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address myself to your excellency directly, renewing the same project which I had the honor of presenting to the French nation, &c.
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
I 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 64 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 Ilon. 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 head waters 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.
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 bullfights 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 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 Montana* 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,
* Montaña (pronounced Montanya) is the name given by the Peruvians to any wooded country, “monte” being the Spanish term for a thick and tangled forest. As there is no other wooded country in Peru except to the eastward of the Andes, the term applies only to the eastern slope and the level country at the base of the mountains, stretching as far as the confines of Brazil.
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,* 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.
* As I shall have occasion, in speaking of routes, to refer again to this river, I would like to draw particular attention to it, simply stating here, however, that all who have penetrated into the Montaña to the northward and eastward of Cuzco, agree in reporting a large and navigable river arrived soon after clearing the skirts of the mountains. Different tribes of Indians inhabit its banks, and I presume it is on this account that so many different names—such as Amarumayo, Mano, Tono, Inambiri, Guariguari, Cachihuara, and Madre-de-dios—have been given it.
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
savages who dwell about the head waters 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 «llmagro 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 Buni; but, overcome by danger, privation, and suffering, they returned with no results, save