed us
over the premises. He has a very large house, with all the necessary
offices attached, which he built himself. Indeed, he said he had made
the farm; for when he purchased it, it was a stony and desolate place,
and he had expended much time, labor, and money on it. There were two
gardens: one for vegetables and fruit, and one for flowers. They were
both in fine order. The fruits were peaches of various kinds, apples,
strawberries, almonds, and some few grapes. The flowers were principally
roses, pinks, pansies, jessamines, and geraniums. There were a few
exotics, under bell-glasses. Both fruit and flowers were of rather
indifferent quality, but much better than one would expect to see in
so elevated and cold a situation. The nights here, particularly in the
early morning, are quite cold.

This is the harvest season, and the General was gathering his crop
of maize. About twenty peons or laborers were bringing it in from the
fields, and throwing it down in piles in a large court-yard, while boys
and women were engaged in "_shucking_" it. In one corner of the square,
under a snug little shed attached to one of the barns, with stone seats
around it, sat the General's three daughters, sewing, and probably
superintending the "shucking." They were fair, sweet-looking girls. The
General had a tray of glasses, with some _Italia_ (a cordial made of a
Muscatel grape that grows in the province of Ica, and hence called Ica
brandy) and paper cigars, brought out for us; and the whole concern had
a home look that was quite pleasing.

I cannot give a good idea of farming in this country, for want of
information of the value of land; this depending so entirely on its
situation and condition. The mountain sides are so steep, and the
valleys so rocky, that I imagine there is no great deal of cultivable
land in all this district, and therefore it is probably high. According
to Gen. Otero, land here is measured by "tongos," which is a square
of thirty-three varas. (A vara is thirty-three English inches.) Three
tongos make a "yuntada," or as much as it is calculated that a yoke
of oxen can plough in a day. About half an arroba, or twelve and a
half pounds of seed, is planted to the tongo. In maize, the yield is
between forty-five and fifty for one. Wheat yields about forty for
one, but is so subject to the rust as to be an uncertain crop, and is
therefore little cultivated. The price of maize is five dollars the
_carga_ or mule-load, of two hundred and sixty pounds. From these data
it appears, then, that an acre will yield about forty-three bushels,
which is worth one dollar and twenty-five cents the bushel. Quantities
of barley are cultivated on the mountain sides, but the grain does not
come to perfection, and it is generally cut green for fodder; though the
General says that it is not good for that, the straw being coarse and
hard. Potatoes are a good crop; they are worth now in Tarma one dollar
and fifty cents the hundred pounds, and in times of scarcity have been
known to run up as high as seven dollars. One of the principal articles
of food of the laborers of this country is "_cancha_," or toasted maize.
They mix a little lime with the grains before putting them in the hot
ashes, which makes them whiter and improves their flavor. It is really
very sweet and good, and I liked it better than the green corn roasted,
which is such a favorite dish with us. _Chicha_, a fermented liquor, is
also made from Indian corn, and much drunk by all classes. The General
gave us some that he had prepared and bottled himself. It was very good,
rose-colored, and sparkled like Champagne. He told us that our corn,
which he called "_mais morocha_," was not so good as this for making
either cancha or chicha; this being softer and sweeter.

We visited the stables, which were very clean, and paved, and contained
some ten or fifteen fine-looking young horses; and there were thirty
or forty more, mares and colts, in a spacious corral or enclosure near,
with an American farrier from Tarma attending to some of them. There is
also a neat little chapel occupying a corner of the "patio," with the
inscription over the door, "_Domus mea, domus orationis est_." It was
neatly papered and carpeted, and had colored prints of the "Stations"
hung around the walls. The altar-piece was a figure of our Lady of
Mercy, with the figures of St. Francis and St. Peter on each side; these
Saints being the patrons of the general and his lady, Don Francisco and
Doña Pedronilla. The General's manners were exceedingly courteous and
affable; and he possessed that suavity and gentleness of bearing that
seems to me always to characterize the military man of high rank when
in retirement. The whole establishment reminded me of one of our best
kept Virginia farms, where the owner had inherited the homestead of his
father, and was in easy circumstances.

_June 12._—Dined with our countryman, Dr. Buckingham, and a couple of
young ladies, one of whom seemed to be his housekeeper. The dinner was
after the Peruvian fashion: first, a sort of thick soup; then, roasted
ribs of mutton, served with salad; this succeeded by a dish of stewed
Guinea pigs, mixed with a variety of vegetables, and which would have
been very good but for the addition of a quantity of _aji_, or red
pepper, which made it unendurable to the unaccustomed palate; winding
up with the invariable chupe, and the invariable dessert of _dulces_,
or sweetmeats. A Limenian never thinks of taking water during dinner,
and always eats sweetmeats after dinner, that he may then safely take
water; so that "_Tomar dulces, para beber agua_" is a sort of dietetic
proverb with them.

_June 13._—Rode out on the Oroya road, with the intention of visiting
a cave, or what is reported to be a subterraneous passage made by the
Incas, and reaching as far as Jauxa, twenty-seven miles; but, after
riding about five miles, we determined that we were too late to explore
the cave for that day, and meeting Richards, from Morococha, we turned
back. I suspect that this cave is nothing more than the cañon, or
opening, of some long-deserted mine.

_June 14._—Rode out to the southward, in the direction of Jauxa.
This valley, which rises very rapidly, is thickly settled, and well
cultivated. Road bad. Another valley debouches from this, about four
miles above Tarma, to the southward and eastward, leading to the Montaña
of Vitoc.

_June 15._—Had a long visit from General Otero. The vivacious old
gentleman discoursed very pleasantly. He said that it was difficult to
get at the population of the town proper, the census being generally
taken of the Doctrina, or district over which the Cura had religious
jurisdiction; that this was about ten or twelve thousand, of which
one-twelfth part were pure white, about one-half Mestizos, (descendants
of whites and Indians,) and the balance Indians, there being very few
negroes. I asked him to account for the number of blind people we had
noticed in the streets. He said that most of the blind people came from
Jauxa, in which country much wheat and barley are produced; that they
sifted these grains, and got rid of the chaff by throwing them up in the
air, and he believed that the blindness arose from the irritation caused
by the chaff and barbs flying into the eyes of the people who sifted.

_He_ also said that he thought I should not attempt to cross the
Chanchamayo amongst the Indians, for that I would not be able to defend
myself against their attacks; but thought that, if I wished to descend
the Ucayali, I had better take a more southern tributary, called the
Pangoa; (this is Biedma's route, by Andamarca and Sonomora;) that there
the Indians were not so much irritated against the whites, and that the
river was known to be navigable for canoes, for he himself had known
a friar of Ocopa who, in 1817, had descended it for the conversion of
the Indians of the Ucayali, and had afterwards established a missionary
station at Andamarca, where the Indians came at stated periods to
be baptized and receive presents of hatchets, knives, beads, &c.,
but that, on the occasion of the war in 1824, the supplies had been
stopped, and the Indians would come no more. He, as did the sub-prefect,
liked my idea of ascending from the mouth of the Ucayali, with a
properly-equipped Indian force, and looking into the navigability of
the _Perené_ and Chanchamayo that way.

The latitude of Tarma, by mean of Mer. altitudes of α and β _Centauri_,
is 11° 25' 05" S.

_June 16._—We left Tarma for the Chanchamayo. This is the first time
I have applied to authority for the means of locomotion. I did it
inadvertently, and was sorry for it; for, though I would probably have
been cheated in the price, yet I should not have been the cause of
injustice and oppression. I had said to the sub-prefect, a few days
before, that I wanted the means of transportation for some baggage to
Chanchamayo, which he promised to furnish me. Yesterday I went to ask
for it for to-day, and he referred me to the governor of the district,
who was present, and who told me that he would have what I required—viz:
two asses and a saddle mule, with two peons—ready by to-morrow morning.
Accordingly, this morning he sent for me, and presented to me the owner
of the mule, the owner of the asses, and the two peons. The wages of
these were to be four reals, or half a dollar, a day; and I paid each
three dollars in advance. To the governor I paid a dollar for each ass,
and two for the mule, with the understanding that I was to pay as much
more on my return. The peons were then lectured on their duties, and
sent round to my house with an escort of half a dozen _alguaziles_, or
constables, armed with sticks, to prevent their escaping or getting
drunk before the start. The asses and mules were also sent round
under a similar guard, so that my patio seemed filled with a clamorous
multitude, who created such a confusion that I had to turn out all but
my own people. I ordered these to load up; but they said that the owners
of the asses had sent no _lassos_, or thongs, to bind on the burdens;
and I soon discovered that there was a general unwillingness for the
job, and that the governor had pressed the animals into the service
against the will of the owners.

Strong efforts were made to get the mule away from me. The woman of the
house, who, it appears, was a sister of the owner, advised me not to
take it; and said that it was a bad, vicious animal, that would do me a
mischief. I was surprised at this, as he looked particularly docile; and
I directed my new servant (one recommended by the Cura, and who looked
twice as vicious as the mule) to mount and ride him around the patio.
The fellow grinned maliciously, and proved my judgment correct. Finding
this would not do, the owner (who had put his sister up to making this
attempt) then came forward, and said I must pay him half a dollar more,
as the governor had kept back that much of the price. This being "no
go," he tried to steal away his mule while our backs were turned; but
being prevented, he went off, got drunk in about fifteen minutes, and
came back maudlin; embracing, kissing, and weeping over his mule, crying
in piteous tones "_Mi macho, mi macho_," (my mule, my mule.) We shoved
him aside and rode off, followed, I have no doubt, by the curses of the
community.

This was all very annoying to me. I afterwards mentioned these
circumstances to the commandant of the fort at Chanchamayo, telling him
how much I would prefer to pay double price and get voluntary service.
He said that my sympathies were all thrown away upon these people,
that I _must_ go to the governors for the means of transportation;
for that the Indians would not let me have their beasts at any price;
and related instances of his having to use threats, and even force, to
induce a sulky Indian to give him and his beast food and shelter when in
the Cordillera, and the approach of night made it impossible to go on.
Several travellers in these parts have also told me that they have been
compelled to shoot the poultry of an Indian, who with a large stock,
would refuse to sell at any price; but who, after the thing was done,
would good humoredly accept a fair value.

Ijurra also related instances of oppression and tyranny on the part of
the governors, particularly in the province of Mainas, where commerce
is carried on by transportation of the goods on the backs of Indians.
A travelling merchant goes to the governor and says, "I have such and
such a cargo; I want so many Indians to transport it." The governor,
generally a white or Mestizo, sends for the _Curaca_, (the lineal
hereditary governor of the tribe of Indians of that district, who has
great authority, and without whose assistance the whites probably could
not govern at all,) and orders him to have so many Indians detailed for
a journey. The Curaca drums them up, directing them to toast their corn
and prepare their "fiambre" (food for the road) for a journey of so many
leagues; and they are taken from their occupations and sent off, for
probably many days, at a pay of anything that the governor may direct.

If a man wishes to build a house or open a farm, he may be supplied
with laborers for six months, at a hire, per month, of as many yards of
cotton cloth as will make each a shirt and pair of trousers; the patron
or master furnishing them with food; but, as may be imagined, this is
of the coarsest and commonest description that will support life.

It would seem that men could never improve under a system of such
absolute slavery as this; yet to give them liberty, is to abandon them
and return them to a state of barbarity, shutting out all prospect of
improvement; and the only hope seems to be in the justice and moderation
of the rulers—a slim hope here.

We got off at noon; stopped at the "chacra" of Gen. Otero, and received
a letter of introduction to the commandant of the fort. When the old
gentleman saw our new servant "_Mariano_," he crossed himself most
devoutly, and ejaculated "_Satanas!_" He then told us that this was a
notoriously bad boy, whom nobody had been able to manage, but that we,
being strangers and military men, might get along with him by strictness
and severity; and he gave the boy a lecture upon his duties and the
faithful performance of them.

A mile and a half beyond Gen. Otero's is the town of Acobamba. I judge
that it contains twelve or fifteen hundred inhabitants; but it is
situated in a thickly-settled district, and the "Doctrina" is said to be
more populous than that of Tarma. Six more miles brought us to Palca,
a straggling town of about one thousand inhabitants. We merely passed
through, and a mile further on "brought up" at the chacra of Don Justo
Rojas, to whom I had a letter from Lizarralde, the administrator at
Morococha. Don Justo was engaged in extracting, by boiling, the juice
of the rhatany root for an apothecary of Lima. He supplied us with a
capital supper of chicken soup and boiled eggs, with alfalfa for the
beasts. He also sold us, from his establishment in town, sugar and
bread. We pitched the tent in an old corn-field, and slept delightfully.
Tent-pegs for this country should be of iron. Although those we used
were made of the hardest wood that could be found in Lima, we had used
them all up by this time, beating off their heads by driving them with
a hatchet into the hard and stony ground.

Don Justo's is the last chacra in the valley, which now narrows,
and allows no room for cultivation. Though going down hill by the
barometer, we were evidently crossing a chain of mountains, which
the stream at the bottom of the valley has saved us the trouble of
ascending and descending, by cleaving a way through for itself, and
leaving the mountains on either hand towering thousands of feet above
our heads. The ride was the wildest we have yet had; the road sometimes
finding room along the borders of the river, and then ascending nearly
to the top of the hills, and diminishing the foaming and thundering
stream to a noiseless, silver thread. The ascents and descents were
nearly precipitous; and the scene was rugged, wild, and grand beyond
description.

We saw some miserable huts on the road, and met a few asses carrying
reeds and poles from Chanchamayo. It seemed a providence that we did not
meet these at certain parts of the road, where it is utterly impossible
for two beasts to pass abreast, or for one to turn and retreat; and the
only remedy is to tumble one off the precipice, or to drag him back by
the tail until he reaches a place where the other can pass. Von Tschudi
relates an instance of his shooting a mule which met him at one of these
places.

We met with a considerable fright in this way to-day. We were riding in
single file along one of these narrow ascents, where the road is cut
out of the mountain side, and the traveller has a perpendicular wall
on one hand, and a sheer precipice of many hundreds of feet upon the
other. Mr. Gibbon was riding ahead. Just as he was about to turn a sharp
bend of the road the head of a bull peered round it, on the descent.
When the bull came in full view he stopped, and we could see the heads
of other cattle clustering over his quarters, and hear the shouts of
the cattle-drivers, far behind, urging on their herd. I happened to be
abreast of a slight natural excavation, or hollow, in the mountain side,
and dismounting I put my shoulder against my mule's flank and pressed
her into this friendly retreat; but I saw no escape for Gibbon, who had
passed it. The bull, with lowered crest, and savage, sullen look, came
slowly on, and actually got his head between the perpendicular rock
and the neck of Gibbon's mule. I felt a thrill of agony, for I thought
my companion's fate was sealed. But the sagacious beast on which he
was mounted, pressing her haunches hard against the wall, gathered her
feet close under her and turned as upon a pivot. This placed the bull
on the outside, (there was room to pass, though I did not believe it,)
and he rushed by at the gallop, followed in single file by the rest of
the herd. I cannot describe the relief I experienced. Gibbon, who is as
gallant and fearless as man can be, said "It is of no use to attempt to
disguise the fact—I was badly scared."

At 2 p. m., we arrived at a place called Matichacra, where there was
a single hut, inhabited by a woman and her child; the husband having
gone to Cerro Pasco to exhibit some specimens of gold ore which he
had found here. The woman was afflicted with an eruption on her face,
which she thought was caused by the metallic character of the earth
around, particularly the antimonial. She took a knife, and, digging
earth from the floor of her hut, washed it in a gourd, and showed us
particles of metal like gold sticking to the bottom. I showed some of
this earth to General Otero, who pronounced that there was no gold in
it; but Lieutenant Maury, who examined some that I brought home with
a powerful magnifier, has declared that there was. The mountains have
an exceedingly metallic appearance, and the woman said that there
were still in the neighborhood traces of the mining operations of the
Spaniards.

About a mile and a half above Matichacra commenced the steep regular
descent of the mountain range, and from just above it we could discern
where the valley debouched upon an apparent plain, though bounded and
intersected by distant mountains, bearing and ranging in different
directions. This place we judged to be the "Montaña." We stopped an
hour at Matichacra, (Gourd Farm, from half a dozen gourd vines growing
near the house,) and made a chupe with a leg of mutton we had bought
the night before at Palca. We saw a few patches of Indian corn on the
side of the mountain opposite, and the tops of the mountains are clad
with small trees. We passed on five miles further, and camped on a level
plat near the banks of the stream, with bushes and small trees growing
around us.

_June 18._—This was the longest and hardest day's ride. The road was
very bad; rocky and rough where it descended the river, and steep and
difficult where it ascended the mountain side. We thought that the
engineer who planned and constructed the road had frequently "taken
the bull by the horns," and selected the worst places to run his road
over; and that he would have done much better had he occasionally have
thrown a bridge across the stream, and led the road along the flank of
the mountains on the other side. In seven and a half miles we arrived at
_Utcuyacu_, (cotton water,) the first hacienda where we saw sugar-cane,
yucca, pine-apples, and plantains. It had just been opened, and nothing
yet had been sold from it.

The road, by which we had descended the valley of Chanchamayo, turned at
this place sharp to the right, and faced the mountains that divide this
valley from that of the Rio Seco. We were near the junction of the two
valleys, but a rock had fallen from the hills above and blocked up the
road on which we were travelling, so that we had to cross the mountain
on our right and get into the other valley. The ascent was steep, and
trying to man and beast. It is called the "_Cuesta de Tangachuca_," or
"Hill of take care of your hat," and is about three miles in length.
The road, after passing through a thick forest, brought us out upon a
bald eminence, the termination of the spur of the Andes that divides
the two valleys. The rivers Seco and Chanchamayo unite at its base and
flow off through a valley, rapidly widening out, covered with forests,
and presenting an appearance entirely distinct from the rocky and stern
sterility that characterizes the country above. This is the "Montaña"
of which I had thought so much. I was wofully disappointed in its
appearance. I had taken the impression that I should behold a boundless
plain, alternating with forest and prairie, covered with waving grass,
and with a broad and gentle river winding its serpentine course through
it, between banks rich with the palm and plantain. In place of this, the
view from the mountain top showed a country broken still into mountain
and valley, (though on a much smaller scale than above,) shaggy with
trees and undergrowth of every description, and watered by a small
stream, still foaming and roaring over its rocky bed.

We descended the hill by a very circuitous and precipitous path, most of
us on foot, though it may be ridden over, for Mr. Gibbon did ride over
the worst parts of it, and only dismounted where a fallen tree made an
obstruction that he could not pass. The descent brought us to the rocky
bed of the Rio Seco, crossing which we were clear of the eastern chain
of the Andes and in the Montaña of Chanchamayo.

As far as the traveller is concerned there are not, on the route we have
travelled, two ranges of the Andes—that is, he has not to ascend and
descend one range, and then ascend and descend another. From the time
he crosses the Cordillera at Antarangra, his progress is downward till
he reaches the plain. Really there are two. The streams from the first,
or western range, have broken their way through the second, making
deep gorges, at the bottom of which the road generally runs, and leaves
the peaks of the second range thousands of feet above the head of the
traveller.

A league from the crossing of the Rio Seco, we passed a bad and broken
bridge, that spans a small stream called "_Punta Yacu_," coming down a
valley from the southward, and halted at the hacienda of Don Jose Manuel
Cardenas, the first of the Montaña, where we camped for the night.

_June 19._—Six miles of travel brought us to the fort of San Ramon.
The road is a black mud bridle-path through the woods, much obstructed
with the roots and branches of trees, but level. Comparatively few
rocks are seen after leaving Cardenas. We were kindly received by the
commandant, Don Juan Noel, a fine-looking young man, Captain of Frigate
and Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, and his officers, Major Umeres and
Lieutenant ——.

Fort San Ramon is, by Mer. alt. of "γ Crusis," in latitude
11°.07 S. Its height above the level of the sea, as given by barometer,
is two thousand six hundred and ten feet.

From the first of March to the last of August the climate is delightful;
but the heavy and almost continuous rains of the other six months of
the year make it disagreeable, but not unhealthy.

As we are now near the foot of the mountains, on the eastern slope, I
give a table of the distances and elevations of various points on the
route. The _B. P._ opposite some of the elevations show that these were
indicated by the temperature of boiling water:

     ---------------------+------------+--------------------
          Places.         | Distances. |  Height above the
                          |            |  level of the sea.
     ---------------------+------------+--------------------
                          |   Miles.   |      Feet.
                          |            |
     Callao               |            |
     Lima                 |      6     |       476
     Pacayar              |     12     |     1,346
     Yanacoto             |     10     |     2,337
     Cocachacra           |     16     |     4,452
     Moyoc                |     15     |     7,302
     San Mateo            |     13     |    10,200
     Acchahuarcu          |      9     |    12,898 B. P.
     Pass of Antarangra   |      6     |    16,044
      Do.      do.        |      6     |    16,199 B. P.
     Pachachaca           |     13     |    12,786 B. P.
     Oroya                |     12     |    11,654
       Do.                |     12     |    11,825 B. P.
     Tarma                |     18     |     9,738
     Palca                |     11     |     8,512
     Matichacra           |     12     |     7,091
     Huacapishtana        |      4     |     5,687
     Challuapuquio        |     12     |     3,192
     Fort San Ramon       |      6     |     2,605
       Do.    do.         |            |     2,953
     ---------------------+------------+--------------------

The barometer gave the height of a point, four miles above Tarma,
at eleven thousand two hundred and seventy feet. So that there is a
descent in these four miles of distance of one thousand five hundred and
thirty-five feet. The ascent, however, between Acchahuarcu and the top
of the hill on which we observed, at the Pass of Antarangra, is steeper
than this, being three thousand three hundred and fifty-eight feet in
six miles.

From Yanacoto, on the western slope of the Andes, to the top of the
Pass, is fifty-nine miles; from the top of the Pass to Fort San Ramon,
on the eastern slope, which is two hundred and seventy feet higher than
Yanacoto, is eighty-eight miles. This gives the ascent of the Andes, on
its western slope, at 232 feet to the mile, and on its eastern slope at
152.

  [Illustration: OROYA.

     Pl. 7.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: TARMA.

     Pl. 8.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

Yanacoto is only twenty-eight miles from the ocean that washes the base
of the slope on which it is situated. Fort San Ramon, (at nearly the
same elevation as Yanacoto,) by the winding of the river, cannot be much
less than four thousand miles from its ocean, and in the direct course
of the river is at least two thousand five hundred miles. But I am of
opinion, from some observations made afterwards with a boiling-point
apparatus, that the indications of the barometer, at the eastern foot of
the Andes, are not to be depended upon; and that San Ramon has a greater
elevation than is shown by the barometer.

The fort is a stockade, embracing about six acres, armed with four brass
four-pounders, and garrisoned with forty-eight men. It is situated at
the junction of the rivers Chanchamayo and Tulumayo—the former about
thirty and the latter forty yards wide—both shallow and obstructed with
rocks. The current seemed about five or six miles the hour. A canoe,
well managed, might shoot down the Tulumayo as far as we saw it.

The fort was constructed in 1847, under the direction of President
Castilla, for the purpose of affording protection to the cultivators
of the farms in its rear. It doubtless does this against the unwarlike
Indians of this country; but I imagine that North American Indians,
actuated by the feelings of hostility which these people constantly
evince, would cross the rivers above the fort and sweep the plantations
before the soldiers could reach them. The Indians have abandoned all
idea of reconquering the territory they have lost, but are determined to
dispute the passage of the rivers and any attempt at further conquest.
They never show themselves now in person, but make their presence
evident by occasionally setting fire to the woods and grass on the
hill-sides, and discharging their arrows at any incautious person who
may wander too near the banks of the rivers.

Noel told us that many attempts had been made to establish friendly
relations with them. In former times the Indians used to advance out
of the forest, to the further bank of the river, and hold conversations
and exchange presents with the officers of the post. They gave bows and
arrows, rare birds and animals, and received in return, knives, beads,
and looking-glasses. But these parleys always ended with expressions of
defiance and insult towards the whites on the part of the Indians, and
frequently with a flight of arrows.

He related to us, that a year or two ago a General Castillo, with
some officers, came to visit the fort, and wished to try their skill
at negotiation. Accordingly, whilst they were at dinner, the sentinel
reported that an Indian had made his appearance; whereupon the party
rose from the table and went down to the river-side to have a talk. The
Indian, after salutations, made signs for a looking-glass, which was
thrown over to him; then, for a knife, with which he was also gratified.
He then asked for a tinder-box. There being none at hand, Noel went up
to his quarters for some. On his return, he met an officer coming up
the bank, with an arrow through his arm; and shortly after, another,
with one planted deep in his back, between the shoulders. It appears
that, as soon as the Indian had received his presents, he drew his bow
at the general. The party turned to fly; but a flight of arrows from
the forest wounded the two officers; and the one who was shot in the
back died of the wound eight days afterwards. These arrow-shots are of
frequent occurrence; and several of the soldiers of the fort have been
severely wounded. A number of arrows were discharged at some soldiers,
who were washing their clothes near the banks of the river, whilst we
were here. We picked them up, and the commandant made us a present of
them.

These arrows, as are the arrows of all the Indians I have met with, are
so heavy that, at a greater distance than twenty or thirty yards, it is
necessary to discharge them at an elevation, so that they shall describe
a curve in the air; and it is wonderful to see with what precision the
Indians will calculate the arc, and regulate the force so that the arrow
shall fall upon the object. On the Amazon many fish and turtle are taken
with bows and arrows. An Indian in a canoe discharges his arrow in the
air. It describes a parabola, and lights upon the back of a fish, which
the unpractised eye has not been able to see. The barb, with which the
arrow is armed, ships on the end of it, and is held in its place by
a cord which wraps around the shaft of the arrow, and is tied to its
middle. The plunge of the fish shakes the arrow clear of the barb; the
cord unwinds, and the arrow floats upon the water—an impediment to the
fish, and a guide to the fisherman, who follows his arrow till the fish
or turtle is dead. The motion of the arrow is so slow, and it is so
readily seen in its course, that I imagine there would be no danger in
the reception of single arrow-shots in front; for an abundance of time
is allowed to step aside and avoid them. I have seen boys shooting at
buzzards on the beach; and the arrow would alight upon the very spot
where the bird had been sitting, some seconds after he had left it.

Whilst here, we visited the haciendas of the Brothers Santa Maria, Padre
Saurez, and Zapatero—all, I believe, inhabitants of Tarma. That of the
last seemed the largest, and the best order of any that I had yet seen.
A description of the method of cultivating the staples of the country
practised on this farm, will give an idea of the general system of
farming in the Montaña.

Zapatero has about one hundred acres cleared, and most of it planted
in cane, coca, yucca, pine-apples, plantains, coffee, and cotton. The
farm employs a mayordomo, or steward, and four resident laborers. These
are serfs, and cost the employer their support and seven dollars a
year each for their contribution to the government, or poll tax. When
more land is to be cleared, or the coca crop gathered, laborers are
hired from the neighboring villages of Tarma, Ocsabamba, or Palca, at
nominal wages of half a dollar a day; but their support is charged to
them, at such prices as to swallow up nearly all the wages. A sheep,
for example, is charged to them at three dollars: its price in Tarma is
one; yucca at thirty-seven and a half cents the arroba, of twenty-five
pounds; potatoes at fifty cents; maize at sixty-two and a half cents.
This is the maize of the hacienda; if it is supplied from the Sierra
it is one dollar and fifty cents. The laborers who live on the estate
seem contented with their lot; they dwell in small, filthy cane houses,
with their wives and children; do very little work, and eat _chalona_,
(or dried mutton,) _charqui_, (or jerked beef,) yucca, cancha, sweet
potatoes, and beans; and drink "_huarapo_," (the fermented juice of the
cane,) and sometimes a glass of bad rum made from it. They occasionally
desert; but if they do this, they must get some distance off, or custom,
if not law, would return them as debtors to their masters.

_Sugar-cane_ is propagated, not from seed but from the top joints of
the old plant, and is planted at the commencement of the rainy season
in September. It is ready for cutting in a year; it yields again every
ten months, improving in quality and size every crop for a number of
years, according to the quality of the land and the care bestowed upon
it. It will continue to spring up from the roots for fifty or sixty
years, with one or two light workings with hoes in the year. The field
is set fire to after every cutting, to burn up the rubbage, weeds, &c.
The average height of the cane is about ten feet, though I have seen a
stalk of sixteen feet.

Two men to cut and two to carry, will supply a mill called "_Trapiche_,"
which consists of three upright wooden rollers, in a rude wooden frame.
These rollers are cogged and placed close to each other. The head of the
middle one extends above the frame, and is squared, so as to allow the
shipping on it of a long beam, to the end of which an ox is harnessed,
which, walking in a circle, gives motion to the rollers. The end of
the cane is placed between the rollers, and is drawn in and crushed by
them; a wooden trough is placed below, to catch the juice. Such a mill
will yield fifteen hundred pounds of _caldo_ or juice in a day. These
fifteen hundred pounds will give from two hundred and fifty to three
hundred pounds of sugar, which is worth in Tarma twelve and a half cents
the pound.

Sugar-cane is the most valuable and useful product of the Montaña. The
leaves of the cane, when green, serve for food for the cattle; when
dry, to make wrappings for the _chancaca_ and sugar. The crushed stalk
is used as fuel for the oven. The hogs fatten on the foam at the top of
the boiling. From the first boiling is made the chancaca or brown sugar
cake, which is eaten after dinner by almost all classes, and in great
quantities by the lower class; it is worth six and a quarter cents the
pound in Tarma. From one thousand pounds of the caldo boiled ten hours,
is made four hundred pounds of chancaca. Very little sugar is yet made
in the Montaña of Chanchamayo; indeed, I did not see a nearer approach
to it than chancaca in all the route.

_Coca_ is a bush of about four feet high, producing a small light-green
leaf, which is the part used. The blossom is white, and the fruit a
small red berry. The seed is sown in beds at the end of the rainy
season—about the first of March. The earth should be well broken
up and cleaned. Arbors of palm leaves are frequently built over the
young shoots to protect them from the sun, and they are watered, if it
continues clear, for five or six days. It is transplanted in September,
a year and a half after planting, and gives its first crop in a year,
and every four months thereafter. The bush, if not destroyed by ants,
will continue to give leaves for many years. Sometimes, but rarely,
the leaves wither and the crop fails. It is necessary to gather the
leaves and dry them as quickly as possible, and, if a shower comes on,
to gather them up at once, as they are injured by getting wet. Every
hundred plants will give an arroba of leaves, which is worth, in Tarma,
from six to seven dollars. Some persons do not transplant, but sow
several of the seed together, and, when they come up, pull up all but
the one most flourishing, and leave that in its original place.

The leaf of this plant is to the Indian of Peru what tobacco is to our
laboring classes in the South—a luxury, which has become a necessity.
Supplied with an abundance of it, he sometimes performs prodigies of
labor, and can go without food for several days. Without it, he is
miserable and will not work. It is said to be a powerful stimulant to
the nervous system, and, like strong coffee or tea, to take away sleep;
but, unlike tobacco and other stimulants, no one has known it to be
injurious to the health. Von Tschudi thinks that an immoderate use of it
is injurious, but that, taken in moderation, it is in no way detrimental
to health; and that without it the Peruvian Indian, with his spare diet,
would be incapable of going through the labor which he now performs.
The coca plant he therefore considers as a great blessing to Peru.

He relates that an Indian, employed by him in digging, worked hard for
five nights and days without intermission, except for two hours each
night—and this without food. Immediately after the work the Indian
accompanied him on a two days' journey of twenty-three leagues on foot,
and then declared that he was ready to engage in the same amount of
work, and go through it without food, if he were allowed an abundance
of coca. This man was sixty-two years of age, and had never been sick
in his life.

_Coffee_ is propagated from suckers or slips, and it is necessary
to protect the plants from the sun by cultivating the broad-leaved
plantain among them till they have grown up to about four feet in
height. No care, except an occasional cleaning about the roots, is
taken of them here, and yet the finest coffee I have ever drunk was
from this district. The bush grows to seven or eight feet in height,
and is very beautiful in appearance. It has a small and very dark green
leaf, pure white blossoms, and green, red, and dark purple fruit on
it at the same time. It gives its first crop in two years; but this
is small in quantity, and indifferent in quality. The bush is not in
perfection until four or five years after planting, and will then last
for an indefinite period. The fruit has the size and appearance of
a small cherry. Two seeds are contained in each berry. Each seed is
wrapped in a thin paper-like envelope, and both together are covered
with another, and then surrounded by a sweet, pleasant-tasting pulp,
which is covered with a thin skin. Having no machines for getting rid
of this pulp, the cultivators gather the fruit, dry it in the sun,
and then soak it in water till all the envelopes come off, except the
paper-like skin surrounding each seed. The seeds are again dried in the
sun, and sent to market with this skin on. It is worth eight dollars
the hundred pounds in Tarma. In Lima it generally commands twenty, and
sometimes twenty-five and twenty-seven dollars, on account of its great
superiority to the coffee of Guayaquil and Central America, which is
generally used there.

"_Cotton_" may be planted at any time. It does not grow on a bush or
plant, as with us, but on a tree some eight or ten feet high. It gives
its first crop in a year, and will continue to give for three years;
after which the tree dries up, and it is necessary to replant. It bears
cotton all the time; but this is not good nor gathered during the rainy
season. I could not ascertain how much cotton a tree will give in its
lifetime, but, from the quantity of blossoms and bolls I saw on them,
I should think its yield was great. The quality, particularly that of
Chanchamayo, is very superior. It is the black-seed cotton, and when
picked off leaves the seed perfectly bare and clean.

There is also nankeen-colored cotton here, (the tree seeming in every
respect like that of the white;) and afterwards, in Brazil, I saw
green-seed cotton, in which the seed (generally seven in number for each
boll, or rather for each division of it, for the boll seemed to hold
the cotton in four distinct parts) were aggregated in a single knot, and
enveloped by the cotton. An active man will pick one hundred pounds of
cotton a day.

"_Yucca_," (cassava root,) which is grown from the stalk of the plant,
is planted at any time. It yields in nine months. The plant runs up to
fifteen or twenty feet in height, with about the thickness of a man's
wrist. It is difficult to distinguish this plant, or its fruit, from
the mandioc. The mandioc is called in Peru "yucca brava," or wild yucca;
and this yucca dulce, or sweet yucca. This may be eaten raw; the juice
of the other is a deadly poison. The yucca answers the same purpose in
Peru that the mandioc does in Brazil. It is the general substitute for
bread, and roasted or boiled is very pleasant to the taste. The most
common drink of the Indians, called "masato,"[6] is also made from it.
Each plant will give from twenty to twenty-five pounds of the edible
root, which grows in clusters like the potato, and some of which are as
long and thick as a man's arm.

Three crops of "_Indian corn_" are made in the year. It is of good
quality, but much care is necessary to preserve it from weevil and other
insects after it is gathered and put away. It is generally placed in an
upper story of a house, and a fire is kindled underneath from time to
time to smoke it, or it will all be destroyed.

"_Platanos_"—which is the general name for all kinds of plantains, or
bananas, of which last there are several species, called respectively
"_guineas_," _de la isla_, &c.—are the most common fruit of the country.
The people eat them raw, roasted, boiled, baked, and fried. There can
be no dinner without them; and a vile rum is also made of them. By the
Indians the fruit is generally cut green and roasted. It is propagated
from suckers or young bulbs, and gives fruit with such facility and
abundance as to foster and minister to the laziness of the people, who
won't work when they can get anything so good without it.

I have frequently thought that a governor would do a good act, and
improve the condition, or at least the character, of the governed, who
would set fire to, or grub up every "platanal" in his district, and thus
compel the people to labor a little for their bread.

The other fruits are _pine-apples_, of tolerable quality, which
doubtless would be very fine with care and attention; _sour sop_, a
kind of bastard _chirimoya_; and _papayo_, a large fruit, about the
size of a common muskmelon, with a green skin and yellow pulp, which is
eaten, and is very sweet and of delicate flavor. It has seed like the
muskmelon, and grows under the leaves of a kind of palm in clusters like
the cocoanut. There are a few orange trees, but no fruit. An orange tree
does not give good fruit under six years, and most of the haciendas have
been under cultivation but three.

The only farming utensils used in Chanchamayo are short coarse sabres,
with which weeds are cut up, and holes dug in the earth in which to
plant the seed.

This is not a good grazing country, though there were some cattle
belonging to the fort which seemed in good condition. All the meat used
is brought from Sierra. It seems difficult to propagate cattle in this
country. All the calves are born dead, or die soon after birth with a
goitre or swelling in the neck. I had no opportunity of investigating
this; but I saw afterwards, in an account of a missionary expedition
made by an Italian friar, Father Castrucci de Vernazza, to the Indians
of the Pastaza, in 1846, "that cattle were raised with great difficulty
about Mayobamba, on account of the 'subyacuro,' a species of worm, which
introduces itself between the cuticle and cellular tissue, producing
large tumors, which destroy the animal."

The houses on the haciendas are built of small, rough hewn, upright
posts, with rafters of the same forming the frame, which is filled in
with wild cane (caña brava,) and thatched with a species of narrow
leafed palm, which is plaited over a long pole and laid athwart the
rafters. The leaves lie, one set over the other, like shingles, and
form an effectual protection against the rain and sun; though I should
think the rain would beat in through the cane of the sides, as few of
the houses are plastered. The commandant of the fort was anxious to
have his buildings tiled, as this palm thatch, when dry, is exceedingly
inflammable; and he felt that the buildings of the fort were in constant
danger from the not distant fires of the savages. Señor Zapatero told me
that he had contracted with a workman to build him a large adobe house
on his hacienda, well fitted with doors and windows of good wood, and
tiled, to make it fire-proof, for eight hundred dollars. The same house
in Tarma would cost him between three and four thousand, on account of
the exceeding difficulty of getting the wood from the Montaña. He is
a Catalan, and seems a resolute fellow. He thinks that the government
may withdraw the troops from the fort at any time; but says that he has
four swivels, which he means to mount around his house; and, as he has
expended much labor and money on his hacienda, he will hold on to the
last extremity, and not give up his property without a tussle.

It is a pity that there are not more like him, for many acres of fine
land are lying uncultivated in Chanchamayo on account of this fear;
and several of our Tarma friends offered us title deeds to large tracts
of land there, because a feeling of insecurity regarding the stability
of the government prevented them from expending time and money in the
cultivation of them. Another such administration as that just closed
under President Castilla will dissipate this apprehension; and then, if
the Peruvian government would invite settlers, giving them the means of
reaching there, and appropriating a very small sum for their maintenance
till they could clear the forest and gather their first fruits, I have
no doubt that fifty years would see settlements pushed to the navigable
head waters of the Ucayali, and the colonists would find purchasers for
the rich and varied products of their lands at their very doors.

_June 23._—We started on the return to Tarma, accompanied by the
commandant and his servant. We walked up a part of the hill at Rio Seco.
This is very hard work. I could not stand it more than half way, and
made the mule carry me over the rest. It takes one hour to ascend, and
an hour and a quarter to descend. Camped at Utcuyacu.

_June 24._—Missing my saddle bags, which had some money in them, we
sent Mariano, (our Tarma servant,) accompanied by the servant of the
commandant, back to a place some distance the other side of the big
hill, where the saddle bags had been taken off to adjust the saddle.
He started at six; we at eight, following our return track. We made the
longest and hardest day's ride we had yet made; and were much surprised
at being joined by the servants with the saddle-bags by nine p. m. They
must have travelled at least thirty-six miles over these terrible roads,
crossing the big hill twice, and ascending quite two thousand feet.
Gibbon did not believe it. He thought—and with much probability—that
the boy had hid the saddle-bags at Utcuyacu, and after we left there
had produced them and followed in our track, persuading or bribing the
soldier to keep the secret. The commandant, however, thought his servant
incorruptible, and that this was no great feat for these people.

One of our peons carried on his back, for a whole day, (fifteen
miles,) a bundle of alfalfa that Gibbon could not lift with ease, and
pronounced, upon trial, to be heavier than I am, or upwards of one
hundred and twenty-five pounds.

_June 26._—Discharged Mariano because we could not trust him. Though
clever and active, he is neglectful and dishonest. We thought it rather
hard that the "Cura" should have recommended him to us, as his character
was notorious in the town. We believed that the "Cura," with the people
generally, was glad to get rid of him, and was disposed to palm him off
on any body.

We delighted the Tarma people with our favorable reports of the
Chanchamayo, and they loaded us with civilities and kindness. They did
not like the idea of my visiting the Montaña of Pozuzu and Mayro; and
seemed to fear that I might find there a better communication with the
Amazon.



CHAPTER V.

     Division of the party—Acobamba—Plain of Junin—Lake
     Chinchaycocha—Preservation of potatoes—Cerro Pasco—Drainage
     of the mines—Boliches.


Gibbon and I had long and earnest consultations about the propriety
of dividing the party; and I now determined to do so, giving to him
the task of exploring the Bolivian tributaries, while I took the
headwaters and main trunk of the Amazon. It was a bold, almost a rash
determination, for the party seemed small enough as it was; and we might
readily encounter difficulties on our route which would require our
united exertions to overcome. I had many misgivings, and told Gibbon at
first that it seemed midsummer madness; but the prospect of covering
such an extent of territory; of being enabled to give an account of
countries and rivers so little known; and the reflection that I need
not abandon routes that I had looked upon with a longing eye, were so
tempting that they overrode all objections; and we set about making our
preparations for the separation.

We divided the equipage, the tocuyo, or cotton cloth, (which we had not
yet touched,) the hatchets, the knives, the beads, the mirrors, the
arms and ammunition. I gave Gibbon fifteen hundred dollars in money,
and all the instruments, except some thermometers and the boiling-point
apparatus, because I was to travel a route over which sextants and
chronometers had been already carried; and he might go where these had
never been. I directed him to hire a guide in Tarma, and, so soon as
Richards (who was still sick) should be able to travel, to start for
Cuzco, and search for the headwaters of the "Madre de Dios."

On the 29th, we dined with General Otero, this being his wife's birthday
and festival of St. Peter. The General, being an Argentine born, gave us
the national dish—the celebrated _carne con cuero_, or beef, seasoned
with spices, and roasted under ground in the hide, which is said to
preserve its juices, and make it more palatable. I observed that the
soups and the stews were colored with "_achote_." This is the _urucu_ of
the Brazilians, of which the dye called annatto is made. It grows wild
in great abundance all over the Montaña, and is extensively used by the
Indians for painting their bodies and dyeing their cotton cloths. It is
a bush of eight or ten feet in height, and bears a prickly burr like our
chincapin. This burr contains a number of small red seeds, the skin or
covering of which contains the coloring matter.

The General gave us some "_quinua_," the seed of a broom-like bush,
which, boiled in milk, makes a pleasant and nutritious article of food.
The grains are something like rice, though smaller, and contain a sort
of mucilaginous matter. He also gave us some flower seeds, and valuable
specimens of silver ore from his mines at Cerro Pasco. He has large
flocks of sheep, the wool of which he sends to Lima; and has introduced
the Merino, which thrives. He gave us some asbestos from Cuzco, and
stalactites from a cave on a sheep farm, which, he says, the sheep
are fond of licking, and which Von Tschudi pronounced to contain Epsom
salts. I could detect no taste, and thought it a kind of magnesia. We
parted from our agreeable host and kind friend with regret.

_July 1._—I started at noon with Ijurra and Mauricio, accompanied
by Gibbon and Captain Noel, with one of the Señores, Sta. Marias. At
General Otero's gate, Noel left us. A very pleasant gentleman this; and
I shall long remember his kindness. Soon after, Gibbon and I lingered
behind the company; and at the entrance of the valley of the Acobamba,
which route I was to take, we shook hands and parted. I had deliberated
long and painfully on the propriety of this separation; I felt that I
was exposing him to unknown perils; and I knew that I was depriving
myself of a pleasant companion and a most efficient auxiliary. My
manhood, under the depressing influence of these feelings, fairly gave
way, and I felt again that "_hysterico passio_," that swelling of the
heart and filling of the eyes, that I have so often been called upon to
endure in parting from my gallant and generous comrades of the navy.

He returned to make the necessary arrangements for his expedition.
We crossed the Chanchamayo by a stone bridge, and passed through the
village of Acobamba. This town contains about fifteen hundred or two
thousand inhabitants; but, like all the towns in the Sierra at this
season, it appears deserted—no one in the streets, and most of the doors
closed. The road is a steady and tolerably smooth ascent of the valley,
which is narrow, pretty, and well cultivated. As usual, the hills facing
the north are bare and rugged; those facing the south present more
vegetation, but this is scant. Cactus and long clump grass run to within
two-thirds of the top, and then the rock shoots perpendicularly up in
naked majesty.

Three miles above Acobamba we passed the village of Picoi, which has
its plaza, church and cemetery, with about one hundred houses.

Six miles further brought us to Palcamayo, a village of one thousand
inhabitants, belonging to the "Doctrina" of Acobamba. A justice of the
peace, a good-looking Indian, whom we encountered sitting at the door of
a grog-shop in the plaza, conducted us to the house of the alcalde. We
found this worthy drunk, and asleep on the floor, and were much annoyed
with the attentions of another individual, who had a very dirty poultice
on his jaws; this was his worship's secretary, who was in little better
condition than his patron. Two drunken "_regidores_" came in to see
us; and it seemed that all the magistracy of Palcamayo had been "on a
spree." They required the money of us before they would get us or our
cattle anything to eat.

It would be difficult to find a clearer sky and a purer atmosphere than
we had here. The sky, at twilight, looked white or gray, rather than
blue; and I thought it was cloudy until my eye fell upon the young moon,
with edges as distinct and clear as if it were cut out of silver, and
near at hand. The elevation of Palcamayo is ten thousand five hundred
and thirty-nine feet above the level of the sea.

_July 2._—Thermometer, at 6 a. m., 37; clear and calm. Three miles above
Palcamayo we left the maize and alfalfa, and encountered potatoes and
barley. The road a league above this point turns sharp to the westward,
and ascends a steep and rugged "_cuesta_." This brought us out upon
a small plain, bounded by low hills, and dotted with small detached
houses, built of stone and covered with conical roofs of straw. They
were circular, and looked like bee-hives. The plain was covered with a
short grass, and many tolerably looking cattle and sheep were feeding
on it. A small stream, coming from the westward, ran through its midst.
The water had been carried by a canal half-way up the sides of the hills
that bounded the plain to the northward, so as to enable the people to
irrigate the whole plain. Where the water had broken through the canal,
and spread itself over the side of the hill, it had frozen, and the boys
were amusing themselves sliding down it.

At the western edge of the plain is the village of "_Cacas_," of
two hundred and fifty or three hundred inhabitants. The people were
celebrating the festival of St. Peter, for they are not particular about
days. The church was lighted and decorated with all the frippery that
could be mustered; and preparations were making for a great procession.
There were two Indians, or Meztizos, dressed in some old-fashioned
infantry uniform, with epaulets; flaming red sashes, tied in monstrous
bows behind, and white gloves. (The cocked hats, for size and variegated
plumage, beggar description.) These were evidently the military part
of the procession; one was mounted on a little shaggy nag, with his
sword hanging on the right-hand side; and the other was strutting about,
nearly buried in his cocked hat, while just fourteen men were employed
in caparisoning his horse. The drinking had already commenced; most of
the population were getting drunk fast, and I have no doubt there was
a grand row that night.

Drinking seems a very general vice amongst the inhabitants of these wet,
cold, and highly-elevated plains. The liquor is invariably the Pisco
or Ica brandy, made in that province. It is pleasant to the taste and
of good quality. In the Montaña we had often occasion to regret the
exchange of this for new-made cane rum.

The hills that bound the plain on the west have two salt springs, from
which the inhabitants of the village get their salt by evaporation. The
hill over which we rode is called the "_Cuesta de la Veta_," because
travellers suffer from this sickness in passing it. As I had felt
nothing of it, even at the Pass of Antarangra, I watched very closely
for any symptoms of it here; but perceived none, though I sucked a cigar
all the way to the top. The road to the top of the Cuesta is about three
miles in length, and its ascent brought us to the historical plain of
Junin, where Bolivar, on the 6th of August, 1824, gave the Spaniards a
heavy and very nearly conclusive overthrow. Half an hour's ride over the
plain brought into view the Western Cordillera, the Lake Chinchaycocha,
and the pyramid erected by Mariano Rivero (then prefect of the province)
to commemorate the battle. It stands off to the left of the road about a
league, and is at the foot of a little hill, where the liberator stood
to direct the fight; it is white, and seemed seventy or eighty feet
high. Our day's ride of eighteen miles brought us to the town of Junin,
where we took lodgings in the house of the governor; more drunken people
there.

_July 3._—Junin is a village of one thousand inhabitants, situated about
a mile and a half from the southern extremity of the lake Chinchaycocha,
and twelve thousand nine hundred and forty-seven feet above the level of
the sea. This lake is twenty miles long, in a N. W. and S. E. direction,
and has an average breadth of about six miles. It is said to discharge
its waters into the Amazon by the river of Jauxa, which we crossed at
Oroya, and which is a tributary of the Ucayali.

The inhabitants of Junin, and the other towns of this plain, are
herdsmen. They raise cattle for the supply of Cerro Pasco and Tarma,
and mules for beasts of burden. Their houses are built of mud and
straw; and they eat mutton and _macas_, (a root of the potato kind, but
looking, and when boiled tasting, more like a turnip.) The people of
these regions find it very difficult to procure vegetables, as quinua
and barley will not grain, nor potatoes grow, in the wet soil and cold
atmosphere of the plain. They therefore have to resort to means for
preserving the potato and its varieties, which are got from the valleys
of the Andes. These means are, generally, drying and freezing; and they
make a variety of preparations from the potato in this way. The macas
are simply exposed to the frost and sun for a number of days, and then
put away in a dry room. The inhabitants make a sort of soup or sirup
of them, the smell of which, Rivero says, "is a little disagreeable to
people unaccustomed to it," (it is really very offensive;) and it is
the general opinion that it is a stimulant to reproduction.

"_Caya_" is made from the _oca_ and the _mashua_, (a variety of the
oca,) by putting them in water till they rot, and then exposing them to
the sun and cold. This, when cooked, smells worse than the macas, and
no stomach but that of an Indian or a beast could possibly tolerate it.

There are two kinds of "_chuno_." One (the black) is made from the
common potato by soaking it some days in water, then pressing it to
express all the moisture, and freezing it. The white (called _moray_)
is made from a large, bitter potato, which abounds in the departments
of Junin, Cuzco, and Puno. The potatoes are put in water, in a bag, at
the setting of the sun, and taken out before sunrise. This operation
is carried on for fifteen or twenty days. It is an especial condition
of this chuno's turning out well that it shall be put in water after
sunset, and taken out before sunrise; for, if it is touched by the sun,
it immediately turns black. It is then pressed and exposed to the sun
for a few days.

"_Chochoca_" is the common potato, first cooked and peeled, and then
frozen. This and the chuno are healthy and nutritive articles of diet.

I quote these means of preserving the potato and its varieties from
Rivero, who thinks that these articles of food will, in time, become of
great importance, particularly in the supply of the army and navy, and
for long journeys or voyages; and that if the European nations knew of
these productions, and the means of preserving them, they would draw
great advantages from the knowledge.

The plain, about forty-five miles long, and from six to twelve broad,
is generally wet, and in some places marshy. The soil is gravelly, with
a light covering of mould, producing a short grass, scarcely adequate
for the support of the flocks, which are indeed of small size, but
sometimes fat and good. A great number of large beautiful waterfowl,
including the scarlet flamingo and several varieties of snipe, frequent
the banks of the lake and marshy places. The people cut their supply of
fuel from the turf of the bogs, in the dry, and stack it up for use in
the rainy season. There is said to be much thunder and lightning here
at the commencement of the rainy season, (about the first of October,)
and the lightning frequently falls on a hill about four miles to the
eastward of the town, where the inhabitants say there is much loadstone.
The plain is about thirteen thousand feet above the level of the sea. It
has a gentle slope downwards from west to east. I found the difference
in elevation (by temperature of boiling water) between the villages of
Junin and _Ninaccaca_ (the latter about twenty miles to the west of the
former) to be four hundred and forty-five feet.

The road onward from Junin runs not far from the banks of the lake.
On the left we had the grand snow-covered domes and pinnacles of the
Western Cordillera sleeping in the sunlight, while clouds and storm
enveloped the Eastern. About 2 p. m., a breeze from the northward
brought some of the storm down upon us. It snowed fast; the flakes were
small and round, like hail, but soft and white. The thermometer, which
was 54 at the commencement of the storm, fell, during its continuance
of ten minutes, to 46. We found an overcoat very comfortable.

About fifteen miles from Junin we passed the village of _Carhuamayo_.
Here I saw the only really pretty face I have met with in the Sierra,
and bought a glass of pisco from it. The road between Junin and
Carhuamayo is a broad and elevated one, built of stones and earth by
the Spaniards. Without this the plain would be impassable in the rainy
season. Six miles further we stopped at the tambo of Ninaccaca.

_July 4._—The village of Ninaccaca, of two or three hundred inhabitants,
lies off to the right of the road, on which the tambo is situated, about
half a mile. I would have gone there, but I was desirous of sleeping
in a tambo, for the purpose of testing the accounts of other travellers
who complain so bitterly of them. We were fortunate enough to have the
tambo to ourselves, there being no other travellers; and I had quite as
comfortable a time as in the alcalde's house at Palcamayo, or in that of
the governor of Junin. My bed is generally made on the baggage in the
middle of the floor; while Ijurra takes to the mud standing bed-places
which are to be found in every house. Last night I woke up, and finding
him very uneasy, I asked "if he had fleas up there." He replied, with
the utmost _sang-froid_, and as if he were discussing some abstract
philosophical question with which he had no personal concern whatever,
that "this country was too cold for fleas, but that his bed-place was
full of lice." It made my blood run cold; but long before I got out of
the mouth of the Amazon I was effectually cured of fastidiousness upon
this or any similar subject.

We were somewhat annoyed by the attentions of the master of the house,
who was very drunk. His wife told us next morning that he came near
killing her with his knife, and would infallibly have beaten her, but
that she told him "those strangers were soldiers, and would shoot him
if he did." Her naïve way of telling how she managed the man, and got
off from the beating, was quite amusing. The accent of these people
is a sort of sliding drawl that makes every voice alike. They use an
imperfect Quichua or Inca language, which I am told is only spoken
perfectly in the neighborhood of Cuzco.

Our route now approached the Western Cordillera fast. About three miles
from the tambo the plain began to be broken into rolling hills. The
direction of the road, which had been W. N. W., changed to N. W. by
N., and crossed them. After crossing a range we stopped to breakfast
at a collection of a few huts, where I was amused at an instance of
the apathy of the people. A very common reply to the inquiry of the
traveller if he can have such and such things, is "_manam cancha_,"
(there is none; we haven't it). We rode up to the door of a hut, the
mistress of which was sitting "knitting in the sun" at the back of
it. She heard our horses' tread, and too lazy to change her position,
without seeing us or ascertaining if we wanted anything, she screamed
out "manam cancha." Ijurra abused her terribly; and we had our water
boiled (which was all we wanted) at another hut. The _Viuda_ pass of the
Cordillera, which is generally crossed by travellers between Lima and
Cerro Pasco, was in view from this place, bearing S. 30° W. Immediately
after starting, we began passing haciendas for the grinding of ores
and getting out silver. They are situated on small streams that come
from either the Eastern or Western Cordillera, and that find their way
into Lake Chinchaycocha. They all seem dry at this season; and none of
the haciendas are at work. Passed the old village of Pasco. This was
once the great mining station, but, since the discovery of the mines at
the Cerro, it is falling into decay. Three miles from this the country
becomes more hilly and rocky, losing the character of Pampa. The passage
of a low, but abrupt chain of hills, brings the traveller in view of
Cerro Pasco. The view from this point is a most extraordinary one. I
can compare it to nothing so fitly as the looking from the broken and
rugged edges of a volcano into the crater beneath. The traveller sees
small houses, built, without regard to regularity, on small hills, with
mounds of earth and deep cavities in their very midst; and mud chimneys
of ancient furnaces, contrasting strikingly with the more graceful
funnel of the modern steam engine; the huge cross erected on the hill of
Sta. Catalina, near the middle of the city, which his fancy may suppose
placed there to guard, with its holy presence, the untold treasures
beneath; two beautiful little lakes, only divided by a wide causeway
at the southern extremity of the crater, and another embedded among the
hills to the westward; hills (on one of which he stands) of five hundred
feet in height, with bold white heads of rock, surrounding these; and
the magnificent Cordillera from the right and left overlooking the
whole.

  [Illustration: FORT SAN RAMON (PERU)

     Pl. 9.
     Lt. Gibbon del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

These are the objects that strike the eye of the traveller at his first
view. As he rides down the hill, he sees the earth open everywhere with
the mouths of mines now abandoned; he is astonished at their number,
and feels a sense of insecurity as if the whole might cave in at once
and bury him quick. He rides into the narrow, ill-paved streets of the
city, and, if he can divert his attention for a moment from the watching
of his horse's footsteps, he will observe the motliest population to be
met with anywhere out of the dominions of the Sultan. I believe that he
may see, in a single ride through the city, men of all nations, and of
almost every condition; and if he don't see plenty of drunken people,
it will be a marvel.

I was delighted when we turned into the patio of the house of the
sub-prefect of the province, Don Jose Mier y Teran, and escaped the rude
stare and drunken impertinence of the Indians, thronging the streets,
and doors of the grog-shops. This gentleman, whose kindness we had
experienced at Tarma, gave us quarters in his house, and pressed us
to make ourselves at home, to which his blunt, abrupt, and evidently
sincere manners particularly invited.

After a wash, to which the coldness of the weather and the water by
no means invited, I put on my uniform in honor of the day, and went
out to see Mr. Jump, director of the machinery, and Mr. Fletcher, an
employé of the _Gremio_, (Board of Miners,) to whom I brought letters
of introduction from Lima. These gentlemen received me with great
cordiality. Mr. Jump offered me a room in his house, and Mr. Fletcher
handed me a number of letters from friends at home, at Lima, and at
Santiago. These letters were cordial medicines to me; I had arrived
cold, sick, and dispirited, and but for them should have passed the
first night of mental and physical suffering that I had been called upon
to endure since leaving Lima.

_July 6._—Rain nearly all night; I was cold and sick, and sat by the
fire all day, trying to keep myself warm. The houses in Cerro Pasco
are generally built of stones and mud, and covered in with tiles or
straw; most of them have grates, with mud chimneys, and are plentifully
supplied with good coal, both bituminous and hard. Mier says that if
the place owes nothing else to the Pasco Peruvian Company, it owes
it (at least) a debt of gratitude for the introduction of the grates.
I found, however, very little comfort in them; for the houses are so
open about the doors and windows, that while my toes were burning, my
back was freezing; and one has to be constantly twisting round, like a
roasting turkey, to get anything of their benefit. My companion, Ijurra,
whose fathers were rich miners and powerful men in these parts, had
many visitors. The talk of the company was of nothing but the mines,
and incessant was the complaining (which I have heard elsewhere) of the
miseries and uncertainties of the miner's life. All seem to agree that
it is a sort of gambling, in which most lose; but there is the same sort
of feverish infatuation in it that there is in gaming with cards, and
the unlucky player cannot but persevere, in the hope that the luck will
change, and that the _boya_ (striking the rich vein,) like "the bullets
and bragger oldest," will come at last.

I went out with Mr. Jump to look at the town. It was a most curious
looking place, entirely honey-combed, and having the mouths of mines
(some two or three yards in diameter) gaping everywhere. From the top
of the hill called Sta. Catalina, the best view is obtained of the
whole. Vast pits, called "_Tajos_," surround this hill, from which many
millions of silver have been taken; and the miners are still burrowing,
like so many rabbits, in their bottoms and sides. I estimate that the
tajo of Sta. Rosa is six hundred yards long, by four hundred broad
and sixty deep; those of the "_Descubridora_" and —— are about half as
large. The hill of Sta. Catalina is penetrated in every direction; and
I should not be surprised if it were to cave in any day, and bury many
in its ruins. The falling in of mines is of frequent occurrence; that
of "_Mata-gente_" (kill people) caved in years ago, and buried three
hundred persons; and four days ago a mine fell in and buried five: four
have been recovered, but one is still incarcerated, and the people are
now hard at work for him. We visited a machine-shop, and the hacienda
for grinding ores by steam, that Mr. Jump is erecting near the city.
I should think the hacienda would be a good speculation; for the ores,
which have now to be transported on the backs of mules and llamas for
a distance of four, five, or six miles to the haciendas, may be taken
to this by a railroad in a few minutes; and Mr. Jump believes that
he shall have water enough for his boilers all the year; whereas the
other haciendas cannot grind for more than three parts of the year. The
cost of the machinery, which is cast in England, in parts equal to a
mule-load, and transported from Lima on the backs of these animals; the
pay of machine and engine drivers; the digging of ditches for the supply
of water; fuel; and all such expenses to which the other haciendas are
not subject, I could not well calculate.

Mr. Fletcher, who has lived a long time in Cerro Pasco, says that a
purchaser of the ores (making sure of his "_guias_" or experiments on
the yield of the ore) can count his gains as easily and certainly as he
can the dollars in his pocket; that those men who lose are either the
lazy and the careless, or the speculators and lookers after rich ores,
to make a fortune at once. The most common and easily obtained ores here
are called "_cascajos_." They do not require roasting, as do the ores
at Párac; but otherwise the silver is got out in the same manner as I
have described it to be at that place. Instead, however, of the ground
ore being placed in small piles, and, after being mixed with salt and
mercury, trodden with the feet, and worked with hoes as it is at Párac,
a large quantity is placed in a circular enclosure, with a stone floor
and mud wall, and it is trodden with horses (as we used in old times
to "tread wheat" in Virginia) until the amalgamation is completed. The
general yield of the cascajos is six marks to the caxon. Their cost,
according to the hardness of the rock in which they are enclosed, or
their distance from the surface, is from six to sixteen dollars. Here
is a calculation to show that, even at their highest price, of sixteen
dollars, (being assured by the guia that the caxon will yield six
marks,) their working, or benificiation, as it is called here, will pay.
The complete amalgamation in the "_circo_," or circle, requires from
forty to fifty days.

     DR. Circo of six caxones, _a_ $16 caxon      $96 00

       150 mule loads, (transportation to the
         hacienda,) _a_ 25 cents                   37 50

       Grinding, _a_ $10                           60 00

       Magistral, (calcined iron pyrites,)          1 00
         1 arroba

       40 arrobas of salt, _a_ 50 cents            20 00

       5 tramplings by horses, _a_ $5              25 00

       Working and washing the amalgam             11 50

       Loss of 35 lbs. quicksilver, _a_ $1         35 00
                                                  ------
                                                  286 00

     CR. 6 caxones, at 6 marks caxon, 36 marks.
         (Mark is worth in Cerro Pasco $8 50)     306 00
                                                  ======

I had this statement from Mr. Jump. I did not examine it at the time,
but I observed afterwards that there is no charge for driving off the
mercury of the amalgam, and leaving the pure silver, which is worth
eight dollars and fifty cents the mark. This would amount to six dollars
more, leaving the profit to the purchaser, for the two months that he
has been engaged in getting his silver, but fourteen dollars. This,
of course, is but a poor business; for, though any quantity of the ore
maybe purchased, there are not haciendas enough to grind, or circos to
amalgamate, a sufficient quantity to make the speculation good; and thus
many millions of this ore are left unworked. The ore, however, rarely
costs sixteen dollars, and will frequently give seven or eight marks to
the caxon.

Statement showing the cost of a mark of silver placed on board ship for
exportation:

     Cost of a mark of piña in the Cerro                           $8 50

     Impost for steam machines for pumping water from the mines.
       (This has been 12½ cents, and soon will be 50 cents)           25

     Socabon (or great drain) duty                                    12½

     Public works                                                      6¼

     Government or export duty                                        50

     Mineral tribunal duty                                            12½

     Loss in running the piña into bars                               12½

     Carriage to Lima, and other petty expenses                        6¼

     Profit of the purchaser in the Cerro                             37½
                                                                   ------
                                                                   10 12½
                                                                   ======

Twelve dwts. is the standard of pure silver in the mint at Lima. All
the bars that go from this place are marked 11.22. They are assayed in
Lima. If they come up to that standard they are worth $8.6746 the mark.
For every grain under this 11.22 there is a deduction in the price of
.0303 of a dollar.

To-day there was a meeting of the gremio, to take into consideration
a question that had arisen whether the contractors for putting up the
steam machinery for draining the mines had fulfilled their part of the
contract. A short history of the draining of these mines may not be
uninteresting, and will at all events put persons on their guard how
they make contracts with miners.

The mines of Cerro Pasco were discovered in 1630, by an Indian making
a fire on some stones and observing melted silver. They were worked,
with little or no drainage, and with great success, up to the year 1780,
when the _socabon_ (or drain) of _San Judas_ was commenced. This is a
great ditch of five and a half feet in breadth and six feet ten inches
in height, which drains the mines into the lake of San Judas. Its length
is about thirty-five hundred feet, and it cost one hundred thousand
dollars. It was finished in 1800. This would drain, by percolation, all
the mines above it. For those below it, it was necessary to pump the
water up by hand. This was found so inefficient a means, (the socabon
also not being sufficiently large,) that in 1806 the gremio commenced
the construction of the socabon of _Quiulacocha_, eighty-eight feet
below that of San Judas, six feet ten inches broad, and eight feet three
inches high. The work is continued upon it to this day. The part that
I saw is arched, well walled with solid masonry, and the water rushes
through it like a small river. Many _lumbreras_, or light holes, are
sunk down upon it in various directions to give light and air, and to
carry into the socabon the drainage of the neighboring mines.

In 1816, the gremio contracted with two Spaniards, Abadia and Arismendi,
for the drainage of the mines by steam machinery. These persons put up
three steam machines for working pumps, and the results were very happy,
the ores being found much richer the farther down the mines reached.
The war of independence broke them up; their miners being taken away
for soldiers, and their machines used up for horse-shoes.

In 1825, an English company, styling itself the "_Pasco Peruvian_,"
undertook the drainage. This company contracted to be paid in ores,
which they were to beneficiate themselves. They were never fairly paid.
They employed English officials and operatives at high salaries; and
after having dug one hundred and ten feet, at a cost of forty thousand
dollars, between September, 1825, and January, 1827, they failed.
The government then took it up, and gave two thousand dollars monthly
towards the work, the miners also taxing themselves twelve and a half
cents on the mark of silver obtained. Rivero took charge of the work,
and from the first of June, 1827, to the first of January, 1828, he
perforated one hundred and twenty-two feet in the socabon, the workmen
finding powder and candles, and he supplying tools. In an official
statement, afterwards made by Rivero, he shows that to excavate a vara
cost him eighty-six dollars, while it cost the Pasco Peruvian Company
one thousand dollars; though he says that in the lumbrera of Sta. Rosa
the Pasco Peruvian Company found the rock so hard that twelve men could
not perforate more than half a vara a month. The socabon at present is
eight thousand two hundred and fifty feet long, and three hundred feet
below the surface. About a million of dollars have been spent upon it,
though it is said it has not really cost so much.

A few years ago it was determined to try steam again, for the purpose of
carrying on the mining below the great drain, and the gremio contracted
with Mr. Jump to undertake it. He bound himself to put up four sets of
engines, to work those engines for a year at his own expense, and then
turn them over to the gremio; the gremio, on the other hand, binding
itself to sink the shafts and to pay weekly twelve and a half cents
on every mark of silver produced by the mines for a certain length of
time, then twenty-five, and then fifty cents, till six hundred thousand
dollars were paid.

The work is carried on with unexampled despatch on the part of Mr. Jump,
so that now two sets of engines are at work, a third is going up, and
the fourth has arrived from England, though the shaft is not yet ready
for it. But there are two parties in the gremio, representing distinct
interests. One party, of which General Bermudez (at the time of making
the contract prefect of the department and ex-officio president of
the gremio) is the leader, represents the speculative men, who look
for "boyas," and think that great and sudden riches are to be had by
draining the mines below the socabon. The other party (and the majority)
represents the men who, content with moderate and certain gain, work
the cascajos which are generally above the drain, and therefore need
no machinery. These men were probably borne down by the influence
of Bermudez during his prefecture, and a majority was obtained for
the contract; but since his retirement they rise up and say, "It is
a hard case that we should contribute to pay for machines that do us
no good;" and they seek for means to avoid this. They find it in the
wording of the contract; and although they see that the machines are
doing, and more than doing, the work required, they take advantage of
the wording, and raise the question now under consideration. The words
of the contract are, that "he, the contractor, shall bind himself to
put up four sets of engines, each set to consist of two engines of
fifteen-horse power each, and to drive three pumps; each engine to be
entirely independent of the other in such a manner that, if an accident
happen to one engine, the other shall be able to drive two pumps."

I thought, from examination of the engines, that a case might occur
whereby the wording of the contract would fail to be fulfilled; but it
seemed to me that this arose from the nature of the contract, and was
not at all chargeable on Mr. Jump; for it appears to me that, for two
engines to drive three pumps, and in such a manner that if one breaks
the other may drive two, it is necessary to have a connexion between
those engines, which connexion breaking, although either engine may be
intact and able to drive its own pump, (thus keeping two pumps going,)
yet the engines must stop to repair the connexion, so as to drive all
three again. That the pretended objection is a quibble, may be seen from
the fact that the engines keep the shafts clear with only two pumps,
and do not work the third; but I suspect that news recently received
from Lima of the discovery of large quicksilver mines in California,
which would bring down the price of that article one-half, and double
the value of the cascajos, (thus still diminishing the necessity for
drainage,) had something to do with the movement. A committee of the
gremio, appointed for the investigation of the matter, did report in
favor of stopping the payments; but before this was decided upon, some
rich ores were discovered by the operation of the pumps. This changed
their tune, for, although they now only work the ores above the socabon,
they may, if they choose, penetrate below it; and if these machines
should show conclusively that there are richer ores below, they of
course would be glad to have them, and the gremio, therefore, (including
even some of the members of the committee,) voted that the works and
the payments should continue, and the matter should be arbitrated. I of
course get my knowledge and views pretty much from Mr. Jump, one of the
parties; but I meet at his house and elsewhere with men of the opposite
party, and hear the matter very fully discussed. I would have advised
Mr. Jump, in any other country, to reject arbitration and appeal to the
law; but the less a man has to do with law in this country the better,
not so much on account of its ill administration as of its vexatious
delay.

I removed from the sub-prefect's house to that of Mr. Jump, Ijurra
staying with his relations, and Mauricio and the mules at board.

The "_callana_," or smelting-house, where the "piña" is run into bars,
is a government establishment, and is farmed out. All the produce of the
mines has to pass through it; is here run into bars, weighed, stamped,
and the duties charged upon it. It is very rude in its appointments,
a mere straw-covered hut, with an iron smelting pot in the middle,
mounted by arms, on two iron uprights like anvils. The pot melts at
one operation sufficient silver to make a bar of two hundred and fifty
marks, or one hundred and twenty-five pounds. Alternate layers of piña
and charcoal are put in the smelting pot; fire is applied, and air
furnished by a rude bellows. When the silver is melted, the pot is
turned on its arms, and the silver poured out of a sort of ear at the
top of the pot into an iron mould below. From one and a half to one
and three-fourths per cent. is lost in this operation; much seems to
be driven off by the irregular and excessive heat, and the sides and
roof of the hut are covered with a deposit of fine particles of silver,
looking like frost. They are frequently swept; I did not think to ask
to whom these sweepings belong, but I imagine to the farmers of the
"callana." The bars are marked with the number of the bar for the year,
the number of marks it contains, the initials of the owner, and the
invariable 11.22, which designates its "ley" or quality.

Remittances of bars are made to Lima every week. Last week the
remittance amounted to seven thousand five hundred marks—a large yield.
Since my return, I cut from a Lima paper a letter from Cerro Pasco,
of April, 1851, (a few months before the date of my visit,) in which
the writer states the remittances for the week at eighteen bars, or
four thousand five hundred marks. He says, "The drainage by steam is
progressing rapidly. Another vein of ore has been discovered in the
mine of Peña Blanca, but I believe not very rich. The advices from
Lima are constant that the quicksilver mines of California will yield
a sufficient supply for Peru, at a price not exceeding fifty or sixty
dollars the '_quintal_', (or hundred pounds). Should this be the case,
there will be no need of suspending the working of the cascajos, as
ore of six marks to the caxon, with quicksilver at seventy dollars the
quintal, and piña at eight dollars the mark, will leave fifty dollars
of profit in the circo. The price of quicksilver at present is from
one hundred to one hundred and seven dollars the quintal; that of piña,
eight dollars and forty-three and three-fourth cents."

The yield of these mines is about two millions a year, which is nearly
equal to the yield of all the rest of the mines of Peru together.

M. Castelnau makes a calculation from all the data within his reach,
by which it appears that the yield of the mines of Cerro Pasco, since
the date of their discovery in 1630 to the year 1849, amounts to about
the sum of four hundred and seventy-five millions of dollars, which
would give a yearly mean of about two millions one hundred and seventy
thousand.

About two hundred miles-to the southward and eastward of Cerro Pasco
are situated the celebrated quicksilver mines of _Huancavelica_. The
viceroys of the regal and the presidents of the republican government
have made many efforts to keep up the working of these mines, but of
late years entirely without success. M. Castelnau states that their
produce since the opening in 1751 to the year 1789, inclusive, (since
which time they have yielded nothing of importance,) has been one
million forty thousand four hundred and fifty-two quintals, which, at
a mean price of sixty-five dollars the quintal, will give the sum of
sixty-seven million six hundred and twenty-nine thousand three hundred
and eighty dollars. In the same time have been expended on them ten
million five hundred and eighty-seven thousand eight hundred and
forty-five dollars.

S. S. Rivero and Pierola formed a society in the year 1828 for the
working of these mines, but the scheme fell through. Many other
propositions have been also made to the Peruvian government, since
the independence, for the working of them, but have failed of success.
The liberator (Bolivar) refused to sell them for a sum of six or seven
hundred thousand dollars. (Castelnau, vol. 4, page 226.)

I met a gentleman in Cerro Pasco who was then on his way to examine and
report upon the mines of Huancavelica.

_July 8._—Visited the mines. We entered a mouth which seemed only a
little larger than that of a common well; each of the party furnished
with a tallow candle, shipped in an iron contrivance at the end of a
staff. The descent was disagreeable, and, to the tyro, seemed dangerous;
it was at an angle of at least 75° from the horizontal line. The earth
was moist, and the steps merely holes dug for the heels at irregular
distances. I feared every moment that my boot-heel would slip, and
that I should "come with a surge" upon my next in advance, sending him
and myself into some gulf profound. I was heartily glad when we got
upon the apparently level and broad bank of the great socabon, and had
made up my mind that I would tempt Providence no more. But, reflecting
that I should never, probably, visit the mines of Cerro Pasco again,
I took courage and descended one hundred and ten feet further, by an
even worse descent than the former, to the bottom of the pump shafts.
A burly and muscular Cornishman, whom I at first took to be a yankee,
with a bit of candle stuck into a lump of mud in front of his hat,
was superintending here, and growling at the laziness and inefficiency
of his Indian subordinates. I should think that these pumps were not
well attended to, so far from the eye of the master. They are worked
by chains and long copper rods. All the metal work of the pumps is
of copper. Iron is corroded very quickly, on account of the sulphuric
acid and sulphates which the water of the mines holds in solution. The
fish are said to have abandoned the lake of Quiulacocha, into which the
waters are forced, on this account. The sides of the mines were covered
in many places with beautiful sulphates of iron and copper.

Our exploration lasted about four hours; and we emerged at the tajo of
Sta. Rosa, where, seated upon piles of silver ore, we partook of some
bread and cheese, and a glass of pisco, which we found as welcome and
as grateful as manna in the desert. This freshened us up, and we went
to see the "boliches." These are hand-mills, or rather foot-mills,
for grinding ore; generally owned by Frenchmen or Italians, who grind
the ore that is brought to them in small quantities by the workmen
in the mines. Rivero's account of their charges is amusing. He says:
"One of these speculators commences with fifty dollars, (the value of
a boliche,) and at the end of two or three years is known to be worth
a fortune of eight or ten thousand dollars. He exacts from the workman
in the mine, who brings it to him, fifty or sixty-two and a half cents
for grinding a "_carga_," which is a very uncertain measure—sometimes a
mule-load, sometimes a man-load; but in this case a small hamper-full.
He charges twenty-five cents for the water used in the beneficiation,
twelve and a half cents for the man who pours the water on, twelve and
a half cents for him who breaks the ore into small bits for grinding,
sixty-two and a half cents for the grinder, twelve and a half cents for
the hole where the mass of ground metal is deposited, (and if this is
boarded, he exacts twenty-five cents more,) and twelve and a half cents
to clear the water out of it, twelve and a half cents for taking the
metal out of this hole and putting it in a bull's hide, for the hire
of which he charges twenty-five cents; so that the hide will yield the
decent sum of sixty or seventy dollars before it wears out and becomes
useless. A hoe will give as much more, for the hire of which twelve and
a half cents is charged, and six and a quarter cents besides for every
time it is used in incorporating the mass. He gains at least fifty cents
in every arroba of salt which he furnishes. For a pound of magistral,
which is worth fifty cents, he exacts two dollars. He gains fifty cents
in every pound of quicksilver; so that, calculating these expenses with
regard to a caxon, they amount to about fifty dollars, which is just so
much profit to the _bolichero_. The '_relabes_,' moreover, are his; and
they are frequently very valuable. He then expresses all the quicksilver
from the _pella_ that he can, and receives it of the workman at three
pounds the mark, paying him six dollars and twenty-five cents; by
which negotiation he gains a mark in every nine, after the quicksilver
is driven off by heat, bating to the workman at the same time half a
pound in the extraction of the quicksilver. The workman is contented
with all this, because, however little profit he makes, the ore which
he delivered to the bolichero for grinding cost him nothing but the
stealing." This, however, is not always the case. The laborer frequently
demands his wages in a portion of ore. Custom seems to give him this
right; and the proprietor of the mine complains, with justice, that he
has to pay in ores when they are rich, and in money when the ores are
poor.

A boliche consists of a large flat stone laid on an elevated platform
of rock or earth, and another, convex on its lower side, resting upon
it. The grinder, standing upon this upper stone, spreads his feet apart,
and gives it motion by the movement of his body. The bits of ore are
placed between these stones, and a small stream of water from a barrel
above mixes with the _harina_, and carries it off to a receptacle below.
It may be imagined that, to draw any profit from so rude a contrivance
as this, it is necessary that the ores ground by it should be of the
richest kind.

The apparatus for driving off the mercury by heat is as rude as the
boliche. The pella is placed in a kind of earthen jar or bottle made in
the neighborhood, and worth from two to three reals. An iron tube, of
about two yards long, is introduced into the mouth of the jar, which is
then closed with a yellowish clay. The other end of this tube (which is
bent) is put into an earthen jar half-full of water, where the fumes of
the mercury are condensed. Fire is kindled around the earthen bottles
which contain the pella, and continued for three or four hours, when
the bottles are broken and the piña taken out.

The man who was buried by the falling in of one of the mines was got out
yesterday. He seemed strong, though he had had no food for nearly seven
days. He had lost the account of time, and thought he had been enclosed
in the earth but three days.

_July 9._—Suffering to-day from an affection called _macolca_, which is
incident to nearly every one on his first visit to the mines. This is a
painful soreness of the muscles, particularly on the front of the thigh.
I could scarcely bear that my legs should be touched, and locomotion
was anything but agreeable.

The town of Cerro Pasco is (by temperature of boiling water) thirteen
thousand eight hundred and two feet above the level of the sea.
Rivero states it at fourteen thousand two hundred and seventy-nine.
The population varies from six to fifteen thousand souls, according
to the greater or less yield of the mines. Most of the adult part of
this population are, of course, engaged in mining. This seems to be
a calling that distorts much the moral perception, and engenders very
confused ideas of right and wrong. The lust for money-making seems to
have swallowed up all the finer feelings of the heart, and cut off all
the amenities of society. There are no ladies—at least I saw none in
society; and the men meet to discuss the mines, the probable price of
quicksilver, and to slander and abuse each other. There seems to be no
religion here even in form. The churches are mere barns, going to decay;
and I saw no processions or religious ceremonies. Smyth saw a procession
in 1834, but I should doubt if there had been one of these contemptible
mockeries since. Not that the people are getting better, but that their
love of gain is swallowing up even their love of display. Rivero speaks
of the wretched condition of society, and tells of drunkenness, gaming,
assassination, and bad faith, as of things of common occurrence.

I met with much kindness on the part of the few gentlemen whose
acquaintance I made, particularly on that of the sub-prefect, who lodged
me in his house, and, by his frank and sincere manner, made me feel at
home; and I do not say that men here are individually bad; but only
speak of the philosophical fact that mining, as an occupation, has a
tendency to debase men's characters, and destroy those sensibilities
and affections that smooth and soften the rugged path of life. Moreover,
I don't speak half so badly of them as they do of themselves; for one,
if he were to seek it, might easily hear that every individual in the
Cerro was a rascal.

The climate of this place is exceedingly uncomfortable, and I should
suppose unhealthy. I could not sleep between sheets, but preferred "the
wollens," with an abundance of them. Rivero states the mean temperature,
during the months of July, August, and September, at 44° in the day, and
35° at night. In these months there is an abundance of snow and hail,
which lowers the thermometer considerably; and even without these it
goes down to 30° and 28° in August. From the middle of October to the
end of April the climate is insupportable from the rains, tempests and
lightnings, which almost every year cause damage. There is a period
of fine weather from the middle of December to the middle of January,
called, in the poetic language and religious turn of thought of the
Spaniards, _El verano del niño_, or the summer of the child, from its
happening about Christmas. The streams, which are fed from the rains
of this country, invariably stop rising, and fall a little after this
period. The temperature is so rigorous here that the hens do not hatch,
nor the llamas procreate; and women, at the period of their confinement,
are obliged to seek a more genial climate, or their offspring will not
live.

Persons recently arrived, particularly if they have weak lungs, suffer
from affections of the chest and difficulty of breathing. The miners
suffer paralysis from the sudden changes of temperature to which they
are exposed in and out of the mines, and from inhaling the fumes of
the mercury in the operation of distilling. Those who suffer in this
way are called _azogados_, from _azogue_, (quicksilver.) The most
common diseases are pleurisies, rheumatisms, and a putrid fever called
_tabardillo_. Pleurisies are said to be cured by taking an infusion of
_mullaca_, an herb which grows in the neighborhood. It has very small
leaves, and gives a small, round, red fruit.

There is no cultivation in this neighborhood, with the exception of a
little barley, which gives no grain, but is cut for fodder. The market,
however, is well supplied from _Huanuco_, and the neighboring valleys.
Expenses of living are great, particularly where articles of luxury from
the coast are used.

_July 12._—I visited some of the haciendas for grinding the ores. These
mills are also rude. A horizontal water-wheel turns an upright axis,
which passes up through a hole in the centre of the lower stone. The
upper stone is bolted to the side of the axis, and is carried round
on its edge upon the lower one. A very small stream of water trickles
continually on the stones, and carries off the ground ore into a
receptacle below, prepared for it, where the water drains off, and
leaves the _harina_ to be carried to the circo. A pair of stones will
grind nearly a caxon a day. A stone of granite, nine feet in diameter,
and twenty inches thick, costs, delivered, one hundred and thirty-five
dollars. It will wear away in six or seven months so as to be unfit for
an upper stone; it then answers for a lower one.

I had a visit from an enthusiastic old gentleman, the Intendente of
_Pozuzu_, who says that he is about to memorialize Congress for funds
and assistance to carry on a work which he has himself commenced—that
is, the opening of a road from the Cerro direct to Pozuzu, without
taking the roundabout way by Huanuco. He says that he is practically
acquainted with the ground; that it is nearly all _pampa_, or
plain; (people told us the same thing of the road between Tarma and
Chanchamayo;) and that part of it is over a _pajonal_, or grassy plain,
where there will be no forest to clear. He says that when the road is
opened from the Cerro to Pozuzu, and thence to _Mayro_, (the head of
navigation on the _Pachitea_,) communication may be had and burdens
carried between the Cerro and Mayro in four days; also, that roads may
run to the southward from Pozuzu, over a plain, by which the commerce
of foreign countries, coming up the Amazon, may reach Tarma, Jauxa, and
all the towns of the Sierra.

This is the day-dream of the Peruvians of that district. They know
the difficulties of the Cordillera passage, and look earnestly to the
eastward for communication with the world. Though this gentleman is led
away by his enthusiasm, and probably misstates, yet I think he is in the
main correct; for between the Cerro and Mayro there is but one range of
the Andes to pass to arrive at the Montaña, (as is also the case between
Tarma and Chanchamayo;) whereas, by the route through Huanuco there are
at least two, and these very broken, elevated, and rugged. I think that
the Ucayali affords the best means of communication with the interior
of Peru, and my impression is that it is best approached by the way of
Chanchamayo. I hinted this, but my friend hooted at the idea; and I find
the same jealousy in him that I found in the Tarma people. Both here
and there they say it will be a great day for them when the Americans
get near them with a steamer.

_July 13._—I had unfortunately selected a feast-day, and one, too, on
which there was a regular bull fight, (the first that had been seen
in the Cerro,) for my departure, and found great difficulty in getting
off. The muleteers I had engaged were drunk at an early hour, and not
making their appearance, I had to send the police after them. It is
really curious to observe how entirely indifferent to the fulfilment
of a promise these people are, and how very general the vice is. These
muleteers had given me the strongest assurances that they would be at
my door by daylight, and yet when they made the promise they had not
the slightest idea of keeping it. The habit seems to be acquiesced in
and borne with patience by even the true and promise-keeping English. My
friend, Mr. Jump, did not sympathize in the least with my fretfulness,
and seemed surprised that I expected to get off.

I desire to express my thanks to him, and the amiable members of his
family, Mr. and Mrs. Biggs, for those kind attentions that cheer the
heart and renew the energies of the worn wayfarer.



CHAPTER VI.

     Departure from Cerro Pasco—Mint at Quinua—San
     Rafael—Ambo—Quicacan—Huanuco—Cerro de Carpis—Chinchao
     valley—Huallaga river.


By cajoling, and threats of appeal to the military, (a small military
force is stationed here as a police,) we got our drunken vagabonds to
"load up" and set off by half-past 1 p. m. One of them gave us the
slip at the outskirts of the town. The other wished to look him up,
or at least to get the key of a tambo where two spare mules belonging
to them were locked up; but we would not hear of it; and driving the
loaded mules on, he was fain to follow. The deserter joined us at our
stopping-place for the night, but on finding the condition of things,
he had to return to the Cerro for his missing beasts.

Almost immediately on leaving the Cerro, and ascending the hills that
encircled it on the north, we came in sight of the Eastern Andes, which
is here a Cordillera, for it has many abrupt and snow-clad peaks.
Close at hand, on the left, was a spot of marshy ground, which had
some interest for us, as we were not to quit the waters which we saw
trickling in tiny streams from it, until, swelled by many others, they
pour themselves into the Atlantic by a mouth one hundred and eighty
miles broad. This is the source of the _Huallaga_, one of the head
tributaries of the Amazon.

Seven miles in a N. N. E. direction, and passing many haciendas for the
grinding of ore, brought us to the village of _Quinua_, where a mint
was established several years ago, but is now abandoned. The machinery
for coining is much better than any I have seen in South America. It
was made by a Boston man, named Hacket, who also made nearly all the
machinery for the sugar-mills near Huanuco. There are gold mines in this
neighborhood, but I think they are not worked. This village is just at
the point where, leaving the sterility of the Cerro, we fall in with
bushes and flowers.

Four miles further we stopped for the night at a hacienda called
Chiquirin, which appears once to have been flourishing, but which is
now nearly abandoned, being only tenanted by an old man to take care of
the house. The bridge, which crossed the stream in front of the house,
had had arched gateways at each end; and a respectable-looking church
occupied one side of the patio. A field or two of barley is all the
cultivation now about it. Indeed, there seemed little room for more, for
the hills on each side now began to close in and present the appearance
of mountains; and I have no doubt that, though still going down hill,
we have begun to cross the second range of the Andes. We could get no
supper at this place. I was tired enough to care little about it. Had
Ijurra been with us, he would probably have found something; but he was
absent, having dropped the compass on the road and ridden back to look
for it. The height of Chiquirin, by boiling point, is eleven thousand
five hundred and forty-two feet above the level of the sea.

_July 14._—We had a pleasant ride down the valley, which opens a little
and gives room for some cultivation. There were pinks and holy-hocks in
the little gardens adjoining the cottages; also cabbages, lettuce, and
onions. We stopped to breakfast at _Caxarmarquilla_, a village of some
eight or ten houses. The cura received me hospitably, and gave me some
breakfast. He told me there were one hundred and fifty souls in the
Doctrina. I should judge there were about thirty in the village. The
rock of this district is red sandstone and conglomerate. At six miles
further we passed a hacienda, where there were roses in bloom, and the
flowering pea, with wheat on the hill-side, and a grist-mill; also,
alfalfa and maize. Immediately afterwards, a valley from the southward
and eastward joined the one I was travelling in, bringing its stream
of water to swell the Huallaga. Gypsum crops out of the hills on the
road-side, making the roads white. Houses here are whitewashed with it.
A mile further is the village of _Huariaca_, a long, straggling place
of one, and in some places two streets. It contains about seven or
eight hundred inhabitants. I thought I saw more white people and more
industry in this place than is common in the small Sierra towns. We
met continually mules laden with tobacco, coca, and fruit, going from
Huanuco and the Montaña beyond it to the Cerro. We stopped, at half-past
five, at _San Rafael_, an Indian town of some two hundred and fifty
souls, with a white lieutenant governor, and put up at his house.

I had my bed made inside, instead of outside the house, which was a
mistake, as I was "pigging in" with all the family; and from want of
air, and villanous smell, expected to catch tabardillo before morning.
The thermometer was at 62° at 7 p. m., and I imagine did not fall
lower than 50° during the night; so that I could very well have slept
outside, and advise all travellers to do so, providing themselves with
warm bed-clothing. Here I was joined by Ijurra, whom I was very glad to
see, and the delinquent arriero, with his two mules. The height of San
Rafael, by boiling point, is eight thousand five hundred and fifty-one
feet above the level of the sea.

  [Illustration: CERRO DE PASCO.

     Pl. 10.
     Rivero del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: MINER. CERRO PASCO.

     Pl. 11.
     Rivero del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: ORE CARRIER, CERRO PASCO.

     Pl. 12.
     Rivero del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

_July 15._—We got alfalfa for our mules, but it is now getting very
scarce. The valley, after leaving San Rafael, is very narrow, and
the road rises and falls along the bare flanks of the mountains. The
character of the rock is a dark schist; the growth, willows—palma
christi—maguey, (a species of cactus, with a very long, broad, yet
sharp-pointed leaf,) which throws out from the centre of a clump of
leaves a light stalk of three or four inches diameter at the base,
and frequently thirty feet in height. This flowers towards the top,
and bears a sort of nut-like fruit. The stem is much used for roofing
houses, and the broad, thick leaves serve for thatch.

We shot at condors hovering over a dead mule, and saw a small hawk of
variegated and pretty plumage, of a species which we had before seen
near Oroya. About ten miles from San Rafael we were crossing the highest
part of the chain. An opening in the mountains to the right gave us
a view of some splendid snow-clad peaks. After an hour's ride over a
precipitous and broken path, rendered dangerous in some places by the
sliding of the earth and soft rock from above upon it, we commenced a
very sharp descent, which brought us, in fifteen minutes, to fruit-trees
and a patch of sugar-cane on the banks of the stream. The sudden
transition from rugged mountain peaks, where there was no cultivation,
to a tropical vegetation, was marvellous. A few miles further on we
crossed the boundary-line between the provinces of Pasco and Huanuco.
The transition is agreeable, and I was glad to exchange the mining for
the agricultural country. At half-past four, we arrived at the town of
_Ambo_, a village of one thousand inhabitants, situated at the junction
of the rivers _Huacar_ and Huallaga. The former stream comes down a
ravine to the westward; each is about thirty-five yards broad, and,
uniting, they pour their waters by the town with great velocity. The
rock of this region is mostly an argillaceous schist, though just above
Ambo the road was bordered by a perpendicular hill of beautiful red
sandstone. The strata all along this route are nearly north and south
in their directions, and have an inclination upwards towards the north
of from forty to seventy degrees.

Two miles from Ambo, on the right or opposite bank of the river, is
another very pretty little village, almost hidden in the luxuriant
vegetation about it. The whole valley now becomes very beautiful. From
the road on which we were travelling to the river's brink, (a breadth
of quarter of a mile,) the land (which is a rich river bottom) is
laid off into alternate fields of sugar cane and alfalfa. The blended
green and yellow of this growth, divided by willows, interspersed with
fruit-trees, and broken into wavy lines by the serpentine course of
the river, presented a gay and cheerful appearance, which, contrasting
with the forbidding aspect of the rocks we had just left, filled
us with pleasurable emotions, and indicated that we had exchanged a
semi-barbarous for a civilized society. The only drawback with me was
excessive fatigue. When Ijurra rode back to Cerro Pasco for the compass,
he happened to be mounted on my mule. This gave her extra work; and
the ride of to-day was a long one, so that the little beast by this
time could barely put one foot before the other. There is scarcely
anything more fatiguing than to ride a tired horse; and when I arrived
(at five) at the hospitable gates of the hacienda of _Quicacan_, and
with difficulty lifted myself out of the saddle, it was with the deep
sigh which always accompanies relief from pain, and which was much more
pleasurable than the sight of waving fields and babbling brooks.

The owner of the hacienda—an English gentleman, named Dyer, to whom I
brought letters from Cerro Pasco—received me and my large party exactly
as if it were a matter of course, and as if I had quite as much right
to enter his house as I had to enter an inn. The patio was filled with
horses, belonging to a large party from Huanuco bound to Lima, and every
seat in the ample portico seemed filled. I was somewhat surprised at
the size and appointments of the establishment. It looked like a little
village of itself, with its offices and workshops. The dwelling—a large,
substantial, though low building, with a corridor in front supported on
massive arches, and having the spaces between the pillars enclosed with
iron wire to serve for cages for numerous rare and pretty birds—occupied
one side of the enclosed square; store-rooms occupied another; the
sugar-house, another; and a chapel, the fourth. A bronze fountain, with
an ample basin, decorated the centre. I was strongly reminded of the
large farm-houses in some parts of Virginia: the same number of servants
bustling about in each other's way; the children of the master and the
servant all mixed up together; the same in the hospitable welcome to all
comers; the same careless profusion. When I saw the servants dragging
out mattresses and bed-clothing from some obscure room, and going with
them to different parts of the house to make pallets for the visitors
who intended to spend the night, I seemed carried back to my boyish
days, and almost fancied that I was at a country wedding in Virginia.
We dined at six in another spacious corridor, enclosed with glass,
and looking out upon a garden rich with grape-vines and flowers. After
dinner, the party broke up into groups for cards or conversation, which
continued until ten o'clock brought tea and bed-time.

I conversed with an intelligent and manly Frenchman named Escudero. His
account of the seeking and gathering of Peruvian bark was exceedingly
interesting; and I should judge that it is an occupation which involves
much fatigue and exposure. He spoke very highly of the mechanical
abilities of my countryman, Miguel Hacket, and gave me a letter to
deliver to him wherever I might find him.

I also had some talk with quite a pretty young woman, who had come
from Quito by the way of the Pastaza, Marañon, and Huallaga rivers. She
said she was scared at the _malos pasos_, or rapids of the river, and
never could relish monkey soup; but what gave her most uneasiness was
the polite attention of the _Huambisas_ Indians. She declared that this
was frightful, and swore a good round oath, (that might have satisfied
Hotspur in a lady,) "_Caramba!_ but they were mad for a white wife."
Report here says that she prefers Yankee to Indian, and is about to
bestow her hand upon a long countryman of ours, the head blacksmith,
named Blake.

_July 16._—Dyer had put me into a wide "four-poster." None but a
traveller in these parts can imagine the intense pleasure with which I
took off my clothes and stretched my weary limbs between linen sheets,
and laid my head upon a pillow with a frilled case to it. I could
scarcely sleep for the enjoyment of the luxury. Rest, too, has renewed
my beast; and the little black, which I thought last night was entirely
done up, is this morning as lively as a filly.

The sugar-mill of Quicacan is composed of an overshot wheel, turned by a
race brought from the river far above, and giving motion to three heavy
brass cylinders that crush the cane between them. The juice falls into
a receptacle below, and is led off by a trough to the boilers, which
are arranged in order over the furnaces like a common kitchen range.
After a certain amount of boiling, it is poured by means of ladles into
wooden moulds, greased and laid on the ground in rows. This makes the
_chancaca_, so much used throughout Peru. It supplies the place, in this
country, to the lower classes, which the wares of candy shops do in our
own. Two of the moulds are put together and enveloped in the leaf of
the cane. They make a pound, and are sold at the hacienda for six and
a quarter cents.

Cutting the cane, bringing it in, stripping it and cutting off the tops,
supplying the mill, boiling the sugar, and making the chancaca, employ
about twenty men and four mules. With this force one hundred dollars'
worth of chancaca may be made in a day; but Mr. Dyer says that he is
not now making more than twenty or thirty dollars, and not paying his
expenses. He attributes this to the fact that his fields are wearing
out and require replanting. He thinks that cane should be replanted
every ten or fifteen years. It is fit for cutting in twelve months after
planting. This is a very extensive establishment; and Mr. Dyer, besides
his cane-fields, which are on the river side, cultivates a farm for
raising wheat, maize, peas, beans, and potatoes, on the hills above.

We left Quicacan at noon, in company with Mr. Dyer and my French
friend; stopped at another hacienda, about a mile and a half from this,
belonging to a gentleman named Ingunza, and at another a little lower
down, called Andabamba, belonging to Señor San Miguel, to whom I brought
letters from Lima. All these, with another on the same road, belonged
to a Colonel Lucar, of Huanuco, who gave them to these gentlemen, his
sons-in-law. Quicacan was the family mansion, and had been longest under
cultivation. At half-past four we arrived at Huanuco, and, presenting
a letter to Colonel Lucar, from his son-in-law Dyer, we were kindly
received, and lodgings appointed us in his spacious and commodious
house.

_July 17._—Huanuco is one of the most ancient cities in Peru. It is
prettily situated on the left bank of the Huanuco or Huallaga river,
which is here about forty yards wide, and at this time (the dry season)
about two feet deep in the channel. It, however, every two or three
hundred yards, runs over rocks or a gravelly bed, which makes it
entirely innavigable, even for canoes, though when the river is up I
believe articles are transported on it from hacienda to hacienda in
small scows. A smaller stream, called the Higueros, empties into it just
above the city.

The houses are built of adobe, with tile roofs, and almost all have
large gardens attached to them—so that the city covers a good deal
of ground without having many houses. The gardens are filled with
vegetables and fruit-trees, and make delightful places of recreation
during the warmer parts of the day.

The population numbers from four to five thousand. They seem to be a
simple and primitive people; and, like all who have little to do, are
much attached to religious ceremonies—there being no less than fifteen
churches in the city, some of them quite large and handsome. The people
are civil and respectful, and, save a curious stare now and then at my
spectacles and red beard, are by no means offensive in their curiosity,
as Smyth represents them to have been some seventeen years ago.

The trade of the place is with Cerro Pasco on the one hand, and the
villages of the Huallaga on the other. It sends chancaca, tobacco,
fruit, and vegetables to the Cerro, and receives foreign goods (mostly
English) in return. A shop-keeper gave me the price of some of the
articles in his store: Broad striped cassimere, such as gentlemen's
trousers are made of, five and a half dollars the yard; very common
silk handkerchiefs, one dollar; common silk hat, five dollars; blue
cloth drillings, twenty-five cents the yard; baize, eighty-seven and
a half cents; narrow ribbon, one dollar and twenty-five cents the
piece; cotton handkerchiefs, two dollars and twenty-five cents the
dozen; tolerable Scotch carpeting, one dollar and a half the vara,
of thirty-three English inches; bayeta castilla, (a kind of serge
or woollen cloth, with a long shag upon it, and of rich colors,) one
dollar and seventy-five cents the vara. In the market, beef and mutton
from the province of Huamalies sell at six and a quarter cents the
pound; Indian corn, twenty-five cents the olla, of twenty-five pounds;
potatoes, seventy-five cents for the _costal_, of fifty pounds; salt,
from the coast at Huacho, six and a quarter cents the pound; sugar,
generally from the coast, twenty-five cents the pound, (this in an
eminently sugar country;) coffee, twelve and a half cents. Very little
meat is raised. I saw a small quantity of pork, with plenty of tallow
candles; and rotten potatoes for the consumption of the Indians. Bread
is good, but is generally made, in the best houses, of American flour
from Lima. Vegetables and fruit are abundant and cheap. This is, _par
excellence_, the country of the celebrated chirimoya. I have seen this
fruit in Huanuco quite twice as large as it is generally seen in Lima,
and of most delicious flavor. They have a custom here to cover the
finest specimens with gold leaf, and place them as a decoration on the
altar of some patron Saint on his festival. The church afterwards sells
them; and I have seen several on Colonel Lucar's table.

This gentleman is probably the richest and most influential man in
Huanuco. He seems to have been the father of husbandry in these parts,
and is the very type of the old landed proprietor of Virginia, who
has lived always upon his estates, and attended personally to their
cultivation. Seated at the head of his table, with his hat on to keep
the draught from his head—and which he would insist upon removing
unless I would wear mine—his chair surrounded by two or three little
negro children, whom he fed with bits from his plate; and attending
with patience and kindness to the clamorous wants of a pair of splendid
peacocks, a couple of small parrots of brilliant and variegated plumage,
and a beautiful and delicate monkey—I thought I had rarely seen a more
perfect pattern of the patriarch. His kind and affectionate manner to
his domestics, (all slaves,) and to his little grandchildren, a pair of
sprightly boys, who came in in the evening from the college, was also
very pleasing. There are thirty servants attached to the house, large
and small; and the family is reduced to the Colonel and his lady, (at
present absent,) and the boys.

The climate of Huanuco is very equable and very salubrious. There are no
cases of affection of the chest which commence here; on the contrary,
people with diseases caused by the inclemency of the weather about
Cerro Pasco come to Huanuco to be cured. Dysentery and tabardillo are
the commonest diseases; and I see many people (particularly women) with
goitre. I saw a woman who had one that seemed to arise under each ear
and encircle the throat like an inflated life-preserver. The affection
is said to be owing to the impurity of the water, which is not fit to
drink unless filtered. The lower class of people do not attend to this,
and thus the disease is more general with them than with the higher
classes. It is disagreeable to walk out in the middle of the day, on
account of a strong northerly wind, which sets in at this season about
noon, and lasts till dark, raising clouds of dust. The mornings and
evenings are very pleasant, though the sun is hot for an hour or two
before the breeze sets in. The height of Huanuco above the level of the
sea is, by boiling point, five thousand nine hundred and forty-six feet.

There is a college with about twenty-two "internal," and eighty
day-scholars. Its income, derived from lands formerly belonging to
convents, is seven thousand and five hundred dollars yearly. It has
a fine set of chemical and other philosophical apparatus, with one
thousand specimens of European minerals. These things were purchased in
Europe, at a cost of five thousand dollars; and the country owes them to
the zeal for learning and exertions of Don Mariano Eduardo de Rivero,
formerly prefect of the department, director general of the mines, and
now consul general to the Netherlands, where he is said to be preparing
a voluminous work on the antiquities of Peru. As I shall probably not
have occasion to refer to him again, I must in this place express my
sense of gratitude for the information I have received from his most
valuable publication, "The Memorial of Natural Sciences, and of National
and Foreign Industry," edited by himself and Don Nicolas Pierola, the
modest and learned director of the museum at Lima. The Department of
Junin owes much to its former prefect. He has founded schools, improved
roads, built cemeteries, and, in short, whatever good thing I noticed
on my route might generally be traced back to Rivero.

_July 18._—I called on the sub-prefect of the province, and delivered an
official letter from the prefect of the department, whom I had visited
at Cerro Pasco. This gentleman's name is Maldonado. He received me
courteously, and promised me any assistance I might stand in need of. He
seemed to be at bitter feud with all my friends; and they represented
him as a high-handed personage. We met at Quicacan a colonel who was
going to Lima, escorted by a number of his friends, to complain to the
government of his having been illegally imprisoned by the sub-prefect.
I believe the cause was an alleged libel, or libellous publication
against the sub-prefect; and if it was of the nature of some of the
publications daily seen in the Lima papers, he deserved imprisonment, or
worse punishment, for they are generally the foulest and most scurrilous
things, which no decent paper in the United States would publish, and
which would certainly bring upon the writer a fine or the horse-whip.

People in Huanuco are fully alive to the importance of opening the
navigation of the Huallaga to their city. They speak of it as a thing
that would be of incalculable advantage to them; and their leaders and
influential men have often urged them to be up and doing. But, although
they cannot be stirred up to the undertaking themselves, they are
jealous of the attempt by any other route. I had a visit this evening
from my Cerro Pasco acquaintance, the Intendente of Pozuzu. The old
gentleman discoursed long and earnestly about his route from the Cerro
to Pozuzu, and thence to Mayro. When he went away, Colonel Lucar asked
me what I called that science in my country that put people to sleep;
and when I told him that it was animal magnetism, he said that that old
man was a capital magnetiser, for he had been to sleep an hour. I think
there was some jealousy in this.

Rice, tobacco, and straw hats, in small quantities, are now brought on
the backs of Indians from the towns on the Huallaga to Huanuco.

Colonel Lucar showed me his "_cuarto de habios_," or room where he keeps
all his horse furniture. He has at least a dozen saddles of various
patterns, with bridles, pillons, horse-cloths, holsters, and everything
complete. Most of the bridles and stirrups are heavily plated with
silver. People take great care of their horses in this country, and
are generally good horsemen. There are one or two carriages and gigs in
Huanuco, made in England.

I sold my mules to the Colonel for half that I had given for them, with
the condition that we should ride them as far as practicable and send
them back by the arriero. The old gentleman agreed to it, though rather
reluctantly. He said that some fifteen years ago, a countryman of mine,
and calling himself an officer of the navy also, had sold him his mules
for pistols and fowling-pieces, on the same terms; but when he arrived
at the end of his journey, he sold the mules again, and went off with
the proceeds. The Colonel could not give me the name of this honest
individual. I afterwards ascertained that he was not an American, but
a German.

_July 22._—Much to my annoyance our servant Mauricio deserted this
morning. Ijurra accuses me of having spoiled him by indulgence; and I,
on the other hand, think that he had disgusted him by tyranny. I imagine
he went back to Lima with _Castillo_, a young man who had been governor
of the district of Tarapoto, on the Huallaga, and who was going to Lima
with stuffed birds' skins to sell. This was an intelligent young man,
who gave me information about the Montaña. He said I would be amply
protected in my contemplated voyage up the Ucayali with twenty-five
_Chasutinos_, (Indians of Chasuta,) for they were a brave and hardy
people; but that the Cocamas and Cocamillos, from about the mouth of the
river, were great cowards, and would desert me on the first appearance
of the savages—that they had so treated him. I rather suspect that the
reason for Don Mauricio's shabby behavior was, that we were getting into
his own country, and that he had private reasons for desiring to avoid
a visit home. He had asked me at Tarma to let him go with Gibbon.

Our arriero made his appearance at noon, instead of early in the
morning, as he had promised; but we are now getting used to this. We
did not ride our own mules, as they were sick and not in condition to
travel, and the arriero supplied us with others. I got a horse, but
did not derive much benefit from the exchange. Our course lay down the
valley N. E., crossing the river soon after leaving the town by a rude
bridge floored with the leaves of the maguey. We found the road good,
but rocky, principally with the _debris_ of quartz. Gold is occasionally
found, but in small quantities, in the mountains bordering this valley.
At six miles from Huanuco we passed the village of _Sta. Maria del
Valle_, of three hundred inhabitants. We stopped and took some fruit
and pisco with the curate, to whom also I had a letter from Lima.

Every traveller in this country should provide himself with letters of
introduction. People, it is true, will receive him without them, but do
not use that cordial and welcome manner which is so agreeable.

The cura had some fifty or sixty new and well-bound books on shelves,
and seemed a man superior to the generality of his class. He said that
Valle was a poor place, producing only sugar-cane, which the inhabitants
put to no other use than to make _huarapo_ to drink; and that, if it
were not for the neighborhood of Huanuco, he thought that he should
starve. Huarapo is the fermented juice of the cane, and is a very
pleasant drink of a hot day.

We saw a few sheep and goats after leaving the village. The trees were
principally willow and fruit-trees, with here and there a cotton tree,
bearing indifferent staple. The mountains on the left, or Huanuco side,
send down spurs towards the river, between which are pretty little
valleys, not deep and narrow, but spread out like a fan. In each one of
these there is situated a small village or a hacienda, presenting, with
its fields of cane and alfalfa, and, higher up, wheat, a very pretty
appearance. It is not so on the right bank. The small streams that flow
into the river from this side come down rugged ravines, with sides of
soft rock and white earth, and are generally very muddy. We stopped
two miles beyond Valle at a hacienda called _Chullqui_, and slept in an
Indian hut with several other people, one a sick woman with a child two
days old. Height of Chullqui, by B. P., five thousand six hundred and
twenty-six feet above the level of the sea.

_July 23._—Course still N. E. along the banks of the Huallaga. Trees
principally small acacias. At six miles from Chullqui we crossed the
river, turned to the north, and ascended a ravine (down which flowed
a small stream) to the village of _Acomayo_. The river continues its
course to the northward and eastward and sweeps around the base of the
hills, which form (going up) the right-hand side of the Quebrada, up
which we were travelling. The road which we had left, continuing along
the banks of the river, leads to Panao, Muña, and Pozuzu; Smyth's route
to the Pachitea.

Acomayo is a very pleasantly-situated village, of about three hundred
inhabitants. When the authorities are asked concerning the population
of any place, they always give the number of families. This place has
seventy "casados," or couples of married people; and I judge, from
experience, that five to each family is a fair allowance. The water here
is very good, which was an agreeable change from the Huanuco water;
and the fruits, oranges, figs, guavas, and chirimoyas, are of good
quality. I noticed, also, a tree bearing a large bell-shaped flower,
called _floripondio_. This is an old acquaintance of mine; it gives out
a delicious fragrance at night, which, accompanied, as I have known it,
by soft air, rich moon-light, and gentle company, makes bare existence
a happiness.

About three miles up the "Quebrada" we turned to the northeast, and
commenced the ascent of the _Cerro de Carpis_. This is one of a range of
mountains running to the southward and eastward, forming the left-hand
side of the valley of Acomayo, (looking down the stream,) and dividing
the Sierra from the Montaña. The ascent is six miles long, and very
tedious. I had no water to ascertain its height by the boiling-point
apparatus, but judge, from the great descent to _Cashi_, (a distance of
four miles, and so steep that we preferred to walk and lead our beasts,)
that the pass is full eight thousand feet above the level of the sea;
Cashi being six thousand five hundred and forty feet.

There is said to be a superb view of the Montaña from the summit of this
hill, but the clouds (almost within reach of the hand) boiling up from
the great deep below effectually cut it off, and we could see nothing.
When we had got some distance down, and obtained a view through an
opening in the thick growth of the mountain-side, we looked down upon
the most rugged country I have ever seen. There seemed to be no order
or regularity in the hills, which were thickly covered with forest; but
the whole had the appearance of the surface of a vast boiling caldron
suddenly stricken motionless. Just at the summit, and where the road
turns to descend, hundreds of little wooden crosses were placed in the
niches of the rock—votive offerings of the pious arrieros, either of
gratitude for dangers passed, or for protection against dangers to come,
in the ascent or descent of the mountain.

We walked down the descent, leading the beasts. The road was very rocky
and muddy, and the mountain-side was clad with small trees and thick
undergrowth. There were many creepers and parasitical plants, some of
them very graceful and pretty. We stopped, at six, at a tambo called
Cashi, built on a plat, about half-way down the mountain. We found our
place of rest very agreeable; night clear, calm, and cold.

_July 24._—An hour's travel brought us to the bottom of the hill,
where we encountered the _Chinchao_ valley coming down from the right.
We crossed the stream that flowed through it, and travelled down the
valley on its right bank, the road rising and falling on the sides
of the hills. The character of the rock is a dark slate-stone, with
occasional beds of gypsum. At seven miles from the tambo we passed the
village of Chinchao, containing twelve houses and a church, with cotton,
coffee, orange, and plantain trees scattered about the village. A pretty
shrub, bearing a gay, red flower, in appearance like our crape myrtle,
bordered the road-side. It is called _San Juan_, because it blooms
about St. John's day, the 24th of June, like the _Amancaes_ at Lima.
The cultivation of the coca commences here.

I brought a letter from the sub-prefect at Huanuco, for the governor
of Chinchao, but he was absent at his chacra, and not to be found. We
then asked for the lieutenant governor; but though there seemed, from
the general account, to be such a person, we could not find out exactly
who he was, or where he lived. The arriero said he lived "a little
lower down;" but at every house at which we called in our descent the
reply still was _mas abajo_, (yet lower.) At last we seemed to have
_treed him_, and even the man's wife was produced; but after a little
conversation it appeared that our friend was still _mas abajo_. I
was tired and hungry enough to wish he was—where he could not get any
lower, for we had depended upon our letter for a breakfast. We continued
our weary route, and at the next house (the best-looking we had seen)
encountered a white woman, rather shrewish-looking, indeed, but still
a woman, synonym everywhere for kindness. Ijurra civilly inquired if
we could get a few eggs. I think our appearance, particularly the guns
slung behind the saddles, bred mistrust, for we met with the invariable
lie, _no hay_, (haven't got any.) I couldn't be baffled in this way:
so, taking off my hat, and making my best bow, in my most insinuating
tones I said "that we had something to eat in our saddle-bags, and would
be very much obliged if La Señora would permit us to alight and take
our breakfast there." She softened down at once, and said that if we
had any tea she could give us some nice fresh milk to mix with it. We
had no tea, but declared, with many thanks, that the milk would be very
acceptable. Whereupon, it was _put on_ to boil; and, moreover, a dozen
fresh eggs, and boiled to perfection, were also produced. I enjoyed
the breakfast very much, and was pluming myself on the effect of my
fine address, when (alas for my vanity!) the lady, after looking at my
companion for some time, said to him, "Aren't you _un tal_ (a certain)
Ijurra?" He said yes. "Then we are old playmates," said she. "Don't you
recollect our play-ground, your old uncle's garden in Huanuco, and the
apples you used to steal out of it to give me? I'm _Mercedes Prado_."
Here was the solution to the enigma of our reception. Strange to say,
the name awoke pleasant recollections in me also, and set before me the
features of the gay and beautiful young girl whose quick repartee and
merry laugh added so much to the charm of Valparaiso society.

The house of our hostess was very like a capsized ship, with the
cut-water and upper part of the bows sawn off to make an entrance. It
had a regular _breast-hook_ made of saplings twisted together over the
door, a _kelson_ reaching from this to a very perfect _stern frame_,
and, had the ribs been curved instead of straight, the likeness would
have been exact. It was about fifty feet long, and made an airy and
commodious residence. I was surprised to find that we were in the upper
story of it, for we had entered from the ground without steps; but I
afterwards discovered that we had entered from an esplanade cut in the
side of the hill, levelled for the purpose of drying coca leaves, and
that the lower story was at the bottom of the hill, the entrance facing
the other way.

We went on our way rejoicing. The arriero had gone on ahead; and when we
arrived at a chacra, called _Atajo_, at half-past four, we found that
he had unloaded the mules. I was quite angry at his stopping so soon,
and ordered him to load up again; but finding that he went to work to do
it, I let him off, cautioning him against unloading without orders. The
means of living are getting very scarce. We could get nothing to eat,
and had to draw upon our _charqui_. The people of the hut seem contented
with a _chupe_ made of lard, with ullucas and young onions. Nights still
cool; Ther. at 7 p. m., 61°; elevation of "Atajo," three thousand nine
hundred and ten feet.

_July 25._—The road from this place leaves the banks of the stream and
ascends the hills on the right by a very steep and tedious ascent. The
rocks of the road are a mica slate, and at the top of the hills a dark
schist, white on the outside from exposure to the atmosphere. After
arriving at the summit, we turned N. E. by N., and passed the haciendas
called _Mesa pata_ (the top of the table) and _Casapi_, which seemed
abandoned. The road hence is a very rough descent, and a mere path
through the bushes; the earth white, like lime, with gypsum cropping out
occasionally. Near night we stopped at _Chihuangala_, the last hacienda
of the valley, and beyond which there is no mule-road. The arrieros
left us to seek pasturage. This is our last dealing with this gentry.
I was glad to dismount, for I was tired of riding; but in spite of the
abuse that is generally heaped upon the arrieros, I think I have had
little difficulty to complain of. They seem to be tolerably honest and
faithful, (when once on the road,) and, with judicious treatment, one
can get along with them very comfortably. It rained heavily all the
latter part of the night.

_July 26._—At this place we were to await the Indians from _Tingo
Maria_, (a village at the head of canoe navigation on the Huallaga,) to
carry our luggage on. Ijurra had written from Huanuco to the governor of
Tingo Maria, requesting him to send them to us at Chihuangala, sending
the letter by one of Castillo's company who was returning.

We had hard commons here, our charqui beginning to decay. No eggs; no
potatoes; nothing, in fact, but yuccas and bananas. There were turkeys,
chickens, and a pig running about the chacra; but no entreaty, nor any
reasonable offer of money, could induce the people to sell us one. I
offered the _patrona_ a dollar and a half for a half-grown turkey; but
she said she must wait till her husband came in from his work, so that
she might consult him. When he came, after long debate, it was decided
that they would sell me a chicken for breakfast to-morrow. I tried hard
to find out why they were so reluctant to sell, for they do not eat them
themselves; but did not succeed. I believe it to be something like the
miser-feeling of parting with property, the not being used to money,
and also a dislike to kill what they have reared and seen grow up under
their own eye.

Our patrona had six or seven children: one an infant, which, when she
puts to sleep, she enwraps closely in a woollen cloth, and swathes
tightly, over arms and all, with a broad thick band, so that it is
perfectly stiff, and looks like a log of wood, or a roll of cloth. I
asked why she did this, but could only get the reply that it was the
"custom here." The young women of the country have very good features,
and appear lively and good-tempered. Two daughters of the patrona
came in on a visit to-day. I suppose they are out at work (probably as
house servants) in some neighboring hacienda. They were dressed in red
calicoes, always open in the back, and with the invariable shawl; and
one of them had ruffles of cotton lace around the bottom of the sleeves,
which did not reach to the elbow. The girls were nearly as dark as
Indians, but I presume they had a mixture of white blood.

_July 28._—I walked, in company with Ijurra, about three miles to visit
a Señor Martins, at his hacienda of Cocheros. We found this gentleman
a clever and intelligent Portuguese, who had passed many years in this
country. He knew Smyth, and had helped him along on this route. His
wife is _Doña Juana del Rio_, a very lady-like person, in spite of her
common country costume. It was quite surprising to see a Limeña, and one
who had evidently lived in the first circles of that city, in this wild
country, and in this rude though comfortable house. The floor was earth,
and I saw no chairs. The lady sat in a hammock, and the men either on
the mud benches around the sides of the room, or on a coarse wooden one
alongside of a coarse table. Part of the house was curtained off into
small bed-rooms. There was evident plenty, and great comparative comfort
about the house; also, a fine lot of handsome, intelligent-looking
children. Señor Martins told me that this _Quebrada_ produced seven
hundred _cargas_ of coca yearly. A carga is two hundred and sixty
pounds. The value in Huanuco is generally three dollars the arroba. This
would make the value of the crop twenty-one thousand eight hundred and
forty dollars. The hire of the seven hundred mules required to carry
it to Huanuco is two thousand eight hundred dollars, which reduces the
value to about nineteen thousand dollars. There are not many haciendas,
but a number of small farms; the owners of which sell their coca on the
spot for two dollars the arroba. I asked Martins the reason why I had
seen several of the haciendas abandoned, particularly his own large one
of Casapi. He said there were two causes: one being a large ant that ate
the coca leaves, and which, when once established in a plantation, was
difficult to get rid of; and another was the scarcity of labor—that it
was barely to be had in the Quebrada; that he had six laborers on his
hacienda; and that he was at least two thousand dollars in advance to
them. The money, of course, had been advanced to them in the shape of
supplies, and I suppose these laborers are now as effectually slaves as
if they were so by law.

Nothing is sold from this valley but coca. Only sufficient coffee and
sugar cane are planted for the use of the inhabitants. Señor Martins
gave us some very good caçacha, or rum made from the cane, and some
tolerable pine-apples and plantains. A little cotton is cultivated, and
a coarse cloth is woven by hand from it. Every old woman goes about her
household avocations with a bunch of cotton in her hand, and a spindle
hanging below. I was surprised not to see any wild animals, though I
am told that there are deer, hares, tiger-cats, and animals of the mink
kind, that occasionally run off with the poultry. There are not so many
birds as I expected; those I have seen are generally of a gay and rich
plumage. Insect life is very abundant, and nearly all sting or bite.
The climate is very pleasant, though the sun is hot in mid-day. The
diseases, which occur rarely, are cutaneous affections, tabardillo, and
sometimes small-pox.

We met, at Cocheros, an English botanist, named _Nation_, upon whose
track we have been ever since leaving Lima. He was the gardener of
_Souza Ferreyra_, the Brazilian Chargé in Lima, and I believe was
collecting plants for him. Poor fellow! he had had a hard time of it;
he lost his mule not long after leaving Lima, and walked from Surco to
Morococha, where some kind person supplied him with another. He has also
had tertiana whenever he has gone into the Montaña. He was alone, and
spoke no Spanish, but he had combatted obstacles and difficulties with
a spirit and perseverance deserving all praise. I was sorry for his
mishaps, but could not help laughing at him a little when I observed
that the bats had nearly eaten his mule up. The poor beast was covered
with blood all over, and had nearly lost an eye from their bites. Mr.
Nation has sent a great many specimens of plants to Lima, and says that
the "flora" of this country is rich, and almost identical with that of
Brazil.

On our return from Cocheros we stopped at the house of a man who had,
the day before, promised to sell us a fowl; with the usual want of good
faith of these people, he now refused. Ijurra took the gun from my hand,
and, before I was aware what he was about to do, shot a turkey. The man
and his wife made a great outcry over it, and he was hurrying off, with
furious gestures and menacing language, to report the matter to his
_patron_, when a few kind words, the helping myself to a chew of coca
out of his _huallqui_, or leathern bag, in which it is carried, and the
offer of a dollar and a half, which before he had indignantly spurned,
changed his mood, and he smiled and expressed himself satisfied, now
that the thing was done and it could not be helped. I had been often
told by travellers that this was frequently necessary to get something
to eat, but had always set my mind resolutely against any such injustice
and oppression; and I expressed my opinion of the matter to Ijurra,
and requested that the like should not occur again. The elevation of
Chihuangala is three thousand four hundred and twenty-one feet above
the level of the sea.

_July 30._—At 10 a. m., when we had begun to despair of the coming
of our Indians, and Ijurra was about to start alone for Tingo Maria,
for the purpose of fetching them, they came shouting into the chacra,
thirteen in number. They were young, slight, but muscular-looking
fellows, all life and energy; and wanted to shoulder the trunks and
be off at once. We, however, gave them some charqui, and set them to
breakfast. At noon we started, and descended the valley of Chinchao in
a N. N. E. direction; the path steep and obstructed with bushes.

At about six miles from Chihuangala we arrived at the junction of
the Chinchao river with the Huallaga, in a heavy shower of rain,
with thunder and lightning. By leaving the Huallaga at Acomayo, below
Huanuco, crossing a range of mountains at the Cerro de Carpis, striking
the head of the valley of Chinchao, and descending it, we had cut off
a great bend of the river, and now struck it again at the junction
of the Chinchao. It is here some sixty yards wide, and the Chinchao
thirty, both much obstructed with shoals and banks of gravel. The peons
waded the Huallaga above the junction, and brought up a canoe from
the hacienda of _Chinchayvitoc_, a few hundred yards below, and on the
opposite side. We passed in the canoe, which the Indians managed very
well. It was a great treat, after the tedious walk we had had, to feel
the free, rapid motion of the boat as it glided down the stream. The
stream seemed to run at the rate of five or six miles the hour; but, by
keeping close in shore, two Indians could paddle the light canoe against
it very well.

Chinchayvitoc is a hacienda established by a Bolivian gentleman named
Villamil, for the collection of Peruvian bark. He brought some Bolivians
with him to search for the bark; but it is not to be found in this
country of good quality, and the scheme seems a failure. There is a
mayordomo and a family of Indians living at the hacienda, but nothing
is doing. Our peons cooked our dinner of cheese and rice, and made us
a good cup of coffee. These are lively, good-tempered fellows, and,
properly treated, make good and serviceable travelling companions.
Let them but be faithfully paid, a kind word now and then spoken to
them, and their cargoes rather under than over the regular weight,
(eighty-seven and a half pounds,) and they will serve faithfully and
honestly, and go singing and chattering through the woods like so many
monkeys. Above all, let them stop when they wish, and don't attempt to
hurry them.

We had Mr. Nation in company. He had collected some valuable plants,
and showed me one which he said was a present for an Emperor, and that
its very name would make my journal famous. I of course did not ask it
of him; but was very glad to be able to repay to him, in some slight
measure, the many kindnesses I have received from his countrymen,
by giving him a part of my bed-clothes, and making him comfortable
for the night, which he seemed to be much in need of, for he was wet
and sick; and to sleep on the ground in that condition must be very
dangerous. There is much moisture in the atmosphere; and I find it
almost impossible to keep the guns in serviceable order.

We met at this place some Indians carrying tobacco from _Tocache_ and
_Saposoa_ (towns of the Huallaga) to Huanuco. Enterprising men have
frequently tried to establish a trade along this river, carrying down
cotton goods, knives, hatchets, beads, &c., and getting return-cargoes
of tobacco, rice, straw hats, rare birds, and animals; but the
difficulties of the route seem to have baffled enterprise. About two and
a half years ago _Vicente Cevallos_ made a large venture. He carried
down thirty-five trunks or packages of goods, and the people of the
river still talk of his articles of luxury; but in passing one of the
_malos pasos_, or rapids of the river, his boat capsized, and he lost
everything.

The Indians here had blue limestone, which they were burning to mix with
their coca.

_July 31._—I bathed in the river before starting. This is wrong in so
humid an atmosphere. I became chilled, and did not get over it for some
hours. A native traveller in these parts will not even wash his face
and hands before the sun is well up. Soon after starting we crossed a
small stream, and ascended a hill that overlooks the falls of _Cayumba_,
beyond which canoes cannot ascend. I did not see the falls, but am told
that there is no cascade of height, but rather a considerably inclined
plain, much obstructed by drift. Smyth says: "From hence," (the cave of
Cayumba, below the falls,) "we had a very picturesque view of both the
Huallaga and Cayumba—the former rushing between two high perpendicular
rocks, and the latter rolling down a steep ravine. They unite with great
violence at a point where there is a small island covered with trees,
and roll past the cave in an impetuous torrent."

The ascent of the hill was very tedious, and I should complain of the
fatigue but for shame's sake; for there were Indians along, young and
rather small men, who were carrying a burden of nearly one hundred
pounds on their back. Their manner of carrying cargoes is to have a
sort of cotton satchel, of open work, with a broad stout strap to it.
The end of the trunk or package, which is placed on end, is put into
the bag, and the Indian, sitting down with his back to it, passes the
strap over his forehead, and then, with a lift from another, rises to
his feet, and, bending forward, brings the weight upon the muscles of
his neck and back. A bit of blanket, or old cotton cloth, protects the
skin of the back from chafe. The traveller in these parts should be as
lightly clad and carry as little weight as possible, for the path is
very steep and muddy. I had been thoughtless enough to wear my heavy
Sierra clothes, and to load myself with a gun of a greater weight, I
believe, than a standard musket—and so had occasion to envy Ijurra his
light rig of nankeen trousers and cotton shirt, long but light staff,
and twilled cotton "Jeffersons."

The descent of this hill, which is nearly as tedious as the ascent,
brought us to the banks of the river opposite the mal-paso of _Palma_.
This is the first rapid I have seen, and it looked formidable enough.
The river, obstructed in its rapid course, breaks into waves, which
dash with thundering violence against the rocks, and rush between them
in sluices of dazzling velocity. Cargoes must always be landed at this
place, and carried around. The canoe, thus lightened, under skilful
and practical management, may shoot the rapid; but this should not
be attempted where it can be avoided. By prudence, these malos pasos
(the dread of travellers) are stripped of all danger; but the Indians
sometimes get drunk and insist upon the attempt; and thus these places
have become the graves of many. Since my return home I have a letter
from Castillo, the young man I met in Huanuco, enclosing others which
were sent to him at Tarapota from Lima to be forwarded to me. He begged
me to excuse the condition in which I should receive these letters, for
they had been shipwrecked in their transit. "Three persons," said he,
"were drowned, but the letters _fortunately_ escaped."

Nearly all the malos pasos are at the mouth of a tributary. These, in
the floods, bring down quantities of drift, with heavy boulders, which,
thrown crosswise into the stream, lodge and form the obstructions.
Little labor would be required to clear away the rocks, and make the
river passable for canoes at least, if not for light-draught steamboats.

The trees of the forest are large, tall, and without branches for a
great distance up. Ijurra pointed out one to me, of smooth bark, about
four feet diameter near the ground, and which ran up sixty or seventy
feet without a branch. He said that it was so hard that it resisted all
attacks of the axe; and, to get it down, it was necessary to remove the
earth and set fire to the roots; and that, suffered to lie in the water
for a long time, it turned to stone of so hard a character, that, like
flint, it would strike fire from steel. Unfortunately for the accuracy
of the statement, we next day saw gigantic trees of this species
that had been felled with an axe. The wood is, however, very hard
and heavy—too much so for any practical use here. The tree is called
_capirona_. It has a smooth bark, which it is continually changing. The
old bark is a very pretty light-red; the new, a pea-green.

At half-past 4 p. m., we arrived at _the Cave_, a place where a huge
rock, projecting from the hill-side, made a shelter which would cover
and protect from dew or rain about a dozen persons. The Indian who
carried my bag of bedding wished to make my bed there; but I decided
that it was too damp, and made him spread it out on the shingle by the
river brink. The largest part of the cargo had not arrived, and I feared
that we were without drink or cigars, which would have been a great
deprivation to us after the fatigue of the day. The rice and cheese were
on hand; and, to our great delight, Ijurra found in his saddle-bags a
bottle of sherry-brandy that Mr. Jump had insisted upon our taking from
Cerro Pasco, and which I had forgotten. A tin-pan of hot boiled rice
flavored with cheese, a teacup of the brandy, and half a dozen paper
cigars, made us very comfortable; and, lulled by the rustling of the
leaves and the roar of the river, we slept in spite of the ants and
other insects that left the mark of their bites upon our carcasses.
I saw here, for the first time, the _luciernago_, or fire-fly of this
country. It is, unlike ours, a species of beetle, carrying two white
lights in its eyes, (or, rather, in the places where the eyes of insects
generally are,) and a red light between the scales of the belly—so that
it reminded me something of the ocean steamers. It has the power of
softening the light of the eyes until it becomes very faint; but upon
irritating it, by passing the finger over the eyes, the light becomes
very bright and sparkling. They are sometimes carried to Lima, (enclosed
in an apartment cut into a sugar-cane,) where the ladies, at balls or
theatres, put them in their hair for ornament.

_August 1._—We started, without breakfast, at a quarter to seven,
thinking that we were near Tingo Maria. But it was ten miles distant,
and I was weary enough ere we arrived. My principal source of annoyance
was the having inadvertedly asked how far we were off from our
destination. I would advise no traveller to do this; he is sure to be
disappointed; and when he is told (as he will certainly be) that he is
near, the miles appear doubly long. The Indians take no account of time
or distance. They stop when they get tired, and arrive when God pleases.
They live on plantains—roasted, boiled, and fried; and in the way of
food, a yucca is their greatest good. Talking with a young Indian,
who had a light load, and kept up with me very well, I was struck with
the comparative value of things. A Londoner, who has been absent for
some time from his favorite city, and subjected to some privations on
that account, could not have spoken of the elegances and comforts of
London with more enthusiasm than my companion spoke of _Pueblo Viejo_,
a settlement of half a dozen Indians, which we were approaching. "There
are plantains," said he; "there are yuccas; there is everything"—(_Hay
platanos, hay yuccas, hay todo_)—and I really expected to be surprised
and pleased when I arrived at Pueblo Viejo. The town, in fact, consisted
of a single hut, with a plantain grove, a small patch of yuccas, and
another of sugar-cane. In several places near by, people were felling
the trees and forming chacras. The road lay sometimes across and
sometimes along these huge trees; and I envied the bare feet and firm
step of my companion, feeling that my tired legs and muddy boots might,
at any moment, play me a slippery trick, and cost me a broken leg or
sprained ankle.

At eleven we arrived at _Juana del Rio_, a settlement of five or six
houses, on the right bank of the river, named after the lady of Señor
Martins, whom we met at Cocheros. The houses were all shut up, and
nobody seemed to be at home. Here we crossed the river, (one hundred
yards broad, smooth, and deep,) and walked down the left bank about half
a mile to the pueblo of San Antonio del Tingo Maria. _Tingo_ is the
Indian term for the junction of two rivers, the Monzon emptying into
the Huallaga just above this. The governor, an intelligent and modest
young man, a former friend of Ijurra, welcomed us cordially and gave us
a capital breakfast of chicken broth.



CHAPTER VII.

     Itinerary—Tingo Maria—Vampires—Blow-guns—Canoe
     navigation—Shooting monkeys—Tocache—Sion—Salt hills of
     Pilluana.


The following table gives the distance between Lima and the head of
canoe navigation on the Huallaga river:

     From Lima to Chaclacayo      18 miles
       "    "  to Santa Ana       10   "
       "    "  to Surco           18   "
       "    "  to San Mateo       18   "
       "    "  to Acchahuarcu     13   "
       "    "  to Morococha       12   "
       "    "  to Oroya           17   "
       "    "  to Tarma           16   "
       "    "  to Palcamayo       15   "
       "    "  to Junin           18   "
       "    "  to Carhuamayo      15   "
       "    "  to Cerro Pasco     20   "
       "    "  to Caxamarquilla   15   "
       "    "  to San Rafael      15   "
       "    "  to Ambo            20   "
       "    "  to Huanuco         15   "
       "    "  to Acomayo         14   "
       "    "  to Chinchao        16   "
       "    "  to Chihuangala     20   "
       "    "  to La Cueva        20   "
       "    "  to Tingo Maria     10   "
                                 ---
                                 335   "
                                 ===

This distance of three hundred and thirty-five miles may be shortened
twenty-eight by going direct from Lima to Cerro Pasco. (We passed round
by Tarma.) The traveller will find that the distance is divided in the
table into days' journeys nearly. Thus it will cost him, with loaded
mules, twenty-one days to reach the head of canoe navigation on the
Huallaga by this route, and nineteen by the other. The last thirty miles
between Chihuangala and Tingo Maria are travelled on foot, though there
would be no difficulty in opening a mule-road.

Any number of mules may be had in Lima at a hire of about seventy-five
cents a day. I paid more; but this was to be expected, for I bargained
with the muleteers that they were to stop where I pleased, and as long
as I pleased. The feed of a mule will average twelve and a half cents
per day. The load is two hundred and sixty pounds.

It would be difficult to persuade a muleteer to take a traveller all the
distance. They do not like to leave their own _beat_, and the traveller
has to change his mules, on an average, every hundred miles.

The passage of the Cordillera at the season of the year when we crossed
is neither very tedious nor laborious. In fact, we enjoyed much the
magnificent scenery; we were pleased with the manners and habits of a
primitive people; and we met hospitality and kindness everywhere. In
the season of the rains, however, the passage must be both difficult
and dangerous.

_August 2._—Tingo Maria is a prettily-situated village, of forty-eight
able bodied men, and an entire population of one hundred and
eighty-eight. This includes those who are settled at Juana del Rio and
the houses within a mile or two.

The _pueblo_ is situated in a plain on the left bank of the river, which
is about six miles in length, and three miles in its broadest part,
where the mountains back of it recede in a semi-circle from the river.
The height above the level of the sea is two thousand two hundred and
sixty feet. The productions of the plain are sugar-cane, rice, cotton,
tobacco, indigo, maize, sweet potatoes, yuccas, _sachapapa_, or potato
of the woods, (the large, mealy, purple-streaked tuberous root of a
vine, in taste like a yam, and very good food.) The woods are stocked
with game—such as _pumas_, or American tigers; deer; peccary, or
wild hog; _ronsoco_, or river hog; monkeys, &c. For birds—are several
varieties of "_curassow_," a large bird, something like a turkey, but
with, generally, a red bill, a crest, and shining blue-black plumage;
a delicate "_pava del monte_" or wild turkey; a great variety of
parrots; with large, black, wild ducks, and cormorants. There are also
rattlesnakes and vipers. But even with all these, I would advise no
traveller to trust to his gun for support. The woods are so thick and
tangled with undergrowth that no one but an Indian can penetrate them,
and no eyes but those of an Indian could see the game. Even he only
hunts from necessity, and will rarely venture into the thick forest
alone, for fear of the tiger or the viper. There are also good and
delicate fish in the river, but in no great abundance.

The inhabitants are of a tribe called _Cholones_, which was once large
and powerful. I like their character better than that of any Indians
whom I afterwards met with. They are good tempered, cheerful, and sober,
and by far the largest and finest-looking of the aborigines that I
have encountered. They are obedient to the church and attentive to her
ceremonies; and are more advanced than common in civilization, using
no paint as an ornament, but only staining their arms and legs with
the juice of a fruit called _huitoc_, that gives a dark, blue dye, as
a protection against the sand-flies, which are abundant, and a great
nuisance. The place is generally very healthy. The common diseases
are lymphatic swellings of the body and limbs, (supposed to be caused
by exposure to the great humidity of the atmosphere while fishing at
night,) and _sarna_, (a cutaneous affection, which covers the body
with sores, making the patient a loathsome object.) These sores dry up
and come off in scabs, leaving blotches on the skin, so that an Indian
is frequently seen quite mottled. I imagine it is caused by want of
cleanliness, and the bites of the sand-flies. They take, as a remedy,
the dried root of a small tree called _sárnango_, grated and mixed
with water. It is said to have a powerfully-intoxicating and stupefying
effect, and to cause the skin to peel off.

The huitoc is a nut-like fruit, about the size of a common black walnut
with its outer covering. It is, when ripe, soft, of a russet color
outside, and filled with a dark purple pulp and small seeds. The tree
is slender, and some fifteen or twenty feet high, shooting out broad
leaves, with the fruit growing at their base and underneath, like the
bread fruit. There is also here a small tree called _añil_, or indigo,
with a leaf narrow at its base and broad near the extremity, which
yields as deep a dye as the plant. There are also gay and fragrant
flowers in the gardens of the Indians.

Ijurra shot a large bat, of the vampire species, measuring about two
feet across the extended wings. This is a very disgusting-looking
animal, though its fur is very delicate, and of a glossy, rich maroon
color. Its mouth is amply provided with teeth, looking like that of a
miniature tiger. It has two long and sharp tusks in the front part of
each jaw, with two smaller teeth, like those of a hare or sheep, between
the tusks of the upper jaw, and four (much smaller) between those of
the lower. There are also teeth back of the tusks, extending far back
into the mouth. The nostrils seem fitted as a suction apparatus. Above
them is a triangular, cartilaginous snout, nearly half an inch long,
and a quarter broad at the base; and below them is a semi-circular
flap, of nearly the same breadth, but not so long. I suppose these
might be placed over the puncture made by the teeth, and the air
underneath exhausted by the nostrils, thus making them a very perfect
cupping-glass. I never heard it doubted, until my return home, that
these animals were blood-suckers; but the distinguished naturalist,
Mr. T. R. Peale, tells me that no one has ever seen them engaged in the
operation, and that he has made repeated attempts for that purpose, but
without success. On one occasion, when a companion had lost a good deal
of blood, the doors and windows of the house in which his party was
lying were closed, and a number of these bats, that were clinging to
the roof, killed; but none of them were found gorged, or with any signs
of having been engaged in blood-sucking. I also observed no apparatus
proper for making a delicate puncture. The tusks are quite as large as
those of a rat, and, if used in the ordinary manner, would make four
wounds at once, producing, I should think, quite sufficient pain to
awaken the most profound sleeper. Never having heard this doubt, it
did not occur to me to ask the Indians if they had ever seen the bat
sucking, or to examine the wounds of the horses that I had seen bleeding
from this supposed cause. On one occasion I found my blanket spotted
with blood, and supposed that the bat (having gorged himself on the
horses outside) had flown into the house, and, fastening himself to the
thatch over me, had disgorged upon my covering and then flown out. There
was no great quantity of blood, there being but five or six stains on
the blanket, such as would have been made by large drops. I presumed,
likewise, from the fact of the drops being scattered irregularly over a
small surface, that the bat had been hanging by his feet to the thatch,
and swinging about. The discovery of the drops produced a sensation of
deep disgust; and I have frequently been unable to sleep for fear of the
filthy beast. Every traveller in these countries should learn to sleep
with body and head enveloped in a blanket, as the Indians do.

I saw here, for the first time, the blow-gun of the Indians, called, by
the Spaniards, _cerbatana_; by the Portuguese of the river, _gravatana_,
(a corruption, I imagine, of the former, as I find no such Portuguese
word;) and by the Indians, _pucuna_. It is made of any long, straight
piece of wood, generally of a species of palm called chonta—a heavy,
elastic wood, of which bows, clubs, and spears are also made. The pole
or staff, about eight feet in length, and two inches diameter near the
mouth end, (tapering down to half an inch at the extremity,) is divided
longitudinally; a canal is hollowed out along the centre of each part,
which is well smoothed and polished by rubbing with fine sand and wood.
The two parts are then brought together; nicely woolded with twine; and
the whole covered with wax, mixed with some resin of the forest, to make
it hard. A couple of boar's teeth are fitted on each side of the mouth
end, and one of the curved front teeth of a small animal resembling a
cross between a squirrel and a hare, is placed on top for a sight. The
arrow is made of any light wood, generally the wild cane, or the middle
fibre of a species of palm-leaf, which is about a foot in length, and
of the thickness of an ordinary lucifer match. The end of the arrow,
which is placed next to the mouth, is wrapped with a light, delicate
sort of wild cotton, which grows in a pod upon a large tree, and is
called _huimba_; and the other end, very sharply pointed, is dipped in a
vegetable poison prepared from the juice of the creeper, called _bejuco
de ambihuasca_, mixed with _aji_, or strong red pepper, _barbasco_,
_sarnango_, and whatever substances the Indians know to be deleterious.
The marksman, when using his pucuna, instead of stretching out the left
hand along the body of the tube, places it to his mouth by grasping it,
with both hands together, close to the mouth-piece, in such a manner
that it requires considerable strength in the arms to hold it out at
all, much less steadily. If a practised marksman, he will kill a small
bird at thirty or forty paces. In an experiment that I saw, the Indian
held the pucuna horizontally, and the arrow blown from it stuck in the
ground at thirty-eight paces. Commonly the Indian has quite an affection
for his gun, and many superstitious notions about it. I could not
persuade one to shoot a very pretty black and yellow bird for me because
it was a carrion bird; and the Indian said that it would deteriorate
and make useless all the poison in his gourd. Neither will he discharge
his pucuna at a snake, for fear of the gun being made crooked like the
reptile; and a fowling-piece or rifle that has once been discharged at
an alligator is considered entirely worthless. A round gourd, with a
hole in it for the huimba, and a joint of the _caña brava_ as a quiver,
completes the hunting apparatus.

_August 3._—Went to church. The congregation—men, women, and
children—numbered about fifty; the service was conducted by the
governor, assisted by the alcalde. A little naked, bow legged Indian
child, of two or three years, and Ijurra's pointer puppy, which he
had brought all the way from Lima on his saddle-bow, worried the
congregation with their tricks and gambols; but altogether they were
attentive to their prayers, and devout. I enjoyed exceedingly the public
worship of God with these rude children of the forest; and, although
they probably understood little of what they were about, I thought I
could see its humanizing and fraternizing effect upon all.

At night we had a ball at the governor's house. The alcalde, who was
a trump, produced his fiddle; another had a rude sort of guitar, or
banjo; and under the excitement of his music, and the aguadiente of the
governor, who had had his cane ground in anticipation of our arrival,
we danced till eleven o'clock. The custom of the dance requires that a
gentleman should choose a lady and dance with her, in the middle of the
floor, till she gives over, (the company around clapping their hands
in time to the music, and cheering the dancers with _vivas_ at any
particular display of agility or spirit in the dance.) He then presents
his partner with a glass of grog, leads her to a seat, and chooses
another. When he tires there is a general drink, and the lady has the
choice. The _Señor Commandante_ was in considerable request; and a fat
old lady, who would not dance with anybody else, nearly killed me. The
governor discharged our guns several times, and let off some rockets
that we had brought from Huanuco; and doubt if Tingo Maria had ever
witnessed such a brilliant affair before.

_August 4._—I waked up with pain in the legs and headache from dancing,
and found our men and canoes ready for embarkation. After breakfast the
governor and his wife, (though I greviously fear that there had been
no intervention of the priest in the matter of the union,) together
with several of our partners of the previous night, accompanied us to
the port. After loading the canoes the governor made a short address to
the canoe-men, telling them that we "were no common persons; that they
were to have a special care of us: to be very obedient, &c., and that
he would put up daily prayers for their safe return;" whereupon, after
a glass all round, from a bottle brought down specially by our hostess,
and a hearty embrace of the governor, his lady, and my fat friend of
the night before, we embarked and shoved off; the boatmen blowing their
horns as we drifted rapidly down with the current of the river, and the
party on shore waving their hats and shouting their adieus.

We had two canoes; the largest about forty feet long, by two and a half
broad; hollowed out from a single log, and manned each by five men and
a boy. They are conducted by a _puntero_, or bowman, who looks out for
rocks or sunken trees ahead; a _popero_, or steersman, who stands on a
little platform at the stern of the boat and guides her motions; and the
_bogas_ or rowers, who stand up to paddle, having one foot in the bottom
of the boat and the other on the gunwale. When the river was smooth and
free from obstructions, we drifted with the current; the men sitting
on the trunks and boxes, chatting and laughing with each other; but, as
we approached a mal-paso, their serious looks, and the firm position in
which each one planted himself at his post, showed that work was to be
done. I felt a little nervous at first; but when we had fairly entered
the pass, the rapid gesture of the puntero, indicating the channel; the
elegant and graceful position of the popero, giving the boat a broad
sheer with the sweep of his long paddle; the desperate exertions of
the bogas; the railroad rush of the canoe; and the wild, triumphant,
screaming laugh of the Indians, as we shot past the danger, made a scene
that was much too exciting to admit of any other emotion than that of
admiration.

We passed many of these to-day, and were well soaked by the
canoes taking in water on each side; some of them were mere smooth
declivities—inclined planes of gravel, with only three or four inches
of water on them, so that the men had to get overboard, keep the canoes
_head on_ and drag them down. The average velocity of the river here
is three and a half miles to the hour; but when it dashes down one
of these declivities, it must be much more. The breadth of the river
is a constantly varying quantity, probably never over one hundred and
fifty yards, and never under thirty; banks low, and covered with trees,
bushes, and wild cane. There were hills on each side, some distance from
the bank, but now and then coming down to it. It is almost impossible to
estimate the distance travelled with any degree of accuracy. The force
of the current is very variable, and the Indians very irregular in their
manner of rowing—sometimes paddling half an hour with great vigor, and
then suffering the boat to drift with the tide. Averaging the current
at three and a half miles the hour, and the rowing at one and a half,
with nine hours of actual travel, we have forty-five miles for a day's
journey at this season. I have estimated the number of travelling hours
at nine, for we get off generally at 5 a. m., and stop at 5 p. m. We
spend two hours for breakfast, in the middle of the day, and another
hour is lost at the shallows of the river, or stopping to get a shot at
an animal or bird.

At half-past five we camped on the beach. The first business of the
boatmen when the canoe is secured, is to go off to the woods and cut
stakes and palm branches to make a house for the _patron_. By sticking
long poles in the sand, chopping them half in two, about five feet above
the ground, and bending the upper parts together, they make, in a few
minutes, the frame of a little shanty, which, thickly thatched with
palm leaves, will keep off the dew or an ordinary rain. Some bring the
drift-wood that is lying about the beach and make a fire; the provisions
are cooked and eaten; the bedding laid down upon the leaves that cover
the floor of the shanty; the mosquito nettings spread; and, after a
cup of coffee, a glass of grog, and a cigar, (if they are to be had,)
everybody retires for the night by eight o'clock. The Indians sleep
around the hut, each under his narrow cotton mosquito curtain, which
glisten in the moon-light like so many tomb-stones. This was pleasant
enough when provisions were plenty and the weather good; but when there
was no coffee or brandy, the cigars had given out, and there was a slim
allowance of only salt fish and plantains, with one of those nights of
heavy rain that are frequent upon the Marañon, I could not help calling
to mind, with some bitterness of spirit, the comforts of the ship-of-war
that I had left, to say nothing of the luxuries of home.

_August 6._—Started at eight. River seventy yards broad, nine feet
deep, pebbly bottom; current three miles per hour. We find in some
places, where hills come down to the river, as much as thirty feet of
depth. There are some quite high hills on the right-hand side, that
might be called mountains; they run north and south. I was surprised
that we saw no animals all day, but only river birds—such as black
ducks, cormorants, and king-fishers; also many parrots of various kinds
and brilliant plumage, but they always kept out of shot. We camped
at half-past five, tired and low-spirited, having had nothing to eat
all day but a little rice boiled with cheese early in the morning. My
wrists were sore and painful from sun-burn, and the sand-flies were very
troublesome. Heavy clouds, with thunder and lightning, in the N. W. In
the night, fresh breeze from that quarter. We heard tigers and monkeys
during the night, and saw the tiger-tracks near the camp next morning.

_August 6._—Soon after starting we saw a fine doe coming down towards
the river. We steered in, and got within about eighty yards of her,
when Ijurra and I fired together, the guns loaded with a couple of
rifle-balls each. The animal stood quite still for a few minutes, and
then walked slowly off towards the bushes. I gave my gun, loaded with
three rifle-balls, to the puntero, who got a close shot, but without
effect. One of the balls, a little flattened, was picked up close to
where the deer stood. These circumstances made the Indians doubt if she
were a deer; and I judge, from their gestures and exclamations, that
they thought it was some evil spirit that was ball-proof. I imagine that
the ball was flattened either by passing through the branch of a brush
or striking some particularly hard bone of the animal, or it might have
been jammed in the gun by the other balls.

These Indians have very keen senses, and see and hear things that are
inaudible and invisible to us. Our canoe-men this morning commenced
paddling with great vigor. I asked the cause, and they said that they
heard monkeys ahead. I think we must have paddled a mile before I heard
the sound they spoke of. When we came up to them, we found a gang of
large red monkeys in some tall trees on the river-side, making a noise
like the grunting of a herd of enraged hogs. We landed, and in a few
minutes I found myself beating my way through the thick undergrowth, and
hunting monkeys with as much excitement as I had ever hunted squirrels
when a boy. I had no balls with me, and my No. 3 shot only served to
sting them from their elevated position in the tops of the trees, and
bring them within reach of the pucunas of the Indians. They got two and
I one, after firing about a dozen shots into him. I never saw animals so
tenacious of life; this one was, as the Indians expressed it, _bathed
in shot_, (_bañado en municion_.) These monkeys were about the size of
a common terrier-dog, and were clad with a long, soft, maroon-colored
hair; they are called _cotomonos_, from a large goitre (coto) under the
jaw. This is an apparatus of thin bone in the wind-pipe, by means of
which they make their peculiar noise. The male, called _curaca_, (which
is also the appellation of the chief of a tribe of Indians,) has a long
red beard. They are called _guariba_ in Brazil, where they are said to
be black as well as red; and I believe they are of the species commonly
called _howling monkeys_.

It is scarcely worth while to say that the Indians use parts of this
animal for the cure of diseases, for I know no substance that could
possibly be used as a remedial agent that they do not use for that
purpose. The mother carries the young upon her back until it is able to
go alone. If the dam dies, the sire takes charge. There are vast numbers
in all the course of the river, and no day passes to the traveller that
they are not heard or seen.

When I arrived at the beach with my game, I found that the Indians had
made a fire and were roasting theirs. They did not take the trouble
to skin and clean the animal, but simply put him in the fire, and,
when well scorched, took him off and cut pieces from the fleshy parts
with a knife; if these were not sufficiently well done, they roasted
them farther on little stakes stuck up before the fire. I tried to eat
a piece, but it was so tough that my teeth would make no impression
upon it. The one I killed was _enciente_; the fœtus about double the
size of a wharf-rat. I wished to preserve it, but it was too large for
any bottles I had; whereupon the Indians roasted and ate it without
ceremony.

We also saw to-day several river hogs, and had an animated chase after
one, which we encountered on the river-side, immediately opposite a
nearly precipitous bank of loose earth, which crumbled under his feet
so that he could not climb it. He hesitated to take the water in face
of the canoes, so that we thought we had him; but after a little play
up and down the river-side, he broke his way through the line of his
adversaries, capsizing two Indians as he went, and took to the water.
This animal is amphibious, about the size of a half-grown hog, and
reminded me, in his appearance and movements, of the rhinoceros. He
is also red, and I thought it remarkable that the only animals we had
seen—the deer, the monkeys, and the hog—should be all of this color. It
is called _ronsoco_ here, and _capiuara_ in Brazil. In these Brazilian
names I follow the spelling of Baeña.

We also heard the barking of dogs on the right or _Infidel_ side of the
river, in contradistinction to the other, which is called _La parte de
la cristiandad_, supposed to be the dogs of the _Cashibos_ Indians of
the _Pachitea_.

Parrots and other birds were also more numerous than before.

We found the river to-day much choked with islands, shoals, and grounded
drift-wood; camped at half-past five, and supped upon monkey soup. The
monkey, as it regards toughness, was monkey still; but the liver, of
which I ate nearly the whole, was tender and good. Jocko, however, had
his revenge, for I nearly perished of nightmare. Some devil, with arms
as nervous as the monkey's, had me by the throat, and, staring on me
with his cold, cruel eye, expressed his determination to hold on to
the death. I thought it hard to die by the grasp of this fiend on the
banks of the strange river, and so early in my course; and upon making
a desperate effort, and shaking him off, I found that I had forgotten
to take off my cravat, which was choking me within an inch of my life.

_August 7._—We got off at half-past eight; at a quarter to ten passed
the port of _Uchiza_. This is a village nine miles from the river. The
port itself, like that of Tingo Maria, is a shed for the accommodation
of canoes and passengers. Nearly all the towns on the river are built
six or eight miles from the banks, on account of the overflow of the
country when the river is full. Some hill on the bank is generally
selected as the port, and a road is made thence to the town. This hill
is sometimes forty feet out of water, and sometimes covered, and the
whole land between it and the town overflowed. At a quarter past ten
we passed the Quebrada, or ravine of _Huinagua_, on the right. A small
stream comes down this ravine, the water of which is salt. The people
of Uchiza ascend it—a day's journey—to a salt hill, where they supply
themselves with this indispensable article. At twenty minutes past
eleven we passed another; and at 1 p. m. another, where the people of
_Tocache_ get their salt. It is a day's journey from Tocache to the
mouth of the Quebrada, and another to the salt hills.

To-day presented a remarkable contrast to yesterday for sportsmen. We
did not see a single animal, and very few birds; even parrots, generally
so plentiful, were scarce to-day. It was a day of work; the men paddled
well, and we must have made seventy miles. On approaching Tocache, which
was their last stage with us, the Indians almost deafened me with the
noise of their horns. These horns are generally made of pieces of wood
hollowed out thin, joined together, wrapped with twine, and coated with
wax. They are shaped like a blunderbuss, and are about four feet long;
the mouth-piece is of reed, and the sound deep and mellow. The Indians
always make a great noise on approaching any place, to indicate that
they come as friends. They fancy that they might otherwise be attacked,
as hostile parties always move silently.

We arrived at five. I was wearied with the monotonous day's journey and
the heat of the sun, and anticipated the arrival with pleasure, thinking
that we were going to stop at a large village and get something good to
eat; but I was grievously disappointed. We arrived only at the port,
which was, as usual, a shed on a hill; the village being nine miles
off. There was nothing to eat here: so we determined to start inland
and see what we could pick up. A rapid walk of an hour and a quarter
brought us to _Lamasillo_, which I had been told was a pueblo of whites,
but which we found to be but a single house with a "platanal" attached
to it. There were other houses near, but none within sight. I had been
under the impression that "pueblo" meant a village, but I think now it
signifies any settled country, though the houses may be miles apart.
With much persuasion we induced the people of the house to sell us a
couple of bottles of aguadiente and a pair of chickens. The governor
of the district had been at this place within the hour, but was gone to
Tocache, which we understood to be two _coceadas_ further on, or about
the same distance that we had come over from the port to this place.
Distance is frequently estimated by the time that a man will occupy in
taking a chew of coca. From the distance between the port and Lamasillo,
it appears that a chew of coca is about three-fourths of a league, or
thirty-seven and a half minutes.

We walked back by moonlight, and had a fowl cooked forthwith; which,
as we had had nothing but a little monkey soup early in the morning,
we devoured more like tigers than Christian men. We found at the
port several travelling merchants from Moyobamba. One party had been
to Huanuco by land, with a cargo of straw hats and tobacco, which
they sold at about fifty per cent. advance on prime cost. This is a
miserable traffic, for the round trip occupies four months, and is one
of great hardship. The other party were going by the river in canoes to
Huanuco, with the same cargo, and in addition some rice and rare birds.
Travellers go up by the river when it is low, and by land when the river
is high. The returning party were going down on _balsas_, which they
had constructed at Tingo Maria. These balsas are logs of a light kind
of wood, called balsa wood, placed side by side, half a foot apart, and
secured by other pieces lashed athwart them. A platform raised on small
logs is elevated amidships for the cargo to rest on; and the rowers,
standing upon the lower logs, have their feet in the water all the time.
After getting clear of all the rapids of a river, they of course may be
built of any size, and comfortable houses erected on them. I should have
preferred coming down the Amazon in that way, but that I contemplated
ascending other rivers.

We made our beds in the canoes under the shed, and, tired as we
were, slept comfortably enough. It seems a merciful dispensation of
Providence that the sand-flies go to bed at the same time with the
people; otherwise I think one could not live in this country. We have
not yet been troubled with musquitoes. The sand-flies are here called
"mosquitos," the diminutive of _mosca_, a fly; our musquitoes are called
_sancudos_. The sand-flies are very troublesome in the day, and one
cannot write or eat in any comfort. Everybody's hands in this country
are nearly black from the effects of their bite, which leaves a little
round black spot, that lasts for weeks. It is much better to bear the
sting than to irritate the part by scratching or rubbing.

_August 8._—I sent Ijurra to Tocache to communicate with the governor,
while I spent the day in writing up my journal, and drying the equipage
that had been wetted in the journey. In the afternoon I walked into
the woods with an Indian, for the purpose of seeing him kill a bird
or animal with his pucuna. I admired the stealthy and noiseless manner
with which he moved through the woods, occasionally casting a wondering
and reproachful glance at me as I would catch my foot in a creeper
and pitch into the bushes with sufficient noise to alarm all the game
within a mile round. At last he pointed out to me a toucan, called by
the Spaniards _predicador_, or preacher, sitting on a branch of a tree
out of the reach of his gun. I fired and brought him down with a broken
wing. The Indian started into the bushes after him; but, finding him
running, he came back to me for his pucuna, which he had left behind. In
a few minutes he brought the bird to me with an arrow sticking in his
throat. The bird was dead in two minutes after I saw it, and probably
in two and a half minutes from the time it was struck. The Indian said
that his poison was good, but that it was in a manner ejected by the
flow of blood, which covered the bird's breast, and which showed that
a large blood-vessel of the neck had been pierced. I do not know if his
reasoning were good or not.

Ijurra returned at eight, tired, and in a bad humor. He reported that he
had hunted the governor from place to place all day; had come up with
him at last and obtained the promise that we should have canoes and
men to prosecute our journey. My companion, who has been sub-prefect
or governor of the whole province which we are now in, (Mainas,)
and who has appointed and removed these governors of districts at
pleasure, finds it difficult to sue where he had formerly commanded.
He consequently generally quarrels with those in authority; and I have
to put myself to some trouble, and draw largely upon my "bon homie" to
reconcile the differences, and cool down the heats, which his impatience
and irritability often occasion. He, however, did good service to the
cause, by purchasing a hog and some chickens, which were to appear
to-morrow.

_August 9._—We had people to work killing and salting our hog. We had
difficulty in getting some one to undertake this office, but the man
from whom we purchased the hog stood our friend, and brought down his
family from Lamasillo to do the needful. We had very little benefit
from our experiment in this way. We paid eight dollars for the hog,
twenty-five cents for salt, twenty-five cents to _Don_ Isidro, who
brought him down to the port, and fifty cents to the same gentleman for
butchering him. The wife and children of the owner took their pay for
salting and smoking out of the hog himself. Our friends going up stream
(according to Ijurra) stole half, and what was left spoiled before we
could eat it.

Everybody is a Don in this country. Our Indian boatmen, at least
the Poperos, are Dons; and much ceremonious courtesy is necessary in
intercourse with them. I have to treat the governors of the districts
with all manner of ceremony; when, while he exacts this, and will get
sulky, and afford me no facilities without it, he will entertain the
proposition to go along with me as my servant.

I had a note from the governor, not written but signed by himself,
requesting to know how many men I wanted, and saying that he hoped to
see us in the pueblo early to-morrow. We excused ourselves from going to
the town, and requested him to send the men down to the port for their
pay. This he would not do, but insisted that we should pay at least at
Lamasillo. We always pay in advance, and the boatmen generally leave
their cotton cloth, in which they are nearly always paid, with their
wives. These have preferred their pay partly in money.

_August 10._—The party for Huanuco got off this morning, and left the
shed to Ijurra and me. Whilst bathing in the river, I saw an animal
swimming down the stream towards me, which I took to be a fox or cat.
I threw stones at it, and it swam to the other side of the river and
took to the forest. Very soon after, a dog, who was evidently in chase,
came swimming down, and missing the chase from the river, swam round
in circles for some minutes before giving it up. This animal, from my
description, was pronounced to be an ounce, or tiger-cat. It is called
_tigre_ throughout all this country, but is never so large or ferocious
as the African tiger. They are rather spotted like the leopard, than
striped like the tiger. They are said, when hungry, to be sufficiently
dangerous, and no one cares to bring them to bay without good dogs and
a good gun.

We talked so much about tigers and their carrying off people whilst
asleep, that I, after going to bed, became nervous; and every sound near
the shed made me grasp the handles of my pistols. After midnight I was
lulled to sleep by the melancholy notes of a bird that Lieutenant Smyth
calls "Alma Perdida," or lost soul. Its wild and wailing cry from the
depths of the forest seemed, indeed, as sad and despairing as that of
one without hope.

_August 11._—Ijurra went to Lamasillo to pay the boatmen, some of them
having come down to the port to carry up the cotton cloth. This left
me entirely alone. The sense of loneliness, and the perfect stillness
of the great forest, caused me to realize in all its force the truth of
Campbell's fine line—

     "The solitude of earth that overawes."

It was strange, when the scratch of my pen on the paper ceased, to hear
absolutely no sound. I felt so much the want of society, that I tried to
make a friend of the lithe, cunning-looking lizard that ran along the
canoe at my side, and that now and then stopped, raised up his head,
and looked at me, seemingly in wonder.

I could see no traces of the height of the river in the _crecido_, or
full; but, from a mark pointed out by one of the Indians, I judged that
the river has here a perpendicular rise and fall of thirty feet. He
represents it at a foot in depth at high water on the hill upon which
we now are, and its borders at three-fourths of a mile inland. Smyth
speaks of the river having fallen ten feet in a single night.

The hill on which the port of Tocache is situated, is about thirty
feet above the present level of the river, and by boiling point is one
thousand five hundred and seventy-nine feet above the level of the sea.

A canoe arrived from _Juan Juy_, and a party of two from _Saposoa_
by land. These are towns further down the river. Each party had its
_pitakas_, (hide trunks,) containing straw hats, rice, tobacco, and
_tocuyo listado_, a striped cotton cloth, much used in Huanuco for
"tickings." It is astonishing to see how far this generally lazy people
will travel for a dollar.

_August 18._—Had a visit from the governor last night. He is a little,
bare-footed Mestizo, dressed in the short frock and trousers of the
Indians. He seemed disposed to do all in his power to facilitate us and
forward us on our journey. I asked him about the tigers. He said he had
known three instances of their having attacked men in the night; two of
them were much injured, and one died.

Our boatmen made their appearance at 10 a. m., accompanied by their
wives, bringing masato for the voyage. The women carry their children
(lashed flat on the back to a frame of reeds) by a strap around the
brow, as they do any other burden. The urchins look comfortable and
contented, and for all the world like young monkeys.

The Indians of this district are _Ibitos_. They are less civilized than
the Cholones of Tingo Maria, and are the first whose faces I have seen
regularly painted. They seem to have no fixed pattern, but each man
paints according to his fancy; using, however, only two colors—the blue
of Huitoc and the red "Achote."

The population of the district is contained in the villages of Tocache,
Lamasillo, _Isonga_, and _Pisana_, and amounts to about five hundred
souls. The road between the port and Tocache is level and smooth; the
soil dark, of a light character, and very rich, though thin. Nothing
is sent from this district for sale, and the inhabitants purchase the
cotton for their garments from the itinerant traders on the river,
paying for it with tobacco. I should judge from the periodical overflow
of the lands, the heat of the sun, and the lightness and richness of
the soil, that this would be the finest rice country in the world.

We started at twelve with two canoes and twelve men; river fifty yards
broad, eighteen feet deep, and with three miles an hour current; a
stream called the Tocache empties into it about half a mile below the
port. It forces its way through five channels, over a bank of stones and
sand. It is doubtless a fine large-looking river when at high water.
The country is hilly on the right and flat on the left-hand side. At
3 p. m. we entered a more hilly country, and began to encounter again
the malos pasos; passed the _Rio Grande de Meshuglla_, which comes in
on the left in the same manner as the Tocache, and soon after, the port
of Pisana; no houses at the port; saw an old white man on the beach,
who was a cripple, and said he had been bedridden for nine years. He
begged us for needles, or fish-hooks, or anything we had. We gave him
a dollar. He is the first beggar for charity's sake that I recollected
to have seen since leaving Lima. There are beggars enough, but they ask
for presents, or, offering to buy some article, expect that it shall be
given to them.

The river is now entirely broken up by islands and rapids. In passing
one of these, we came very near being capsized. Rounding suddenly the
lower end of an island, we met the full force of the current from
the other side, which, striking us on the beam, nearly rolled the
canoe over. The men, in their fright, threw themselves on the upper
gunwale of the boat which gave us a _heel_ the other way, and we very
nearly filled. Had the popero fallen from his post, (and he tottered
fearfully,) we should probably have been lost; but by great exertions
he got the boat's head down stream, and we shot safely by rocks that
threatened destruction.

At six we arrived at the port of _Balsayacu_. The pueblo, which I found,
as usual, to consist of one house, was a pleasant walk of half a mile
from the port. We slept there, instead of at the beach; and it was well
that we did, for it rained heavily all night. The only inhabitants of
the rancho seemed to be two little girls; but I found in the morning
that one of them had an infant, though she did not appear to be more
than twelve or thirteen years of age. I suppose there are more houses
in the neighborhood; but, as I have before said, a pueblo is merely a
settlement, and may extend over leagues. The sandy point at the port is
covered with large boulders, mostly of a dark red conglomerate, though
there were stones of almost every kind brought down by the stream and
deposited there. We travelled to-day about twenty-five miles; course
N. W. by N.; average depth of the reaches of the river sixteen feet;
current three and a half miles to the hour.

_August 13._—Last night Ijurra struck with a fire-brand one of the
boatmen, who was drunk, and disposed to be insolent, and blackened
and burned his face. The man—a powerful Indian, of full six feet in
height—bore it like a corrected child in a blubbering and sulky sort of
manner. This morning he has the paint washed off his face, and looks as
humble as a dog; though I observed a few hours afterwards that he was
painted up again, and had resumed the usual gay and good-tempered manner
of his tribe.

Between ten and eleven we passed the mal-paso of _Mataglla_, just below
the mouth of the river of the same name, which comes in on the left,
clear and cool into the Huallaga. The temperature of this stream was 69;
that of the Huallaga 74. Ijurra thought its waters were decidedly salt,
though I could not discover it. This mal-paso is the worst that I have
yet encountered. We dared not attempt it under oar, and the canoe was
let down along the shore, stern foremost, by a rope from its bows, and
guided between the rocks by the popero—sometimes with his paddle, and
sometimes overboard, up to his middle in water. I am told that "balsas"
pass in mid-channel, but I am sure a canoe would be capsized and filled.
The mal-paso is a quarter of a mile long, and an effectual bar, except
perhaps at high water, to navigation for any thing but a canoe or balsa.
Just before reaching _Sion_ we passed the _Pan de Azucar_, a sugar-loaf
island of slate rock; white when exposed long to the atmosphere; seventy
or eighty feet in height, and covered with small trees. It appears to
have been a promontory torn from the main land and worn into its present
shape by the force of the current.

The river to-day averages one hundred yards in breadth, eighteen feet
of depth, and with four miles of current. Its borders are hilly, and it
runs straighter and more directly to the north than before.

At 1 p. m. we arrived at the port of Sion. This is the port _de la
madre_, or of the main river. There is another port situated on the
Caño or arm of the main river, nearer the pueblo. The village lies in
a S. W. direction, about a mile from the port. As our Tocache men were
to leave us here, we had all the baggage taken up to the town. The walk
is a pleasant one, over a level road of fine sand, well shaded with
large trees. Ijurra, who went up before me, met the priest of Saposoa
(who is on the annual visit to his parish) going south, and about to
embark at the Caño port; and the governor of the district going north
to _Pachiza_, the capital. This last left orders that we should be well
received; and the lieutenant governor of the pueblo lodged us in the
_convento_, or priest's house, and appointed us a cook and a servant.

I slept comfortably on the padre's bedstead, enclosed with matting to
keep off the bats. The people appear to make much of the visit of their
priest. I saw in the corner of the _sala_, or hall of the house, a sort
of rude palanquin, which I understood to have been constructed to carry
his reverence back and forth, between the city and port.

_August 14._—We employed the morning in cleaning the arms and drying the
equipage. Had a visit from some ladies, pretty Mestizas, (descendants
of white and Indian,) who examined the contents of our open trunks with
curiosity and delight. They refrained, however, from asking for anything
until they saw some chancaca with which we were about to sweeten our
morning coffee, when they could contain themselves no longer; but
requested a bit. This seems an article of great request, for no sooner
had the news spread that we had it, than the alcalde brought us an egg
to exchange for some; and even the lieutenant governor also expressed
his desire for a little. We refused the dignitaries, though we had given
some to the ladies; for we had but enough for two or three cups more.
Their wants, however, were not confined to sugar. They asked, without
scruple, after a while, for anything they saw; and the lieutenant
wanted a little sewing cotton, and some of the soap we brought to wash
ourselves with, to take for physic. These things we could more easily
part with, and I had no objection to give him some, and also to regale
his wife with a pair of pinchbeck earrings. There is nothing made or
cultivated here for sale. They raise a few fowls and some yuccas and
plantains for their own use; and it was well that we brought our own
provisions along, or we might have starved.

I do not wonder at the indifference of the people to attempt to better
their condition. The power of the governor to take them from their labor
and send them on journeys of weeks' duration with any passing merchant
or traveller, would have this effect. At this time they have furnished
canoes and rowers for the priest, and a Señor Santa Maria, bound up
the river; and for the governor and us, bound down; which has taken
thirty-eight men out of a population of ninety. (The whole population
of the town and neighborhood, reckoning women and children, is three
hundred.)

The town appears to have been once in a better condition than it is
now. There are remains of a garden attached to the convent, and also of
instruments of husbandry and manufacture—such as rude mortars, hollowed
out from the trunk of a tree, for beating (with pestles) the husk from
rice, and a press for putting into shape the crude wax gathered from
the hollow trees by the Indians, used by the friars "lang syne"—all now
seem going to decay. The people are lazy and indifferent. They cultivate
plantains sufficient to give them to eat, and yuccas enough to make
masato to get drunk on; and this seems all they need. Most of their time
is spent in sleeping, drinking, and dancing. Yesterday they were dancing
all day, having a feast preparatory to going to work to clear ground,
and make a chacra for our "Lady of something," which the priest, in his
recent visit, had commanded; (the produce of this chacra is doubtless
for the benefit of the church or its ministers;) and I have no doubt
that the Indians will have another feast when the job is done.

The dance was a simple affair so far as figure was concerned—the women
whirling round in the centre, and the men (who were also the musicians)
trotting around them in a circle. The music was made by rude drums, and
fifes of reed, and it was quite amusing to see the alcalde, a large,
painted, grave-looking Indian, trotting round like a dog on a tread
mill, with a penny whistle at his mouth. I am told that they will dance
in this way as long as there is drink, if it reach to a month. I myself
have heard their music—the last thing at night as I was going to bed,
and the first thing in the morning as I was getting up—for days at a
time. The tune never changes, and seems to be the same everywhere in
the Montaña. It is a monotonous tapping of the drum, very like our naval
_beat to quarters_.

We embarked at the Caño port, and dropped down the Caño, a mile and a
half to the river. We found the river deep and winding, and running,
generally, between high cliffs of a white rock. The white, however,
is superficial, and seems to be imparted by age and weather. Where the
action of the water had worn the white off, the rock showed dark brown,
and in layers of about two feet thick, the seams running N. N. W. and
S. S. E., and at an angle elevated towards the north of 45°. It is
argillaceous schist, which is the character of most of the rock of this
country.

We passed the mal-paso of _Shapiama_, and, with fifteen minutes'
interval, those of _Savolayacu_ and _Cachihuanushca_. In the first two
the canoes were let down with ropes, and we shot the last under oar,
which I was surprised at, as I had heard that it was one of the worst
on the river. Malos pasos, however, which are formidable when the river
is full, are comparatively safe when it is low; and _vice versa_. Smyth
passed when the river was high—I at the opposite season; and for this
reason our accounts of the rapids would vary and appear contradictory.

After passing the last we found the hills lower, the country more open,
and the river wider and with a gentler flow. The average depth to-day
in the smooth parts is thirty feet; current, three miles.

We passed the port of _Valle_ on the left. A small stream enters here.
The town, containing five hundred inhabitants, is six miles from the
port.

About sunset we arrived at _Challuayacu_, a settlement of twenty houses.
All the inhabitants, except those of one house, were absent. We were
told that they had been disobedient in some matter to the governor of
the district, and that he had come upon them with a force and carried
them off prisoners to Juan Juy, a large town further down the river,
where authority might be brought to bear upon them.

The village is situated in a large and fertile plain, which reaches from
near the town of Valle, on the S. W., to Pachisa, on the N.; but this
is not yet settled or cultivated, and, as at Sion, nothing is produced
except the bare necessaries of life. Some attempt, however, had been
made at improvements, for there were two small horses, in tolerable
condition, wandering about among the deserted houses of the village.
They eat the tops of the sugar-cane, the skin of the plantain, or
almost any vegetable. They were brought from somewhere below to turn a
trapiche; but everything seems abandoned now, and, there being no one to
take care of the horses, I fancy the bats will soon bleed them to death.

_August 16._—Lovely morning. On stepping out of the house my attention
was attracted by a spider's web covering the whole of a large lemon-tree
nearly. The tree was oval and well shaped; and the web was thrown over
it in the most artistic manner, and with the finest effect. Broad
flat cords were stretched out, like the cords of a tent, from its
circumference to the neighboring bushes; and it looked as if some genius
of the lamp, at the command of its master, had exhausted taste and skill
to cover with this delicate drapery the rich-looking fruit beneath. I
think the web would have measured full ten yards in diameter.

The river opposite Challuayacu is one hundred yards broad, shallow and
rapid. A few miles below, it spreads out to one hundred and fifty yards;
and in what seemed mid-channel, there was but six feet water, with a
bottom of fine sand, and a current of four miles the hour. Hills on
the right, but retiring from the shores; a perfect plain, covered with
trees, bushes, and wild cane, on the left.

At noon we arrived at the mouth of the _Huayabamba_, which is one
hundred yards wide, has six feet water, and a beautiful pebbly bottom.
A quarter of an hour's drag of the canoe along the right bank brought
us to the village of _Lupuna_, the port of Pachiza. It contains fifteen
houses and about seventy-five inhabitants. A little rice is grown; but
the staple production is cotton, which seemed to be abundant. This may
be called a manufacturing place; for almost every woman was engaged in
spinning, and many balls of cotton-thread were hanging from the rafters
of each house. A woman, spinning with diligence all day, will make four
of these balls. These weigh a pound, and are worth twenty-five cents.
They are very generally used as currency, there being little money in
the country. I saw some English prints, which were worth thirty-seven
and a half cents the yard; (cost in Lima twelve and a half;) they come
either by the way of Huanuco, or across the country, by Truxillo,
Chachapoyas, and Moyobamba; and are paid for in hats, wax, or these
balls of cotton.

We had a visit from the governor of Pachiza, which town is situated on
the right bank of the river, three miles above Lupuna. I asked him why
he had carried away prisoners nearly all the population of Challuayacu.
He merely said that they had been rebellious, and resisted his
authority, and therefore he had taken them to Juan Juy, where they could
be secured and punished. I thought it a pity that a thriving settlement
should be broken up, very probably on account of some personal quarrel.

The district comprises the pueblos of Pachiza, of eighty matrimonios;
Valle, eighty; _Huicunga_, thirty; Sion, thirty; _Archiras_, sixteen;
Lupuna, fifteen; _Shepti_, twelve; _Bijao_, four; and Challuayacu,
three. The number of souls in a village, proportionate to the number
of matrimonios, or married couples, is generally estimated at five for
one. This would give the population of the district thirteen hundred and
fifty. The people are indolent and careless; and although there could
not well be a finer or more productive country than all this district,
yet they barely exist.

After we had retired to our mats beneath the shed for the night, I
asked the governor if he knew a bird called _El alma perdida_. He did
not know it by that name, and requested a description. I whistled an
imitation of its notes; whereupon, an old crone, stretched on a mat near
us, commenced, with animated tones and gestures, a story in the Inca
language, which, translated, ran somehow thus:

An Indian and his wife went out from the village to work their chacra,
carrying their infant with them. The woman went to the spring to get
water, leaving the man in charge of the child, with many cautions to
take good care of it. When she arrived at the spring she found it dried
up, and went further to look for another. The husband, alarmed at her
long absence, left the child and went in search. When they returned the
child was gone; and to their repeated cries, as they wandered through
the woods in search, they could get no response save the wailing cry of
this little bird, heard for the first time, whose notes their anxious
and excited imagination "syllabled" into _pa-pa_, _ma-ma_, (the present
Quichua name of the bird.) I suppose the Spaniards heard this story,
and, with that religious poetic turn of thought which seems peculiar to
this people, called the bird "The lost soul."

The circumstances under which the story was told—the beautiful still,
starlight night—the deep, dark forest around—the faint-red glimmering
of the fire, flickering upon the old woman's gray hair and earnest face
as she poured forth the guttural tones of the language of a people now
passed away—gave it a sufficiently romantic interest to an imaginative
man. The old woman was a small romance in herself. I had looked at
her with interest as she cooked our supper. She wore a costume that is
sometimes, though not often, seen in this country. The body, or upper
part of the dress, which was black, consisted of two parts—one coming
up from the waist behind and covering the back, the other in front,
covering the breast; the two tied together over each shoulder with
strings, leaving her lank sides and long skinny arms perfectly bare.

_August 17._—We procured a canoe sufficiently large to carry all our
baggage, (we had hitherto had two,) with eight peons. We found hills now
on both sides of the river, which a little below Lupuna has one hundred
and twenty yards of breadth and thirty feet of depth. We passed a small
raft, with a house built of cane and palm upon it, containing an image
of the Virgin, which was bound up the river seeking contributions. The
people buy a step towards Heaven in this way with their little balls of
cotton.

We passed abreast of Juan Juy; but, a long island intervening, we did
not see it. It is a large village of five hundred inhabitants; it is
situated in a plain, a great part of which is overflowed by the river at
the full; and much rice is cultivated there. I have met with the rice
of Juan Juy everywhere on the river. Soon after we passed the mouth of
the river _Sapo_, which is fifty yards broad, and muddy; navigable for
large canoes for twenty miles to the town of Saposoa, which contains one
thousand inhabitants, and is the capital of the comparatively populous
district of that name.

The Huallaga, which for some miles above this has but six feet of water,
at this place has eighteen; but it soon diminishes to six again.

We stopped at a collection of three or four huts called _Oge_, where
there was a trapiche to grind sugar-cane; but the people only made bad
rum of it. We tried to purchase yuccas and plantains; but though they
had them, they did not care to sell. They only plant enough for their
own necessities. Great quantities of yuccas are used to make their
masato. Below this we passed a rancho on the right-hand side, where
there was a fine field of maize. This is the first settlement we have
seen on that bank; fear of the savages, (or _Infidels_,) as they are
called, who dwell on that side, preventing it.

We stopped for the night at _Juan Comas_, a small village situated on a
bluff of light sandy soil, on the left bank. The hills on the other side
are much more bare than is common, having only a few small trees and
scattering bushes on them. We were quite objects of curiosity, and most
of the people of the village came in to see us; one man, a strapping
fellow, came in, and after a brief but courteous salutation to me,
turned to one of the women, and drove her out of the house with kicks
and curses. He followed her, and I soon after heard the sound of blows
and the cries of a woman; I suppose the fellow was either jealous, or
the lady had neglected some household duty to gratify her curiosity.

_August 18._—Just below Juan Comas the river has one hundred yards of
width and forty-two feet of depth. This part of the river is called
the "well" of Juan Comas; it is half a mile in length, and the current
runs but one and a quarter mile the hour. The hills terminate just
below this, and we have the country flat on both sides. We passed some
rocky hills on the right-hand side, in one of which is a cave called
"Puma-huasi," or Tiger house. It is said to be very extensive. Soon
after we passed the mouth of the river _Hunanza_, a small stream coming
in on the Infidel side of the river. Our popero says that the Infidels
dwell near here, and the people of _Tarapoto_ go a short distance up
this river to capture the young Indians and take them home as slaves.
I believe this story; for I found servants of this class in Tarapoto,
who were bought and sold as slaves. Slavery is prohibited by the laws
of Peru; but this system is tolerated on the plea that the Infidel is
christianized and his condition bettered by it.

It is very easy for only a few white men, armed with guns, to rob the
savages of their children; for these rarely live in villages, but in
families of at most three or four huts, and widely separated from each
other. They never assemble except for the purpose of war; and then the
sound of a horn, from settlement to settlement, brings them together.
They are also a timid people, and will not face the white man's gun.

It is possible that the story of the popero is not true, and that the
whites may buy the children of the Indians; but if so, I imagine that
the advantages of the bargain are all on one side.

Below the mouth of the Hunanza we have the same comparatively bare hills
that I noticed opposite Juan Comas. They present ridges of red earth
and dark stone, which curve from the south towards the northeast, and
are elevated in that direction to about 20°. I suspect that they have
veins of salt, particularly as the salt hills of _Pilluana_ are of the
same range, and present at a distance nearly the same appearance.

The hills of Pilluana, which we now soon passed, have their base
immediately upon the river, on the right-hand side. They are about three
hundred feet in height, and stretch along the banks of the river for
a quarter of a mile. The salt shows like frost upon the red earth at
a distance; but seen nearer the heavy rains seem to have washed away
the loose earth and left nearly the pure salt standing in innumerable
cone-shaped pinnacles, so that the broken sides of the hills look like
what drawings represent of the crater of a volcano, or the bottom of
a geyser. Where the hills have been excavated, beautiful stalactites
of perfectly pure salt hang from the roof in many varieties of shapes.
There are much higher hills back of these, that appear also to contain
salt; so that there seems a supply here for all people and for all time.

We passed the mouth of the river _Mayo_, that comes in on the left
between moderately high hills, and five minutes after arrived at
_Shapaja_, one of the ports of Tarapoto. The river, just above the
junction of the Mayo, narrows to forty yards, has thirty and thirty-six
feet of depth, and increases much in velocity. This is preparatory to
its rush over the "_Pongo_," a strait of forty-five miles in length,
where the river is confined between high hills, is much broken with
malos pasos, and has its last considerable declivity.

Shapaja has twenty houses, mostly concealed in the high groves of
plantains which surround them. Nearly all the men were away fishing, but
the women (as always) received us kindly, and cooked our supper for us.



CHAPTER VIII.

     Tarapoto—Pongo of Chasuta—Chasuta—Yurimaguas—Sta.
     Cruz—Antonio, the Paraguá—Laguna—Mouth of the Huallaga.


_August 19._—We started in company with a man who, with his peons, was
carrying fish that he had taken and salted below Chasuta to Tarapoto.
A smart walk of five hours (the latter part of it very quick, to avoid
the rain that threatened us) brought us to the town. The road crossed
a range of hills in the forest for about half the distance. The ascent
and descent of these hills were tedious, because light showers of
rain had moistened the surface of the hard-baked earth and made it as
slippery as soap. For the other half of the distance the road ran over
a plain covered with high, reedy grass, and some bushes; there was a
short clump-grass underneath that would afford capital pasturage. The
distance between Shapaja and Tarapoto, I judge to be fifteen miles, and
the direction westerly, although I could not tell exactly, on account
of the winding of the road.

Tarapoto—which is situated upon a moderate eminence near the western
edge of the plain before spoken of, and surrounded by hills, which
are mountains in the west—is by far the largest town I have seen since
leaving Huanuco. The district—comprising the towns of Tarapoto, (which
has three thousand five hundred inhabitants,) Chasuta, (which has twelve
hundred,) Cumbasa, Morales, Shapaja, Juan Guerra, and Juan Comas—numbers
six thousand inhabitants.

The principal productions are rice, cotton, and tobacco, all of which
are articles of export, particularly the cloth called tocuyo, woven
by the women from cotton. Nearly all the course of the river, as far
as _Egas_, is supplied from Tarapoto with this article. As much as
thirty-five thousand varas is said to be made in this place annually. It
is valued here at twelve and a half cents the vara,[7] and increases in
price as it floats down the river, until at Egas it is exchanged for the
value of fifty cents in foreign articles from Pará. It also goes inland
as far as Moyobamba, where it is exchanged for straw hats and English
prints.

There is little or no money in this country. Tocuyo, wax from the
Ucayali, and balls of cotton thread, are used in its place. The English
goods that come from the interior sell in Tarapoto for four times their
cost in Lima: for example, a yard of printed calico, which costs in
Lima twelve and a half cents, sells in this place for either a pound of
wax, four yards of tocuyo, or two pounds of cotton thread. (It is worth
twenty-five cents, money.)

I suppose there is a little money obtained for these articles in Huanuco
and Chachapoyas, or left here by travelling strangers. But if so, it
falls into the hands of the traders and is hoarded away. These traders
are either Moyobambinos, (inhabitants of Moyobamba,) or foreigners
of Spain, France, and Portugal. The Moyobambinos are the Jews of the
country, and will compass sea and land to make a dollar. I met with them
everywhere on the river; and I think that I did not enter an Indian
village without finding a Moyobambino domiciliated and trading with
the inhabitants. They are a thin, spare, sickly-looking people, of a
very dark complexion, but seem capable of undergoing great hardship
and fatigue, for they carry their cargoes to marts hundreds of leagues
distant by roads or river that present innumerable difficulties.

They bear a bad character on the river, and are said to cheat and
oppress the Indians; so that when I could not get a yucca for my supper
without paying for it in advance, I vented my spleen by abusing a
Moyobambino, who had treated the people so badly that they distrusted
everybody. But I have had reason, once or twice, for abusing other
people besides Moyobambinos on this account; for the governor of
Tarapoto hesitated about trusting me with a canoe to descend the river,
because a person representing himself as a countryman of mine had run
off with one some years before. I imagine this is the same honest German
who "did" Colonel Lucar at Huanuco.

I met at this place my countryman Hacket, whom I had heard spoken so
highly of in Cerro Pasco and Huanuco. He is employed in making copper
kettles (called _pailas_) for distilling, and in all kinds of blacksmith
and foundry work. He seems settled in this country for life, and has
adopted the habits and manners of the people. Poor fellow—how rejoiced
he was to see the face and hear the speech of a countryman! I am
indebted to him for the following statistics concerning Tarapoto:

"The population of Tarapoto, with its annexed ports of Shapaja and Juan
Guerra, is five thousand three hundred and fifty souls. The births
annually are from two hundred and twenty to two hundred and fifty;
deaths, from thirty to fifty.

"The principal occupation of the people is the manufacture of cotton
cloth, of which they make from thirty-five to forty thousand varas
annually. This article is sold in Chachapoyas at twelve and a half
cents the vara. This, tocuyo, and white wax, make the exchange of
the place. Gold and silver are almost unknown, but they are articles
which the people most desire to have. The white wax of Mainas is
worth four yards of tocuyo the pound. A bull or cow of good size is
sold for one hundred varas of tocuyo; a fat hog of ordinary size, for
sixty; a large sheep, twelve; twenty-five pounds of salt fish of the
_vaca marina_, or _paishi_, (equal in quality to cod-fish,) for twelve
varas; twenty-five pounds of manteca (oil or lard) of vaca marina,
twelve varas; twenty-five pounds of coffee, six varas; twenty pounds of
rum—of thirty degrees, twenty-four varas; of sixteen degrees, twelve
varas; twenty-five pounds of cotton in the seed, eight ounces of wax;
a laying-hen, four ounces; a chicken, two ounces; twenty-five pounds
of rice in the husk, half a pound; twenty-five pounds of Indian corn,
two ounces; twenty-five pounds of beans, four ounces; a basket of
yuccas, which weighs from fifty to sixty pounds, two ounces; a head
of plantains, which will weigh from forty to fifty pounds, for three
needles; or six heads, delivered in the house, four ounces of wax.

"A plantain-grove will give in full vigor for fifty or sixty years,
without more attention than to clean it occasionally of weeds; cotton
gives a crop in six months; rice in five; indigo is indigenous; cattle
of all kinds augment with much rapidity.

"All transportation of cargoes by land is made upon the backs of
Indians, for want of roads. The customary weight of a cargo is
seventy-five pounds; the cost of its transportation to Moyobamba,
(seventy miles,) is six varas of tocuyo; to Huanuco, (three hundred and
ninety miles,) thirty-two varas, by water and by land; that is to say,
eight Indians will receive in Tarapoto eight packages, of whatsoever
goods, and carry them on their shoulders to the port of Juan Guerra,
where they embark and carry them in a canoe to the port of Tingo Maria;
there they shoulder them again, and carry them to Huanuco, (eighty
miles.) It is to be understood that the owner of the cargo is to support
the peons.

"The ascent of the Huallaga from Juan Guerra to Tingo Maria takes
thirty days; the descent, eight. It has dangerous passes. It is easy to
obtain, in the term of six or eight days, fifty or sixty peons for the
transportation of cargoes, getting the order of the governor and paying
the above prices.

"This town is, without dispute, the most important in Mainas, on account
of its neighborhood to navigable rivers, united with an extension of
land free from inundations. Its inhabitants are numerous, civilized,
and docile."

The people have no idea of comfort in their domestic relations; the
houses are of mud, thatched with palm, and have uneven dirt floors. The
furniture consists of a grass hammock, a standing bed-place, a coarse
table, and a stool or two. The governor of this populous district wore
no shoes, and appeared to live pretty much like the rest of them.

_August 20_ we spent at Tarapoto, waiting for the peons. The governor
preferred that I should pay them in money, which I much doubt if the
peons ever saw. He will probably keep the money and give them tocuyo
and wax. I paid one dollar and fifty cents for the canoe to carry me
as far as Chasuta, a distance of about six hours down, with probably
twenty-four to return, (that is, twenty-four working hours;) fifty cents
to each peon; and a dollar to pay the people to haul the canoe up the
bank and place it under the shed at Shapaja on its return.

The men who carried us from Tocache to Sion preferred half their pay
in money; in all other cases I have paid in cotton cloth, valued at
twenty-five cents the yard; (its cost in Lima was twelve and a half
cents). The amount of pay, generally fixed by the governor, is a yard
per man per day, and about the same for the canoe.

An American circus company passed through Tarapoto a few months ago;
they had come from the Pacific coast, and were bound down the Amazon.
This beats the Moyobambinos for determined energy in making dollars.
I imagine that the adventure did not pay, for I encountered traces of
them, in broken down horses, at several of the villages on the river.
They floated their horses down on rafts.

I spoke with an active and intelligent young Spanish trader, named
Morey, about the feasibility of a steamboat enterprise upon these
rivers, bringing American goods and taking return-cargoes of coffee,
tobacco, straw-hats, hammocks, and sarsaparilla to the ports of Brazil
on the river. He thought that it could not fail to enrich any one
who would attempt it; but that the difficulty lay in the fact that my
proposed steamer would never get as far as this, for that my goods would
be bought up and paid for in return-cargoes long before she reached
Peru. He thought, too, that the Brazilians along the river had money
which they would be glad to exchange for comforts and luxuries.

Were I to engage in any scheme of colonization for the purpose of
evolving the resources of the Valley of the Amazon, I think I should
direct the attention of settlers to this district of Tarapoto. It
combines more advantages than any other I know; it is healthy, fertile,
and free from the torment of musquitoes and sand-flies. Wheat may be
had from the high lands above it; cattle thrive well; and its coffee,
tobacco, sugar-cane, rice, and maize are of fine quality. It is
true that vessels cannot come up to Shapaja, the port of the town of
Tarapoto; but a good road may be made from this town eighteen miles
to Chasuta, to which vessels of five feet draught may come at the
lowest stage of the river, and any draught at high water. Tarapoto is
situated on an elevated plain twenty miles in diameter; is seventy miles
from Moyobamba, the capital of the province, a city of seven thousand
inhabitants; and has close around it the villages of Lamas, Tabalosas,
Juan Guerra, and Shapaja.

The Ucayali is navigable higher up than this point, and the quality of
cotton and coffee seems better, within certain limits, further from the
equator. But the settler at the head-waters of the Ucayali has to place
himself in a profound wilderness, with the forest and the savage to
subdue, and entirely dependent upon his own resources. I think he would
be better placed near where he can get provisions and assistance whilst
he is clearing the forest and planting his fields. I am told that the
governors of the districts in all the province of Mainas have authority
to give titles to land to any one who desires to cultivate it.

I saw here very fine fields of Indian corn. The stalk grows quite as
high as on our best bottom-lands in Virginia, and the ears were full,
and of good grain. It may be planted at any time, and it yields in
three months, thus giving four crops a year. A considerable quantity of
tobacco is also cultivated in the neighborhood of Tarapoto. The tobacco
seed is planted in carefully-prepared ground in October. At this time
the forest is cleared to make the plantation. In January the seedlings
are ready to transplant, when the wood that has been cut down is set
fire to, and the plantation cleared up ready to receive the plants.
When the plant is about two feet high, the top is cut off, and the
lower leaves, which are generally injured by the dirt, pulled off, so
that the force of the plant may be thrown into the middle leaves. The
crop is gathered, as the leaves ripen, in July and August. They are put
under shelter for a few days to turn yellow, and are then exposed for
three or four days to the sun and dew. After this, they are sometimes
sprinkled with a little molasses and water, and rolled out flat with a
wooden roller; the larger stems are taken out, and they are then put up
in long masses of about one and a half pound weight, and wrapped tightly
and closely with some running vine of the forest. This is the common
method; and the common tobacco of Tarapoto is worth twelve and a half
cents (money) the mass there. A superior kind, made with more care, and
put up in short, thick masses, called _andullo_, is also made in the
province. This is worth twenty-five cents. The best tobacco is made in
_Xeberos_, in the upper mission, and is sent to Lima.

_August 21._—We started for Juan Guerra on horseback, in company with a
large fishing-party, got up by the Padre for his own profit; he seemed
to carry nearly the whole town with him. The mounted party consisted of
eight. There were two ladies along, whose company added to the gaiety
and pleasure of the canter through the woods. Used as I had become
by my travels in various parts of the world to the free and easy, I
must confess that I was a little startled to see these ladies, when we
arrived at Juan Guerra, denude themselves to a silk handkerchief around
the loins, and bathe in the river within forty yards, and in full sight
of all the men.

Arrived at Juan Guerra, we embarked upon the Cumbasa, which empties
into the Mayo. Half an hour's dragging of the canoe over the shoals,
and between the fallen trees on this stream, and one and a half hour's
navigation on the Mayo, carried us to its mouth, which is only a quarter
of a mile above Shapaja, where Morey had the goodness to land us, and
then shoved off to join the priest, who was to camp on a beach above.

The fishing-party of the padre was a large affair. They had four or
five canoes, and a large quantity of barbasco. The manner of fishing
is to close up the mouth of a caño of the river with a net-work made
of reeds, and then, mashing the barbasco root to a pulp, throw it into
the water. This turns the water white, and poisons it, so that the fish
soon commence rising to the surface dead, and are taken into the canoes
with small tridents. Almost at the moment of throwing the barbasco into
the water, the smaller fish rise to the surface and die in two or three
minutes; the larger fish survive longer; and, therefore, a successful
fishing of this sort is a matter of half a day, or till the canoes are
filled.

When we left Shapaja for Tarapoto, we placed our trunks, several without
locks, in charge of the women who lived in the shed where we slept; and,
although they knew that the trunks contained handkerchiefs, red cotton
cloth, beads, scissors, &c., (things which they most desire,) we missed
nothing on our return.

_August 22._—Two miles below Shapaja is the mal-paso of Estero. A
point of rocks, stretching out from a little stream that enters on the
left, makes this rapid, which is considered a very dangerous one. The
stream, rushing against these rocks, is deflected to a point of rocks
that makes out into the river a little lower down on the other side;
this turns it aside again, and the waves mingle and boil below. The
canoe was unloaded, and conducted by _sogas_ or ropes of vine, over
and between the rocks on the left-hand side. It took an hour to unload,
pass the canoe, and load up again. Three miles further is the mal-paso
of _Canoa Yacu_, (canoe water,) from many canoes having been wrecked
here. This is by far the most formidable rapid I have seen. There is a
small perpendicular fall on each side, and a shoot of 20° declivity in
the middle, down which the water rushes with a velocity of at least ten
miles the hour. The shoot looks tempting, and one is disposed to try
the rush; but there are rocks below, over which the water dashes up some
two or three feet in height; and I think no boat could shoot out of the
force of the stream so as to avoid these rocks.

The river both here and at Estero is not more than thirty yards wide.
The average velocity of the current through the Pongo is six miles
the hour. It took one hour and a half to pass this obstruction. Two
miles further down we shot the mal-paso of Matijuelo under oar; and
immediately after, that of Chumia, where the canoe was let down as
before, but without unloading. It took half an hour to do this. A
quarter of an hour afterwards we passed the rapid of Vaquero; and at
2½ p. m. arrived at Chasuta. We were kindly welcomed and hospitably
entertained by the Cura, Don Sebastian Castro.

Chasuta is the port of the district of Tarapoto. The traders have their
cargoes carried on the backs of Indians between Tarapoto and Chasuta,
and embark and disembark at the latter place to avoid the rapids of the
Pongo. The distance by land, according to Hacket, is eighteen miles;
and the cost of transportation, half a pound of wax for a cargo of
seventy-five pounds. There is from this point no further obstruction to
navigation for canoes; and very little labor would enable a draught of
six feet to reach Chasuta at the lowest stage of the river.

There were canoes in the port, just arrived from below, with salt
fish and wax; and canoes about to start down with the products of
the district. The annual value of the commerce between this place and
below is fifteen hundred dollars. All articles which can readily be
transported on the backs of mules, or Indians, come from Lima, by the
way of Chachapoyas and Moyobamba. These are principally articles of
wearing apparel, or stuff to make them of. Heavier articles—such as
iron, iron implements, copper kettles, (for distilling,) guns, crockery,
&c.—come from below. The axes are narrow, worthless things, made in
Portugal, and sold in Tarapoto for a dollar in money, without handles.
Iron (of which the inhabitants are very careful to buy Swedish only) is
worth in Tarapoto twelve and a half cents the pound. A common plate for
the dinner table is worth twenty five cents; a cup and saucer, twelve
and a half cents; a glass with handle to drink water, fifty cents;
a small glass to drink spirits, twenty-five cents; a small basin to
wash the face in, twenty-five cents; looking-glass of one and a half
foot long, and a foot wide, seventy-five cents; penknife of one blade,
fifty cents; small hand-bells for the churches, fifty cents; a pair
of coarse scissors, eighteen and three-quarter cents; a long-pointed,
white-handled knife, thirty-seven and a half cents; small slates,
with pencil and sponge, one dollar; coarse sabres, with wooden handle,
seventy-five cents; jews-harp, twelve and a half cents; horn buttons,
six and a quarter cents the dozen. Morey gave for a common Yankee
clock, on the Amazon, seventeen dollars and fifty cents. These are money
values.

One will be told that these articles are sold at double these prices;
but money, on account of its scarcity, is worth double its nominal
value; thus a yard of tocuyo, (the most common currency,) which is
always valued in _Nauta_, _Pebas_, _Loreto_, &c., at twenty-five cents
in exchange for _efectos_, or goods, may be bought there for twelve and
a half cents specie. The traveller should be aware of this, or he may
be paying double prices for things.

The salt fish brought up from below is in large pieces of about eight
pounds each, cut from the _vaca marina_—the _payshi_, a fish of one
hundred and fifty pounds weight—and the _gamitana_, a large flat fish,
like the skate. The piece is worth twelve and a half cents, money, in
Tarapoto, and twenty-five cents in Moyobamba.

The _vaca marina_ (sea cow) of the Spaniards, and _peixe boy_ (fish
ox) of the Portugese, (also found in our Florida streams, and there
called _manatee_,) is found in great numbers on the Amazon and its
principal tributaries. It is an animal averaging, when full grown,
about nine feet in length, and six in circumference. It has much the
appearance of a large seal, with a smooth skin, dark on the back, a
dirty white on the belly, and thinly sprinkled with coarse hairs. The
eyes and ears (or rather holes for hearing) are very small. The mouth
is also small, though it looks large on the outside, on account of a
very thick and wide upper lip, which is shaped like that of an ox. In
the one I examined, which was a young female, I could discover neither
tongue nor teeth, but a thick, rough, and hard, fleshy cushion attached
to both upper and lower jaws, which seemed to me very well adapted
to masticating the grass which grows upon the banks of the river, and
which is its principal food. The tail is broad and flat, and is placed
horizontally. This, with two large fins far in advance, and very near
the jaws, enables it to move in the water with considerable rapidity. It
is not able to leave the water; but in feeding it gets near the shore
and raises its head out. It is, when feeding, most often taken by the
Indians. An ordinary-sized vaca marina will yield from thirty-five to
forty pounds of manteca, which will sell in Tarapoto for three cents
the pound, money; besides ten pieces of salt fish, worth twelve and a
half cents each. Fifty cents is the common price of the fish where it is
taken. The governor general of the missions told me that two men in his
employment at _Chorococha_, on the Amazon, had taken seven for him in
eight days. The flesh, salted or dried, is a good substitute for pork.
It is put up in large jars in its own fat, and is called _michira_.

Chasuta is an Indian village of twelve hundred inhabitants, situated
on a plain elevated about twenty-five feet above the present level of
the river. It is frequently covered in the full, and the people take
their canoes into their houses and live in them. The diseases, as all
along the river, are pleurisy, tarbardillo, and sarna. The small-pox
sometimes makes its appearance, but does little damage. It is a very
healthy place, and few die.

The Indians of Chasuta are a gentle, quiet race; very docile, and very
obedient to their priest, always saluting him by kneeling and kissing
his hand. They are tolerably good boatmen, but excel as hunters. Like
all the Indians, they are much addicted to drink. I have noticed that
the Indians of this country are reluctant to shed blood, and seem to
have a horror of its sight. I have known them to turn away to avoid
killing a chicken, when it was presented to one for that purpose. The
Indian whom Ijurra struck did not complain of the pain of the blow,
but, bitterly and repeatedly, that "his blood had been shed." They eat
musquitoes that they catch on their bodies, with the idea of restoring
the blood which the insect has abstracted.

The padre told me that the fee for a marriage was four pounds of wax,
which was the perquisite of the sacristan; for a burial, two, which went
to the sexton; and that he was regaled with a fowl for a christening.
He complained of the want of salary, or fees; and said that it was
impossible for a clergyman to live unless he engaged in trade. Every
year the governor appoints twelve men to serve him. The commission runs,
"For the service of our holy mother church;" but it means the curate. It
is an office of distinction, and the Indians crave it. They are called
_Fiscales_. They work the padre's chacra and trapiche; fish for him;
hunt for him; (the fishermen and hunters are called _mitayos_; this is a
remnant of an oppressive old Spanish law called _mita_, by which certain
services, particularly in the mines, were exacted of the Indians;) do
his washing; wait upon his table; and carry on for him his traffic on
the river, by which he gains his salt fish and the means to buy crockery
for his table.

I bought wax of the curate to pay for the canoes and boatmen to
_Yurimaguas_. The men desired money, and I told the curate that he had
better let me pay them in money, as to be familiar with its use would
tend to civilize them. But he said that they did not know its value,
and would only hoard it up or use it as ornaments. I don't know what
else he will do with it, for certainly it never circulates. I have not
seen a dollar since I left Huanuco, except those that were in my own
hands. That the Indians have no idea of its value is evident. I bought a
pucuna of one. He desired money; and his first demand was four dollars;
which I refused to give. He then said six reals, (seventy-five cents.) I
gave him a dollar, which I thought would pay him for the time and labor
necessary to make another.

As we were now clear of the dangers of the river, and were to be more
exposed to sun and rain, we had coverings made of hoop-poles, and
thatched with palm, fitted to the canoe. The one over the stern, for
the accommodation of the patron, covers about six feet of it, and makes
a good _den_ to retreat to in bad weather. It is called by the Indians
_pamacari_. The one fitted over the cargo, in the body of the boat, is
called _armayari_. It is narrower than the other, allowing room for the
Indians to sit and paddle on each side of it.

_August 25._—We left Chasuta in company with two canoes; one belonging
to a Portuguese, resident of Tarapoto, carrying a cargo to Nauta;
and the other manned by the Fiscales, and carrying the padre's little
venture of salt. We passed the salt hills of Callana Yacu, where the
people of Chasuta and the Indians of Ucayali and Marañon get their salt.
The hills are not so high as those of Pilluana, and the salt seems more
mixed with red earth. It "crops out" on the banks of the river, which
are shelving, and rise into gentle hills as they recede, covered with
bushes and small trees. A quarter of an hour afterwards we entered a
more hilly country; river narrow, shallow, and rapid; its depth fifteen
feet, and its current four and a half miles the hour. Soon after we
passed between cliffs of dark-red rocks, where the river deepened to
forty-two feet. On one of these rocks, appearing like a gigantic boulder
of porphyry, were cut rude figures of saints and crosses, with letters
which are said to express "The leap of the Traitor Aguirre;" but they
were too much worn by time and weather for me to make them out. There
were more recent cuttings in the rock. One of them were the letters VR,
the work, I imagine, of an Englishman belonging to the circus company.
The pass is called "El Salto de Aguirre." We camped on the right bank
of the river, having passed the country of the Infidels.

_August 26._—Being in company with Antonio, the Portuguese, who, knows
how to arrange matters, we get a cup of coffee at the peep of day and
are off by half past 5 a. m. At five miles of distance we passed the
lower extremity of the Pongo, which commences at Shapaja. "Pongo" is an
Indian word, and is applied to designate the place where a river breaks
through a range of hills, and where navigation is of course obstructed
by rocks and rapids. The place where the Marañon breaks its way through
the last chain of hills that obstructs its course is called the Pongo de
_Manseriche_. This is the Pongo de Chasuta. There is only one mal-paso
below Chasuta; it is called the mal-paso _del Gabilan_, and is just
below the Salto de Aguirre. It is insignificant, and I should not have
noticed it at all, but that it was pointed out to me, and said to be
dangerous for canoes in the full of the river.

After passing the Pongo, we entered upon a low, flat country, where
the river spreads out very wide, and is obstructed by islands and
sand-banks. This is the deposit from the Pongo. In the channel where we
passed, I found a scant five feet of water; I suspect, but I could not
find out, that more water may be had in some of the other channels. This
shoal water is but for a short distance, and the soundings soon deepened
to twelve and eighteen feet. Small pebbly islands are forming in the
river, and much drift-wood from above lodges on them. After having
stopped two hours to breakfast, we passed the mouth of the _Chipurana_,
which is about twenty yards wide.

This river flows from the _Pampa del Sacramento_, and affords, when it
is full, a canoe navigation of about forty miles, taking four days to
accomplish it, on account of shoals and fallen trees. This distance
brings the traveller to the port of _Yanayacu_, where, in 1835, when
Lieutenant Smyth travelled this route, there was one hut; there is not
one now. A walk over a plain for twenty-five miles reaches the village
of _Sta. Catalina_, which then had thirty families; now one hundred
and sixty inhabitants; so that it has changed very little in all this
time. Embarking at Sta. Catalina, on the river of the same name, the
traveller, in two days of a very difficult and interrupted navigation,
enters the Ucayali; ascending which stream a day and a half, he arrives
at _Sarayacu_.

I was desirous of going to Sarayacu by this route, but the river would
not, at this season, afford sufficient water for my canoes to reach
Yanayacu, and I moreover did not like to miss the lower part of the
Huallaga.

River now two hundred yards wide, free from obstruction, with a gentle
current, and between eighteen and twenty-four feet of depth. We saw
turtle-tracks in the sand to-day for the first time; camped on the
beach.

_August 27._—Saw flesh-colored porpoises; also a small seal, which
looked like a fur-seal; got turtle-eggs. The turtles crawl out upon the
beach during the night, deposit their eggs, and retreat before dawn,
leaving, however, broad tracks in the sand, by which their deposits
are discovered. We must have got upwards of a thousand; I counted one
hundred and fifty taken from one hole. Since we have passed the Pongo
we have encountered no stones; the beaches are all of sand.

_August 28._—Arrived at Yurimaguas. This little village, situated
upon a hill immediately upon the banks of the river, and numbering two
hundred and fifty inhabitants, now appears almost entirely deserted. We
could procure neither peons nor canoes. The men were away in the forest
collecting wax for a fiesta, ordered by the curate; and the sub-prefect
of the province, who had been gold-hunting up the Santiago, had taken
all the canoes up the _Cachiyacu_ with him on his return to Moyobamba. I
was told that his expedition for gold up the Santiago, which consisted
of a force of eighty armed men, had been a failure; that they got no
gold, and had lost five of their company by the attacks of the Huambisas
and other savages of the Santiago. This may not be true. The sub-prefect
(I was told) said that the expedition had accomplished its purpose,
which was simply to open friendly communications with the savages, with
a view to further operations.

With great difficulty, and by paying double, I persuaded our
_Chasutinos_ to take us on to _Sta. Cruz_, where I was assured I
could be accommodated both with boats and men. We could buy nothing at
Yurimaguas but a few bunches of plantains and some salt fish out of a
passing boat.

An island divides the river three-fourths of a mile above Yurimaguas.
The southern branch is the channel; the northern one is closed at its
lower end by a sand-bank opposite the village.

We left Yurimaguas after breakfasting. Half a mile below the village
is the mouth of the Cachiyacu. This river is the general route between
Moyobamba and the ports of the Amazon. It is navigable for large canoes,
when full, (which is from January to June,) as far as _Balza Puerto_, a
considerable village, five days' journey from Moyobamba. It takes nine
days for a loaded canoe to ascend as far as Balza Puerto. Lieutenant
Maw descended this river in 1827. Communication is also had by the
Cachiyacu with many villages situated in the fine country between the
Marañon and Huallaga rivers: so that Yurimaguas, situated at the mouth
of this river, and having open communication with the Atlantic, may
be considered as occupying an important position in any scheme for
navigation and trade.

We met several canoes going up the river for salt; canoes passing each
other on the river _speak_ at a great distance apart. The Indians use a
sing-song tone, that is heard and understood very far, without seeming
to call for much exertion of the voice. Every year at this season the
Indians of the Marañon and Ucayali make a voyage up the Huallaga for
their supply of salt. They travel slowly, and support themselves by
hunting, fishing, and robbing plantain patches on their way.

About eight miles below Yurimaguas, an island with extensive sand-flats
occupies nearly the whole of the middle of the river. We passed to
the right, and I found but a scant six feet of water. The popero said
there was less on the other side; but Antonio, the Portuguese, passed
there, and said there was more. He did not sound, however. We tried an
experiment to ascertain the speed of the canoe at full oar, and I was
surprised to find that six men could not paddle it faster than two miles
the hour; ours is, however, a very heavy and clumsy canoe. We have had
frequent races with Antonio and the Fiscales, and were always beaten.
It was a pretty sight to see the boat of the latter, though laden with
salt to the water's edge, dance by us; and, although beaten, we could
not sometimes refrain (as their puntero, a tall, painted Indian, would
toss his paddle in the air with a triumphant gesture as he passed) from
giving a _hurrah_ for the servants of the church.

_August 29._—We met a canoe of _Conibos_ Indians, one man and two
women, from the Ucayali, going up for salt. We bought (with beads) some
turtle-eggs, and proposed to buy a monkey they had; but one of the women
clasped the little beast in her arms, and set up a great outcry lest
the man should sell it. The man wore a long, brown, cotton gown, with
a hole in the neck for the head to go through, and short, wide sleeves.
He had on his arm a bracelet of monkey's teeth; and the women had white
beads hanging from the _septum_ of the nose. Their dress was a cotton
petticoat tied round the waist; and all were filthy.

We are now getting into the lake country; and hence to the mouth of
the Amazon, lakes of various sizes, and at irregular distances, border
the rivers. They all communicate with the rivers by channels, which are
commonly dry in the dry season. They are the resort of immense numbers
of water-fowl, particularly cranes and cormorants; and the Indians, at
the proper season, take many fish and turtles from them.

Many of these lakes are, according to the traditions of the Indians,
guarded by an immense serpent, which is able to raise such a tempest
in the lake as to swamp their canoes, when it immediately swallows
the people. It is called in the "Lengua Inga" "Yacu Mama," or mother
of the waters; and the Indians never enter a lake with which they are
not familiar that they do not set up an obstreperous clamor with their
horns, which the snake is said to answer; thus giving them warning of
its presence.

I never saw the animal myself, but will give a description of it written
by Father Manuel Castrucci de Vernazza, in an account of his mission to
the _Givaros_ and _Zaparos_ of the river _Pastaza_, made in 1845:

"The wonderful nature of this animal—its figure, its size, and other
circumstances—enchains attention, and causes man to reflect upon the
majestic and infinite power and wisdom of the Supreme Creator. The sight
alone of this monster confounds, intimidates, and infuses respect into
the heart of the boldest man. He never seeks or follows the victims upon
which he feeds; but, so great is the force of his inspiration, that
he draws in with his breath whatever quadruped or bird may pass him,
within from twenty to fifty yards of distance, according to its size.
That which I killed from my canoe upon the Pastaza (with five shots of a
fowling-piece) had two yards of thickness and fifteen yards of length;
but the Indians of this region have assured me that there are animals
of this kind here of three or four yards diameter, and from thirty to
forty long. These swallow entire hogs, stags, tigers, and men, with the
greatest facility; but, by the mercy of Providence, it moves and turns
itself very slowly, on account of its extreme weight. When moving, it
appears a thick log of wood covered with scales, and dragged slowly
along the ground, leaving a track so large that men may see it at a
distance and avoid its dangerous ambush."

The good father says that he observed "that the blood of this animal
flowed in jets, (salia á chorros,) and in enormous abundance. The
prejudice of the Indians in respect to this species of great snakes
(believing it to be the devil in figure of a serpent) deprived me of the
acquisition of the dried skin, though I offered a large gratification
for it."

It is almost impossible to doubt a story told with this minuteness of
detail. Doubtless the padre met with, and killed the boa-constrictor;
but two yards of thickness is scarcely credible. He writes it _dos varas
de grosor_. (Grosor is thickness.) I thought the father might have meant
two yards in circumference, but he afterwards says that the Indians
reported them of three and four yards in diameter, (_de diametro_.)

We had a fresh squall of wind and rain from the northward and eastward.
The Portuguese, who is a careful and timid navigator, and whose motions
we follow because he is a capital caterer, and has a wife along to cook
for us, pulled in for the beach, and we camped for the night. The beach
where we pitched belongs to an island, or rather what is an island
when the river is full, though the right-hand channel is now dry; the
left-hand channel runs close to the shore, and I could find but five
feet water in it, though there was probably more very close to the
shore, which was bold. The obstruction is narrow, and could be readily
cleared away.

Seventy miles below Yurimaguas is Sta. Cruz. This is an Indian village
of a tribe called _Aguanos_, containing three hundred and fifty
inhabitants. The lieutenant governor is the only white man in it. The
women go naked down to their hips, and the children entirely so. I was
quite an object of curiosity and fear to them; and they seemed never
tired of examining my spectacles. The pueblo is situated on an eminence,
as most of the villages of this country are, to avoid inundation. It has
a small stream running by it, which empties into the river at the port,
and is navigable in the rainy season for loaded canoes. The convento
is the most respectable-looking house on the river. It is divided into
apartments; has ceilings; and is plastered, inside and out, with a white
clay. There was a portico in the rear, and it looked altogether as if
it had been designed and built by a person who had some taste and some
idea of personal comfort.

I obtained at this place the sap of a large tree called catao, which
is said to be very poisonous. It appears to be acrid, and acts like a
powerful caustic. The man who chopped the bark, to let the sap run,
always turned away his face as he struck, for fear of its getting
into his eyes. The Indians employ it for the purpose of curing old
dull sores. The tree is generally very large; has a smooth bark, but
with knots on it bearing short thorns. The leaf is nearly circular;
it is called in Brazil _assacu_, and is there thought to be a remedy
for leprosy. We gathered also some leaves and root of a running plant
called _guaco_, which, steeped in spirits, and applied internally and
externally, is said to be an antidote to the bite of a snake. I think
it probable that this may be a fancy of the Indians, originating from
the fact that the leaf has something the appearance and color of a
snake-skin. There is a great abundance of it all over the Montaña.

We found difficulty in getting canoes at this place. The only one that
would accommodate ourselves and baggage belonged to the church, and,
like its mistress in Peru, it was in rather a dilapidated condition. We
bargained for it with the curaca, (chief of the Indians, and second in
authority to the lieutenant governor;) but when the lieutenant returned
from his chacra, where he had been setting out plantains, he refused
to let us have it, on the ground that it wanted repairs. We were,
therefore, obliged to take two small ones that would barely carry the
trunks and boxes, and embark ourselves in the canoe of the Portuguese.

We have found this man, Don Antonio da Costa Viana, and his family,
quite a treasure to us on the road. He is a stout, active little fellow,
about fifty years of age, with piercing black eyes, long black curls,
a face burned almost to negro blackness by the sun, deeply pitted
with the small-pox, and with a nose that, as Ijurra tells him, would
make a cut-water for a frigate. He is called _paraguá_, (a species of
parrot,) from his incessant talk; and he brags that he is "as well known
on the river as a dog." He has a chacra of sugar-cane and tobacco,
with a trapiche, at Tarapoto. He sells the spirits that he makes
for tocuyo, and carries the tocuyo, tobacco, and chancaca to Nauta,
selling or rather exchanging as he goes. His canoe is fifty feet long
and three broad, and carries a cargo which he values at five hundred
dollars; that is, five hundred in _efectos_—two hundred and fifty in
money. It is well fitted with armayari and pamacari, and carries six
peons—Antonio, himself, his wife, and his adopted daughter, a child
of ten years; besides affording room for the calls of hospitality.
My friend is perfect master of all around him; (a little tyrannical,
perhaps, to his family;) knows all the reaches and beaches of the river,
and every tree and shrub that grows upon its banks. He is intelligent,
active, and obliging; always busy: now twisting fishing-lines of the
fibres of a palm called _chambira_; now hunting turtle-eggs, robbing
plantain-fields, or making me cigars of tobacco-leaves given me by the
priest of Chasuta. Every beach is a house for him; his peons build his
rancho and spread his musquito curtain; his wife and child cook his
supper. His mess of salt fish, turtle-eggs, and plantains is a feast
for him; and his gourd of coffee, and pipe afterwards, a luxury that a
king might envy. He is always well and happy. I imagine he has picked
up and hoarded away, to keep him in his old age, or to leave his wife
when he dies, some few of the dollars that are floating about here; and,
in short, I don't know a more enviable person. It is true Doña Antonio
gets drunk occasionally; but he licks her if she is troublesome, and it
seems to give him very little concern.

I sometimes twit him with the immorality of robbing the poor Indians
of their plantains; but he defends himself by saying, "That to take
plantains is not to steal; to take a knife, or a hatchet, or an article
of clothing, is; but plantains, not. Every body on the river does it. It
is necessary to have them, and he is perfectly willing to pay for them,
if he could find the owners and they would sell them." The old rascal
is very religious too; he has, hanging under the parmacari of his boat,
a silver Crucifix and a wooden St. Anthony. He thinks a priest next of
kin to a saint, and a saint perfection. He said to me, as his wife was
combing her hair in the canoe, "A bald woman, Don Luis, must be a very
ugly thing: not so a bald man, because St. Peter, you know, was bald;"
and I verily believe that, although he is very vain of his black curls,
were he to lose them, he would find consolation in the reflection that
he had made an approach, in appearance at least, towards his great
exemplar.

We shoved off from Sta. Cruz at sunset, and camped on the beach a mile
lower down. It is very well to do this, for the canoe-men are taken
away from the temptation of the villages, and are sober and ready for
an early start next morning.

_August 31._—Started at 6 a. m.; camped on the beach at a quarter-past
5 p. m.

_September 1._—Heavy clouds and rains both to the northward and eastward
and southward and westward, with an occasional spit at us; but we
set the rain at defiance under the palm-thatched roof of Antonio. At
half-past 3 p. m. we arrived at _Laguna_. This town, the principal
one of the district and the residence of the governor, is one and a
half mile from the port. The walk is a pleasant one through the forest
at this season, but is probably mud to the knees in the rains. It
contains one thousand and forty-four inhabitants; and the productions
of the neighborhood are wax, sarsaparilla, copal, copaiba, and salt
fish. I have seen all these in the hands of the Indians, but in small
quantities; there being so little demand for them.

The _Cocamillas_, who form the largest part of the population of Laguna,
are lazy and drunken. They are capital boatmen, however, when they have
no liquor; and I had more comfort with them than with any other Indians
except those of Tingo Maria.

_September 2._—Waiting for boats and boatmen. There are no large canoes,
and we are again compelled to take two. I was surprised at this as I was
led to believe—and I thought it probable—that the nearer we got to the
Marañon the larger we should find the boats, and the means of navigation
more complete. But I have met with nothing but misstatements in my whole
course. The impression I received in Lima of the Montaña was, that it
was a country abounding not only with the necessaries, but with the
luxuries of life, so far as eating was concerned. Yet I am now satisfied
that if one hundred men were to start without provisions, on the route
I have travelled, the half must inevitably perish for want of food. Of
meat there is almost none; and even salt fish, yuccas, and plantains
are scarce, and often not to be had; game is shy; and the fish, of which
there are a great number, do not readily take the hook; of fruit I have
seen literally none edible since leaving Huanuco.

At Chasuta I was assured that I should find at Yurimaguas every facility
for the prosecution of my journey; yet I could get neither a boat nor a
man, and had to persuade my Chasuta boatmen to carry me on to Sta. Cruz,
where the Yurimaguas people said there would be no further difficulty.
At Sta. Cruz I could get but two small and rotten canoes, with three men
to each, for Laguna, which, being the great port of the river, could in
the estimation of the people at Sta. Cruz, furnish me with the means
of crossing the Atlantic if necessary. I had been always assured that
I could get at Laguna one hundred Cocamillas, if I wanted them, as a
force to enter among the savages of the Ucayali; but here, too, I could
with difficulty get six men and two small canoes to pass me on to Nauta,
which I expected to find, from the description of the people above, a
small New York. Had it not been that Senhor Cauper, at that place, had
just then a boat unemployed, which he was willing to sell, I should
have had to abandon my expedition up the Ucayali, and build me a raft
to float down the Marañon.

We found at the port of Laguna two travelling merchants, a Portuguese
and a Brazilian. They had four large boats of about eight tons each,
and two or three canoes. Their cargo consisted of iron, steel, iron
implements, crockery-ware, wine, brandy, copper kettles, coarse, short
swords, (a very common implement of the Indians,) guns, ammunition, salt
fish, &c., which they expected to exchange in Moyobamba and Chachapoyas
for straw-hats, tocuyo, sugar, coffee, and money. They were also buying
up all the sarsaparilla they could find, and despatching it back in
canoes. They gave for the arroba, of twenty-five pounds, three dollars
and fifty cents in goods, which probably cost in Pará one dollar.
They estimated the value of their cargoes at five thousand dollars. I
have no doubt that two thousand dollars in money would have bought the
whole concern, boats and all; and that with this the traders would have
drifted joyfully down the river, well satisfied with their year's work.
They invited us to breakfast off roast pig; and I thought that I never
tasted anything better than the _farinha_, which I saw for the first
time.

Farinha is a general substitute for bread in all the course of the
Amazon below the Brazilian frontier. It is used by all classes, and in
immense quantities by the Indians and laborers. Our boatmen in Brazil
were always contented with plenty of salt fish and farinha. Every two
or three hours of the day, whilst travelling, they would stop rowing,
pour a little water upon a large gourd-full of farinha, and pass around
the mass (which they called _pirào_) as if it were a delicacy.

The women generally make the farinha. They soak the root of the mandioc
(Jatropha Manihot) in water till it is softened a little, when they
scrape off the skin, and grate it upon a board smeared with some of
the adhesive gums of the forest and sprinkled with pebbles. The white
grated mass is put in a conical-shaped bag, made of the coarse fibres
of a palm, and called _tapiti_. The bag is hung up to a peg driven into
a tree, or a post of the shed; a lever is put through a loop at the
bottom of the bag; the short end of the lever is placed under a chock
nailed to the post below, and the woman hangs her weight on the long
end. This elongates the bag, and brings a heavy pressure upon the mass
within, causing all the juice to ooze out through the interstices of
the wicker-work of the bag. When sufficiently pressed the mass is put on
the floor of a mud oven; heat is applied, and it is stirred with a stick
till it granulates in very irregular grains, (the largest about the size
of our No. 2 shot,) and is sufficiently toasted to drive off all the
poisonous qualities which it has in a crude state. It is then packed
in baskets (lined and covered with palm-leaves) of about sixty-four
pounds weight, which are generally sold, all along the river, at from
seventy-five cents to one dollar. The sediment of the juice which runs
from the tapiti is tapioca, and is used to make custards, puddings,
starch, &c.

_September 3._—Our boatmen came down to the port at 8 a. m. They were
accompanied, as usual, by their wives, carrying their bedding, their
jars of masato, and even their paddles; for these fellows are too lazy,
when on shore, to do a hand's turn; though when embarked they work
freely, (these Cocamillas,) and are gay, cheerful, ready, and obedient.
The dress of the women is nothing more than a piece of cotton cloth,
generally dark brown in color, wrapped around the loins and reaching
to the knee. I was struck with the appearance of one, the only pretty
Indian girl I have seen. She appeared to be about thirteen years of
age, and was the wife of one of our boatmen. It was amusing to see the
slavish respect with which she waited upon the young savage, (himself
about nineteen,) and the lordly indifference with which he received her
attentions. She was as straight as an arrow, delicately and elegantly
formed, and had a free, wild, Indian look, that was quite taking.

We got off at a quarter past nine; the merchants at the same time;
and the padre also returns to-day to Yurimaguas; so that we make a
haul upon the population of Laguna, and carry off about seventy of its
inhabitants. Twenty-five miles below Laguna, we arrived at the mouth
of the Huallaga. Several islands occupy the middle of it. The channel
runs near the left bank. Near the middle of the river we had nine feet;
passing towards the left bank we suddenly fell into forty-five feet. The
Huallaga, just above the island, is three hundred and fifty yards wide;
the Amazon, at the junction, five hundred. The water of both rivers is
very muddy and filthy, particularly that of the former, which for some
distance within the mouth is covered with a glutinous scum, that I take
to be the excrement of fish, probably that of porpoises.

The Huallaga, from Tingo Maria, the head of canoe navigation, to
Chasuta, (from which point to its mouth it is navigable for a draught
of five feet at the lowest stage of the river,) is three hundred and
twenty-five miles long; costing seventy-four working hours to descend
it; and falling four feet and twenty-seven hundredths per mile. From
Chasuta to its mouth it has two hundred and eighty-five miles of length,
and takes sixty-eight hours of descent, falling one foot and twenty-five
hundredths per mile. It will be seen that these distances are passed in
nearly proportional times. This is to be attributed to the time occupied
in descending the malos pasos, for the current is more rapid above than
below. The difference between the times of ascent and descent is, on
an average, about three for one. It is proper to state here that all my
estimates of distance, after embarkation upon the rivers, being obtained
from measurement by the _log-line_, are in geographical miles of sixty
to the degree.



CHAPTER IX.

     Entrance into the Amazon—Nauta—Upper and Lower
     Missions of Mainas—Conversions of the Ucayali—Trade in
     sarsaparilla—Advantages of trade with this country.


The river upon which we now entered is the main trunk of the Amazon,
which carries its Peruvian name of Marañon as far as Tabatinga, at the
Brazilian frontier; below which, and as far as the junction of the Rio
Negro, it takes the name of Solimoens; and thence to the ocean is called
Amazon. It is the same stream throughout, and to avoid confusion I shall
call it Amazon from this point to the sea.

The march of the great river in its silent grandeur was sublime; but
in the untamed might of its turbid waters, as they cut away its banks,
tore down the gigantic denizens of the forest, and built up islands, it
was awful. It rolled through the wilderness with a stately and solemn
air. Its waters looked angry, sullen, and relentless; and the whole
scene awoke emotions of awe and dread—such as are caused by the funeral
solemnities, the minute gun, the howl of the wind, and the angry tossing
of the waves, when all hands are called to bury the dead in a troubled
sea.

I was reminded of our Mississippi at its topmost flood; the waters are
quite as muddy and quite as turbid; but this stream lacked the charm
and the fascination which the plantation upon the bank, the city upon
the bluff, and the steamboat upon its waters, lends to its fellow of
the North; nevertheless, I felt pleased at its sight. I had already
travelled seven hundred miles by water, and fancied that this powerful
stream would soon carry me to the ocean; but the water-travel was
comparatively just begun; many a weary month was to elapse ere I should
again look upon the familiar face of the sea; and many a time, when
worn and wearied with the canoe life, did I exclaim, "This river seems
interminable!"

Its capacities for trade and commerce are inconceivably great. Its
industrial future is the most dazzling; and to the touch of steam,
settlement, and cultivation, this rolling stream and its magnificent
water-shed would start up into a display of industrial results that
would indicate the Valley of the Amazon as one of the most enchanting
regions on the face of the earth.

  [Illustration: GIVARO.

     Pl. 13.
     Pr. Vernazzi del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

From its mountains you may dig silver, iron, coal, copper, quicksilver,
zinc, and tin; from the sands of its tributaries you may wash gold,
diamonds, and precious stones; from its forests you may gather drugs
of virtues the most rare, spices of aroma the most exquisite, gums and
resins of the most varied and useful properties, dyes of hues the most
brilliant, with cabinet and building-woods of the finest polish and most
enduring texture.

Its climate is an everlasting summer, and its harvest perennial. I
translate from a book of travels in these countries, by Count Castelnau,
(received since my return to the United States,) an account of the
capacities of some of the southern portions of this vast water-shed:

"The productions of the country are exceedingly various. The sugar-cane,
of which the crop is gathered at the end of eight months from the
time of planting, forms the chief source of wealth of the province of
_Cercado_.

"Coffee is cultivated also with success in this province, and in that
of _Chiquitos_ yields its fruit two years after having been planted,
and requires scarcely any attention. Cocoa, recently introduced into
these two provinces, gives its fruit at the end of three or four years
at most. The tamarind, which thrives in the same localities, produces
its harvest in five years. Cotton gives annual crops; there are two
varieties—the one white, the other yellow. Tobacco grows, so to speak,
without cultivation in the province of _Valle Grande_, where it forms
the principal article of commerce. Indigo, of which there are three
cultivated kinds and one wild, is equally abundant. Maize yields at
the end of three months all the year round; it is also cultivated in
the province of Cercado. The cassave produces in eight months after
planting; there are two kinds of it—one sweet, and the other bitter;
the first can replace the potato, and even bread; the second is only
good for starch. There is an enormous amount of kinds or varieties
of bananas, which produce in the year from seed; they are specially
cultivated in the province of Cercado. Two kinds of rice—one white,
the other colored—are cultivated in the two provinces of Cercado and
Chiquitos. They produce every five or six months; they say it is found
wild in the region of Chiquitos.

"The grape, which grows well everywhere, and especially in the province
of _Cordilleras_, where it was cultivated in the Missions up to the
time of the Independence, is nevertheless made no article of profit.
It will some day, perhaps, form one of the principal sources of wealth
of this country. Wheat, barley, and the potato might be cultivated
with advantage in the provinces of Chiquitos and Cordilleras; but
till now results have been obtained only in that of Valle Grande. The
cultivation of cocoa has commenced in the province of Cercado, and it
is also found in a wild state, as well as the Peruvian bark, on the
mountains of _Samaripata_. As we have already said, fruits abound in
this region. They cultivate there principally oranges, lemons, citrons,
figs, papaws, pomegranates, melons, watermelons, chirimoyas, (which the
Brazilians call _fruto de conde_,) pine apples, &c. The last of these
fruits grow wild, and in great abundance, in the woods of Chiquitos.
We met it, particularly the evening of our arrival, at Santa Ana. Its
taste is excellent; but it leaves in the mouth such a burning sensation
that I bitterly repented having tasted it. They cultivate in sufficient
abundance, in the province, jalap, Peruvian bark, sarsaparilla, vanilla,
rocou, copahu, ipecacuanha, caoutchouc, copal, &c. Woods for dyeing,
cabinet making, and building, abound; and the people of the country
collect carefully a multitude of gums, roots, and barks, to which
they attribute medicinal virtues the most varied. In many points in
the departments, and especially in the provinces of Valle Grande and
Cordilleras, iron is found, and traces of quicksilver. Gold is found in
the province of Cercado, near the village of _San Xavier_. The Jesuits
wrought mines of silver in the mountains of _Colchis_. Don Sebastian
Rancas, while governor of Chiquitos, announced to the government that
diamonds, of very fine water, had been found in the streams in the
environs of _Santo Corazon_."

_September 4._—The shores of the river are low, but abrupt. The lower
strata next to the water's edge are of sand, hardening into rock from
the superincumbent pressure of the soil with its great trees. There
were a great many porpoises sporting in the river. At 3 p. m. we passed
the narrow arm of the river that runs by _Urarinas_, a small village
situated on the left bank. The channel inside the island seemed nearly
dry. Ijurra, however, passed through it in a small canoe, and bought
some fowls and a small monkey at the pueblo. The channel of the river
runs near the right bank. Population of Urarinas, eighty.

_September 5._—The _patos reales_, a large and beautiful species of duck
with which the river abounds, are now breeding. We saw numbers of pairs
conducting their broods over the water. Though the young ones could not
fly, they could dive so long and fast that we could not catch them. I
brought home a pair of these ducks, and find that they answer exactly
to the description of the Egyptian goose. They have small horns on their
wings.

We met canoes of Tarapoto from the Ucayali with salt fish; also one
belonging to Urarinas, returning from carrying sarsaparilla to _Nauta_.

_September 6._—Passed the mouth of the small river _Airico_ on the left.
One of our Indians says that the ascent of this river for a week brings
the traveller to a lake, and for another week, to mountains.

We have had quite heavy squalls of wind and rain every day since
entering the Amazon. The canoes are so low that they cannot ride the
waves of mid-river, and are compelled to haul in for the land, and wait
for the storm to pass. We saw alligators to-day, for the first time.

_September 7._—Arrived at _Parinari_. This is an Indian village of three
hundred and thirty inhabitants, situated on a hill on the right bank of
the river. It is about twenty feet above the present level of the river,
which rises, in the full, to within three feet of the houses. The people
live principally by fishing, and gathering sarsaparilla to sell at
Nauta. The lieutenant governor gave us some spirits made of plantains.
It was vile stuff; very strong; and is said to be unwholesome.

_September 8._—Saw Ronsocos; and the Fiscales killed six howling monkeys
with their pucunas. Passed the mouth of _Tigre Yacu_ on the left. It
is seventy yards broad, and looks deep and free from obstruction. Its
waters are much clearer than those of the Amazon. It is navigable for
canoes a long way up; and a considerable quantity of sarsaparilla is
gathered on its banks, though inhabited by savages, who are said to be
warlike and dangerous. We camped at night on an island near the middle
of the river. A narrow island lay between us and _San Regis_, a small
pueblo on the left bank, whence we could hear the sound of music and
merry-making all night. It has two hundred and ten inhabitants.

The Fiscales, cooking their big monkeys over a large fire on the beach,
presented a savage and most picturesque night scene. They looked more
like devils roasting human beings than like servants of the church.

_September 9._—Passed a channel called _Pucati_, which is a small mouth
of the Ucayali. It is now nearly dry. In the rainy season it is passable
for canoes; but spreads out so much in its course (forming small lakes)
that it leaves few places to kindle a fire on, or sleep; and is, for
this reason, little used. It takes three days to come through it from
the Ucayali to the Amazon; and six to traverse it the other way. Soon
after leaving this, we passed another small channel, said to communicate
with a large lake—a large one probably in the full, when this whole
country between the Ucayali, Amazon, and channel of Pucati, is nearly
overflowed. We arrived at Nauta at noon, having travelled two hundred
and ten miles from the mouth of the Huallaga.

We called on the governor general of the Missions of Mainas, Don
José Maria Arebalo, who received us with some formality, and gave us
lodgings in one of the houses of the village—I suspect, turning out
the inhabitants for that purpose. My companion, Ijurra, was not sure
of a cordial reception; for, when sub-prefect of the province, he had
caused Arebalo to be arrested and carried prisoner from Balza Puerto
to Moyobamba. But our friend was much too magnanimous to remember old
feuds, and he and Ijurra soon became boon companions.

Nauta is a fishing village of one thousand inhabitants, mostly Indians
of the _Cocama_ tribe, which is distinct from that of the Cocamillas
of Laguna. It has a few white residents engaged in trading with the
Indians for salt fish, wax, and sarsaparilla, which are obtained from
the Ucayali. Don Bernardino Cauper, an old Portuguese, does most of the
business of the place. He sends parties of Indians to fish or gather
sarsaparilla upon the Napo and Ucuyali; and he has two or three boats
(called in this part of the country garreteas) trading down the river
as far as Egas. He supplies all the country above with foreign articles
from Brazil, and receives consignments from the upper country, which he
sends to Egas.

Don Bernardino lives in a sort of comfort. He has plenty of meat,
(calling turtle, salt fish, and fowls meat,) with farinha from below,
and beans and onions from his little garden. There is good tobacco from
above to smoke, and wholesome, though fiery, Lisbon wine to drink. I
have been frequently struck during my journey with the comparative value
of things. The richest man of a village of one thousand inhabitants, in
the United States, would think Bernardino's table poorly supplied, and
would turn up his nose at a grass hammock slung between two hooks in
the shop for a bed-place. Yet these things were regal luxuries to us;
and, doubtless, being the best that are to be had, Don Bernardino is
perfectly contented, and desires nothing better.

The old gentleman is very pious. The Cura of Pebas was at this time
in Nauta, attending to the repairs of the church; and we celebrated
a nine-days' service (_Novena_) in honor of our Lady of Mercy, the
patroness of the arms of Peru. The expenses of the service (being a
fee for the padre and the lighting of the church with wax) were borne
by individuals. The padre gave the first day; then Senhor Cauper; then
his wife, his wife's sister, his son, his pretty Brazilian niece, Donna
Candida; then came Arebalo; then Ijurra and I; the priest winding up
on Sunday. But my old friend was not contented with this; and when I
shoved off on Monday for the Ucayali, I left him engaged in another
church service, setting off rockets, and firing, from time to time, an
old blunderbuss, loaded to the muzzle, in honor of a miracle that had
happened in Rimini, in Italy, some year and a half ago, of which we had
just received intelligence.

The governor general gave me some statistics, from which it appears
that the province of Mainas is divided into the province proper, (of
which the capital is Moyobamba,) the upper and lower Missions, and the
Conversions of the Ucayali.

The upper Mission has four districts—Balza Puerto, Xeberos, Laguna, and
Andoas; containing seventeen villages, and nine thousand nine hundred
and eleven inhabitants. The lower Mission has two districts—Nauta and
Loreto, with seventeen villages, and three thousand seven hundred and
eighty-nine inhabitants. The Conversions of the Ucayali are confined
to the villages of Sarayacu, Tierra Blanca, and Sta. Catalina, and
number one thousand three hundred and fifty inhabitants, mostly converts
of the Panos tribe. They are governed by priests of the College of
Ocopa, who are under the spiritual direction of its guardian; but hold
their temporal authority under the prefect of the department. Arebalo
estimates the number of whites in the Missions and Conversions—counting
men, women, and children—at four hundred and seven.

Both Missions are under the authority of a governor general, who holds
his commission from the sub-prefect of the province. Each district
has its governor, and each town its lieutenant governor. The other
authorities of a town are curacas, captains, lieutenants, adjutants,
ensigns, sergeants, alcaldes, and constables. (All these are Indians.)
The office of curaca is hereditary. The right of succession is
sometimes interfered with by the white governor; but this always gives
dissatisfaction, and is occasionally (added to other grievances) the
cause of rebellion and riot. The savages treat their curaca with great
respect, and submit to corporal punishment at his mandate.

I know of no legal establishment in the Missions—the law proceeding
out of the mouths of the governors. Indians are punished by flogging or
confinement in the stocks; whites are sometimes imprisoned; but if their
offence is of a grave nature, they are sent to be tried and judged by
the courts of the capital.

Arebalo estimates the value of the commerce of the Missions with Brazil
at twenty thousand dollars annually; and that with the Pacific coast,
through Chachapoyas and Truxillo, at twenty thousand more. The vegetable
productions of the Missions do not equal the value of the imports;
but the people get some money from the coast for their manufactures of
coarse cotton and straw-hats; and a little gold is occasionally obtained
from the sands of the Napo and Pastaza.

The Missions send to Chachapoyas and Truxillo tobacco, salt fish,
straw-hats, coarse cotton cloths, wax, incense for the churches, balsam
copaiba, and vanilla, and receive, in return, cattle, horses, goods of
Europe, and a little money. The Brazilians bring up heavy articles—such
as I described as composing the cargo of the traders we met at Laguna;
and take back straw-hats, hammocks of the Indians, sarsaparilla, and
money. The value of the sarsaparilla of the Missions is estimated at
two thousand dollars at the place of production, and six thousand at
its place of sale in Brazil; the value of the wax at the same at the
place of production; and at four thousand dollars at place of sale. The
greatest profit, however, is made on the fish, of which thirty thousand
pieces are taken annually in the Ucayali and Amazon. It costs there
about three cents the piece; and is worth in Tarapoto, Lamas, and other
places of the province, about twelve and a half cents the piece.

Estimate of the expenses and returns of a canoe-load of salt-fish from
Nauta to Balza Puerto.

     Dr. A canoe-load of eight hundred pieces may be bought in
       Nauta for one yard of English cotton cloth (valued at
       twenty-five cents) for every eight pieces                 $25 00

     Freight, or hire of canoe, for thirty-six days, from Nauta
       to Balza Puerto, at 3⅛ cents per day                        1 12½

     Pay of seven peons, 12 yards of cotton cloth of Tarapoto,
       valued at 12½ cents the yard                               10 50

     Maintenance of the seven men for thirty-six days, at 3
       cents per day                                               7 56
                                                                 ------
                                                                  44 18½

     Cr. Eight hundred pieces in Balza Puerto, at 12½ cents      100 00
                                                                 ------
           Profit                                                 55 81½

     or about one hundred and twenty-six per cent. in thirty-six days.

The return-cargo also yields a profit: so that my friend, the governor,
who by virtue of his office can get as many men to take fish for him as
he wants, will probably return to civilized parts in a few years with
a snug little sum in his pocket. Old Cauper is rich, and the priest in
comfortable circumstances.

Estimate of expenses and returns of an expedition from Nauta to the
Ucayali for the collection of sarsaparilla. (The expedition will occupy
four months of time.)

     DR. Hire of two _garreteas_, that will carry seventy-five arrobas
       each, at 3⅛ cents per day, (four months)                      $7 50

     Eighteen peons from Nauta to Sarayacu, at ten yards of
       English cotton cloth each, (twenty-five cents)                45 00

     Support of these peons for twenty days, at 3⅛ cents per
       man per day                                                   11 25

     Contract with fifty Pirros or Conibos Indians (who now
       take the boats and go up the tributaries of the Ucayali)
       for the delivery by each man of three arrobas of sarsaparilla,
       at 75 cents the arroba                                       112 50

     Hire and support of peons for the return from Sarayacu
       to Nauta—being one-third of the amount for the trip
       up                                                            18 75
                                                                   -------
                                                                    195 00

     Cr. One hundred and fifty arrobas, worth in Nauta two dollars
       the arroba                                                   300 00
                                                                   -------
           Profit in four months                                    105 00

     or about thirteen and a half per cent. per month.

The people engaged in this occupation make, however, more profit,
by cheating the Indians in every possible mode. They also own the
garreteas; and, by management, support their peons for less than three
cents per day.

This is an estimate made up from information given by Arebalo. Hacket
makes a much better business of it. He says, "Eighty working hours above
Sarayacu, on the Ucayali, is the mouth of the river _Aguaytia_, on the
banks of which grows sarsaparilla in sufficient quantity not only to
enrich the province of Mainas, but all the department of Amazonas. Its
cost is eight varas of tocuyo the hundred pounds, undertaking the work
of gathering it with formality—that is to say, employing one hundred
persons under the direction of a man of talent, and paying them a
monthly salary of twenty-four varas of tocuyo each; quadruple the price
that is generally paid in Mainas.

"It sells in Nauta, Peruate, and Loreto for nine dollars the hundred
pounds, gold or silver coin; in Tabatinga, (frontier of Brazil,)
for ten dollars and fifty cents; in Pará, for twenty-five dollars;
and in Europe, for from forty to sixty dollars, in times of greatest
abundance."

Sarsaparilla is a vine of sufficient size to shoot up fifteen or twenty
feet from the root without support. It then embraces the surrounding
trees, and spreads to a great distance. The main root sends out many
tendrils, generally about two lines in diameter, and five feet long.
These are gathered and tied up in large bundles of about a Portuguese
arroba, or thirty-two pounds of weight. The main root, or _madre_,
should not be disturbed; but the Indians are little careful in this
matter, and frequently cut it off, by which much sarsaparilla is
destroyed. The digging up of the small roots out of the wet and marshy
soil is a laborious and unhealthy occupation.

It is to be found on the banks of almost every tributary of the great
streams of the Montaña; but a great many of these are not worked, on
account of the savages living on their banks, who frequently attack the
parties that come to gather it. On the "_Pangoa_" are the _Campas_; on
the "Pachitea," the "Aguaytia," and the "Pisque," are the "Cashibos;"
and the whole southern border of the Amazon, from the mouth of the
Ucayali to that of the _Yavari_, is inhabited by the "Mayorunas;" all
savages, and averse to intercourse with the white man. The same is the
case on the "Tigreyacu," where there is said to be much sarsaparilla.
Padre Calvo, the president of the Missions at Sarayacu, told me that,
although he has the exclusive right, by order of the prefect, of
collecting all the sarsaparilla on the Ucayali and its tributaries, he
could not, if I were willing to pay any price, supply me with more than
three hundred arrobas per annum, on account of the difficulty of getting
laborers who are willing to brave the attacks of the savages.

I have estimated the annual cost of running a small steamer between
Loreto, the frontier port of Peru and Chasuta, a distance of eight
hundred miles, entirely within the Peruvian territory, at twenty
thousand dollars, including the establishment of blacksmiths' and
carpenters' shops at Nauta for her repairs. According to the estimate
of Arebalo, (and I judge that he is very nearly correct,) the value of
the imports and exports to and from Brazil is twenty thousand dollars
annually. I have no doubt that the appearance of a steamer in these
waters would at once double the value; for it would, in the first
place, convert the thousand men who are now employed in the fetching and
carrying of the articles of trade into producers, and would give a great
impulse to trade by facilitating it. A loaded canoe takes eighty days to
ascend these eight hundred miles. A steamer will do it in twelve, giving
ample time to take in wood, to land and receive cargo at the various
villages on the river, and to lay by at night. When the river becomes
better known she can run for a large part of the night, and thus shorten
her time nearly one-half. Men shrink at the eighty days in a canoe, when
they will jump at the twelve in a steamer.

The steamer will also increase commerce and trade by creating
artificial wants; men will travel who did not travel before; articles
of luxury—such as Yankee clocks, cheap musical instruments, &c.—will
be introduced, and the Indians will work to obtain them; and, in short,
when the wonders that the steamboat and railroad have accomplished are
taken into consideration, I shall not be thought rash in predicting that
in one year from the time of the appearance of the steamer, Arebalo's
twenty thousand dollars will be made forty thousand.

Thus we shall have twenty thousand dollars' worth of goods going up from
Loreto to Chasuta, paying at least one hundred per cent.; and twenty
thousand dollars going down, paying another hundred per cent.; giving
to the steamboat company (who would monopolize the trade) forty thousand
dollars a year, against twenty thousand dollars of expenses.

There would be no difficulty in getting a supply of fuel. My Peruvian
steamer would have to make her way slowly up, for the first time, by
collecting and cutting up the abundant drift-wood on the islands; but
she could readily contract with the governors of the thirty-six villages
between Pará and Chasuta for a regular supply. The Brazilian government
has an organized and enlisted corps of laborers, under the orders of
the military commandants, and I should suppose would be willing to
employ them in furnishing wood, on account of the great advantages to
be derived from the increase of trade. The Indians of the Peruvian
villages are entirely obedient to their governors; and a sufficient
number of them may always be had, at wages of twelve and a half cents
per day, with about three cents more for their maintenance. This amount
of wages may be reduced one-half by paying them in articles for their
consumption, bought at Pará or brought from the United States.

The only difficulty that I have in my calculations is that I know there
are not forty thousand dollars in the whole province; its productions
must find their way to the Pacific, on the one hand, and to the
Atlantic, on the other, before they can be converted into money. My
steamer, therefore, to be enabled to buy and sell, must communicate at
Loreto with a larger steamer, plying between that place and Barra, at
the mouth of the Rio Negro, a distance of eight hundred and forty miles;
and this with another still larger, between Barra and Pará, a distance
of a thousand miles.

These three steamers (however much I may be out of my calculations
regarding the one confined to the Peruvian territory) could not fail
to enrich their owners; for they would entirely monopolize the trade of
the river, which is fairly measured by the imports and exports of Pará,
which amounted in 1851 to two millions of dollars.

These two millions are now brought down to Pará, and carried away from
Pará, (with the exception of what is consumed in the city,) by clumsy,
inefficient river-craft, which would vanish from the main stream at the
first triumphant whistle of the engine. These would, however, until the
profits justified the putting on of more steamers, find ample employment
in bringing down and depositing upon the banks of the main stream the
productions of the great tributaries.

I can imagine the waking-up of the people on the event of the
establishment of steamboat navigation on the Amazon. I fancy I can hear
the crash of the forest falling to make room for the cultivation of
cotton, cocoa, rice, and sugar, and the sharp shriek of the saw, cutting
into boards the beautiful and valuable woods of the country; that I can
see the gatherers of India-rubber and copaiba redoubling their efforts,
to be enabled to purchase the new and convenient things that shall be
presented at the door of their huts in the wilderness; and even the wild
Indian finding the way from his pathless forest to the steamboat depôt
to exchange his collections of vanilla, spices, dyes, drugs, and gums,
for the things that would take his fancy—ribbons, beads, bells, mirrors,
and gay trinkets.

Brazil and Peru have entered into arrangements, and bound themselves
by treaty, to appropriate money towards the establishment of steamboat
navigation on the Amazon. This is well. It is doing something towards
progress; but it is the progress of a denizen of their own forests—the
sloth. Were they to follow the example lately set by the republics of
the La Plata, and throw open their rivers to the commerce of the world,
then the march of improvement would be commensurate with the importance
of the act; and these countries would grow in riches and power with the
rapidity of the vegetation of their own most fertile lands.

We, more than any other people, are interested in the opening of this
navigation. As has been before stated, the trade of this region _must_
pass by _our_ doors, and mingle and exchange with the products of _our_
Mississippi valley. I am permitted to take extracts bearing upon this
subject from a letter of an eminent American citizen residing in Lima
to the Superintendent of the National Observatory, whose papers upon
the Amazon, its resources and future importance, have attracted the
attention, not only of our own people, but that of those who dwell or
have territorial possessions upon this great water-shed; and to whom
belongs the honor of originating the mission upon which I have been
engaged.

This gentleman in Lima, whose comprehensive mind and ripe judgment had
been attracted to the subject by Maury's pen, says to the Lieutenant,
under date of July, 1852:

"Since I last wrote to you, I have made the acquaintance of Don ——, a
native of Chili, and whom Gibbon saw at Cochabamba, in Bolivia. This
is undoubtedly a clever man; but I suspect that he has also come to act
as a secret agent of Belzu, the President of Bolivia. However that may
be, he pretends that Belzu is favorably disposed towards us, and would
grant privileges to a steam navigation company, were application made
to him in due form. As I know of no other individual in Bolivia with
whom I could communicate on the subject of Amazonian navigation, I did
not hesitate to make use of him; for, in my opinion, there is no time
to be lost if the United States intend to secure the interior trade of
South America for its citizens.

"Don —— declares that the Mamoré is navigable for steamers from a point
near Cochabamba to its confluence with the Guaporé or Itenez, and so
onward to the junction of the latter with the Beni, forming together the
Rio Madeira; that the 'Cachuelas,' or falls of the Madeira, are neither
impassable nor formidable, and may be easily ascended by steamers, as
there is plenty of water and no rocks. To prove this, he asserts that a
Brazilian schooner ascended the Mamoré to Trinidad, and fired a salute
at that place, about two years ago. After passing the falls, the river
is, of course, navigable to the Amazon. Admitting this statement of
Don —— to be true, (and I am inclined to believe it, as the Brazilians
constantly ascend the Itenez to Matto Grosso,) there is open navigation
from Pará to within a few leagues of Cochabamba, at least two thousand
miles; and this is not so incredible when we consider the length of
navigation on the Missouri river. The accessibility of the Bolivian
rivers will, however, be ascertained with greater certainty after Gibbon
has passed through the Cachuelas of the Madeira, as it is to be hoped
that he will sound, and otherwise minutely examine, the different rapids
of that river, and correct the errors which Don —— says are in the chart
made by ——, a copy of which I sent you by Mr. O'Brian for Herndon.

"The account Don —— gives of the products of the country lying on the
banks of the Mamoré is very glowing. He says that the richest cocoa and
coffee grow almost wild, and that the greatest part of the former is
consumed by the monkeys and birds, for the want of means of transporting
it to a market. Sugar-cane of gigantic dimensions is found everywhere,
with white and yellow cotton of a staple equal to Sea island. Several
kinds of cascarilla grow in abundance, as also sarsaparilla and gums,
ornamental and other woods, and honey and wax, in immense quantities.
Crossing the Mamoré from Exaltacion to the southwest, you arrive at
the river Machuno, which, according to Don ——, is a small 'Pactolus;'
and he assures me that the whole country between the Mamoré and the
Itenez, from latitude 14° to the north, is a gold district as rich as
California.

"_My opinion_ decidedly is, that the whole country traversed by the
rivers issuing from the slope of the Eastern Cordillera, from Santa Cruz
de la Sierra, in Bolivia, to the mouth of the Ucayali, in Peru, is one
immense gold and silver region; gold being found in the flats near the
rivers, and silver in the mountains. I will venture to predict that the
same region contains diamonds and other precious stones, some of which
are probably unknown to the lapidary at present. The silver mines of
Carabaya were immensely productive when worked by Salcedo; so much so,
that the vice-regal government trumped up an accusation against him,
tried him, and ordered his execution, to obtain possession of the mines
by confiscation. The attempt failed, as the Indians, who were devoted
to Salcedo, refused to give any information to the government respecting
the mines; and they have remained unworked up to the present time.

"Gold is known to exist in considerable quantities at Carabaya, and in
the Pampa del Sacramento. I have seen specimens from the former place;
but gold is the least attraction for emigration to Bolivia; the soil
and its products are the source from which the wanderers from foreign
lands are to find plenty and happiness. The climate is said to be good,
and the Indians, except upon the lower part of the Beni, peaceable and
well disposed to the whites. In short, according to Don ——, the east of
Bolivia affords the greatest sphere for trade and colonization.

       *       *       *       *       *

"For myself, I feel full of this vast subject; for I know that within
less than one hundred leagues of me is the margin of those great
solitudes: replete with riches, and occupying the wild space where
millions of the human race might dwell in plenty and happiness; where
nature annually wastes more than would support the population of China
in comfort; and where the most luxurious fruits and fairest flowers
grow and bloom unknown and unnoticed. When I reflect on this, and on
the miles of rivers rolling on in silence and neglect, I feel doubly
the want of power and money to accomplish their introduction to the
civilized world.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I think that the energies and influence of all the friends of South
American internal navigation and colonization should be directed towards
forming a company, with a large capital, and to obtain the aid and
support of the Congress of the United States. I know how difficult
an undertaking it is to wring an appropriation out of our national
legislature, for any purpose; but if the subject could be fairly brought
before it, and some of the leading senators and representatives could
be excited to take a patriotic interest in it, perhaps something might
be done.

"We must, on our side, do all we can, and by dint of perseverance we may
succeed at last in accomplishing our object. Should we do so, it will be
a proud satisfaction to ourselves; though the public may, and probably
will, leave us to exclaim—

            "'Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores!'

"I shall continue working on and writing to you whenever I have anything
of the least interest to communicate."

The greatest boon in the wide world of commerce is in the free
navigation of the Amazon, its confluents and neighboring streams. The
back-bone of South America is in sight of the Pacific. The slopes of
the continent look east; they are drained into the Atlantic, and their
rich productions, in vast variety and profusion, may be emptied into
the commercial lap of that ocean by the most majestic of water-courses.

The time will come when the free navigation of the Amazon and other
South American rivers will be regarded by the people of this country as
second only in importance to the acquisition of Louisiana.

Having traversed that water-shed from its highest ridge to its very
caves and gutters, I find my thoughts and reflections overwhelmed with
the immensity of this field for enterprise, commercial prosperity, and
human happiness.

I can bear witness to the truth of the sentiment expressed by my
friend, Mr. Maury, that the Valley of the Amazon and the Valley of
the Mississippi are commercial complements of each other—one supplying
what the other lacks in the great commercial round. They are sisters
which should not be separated. Had I the honor to be mustered among
the statesmen of my country, I would risk political fame and life in
the attempt to have the commerce of this noble river thrown open to the
world.



CHAPTER X.

     Nauta—River Ucayali—Sarayacu—The Missionaries—The Indians of
     the Ucayali.


Señor Cauper has four or five slaves in his house—blacks, which he
brought from Brazil. This is contrary to the law, but it is winked at;
and I heard the governor say that he would like much to have a pair.
Mr. Cauper said they would be difficult to get, and would cost him
five hundred dollars in money. A slave that is a mechanic is worth five
hundred dollars in Brazil.

Arebalo gave us specimens of the woods of the country; they are called
_aguano_, _ishpingo_, _muena_, _capirono_, _cedro_, _palo de cruz_,
(our lignum-vitæ,) and _palo de sangre_—all good, whether for house or
ship-building; and some of them very hard, heavy, and beautiful. The
palo de sangre is of a rich red color, susceptible of a high polish; and
a decoction of its bark is said to be good to stay bloody evacuations.
I had no opportunity of testing it, but suspect it is given on the
homœopathic principle, that "like cures like," because it is red. I
thought the same of the guaco, in the case of the snake-bite.

The temperature of Nauta is agreeable. The lowest thermometer I observed
was 71° at 6 a. m., and the highest 89° at 3 p. m. We have had a great
deal of cloudy weather and rain since we have been on the Amazon; and
it is now near the commencement of the rainy season at this place. No
one suffers from heat, though this is probably the hottest season of
the year; the air is loaded with moisture; and heavy squalls of wind and
rain sweep over the country almost every day. In the dry months—from the
last of February to the first of September—a constant and heavy breeze
blows, nearly all day, against the stream of the river; the wind, at
all seasons, is generally easterly, but is at this time more fitful
and liable to interruption; so that sail-boats bound up make, at this
season, the longest passages. The river, which is three-fourths of a
mile wide opposite Nauta, and has an imposing appearance, has risen four
feet between the sixteenth and twenty-fifth of September.

The town is situated on a hill, with the forest well cleared away from
around it, and is a healthy place. I saw only two cases of sickness
during my stay of two weeks. They were acute cases of disease, to which
people are liable everywhere. Both patients died; probably for want
of medical attention. I gave the man who had the dysentery some doses
of calomel and opium, (a prescription I had from Dr. Smith, of Lima;)
but he died with the last dose. Though solicited, I would have nothing
to do with the other case. It was a woman; and I had no confidence in
my practice. I could only add my mite to a subscription raised by the
whites for the benefit of her orphan children.

The Cocamas of Nauta are great fishermen and boatmen, and I think
are bolder than most of the civilized tribes on the river. They make
incursions, now and then, into the country of the Mayorunas—savages who
inhabit the right banks of the Ucayali and Amazon—fight battles with
them, and bring home prisoners, generally children. When travelling in
small numbers, or engaged in their ordinary avocations on the river,
they studiously avoid the country of their enemies, who retaliate
whenever opportunity offers.

These Indians are jealous, and punish conjugal infidelity with severity,
and also departure from the laws of chastity on the part of the
unmarried female.

Arebalo thinks that the population of the Missions is increasing, and
found by the census, taken carefully last year by himself, that the
number of women exceeded that of the men by more than one thousand.

A boat came in from above on the eighteenth, and reported the loss of
another belonging to Enrique, one of the traders we had met at Laguna.
She was loaded with salt and cotton cloth; and, in passing the mouth
of Tigre Yacu in the night, struck upon a "sawyer," capsized, and went
down. A boy was drowned. Macready would have envied the low, soft, sad
tones and eloquent gestures, expressive of pity and horror, with which
an Indian told us the disastrous story.

_September 20._—We paid twelve rowers and a popero, and set them to
work to fit up our boat with decks and coverings. I had purchased this
boat from Mr. Cauper for sixty dollars, the price he paid for it when it
was new. Most persons on the river held up their hands when I told them
what I had paid for it; but I thought it was cheap, especially as I was
obliged to have it on any terms. He had it repaired and calked for us.

The boat (called garretea) is thirty feet long, seven wide in its widest
part, and three deep. The after-part is decked for about ten feet in
length with the bark of a palm-tree, which is stripped from the trunk
and flattened out by force. The deck is covered over by small poles,
bent in hoop-fashion over it, and well thatched with palm-leaves; making
quite a snug little cabin. The pilot stands or sits on this roof to
direct and steer, and sleeps upon it at night, to the manifest danger of
rolling off. About twelve feet of the middle of the boat is covered and
decked in like manner; but the covering is lower and narrower, giving
room for the rowers to sit on each side of it to paddle. Most of the
cargo is stowed under the decks, thus leaving a cabin for both Ijurra
and myself. There is a space between the two coverings which is not
decked over, that gives a chance for bailing the boat when she takes
in water; and a sufficient space is left in the bow on which to place
a large earthen vessel to make a fire in.

I bought from Senhor Cauper some Portuguese axes, some small fish-hooks,
(called by the Indians _mishqui_,) and some white beads, which are most
coveted by the savages of the Ucayali.

We had several fishing pic-nics with the priest and governor, and
altogether a pleasant time at Nauta.

_September 25._—Having engaged a servant, a Tarapotino, named Lopez, and
embarked our luggage and provisions, I hoisted a small American flag,
given me from the frigate Raritan, and got under way for the Ucayali. We
started with ten peons, but were joined by two others in a skiff (called
_montaria_) next morning. In fifty-five minutes we arrived at the mouth
of the Ucayali. It is a beautiful stream, with low, shelving, green
banks at its mouth. But I was disappointed in its size; it was not more
than half as wide as the Amazon. It is the longest known tributary above
Brazil, and is therefore called by some the main trunk of the Amazon.
We poled and paddled slowly up the left bank for four and a half miles,
and stopped at a bluff where there were one or two huts of Nauta people.
Threatening rain, we attempted to sleep in the boat; but our musquito
curtains not being properly prepared, we passed a wretched night.

_September 26._—Taking advantage of the eddies and still water near
the shore, we paddled and poled along at about the rate of a mile and a
half per hour. Our men work well. They commence paddling with a strong,
slow stroke, of about fifteen or twenty to the minute, and gradually
quicken them till they get to be half-second strokes. They keep this
up for about half an hour, when, at a shout from the bowman, they toss
their paddles in the air, change sides, and commence the slow stroke
again. They, however, prefer poling to paddling, and will always make
for a beach, where they can use their poles, which they do in a lazy,
inefficient manner.

  [Illustration: GIVARA.

     Pl. 14.
     Pr. Vernazzi del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

The shores of the river to day, on the left bank, are abrupt, and
about ten or fifteen feet high. They are of a light, loose earth, that
is continually caving in by the action of the current, and carrying
trees into the stream. On the other side the shores are low, green, and
shelving. I think they are the shores of low, narrow islands. The trees
are not very thick, and the country is more open than on the banks of
the Huallaga. After breakfast we pulled nearly to the middle of the
river, and, anchoring in thirty-three feet water, we found the current,
by the log, to be a mile and three-quarters the hour. We passed the
mouth of a small stream called Chingana, up which there is a settlement
of the Mayorunas. Our men are much afraid of this people, and always
sleep on the left bank so long as they are in their country. All the
peons on this river have their musquito curtains painted black, so that
the Mayorunas may not see them in the night. The mode of attack of these
savages is to wait till the travellers have fallen asleep, and then rush
upon the musquito nets and plunge in their lances. None of the Indians
that I have travelled with seem to have any idea of the propriety of
posting a sentinel. At noon the river, which has been from its mouth
less than a quarter of a mile wide, spreads out, and is divided by
islands. We anchored in twelve feet water, sixty yards from the shore,
and slept without musquito netting. It was windy, and these troublesome
insects did not come off. Rain nearly all night.

_September 27._—Two of our turtles died yesterday, and the Indians are
eating them to-day. Ijurra suspects that they killed them by putting
tobacco in their mouths, knowing that we would not eat them, and that
they consequently would get them. But Ijurra is of a suspicious nature,
especially where Indians are concerned, whom he thinks to be the vilest
and most worthless of mankind. We found the current to-day to be two
miles the hour. A fish about two feet long, and sharp-built, like a
dolphin, jumped into the boat. It had two curved and very sharp teeth,
like those of a squirrel, or the fangs of a serpent, in the lower
jaw. It made us a very good mess. The river to-day is much divided by
islands, the passages from one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards
wide. When running between the main shore, the river is about a quarter
of a mile wide.

_September 28._—Passed the outlet of a lake said to be a day distant.
There are many lakes on each side of the river, where the Indians
fish with barbasco. At this season most of the outlets are dry. Passed
two balsas loaded with sarsaparilla, gathered in the river Aguaytia,
above Sarayacu. One was in charge of a Brazilian negro, the other of a
Portuguese; they were dependants of a trading establishment at Loreto.
The crew were Conibos Indians of the Ucayali. They had a floating
turtle-pen along, and gave us a turtle. When we stopped to breakfast our
people hid their jars, which they had emptied of their masata, to pick
up on the return. Banks of the river, as usual, about ten or fifteen
feet high. Beaches few and small, running out in ridges; so that at one
moment our men could not touch bottom with their long poles, and at the
next the boat was aground.

_September 29._—We passed a place in the river where there was a beach
on each side, and a tree grounded in the middle. On the side which
we passed, which was to the right of the tree, we had but four feet
water sixty yards from the beach. I suspect the tree was grounded on a
sand-flat at the upper end of an island, the lower end of which we had
not noticed, and that the channel was on the other side, and close to
the right bank of the river. Passed the mouth of the Caño Pucati, which
communicates with the Marañon just below San Regis. It is now entirely
dry, and appears a mere fissure in the bank between the cane and small
trees growing near it. The sand which is heaped up at its entrance, is
four feet above the present level of the river.

Stopped and bought some turtle, salt, and salted _curassows_, (a large,
black, game bird, nearly the size, and with something the appearance,
of a turkey, called _piuri_,) from some San Regis people, who were
salting fish, which they had taken in a lake near. Their ranchos were
built upon a bluff on the right bank. I could not stay among them for
the musquitoes, and had to retreat to the boat. Two large turtles, three
salted birds, and half a peck of salt, cost us six strings of small
beads.

_September 30._—Passed the mouth of an arm of the river, which is said
to leave the main river many miles above, and make the large island of
_Paynaco_. It is navigable for canoes in the wet season; but, on account
of its windings, it takes nearly as long to pass it as it does to pass
the main river; and it is seldom navigated. We see many cranes and
_huananas_, (the Egyptian goose before described,) but no animals except
flesh colored porpoises, of which there are a great many. Occasionally
we hear "cotomonos," or howling monkeys, in the woods. Dull work
ascending the river; anchored near low sand islands with abrupt banks,
which were continually tumbling into the stream.

_October 1._—After daylight we landed and shot at cotomonos. One is
not aware of the great height of the trees until he attempts to shoot
a monkey or a bird out of the topmost branches. He is then surprised to
find that the object is entirely out of reach of his fowling-piece, and
that only a rifle will reach it. The trees throughout this country grow
with great rapidity, and, being in a light, thin soil, with a substratum
of sand, the roots are superficial, and the trees are continually
falling down. Nature seems to have made a provision for their support,
for, instead of coming down round to the ground, the trunk, about ten
feet above it, divides into thick, wide tablets, which, widening as they
come down, stand out like buttresses for the support of the tree; but
even with this provision no day passes that we do not hear the crashing
fall of some giant of the forest. Re-stowed the boat, and repaired
Ijurra's palace, making it narrower and higher.

_October 3._—Many huananas, with their broods, upon the river. Shot a
large brown bird called _chansu_, (_cigana_ in Brazil;) it has a crest,
erectile at pleasure, and looks like a pheasant. Large flocks frequent
the cane on the banks of the river; they have a very game look, and are
attractive to the sportsman; but the Indians call them a foul bird, and
do not eat them; the crop of this was filled with green herbage.

_October 4._—Clear all night, with heavy dew. The anchor, which is a
sixty-four pound weight, had sunk so deep in the thick dark sand of the
bottom as to require the united exertions of all hands to get it. Met
three canoes going down loaded with sarsaparilla; bought some yuccas
and plantains at a settlement of five families of Conibos, on the left
bank of the river. Got also specimens of the black wax of the country,
and "lacre," or sealing-wax, which is the gum of a tree, colored red
with achote. The black wax is the production of a small bee very little
larger than an ant, which builds its house in the ground. The white
wax is deposited in the branches of a small tree, which are hollow,
and divided into compartments like the joints of a cane. The wood
is sufficiently soft to be perforated by the bee; the tree is called
_cetica_, and looks, though larger, like our alder bush.

_October 5._—Stopped at a Conibo rancho on the right bank. Three men
and six women, with children, were living in the rancho; they were very
poor, and could sell us nothing. The river rose six inches from eight
last night to five this morning. Shores to-day low, with large sand
beaches; only four feet of water fifty or sixty yards from them. Current
two and a quarter miles.

_October 6._—Passed a settlement of Conibos on left bank—four houses,
eight men and twenty-five women and children. It was quite a treat to
see so familiar a flower as the convolvulus growing on the bank. It
was not so large or so gay as in our gardens, but had a home look that
was very pleasing. Passed a ravine, up which there is a settlement of
Amajuacas Indians. These men are hunters, who live in the interior, and
seldom come down upon the rivers. The Pirros and Conibos sometimes make
war upon them, and bring away captives. Yesterday two men—one a Pano,
from Sarayacu, and the other an Amajuaca—joined us to work their passage
to Sarayacu. The Amajuaca was so good a fellow, and worked so well, that
I paid him as the others. Current two and a quarter miles.

_October 7._—River half a mile wide and rising fast. Trunks of trees
begin to come down. Stopped at a settlement called _Guanache_. I saw
only two houses, with four or five men and women; they said that the
others were away gathering sarsaparilla. These people cannot count, and
can never get from them any accurate idea of numbers. They are very
little removed above the "beasts that perish." They are filthy, and
covered with the sores and scars of sarna. The houses were very large,
measuring between thirty and forty feet of length, and ten or fifteen in
breadth. They consist of immense roofs of small poles and cane, thatched
with palm, and supported by short stakes four feet high and three inches
in diameter, planted in the ground three or four feet apart, and having
the spaces, except between two in front, filled in with cane. Many
persons "pig" together in one of these houses. Cotton was growing here.
Current three and one-third miles.

_October 9._—Stopped at the village of Sta. Maria, a Pirros settlement,
on the left bank, of one hundred and fifty souls. The curaca, who
seemed a more rational and respectable being than the rest, and
whom I afterwards saw in Nauta, told me that there were thirty-three
_Matrimonios_. These Indians ascend the Ucayali in their canoes to a
point not very far from Cuzco, where they go to exchange rare birds and
animals for beads, fish-hooks, and the little silver ornaments which
they wear in their noses. They bury their dead in his canoe under the
floor of his house. The curaca said that the Conibos buried the personal
effects of the deceased with him, differing in this from his people, the
Pirros. Their language is also different; but in all other things they
are as like as peas. They have no idea of a future state, and worship
nothing. In fact, I think they have no ideas at all, although they can
make a bow or a canoe, and take a fish; and their women can weave a
coarse cloth from cotton, and dye it. They asked us if we had not in our
boxes some great and infectious disease, which we could take up and let
loose among their enemies, the Cashibos of the Pichitea.

There were two Moyobambinos domiciliated in the village, purchasing
salt fish from the Indians. One of them told me that an Indian would
furnish eighty pieces of salt fish for eight yards of tocuyo; this man
may have "let the cat out of the bag," and showed me how they cheat the
Indians. A yard of tocuyo is the general price of three pieces. A fish
called payshi, which is the fish ordinarily salted, was brought in and
cut up whilst we were here. It is a powerful fish, about six feet long
and one and one-fourth in diameter. The head is fourteen inches long,
with short jaws and rather small month. The tongue, when dried, is as
hard as bone, and is commonally used as a rasp. The scales of the belly
and tail are bordered with a bright red streak, which makes the fish
appear to be nearly encircled with a number of scarlet rings, and gives
it a very pretty appearance. (It is called _pirarucu_ in Brazil.)

Just below Sta. Maria is the mouth of a creek, or small channel of the
river, which, cutting across a narrow neck of land, connects two parts
of a great bend of the river. These canals across an isthmus are called
by the Indians tepishka. This one is only navigable when the river is
full.

Two hours after leaving Sta. Maria we arrived at a beach where there
was an establishment of Senhor Cauper's, for salting fish. These
establishments are called _factorias_. A nephew of the old man has been
here for two months, attending to the business. Instead of employing the
Infidels, he brings Indians of Nauta with him—people generally who are
in Mr. Cauper's debt. Twenty-five Indians collect and salt four thousand
pieces of fish in six weeks.

Bought fifty pieces at six and a quarter cents for the support of my
peons. From eight last night to six this morning, the river rose but
two inches, and seems to be now falling.

The Indians on this river have in their houses cotton, maize, ground
peas, (mani,) sweet potatoes, yuccas, plantains, fowls and fish, bows
and arrows, lances, clubs, paddles, and pretty baskets made of cane.
The women weave their own clothes, and those of their husbands, and
manage to paint figures and devices on the cotton after it is woven.
The Pirros and Conibos seem taller than they really are, on account of
their costume, which is a long cotton gown. I have seen a fellow in one
of these gowns, slowly striding over a beach, look, at a distance, like
a Roman patrician in his "toga."

_October 10._—River fell last night four inches. Stopped on _Puiri_
island to breakfast. There is a pretty little lake occupying nearly the
whole centre of the island. We passed through a shallow and narrow arm
of the river between Puiri island and the right bank. River a quarter
of a mile wide above the island.

Met a Conibo, with his wife and two children, on the beach. This man was
evidently the dandy of his tribe. He was painted with a broad stripe of
red under each eye; three narrow stripes of blue were carried from one
ear, across the upper lip, to the other—the two lower stripes plain, and
the upper one bordered with figures. The whole of the lower jaw and chin
were painted with a blue chain-work of figures, something resembling
Chinese figures. Around his neck was a broad tight necklace of black and
white beads, with a breastplate of the same hanging from it, and partly
concealed by the long gown, or _cushma_. His wrists were also adorned
with wide bracelets of white beads, and above these a bracelet of lizard
skins, set round with monkeys' teeth. He wore a little silver shield
hanging from his nose, and a narrow, thin plate of silver, shaped like a
paddle, two and a half inches long, thrust through a hole in the lower
lip, and hanging on the chin. He had been to Cuzco, where he got his
silver ornaments, and said it was a journey of four moons. We anchored
in thirty-six feet water, and found a current of three miles the hour.
Calm, clear night; much dew.

_October 11._—Stopped to breakfast on a beach on the left bank, back
of which, on the firm land, were two houses of _Remos_ Indians. There
were twenty-two of them—men, women, and children—with three men of the
_Shipebos_ tribe. There seemed to be no uniformity in their paint, each
one consulting his own taste; though there was one man and a woman, whom
I understood to be man and wife, painted exactly alike. The Remos were
low and small; the Shipebos taller. They were dressed in the common
costume of the Ucayali, (the cushma,) and had their hair cut straight
across the forehead, just above the eyes, so as to show the face, set,
as it were, in a frame of hair. They are all filthy, and some have
sarna. As far as I have observed, more women have this disease than men.
Passed more huts afterwards, and some Indians seeking the young of the
turtle on a beach. These people eat anything. I have known them to eat
the eggs of the turtle with the young in them, and also turtle that had
died a natural death and had become offensive.

_October 12._—Passed a settlement of Conibos on the right bank,
numbering twenty-five or thirty. They said that the inhabitants of a
village called _Huamuco_, which Smyth places near this place, had gone
to the Pachitea.

_October 13._—At breakfast we found a smaller kind of turtle called
_charapilla_, better and more tender than the large turtle which is
called charapa. Stopped at a little settlement of Shipebos on the right
bank—twenty-five all told. Met three negroes, with a crew of Conibos,
who had been up the river for sarsaparilla. They gathered the principal
part of what they had (about sixty arrobas) in the Aguaytia, but had
been five days up the Pachitea, and six up the Ucayali, above the
Pachitea. They say that the Cashibos of that river would come to the
beach in hostile attitude; but when they found that the strangers were
not Indians of the Ucayali, but wore trousers and had guns, they fled.

Passed two houses of Conibos, about fifteen in number. One of them,
taking us for padres, insisted that Ijurra should baptize his child;
which was accordingly done. He gave it the name of the officiating
priest, writing it on a bit of paper and giving it to the mother, who
put it away carefully. I believe my companion was upbraided by the
priest at Sarayacu for doing so. The head of the infant had been bound
in boards, front and rear, and was flattened and increased in height.
I do not observe that the heads of the adults bear any trace of this
custom.

_October 15._—Arrived at the village of Tierra Blanca, belonging to the
Mission, having passed yesterday several settlements of the Indians,
and seen for the first time the hills in the neighborhood of Sarayacu.
It is a clean little town, of two hundred inhabitants, situated on an
eminence on the left bank about twenty-five feet above the present level
of the river. In the full the water approaches within a few feet of the
lower houses.

A priest from Sarayacu, "Father Juan de Dios Lorente," has charge of
the spiritual and pretty much of the temporal concerns of the village.
He is here at this time celebrating some feast, and is the only white
man present. The Indians, as usual at a feast time, were nearly all
drunk, and made my men drunk also. When I wished to start, I sent Ijurra
to a large house where they were drinking to bring our people to the
boat; he soon came back, foaming with rage, and demanded a gun, that
he might bring them to obedience; I soothed him, however, and went up
to the house, where, by taking a drink with them, and practising the
arts that I have often practised before in getting off to the ship
refractory sailors who were drinking on shore, I succeeded in getting
off a sufficient number of them to work the boat, and shoved off with
as drunken a boat's crew as one could desire, leaving the small boat
for the others to follow; this they are sure to do when they find that
their clothes and bedding have been taken away. The padre said that if
Ijurra had shot one, they would have murdered us all; but I doubt that,
for we were well armed, and the Indians are afraid of guns.

Padre Lorente, when he joined the Mission, came down the Pachitea in
nine days from Mayro to Sarayacu in the month of August; if so, there
must have been an enormous current in the Pachitea and Ucayali above,
for it takes thirty days to reach the mouth of the Pachitea from
Sarayacu, which distance Padre Lorente descended in six; and Padre Plaza
(who is said, however, to be a slow traveller) took eighteen to ascend
the Pachitea from its mouth to Mayro, which Padre Lorente accomplished
downwards in three. I judged from the short course of this river, and
the great descent, that it had a powerful current. The padre said that,
a day's journey above the mouth of the Pachitea, his men had to get
overboard and drag the canoe over the bottom for five hundred yards.
He also said that the attempt to ascend at this season must result in
failure; that it can only be done after Easter, when the current is not
so rapid. The Aguaytia and Pishqui are also small streams, where the
Indians have to wade and drag the canoes.

_October 16._—Started at 6 a. m.; stopped at half-past five opposite
the mouth of the river Catalina. It seemed thirty yards wide, and had
a small island in front.

The ascent of the river is very tedious; we barely creep along against
the force of the current, and day after day "wearies by" in the most
monotonous routine. I frequently land, and with gun on shoulder, and
clad only in shirt and drawers, walk for miles along the beaches.
My greatest pleasure is to watch the boat struggling up against the
tide. This is always accompanied with emotions of pride, mingled with
a curious and scarcely definable feeling of surprise. It was almost
startling to see, at her mast-head, the beautiful and well-beloved
flag of my country dancing merrily in the breeze on the waters of the
strange river, and waiving above the heads of the swarthy and grim
figures below. I felt a proud affection for it; I had carried it where
it had never been before; there was a bond between us; we were alone in
a strange land; and it and I were brothers in the wilderness.

_October 17._—Met ten canoes of Conibos—twenty-eight men, women, and
children—who had been on an excursion, with no particular object, as
far as the first stones in the Ucayali. This is about thirty-eight
days above Sarayacu, at a place called in Quichua "Rumi Callarina," or
commencement of the rocks; river rising for the last two or three days;
passed a village of Shipebos, called Cushmuruna; hills in sight, bearing
south.

_October 18._—At 11 a. m. we entered the Caño of Sarayacu; at this
season this is not more than fifteen or eighteen feet wide, and nearly
covered with a tall grass something like broom-corn, or a small species
of cane. (This is the food for the vaca marina.) The caño has as much
as six feet depth in the middle for two miles, but it soon contracts so
as scarcely to allow room for my boat to pass, and becomes shallow and
obstructed with the branches of small trees which bend over it. It also,
about two miles from its mouth, changes its character of caño, or arm of
the main river, and becomes the little river of Sarayacu, which retires
and advances in accordance with the movements of its great neighbor.

We could not get our boat nearer than within a quarter of a mile of the
town; so we took small canoes from the bank, and carried up our equipage
in them. We were hospitably received by the padres, and lodgings were
given us in the convento, a large house with several rooms in it.

We found Sarayacu a rather neat-looking Indian village, of about one
thousand inhabitants, including Belen, a small town of one hundred
and fifty inhabitants, one and a half mile distant. It, or rather the
missionary station—including the towns of Sta. Catalina and Tierra
Blanca—is governed by four Franciscan friars, of the college of Ocopa.
The principal and prefect, Padre Juan Chrisostomo Cimini, being now
absent on a visit to Ocopa, the general direction is left in the hands
of Father Vicente Calvo, assisted by the Fathers Bregati and Lorente,
who have charge respectively of Sta. Catalina and Tierra Blanca.

Father Calvo, meek and humble in personal concerns, yet full of zeal
and spirit for his office, clad in his long serge gown, belted with a
cord, with bare feet and accurate tonsure, habitual stoop, and generally
bearing upon his shoulder a beautiful and saucy bird of the parrot
kind, called _chiriclis_, was my beau ideal of a missionary monk. He is
an Arragonese, and had served as a priest in the army of Don Carlos.
Bregati is a young and handsome Italian, whom Father Calvo sometimes
calls St. John. Lorente was a tall, grave, and cold-looking Catalan. A
lay-brother named Maquin, who did the cooking, and who was unwearied
in his attentions to us, made up the establishment. I was sick here,
and think that I shall ever remember with gratitude the affectionate
kindness of these pious and devoted friars of St. Francis.

The town is situated on a level plain elevated one hundred feet above
the rivulet of the same name, which empties into the Ucayali at three
miles distant.

The rivulet does not afford sufficient water for a canoe in the dry
season; but at that time a fine road might be made through the forest
to the banks of the Ucayali; this probably would be miry and deep in
the rainy season, which is from the first of November to Easter. We had
rain nearly every day that we were there, but it was in passing showers,
alternating with a hot sun. The climate of Sarayacu is delightful;
the maximum thermometer, at 3 p. m., being 84½°; the minimum, at 9
a. m., 74. The average temperature of the day is 79; the nights are
sufficiently cool to allow one to sleep with comfort under a musquito
curtain made of gingham. These insects are less troublesome here than
might be expected, which may be seen from the fact that the priests are
able to live without wearing stockings; but it is a continual penance,
quite equal, I should think, to self-flagellation once a week.

The soil is very prolific, but thin and light; at half a foot below
the surface there is pure sand; and no Indian thinks of cultivating
the same farm longer than three years; he then clears the forest and
plants another. There is nothing but a little coffee produced for sale
in the neighborhood of the town. The fathers extract about three hundred
arrobas of sarsaparilla, from the small streams above, and sell it to
Senhor Cauper in Nauta. This gives them a profit of about five hundred
dollars. The College at Ocopa allows them a dollar for every mass
said or sung. The four padres are able to perform about seven hundred
annually, (those for Sundays and feast-days are not paid for;) and this
income of twelve hundred dollars is appropriated to the repairs of the
churches and conventos, church furniture, the vestments of the priests,
their table and chamber furniture, and some little luxuries—such as
sugar, flower, vinegar, &c., bought of the Portuguese below.

The padres have recently obtained an order from the prefect of the
department of Amazonas, giving them the exclusive right of collecting
sarsaparilla on the Ucayali and its tributaries; but I doubt if this
will benefit them much, for, there being no power to enforce the decree,
the Portuguese will send their agents there as before.

Each padre has two _Mitayos_, appointed monthly—one a hunter, the other
a fisherman—to supply his table with the products of the forest and
the river. The Fiscales cultivate him a small farm for his yuccas and
plantains, and he himself raises poultry and eggs; they also make him
rum from the sugar-cane, of which he needs a large supply to give to the
constables, (_Varayos_, from "vara," a wand, each one carrying a cane,)
the Fiscales, and the Mitayos.

The government is paternal. The Indians recognise in the padre the power
to appoint and remove curacas, captains, and other officers; to inflict
stripes; and to confine in the stocks. They obey the priest's orders
readily, and seem tractable and docile. They take advantage, however,
of Father Calvo's good nature, and are sometimes a little insolent. On
an occasion of this kind, my friend Ijurra, who is always an advocate of
strong measures, and says that in the government of the Indians there is
nothing like the _santo palo_, (sacred cudgel,) asked Father Calvo why
he did not put the impudent rascal in the stocks. But the good Father
replied that he did not like to do it—that it was cruel, and hurt the
poor fellow's legs.

The Indians here, as elsewhere, are drunken and lazy. The women do
most of the work; carry most of the burdens to and from the chacras
and canoes; make the masato, and the earthen vessels out of which it is
drunk; spin the cotton and weave the cloth; cook and take care of the
children. And their reward is to be maltreated by their husbands, and,
in their drunken frolics, to be cruelly beaten, and sometimes badly
wounded.

The town is very healthy, there being no endemics, but only acute
attacks from great exposure or imprudence in eating and drinking. From
the parish register it appears that in the year 1850 there were ten
marriages, sixty-two births, and twenty-four deaths. This appears, from
an examination of the other years, to be a pretty fair average; yet
the population is constantly decreasing. Father Calvo attributes this
to desertion. He says that many go down the Amazon with passengers and
cargoes, and, finding the return difficult, they either settle in the
villages upon the river or join the _Ticumas_, or other Infidel tribes,
and never come back.

The Spaniards, from the Huallaga, also frequently buy the young Indians
from their parents, and carry them off for domestic services at home.
Father Calvo spoke with great indignation of this custom; and said if
he could catch any person stealing his people he would hang him in the
plaza. Our servant Lopez desired me to advance him nine hatchets, for
the purpose of buying a young Indian which his father wished to sell.
But I told Lopez of Father Calvo's sentiments on the subject, and
refused him. Two boys, however, put off in a canoe the day before we
did on our return, and joined us below Tierra Blanca. I did not clearly
understand who they were, or I should have sent them back.

We afterwards met with a boat's crew of twelve, who had come off with a
young Spaniard of Rioja, (a village between the Huallaga and Marañon,)
who did not intend returning; and I fear that many of those that came
down with me did not get back for years, if at all; though I did all I
could to send them back.

Thus Sarayacu is becoming depopulated in spite of the paternal kindness
and mild government of Father Calvo. My own impression as to the reason
of their desertion is, not that it is on account of the difficulties of
the return, or indifference, or a proclivity to fall back into savage
life; but that the missionaries have civilized the Indians in some
degree—have taught them the value of property, and awakened in their
minds ambition and a desire to improve their condition. For this reason
the Indian leaves Sarayacu and goes to Brazil. In Sarayacu there are
comparatively none to employ him and pay for his services. In Brazil,
the Portuguese "commerciante," though he maltreats him, and does not
give him enough to eat, pays him for his labor. Thus he accumulates, and
becomes a man of property; and in the course of time possibly returns to
his family in possession of a wooden trunk painted blue, with a lock and
key to it, and filled with hatchets, knives, beads, fish-hooks, mirrors,
&c. He has seen the world, and is an object of envy to his kinsmen and
neighbors.

Not included among the deaths of 1850 are those of four men who
died from poison. In one of their drunken frolics the Indians were
discoursing of the properties of a small tree or shrub, called corrosive
sublimate of the forest, "soliman del monte," and they determined to
test it. They rasped a portion of the bark into their masato, and five
men and two women partook of it. Four of the men died in three-quarters
of an hour, in great agony, and the others were ill for a long time.

Growing in the padre's garden was a small tree bearing a fruit about the
size of our hickory nut, which contained within a small, oblong nut,
called _piñion_. This has a soft shell; and the substance of the nut
is a mild, safe, and efficient purgative. There was also a bush called
"_guayusa_," a decoction of the leaves of which is said to be good for
colds and rheumatism. It is also believed to be a cure for barrenness.

The friars entertained us on Sunday evening with a dance of Indians.
These were dressed in frocks and trousers, but had head-dresses made
of a bandeau or circlet of short and rich-colored feathers, surmounted
with the long tail-feathers of the scarlet macaw. They had strings of
dried nut shells around their legs, which made an agreeable jingling
in the dance. The half-bent knee, and graceful waive of the plumed hat
towards the priest before the dance commenced, with the regularity of
the figure, gave unmistakable evidence of the teaching of the Jesuits,
who appear to have neglected nothing, however trivial, that might bind
the affections of the proselytes, and gain themselves influence.

The inhabitants of Sarayacu are divided into three distinct tribes,
called Panos, Omaguas, and Yameos. They dwell in different parts of
the town. Each tribe has its peculiar dialect; but they generally
communicate in the Pano language. These last are the whitest and
best-looking Indians I have seen.

I was unable to gather much authentic information concerning the
Infidels of the Ucayali. The padres had only been in Sarayacu a few
years, and had never left their post to travel among the Indians.

The Campas are the most numerous and warlike tribe, and are resolute
in forbidding strangers to enter their territory. They inhabit all
the upper waters of the Ucayali; and I think it probable that they are
the same who, under the name of Chunchos, are so hostile to the whites
about Chanchamayo, and on the haciendas to the eastward of Cuzco. These
are the people who, under Juan Santos Atahaullpa, in 1742, swept away
all the Missions of the Cerro de la Sal; and I have very little doubt
that they are descendants of the Inca race. From the extent of their
territory, one might judge them to be the most numerous body of savages
in America; but no estimate can be formed of their numbers, as no one
capable of making one ever ventures among them.

The cashibos, or _Callisecas_, are found principally on the Pachitea.
They also make war upon the invaders or visitors of their territory;
but they only venture to attack the Indians who visit their river,
and who often come to make war upon them and carry off their children.
They rarely trust themselves within gun-shot of the white man; they are
bearded, and are said to be cannibals. A small tribe called _Lorenzos_
live above these on the head waters of the Pachita and banks of the
river of Pozuzu.

The _Sencis_ occupy the country above Sarayacu, and on the opposite
side of the river. They are said by Lieutenant Smyth, from information
supplied by Father Plaza, (the missionary governor, succeeded in his
office by my friends,) who had visited them, to be a numerous, bold,
and warlike tribe. He said that some whom he saw at Sarayacu exhibited
much interest in his astronomical observations. They had names for some
of the fixed stars and planets, two of which struck me as peculiarly
appropriate. They called the brilliant Canopus "Noteste," or thing
of the day, and the fiery Mars "Tapa," (forward;) Jupiter they called
_Ishmawook_; Capella was _Cuchara_, or spoon; and the Southern Cross
_Nebo_, (dew-fall.) I saw some of these people at Sarayacu. They
frequently come to the mission to get their children baptized, to
which ceremony most of the Indians seem to attach some virtue, (as
they probably would to any other ceremony,) and to purchase the iron
implements they may stand in need of; but I saw no difference in
appearance between them and the other Indians of the Ucayali, and did
not hear that there was anything peculiar about them.

Smyth also states (still quoting Father Plaza) that the Sencis are a
very industrious people, who cultivate the land in common, and that
they kill those who are idle and are indisposed to do their fair share
of the work. If this be true, they are very different from the savages
of the Ucayali whom I have met with, who are all drones, and who would
be rather disposed to kill the industrious than the lazy, if they were
disposed to kill at all, which I think they are not.

The Conibos, Shipebos, Setebos, Pirros, Remos, and Amajuacas are the
vagabonds of the Ucayali, wandering about from place to place, and
settling where they take a fancy. They are great boatmen and fishermen,
and are the people employed by the traders to gather sarsaparilla and
salt fish, and make oil or lard from the fat of the vaca marina, and
turtle's eggs. They have settlements on the banks of the river; but many
of them live in their canoes, making huts of reeds and palms upon the
beaches in bad weather. I could never ascertain that they worshipped
anything, or had any ideas of a future state. Many have two or three
wives; they marry young and have many children, but do not raise more
than half of them. They seem docile and tractable, though lazy and
faithless. They will not trust the white man, for which they have
probably good cause; and the white man would not trust them if he could
help it; but the Indian will do nothing unless he is paid in advance.

Finally, the Mayorunas occupy the right bank of the Ucayali, near its
mouth, and extend along the southern borders of the Amazon as far as
the Yavari. Very little is known of this tribe. They are said to be
whiter than the other tribes, to wear their beards, and to go naked.
They attack any person who comes into their territory; and our Nauta
boatmen were careful not to camp on their side of the river.

When I left Nauta I intended to ascend the Ucayali, if possible, as
far as Chanchamayo, and also to examine the Pachitea. On arriving at
Sarayacu I consulted Father Calvo on the subject. He at first spoke
discouragingly; said that the larger part of the population of his
village were away fishing, and that I would have great difficulty in
recruiting a sufficient number of men for the expedition; for that Padre
Cimini, year before last, with a complement of one hundred and fifty
men, had been beaten back by the Campas when within one day of Jesus
Maria, at the confluence of the Pangoa and Perene, and had declared
it was folly to attempt it with a less number, and these well armed.
Father Calvo also said that, could he raise the men by contributions
from Tierra Blanca and Sta. Catalina, he could not possibly furnish
provisions for half that number. I told him I was ready to start with
twenty-five men: fifteen for my own boat, and ten for a lighter canoe,
to act as an advanced guard, and to depend upon the river itself for
support; that I had no idea of invading the Infidel country, or forcing
a passage; and that the moment I met with resistance, or want of
provisions, I would return.

Upon this reasoning the padre said he would do his best, and sent off
expresses to Fathers Bregati and Lorente with instructions to recruit
men in Tierra Blanca and Sta. Catalina, and send them, with what
provisions could be mustered, to Sarayacu. In the mean time we commenced
beating up recruits, and gave orders to make farinha, gather barbasco
for fishing on the route, and distil aguadiente.

We found, however, although I offered double pay, that we could not
get more than eight men in Sarayacu who were willing to go at this
season. Many of the Sarayacu people had been with Father Cimini on his
expedition. They said that the current was so strong then, when the
river was low, that they were forced to drag the canoes by ropes along
the beaches; that now the current was stronger, and the river so full
that there were no beaches, and consequently no places for sleeping,
or on which to make fires for cooking. In short, they made a thousand
excuses for not going; but I think the principal reason was, fear of
the Campas.

Fathers Bregati and Lorente reported that they could not raise a man,
so that I saw myself obliged to abandon the expedition upon which I
had rather set my heart; for I thought it possible that I might gather
great reputation with my Chanchamayo friends by joining them again from
below, and showing them that their darling wish (a communication with
the Atlantic by the Perene and Ucayali) might be accomplished.

I felt, in turning my boat's head down stream, that the pleasure and
excitement of the expedition were passed; that I was done, and had done
nothing. I became ill and dispirited, and never fairly recovered the
gayety of temper and elasticity of spirit which had animated me at the
start, until I received the congratulations of my friends at home.



CHAPTER XI.

     Upper Ucayali—M. Castelnau—Length of navigation—Loss of the
     priest—Departure from Sarayacu—Omaguas—Iquitos—Mouth of the
     Napo—Pebas—San José de los Yaguas—State of Indians of Peru.


I have the less regret, however, in that M. Castelnau has given so exact
and interesting an account of the descent of this river.

This accomplished traveller and naturalist left Cuzco on the 21st
July, 1846. His party consisted of himself, M. D'Osery, M. Deville, M.
Saint Cric, (who joined the party in the valley of _Sta. Ana_,) three
officers of the Peruvian navy, seven or eight domestics and muleteers,
and fifteen soldiers as an escort. After seven days of travel (passing
a range of the Andes at an elevation of fourteen thousand eight hundred
feet) he arrived at the village of _Echaraté_, in the valley of Sta.
Ana.

He remained at this place until the 14th of August, when the canoes
and rafts which he had ordered to be constructed were ready. He then
embarked on a river called by the various names of Vilcanota, Yucay,
Vilcomayo, and Urubamba, in four canoes and two balsas.

The difficulties of the navigation, dissensions with the Peruvian
officers, and desertions of the peons, soon reduced the expedition to
a lamentable state of weakness and destitution.

On the 17th M. D'Osery was sent back with a large part of the equipage,
and most of the instruments and collections in natural history. This
unfortunate gentleman was murdered by his guides on his route from Lima
to rejoin M. Castelnau on the Amazon. After passing innumerable cascades
and rapids, M. Castelnau reached, on the 27th of August, the lowest
rapid on the river, that is an effectual bar to navigation. This is one
hundred and eighty miles from his point of embarkation at Echaraté.
An idea may be formed of the difficulties of the passage when it is
reflected that it cost him thirteen days to descend this one hundred
and eighty miles, with a powerful current in his favor.

  [Illustration: ZAPARO. Hunting Costume.

     Pl. 15.
     Pr. Vernazzi del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

  [Illustration: ZAPARO

     Pl. 16.
     Pr. Vernazzi del.
     Wagner & McGuigan's Lith. Phila.]

He found this point, by the barometer, to be about nine hundred and
sixteen feet below Echaraté; thus giving the river a fall of a little
more than five feet to the mile. He afterwards found that the mouth of
the Ucayali, which is one thousand and forty miles down stream of the
cascade, was, by the barometer, nine hundred and four feet below it;
thus giving the river a fall of .87 of a foot per mile.

He says that if the navigation of the Ucayali is attempted, it would be
well to make a port at this point, and open a road thence to the valley
of Sta. Ana, in which Echaraté is situated, and which is exceedingly
fertile, producing large quantities of Peruvian bark, with coca, and
many other tropical productions.

M. Castelnau thinks that this last cascade is the first impassable
barrier to the navigation of the Ucayali upwards; but he found many
places below this where the river had but a depth of three feet, and
many, though unimportant, rapids. Indeed, two hundred and seventy miles
below this, he describes a strait, called the _Vuelta del Diablo_, as
a dangerous passage, blocked up by heavy trunks of trees, against which
the current dashes with great violence.

At two hundred and sixteen miles below the cascade he passed the mouth
of the river Tambo, the confluence of which with the Urubamba makes the
Ucayali.

Two hundred and fifty-two miles below the mouth of the Tambo he passed
the mouth of the Pachitea, which he describes as being about the size of
the Seine at Paris; and the Ucayali, after the junction of this river,
as like the Thames at London.

Sarayacu is two hundred and ninety-seven miles below the mouth of the
Pachitea.

From the Vuelta del Diablo to Sarayacu is four hundred and ninety-five
miles. From Sarayacu to the mouth of the Ucayali is two hundred and
seventy five miles; so that we have an undoubtedly open navigation
on this river of seven hundred and seventy miles; and, taking M.
Castelnau's opinion as correct, there are two hundred and seventy miles
more to the foot of the last cascade on the Urubamba; making a total
of one thousand and forty miles. Well, then, may he call this stream
the main trunk of the Amazon; for, taking my estimate of the distance
from the mouth of this river to the ocean, at two thousand three
hundred and twenty miles, we have an uninterrupted navigation of three
thousand three hundred and sixty miles, which will be found in no other
direction. I estimate the distance from the Pongo de Chasuta, the head
of clear navigation on the Huallaga, to the sea, at two thousand eight
hundred and fifteen miles.

An idea may be formed of the difficulties and dangers of passing the
rapids of these rivers from the following description, given by this
accomplished gentleman and clever writer:

"We started about 8 o'clock, and employed an hour and a half in passing
the cascade, which was composed of two strong rapids. Immediately after
this, two other rapids arrested our course. We passed the first by the
left bank; but, as it was impossible to continue our route on that side,
after consultation, we embarked to cross to the right bank.

"We found the current of exceeding rapidity; and the second cataract
roared and foamed only one hundred metres below us. The Indians at every
instant cast anxious glances over the distance that separated them from
the danger. At one moment our frail canoe manifestly lost ground; but
the Indians redoubled their efforts, and we shot out of the strength of
the current.

"At this moment we heard cries behind us, and an Indian pointed with
his finger to the canoe of M. Carrasco, within a few yards of us. It was
struggling desperately with the violence of the current; at one instant
we thought it safe, but at the next we saw that all hope was lost, and
that it was hurried towards the gulf with the rapidity of an arrow.
The Peruvians and the Indians threw themselves into the water; the old
priest alone remained in the canoe, and we could distinctly hear him
reciting the prayer for the dying until his voice was lost in the roar
of the cataract. We were chilled with horror; and we hastened to the
bank, where we met our companions successively struggling to the shore
from the lost canoe. M. Bizerra, particularly, encountered great danger,
but he evinced a remarkable _sang-froid_, and, amidst his difficulties,
never let go the journal of the expedition, which he carried in his
teeth.

"Poor little Panchito, the servant of the priest, wept bitterly, and
begged us to let him seek the body of his benefactor; but an hour
was already lost, and our absolute want of provisions forbid us from
acceding to his sad demand.

"We deeply regretted the loss of our companion, whose death was as
saint-like as his life."

The party suffered grievously from the hardships of the voyage and the
want of food. They were at the point of starvation when they arrived
at Sarayacu, forty-four days after their embarkation at Echaraté. M.
Castelnau's description of their condition when they arrived is quite
touching.

"At 3 p. m., after a journey of thirty miles, the Indians all at once
turned the canoe to a deserted beach, and told us that we were arrived
at Sarayacu. Before us was the bed of a little river nearly dry, to
which they gave this name. The absence of any indication of habitations,
and the dark forest which surrounded the beach, made us believe for the
instant that we were the victims of some terrible mistake. We thought
that the mission so ardently desired had been abandoned. Among our
people only one knew the place, and his canoe had not yet arrived. We
set ourselves to search out a path through the forest, but without
success; we were completely discouraged, and our eyes filled with
tears." (The gallant Frenchman must have suffered much to have been
brought to such a condition as this.) "We were in this state of anxiety
more than an hour; at last our guide arrived; he told us that the town
was some distance from the river, and, after considerable search, he
found in a ravine the entrance to the narrow path which led to it. M.
Deville and I were so enfeebled, and our legs so swollen, that we could
not travel it. M. Carrasco, anxious to arrive, started in company with
his friends; and Florentino (the servant of the count) accompanied
them. We were thus sadly detained upon the beach, when, towards nine
o'clock, we thought we heard singing in the woods; the voices soon
became distinct, and we could recognise the airs. An instant after, the
good Florentino rushed to us in the height of joy. He was followed by
a dozen Indians of the Mission carrying torches, and a man dressed in
European costume. This last gave us an affectionate shake of the hand,
and told us, in English, that his name was Hackett; that the prefect of
the Missions, the celebrated Padre Plaza, had sent him to welcome us and
to beg us to excuse him, in that his great age had not permitted him to
come himself. The Indians brought us fowls, eggs, and a bottle of wine;
supper was instantly prepared; and Mr. Hackett, who seemed sensibly
touched with our misery, staid with us till midnight. He told us that
the Mission was nearly six miles in the interior, but that he would send
us Indians early in the morning to conduct us to it. We learned that
the Peruvian government, faithful to its engagements, had announced
our voyage in the Missions, and that the Bishop of Mainas had sent an
express messenger to that effect; but Padre Plaza, regarding our voyage
from Cuzco to the Missions as an absolute impossibility, had supposed
that we were dead, and had celebrated masses for the weal of our souls."

I could get any number of men for the voyage down, and on October 28th,
at 10 a. m., we left Sarayacu and dropped down to the mouth of the
caño, where we stopped to re-stow and shake things together. We found
the Ucayali a very different-looking stream from what it was when we
left it; it was much higher, with a stronger current, and covered with
floating trees. At 3 p. m. we took leave of good Father Calvo with much
regret, and started in company with Father Bregati, (who was returning
to his cure of Catalina,) and with a large canoe that we were carrying
down for the return of our peons from Pebas.

I was much pleased with our new men, particularly with our pilot, old
Andres Urquia, a long, hard-weather, Tom-Coffin-looking fellow, whom
travel and exposure for many years seemed to have hardened into a being
insensible to fatigue, and impervious to disease. He has navigated the
rivers of the country a great deal; was with Father Cimini when driven
back by the Campas; and says that he has passed, in company with a
Portuguese, named Da'Costa, from the Yavari to the Ucayali in two weeks,
by a small inosculating stream called _Yana Yacu_, and returned in four
by the ravine of Maquia. He says that there is another natural canal
called _Yawarangi_, which connects the two rivers. These canals are all
very narrow, and are passed by pushing the canoe with poles; though
Andres says there is plenty of water, but not room enough for such a
boat as mine.

We passed the distance from Sarayacu to Nauta in eight days, which had
cost us twenty-three in the ascent. The distance from Sarayacu to the
mouth by the channel is two hundred and seventy miles—in a straight
line one hundred and fifty. We travelled all one night when near the
mouth; but this is dangerous on the Ucayali and Huallaga. The channels
on these rivers are frequently obstructed by grounded trees, striking
one of which the boat would almost inevitably perish. It is safer on
the broader Amazon.

The Ucayali, as far as Sarayacu, averages half a mile of width, twenty
feet of depth at its lowest stage, and three miles the hour of current.
I fear that there is a place at the great bend of the river, just below
Sarayacu, where there are islands with extensive sand-flats, that may
form, at the lowest stage of the river, an obstruction to navigation
for a vessel of greater draught than ten feet. At this place, going
up, we were paddling close in to the left bank, with apparently deep
water, when, seeing a beach on what I thought was the opposite side of
the river, probably two hundred and fifty yards distant, I directed
the pilot to go over and camp for the night. To my surprise, almost
immediately from the moment of his turning the boat's head outward
to cross over, the men dropped their paddles, and, taking to their
poles, shoved the boat over in not more than four or five feet water. I
observed, when we had crossed, that we were on the beach of an island,
and asked the pilot if there was more water in the other channel, on the
right bank. He said, yes; that, when the river was very low, this side
was dry, but the other never.

It is difficult, on account of the roving habits of the people who
live upon the Ucayali, to make any estimate concerning the increase and
decrease of the population. I scarcely find a village that Smyth names
when he passed in 1835, and find several which he does not mention.
_Tipishka Nueva_, which he says was the largest settlement on the river
next to Sarayacu, and had a population of two hundred, has now entirely
disappeared; and Sta. Maria, of which he makes no mention, has probably
been settled since he was here, and has at present one hundred and fifty
souls. I thought it singular (but of course a casualty) that, in summing
up my estimates of the number of the people on the river, between its
mouth and Sarayacu, I find it to amount to six hundred and thirty-four,
and that Smyth's estimate makes it six hundred and forty. As it regards
the length and direction of the reaches of the river, I find that
officer remarkably correct. He descended about the 1st of March, and of
course had the river wider and deeper, and the current stronger than I
found it; for this reason our accounts differ somewhat.

The difference between high and low-water mark is about thirty-five
feet. I planted a pole at a settlement called Guanache as I went up, on
the 9th of October; when I passed it going down, on the 1st of November,
I found the river had risen nine feet seven inches. It did not, however,
commence its regular and steady rise till the 15th of October. A mile
inside of the mouth, in the middle of the river, I found seventy-two
feet of depth, and two and three-quarter miles current per hour. The
bottom of the river is full of sunken trees. I lost two sounding-leads
and three axe-heads in the descent. My sounding-line, however, had
become very rotten from the dampness of the atmosphere, and did not even
stand the strain of the current upon the log-chip, which I also lost.

I had intended to stay at Nauta some days, for I found that so much
canoe life was beginning to affect my health, and that I was getting
weaker day by day; but Nauta seemed a different place than when I
left it. Arebalo, the priest, and Antonio the Paraguá, were gone, and
Senhor Cauper seemed out of humor, and not glad to see us. I expect
the old gentleman was troubled in his mind about his fish. He had three
thousand pieces on a beach of the Ucayali, with the river rising fast
and threatening its safety; while his boats had just got off to fetch
them away, and were travelling very slowly up.

I wished to get a few more peons; but there were no authorities, and
the Indians were engaged in drinking and dancing. Two of my men, whom
I had picked up at a settlement called Santos Guagua, on the Ucayali,
deserted, though paid as far as Pebas. I feared to lose more; and,
collecting the few birds and animals I had left here, I started at
half-past 5 p. m. on the 5th of November, having slept in my boat on
the night of the 4th for the want of a house, and been nearly devoured
by the musquitoes.

I left Lopez, the servant, who had only engaged for the Ucayali trip,
and two of my Sarayacu people, who were reported to have gone into the
woods to gather chambira, but who I suspected were drinking with the
Cocamas, and did not wish to be found.

We drifted with the current all night. The soundings at the mouth of the
Ucayali were forty-two feet. The Amazon looked grand in the moonlight,
below the island of Omaguas, where I judged it to be a mile and a half
wide.

_November 6._—We arrived at Omaguas at 5 a. m. The two Sarayacu men that
I had left at Nauta joined us in the montaria which I had left there
for them, carrying off their bedding.

Omaguas is situated on a height on the left bank, and is screened from
the river, at this season, by a small island, which is covered in the
full. The entrance now is by a narrow creek, to the southward of the
town. The number of inhabitants is two hundred and thirty-two, of the
tribes of Omaguas and Panos. They are peons and fishermen; cultivate
chacras; and live in the usual filthy and wretched condition of all
these people. I gave some calomel, salts, and spermaceti ointment to the
governor's wife, who was a pitiable object—a mere skeleton, and covered
with inveterate-looking sores. I was reminded of Lazarus, or old Job
in his misery. I doubt if my remedies were of the proper sort; but her
husband and she were anxious to have them; and she will probably die
soon at any rate, and cannot well be worsted.

Left Omaguas at a quarter past nine; at eleven, anchored near mid-stream
in eighty-four feet water, and found two and one-third miles current;
river three-fourths of a mile wide; shores low, and wooded with
apparently small trees, though they may have appeared small on account
of the width of the river; sand beaches few and small.

At noon, moderate breeze from the northward and eastward. Thermometer
86°. Most of the men and animals fast asleep. Even the monkeys, except a
restless friar, (who seems as sleepless as I am,) are dozing. The friar
gapes and closes his eyes now and then; but at the next instant appears
to have discovered something strange or new, and is as wide awake and
alert as if he never slept.

There was a great disturbance among the animals this morning. The
_Pumagarza_, or tiger crane, (from being speckled and colored like the
tiger of the country,) with a bill as long and sharp as an Infidel's
spear, has picked to pieces the head of a delicate sort of turkey-hen,
called _Pava del Monte_. The _Diputado_ (as we call a white monkey,
because Ijurra says he is the image of the worthy deputy in Congress
from Chachapoyas) has eaten off the ear of the _Maquisapa_, (a
stupid-looking black monkey, called Coatá in Brazil,) and the tail of
another, called _Yanacmachin_. Some savage unknown, though I strongly
suspect my beautiful chiriclis, has bitten off the bill of the prettiest
paroquet. There was a desperate battle between the friar and the
chiriclis, in which one lost fur and the other feathers; and symptoms
of warfare between a wild pig, called _Huangana_, and a _Coati_, or
Mexican mongoose. The latter, however, fierce as he generally is,
could not stand the gnash of the wild boar's teeth, and prudently "fled
the fight." The life of the fowls is a state of continued strife; and
nothing has kept the peace except an affectionate and delicate Pinshi
monkey, (Humboldt's Midas Leonina,) that sleeps upon my beard, and hunts
game in my moustachios.

We _spoke_ two canoes that had come from near Quito by the Napo, and
were bound to Tarapoto. This party embarked upon the Napo on the 3d of
October. They told me that I could reach the mouth of the river _Coca_,
which empties into the Napo, in two and a half months from the mouth;
but could go no further in my boat for want of water. There are very
few christianized towns upon the Napo, and the rowers of these boats
were a more savage looking set than I had seen. I have met with a good
many inhabitants of Quito in the Missions of the Huallaga; and very
many of the inhabitants are descendants of Quiteños. In fact, these
Missions were formerly under the charge and direction of the Bishopric
of Quito, and most of the Jesuits who first attempted the conversion of
these Indians came from that quarter. There is a report now current in
these parts that thirty Jesuits recently banished from New Granada have
gone to Ecuador; have been well received at Quito, and have asked for
the ancient Missions of the company, which has been conceded to them as
far as Ecuador has jurisdiction. This party from the Napo also reported
that the governor (Gefe Politico) of the Ecuador territory of the Napo
had left his place of residence and gone up the river for the purpose
of supplying with laborers a French mining company, that had recently
arrived and was about to commence operations. It is generally thought
that much gold is mixed with the sands of the Napo; but I think that the
Moyobambinos would have it if it were there. They get a quill full of
gold dust, now and then, from the Indians; but no regularly organized
expedition for collecting it has been successful. It is said that the
Indians of the Napo formerly paid their contributions to the government
in gold dust, but now that they are relieved (as are all the Missions
by express exception) from the burden of the contribution, there is no
more gold collected.

The inhabitants of the Missions of Mainas are exempted, by special
legislation, from the payment of the contribution of seven dollars
per head, paid towards the support of the government by all the other
Indians of Peru. This exception was made on the ground that these people
had the forest to subdue, and were only able to wring a hard-earned
support from the cultivation of the land. Many persons belonging to
the province think that this was an unwise law, and that the character
of the Indian has deteriorated since its passage. They think that some
law compelling them to work would be beneficial to both country and
inhabitants.

Fearful of going to the right of Iquitos island, and thus passing the
town, I passed to the left of some islands, which Smyth lays down on
his chart as small, but which are at this season large; and in running
between the one just above Iquitos island and the left bank of the
river, the boat grounded near the middle of the passage, which was one
hundred and fifty yards broad, and came near rolling over from the
velocity of the current. We hauled over to the left bank and passed
close along it in forty-two feet water. At half-past 9 p. m. we arrived
at Iquitos.

_November 7._—Iquitos is a fishing village of two hundred and
twenty-seven inhabitants; a considerable part of them, to the number
of ninety-eight, being whites and Mestizos of San Borja, and other
settlements of the upper Mission, who were driven from their homes a few
years ago by the Huambisas of the Pastaza and Santiago. This occurred
in 1841. In 1843, these same Indians murdered all the inhabitants of a
village called Sta. Teresa, situated on the upper Marañon, between the
mouths of the rivers Santiago and Morona. My companion Ijurra was there
soon after the occurrence. He gave the dead bodies burial, and published
in his _Travels in Mainas_ a detailed account of the affair.

In October, 1843, Ijurra, with seventeen other young men of Moyobamba,
formed a company for the purpose of washing for gold the sands of
the Santiago; they were furnished with arms by the prefecture, and
recruited sixty-six Cocamillas of Laguna, armed with bows and arrows, as
a light protecting force. They also engaged eighty-five of the Indians
of Jeveros as laborers at the washings; and, after they started, were
joined by four hundred and fifty of the people who had been expelled
in 1841 from Santiago and Borja, desirous of recovering their homes and
taking vengeance of the savages.

The party went by land from Moyobamba to Balza Puerto; thence north to
Jeveros; and thence to the port of Barranca, at the mouth of the river
_Cahuapanas_, when they embarked to ascend the Amazon to the mouth of
the Santiago. At Barranca they received intelligence of the massacre at
Sta. Teresa, with the details.

A Moyobambino, Canuto Acosta, fearing that the company would get all the
gold, and that he should not be able to collect a little that was due
him by the people about Sta. Teresa, hastened on before. He met at Sta.
Teresa with a large party of Huambisas, who had come down the Santiago
for the ostensible purpose of trade. Conversing with the curaca of the
tribe, named Ambuscha, Acosta told him that a multitude of Christians
were coming with arms in their hands to conquer and enslave his people.
The curaca, turning the conversation, asked Acosta what _he_ had in his
packages. The reply was more foolish and wicked than the other speech;
for, desirous to play upon the credulity of the Indian, or to overawe
him, he said that he had in his packages a great many epidemic diseases,
with which he could kill the whole tribe of the Huambisas. It was his
death warrant. The curaca plunged his spear into his body, and giving a
shrill whistle, his people, who were scattered about among the houses,
commenced the massacre. They killed forty-seven men, and carried off
sixty women; some few persons escaped into the woods. The Indians spared
two boys—one of seven and one of nine years—and set them adrift upon the
Amazon on a raft, with a message to the gold-hunting company that they
knew of their approach, and were ready, with the assistance of their
friends, the Paturos and Chinganos, to meet and dispute with them the
possession of the country. The raft was seen floating past Barranca and
brought in.

The gold-seekers found no gold upon the borders of the Marañon;
quarrelled; became afraid of the savages; broke up and abandoned their
purpose before they reached the mouth of the Santiago.

Ijurra and a few others then turned their attention to the collection
of Peruvian bark. They spent two or three years in the woods, about the
mouth of the Huallaga; gathered an enormous quantity, and floated it
down to Pará on immense rafts, that Ijurra describes as floating-houses,
with all the comforts and conveniences of the house on shore.

When they arrived at Pará the cargo was examined by chymists; said by
them to be good; and a mercantile house offered eighty thousand dollars
for it. They refused the offer; chartered a vessel, and took the cargo
to Liverpool, where the chymist pronounced the fruit of years of labor
to be utterly worthless.

The village of Iquitos is situated on an elevated plain, which is said
to extend far back from the shores of the river. This is different
from the situation of many towns upon the Amazon, most of which are
built upon a hill, with a low, swampy country behind them. There are
cotton and coffee-trees growing in the streets of the village, but no
attention is paid to the cultivation of either. A small stream, said to
be one of the mouths of the river _Nanay_, enters the Amazon just above
the town. The main mouth of the Nanay is five miles below; it is said
to communicate, back of the plain, with the Tigre Yacu, which empties
into the Marañon above San Regis; and branches of it, which run to the
northward and eastward, inosculate with the Napo.

We left Iquitos at half past 9 a. m. The shores of the river just below
are bold, and of white clay; at a quarter to eleven we passed the mouth
of the Nanay, about one hundred and fifty yards broad. The depth of the
Amazon at the junction of the two rivers is fifty feet; the current a
mile and two-thirds the hour. After passing several small islands, where
the river appeared two miles wide, it seemed to contract within its own
banks to half a mile, immediately in front of a settlement of two or
three houses, called _Tinicuro_, where I found no bottom at one hundred
and eighty feet; at half-past five we arrived at _Pucallpa_, where we
passed the night.

_November 8._—Pucallpa, or New Oran, is a small settlement, of twenty
houses, and one hundred and eleven inhabitants, who formerly belonged
to Oran, but who, finding their situation uncomfortable, removed and
settled here. It is one of the most pleasantly-situated places I have
seen—on a moderate eminence, with green banks shelving to the river.
The water is bold (twenty-five to thirty feet deep) close to the shore.
Two islands—one above and one below the town, with a narrow opening in
front—gave the place the appearance of a snug little harbor.

We bought at this place two of the great cranes of the river, called
Tuyuyú. These were gray. A pair that I succeeded in getting to the
United States were white. Started at 4 a. m.; high white chalky banks
just below Pucallpa. At nine we arrived at the mouth of the Napo; we
found it two hundred yards broad, and of a gentle current. The soundings
across the mouth were thirty-five and forty feet; stopped at Chorococha,
a settlement of eighteen inhabitants, just below the mouth of the Napo.
We found some of our Nauta friends here salting fish, and got a capital
breakfast from them. After leaving, we anchored near the head of a small
island, where I supposed we would feel the effect of the current of the
Napo; but had but a mile and two-thirds current.

_November 9._—We started at 5, and arrived at Pebas at 10 a. m. We found
that the people of Pebas, under the direction of Father Valdivia, (my
Nauta friend,) were establishing a new town about a quarter of a mile
up a stream called Ambiyacu, which enters into the Amazon two miles
above Pebas. We pulled up this stream, and found the good priest and the
governor general busy in directing the felling of trees and building of
houses. I determined to stay here for some time, for I was now getting
so weak that I could scarcely climb the banks upon which the towns are
situated. Father Valdivia received us with great cordiality, and gave
us quarters in a new house he was building for himself.

The new settlement had not yet a name; Ijurra wished it called
Echenique, after the new president; while I insisted on "Ambiyacu,"
as being Indian and sonorous. The population already numbered three
hundred and twenty-eight—almost all the people of Pebas having come
over. The inhabitants are principally _Oregones_, or Big Ears, from the
custom of introducing a bit of wood into a slit in the ear and gradually
increasing the size of it until the lobe hangs upon the shoulder. They
have, however, now discontinued the custom, and I saw only a few old
people thus deformed.

They are fishermen, and serve as peons; but their condition seems better
than that of the inhabitants of the other towns on the river, which is
doubtless owing to the presence and exertions of the good priest, who
is very active and intelligent.

Visited Pebas in the afternoon. We found it nearly abandoned and
overgrown with grass and weeds. We saw some cattle roving about among
the houses, which were fat, and otherwise in good condition. The town is
situated immediately on the banks of the river, which is here unbroken
by islands, three-quarters of a mile broad, and apparently deep and
rapid. We carried over to the new town specimens of black clay slate
that crops out in narrow veins on the banks, and made a fire of it,
which burned all night, with a strong bituminous smell.

_November 10._—I gave Arebalo the message sent him by Padre Calvo,
which was a request that he would send the Sarayacu men back in the
larger canoe that we had brought down for that purpose. He, however,
was careless in the matter, and two of them went up the river with a
trader, and one down. The others started back in the canoe; but much
to my surprise, and even regret, I found in the evening that they had
returned, turned over their canoe, sold their pots and other utensils
to Arebalo, and expressed their determination to go down the stream.
They said that if I would not take them they would go with anybody that
would. I of course was glad to have them, and I quieted my conscience
in thus robbing Father Calvo by the reflection that if they went with
me to the end of my voyage, I could give them my boat and fit them out
for the return; whereas, if they separated, they might never go back. I
think that Arebalo winked at their conduct in returning, because he and
the padre were busy with their new town, and did not wish to furnish me
with men of their own. But I think we are all culpable. The peons were
culpable for not going back; I was culpable for taking them further;
and Arebalo was culpable for permitting it; and thus it is that the
population of Sarayacu diminishes, and the friars are cheated out of
the hard earned fruits of their labor.

_November 15._—Ijurra and I went with the padre to visit his mission
of _San José of the Yaguas_. This is a settlement of Yaguas Indians, of
two hundred and sixty inhabitants, about ten miles in a N. E. direction
from Ambiyacu, or (as I find by a letter received from Ijurra since my
return home) from Echenique.

San José is reached by a path through the woods over a rather broken
country. There were two or three rivulets to pass on the road, which
have pebbly beds, with black slate rock cropping out of the sides of the
ravine—the first stones I have seen since leaving the Pongo of Chasuta.
The soil is dark clay, and deeper than I have seen it elsewhere on the
river. Birds of a brilliant plumage occasionally flitted across our
path, and the woods were fragrant with aromatic odors.

The Yaguas received their priest in procession, with ringing of the
church bell and music of drums. They conducted him, under little arches
of palm branches stuck in the path, to the convento, and politely
left us to rest after the fatigue of the walk. These are the most
thorough-looking savages in their general appearance and costume, though
without anything savage in the expression of their countenances, which
is vacant and stupid. Their ordinary dress consists of a girdle of
bark around the loins, with a bunch of fibres of another kind of bark,
looking like a swab or mop, about a foot in length, hanging down from
the girdle in front and rear. Similar, but smaller bunches, are hung
around the neck and arms by a collar and bracelets of small beads. This
is the every-day costume. On festivals they stain all their bodies a
light brown, and on this ground they execute fantastic devices in red
and blue. Long tail-feathers of the macaw are stuck in the armlets,
reaching above the shoulders, and a chaplet, made of white feathers from
the wings of a smaller bird, is worn around the head. This generally
completes the costume, though I did see one dandy who had stuck short
white feathers all over his face, leaving only the eyes, nose, and mouth
exposed.

The curaca, and some one or two of the Varayos, wore frocks and
trousers; but I was told they had the national costume underneath these.
The dress of the women is a yard or two of cotton cloth rolled around
the hips. They are strong people for drinking and dancing, and hate
work.

Their houses are peculiar. Very long, slender poles are stuck in the
ground opposite each other, and about thirty feet apart; their ends are
brought together at the top, forming a Gothic arch about twenty feet
high. Similar poles, of different lengths, are planted in front of the
openings of the arch, and their ends are brought down and lashed to the
top and sides of the openings. They are secured by cross-poles, inside
and out, and the whole is thickly thatched to the ground, leaving two
or three apertures for entrance. The house looks, on the outside, like
a gigantic bee-hive. On the inside, small cabins of cane are built at
intervals around the walls, each one of which is the sleeping-room of a
family. Four or five families generally occupy one house, and the middle
space is used in common. This is never cleaned, nor even levelled, and
is littered with all manner of abominations. There is a puddle of water
before each door; for, from the construction of the house, the rain,
both from the heavens and the roof, pours directly into it.

After evening service, the Indians went off to their houses to commence
the festival. They kept the drums going all night, and until 10 o'clock
next morning, when they came in a body to conduct us to mass. Most of
them were the worse for their night's debauch, and sat upon the ground
in a listless and stupid manner; occasionally talking and laughing with
each other, and little edified, I fear, by the sacred ceremony.

I was annoyed at the poverty of the church, and determined, if I ever
went back, that I would appeal to the Roman Catholics of the United
States for donations. The priestly vestments were in rags. The lavatory
was a gourd, a little earthern pitcher, and a jack towel of cotton;
and it grieved me to see the host taken from a shaving box, and the
sanctified wine poured from a vinegar cruet.

After mass, and a procession, the Indians went back with us to the
convento, and entertained us with music whilst we breakfasted. It was
well that the drums were small, or we should have been fairly deafened.
There were six of them, and they were beaten without intermission. One
fellow dropt to sleep, but we gained nothing by this, for his neighbor
beat his drum for him. Nearly the whole male population were crowded
into the convento. The breakfast was furnished by the Indians; each
family contributing a dish. The old women were proud of their dishes,
and seemed gratified when we partook of, and commended them. They
continued their frolic all day and night.

On Monday we visited the houses of the Indians to see what curiosities
we could get. We found the men stretched in their hammocks, sleeping
off the effects of the masato; and the patient, much-enduring women at
work twisting chambira for hammocks, or preparing yuccas or plantains
to make drink for their lords. We could get nothing except a hammock or
two, and some twisted chambira to make me a lead line. The Indians had
hidden their hammocks; and we had to go poking about with our sticks,
and searching in corners for them. The reason of this was that most of
them owe the padre; and this paying of debts seems as distasteful to
the savage man as to the civilized.

The only article of manufacture is a coarse hammock, made of the fibres
of the budding top of a species of palm, called chambira in Peru, and
_tucum_ in Brazil. The tree is very hard, and is defended with long
sharp thorns, so that it is a labor of a day to cut a "Cogollo," or top;
split the leaves into strips of convenient breadth; and strip off the
fibres, which are the outer covering of the leaves, and which is done
very dexterously with the finger and thumb. A "top" of ordinary size
yields about half a pound of fibres; and when it is reflected that these
fibres have to be twisted, a portion of them dyed, and then woven into
hammocks of three or four pounds weight, it will be seen that the Indian
is very poorly paid for his labor when he receives for a hammock twelve
and a half cents in silver, or twenty-five cents in _efectos_.

The women twist the thread with great dexterity. They sit on the ground,
and, taking two threads, which consist of a number of minute fibres,
between the finger and thumb of the left hand, they lay them, separated
a little, on the right thigh. A roll of them down the thigh, under the
right hand, twists each thread; when, with a scarcely perceptible motion
of the hand, she brings the two together, and a roll up the thigh makes
the cord. A woman will twist fifty fathoms about the size of a common
twine in a day.

The Indians brought me some few birds; but they were too drunken and
lazy to go out into the forest to hunt rare birds, and only brought me
those that they could shoot about their houses.

The climate of San José is very agreeable. It seems drier and more
salubrious than that of Pebas; and there are fewer musquitoes. The
atmosphere was very clear for the two nights I spent there; and I
thought I could see the smaller stars with more distinctness than I had
seen them for a long time.

The history of the settlement of this place is remarkable, as showing
the attachment of the Indians to their pastor and their church.

Some years ago, Padre "Jose de la Rosa Alva" had established a mission
at a settlement of the Yaguas, about two days' journey to the northward
and eastward of the present station, which he called Sta. Maria, and
where he generally resided. Business took him to Pebas, and unexpectedly
detained him there for fifteen days. The Indians, finding he did not
return, reasoned with themselves and said, "Our father has left us; let
us go to him." Whereupon they gathered together the personal property
the priest had left; shouldered the church utensils and furniture, even
to the doors; set fire to their houses, and joined the padre in Pebas.
He directed them to the present station, where they builded houses and
established themselves.

Our little padre has also considerable influence over them; though, when
he will not accede to all their demands, they contrast his conduct with
that of Father Rosa; call him mean, get sulky, and won't go to mass.

It is sad to see the condition of the Peruvian Indians. (That of the
Indians of Brazil is worse.) They make no progress in civilization,
and they are taught nothing. The generally good, hard-working, and
well-meaning padres, who alone attempt anything like improvement, seem
contented to teach them obedience to the church, observance of its
ceremonies, and to repeat the "doctrina" like a parrot, without having
the least idea of what is meant to be conveyed. The priests, however,
say that the fault is in the Indian—that he cannot understand. Padre
Lorente, of Tierra Blanca, thought he had his flock a little advanced,
and that now he might make some slight appeal to their understanding.
He accordingly gathered them together, and exhibiting a little plaster
image of the Virgin that they had not yet seen, he endeavored to explain
to them that this figure represented the Mother of God, whom he had
taught them to worship and pray to; that She was the most exalted
of human beings; and that through Her intercession with Her Son, the
sins and crimes of men might be forgiven, &c. The Indians paid great
attention, passing the image from hand to hand, and the good father
thought that he was making an impression; but an unlucky expression
of one of them showed that their attention was entirely occupied with
the image, and that the lesson was lost upon them. He stopped the
priest in his discourse, to know if the image were a man or a woman.
The friar gave it up in despair, and fell back upon the sense-striking
ceremonial of the church, which I think (humanly speaking) is far better
calculated to win them to respect and obedience, and thus advance them
in civilization, than any other system of religious teaching.

The mind of the Indian is exactly like that of the infant, and it must
grow rather by example than by precept. I think that good example, with
a wholesome degree of discipline, might do much with this docile people;
though there are not wanting intelligent men, well acquainted with their
character, who scruple not to say that the best use to which an Indian
can be put is to hang him; that he makes a bad citizen and a worse
slave; and (to use a homely phrase) "that his room is more worth than
his company." I myself believe—and I think the case of the Indians in my
own country bears me out in the belief—that any attempt to communicate
with them ends in their destruction. They cannot bear the restraints of
law or the burden of sustained toil; and they retreat from before the
face of the white man, with his improvements, till they disappear. This
seems to be destiny. Civilization must advance, though it tread on the
neck of the savage, or even trample him out of existence.

I think that in this case the government of Peru should take the matter
in hand—that it should draw up a simple code of laws for the government
of the Missions; appoint intelligent governors to the districts, with
salaries paid from the treasury of the country; suppress the smaller
villages, and gather the Indians into fewer; appoint a governor-general
of high character, with dictatorial powers and large salary; tax the
inhabitants for the support of a military force of two thousand men, to
be placed at his disposal; and throw open the country to colonization,
inducing people to come by privileges and grants of land. I am satisfied
that in this way, if the Indian be not improved, he will at least be
cast out, and that this glorious country may be made to do what it is
not now doing—that is, contribute its fair proportion to the maintenance
of the human race.

_November 18._—Returned to Echenique; the walk occupied three hours
without stopping. Although the Orejones have left off some of their
savage customs, and are becoming more civilized, they are still
sufficiently barbarous to permit their women to do most of the work. I
saw to-day twenty of the lazy rascals loitering about, whilst the same
number of women were fetching earth and water, trampling it into mud,
and plastering the walls of the convento with it. I also saw the women
cleaning up and carrying away the weeds and bushes of the town; most of
them, too, with infants hanging to their backs. These marry very young.
I saw some, whom I took to be children, with babies that I was told were
their own. They suffer very little in parturition, and, in a few hours
after the birth of a child, they bathe, go to the chacra, and fetch home
a load of yuccas.

The musquitoes are very troublesome here. I write my journal under
a musquito curtain; and whilst I am engaged in skinning birds, it is
necessary to have an Indian with a fan to keep them off; even this does
not succeed, and my face and hands are frequently quite bloody, where
he has to kill them with his fingers. The Indians bring me a number of
very beautiful birds every evening, and I have my hands full, even with
the occasional assistance of Arebalo and the padre's servant. I do not
know if it arises from the constant tugging at the birds' skins, or the
slovenly use of arsenical soap, but the blood gathered under nearly all
the nails of my left hand, and they were quite painful.

We have increased our stock of animals largely at this place. They
now number thirteen monkeys, a mongoose, and a wild pig, (the Mexican
peccary,) with thirty-one birds, and one hundred skins. I bought a
young monkey of an Indian woman to-day. It had coarse gray and white
hair; and that on the top of its head was stiff, like the quills of
the porcupine, and smoothed down in front as if it had been combed.
I offered the little fellow some plantain; but finding he would not
eat, the woman took him and put him to her breast, when he sucked away
manfully and with great "gusto." She weaned him in a week so that he
would eat plantain mashed up and put into his mouth in small bits; but
the little beast died of mortification, because I would not let him
sleep with his arms around my neck.

I had two little monkeys not so large as rats; the peccary ate one, and
the other died of grief. My howling monkey refused food, and grunted
himself to death. The friars ate their own tails off, and died of the
rot; the mongoose, being tied up on account of eating the small birds,
literally cut out his entrails with the string before it was noticed.
The peccary jumped overboard and swam ashore; the tuyuyús grabbed and
swallowed every paroquet that ventured within reach of their bills; and
they themselves, being tied on the beach at _Eyas_, were devoured by
the crocodiles. My last monkey died as I went up New York bay; and I
only succeeded in getting home about a dozen _mutuns_, or curassows; a
pair of Egyptian geese; a pair of birds, called pucacunga in Peru, and
jacu in Brazil; a pair of macaws; a pair of parrots; and a pair of large
white cranes, called jaburú, which are the same, I believe, as the birds
called adjutants in India.

_November 24._—Preparing for departure. Our boat, which had been very
badly calked in Nauta, required re-calking. The tow, or filling, used
is the inner bark of a tree called _machinapuro_, beaten and mashed
into fibres. It answers very well, and there is great abundance in the
forest. Its cost is twelve and a half cents the mantada, or as much as
an Indian can carry in his blanket. An Indian can gather and grind two
mantadas in a day. Ten or twelve mantadas are required to calk such a
boat as mine. The pitch of the country is said to be the deposit of an
ant in the trees. I never saw it in its original state. It is gathered
by the Indians; heated till soft; made into the shape of wide, thin
bricks; and is worth sixty-two and a half cents the arroba. It is very
indifferent. A better kind is made by mixing black wax with gum copal.

Father Valdivia entertained us most kindly. His aguadiente gave out; and
he occasionally regaled us with a glass of wine, bought for the church
in Loreto. It is a weak white wine. I suppose I could not drink it at
home, but here it seems very good. I find that this is the case with a
great many things. The green plantains, roasted, which were at first an
abomination to me, have now become a very good substitute for bread; and
a roasted yucca is quite a treat. We have some small red-headed pan fish
that are very fine; and, at my suggestion, the padre had two or three
fried, added to his usual evening cup of chocolate. I look forward to
this meal with considerable pleasure. I do not know if it arises from
the fact of our seeing so few things that are good to eat, or from the
freshness of the cocoa, but chocolate, which I could not touch before
this, is now very palatable and refreshing. The bean is simply toasted
and pulverized, and the chocolate is made nearly as we make coffee.

After supper, we—that is, the padre, the governor general, Ijurra,
and I, provided with fans to keep off the musquitoes—light our cigars,
stretch ourselves at full length in a hammock, and pass an hour before
bed-time in agreeable conversation. The priest, in this country, has
more power, though it is by force of opinion, than the governor of
the districts, or even than the governor general. I saw an instance in
Nauta, where a man withstood Arebalo to his face, but yielded without
a struggle, though growlingly, to the mandate of the padre. In fact,
Father Valdivia, though half Indian, and exceedingly simple-minded,
is a very resolute and energetic person. On one occasion the governor
of Pebas succeeded in carrying off the Indians of that village to the
Napo to gather sarza, against the wish of the padre, who wanted them to
clear the forest and build the new town. When the governor returned, the
priest told him that they two could not live together; that one or the
other must resign his office and go away; and the man, knowing the power
and influence of the priest, retired from the contest and his post. The
padre had great opposition and trouble in forming his new settlement.
Even the women (wives of the white men) of Pebas came over to laugh at
and ridicule his work; but the good father called his Varayos, had the
ladies conducted to their canoes, and, with much ceremonious politeness,
directed them to be shoved off.

We obtained from the Indians more of the poisonous milk of the catao,
and also the milk of the cow-tree. This they drink when fresh; and,
when brought to me in a calabash, it had a foamy appearance, as if just
drawn from the cow; and looked very rich and tempting. It, however,
coagulates very soon, and becomes as hard and tenacious as glue. The
Indians make use of this property of it to eradicate their eyebrows.
This is not so painful an operation as it would seem; for the Indians
have never suffered the eyebrows to grow and become strong, and the hair
is only down, which is easily plucked up. When the milk coagulates, it
expands, so that it forced the glass stopper out of the bottle I put
it in, though sealed with pitch. We also got some of the almonds of the
country, which I have not seen elsewhere. They are about the size, and
have something the appearance, of our common black walnut, with a single
oblong kernel, similar in taste to the Brazil nut.

_November 26._—We had much heavy rain for the last day or two. A number
of persons were affected with catarrh and headache. The padre told me
that half of the population were ill of it, and that this always happens
at the commencement of the rains. The disease is called _romadizo_, and
is like our influenza. Ijurra and I were both indisposed with rheumatic
pains in the back of the neck and shoulders. I don't wonder at this,
for we have slept all the time in a room just plastered with mud, and
so damp that, where my bed-clothes came in contact with the wall, they
were quite wet; and the rain beat in upon my head and shoulders, through
an open window nearly over head. My boots are covered with mould every
morning, and the guns get half-full of water.

I gave the padre's servant, who was suffering very much from romadizo,
fifteen grains of Dover's powder, (Heaven knows if it were proper or
not,) and also to the padre's sister, who had been suffering for some
days with painful diarrhœa, forty drops of laudanum. The old lady was
cured at once, and said she had never met with so great a remedio. I
left her a phial of it, with directions for its use; telling her (at
which she looked aghast) that it was a deadly poison. It is curious
to see how entirely ignorant the best-informed people out here are
concerning the properties of medicines. Most of them do not know the
names, much less the effects, of even such common drugs as calomel
and opium. I suspect this is the case among most Spanish people, and
think that Spanish physicians have always made a great mystery of their
science.

We sailed from Echenique at half-past 1 p.m. Father Valdivia, who
is musical, but chanted the mass in a falsetto that would be very,
difficult to distinguish, at a little distance, from the rattling of
a tin pan, commissioned me to bring him out (should I ever return) a
small piano and a French horn, which he would pay for in salt fish and
sarsaparilla. I cannot refrain from expressing my grateful thanks, for
much attention and much information, to my friends—the well-informed and
gentleman-like Arebalo, and the pious, simple-minded, single-hearted
little Indian priest of Pebas. We arrived at Cochiquinas (twenty-five
miles distant) at half-past 8 p. m.



CHAPTER XII.

     Cochiquinas—Caballo Cocha—Alligators—Indian
     Incantations—Loreto—Tabatinga—River Yavari—San Paulo—River
     Iça—Tunantins—Making manteiga—River Jutay—Fonteboa—River
     Juruá—River Japurá.


Cochiquinas, or New Cochiquinas, is a miserable fishing village of
two hundred and forty inhabitants; though at this time there did not
appear to be forty in the village, most of them being absent fishing
and seeking a livelihood. Old Cochiquinas is four miles further down
the river, and seems a far better situation; but the people there were
afraid of the attacks of the savages of the Yavari, and removed up to
this place.

The old town, to which place we dropped down to breakfast, has one
hundred and twenty inhabitants, of which twenty-five are white, and the
rest Indians of the Yavari, called _Marubos_. These are dressed with
even more simplicity than the Yaguas, dispensing with the mop behind.
They have small, curly moustaches and beards; are darker than the other
Indians; and do nothing but hunt for their living.

The governor treated us very civilly, and gave us a good breakfast of
soup, chickens, rice, and eggs, with milk just taken from the cow. What
a luxury! I saw before his door a large canoe filled with unshelled
rice, of very good quality. The governor told us that rice grew very
well, and gave about forty-fold in five months. He seemed a very
gay and good-tempered young person, with a fine family of a wife and
eleven remarkably handsome children—some born in lawful wedlock, others
natural—but all cared for alike, and brought up together. I had the
impertinence to ask him how he supported so many people. He said that
the forest and the river yielded abundantly, and that he occasionally
made an expedition to the Napo, and collected sarsaparilla enough to
buy clothes and luxuries for his family in Loreto. The Napo, he says,
is very full of sand-banks, and that twenty days from its mouth the men
have to get overboard and drag the canoes.

The Yavari may be reached from this point by land in four days. The
banks of the river at this place are steep, and about thirty feet in
height above the present level. Veins of the same black clay slate that
we saw at Pebas, and that burned with a bituminous smell, also crop out
of the banks here.

We sailed at noon, and arrived at _Peruaté_ at 5 p. m., (twenty miles.)
The population of this village is one hundred, made up of remnants of
different tribes—_Ticunas_, and natives of the towns of Barranca, on the
upper Amazon, and Andoas, on the Pastaza. I talked with an old negro
who had been many times up the Napo. He confirmed the accounts that I
had from other people.

_November 28._—From Peruaté to Camucheros is thirty miles. This place
has only a population of four families, recently settled there, who
have cleared away a small portion of the forest and commenced their
plantations of yuccas, maize, and rice. Just below Camucheros we had
apparently all the width of the river in view—about a mile broad. I was
surprised to find, near the middle of it, only thirty feet of water.
I think a sand-bank stretches out a long way from the left shore. The
velocity of the current was two and a quarter miles the hour. We arrived
at Moromoroté at a quarter past 6 p. m., (distance fifteen miles.)

This consists of one house of Christianized Indians. There is a house of
Ticunas a mile further inland. We could hear the sound of their music,
and sent them word that we wanted to buy animals and food from them.
They came to see us after night, but were drunk, and had nothing to
sell.

_November 29._—We passed to-day a number of small islands. Between one
of them and the right bank, where the river was at least a quarter of a
mile wide, we saw many trees grounded, and, in what appeared the deepest
part, found but twelve feet of water. Doubtless there is more in the
other channels, and more might possibly be found in this.

At 9 a. m., after a journey of twenty miles, we entered the caño of
_Caballococha_, (Horse lake.) It is about eighty yards wide, and has
eighteen feet of depth in the middle. The water is clear, and makes
an agreeable contrast with the muddy waters of the Amazon; but, there
being no current in the caño, the water is supposed to be not so good to
drink as that of the main river, which is very good when it is allowed
to settle.

The village is situated on the caño, about a mile and a half from
the entrance, and at the same distance from the lake. It contains two
hundred and seventy-five inhabitants, mostly Ticunas Indians. These
are darker than the generality of Indians of the Marañon, though not so
dark as the Marubos; and they are beardless, which frees them from the
negro-look that these last have. Their houses are generally plastered
with mud inside, and are far neater-looking, and more comfortable, than
the other Indian residences that I have seen. This is, however, entirely
owing to the activity and energy of the priest, Father Flores, who seems
to have them in excellent order. They are now building a church for him,
which, when finished, will be the finest in the Montaña.

The men are all decently clad in frocks and trousers; and the women,
besides the usual roll of cotton cloth around the loins, wear a short
tunic covering the breast. I think that Father Flores, though he wants
the honest simplicity and kindness of heart of Valdivia, and the noble
patience, magnanimity, and gentleness of dear Father Calvo, is a better
man for the Indians, and more successful in their management, than
either of the others. He does not seem to care about their coming to
church; for there was not an Indian at mass Sunday morning, (though
the padre did give us a little homily on the importance of attending
worship); but he has them afraid of him, keeps them at work, sees that
they keep themselves and houses clean, and the streets of the village
in order; and I saw none of the abominable drinking and dancing with
which the other Indians invariably wind up the Sunday.

The town is situated on quite an extensive plain; the soil is of a
light, and rather sandy character, which, even in the rainy season,
quickly absorbs the water, and makes the walking always agreeable.
This is very rarely the case with the other villages of the Amazon.
The climate is said to be very hot; and, from the fact that the village
is yet closely surrounded by the forest, which keeps off the breeze, I
suspect this is the case in the dry season. I did not find it so at this
time.

It is very dangerous to bathe in the caño, on account of the alligators.
Not long before my arrival, a woman, bathing after night-fall, in
company with her husband, was seized and carried off by one of those
monsters. She was not even in the caño, but was sitting on the bank,
pouring water over her head with a gourd, when the reptile crawled
from behind a log, where it had been lying, and carried her off in its
mouth, though struck several heavy blows with a stick by the unfortunate
husband. The padre next morning declared war upon the alligators, and
had the Indians out with their harpoons and lances to destroy them.
They killed a number; and they thought it remarkable that the first they
killed should have parts of the woman yet undigested in its stomach. I
think it probable that a good many alligators had a bite.

The lake is a pretty and nearly circular sheet of water of two and
a half miles in diameter, and is twenty feet deep in the centre.
There were a great many water-fowl in it, but principally cranes and
cormorants.

Padre Flores, as usual gave us a room in his house, and seats at his
table. I admired a very old looking silver spoon that he had on the
table, and which Ijurra judged to be of the date of Ferdinand and
Isabella, from the armed figures and lion's head upon the handle;
whereupon the padre, with the courtesy that belongs to his race,
insisted upon my accepting it. I was glad to have it in my power to
acknowledge the civility by pressing upon the padre a set of tumblers
neatly put up in a morocco case, which had been given me by R. E.
Johnson, first lieutenant of the Vandalia.

After dark he proposed that we should go out and see some of the
incantations of the Indians for the cure of the sick. We heard music at
a distance, and approached a large house whence it proceeded, in which
the padre said there was almost always some one sick. We listened at the
door, which was closed. There seemed to be a number of persons singing
inside. I was almost enchanted myself. I never heard such tones, and
think that even instrumental music could not be made to equal them.
I have frequently been astonished at the power of the Indians to mock
animals; but I had heard nothing like this before. The tones were so
low, so faint, so guttural, and at the same time so sweet and clear,
that I could scarcely believe they came from human throats; and they
seemed fitting sounds in which to address spirits of another world.

Some one appearing to approach the door, the priest and I fled; for,
though we were mean enough to listen at a man's door, we were ashamed to
be caught at it; but hearing nothing further we returned, and Ijurra,
with his usual audacity, pushed open the door and proposed to enter.
The noise we made in opening the door caused a hasty retreat of some
persons, which we could hear and partly see; and when we entered, we
found but two Indians—an old man and a young one—sitting on the floor by
a little heap of flaming copal, engaged in chewing tobacco and spitting
in an earthern pot before them. The young man turned his face to the
wall with a sullen look, and although the old man smiled when he was
patted on the head and desired to proceed with his music, yet it was
with a smile that had no mirth or satisfaction in it, and that showed
plainly that he was annoyed, and would have expressed his annoyance had
he dared.

The hut was a large one, and appeared larger in the gloom. There was a
light burning in the farther end of it, which looked to be a mile off;
Ijurra strode the distance and found it to be just twenty-four paces.
There were a number of hammocks slung one above the other between the
posts that supported the roof, and all seemed occupied. In one corner of
the house was built a small partition of cane, in which I understood was
confined a young girl, who was probably looking at us with curious eyes,
but whom we could not see. I had been told before that it was the custom
among most of the Indians of the Montãna to shut up a girl when she
entered into the period of womanhood, until the family could raise the
means for a feast, when every body is invited; all hands get drunk; and
the maiden is produced with much ceremony, and declared a woman of the
tribe, whose hand may be sought in marriage. The confinements sometimes
last several months; for the Indians do not hurry themselves in making
their preparations, but are ready when the yuccas are gathered, the
masato made, and there is a sufficient quantity of dried monkey in the
house; so that it sometimes happens, when the poor girl is brought out
that she is nearly white. It is said that she frequently conceals her
situation from her family, preferring a sound beating, when time betrays
her, to the dreary imprisonment.

_December 1._—I lost my beautiful and valued chiriclis, which died of
the cold; it was put to bed as usual under the wash-basin, but the basin
was not put under the armayari, its usual place, and it rained heavily
all night. I was surprised at the delicacy of feeling shown by my Indian
boatmen on the occasion; they knew how much I was attached to the bird,
and, instead of tossing the carcass overboard, as they would have done
with that of any other animal that I had, one of them brought it into
my room before I was awake, and laid it decently, and with care, on
a table at my bed-side. I felt the loss very sensibly—first, because
it was a present from good Father Calvo, upon whose head and shoulder
I had so often seen it perched; and, secondly, on account of the bird
itself. It was beautiful, gentle, and affectionate; and so gallant that
I called it my Mohawk chief; I have seen it take the food, unresisted,
out of the mouths of the parrots and macaws many times its size, by the
mere reputation of its valor; and it waged many a desperate battle with
the monkeys. Its triumphant song when it had vanquished an adversary
was most amusing. It was very pleasant, as the cool of night came on,
to find it with beak and claws, climbing up the leg of my trousers
until it arrived at the opening of my shirt and to hear its low note of
satisfaction as it entered and stowed itself snugly away in my armpit.
It was as sensible of caresses, and as jealous, as a favorite; and I
could never notice my little Pinshi monkey in its sight that it did not
fly at it and drive it off.

This bird is the _psit melanocephalus_ of Linneus. It is about the size
of a robin; has black legs, yellow thighs, a spotted white breast,
orange neck and head, and a brilliant green back and wings. There
is another species of the same bird in Brazil. It is there called
"periquito," and differs from this in having the feathers on the top of
the head black, so as to have the appearance of wearing a cowl. Enrique
Antonii, an Italian resident at Barra, gave me one of this species,
which was even more docile and affectionate than the present of Father
Calvo; but, to my infinite regret, he flew away from me at Pará.

I noticed growing about the houses of the village a couple of
shrubs, six or eight feet high, called, respectively, _yanapanga_ and
_pucapanga_. From the leaves of the first is made a black dye, and from
those of the second a very rich scarlet. I surmised that a dye, like the
indigo of commerce, though of course of different color, might be made
of these leaves; and when I arrived in Brazil, I found that the Indians
there were in the habit of making a scarlet powder of the pucapanga,
called carajurú, quite equal, in brilliancy of color, to the dye of the
cochineal. I believe that efforts have been made to introduce this dye
into commerce, and I do not know why they have failed. I brought home
a specimen.

Two brothers of Father Flores were quite sick with a "tertiana," taken
in gathering sarsaparilla up on the Napo. This is an intermittent fever
of a malignant type. The patient becomes emaciated and yellow, and
the spleen swells. I saw several cases as I came down the Marañon, but
all were contracted on the tributaries. I saw or heard of no case that
originated upon the main trunk.

_December 2._—Much rain during the night. Sailed from Caballococha at
half past 2 p. m. Ijurra liked the appearance of things so much at this
place that he determined, when he should leave me, to return to it and
clear land for a plantation, which he has since done.

I lost my sounding-lead soon after starting, and had no soundings to
Loreto, where we arrived at half-past 7 p. m., (twenty miles.) The river
is much divided and broken up by islands, some of them small, and with
sand-beaches. I believe they change their shape and size with every
considerable rise of the river.

Loreto is situated on an eminence on the left bank, having the large
island of _Cacao_ in front. The river is three-fourths of a mile wide,
and has one hundred and two feet of depth in mid-stream, with three
miles the hour of current. The soil is a light-colored, tenacious
clay, which, in the time of the rains, makes walking almost impossible,
particularly as there are a number of cattle and hogs running about the
village and trampling the clay into mire.

There are three mercantile houses in Loreto, all owned by Portuguese.
They do a business of about ten thousand dollars a year—that is, that
value in goods, from above and below, passes through their hands. They
tell me that they sell the goods from below at about twenty per cent.
on Pará prices, which of course I did not believe. _Senhor Saintem_,
the principal trader, told me that the business above was very mean;
that there was not a capitalist in Moyobamba able or willing to buy
one thousand dollars' worth of goods; and that they pay for their
articles of merchandise from below almost altogether in straw-hats, as
the Tarapoto people do in tocuyo. I saw a schooner-rigged boat lying
along-side the bank. She was about forty feet long and seven broad;
was built in Coari, and sold here for two hundred dollars, silver. The
houses at Loreto are better built, and better furnished, than those of
the towns on the river above. We are approaching civilization.

The population of Loreto is two hundred and fifty, made up of
Brazilians, mulattoes, negroes, and a few Ticunas Indians. It is the
frontier post of Peru. There are a few miles of neutral territory
between it and Tabatinga, the frontier of Brazil.

_December 4._—We left Loreto at half past 6 a. m., with a cold wind from
the northward and eastward, and rain. Thermometer, 76°. It seems strange
to call the weather cold with the thermometer at 76°; but I really was
very uncomfortable with it, and the monkeys seemed nearly frozen.

I estimate the length of the neutral territory, by the windings of the
river, at twenty miles.

Since I purchased a boat at Nauta I had worn an American flag over
it. I had been told that I probably would not be allowed to wear it in
the waters of Brazil. But when the boat was descried at Tabatinga, the
Brazilian flag was hoisted at that place; and when I landed, which I did
dressed in uniform, I was received by the commandant, also in uniform,
to whom I immediately presented my Brazilian passport, of which the
following is a translation:

                         [SEAL OF THE LEGATION.]

     I, Sergio Teixeira de Macedo, of the Council of his Majesty,
     the Emperor of Brazil, his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
     Plenipotentiary near the United States of America, Officer of
     the Imperial Order of the Rose, Grand Cross of that of Christ,
     and _Commendador_ of various Foreign Orders, &c., &c.:

     Make known to all who shall see this passport, that _William
     L. Herndon_, lieutenant of the navy of the United States, and
     _Lardner Gibbon_, passed midshipman of the same, prosecute a
     voyage for the purpose of making geographical and scientific
     explorations from the republic of Peru, by the river Amazon
     and adjacent parts, to its mouth; and I charge all the
     authorities, civil, military, and policial, of the empire,
     through whose districts they may have occasion to pass, that
     they place no obstacle in the way, as well of them as of
     the _persons of their company_; but rather that they shall
     lend them all the facilities they may need, for the better
     prosecution of their enterprise.

     For which purpose I have caused to be issued this passport,
     which I sign and seal with the seal of my arms.

     IMPERIAL LEGATION OF BRAZIL, IN WASHINGTON,

                                                     _February 27, 1851_.
                                       [SEAL.] SERGIO TEIXEIRA DE MACEDO.

     By order of his Excellency:

                                                  ANTO. ZE DUARDE GONDIM,
                                                 _Secretary of Legation_.

As soon as my rank was ascertained, (which appeared to be that of a
captain in the Brazilian army,) I was saluted with seven guns. The
commandant used much stately ceremony towards me, but never left me a
moment to myself until he saw me safely in bed on board my boat. I did
not know, at first, whether this was polite attention or a watch upon
me; but I think it was the latter, for, upon my giving him the slip, and
walking over towards the old fort, he joined me within five minutes; and
when we returned to his house he brought a dictionary, and, pointing
with a cunning expression to the verb _traçar_, (to draw,) asked me
to read it. I did so, and handed the book back to him, when he pointed
out to me the verb _delinhar_. I was a little fretted, for I thought he
might as well ask me at once, and told him that I had no intention of
making any drawings whatever, and had merely intended to take a walk. He
treated me with great civility, and entertained me at his table, giving
me roast-beef, which was a great treat.

It was quite pleasant, after coming from the Peruvian villages, which
are all nearly hidden in the woods, to see that Tabatinga had the forest
cleared away from about it, for a space of forty or fifty acres; was
covered with green grass; and had a grove of orange-trees in its midst,
though they were now old and past bearing. There are few houses to be
seen, for those of the Ticunas are still in the woods. Those that are
visible are the soldiers' quarters, and the residences of a few whites
that live here—white, however, in contradistinction to the Indian; for
I think the only pure white man in the place was a Frenchman, who has
resided a long time in Brazil, and has a large Brazilian family. The
post is garrisoned by twenty soldiers, commanded by _O Illustrissimo
Senhor Tenente José Virisimo dos Santos Lima_, a cadet, a sergeant,
and a corporal. The population of Tabatinga is about two hundred;
mostly Indians of the Ticuna tribe. It is well situated for a frontier
post, having all the river in front, only about half a mile wide, and
commanded from the fort by the longest range of cannon-shot. The fort
is at present in ruins, and the artillery consists of two long brass
twelve-pounder field-guns.

I did not hoist my flag again, and the commandant seemed pleased. He
said that it might give offence down the river, and told me that Count
Castelnau, who had passed here some years before, borrowed a Brazilian
flag from him and wore that. He also earnestly insisted that I should
take his boat in lieu of my own, which he said was not large enough for
the navigation of the lower part of the Amazon. I declined for a long
time; but finding that he was very earnest about it, and embarrassed
between his desire to comply with the request of the Brazilian minister
at Washington, contained in my passport—"that Brazilian authorities
should facilitate me in my voyage, and put no obstacle in my way"—and
the requirements of the law of the empire forbidding foreign vessels to
navigate its interior waters, I accepted his proposition, and exchanged
boats; thus enabling him to say, in a frontier passport which he issued
to me, that I was descending the river in Brazilian vessels.

He desired me to leave his boat at Barra, telling me he had no doubt
but that the government authorities there would furnish me with a better
one. I told him very plainly that I had doubts of that, and that I might
have to take his boat on to Pará; which I finally did, and placed it
in the hands of his correspondent at that place. I was correct in my
doubts; for, so far from the government authorities at Barra having
a boat to place at my disposal, they borrowed mine and sent it up
the river for a load of wood for building purposes. The commandant at
Tabatinga, I was told, compelled the circus company that preceded me to
abandon their Peruvian-built raft and construct another of the wood of
the Brazilian forests.

There is nothing cultivated at Tabatinga except a little sugar cane
to make molasses and rum, for home consumption. I was told that
Castelnau found here a fly that answered perfectly all the purposes
of cantharides, blistering the skin even more rapidly. I heard that he
also found the same fly at Egas, lower down. Senhor Lima instituted a
search for some for me, but there were none to be had at this season.
He showed me an oblong, nut-shaped fruit, growing in clusters at the
base of a lily-like plant, called _pacova catinga_, the seed of which
was covered with a thick pulp, which, when scraped off and pressed,
gave a very beautiful dark-purple dye. This, touched with lime juice,
changed to a rich carmine. He tells me that the trade of the river is
increasing very fast; that in 1849 scarce one thousand dollars' worth
of goods passed up; in 1850, two thousand five hundred dollars; and this
year, six thousand dollars.

_December 5._—We were employed in fitting up the new boat, to which
the commandant gave his personal attention. I asked him to give me some
more peons. He said, "Certainly;" sent out a guard of soldiers; pressed
five Tucunas, and put them in the guard house till I was ready to start;
when they were marched down to the boat, and a negro soldier sent along
to take charge of them. He gave me all the beasts and birds he had, a
demijohn of red wine, salt fish, and farinha for my men, and in short
loaded me with kindness and civility. I had already parted with all
the personal "traps" that I thought would be valuable and acceptable to
my friends on the route, and could only make a show of acknowledgment
by giving him, in return, a dozen masses of tobacco—an article which
happened at this time to be scarce and valuable.

_December 6._—We embarked at half-past 1 p. m., accompanied by the
commandant, the cadet, and the Frenchman, _Jeronymo Fort_, who had
been kind enough to place his house at Egas at my disposal. Ijurra
had privately got all the guns and pistols ready, and we received the
commandant with a salute of, I should think, at least one hundred
guns; for Ijurra did not leave off shooting for half an hour. They
dropped down the river with us till 5 p. m., when, taking a parting cup
(literally tea-cup) of the commandant's present to the health of his
Majesty the Emperor, we embraced and parted. I have always remembered
with pleasure my intercourse with the Commandante Lima.

We passed the end of the island of _Aramasa_, which fronts the mouth
of the river Yavari, at 6, and camped on the right bank of the river at
half-past 7.

From a chart in the possession of M. Castelnau, and in the correctness
of which he places confidence, it appears that the Yavari river has a
distance from its mouth upwards of two hundred and seventy miles, and
a course nearly east and west. At this point it bifurcates. The most
western branch, which runs E. N. E., is called the Yavarisinho, and is
a small and unimportant river. The eastern branch, called _Jacarana_,
runs N. E. The authors of the chart (whom M. Castelnau thinks to
be Portuguese commissioners, charged with the establishment of the
boundaries) ascended the Yavari and Jacarana two hundred and ten miles
in a straight line. But M. Castelnau says that this river is more than
ordinarily tortuous, and estimates their ascent, by its sinuosities, at
five hundred and twenty five miles.

A small river, called Tucuby, empties into the Yavari at forty-five
miles from its mouth, and on the eastern side. A hundred and fifty miles
further up enters a considerable river, called the Curuzá, also from
the east. M. Castelnau thinks, however, from report, that the Curuzá is
not navigable upwards more than ninety miles. Sugar-cane is sometimes
seen floating on the water of the Jacarana, which indicates that its
upper parts are inhabited by people who have communication, more or less
direct, with white men. (Castelnau, vol. 5, page 52.)

_December 7._—The river now has lost its name of Marañon, and, since the
junction of the Yavari, is called _Solimoens_. It is here a mile and a
half wide, sixty-six feet deep in the middle, and has a current of two
miles and three quarters per hour. The small boat in which we carry our
animals did not stop with us last night, but passed on without being
noticed. She had all our fowls and turtles; so that our breakfast this
morning consisted of boiled rice. We drifted with the tide all night,
stopping for an hour in consequence of a severe squall of wind and rain
from the eastward.

_December 8._—Rainy morning. We arrived at _San Paulo_ at 10 a. m. This
village is on a hill two or three hundred feet above the present level
of the river—the highest situation I have yet seen. The ascent to the
town is very difficult and tedious, particularly after a rain, the soil
being of white clay. On the top of this hill is a moist, grassy plain,
which does not extend far back. The site is said not to be healthy, on
account of swamps back of it. The population is three hundred and fifty,
made up of thirty whites, and the rest Tucunas and _Juries_ Indians.
The commandant is the Lieutenant Don "José Patricio de Santa Ana." He
gave us a good breakfast and some statistics. The yearly exports of
San Paulo are eight thousand pounds of sarsaparilla, worth one thousand
dollars; four hundred and fifty pots of manteca, or oil made from turtle
eggs, worth five hundred and fifty dollars; and three thousand two
hundred pounds of cocoa, worth sixty-four dollars. These are all sent
to Egas. Common English prints sell for thirty cents the covado, (about
three-fourths of a yard,) and coarse, strong cotton cloth, (generally
American,) for thirty-seven and a half cents the vara, (three inches
less than a yard.) We left San Paulo at half-past 3 p. m., and drifted
with the current all night. Distance from Tabatinga to San Paulo,
ninety-five miles.

_December 9._—At half-past 8 a. m. we arrived at Maturá, a settlement
of four or five huts, (with only one occupied,) on a muddy bank. Its
distance from San Paulo is fifty miles. The shores of the river are
generally low, though there are reaches where its banks are forty or
fifty feet high, commonly of white or red clay. There is much colored
earth on the banks of the river—red, yellow, and white—which those
people who have taste make use of to plaster the inside of their houses.
The banks are continually falling into the stream, sometimes in very
large masses, carrying trees along with them, and forming one of the
dangers and impediments to upward navigation where the boats have to
keep close in shore to avoid the current.

We passed through a strait, between two islands, where the river was
not more than eighty yards wide. It presented a singular contrast to the
main river, to which we had become so much accustomed that this looked
like a rivulet. It had forty eight feet depth, and two and a quarter
miles current.

At half-past four we entered the mouth of the Iça, or Putumayo, fifteen
miles from Maturá. This is a fine-looking river, half a mile broad
at the mouth, and opening into an estuary (formed by the left bank of
the Amazon and islands on the right hand) of a mile in width. We found
one hundred and thirty-eight feet in the middle of the mouth, and a
current of two miles and three-quarters an hour. The water is clearer
than that of the Amazon. A man at _Tunantins_, who had navigated this
river a good deal, told me that one might ascend in a canoe for three
and a half months, and that the current was so rapid that the same
distance might be run down in fifteen days. This I think incredible;
but there is no doubt that the Iça is a very long and very rapid river.
He described it as shallow after two months of navigation upwards, with
large sand-beaches, and many small streams emptying into it, on which
is found much sarsaparilla. Many slaves of the Brazilians escape by way
of this river into New Grenada.

San Antonio is a village about two miles below the mouth of the Iça. It
is a collection of four or five houses of Brazilians, and a few Indian
huts. The people seemed mad for tobacco, and begged me earnestly to sell
them some. I told them I would not sell for money, but I was willing
to exchange for things to eat, or for rare birds and beasts. They
ransacked the town, but could only raise five fowls, half a dozen eggs,
two small turtles, and three bunches of plantains. They had no animals
but such as I already had, and I only bought a macaw and a "pavoncito,"
or little peacock. The little tobacco I gave for these things, however,
was not enough to give everybody a smoke, and they implored me to sell
them some for money. They came to the canoe after night, and showed so
strong a desire to have it that I feared they would rob me. Finding me
inexorable, they went off abusing me, which excited the wrath of Ijurra
to a high pitch. Our stock of tobacco, which we had bought in Nauta, was
now very much reduced. We had used it, during our voyage on the Ucayali,
to purchase food and curiosities, and to give to the peons, who were not
satisfied or contented unless they had an occasional smoke. We also had
been liberal with it to governors and curates, who had been civil to
us; and now we had barely enough for our own use to last us to Barra.
I gave twenty-five cents the mass for it in Nauta, though the "Paraguá"
cheated me, and should only have charged me twelve and a half. We could
have sold it all the way to Barra for thirty-seven and a half, and fifty
cents.

_December 10._—Between San Antonio and Tunantins we met the governor of
San Antonio, a military-looking white man, returning with his wife and
children from a visit to Tunantins. I showed him my passport, which he
asked for, and we interchanged civilities and presents; he giving me a
"chiriclis," like the one I lost at Caballo-cocha, and water-melons; and
I making him a present of tobacco and a tinder-box. The species of bird
he gave me is called, in Brazil, _Marianita_. This one took a singular
disease by which it lost the use of its legs—hopped about for some days
on the knee-joints, with the leg and foot turned upwards in front, and
then died. At twenty miles from San Antonio we entered the mouth of
the Tunantins river. It is about fifty yards broad, and seems deep,
with a considerable current. The town is prettily situated on a slight
green eminence on the left bank, about half a mile from the mouth. The
population is said to be between two and three hundred, though I would
not suppose it to be near as much. It is composed of the tribes of
Cayshanas and Juries, and about twenty-five whites.

One sees very few Indians in the Portuguese villages. They seem to live
apart, and in the woods; and are, I think, gradually disappearing before
the advance of civilization. They are used as beasts of burden, and
are thought no further of. At 2 p. m. we left Tunantins. The river has
eighteen, twenty-four, and thirty feet down to its entrance into the
Amazon, where it forms a bar of sand, stretching some hundreds of yards
out and downwards, on which is only six feet of water.

_December 11._—We stopped at a _factoria_ on the left bank, sixty-five
miles from Tunantins, where people were making manteiga. The effect of
"mirage," was here very remarkable. When within a mile or two of the
factoria, I thought I saw quite a large town, with houses of two or
three stories, built of stone and brick, with large heaps of white stone
lying about in several places. There was a vessel lying off the town
that I was satisfied was a large brig-of war; but upon drawing near, my
three-story houses dwindled to the smallest palm ranchos; my heaps of
building stones to piles of egg-shells; and my man-of-war to a schooner
of thirty tons.

The season for making manteiga on the Amazon generally ends by the first
of November; but the rise of the river this year has been unusually late
and small. The people are still collecting the eggs, though they all
have young turtles in them.

A commandant, with soldiers, is appointed every year by some provincial
or municipal authority to take care of the beaches, prevent disorder,
and administer justice.

Sentinels are placed at the beginning of August, when the turtles
commence depositing their eggs, and are withdrawn when the beach is
exhausted. They see that no one wantonly interferes with the turtles,
or destroys the eggs. Those engaged in the making of manteiga pay a
capitation tax of twelve and a half cents duty to the government.

The process of making it is very disgusting. The eggs, though they be
rotten and offensive, are collected, thrown into a canoe, and trodden to
a mass with the feet. The shells and young turtles are thrown out. Water
is poured on, and the residue is left to stand in the sun for several
days. The oil rises to the top; is skimmed off and boiled in large
copper boilers. It is then put in earthern pots of about forty-five
pounds weight. Each pot of oil is worth on the beach one dollar and
thirty cents, and in Pará usually sells at from two and a half to three
dollars.

A turtle averages eighty eggs; forty turtles will give a pot.
Twenty-five men will make two hundred pots in twelve days. The beaches
of the Amazon and tributaries yield from five to six thousand pots
annually. The empty pot costs twelve and a half cents in Pará. Prolific
as they are, I think the turtle is even now diminishing in number on the
Amazon. Vast numbers of the young are eaten by the Indians, who take
them by the time they are able to crawl, and when they do not measure
more than an inch in diameter; boil them, and eat them as a delicacy.
One Indian will devour two dozen of these three or four times a day.
The birds also pick up a great number of them as they crawl from their
nest to the water; and I imagine the fish, too, make them pay toll as
they pass. I heard complaints of the growing scarcity, both of fish and
manteiga, as I came down the river.

This factoria is a small one, and will give but two or three hundred
pots. One requires a good stomach to be able to eat his breakfast at
one of these places. The stench is almost intolerable; the beach is
covered with greedy and disgusting-looking buzzards, and the surface of
the water dotted with the humps of the deadly alligator.

By visiting the factoria, I missed the mouth of the Jutay, which is
on the other side. I was misled by Smyth's map. He places the island
of Mapaná some distance above the mouth of the Jutay, and represents
the Amazon as clear of islands where that river enters. A large island
commences just abreast the factoria, which the people then told me was
called Invira, though they did not seem certain of this. They told me
that in rounding the lower end of that island I would find myself at the
mouth of the Jutay. This was not so, for, when I doubled the point, I
was two or three miles below it. I saw where it emptied into the Amazon;
but both myself and people were too tired to turn back and examine it.

The Indians of the Jutay are Maraguas, (christianized Indians,) who
inhabit the banks at a distance of two days up. (Their houses are
built of wood and plastered, and they show a taste and fondness for
mechanics.) Maragua-Catuquinas, of whom a few are baptized, two days
further up; and Catuquinas Infidels, four days still further.

The products of the river are one hundred and fifty arrobas of
sarsaparilla yearly, one hundred pots of manteiga, and a great quantity
of farinha. In the last four years, five men of Egas have been killed
by the Indians of the Jutay. My informant is Senhor Batalha, a merchant
at Egas. M. Castelnau estimates, from the report of traders, that this
river is navigable upward for about five hundred and forty miles, and
that its sources are not far from those of the Yavari. From Tunantins
to the mouth of the Jutay is seventy-five miles.

I was surprised to find in this part of the river between Tunantins and
Fonteboa but a mile and a quarter current per hour. I attributed it to
bad measurement—from having only a two-pound weight as a lead; yet as
the line was not larger than ordinary twine, and was suffered to run
freely over the gunwale of the boat, without friction or impediment of
any kind, I can scarcely suppose that the lead dragged. The frequent
remark of both Ijurra and myself was "The river does not run." (_No
corre el rio._) Below Fonteboa, where I bought a four-pound lead, I
found the current at its usual velocity of two and a half miles. I think
that I have used up nearly all the four-pound weights on the river,
having lost at least half a dozen. My lines, generally made of chambira,
rot with the rain and sun, and break with little strain. We anchored
at 8 p. m. off a sandy beach, where there was another factoria, thirty
miles distant from the upper one.

The Ticunas whom I brought with me from Tabatinga are even more lazy
and careless than the Sarayaquinos. I fancied that it was because they
were forced into the service, and did not think that they would be paid;
so I gave each one, as a gratuity, a knife, a pair of scissors, and
a small mirror; but they were no better afterwards than before. Poor
fellows! they have been abused and maltreated so long that they are
now insensible even to kindness. The negro soldier who was sent along,
either as a pilot or to govern the Ticunas, or as a watch upon me, is
drunken and worthless. He knows nothing of the river, and I believe
steals my liquor.

_December 12._—There are evidently many newly-formed islands in the
river. We ran, all the morning, through narrow island passages; the
channels, in some places, not over forty yards wide, but of twenty
and thirty feet of depth. We passed another factoria on a point of an
island near the main river, with a schooner moored off; and stopped at a
quarter past six on the sandy point of a small island, where there were
mandioca and water-melons. I am surprised at the quality of the soil in
which this mandioca grows. To a casual observation it appears pure sand.

_December 13._—At 8 a. m. we entered a narrow arm of the river, sixty
miles from the mouth of the Jutay, that leads by Fonteboa. This canal
separates the island of "Cacao" (on which much cocoa grows wild) from
the main land. The caño is not more than twenty yards broad. The least
water I found was nine feet. Fonteboa is about eight miles from the
entrance of the canal. It is situated on a hill a quarter of a mile
within the mouth of the river of the same name that empties into the
canal. Smyth says that the town gets its name from the clearness of the
water of the river; but it is not so at this season. There is no current
in the river at the village, and the water was very nearly quite as
muddy as that of the Amazon.

The population of Fonteboa is two hundred and fifty. There are eighty
whites. We met several traders at this place bound up and down the
river. One, named Guerrero, an intelligent-looking person, from Obydos,
was going up with a cargo that I heard valued at twenty contos of
reis, (about ten thousand five hundred dollars.) This was manifestly an
exaggeration. His schooner, of some thirty-five tons burden, I think,
could not carry the value of that sum in the heavy and bulky articles
usually sent up the river. He had, however, a variety of articles. I
bought some red wine and rum for stores; and Ijurra bought very good
shoes and cotton stockings. This gentleman invited us to breakfast with
him. His plates and cups were of pewter, and he seemed well equipped for
travelling. He said that nearly all the cultivable land about Obydos,
Santarem, and Villa Nova was already occupied; that most of it was so
low and swampy that it was valueless; and that people would soon have
to come up here where the ground was high and rich. He was sixty-two
working days from Obydos, and expected to be thirty to Loreto.

Sailed at 3 p. m.; found but five feet of water where the river of
Fonteboa joins the caño. The distance by the caño to its outlet into
the main river is two miles. The banks below Fonteboa are quite high,
and of red and white clay. Stopped for the night at half past 6 p. m.

_December 14._ Started at half past 4 a. m. Misty morning. At ten
entered the mouth of the Juruá, thirty-six miles from Fonteboa. Its left
bank is very low, and covered with grass and shrub willows; the right
bank high and wooded. It has half a mile of width at the mouth; but, a
mile up, it seemed divided into two narrow channels by a large island.
The Amazon is a mile and a quarter wide where the Juruá enters; but
here is a large island in front, and the river is probably equally as
wide on the other side. We pulled half a mile up the stream. The water
was clearer, though more yellow, than that of the Amazon. In running
out the half mile that I had pulled up, which we did in mid-stream,
the soundings deepened, as fast as I could heave the lead, from thirty
six to seventy-eight feet. Just at the mouth they lessened again to
sixty-six. The current was a mile and three-quarters the hour. The
bottom was of white and black sand; temperature of the water 82°; the
same with the temperature of the air and with that of the water of the
Amazon.

The Indians of the Juruá, I was afterwards told by Senhor Batalha, are
_Arauas_ and _Catauxis_, who are met with at eight days' journey up.
Some of these are baptized Indians; but the Arauas are described as a
treacherous people, who frequently rob and murder the traders on the
river. Two months further up are the _Culinos_ and _Nawas_ Infidels.
Between these two was a nation called the _Canamaris_, but they have
been nearly entirely destroyed by the Arauas. It is almost impossible
to get an accurate idea of the number of the Indians; but I judge, from
what I have seen, and from the diversity of names of the tribes, that
this is not great. The production of the Juruá are sarza, manteiga,
copaiba, seringa, (India rubber,) cocoa, and farinha. At the mouth of a
creek (Igarapé) called _Menerua_, there are Brazil nuts. This year all
the expeditions to the Juruá were failures, on account of the hostility
of the Arauas.

M. Castelnau, in summing up the accounts of this river, which he had
from traders on it, supposes that it may be ascended about seven hundred
and eighty miles, or to near the twelfth degree of south latitude. A
man showed him a small medal that he had taken from an Indian on the
_Taruaca_, a tributary of the Juruá, which he recognised as a Spanish
quarter of a dollar. A short distance above the junction of the Taruaca,
the Juruá bifurcates. The principal arm, which comes from the left, has
its waters of a white color; and the Indians who dwell upon its branches
say that the whites have a village near its sources. (Castelnau, vol.
5, pp. 89, 90.)

M. Castelnau collected some very curious stories concerning the Indians
who dwell upon the banks of the Juruá. He says, (vol. 5, p. 105,) "I
cannot pass over in silence a very curious passage of Padre Noronha,
and which one is astonished to find in a work of so grave a character in
other respects. The Indians, _Cauamas_ and _Uginas_, (says the padre,)
live near the sources of the river. The first are of very short stature,
scarcely exceeding five palms, (about three and a half feet;) and the
last (of this there is no doubt) have tails, and are produced by a
mixture of Indians and _Coata_ monkeys. Whatever may be the cause of
this fact, I am led to give it credit for three reasons: first, because
there is no physical reason why men should not have tails; secondly,
because many Indians, whom I have interrogated regarding this thing,
have assured me of the fact, telling me that the tail was a palm and a
half long; and, thirdly, because the Reverend Father Friar José de Santa
Theresa Ribeiro, a Carmelite, and Curate of Castro de Avelaeñs, assured
me that he saw the same thing in an Indian who came from Japurá, and
who sent me the following attestation:

"'I, José de Santa Theresa Ribeiro, of the Order of our Lady of Mount
Carmel, Ancient Observance, &c., certify and swear, in my quality of
Priest, and on the Holy Evangelists, that, when I was a missionary in
the ancient village of Parauaù, where was afterwards built the village
of Noguera, I saw, in 1755, a man called Manuel da Silva, native of
Pernambuco, or Bahia, who came from the river Japurá with some Indians,
amongst whom was one—an Infidel brute—who the said Manuel declared to
me had a tail; and as I was unwilling to believe such an extraordinary
fact, he brought the Indian and caused him to strip, on pretence of
removing some turtles from a 'pen,' near which I stood to assure myself
of the truth. There I saw, without possibility of error, that the man
had a tail, of the thickness of a finger, and half a palm long, and
covered with a smooth and naked skin. The same Manuel assured me that
the Indian had told him that every month he cut his tail, because he
did not like to have it too long, and it grew very fast. I do not know
to what nation this man belonged, nor if all his tribe had a similar
tail; but I understood afterwards that there was a tailed nation upon
the banks of the Juruá; and I sign this act and seal it in affirmation
of the truth of all that it contains.

                "ESTABLISHMENT OF CASTRO DE AVELAEÑS, _October 14, 1768_.
                                      "FR. JOSE DE STA. THERESA RIBEIRO."

M. Baena (Corog, Pará) has thought proper to repeat these strange
assertions. "In this river," says he, speaking of the Juruá, (p. 487,)
"there are Indians, called Canamas, whose height does not exceed five
palms; and there are others, called Uginas, who have a tail of three or
four palms, (four palms and an inch, Portuguese, make nearly an English
yard,) according to the report of many persons. But I leave to every
one to put what faith he pleases in these assertions."

M. Castelnau says, after giving these relations, "I will add but a word.
Descending the Amazon, I saw one day, near Fonteboa, a black Coata of
enormous dimensions. He belonged to an Indian woman, to whom I offered
a large price, for the country, for the curious beast; but she refused
me with a burst of laughter. 'Your efforts are useless,' said an Indian
who was in the cabin; 'that is her husband.'"

These Coatas, of which I had several, are a large, black, pot-bellied
monkey. They average about two and a half feet of height, have a few
thin hairs on the top of their head, and look very like an old negro.

We breakfasted at the mouth of the river. After breakfast one of the
Ticunas from Tabatinga was directed by the soldier to take up one of the
macaws that was walking on the beach and put it in the boat preparatory
to a start. The man, in an angry and rude manner, took the bird up and
tossed it into the boat, to the manifest danger of injuring it. I was
standing in the larger boat close by, and saw his insolent manner. I
took up a paddle and beckoned him to come to me; but he walked sulkily
up the beach. I thought it a good time to see whether, in the event of
these surly fellows becoming mutinous, I could count upon my Sarayacu
people; so I directed two of them to bring the Ticuna to me. They
turned to obey, but slowly, and evidently unwillingly, when my quick and
passionate friend Ijurra sprang upon the Indian, and, taking him by the
collar, jerked him to where I was. I made great demonstrations with my
paddle, though without the slightest idea of striking him, (for I always
shunned, with the utmost care, the rendering myself amenable to any of
the tribunals or authorities of Brazil,) and abused him in English,
which I imagine answered quite as well as any other language but his
own would have done. I think this little "fracas" had a happy effect
upon all the Indians, and they improved in cheerfulness and willingness
to work afterwards. The Ticunas that I had with me, however, were far
the laziest and most worthless people that I had hitherto had anything
to do with. I believe that this is not characteristic of the tribe,
for they seemed well enough under Father Flores at Caballo-cocha, and
they have generally rather a good reputation among the whites on the
river. I imagine that the proximity of the garrison at Tabatinga has
not a good effect upon their manners and morals; but, however that may
be, these men were too lazy to help to cook the provisions; and when we
stopped to breakfast they generally seated themselves on the thwarts of
the boat, or on the sand of the beach, whilst the Sarayaquinos fetched
the wood and made the fire. They were ready enough to eat when the
breakfast was cooked. I couldn't stand this, when I observed that it was
a customary thing, and accordingly caused the provisions issued to be
divided between the two parties, and told my Ticuna friends, "No cook,
no eat." It would take many years of sagacious treatment on the part of
their rulers to civilize this people, if it be possible to do so at all.

_December 15._—We travelled till 11 p. m., for want of a beach to camp
on; the men disliking to sleep in the woods on account of snakes.

_December 16._—Finding that I was on the southern bank, and having an
opening between two islands abreast of me, I struck off to the eastward
for the mouth of the Japurá. We ran through island passages till we
reached it at 3 p. m., distant one hundred and five miles from the mouth
of the Juruá.

The Japurá has two mouths within a few hundred yards of each other. The
one to the westward is the largest, being about one hundred yards wide.
It is a pretty stream of clear, yellow water, with bold and abrupt,
though not high banks, (ten or fifteen feet). I pulled up about half a
mile, and in mid-stream found fifty-seven feet of water, which shoaled
to the mouth to forty two; the bottom soft mud to the touch; but the
arming of the lead brought up small quantities of black and white sand.
There was very little current—only three-fourths of a mile per hour. I
thought it might be affected by the rush of its greater neighbor, and
that the water so near the mouth was "back water" from the Amazon; but
the current was quite as great close to the mouth as it was half a mile
up. The temperature of the water, to my surprise, was 85°; that of the
Amazon, a quarter of an hour afterwards, was 81°. I had heard that, on
account of the gentleness of the current of the Japurá, a voyage of a
month up this river was equal in distance to two on the Iça. A month up
the Japurá reaches the first impediment to navigation, where the river
breaks through hills called "As Serras das Araras," or hills of the
macaws; and where the bed of the stream is choked with immense rocks,
which make it impassable even for a canoe. A gentleman at Egas told me
of an extraordinary blowing cave among these hills.

The Indians of the Japurá are called _Mirauas_, (a large tribe,)
_Curitus_, and _Macus_. The traveller reaches them in sixteen days from
the mouth. The Macus have no houses, but wander in the woods; infest
the river banks; and rob and kill when they can. (These are the fruits
of the old Brazilian system of hunting Indians to make slaves of them.)
The products of the Japurá are the same as those of the Juruá; and,
in addition, a little carajurú, a very brilliant scarlet dye, made of
the leaves of a bush called pucapanga in Peru. The Indians pack it in
little bags made of the inner bark of a tree, and sell at the rate of
twenty-five cents the pound. I am surprised that it has never found
its way into commerce. I think it of quite as brilliant and beautiful
a color as cochineal.

I judge the width of the Amazon, opposite the mouth of the Japurá, to
be four or five miles. It is separated into several channels by two or
three islands. We camped at half past 6 p. m., on an island where there
was a hut and a patch of mandioc and Indian corn, but no people. We
had a clear night, (with the exception of a low belt of stratus clouds
around the horizon,) the first we have seen for more than a week.

_December 17._—Started at 4 a. m. It was too dark to see the upper
point of an island between us and the southern shore till we had passed
it; so that we had to pull up for an hour against the current, so as
to pass the head of this island, and not fall below Egas. At half-past
eight we entered a narrow channel between a small island and the right
bank, which conducted us into the river of Teffé, about a mile inside
of its mouth. The river at this point is one hundred and eighty yards
broad; water clear and apparently deep. Just below Egas, where we
arrived at half-past ten, it expands into a lake; or, rather, the lake
here contracts into the river. The town is situated on a low point
that stretches out into the lake, and has a harbor on each side of it.
The point rises into a regular slope, covered with grass, to the woods
behind. The lake is shallow, and is sometimes, with the exception of two
or three channels, which have always six or eight feet of water in them,
entirely dry from Egas to Nogueyra, a small village on the opposite
side.

On landing we showed our passports to the _sub-delegado_, an officer of
the general government who has charge of the police of the district, and
to the military commandant, and forthwith inducted ourselves into the
house of M. Fort, our French friend of Tabatinga, who had placed it at
our disposal.



CHAPTER XIII.

     Egas—Trade—Lake Coari—Mouth of Rio
     Negro—Barra—Trade—Productions.


Egas has a population of about eight hundred inhabitants, and is the
largest and most thriving place above Barra. It occupies an important
position with regard to the trade of the river, being nearly midway
between Barra and Loreto, (the Peruvian frontier,) and near the mouths
of the great rivers Juruá, Japurá, and Teffé.

There are now eight or ten commercial houses at Egas that drive a
tolerably brisk trade between Peru and Pará, besides employing agents
to go into the neighboring rivers and collect from the Indians the
productions of the land and the water.

Trade is carried on in schooners of between thirty and forty tons
burden, which commonly average five months in the round trip between
Egas and Pará, a distance of fourteen hundred and fifty miles, with
an expense (consisting of pay and support of crew, with some small
provincial and church taxes) of about one hundred and fifty dollars. M.
Castelnau estimates these provincial and church taxes at about thirteen
per cent. on the whole trade. Here is the bill of lading of such a
vessel bound down: 150 arrobas of sarsaparilla: cost at Egas, $4 the
arroba; valued in Pará at from $7 to $7 50. 300 pots manteiga: cost at
Egas, $1 40 the pot; value in Pará, $2 50 to $3 50. 200 arrobas of salt
fish: cost at Egas, 50 cents the arroba; value in Pará, $1 to $1 25.

Thus it appears that the cargo, which cost at Egas about thirteen
hundred dollars, is sold in Pará, in two months, for twenty-six hundred
dollars. The vessel then takes in a cargo of coarse foreign goods worth
there twenty-five hundred dollars, which she sells, in three months,
in Egas, at twenty per cent, advance on Pará prices; making a profit of
six hundred and twenty-five dollars. This added to the thirteen hundred
of profit on the down trip, and deducting the one hundred and fifty of
expenses, will give a gain of seventeen hundred and seventy-five dollars
in five months, which is about two hundred and seventy-five dollars more
than the schooner costs.

There are five such vessels engaged in this trade, each making two trips
a year; so that the value of the trade between Pará and Egas may be
estimated at thirty-eight thousand dollars annually. Between Egas and
Peru, it is about twenty thousand dollars. I myself know of about ten
thousand dollars on its way, or about to be on its way up. A schooner
came in to-day ninety-two days from Pará, which is bound up with a
greater part of its cargo. I met one belonging to Guerrero at Fonteboa.
Marcus Williams, a young American living at Barra, has one now off the
mouth of the river, which has sent a boat in for provisions and stores;
and Batalha himself is about to send two.

Major Batalha (for my friend commands a battalion of the _Guarda
Policial_ of the province divided between San Paulo, San Antonio, Egas,
and Coari) complains, as all do, of the want of energy of the people.
He says that as long as a man can get a bit of turtle or salt fish to
eat, a glass of caçacha, and a cotton shirt and trousers, he will not
work. The men who fish and make manteiga, although they are employed but
a small portion of the year in this occupation, will do nothing else.
There is wanting an industrious and active population, who know what
the comforts of life are, and who have artificial wants to draw out the
great resources of the country.

Although the merchants sell their foreign goods at an advance of
twenty-five per cent. on the cost at Pará, yet this is on credit;
and they say they could do much better if they could sell at fifteen
per cent. for cash. Moreover, in this matter of credit they have no
security. When a trader has made sufficient money to enable him to leave
off work with his own hands, the custom is for him to supply some young
dependant with a boat-load of goods and a crew, and send him away to
trade with the Indians, depending upon his success and honesty for the
payment of the twenty-five per cent. The young trader has no temptation
to desert or abandon his patron, (_habilitador_;) but much is lost from
the dangers incident to the navigation, and the want of judgment and
discretion in the intercourse of the employer with the Indians, and in
the hostile disposition of the Indians themselves.

There is much in this life of the "_habilitado_," or person employed by
the traders, to attract the attention of the active, energetic young
men of our country. It is true that he will encounter much hardship
and some danger. These, however, are but stimulants to youth. It is
also true that he will meet with a feeling of jealousy in the native
towards the foreigner; but this feeling is principally directed towards
the Portuguese, who are hard-working, keen, and clever; and who, as a
general rule, go to that country to make money, and return home with it.
This is their leading idea, and it makes them frugal, even penurious, in
their habits, and indisposes them to make common cause with the natives
of the country. Not so with the Italians, the French, the English, and
the Americans, whom I have met with in this country. I do not know more
popular people than my friends Enrique Antonii, the Italian, and his
associate, Marcus Williams, the Yankee, who are established at Barra.
Everywhere on the river I heard sounded the praises of my countryman.
At Sarayacu, at Nauta, at Pebas, and at Egas, men said they wished to
see him again and to trade with him. He himself told me that, though the
trade on the river was attended with hardships, exposure, and privation,
there was a certain charm attending the wild life, and its freedom from
restraint, that would always prevent any desire on his part to return
to his native country. I heard that he carried this feeling so far as
to complain bitterly, when he visited Norris, the consul at Pará, of
the restraints of society that compelled him to wear trousers at dinner.

Any number of peons, or as they are called in Brazil, _Tapuios_, may be
had for an almost nominal rate of pay for this traffic with the Indians.

All the christianized Indians of the province of Pará (which, until
within the last two or three years, comprehended all the Brazilian
territory drained by the Amazon and the lower part of its tributaries
on each side, but from which has been lately cut off and erected into
a new province the Comarca of Alto Amazonas, comprising the Brazilian
territory between Barra and Tabatinga) are registered and compelled
to serve the State, either as soldiers of the Guarda Policial, or as a
member of "Bodies of Laborers," (_Corpos de Trabalhadores_,) distributed
among the different territorial divisions (_comarcas_) of the province.
There are nine of these _bodies_, numbering in the aggregate seven
thousand four hundred and forty-four, with one hundred and eighty-two
officers. A better description of the origin and character of these
bodies of laborers cannot be given than is given in the message to
the Provincial Assembly of the President of the Province, Jeronimo
Francisco Coelho, for the year 1849. This distinguished official, whose
patriotism, talents, and energy are still spoken of with enthusiasm
throughout the province, says:

"A sentiment of morality and of order, created by the impression of
deplorable and calamitous facts, gave birth to this establishment; but
abuse has converted it into a means of servitude and private gain. The
principal object of the law which created it was to give employment
to an excessive number of tapuios, negroes, and mestizos—people
void of civilization and education, and who exceeded in number the
worthy, laborious, and industrious part of the population by more
than three-quarters. This law founded, in some measure, a system
which appeared to anticipate the theory of the organization of labor.
In Europe this is a desideratum among the inferior classes of the
community, who are oppressed by want, by pauperism, and by famine.
For these to have work, is to have the bread of life and happiness;
but in the fertile provinces of Pará, where nature gives to all, with
spontaneous superabundance, the necessaries of life, work is held by
these classes to be an unnecessary and intolerable constraint. Our
Tapuio, who erects his palm-leaf hut on the margin of the lakes and
rivers that are filled with fish, surrounded with forests rich with
fruits, drugs, and spices, and abounding in an infinite variety of
game, lives careless and at his ease in the lap of abundance. If these
circumstances give him a dispensation from voluntary labor, with what
repugnance and dislike will he render himself to compulsory toil, and
especially when the obligation to work, imposed by the law, has so
generally been converted into vexatious speculation by abuse!

"Last year I gave my opinion to you at length upon this subject: I
will not now tire you with a repetition. A very general idea prevails
that the best method to do away with the abuses of this institution
of laborers is its total abolition. But remember that the adoption
of this measure imposes upon you a rigorous obligation to have a care
of, and give direction (_dar destino_) to, nearly sixty thousand men,
who, deprived by the law of political rights, without any species
of systematic subjection, unemployed, and delivered up to their own
guidance, and to an indolent and unbridled life, live floating among
the useful and laborious part of the population, who are in a most
disproportionate minority.

"Your penetration and wisdom will find a means which will guaranty
protection to one, security to the other, and justice to all. A
convenient law, based upon a regular enlistment, moderate employment
in cases, and at places well defined, and subjection to certain and
designated local authorities, may give this means; and it was upon these
principles that I formed the project, which I presented to you last
year, of converting the corps of laborers into municipal companies,
to be added to the battalions of the Nacional Guard. But said project
depended upon the reorganization of this guard; and this failing, it of
course fell through.

"The question relative to the corps of laborers is, as I have said, a
problem of difficult solution, but which must necessarily be solved.
The how and the when belongs to you."

It is from these _bodies_ that the trader, the traveller, or the
collector of the fruits of the country, is furnished with laborers; but,
as is seen from the speech of the President, little care is taken by
the government officials in their registry or proper government, and a
majority of them are either entire drones, or have become, in fact, the
slaves of individuals. It is now difficult for the passing traveller
to get a boat's crew; though I have no doubt that judicious and honest
dealing with them would restore to civilization and to labor many who
have retired from the towns and gone back to a nomadic, and nearly
savage life.

Most of the leading men at Egas own negro slaves; but these are
generally employed in household and domestic work. A young negro man is
worth two hundred and fifty dollars—if a mechanic, five hundred dollars.
Major Batalha tells me that he will purchase no more slaves; he has
had ill-luck both with them and with his Tapuios. The slaves desert to
Spain, (as Peru, Ecuador, and New Granada are called here,) and he has
lost six Tapuios, by a sort of bloody flux, within the last two months.
I asked him if the disease was confined to his household; but he told
me that it was general, and supposed that it was caused by drinking
the water of the lake, which was thought to be, in some small degree,
impregnated with the poisonous milk of the _assacu_, (the Peruvian
catao,) many of which trees grow on its borders. I have no idea that
this is the cause, but suppose the disease originates from exposure, bad
food, and an imprudent use of fruit, though I see no fruit except a few
oranges and limes. It is even difficult to purchase a bunch of bananas.
There are no other diseases in Egas except tertiana, caught in gathering
sarsaparilla on the tributaries.

_December 25._—We are very gay at Egas with Christmas times. The people
keep it up with spirit, and with a good deal of spirits, too, for I see
a number of drunken people in the streets. I attended midnight mass
last night. The church was filled with well dressed people, and with
some very pretty, though dark-complexioned ladies. The congregation was
devout, but I could not very well be so, on account of the music, which
was made by a hand-organ that wouldn't play. It gave a squeak and a
grunt now and then, but there were parts of the music when nothing could
be heard but the turning of the handle. There was also a procession on
the lake. A large, very well illuminated boat, with rockets and music
moving about, and a long line of lights on logs or canoes anchored in
the lake, had a very pretty effect. Processions of negroes, men and
women, with songs and music of tambourines and drums, were parading the
streets all night.

The higher classes are taking a little Champagne, Teneriffe wine, or
English ale. Ginger beer is a favorite and wholesome drink in this
climate. I was surprised to see no cider. I wonder some Yankee from
below has not thought to send it up. Yankee clocks abound, and are worth
from ten to twenty dollars.

_December 26._—I had requested the commandante-militar to furnish me
with a few more Tapuios, and he had promised to send out an expedition
to catch me some. He now says there are none to be had; but I suspect he
gave himself no trouble about it. Many persons go down the river with
only two rowers and a steersman; and I having six, I have no doubt he
thought that I had a sufficient number.

My Ticunas, and the negro soldier sent with them, gave me a great deal
of trouble—the soldier with his drunkenness and dishonesty, and the
Indians by their laziness and carelessness; suffering the boat to be
injured for the want of care, and permitting the escape and destruction
of my animals and birds. It is as much as my patience and forbearance
towards a suffering and ill-treated people can stand, to refrain from
reporting them to the commandant, who would probably punish them with
severity. Last night they broke the leg of one of my tuyuyús, and an
alligator carried off the other. I am told that these animals have
killed three persons at this same place. I had bathed there twice a
day until I heard this; but after that, although I knew that they only
seize their prey at night, it was going too close to danger, and I chose
another place.

I saw a very peculiar monkey at Egas. It is called _Acaris_, and has
a face of a very pretty rose color. The one I saw here was nearly as
large as a common baboon. He had long hair, of a dirty-white color, and
was evidently very old. Two that I saw at a factoria, on a beach of the
Amazon, had hair of a reddish-yellow color; the tail is very short.
Castelnau says that the vermilion color of the face disappears after
death; and during life it varies in intensity, according to the state
of the passions of the animal. The owners would not sell me those at
the factoria, and I would not buy the one at Egas, because his face was
blotched with some cutaneous affection, and he was evidently so old that
he would soon die.

During our stay at Egas we had our meals cooked by an old negro woman
who has charge of M. Fort's house, furnishing her with money to buy
what she could. It is very difficult to get anything but turtle even
here. I counted thirty-nine cattle grazing on the green slope before
our door; yet neither for love nor money could we get any beef, and with
difficulty a little milk for our coffee. We sent to Nogueyra for fowls
and eggs, but without success. These are festival times, and people
want their little luxuries themselves, or are too busily engaged in
frolicking to care about selling.

Major Batalha treated us with great kindness, sending us delicacies
from, his own table—the greatest of which was some well-made bread.
We had not tasted any since leaving Huanuco—now five months; and of
course it was very welcome. On Christmas day he sent us a pair of fine,
large, sponge-cakes. A piece of these, with a glass of tolerable ale,
was a princely luncheon to us wayfarers, who had lived so long on salt
fish and farinha. It fairly made Ijurra grin with delight. We could
always get a cup of very good chocolate by walking round to the Major's
house; and the only thing I had to find fault with was, that I was
always received in the shop. The Brazilians, as a general rule, do not
like to introduce foreigners to their families, and their wives lead a
monotonous and somewhat secluded life.

An intelligent and spirited lady friend told me that the customs of
her country confined and restrained her more than was agreeable, and
said, with a smile, that she would not like to say how much she had been
influenced in the choice of a husband by the hope that she would remove
to another country, where she might see something, learn something, and
be somebody.

_December 28._—We left Egas at half-past 2 p. m., in the rain. We seemed
to have travelled just ahead of the rainy season; and whenever we have
stopped at any place for some days, the rains have caught up with us.

I now parted with my Sarayacu boatmen, and very sorry I was to lose
them. They were lazy enough, but were active and diligent compared
with the stupid and listless Ticunas. They were always (though somewhat
careless) faithful and obedient. I believe that the regret at parting
was mutual. Their earnest tone of voice and affectionate manner
proclaimed their feeling; and a courtier, addressing his sovereign,
would have envied the style in which old Andres bent his knee and kissed
my hand, and the tremulous tones, indicating deep feeling, with which
he uttered the words "_A dios, mi patron_." They are all going back to
Sarayacu but one, who has engaged himself to Senhor Batalha. It is a
curious thing that so many Peruvian Indians should be working in Brazil;
but it shows that they are removed above the condition of savages, for,
though worse treated in Brazil, and deprived of the entire freedom of
action they have in Peru, yet they are paid something; they acquire
property, though it be nothing more than a painted wooden box with
hinges and a lock to it, (the thing they most covet,) with a colored
shirt and trousers to lock up in it and guard for feast-days. With
such a box and contents, a hatchet, a short sabre, and red woollen cap,
the Peruvian Indian returns home a rich and envied man, and others are
induced to _go below_ in hopes of similar fortune. They are frequently
gone from their homes for years. Father Calvo complained that they
abandoned their families; but in my judgment this was a benefit to
them, rather than an injury, for the man at home is, in a great measure,
supported by the woman.

I could not make an estimate of the number of Peruvian Indians in
Brazil; but I noticed that most of the tapuios were Cocamas and
Cocamillas, from the upper Amazon.

We entered the Amazon at 4 p. m. The mouth of the Teffé is three hundred
yards wide, and has thirty feet of depth and one mile per hour of
current. This is an inconsiderable stream, and may be ascended by canoes
to near its sources in twenty days. In ten or twelve days' ascent, a
branch called the Rio Gancho is reached, which communicates by a portage
with the Juruá. Indians of the Purus, also, sometimes descend the Teffé
to Egas.

I was surprised to find the temperature of boiling water at Egas to
be but 208°.2, the same within .2 of a degree that it was at a point
one day's journey below Tingo Maria, which village is several hundred
miles above the last rapids of the Huallaga river; at Sta. Cruz, two
days above the mouth of the Huallaga, it was 211°.2; at Nauta, three
hundred and five miles below this, it was 211°.3; at Pebas, one hundred
and seventy miles below Nauta, 211°.1. I was so much surprised at these
results that I had put the apparatus away, thinking that its indications
were valueless; but I was still more surprised, upon making the
experiment at Egas, to find that the temperature of the boiling water
had fallen three degrees below what it was at Sta. Cruz, thus giving
to Egas an altitude of fifteen hundred feet above that village, which
is situated more than a thousand miles up stream of it. I continued my
observations from Egas downwards, and found a regular increase in the
temperature of the boiling water until our arrival at Pará, where it
was 211°.5.

M. Castelnau gives the height of Nauta at four hundred and five feet
above the level of the sea; the temperature of boiling water gives
it at three hundred and fifty-six. Both these, I think, are in error;
for, taking off forty feet for the height of the hill on which Nauta
is situated, we have three hundred and sixty-five for the height of
the river at that point above the level of the sea. Now, that point I
estimate at two thousand three hundred and twenty-five miles from the
sea, which would give the river only a fall of about sixteen-hundredths
of a foot per mile—a descent which would scarcely give the river its
average velocity of two and a half miles per hour.

From an after-investigation, I am led to believe that the cause of
this phenomenon arises from the fact that the trade-winds are dammed
up by the Andes, and that the atmosphere in those parts is, from this
cause, compressed, and consequently heavier than it is farther from
the mountains, though over a less elevated portion of the earth. The
discovery of this fact has led me to place little reliance in the
indications of the barometer for elevation at the eastern foot of the
Andes. It is reasonable, however, to suppose that this cause would no
longer operate at Egas, nearly one thousand miles below the mouth of
the Huallaga.

I shall, therefore, give the height of Egas above the level of the sea,
from the temperature of boiling water, (208°.2,) at two thousand and
fifty-two feet. Egas is about eighteen hundred miles from the sea; this
would give the river a descent of a little more than a foot per mile,
which would about give it its current of two and a half miles per hour.

_December 29._—We drifted with the current, and a little paddling on
the part of the crew, until 10 p. m., when we made fast to a tree on
the right bank.

_December 30._—We started at 5 a. m. At 3 p. m., where the river was
quite a mile wide, I found but thirty feet in mid-channel; and about
two hundred yards on our right hand was a patch of grass, with trees
grounded on it. At 6 p. m., I judged from the appearance of the shores
on each side (bold, red cliffs) that we had all the width of the river.
It was only about a mile wide, and I thought it would be very deep; but
I found only sixty feet. I could not try the current for the violence of
the wind. At seven arrived at the mouth of the Lake Coari, one hundred
and fifteen miles from Egas, and made fast to a schooner at anchor near
the right bank.

This schooner seemed to have no particular owner or captain, but to be
manned by a company of adventurers; for all appeared on an equality.
They were from Obidos, upwards of two months; and twenty-eight days from
Barra, which place we reached from here in five. They were travelling
at their leisure, but complained much of the strength of the current and
the want of strength of the easterly winds. I heard the same complaints
at Egas, but I have found the winds quite fresh from the eastward, and
the current, compared with that above, slight. But there is a wonderful
difference in the estimation of a current, or the strength of a wind,
when voyaging with and against them.

The fault of the vessels navigating the Amazon is the breadth of beam
and want of sail. I am confident that a clipper-built vessel, sloop, or
rather ketch-rigged, with a large mainsail, topsail, topgallant-sail,
and studding sails—the last three fitted to set going up before the
wind, and to strike, masts and all, so as to beat down with the current
under mainsail, jib, and jigger—would make good passages between
Pará and Egas. The vessels used now on the river are built broad and
flat-bottomed, to warp along shore when the wind is light or contrary.
Their sails are much too small, and are generally made of thin, bad
material.

_December 31._—We pulled into the Lake of Coari; but being told that
it would take nearly all day to reach the village of Coari, and that
it was an insignificant place, where I would get neither supplies nor
information, I decided not to go.

It may seem strange that just out of Egas I should need supplies, but
all I could purchase there were half a dozen fowls, four turtles, and
some farinha; and upon opening the baskets of farinha, it was found
to be so old and sour that, though the Indians could eat it, I could
not; and thus we had no bread, nor even the substitute for it—plantains
and farinha; and had to eat our meat with some dried peas that we
fortunately found at Egas.

The entrance to the Lake of Coari is about four hundred yards wide,
and half a mile long. It expands, particularly on the right hand,
suddenly into the lake, which at once shows itself six or seven miles
wide, having a large island extending apparently nearly across it. The
entrance has forty-two feet of depth in the middle, and, being faced by
an island at both mouths, (the one into the lake, the other into the
river,) appears land-locked, and makes a beautiful harbor. The banks
are very low, of a thin, sandy soil, covered with bushes; and the right
bank is perforated with small channels, running into the Amazon. The
water of the lake is beautifully clear, and of a brown color; it runs
into the Amazon at the rate of three-fourths of a mile per hour.

We pulled up the right bank of the lake about a mile, and stopped at
a little settlement of ten or twelve houses, but could get nothing.
The people seemed afraid of us, and shut their doors in our faces. The
lieutenant, or principal man of the place, said that if we would give
him money, he would send out and get us some fowls and plantains; but
as he was a little drunk at this hour, (seven in the morning,) I would
not trust him. We breakfasted, and sailed at 11.

We passed several small streams coming into the river on the right bank.
Some of these are probably "_Furos_," or small mouths of the Purus.
_Igarapé_ is the Indian name for a creek or ditch, which is filled with
"back-water" from the river; and the term _Paranamiri_ (literally,
little river) is applied to a narrow arm of the main river, running
between the main bank and an island near to it.

_January 1, 1852._—At 9 a. m. we had the easterly breeze so strong that
we were compelled to keep close in shore to avoid the sea raised by
it. Our heavy flat-bottomed boat rolls nearly _gunwales under_. Some of
the Indians look alarmed, and _Tomas_, a servant whom we brought from
Caballo-cocha, is frightened from all propriety. He shouts to the men
to make for the land; and, seizing a paddle, makes one or two vigorous
strokes, but fear takes away his strength, and he stretches himself on
his face, and yields to what appears his inevitable destiny. Ijurra is
much scandalized at his cowardice, and asks him what he would do if he
got upon the sea.

At 12 m. we passed another mouth of the Purus. These mouths can only
be navigated at high water, and in small canoes. At half-past four we
passed the mouth of the _Codajash_. We were on the opposite side of the
river, and had nearly passed before I was aware of it. Smyth places the
islands of _Coro_ and _Onça_ above it. They are really below. The mouth
appeared a quarter of a mile wide; but I was afterwards told that this
was not the largest mouth, and that the true mouth lay opposite to the
island of Coro. I learned from some persons who were engaged in salting
fish upon a small sand island just below this mouth, (one of whom had
visited it,) that it is an arm of the river communicating with a large
lake abounding with fish, vaca marina, and turtle; and had growing on
its shores many resins and oils, particularly the copaiba. It requires
three days to ascend the arm of the river to the lake, and two more to
reach the head of the lake, which is fed by small streams that are said
to communicate with the Japurá, on one hand, and the Rio Negro, on the
other.

The Amazon, at this little island, commenced falling day before
yesterday. A boat which arrived at Egas from Tabatinga the day before we
left there, reported that the river had commenced falling at Tabatinga
on the twentieth of December. This is probably the fall due to the
"Verano del Niño" of the Cordillera, and will only last a week or ten
days, when the river will again commence to swell.

At seven we stopped at a factoria on Coro island, where the party who
were working it had made one thousand pots of manteiga, and were about
starting for below. Camped on the beach on right bank at half-past 11
p. m.

_January 2._—The usual fresh easterly wind commenced at nine. The only
time to make progress is at night; during the day the breeze is so
fresh, and the sea so high, that very little is made. The wind usually
subsides about 4 or 5 p. m., and concludes with a squall of wind
and rain; leaving heavy looking thunder-clouds in the southward and
westward. The easterly wind often rises again, and blows for a few hours
at night.

_January 3._—We stopped to breakfast at nine, in company with a schooner
bound up. She was three months from Pará, and expected to be another
month to Egas. Two others also passed us at a distance this morning.
We arrived at the mouth of the Purus, one hundred and forty-five miles
from Lake Coari. The Amazon is a mile and a half wide from the right
bank to the island of Purus, (which is opposite the mouth of the river.)
The mouth of the Purus proper is three-quarters of a mile wide; though
a little bay on the left, and the trend of the right bank off to the
northeast, make the two outer points more than a mile apart. It is a
fine-looking river, with moderately bold shores, masked by a great
quantity of bushes growing in the water. These bushes bore a great
number of berries, which, when ripe, are purple, and about the size of
a fox-grape. They were, at this time, green and red. The pulp is sweet,
and is eaten.

The water of the river is of the same color, and scarcely clearer, than
that of the Amazon. We pulled in about a mile, and found one hundred and
eight feet of water, rather nearer the left than the right bank, with
a bottom of soft blue mud. In mid-stream there was seventy-eight feet,
with narrow streaks of sand and mud. In the strong ripples formed by the
meeting of the waters of the two rivers, we found ninety-six feet; and
when fairly in the stream of the Amazon, one hundred and thirty-eight
feet. I am thus minute in the soundings, because, according to Smyth,
Condamine found no bottom at six hundred and eighteen feet. A person
sounding in a strong tide-way is very apt to be deceived, particularly
if he has a light lead and the bottom is soft; for if he does not feel
it the instant the lead touches the bottom, the current will cause the
line to run out as fast as the lead would sink; so that the lead may
be on the bottom, and yet the observer, finding the line not checked,
may run out as many fathoms as he has, and think that he has found no
bottom. Ijurra has frequently run out one hundred fathoms where I have
afterwards found fifteen and seventeen. The current of the Purus is, at
this time, very sluggish—not over three-quarters of a mile per hour.
Temperature of the water, 84½°; that of the Amazon, 83°; and the air,
82°. Drifted with the current all night; beautifully calm and clear.

_January 4._—We travelled slowly all day, on account of the fresh
wind and sea. At 7 p. m. we stopped at the village of _Pesquera_, at
the mouth of the Lake _Manacapuru_, forty-five miles from the mouth
of the Purus. It has only three or four houses, and is situated on a
knee-cracking eminence of one hundred feet in height. The entrance to
the lake is bold and wide—quite three hundred yards across—and with no
bottom, at its mouth, in one hundred and twenty feet. A man at Pesquera,
just from the lake with a cargo of manteiga, and bound to Pará, told me
that it was two days' journey to the opening of the lake; that the lake
was very long, and about as wide as the Amazon at this place, (three
miles;) that it was full of islands, and that no one knew its upper
extremity; but that it was reported to communicate with the Japurá.
All this country seems cut up with channels from river to river; but
I believe they are canoe channels, and only passable for them at high
water. In many instances these channels, in the rainy season, widen out
into lakes.

The banks of the river are now losing the character of savage and
desolate solitude that characterizes them above, and begin to show signs
of habitation and cultivation. We passed to-day several farms, with
neatly framed and plastered houses, and a schooner-rigged vessel lying
off several of them.

_January 5._—At 3 a. m. we passed a rock in the stream called
_Calderon_, or Big Pot, from the bubbling and boiling of the water over
it when the river is full. At this time the rock is said to be six or
eight feet above the surface of the water. We could hear the rush of
the water against it, but could not see it on account of the darkness
of the night.

We stopped two hours to breakfast, and then drifted with the current
broadside to the wind, (our six men being unable to keep the boat "head
to it,") until four, when the wind went down. At five we entered the
Rio Negro. We were made aware of our approach to it before getting into
the mouth. The right bank at the mouth is broken into islands, and the
black water of the Negro runs through the channels between these islands
and alternates, in patches, (refusing to mingle,) with the muddy waters
of the Amazon. The entrance is broad and superb. It is far the largest
tributary of the Amazon I have yet seen; and I estimate its width at the
mouth at two miles. There has been no exaggeration in the description of
travellers regarding the blackness of its water. Lieut. Maw describes
it perfectly when he says it looks like black marble. It well deserves
the name of "Rio Negro." When taken up in a tumbler, the water is
a light-red color, like a pale juniper water; and I should think it
colored by some such berry. A body immersed in it has the color, though
wanting the brilliancy, of red Bohemian glass.

It may have been fancy, but I thought the light cumuli that hung
over the river were darker here than elsewhere. These dark, though
peaceful-looking clouds, the setting sun, the glitter of the rising moon
upon the sparkling ripples of the black water, with its noble expanse,
gave us one of the fairest scenes upon our entrance into this river that
I ever recollect to have looked upon.

The mouth of the river is about fifty miles below Pesquera. I found one
hundred and five feet of depth in the middle, with a muddy bottom, and
little or no current. We pulled across and camped at half-past six, on
a small sand-beach on the left bank.

_January 6._—Started at 1 a. m. Moderate breeze from the eastward,
blowing in squalls, with light rain. The left bank of the river is bold,
and occasionally rocky. At 5 a. m. we arrived at Barra. My countryman,
Mr. Marcus Williams, and Senhor Enrique Antonii, an Italian, (merchants
of the place,) came on board to see me. Williams was fitting out for an
expedition of six months up the river; but Antonii took me at once to
his house, and established me there snugly and comfortably. The greatest
treat I met here, however, was a file of New York papers. They were
not very late, it is true, but still six months later than anything I
had seen from home; and I conned them with great interest and no small
anxiety.

The _Comarca_ of the Rio Negro, one of the territorial divisions of the
great province of Pará, has, within the last year, been erected into
a province, with the title of _Amazonas_. The President, Senhor _Joâo
Baptista de Figuierero Tenreiro Aranha_, arrived at the capital (Barra)
on the first of the month, in a government steamer, now lying abreast
of the town. He brought most of the officers of the new government, and
the sum of two hundred _contos_ of reis, (one hundred and four thousand
one hundred and sixty-six dollars,) drawn from the custom-house at Pará,
to pay the expenses of establishing the new order of things until the
collection of customs shall begin to yield.

This territory, whilst a Comarca, was a mere burden upon the public
treasury, and will probably continue to be so for some time to come.
I have not seen yet any laws regulating its trade, but presume that a
custom-house will be established at Barra, where the exportation duties
of seven per cent., and the _meio dezimo_, a duty of five per cent.
for the support of the church, now paid at Pará, will be collected.
Goods also pay a provincial tax of one and a half per cent. on foreign
articles, and a half per cent. on articles of domestic produce. The
income of the province would be much increased by making Barra a port
of entry for the trade with Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and New
Grenada; and I have no doubt that industry and enterprise will, in the
course of time, bring goods of European manufacture from Demarara, by
the Essequibo and Rio Branco, to Barra, and foreign trade may likewise
grow up along the banks of the _Oronoco_, _Cassiquiari_, and Rio Negro.

The province has six hundred thousand square miles of territory, and but
thirty thousand inhabitants—whites and civilized Indians. (No estimate
can be made of the number of "_Gentios_," or savages, but I think this
is small.) It is nobly situated. By the Amazon, Ucayali, and Huallaga,
it communicates with Peru; by the Yavari, Jutay, Jurua, Purus, and
Madeira, with Peru and Bolivia; by the Santiago, Pastaza, and Napo,
with Ecuador; by the Iça and Japurá, with New Grenada; by the Negro and
Branco, with Venezuela and the Guayanas; and by the Madeira, Tapajos
Tocantins, and Xingu, with the rich interior provinces of Brazil. I
presume that the Brazilian government would impose no obstacles to the
settlement of this country by any of the citizens of the United States
who would choose to go there and carry their slaves; and I know that the
thinking people on the Amazon would be glad to see them. The President,
who is laboring for the good of the province, and sending for the chiefs
of the Indian tribes for the purpose of engaging them in settlement
and systematic labor, said to me, at parting, "How much I wish you
could bring me a thousand of your active, industrious, and intelligent
population, to set an example of labor to these people;" and others told
me that they had no doubt that Brazil would give titles to vacant lands
to as many as came.

Foreigners have some advantage over natives in being exempt from
military and civil services, which are badly paid, and a nuisance.
There is still some jealousy on the part of the less educated among
the natives against the foreigners, who, by superior knowledge and
industry, monopolize trade, and thus prosper. This produced the terrible
revolution of the _Cabanos_ (serfs, people who live in cabins) in the
years from 1836 to 1840, when many Portuguese were killed and expelled.
These are the most numerous and active foreigners in the province. I
have been told that property and life in the province are always in
danger from this cause; and it was probably for this reason that the
President, in his speech to the provincial assembly, before quoted,
reminded that body, in such grave terms, that laws must be made for
the control and government of the sixty thousand tapuios, who so
far outnumbered the property-holders, and who are always open to the
influence of the designing, the ambitious, and the wicked.

The military force of the province of Amazonas consists of two
battalions of a force called Guarda Policial, numbering about thirteen
hundred, and divided amongst the villages of the province. They are not
paid; they furnish their own uniform, (a white jacket and trousers;)
and small bodies of them are compelled by turns to do actual military
service in the barracks of some of the towns, for which time they
are paid at the same rate as the soldiers of the line. This is a real
grievance. I have heard individuals complain of it; and I doubt if the
government would get very effective service from this body in the event
of civil war. This organization took the place of the national guard,
disbanded in 1836. Since I left the country the national guard has been
reorganized, and the military force of the province placed upon a better
footing.

I am indebted to Senhor Gabriel de Guimaraẽs, an intelligent citizen of
Barra, for the following table of the annual exports of the Comarca,
being the mean of the three years, from 1839 to 1842, with the prices
of the articles at Barra:

     Sarsaparilla,       4,000 arrobas, _a_ $3 00    $12,000
     Salt fish,          8,500    "            50      4,250
     Brazilian nutmegs,     73    "          1 00         73
     Tonka beans,            3    "          1 00          3
     Tow,                  360    "            25         90
     Pitch,                132                 32         42
     Carajurú,             320 pounds,         50        160
     Cocoa,              1,200 arrobas,        50        600
     Coffee,             1,000    "          1 00      1,000
     Tobacco,              140               3 00        720
     Copaiba,              400 canadas,      2 50      1,000
     Mixira,               750 pots,         1 00        750
     Oil of turtle-eggs, 6,000  "            1 00      6,000
     Farinha,              300 alquieres,      40        120
     Brazil nuts,        1,400    "            25        350
     Tapioca,               30    "            50         15
     Hides,                100                 50         50
     Hammocks,           2,000                 25        500
     Heavy boards,         480               1 25        600
                                                      ------
                                                      28,323
                                                      ======

These are the exports of the whole province, including the town of
Egas, (the exports of which alone I estimate now at thirteen thousand
dollars,) with the little villages of Tabatinga, San Paulo, Tunantins,
&c. Very little, however, of the trade of these last-named places
passes Barra, and goes on to Pará. We will now see how much the trade
has increased by examining the following table of the exports of Barra
_alone_ for the year 1850. This was also furnished me by the Senhor
Guimaraẽs.

Exports of the town of Barra for 1850.

     Hammocks, ordinary,                  40 _a_ $1 50    $60 00
        "      superior,                  15      4 00     60 00
        "      de travessa,[8]           100      5 00    500 00
        "      feathered,                  2     30 00     60 00
        "      bags containing 25,         9      5 00     45 00
        "      boxes,                      1     10 00     10 00
     Bird-skins, "                         2     10 00     20 00
     Tiger-skins,                          4        50      2 00
     Hides,                               27        50     13 00
     Oil of turtle-eggs, pots,         1,212      1 50  1,818 00
     Copaiba,             "               27      2 50     67 50
     Mixira,              "               66      1 50     99 00
     Linguicas,[9]        "                2      1 50      3 00
     Rope of piasaba,[10] inches,      1,792        50    896 00
     Piasaba, in bundles, arrobas,     4,292        42  1,802 64
     Brazil nuts,         alquieres,  10,406        50  5,203 00
     Salt fish,           arrobas,    14,002        50  7,001 00
     Coffee,                "            316      1 50    474 00
     Cocoa,                 "            631      1 00    631 00
     Tow,                   "            119        42     50 00
     Tobacco,               "            154      4 00    616 00
     Sarsaparilla,          "            786      4 00  3,144 00
     Peixe-boi,             "             50        42     21 00
     Brazilian nutmeg,      "             20      5 00    100 00
     Guaraná,[11]          pounds,        18        31      5 00
     Tonka beans,          arrobas,       4 _a_  $5 00    $20 00
     Grude de piraiba,[12]     "          1 _a_   3 50      3 50
     Plank,                feet,     10,000 _a_      2½   250 00
                                                         -------
                                                       22,975 00
                                                       =========

In this last list there appears to be no carajurú, pitch, farinha,
tapioca, or planking for vessels. In place of these we find a greater
variety of hammocks, bird skins, tiger-skins, guaraná, grude de paraiba,
and boards. This last article, however, was only furnished for one
year; the saw-mill was burned, and no one seemed disposed to take the
speculation up again.

The Brazilian nutmeg (Puxiri) is the fruit of a very large tree that
grows in great abundance in the low lands (frequently covered with
water) that lies between the river Negro and Japurá, above Barcellos,
a village situated on the banks of the first named river. Its value
seems to have increased between the dates of the two tables, or between
the years 1840 and 1850, from one dollar the arroba to five. The fruit
is round, and about the size of our common black walnut. Within a hard
outer shell are contained two seeds, shaped like the grains of coffee,
though much longer and larger, which are ligneous and aromatic, and are
grated for use like the nutmeg of commerce. It is not equal in flavor
to the Ceylon nutmeg; but this may be owing to the want of cultivation.

Tonka beans (Cumarú) are found in great abundance on the upper waters
of the Rio Negro. This is also the nut-like fruit of a large tree. It
is the aromatic bean that is commonly used to give flavor to snuff.

I thought it a curious fact that nearly all the valuable fruits of this
country are enclosed either in hard ligneous shells, or in acid pulps;
and judge that it is a provision of nature to protect them from the
vast number of insects with which this region abounds. Thus we have the
coffee and the cocoa enveloped in an acid, mucilaginous pulp, and the
Castanhas de Maranham, or Brazil nuts, the Sapucaia nut, the Guaraná,
the Puxiri, and the Cumarú, covered with a hard outer shell, that
neither the insects nor the monkeys are able to penetrate.

It appears from an examination of the tables, that the exports of Barra
alone, in the year 1850, are not in value far below those of the whole
Comarca in the year 1840. I have no doubt, as in the case of Egas, that
the value of the imports is very nearly double that of the exports; so
that the present trade of Barra with Pará may fairly be estimated at
sixty thousand dollars per annum.



CHAPTER XIV.

     Town of Barra—Foreign residents—Population—Rio Negro—Connexion
     with the Oronoco—River Purus—Rio Branco—Vegetable productions
     of the Amazon country.


The town of Barra, capital of the province of Amazonas, is built on
elevated and broken ground, on the left bank of the river, and about
seven miles from its mouth. Its height above the level of the sea is,
by boiling point, one thousand four hundred and seventy-five feet. It
is intersected by two or three ravines, containing more or less water,
according to the state of the river, which are passed on tolerably
constructed wooden bridges. The houses are generally of one story,
though there are three or four of two, built of wood and adobe, and
roofed with tiles. The floors are also of tiles, and the walls are
plastered with the colored earth which abounds on the banks of the
Amazon.

Every room has several hooks driven into the walls, for the purpose
of hanging hammocks. People find it more comfortable, on account of
the heat, to sleep in hammocks, though I always suffered from cold,
and was obliged every night to wrap myself in a blanket. There are few
musquitoes, these insects always avoiding black water.

I was surprised to find, before I left Barra, that provisions were
getting very scarce. The supply of flour gave out, so that for some
time there was no bread in the city; and beef was killed but once a
fortnight. Even the staples of the country were difficult to procure;
and I heard the President say that he was desirous of recruiting some
fifty or sixty tapuios to work on the new government buildings, but that
he really did not know where he should get a sufficient quantity of salt
fish and farinha to feed them on. Just before I sailed, a boat-load of
turtles came up from the Amazon for Henrique, and his house was besieged
by the poorer part of the population, begging him to sell to them.

Soon after my arrival the President did me the honor to ask me to dine
with him, to meet the officers of the new government. There seemed
then a great abundance of provisions. We had fish, beef, mutton, pig,
turtle, and turkey. There are very fine fish taken about Barra; they
come, however, from the Amazon, and, unless cooked immediately on their
arrival, invariably spoil. The best fish is called _pescado_; it is
very delicate, and quite equal, if not superior, to our striped bass,
or rock-fish, as it is called in the Southern States. Cut into pieces,
fried, and potted, with vinegar and spices, it makes capital provisions
for a voyage of a week or two.

Williams is the only American resident in Barra. He was in partnership
with an Irishman named Bradley, who died a few months ago of yellow
fever, in Pará; he, however, had been very sick, but a short time
before, of the tertiana of the Rio Negro, and had not fairly recovered
when he went to Pará. There had been another American in Barra a year
ago. This was a deaf mute named Baker, who was travelling in this
country for his amusement. He carried with him tablets and a raised
alphabet, for the purpose of educating the deaf, dumb, and blind. He
died on the 29th of April, 1850, at San Joachim, the frontier port of
Brazil, on the Rio Branco.

I heard some muttered suspicions that the poor man had possibly met with
foul play, if not in relation to his death, at least in relation to his
property; and understanding that the soldier in whose house he died was
then in prison in Barra, I directed a communication to the President,
requesting an interview with this soldier. His Excellency did not think
proper to grant that, but sent for the soldier, and himself examined
him. He then replied to my communication, that he could find nothing
suspicious in the matter of Mr. Baker's death, but enough in regard to
his property to induce him to send for the commandant of the port of
San Joachim, and bring the whole matter before a proper tribunal, which
he should do at the earliest opportunity, and communicate the result to
the American Minister at Rio.

Enrique had told me that he saw in Mr. Baker's possession a rouleau of
doubloons, which he judged amounted to two thousand dollars, besides
a large bag of silver. A military gentleman whom I was in the habit
of meeting at Enrique's house, told me that he himself had heard
the soldier say that he should be a rich man when he got back to San
Joachim; all of which I communicated to the President. The soldier's
imprisonment at Barra was on account of some military offence, and had
nothing to do with this case.

The President also sent me a list of the personal effects of Mr. Baker,
which had been sent down by the commandant of San Joachim to Col.
Albino, the _Commandante Geral_ of the _Comarca_. Amongst them were
some things that I thought might be valuable to his family—such as
daguerreotypes, maps, and manuscripts; and I requested his Excellency
to place them at my disposal for transportation to the United States;
but he replied that by a law of the empire the effects of all foreigners
belonging to nations who have no special treaty upon the subject, who
die in Brazil, are subject to the jurisdiction of the _Juiz de Orfaos
y Difuntos_; and that it was therefore out of his power to comply with
my request. I am told (though this may be scandal) that if property
once gets into this court, the heir, if he ever succeeds in getting a
settlement, finds but a _Flemish account_ of his inheritance.

Our intelligent and efficient consul at Pará, Henry L. Norris, has
represented this matter to the government in strong terms, showing
the effect that such a law has upon the credit and standing of large
mercantile houses in Brazil. I am not aware of any other nation than
the French being exempted from its operation. It is clear that the
credit of a house whose property may be seized by such a court as this
on the death of its resident principal will not be so good, _cœteris
paribus_, as that of a house exempted from the operation of such a law.
The Brazilian authorities are very rigid in its execution; and I was
told that a file of soldiers was sent (I think in Maranham) to surround
the house of a dying foreigner, to see that no abstraction of property
was made, and that the whole might be taken possession of, according to
law, on the decease of the moribund.

There were two English residents at Barra—Yates, a collector of shells
and plants; and Hauxwell, a collector of bird-skins, which he prepares
most beautifully. He used the finest kind of shot, and always carried in
his pocket a white powder, to stop the bleeding of the birds when shot.
In the preparation of the skins he employed dry arsenic in powder, which
is much superior, in this humid climate, to arsenical soap. He admired
some of my birds very much, and went with Williams up to Pebas, in Peru,
where I procured most of them.

There were also two English botanists, whose names I have forgotten,
then up the Rio Negro. One had been very sick with tertiana, but was
recovering at latest accounts.

The chief engineer of the steamer was a hard-headed, hot-tempered
old Scotchman, who abused the steamer in particular, and the service
generally, in no measured terms. He desired to know if ever I saw such
beef as was furnished to them; and if we would give such beef to the
dogs in my country. I told him that I thought he was fortunate to get
beef at all, for that I had not seen any for a fortnight, and that if
he had made such a voyage as I had recently, he would find turtle and
salt fish no such bad things. The steamer, though preserving a fair
outside, is, I believe, very inefficient—the machinery wanting in power,
and being much out of order; indeed, so much so that on her downward
passage she fairly broke down, and had to be towed into Pará. She,
however, made the trip up in eighteen days, which, considering that
the distance is full a thousand miles; that this was the first trip
ever made up by steam; that the wood prepared for her had not had time
to dry; and that there is nearly three-miles-an-hour current against
her for about one-third of the distance, I do not consider a very bad
run. The officers did not call to see me or invite me on board their
vessel, though I met some of them at the dinner and evening parties of
the President.

Mr. Potter, a daguerreotypist, and watchmaker, who came up in the
steamer, and my good friend Enrique Antonii, the Italian, with his
father-in-law, Senhor Brandâo, a Portugese, make up the list of the
foreigners of Barra, as far as I know them. Senhor Brandâo, however,
has lived many years in the country; has identified himself with it;
and all his interests are Brazilian. He is a very intelligent man; and
I observe that he is consulted by the President and other officials in
relation to the affairs of the new government.

Whilst speaking of persons, I should be derelict in the matter of
gratitude if I failed to mention Donna Leocadia, the pretty, clever, and
amiable wife of Enrique. She exhibited great interest in my mission,
and was always personally kind to myself. When our sunrise meal of
coffee and buttered toast gave out, she would always manage to send me a
tapioca custard, a bowl of caldo, or something nice and comfortable for
a tired invalid. Unlike most Brazilian ladies, whenever her household
duties would permit, she always sat with the gentlemen, and bore an
intelligent part in the conversation, expressing her desire to speak
foreign languages, and to visit foreign countries, that she might see
and know what was in the world. A son was born to her whilst I was in
the house, and we had become such friends that the young stranger was
to be called _Luis_, and I was to be _compadre_, (godfather.) But the
church, very properly, would not give its sanction to the assumption of
the duties belonging to such a position by a heretic.

Ijurra left me here, and returned up stream with Williams. He laid out
nearly all the money received for his services in such things as would
best enable him to employ the Indians in the clearance of the forest,
and the establishment of a plantation, which he proposed to "_locate_"
at Caballo-cocha, saying to me that he would have a grand crop of cotton
and coffee ready against the arrival of my steamer.

Ijurra has all the qualities necessary for a successful struggle
with the world, save two—patience and judgment. He is brave, hardy,
intelligent, and indefatigable. The river beach and a blanket are all
that are necessary to him for a bed; and I believe that he could live
on coffee and cigars. But his want of temper and discretion mars every
scheme for prosperity. He spent a noble fortune, dug by his father from
the _Mina del rey_, at Cerro Pasco, in the political troubles of his
country. He was appointed governor of the large and important province
of Mainas, but, interfering with the elections, he was driven out. He
then joined a party for the purpose of washing the sands of the Santiago
for gold, but quarrels with his companions broke that up. With infinite
labor he then collected an immense cargo of Peruvian bark; but, refusing
eighty thousand dollars for it in Pará, he carried it to England, where
it was pronounced worthless; and he lost the fruits of his enterprise
and industry.

He gave me infinite concern and some apprehension in the management of
the Indians; but I shall never forget the untiring energy, the buoyancy
of spirits, and the faithful loyalty, that cheered my lonely journey,
and made the little Peruvian as dear to me as a brother.

The official returns for the year 1848 gave the population of the town
of Barra at three thousand six hundred and fourteen free persons, and
two hundred and thirty-four slaves; the number of marriages, one hundred
and fifteen; births, two hundred and fifty; and deaths twenty-five; the
number of inhabited houses, four hundred and seventy; and the number of
foreigners, twenty-four. There are three or four large and commodious
two-story houses that rent for two hundred and fifty dollars a year.
The ordinary house of one story rents for fifty dollars. The town taxes
are ten per cent. on the rent of houses, a dollar a year for a slave,
and three dollars a year for a horse. There are no other taxes except
the custom-house dues. The soil in the immediate neighborhood of Barra
is poor, and I saw no cultivation except in the gardens of the town.

The rock in the neighborhood of Barra is peculiar; it is a red
sandstone, covered with a thin layer of white clay. At a mill-seat
about three miles from the town, a shallow stream, twenty yards broad,
rushes over an inclined plane of this rock, and falls over the ledge of
it in a pretty little cataract of about nine feet in height. The water
is the same in color with that of the Rio Negro, when taken up in a
tumbler—that is, a faint pink. It is impossible to resist the impression
that there is a connexion between the color of the rock and the color
of the water. Whether the water, tinged with vegetable matter, gives
its color to the rock, or the rock, cemented with mineral matter, has
its effect upon the water, I am unable to say. The rock on which the
mill stands, which is at the edge of the fall, is covered with very hard
white clay, about the eighth of an inch in thickness.

The mill was built upon a platform of rock at the edge of the fall, and
the wheel placed below. There was no necessity for dam or race, or, at
least, a log, placed diagonally across the stream, served for a dam. It
was built by a Scotchman, in partnership with a Brazilian. The Brazilian
dying, his widow would neither buy nor sell, and the mill was finally
burned down. I judge that it was not a good speculation; there is no
fine timber in the immediate neighborhood of Barra, and no roads in the
country by which it may be brought to the mill.

The Indians of the neighborhood are called _Muras_; they lead an idle,
vagabond life, and live by hunting and fishing. A few of them come in
and take service with the whites; and nearly all bring their children in
to be baptized. Their reason for this is, not that they care about the
ceremony, but they can generally persuade some good-natured white man
to stand as godfather, which secures the payment of the church fee, (a
cruzado) a bottle of spirits to the father, and a yard or two of cotton
cloth to the mother. Antonii tells me he is _compadre_ with half the
tribe.

They are thorough savages, and kill a number of their children from
indisposition to take care of them. My good hostess told me that her
father, returning from a walk to his house in the country, heard a noise
in the woods; and, going towards the spot, found a young Indian woman,
a tapuia of his, digging a hole in the ground for the purpose of burying
her infant just born. He interfered to prevent it, when she flew at him
like a tiger. The old gentleman, however, cudgelled her into submission
and obedience, and compelled her to take the child home, where he put
it under the care of another woman.

The women suffer very little in parturition, and are able to perform all
the offices of a midwife for themselves. I am told that sometimes, when
a man and his wife are travelling together in a canoe, the woman will
signify to her husband her desire to land; will retreat into the woods,
and in a very short time return with a newly-born infant, which she will
wash in the river, sling to her back, and resume her paddle again. Even
the ladies of this country are confined a very short time. The mother
of my little namesake was about her household avocations in seven days
after his birth. This probably arises from three causes: the climate,
the habit of wearing loose dresses, and the absence of dissipation.

The Rio Negro, opposite the town, is about a mile and a half wide, and
very beautiful. The opposite shore is masked by low islands; and, where
glimpses of it can be had, it appears to be five or six miles distant.
The river is navigable for almost any draught to the Rio Maraya, a
distance of twenty-five days, or, according to the rate of travelling
on these streams, about four hundred miles; there the rapids commence,
and the further ascent must be made in boats. Though large vessels
may not ascend these rapids, they descend without difficulty. Most of
the vessels that ply both on the Rio Negro and Oronoco are built at
or near _San Carlos_, the frontier port of Venezuela, situated above
the rapids of the Negro, and are sent down those rapids, and also up
the Cassiquiari and down the Oronoco to Angostura, passing the two
great rapids of _Atures_ and _Maypures_, where that river turns from
its westerly course toward the north. They cannot again ascend these
rapids. Antonii has a new vessel lying at Barra, built at San Carlos;
it is one hundred tons burden, and is well constructed, except that the
decks, being laid of green wood, have warped, and require to be renewed.
It cost him one thousand dollars. Brazilians pay a tax of fifteen per
cent. on prime cost on foreign-built vessels. Foreigners not naturalized
cannot sail vessels in their own name upon the interior waters of the
empire.

It takes fifty-one days to go from Barra, at the mouth of the Negro, to
San Fernando, on the Oronoco. This is by ascending the Negro above the
mouth of the _Cassiquiari_, taking the caño of _Pimichim_ and a portage
of six hours to the headwaters of a small stream called _Atabapo_, which
empties into the Oronoco. A small boat may be dragged over this portage
in a day; to go between the same places by the Cassiquiari requires ten
days more at the most favorable season, and twenty when the Oronoco is
full.

From the journal of a voyage made by Antonii in the months of April,
May, and June, 1844, it appears that from Barra to Airâo is five
days; thence to the mouth of Rio Branco, four; to Barcellos, three;
to Moreira, three; to Thomar, two; to San Isabel, five; to Rio Maraia,
three; to Castanheiro, two; to Masarabi, one; to San Gabriel, six; to
Santa Barbara, one; to Sta. Ana, one; to N. S. de Guia, one; to Mabé,
one; to Sta. Marcellina, one; to Maribitano, one; to Marcellera, one;
to San Carlos, two; to Tiriquim, one; to Tomo, two; to Marâo, one; to
Pimichim, one; to Javita, one; to Baltazar, one; to San Fernando, one.

A few hours above Barcellos is the mouth of the river Quiuni, which is
known to run up to within a very short distance of the Japura; nearly
opposite to San Isabel is the mouth of a river called Jurubashea, which
also runs up nearly to the Japura. Between these rivers is the great
Puxiri country; it is covered with water when the rivers are full. There
is a vagabond tribe of Indians living in this country called Magu. They
use no canoes, and when they cannot travel on the land, for the depth
of water, they are said to make astonishing progress from tree to tree,
like monkeys; the men laden with their arms and the women with their
children.

Just above San Isabel are found great quantities of the Brazil nut;
and a little further up is the mouth of the river Cababuri, where
sarsaparilla, estimated at Pará as being better in quality than that
of any other in the valley of the Amazon, is gathered; still higher
up, above San Carlos, is cocoa of very superior quality, and in great
abundance.

I have estimated that the distance between Barra and San Carlos at
the mouth of the Cassiquiari is about six hundred and sixty miles. A
flat-bottomed iron steamer calculated to pass the rapids of the Rio
Negro will make seventy-five miles a day against the current. This will
take her to San Carlos in nine days. She will ascend the Cassiquiari
one hundred and eighty miles in two and a half days. From the junction
of the Cassiquiari and the Oronoco to Angostura is seven hundred and
eighty miles. The steamer has the current with her, and, instead of
seventy-five, will run one hundred and twenty-five miles a day. This
will bring her to Angostura in six days; thence to the ocean, two
hundred and fifty miles, in two days. This allows the steamer abundance
of time to take in fuel, and to discharge and take in cargo, at the many
villages she finds on her route; with a canal cut over the portage of
six hours at Pimichim, she will make the voyage in five days less. Thus
by the natural canal of the Cassiquiari the voyage between Barra, at the
mouth of the Negro, and the mouth of the Oronoco, may be made by steam
in nineteen and a half days; by the canal at Pimichim in fourteen and
a half days.

I shall have occasion hereafter to speak of the portage between the
river _Tapajos_ (one of the southern confluents of the Amazon) and the
headwaters of the _Rio de la Plata_. This gives another immense inland
navigation.

The mind is confused with the great images presented to it by the
contemplation of these things. We have here a continent divided into
many islands, (for most of its great streams inosculate,) whose shores
produce, or may be made to produce, all that the earth gives for the
maintenance of more people than the earth now holds. We have also here
a fluvial navigation for large vessels, by the Amazon and its great
tributaries, of (in round numbers) about six thousand miles, which does
not include the innumerable small streams that empty into the Amazon,
and which would probably swell the amount to ten thousand; neither does
it include the Oronoco, with its tributaries, on the one hand, nor the
La Plata, with its tributaries, upon the other; the former of which
communicates with the valley of the Amazon by the Cassiquiari, and
the latter merely requires a canal of six leagues in length, over very
practicable ground, to do the same.

Let us now suppose the banks of these streams settled by an active and
industrious population, desirous to exchange the rich products of their
lands for the commodities and luxuries of foreign countries; let us
suppose introduced into such a country the railroad and the steamboat,
the plough, the axe, and the hoe; let us suppose the land divided into
large estates, and cultivated by slave labor, so as to produce all that
they are capable of producing: and with these considerations, we shall
have no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that no territory on the
face of the globe is so favorably situated, and that, if trade there is
once awakened, the power, the wealth, and grandeur of ancient Babylon
and modern London must yield to that of the depots of this trade, that
shall be established at the mouths of the Oronoco, the Amazon, and the
La Plata.

Humboldt, by far the greatest cosmographer that the world has yet known,
and one of the most learned men and profoundest thinkers of any time,
in contemplating the connexion between the valleys of the Oronoco and
the Amazon by the Cassiquiari, speaks thus of its future importance:

"Since my departure from the banks of the Oronoco and the Amazon, a new
era unfolds itself in the social state of the nations of the West. The
fury of civil discussions will be succeeded by the blessings of peace
and a freer development of the arts of industry. The bifurcation of
the Oronoco," (the Cassiquiari,) "the isthmus of Tuamini," (my portage
of Pimichim,) "so easy to pass over by an artificial canal, will fix
the attention of commercial Europe. The Cassiquiari—as broad as the
Rhine, and the course of which is one hundred and eighty miles in
length—will no longer form in vain a navigable canal between two basins
of rivers, which have a surface of one hundred and ninety thousand
square leagues. The grain of New Grenada will be carried to the banks
of the Rio Negro; boats will descend from the sources of the Napo and
the Ucayali, from the Andes of Quito and upper Peru, to the mouths of
the Oronoco—a distance which equals that from Timbuctoo to Marseilles.
A country nine or ten times larger than Spain, and enriched with the
most varied productions, is navigable in every direction by the medium
of the natural canal of the Cassiquiari and the bifurcation of the
rivers. This phenomenon, which one day will be so important for the
political connexions of nations, unquestionably deserves to be carefully
examined."

If these things should, in the estimation of Humboldt, "fix the
attention of commercial Europe," much more should they occupy ours. A
glance at the map, and a reflection upon the course of the trade-winds,
will show conclusively that no ships can sail from the mouths of the
Amazon and Oronoco without passing close by our southern ports. Here,
then, is the natural depot for the rich and varied productions of
that vast region. Here, too, can be found all that the inhabitants of
that region require for their support and comfort; and I have not the
slightest doubt, if Brazil should pursue a manly policy, and throw open
her great river to the trade of the world, that the United States would
reap far the largest share of the benefits to be derived from it.

Whilst at Barra, I had conversations with a man who had made several
trading voyages up the "Purus." Ever since I had read the pamphlet of
Father Bobo de Revello, in which he attempts to show that a navigable
river, which he saw to the eastward of Cuzco, and which he calls Madre
de Dios, is identical with the Purus, this river has had for me a
great interest. I sent Mr. Gibbon to look for its head-waters, and I
determined, if possible, to ascend it from its mouth. I am not aware of
the reasons which induced Gibbon to abandon the search for its sources,
though I suspect they arose from the well-known fierce and hostile
character of the savages who dwell on its upper banks. But, for myself,
I am compelled to acknowledge that when I arrived at Barra, near the
mouth of the Purus, I was broken down, and felt convinced that I could
not stand the hardship and exposure necessary for a thorough examination
of this river.

According to the statements of my informant—a very dark Brazilian, named
Seraphim—the Purus commences to rise in October, and to fall in May.
The best time to ascend it is when the river is quite full and done
rising—in May. The beaches are then covered, and slack water is found
close in to the proper shores of the river.

Fifteen days, or about two hundred and fifty miles from the mouth, is
the mouth of a stream called _Parana-pishuna_, which, by a succession
of lakes and a portage of a day, connects the Purus with the Madeira.
The connexion is only passable when the river is full. About the mouth
of this stream, the _sezoens_, or intermittent fevers, are said to be
very fatal; but a few days of navigation takes the voyager above their
locality and out of their influence. There are several large lakes
between the mouth of the Purus and that of the Parana-pishuna.

Thirty days from the mouth of the Purus is the mouth of a river called
the _Mucuin_, which also communicates with the Madeira, above the
rapids of that river. The banks of the Mucuin are low and level; the
river is shallow, and the rocks make the passage up and down tedious
and laborious in the dry season, which is from May to October. The
ascent of the Mucuin takes thirty-five days to arrive at the "Furo,"
which connects it with the Madeira; and the navigation of the Furo
takes ten more. I did not understand from Senhor Seraphim that there
were any whites on the banks of the Mucuin; but he told me there were
broad-tailed sheep there—such as are called in Brazil sheep of five
quarters, on account of the weight and value of the tail. If this be
true, I suspect that the Mucuin runs through a portion of the great
department of Beni, belonging to Bolivia; that it communicates with the
Madeira by means of the river Beni; and that these sheep have either
been stolen by the Indians, or have strayed from whites who live about
the little town of Cavanas, situated on a tributary of the Beni.

Four years ago Senhor Seraphim, in one of his voyages, encountered the
wreck of a boat stranded on a beach of the Purus. He knew that it was
not a Brazilian boat, on account of its construction, and from the fact
that he at that time was the only trader on the river. He also knew that
it was not an Indian's boat, from the iron ring in its bow; and the only
conclusion that he could come to was that the boat had broken adrift
from civilized people above, and been wrecked and broken in passing
the rapids. The Indians who were with Seraphim told him that ten days
higher up (though the river was broken by _caxoeiras_) would reach white
people, who rode on horseback, and had flocks and herds. Seraphim was
then probably about six hundred miles from the mouth of the Purus. His
last voyage occupied eighteen months, and he brought down two hundred
and twenty-five pots of copaiba, and one hundred and fifty arrobas of
sarsaparilla.

The _catauxis_ and the Indians generally of the Purus build their houses
exactly as I have described those of the Yaguas. There is rarely ever
more than one house at a settlement; it is called a _malocca_, and ten
or fifteen families reside in it. Children are contracted in marriage
at birth and are suffered to come together at ten or twelve years of
age. The capacity of a boy to endure pain is always tested before he is
permitted to take his place as a man in his tribe. The dead are buried
in the same position as that used by the ancient Peruvians. The knees
and elbows are tied together, and the body placed in a sitting position
in a large earthern jar. This jar is placed in a hole dug in the floor
of the malocca, and is filled in around the body with earth. Two smaller
jars are then placed, with mouth downwards, over the large jar, and the
whole is covered up with earth.

The Indians of the Purus, as elsewhere in the valley of the Amazon, are
careless and lazy; most of them go naked. They cultivate a little maize
and mandioc for sustenance, and make a little carajurú to paint their
bodies and weapons with. Seraphim, however, had no difficulty in getting
Indians to collect copaiba and sarsaparilla for him. He was not long
from the Purus when I arrived at Barra; poor fellow! he was a martyr
to the rheumatism, and his hands and legs were positively black from
the marks left by the musquitoes. I sent him from Pará physic, which
is highly esteemed upon the Amazon, called Ioduret of potassa, and "Le
Roi," in return for his information, and some presents of arms &c., from
the Purus.

The Amazon at Barra ordinarily commences to rise about the fifteenth
of November, and continues filling till the end of December. It falls
through the month of January, when it again rises till June, about the
end of which month it begins to fall.

I found the Rio Negro stationary during the month of January. It
commenced rising about the first of February; it is full in June. I
believe it follows the laws of the Amazon, and had risen through the
month of December. These laws are subject to considerable fluctuations,
depending upon the greater or less quantity of rain at the sources of
the rivers.

The Rio Branco, the greatest tributary of the Negro, is low in January.
This river is navigable for large craft for about three hundred miles
from its mouth; thence it is broken into rapids, only passable for large
flat bottomed boats. It is very thickly wooded below the first rapids;
above these the trees disappear, and the river is bordered by immense
plains, which would afford pasturage to large numbers of cattle. Barra
is supplied with beef from the Rio Branco, where it must cost very
little, as it is sold in Barra at five cents a pound.

Strong northeasterly winds make the ascent of the river tedious. A
boat will come down from San Joachim, near the sources of the river,
to Barra, a distance of five hundred miles, and passing many rapids, in
twelve days.

A portage of only two hours divides the head-waters of the Branco from
those of the Essequibo. I saw fowling pieces, of English manufacture,
in Barra, that had been bought by the traders on the Rio Branco from
Indians, who had purchased them from traders on the Essequibo. They were
of very good quality, but had generally been damaged, and were repaired
by the blacksmiths of Barra. Beautiful specimens of rock crystal are
brought from the highlands that divide the Branco and Essequibo. The
tertianas are said to be very malignant on the Rio Branco.

There is scarcely any attempt at the regular cultivation of the earth
in all the province of Amazonas; but the natural productions of its soil
are most varied and valuable. In the forest are twenty-three well-known
varieties of palm, all more or less useful. From the piassaba bark
(called by Humboldt the chiquichiqui palm) is obtained cordage which
I think quite equal in quality to the _coir_ of India. From the leaves
of the _tucum_ are obtained the fibres of which all the hammocks of the
country are made. Roofs of houses thatched with the gigantic leaves of
the _bussu_ will last more than ten years. The seed of the _urucurí_ and
_inaja_, are found to make the best fires for smoking India-rubber; and
most of the palms give fruit, which is edible in some shape or other.

Of trees fitted for nautical constructions, there are twenty-two
kinds; for the construction of houses and boats, thirty-three; for
cabinet-work, twelve, (some of which—such as the _jacarandá_, the
_muirapinima_, or tortoise-shell wood, and the _macacauba_—are very
beautiful;) and for making charcoal, seven.

There are twelve kinds of trees that exude milk from their bark; the
milk of some of these—such as the arvoeiro and assacú—is poisonous.
One is the seringa, or India-rubber tree; and one the _mururé_, the
milk of which is reported to possess extraordinary virtue in the cure
of mercurialized patients, or those afflicted with syphilitic sores.
Mr. Norris told me that a young American, dreadfully afflicted with the
effects of mercury, and despairing of cure, had come to Pará to linger
out what was left of life in the enjoyment of a tropical clime. A few
doses of the mururé sent him home a well man, though it is proper to
say that he died suddenly a few years afterwards. Captain Littlefield,
the master of the barque "Peerless," told me that he had a seaman on
board his vessel covered with sores from head to foot, who was radically
cured with a few teaspoonfuls of mururé. Its operation is said to be
very powerful, making the patient cold and rigid, and depriving him of
sense for a short time. Mr. Norris has made several attempts to get it
home, but without success. A bottle which I brought had generated so
fetid a gas that I was glad to toss it from my hand when I opened it at
the Observatory.

It is idle to give a list of the medicinal plants, for their name is
legion. The Indians use nearly everything as a "remedio." One, however,
is peculiar—it is called _manacá_. Von Martius, a learned German,
who spent several years in this country, thus describes it: "Omnis
planta magna radix potissimum, systema lymphaticum summa efficacia
excitat, particulas morbificas liquescit, sudore et urina eliminat.
Magni usus in syphilitide, ideo _mercurio vegetal_ a quibusdam dicitur.
Cortex interior et omnes partes herbaceæ amaritudine nauseosa, fauces
vellicante, pollent. Dosí parva resolvit, majore exturbat alvum et
urinam ciet, abortum movet, venenum a morsu serpentum excutit; nimia
dosi tamquam venenum acre agit. De modo, quo hauriri solet, conferas
Martium, in Buchner Repertor. Pharm. XXXI, 379. Apud nonnullas Indorum
gentes in regione Amazonica habitantes ejus extractum in venenum
sagittarum ingreditur."

Its virtue in rheumatic affections was much extolled; and as I was
suffering from pains in the teeth and shoulder, I determined to try its
efficacy; but, understanding that its effects were powerful, and made
a man feel as if a bucket of cold water were suddenly poured down his
back, I begged my kind hostess, Donna Leocadia, to make the decoction
weak. Finding no effects from the first teacupful, I took another; but
either I was a peculiar patient, or we had not got hold of the proper
root. I felt nothing but a very sensible coldness of the teeth and tip
of the tongue. Next morning I took a stronger decoction, but with no
other effect. I think it operated upon the liver, causing an increased
secretion of bile. I brought home the leaves and root.

The root of the _murapuama_, a bush destitute of leaves, is used as an
analeptic remedy, giving force and tone to the nerves.

A little plant called _douradinha_, with a yellow flower, something like
our dandelion, that grows in the streets at Barra, is a powerful emetic.

A clear and good burning oil is made from the Brazil nut; also from the
nut of the andiroba, which seems a sort of bastard Brazil nut, bearing
the same relation to it that our horse-chestnut does to the edible
chestnut. Both these oils, as also the oil made from turtle-eggs, are
used to adulterate the copaiba. The trader has to be on the alert that
he is not deceived by these adulterations. Another very pretty oil or
resin is called _tamacuaré_; its virtues are much celebrated for the
cure of cutaneous affections.

The banks of the rivers and inland lakes abound with wild rice, which
feeds a vast number of water-fowl; it is said to be edible.

The _Huimba_ of Peru—a sort of wild cotton, with a delicate and
glossy fibre, like silk, and called in Brazil _sumauma_—abounds in
the province. It grows in balls on a very large tree, which is nearly
leafless; it is so light and delicate that it would be necessary to
strip a number of these large trees to get an arroba of it. It is used
in Guayaquil to stuff mattresses. I brought home several large baskets
of it. Some silk manufacturers in France, to whom Mr. Clay, our chargé
d'affaires at Lima, sent specimens, thought that, mixed with silk, it
would make a cheap and pretty fabric; but they had not a sufficient
quantity to test it. Where cotton is cultivated in the province, it is
sown in August, and commences to give in May; the bulk and best of the
harvest is in June and July. The tree will give good cotton for three
years.

Tobacco, of which that cultivated at Borba, on the Madeira, is the best
in Brazil, is planted in beds during the month of February. When the
plants are about half a foot high, which is in all the month of April,
they are set out; the force of the crop is in September. The plant
averages four feet in height. Good Borba tobacco is worth in Barra seven
dollars the arroba, of thirty two pounds; it does not keep well, and
therefore the price in Pará varies much.

The tree that gives the Brazil nut is not more than two or three feet
in diameter, but very tall; the nuts, in number about twenty, are
enclosed in a very hard, round shell, of about six inches in diameter.
The crop is gathered in May and June. It is quite a dangerous operation
to collect it; the nut, fully as large and nearly as heavy as a nine
pounder shot, falls from the top of the tree without warning, and would
infallibly knock a man's brains out if it struck him on the head.

Humboldt says, "I know nothing more fitted to seize the mind with
admiration of the force of organic action in the equinoctial zone
than the aspect of these great ligneous pericarps. In our climates the
_cucurbitaceæ_ only produce in the space of a few months fruits of an
extraordinary size; but these fruits are pulpy and succulent. Between
the tropics the _bertholletia_ forms, in less than fifty or sixty days,
a pericarp, the ligneous part of which is half an inch thick, and which
it is difficult to saw with the sharpest instrument." He speaks of them
as being often eight or ten inches in diameter; I saw none so large.

There is a variety of this tree, called _sapucaia_, that grows on low
lands subject to overflow. Ten or fifteen of the nuts, which are long,
corrugated, and very irregular in shape, are contained in a large outer
shell; the shell, unlike that of the _castanha_, does not fall entire
from the tree, but when the nuts are ripe the bottom falls out, leaving
the larger part of the shell, like the cup of an acorn, hanging to
the tree. The nuts are scattered upon the water that at this season
surrounds the trees, and are picked up in boats or by wading. The bark
of the nut is fragile; easily broken by the teeth; and its substance
is far superior in delicacy of flavor to that of the Brazil nut. This
nut as yet must be scarce, or it would have been known to commerce. The
tree is a very large one; the flowers yellow and pretty, but destitute
of smell. The wood is one of those employed in nautical construction.

Shell lime, which is made in Pará, sells in Barra for one dollar and
twenty-five cents the alquier, of sixty-four pounds; stone lime is
double in price.

Salt is worth one dollar and twenty-five cents the panero, of one
hundred and eight pounds.

Rains at Barra commence in September; the force of the rain is in
February and March, but there is scarcely ever a continuous rain of
twenty-four hours—one day rainy and one day clear.

The Vigario Geral, an intelligent priest, named Joaquin Gonzales de
Azevedo, told me that there was a sharp shock of an earthquake in this
country in the year 1816. The ground opened at "Serpa," a village below
Barra, to the depth of a covado, (three-fourths of a yard.)



CHAPTER XV.

     Departure from Barra—River Madeira—Serpa—Villa
     Nova—Maués—River Trombetas—Cocoa Plantations—Obidos—Santarem.


Having had my boat thoroughly repaired, calked, and well fitted with
palm coverings, called in Brazil _toldos_, with a sort of Wandering-Jew
feeling that I was destined to leave every body behind and never to
stop, I sailed from Barra on the eighteenth of February. The President
had caused me to be furnished with six tapuios, but unwilling to
dispossess himself at this time of a single working hand, he could not
let them carry me below Santarem. The President is laboring in earnest
for the good of the province; and if anything is to be done for its
improvement he will do it. He paid me every attention and kindness
during my stay at Barra.

But to my host (Antonii, the Italian) I am most indebted for attention
and information. From his having been mentioned by Smyth as at the
head of trade at Barra sixteen years ago, I had fancied that I should
find him an elderly man; but he is a handsome, gay, active fellow,
in the prime of life. His black hair is somewhat sprinkled with gray,
but he tells me that this arises not from age, but from the worry and
vexation he has had in business on account of the credit system. He is
as agreeable as good sense, much information about the country, and
open-hearted hospitality can make a man. I asked him to look out for
Gibbon and make him comfortable; and was charmed with the frank and
hearty manner in which he bade me to "have no care of that."

I fear that I behaved a little churlishly about the mails. There are
post offices established in the villages on the Amazon, but no public
conveyances are provided to carry the mails. The owner or captain of
every vessel is required to report to the postmaster before sailing,
in order to receive the mails; and he is required to give a receipt
for them. I did not like to be treated as an ordinary voyager upon
the river, and, therefore, objected to receipt for the mails, though I
offered to carry all letters that should be intrusted to my care. My
principal reason, however, for declining was, that my movements were
uncertain, and I did not wish to be trammelled. The postmaster would
not give me the mail without a receipt, but I believe I brought away
all the letters. I am now sorry, as I came direct, that I did not give
the required receipt in return for the kindness that had been shown me.

Mr. Potter, the daguerreotypist and watchmaker, sailed in company with
me. We found the current of the "Negro" so slight that, with our heavy
boat and few men, we could make no way against a smart breeze blowing
up the river: we, therefore, a mile or two below Barra, pulled into the
shore and made fast till the wind should fall, which it did about 3 p.
m., when we got under way and entered the Amazon.

Entering this river from the Negro, it appears but a tributary of the
latter, and it is generally so designated in Barra. If a fisherman
just in is asked where he is from, he will say "from the mouth of
the Solimoens." It has this appearance from the Negro's flowing in a
straight course; while the Solimoens makes a great bend at the junction
of the two rivers.

It is very curious to see the black water of the Negro appearing
in large circular patches, amid the muddy waters of the Amazon, and
entirely distinct. I did not observe that the water of the Amazon was
at all clearer after the junction of the Negro; indeed, I thought it
appeared more filthy. We found one hundred and ninety-eight feet of
depth in the bay or large open space formed by the junction of the two
rivers.

About sixty miles below the mouth of the Rio Negro we stopped at the
establishment of a Scotchman, named McCulloch, situated on the left
bank of the river. There is a very large island opposite, which reduces
the river in front to about one hundred yards in width; so that the
establishment seems to be situated on a creek.

McCulloch, in partnership with Antonii, at Barra, is establishing here a
sugar plantation, and a mill to grind the cane. He dams, at great cost
of time and labor, a creek that connects a small lake with the river.
He will only be able to grind about six months in the year, when the
river is falling and the water runs from the lake into the river; but
he proposes to grind with oxen when the river is rising. The difference
between high and low-water mark in the Amazon at this point is, by
actual measurement of McCulloch, forty-two feet. He works with five or
six hands, whom he pays a cruzado, or a quarter of a dollar each, per
day. There is a much greater scarcity of tapuios now than formerly.
Antonii, who used always to have fifty in his employ, cannot now get
more than ten.

McCulloch has already planted more than thirty acres of sugar-cane on
a hill eighty or one hundred feet above the present level of the river.
It seems of tolerable quality, but much overrun with weeds, on account
of want of hands. I gave him a leaf from my experience, and advised
him to set fire to his field after every cutting. The soil is black and
rich-looking, though light; and McCulloch supposes that in such soil his
cane will not require replanting for twenty years. The cane is planted
in December, and is ready to cut in ten months.

This is the man who, in partnership with the Brazilian, built the
saw-mill at Barra, which was afterwards burned down. He sawed one
hundred and thirty thousand feet the first year, but not more than
half that quantity the second; in the third, by making a contract with
Antonii, who was to furnish the wood and receive half the profits,
he sawed eighty thousand. This plank is sold in Pará at forty dollars
the thousand; but the expenses of getting it there, and other charges,
reduce it to about twenty-eight dollars. The only wood sawed is the
_cedro_; not that it is so valuable as other kinds, but because it
is the only wood of any value that floats; and thus can be brought to
the mills. There are no roads or means of hauling timber through the
forests. McCulloch told me that a young American, in Pará, offered to
join him in the erection of a saw-mill, and to advance ten thousand
dollars towards the enterprise. He said that he now thought he was
unwise to refuse it, for with that sum he could have purchased a small
steamer (besides building and fitting the mill) with which to cruise on
the river, picking up the cedros and taking them to the mill.

These are not our cedars, but a tall, branching tree, with leaves more
like our oak. There are two kinds—red and white; the former of which
is most appreciated. Some of them grow to be of great size; between
Serpa and Villa Nova we made our boat fast to one that was floating
on the river, which measured in length from the swell of the root to
that of the first branches (that is a clear, nearly cylindrical trunk)
ninety-three feet, and was nineteen feet in circumference just above
the swell of the roots, which would probably have been eight feet from
the ground when the tree was standing.

McCulloch gave me some castanhas in the shell, and some roots of a
cane-like plant that grows in bunches, with very long, narrow leaves,
and bears a delicate and fragrant white flower, that is called, from
its resemblance in shape to a butterfly, _borboleta_.

The distance hence to the mouth of the Madeira is about thirty miles.
After passing the end of the long island, called _Tamitari_, that lies
opposite McCulloch's, we had to cross the river, which there is about
two miles wide. The shores are low on either hand, and well wooded with
apparently small trees. I always felt some anxiety in crossing so large
an expanse of water in such a boat as ours, where violent storms of wind
are of frequent occurrence. Our men, with their light paddles, could not
keep such a _haystack_ as our clumsy, heavy boat either head to wind or
before it, and she would, therefore, lie _broadside to_ in the trough
of the sea, rolling fearfully, and threatening to swamp. I should have
had sails fitted to her in Barra.

After crossing the river, we passed the mouth of two considerable
streams. The lower one, called _Uauta_, is two hundred yards wide at its
mouth, and has a considerable current. It is said to have a large lake
near its headwaters, with outlets from this lake, communicating with the
Amazon above, and also with the Madeira; that is, it is a paranamiri
of the Amazon, widening into a lake at some part of its course. At
half-past 8 p. m. we made fast for the night to some bushes on the low,
western bank of the Madeira.

A large island occupies the middle of the Amazon, opposite the mouth of
the Madeira. This mouth is also divided by a small island. The western
mouth, up which I pulled nearly to the head of the island, (a distance
of about a mile,) is three-quarters of a mile wide, with sixty-six feet
of depth, and a bottom of fine white and black sand. The current runs at
the rate of three and a quarter miles the hour. This current, like that
of all the rivers, varies very much, according to the season. I was told
afterwards, in Obidos, that, when the river was low—in the months of
August, September, and October—there was very little current, and that a
vessel might reach Borba from the mouth in three days; but that, when it
is full and falling—in the months of March, April, and May—there is no
tributary of the Amazon with so strong a current; and then it requires
twenty days to reach Borba.

The eastern mouth is a mile and a quarter wide. The island which divides
the mouth, is low and grassy at its outer extremity, but high and wooded
at its upper. I looked long and earnestly for the broad _L_ that Gibbon
was to cut on a tree at the mouth of whatever tributary he should come
down, in hopes that he had already come down the Madeira, and, not being
able to go up stream to Barra, had gone on down; but it was nowhere to
be seen.

The Madeira is by far the largest tributary of the Amazon. Once past
its cascades, which are about four hundred and fifty miles from its
mouth, and occupy a space of three hundred and fifty miles in length,
it is navigable for large vessels by its great tributaries—the Beni and
Mamoré—into the heart of Bolivia; and by the Guaporé or Itenes, quite
through the rich Brazilian province of Matto Grosso. The Portuguese
astronomers, charged with the investigation of the frontiers, estimate
that it drains a surface equal to forty-four thousand square leagues.
We shall, however, know more of this river on the arrival of Mr. Gibbon,
whom last accounts left at Trinidad de Moxos, on the Mamoré, one of the
tributaries of this great stream.

The rapids of the Madeira are not impassable; Palâcios, the Brazilian
officer before quoted, descended and ascended them in a canoe, though
he had occasionally to drag the canoe over portages. And Mr. Clay, our
chargé at Lima, was told that a Brazilian schooner-of-war had ascended
the Madeira above the rapids, and fired a salute at _Exaltacion_,
which is in Bolivia, above the junction of the Beni. Palâcios probably
descended at low water, and the schooner went up when the river was
full.

The village of Serpa, where we arrived in the afternoon, is situated
on the left bank of the Amazon, thirty miles below the mouth of the
Madeira. It is a collection of mud-hovels of about two hundred souls,
built upon a considerable eminence, broken and green with grass, that
juts out into the river. There is a point of land just above Serpa, on
the opposite side, which, throwing the current off, directs it upon the
Serpa point, and makes a strong eddy current for half a mile above the
town close in shore.

Serpa has a considerable lake back of it called Saracá, on the lower
end of which is the village of Silves, a little larger than Serpa. That
entrance to the lake which communicates with the Amazon near Serpa is
not large enough for my boat to enter; that near Silves will admit large
schooners. A mark on a tree shows that the river rises about twelve feet
above its present level.

We left Serpa at 6 p. m., and drifted all night. We are compelled to
travel at night, for there is so much wind and sea during the day that
we make no headway. We are frequently compelled to lay by, and are
sometimes in danger of being swamped, even in the little nooks and bays
where we stop. The most comfortable way of travelling is to make the
boat fast to a floating tree, for this keeps the boat head on to the
wind and sea, and drags her along against these with the velocity of
the current.

About fifteen miles above Villa Nova, which is one hundred and fifty
miles below Serpa, a boat manned by soldiers pulled out from a hut on
the shore, and told us we must stop there until examined and despatched
by the officer in charge, called inspector. I could not well pull back
against the stream, for we had already passed the hut; so I sent word
to the inspector that I had letters from the President, and pulled in
shore abreast of where I was. The inspector had the civility to come
down to me and inspect my papers. This is a "resisto," or coast-guard,
stationed above the port of entry of Villa Nova, to stop vessels from
passing, and to notify them that they must go into that port. There is
another below Villa Nova, to stop vessels coming up, and to examine the
clearances from the custom-house of those coming down.

Within a quarter of a mile from the shore I found one hundred and twenty
feet of depth, and three miles the hour of current. The current of the
Amazon has increased considerably since the junction of the Madeira.

The inspector told me I was within four hours of Villa Nova; but I
kept in shore, for fear of squalls; and thus, in the darkness of night,
pulled around the shore of a deep bay, where there was little current,
and did not arrive for eight hours, passing the mouth of the small river
Limaõ, about a mile and a half above Villa Nova, where we arrived at 2
a. m.

Villa Nova de Rainha is a long straggling village of single story
mud-huts, situated in a little bend on the right bank of the Amazon. The
temperature of boiling water gives its elevation above the level of the
sea at nine hundred and fifty-nine feet. It contains about two hundred
inhabitants, and the district to which it belongs—embracing several
small villages in the interior, with cocoa plantations on the banks of
the river—numbers four or five thousand. The productions of the district
are cocoa, coffee, and a few cattle, but principally salt fish. The
whole country back of the village is very much cut up by lakes, (with
water communications between them,) where the greater part of the fish
is taken. The sub-delegado gave me a sketch of it from his own personal
knowledge and observation.

This being the frontier town of the province of Amazonas, there is
a custom-house established here. I heard that it had collected one
thousand dollars since the steamer passed up in December. This gives an
indication of the trade of the country; foreign articles, which are the
cargoes of vessels bound up, paying one and a half per cent. on their
value; and articles of domestic produce, which the vessels bound down
carry, paying a half per cent. The collection of one thousand dollars
was made in two months.

The people valued their fowls at fifty cents apiece. We thought them
extortionate, and would not buy; but we happened to arrive on fresh-beef
day, and got a soup-piece. These fresh-meat days are a week apart,
though this is a cattle producing country. It is an indication of the
listless indifference of the people.

Just before reaching Villa Nova, my sounding-lead had hung in the rocks
at the bottom, and a new _piassaba_ line, which I had made in Barra,
of about the size of a common log or cod-line, parted as if it had been
pack-thread. I bought another lead at the village; this also hung at the
first cast, and the line again parted close to my hand, so that I lost
nearly all. My line must have been made of old fibres of the piassaba
which had been in store some time. The bottom of the river near Villa
Nova is very uneven and rocky.

About a league below Villa Nova we passed the mouth of the river _Ramos_
on the right. It is two hundred yards wide, and is a paranimiri, which
leaves the Amazon nearly opposite Silves. It has many small streams
emptying into it in the interior, and sends off canals, joining it with
other rivers, one of which is the Madeira. It is the general route to
_Maués_—a considerable village in the interior, four days from the mouth
of the Ramos.

The country about _Maués_ is described as a great grazing plain,
intersected and cut up with streams and canals, all navigable for the
largest class of vessels that now navigate the Amazon. The soil is very
rich, and adapted to the cultivation of cotton, coffee, and cocoa. The
rivers give abundance of fish; any number of cattle may be pastured upon
the plains; and the neighboring woods yield cloves, cocoa, castanhas,
India-rubber, guaraná, sarsaparilla, and copaiba. If this country be not
sickly (and the sub-delegado at Villa Nova, who gave me a little sketch
of it, told me that it was not) it is probably the most desirable place
of residence on the Amazon.

Baéna, in his chorographic essay on the province of Pará, says of
Maués, that it is situated upon a slight eminence on a bay of the
river Mauéuassu, which empties into the Furo, or canal of Ururaia,
by means of which, and the river Tupinambaranas, one may enter the
river Madeira thirteen leagues above its mouth. He gives the number of
inhabitants in 1832 at one thousand six hundred and twenty-seven. The
official report for 1850 states it at three thousand seven hundred and
nine whites, and eighty-two slaves. This official report makes an ugly
statement as regards its health; it gives the number of births in a
year at seventy-four, and deaths at one hundred and thirty-one. I have
no confidence in this statement, and it looks like a misprint. This
report stated the number of inhabited houses at Barra as one hundred and
seventy. This I knew was an error, and I took the liberty of making it
four hundred and seventy.

Just below the mouth of the Ramos, quite a neatly rigged boat, carrying
the Brazilian flag, put off from a house on shore, and seemed desirous
to communicate with us; but she was so badly managed that, although
there was a fine breeze, (directly ahead, however,) she could not
catch us, though we were but drifting with the current. Had I known her
character I would have paddled up against the stream to allow her to
join company; but my companion, Mr. Potter, said that she was a boat
belonging to the church, and begging for Jerusalem.

Finding that she could not come up with us, she put back, and a light
canoe with a soldier in it, soon overtook us. The soldier told me that
this was another custom-house station, and that I must pull back and
show my clearance from the collector at Villa Nova. I was a good deal
annoyed at this, for I thought the said collector, to whom I carried
letters from the President, might have had the forethought to tell me
about this station, so that I might have stopped there and saved the
time and labor of pulling back. The soldier, seeing my vexation, told me
that if I would merely pull in shore and wait, the inspector, who was
then a few miles down the river, would soon be by on his way up, and I
could communicate with him there.

To do this even carried me some distance out of my way; but I had
previously resolved to conform scrupulously to the laws and usages
of the country; so I smothered my annoyance, pulled in, and had the
good luck to meet the inspector before reaching the land. This was a
mere boy, who looked at my papers coldly, and without comment, except
(prompted by an old fellow who was steering his boat) he asked me if I
had no paper from the collector at Villa Nova. I told him no, that I was
no commerciante, had nothing to sell, and that he had read my passports
from his government. After a little hesitation he suffered me to pass.

The pull into the right bank had brought me to the head of an island.
The inspector told me that the passage was as short on that side, but
that it was narrow, and full of _carapanã_, as musquitoes are called
on the Amazon. Although I have a musquito curtain which protects me
completely, yet the tapuios had none, and, whenever I stopped at night,
they had a wretched time, and could not sleep a moment. This was one
of the reasons why I travelled at night. All persons are so accustomed
to travel from Barra downwards at night, and to keep out far from the
shore, that they do not carry musquito curtains, which the travellers
on the upper Amazon and its tributaries would perish without.

We pulled back into the main stream and drifted all night, passing the
small village of _Parentins_, situated on some high lands that form the
boundary between the provinces of Pará, and Amazonas.

We now enter the country where the cocoa is regularly cultivated,
and the banks of the river present a much less desolate and savage
appearance than they do above. The cocoa-trees have a yellow-colored
leaf, and this, together with their regularity of size, distinguishes
them from the surrounding forest. At 8 p. m., February 25, we arrived at
Obidos, one hundred and five miles below Villa Nova. Several gentlemen
offered to furnish me a vacant house; but I was surly, and slept in my
boat.

Whilst at Obidos, I took a canoe to visit the _cacoaes_, or cocoa
plantations, in the neighborhood; the fruit is called _cacao_. We
started at 6 a. m., accompanied by a gentleman named Miguel Figuero,
and stopped at the mouth of the _Trombetas_, which empties into the
Amazon four or five miles above Obidos. It enters the Amazon by two
mouths within sight of each other, (the island dividing the mouth being
small;) the lower and smaller mouth is called Sta. Teresa, and is about
one hundred and fifty yards wide; the upper (Boca de Trombetas) is half
a mile wide, and enters the Amazon at a very sharp angle; its waters
are clear, and the dividing-line between them and those of the Amazon
is preserved distinct for more than a mile.

The Trombetas is said to be a very large river; in some places as wide
as the Amazon is here—about two miles. It is very productive in fish,
castanhas, and sarsaparilla, and runs through a country well adapted
to raising cattle. I have heard several people call it a world; they
may call it so on account of its productions, or it may be a "world of
waters," for the whole country, according to the description of it, is
entirely cut up with lakes and water-communications. The river is only
navigable for large vessels five or six days up, and is then obstructed
by rocks and rapids, which make it impassable. Little is known of the
river above the falls; it is very sickly below them with tertianas,
which take a malignant type.

Near the mouth of this river we stopped at an establishment for making
pots and earthenware generally, belonging to a gentleman named Bentez,
who received us with cordiality. This country house was neat, clean, and
comfortable. I caught glimpses of some ladies neatly dressed, and with
very pretty faces; and was charmed with the sight of a handsome pair
of polished French leather boots sitting against the wall. This was the
strongest sign of civilization that I had met with, and showed me that
I was beginning to get into communication with the great world without.

Senhor Bentez gave me some eggs of the "enambu," a bird of the pheasant
or partridge species, some of which are as large as a turkey. There
are seven varieties of them, and an intelligent young gentleman, named
D'Andrade, gave me the names, which were Enambu-assu, (assu is _lingoa
geral_, and means large,) Enambu-toro, Peira, Sororina, Macucana, Urú,
and Jarsana.

In crossing the Amazon we were swept by the current below the plantation
we intended to visit, and thus had a walk of a mile through the cocoa
plantations, with which the whole right bank of the river between Obidos
and Alemquer is lined. I do not know a prettier place than one of these
plantations. The trees interlock their branches, and, with their large
leaves, make a shade impenetrable to any ray of the sun. The earth
is perfectly level, and covered with a carpeting of dead leaves; and
the large golden-colored fruit, hanging from branch and trunk, shine
through the green with a most beautiful effect. The only drawback to the
pleasure of a walk through them arises from the quantity of musquitoes,
which in some places, and at certain times, are unendurable to one not
seasoned to their attacks. I could scarcely keep still long enough to
shoot some of the beautiful birds that were flitting among the trees.

This is the time of the harvest, and we found the people of every
plantation engaged, in the open space before the house, in breaking
open the shells of the fruit, and spreading the seed to dry in the sun
on boards placed for the purpose. They make a pleasant drink for a hot
day by pressing out the juice of the gelatinous pulp that envelops the
seeds; it is called cacao wine; is a white, rather viscid liquor; has an
agreeable, acid taste, and is very refreshing; fermented and distilled,
it will make a powerful spirit.

The ashes of the burnt hull of the cacao contains a strong alkali, and
it is used in all the "cacoaes" for making soap.

We were kindly received by the gentleman whom we went to visit, Senhor
José da Silva, whom we found busily engaged in gathering the crop. When
he discovered that we had eaten nothing since daylight, he called out
in true hospitable country fashion, "Wife, cook something for these men;
they are hungry;" and we accordingly got some dinner of turtle and fowl.

In addition to the gathering of his cocoa, Senhor da Silva was engaged
in expressing a clean, pretty-looking oil from the castanha. The nut
was first toasted in the oven; then pulverized in a wooden mortar; and
the oil was pressed out in the same sort of wicker-bag that is used
for straining the mandioc. He said that the oil burned well, and was
soft and pleasant to put on the skin or make unguents of, though it had
not a pleasant smell. This oil has not yet found its way into foreign
commerce.

From the statements of this gentleman, I gathered the following facts
regarding the cocoa:

The seed is planted in garden beds in August. When the plants come up,
it is sometimes necessary to water them, also to protect them from the
sun by arbors of palm, and to watch carefully for their protection from
insects. In January, the plants are removed to their permanent place,
where they are _set out_ in squares of twelve palms. Plantains, Indian
corn, or anything of quick growth, are planted between the rows, for
their further protection from the sun whilst young. These are to be
grubbed up so soon as they begin to press upon the cocoa trees.

In good land the trees will give fruit in three years, and will continue
to give for many years; though tradition says they begin to fail after
seventy or eighty.

The trees bud and show fruit in October or November for the first crop,
and in February and March for the second. The summer harvest commences
in January and February; and the winter crop, which is the largest,
is gathered in June and July. One crop is not off the trees before the
blossoms of the second appear. We saw no blossoms; and I heard at Obidos
that the winter crop had probably failed entirely.

Every two thousand fruit-bearing trees require, for their care and
croppage, the labor of one slave.

When they are young they need more attention, and two are necessary.
The trees are kept clean about the roots, and insects are carefully
destroyed; but the ground is never cleared of its thick covering of dead
leaves, which are suffered to rot and manure it.

The earth of the cacoaes that I saw opposite Obidos is a rich, thick,
black mould, and is the best land I have seen. It is low, particularly
at the back of the plantations; and the river, by means of creeks,
finds its way there, and frequently floods the grounds, destroying many
trees. The banks of the river are five or six feet high; but the river
is constantly encroaching upon them. Senhor Silva told me that, when he
first took possession of the place, he had seven rows of trees between
the house and the river; now, only three rows remain. The houses have
frequently to be moved further back, so that these cocoa plantations
must, in the course of time, be destroyed.

In good ground, and without accident, every thousand trees will give
fifty arrobas of the fruit; but the average is probably not over
twenty-five. A tree in good condition, and bearing well, is worth
sixteen cents; the land in which it grows is not counted in the sale.
One slave will take care of two thousand trees. The value of the arroba
in Pará is one dollar. With these data, calculation will make the
cultivation of the cocoa, in the neighborhood of Obidos, but a poor
business; and, indeed, I heard that most of the cultivators were in debt
to the merchants below. Should the thousand trees give fifty arrobas,
and the price of the arroba run up to one dollar and twenty-five cents,
and one dollar and fifty cents, as it does sometimes in Pará, it would
then be a very profitable business.

Obidos is situated upon a high, bold point, and has all the river (about
a mile and a half in width) in front of it. The shores are bold, and
the current very rapid. I had heard it stated that bottom could not
be obtained in the river off Obidos, and I bought six hundred feet
of line and a seven-pound lead to test it. In what was pointed out as
the deepest part, I sounded in one hundred and fifty, one hundred and
eighty, and two hundred and ten feet, with, generally, a pebbly bottom.
In another place I judged I had bottom in two hundred and forty feet;
but the lead came up clean. I may not have had bottom, or this may have
been of soft mud, and washed off from the arming of soap that I used.
It is a very difficult thing to get correct soundings in so rapid a
current, and in such deep water.

The land on which Obidos is situated may be called mountainous, in
comparison to the general low land of the Amazon; and far back in the
direction of the course of the Trombetas were seen some very respectable
mountains.

The coast, from the mouth of the Trombetas to Obidos, is about one
hundred and fifty feet in height; is of red earth; and is supported upon
red rock, of the same nature as that at Barra. This rock is very hard
at bottom, but softer above, and many king-fishers build their nests
in it. The general height is broken in one or two places, where there
are small lakes. One of these, called Tiger lake, would afford a good
mill-seat, which might grind for six or seven months in the year.

The town of Obidos proper contains only about five hundred inhabitants;
but the district is populous, and is said to number about fourteen
thousand. There is quite a large church in the town, built of stone
and mud, with some pretensions to architecture; but, though only built
in 1826, it seems already falling into ruins, and requires extensive
repairs.

There are several shops, apparently well stocked with English and
American cloths, and French fripperies. I heard a complaint that the
trade was monopolized by a few who charged their own prices; but I
judged, from the number of shops, that there was quite competition
enough to keep the prices down to small profits. The value of the
imports of the district of Obidos is nearly double that of the exports,
the staple articles of which are cacao and cattle.

I have my information from Senhor Antonio Monteiro Tapajos, who was very
kind to me during my stay in Obidos. He gave me some specimens of Indian
pottery; and his wife, a thin, delicate-looking lady, apparently much
oppressed with sore eyes and children, (there being nine of the latter,
the oldest only thirteen years of age,) gave me a very pretty hammock.

Senhor Joao Valentin de Couto, whose acquaintance I made by accident,
gave me a live young Peixe-boi, which unfortunately died after it had
been in my possession but a day. He also made me a present of some
statistical tables of the affairs of the province; and not being able to
find, at the time, the report of the President that accompanied these
tables, he had the courtesy to send it to me in a canoe, after I had
left the place and was engaged in sounding the river.

It will be seen that here, as elsewhere, during my travels, I met with
personal attention, kindness, and liberality. Every one whom I conversed
with on the subject of the Amazon advocates with earnestness the free
navigation of the river, and says that they will never thrive until the
river is thrown open to all, and foreigners are invited to settle on its
banks. I think that they are sincere, for they have quite intelligence
enough to see that they will be benefitted by calling out the resources
of the country.

Obidos has a college, lately established, which has some assistance from
the government. It has yet but twenty-four scholars, and one professor—a
young ecclesiastic, modest and intelligent; and enthusiastic and hopeful
about the affairs of his college.

Antonio, a Portuguese, with whom I generally got my breakfast, told me
that there were many poisonous serpents in the neighborhood of Obidos,
and showed me a black swelling on the arm of his little son, the result
of the bite of a scorpion. In five minutes after the boy was bitten, he
became cold and senseless, and foamed at the mouth, so that for some
hours his life was despaired of. The remedies used were homœopathic,
and, what is a new thing to me, were put in the corners of the eye,
as the boy could not swallow. I found homœopathy a favorite mode of
practice from Barra downwards. It was introduced by a Frenchman, a few
years ago, and there are now several amateur practitioners of it.

We left Obidos, in the rain, at 1 p. m., on the 29th February. Our long
stay at Barra had brought the rains upon us, and we now had rain every
day.

We travelled all night, and at half past 9 a. m., on the 1st of
March, we entered a furo of the _Tapajos_, which, in one hour and
three-quarters, conducted us into that river opposite the town of
Santarem. This canal has a general width of one hundred yards, and a
depth, at this season, of thirty feet. There are several country houses
and cocoa plantations on its banks. It is called _Igarapé Assu_.

The Tapajos at Santarem, which is within one mile of the mouth, is about
a mile and a half wide. Its waters are nearly as dark as those of the
Negro; but, where stirred with the paddle, it has not the faint red
color of that river, but seems clear white water. Large portions of the
surface were covered with very minute green leaves and vegetable matter.

We presented our passports and letters to the Delegado, Senhor Miguel
Pinto de Guimaraèns, and obtained lodgings in the hired house of a
French Jew of Pará, who was engaged in peddling watches and jewelry in
Santarem.



CHAPTER XVI.

     Santarem—Population—Trade—River Tapajos—Cuiaba—Diamond
     region—Account of the Indians of the Tapajos.


Santarem, four hundred and sixty miles from the mouth of the Rio Negro,
and six hundred and fifty miles from the sea, is the largest town of the
province, after Pará. By official returns it numbers four thousand nine
hundred and seventy-seven free, (eighty-seven being foreigners,) and
one thousand five hundred and ninety-one slave inhabitants. There were
two hundred and eighty-nine births, forty-two deaths, and thirty-two
marriages in the year 1849.

I would estimate the population of the town of Santarem at about
two thousand souls. In the official returns, all the settlers on the
cocoa plantations for miles around, and all the tapuios engaged in the
navigation of the river, are reckoned in the estimate. This, I believe,
is the case with all the towns; and thus the traveller is continually
surprised to find population rated so high in places where he encounters
but few people.

There is said to be a good deal of elephantiasis and leprosy among the
poorer class of its inhabitants. I did not visit their residences, which
are generally on the beach above the town, and therefore saw nothing of
them; nor did I see much poverty or misery.

There are tokens of an increased civilization in a marble monument
in the cemetery, and a billiard table. The houses are comfortably
furnished, though I believe every one still sleeps in a hammock. The
rides in the environs are agreeable, the views picturesque, and the
horses good. A tolerably good and well-bitted horse may be had for
seventy-five dollars; they graze in the streets and outskirts of the
town, and are fed with Indian corn.

There is a church (one of the towers has lately tumbled down) and two or
three primary schools. The gentlemen all wear gold watches, and take an
immoderate quantity of snuff. I failed to get statistics of the present
trade of Santarem; but an examination of the following tables furnished
by Mr. Gouzennes, the intelligent and gentlemanly vice-consul of France,
will show the increase in the exports of the place in the three years
between 1843 and 1846.

These tables show the tonnage and cargoes of the vessels arriving in
Santarem for three months in each year.

Mr. Gouzennes gave me the table for 1843, and to M. Castelnau the table
for 1846. He also gave me a letter to M. Chaton, French consul at Pará,
requesting that gentleman to give me his tables for the last year,
(1851;) but they had been sent to France.

                                       Three months     Three months
                                          of 1843.         of 1846.

     Number of crews                         300               362
     Tonnage                                 647             1,287
     Fish                   arrobas        5,537             6,402
     Peixe-boi                 "              75                —
     Tow                       "             430               478
     Pitch                     "              64               933
     Tobacco                   "             499             3,352
     Cocoa                     "          12,808            19,940
     Sarsaparilla              "             665             4,836
     Cloves                    "             226               998
     Guaraná                   "              94               457
     Coffee                    "             369               512
     Cotton                    "              24               226
     Cumarú (Tonka beans)      "              —                 47
     Carajurú                  "               2                75
     Castanhas             alquieres       1,206             3,709
     Farinha                   "           2,428             1,384
     Oil of Copaiba           pots           427             3,056
     Oil of turtle-eggs        "             420             1,628
     Oil of andirobá           "              11                29
     Mixira                                  170               316
     Hides                                    —                664
     Oxen                                    100                85
     Piassaba rope           inches           —              1,970

I think, but have no means of forming an accurate judgment, that the
importations of Santarem have not increased in the same proportion in
the years between 1846 and 1852. A few of these articles—such as the
cotton, the coffee, a part of the tobacco, and the farinha—were probably
consumed in Santarem. The rest were reshipped to Pará for consumption
there, or for foreign exportation.

The decrease in the consumption of farinha is significant, and shows an
increased consumption of flour from the United States.

I had from Capt. Hislop, an old Scotchman, resident of Santarem, and
who had traded much with Cuiaba, in the province of Matto Grosso, the
following notices of the river Tapajos, and its connexion with the
Atlantic, by means of the rivers Paraguay and La Plata.

Hence to the port of Itaituba, the river is navigable for large vessels,
against a strong current, for fifteen days. The distance is about two
hundred miles. From Itaituba the river is navigable for boats of six or
eight tons, propelled by paddling, poling, or warping. There are some
fifteen or twenty _caxoieras_, or rapids, to pass, where the boat has
to be unloaded and the cargoes carried round on the backs of the crew.
At one or two the boat itself has to be hauled over the land.

The voyage to the head of navigation on the Rio _Preto_, a confluent
of the _Tapajos_, occupies about two months. At this place mules are
found to carry the cargo fifteen miles, to the village of _Diamantino_,
situated on the high lands that divide the headwaters of the streams
flowing south from those of the streams flowing north, which approach
each other at this point very closely.

These high lands are rich in diamonds and minerals. I saw some in
possession of Capt. Hislop. The gold dust is apparently equal in quality
to that I had seen from California.

From Diamantino to Cuiabá the distance is ninety miles, the road
crossing the Paraguay river, which there, at some seasons, is nearly
dry and muddy, and at others a rapid and deep stream, dangerous for the
mules to pass.

Some years ago a shorter land-carriage was discovered between the
headwaters of the northern and southern streams.

By ascending the _Arinos_, a river which empties into the _Tapajos_,
below the mouth of the Preto, a point was reached within eighteen miles
by land-carriage of a navigable point on the Cuiaba river above the
city. The boat was hauled over these eighteen miles by oxen, (showing
that the passage can be neither very high nor rugged,) and launched upon
the Cuiaba, which is navigable thence to the city.

This was about three years ago; but the trade, for some reason, is still
carried on by the old route of the _Preto_, and the land-carriage of
one hundred and five miles to Cuiaba.

A person once attempted to descend by the _San Manoel_, a river that
rises in the same high lands as the Preto and Arinos, and empties into
the Tapajos, far below them; but he encountered so many obstructions to
navigation that he lost all but life.

The passage from Diamantino to Santarem occupies about twenty-six days.

Cuiaba is a flourishing town of about ten thousand inhabitants, situated
on the river of the same name, which is thence navigable for large
vessels to its junction with the Paraguay, which river is free from
impediments to the ocean. It is the chief town of the rich province
of Matto Grosso. It receives its supplies—the lighter articles of
merchandise and luxury—by land, from Rio Janeiro; and its heavier
articles—such as cannot be transported on mules for a great distance—by
this route of the Tapajos. These are principally salt, iron, iron
implements, wines, liquors, arms, crockeries, and guaraná, of which the
people there are passionately fond.

St. Ubes or Portuguese salt is worth in Cuiaba thirteen and a half
dollars the _panero_, of one hundred and eight pounds. Lately, however,
salt has been discovered on the bottom and shores of a lake in Bolivia,
near the Paraguay river. It undergoes some process to get rid of its
impurities, and then is sold at four dollars the panero.

Cuiaba pays for these things in diamonds, gold dust, and hides. The
diamond region is, as I have before said, in the neighborhood of the
village of Diamantino, situated on the high lands that divide the
headwaters of the tributaries of the Amazon and La Plata. M. Castelnau
visited this country, and I give the following extracts from his account
of it. He says:

"The mines of gold, and especially those of diamonds, to which the city
of Diamantino owes its foundation and its importance, appear to have
been known from the time the _Paulistas_ made their first settlements
in the province of Matto Grosso; but, under the Portuguese government,
the working of the diamond mines was prohibited to individuals under
the severest penalties.

"A military force occupied the diamond districts, and watched the
Crown slaves who labored in the search of this precious mineral. Every
person finding one of these stones was obliged to remit it to the
superintendency of diamonds at Cuyaba, for which he received a moderate
recompense, whilst he would have been severely punished if detected in
appropriating it.

"At this period, throughout Brazil, the commerce in diamonds was
prohibited, as strictly as their extraction, to all except the special
agents named by the government for this purpose.

"Subsequently to the government of _João Carlos_, of whom we have
already spoken, this commerce became more or less tolerated, then
altogether free.

"If, as we are assured, the laws which heretofore governed this branch
of industry are not legally repealed, they have at least completely
fallen into disuse. The inhabitants of _Diamantino_ only complain that
the prohibition of the slave trade renders it impossible for them to
profit by the wealth of the country.

"In 1746 valuable diamonds were found, for the first time, in Matto
Grosso, and were soon discovered in great quantities in the little river
of _Ouro_. The governor, _Manuel Antunes Nogueiza_, designing to take
possession of these lands for the benefit of the Crown, ejected the
inhabitants therefrom. Famine made great ravages among the wretches thus
deprived of their homes.

"From that time the country seems to have suffered every evil. A long
drought was followed by a terrible earthquake on the 24th September,
1746. It was not until May 13, 1805, that the inhabitants were again
permitted to take possession of their property, but upon condition of
remitting to the Crown, under severe penalties, all the diamonds found.

"In 1809 a royal mandate established at Cuyabá a diamond _junta_.

"Gold and diamonds, which are always united in this region, as in many
others, are found especially in the numerous water-courses which furrow
it, and also throughout the whole country.

"After the rains, the children of _Diamantino_ hunt for the gold
contained in the earth even of the streets, and in the bed of the
river Ouro, which, as has been said, passes through the city; and they
often collect to the value of one or two patacas (from eight to fifteen
grains) Brazil weight.

"It is related that a negro, pulling vegetables in his garden, found
a diamond in the earth attached to the roots. It is also said that,
shortly before our arrival at Diamantino, a muleteer, driving a stake
in the ground to tie his mules to, found a diamond of the weight of a
demi-oitavo, (about nine carats.) This last circumstance occurred in
the _chapada_ (table-land) of _San Pedro_.

"We have heard it stated that diamonds are sometimes found in the
stomachs of the fowls.

"The rivers Diamantino, Ouro, and Paraguay appear already to be
completely exhausted. The river _Burité_ continues to furnish many
stones; but the _Santa Anna_, so to speak, is still virgin, and,
notwithstanding the incredible quantity of diamonds taken from it, it
does not appear to have lost its primitive richness.

"It would appear, however, that diamond-hunting is not as productive
as it is believed; for they quote in the country, as very remarkable,
the result obtained by a Spaniard, Don Simon by name, who in four
years, (only working, it is true, during the dry season, but with two
hundred slaves) had collected four hundred oitavas of diamonds, (about
seven thousand carats.) He was obliged to abandon the work because he
lost many slaves in consequence of the pestilential fevers which reign
in the diamond region, and particularly upon the borders of the river
Santa Anna. Before his departure, he filled up the place from whence he
extracted the stones.

"Later another individual found eighty oitavas of diamonds upon one
point alone in the river.

"The largest diamond taken from the Santa Anna weighed, it is said,
three oitavas, (about fifty-two carats.) It was many years since, and
they know not the price it sold for.

"They assert that the stones taken from this river are more beautiful
than those from other diamond localities, and that there are persons
who, in commerce, can distinguish the difference.

"It was very difficult to obtain from the inhabitants of Diamantino, who
seemed to think themselves still under the Portuguese laws in regard to
diamonds and gold, exact information about the quantities of these two
minerals exported each year from the district. However, by uniting the
most positive data, we have formed the following table, which presents
the approximate quantities of diamonds drawn from the country from 1817
to 1845, as well as the fluctuation of prices, and the number of slaves
employed.

"We have added to this table the value of the slaves.

"At the time of our journey about two thousand persons, of whom eight
hundred were slaves, were engaged in this kind of work.

   ------+--------------+---------------+-----------+--------------
   Years.| Price of the | Number of     | Number of | Mean value of
         | oitava in    | oitavas found | slaves    | each slave.
         | assorted     | in the year.  | employed. |
         | stones.      |               |           |
   ------+--------------+---------------+-----------+--------------
   1817  |       $20    |       600     |   1,500   |     $125
   1820  |        30    |   5 _a_ 600   |   1,500   |      125
   1825  |        30    |   5 _a_ 600   |   1,500   |      125
   1830  |        30    |       300     |   1,500   |      125
   1834  |        60    |       300     |   1,500   |      125
   1838  |        75    |       300     |   1,200   |      150
   1840  |       100    |       250     |     900   |      200
   1844  |   125 to 150 |       200     |     800   |      300
   ------+--------------+---------------+-----------+--------------

"In 1817 a stone of an oitava was sold for two hundred dollars.

"Gold is worth the following prices the oitava:

     "In 1817, sixty-seven and one-half cents.
         1820, sixty-seven and one-half cents.
         1830, seventy-five cents.
         1840, one dollar and sixty cents.
         1844, one dollar and eighty cents.

"We see that the prices of diamonds and gold have advanced since 1817.
This is owing to three causes:

"1st. The diminution of the number of African slaves, in consequence of
the laws against the slave trade.

"2d. The diminution of the quantity found.

"3d. The celebrity which this rich locality has progressively acquired,
and which attracts there many persons.

"At present the _vintem_ of diamonds in very small pieces is worth in
commerce from four and a half to five dollars. A stone of a demi-oitava
would be worth now from two to three hundred dollars, according to its
beauty. A stone of an oitava would be worth seven hundred and fifty
dollars.

"Two or three years ago a stone of three-quarters of an oitava was
sold at four hundred dollars, and another of the same weight for five
hundred.

"Now there is scarcely found more than two hundred oitavas of diamonds
per annum, and only two or three stones of a demi-oitava and above.

"The richest man of Diamantino had in his possession, at the time of
our journey, two hundred oitavas of diamonds.

"The slaves sell the diamonds they steal at two, and two and a half
dollars the vintem; large and small, indifferently.

"To recapitulate. After the researches which I made at the places, it
appears to me probable that the quantity of diamonds extracted from
Diamantino and from Matto Grosso amounts, since the discovery by the
Paulistas to the present time, (1849,) to about sixty-six thousand
oitavas; it must be remembered that in this sum are included a great
number of large stones.

"In estimating the mean value of the oitava at one hundred and
twenty-five dollars, we arrive at a total of about eight million two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It is proper to add to this sum
that of the diamonds taken from the basin of the river _Claro_. Although
this last yields inconsiderably at present, and may be far from what it
was under the Portuguese government, I cannot estimate it at less than
fourteen thousand oitavas, worth about one million seven hundred and
fifty thousand dollars.

"Thus the amount of diamonds drawn to the present time from the province
of Matto Grosso will amount to about eighty thousand oitavas, worth ten
millions of dollars.

"I do not doubt that this region may one day furnish, if it is submitted
to a well-conducted exploration, an infinitely larger quantity.
Unfortunately, as we have already said, the search for these stones is
accompanied with great danger; and I am convinced that these baubles of
human vanity have already cost, to Brazil alone, the life of more than
a hundred thousand human beings."

M. Castelnau has given the value of diamonds and gold in the Portuguese
currency of _reis_, and occasionally in francs. In turning the reis
into dollars, I have estimated the dollar at two thousand reis. When I
left Brazil, the Spanish dollar was worth nineteen hundred and twenty
reis, and the Mexican eighteen hundred: so that my values are under the
mark; but there is probably less error in this than in any estimate that
Castelnau could form from his data.

One will readily perceive, from these estimates, that diamond-hunting,
as a business, is unprofitable. But this, like all mining operations,
is a lottery. A man in the diamond region may stumble upon a fortune
at an instant of time, and without a dollar of outlay; but the chances
are fearfully against him. I would rather depend upon the supplying of
the miners with the necessaries and luxuries of life, even by the long
land-travel from Rio Janeiro, or by the tedious and difficult ascent of
the Tapajos.

M. Castelnau, speaking of this trade, says that, taking one article
of merchandise with another, the difference of their value at Pará and
Diamantino is eight hundred and fifty per cent., the round trip between
the two places occupying eight months; but that the profits to the
trader are not to be estimated by the enormous difference of the value
of the merchandise at the place of purchase and the place of sale. He
estimates the expenses of a boat of nine tons (the largest that can
ascend the river) at eight hundred and eighty dollars. Her cargo, bought
at Pará, cost there but three hundred and fifty-five dollars: so that
when it arrives at Diamantino it has cost twelve hundred and thirty-five
dollars; thus diminishing the profits to the trader to about two hundred
and forty-four per cent.

I do not find in Castelnau's estimate of the expenses of a canoe the
labor and time employed in shifting the cargo at Santarem from the large
vessel to the boats. This would probably take off the extra forty-four
per cent., leaving a clear profit of two hundred. This is on the upward
voyage. His return-cargo of hides, with what gold dust and diamonds
he has been able to purchase, will also pay the trader one hundred per
cent. on his original outlay, increased by his profits.

Let us suppose a man sends a cargo from Pará, which costs him there
three hundred and fifty dollars. His two hundred per cent. of clear
profit in Diamantino has increased this sum to one thousand and fifty.
One hundred per cent. on this, the return-cargo, has made it two
thousand one hundred dollars; so that he has pocketed a clear gain of
seventeen hundred and fifty dollars, making a profit of five hundred
per cent. in eight months.

Although there seems, from the accounts we have of the Tapajos, no
chance of a steamer's reaching the diamond region by that river, yet I
have very little doubt but that she may reach it by the rivers Plata,
Paraná, and Paraguay. Should this be the case, and should Brazil have
the magnanimity to throw open the diamond region to all comers, and
encourage them to come by promises of protection and privileges, I
imagine that this would be one of the richest places in the world, and
that Brazil would reap enormous advantages from such a measure.

The place at present is too thinly settled, and the wants of the people
too few, to make this trade (profitable as it appears to be on the small
scale) of any great importance.

Captain Hislop monopolized at one time nearly all the trade of the
Tapajos. He told me that some years ago he sent annually to Cuiabá
goods to the value of fifteen or twenty thousand dollars, and supposes
that all other _commerciantes_ together did not send as much more. He
complains, as all do, of the credit system, and says that the Cuiabanos
now owe him twenty thousand dollars.

The trade now is almost nothing. The Cuiabanos themselves come down to
get their supplies, which they pay for principally in hides.

I made several pleasant acquaintances in Santarem. One of the most
agreeable was a young French engineer and architect, M. _Alphonse Maugin
De Lincourt_, to whom I am indebted for some valuable presents, much
interesting conversation, and the following notes of a voyage on the
Tapajos, which, as describing the manners and customs of the Indian
tribes occupying the borders of that river, I am persuaded will not be
uninteresting.


_Fragments of travels from Itaituba to the cataracts of the Tapajos,
and among the Mundrucus and Maués Indians._

"As soon as the Brazilian —— (the principal authority of the little port
of Itaituba) had procured me some Indians and a small canoe, called in
the country _canoa de Caxoeiras_, I left this place for the purpose of
visiting the great cataracts of the river Tapajos.

"I was the only white man among nine Indians, none of whom, with the
exception of the Indian hunter, could understand me. I cannot express
what I at first suffered in thus finding my life at their mercy. The
boat, under the efforts of these nine pagans, had more the motion of an
arrow than that of a boat ascending against the current of a river.

"Only seeking the principal falls of the Tapajos, we passed, without
stopping, over those of Tapacura, Assu, and _Pracau_, and, continuing
our route to the large ones, we arrived there the following day, without
having met with anything remarkable to relate.

"There the scene changed. The river is no longer the calm Tapajos which
slowly moves towards the Amazon; it is the foaming _Maranhão_, the
advance cataract of the narrow and deep _Caxoeira das Furnas_; it is
the roaring and terrible _coata_, whose currents cross and recross, and
dash to atoms all they bear against its black rocks.

"We surmounted all in the same day. Seated motionless in the middle of
the canoe, I often closed my eyes to avoid seeing the dangers I escaped,
or the perils that remained to be encountered.

"The Indians—sometimes rowing with their little oars, sometimes using
their long, iron-bound staffs, or towing the boat while swimming, or
carrying it on their shoulders—landed me at last on the other side of
the _Caxoeiras_.

"Arrived at the foot of the fifth cataract, the Indians hesitated a
moment and then rowed for the shore. Whilst some were employed in making
a fire, and others in fastening the hammocks to the forest trees, the
hunter took his bow and two arrows, and such is the abundance which
reigns in these countries, that a moment afterwards he returned with
fish and turtles.

"The Indians, exhausted from the fatigues of the day, were not able
to watch that night. I was sentinel, for these shores are infested
by tigers and panthers. Walking along the beach to prevent sleep,
I witnessed a singular spectacle, but (as I was informed by the
inhabitants) one of frequent occurrence. An enormous tiger was extended
full length upon a rock level with the water, about forty paces from
me. From time to time he struck the water with his tail, and at the same
moment raised one of his fore-paws and seized fish, often of an enormous
size. These last, deceived by the noise, and taking it for the fall of
forest fruits, (of which they are very fond,) unsuspectingly approach,
and soon fall into the claws of the traitor. I longed to fire, for I had
with me a double-barrelled gun; but I was alone, and if I missed my aim
at night I risked my life, for the American tiger, lightly or mortally
wounded, collects his remaining strength and leaps with one bound upon
his adversary.

"I did not interrupt him, and when he was satisfied he went off. The
next day we passed the difficult and dangerous cataract of _Apuy_. The
canoe was carried from rock to rock, and I followed on foot through the
forest.

"The farther we advance in these solitudes, the more fruitful and
prodigal nature becomes; but where life superabounds, evil does not less
abound. From the rising to the setting of the sun clouds of stinging
insects blind the traveller, and render him frantic by the torments they
cause. Take a handful of the finest sand and throw it above your head,
and you would then have but a faint idea of the number of these demons
who tear the skin to pieces.

"It is true, these insects disappear at night, but only to give place
to others yet more formidable. Large bats (true, thirsty vampires)
literally throng the forests, cling to the hammocks, and, finding a part
of the body exposed, rest lightly there and drain it of blood.

"At a station called by the Indians _Tucunaré-cuoire_, where we passed
the night, one of them was bitten, whilst asleep, by one of these
vampires, and awoke exceedingly enfeebled.

"In the same place the alligators were so numerous and so bold, and the
noise they made so frightful, that it was impossible to sleep a moment.

"The next day I overtook a caravan of Cuyabanos, who had left Itaituba
before me. They went there to exchange diamonds and gold dust for salt
and other necessary commodities, and were returning with them to Cuyabá.

"They had passed a day at Tucunaré cuoire, and had slept there.

"Thinking that I was a physician, one of them begged me to examine the
recent wounds of a companion. In vain I refused. He still continued his
importunities, lavishing upon me titles of Seigneur and Signor Doctor,
as if he had been in the presence of M. Orfila.

"I went with him. The wounded man was a young Indian, whom an alligator
had seized by the leg the night the caravan slept at Tucunaré-cuoire.
Awakened by his cries, the Cuyabanos fell upon the monster, who, in
spite of every thing, escaped.

"I relieved him as well as I could. I had with me but a scalpel, some
camphor, and a phial of volatile salts. It would have been best to
amputate the limb, which was horribly mutilated.

"I had myself an opportunity of observing the dangers and privations
these men submit to, to carry to Cuyabá the commodities necessary there.

"A caravan called here _Monção_ which is loaded at Itaituba, for ten
contos of reis, (five thousand dollars,) with salt, guaraná, powder,
and lead, arriving in safety at Cuyabá, can calculate upon fifteen or
twenty contos of reis profit.

"At Pará the salt can be sold for three francs the alquiere; at Cuyabá,
it is worth one hundred and fifty francs.

"They can descend the river in forty days; but it requires five months
to ascend it.

"The forests that border the _Tapajos_ are infested by savage Indians,
who frequently attack the _Monçãos_; and dangerous fevers sometimes
carry off those whom the Indian arrow has spared.

"I left the caravan at _Sta. Ana dos Caxoeiras_; it continued its route
towards the source of the Tapajos, and I entered the country inhabited
by the _Mundrucus_.

"The _Mundrucus_, the most warlike nation of the Amazon, do not number
less than fifteen or twenty thousand warriors, and are the terror of
all other tribes.

"They appear to have a deadly hatred to the negro, but a slight sympathy
for the white man.

"During the rainy season they go to the plains to pull the sarsaparilla
root, which they afterwards exchange for common hardware and rum; the
other six months of the year are given to war.

"Each _Malocca_ (village) has an arsenal, or fortress, where the
warriors stay at night; in the day they live with their families.

"The children of both sexes are tattooed (when scarcely ten years
old) with a pencil, or rather a kind of comb, made of the thorns of
the palm-tree, called _Muru-muru_. The father (if the child is a boy)
marks upon the body of the poor creature, who is not even permitted to
complain, long bloody lines, from the forehead to the waist, which he
afterwards sprinkles with the ashes or coal of some kind of resin.

"These marks are never effaced. But if this first tattooing, which is
compulsory among the Mundrucus, sometimes suffices for woman's coquetry,
that of the warriors is not satisfied. They must have at least a good
layer of _geni papo_, (huitoc,) or of _roucou_, (annatto,) upon every
limb, and decorate themselves moreover in feathers. Without that, they
would consider themselves as indecent as a European would be considered
who would put on his coat without his shirt.

"The women may make themselves bracelets and collars of colored beads,
of shells, and of tigers' teeth, but they cannot wear feathers.

"In time of war the chiefs have right of life and death over simple
warriors. The Mundrucus never destroy their prisoners; on the contrary,
they treat them with humanity, tattoo them, and afterwards regard them
as their children.

"This warlike nation, far from being enfeebled as other tribes are, who,
since the conquest of Brazil by the Europeans, are nearly annihilated,
increases, notwithstanding the long wars they every year undertake
against the most ferocious savages.

"Once friends of the whites, they yielded to them the lands they
inhabited on the borders of the Amazon, between the rivers Tapajos and
Madeira, and fled to live an independent life, which they have never
renounced, in the deep solitudes of the Tapajos above the cataracts.

"I visited the old Mundrucu chief, _Joaquim_, who rendered himself so
terrible to the rebels of Pará during the disorders of 1835. He is
a decrepit old man, almost paralyzed. He received me very well, and
appeared flattered that a traveller from a distant country sought to
see him. He told me, in bad Portuguese, 'I am the _Tuchão_, Joaquim.
I love the whites, and have never betrayed them. I left my friends,
my _cacoaes_, (cocoa plantations,) and my house on the borders of the
Madeira to defend them. How many Cabanos (insurgents) have I not killed
when I showed my war canoe that never fled?

"Now I am old and infirm; but if I remain in the midst of these women,
and do not soon leave for the fields to chase away these brigands of
Muras, who lay waste my cacoaes, I will be bewitched and die here like
a dog.

"The Mundrucus do not believe that diseases afflict them. When a prey to
them, they say it is a spell some unknown enemy has cast over them; and
if the _Pugé_, or Magician of the Malocca, interrogated by the family
of the dying man, names a guilty person, he whom he named may count upon
his death.

"I have heard afterwards that when he was fighting so generously with
his Mundrucus for the cause of the white man, a Brazilian colonel, who
commanded the expedition, ordered him to pull manioc roots in a field
supposed to be in the power of the rebels. The chief was furious, and,
angrily eyeing the Brazilian, said, 'Dost thou believe my canoe is made
to carry to the field women and children? It is a war canoe, and not a
boat to bring thee farinha.'

"This same colonel revenged himself for this refusal by calumniating
to the Emperor the conduct of the brave Mundrucu; and on that
representation the court objected to recompense him. He remained poor
as an Indian, when, according to the example of the Brazilian officers,
he could have amassed wealth. He is old now, and has no heir, because
he has only daughters.

"The next day he came to see me, and begged me to cure his nephew, a
young Indian of eighteen or twenty years, whom he dearly loved, and
whom he would have had inherit his courage and his titles; but the poor
devil had nothing of the warrior, and every day, for several hours, had
an epileptic attack. I again had recourse to the phial of salts; gave
him some for the sick man to smell at the time of the attacks; and also
directed that he should drink some drops weakened with water.

"The remedy had a good effect. The attacks became less frequent and
long; and during the three days I remained in the neighborhood of the
Malocca the old Tuchão came every day to thank me; pressed my hands with
affection, and brought me each time different small presents—fruits,
birds, or spoils taken heretofore from an enemy.

"From Santa Ana, where I crossed the river, I determined to enter the
forests, and not to descend by the cataracts. Six Indians went back with
the boat to Itaituba; the three others remained to accompany me to the
Mahués Indians, whom no European traveller had visited, and whom I much
desired to know.

"The Indian hunter, to whom I gave one of my guns, carried my hammock
and walked in front. I followed him, loaded with a gun and a sack,
(which contained ammunition,) my compass, paper, pencils, and some
pieces of guaraná. The other two Indians walked behind carrying a little
manioc flour, travelling necessaries, and a small press to dry the rare
plants that I might collect on my journey.

"We followed a narrow pathway, sometimes across forests, uneven,
and muddy, broken by small pebbly rivulets, the water of which is
occasionally very cold; sometimes climbing steep mountains, through
running vines and thorny palm-trees. I was covered with a cold and heavy
sweat, which forced me to throw off my garment, preferring to endure the
stings of myriads of insects to the touch of a garment that perspiration
and the humidity of the forest had chilled.

"Towards five o'clock we stopped near a rivulet; for in these forests
it soon becomes night. The Indians made a fire and roasted the birds
and monkeys that the hunter had killed. I selected a parrot for supper.

"The following day we arrived, about nightfall, at the Indian village
of _Mandu-assu_.

"The Mahués Indians do not tattoo the body as the Mundrucus, or, if they
do, it is only with the juice of vegetables, which disappears after four
or five days.

"Formerly, when they were enemies of the white man, they were conquered
and subdued by the Mundrucus. At present they live in peace with their
neighbors, and willingly negotiate with the whites.

"The men are well formed, robust, and active; the women are generally
pretty. Less warlike than the Mundrucus, they yield willingly to
civilization; they surround their neat cabins with plantations of banana
trees, coffee, or guaraná.

"The precious and medicinal guaraná plant, which the Brazilians of the
central provinces of Goyaz and Matto Grosso purchase with its weight in
gold, to use against the putrid fevers which rage at certain periods of
the year, is owed to the Mahués Indians. They alone know how to prepare
it, and entirely monopolize it.

"The Tuchão of the Malocca, called Mandu-assu, received me with
cordiality, and offered me his cabin. Fatigued from the journey, and
finding there some birds and rare plants, I remained several days.

"Mandu-assu marvelled to see me carefully preserve the birds the hunter
killed, and the leaves of plants, or wood, that possessed medicinal
virtues. He never left me; accompanied me through the forests, and gave
me many plants of whose properties I was ignorant.

"Rendered still more communicative by the small presents I made him, he
gave me not only all the particulars I wished upon the cultivation and
preparation of the guaraná, but also answered fully all my questions.

"I left him for the Malocca of _Mossé_, whose chief was his relative.
This chief was more distant and savage than Mandu-assu, and received
me with suspicion. I was not discouraged, as I only went to induce him
to exchange, for some articles, his _paricá_, or complete apparatus for
taking a kind of snuff which the great people of the country frequently
use.

"My cause, however, was not altogether lost; my hunter, who had been
in a cabin of the village, took me to see a young Indian who had been
bitten the evening previous by a _surucucurano_ serpent. I opened the
wound, bled him, and again used the volatile salts. Whilst I operated,
a young Indian woman, singularly beautiful, sister of the wounded man,
supported the leg. She watched me with astonishment, and, whilst I
was binding up the wound with cotton soaked in alkali, (salts,) she
disappeared, and I saw her no more.

"The Indian was relieved. The old Tuchão knew of it; and, to thank me
for it, or rather, I believe, to test me, presented me with a calabash,
in which he poured a whitish and disgusting drink, exhaling a strong
door of corruption. This detestable liquor was the _cachiri_, (masato,)
a drink that would make hell vomit; but the Indians passionately love
it. I knew by experience that by refusing to drink I would offend this
proud Mahué, and that if I remained in this Malocca I should assuredly
die from want, because even a calabash of water would be refused me. I
shut my eyes and drank.

"The cachiri is the substance of the manioc root, softened in hot water,
and afterwards chewed by the old women of the Malocca. They spit it
into great earthen pans, when it is exposed to a brisk fire until it
boils. It is then poured into pots and suffered to stand until a putrid
fermentation takes place.

"The Indian afterwards took his paricá. He beat, in a mortar of
sapucaia, a piece of hard paste, which is kept in a box made of a shell;
poured this pulverized powder upon a dish presented by another Indian,
and with a long pencil of hairs of the _tamandua bandeira_, he spread it
evenly without touching it with the fingers; then taking pipes joined
together, made of the quills of the _gaviâo real_, (royal eagle,) and
placing it under his nose, he snuffed up with a strong inspiration all
the powder contained in the plate. His eyes started from his head; his
mouth contracted; his limbs trembled. It was fearful to see him; he was
obliged to sit down, or he would have fallen; he was drunk, but this
intoxication lasted but five minutes; he was then gayer.

"Afterwards, by many entreaties, I obtained from him his precious
paricá, or rather one of them, for he possessed two.

"At the Malocca of _Taguariti_, where I was the next day, the Tuchão,
observing two young children returning from the woods laden with
sarsaparilla, covered with perspiration, and overcome, as much by the
burden they carried as the distance they had travelled, called them to
him, beat some paricá, and compelled them to snuff it.

"I then understood that a Tuchão Mahué had a paternal authority in his
Malocca, and treated all as his own children. He forced these children
to take the paricá, convinced that by it they avoided fevers and
other diseases. And, in truth, I soon saw the children leave the cabin
entirely refreshed, and run playing to the brook and throw themselves
in.

"Several vegetable substances compose paricá: first, the ashes of a
vine that I cannot class, not having been able to procure the flowers;
second, seeds of the _acacia angico_, of the leguminous family; third,
juice of the leaves of the _abuta_, (cocculus) of the menispermes
family.

"I never saw a Mahué Indian sick, nor ever heard them complain of
the slightest pain, notwithstanding that the forests they inhabit are
the birthplaces of dangerous fevers, which rarely spare the Brazilian
merchants who come to purchase sarsaparilla root.

"I had often heard of the great Tuchão, _Socano_ chief, and king of the
Mahué nation, who, (unlike the kings of France,) notwithstanding the
urgent entreaties of his subjects, abdicated in favor of his brother,
and retired apart in a profound solitude, to pass there tranquilly the
remainder of his life. I wished to see this philosopher of the New World
before going to Itaituba, from which I was eleven days' journey on foot.

"I went again to Massú to see the Indian bitten by the serpent, and
perhaps a little, also, to see the Indian girl. He was still lame,
but walked, however, better. The girl was incorruptible. Promises,
bracelets, collars of pearl, (false)—all were useless.

"Without wishing to attack the virtue of the Mundrucus women, I was
induced to believe she would be more charitable, because in the whole
_Mundrucuanie_ it is not proved that there exists a dragon of such
virtue as to resist the temptation of a small glass of rum.

"I assisted at an Indian festival so singular that it is only in use
among the true Mahués. Following the example of the other nations of
Brazil, (who tattoo themselves with thorns, or pierce the nose, the
lips, and the ears,) and obeying an ancient law which commands these
different tortures, this baptism of blood, to habituate the warriors
to despise bodily sufferings, and even death, the Mahués have preserved
from their ancestors the great festival of the _Tocandeira_.

"An Indian is not a renowned Mahué, and cannot take a wife, until he has
passed his arms at least ten times through long stalks of the palm-tree,
filled intentionally with large, venomous ants. He whom I saw receive
this terrible baptism was not sixteen years old. They conducted him
to the chiefs, where the instruments awaited him; and, when muffled in
these terrible mittens, he was obliged to sing and dance before every
cabin of the Malocca, accompanied by music still more horrible. Soon the
torments he endured became so great that he staggered. (The father and
relatives dread, as the greatest dishonor that can befall the family, a
cry or a weakness on the part of the young martyr. They encourage and
support him, often by dancing at his side.) At length he came to the
last cabin; he was pallid; his teeth chattered; his arms were swollen;
he went to lay the gloves before the old chief, where he still had to
endure the congratulations of all the Indians of the Malocca. Even the
young girls mercilessly embraced him, and dragged him through all their
circles; but the Indian, insensible to their caresses, sought only one
thing—to escape. At length he succeeded, and, throwing himself into the
stream, remained there until night.

"The _Tocandeira_ ants not only bite, but are also armed with a sting
like the wasp; but the pain felt from it is more violent. I think it
equal to that occasioned by the sting of the black scorpion.

"In one of my excursions in the environs of the Malocca of Mandu-assu,
I had occasion to take several of them. I enclosed them in a small tin
box. I afterwards let one bite me, that I might judge in a slight degree
what it costs the young Mahués to render themselves acceptable. I was
bitten at 10 a. m. I felt an acute pain from it until evening, and had
several hours' fever.

"At Mandu-assu I was invited to a great festival of the Malocca. The
chief kept me company; the people remained standing, and ate afterwards.
As the Mahués are less filthy than the Mundrucus, I ate with a little
less disgust than with the last, who never took the trouble to skin the
monkeys or deer they killed, but were contented with cutting them to
pieces, and throwing them pell-mell in large earthen pots, where meat,
hair, feathers, and all were cooked together. The Mahués at least,
though they did not pick the game, burnt the hair and roasted the meat.

"The next day I departed for the Socano country. The Indians who
accompanied me, having no curiosity to see the old Indian king,
already tired of the journey, and seeing it prolonged four or five days
independent of the eleven it would require to reach Itaituba, concerted
to deceive me by conducting me through a pathway which they thought
led to a port of the river Tapajos, and where they hoped to find some
Brazilians of Itaituba with their canoes loaded with sarsaparilla.

"In trying to lead me by a false route, they deceived themselves; for
we walked two long days, and the pathway, which was but a hunter's
track, finally entirely disappeared. I was ignorant of the position of
the Malocca I was seeking. I only heard it would be found nearer the
river Madeira than the Tapajos. I wished to cut across the woods and
journey towards the west; the Indians were discouraged, and followed me
unwillingly. We passed a part of the third day in the midst of rugged
and inundated forests, where I twice sank in mud to the waist.

"The hunter could kill nothing; and when, towards the evening, I wished
to take some food, I could only find a half-gnawed leg of monkey. The
Indians had not left me even a grain of farinha. Being near a stream, I
grated some guaraná in a calabash and drank it without sugar, for they
had left me none.

"Not daring to rest, for fear of being unable to rise, we immediately
resumed our journey. Having again walked two hours across forests of
vines, which caused me to stumble at every step; or crawling under large
fallen trees, which constantly barred our way; or in the midst of large
prickly plants, which lacerated my hands, I arrived, torn and bruised,
at a small river, where we stopped.

"After drinking another portion of guaraná, I swung my hammock, but
was soon obliged to rise, because a storm had gathered above us and now
burst forth.

"If there is an imposing scene to describe, it is that of a storm which
rages at night over an old forest of the New World. Huge trees fall
with a great crash; a thousand terrific noises resound from every side;
animals, (monkeys and tigers,) whom fear drives to shelter, pass and
repass like spectres; frequent flashes of lightning; deluging torrents
of rain—all combine to form a scene from which the old poets might have
drawn inspiration to depict the most brilliant night of the empire of
darkness.

"Towards midnight the storm ceased; all became tranquil, and I swung my
hammock anew. The next day I awoke with a fever. I drank guaraná made
more bitter than usual, and we started. The hunter met a band of large
black monkeys. He killed five of them. The Indians recovered courage;
for myself, I could proceed no further, so great were the pains I
suffered from my feet to my knees. The fever weakened me so much that I
carried my gun with difficulty; but I would not abandon it. I had only
that to animate my guides and defend myself with.

"By frequently drinking guaraná the fever had left me; but towards
the evening of the fifth day, finding we were still wandering, and
the forests becoming deeper, I lost courage and could not proceed. The
hunter swung my hammock and gave me guaraná. The two others, perfectly
indifferent, were some paces from me, employed in broiling a monkey. I
knew if I had not strength to continue the journey the next day, they
would abandon me without pity. Already they answered me insolently.

"After a moment passed in the saddest reflection, I called to the hunter
to bring me my travelling case. I took from it the entire preparation
of paricá of the Mossé chief, and a flask of arsenical soap, which I
would not use except as the last resource. I took the paricá and did
as I had seen the old Indian do. I instantly fell drunk in my hammock,
but with a peculiar intoxication, and which acted upon my limbs like
electric shocks. On rising, I put my foot to the ground, and, to my
great surprise, felt no pain. At first I thought I dreamed. I even
walked without being convinced. At length, positively sure that I was
awake, and there still remaining two hours of daylight, I detached my
hammock, and forced the Indians, by striking them, to follow me.

"When further on we stopped to rest, they brought me the roast monkey,
which they had not touched. I snatched a leg and ate it with voracity.
The next day, constantly compelling myself to take the guaraná, I had
but slight fever; and towards the evening, after a toilsome journey, we
arrived at a miserable Malocca, composed of about four or five Indian
cabins."



CHAPTER XVII.

     Departure from Santarem—Monte
     Allegre—Prainha—Almeirim—Gurupá—River Xingu—Great estuary
     of the Amazon—India-rubber country—Method of collecting and
     preparing the India-rubber—Bay of Limoeiro—Arrival at Pará.


M. Alfonse was more generous than the Tuchão, for I could do nothing
for him; yet he gave me his parica, his Mundrucus gloves, and a very
valuable collection of dried leaves and plants, that he had gathered
during his tour.

I spent a very agreeable day with him at the country house of M.
Gouzennes, situated on the Igarapé-assu, about three miles from
Santarem. The house is a neat little cottage, built of _pisé_, which
is nearly the same thing as the large sun-dried bricks, called by the
Spaniards _adobe_, though more carefully prepared. I supposed that
this house, situated in the midst of a cocoa plantation, on low land,
near the junction of two great rivers, under a tropical sun, and with a
tropical vegetation, would be an unhealthy residence; but I was assured
there was no sickness here.

We put up in earth, for transportation to the United States, plants of
arrow-root, ginger, manacá, and some flowers. I believe that some of
these reached home alive, and are now in the public garden.

Other gentlemen were also kind and civil to me. Mr. Bates, a young
English entomologist, gave me a box of very beautiful butterflies;
and the Vicario Gêral, the fœtus of a peixe-boi, preserved in spirits.
Senhor Pinto, the Delegado, furnished me with horses to ride; and I took
most of my meals with Capt. Hislop.

An attempt was made to murder the old gentleman a few weeks before I
arrived. Whilst sleeping in his hammock, two men rushed upon him, and
one of them gave him a violent blow in the breast with a knife—the point
of the knife, striking the breast-bone, broke or bent. The robbers
then seized his trunk and made off, but were so hotly pursued by the
captain's domestics, whom he had called up, that they dropped their
booty and fled.

A young Englishman named Golden, who had married a Brazilian lady, and
was engaged in traffic on the river, was also kind to me, giving me
specimens of India-rubber and cotton.

The trade of Santarem with Pará is carried on in schooners of about
one hundred tons burden, of which there were five or six lying in port
whilst I was there. The average passage downwards is thirteen, and
upwards twenty-five days.

There are several well-stocked shops in the town, but business was
at that time very dull. Every body was complaining of it. A schooner
had been lying there for several months, waiting for a cargo; but the
smallness of the cocoa crop, and the great decrease in the fishing
business, and making of manteiga for this year, rendered it very
difficult to make up one.

We had a great deal of heavy rain during our stay at Santarem,
(generally at night,) with sharp lightning and strong squalls of wind
from the eastward. The river rose with great rapidity for the last
three or four days of my stay. The beach on which I was accustomed to
bathe, and which was one hundred yards wide when I arrived, was entirely
covered when I left. There were no symptoms of tide at that season,
though I am told it is very perceptible in the summer time. Water boiled
at Santarem at 210.5, indicating a height of eight hundred and forty-six
feet above the level of the sea.

I left Santarem at 7 p. m., March 28. The Delegado could only muster
me three tapuios and a pilot, and I shipped a volunteer. I believe he
could have given me as many as I desired, (eleven,) but that he had
many employed in the building of his new house, and, moreover, he had
no conception that I would sail on the day that I appointed; people in
this country never do, I believe, by any chance. If they get off on a
journey within a week of the time appointed, they think they are doing
well; and I have known several instances where they were a month after
the time.

When the Delegado found that I would go with what men I had, he begged
me to wait till morning, saying that the military commandant, who had
charge of the Trabalhadores, had sent into the country for two, and was
expecting them every hour. But I too well knew that it was idle to rely
on expectations of this sort, and I sailed at once, thanking him for
his courtesy.

I had several applications to ship for the voyage from Indians at
Santarem; but I was very careful not to take any who were engaged in
the service of others; for I knew that custom, if not law, gave the
patron the service of the tapuio, provided this latter were in debt to
the former, which I believe the patron always takes good care shall be
the case.

I paid these men—the pilot forty, and the crew thirty cents per day. The
Ticunas, who formed my crew from Tabatinga to Barra, I paid partly in
money and partly in clothes, at the rate of four dollars per month. I
paid the Muras, from Barra to Santarem, at the same rate. The Peruvian
Indians were generally paid in cotton cloth, at the rate of about twelve
and a half cents per day.

We gave passage to the French Jew who had given us lodgings in his house
at Santarem. I had great difficulty in keeping the peace between him and
Potter, who had as much antipathy towards each other as an uneducated
Frenchman and Englishman might be supposed to have.

We drifted with the current all night, and stopped in the morning at a
small cocoa plantation belonging to some one in Santarem. The water of
the river was, at this time, nearly up to the door of the house; and
the country seemed to be all marsh behind. I never saw a more desolate,
sickly looking place; but a man who was living there with his wife and
six children (all strong and healthy looking) told me they were never
sick there. This man told me that he could readily support himself and
his family but for the military service he was compelled to surrender at
Santarem, which took him away from his work and his family for several
months in every year.

Thirty miles from the mouth of the Tapajos we passed the mouth of a
creek called Igarapé Mahica, which commences close to the Tapajos. We
found the black waters of that river at the mouth of the creek, and
therefore it should be properly called a furo, or small mouth of the
Tapajos.

We stopped at 9 p. m. under some high land close to the mouth of a small
river called Curuá, on account of a heavy squall of wind and rain.

_March 30._—We passed this morning the high lands on the left bank of
the river, among which is situated the little town of _Monte Alegre_.
This is a village of fifteen hundred inhabitants, who are principally
engaged in the cultivation of cocoa, the raising of cattle, and the
manufacture of earthern-ware, and drinking cups made from gourds, which
they varnish and ornament with goldleaf and colors, in a neat and pretty
style.

In the afternoon we crossed the river, here about four miles wide, and
stopped at the village of _Prainha_.

Prainha is a collection of mud huts on a slight green eminence on the
left bank of the river, ninety miles below Santarem. The inhabitants,
numbering five hundred, employ themselves in gathering India-rubber
and making manteiga. The island opposite the town having a lake in the
centre abounding with turtle.

We saw several persons at this place who were suffering from sezoens, or
tertianas, but all said they took them whilst up the neighboring rivers.
If general accounts are to be relied on, there seems to be really no
sickness on the main trunk of the Amazon, but only on the tributaries;
though I saw none on the Huallaga and Ucayali.

I have no doubt of the fact that sickness is more often taken on the
tributaries than on the main trunk; but I do not think it is because
there is any peculiar malaria on the tributaries from which the main
trunk is exempt. The reason, I think, is this; when persons leave their
homes to ascend the tributaries, they break up their usual habits of
life, live in canoes exposed to the weather, with bad and insufficient
food, and are engaged in an occupation (the collection of India-rubber
or sarsaparilla) which compels them to be nearly all the time wet. It
is not to be wondered at that, after months of such a life, the voyager
should contract chills and fever in its most malignant form.

The mere traveller passes these places without danger. It is the
enthusiast in science, who spends weeks and months in collecting curious
objects of natural history, or the trader, careless of consequences in
the pursuit of dollars, who suffers from the sezoens.

Although there were a number of cattle grazing in the streets of
Prainha, we could get no fresh meat; and indeed, but for the opportune
arrival of a canoe with a single fish, our tuyuyus, or great cranes,
would have gone supperless. These birds frequently passed several days
without food—and this on a river abounding with fish, which shows the
listless indifference of the people.

The banks of the river between Monte Alegre and Gurupá are bordered with
hills that deserve the name of mountains. In this part of our descent
we had a great deal of rain and bad weather; for wherever the land
elevates itself in this country, clouds and rain settle upon the hills.
But it was very pleasant, even with these accompaniments, to look upon
a country broken into hill and valley, and so entirely distinct from the
low flat country above, that had wearied us so long with its changeless
monotony.

About fifty-five miles below Prainha we passed the mouth of the small
river Parú, which enters the Amazon on the left bank. It is a quarter
of a mile wide at its mouth, and has clear dark water.

It is very difficult to get any information from the Indian pilots on
the river. When questioned regarding any stream, the common reply is,
"It runs a long way up; it has rapids; savages live upon its banks;
everything grows there;" (_Vai longe_, _tem caxoieras_, _tem gentios_,
_tem tudo_.) I was always reminded of the Peruvian Indian with his _hay
platanos_, _hay yuccas_, _hay todo_.

Our pilot, however, told me that the river was navigable for large
vessels twenty days to the first rapids; that the current was very
strong; that there was much sezoens on it; and that much sarsaparilla
and cloves could be collected there.

The immediate banks of the river at its mouth are low; but close to the
left bank commences a short but quite high range of hills, that runs
parallel to the Amazon.

Six miles below this we passed the village of _Almeirim_, on the left
bank, but did not stop. A little above the town, and a quarter of a mile
from shore, there was a strong ripple, which the pilot said was caused
by a ledge of rocks that are bare when the river is low. There is plenty
of water on each side of it.

Fifty miles below Almeirim we steered across the river for Gurupá,
running under sail from island to island. The river here is about ten
miles wide. Large islands divide it into the Macapá and Gurupá channels;
the latter conducting to Pará, the former running out to sea by the
shores of Guyana.

After crossing, and at half a mile from the right bank, we fell into
the dark waters of the Xingu, whose mouth we could see some six or
eight miles above. Fifteen miles further brought us to Gurupá, where we
arrived at a quarter past 9 p. m.

Gurupá is a village of one street, situated on a high grassy point on
the right bank, with large islands in front, diminishing the width of
the river to about a mile and a half. It contains about three hundred
inhabitants, though the sub-delegado said it had two or three thousand;
and the official report states the number at over one thousand.

The principal trade of the place is in India-rubber, obtained on the
Xingu and the neighboring smaller streams. We found at this place, as at
every other place below Barra, a great demand for salt fish. Everybody
asked us if we had any to sell; and we could readily have obtained
three dollars the arroba, for which we had paid but seventy-five cents
in Barra. The scarcity of the fish is attributable to the fact that the
river has fallen very little this year; but I incline to believe that
the fish are not so plentiful, and that the people are not so active in
taking them as before. It was amusing at Santarem to see the gathering
of the population around a canoe, recently arrived with fish, as if this
were a thing of rare occurrence. The people seemed so lazy that they
would prefer eating farinha alone, rather than take the trouble to go
down to the Amazon and catch fish.

I met, at the house of the Commandante-militar, with an old gentleman
who was on his way to _Porto de Moz_, near the mouth of the Xingu, to
take the office of municipal judge of the district. He seemed to be a
man well informed with regard to all the river below Barra. He told me
that the Xingu was obstructed by rapids for navigation in large vessels
within four days' travel from its mouth, and that boats could not go far
up on account of the savages. These rapids, however, cannot be a serious
impediment for boats; for I was told at Santarem that the caravans from
Cuiabá to Rio Janeiro passed the Xingu in boats, and found at that place
porpoises of the Amazon; from which they inferred that there were no
falls or serious obstacles in the river below them.

The judge asked me for accounts from Barra; and when he received the
usual answer, that the town was not in a flourishing condition, and was
short of the necessaries of life, he shrugged his shoulders, (as all in
the lower province do when speaking of the new province,) as if to say,
"I knew it."

He said that it might come to something in forty years; but that nothing
could be expected of a place that furnished nothing to commerce but a
few oils, and a little _piassaba_, and where the population was composed
of Muras and Araras. He spoke bitterly of the Mura tribe of Indians,
and said that they were lazy and deceitful.

According to his account, the white man furnishes the Mura with a boat,
pays him, beforehand, a jacket, a shirt, a pair of trousers, and a hat;
furnishes him with fish and farinha to eat, and tobacco to smoke, and
sends him out to take Pirarucu; but when the Indian gets off, it is
"Good-bye Mura;" or, if he does come back, he has spent so much time in
his fishing that the fish are not worth the outlay and the time lost.

It was true, he said, there were cattle on the Rio Branco; but they
could only be sent for and traded in when the river was full; and he
concluded by making a great cross in the air, and lifting up his eyes,
to give vent to the expression, "Heaven deliver me from Barra!"

I conversed with the old gentleman on some projects of reform as
regarded the Indian population. He thought that a military force should
be employed to reduce them to a more perfect system of subjection, and
that they should, by all means, be compelled to work. I told him that
a Portuguese had said that the best reform that could be made would
be to hang all the Indians. My friend seemed a little shocked at this,
and said that there was no necessity for such root-and-branch work. He
said he would grant that the old ones might be killed to advantage; but
he thought they might be shot and not hung. This, I believe, was said
"_bona fide_." I was amused at the old gentleman's philanthropy, and
thought that, as a judge, he might have preferred the hanging process.

I find that most of the gentlemen of the lower province are disposed to
sneer at the action of the government in erecting the Comarca of the Rio
Negro into a province; but I think the step was a wise one. It may cost
the government, and particularly the province of Pará, (from which funds
are drawn for the support of the new province,) some money to support
it for a while; but if the country is to be improved at all, it is to be
done in this way. By sending there government officials—people who know
what living is, and have wants—and by building government houses, (thus
employing and paying the Indians,) stimulants are given to labor, and
the resources of the country are drawn out; for these people who have
gone from Pará and Rio Janeiro will not be content to live on turtle,
salt fish, and farinha.

The tide is very apparent at Gurupá. The river fell several feet during
the morning whilst we were there. This point is about five hundred miles
from the sea.

After we had sailed, the Commandante-militar, to whom I had applied for
more men, and who had told me there were none to be had, sent a man in
a canoe after us. I suspected so much courtesy, and found, accordingly,
that the man (a negro) was a cripple, and utterly worthless. He had
evidently been palmed off upon us to get rid of him. I made him feed the
birds and cook for the men. These men made the best and hardest-working
crew I had during my voyage.

About thirty-five miles below Gurupá commences the great estuary of
the Amazon. The river suddenly flares out into an immense bay, which
is probably one hundred and fifty miles across in its widest part. This
might appropriately be called the "Bay of the Thousand Islands," for it
is cut up into innumerable channels. The great island of Marajo, which
contains about ten thousand square miles, occupies nearly the centre of
it, and divides the river into two great channels: one, the main channel
of the Amazon, which runs out by Cayenne; and the other, and smaller
one, the river of Pará. I imagine that no chart we have gives anything
like a correct idea of this bay. The French brig-of-war _Boulonnaise_,
some years ago, passed up the main channel from Cayenne to Obidos, and
down the Pará channel, making a survey. But she had only time to make
a survey of the channels through which she passed, leaving innumerable
others unexplored. This she was permitted to do through the liberality
of Senhor Coelbo, the patriotic President of the province; but when she
applied for permission to make further surveys, she was sternly refused
by the government of Rio Janeiro.

I think it would cost a steamer a year of uninterrupted labor to make
a tolerably correct chart of this estuary.

At this point we turned into a small creek that penetrated the right
bank, and ran for days through channels varying from fifty to five
hundred yards in width, between innumerable islands. This is the
India-rubber country. The shores of the islands were all low; and,
indeed, we seldom saw the land at all, the trees on the banks generally
standing in the water.

We stopped (April 3) at one of the establishments on the river for
making, or rather for buying, India-rubber. The house was built of
light poles, and on piles to keep it out of the water, which, at this
time, flowed under and around it. The owner had a shop containing all
the necessaries of life, and such articles of luxury as were likely to
attract the fancy of the Indian gatherers of the rubber. It was strange,
and very agreeable, to see flour-barrels marked _Richmond_, and plain
and striped cottons from _Lowell_ and _Saco_, with English prints,
pewter ear and finger rings, combs, small guitars, cheese, gin, and
aguadiente, in this wild and secluded-looking spot.

This house was a palace to the rude shanty which the _seringero_, or
gatherer of the rubber, erects for a temporary shelter near the scene
of his labors.

The owner of the house told me that the season for gathering the rubber,
or _seringa_, as it is here called, was from July to January. The tree
gives equally well at all times; but the work cannot be prosecuted
when the river is full, as the whole country is then under water. Some,
however, is made at this time, for I saw a quantity of it in this man's
house, which was evidently freshly made.

The process of making it is as follows: A longitudinal gash is made in
the bark of the tree with a very narrow hatchet or tomahawk; a wedge of
wood is inserted to keep the gash open, and a small clay cup is stuck
to the tree beneath the gash. The cups may be stuck as close together
as possible around the tree. In four or five hours the milk has ceased
to run, and each wound has given from three to five tablespoonfuls. The
gatherer then collects it from the cups, takes it to his rancho, pours
it into an earthen vessel, and commences the operation of forming it
into shapes and smoking it. This must be done at once, as the milk soon
coagulates.

A fire is made on the ground of the seed of nuts of a palm-tree, of
which there are two kinds: one called urucari, the size of a pigeon's
egg, though longer; and the other inajá, which is smaller. An earthen
pot, with the bottom knocked out, is placed, mouth down, over the fire,
and a strong pungent smoke from the burning seeds comes up through the
aperture in the bottom of the inverted pot.

The maker of the rubber now takes his last, if he is making shoes, or
his mould, which is fastened to the end of a stick; pours the milk over
it with a cup, and passes it slowly several times through the smoke
until it is dry. He then pours on the other coats until he has the
required thickness; smoking each coating until it is dry.

Moulds are made either of clay or wood; if of wood, it is smeared with
clay, to prevent the adhesion of the milk. When the rubber has the
required thickness, the moulds are either cut out or washed out.

Smoking changes the color of the rubber very little. After it is
prepared, it is nearly as white as milk, and gets its color from age.

The most common form of the India-rubber of commerce is that of a thick
bottle; though it is also frequently made in thick sheets, by pouring
the milk over a wooden mould, shaped like a spade, and, when it has a
coating sufficiently thick, passing a knife around three sides of it,
and taking out the mould. I should think this the least troublesome
form, and the most convenient for transportation.

From twenty to forty coats make a pair of shoes. The soles and heels
are, of course, given more coats than the body of the shoe. The figures
on the shoes are made by tracing them on the rubber whilst soft with
a coarse needle or bit of wire. This is done in two days after the
coating. In a week the shoes are taken from the last. The coating
occupies about twenty-five minutes.

An industrious man is able to make sixteen pounds of rubber a day; but
the collectors are not industrious. I heard a gentleman in Pará say that
they rarely average more than three or four pounds.

The tree is tall, straight, and has a smooth bark. It sometimes reaches
a diameter of eighteen inches or more. Each incision makes a rough wound
on the tree, which, although it does not kill it, renders it useless,
because a smooth place is required to which to attach the cups. The milk
is white and tasteless, and may be taken into the stomach with impunity.

The rubber is frequently much adulterated by the addition of tapioca
or sand, to increase its weight; and, unless care is taken in the
manufacture, it will have many cells, containing air and water. Water
is seen to exude from nearly all of it when cut, which is always done
for the purpose of examination before purchase. I brought home some
specimens that were more than half mud.

The seringeros generally work on their own account, and take their
collection to the nearest settlement, or to some such shop as this, to
exchange it for such things as they stand in need of.

We navigated all day, after leaving this place, through a labyrinth
of island channels, generally one or two hundred yards wide, and
forty-eight feet deep. No land is seen in threading these channels,
it being all covered; and the trees and bushes seem growing out of the
water. Occasionally the bushes are cleared away, and one sees a shanty
mounted on piles in the water, the temporary residence of a seringero.
At a place in one of these channels, I was surprised to find one hundred
and ninety-two feet of water, with a rocky bottom. The lead hung in the
rocks, so that we had difficulty in getting it again.

_April 4._—The channels and shores are as before; though we occasionally
see a patch of ground with a house on it. This is generally surrounded
with cocoa-nut trees and other palms, among which the _miriti_ is
conspicuous for its beauty. This is a very tall, straight, umbrella-like
tree, that bears large clusters of a small nut, which is eaten.

We arrived at _Breves_, on the island of Marajo, at 11 a. m. This
settlement is about two hundred miles below Gurupá. It is a depot of
India-rubber, and sends annually about three thousand arrobas to Pará.
It has a church, and several shops; and seems a busy, thriving place.
Below this we find the flood-tide sufficiently strong to compel us to
lie by, though it is but of three or four hours' duration. The ebb is
of longer duration, and stronger.

Nearly opposite Breves, at a place called Portal, a village of sixty or
eighty houses, two rivers, called the _Pucajash_ and _Guanapu_, empty
into the Amazon close together. A German, whom I met at Pará, told me of
these rivers. I can find no mention of them in Baena's essay. My German
friend said that the _Pucajash_ was a large river which came down from
the province of _Minas Geraes_, and that he had found gold in its sands.
According to his account, the _Pucajash_ may be ascended for eight days
in a montaria (quite equal to twenty days in a river craft) before the
first rapids are reached. Tapuios and boats may be had at Portal. The
savages who inhabit the banks of the _Pucajash_ are nearly white; go
naked; but are civil, and may be employed as hunters.

We employed the 5th, 6th, and 7th of April in running through island
passages, and occasionally touching on the main stream, anchoring during
the flood-tide.

I could keep no account of the tide in these passages. We would
encounter two or three different tides in three or four hours. I imagine
the reason of this was that some of the passages were channels proper
of the Amazon; some of them small, independent rivers; and some, again,
furos, or other outlets of these same rivers. On the morning of the 7th,
we were running down on the main river, here about three miles wide, and
with a powerful ebb-tide. Suddenly we turned to the right, or southward,
into a creek about forty yards wide, and with twelve feet of water, and
found a small tide against us. After pulling up this creek an hour, we
found a powerful tide in our favor, without having observed that we had
entered another stream; so that from 5 a. m. to 3 p. m., we had had but
a small tide of one hour against us.

I could get no information from our pilot. He seems to me to say
directly contrary things about it. The old man is very timid, and will
never trust himself in the stormy waters of the main river if he can
find a creek, though it go a long distance about.

The channels are so intricate that we find, at the bifurcations, bits of
sail cloth hung on the bushes, to guide the navigators on the route to
Pará. Those channels which lead to Cametá, on the Tocantins, and other
places, are not marked.

We passed occasionally farm houses, with mills for grinding sugar-cane.
The mills are as rude as those in Mainas, and I believe make nothing
but rum.

At 8 p. m. on the 7th, we arrived at the mouth of the creek, which
debouches upon the bay of _Limoeiro_, a deep indentation of the right
bank of the Amazon, at the bottom of which is the mouth of the river
Tocantins. We had a stormy night, with a fresh wind from the eastward,
and much rain, thunder, and lightning.

_April 8._—The pilot objected to attempt the passage of the bay; but
another pilot, who was waiting to take a vessel across the next day,
encouraged him, telling him that he would have _feliz viagem_.

We pulled a mile to windward, and made sail across, steering E. S. E.
The wind from the northward and eastward, encountering the ebb-tide
which runs from the southward, soon made a sharp sea, which gave us a
rough passage. The canoe containing our animals and birds, which was
towing astern, with our crippled negro from Gurupá steering, broke
adrift, and I had the utmost difficulty in getting her again; indeed we
took in so much water in our efforts to reach her that I thought for a
moment that I should have to make sail again, and abandon the menagerie.
The canoe, however, would probably not have perished. She was so light
that she took in little water, and would have drifted with the ebb-tide
to some point of safety.

We had a quick run to an island near the middle of the bay, and about
five miles from the shore that we sailed from. The bay on this side of
the island has several sand-flats, that are barely covered at low water.
They seem entirely detached from the land and have deep water close
around them.

Our pilot must have steered by instinct, or the direction of the wind;
for most of the time he could see no land, so thick and heavy was the
rain. He grinned with delight when we ran under the lee of the island,
and I nodded my head approvingly to him, and said, _bem feito piloto_,
(well done pilot.)

We breakfasted on the island, and ran with the flood-tide to its
southern extremity; where, turning to the north, we had the flood
against us, and were compelled to stop.

The Bay of _Limoeiro_ is about ten miles wide; runs north and south,
and has the Tocantins pouring in at its southern extremity. Thirty-nine
miles from the mouth of that river is situated the flourishing town
of Cametá, containing, by the official statement for 1848, thirteen
thousand seven hundred and forty-two free, and four thousand and
thirty-eight slave inhabitants. I suppose in this case, as in others,
the inhabitants of the country houses for miles around are included in
the estimate.

Baena, in speaking of the condition of this town in 1833, says:

"The city and its 'termo' (a territorial division of a Comarca, which
is again a territorial division of a province) has a population of
eight thousand and sixty-eight whites, and one thousand three hundred
and eighty-two slaves. The major part are to be found in the town on
holy-week, or any of the great festivals; but for the most time, they
live dispersed among the adjacent islands, on their cocoa plantations
and farms.

"They cultivate mandioc, cocoa, cotton, rice, tobacco, urucu, and
sugar-cane. They make much oil from the andiroba nut, which they collect
on the islands, and also lime from fossil shells.

"The women paint gourds and make ewers and basins of white clay, which
they paint very beautifully. They also make figures of turtle doves and
crocodiles from the same clay.

"The inhabitants enjoy a fine climate, charming views, the clear and
good water of the river, abundance of fish, and every kind of game,
which is found on the margin of the river and on the islands—such is
the fertility which nature spontaneously offers; and much more would
they enjoy had they a better system of cultivation on those lands, all
admirably fitted for every kind of labor.

"There are those who say that the water of the Tocantins has a certain
subtle, petrifying quality, which causes attacks of gravel to those who
use it."

According to M. Castelnau, who descended this river from near the
city of _Goyaz_, by one of its tributaries, called the _Crixas_, the
Tocantins forks, at about three hundred and forty miles from its mouth,
into two great branches, called the Tocantins proper and the _Araguay_,
which latter branch he considers the principal stream. "For," he says,
"when we consider that the Tocantins presents an almost continued
succession of cascades and rapids, whilst the Araguay (as we have before
said) is free for the greater part of its course, it will be seen how
this latter offers greater advantages for navigation; particularly when
it is recollected that one may embark upon it at all seasons at fifty
leagues from the capital, (Goyaz,) and in the rainy seasons at only a
very few leagues from it. The Tocantins, on the other hand, cannot be
considered navigable farther up than Porto Imperial, which is nearly
three hundred leagues below Goyaz, by the windings of the route."

Again, he says: "The rivers of which we have been treating, although
they are secondary on a continent watered by the Amazon and Mississippi,
would elsewhere be considered as of the first order; for the Tocantins
has nearly four hundred and forty leagues of course, and the Araguay,
properly so called, has not less than four hundred and twenty. But this
last, after uniting itself to the Tocantins, runs in the bed of the
latter a new distance of one hundred and thirteen leagues; considering,
then, the Araguay, on account of its being the larger branch, and the
most direct in its course, as the main river, it has a total length of
nearly five hundred and thirty-three leagues," (1,599 miles.)

It is necessary, however, in ascending these rivers, to unload the boats
at many places, and drag them over the rocks with cords. The voyage from
Porto Imperial to Pará occupies from twenty-five to thirty days; but
upwards it takes from four to five months.

M. Castelnau descended the Araguay from Salinas (fifty leagues by land
from Goyaz) to its junction with the Tocantins in thirty-four days.
Just below Salinas he found the Araguay upwards of five hundred yards
wide. At the junction of the rivers, the Tocantins has a width of two
thousand yards, with a current of three-fourths of a mile per hour.
The height of this point above the level of the sea is one hundred and
ninety-seven feet, and its distance from Pará, in a straight line, is
about one hundred and sixty-one miles; thus giving the river in this
distance a fall of about eight-tenths of a foot per mile.

We crossed the other arm of the bay (about five miles wide) with the
ebb-tide, and anchored at the mouth of a small river called _Anapui_,
which empties into the bay near its opening into the main river of Pará.

There are large mud flats near the mouth of this river, which are
enclosed with small stakes driven in the mud close together, for
the purpose of taking fish when the tide is out. A great many small
fish—about the size of a herring—called _mapará_, are taken and salted
for the food of the slaves and tapuios. The fishermen, in ludicrously
small canoes, gathered around us, admiring our birds and asking many
strange questions.

This river is about two hundred and fifty yards wide, and has a general
depth of thirty-six feet. Its banks are lined with plantations of cane,
sugar-mills, and potteries. Nearly all the rum and the pots for putting
up the turtle-oil that are used on the river, are made in this district.
The owners of these establishments are nearly all away at this time
celebrating holy-week in Sta. Ana, or other neighboring villages.

The establishments are left in charge of domestics; and we saw no signs
of activity or prosperity among them. Most of them have neat little
chapels belonging to them.

The river Sta. Ana empties into the _Anapui_. We anchored at its mouth
to await for the flood-tide. Our pilot, who always sleeps on the arched
covering over the stern of the boat, rolled overboard in the night. The
tide was fortunately nearly done, and the old man swam well, or he would
have been lost.

The village of Sta. Ana is eight miles from the mouth of the river, and
two hundred and fifty miles below Breves. It is the centre of the rum
and molasses trade of the district. It is a small, neat looking village
of about five hundred inhabitants; but the country around is very
thickly settled; and thus the official account states the population
of the town of _Igarapé Mirim_ (which I take to be this Sta. Ana) at
three thousand one hundred free persons, with two hundred and eighty-one
slaves.

The river opposite the town is one hundred yards wide, and has a depth
of thirty feet. Just above the village we entered the mouth of a creek
called _Igarapé Mirim_. This creek has an average width of thirty yards,
and depth, at this season, of fifteen feet.

Six miles of navigation on this creek brought us to a canal which
connects the Sta. Ana with the river _Mojú_.

The canal is about a mile long, and has six feet of depth at this
season. It seems, at present, in good condition, and large enough to
give passage to a vessel of fifty tons.

We found the Mojú a fine stream, of about four hundred yards in width,
and forty-five feet deep opposite the entrance of the canal. The water
was brown and clear, and the banks everywhere three or four feet out of
the water. I was surprised to see so few houses on its banks. It looked
very nearly as desolate as the Marañon in Peru.

Forty-five miles of descent of the Mojú brought us to the junction of
the Acará, which comes in from the southeast. The estuary formed by the
junction of the two rivers is about two and a half miles wide, and is
called the river _Guajará_.

Five miles of descent of the Guajará brought us to its entrance into the
Pará river, five miles above the city, where we arrived at half-past 9
p. m. on the 11th of April.

I was so worn out when we arrived, that, although I had not heard from
home, and knew that there must be letters here for me, I would not take
the trouble to go to the consul's house to seek them; but sending Mr.
Potter and the Frenchman ashore to their families, I anchored in the
stream, and, wrapping myself in my blanket, went sullenly to sleep.

The charm of Mr. Norris's breakfast table next morning, however, with
ladies and children seated around it, conversing in English, might have
waked the dead. Under the care and kindness of himself and his family,
I improved every hour; and was soon in condition to see what was to be
seen, and learn what was to be learned, of the city of Pará.



CHAPTER XVIII.

Pará.


The city of _Santa Maria de Belem do Graõ Pará_, founded by _Francisco
Caldeira do Castello Branco_, in the year 1616, is situated on a low
elbow of land at the junction of the river Guamá with the river Pará,
and at a distance of about eighty miles from the sea.

A ship generally requires three tides, which run with a velocity of
about four miles to the hour, to reach the sea from the city.

Pará is not fortified, either by land or water. There is a very small
and inefficient fort situated on an island about five miles below the
city; but it is only armed with a few ill-conditioned field-pieces,
which do not command the channel. There is also a small battery in the
city near the point of junction of the two rivers; but there are no guns
mounted, and its garrison could be easily driven out by musketry from
the towers of the cathedral.

The harbor is a very fine one; it is made by the long island of Onças
in front, and at two miles distant, with some smaller ones further down
the river. There is an abundance of water, and ships of any size may
lie within one hundred and fifty yards of the shore. There is a good
landing-place for boats and lighters at the custom-house wharf; and at
half tide at the stone wharf, some five hundred yards above.

The corporation was engaged, during my stay, in building a strong stone
sea-wall all along in front of the town. This will make a new wide
street on the water-front, and prevent smuggling. Formerly, canoes, at
high stages of the river, would land cargoes surreptitiously in the very
cellars of the warehouses situated on the river.

The city is divided into the freguezias, or parishes, of Sé and Campina.
Nine other freguezias are included in the _municipio_ of the capital;
but many of these are leagues distant, and should not geographically be
considered as belonging to the city, or their population be numbered in
connexion with it.

The population of the city proper numbered, in 1848, (the last
statistical account I have, and which I think would differ very little
from a census taken at this time,) nine thousand two hundred and
eighty-four free persons, and four thousand seven hundred and twenty-six
slaves. The number of inhabited houses was two thousand four hundred
and eighteen; of births, seven hundred and eighty-five; of marriages,
ninety-eight; of deaths, three hundred and seventy-five; and of resident
foreigners, seven hundred and eighty-four.

Pará was a remarkably healthy place, and entirely free from epidemics of
any kind, until February, 1850, when the yellow fever was taken there
by a vessel from Pernambuco. It was originally brought from the coast
of Africa to Bahia, and spread thence along the coast. The greatest
malignancy of the disease was during the month of April, when it carried
off from twenty to twenty-five a day.

About the same time the next year, (the fever being much diminished,)
the small pox broke out with great violence. About twenty-five per cent.
of the population died from the two diseases. I imagine that the city
will now never be entirely free from either; and the filthy condition
in which the low tide leaves the slips, in which lie the small trading
craft, must be a fruitful source of malaria, and an ever-exciting cause
of epidemic.

The crews of these vessels, with their families, generally live in them.
They are consequently crowded; and, when the tide is out, they lie on
their sides, imbedded in a mass of refuse animal and vegetable matter,
rotting and festering under a burning sun.

Pará, however, is an agreeable place of residence, and has a delightful
climate. The sun is hot till about noon, when the sea breeze comes
in, bringing clouds with rain, thunder, and lightning, which cool and
purify the atmosphere, and wash the streets of the city. The afternoon
and evening are then delicious. This was invariable during my stay of
a month.

The rich vegetable productions of the country enhance much the beauty
of the city. In nearly all the gardens grow the beautiful miriti palm,
the cabbage palm, the cocoa nut, the cinnamon, the bread-fruit tree,
and rich green vines of black pepper. The rapidity of vegetable growth
here is wonderful. Streets opened six months ago in the suburbs of the
city, are now filled up with bushes of the _stramonium_, or Jamestown
weed, of full six feet in height. There are a number of almond trees
in various parts of the town, which are very ornamental. These trees
throw out horizontal branches, encircling the trunk at intervals of
five or six feet, the lowest circle being the largest, so that they
resemble in shape a Norfolk pine. Mr. Norris and I thought it remarkable
that, in a row of these trees planted before a house or line of houses,
those nearest the door were invariably the farthest advanced in growth.
This we particularly remarked in the case of a row planted before the
barracks, in two parts of the city. The tree under which the sentinel
stood, in both cases, was the largest of the row.

We saw, in a walk in the suburbs of the town, what we thought to be a
palm tree growing out of the crotch of a tree of a different species;
but, upon examination, it appeared that the tree, out of which the
palm seemed growing, was a creeper, which, embracing the palm near the
ground, covered its trunk entirely for fifteen or twenty feet, and then
threw off large branches on each side. It may seem strange to call that
a creeper, which had branches of at least ten inches in diameter; but so
it was. It is called in Cuba the parricide tree, because it invariably
kills the tree that supports it. (_Har. Mag. January, 1853._)

The most picturesque object, however, in Pará was the ruins of an old
opera house near the palace. The luxuriant vegetation of the country has
seized upon it, and it presents pillar, arch, and cornice of the most
vivid and beautiful green.

The society of Pará is also agreeable. The men, I am sorry to say,
seem to be above work. Most of them are _Hidalgos_, or gentlemen; and
nearly all are in the employ of the government, with exceedingly small
salaries. In the whole city of Pará, I am told, there are not a dozen
Brazilians engaged in trade of any kind. The women are simple, frank,
and engaging in their manners, and very fond of evening parties and
dancing. I attended a ball, which is given monthly by a society of
gentlemen, and was much pleased at the good taste exhibited in its
management. Full dress was forbidden. No one was permitted to appear
in diamonds; and the consequence was, that all the pretty girls of
the merely respectable classes, as well as of the rich, were gathered
together, and had a merry time of it.

But the principal charm of Pará, as of all other tropical places, is the
_Dolce far niente_. Men, in these countries, are not ambitious. They
are not annoyed, as the more masculine people of colder climates are,
to see their neighbors going ahead of them. They are contented to live,
and to enjoy, without labor, the fruits which the earth spontaneously
offers; and, I imagine, in the majority of cases, if a Brazilian has
enough food, of even the commonest quality, to support life, coffee or
tea to drink, cigars to smoke, and a hammock to lie in, that he will be
perfectly contented.

This, of course, is the effect of climate. There was a time when the
Portuguese nation, in maritime and scientific discoveries—in daring
explorations—in successful colonization—in arts and arms—was inferior to
no other in proportion to its strength; and I have very little doubt but
that the bold and ambitious Englishman, the spirited and cosmopolitan
Frenchman, and the hardy, persevering, scheming American, who likes
little that any one should go ahead of him, would alike, in the course
of time, yield to the relaxing influence of a climate that forbids
him to labor, and to the charm of a state of things where life may be
supported without the necessity of labor.

To make, then, the rich and varied productions of this country available
for commercial purposes, and to satisfy the artificial wants of man,
it is necessary that labor should be compulsory. To Brazil and her
political economists belongs the task of investigation, and of deciding
how, and by what method, this shall be brought about.

The common sentiment of the civilized world is against the renewal of
the African slave trade; therefore must Brazil turn elsewhere for the
compulsory labor necessary to cultivate her lands. Her Indians will not
work. Like the _llama_ of Peru, they will die sooner than do more than
is necessary for the support of their being. I am under the impression
that, were Brazil to throw off a causeless jealousy, and a puerile fear
of our people, and invite settlers to the Valley of the Amazon, there
might be found, among our Southern planters, men, who, looking with
apprehension (if not for themselves, at least for their children) to the
state of affairs as regards slavery at home, would, under sufficient
guarantees, remove their slaves to that country, cultivate its lands,
draw out its resources, and prodigiously augment the power and wealth
of Brazil.

The negro slave seems very happy in Brazil. This is remarked by all
foreigners; and many times in Pará was a group of merry, chattering,
happy-looking black women, bringing their baskets of washed clothes
from the spring, pointed out to me, that I might notice the evils of
slavery. The owners of male slaves in Pará generally require from each
four or five testoons a day, (twenty testoons make a dollar,) and leave
him free to get it as he can. The slaves organize themselves into bands
or companies, elect their captain, who directs and superintends their
work, and contract with a certain number of mercantile houses to do
their porterage. The gang which does the porterage for Mr. Norris, and
for nearly all the English and American houses, numbers forty. Each man
is paid about three cents to fill a bag or box, and four cents to carry
it to the wharf and put it aboard the lighter. It costs from one hundred
and fifty to two hundred dollars to discharge and load a moderate sized
ship.

I have frequently seen these gangs of negroes carrying cocoa to the
wharf. They were always chattering and singing merrily, and would stop
every few minutes to execute a kind of dance with the bags on their
heads, thus doubling their work. When the load was deposited, the
captain, who does no work himself unless his gang is pressed, arrays
them in military fashion, and marches them back for another load.

For carrying barrels, or other bulky and heavy articles of merchandise,
there are trucks, drawn by oxen.

Churches are large and abundant in Pará. The cathedral is one of the
finest churches in Brazil. Its _personnel_, consisting of dignitaries,
(_dignidades_,) canons, chorists, and other employés, numbers
seventy-four.

A large convent of the Jesuits, near the cathedral, having a very
ornate and pretty chapel attached, is now used as a bishop's palace,
and a theological seminary. The officers of the seminary are a rector,
a vice-rector, and six professors; its students number one hundred
and fifteen; its rental is about five thousand dollars, of which one
thousand is given from the provincial treasury; and it teaches Latin,
the languages, philosophy, theology, history, geography, and vocal and
instrumental music.

There are but two convents in Pará—one of the order of St. Anthony, and
one of Shod Carmelites.

I attended the celebration of the festival of the Holy Cross, in
the chapel of the convent of the Carmelites. There was a very large,
well-dressed congregation, and the church was redolent of the fragrance
of sweet-scented herbs, strewn upon the floor. There were no good
pictures in the church, but the candlesticks and other ornaments of the
altar were very massive and rich. In the insurrection of the Cabanos
the church property was spared; but I am told that, though they have
preserved their ornaments, the priests have managed their property
injudiciously, and are not now so rich in slaves and real estate as
formerly.

I imagine that the priesthood in Brazil, though quite as intelligent
and able as their brethren of Peru, have not so great an influence in
society here as there. This is seen in an anecdote told me of a rigid
_Chefe de Policia_, who forbid the clergy from burying one of their
dignitaries in the body of the church during the prevalence of the
yellow fever; but compelled them, much against their will, to deposit
the body in the public cemetery, and accompanied the funeral procession
on horseback to see that his orders were obeyed. It is also seen in the
fact that the provincial assembly holds its sessions in a wing of the
Carmelite convent, and that a part of the church of the Merced is turned
into a custom-house and a barracks.

There are forty-one public primary schools in the province, educating
one thousand and eighty-seven pupils. This gives a proportion of one
for every one hundred and six free persons in the province. Each pupil
costs the State about seven and a half dollars.

In the four schools of Latin, one person is educated in every five
hundred and sixty-four, at a cost of twenty-six dollars.

In the College of Pará, called "_Lyceo da Capital_," the proportion
educated is one to two hundred and eleven, at a cost of sixty-two
dollars.

There are two capital institutions of instruction in Pará—one for the
education of poor boys as mechanics, who are compelled to pay for their
education in labor for the State; and the other for the instruction
in the practical business in life of orphan and destitute girls. I
think that this education is compulsory, and that the State seizes upon
vagabond boys and destitute girls for these institutions. There is also
another school of _educandos_ for the army.

The province also maintains three young men for the purpose of complete
education in some of the colleges of Europe.

There are several hospitals and charitable institutions in the city,
among which is a very singular one. This is a place for the reception
of foundlings maintained by the city. A cylinder, with a receptacle in
it sufficiently large for the reception of a baby, turns upon an axis
in a window; any one may come under cover of night, deposit a child in
the cylinder, turn the mouth of the receptacle in, and walk away without
being seen. Nurses are provided to take charge of the foundling.

Though I pumped all my acquaintances, I could get no statistics
concerning this institution, or whether it was thought to be beneficial
or not. I judge, however, that for this country it is. Public opinion
here does not condemn, or at least treats very leniently, the sins of
fornication and adultery. This institution, therefore, while it would
tend to lessen the crime of infanticide, would not encourage the above
mentioned sins by concealment; for where there is no shame there is no
necessity for concealment. In speaking thus, I do not at all allude to
the higher classes of Brazil.

The executive and legislative government of the province is in a
president and four vice presidents, appointed by the Crown, and in a
legislative assembly.

The provincial assembly meets once a year, in the month of May. The
length of its sessions is determined by itself. It elects its own
presiding officer. It is a very inefficient representative system.
The people in the districts elect electors, who choose delegates and
_suplentes_, or proxies. Most of these proxies belong to the city; they
have little knowledge of the wants, and no sympathy with the feelings,
of the people they represent. Each delegate (at least this is the
case, in the province of Amazonas) is allowed one dollar and sixty-six
cents per diem; and the salary of the President of that province is one
thousand six hundred and sixty-six dollars and sixty six cents; it is
probable that the salary of the President of Pará is greater.

The police of the province is under the direction of a _chefe de
policia_, with delegados for each comarca, and sub-delegados for the
termos and municipios. These officers issue and visée passports, and
the traveller should always call upon them first.

The judiciary consists of _Juizes de direito_; three for the comarca
of the capital, and one for each of the other comarcas of the province,
besides _Juizes municipaès_, and _de orfaôs_. The Juiz de direito holds
a singular office, and exercises extraordinary powers; besides being
the judge, he presides over the jury, and has a vote in it. An appeal
lies from his court, both by himself and the defendant, to a higher
court, called the Court of _Relacâo_, which sits in Maranham and has
jurisdiction over the two provinces of Maranham and Pará. There are
three or four such courts in the empire, and an appeal lies from them
to the Supreme Court at Rio Janeiro.

Persons complain bitterly of the delay and vexations in the
administration of justice. I have heard of cases of criminals confined
in jail for years, both in Peru and Brazil, waiting for trial. It is
said also, though I know nothing of this, that the judges are very open
to bribery. I think, however, that this is likely to be the case, from
the entire inadequacy of the salaries generally paid by the government.

I believe that the Brazilian code is mild and humane, and I am sure that
it is humanely administered. The Brazilians have what I conceive to
be a very proper horror of taking life judicially. They do not shrink
in battle; and sudden anger and jealousy will readily induce them to
kill; but I imagine the instances of capital punishment are very rare
in Brazil.

The police of the city is excellent, but, except to take up a drunken
foreign sailor occasionally, it has nothing to do. Crime—such as
violence, wrong, stealing, drunkenness, &c.—is very rare in Pará.
Probably the people are too lazy to be bad.

The province covers an area of about 360,000 square miles, and has a
population of 129,828 free persons, with 33,552 slaves.

Much as it needs population, it has suffered, from time to time,
considerable drainage. It is calculated that from ten to twelve thousand
persons were killed by the insurrection of the Cabanos, in 1835. Since
that time ten thousand have been drawn from it as soldiers for the
southern wars; and the yellow-fever and small-pox, in one year, carried
off between four and five thousand more.

The war of the Cabanos was a servile insurrection, instigated and
headed by a few turbulent and ambitious men. The ostensible cause was
dissatisfaction with the provincial government. The real cause seems to
have been hatred of the Portuguese.

Charles Jenks Smith, then consul at Pará, writes to the Hon. John
Forsyth, under date of January 20, 1835:

"After the happy conclusion of the war on the Acará, this city has
remained in a state of perfect tranquility, until the morning of the
7th instant, when a popular revolution broke out among the troops, which
has resulted in an entire change of the government of this province.

"The President and the _General-das-Armas_ were both assassinated at the
palace, by the soldiers there stationed, between the hours of 4 and 5
a. m. Inglis, Commandant of the _Defensora_ corvette, and Captain of
the port, was also killed in passing from his dwelling to his ship. The
subaltern commissioned officers on duty were shot down by the soldiery,
who, placing themselves under the command of a sergeant named Gomez,
took possession of all the military posts in the city.

"About fifty prisoners were then set at liberty, who, in a body,
proceeded to a part of the city called Porto de Sol, and commenced an
indiscriminate massacre of all the Portuguese they could find in that
neighborhood. In this manner about twenty respectable shop-keepers and
others lost their lives.

"Guards were stationed along the whole line of the shore, to prevent
any person from embarking; and several Portuguese were shot in making
the attempt to escape."

A new President and General-das-Armas were proclaimed; but they
quarrelled very soon. The President, named Melchor, was taken prisoner
and murdered by his guards; and _Vinagre_, the General-das-Armas took
upon himself the government. In the conflicts incident to this change
about two hundred persons were killed. The persons and property of
all foreigners, except Portuguese, were respected. Many of these were
insulted, and some killed.

Vinagre held the city, in spite of several attempts of Brazilian
men-of-war to drive him out, until the 21st June, when, upon the arrival
of a newly-appointed President, he evacuated it. During these attempts
the British corvettes _Racehorse_ and _Despatch_, a Portuguese corvette,
and two French brigs-of-war, offered their services for protection to
the American consul.

On the 4th of August, Vinagre again broke into the city. The English
and Portuguese vessels landed their marines; but, disgusted with the
conduct of the President, withdrew them almost immediately.

The fire of the Racehorse, however, defeated Vinagre's attempt to get
hold of the artillery belonging to the city.

On the 23d of August, the President abandoned the city to the rebels
whose leader exerted himself to save foreign life and property,
permitting the foreigners to land from their vessels, and take from the
custom-house and their own stores the principal part of their effects.

The rebels held the city until the 13th of May, 1836, when they were
finally driven out by the legal authorities, backed by a large force
from Rio Janeiro. They held, however, most of the towns on the river
above Pará till late in the year 1837. They did immense mischief,
putting many whites to death with unheard-of barbarity, and destroying
their crops and cattle. The province was thus put back many years.
I think that the causes which gave rise to that insurrection still
exist; and I believe that a designing and able man could readily induce
the tapuios to rise upon their patrons. The far-seeing and patriotic
President Coelho always saw the danger, and labored earnestly for the
passage of efficient laws for the government of the body of tapuios,
and for the proper organization of the military force of the province.
His efforts in the latter case have been successful, and, very lately,
a good militia system has been established.

The city of Pará is supplied with its beef from the great island of
Marajo, which is situated immediately in the mouth of the Amazon. This
island has a superficial extent of about ten thousand square miles, and
is a great grazing country. Cattle were first introduced into it from
the Cape de Verde Islands, in 1644. They increased with great rapidity,
and government soon drew a considerable revenue from its tax on cattle.

Before the year 1824, a good horse might have been bought in Marajo for
a dollar; but about that time a great and infectious disease broke out
among the horses, and swept away vast numbers; so that Marajo is now
dependent upon Ceará and the provinces to the southward for its supply
of horses. I heard that the appearance of this disease was caused by
the fact that an individual having bought the right from the government
to kill ten thousand mares on the island, actually killed a great many
more; and the carcasses, being left to rot upon the plains, poisoned
the grass and bred the pestilence which swept off nearly all.

Other accounts state that the disease came from about Santarem and
Lago Grande, where it first attacked the dogs; then the _capiuaras_, or
river-hogs; then the alligators; and, finally, the horses. It attacks
the back and loins; so that the animal loses the use of his hind-legs.
Government sent a young man to France to study farriery, in hopes to
arrest the disease; but the measure was productive of no good results.
The disease still continues; and, ten years ago, appeared for the first
time in the island of _Mexiana_, not far from Marajó. Within the last
year, nearly all the horses on this island have died. I believe it has
never attacked the horned cattle.

Beeves are brought from Marajó to Pará in small vessels, fitted for the
purpose. They are frequently a week on the passage; and all this time
they are on very short allowance of food and water; so that, when they
arrive, they may almost be seen through.

The butchering and selling are all done under municipal direction; and
the price of beef is regulated by law. This is about five and a half
cents the pound. Gentlemen maintain horses and milch cows in Pará, or
its neighborhood. These are fed generally on American hay. Some small
quantity of grass is to be had from the _roçinhas_, or small farms, in
the environs of the city; and a tolerably good food for cattle is had
from a fine flour, found between the chaff and grain of rice. This is
called _muinha_, (_quim, in Maranham_,) and is very extensively used,
mixed with the chaff.

The island of Marajó is very much cut up with creeks, which, in the
rainy season, overflow the low land, and form marshes, which are the
graves of a great number of cattle. The cattle, at this season, are also
crowded together on the knolls of land that are above the waters in the
inundation, and many of them fall a prey to the ounces, which abound
on the island. These creeks are also filled with alligators. Mr. Smith,
former consul at Pará, told me that he had seen the carcass of one there
which was thirty feet long.

I saw a number of curious and beautiful animals in Pará. Mr. Norris had
some electric eels, and a pair of large and beautiful anacondas. I had
never heard a serpent hiss before I heard these, and the sound filled
me with disgust and dread. The noise was very like the letting off of
steam at a distance. The extreme quickness and violence with which they
darted from their coil (lacerating their mouths against the wire-work of
the cage) was sufficiently trying to a nervous man; and few could help
starting back when it occurred. These animals measured about eighteen
feet in length, and the skin, which they shed nearly every month,
measured eighteen inches in circumference. They seldom ate; a chicken
or a rat was given to them when it was convenient. They killed their
food by crushing it between their head and a fold of their body, and
swallowed it with deliberation. I imagine that they would live entirely
without food for six months.

Many gentlemen had tigers about their establishments. They were docile,
and playful in their intercourse with acquaintances; but they were
generally kept chained for fear of injury to strangers. Their play,
too, was not very gentle, for their claws could scarcely touch without
leaving a mark.

Mr. Pond, an American, had a pair of black tigers, that were the most
beautiful animals I have ever seen. The ground color of the body was a
very dark maroon; but it was so thickly covered with black spots that,
to a casual glance, the animal appeared coal black. The brilliancy of
the color—the savage glare of the eye—the formidable appearance of their
tusks and claws—and their evidently enormous strength—gave them a very
imposing appearance. They were not so large as the Bengal tiger; but
much larger than the common ounce. They were bred in Pará from cubs.

Electric eels are found in great numbers in the creeks and ditches
about Pará. The largest I have seen was about four inches in diameter,
and five feet in length. Their shock, to me, was unpleasant, but not
painful. Some persons, however, are much more susceptible than others.
Captain Lee, of the _Dolphin_, could not feel at all the shock of an
eel, which affected a lady so strongly as to cause her to reel, and
nearly fall. Animals seem more powerfully affected than men. Mr. Norris
told me that he had seen a horse drinking out of a tub, in which was one
of these eels, jerked entirely off his feet. It may be that the electric
shock was communicated directly to the stomach by means of the water he
was swallowing; but Humboldt gives a very interesting account of the
manner of taking these eels by means of horses, which shows that they
are peculiarly susceptible to the shock. He says:

"Impatient of waiting, and having obtained very uncertain results
from an electrical eel that had been brought to us alive, but much
enfeebled, we repaired to the _caño de Bera_ to make our experiments,
in the open air, on the borders of the water itself. To catch the
gymnoti with nets is very difficult, on account of the extreme agility
of the fish, which bury themselves in the mud like serpents. We would
not employ the barbasco. These means would have enfeebled the gymnoti.
The Indians, therefore, told us that they would 'fish with horses,'
'_embarbascar con cavallos_.' We found it difficult to form an idea of
this extraordinary manner of fishing; but we soon saw our guides return
from the _Savannah_, which they had been scouring for wild horses and
mules. They brought about thirty with them, which they forced to enter
the pool.

"The extraordinary noise caused by the horses' hoofs makes the fish
issue from the mud, and excites them to combat. These yellowish and
livid eels, resembling large aquatic serpents, swim on the surface
of the water, and crowd under the bellies of the horses and mules. A
contest between animals of so different an organization furnishes a
very striking spectacle. The Indians, provided with harpoons and long,
slender reeds, surround the pool closely, and some climb upon the trees,
the branches of which extend horizontally over the surface of the water.

"By their wild cries, and the length of their reeds, they prevent the
horses from running away and reaching the bank of the pool. The eels,
stunned by the noise, defend themselves by the repeated discharge
of their electric batteries. During a long time they seem to prove
victorious. Several horses sink beneath the violence of the invisible
strokes, which they receive from all sides, in organs the most essential
to life; and, stunned by the force and frequency of the shocks, they
disappear under the water. Others, panting, with mane erect, and haggard
eyes, expressing anguish, raise themselves, and endeavor to flee from
the storm by which they are overtaken. They are driven back by the
Indians into the middle of the water; but a small number succeed in
eluding the active vigilance of the fishermen. These regain the shore,
stumbling at every step, and stretch themselves on the sand, exhausted
with fatigue, and their limbs benumbed by the electric shocks of the
gymnoti.

"In less than five minutes two horses were drowned. The eel, being five
feet long, and pressing itself against the belly of the horse, makes
a discharge along the whole extent of its electric organ. It attacks,
at once, the breast, the intestines, and the _plexus cœliacus_ of the
abdominal nerves. It is natural that the effect felt by the horses
should be more powerful than that produced upon man, by the touch of
the same fish at only one of his extremities. The horses are probably
not killed, but only stunned. They are drowned from the impossibility
of rising, amid the prolonged struggle between the other horses and the
eels.

"We had little doubt that the fishing would terminate by killing,
successively, all the animals engaged; but, by degrees, the impetuosity
of this unequal combat diminished, and the wearied gymnoti dispersed.
They require a long rest and abundant nourishment, to repair what
they have lost of galvanic force. The mules and horses appear less
frightened. Their manes are no longer bristled, and their eyes express
less dread. The gymnoti approach timidly the edge of the marsh, when
they are taken, by means of small harpoons fastened to long cords. When
the cords are very dry, the Indians feel no shock in raising the fish
into the air. In a few minutes we had five large eels, the greater part
of which were but slightly wounded."

The shops of Pará are well supplied with English, French, and American
goods. The groceries generally come from Portugal. The warehouses are
piled with heaps of India-rubber, nuts, hides, and baskets of annatto.
This pigment is made from the seed of a bur, which grows on a bush
called urucu in Brazil, and achote in Peru. In the latter country it
grows wild, in great abundance; in the former, it is cultivated.

The seed is planted in January. It is necessary that the ground should
be kept clean, the suckers pulled up, and the tree trimmed, to prevent
too luxuriant a growth, and to give room, so that the branches shall not
interlock. The tree grows to ten or fifteen feet in height, and gives
its first crop in a year and a half. It afterwards gives two crops a
year. Each tree will give three or four pounds of seed in the year,
which are about the size of No. 3, shot, but irregular in shape. They
are contained in a prickly bur, about the size and shape of that of the
chincapin.

The burs are gathered just before they open, and laid in the sun to
dry, when the seed are trodden or beaten out. The coloring matter is
a red powder covering the seed, the principal of which is obtained
by soaking the seed in water for twenty-four hours, then passing them
between revolving cylinders, and grinding them to a pulp. The pulp is
placed in a sieve, called _gurupema_, made of cotton cloth; water is
poured on, and strains through. This operation is repeated twice more,
and the pulp is thrown away. The liquor strained off is boiled till
it takes the consistence of putty. A little salt is added, and it is
packed in baskets of about forty pounds, lined and covered with leaves.
It is frequently much adulterated with boiled rice, tapioca, or sand,
to increase the weight. The price in Pará is from three to five dollars
the arroba, of thirty-two pounds.

An examination of the following tables will give the best idea of the
commerce of Pará. The first is an official report furnished to the
provincial assembly by the President of the province.

     ------+------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------
           |                  |  Importation—Value.   |  Exportation—Value.
     Years.|    Places.       +-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------
           |                  |Relative to|Relative to|Relative to|Relative to
           |                  |each place.|each year. |each place.|each year.
     ------+------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------
     1846  |Great Britain     | $160,050  |           | $117,813  |
           |France            |   52,924  |           |  107,791  |
           |Portugal          |   87,608  |           |  123,156  |
           |Hanse Towns       |  19,993   |           |   42,693  |
           |United States     |  235,105  |           |  182,742  |
           |Trieste           |           |           |    3,818  |
           |Genoa             |           |           |   26,202  |
           |Spain             |    2,627  |           |           |
           |Baltic ports      |           |           |   12,188  |
           |Belgium           |    1,995  |  $560,302 |    5,649  | $622,052
     1847  |Great Britain     |  211,442  |           |   116,881 |
           |France            |  131,347  |           |   162,546 |
           |Portugal          |  108,431  |           |   128,548 |
           |Hanse Towns       |   20,519  |           |    18,959 |
           |United States     |  230,531  |           |   171,577 |
           |Trieste           |           |           |    17,182 |
           |Genoa             |    2,577  |           |    22,705 |
           |Belgium           |    6,032  |   710,879 |     8,551 |  646,949
     1848  |Great Britain     |  149,774  |           |    93,508 |
           |France            |   85,856  |           |   114,701 |
           |Portugal          |  113,496  |           |   146,933 |
           |Hanse Towns       |    9,576  |           |    30,012 |
           |United States     |  219,777  |           |   145,366 |
           |Austrian dominions|    2,686  |           |           |
           |Genoa             |           |           |    11,609 |
           |Denmark           |    7,638  |           |    10,205 |
           |Belgium           |      483  |   589,286 |    12,547 |  564,881
     ------+------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------

Here are tables furnished by Mr. Norris, United States consul at Pará:

American Commerce at Pará for 1850.

     ---------------+--------+-----+-----------------+-------------------
     No. of vessels.|Tonnage.| Men.|Value of imports.| Value of exports.
     ---------------+--------+-----+-----------------+-------------------
          33        | 5,452  | 275 |     $420,186    |    $522,293
     ---------------+--------+-----+-----------------+-------------------

British commerce for 1850.

     ---------------+--------+-----+-----------------+-------------------
     No. of vessels.|Tonnage.| Men.|Value of imports.| Value of exports.
     ---------------+--------+-----+-----------------+-------------------
          16        | 3,375  | 276 |     $199,790    |    $291,950
     ---------------+--------+-----+-----------------+-------------------

Commerce of Pará for 1851.

     -----------+----------+----------+------+-----------+----------
                | No. of   |          |      | Value of  | Value of
                | vessels. | Tonnage. | Men. | imports.  | exports.
     -----------+----------+----------+------+-----------+----------
     American   |     30   |   4,574  |  226 |  $425,484 |  $476,210
     English    |     14   |   2,732  |  139 |   275,000 |   335,000
     French     |     10   |     536  |   99 |   122,830 |   188,699
     Portuguese |     19   |   3,666  |  312 |   231,457 |   215,142
     Hamburg    |      2   |     510  |   18 |    27,500 |   131,000
     Belgian    |      2   |     320  |   20 |     5,250 |    16,250
     Dane       |      2   |     480  |   22 |     4,750 |    34,000
     Swede      |      2   |     420  |   22 |     ····· |    28,500
     -----------+----------+----------+------+-----------+----------
                |     81   |  14,238  |  858 | 1,092,271 | 1,424,801
     -----------+----------+----------+------+-----------+----------

I am indebted to Mr. Chaton, French consul at Pará, for the following
table, showing the mean yearly value of the articles of export from the
city of Pará.

     -------------------+-------------------+-----------
          Products.     |    Quantities.    |   Value.
     -------------------+-------------------+-----------
     India-rubber       |  92,000 arrobas.  |   $552,000
     Cocoa              | 230,000    "      |    270,900
     Cotton             |   6,126    "      |     10,583
     Cinnamon (rough)   |     600    "      |      1,633
     Vegetable wax      |     457    "      |         69
     Tonka beans        |      80    "      |        600
     Isinglass          |     998    "      |     15,968
     Piassaba rope      |  42,192    "      |     42,192
     Gum-copal          |     634    "      |        634
     Bones              |   2,000    "      |        640
     Brazilian nutmeg   |   1,020    "      |      3,060
     Rice (shelled)     | 108,543    "      |     65,126
     Annatto            |   7,210    "      |     36,050
     Sugar              |  21,350    "      |     36,012
     Sarsaparilla       |   3,897    "      |     35,073
     Nuts               |  28,208 alquiers. |     18,952
     Tapioca            |   2,000    "      |      3,000
     Rice (in the husk) |  12,800 alquiers. |     $6,400
     Carajurú           |     400 pounds.   |        388
     Green hides        | 406,900 pounds.   |     20,345
     Guaraná            |   3,450 pounds.   |      1,500
     Cattle             |     300           |      4,500
     Wood—Bardages     |     349            |        614
           De fer       |     113           |      1,084
           Madriers     |   1,535           |      1,534
           Planches     |  52,217 feet.     |      1,468
     Dry hides          |  15,000           |     19,445
     Tiger skins        |     228           |        456
     India-rubber shoes | 192,000 pairs.    |     38,400
     Molasses           |   2,888 pots.     |      2,888
                        |                   +-----------
                        |                   | $1,171,514
     -------------------+-------------------+-----------

To this sum is to be added the value of 7,338 canadas of balsam
copaiba, worth when I was there three dollars, now worth seven and a
half dollars; besides that of pots of oil made from the turtle, the
alligator, and the andiroba-nut, which M. Chaton has not included in
his list. These last, however, are inconsiderable.

Extracts of letters from Henry L. Norris, esq., United States consul at
Pará, to the Department of State:

"Merchandise, the produce of this country, is usually bought for cash,
or in exchange for the products of foreign countries by way of barter.
There are no allowances made by way of discount, nor is brokerage
paid for purchasing. Cash usually has the advantage over barter on
the price of produce to the amount of from five to ten per cent. The
American business is done chiefly for cash, while English, French, and
Portuguese, is chiefly for barter; dry goods, &c., are sold on long
credit, and produce taken in payment. With the latter the profits of
trade are on the outward cargo; while with the former, the profit, if
any, is with the homeward.

"There are no bounties or debentures of any kind allowed here.

"The usual commission for the purchase and shipment of goods is two and
a half per centum, and is the same on all descriptions of produce.

"The American trade, with few exceptions, is conducted either by
partners or agents of houses at home; consequently brokers are never
employed to buy produce, and no brokerage is paid. When foreign goods
are sold at auction, the commission paid is one per cent. on dry goods,
and one and a half on groceries.

"Merchandise is brought to market altogether by water, and is usually
delivered into the storehouses of the purchaser or on board the
shipping.

     "Export duties are as follows:
     "Meio dezimo, (for the church)          5 per cent.
     "Exportacão, (for the government)       7 per cent.
     "Vero pezo, (weighing)                  ½ per cent.

"Capitazia (paid for labor) quarter of a cent the arroba, on all kinds
of merchandise.

"These duties are levied on the custom-house valuation, which is made
at the beginning of each week, and not on the cost of the produce; as
in that cost is included a duty of five per cent. which is paid on some
articles when they are landed at the port of exportation. This last is
a provincial tax, which is levied on India-rubber, tapioca, and farinha.

"Produce coming from an interior province—such as dry hides—does not
pay the _meio dezimo_ of five per cent., as it is paid at the time
of embarking at the place of production; and this duty, together with
freight, labor, &c., enters into the cost price of the merchandise at
this port, which is the only shipping port for the provinces of Pará
and Amazonas.

"There are no dock, trade, nor city dues to be paid at this port.

"Lighters are hired at two dollars per day; they carry from forty to
fifty tons.

"Porterage is done by blacks, who place the cargo in the lighters at
prices varying, according to the distance carried, from three to four
cents per bag of cocoa, India-rubber, &c., and from six to eight cents
each for barrels and boxes.

"Nuts and rice in husk are delivered alongside the vessel at the expense
of the seller.

"Packages—such as boxes, barrels, and bags—are imported from the United
States, and with the exception of barrels, which come filled with flour,
pay a duty of thirty per cent.

"The cost of cooperage is eight cents per barrel. All local imports or
taxes are paid by the producer, and are included in the selling price
of the article. The purchaser receives with the merchandise a receipt
that the provincial duty has been paid, which receipt is demanded at
the time of exportation to a foreign country or to another province.

"There is so little intercourse with the States bordering on this
province, that there are no laws in force regulating the transit of
merchandise from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, &c., but all merchandise coming
down the Amazon is considered as the produce or manufacture of Brazil.

"By a law of Brazil, the estate of any foreigner who may die in this
country is subject to the jurisdiction of the _Juiz dos Ausentes e
difuntos_. A will is no protection to the property, but it must be
'recovered, availed, and deposited in the public depository by a juiz
competente.' The getting hold of the property by the heirs to an estate
is a tedious and expensive process; and when the inheritance consists
of real estate, about twenty per cent. is consumed by taxes of various
kinds, and in some cases, by the collusion of the officers entrusted
with settlement, it has disappeared entirely. The French by treaty are
exempted from this.

"Not long since, at Maranham, a guard of soldiers was placed around
the dwelling of a foreigner about to die, and who was supposed to be
possessed of a large amount of personal property. A similar case also
occurred here, which has created alarm amongst those of our countrymen
who have property invested in this country; for should it be made to
appear that, upon the death of one or more of the partners of any of our
large mercantile houses, the affairs of the concern must pass into the
hands of a 'juiz competente,' it would have a serious effect upon the
credit and standing of all the citizens or subjects of those nations
which have no treaty with Brazil on this subject."

It remains for me but to express my grateful acknowledgments for
personal kindness and information afforded by many gentlemen of Pará,
particularly by Mr. Norris, the consul, and by Henry Bond Dewey, esq.,
now acting consul. These gentlemen were unwearied in their courtesy,
and to them I owe the information I am enabled to give concerning the
history and present condition of the province and the city.

On May 12th, by kind invitation of Captain Lee, I embarked in the United
States surveying brig Dolphin, having previously shipped my collections
on board of Norris's clipper barque the _Peerless_.



CHAPTER XIX.

RESUMÉ.


My report would be incomplete were I to fail to bring to the notice of
the department circumstances concerning the free navigation of the river
that have occurred since my return from the valley of the Amazon.

These circumstances are clearly the result of my mission, which appears
to have opened the eyes of the nations who dwell upon the banks of
the Amazon, and to have stirred into vigorous action interests which
have hitherto laid dormant. They have an important and direct bearing
upon the question, whether the United States may or may not enter
into commercial relations, by the way of the Amazon, with the Spanish
American republics, who own the headwaters of that noble stream.

The government of the United States had scarcely begun to entertain
the idea of sending a commission to explore the valley of the Amazon,
with a view to ascertain what benefits might accrue to its citizens
by the establishment of commercial relations with the people who dwell
upon its banks, when the fact became known to Brazil. That government,
thus awakened to its own (more apparent, however, than real) interests,
immediately cast about for means to secure for itself any advantages
that might arise from a monopoly of the trade of the river.

She accordingly despatched to Lima an able envoy, Duarte da Ponte
Ribeiro, with instructions to make a treaty with Peru concerning the
navigation of the Amazon; and, this done, to proceed to Bolivia for the
same purpose, while the Brazilian Resident Minister in Bolivia, Miguel
Maria Lisboa, was sent to the republics of Ecuador, Venezuela, and New
Granada, so as to secure for Brazil the navigation of all the confluents
of the Amazon belonging to Spanish South America.

Da Ponte succeeded in making with Peru a treaty highly advantageous
to his own government. It is styled "A treaty of fluvial commerce and
navigation, and of boundary," and has the following articles relating
to steamboat navigation:


"_Article 1._

"The republic of Peru, and his Majesty, the Emperor of Brazil, desiring
to encourage, respectively, the navigation of the river Amazon and
its confluents by steamboat, which by ensuring the exportation of the
immense products of those vast regions, may contribute to increase the
number of the inhabitants and civilize the savage tribes, agree, that
the merchandise, produce, and craft, passing from Peru to Brazil, or
from Brazil to Peru, across the frontier of both States, shall be exempt
from all duty, imposts, or sale duty, (alcabala,) whatsoever, to which
the same products are not subject in the territory where produced, to
which they shall be wholly assimilated.


"_Article 2._

"The high contracting parties, being aware of the great expense
attending the establishment of steam navigation, and that it will not
yield a profit during the first years to the shareholders of the company
destined to navigate the Amazon from its source to its banks ("litoral")
in Peru, which should belong exclusively to the respective States, agree
to give to the first company which shall be formed a sum of money,
during five years, which shall not be less than $20,000 annually for
each of the high contracting parties, either of whom may increase the
said amount, if it suits its particular interests, without the other
party being thereby obliged to contribute in the same ratio.

"The conditions to which the shareholders are to be subject, in
consideration of the advantages to be conceded to them, shall be
declared in separate articles.

"The other conterminous States which, adopting the same principles, may
desire to take part in the enterprise upon the same conditions, shall
likewise contribute a certain pecuniary quota to it."

The 5th clause of the 1st of the separate articles alluded to above
declares that the company to be formed shall arrange with _both_
governments touching the respective points on the river Amazon or
Marañon, to which the steamboats shall navigate, &c., &c.

Article 3d, of the separate articles, declares that the agents of
the Imperial government, _with those of the government of Peru_, duly
authorized, shall establish the enterprise ("contratarán la empresa")
upon the terms indicated in these articles.

The persons undertaking the enterprise shall agree with the said agents
touching the mode and place in which they shall receive the stipulated
sums.

Both governments, in their respective territories, shall take care of
the observance of the conditions agreed upon.

Immediately upon the conclusion of the treaty, and before the exchange
of ratifications, Brazil gives a practical illustration of the wisdom
of a remark attributed to her wily minister in Lima, which was probably
intended only for Peruvian ears, and directed rather at another
government than his own, viz: "that it was not expedient for a weak
nation to treat with one more powerful than itself; because, in the
interpretation of treaties, the stronger party always enforced its own
construction, and the weaker, as invariably, went to the wall."

By a decree of the Emperor, of date August 30th, 1852, Brazil gives
to Ireneo Evangelista de Souza, one of her own citizens, the exclusive
privilege of the navigation of the Amazon for thirty years, and arranges
with him touching the respective points on the Amazon, or Marañon, to
which the steamers shall navigate.

In the mean time, however, a new minister, Don Manuel Tirado, (more
awake to the interests of his country than the framer of the treaty,)
takes charge of the portfolio of foreign affairs of Peru. He thus writes
to the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs:

                                      "MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, LIMA,
                                                      "_January 20 1853_.

     "SIR: I have the honor, by direction of my government,
     to inform your excellency that it has understood, by a
     communication from Don Evarista Gomez Sanchez, our Consul
     General, charged with the exchange of ratifications of the
     treaty celebrated in this capital on the 23d of October,
     1851, with the Señor Da Ponte Ribeiro, Envoy Extraordinary
     and Minister Plenipotentiary of his Majesty, the Emperor, that
     said exchange probably took place in Rio Janeiro, on the ——.

     "Said commissioner informs me, at the same time, that the
     government of his Majesty has conceded a privilege in favor of
     Don Juan ('Ireneo') Evangelista de Souza for the establishment
     of navigation by steam of the river Amazon, under the
     stipulations of a contract celebrated by authority of his
     Majesty, approved in his decree of the 30th of August of the
     preceding year.

     "Said privilege defines the course of the lines which are
     to be established; the first to run from the city of Belen,
     capital of the province of Pará, to the town at the mouth of
     the Rio Negro, capital of the province of Amazonas; and the
     second to continue on from this last city to Nauta, a town
     situated on the Peruvian banks.

     "The establishment of said navigation by steam upon the Amazon
     is a point agreed upon in article 2d of the treaty; as also
     the annual subsidy of $20,000 by each one of the governments
     for the space of five years in favor of the company that will
     undertake the enterprise; conditions to which this government
     is bound, and which it is desirous of fulfilling.

     "This government, then, being aware of the contract celebrated
     with the above-mentioned Don Juan ('Ireneo') Evangelista de
     Souza, it is fit that I should say to your Excellency that,
     as according to article 3d of the separate articles of the
     treaty, the contracts for navigation should be made by agents
     duly authorized by both governments (the government of his
     Majesty having initiated the formation of an enterprise to
     this effect, and having also reference to that part of the
     course of the river belonging to Peru, moved, without doubt,
     by the desire of hastening the attainment of the great objects
     to which this navigation is destined,) this government can
     but hope that that of your Excellency will deign to inform
     the company organized in Rio Janeiro, that, as respects the
     Peruvian shores, the conditions of navigation, its course
     and extent, and the obligations relative to Peru, cannot be
     considered as existing or efficacious, except for the five
     years agreed upon by the treaty, and by the celebration of an
     agreement or contract with the same government whence these
     obligations may arise.

     "There being no evidence up to this time that our Consul
     General, Commissioner Don Evarista Gomez Sanchez, has been
     consulted in the agreement; and it being believed that, at
     the date of it, he was not in Rio Janeiro, your Excellency
     will see how proper it is to make to you this anticipation in
     furtherance of the realization of that internal navigation
     which, for so long a time, has yearned for a decided and
     efficacious protection on the part of the States who share
     these fruitful waters, destined to open to the world new
     objects of speculation and of traffic, and to give to commerce
     and civilization one more field for their efforts.

     "In the mean time, as, according to the advices of the same
     Consul General, the first trip of the new steamers is to be
     made in the month of May next, this government—for the purpose
     of avoiding difficulties in their running, and to contribute
     to the important end which they are destined to accomplish,
     until the opportunity occurs to arrange the conditions
     obligatory in that navigation by a free contract on its part,
     as I have already expressed to your Excellency, and according
     to the mutual obligations contracted in the treaty—has thought
     proper to direct, as a facility spontaneously conceded in the
     mean time to the navigation, that the authorities who exercise
     jurisdiction on those shores should permit the running of
     the steamers on the corresponding waters of Peru, and assign
     them points where they may touch, until the establishment of
     an arrangement to which this navigation is to be definitely
     subjected, by means of a contract which this government is
     bound to make for five years according to stipulation, and
     which it hopes your Excellency will deign to cause to be
     offered for its free acceptance by the associates of the
     company created under the authority of his Majesty, the
     Emperor.

     "With sentiments, &c., &c.

                                                  JOSÉ MANUEL TIRADO.

     "To his Excellency, the MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF BRAZIL."

But whilst Tirado is penning this courtly caveat in Lima, Gomez Sanchez,
in Rio Janeiro, is giving his assent to the De Souza contract, extending
it in all its force to Peru, and entering into an agreement with De
Souza by which he gives him the right of exploring the Ucayali, and
other rivers of the west, from Rio, besides other privileges, which, if
acceded to by the Peruvian government, would give Brazil all power over
the navigation of those rivers, as well as over that of the main stream.

Fortunately for the interests of commerce in general, and for the
more speedy development of the great resources that lie hid in the
valley of the Amazon, Tirado practically disavows the action of Gomez
Sanchez, and obtains from the Council of State of Peru its assent
(subject, of course, to the approval of the legislative power) to the
appropriation of $200,000 towards the exploration by steamboat of the
Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon, and the colonization and settlement
of their fertile lands. He has already appropriated $75,000 of this sum
for the purchase of two small steamers, which are now in the course of
construction in the United States, and which will be delivered at Loreto
(the frontier port of Peru on the Amazon) by the 1st of January, 1854.

The enlightened and patriotic President of Peru, Don José Rufino
Echenique, approving and adopting the policy of Tirado, goes further,
and issues a decree relative to the opening and settlement of the
Amazon. It is dated April 5, 1853. I give a translation of some of its
more important articles:


_Article_ 1.

In accordance with the treaty concluded with the empire of Brazil, on
the 23d of October, 1851, navigation, trade, and commerce, on the part
of Brazilian vessels and subjects, is allowed upon the waters of the
Amazon, in all that part of its banks belonging to Peru as far as Nauta,
at the mouth of the Ucayali.


_Article 2._

The subjects and citizens of other nations which have treaties with
Peru, by virtue of which they may enjoy the rights of those of the
most favored nation, or to whom those same rights, as regards commerce
and navigation, in conformity with said treaties, may be communicable,
shall, in case of obtaining entrance into the waters of the Amazon,
enjoy, upon the Peruvian shores, the rights conceded to the vessels and
subjects of Brazil by the foregoing article.


_Article 3._

To carry into effect the two preceding articles, and in agreement
with them, the ports of Nauta and Loreto are declared open to foreign
commerce.


_Article 4._

In conformity to the law of November 20, 1852, no import or export
duties shall be paid in said free ports on merchandise or produce
which may be introduced or taken thence. This, however, does not extend
to dues merely municipal, which the people themselves may impose for
objects of local utility.


_Article 10._

The Governor-General (resident in Loreto) is empowered to concede
gratuitously to all, whether Peruvians or foreigners, who wish to
establish themselves in those countries under the national rule and in
subordination to the laws and authorities, titles of possession to land
(in conformity with the law of November 21, 1852,) from two to forty
_fanegadas_, in proportion to the means and ability of cultivation, and
number of individuals who may constitute the family of those who shall
establish themselves. He will give an account of these concessions,
so that the government may confirm them, and expedite titles of
proprietorship.


_Article 11._

The governors of the districts may make concessions of lands from two
to four fanegadas, informing the Governor-General, who shall also inform
the government.


_Article 12._

Larger grants of lands for founding colonies, towns, and estates, will
be made by the government gratuitously, but by means of agreements
with contractors, in which the conditions of this colonization shall be
established.


_Article 13._

All concessions of lands made to individuals or families, in conformity
with articles 10 and 11, shall be void, if, at the end of eighteen
months, no attempt has been made to cultivate or to build upon them.


_Article 15._

Over and above the reward which the law of the 17th of November, 1849,
concedes to vessels or contractors who may introduce colonists, the
government binds itself to give to those who may come with destination
to the lands or valleys of the Amazon and its tributaries in Peru,
a passage to the place, implements of husbandry, and seeds, all
gratuitous; for which purpose sufficient deposits shall be placed in
the hands of the Governor General at Loreto.


_Article 16._

A national vessel shall be detailed for the service of carrying
those who, whether citizens-born or emigrant foreigners, may desire
to establish themselves in those countries; and, after being landed
at Huanchaco, the Prefect of Libertad shall make provision for the
transportation of the immigrants to said places, by the route of the
Huallaga.


_Article 17._

In conformity with the law of November 21, 1832, the lands cultivated
and houses built shall be exempt from all contributions, and shall enjoy
the other privileges which the laws concede to the owners of uncleared
lands.


_Article 18._

The new population shall pay no contribution for the space of twenty
years; nor shall the Catholics pay obventional or parochial dues, the
cures that shall be there established being at the expense of the State.
The new population shall also be exempt from the impost on stamped
paper, being permitted to use common paper for their petitions and
contracts.


_Article 21._

It shall be permitted in the new settlements that the individuals who
form them may unite themselves in municipal corporations, under the
presidency of the governors of the respective districts or territories,
for the purpose of making laws relative to the local administration,
without giving the governors created by this decree any power to
interfere with rights, of whatever nature, in respect to individual
liberty; they only taking care for the preservation of public order,
and of the national authority, in conformity with the laws.


_Article 22._

Because this territory is a new establishment, and has no judicial
authorities, it shall be permitted, for the administration of justice,
that the new settlers shall name their own judges, electing them in the
form most convenient, until Congress shall legislate in relation to the
administration of justice and in municipal affairs.

       *       *       *       *       *

The other articles divide the territory proposed to be settled into
districts: four on the Amazon, from Loreto upwards to Nauta; two on
the Ucayali, from the mouth to Sarayacu; and four on the Huallaga, from
the mouth of Tingo Maria—all under the direction of a governor general
established at Loreto. The _Intendente general_ of the missions of
Pozuzu, which are near the sources of the Pachitea, a confluent of the
Ucayali, is directed to observe the conditions of the decree; while the
governors of the Upper Mission, which is all the country on both sides
of the Amazon above the mouth of the Huallaga, are directed to exercise
their authority as before, in dependence on the prefecture of Amazonas,
until special decrees shall be issued for their guidance and government.

Article 25 appropriates the funds necessary to open roads from Cerro
Pasco to Pozuzu, and from Pozuzu to Mayro, at the head of navigation on
the Pachitea, under the direction of the intendente of Pozuzu. So that
my old chatty acquaintance of Huanuco, whom Col. Lucar designated as the
best animal magnetizer in the world, has at last carried his point and
accomplished his long-cherished purpose. If the country between Cerro
Pasco and Mayro be such, as he described it, this certainly will be the
best route of communication between Lima and the Atlantic; but earnest
and enthusiastic men see no obstacles to their favorite schemes; and
I much doubt if this road would, according to his account, run for the
greater part of its distance over a pampa or plain.

The portions of land granted by this decree are not sufficiently large,
a fanegada being only about two acres; but I have no doubt that a proper
representation to the Peruvian government would set this matter right,
and very much increase the size of the grants. No man would be willing
to undergo the exposure, privations, and hardships of a dwelling in the
wilderness whilst he was clearing his lands, unless with the prospect
of having a large and valuable estate, if not available for himself, at
least for his children. The government should make legal titles to each
adult male settler of a tract of land at least a mile square.

The decree says nothing in relation to toleration of creeds in religion.
The President could not grant toleration, for it would be contrary to
the constitution of Peru; but he knows as well as I do that there will
be very little trouble in that country from that cause. The country
will afford room for every shade of opinion and every form of worship;
and men will be too busy there for years to come to find leisure for
quarrelling on such trifling yet mischievous subjects. The decree refers
in several places particularly to Catholics, as if in contradistinction
to, and tacit acknowledgment of, a Protestant interest.

In his letter to the council of state, asking its concurrence in the
appropriation by the executive of the $200,000 towards the establishment
of steam navigation and exploration on the Ucayali and Huallaga rivers,
and the colonization and settlement of the lands upon their banks, Señor
Tirado thus expresses himself:

"Amongst the most urgent national obligations is that of procuring
the civilization of the savage tribes who dwell on the borders of the
Ucayali and in other parts of Eastern Peru; and also that which binds
the republic to lay the foundations of the prosperity which may be
expected from commerce and communication with the rest of the world, by
means of the navigation of the Amazon and its confluents.

"The Spanish government, and subsequently the independent, on account of
divers circumstances, has applied but feeble means to the accomplishment
of the first of these objects. The wants and spirit of the age now call
for the full and immediate application of the care and resources of the
nation towards these places, subject to the territorial sovereignty
of Peru, which will soon see an influx of foreign merchandise, and
in which, probably, an abundant emigration, and an extensive traffic,
will create towns of important commerce and a field for the efforts of
civilization and industry."

These are patriotic and statesmanlike views, which give ample testimony
to the truth of Ijurra's estimate of the character of this wise
minister, contained in a recent letter to me. He says:

"The minister Tirado is the man for the age in Peru. In nothing does
he resemble his predecessors or his cotemporaries. His travels in the
United States, and in some parts of Europe, have not been barren of
results. Endowed with an intellect that comprehends all at a glance,
and full of knowledge, he is entirely worthy of the appellation of a
true statesman. At the same time, possessed of a heart which is full
of enthusiasm and patriotism, he desires to introduce into my unhappy
country the institutions, laws, and manners, which have rendered
happy other countries that I have known, and which, doubtless, will be
adaptable to the necessities of our people, and conducive to the rapid
progress of the republic.

"He will commence by calling over industrious men of all professions and
creeds, of all ages, nations, and conditions, with the sole condition
that they shall be moral and laborious; he will endow them with those
fertile lands, with which you are familiar, to the eastward of the
Andes; he will supply them with tools, seeds, and domestic animals, and
will give them the necessary guarantees that they may live together like
brothers, with absolute liberty of action and of conscience."

All this, and more, has Tirado accomplished in the recent decree of
the Peruvian government. I think that I can also trace Ijurra's hand
in this action of the government, and fancy that it is the result of
many conversations we had on this subject during our long voyage. He is
now in high favor with the government, and has been sent to Loreto in
quality of sub prefect and military commandant, (second in authority
in the new province.) He writes me that he shall establish himself at
Caballo cocha, where he will labor with zeal and vigor in the great
cause, till death overtakes him. Long and late may it be in coming to
my faithful companion.

Fortunately for her own interests, the advancement of commerce, and the
progress of civilization, Bolivia refused to listen to the Brazilian
envoy; she knew that, even with the assistance of Brazil, she was not
able to undertake, with any prospect of success, the navigation of the
rivers, and the development of the resources of her great territory.
She preferred to entrust this enterprise to the energy and competition
of the great commercial nations of the world, rather than take it on
her own shoulders by a useless exclusiveness; and she therefore issued
a decree on the 27th of January, 1853, declaring several ports on each
and all of her rivers which communicate with the Atlantic, whether by
the La Plata or the Amazon, free and open to the commerce of the world.

This was a very important document; it put the Northern republics on
their guard, and excited a spirit of emulation in their governments. I
have heard nothing of the result of Lisboa's mission; but I know that
some of the most distinguished citizens of those republics have declared
themselves favorable to the project of opening their rivers and ports
to foreign trade, and are disposed to urge their respective governments,
if necessary, to demand of Brazil the right of way to the ocean.

Independently of the action of the Spanish American republics
concerning the free navigation of their tributaries of the Amazon, we
have a special treaty with Peru, negotiated by J. Randolph Clay, our
present minister, in July, 1851, which entitles us, under the present
circumstances, to the navigation of the Peruvian Amazon. The second
article of that treaty declares that, "The two high-contracting parties
hereby bind and engage themselves not to grant any favor, privilege,
or immunity whatever, in matters of commerce and navigation, to other
nations, which shall not be also immediately extended to the citizens
of the other contracting party, who shall enjoy the same gratuitously,
or on giving a compensation as nearly as possible of proportionate value
and effect, to be adjusted by mutual agreement, if the concession shall
have been conditional."

The concession to Brazil is conditional, but we shall find no difficulty
in "giving a compensation as nearly as possible of proportionate value
and effect;" that is a matter for Peru to decide, and there is little
doubt but that she will consider the presence of our people and our
vessels in her country, and upon her streams, as being of proportionate
value.

It will be thus seen that our citizens have a legal right, by express
grant and decree, to trade upon the interior waters of Peru and Bolivia,
and it is presumed that Brazil will not attempt to dispute the now
well-settled doctrine, that no nation holding the mouth of a river has
a right to bar the way to market of a nation holding higher up, or to
prevent that nation's trade and intercourse with whom she will, by a
great highway common to both.

But Brazil has effectually closed the Amazon by her De Souza contract;
she gives him the exclusive privilege for thirty years, with a bonus
of $80,000 per annum, besides guaranteeing to him the $20,000 of Peru.
This of course defies competition, though I very much doubt if the
contract will endure; the Brazilians are so little acquainted with
river steam navigation that De Souza will run his boats at great cost;
the conditions of the contract are also stringent and oppressive; and
under such circumstances, even _with_ the bonus of $100,000, I doubt if
the trade of the river for several years to come will support the six
steamers that he contracts to keep on the line.

Brazil, too, will soon see that in this matter she is standing in her
own light. The efforts of this company, though partly supported by
the government, will make little beneficial impression upon so vast
a country, in comparison with that which would be made by the active
competition of the commercial nations of the world.

Were she to adopt a liberal instead of an exclusive policy, throw open
the Amazon to foreign commerce and competition, invite settlement upon
its banks, and encourage emigration by liberal grants of lands, and
efficient protection to person and property, backed as she is by such
natural advantages, imagination could scarcely follow her giant strides
towards wealth and greatness.

She, together with the five Spanish American republics above named,
owns in the valley of the Amazon more than two millions of square miles
of land, intersected in every direction by many thousand miles of what
might be called canal navigation. As a general rule, large ships may
sail thousands of miles to the foot of the falls of the gigantic rivers
of this country; and in Brazil particularly, a few hundred miles of
artificial canal would open to the steamboat, and render available,
thousands of miles more.

This land is of unrivalled fertility; on account of its geographical
situation and topographical and geological formation, it produces
nearly everything essential to the comfort and well-being of man. On the
top and eastern slope of the Andes lie hid unimaginable quantities of
silver, iron, coal, copper, and quicksilver, waiting but the application
of science and the hand of industry for their development. The
successful working of the quicksilver mines of Huancavelica would add
several millions of silver to the annual product of Cerro Pasco alone.
Many of the streams that dash from the summits of the Cordilleras wash
gold from the mountain-side, and deposit it in the hollows and gulches
as they pass. Barley, quinua, and potatoes, best grown in a cold, with
wheat, rye, maize, clover, and tobacco, products of a temperate region,
deck the mountain-side, and beautify the valley; while immense herds
of sheep, llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas feed upon those elevated plains,
and yield wool of the finest and longest staple.

Descending towards the plain, and only for a few miles, the eye of the
traveller from the temperate zone is held with wonder and delight by the
beautiful and strange productions of the torrid. He sees for the first
time the symmetrical coffee-bush, rich with its dark-green leaves, its
pure white blossoms, and its gay, red fruit. The prolific plantain,
with its great waving fan-like leaf, and immense pendant branches of
golden-looking fruit, enchains his attention. The sugar-cane waves
in rank luxuriance before him, and if he be familiar with Southern
plantations, his heart swells with emotion as the gay yellow blossoms
and white boll of the cotton sets before his mind's eye the familiar
scenes of home.

Fruits, too, of the finest quality and most luscious flavor, grow here;
oranges, lemons, bananas, pine-apples, melons, chirimoyas, granadillas,
and many others, which, unpleasant to the taste at first, become with
use exceedingly grateful to the accustomed palate. The Indian gets here
his indispensable coca, and the forests at certain seasons are redolent
with the perfume of the vanilla.

It is sad to recollect that in this beautiful country (I have before
me the valley of the Chanchamayo) men should have offered me title
deeds in gratuity to as much of this rich land as I wanted. Many of the
inhabitants of Tarma hold grants of land in the Chanchamayo country from
the government, but are so distrustful of its ability to protect them
in their labors from the encroachments of the savages, that they do not
cultivate them.

About half a dozen persons only have cleared and are cultivating
haciendas. One of these, the brave old Catalan Zapatero, was building
himself a fire-proof house, mounting swivels at his gate, and swearing
in the jargon of his province that, protection or no protection, he
would bide the brunt of the savages, and not give up what had cost
him so much time and labor without a fight for it. It is a pity that
there are not more like him. The Peruvian government, however, should
assure the settlers of efficient protection. It should not only keep
up the stockade of San Ramon, but should open a road down the valley
of the Chanchamayo to some navigable point on that stream, or to the
Ucayali itself, establishing other stockades along the route for the
protection from the Indians of those whom liberal offers may attract
to the settlement and cultivation of that delightful country. I feel
confident that she will pierce the continent and open a communication
with the Atlantic with more facility and advantage by this route than
by any other.

The climate of this country is pleasant and healthy; it is entirely
free from the annoyance of sand flies and musquitoes, which infest
the lower part of the tributaries, and nearly the whole course of the
Amazon. There is too much rain for agreeability from August to March;
but nothing could be more pleasant than the weather when I was there in
June.

The country everywhere in Peru, at the eastern foot of the Andes, is
such as I have described above. Further down we find the soil, the
peculiar condition, the productions of a country which is occasionally
overflowed, and then subjected, with still occasional showers, to the
influence of a tropical sun. From these causes we see a fecundity of
soil and a rapidity of vegetation that is marvellous, and to which even
Egypt, the ancient granary of Europe, affords no parallel, because,
similar in some other respects, this country has the advantage of Egypt
in that there is here no drought. Here trees, evidently young, shoot
up to such a height that no fowling piece will reach the game seated on
their topmost branches, and with such rapidity that the roots have not
strength or sufficient hold upon the soil to support their weight, and
they are continually falling, borne down by the slightest breeze, or by
the mass of parasites and creepers that envelop them from root to top.

This is the country of rice, of sarsaparilla, of India-rubber, balsam
copaiba, gum copal, animal and vegetable wax, cocoa, Brazilian nutmeg,
Tonka beans, ginger, black pepper, arrow-root, tapioca, annatto, indigo,
sapucaia, and Brazil nuts; dyes of the gayest colors, drugs of rare
virtue, variegated cabinet woods of the finest grain, and susceptible
of the highest polish. The forests are filled with game, and the rivers
stocked with turtle and fish. Here dwell the anta or wild cow, the
peixi-boi or fish-ox, the sloth, the ant-eater, the beautiful black
tiger, the mysterious electric eel, the boa constrictor, the anaconda,
the deadly coral snake, the voracious alligator, monkeys in endless
variety, birds of the most brilliant plumage, and insects of the
strangest forms and gayest colors.

The climate of this country is salubrious and the temperature agreeable.
The direct rays of the sun are tempered by an almost constant east wind,
laden with moisture from the ocean, so that one never suffers either
from heat or cold. The man accustomed to this climate is ever unwilling
to give it up for a more bracing one, and will generally refuse to
exchange the _abandon_ and freedom from restraint that characterises
his life there, for the labor and struggle necessary even to maintain
existence in a more rigorous climate or barren soil. The active, the
industrious, and the enterprising, will be here, as elsewhere, in
advance of his fellows; but this is the very paradise of the lazy and
the careless. Here, and here only, such an one may maintain life almost
without labor.

I met with no epidemics on my route; except at Pará, the country seemed
a stranger to yellow fever, small-pox, or cholera. There seemed to be a
narrow belt of country on each side of the Amazon where bilious fevers,
called _sezoens_ or _maleitas_, were particularly prevalent. These
fevers are of malignant type, and often terminate in fatal jaundice.
I was told that six or eight days' navigation on each tributary, from
the mouth upwards, would bring me to this country, and three or four
more would pass me through it; and that I ran little risk of taking the
fever if I passed directly through. It appeared, also, to be confined
to a particular region of country with regard to longitude. I heard
nothing of it on the Huallaga, the Ucayali, or the Tapajos, while it was
spoken of with dread on the Trombetas, the Madeira, the Negro, and the
Purus. Filth and carelessness in this climate produce ugly cutaneous
affections, with which the Indians are much afflicted, and I heard of
cases of elephantiasis and leprosy.

I have been describing the country bordering on the Amazon. Up the
tributaries, midway between their mouth and source, on each side are
wide savannahs, where feed herds of cattle, furnishing a trade in hides;
and at the sources of the southern tributaries are ranges of mountains,
which yield immense treasures of diamonds and other precious stones.

It is again (as in the case of the country at the foot of the Andes) sad
to think that, excluding the savage tribes, who for any present purposes
of good may be ranked with the beasts that perish, this country has
not more than one inhabitant for every ten square miles of land; that
it is almost a wilderness; that being capable, as it is, of yielding
support, comfort, and luxury to many millions of civilized people who
have superfluous wants, it should be but the dwelling place of the
savage and the wild beast.

Such is the country whose destiny and the development of whose resources
is in the hands of Brazil. It seems a pity that she should undertake
the work alone; she is not strong enough; she should do what we are not
too proud to do, stretch out her hands to the world at large, and say,
"Come and help us to subdue the wilderness; here are homes, and broad
lands, and protection for all who choose to come." She should break
up her steamboat monopoly, and say to the sea-faring and commercial
people of the world, "We are not a maritime people; we have no skill or
practice in steam navigation; come and do our carrying, while we work
the lands; bring your steamers laden with your manufactures, and take
from the banks of our rivers the rich productions of our vast regions."
With such a policy, and taking means to preserve her nationality, for
which she is now abundantly strong, I have no hesitation in saving,
that I believe in fifty years Rio Janeiro, without losing a tittle of
her wealth and greatness, will be but a village to Para, and Para will
be what New Orleans would long ago have been but for the activity of
New York and her own fatal climate, the greatest city of the New World;
Santarem will be St. Louis, and Barra, Cincinnati.

The citizens of the United States are, of all foreign people, most
interested in the free navigation of the Amazon. We, as in comparison
with other foreigners, would reap the lion's share of the advantages
to be derived from it. We would fear no competition. Our geographical
position, the winds of Heaven, and the currents of the ocean, are our
potential auxilaries. Thanks to Maury's investigations of the winds and
currents, we know that a chip flung into the sea at the mouth of the
Amazon will float close by Cape Hatteras. We know that ships sailing
from the mouth of the Amazon, for whatever port of the world, are forced
to our very doors by the SE. and NE. trade winds; that New York is the
half way house between Pará and Europe.

We are now Brazil's best customer and most natural ally. President
Aranha knew this. At a dinner-party given by him at Barra, his first
toast was, "To the nation of America most closely allied with Brazil—the
United States." And he frequently expressed to me his strong desire
to have a thousand of my active countrymen to help him to subdue
the wilderness, and show the natives how to work. I would that all
Brazilians were influenced by similar sentiments. Then would the mighty
river, now endeared to me by association, no longer roll its sullen
waters through miles of unbroken solitude; no longer would the deep
forests that line its banks afford but a shelter for the serpent, the
tiger, and the Indian; but, furrowed by a thousand keels, and bearing
upon its waters the mighty wealth that civilization and science would
call from the depths of those dark forests, the Amazon would "rejoice
as a strong man to run a race;" and in a few years we might, without
great hyperbole, or doing much violence to fancy, apply to this river
Byron's beautiful lines:

     "The casteled crag of Drachenfels
       Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
     Whose breast of waters broadly swells
       Between the banks that bear the vine;
     And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
       And fields that promise coin and wine,
     With scattered cities crowning these,
       Whose far white walls along them shine."

Then might Brazil, pointing to the blossoming wilderness, the
well-cultivated farm, the busy city, the glancing steamboat, and
listening to the hum of the voices of thousands of active and prosperous
men, say, with pride and truth: "Thus much have we done for the
advancement of civilization and the happiness of the human race."

In making out this report, I have been guided by the letter and spirit
of my instructions, and have striven to present a clear and faithful
picture of the subjects indicated by them. These were, in brief terms,
the present condition of the country—its productions and resources—the
navigability of its streams—its capacities for trade and commerce—and
its future prospects. This must be my excuse for my meagre contributions
to general science. More, I fear, has been expected in this way than has
been done; yet the expedition has collected some valuable specimens in
each of the kingdoms of natural history, and I hope to obtain means and
authority to have them properly described and illustrated.

I have mentioned in various parts of my report the names of persons who
have assisted me by counsel or information. I shall close it with the
name of the last, the ablest, and the best. Whatever of interest and
value may be found in the report, is mainly attributable to the guiding
judgment and cheering heart of my friend and kinsman, M. F. Maury.



APPENDIX.


NOTES.

The elevations due to the atmospheric pressure, as indicated by the
barometer, are extracted from tables calculated, after the complete
formula of La Place, by M. F. Delcros, contained in a volume of
meteorological tables prepared by Arnold Guyot, and published by the
Smithsonian Institution.

Those due the indications of the boiling-point apparatus are taken from
a table in the same volume, calculated by Regnault, from his "Tables of
forces of vapor," published in the _Annales de Physique et de Chimie_,
t. xiv, p. 206.

The height of the barometer at the level of the sea is assumed at 30.00,
and the temperature of the air at 65° Fah.

I have added a column of heights, measured with the barometer by Don
Mariano Rivero, at places where they compare with mine.

At the pass of Antarangra we took our observations on the summit of a
hill about two hundred feet above the road at its highest point.

Morococha is situated near the line of perpetual snow, on the eastern
slope of the western chain of the Andes.

Tingo Maria is the place of embarcation on the Huallaga. The distance
from Callao to this point, by our route, is 337 miles. The distance
hence to the Atlantic is 3,662. If we add to these sums the 90 miles
of travel from Tarma to Fort San Ramon and back, with the 626 from
the mouth of the Ucayali to Sarayacu and back, we shall have the whole
distance travelled over—4,715 miles.

TABLE OF APPROXIMATE HEIGHTS AND DISTANCES FROM CALLAO TO THE ATLANTIC.

  -------------------+-------+--------+---------+---------+----------+-----------
  Names of places.   | Dist- | Baro-  | Boiling | Thermo- | Height,  | Height by
                     | ance  | meter. | Point.  | meter.  | in feet. | Rivero-
                     |       |        |         |         |          | barometer.
  -------------------+-------+--------+---------+---------+----------+-----------
  Callao             |       | 30.000 | 212     |   65    |          |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Lima               |    6  | 29.528 |         |   75    |    476   |   .505
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Pacayar            |   12  | 28.580 |         |   61    | 10,346   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Yanacoto           |   10  | 27.568 |         |   57    |  2,337   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Coca Chacra        |   16  | 25.574 |         |   58    |  4,452   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Moyoc              |   15  | 23.027 |         |   50    |  7,306   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |   15  | 23.027 | 198.25  |   50    |  7,380   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  San Mateo          |   13  | 20.843 |         |   59    | 10,200   | 10.232
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |       | 20.843 | 193.25  |   59    | 10,128   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Acchahuarcu        |    9  |        | 188.3   |   33    | 12,898   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Lower edge of snow |    3  | 17.836 |         |   49    | 14,300   |
    on western slope |       |        |         |         |          |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Pass of Antarangra |    3  | 16.730 |         |   43    | 16,044   | 15.758
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |       | 16.730 | 182.5   |   43    | 16,199   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Morococha          |    4  | 17.700 |         |   46    | 14,409   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Pachachaca         |    9  |        | 188.5   |   40    | 12,786   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Oroya              |   12  | 19.542 |         |   36    | 11,654   | 12.270
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |       | 19.542 | 190.2   |   36    | 11,825   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Tarma              |   18  | 21.144 |         |   55    |  9,738   | 10.092
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |       | 21.144 | 193.9   |   55    |  9,770   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Palca              |   11  | 21.972 |         |   43    |  8,512   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Matichacra         |   12  | 23.292 |         |   61    |  7,091   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Huacapishtana      |    4  | 24.482 |         |   60    |  5,687   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Challuapuquio      |   12  | 26.804 |         |   68    |  3,192   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Fort San Ramon     |    6  | 27.406 |         |   76    |  2,605   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |       | 27.406 | 206.5   |         |  2,953   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  From Tarma to      |   15  |        | 192.5   |   37    | 10,539   |
    Palcamayo        |       |        |         |         |          |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Junin              |   18  |        | 188.2   |   32    | 12,947   | 13.330
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Ninacacca          |   18  |        | 187.8   |   40    | 13,171   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Cerro Pasco        |   17  |        | 188.7   |   45    | 13,802   | 14.279
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Chiquirin          |   12  |        | 190.7   |   54    | 11,512   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  San Rafael         |   18  |        | 196.1   |   62    |  8,551   |  8.791
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Huanuco            |   35  |        | 200.9   |   65    |  5,946   |  6.284
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Chullqui           |    8  |        | 201.5   |   67    |  5,626   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Acomayo            |    6  |        | 198     |   74    |  7,518   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Cashi              |   12  |        | 199.8   |   58    |  6,540   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Atajo              |   10  |        | 204.7   |   71    |  3,910   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Chihuangala        |    8  |        | 205.6   |   74    |  3,421   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  La Cueva           |   20  |        | 206.5   |   76    |  2,944   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Tingo Maria        |   10  |        | 207.8   |   75    |  2,260   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Tocache            |  174  |        | 209.1   |   77    |  1,579   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Sion               |   58  |        | 209.7   |   80    |  1,269   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Lupuna             |   58  |        | 210     |   84    |  1,109   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Chasuta            |   87  |        | 210.5   |   82    |    846   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Sta. Cruz          |  220  |        | 211.2   |   85    |    490   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Nauta              |  353  |        | 211.3   |   74    |    434   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Pebas              |  197  |        | 211.1   |         |    537   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Egas               |  707  |        | 208.2   |   88    |  2,052   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  River Bank         |  131  |        | 208.4   |   84    |  1,947   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |   60  |        | 208.5   |   82    |  1,890   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |  168  |        | 208.6   |   76    |  1,834   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |   50  |        | 208.8   |   78    |  1,740   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Barra              |   14  |        | 209.3   |   81    |  1,475   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Mouth of Madeira   |  104  |        | 209.8   |   80    |  1,212   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Villa Nova         |  209  |        | 210.3   |   76    |    959   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Santarem           |  220  |        | 210.5   |   78    |    846   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Para               |  759  |        | 211.5   |   80    |    331   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
    Do.              |       | 29.708 |         |   81    |    320   |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  Sea                |   93  |        |         |         |          |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  From mouth of      |  313  |        | 210.3   |   82    |    868   |
  Ucayali to Sarayacu|       |        |         |         |          |
                     |       |        |         |         |          |
  -------------------+-------+--------+---------+---------+----------+------------

METEOROLOGICAL JOURNAL.

 -----------+---------+-------+--------+----+---+-----+---------------------------------
   Place.   | Approx. | Date. |  Time. | Thermometer. |
            | height. |       |        +----+---+-----+  Remarks.
            |         |       |        | A. | W.|W. B.|
 -----------+---------+-------+--------+----+---+-----+---------------------------------
            | Feet.   | 1851. |        | °  | ° |  °  |
 Palcamayo  | 10,500  | July 1|  6 p.m.|56  |   |     |Calm; sky white and beautifully
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | clear.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 10,500  |      2|  6 a.m.|37  |   | 34  |Remarkably clear.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Road       | 11,000  |      2| 8½ a.m.|45  |53*|     |*Temperature of a spring issuing
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | from the rock.
 Junin      | 13,000  |      2| 6½ p.m.|45  |   |     |Light westerly breeze; light
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | cirrus clouds.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,000  |      3|  7 a.m.|32  |   | 28  |Clear and calm; stratus clouds
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | covering the Andes.
            |         |                |    |   |     |
 Road       | 13,000  |      3|   12½  |46  |   |     |Snow squall, small round flakes;
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | wind variable from northward
            |         |                |    |   |     | and westward to northward and
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | eastward; western Cordillera in
            |         |                |    |   |     | the sunshine, the eastern
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | covered with storm.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Ninaccaca  | 13,200  |      3|  6 p.m.|40  |   | 36  |Beautiful night; light air from
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | the westward.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,200  |      4|  6 a.m.|39  |   |     |Calm; ground covered with hoar
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | frost.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Cerro      |         |       |        |    |   |     |
  de Pasco  | 13,800  |      9|  Noon  |45  |   |     |Hail and snow; wind from
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | northward and eastward.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     10| 10 a.m.|46  |   | 40  |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     10|  5 p.m.|42  |   | 38  |Clear and calm.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     10| 10 p.m.|37  |   | 34  |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     11|  8 a.m.|40  |   | 36  |Light airs from northward and
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | westward; cloudy.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     11| 10 p.m.|39  |   | 36  |Cloudy.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     12|  8 a.m.|39  |   | 36  |Light cirrus clouds.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     12|  Noon  |44  |   | 37  |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     12|  6 p.m.|40  |   | 35  |Wind northward and eastward;
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | heavy stratus clouds; light
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | snow.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        | 13,800  |     12| 10 p.m.|37  |   | 34  |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Chiquirin  | 11,500  |     13|  8 a.m.|39  |   | 36  |Calm; light cirrus clouds.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 San Rafael |  8,400  |     14|  6 p.m.|62  |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  8,400  |     15|  7 a.m.|56  |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Huanuco    |  6,000  |     17|  4 p.m.|71  |   |     |Clear; strong breeze from north,
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | which always sets in, at this
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |  season, about noon, and ceases
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | about dark.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,000  |     18|  9 a.m.|65  |   | 57½ |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,000  |     18|  9 p.m.|69  |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,000  |     19|  9 a.m.|64  |   | 56  |Clear; calm.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,000  |     19|  9 p.m.|68½ |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,000  |     20|  9 a.m.|63  |   | 55  |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,000  |     21|  9 a.m.|65  |   | 58½ |Cloudy, with appearance of rain;
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | light breeze from the northward.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Chullqui   |  5,600  |     22|  7 p.m.|67  |   |     |Light breeze from northward and
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | eastward; half cloudy.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Road       |  5,500  |July 23| 10 a.m.|72  |62*|     |*Mountain stream; cirrus clouds.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Acomayo    |  7,500  |     23| 11 a.m.|74  |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Near top of|  8,000  |     23| 2½ p.m.|67  |51*|     |*A spring in the woods.
  Cerro de  |         |       |        |    |   |     |
  Carpis    |         |       |        |    |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Casha      |  6,500  |     23|  7 p.m.|58  |   |     |Calm; cloudy to the south; night
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | quite cool.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  6,500  |     24|  6 a.m.|52  |   |     |Clear and calm.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Atajo      |  4,000  |     24|  5 p.m.|71  |   | 67  |Cirro-cumulus clouds; calm.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |         |     25|  7 a.m.|61  |   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Chihuangala|  3,500  |     25|  5 p.m.|74.5|   |     |
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     26|        |    |   |     |Heavy rain.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     27|  2 p.m.|78  |   | 72  |Cumulus clouds; calm.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     28|  8 a.m.|64  |   |     |Calm; cirro-cumulus, rained all
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | the latter part of the night.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     29|  8 a.m.|67  |   | 67  |Calm; cloudy.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     29|  1 p.m.|78  |   |     |Breeze northerly; heavy clouds
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | and thunder to the northward.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     29|  8 p.m.|69  |   |     |Calm; cloudy.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     30|  9 a.m.|69  |   |     |Calm; clear.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  3,500  |     30|  3 p.m.|    |   |     |Heavy shower of rain, with
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | thunder; most of the rain
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | clouds came from the north.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Chinchay-  |         |     31|  8 a.m.|70  |   |     |Half cloudy.
  vitoc     |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |         |     31| 11 a.m.|71  |67*|     |*Mountain stream.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 La Cueva   |  3,000  |     31|  5 p.m.|76  |68*|     |*Huallaga river.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 On the road|         |Aug.  1|  7 a.m.|74  |   |     |Cloudy; close and hot in the
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | woods.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Tingo Maria|  2,200  |      2|  9 a.m.|75  |   |     |River at Tingo Maria 100 yards
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | broad, 2¾ fathoms deep;
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | smooth and unbroken.

 Do.        |  2,200  |      2|  7 p.m.|72  |   | 71  |Cloudy; light breeze from the
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | northward.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  2,200  |      3|  8 a.m.|72  |   |     |Calm; cloudy; had been showery
            |         |       |        |    |   |     | during the night.
            |         |       |        |    |   |     |
 Do.        |  2,200  |      3|  4 p.m.|82  |   | 76  |
 -----------+---------+-------+--------+----+---+-----+---------------------------------

METEOROLOGICAL JOURNAL.—Continued.

 -----------+-------+--------+---------------+-----------+------------------------------
    Place.  | Date. | Time.  |  Thermometer. |  Wind.    |   Remarks.
            |       |        +----+----+-----+           |
            |       |        | A. | W. |W. B.|           |
 -----------+-------+--------+---------------+-----------+------------------------------
            | 1851. |        |   ˚|   ˚|    ˚|           |
 Huallaga   | Aug. 4|  3 p.m.|  84|  72|  ...|...        |Many obstructions from pebbly
  River     |       |        |    |    |     |           | shoals, small rocky islets,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | and drift-wood.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      4|  8 p.m.|  78| ...|  ...|Southward  |Lt. breeze; cloudy; river not
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | navigable for anything but a
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | canoe.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      5|  7 a.m.|  75| ...|   70|Calm       |Cloudy; river 60 yards broad;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | smooth; current 3 miles;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | depth 1½ fathom; pebbly
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | bottom.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      5|  5 p.m.| ...| ...|  ...|...        |Heavy clouds, with thunder and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | lightning in the northwest;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | during the night a fresh puff
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of wind from that direction;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | passed several rapids to-day;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | also through a hilly country,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | which accounts for the stormy
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | weather.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      6|  6 a.m.|  70|71.5|   70|Westward   |Light breeze and light rain;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | river to-day free from
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rapids, with some
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | obstructions from drift-wood
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | between the islands; average
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | depth 2½ fathoms; average
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | current 1½ mile; passed a
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | range of hills on the right;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | mountains in sight, bearing
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | from northwest to west; heavy
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cumulus clouds in the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | northeast, with thunder;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | thick stratus clouds in
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | northwest.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      6|  5 p.m.|  78|  76|     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      7|  7 a.m.|71.5| ...| 71.5|Calm       |Cloudy; upper stratum, light
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cirrus clouds; lower,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cirro-cumulus, moving to
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | southwest; river 50 yards
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | broad; current 3¼ miles;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | depth 2¾ fathoms.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      7|    Noon| ...| ...|  ...|N. and W.  |Breeze light; heavy clouds in
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the north, with thunder;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | passed one or two salt
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | streams and several rapids;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rain all night.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Tocache    |      8|  7 p.m.|  73| ...|  ...|Calm       |Cirrus clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      9|    Noon|  77|75.5|   73|Calm       |Cumulus clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      9|  3 p.m.|  79| ...|  ...|...        |Squall from the northward,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | with rain.
 Do.        |     10|  7 a.m.|  68|  73| 66.5|...        |Cloudy; mist rising from the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | river and hanging on the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | hills.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     10|  1 p.m.|  82|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     10|  5 p.m.|  82| ...|  ...|Northward  |Squall of wind from the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | northward, with a short
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | shower of rain.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     11|  8 a.m.|  70|  74|   68|Calm       |Misty.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     11|  1 p.m.|  82| ...|  ...|...        |Heavy clouds, with thunder,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | to the northward and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | eastward.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     11|  6 p.m.|  83|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     11|  9 p.m.|  79|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     12|  8 a.m.|  69|  74| 68.5|Calm       |Cloudy; river here 50 yards
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | broad, 3 fathoms deep; smart
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | shower, from the southward
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | and eastward, between 1 and 2
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | p.m.; passed several rapids,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | which make the river
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | innavigable; rain all night.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     13|  8 a.m.|  76| ...|  ...|Calm       |River 70 yards broad, with 4
   River    |       |        |    |    |     |           | miles of current; many
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rapids.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Sion       |     13|  5 p.m.|  80|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     14|  8 a.m.|  71| ...|   70|Calm       |Clear.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     14|  1 p.m.|  84| ...|  ...|...        |Cumulus clouds to the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | eastward.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     14|  8 p.m.|  74| ...|   70|Calm       |Clear.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     15|  9 a.m.|  70| ...|  ...|...        |Passed to-day several
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | dangerous rapids, effectual
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | bars to navigation.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     16|  8 a.m.|  76| ...|  ...|Northward  |Light breeze; at noon entered
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the mouth of the Huayabamba;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 100 yards broad; shallow;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | clear water; pebbly bottom;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rapid current.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Lupuna     |     16|  6 p.m.|  84| ...|   76|...        |Clear; river to-day broad and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | shallow; current 3¾ miles;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | left Lupuna at 10½ a. m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     17|  7 a.m.|74.5| ...| 70.5|N. and E.  |Light air; light clouds; soon
  River     |       |        |    |    |     |           | dissipated by the sun; at
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 11¼ passed abreast the town
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of Juan Juy; at 1 passed the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | mouth of river Sapo; 50 yards
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | broad; muddy; hilly country;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | heavy clouds and rain. This
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | is always the case where a
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | range of hills rises above
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the plain. The Indians speak
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of "Cerros mui bravos," to
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | indicate the fierceness of
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the weather about them.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Arrived at Juan Comas at 5
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | p.m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Juan Comas |     18|  7 a.m.|  70|  74|  ...|Northward  |Light breeze; thick mist;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | left Juan Comas at 7.30 a.m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     18| 11 a.m.|  82|  76|  ...|Northward  |Sun 108°; cumulus clouds; at
  River     |       |        |    |    |     |           | 2¼ passed the mouth of river
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Mayo, coming in on the left
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | between moderately high
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | hills, about 30 yards broad.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Just above the Mayo the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Huallaga contracts to 40
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | yards, with 5 and 6 fathoms
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of depth, and a current of
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 4¼ miles per hour. At 2.20
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | arrived at Shapaja, the port
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of Tarrapoto.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Shapaja    |     18|  6 p.m.|  74| ...|   72|N. and E.  |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     19|     ...| ...| ...|  ...|...        |Rained in showers all the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | morning.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Tarrapoto  |     20|    Noon|  78|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Shapaja    |     22|  7 a.m.|  75|  77|  ...|...        |Left Shapaja at 8½ a.m.;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | passed the malos pasos of the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Pongo or Strait of Chasuta.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | These are called Estero,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Canoayacu, Matijuelo, and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Chumia, and are the most
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | difficult of the river. At
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 2.20 p.m. arrived at Chasuta.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Chasuta    |     23|  4 p.m.|  82| ...|   77|           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     24|  8 a.m.|  74| ...| 69.5|Northward  |Light air; misty. It seems
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | very generally misty in the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | morning, but the clouds yield
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | to the sun about 10 a. m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Cumulus clouds in the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | horizon.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     24|    Noon|  79|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     24|  7 p.m.|  76| ...|  ...|Eastward   |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     25|    Noon|  86|  76|  ...|...        |Left Shapaja at 11 a. m.;
  River     |       |        |    |    |     |           | river below Shapaja flows
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | through the pongo; narrow,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | tranquil, and deep; country
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | generally flat, with a few
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | hills here and there. At 3¼
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | p. m. entered a more hilly
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | country; river narrow,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | shallow, and rapid, about 40
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | yards wide, with 2½ fathoms
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of depth, and about 5 miles
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of current.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     25|  6 p.m.|  75| ...|  ...|Calm       |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     26|  6 a.m.|  76|  76|  ...|...        |Started at 5½ a. m. misty
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | morning; rain from 4 to 5;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | shores of the river hilly and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | bold; 9½ fathoms water; hard
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | bottom. At 6¼ passed the end
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of the Pongo de Chasuta, and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | entered a flat country where
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the river spreads out very
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | wide, and has many small
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | islands. In passing the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | channels between these
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | islands we had but from 3 to
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 5 feet water, pebbly bottom,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | current very rapid; passed
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | these sandy flats in an hour,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | and found the river 150 yards
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | broad, without obstruction,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | with 3½ fathoms depth, and a
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | velocity of only 2 miles the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | hour. Here I take to be the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | head of navigation on this
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | river. Passed the mouth of
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the Chipurana; the first
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | musquitoes; much dew.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     26|  6 p.m.|  78|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     27|  6 a.m.|  74|  76|  ...|Eastward   |Light breeze; foggy; saw
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | light-colored porpoises; a
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | small seal; got turtle-eggs;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cumulus clouds; sun 102.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     27|    Noon| ...| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     27|  7 p.m.|  75| ...|  ...|Calm       |Clear; heavy dew; no rocks or
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | stones since passing the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | pongo.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     28|  6 a.m.|  70|  78|  ...|Calm       |Clear; started at 6; arrived
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | at Yurimaguas at 8¾; left at
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 11½.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     28|  4 p.m.|  87| ...|  ...|...        |Current 2¼ miles the hour;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | large sand islands in the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     28|  7 p.m.|  82| ...|  ...|Calm       |Clear; much dew.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     29|  6 a.m.|  70|  79|  ...|Calm       |Clear.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     29|  8 a.m.|  76| ...|  ...|Eastward   |Light breeze;  |Stopped at
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cirrus clouds.| 5 p. m. on
 Do.        |     29|    Noon|  84| ...|  ...|Northward  |Cumulus clouds;| a sand beach
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | sun 110.      | on the right
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | bank. This beach stretches
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | out into the river and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | occupies nearly its whole
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | bed, leaving a narrow
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | channel between it and the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | left shore, where I found but
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 5 feet water, though there is
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | probably more depth very
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | close in shore. The beach
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | belongs to what is an island
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | when the river is full, but
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the right-hand channel is now
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | dry. At 6 p. m. fresh squall
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of wind and rain from the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | northward and eastward.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     29|  6 p.m.|  82| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     30|  6 a.m.|  72| ...|  ...|N. and W.  |Light breeze; stratus clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Sta. Cruz  |     30|    Noon|  85|    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     30|  8 p.m.|  80| ...|  ...|...        |Heavy dew.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Huallaga   |     31|  6 a.m.|  76| ...|  ...|Calm       |Cloudy and misty.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |Sept. 1|  6 a.m.|  74|  80|  ...|Calm       |Misty.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      1|    Noon|  87| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |Heavy clouds and rain both in
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the northeast and southwest
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | with an occasional spit at
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | us.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      1|  2 p.m.|  85| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Laguna     |      2|  8 a.m.|  74| ...|  ...|...        |Rain all the morning in
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | showers.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      2|  4 p.m.|  83| ...|  ...|...        |At night clear; much dew.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      3|  6 a.m.|  75| ...|  ...|Calm       |Cloudy; left Laguna at 9¼
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | a.m.; arrived at mouth of
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | Huallaga at 4 p.m.; it flows
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | into the Marañon in a
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | southeast direction. There
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | are several islands at the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | mouth. The channel runs near
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | the left bank and has 7¼
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | fathoms.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      3| 10 a.m.| ...|  81|     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      3|  4 p m.|  80|  82|     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Amazon     |      4|  6 a.m.|  74|  80|  ...|N. and E.  |Light breeze; cloudy; shores
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of Amazon low; water very
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | muddy; many shovel-nosed
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | porpoises in the river. At
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | noon heavy clouds; squally
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | appearances, with rain.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      4|    Noon|  75| ...|  ...|Northward  |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      5|  6 a.m.|  74|  80|  ...|Eastward   |Light breeze; cloudy and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | misty; current 2 miles per
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | hour.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      5|  3 p.m.|  84| ...|  ...|Calm       |Cumulus clouds; saw several
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | small seals.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      5|  6 p.m.|  80| ...|  ...|Eastward   |Light breeze; clear.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      6|  6 a.m.|  74|  80|  ...|N. and E.  |Clouded up at 2 a.m.; squall
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | of wind and rain from the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | northward and eastward, with
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | thunder and lightning;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cleared up at 4; at 2½ p. m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | sharp squall of wind and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rain.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      6| 2½ p.m.|  76| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      7|  6 a.m.|  72|  80|  ...|S. and E.  |Foggy; sun shone out at 7 a.m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | a.m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      7|    Noon|  84| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |Light breeze; cumulus clouds;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | at 3 p.m. squall of wind and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rain from the northward and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | eastward.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      8|  6 a.m.|  74|  80|  ...|Calm       |At 4½ a.m. squall of wind,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rain, thunder and lightning,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | from the eastward.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      8|    Noon|  82| ...|  ...|S. and E.  |Heavy cumulus clouds in the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | north.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      8|  4 p.m.|  74| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |Squall of wind and heavy
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | rain, with thunder and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | lightning.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      9|  6 a.m.|  72|  80|     |           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |      9|  1 p.m.|  82| ...|  ...|N. and E.  |Light breeze; cumulus clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Nauta      |      9|     ...| ...| ...|  ...|...        |In afternoon heavy clouds,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | with thunder in the west;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | clear night.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     10| 6½ a.m.|  71| ...|   71|Northward  |Light breeze; thin clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     11| 6½ a.m.|  74| ...|  ...|...        |Thin cirrus clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     11|    Noon|  84| ...|   81|...        |Heavy cumulus clouds; hot
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | sun.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     12|  6 a.m.|  76| ...|   73|...        |Thin cirrus clouds; misty
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | about the horizon.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     12|    Noon|  84| ...|   81|Eastward   |Heavy cumulus clouds;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | powerful sun; shower of rain
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | at 2 p.m.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     13|  7 a.m.|  74| ...|   73|...        |Light clouds and mist; soon
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | dissipated by the sun;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | showers of rain at 2 p.m. and
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | at 7.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     14| 6½ a.m.|  73| ...|   72|Calm       |Cloudy.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     14|    Noon|  84| ...|   83|...        |Cumulus clouds; two squalls,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | with showers, in the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | afternoon—one from southward
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | and the other, and strongest,
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | from northward and eastward.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     15|  7 a.m.|  76| ...|  ...|Westward   |The first perfectly clear
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | morning we have seen since
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | entering the Amazon; at 1 p.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | m. cumulus clouds; shower at
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | 2½.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     15|  1 p.m.|  86| ...|   82|           |
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     16|  9 a.m.|  82| ...|  ...|...        |Rain; river rose 2 inches
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | since 6 p. m. yesterday.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     17|  9 a.m.|  78| ...|  ...|...        |Clear; river rose 10 inches
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | in the last 24 hours.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     17|  1 p.m.|  87| ...|  80½|...        |Cumulus clouds, with thunder.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     17| 9½ p.m.|  75| ...|  ...|...        |Rain.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     18|  9 a.m.|  75| ...|  ...|Eastward   |Light breeze; cirrus clouds;
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | river rose 10 inches.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     19|  11 a.m|  82| ...|   76|Calm       |Clear all night; river rose 5
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | inches from 6 p. m. yesterday
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | to 8 a. m.; light
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | cirro-cumulus clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     20| 9½ a.m.|  81| ...|   77|S. and E.  |Clear.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     20|  3 p.m.|  89| ...|   79|Southward  |Cumulus clouds round the
            |       |        |    |    |     |           | horizon.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     20|  9 p.m.|  78| ...|  ...|Calm       |Light clouds.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     21|  9 a.m.|  81| ...|  ...|Calm       |Cloudy.
            |       |        |    |    |     |           |
 Do.        |     21|  8 p.m.|  76| ...|  ...|...        |Lightning; heavy squall of
            |