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Expeditions of Castelnau and De Souza—Matto Grosso. 457 of the Rio de la Plata. From one end Returning to the Paraguay, the scene of this ridge to the other, from the At- is enlivened by the immense herds that lantic to the Andes, gold, diamonds, and are feeding upon the now evergreen pasprecious stones are dug from its sides or tures of the plains. The value of these washed from its streams.
herds consists chiefly in their horns and On the northern slopes of it, the hides. Tocantins, the Chingu, the Tapajos and The village of Poconé, at the mouth the Madeira, tributaries to the Amazon, of the Cuyaba, is one of the most flourand larger than any of the rivers of ishing places in the interior of Brazil. Europe, take their rise. Also the Pa- Castelnau says (and until otherwise ranahiba, which empties directly into stated, he is my chief authority for what the Atlantic, has its sources among the follows) that as many as 8,000 or 10,000 northern ravines of this auriferous slope. head of cattle are owned by single in
On its southern declivities the fountain dividuals in that village. heads of the Parana and Paraguay are Passing Poconé on the right, and takfound sending forth bright sparkling ing the left fork of the river, which restreams, which, like threads of silver, tains the name of Paraguay, we reach, are seen winding their way through the at the distance of about 150 miles most luxuriant vegetation and over sands above it, the frontier Brazilian fort of of gold and pebbles interspersed with Villa Maria. brilliants, to unite and swell out into the The guns that are mounted in this mighty. "River of Silver," as the La fort were brought up the Amazon to the Plata is called.
Tapajos, thence by that river up the Let us therefore leave the country of Arinas, thence by portage across the old Francia for that of Matto Grosso and diamond regions to the head-waters of Brazil.
the Cuyabá into the Paraguay, and so The traveler leaving the republic, and up stream to Villa Maria. ascending the Paraguay to the celebra. On the west there are several fine ted gold and diamond region of Matto rivers, which, rising in Bolivia and BraGrosso, finds on either hand, as he goes zil, fall into the Paraguay above the up, a charming country, diversified with mouth of the Cuyabá. Several of these pampas and groves of great beauty and streams interlock with the head-waters extent.
of the Madeira, which is to the Amazon Turning up the Mendingo, which what the Missouri is to the Mississippi. comes in from the east, and ascending I shall have occasion again to speak of the same for seventy or eighty miles, he these tributaries, of the splendid councomes to the village of Miranda. try watered by them, and of the portage
The people in the neighborhood are between them. industrious. They raise large herds of Villa Maria is in the midst of the cattle, and great numbers of horses. great ipecacuanha region of Matto They cultivate, in great abundance, the Grosso. “In 1814 Francisco Real was sugar-cane, Indian corn, pulse, manioc, sent to explore the diamond region of and cotton. The climate is salubrious this province. But it turned out with and delightful-many of the inhabitants him as I apprehend it would turn out reaching the age of one hundred years. with the pioneers of commerce now: as
It was here that Dr. Weddell, the bo- rich in diamonds as are the streams and tanist, saw the “nicaya" with its ele. gravel beds of this province, the riches gant foliage, the fruit of which was of the vegetable were found greatly to described by the Indians to be of an exceed those of the mineral kingdom. oblong form, and to contain a natural This immense natural plantation inconfection of which they are very fond. cludes within one field an area of 3,000
Throughout this region they have im- square miles. The crop is perennial, and mense quantities of the beautiful violet may be gathered the year round. One and other ornamental woods, which are expert hand may collect fifteen pounds used for firewood; for, though of great of this root in a day, which brought in value in cabinet-shops, the people here Rio $1 the pound. The work of an ordihave no other way, notwithstanding nary hand is five pounds the day, and their fine navigable streams, of getting the cost of laborers from $3 40 to $4 these woods to the seaboard except on per month. the backs of mules.
Castelnau estimates that from 1830 to
The Gold and Diamond Districts— Policy of Brazil.
zonian side of this ridge, is said also to cers, in pursuit of science and of knowbe exceedingly rich in diamonds. ledge for the benefit of the human fami
A Spaniard, one Don Simon, with his ly, were, by this dog-in-the-manger poslaves, washing on the Santa Anna, licy, compelled to undergo all sorts of exduring the dry season only, got in four posure, and, living on monkeys and seayears 7,000 carats of diamonds.
cows, to descend that mighty river, from Castelnau estimates the whole yield of its sources to its mouth, on rafts, in dugdiamonds from Brazil to the end of 1849 outs, and upon such floating things as they at near $80,000,000.
could find. The report of these two offiIt is the mineral wealth of this water- cers will no doubt open the eyes of the shed between the La Plata and the Ama. country to the importance of this region. zon, operating with its gold and its dia. On the ridge to the north of Diamanmonds upon the cupidity of her council. tino, Castelnau saw the waters of the ors, that has been the curse of Brazil. La Plata and the Amazon flowing from
At first the diamonds belonged to the the same farm: crown, and no person was allowed to "We found (says he) one of the very visit the diamond district unless under sources of the Amola, (a tributary of the the strictest surveillance. Military posts Cuyabá,) which rises in a ravine of the were established throughout the whole plateau, and flows towards the south ; it region to prevent people from gathering is N.N.W from the fork of it, which they its mineral wealth.
say is a little more elevated. These two Suppose the United States had esta- sources unite almost immediately in the blished military posts in California to valley to form the Amola, which crosses prevent the people from going there the road of Kebo. The farm of Estivado, and digging for gold, what would have where we were, is situated on one of been the condition of that state now in the most interesting points which the comparison to what it is? It would have continent presents. There, in fact, and been as the interior of Brazil now is. at a few steps one from the other, arise
The policy of Brazil has been not only the sources of two of the greatest rivers to shut out commerce, but to shut up in the world—the Amazon and the La from observation the wonderful resour. Plata. It may one day be very easy to esces, capabilities, and capacities of the tablish a communication between these finest country in the world ; and among gigantic streams, for the master of the the immense treasures which lie dor- house, as he told us himself, had attemptmant and undeveloped there, I class the ed, simply for the purpose of irrigating precious stones and metals as among his garden, to turn the waters of one rithe least of the truly valuable.
ver into the bed of the other. The source There is now in Rio the original of an of the River Estivado, the true branch of order issued when Humboldt was travel- the Arinas, is found in a hollow in the ing in South America, ordering that plateau, whose shed is turned towards great man to be made prisoner and sent the north about 650 feet east of the house out of the country, should he once set of the same name; and 275 feet west of foot on Brazilian territory.
this appears, in a little grove, the source And it has been but two or three of an affluent of the Tombador, which is years ago that application was made by known to be one of the tributaries of the this government to that of Brazil for per- Cuyabá. mission to send a steamer up the Ama. The farm of Estivado is therefore zon to explore it, not for the benefit of on a dividing line of the waters which the United States alone, but for the good flow north and those which flow south. of commerce, science, and the world. The same phenomenon is observed in Permission was refused. The conse. Macu; in the times of great floods there quence was, two officers of the navy is a torrent whose waters at a certain were ordered to cross over the Andes point separate in such a manner, that, on from Lima, and descend the Amazon as the one hand, they flow to the Cuyabá, they might. One of these officers (Lieut. and, on the other, to the Tapajos. Herndon, U.S. N.) has just returned and is “All this great plateau is on the dinow engaged with his report; the other viding line of the waters. The superin(Lieut. Gibbon) is still on his way down. tendent of Estivado told us that once a
Thus, in consequence of this Japanese canoe had been carried from Cuyabá in spirit that still lingers in Brazil, our offi. the Arinas by means of a portage of only
four leagues across the Chapola, and the Chuquisaca stands on a spur of a moun. proprietor of Macu had proposed to esta- tain which juts out from the Andes, and blish this communication."
constitutes the “divide" between the Diamantino carries on a direct trade head-waters of the Pilcomayo and the with Para, by the Arinas, the Tapajos, Madeira. This latter, taking its rise and Amazon. The place of embarka- under the north wall of this city, and tion is ten leagues from the village, and joining a tributary which comes down a voyage up and down thence to Para from the city of Chochabamba, takes occupies eight months. The Tapajos is a sweep of some three hundred miles said to be sickly.
to the southward and eastward; then reThe foreign merchandise that reaches covering itself, and swollen by the nuDiamantino by this route is sold at an merous tributaries received by the way, advance, on the average, of eight hun- it turns north towards the Amazon, dred and fifty per cent. on its price in and flows by Santa Cruz de la Sierra Para, which is some fifty or one hundred (the present capital of the republic,) a per cent. on New-York prices.
magnificent sheet of water. * Were this trade large, as at present it from the two first-named cities, by is not-and without steamboat naviga- the windings of the Madeira to the tion can never be- Pennsylvania, no ocean, the distance is upwards of two doubt, would rejoice in it; for iron in thousand miles, more than half of which Diamantino and the province of Matto is in Bolivian territory. Well may that Grosso generally sells at $25 the 100 republic, therefore, sigh for river steamlbs.-five hundred and fifty dollars a ton! ers and the right of way up and down -a price which ought surely to satisfy the Amazon. the iron men of any country. Salt sells The climate of Bolivia is one of the at $18 the 100 lbs.: flour at $40 per finest tropical climates in the world. Inbarrel.
deed, its climates and productions may Castelnau quotes the Para and Dia- be considered to include those of all the mantino prices of thirty-four of the princi- habitable portions of the globe. pal foreign articles of trade between the Here, one seated at the foot of a moun. two places, and the average advance in tain, and surrounded with the luscious Diamantino upon these Para prices is, fruits of the tropics, may, casting his eye as I have stated, 850 per cent.
up towards the snow-capped peak above Passing from this benighted country him, take in at one view the whole range over into Bolivia, Castlenau came to an of the vegetable gamut. Beginning with entirely different sort of people. Indus- the chirimoya, the pineapple, the orange, trious and thriving, the Bolivians, as and the vanilla, as they cast their fra: they contemplate their lovely rivers, grance around, he passes through, as he the Pilcomayo and the Madeira, sigh ascends, groves of the olive and the vine, for the steamboat and the free naviga- the peach and the pear, until finally, tion of the La Plata and the Amazon, having completed the vegetable notation
The Pilcomayo takes its rise under in the order of production through the the south wall of their beautiful “Silver torrid and temperate zones, he reaches City," as Chuquisaca is called. The the frigid, and with its cap of snow he Vermejo, another large Bolivian tribu- finds the summit crowned with the tary of the La Plata, has its sources fur- mosses and the lichens of the polar rether south. After a course of a thousand gions. miles to the southward and eastward, About one-half of Bolivia is in the val. these streams empty into the Paraguay, ley of the Amazon ; one-fourth in the valand so anxious is Bolivia for the steam ley of the La Plata; and the rest, which navigation of these rivers, that she has, is not desert or mountain, is in the val. I am told, offered a bonus of $20,000 tó ley of Lake Titicaca, that inland basin the first steamboat that will ascend the in which the Incas and civilization of Pilcomayo to the head of navigation. Peru had their origin.
ART. VI.-PROGRESS-THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.
The chronology of creation is written to witness an exhibition, a solitary recluse in immutable characters in the great or bandit may be observed skulking volume of nature, and the surface of the among its dark recesses; yet, it eluciearth is rich in historical data in con- dates the splendor of the times and the nection with the promotion of human taste for public amusement. But what progress. The experience of nearly is Rome now, with all her ecclesiastical sixty centuries is recorded in these an- dignitaries? In the march of progress nals of animated action ; exhibiting, as she lingers in the rear, as if loth to it were, a journal of the progressive and leave the beaten paths of eighteen cenretrogressive changes of mind in its turies, bearing all the accumulated efforts to explore the hidden secrets of decrepitude of age. It would be folly the universe.
to follow the destroyer's footsteps The civilized world of the present throughout Europe, where every valley day may well boast of the flattering as- is a witness, and every headland expect of human improvement and ex- hibits a ruined trophy of a brighter panding genius, while a retrospective day. view calls up a host of strange, gloomy, In referring to these mementoes of prosyet interesting images that float upon perity and intelligence, it may be asked, the waves of the past. The wrecks of Who were their founders? Who were ancient grandeur meet our gaze at every their denizens? What was their litera. turn; the ruins of enlightened periods ture!--the elements of their enlightenare found in every land. Look into the ment? Who were their teachers ? dim vista of antiquity, among the dilapi. Who laid the foundations and raised the dated masses of mural rubbish strewn unique tumuli of our own land? The throughout the once gorgeous East. tescallis of Anahuac, of Otumba and There are the foot-prints of Desolation, Cholula—the dilapidated palaces of clear and defined. Overstepping the Oxmutal, of Mitla, Palenque, &c. ? terrene temples of Salsette and Ele- They, too, evince in silent veracity the phanta, he crushes under his tread the existence of an enlightened era in magnificent Temple of the Sun at Per- America. Who will assert that this sepolis; Shushan, Nineveh, Babylon, Continent is not the lost island of AtaBaalbec, with all their storied great- lanta, of which the elder Pliny vaguely ness, are almost lost to human ken. The speaks, or that the line of Asiatic comcolumnar fragments of Palmyra only merce did not cross the Isthmus of mark the location of the solitude of Chiapa? The late discovery of an exruins, and green stagnant tanks or tensive city on the Island of Tinian, on oasian pools, where the prowling jackal, the direct route to the Indian Archipeand Bedouin bandit, slake their parch: lago, is the initiatory development of such ing thirst. Jerusalem, "the city of our a supposition; and similar discoveries God," is trod by the feet of the infidel; on the same line of navigation would the Turk and the Arab pitch their tents give it plausibility. on Mount Zion. Where are the ancient Following the diurnal course of light emporiums of the eastern commerce, to that quarter of the globe where it is Tyre, Sidon, Tarshish, and Carthage supposed the human race commenced Heliopolis, and Thebes, with its hun- its course of improvement, and from the dred gates, from each of which a thou- remains of science that was anciently sand chariots went forth to battle; and cultivated, as well as the arts that were where is the oracle of Jupiter Ammon, exercised there, it is concluded to have of the Lybian desert? We still look up been the first in which man made any to the inouldering battlements of the considerable progress in that career. Acropolis, frowning grimly from the The wisdom of the East was early celerocky hold upon degenerate Athens. brated in Scripture history; and its pro. The arcades of the grand Colosseum ductions were in request among the still stand a gloomy monument of archi. Egyptians at least four hundred years tectural genius at the period of Vespa- before Moses wrote the Pentateuch. sian's triumphant reign. Instead of There is reason to infer from the same eighty thousand gay auditors assembled source that Damascus had a mercantile