Mexico and its Religion - With Incidents of Travel in That Country During Parts of - the Years 1851-52-53-54, and Historical Notices of Events - Connected With Places Visited
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Mexico and its Religion - With Incidents of Travel in That Country During Parts of - the Years 1851-52-53-54, and Historical Notices of Events - Connected With Places Visited

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Mexico and its Religion, by Robert A. Wilson This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Mexico and its Religion With Incidents of Travel in That Country During Parts of the Years 1851-52-53-54, and Historical Notices of Events Connected With Places Visited Author: Robert A. Wilson Release Date: May 14, 2007 [EBook #21430] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MEXICO AND ITS RELIGION *** Produced by Julia Miller and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net SANTA ANNA. MEXICO AND ITS RELIGION; WITH INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN THAT COUNTRY DURING PARTS OF THE YEARS 1851-52-53- 54, AND HISTORICAL NOTICES OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH PLACES VISITED. By ROBERT A. WILSON. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. NEW YORK: HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE. 1855. Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, by HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New York. TO THE AMERICAN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FOLLOWING PAGES Are Respectfully Dedicated. PREFACE.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Mexico and its Religion, by Robert A. Wilson
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Mexico and its Religion
With Incidents of Travel in That Country During Parts of
the Years 1851-52-53-54, and Historical Notices of Events
Connected With Places Visited
Author: Robert A. Wilson
Release Date: May 14, 2007 [EBook #21430]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MEXICO AND ITS RELIGION ***
Produced by Julia Miller and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netSANTA ANNA.
MEXICO AND ITS RELIGION;
WITH
INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN THAT COUNTRY
DURING PARTS OF THE YEARS 1851-52-53-
54,
AND
HISTORICAL NOTICES OF EVENTS
CONNECTED WITH PLACES VISITED.By
ROBERT A. WILSON.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.
NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE.
1855.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year
one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New York.
TO
THE AMERICAN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES,
THE FOLLOWING PAGES
Are Respectfully Dedicated.
PREFACE.
The custom of mingling together historical events with the incidents of
travel, of amusement with instruction, is rather a Spanish than American
practice; and in adopting it, I must crave the indulgence of those of my
readers who read only for instruction, as well as of those who read only for
amusement.
The evidence that I have adduced to prove that the yellow fever is not an
American, but an African disease, imported in slave-ships, and periodically
renewed from those cargoes of human rottenness and putrefaction, I hope
will be duly considered.
The picture of inner convent life, and the inimitable gambling scene in theconvent of San Francis, I have not dared to present on my own
responsibility, nor even that of the old English black-letter edition of Friar
Thomas, but I have reproduced it from the expurgated Spanish edition,
which has passed the censors, and must therefore be considered official.
I have presumed to follow the great Las Casas, who called all the
historians of the Conquest of Mexico liars; and though his labored refutation
of their fictions has disappeared, yet, fortunately, the natural evidences of
their untruth still remain. Having before me the surveys and the levels of our
own engineers, I have presumed to doubt that water ever ran up hill, that
navigable canals were ever fed by "back water," that pyramids (teocalli)
could rest on a foundation of soft earth, that a canal twelve feet broad by
twelve feet deep, mostly below the water level, was ever dug by Indians
with their rude implements, that gardens ever floated in mud, or that
brigantines ever sailed in a salt marsh, or even that 100,000 men ever
entered the mud-built city of Mexico by a narrow causeway in the morning,
and after fighting all day returned by the same path at night to their camp, or
that so large a besieging army as 150,000 men could be supported in a
salt-marsh valley, surrounded by high mountains.
In answer to the question why such fables have so long passed for
history, I have the ready answer, that the Inquisition controlled every
printing-office in Spain and her colonies, and its censors took good care
that nothing should be printed against the fair fame of so good a Christian
as Cortéz, who had painted upon his banner an image of the Immaculate
Virgin, and had bestowed upon her a large portion of his robbery; who had
gratified the national taste for holy wars by writing one of the finest of
Spanish romances of history; who had induced the Emperor to overlook his
crime of levying war without a royal license by the bestowal of rich presents
and rich provinces; so that, by the favor of the Emperor and the favor of the
Inquisition, a filibustero, whose atrocities surpassed those of every other on
record, has come down to us as a Christian hero.
The innumerable little things about their Indian mounds force the
conviction on the experienced eye of an American traveler that the Aztecs
were a horde of North American savages, who had precipitated themselves
first upon the table-land, and afterward, like the Goths from the table-lands
of Spain, extended their conquests over the expiring civilization of the coast
country; and this idea is confirmed by the fact that the magnificent Toltec
monuments of a remote antiquity, discovered in the tropical forests, were
apparently unknown to the Aztecs. The conquest of Mexico, like our
conquest of California, was in itself a small affair; but both being
immediately followed by extensive discoveries of the precious metals,
Mexico rose as rapidly into opulence as San Francisco has in our day.
The evidence that I have presented of the inexhaustible supplies of silver
in Northern Mexico, near the route of our proposed Pacific Railroad, may be
interesting to legislators. These masses of silver lie as undisturbed by their
present owners as did the Mexican discoveries of gold in California before
the American conquest, from the inertness of the local population, and the
want of facilities of communication with the city of Mexico.
The notion that the Mormons are destined to overrun Mexico is, of
course, only an inference drawn from the exact parallel that exists betweenthe circumstances under which this delusion has arisen and propagated
itself and the history of Mohammedanism from its rise until it overran the
degenerated Christians of the Eastern empire.
From want of space, I have been obliged to omit much valuable original
matter procured for me by officers of government at the palace of Mexico, to
whom, for the kind attention that I have upon all occasions received from
them, I heartily return my most sincere thanks.
R. A. WILSON.
Rochester, September 1st, 1855.
CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I.
Arrival at Vera Cruz.—Its appearance from the Steamer.—
Getting Ashore.—Within the City.—Throwing Stones at an
Image.—Antiquity of Vera Cruz.—Its Commerce.—The great
Norther of 1852.—A little Steamer rides out the Tempest.—
The Vomito, or Yellow Fever.—Ravages of the Vomito.—
The Vomito brought from Africa in Slave-ships.—A curious
old Book.—Our Monk arrives at Vera Cruz, and what befalls
him there.—Life in a Convent.—A nice young Prior.—Our
Monk finds himself in another World 15
CHAPTER II.
An historical Sketch.—Truth seldom spoken of Santa Anna.
—Santa Anna's early Life.—Causes of the Revolution.—
The Virgin Mary's Approval of King Ferdinand.—The
Inquisition imprisons the Vice-King.—Santa Anna enters the
King's Army.—The plan of Iguala.—The War of the two
Virgins.—Santa Anna pronounces for Independence 30
CHAPTER III.
Incidents of Travel.—The Great Road to the Interior.—
Mexican Diligences.—The Priest was the first Passenger
robbed.—The National Bridge.—A Conducta of Silver.—Our
Monk visits Old Vera Cruz.—They grant to the Indians forty
Years of Indulgence in return for their Hospitality.—The
Artist among Robbers.—Mexican Scholars in the United
States.—Encerro 39
CHAPTER IV.Jalapa.—The extraordinary Beauty and Fertility of this Spot.
—Jalap, Sarsaparilla, Myrtle, Vanilla, Cochineal, and Wood
of Tobasco.—The charming Situation of Jalapa.—Its
Flowers and its Fruits.—Magnificent Views.—The tradition
that Jalapa was Paradise.—A speck of War.—The Marriage
of a Heretic.—A gambling Scene in a Convent 52
CHAPTER V.
The War of the Secret Political Societies of Mexico.—The
Scotch and the York Free-Masons.—Anti-Masons.—Rival
Classes compose Scotch Lodges.—The Yorkinos.—Men
desert from the Scotch to the York Lodges.—Law to
suppress Secret Societies.—The Escocés, or Scotch
Masons, take up arms.—The Battle.—Their total Defeat 68
CHAPTER VI.
Mexico becomes an Empire.—Santa Anna deposes the
Emperor.—He proclaims a Republic.—He pronounces
against the Election of Pedraza, the second President.—His
Situation in the Convent at Oajaca.—He captures the
Spanish Armada.—And is made General of Division 73
CHAPTER VII.
In the Stage and out of the Stage.—Still climbing.—A
moment's View of all the Kingdoms of the World.—Again in
Obscurity.—The Maguey, or Century Plant.—The many
uses of the Maguey.—The intoxicating juice of the Maguey.
—Pulque.—Immense Consumption of Pulque.—City of
Perote.—Castle of San Carlos de Perote.—Starlight upon
the Table-land.—Tequisquita.—"The Bad Land."—A very
old Beggar.—Arrive at Puebla 79
CHAPTER VIII.
Pueblo.—The Miracle of the Angels.—A City of Priests.—
Marianna in Bronze.—The Vega of Puebla.—First View of
the Pyramid of Cholula.—Modern Additions to it.—The View
from its Top.—Quetzalcoatl.—Cholula and Tlascala.—
Cholula without the Poetry.—Indian Relics 88
CHAPTER IX.
A Ride to Popocatapetl.—The Village of Atlizco.—The old
Man of Atlizco and the Inquisition.—A novel Mode of
Escape.—An avenging Ghost.—The Vice-King
Ravillagigedo.—The Court of the Vice-King and the
Inquisition.—Ascent of Popocatapetl.—How a Party
perished by Night.—The Crater and the House in it.—
Descent into the Crater.—The Interior.—The Workmen inthe Volcano.—The View from Popocatapetl.—The first
White that climbed Popocatapetl.—The Story of Corchado.
—Corchado converts the Volcano into a Sulphur-mine 101
CHAPTER X.
Texas.—Battle of Madina.—First Introduction of Americans
into Texas.—Usurpation of Bustamente.—Texas owed no
Allegiance to the Usurper.—The good Faith of the United
States in the Acquisition of Louisiana and Texas.—Santa
Anna pronounces against Bustamente.—Santa Anna in
Texas.—A Mexican's Denunciation of the Texan War.—His
Idea of our Revolution.—He complains of our grasping
Spirit.—The right of the United States to occupy unsettled
Territory.—A few more Pronunciamientos of Santa Anna.—
The Adventures of Santa Anna to the present Date. 113
CHAPTER XI.
From Puebla to Mexico.—The Dread of Robbers.—The
Escort.—Tlascala.—The Exaggerations of Cortéz and
Bernal Diaz.—The Truth about Tlascala.—The Advantages
of Tlascala to Cortéz.—Who was Bernal Diaz.—Who wrote
his History.—First View of Mexico. 122
CHAPTER XII.
Acapulco.—The Advantages of a Western Voyage to India.
—The great annual Fair of Acapulco.—The Village and
Harbor of Acapulco.—The War of Santa Anna and Alvarez.
—The Retreat.—Traveling alone and unarmed.—The
Peregrino Pass.—Quiricua and Cretinism.—Chilpanzingo.
—An ill-clad Judge.—Iguala.—Alpayaca.—Cuarnavaca. 132
CHAPTER XIII.
California.—Pearl Fisheries.—Missions.—Indian Marriages.
—Villages.—Precious Metals.—The Conquest of California
compared with that of Mexico.—Upper California under the
Spaniards.—Mexican Conquest of California in 1825.—The
March.—The Conquest.—California under the Mexicans.—
American Conquest.—Sinews of foreign Wars.—A
Protestant and religious War.—Early Settlers compared.—
Mexico in the Heyday of Prosperity.—Rich Costume of the
Women.—Superstitious Worship.—When I first saw
California.—Lawyers without Laws.—A primitive Court.—A
Territorial Judge in San Francisco.—Mistaken Philanthropy.
—Mexican Side of the Picture.—Great Alms.—City of
Mexico overwhelmed by a Water-spout.—The Superiority of
Californians. 142
CHAPTER XIV.First Sight of the Valley of Mexico.—A Venice in a mountain
Valley.—An Emperor waiting his Murderers.—Cortéz
mowing down unarmed Indians.—A new kind of Piety.—
Capture of an Emperor.—Torturing an Emperor to Death.—
The Children paying the Penalty of their Fathers' Crimes.—
The Aztecs and other Indians.—The Difference is in the
Historians.—The Superstitions of the Indians.—The Valley
of Mexico.—An American Survey of the Valley.—A
topographical View.—The Ponds Chalco, Xochimulco, and
Tezcuco were never Lakes. 167
CHAPTER XV.
The Two Valleys.—The lake with a leaky Bottom.—The
Water could not have been higher.—Nor could the Lagunas
or Ponds have been much deeper.—The Brigantines only
flat-bottomed Boats.—The Causeway Canals fix the size of
the Brigantines.—The Street Canals.—Stagnant Water unfit
for Canals.—The probable Dimensions of the City Canals.
—Difficulties of disproving a Fiction.—A Dike or Levee.—
The Canal of Huehuetoca.—The Map of Cortéz.—Wise
Provision of Providence.—The Fiction about the numerous
Cities in and about the Lake 176
CHAPTER XVI.
The Chinampas or Water Gardens.—Laws of Nature not set
aside.—Mud will not float.—The present Chinampas.—They
never could have been floating Gardens.—Relations of the
Chinampas to the ancient State of the Lake in the Valley 186
CHAPTER XVII.
The gambling Festival of San Augustine.—Suppressed by
Government.—The Losses of the Saint by the Suppression
of Gambling.—How Travelers live in the Interior.—A Visit to
the Palace 192
CHAPTER XVIII.
Visit to Contreras and San Angel.—The End of a brave
Soldier.—A Place of Skulls.—A New England Dinner.—An
Adventure with Robbers—doubtful.—Reasons for revisiting
Mexico.—The Battle at the Mountain of Crosses.—A
peculiar Variety of the Cactus.—Three Men gibbeted for
robbing a Bishop.—A Court upon Horseback.—The retreat
of Cortéz to Otumba.—A venerable Cypress Grove.—
Unexpectedly comfortable Quarters.—An English Dinner at
Tezcuco.—Pleasures unknown to the Kings of Tezcuco.—
Relics of Tezcuco.—The Appearance of the Virgin Mary at
Tezcuco.—The Causeways of Mexico 196
CHAPTER XIX.The Streets of Tacuba.—The Spaniards and the Indian
Women.—The Retreat of Cortéz.—The Aqueducts of
Mexico.—The English and American Burying-grounds.—
The Protestant President.—The rival Virgins.—An Image out
of Favor.—The Aztecs and the Spaniards 208
CHAPTER XX.
The Paséo at Evening.—Ride to Chapultepec.—The old
Cypresses of Chapultepec.—The Capture of Chapultepec.
—Molina del Rey.—Tacubaya.—Don Manuel Escandon.—
The Tobacco Monopoly.—The Palace of Escandon.—The
"Desierto."—Hermits.—Monks in the Conflict with Satan.—
Our Lady of Carmel 219
CHAPTER XXI.
Walk to Guadalupe.—Our Embassador kneeling to the Host.
—An Embassador with, and one without Lace.—First sight
of Santa Anna.—Indian Dance in Church.—Juan Diego not
Saint Thomas.—The Miracle proved at Rome.—The Story of
Juan Diego.—The holy Well of Guadalupe.—The Temple of
the Virgin.—Public Worship interdicted by the Archbishop.—
Refuses to revoke his Interdict.—He fled to Guadalupe and
took Sanctuary.—Refused to leave the Altar.—The Arrest at
the Altar 229
CHAPTER XXII.
The old Indian City of Mexico.—The Mosques.—Probable
Extent of Civilization.—Aztecs acquired Arts of the Toltecs.
—Toltec Civilization, ancient and original.—The Pyramid of
Papantla.—The Plunder of Civilization.—Mexico as
described by Cortéz.—Montezuma's Court.—The eight
Months that Cortéz held Montezuma.—What happened for
the next ten Months.—The Siege of Mexico by Cortéz.—
Aztecs conquered by Famine and Thirst.—Heroes on Paper
and Victories without Bloodshed.—Cortéz and Morgan 242
CHAPTER XXIII.
The new City of Mexico.—The Discoveries of Gold.—Ruins
at Mexico.—The Monks, and what Cortéz gained by his
Piety.—The City of Mexico again rebuilt.—The City under
Ravillagigedo.—The National Palace.—The Cathedral.—A
whole Museum turned Saints.—All kneel together.—The
San Carlos Academy of Arts.—Reign of Carlos III.—The
Mineria 259
CHAPTER XXIV.
The National Museum.—Marianna and Cortéz.—The smallValue of this Collection.—The Botanic Garden.—The
Market of Santa Anna.—The Acordada Prison.—The
unfortunate Prisoner.—The Causes of that Night of Terror.—
The Sacking of the City.—The Parian.—The Causes of the
Ruin of the Parian.—Change in the Standard of Color.—The
Ashes of Cortéz 271
CHAPTER XXV.
The Priests gainers by the Independence.—Improved
Condition of the Peons.—Mexican Mechanics.—The
Oppression they suffer.—Low state of the Mechanic Arts.—
The Story of the Portress.—Charity of the Poor.—The
Whites not superior to Meztizos.—License and Woman's
Rights at Mexico.—The probable Future of Mexico.—
Mormonism impending over Mexico.—Mormonism and
Mohammedanism 280
CHAPTER XXVI.
The Plaza of the Inquisition.—The two Modes of human
Sacrifice, the Aztec and the Spanish.—Threefold Power of
the Inquisition.—Visit to the House of the Inquisition.—The
Prison and Place of Torture.—The Story of William Lamport.
—The little and the big Auto da Fe.—The Inquisition the real
Government.—Ruin of Spanish Nationality.—The political
Uses of the Inquisition.—Political Causes of the Bigotry of
Philip II.—His eldest Son dies mysteriously.—The Dominion
of Priests continues till the French Invasion 292
CHAPTER XXVII.
Miracles and Earthquakes.—The Saints in Times of
Ignorance.—The Eruption of Jorullo.—The Curse of the
Capuchins.—The Consequences of the Curse.—The
unfulfilled Curse.—The Population of the Republic.—
Depopulation from 1810 to 1840.—The Mixture of Whites
and Indians not prolific.—The pure Indians.—The Meztizos.
—The White Population.—Negroes and Zambos.—The Jew
and the Law of Generation.—The same Law applies to
Cattle.—It governs the Generation of Plants.—Intemperance
and Generation.—Meztizo Plants short-lived.—Mexico can
not be resuscitated.—She can not recover her Northern
Provinces 304
CHAPTER XXVIII.
The Church of Mexico.—Its present Condition and Power.—
The Number of the "Religios."—The Wealth of the Church.
—The Money-power of the Church.—The Power of
Assassination.—Educating the People robs the Priest.—
Making and adoring Images.—The Progress downward 319