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this time governor of New Mexico, a personage who appears to belong to the worst class of Mexican officials. By his orders, the prisoners were to march to the city of Mexico, escorted by a body of Mexican soldiers, under the command of a brutal officer, named Salbezar. Fortunately, when they reached El Paso, this man was arrested by the military commandant there, General Elias, on the charge of having murdered several of the Texans; the full details of his inhumanity having been made known by the prisoners on their arrival. Before this time, they had experienced a kindness from the Mexican women, which gives a favorable impression of their character; and at El Paso, the hospitality and kindness which they received from all are acknowledged in the warmest terms. The inconvenience, and even suffering, attending the privations and hardships of a long winter journey, under circumstances so disheartening as those of a prisoner of war, totally uncertain what his destiny might be in the hands of those whose military usages savor strongly of the barbarous, might have furnished a sufficient apology for the author, if his power of observation had been less keen than usual; but it seems to have been always vigilant; and we doubt whether a traveller, proceeding through the country at his leisure, would have exercised it with greater benefit and entertainment to the reader. The following is the account he gives of the general condition of the less favored citizens of the republic.

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"The constitution of Mexico guaranties to all classes and colors the greatest liberty and equality; the poorest peasant is protected, by the glorious panoply of the law, from every infringement upon his personal liberty; and the most abject beggar in the land has rights and privileges which cannot be trampled upon by his neighbour, be he ever so powerful or wealthy. So much for the law and constitution in theory, the practice is an entirely different matter.

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“The traveller, who visits one of the larger estates in Mexico, finds, in the centre of it, a village, or collection of houses, large or small, in proportion to the quantity of land owned by the proprietor. Occupying the most conspicuous situation is the church, generally a strong stone building, surmounted by a tower or cupola, with a clear, silvery-sounding bell. The interior is decorated, perhaps, with statues of our Saviour, the Apostles, the Virgin, and the patron saint of the hacienda, executed in wood, and frequently arrayed most fantastically; the walls are covered

with wretched copies of Scriptural paintings. Close by the church is the residence of the haciendero, or owner, a massive, strong, roomy, but comparatively unfurnished dwelling, in one of the front apartments of which is his store. Here the poor peons purchase their liquor, their cigars, and the little cloth that furnishes their raiment, and at prices the most exorbitant. Adjoining this house are the trojes, or barns, where the produce of the estate is stored, strong, substantial buildings. Then come the rude adobe hovels of the common laborers, frequently having but one room, in which the whole family, father and mother, brothers and sisters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, huddle together upon one common earthen floor.

"And what relation do these people bear to the haciendero ? They are many of them slaves, - slaves to all intents and purposes, although they may enjoy a nominal liberty. A large proportion of them, probably, are in some way indebted to the proprietor, the law giving him a lien upon their services until such debts are paid; but most especial good care does he take, that they never pay him their obligations so long as their services are any way profitable. They are in his debt, and are kept so until age or infirmity renders their labor unproductive; then the ob ligation is cancelled, and they are cast upon the world, to beg, steal, or starve, as best they may.

"Should some one of the peons, more active, ambitious, or enterprising than his fellows, chance to accumulate money enough to repay his debt and regain his liberty,-how then? He offers his master the price of his redemption; but the latter, upon some flimsy pretext, refuses to take it; he has not yet done with the services of the vigorous servant. The latter flies to the alcalde for redress. The law is on his side, equity is on his side, but the functionary who administers them is very likely a creature of the proprietor, and will not listen to the case of the slave, be it ever so just. The latter attempts to purchase justice by a bribe, but he is outbid by the haciendero. The alcalde shuts his eyes upon justice, opens his heart to the longer purse of the proprietor, and the unfortunate serf is once more driven to bondage. Such, so far as I could see and learn, was the state of things at many of the haciendas we passed upon our journey. The immense wealth, which has fallen into the hands of the few in Mexico, has given them a power over the numerous and abjectly poor which amounts nearly to that of the English barons under the feudal system. Never will there be a change in favor of the lower orders until a thorough and radical revolution takes place in the very nature of the inhabitants, or until the country falls into other hands." Vol. 11., pp. 112–114.

This, as a general description, may be rather strongly stated; but there can be no doubt that it is substantially applicable, not only to Mexico, but to all the countries which have thrown off the yoke of Spain. The Spanish domination was no primary school, in which the principles of republicanism could be advantageously studied. Institutions resting on equality are not likely to be very stable where no equality exists; and a long period of discipline will undoubtedly be requisite, in order to adapt the people to the institutions, or the institutions to the people. They have receded too far from monarchy to be able to endure it permanently now; but they have, as yet, found little tranquillity under a system nominally republican.

At Queretaro, Mr. Kendall became acquainted with a description of currency, which has not passed into extensive circulation elsewhere.

"We had scarcely been ten minutes in the convent when we were visited by the usual crowd of venders of oranges and other fruits, women with tortillas, frijoles, and guisado, all anxious to dispose of their little stock in trade. Mr. Falconer picked out some half dozen oranges and sweet limes from the basket of a fruit-girl, and in payment handed her a dollar. There was not small coin enough among them all to change the dollar, and Falconer sent it out by a corporal, telling him to get it changed. The fellow shortly returned with sixty-four cakes of soap, tied up in a handkerchief. Falconer told the corporal he wanted change, not soap. The corporal replied, that it was the currency of the place, legal currency, and that there was no other. Such proved to be the case: and, however singular it may appear, soap is really a lawful tender in the payment of all debts, and our companion was compelled to keep this singular substitute in the way of change for his dollar. He could not very well pocket it, as there was nearly a peck in bulk.

"The cakes are about the size of the common Windsor shaving-soap, and each is worth one cent and a half,- in fact, a fraction more, as eight of them pass for twelve and a half cents, or sixteen for a quarter of a dollar. Each cake is stamped with the name of the town where it is issued, and also with the name of the person who is authorized by law to manufacture it as a circulating medium; yet Celaya soap for it also circulates in that city will not pass at Queretaro. The reason I cannot divine, as the size and intrinsic value appear to be the same.". Vol. 11., pp. 186, 187.


It was about the middle of September, 1841, that Mr. Kendall was made prisoner by the Mexicans. His journey to the capital did not terminate until the 9th of the following February, when he was committed to close confinement in the hospital of San Lazaro. Strong efforts were in the mean time made by his friends in the United States, and efforts, which he appears to think might well enough have been stronger, by our minister in Mexico, to procure his release. Both he and Mr. Gregg entertain the opinion, that the intervention of our diplomatic agents in cases of this kind is far less effectual than that of the representative of Great Britain; probably the Mexican authorities are apprized, that the attention of our government at home is too much occupied with the great concerns appertaining to the welfare of party, to permit them to take much interest in other matters. General Thompson, however, the late minister, took a warm and active interest in procuring his liberation; but just at the moment when this seemed to have been effected, he was transferred to Santiago, where a body of the Texans were imprisoned, and was there put in fetters. The reason of this change he does not know. It is probable, however, that the Mexican government could not be induced to believe that any man should have joined the Texan expedition with any other purpose than that of subverting their republic; and doubtless his tour will be the last which will be made for some time in that direction merely for the sake of recreation. By the 21st of April, he was at length released, after an imprisonment of more than seven months, and, with as little delay as possible, travelled to Vera Cruz, where he embarked for this country, and arrived after an absence of about a year; a term filled up with more adventure and vicissitude than commonly fall to the lot of travellers in these piping times of peace.

After his liberation, the author continued his observations to good purpose, and with a spirit that does not seem to have been at all clouded by the trials he had undergone. Some traits in the Mexican character, which he describes, might well enough find imitators here. Among them, he says,"Poverty is certainly no crime, is never insulted. The unfortunate mendigo, or beggar, is seldom or never spurned from the door of the rich; but, on the contrary, his misfortunes entitle him at least to respect, if not to alms, and invariably both are

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the poor

bestowed. No concealment of poverty is attempted; Mexican family, unlike that of the American or English in similar circumstances, never impoverishes itself still farther by forced endeavours to conceal its real necessities. Of such hospitality as the Mexican dwelling affords the stranger is always invited to partake; and, while the master frankly admits his poverty, he at the same time uses it as an excuse for the scantiness of the repast to which he invites his guest. The stranger is not told that his presence is unexpected; that the butcher has neglected to furnish meat, with a threat to patronize him no more; that the bread has just given out, and that there is no time to bake or send for a supply, or any of the thousand and one excuses a false and foolish pride invents in other lands, to conceal its indigence; nothing of the kind is resorted to. 'Somos pobres,'- we are poor people,—is the honest admission made by the Mexican to cover any deficiency in his entertainment.' - Vol. 11., pp. 339, 340.


We are reluctant to lose this opportunity of reading a lecture upon the great question of "annexation," and our relations with Mexico, which circumstances have invested with no small importance; but we have no doubt, that our readers will think it quite as well, that we have limited ourselves to an account of the narratives before us. In taking leave of Mr. Kendall, we feel bound to say, that his humor is not always such as could be wished; but he is a liberal and keen observer, and an animated writer, and his volumes will be sure to give both entertainment and instruction.

ART. VIII. The History of the Puritans, or Protestant Non-conformists, from the Reformation in 1517, to the Revolution in 1688; comprising an Account of their Principles; their Attempts for a farther Reformation in the Church; their Sufferings; and the Lives and Characters of their most considerable Divines. By DANIEL NEAL, M. A. Revised, corrected, and enlarged, with Additional Notes. By JOHN O. CHOULES, M. A. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1844. 2 vols. 8vo.

WE are pleased to see an American edition of this valuable work on political and ecclesiastical history, edited with

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