INTRODUCTION. The evening before leaving for one of my periodical excursions, I was putting in order my guns, my insect-cases, and all my travelling necessaries, when my eldest son, a lad nine years old, came running to me in that wheedling manner—using that irresistible diplomacy of childhood which imposes on fathers and mothers so many troublesome treaties, and which children so well know how to assume when they desire to obtain a favor.... more...

Chapter I Preparations for the Start—Our Dry Goods Relished by the Cattle—I Become a “Compadre”—Beautiful Northern Sonora—Mexican Muleteers Preferable in Their Own Country—Apache Stories—Signs of Ancient Inhabitants—Arrival at Upper Yaqui River—Opata Indians now Mexicanised—A Flourishing Medical Practice—Mexican Manners—Rock-carvings—How Certain Cacti... more...

NORTH AMERICA. This division of the great western continent is more than five thousand miles in length; and, in some latitudes, is four thousand miles wide. It was originally discovered by Europeans, about the conclusion of the fifteenth century; and, a few years afterwards, a party of Spanish adventurers obtained possession of some of the southern districts. The inhabitants of these they treated like wild animals, who had no property in the... more...

CHAPTER I INTO THE COOLER SOUTH You are really in Mexico before you get there. Laredo is a purely—though not pure—Mexican town with a slight American tinge. Scores of dull-skinned men wander listlessly about trying to sell sticks of candy and the like from boards carried on their heads. There are not a dozen shops where the clerks speak even good pidgin English, most signs are in Spanish, the lists of voters on the walls are chiefly... more...

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... more...


INTRODUCTION In the year 1843, two new books took the American public by storm: one was Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico, and the other Life in Mexico by Madame Calderon de la Barca. William Hickling Prescott was already known as an able historian on account of his scholarly Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain which had appeared four years before and elicited praise from all quarters; but his new work outran the former in that... more...

CHAPTER I PRIESTLY ARCHAEOLOGY (1895) While we stood in the Puebla station, waiting for the train to be made ready, we noticed a priest, who was buying his ticket at the office. On boarding the train, we saw nothing of him, as he had entered another car. Soon after we started, Herman made his usual trip of inspection through the train, and on his return told me that a learned priest was in the second-class coach, and that I ought to know him.... more...

CHAPTER I. Locality and Political Divisions of Aztec Land.—Spanish Historians.—Boundaries.—Climate.—Egyptian Resemblances.—Products of the Country.—Antiquities.—Origin of Races.—Early Civilization.—Pictorial Writings.—Aboriginal Money.—Aztec Religious Sacrifices.—A Voluptuous Court.—Mexican Independence.—European Civilization introduced by Cortez.—Civil... more...

CHAPTER I. THE ISLE OF PINES. In the spring of 1856, I met with Mr. Christy accidentally in an omnibus at Havana. He had been in Cuba for some months, leading an adventurous life, visiting sugar-plantations, copper-mines, and coffee-estates, descending into caves, and botanizing in tropical jungles, cruising for a fortnight in an open boat among the coral-reefs, hunting turtles and manatis, and visiting all sorts of people from whom information... more...

CHAPTER I. The Secret of the Gulf—Ulloa, 1539, One of the Captains of Cortes, Almost Solves it, but Turns Back without Discovering—Alarcon, 1540, Conquers. In every country the great, rivers have presented attractive pathways for interior exploration—gateways for settlement. Eventually they have grown to be highroads where the rich cargoes of development, profiting by favouring tides, floated to the outer world. Man, during... more...